News Items From the Past
Taken From the Toluca Star Newspaper

Toluca, Marshall Co. IL, Saturday, February 16, 1895

A Township High School - To the Editor

The progress made by Toluca during the past two years, not withstanding the hard times, which has prevailed everywhere, has been truly phenomenal. Two years ago the town boasted not exceeding 20 houses, today over 500, among them substantial business buildings and handsome residences adorn the city. Then the population was about 200, now it approximates 3,000. These simple figures revel a growth unprecedented in Illinois towns and suggest visions of western Kansas in the heyday of her boom or Oklahoma when it first opened to settlement. But the end is not yet. Toluca will continue to strive forward. We are not dependant on our coal in industry alone. The broad fertile acres surrounding us, cultivated by well-to-do proprietors and a thrifty tententry will of themselves support a more populant community. Besides other in industries will be added to those already here and the growth to the city will continue.

There is one thing however which Toluca is lacking and that is proper school facilities. The forgoing remarks a merely preliminary to the suggestion. We need more and better schools. The large brick school building just completed is a credit to the city and is a step in the right direction.  But it does not meet the demand. It is not sufficient for our needs and the object of this article is to call attention to the growing necessities in this regard. What we ought to have and what we can have, if proper effort is made, is a township high school.

Under the laws of this state, each congregational township constitutes a school township and may erect and support a high school. Township 29, which embraces the city extends, commencing at the intersection of the streets near Mr. S.W. Skelton’s resident, one mile north, four miles east, five miles south, and two miles west. The people in this territory could erect a handsome and commodious high school building and support a high school second to none in the state.

Such an institute would be a vast benefit to the city as well as to the entire district affording right at home, school advantages, which we are now compelled to seek elsewhere. It would attract to Toluca, well-to-do farmers, would move to town for the purpose of educating their children, the residence in which to live and thus attain an excellent class of citizens to our population and wealth to the community. Such a school would also draw patronage from adjoining townships, those outside being required to pay a small tuition to help defray the expense of the institution.

A suitable building could be erected for about $25,000. The sum could be raised by voting 20 year bonds. The necessary taxation for paying the interest and supporting the school would scarcely be felt and the burden would grow lighter from year to year, in proportion to the inc reaseof taxable income property.

I trust this proposition will receive favorable consideration at the hands of the Star and the voters and the tax payers of the city and township, believing that no enterprise could be set on foot that would add more to the growth and prosperity of our city and the welfare of the community.----------J.H. Franklin


Toluca, Marshall Co. IL, Saturday, February 16, 1895

Fire Meeting

The new engine house is completed and our beautiful new fire engine has been moved into it. Now we want a fire company to operate this engine in case of fire. There will be a citizens meeting at the city hall next Monday evening February 18, for the purpose of organizing a fire company. All citizens would have the welfare of our city at heart are invited to be present. Come before 8:00 PM by order of committee.


Toluca, Marshall Co. IL, Saturday, February 16, 1895

Mr. A.G. Sommerfeld and Miss Emma W. Ethler of this city were married at the Lutheran church here Thursday. The bride is a sister-in-law of the Lutheran minister here and the groom is a young farmer of Bell Plain.


Toluca, Marshall Co. IL, Saturday, February 16, 1895

Mrs. Robert G. Murphy died at her home in Flanegan last Sunday night. She was buried from the Christian church there Wednesday. Consumption was the dread disease that caused her death. She was the daughter of J.H. Martin, an old resident of Livingston county. Deceased was a most estimable young lady.Deceased was well known to many in this vicinity where some of her relatives live.

Back to Marshall County Illinois History and Genealogy


1901 INDEX


  • The Markets
  • A Great Electric Storm

  • Damage by Lightening

  • An Incipient Blaze

  • Local News - Longer hours at the Devlin Mine

  • Notice to Dog Owners

  • Local News:  

    • Best Ice cream

    • Pawnee Bill show

    • Visitors to Big Sandy

    • The Woolen Mills at Lacon

  • Local News:  

    • The Toluca Mine

    • TM&N  railroad,

    • Electric lights for Toluca,

    • New well,

    • Bad sidewalks

  • Local News:  

    • The Sister's school,
    • Cockleburr crop
  • A Fishing Party
  • Guiseppe Botio and Miss Louisa Destefani Wedding

  • Local News -

    • Elevator at Custer,
    • Sale of Soda Water Factory
  • All in Favor of Light
  • Local News -
    • B. Anschick's,
    • Chimes for St. Ann's,
    • T.M & N. depot,
    • Death of Mrs. Anselmo,
    • New Rutland opera house,
    • School Sisters from Iowa
  • New City Well
  • Local News

    • Porterfield

    • Dry Wells

  • Miss Slattery New Principal

  • Corti Indicted

  • Toluca Will Have a Resident Pastor

  • Local News

    • T.M. & N. railroad news

    • Mine news

  • St. Jochim’s school

  • Peter's School News

  • TM&N Will Run to Henry

  • A “Dry” Sunday

  • New Church Bell

  • Two Regular Trains

  • Big Reservoir Made

  • We Will have Light

  • Early Morning Blaze

  • Local News  

    • New Well

    • Rental property

    • School board purchase

  • The Marquette Railroad
  • New Railway Time Card


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, July 26, 1901 - FRONT PAGE

The Markets

The grain market during the past week was extremely nervous. Monday it reached the high water mark. In Toluca, they paid 53 cents for corn, 34 cents for mixed oats and 35 cents for white.  Monday evening there was a drop of 5 cents in corn, and the price has been ranging up and down since. Below we give the markets up to 2 PM Thursday. Our merchants are paying the following price for produce:

Butter ...................16 cents
Cooking Butter .....12 cents
Eggs ......................10 cents
Chickens .................7 cents
Turkeys -----------6 to 7 cents
Potatoes .............1.00

Grain Markets
New Corn .............50 cents
Mixed Oats ............31 1/2 cents
White Oats .............32 1/2 cents

Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, July 26, 1901 - FRONT PAGE

A Great Electric Storm

One of the worst electric storms in many years broke over this community Wednesday night. The lightning was something awful. About 10 o’clock lightning struck the barn on Frank Shipley’s farm, east of town, and a few minutes later it struck the barn of Eugene Ingram, near Rutland.  Both barns, with their contents of hay and grain, were totally destroyed. By hard work the dwelling on the Shipley farm was saved. Not withstanding the wind and the heavy black clouds that covered the sky we didn’t get enough of rain to lay the dust.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, August 8, 1901 - FRONT PAGE

Damage by Lightening

During the electric storms that have raged all about us the past few weeks much damage has been done to property. Fortunately very few human beings have been injured. The big storm of Wednesday night of last week destroyed much property in this and adjoining counties. The storm of Sunday night, while not as destructive or fierce in this immediate vicinity, did considerable damage. August Gudespon, living near Toluca, had three milk cows and a horse killed by lightning. He had the animals insured in the Evans township company. They were appraised Monday at $285. Mr. Shipley’s barn, that was destroyed last week, was also insured in this company. It is fortunate for these people that they carried insurance in such a reliable company.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, August 8, 1901 - PAGE 4

An Incipient Blaze

At 6:30 Monday evening an alarm of fire was turned in from the Magnolia saloon on Santa Fe avenue. The fire department responded promptly, and the fire was extinguished without any serious damage being done to the building. The fire was caused by a gasoline stove which was being filled while one of the burners was lighted. Mr. Morris, the proprietor, suffered painful burns on his right hand and arm.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, August 8, 1901 - PAGE 5, Local News

The Devlin mines are giving longer hours to their workmen and expect to be working full time within a week or two.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, August 9, 1901 - PAGE 2

Notice to Dog Owners

All dogs found running at large in the city of Toluca between July 18 and September 1, 1901 that are not properly and securely muzzled will be shot by the city police. By order of JOHN PROCTOR, Mayor


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, August 9, 1901 - PAGE 3, Local News

Best ice cream at Jacobs

The street parade given by Pawnee Bill’s Wild West show is certainly one of the most unique and attractive of any show on the road.

A large number from town spent Sunday on the banks of the Sandy. Some of the pleasure-seekers almost had to walk home.

Sheriff Howard reports the rebuilding of the woolen mills at Lacon as progressing rapidly. It is expected they will be in operation within the next sixty days.

Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show was here Thursday. They gave two performances, one in the afternoon and one at night. It is estimated that the attendance was over five thousand people.  The show was very good of the kind. In fact it was the same as Buffalo Bill’s only it was not on such a large scale.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, August 16, 1901 - PAGE 4

The Toluca mines are running steady and on full time

Work on the extension of the T.M & N. is progressing rapidly. It is expected that Magnolia will be reached within a few weeks.

From the action of the city council at the meeting Tuesday night, it would appear that we will have electric lights in the very near future.

The city is sinking a new well alongside the old city well. The new well will be used as a reservoir or storage place of water from the old well.

The sidewalks of the city are in bad shape in every part of town. They couldn’t be much worse.  It would be much better and safer for pedestrians if we had no walks at all.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, August 16, 1901 - PAGE 5, LOCAL NEWS

Work on the Sisters’ school building is progressing rapidly. The basement rooms are completed and the furnaces are set in the masonry. Work on the building is being pushed along as rapidly as possible.

The most flourishing crop in or about the city is the cockle burr. They are growing profusely all over town and are three or four times higher than the sidewalks on many streets.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, August 18, 1901

A Fishing Party

A fishing party was made up here last week to make captives of the Illinois river fish on a wholesale scale. Extensive preparations were made by way of purchasing line - miles of it - hooks by the hundred, preparing and stocking a big commissary wagon, and besides a big empty wagon to carry home the fish, all other necessary paraphernalia that goes to make up the outfit of professional fisherman. The party, nineteen in number, pulled up stakes in the afternoon and started on the overland trip. As the shades of night were falling to the accompaniment of a gentle rain, that was also falling, the party pitched their tent and lit their campfires on the banks of the raging Illinois. After partaking of a bountiful supper the great work of hauling in the fish was begun. Messrs., Cassell, Parker and Gibbs, experts at the business, run a trot line across the river.

A few of us had only a limited knowledge of handling the throw line, but J.A. Burcham, who assured us that he was raised on the river, and knew all about it, volunteered to teach us. He took up a line and swung it gracefully in a circle for a few seconds - all the time telling the novices to watch how it was done, when he let go, and the four hooks flew in the opposite direction and caught a crow’s nest in the top of a tree twenty feet high. Notwithstanding this error or foul, for the rest of the night we had great luck. It is not the intention of the writer to convey the impression that we captured all the fish in that portion of the river, for we are quite sure we did not. We are sure, because after we quit, we saw a big fish come up to the shore, grab J..W. Parker’s hat and run off with it. We had to run him down with the boats to get the hat.

Notwithstanding that it was more or less rainy, all the members of the party report having had a most enjoyable time. They returned home late Sunday evening. The party was composed of A.S. and Mrs. Gibbs, Howard, Clarence and Edith Gibbs, L.D. and Mrs. Cassell, J.W. Parker and Mrs. Parker, J.A. and Mrs. Burcham and son, Mrs. J.D. Winans and little son, E. Redman, Miss Edna Ingram, Miss Emily Litchfield, J.M. Breen and Mrs. Breen.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, August 18, 1901 - PAGE 4

Mr. Guiseppe Botio and Miss Louisa Destefani were united in marriage at the Italian church, Wednesday, by Dr. Bonincini


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, August 18, 1901 - PAGE 5, Local News

Ball & Twist’s elevator at Custer is completed and they took in a lot of grain there last week.  Will Stratton has charge.

