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BEIERS BAKERY - The slogan, "Baked fine since '69," has become literally household words in teh Dixon area since Rheinhold Beier came from Erfort, Germany, and established Beier Bakery in Dixon in 1869.

Observing its 82nd anniversary this year (1951) Dixon's oldest bakery firm has justified its claim that "You'll like Beier's bread," Today the company operates 21 bakery routes out of Dixon, plus another seven routes operated by a jobber with headquarters in Freeport, to bring good bread and other bakery products to homes within the area of a 50-mile radius of Dixon.

Beier Bakery, like many other midwest firms, began modestly enough when Rheinhold Beier turned out his first day's work of 40 loaves of bread in the bakery's first home, a 20 foot store room. He delivered his products from a basket. Today George H. Beier, grandson of the founder and owner of the firm supervises the bakery plant at 69 Ottawa avenue, with its 85 employes and its fleet of 30 trucks, to make the preparation of good food easier and better for housewives and food-serving establishments.

The first bakery was opened at 601 Depot avenue and began with the principle that quality products, hoonestly made and sold, would secure lasting friend, an ideal that has enabled Beier to grow into the flourishing firm of today. The steadily expanding business outgrew the building, necessitating a move in 1877 to 126 First street, where they remained until 1899 when they moved to a newly erected building at 107 Hennepin avenue. Constantly expanding trade required another larger building which was built at this location in 1923. During the year of the firms 70th anniversary in 1939, the modern and magnificent structure which houses Beier was completed. The second generation of Beiers, William and Otto, entered the business in 1895 upon the retirement of their father. Otto Beier purchased his brother's interest in 1906. George H. Beier, son of Otto, joined his father in 1925 and today is owner and active manager of the firm. There are other Beier bakeries in Elgin and in Clinton Iowa.

BORDENS Milk Plant & FAIRVIEW Dairy Farms -

BROWN SHOE COMPANY - "All busy" - In these two words F.K. Tribou, manager of the Brown Shoe Company's Dixon factory, told the story of the institution, when asked by a Telegraph representative last evening for something to give the public concerning the big factory in the west end. And Mr. Tribou's statement was borne out by the hum of the wheels and machinery throughout the entire building, echoes of the busy racket penetrating to the office room, and the piles of papers on the desks in the office also gave evidence that there is "something doing" at the plant which was recently reopened. The new factory is employing 250 hands and the average daily output is close to 1,000 pairs of shoes. (From the Dixon Evening Telegraph March 14, 1914)

The Shoe factory is still in urgent need of more girls and women in the stitching room. The total employed force last week numbered 432 men and women and the output reached nearly 3,000 pairs of shoes per day, the highest since the present management took control. The plant could easily make 5,000 pairs per day if the necessary help were secured and this would mean very much to Dixon. (From the Teletraph, Feb. 1, 1916)

CITY NATIONAL BANK of Dixon is the outgrowth of the first bank of Lee county. It was established in Dixon in 1854 by the firm of Robertson, Eastman & Company as a private bank. In time changes in the partnership led to the adoption of the firm style of Robertson, Eells & Company and since that time the name of Eells has figured in connection with the successful management and control of the institution. In 1865 a reorganization was effected under the named of the Lee County National Bank and the capital stock was raised to one hundred thousand dollars. Two decades later the name was changed to the City National Bank, the capital stock remaining the same. In this reorganization Joseph Crawford became the president with Samuel C. Eells as the cashier. Subsequent changes led to Mr. Eells becoming president, in which position he continued to the time of his demise in September, 1913. The present officers are: W. C. Durkes, president ; 0. J. Downing, vice president ; John L. Davies, cashier, and C. E. Chandler, assistant cashier. The capital stock remains at one hundred thousand dollars and the surplus is fifty thousand dollars with undivided profits of thirty-five thousand dollars. The bank had the first safety deposit boxes in Lee county and has ever kept abreast with the advancement made in the banking business. Three per cent interest is paid on savings accounts which in this bank amount to one hundred and eighty-eight thousand and seventy-one dollars and fifty-three cents, while the individual deposits subject to check are six hundred and ten thousand and two dollars and fifty cents. The bank occupies one of the attractive business blocks of the city. It is a brick and stone building with trimmings of Grecian marble and the fixtures are of solid mahogany. The bank is modern in every respect and since its establishment six decades ago it has maintained an unassailable reputation, the policy of its officers commending it at all times to the confidence and patronage of the general public.
Source: Portraits and Biographical 1892

CLEARS BREWERY was one of two brewing establishments which supplied beer and cider to Dixon and vicinity in the latter part of the 19th century. Opened near Rock river in east Dixon in 1867 by James b. clears, the plant's capacity in 1889 was 500 barrels annually. The other brewery, operated by Nicholas Plein, long a city alderman, as opened in 1873.




