The Teach Family
As many of the earlier craftsmen and tradesmen bowed from sight to be replaced by the more modern things to be introduced under the name of the progress, so also was the fate of the blacksmith trade with the advent of the motorized era.
Elmer Ellsworth Teach was one of the earlier craftsmen in the blacksmith trade in Rock Falls in a shop which commanded an important location in the business district at 321 W. 2nd St. Teach was born Jan. 21, 1865 at Hagerstown MD, one of 12 children (10 sons & 2 daughters) born to John & Mary Teach. The Teach family was among the early pioneer settlers in the Maryland area having migrated from their home in Scotland in the early 1800's.
The Teach family, joining many other pioneers of that day, moved westward in 1867 at the time Elmer was 12 years old. Members of the Teach family settled in various locations en route to Illinois. Elmer Teach finally arrived at Tampico where he completed his education. Later he moved to the city of Rock Falls and on Jan. 21, 1894, married the former Sadie Ashling. Teach learned the blacksmith trade working for his older brother, Benjamin and in the future they were to become partners.
As the business progressed, Teach bought a shop located at 321 W. 2nd St. where he continued the trade which specialized in carriages, wagons and horseshoeing. Teach was well-known in the local area for his excellent blacksmith work. When the famous Ringling Brothers Circus came to Sterling, Teach was hired to check and reshoe many of the beautiful horses used in the circus performances. Teach was also hired by the city to shoe the horses used to pull the Rock Falls fire truck and he was able to identify each horse by name.
Teach's brother Benjamin died in 1927 in Sterling. Earlier, Elmer Teach built a new brick building in the same location on the southeast corner of the Fourth Avenue and West Second Street. He continued the blacksmith business here until his death in 1929.
Elmer and Sadie (Ashling) Teach were the parents of two sons, Floyd and Glen and a daughter who died in infancy. Floyd Teach married the former Helen Snavely and they currently reside in Streator IL where he was employed as ticket agent and cashier for teh Burlington Railroad for some 46 years. Glen Teach was married to the former Laura Keefer and they resided in Oak Park where he was an executive for the Montgomery Ward Company. He died in 1952 and his widow still lives in Oak Park.
Floy and Helen Teach have two grandchildren, Robert G. Teach and Mrs. Marlene Scott, who both reside in Streator. In the year 1968 the Rock Falls Eagles Club purchased the building which was the former Teach blacksmith Shop. The Eagles currently own and maintain the building for their organizational purposes. To this day the name "Teach" remains atop the old building serving as a tribute to the builder and former businessman, Elmer E. Teach.
[Source:The Gazette July 1, 1976]
** In the Blacksmith Shop Photo is Elmer Teach on the far left and next to him is Mr. Robinson - third man unknown - and Mr. K. Rouse on the left. This is the first building they had - he later erected a new brick building on the same site, which the Eagles now own and occupy.
-- Corrected information from Sue Nesland from the Death Index in Whiteside County -- Birth date should be 21 Jan 1866. He died 25 Nov 1959 in Rock Falls and is buried at IOOF Cemetery. He was the s/o John and Mary (VanDrew) Teach (from FHL film # 1643607)
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