Frank Shipley, our telephone magnate, disposed of his soda water factory last week. Peterson brothers of the city are the purchasers.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, August 30, 1901 - PAGE ONE

All in Favor of Light

There was a fairly good representation of citizens and taxpayers at the meeting Tuesday night, B. Anschicks was chairman and L.D. Cassell secretary. Two representatives of the Practical Gas Co. of Chicago were present and explained the working of their gas ..... of a pant, etc. Mr. Weg. of Rutland was present and spoke on the merits of electric light. He also referred to the proposition he had before the city council of Toluca. After a general talk on the need of light of some kind, a motion was made and unanimously carried to the effect that all present at the meeting were in favor of having light. It was conceded that it was the duty of the city council to select the kind of light most suitable, make contract for the same and grant the necessary franchise, etc. D.M. Wood, in behalf of the Toluca Electric Light and Power Company, stated that the Toluca Company would submit a proposition to the Toluca city council at the next meeting, in which they would agree to furnish as good a light at a price as reasonable as any other company. Mr. Porterfield seconded the statement made by Mr. Wood. All were a unit in agreeing that we were in need of light and that we ought to have light. It was 10:30 p.m. before the meeting adjoined.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, August 30, 1901 - PAGE 5, LOCAL NEWS

When you want furniture or hardware remember B. Anschick

A subscription is being taken up to purchase a chime of bells for St. Anns.

J.E. Porterfield & Co. have the contract for building the T.M. & N. depot in Magnolia.

Mrs. Anselmo, the wife of a poor Italian miner, died Wednesday morning at 2 0’clock. Blood poisoning was the cause. She gave birth to a child ten days before. The child is reported doing well.

Toluca was largely represented at the opening of the new opera house in Rutland Monday night.  A special train was run over the T.&E. Over eighty from Toluca were present. They report the play very good.

Two sisters who are to conduct the Sisters’ school came from Clinton, Iowa this week. If the convent is not finished before the opening of the public schools, the sisters will conduct school in the Italian church until their building is completed. The other three sisters will come as soon as the convent is completed.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, August 30, 1901

New City Well

They have been working night and day at the new city well. Jim Liston was running one big pump with his traction engine, while the city engine ran the other. It keeps the two pumps busy all the time to keep the water out. Sunday the well was down forty feet, and they have twenty feet deeper to go. It looks like the two wells when completed, ought to furnish sufficient water to supply the city. Thursday noon they are down between forty-four and forty-five feet. They are having hard work in getting through a vein of sand. They have a force working day and night, and it is all that the two big pumps can do to keep the water out. The spring is a fine one and from its present action it looks like it could furnish water for a city five times our size.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, September 6, 1901 - PAGE 5 - LOCAL NEWS

Porterfield is the name of the next town to Custer on the T.M.&N. R.R.

All the old wells in the vicinity of the new city well have gone dry, and many wells several blocks from the new well are rapidly lowering or rather the water in the wells is getting lower. This would look like all the wells in the vicinity are fed from the same vein or stream.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, September 13, 1901 - PAGE 1

Miss Slattery New Principal

At the last meeting of the Toluca Board of Education it was decided to select the principal of the Toluca High School from among the home teachers. A committee of three members of the board were appointed to make the selection. Miss May Slattery of Toluca was the one selected by the committee, and she was duly installed as principal last week. Miss Slattery is one of our best young ladies and is eminently deserving of the promotion.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, September 13, 1901 - PAGE 5

Corti Indicted

The grand jury returned an indictment for murder against Rafeal Corti last Wednesday. It is expected that his trial will come up next week. Corti is an Italian coal miner of Rutland, Ill., and is charged with the murder of Mike Necci, in Toluca, on the night of July 3.


Toluca, Marshall Co. IL, September 27, 1901 - PAGE 1

Toluca Will Have a Resident Pastor

Rev. Mr. Dudman of Ipava, Ill, has accepted a call to the Toluca M.E. church. He will move his family here and preach his first sermon next Sunday. Heretofore the Bell Plain and Toluca churches were served by one pastor, the pastor residing in Bell Plain. The present arrangement will be much better for the members of the church here.


Toluca, Marshall Co. IL, September 27, 1901 - PAGE 3 - LOCAL NEWS

Two trains are now running on the T.M. & N. railroad.

The mines are now running full force and full time. More men are now said to be working in the mines than in any time in the history of the town.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, October 4, 1901 - PAGE 5

St. Jochim’s school will open on Monday, Oct. 7. Let everyone understand that the school is gratuitous and free for all pupils. Yet if anybody insist to pay for tuition, they may arrange the matter with the Sisters.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, October 11, 1901 - PAGE 1, Brief Locals

The Sister’s school opened Monday with a good attendance.

Miss Elly Daly, who is teaching at the Peters school, south of town, is sick. Miss Anna Liston of Minonk is teaching in her place.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, October 18, 1901

Will Run to Henry

The Toluca, Marquette and Northern Railroad is now completed to Magnolia and it is rumored that a spur is to be run from the old historic town to Henry. Should this rumor be true Henry would be greatly benefited thereby - Wenona Index

A “Dry” Sunday

Last Sunday for the first time in the history of the city all the saloons were ordered to be kept closed during that day. As far as we can learn, every saloon was tightly closed. Not even the “back door acts” enabled the bibulous citizens to gain admission or get the much-desired thirst quencher. During the day there was much curbstone discussion on the subject by parched tongues, and many a “weary Willie” look was cast at the closed and barred doors of the city’s drinking resort.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, October 25, 1901 - PAGE 1, Brief Locals

The Italian church has a new bell. It was put up this week and is a fine toned one. The old bell is used for the Sisters school.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, October 25, 1901 - Page 5

Two Regular Trains

The T.M. & N. R.R. are now and have been since the line reached Magnolia, running two regular trains, and the crews of both trains are kept busy, and often have to make overtime. Conductor Barton, with Engineer Pat O’Beirne, have charge of the passenger train and make two regular trips each day between Rutland and Magnolia. Conductor O.L. Stewart and Engineer James Ryan have charge of the freight. O.L. used to be the agent and day operator at Custer and James Ryan was fireman for Pat O’Briene before the second train was put on. If the business of this new road keeps on increasing in the future as it has in the past few months, it will be only a question of a short time till the officials of the road will be obliged to put on another train.


