Wednesday, July 19, 2017


                            NORMAN   V.  KELLY

President Woodrow Wilson and his ‘boys’ decided that America should conserve…gasoline…coal…wheat…corn...and of course raise taxes on everything in America. Also increased income taxes in some case of the rich to 68%.

There was a lot of Anti-German sentiment in America...of course…America declared war on Germany etc April 6, 1917. 

The Temperance jerks   (Wayne B. Wheeler )  thought that was open season on Germans as well…and decided that now would be a good time to further their idiot cause...attack the Germans as a Patriotic ploy and take down BEER at the same time. Most of the breweries were owned by Germans…so what a great opportunity to enhance their stupid “Dry Cause” and hide it under the smoke screen of a patriotic hatred of the ‘Hun.’  Good idea huh?   Well hell, it worked.

It all came about because of the Wartime Prohibition Act…section 15, that said in order to save FOOD…the distilling of Booze would stop…Of course beer was a target too…but decisions on that had yet to be completed.

                                 SEPTEMBER 8, 1917


In Peoria the distillery companies are closing up shop. Those that were in Business on 9-8-1917 were:



Whiskey was $2.30 a gallon but prices leaped.

September 8, 1917   President Wilson Orders Herbert Hoover to close down the distilleries. All of this was Under the Prohibition Clause of the War Time Food Control Act…the idea was to save coal…gasoline…food products…for the war effort. He also raised taxes as high as 67% on the rich, and taxes on many other things.

All  a ruse  Prohibition jerks….Wayne B. Wheeler   and the CAUSE

The distilleries raced like mad to produce all they could once they heard the word in August of 1917. People hoarded and when the last fire was put out there was an estimate that around the United States they had enough whisky to last “At least three-years or more.”

Peoria, Illinois lost about 1,000 men out of work…but the new factories in town would adsorb many of those men for the Wartime and War products manufacturing.

Our 6 distilleries produced about 1/3 of all the Booze in the USA.

The members of the Whiskey Trust   two of the distilleries had agreements with the US Government to produce Alcohol for wartime use…so called straight alcohol…Medicinal Alcohol and denatured alcohol…whatever the hell that was.

Denatured…alcohol…but the government ordered 26 different kinds of Toxins to be used so that ti could not be drunk…or drank…but of course they drank it anyway…what it really did was kill people.

                                USA     DISTILLERIES


America had 600 distilleries going strong when they heard in August of 1917 that because of the Wartime Prohibition Act they would have to be closed by September 8, 1917. Places like Peoria…the Alcohol capital of the Worlds were stunned by the news. The answer was to work like hell and store all the whiskey they had…before and since the ruling. That brought on insanity and the folks began to hoard as well.

Whiskey…NONE in Peoria, Illinois…Bullshit that can’t happen…but it did.

It would cost at least 10,000 men their jobs…and that did not take into account the thousands that worked indirectly for the beer and booze people…from the farmer to the trucker…the bartender to the

Suppliers of the tavern…it would be a bleak…sad…anxious time…but it would all end when the war ended…WRONG.

THE  government stated that this Prohibition act would save:

                          40 Million bushels of grain

Thousands and thousands of bushels of COAL…save gasoline…and

Other resources…they didn’t  mention the lost of jobs…and the Millions upon millions of tax dollars the gvt would lose by not being able to tax BOOZE…idiots.

The men who knew said that already before the deadline was announced that there was 232,404,870 gallons of whiskey STORED in warehouses across the USA> Also how many gallons were already stored in homes…taverns…liquor retailers and wholesalers…Nobody knew for sure but they had a hell of a lot of it that was for sure.

So all of this under the auspices of   SECTION 15 of the FOOD CONTROL LAW…the Wartime Prohibition Act.

Peoria…Distilleries could stay open for medicinal and government needs…but that was not enough business. They would also make  white vinegar…denatured alcohol…malted milk products and other food products…also Straight alcohol…a hell of a lot different than distilled Spirits..

So it statred from a order from Herbert Hoover on August 10, 1917 giving roughly 30 days to  Close.

Prices rose… 

                            THE DISTILLERIES USED


The distilleries bought from the farmer so much that the poor farmer had to die a thousand deaths looking at the new law.

15     Million bushels of corn…350 bushels of coal…paid real estate taxes, state, city taxes and about 314  Million to Uncle SAM…What a bunch of idiots thanks to the do-gooders…the religious idiot temperance jerks. Loss of jobs.

The corn growers stood to lose 50 million dollars.

Peoria paid 1/17th of the governments income in 1917 when this all came about even in 1905 era that meant 35 million bucks.

                                     THE NATIONAL SOUSE

This great  pasttime began to get readership when the Wartime Prohibition Act should have ended…remember Prohibition the big P…was coming and the WETS wanted a moratorium between the DRY period and the Wet Period to begin…NOW…

So on June 30-1919  it looked like they were going to extend the DRY Period..

Remember the wartime act ALLOWED the sale of booze…the sale…not the manufacturing of Booze…so it looked like June 30 it would all end.

So…America decided to have one last BOOZE fling…or that’s what the papers said…so that is how the title National Souse Night began.