FULFS BROS. Confectionary, located at 114 N. Galena avenue, was established 39 years ago in 1912 by Harry Fulfs. The store is now owned and operated by Ray Herbert and Glenn Rosbrook who have owned the business since 1950. The store, in addition to being a confectionary, also deals in a complete line of sporting goods, representing the MacGregor-Goldsmith manufacturers. A slogan for many years has been "Where Friends Meet for a Treat." The store employs four persons, and six students who work part time. Fulfs makes home made ice cream daily and has complete freezing equipment for this purpose. (From the Dixon Evening Telegraph May 1951).




Makers of the Blackhawk Razor

NATIONAL-STANDARD Company, Reynolds Wire Division, was first founded in Dixon in 1894 by Horace G. Reynolds who came here in that year from New York state. The Reynolds mills was the first wire cloth factory west of NY and was established iwth the purpose of making better wire cloth than any of its competitors. "Dixon Wire Cloth" became known throughout the middle west and the early slogans employed were "Western Made for Western Trade" and "Best by Test". Now - 57 years later - the company is a division of the National-Standard Company of Niles, Michigan and serves a nation-wide area. For many years before joining the Michigan company, the Reynolds firm was maintained by members of the familyincluding Mr. and Mrs. John Gould Ralston, daughter and son-in-law of the founder, and earlier by Douglas Gray Harvey, another son-in-law. The company now employs approximately 450 persons in Dixon and the local division consists of two plant buildings and an office structure. All forms of industrial wire cloth are manufactured for automotive and farm equipment, for air-conditioning and food processing.





WARNER SILVER MANUFACTURING COMPANY of Dixon (1904) began making silver-plated metal goods such as soda fountain fixtures and piture frames.





WOOLWORTH STORE - The story of the F.W. Woolworth company in Dixon is best recorded by the store's expansion of building space through the years since 1914. On November 28 of that year the company moved into a building 22 x 101 feet. Fourteen years later the company expanded and moved into a space 52 x 125 feet and later into the present area of the store at 116 First street, which is 70 x 125 feet. The company suffered a disastrous fire on January 12, 1943, but reopened in an improved store on August 26 of the same year. The store in Dixon is one of a large chain of retail variety stores all over the nation. The company was first established in 1912, and two years later had a store operating in Dixon.


Walter Zink Owner

This particular Lure made in Dixon IL around 1946

Early in 1857 it was estimated that the citizens of Dixon had expended over $100,000 for the erection of new residences, hotels and factories. In that era an impressive residence could be constructed for the cost of $2,000 and one "warmed by a furnace" cost about $5,000. In January 1857, the Telegraph listed many of the homes and other buildings which has been erected int he previous few months. "We are aware" the newspaper article said, "that some have been overlooked and that the cost of these buildings, which we enumerate will exceed the figures at which we estimate them." The list as published in the newspaper, reported the following: "The new hotel near the Railroad depots, erected by Dement and others, $20,000

"Silas Noble has nearly completed a beautiful villa just north of Dixon, which is to be finished off in a grand style, with a view to comfort and elegrance, observatory, verands, etc., at an expense of not less than $12,000. Silas Noble & Co. finished the last season, a three story brick store on Galena street, occupied by Varney & Co. cost about $5,000.

Dement & Heaton will have expended, when their machine shops and foundries are complete, over $40,000. They have now been to an expense of over #40,000 on their water power. Dement & Pitts' Plow Factory on which they are at work with a commendable energy, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, will require an outlay of 15 or 20,000.

John Daley has now the foundation and a part of the wall of a Flouring Mill in progress - cost $12,000. George L. Herrick has erected a three-story brick building on First street, which must have required a capital of $5,000 at least, in which is his hardware store, and on the second floor, Mr. Hull's Music Acadamy, and the third story is occupied as a hall by the Sons of Temperance. Mr. Herrick has his building lighted with benzule gas. The Waverly Hotel at the Air Line Depot, Mr. Randall, proprietor , must have cost about $5,000. It were well to remark by the way that MR. R. knows how to keep a hotel as it should be kept.

Pride of Dixon upon its grand opening Oct. 1, 1857, was the Shabbona House, a five story hotel constructed near the Air Line (Northwestern) and Illinois Central depots. Built by Cropsey, Dement and Noble, it was operated by Mr. Benjamin from Vermont. The hotel was located to accomodate train passengers changing from one railroad line to another. It contained 65 rooms, including two parlars and an elegant dining hall. Also called the Dement House, it was renamed the St. James Hotel when its management was taken over by H.E. Gedney Dec. 2, 1868. The hotel was destroyed by fire Nov. 30, 1871 and was protected by insurance of $22,500

Dixon Telegraph June 16, 1857 - Messrs. Cheney & Co. are now opening a first-class confectionary store and eating saloon on Galena Street next door to Wallach's store. Ice cream and strawberries, sodawater and lemonade - delicious - A nice place for young ladies and gents to resort of a hot evening.

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Reynolds Wire