Toluca, Marshall Co. Illinois, Friday, November 1, 1901 - PAGE 1 - Brief Locals

The Santa Fe company are having a big reservoir made west of the depot. They have a large force of men and teams working on it every day. Sunday included.


Toluca, Marshall Co., Illinois, Friday, November 8, 1901 - FRONT PAGE

We Will have Light

Electric lights for Toluca is now an assured fact. The Toluca electric Light and Gas company were granted a franchise by the city council, at an adjoured special session held Wednesday evening, and awarded this company the contract of furnishing the city light. Work on the plant will be commenced right away, and the lights put in as soon as the company can have the work done. A representative of the company says the work will be pushed with all possible speed consistent with good service.

Early Morning Blaze

Fire broke out in one of the Fletcher buildings on north Main street shortly after one o’clock Wednesday morning and before it could be checked, it set fire to the adjoining house, a two-story building and the two were totally destroyed. The one story was used as a public school building.  The other building was occupied by several families, who lost nearly all their belongings. Cause of the fire is unknown.


November 15, 1901 - PAGE 1, Brief Locals

Water is being pumped day and night from the new well, with no apparent diminution of the supply. The quality is pronounced good, also.

Houses for rent are becoming very scarce in Toluca. It would be a good investment for some one with the means to build several fair sized residences.

The school board has rented the building formerly used by the colored Methodists as a church for a school room to take the place of the one burned last week.

The Marquette Railroad (Spring Valley Gazette)

The Toluca, Marquette & Northern is now running regular trains into Magnolia and the gap will soon be filled up between that point and McNabb. The latter is the connecting point with the Three I, on which the TM.&N. trains will be run into Marquette. Just as soon as the road is finished to McNabb, it is supposed that the entire force of men and teams will be put on the work between here and Marquette. This work is something stupendous for a short line, as the deep gulches between here and Marquette will be bridged with stone,, or rather the crossings will be made on stone culverts which, owing to the great depth of one or two of these gulches, is a big undertaking.


December 6, 1901

A new time card took effect on the Toluca, Marquette and Northern railway, Dec. 4. The track is now built to the Three I’s Ry. (Iowa, Illinois and Indiana Railroad), and two new stations are placed on the time card - Price and End of Track. For changes see time card published elsewhere in this issue.

Back to Marshall County Illinois History and Genealogy



1902 INDEX


  • Local News - Devlin Visit
  • Corti Acquitted
  • Sunday Night Blaze
  • Christian Parsonage Purchase
  • Big Bargains in Railroad Travel
  • LaSalle and Marshall County Telephone
  • Superintendent Henning of the T.M.&N. Resigned
  • New Parsonage
  • Petition for  Free Rural Mail
  • Ground Broken for New Parsonage
  • Toluca Boxing School
  • Local News
    • New Saloon
    • Mail pickup for Quarantined families
    • Big Salmon Run
  • Toluca Boxing School
  • Santa Fe broke record
  • Local News
    • New Parsonage Ready
    • Fitzpatrick Saloon Opened
    • Toluca May Have Bath House
  • Gerth and Daly Grocer Firm changes hands
  • Frank Magahony Killed on Tracks
  • New Bath House
  • Sister's School Closed for Season
  • Two fires
  • Toluca High School Course of Study
  • We Will Soon Have Light
  • Computing by Machinery
  • Coal Cars Will Run With Electricity
  • Water Tank Collapsed
  • Toluca Eastern Sells Rights
  • Gerardo Excused from jury duty
  • St. Jochim's church moved
  • Free Mail Route
  • Local News
    • Gerardo purchases home
    • Electric light equipment here
  • New Electric Coal Loader
  • Champion bowlers
  • Toluca has Electric Light
  • New Bowling Alley


January 31, 1902 - Brief Locals

Charles Devlin, who owns the mines here, also owns and is operating mines in Sparland, Marquette, Ladd, Seatonville, and is opening others in Granville and Magnolia. He has other mines in Kansas and has the contract of supplying the Santa Fe Ry. company with all their coal.


February 7, 1902

Corti Acquitted

The following account of the Corti trial is from the Lacon Home Journal: Rafelo Corti is a free man. His trial for the murder of Mike Macci beginning a week ago Monday, was interrupted last Friday noon by the illness of juror Frank Poignant of Steuben. On this account court adjourned until Monday morning, by this time Mr. Poignant was able to attend to business. Monday was taken up with the examination of the last witnesses, and in the afternoon attorney Osborn delivered the first closing address for the state. Attorneys Magoon and Barns for the defense and Franklin for the state followed, and at noon the case was given to the jury.

At 9 o’clock yesterday morning a verdict of not guilty was brought in. Corti did not seem to understand what this meant to him until Mr. Barns stepped to his side and told him that he was free and the winds of heaven to go wherever he liked. Then the poor old chap broke down. He seized and shook his attorney’s hands covered sheriff Howards hands with his kisses and also kissed the hands of the front row of jurymen, crying like a child all the while. The jurymen talked freely of their doings in the jury room. On the first ballet they were equally divided on the question of Acquittal or conviction. Then they discussed the evidence for an hour and on the second ballet, eight were for acquittal and four for conviction. Several more ballets were taken with the same result, but at 4 o’clock in the morning another of the minority party flocked to the majority, making 9 to 3 for acquittal. The next vote stood 10 to 2 and when the last ballet was taken, there were 12 votes for acquittal. We have no comments to make on the verdict. The jury was composed of men of intelligence and we believe they performed their duty according to their best judgement. The attorneys on both sides made a stubborn fight and when the case went to the jury no man could tell what the verdict might be. The prosecution had to rely wholly upon circumstantial evidence and the defense directed all their efforts to punching holes in it. Corti is a man nearly 60 years old without a friend or a dollar in the world, and it will be hard for him to earn a living. He went from here to Rutland this morning, but we don’t know whether he’ll stay there or go further. Perhaps he does not know himself.


February 7, 1902

Sunday Night Blaze

About 10 o’clock Sunday night the Mike Johanas saloon building on north Main street was discovered to be on fire. Someone rang the fire bell and a few of the members of the fire company who heard the bell, assisted by volunteers, got out the hose carts on double quick time, and hastened to the scene of the fire. The couplings with the city hydrants were quickly made, and in remarkably short time they had a stream of water playing on the fire. It could be seen at a glance that it was impossible to save the saloon building, so the fire laddies confined their efforts to saving the Roberts store building, which was connected to the saloon building by a hall, and this they succeeded in doing. The night was bitterly cold and as they poured water on the roof and down the north side on the Roberts building the water was almost instantly converted into solid coat of ice. This ice is what saved the Roberts building, and in fact every building in that block, possibly all the frame buildings on Santa Fe avenue east of the bank. The Johanes place was totally destroyed with all his stock of liquors, the fixtures, etc. The building was owned by Frank Margis. Building and stock were insured, but we did not learn the amount of insurance carried. The members of the fire company and the other citizens who assisted them are entitled to unstinted praise for their heroic efforts in keeping the fire from spreading.  Among the members of the fire company present we noticed: J.J. Bamrick the chief, John Foster, Joe and Frank Gerardo, Chas Schuler, O.A. Scherer, James Fay, L.D. Cassell and Hugh Duggan. Among the volunteers who did equally good work with the firemen were A.S. Gibbs, Frank Sinzen, Billie O’Brien, Jim Hines, W.M. Sullivan, Frank Murray Judge Murphy, J.A. Burcham, and George Reitz. A.S. Gibbs was among the hardest workers in fighting the fire demon, but all worked hard and rendered splendid service in checking the spread of the flames. To fully appreciate the value of the work done by the fire fighters on would have to be there, with the thermometer between 10 and 12 below zero. All honor to the brave boys.


February 14, 1902

Brief Locals

The T.M.&N. R.R. Co has been feeding 150 mules at Magnolia all winter, paying $15 a ton for hay and as a result hay has become a scarce article in that vicinity - Putnam Record


March 14, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

Wm. Chalcraft has purchased the Christian church parsonage. The committee will meet next week to determine what and where the new edifice will be.


March 14, 1902 - Page 5

Big Bargains in Railroad Travel

Only $32.50, Toluca to San Francisco, Los Angeles or Phoenix daily, March 1st to April 30th. Through tourist sleepers and chair cars on the Sante Fe. See California’s citrus groves, oil wells, Raches, Vineyards, big trees and mines. San Joaquin Valley offers great inducements to homeseekers. Ask for a book about it --Santa Fe. Call on or address W.A. Dolan, Agent, or W.J. Black, Genl. Passr. Agent, Topeka, Kans.


March 21, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

The LaSalle and Marshall County Telephone company has changed its name to Central Illinois Independent Telephone company and has increased it capital stock form $10, 000 to $30,000.


March 21, 1902 - Front Page

Superintendent Henning of the T.M.&N. Resigned.

Charles L. Henning superintendent of the T.M. & N. R.R. Co. resigned his position with that company and gone to the Rock Island R.R. He left here Tuesday morning for Indian Territory to take charge of a surveying party who are surveying a new line for the Rock Island in the territory.  Mr. Henning’s family will remain here till the end of the school year. L.C. Badgely of Magnolia succeeds Mr. Henning as superintendent.


March 21, 1902  - New Parsonage

The members of the Toluca Christian church have let the contract for a new parsonage. It will be an up-to-date modern home. J. Gannon has the contract for the building.


March 21, 1902- Page 4

A petition for a rural free mail route, to the homes of farmers in this vicinity, with headquarters at the Toluca post office, was sent to Washington last week.


March 28, 1902 - Front Page

Ground Broken for New Parsonage

The ground for the new Christian parsonage was broken Monday when a force of men and teams began excavating for the basement. Work will be pushed on the building and it is expected that it will be completed on or before June 10.


April 4, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

Mike Johannes is having a new saloon erected. A.S. Gibbs has the contract.

Rural carriers are forbidden to take mail from the boxes where the family is quarantined on account of contagious disease. They may deliver the mail as usual. This is by order of the post office department.

There is a strong run of salmon or wall eyed pike, as they are sometimes called, in the river this spring. Several years ago they were very plenty, but for a few years back have been almost extinct. This spring however, the fishermen are taking them in considerable numbers in their nets.  Sandy Russell taking one that weighed 9 pounds. They are the finest fish for eating in the western waters - Henry Times


April 11, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

Toluca has a boxing school, we haven’t learned the name of the instructor in charge. When we do, the public will be informed.


April 18, 1902 - Brief Locals

The Santa Fe on Tuesday broke its record for fast time, a train running from Pueblo to Denver at an average of speed of 55 miles an hour. Those who have ridden over that section of the Santa Fe and know something of its grades and curves will appreciate the excitement of such a ride.


May 16, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

The new parsonage of the Christian church is about ready to be occupied.

Ed Fitzpatrick opened a new saloon at the old stand on Santa Fe Ave., this week.

Clem Brown is arranging to put in a bath tub, and hot and cold water for bathing. It will no doubt prove a good investment, as there is nothing of the kind in the city that the public can have access to.


May 16, 1902 - New Firm

The firm of Gerth & Daly grocers was dissolved last week. Mike Topenski bought out the interest of Joseph P. Gerth. The new firm will by Daly & Topenski, and will continue to do business a the same old stand. All accounts of the old firm are due and payable to the new firm.


June 6, 1902 - Front Page

Killed on Track

Frank Magahony, a coal miner, was killed on the T.M. & N. railroad track about four blocks northwest of the depot in Toluca, about half past 9 o’clock, Saturday morning, May 31. Conductor Barton was going out on his regular run. The engine was going backward. Mr. Barton was on top of a freight car several cars back from the engine, and saw some object on the track, but thought first it was a big tumbling weed but when the train got close enough to enable him to see better, he saw it was a man sitting on the track with his head bowed down on his knees. As soon as he discovered it was a man he shouted to the fireman and engineer, but it was too late. The engine ran over him. When the train men went back he gasped once or twice and died. He had been at work in the mines and it is supposed was on his way home when he sat on the track and fell asleep.


June 6, 1902 - Page 8

New Bath House

Toluca has a good place for a man to take a bath. Clem Brown, the barber, has fitted up a room in his barber shop with a handsome new porcelain bath tub. He has a new steam boiler, specially arranged for heating water for bathing purposes so that a man can have a hot or cold bath at any hour. It was something long needed in Toluca, and Mr. Brown is deserving of public gratitude for his enterprise in instituting this much-needed public utility.


June 13, 1902 - Brief Locals

The Sister’s school closed for the season, Tuesday. Their work for this, their first year among us had been very successful, and they are entitled to the thanks of the community for the good work they have done for their pupils.


June 13, 1902  - Two fires

The big grain elevator at Evans, Ill., was destroyed by fire Tuesday. A spark from a passing C.&A. train is the reported cause. During the severe storm Tuesday night the depot at Washburn, Ill., was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.


June 13, 1902

Toluca High School Course of Study

First Year
1st Semester: Algebra, English, Physiology, Civics
2nd Semester: Algebra, English, Physiology, Physiography

Second Year
1st Semester: Algebra, English, Zoology, Beginning Latin or Bookkeeping
2nd Semester: Algebra, English, Botany, Latin or Commercial Law

Third Year
1st Semester: Geometry - Plane, English, General History, Latin - Caesar or English History
2nd Semester: Geometry - Plane, English, General History, Latin - Caesar or English History

Fourth Year:
1st Semester: Geometry-Solid, English, Latin-Cicero or American History
2nd Semester: Geometry-Solid, English, Latin-Cicero or American History

Above is the course of study that has been followed by the Toluca High School. Below the high school the State course of study has been followed.


June 27, 1902

We Will Soon Have Light

After a long waiting, patient waiting, we are last to be rewarded by having an up-to-date electric light plant. The contract for the plant was awarded by the Toluca Electric Light Co. to Beckwith & Co. of Scranton, Penn., last week. The Star has been informed by one of the leading officials of the Toluca Electric Light Co. that the plant would be in operation in about six weeks.


July 18, 1902

Computing by Machinery

The First National Bank of Toluca has a machine that is something of a wonder to people who do not keep abreast of the times in mechanical inventions. It is a machine for adding. It is operated on the principle of a typewriter. The operator touches a button for each figure to be added and when the column of figures is completed a little lever is pulled, which gives the totals. Along with showing the figures added and the totals on the machine, it also prints the figures and the totals at the same time that it registers them with the keys. It never makes a mistake. If the operator touches the right figures the totals as registered by the machine are bound to be correct. It adds from one to nine million nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, or within one of ten millions.


August 29, 1902

Will Run With Electricity

When the Toluca Electric light plant is completed, the Devlin Coal Co. will run cars on the main lines, or main entered down in the mines by electric motor.


August 29, 1902

Tank Collapsed

The Chicago & Alton water tank at Varna tumbled down one day last week flooding the tracks and doing some damage. The falling of the railroad water tank is a greater calamity than would an first appear, as the capacity of most of them is 90,000 gallons of water.


September 5, 1902 - Page 5 - Around Home

The Toluca and Eastern Railroad company has sold its railroad rights and franchise to the Toluca, Marquette & Northern Railroad company for $128,000. The latter company has increased its stock for $50,000 to $150,000 and by resolutions adopted June 3, 1902, decided to issue bonds and execute a trust deed for $30,000 per mile.


September 19, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

Frank Gerardo and Will Stratton were excused from jury duty by Circuit Judge Puterbaugh at Lacon last week, on the ground that they were members of the Toluca Fire department.


September 26, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

St. Joachim’s church building will be moved to the convent block. The church will be enlarged and improved.


October 3, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

The first free rural mail route out of Toluca was started Wednesday morning, October 1st. Frank Ball is the carrier.


October 31, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

Frank Gerardo has purchased a couple of lots south of the Fred Klinger home and is having a dwelling house erected there. This is a choice location for a dwelling.

The last necessary part of our electric light machinery arrived Saturday. Permission to cross the Santa Fe tracks was also received. It is possible the lights will be turned on Saturday night.


November 14, 1902 - Front Page

Electric Car Loader

The Devlin Coal Co. have a new electric coal car loader for box cars. It is set up on tracks, on a platform, that is on a level with floor of the box car. The car is shoved up to the platform, and the loader is run into the car by electricity, and as the coal rolls down the chutes the loader throws it to the extreme ends of the car. The machine is reversible, and scatters the coal in any direction desired by the operator of the machine. They tried it for the first time last Saturday. It worked like a charm.


November 21, 1902 -Front Page, Brief Locals

John Litchfield, Charles Brown and Fred Klinger have reached a very high mark as bowlers. Mike Johanas says they are close to the score of champions.


November 21, 1902 - Front Page

Electric Light

The electric light was turned on the first time Thursday evening of last week, just as the Star press was running off the edition for that week. The news of the new light was flashed over the city by electricity. Everyone in town heard the good news and saw the bright light at about the same time. There was rejoicing everywhere, among old and young, over the appearance of real electric light.

Now this rejoicing and excitement wasn’t due to the fact that the sight of electric light was anything new to the people, for that light is as common as old ashes in about every other part of the country, and there is no one here but what has been out of town many times, but the rejoicing was caused by the actual and somewhat unexpected possession of our most urgent need as a city.

The fact that it didn’t work smoothly at first was owing to some defect in the arrangement of the machinery, that can be remedied in a short time. Suffice it is that we have the plant and fixtures complete, and by the time light is needed Toluca will be no longer in darkness.


December 12, 1902 - Front Page, Brief Locals

Mrs. Chris Lorenzeni is having a bowling alley, ninety feet long, built back of her saloon. A.S. Gibbs has the contract for the work.

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1903 INDEX


  • Local News
    • New Dry Goods Store
    • Litchfield Store Improvements
  • Local News
    • Drug Store Gets Lights
    • M.E. Parsonage Complete
  • Local News
    • Shipley has Lights
    • New Carriage Storage Room
    • Smith and Willivise Married
  • Mail Carrier on horseback
  • Burglar in Cassell's Store
  • A Hot Blaze
  • Local News
    • New electric light at church corner.
    • Jacob’s hotel bakery
    • Merry-go-round
    • New windmill for milkman
    • New cinder walk
    • Taylor back dusting streets
  • Improving the City Well

  • New Saloon
  • Local News
    • New Depot for Rutland
    • New Saloon
    • Mail Wagon Accident
  • Local News
    • Barber Shop sold
    • New Depot Complete
  • New Brick Buildings

January 16, 1903- Front Page, Brief Locals

E.S. Edelstien has opened up a stock of dry goods, clothing, shoes and furnishings in the saloon building on Main street next door to Dr. Smith’s He is offering the goods at 35 cents on the dollar.

Litchfield Bros. have been improving their big store building by furnishing the interior with more daylight. They had a big window put in on the Santa Fe side, about half a block down from the front of the store. It is an improvement for the street as it breaks the monotony of the scene along the block covered by the store. Along with being ornamental it is also useful, for it is opposite the bookkeeper’s desk.


February 20, 1903 - Front Page - Brief Locals

John Foster had electric lights put in his store this week. He now has one of the best lighted store buildings in town.

The M.E. Parsonage is almost complete.


Feb. 27, 1903 - Front Page, Brief Locals

Frank Shipley’s house is now lighted by electricity.

Fred Klinger is going to build a brick carriage storeroom behind his harness shop, this spring.  Work will be commenced as soon as the weather will permit.

Roy Smith who drove the milk wagon for F.L. Carrithers all winter, was married in Ottawa, Feb. 11th to Miss Nettie Willivise, of Wenona. Mr. Smith has rented the G.C. Jordan farm, near Toluca and will take possession this week.


Mar. 13, 1903 - Front Page, Brief Locals

The mail carrier on rural route No. 1, has abandoned his wagon on account of the bad roads. He now goes over the route on horseback.


Mar. 13, 1903 - Front Page

A Youthful Burgler

Jake Cook, who clerks for Cassell, caught a burglar in his employer’s store Sunday. He had occasion to go into the store during the afternoon and while unlocking the door he heard a noise inside. Jake had a suit of clothes and watch stolen the week before, so the noise made his suspicious that all was not as it should be. He began looking for the cause of the disturbance and found a boy about eleven years old hiding behind a pile of boxes. The youngster had been in the store but a short time and nothing was disturbed. He gained entrance by unfastening a shutter and climbing through the window in the back of the store. The boy was taken to the home of his parents and the case explained to them. Mr. Cassell did not want to be too hard on the boy, and when the parents promised to look after him better in the future, he was turned loose.


May 15, 1903

A Hot Blaze

A fire broke out in the building next to the post office on Main street about 9:30, Thursday night.  The fire company with the hose was on hand a few minutes later and poured a stream of water on the fire. No power could stop the fire in the building, but the efforts of the fire fighters was directed to keep the fire from spreading. There was no force to the water and for a few minutes it looked like the whole block was doomed. After some delay the firemen succeeded in connecting the hose with the pumps of the coal company. After this effective work was done, the post office was on fire in several places, but the fire was soon put out. A stock of clothing was in the store, moved here from Peoria, a few months ago an is said to be owned by a man names Sam Boxerman, 227 S. Washington St., Peoria. A lot of the goods were saved. We didn’t learn whether or not there was any insurance, McCormick, whose building is next to the post office, felt for a while that his building would go too, and a lot of his goods were carried out on the street for safety. The fire was so fierce, that a Chicago fire engine couldn’t have extinguished it, and no fire company could have done more than the Toluca boys. They confined to the one place.


May 22, 1903 - Front Page, Brief Locals

An electric light has been put up at the Lutheran church corner.

The bakery in connection with Jacob’s hotel is again in business.

A merry-go-round on the corner opposite Mike Johannas’ saloon, on Main street, is nabbing the humble nickel.

F.L. Carrithers, the milkman, had a new windmill put up, last week, by Litchfield Bros. The old one was worn out.

The new cinder walk on East Santé Fe avenue is not as smooth as it might be, still it is not as uneven as the old board walk that was there.

J.D. Taylor had his sprinkling wagon hand painted and is back at his old business of laying the dust on Santa Fe avenue and Main street.


June 19, 1903

Improving The City Well

Just as the necessary repairing had been done on the city pumps, and the new electric motor for the pumps was on the way here from the factory, the water in the wells became so thick with sand and mud that it was not useable, upon an investigation it was found that the bottom of the well was on a vein of quick sand, and when the water was low, the sand and mud came up with the water. No practical benefit to the situation could be accomplished without sinking the well below the vein of quick sand. Realizing the difficulty and big expense it was to the city in sinking the well a few feet last year, Mayor Klinger turned the job over to H. Duggan, superintendent of the Devlin Coal Company. Mr. Duggan is a practical engineer and expert in work of this kind and can have the work done for less than half what it would cost the city. In the mean time the coal company is pumping and furnishing the city water free of charge.


August 7, 1903

A new saloon was opened under Klinger’s opera house, last Saturday evening, with Paddy

McPhail in charge. The room is the one formerly occupied by Klinger as a harness shop. It has

been re-built and fixed up so that it is now one of the finest saloon buildings in the city.


August 21, 1903

The T.M. & N. is to have a new depot at Rutland. John Gannon has the contract and the work is being pushed ahead as rapidly as possible.

The Leise Brewing Company’s new saloon is now practically completed. The plate glass front is in, the plastering done, and the new fixtures are being put in place. The building will be occupied by the Prosperity Club.

As the rural route mail wagon was going east on Santé Fe avenue Wednesday morning, one of the horses stumbled and fell dragging the other horse to the ground with it. With the exception of a couple of broken straps, which were quickly repaired, no damage was done, and the wagon was soon speeding on its way with its bundles of newspapers and letters for the rural inhabitants.


September 11, 1903

Fahey Bros., who have been in the barber business here for a number of years, have sold their shop and good will to O.A. Stewart. The transfer took place Tuesday.

The new T.M. & N. depot at Rutland is now nearing completion The roof is on, the floors are laid, and it will soon be ready for the painters. John Gannon has the contract, and a gang of men under the supervision of Dave Farley are doing the work.


Oct. 9, 1903 - Brief Locals

Toluca has a new orchestra

New Buildings

Plans and specification for the erection of four new brick buildings to be located in the block north of the company store are now in the hands of John Gannon, contractor and builder. This proposed brick block will make a substantial addition to Toluca and will be a tremendous improvement over the frame fire traps on the east side of the street. The partied who will construct the buildings are: H. Duggan, store room, O.A. Scherer, jewelry store, C. Henning of Mendota, saloon, and M. Fahy, furniture store.


Nov. 6, 1903 - Brief locals

Work on the new Main street brick buildings is progressing.

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1916 INDEX

April 14, 1916
Two new autos made their appearance on our streets the first of the week. L.D. Cassell with a new Jeffries and James Hildebrand with a new Maxwell. Automobiling is nothing new for L.D. as he has been a fan for several years. While Hildebrand is just a beginner and no doubt will be an expert before this season is over.


April 21, 1916

The Elevator Threatened By Fire
About 11 o’clock Monday night a fire was discovered in the top of the Toluca Elevator Company’s elevator which is located on the Santa Fe near the depot. The fire alarm was sounded and those who responded set to work and had the hard task in putting out the fire which had not gained much headway. The blaze was only a small one and had burned a hole through the side of the building near the top, which was too high to be reached from the outside of the building.  As a result, several fire extinguishers, as well as the hose were taken up on the inside after which the fire was soon put out. Just how the fire started will remain a mystery and owing to the difficult task in getting to the fire it is a miracle that the building did not burn. The damaged which resulted from the fire will amount to about $1,000, which is fully covered by insurance.


April 21, 1916
The Majestic Theater has installed a new 1916 model mateograph picture machine with motordrive. One that will run 2,000 feet of film without a stop. Come and see this great machine in operation.


May 12, 1916
Mexicans Rob Rutland Store.
Excitement prevailed in Rutland last Saturday evening when Fred Rohrer, the proprietor of the hardware store there shot a thieving Mexican in the knee. There have been numerous robberies in Rutland of late and Saturday evening after the people had left the business district, Mr. Rohrer thought he heard strange noises in his store. Procuring a rifle, he went to the store and there found three villa bandits ransacking his store to their delight. Upon his arrival, the 3 burglars fled and Mr. Rohrer fired his rifle and felled one of the Mexicans by hitting him in the knee. The other 2 dark skinned burglars made their escape and are probably still running. At the time it was impossible to identify the injured man and he was taken to Ottawa, where afterwards he was identified by Chief of Police Hopkins of Streator as one of the party who were implicated in a robbery and ransom some time ago.


May 19, 1916
The Cofoid Hotel on Santa Fe Avenue has been newly decorated and put in good shape for Mrs. Cofoid, who will soon move and conduct a hotel there in after an absence of a couple of years during which time she has been running the Nelson Hotel.


June 2, 1916
Recently the township purchased an up-to-date street oiling outfit and during the past week the commissioners have been busy oiling the main traveled highways and in a short time will have all the roads leading to Toluca oiled. The city bought oil and joined with the township in oiling the streets in the city limits. Today, Thursday, the business streets in town is being oiled.


August 4, 1916
The firm of Christ and Imm, who have been in the garage business, have dissolved partnership, Christ selling his interest to Wyet Wink, the transaction taking place the first of the week.

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1925 Highlights From the Toluca Star Herald

January 23, 1925 The Toluca feather factory reopened.
March 27, 1925 WW Holtz had a new Delco Light Plant installed on his farm north of town by J.B. Sildorf of Minonk.
April 3, 1925 Martin Van Thompson, age 50, the son of Gilbert and Mary Thomspon died at his home on March 25 and was buried the following Saturday in the Antioch Christian Cemetery.
April 24, 1925 Mr. and Mrs. John Sommerfield celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary the previous Sunday.
May 8 & 15, 1925 C. O. Heselberth  and R. E. Markwalder, Toluca inventors, are noted in the Music Trade Indicator for inventing a machine for recording and reproducing music using a plated steel ribbon that is passed through an electro-magnetic devise. The devise was called the adamaphone.
July 23, 1925 The Toluca Feather Factory closes down.
August 7, 1925 Mrs. Frank Santi , age 52 years, died the previous Thursday and was buried in St. Ann's cemetery the following Monday.  She was the daughter of P. Caponni.
August 21, 1925 A new sewing factory was started in Toluca in the old radiator factory building. 50 sewing machines arrived to be installed.
August 28, 1925 A leak in an oil pipe along the Santa Fe tracks east of Toluca caused a large fire with clouds of black smoke when the oil was set on fire to burn it out of the tile drain.  The city bridge couldn't stand the heat and had to be replaced by the oil company.
September 4, 1925 The Hunter-Allen Lumber Company took over the lumber business of the Toluca Lumber Company, September 1.
September 11, 1925 The new sewing machines were now installed in the new sewing factory. No date was given for the factory to open but the outside inprovements had been completed and the pressing machinery was expected to arrive that week.
October 30, 1925 The Toluca Hatchery went out of business. It was dismantled and sold to outside parties.

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