The War ended 11-11-1918  so get rid of the damn Wartime Prohibition Act…it wasn’t that easy because the congress had to pass the laws to do this…if they didn’t the question was…would the wartime prohibition act END///


The fine was $1,000.00 plus a year in the PEN for the open taverns etc./.stood to get the Last big night came to Peoria, Ill.


What happened?


Well in Peoria the newspaper reported that it was just boring…a few “whoops and hollers, a few serious drinkers pondering the fate of booze, and although the bars were pretty well packed…that was pretty much the nature of the beast anyway. Only 25 people got arrested 13 for public disorder and 12 for being  drunk…Wow.


So the next day it was July 1, 1919 and some tavern owners went about business as usual…Our attorney general and the US Attorney General came out with statements that the War Prohibition Act was still the law…No more alcohol was going to be manufactured…so the 1917 law was still in effect…so what really happened was the price of booze went up…the order was NOT to shut down the taverns…all the other laws of the Wartime Period were still in effect UNTIL Congress met to reconvene and fix it or screw it up.




Tom   Tit  Jordan     Waylaid  Harvey Hewitt

1850 On Spring street;    Sheriff    posse…ALIVE

Riot  Forgot Rope…Killed a man from Canton

TRIAL   Hanging   January 15   1851    Sanford and Second street  6,200    saw  15,000 Prairie…Pauper’s Grave.


1872:    HENRY  McNULTY:    SHOEMAKER  FROM Chillicothe…He liked to sneak down to Peoria for a little boozing and gambling.  Trouble with wife   also used to beat her…restraining orders.

So when his wife was found dead on the floor in her bedroom they arrested  HENRY…Broken Ribs, damaged Spleen. Trial   GUILTY..  December  13, 1872.

Build Gallows on 3rd. Floor…and hanged him…he talked 20 minutes.  Got to be a Celebrity…hanged on   2-7-1873,


1901:  Ipava in Peoria County…Horrible JOSEPH  HINKLE…Married Artie and treated her like the scum of the earth.  She had him arrested several times and peace bond.  On   9-7-1901  drunk and wild he ran around screaming that this is the ay he would kill his wife….ARTIE…She was hiding over at 209 Pecan when she heard him yelling she ran to an outhouse.

Kicked in the door drug her out by the hair and slashed and stabbed her over 40 times.  He then carried her toward the crowd that had gathered and said.  I killed her for love.


Huge trial…GUILTY  sentenced to hang.

N  2-28-1902  with a picture of his child and wife pinned to his chest he was hanged in the old JAIL…3rd floor.

I am INNOCENT…he said just before they snapped his neck.


1903;   Big JOHN  McCrea…Known thief   RR complained of theft and cops stacked it out and caught him on top of a coal car throwing coal down…


MURPHY…first to get to him   scuffle  and Murphy was shot 3 times.

Held at City hall   police holding cell   surrounded by huge gang  wanting to hang him.  Turned off all the lights and sunk him aboard a train to Galesburg…huge confrontation.


TRIAL in Peoria  Found Guilty  Hanging date was

DECEMBER  11   1903    Peoria County Jail  3rd Floor…gallows built 50  witnesses invited by sheriff



Otis was a despicable man   hounded his wife to become a prostitute to support him and was truly a worthless man.

On January 5, 1905 his wife was found dead….strangled   in her bed…huge man hunt…Botts hid out in our red light district until his money ran out and police found him.  The trial was sensational and throughout it all he denied killing his wife…but the jury did not buy it

GUILTY:   HANGING   WAS June 15, 1905….

The fall from the gallows did NOT break his neck so a deputy leaned over and pulled the rope lifting the dangling man from touching the  floor he gagged and convulsed  finally the doctors pronounced him dead….

By then all but one of the 50 witnesses were long gone from the scene.


1906;        Edward  Clefford   hey called him River Trash., and the people In Ipava said they never heard a decent word said about him and his family.  They considered them thieves and bandits.  Lived along the river in a junked Houseboat.

On  NOVEMBER  26 1906… He shot his Father and robbed him…police said they had robbed a business and took over $700.00      Clefford headed for Peoria to hide out in the saloons and the whore hosues…He was finally arrested  and found with over $500.00 on him   Tried and Found guilty of murder.

TRIAL   11-23-1906             GUILTY

Hanging…December 20, 1907….


Sheriff said  he was the coolest man in the entire place

Reporter said that was the first time anyone said anything NICE   about him


1926:     Violent   JOE     ORTEZ…..Mexican Joe…Joe

Was a scary dunk and liked to carry scary knives…he had a job   cut his finger off…paid his hospital bills and fired him.  They gave him $86.00  he bought a few bottles of WHISKEY and a revolver…Joe never worked again.


On  3-12-25  he lived in a Mexican Colony we call it Morton Sq…He loved a seventeen year old Mexican girl name INLIANA Martinez…of course she never knew he existed…he heard her talking to a white man named Virgil Hill….He ran to protect her…shot Virgil in the face…Expecting praise  she called Police    He shot her 4 times and killed her.  Virgil lived.


TRIAL:  3-23-1925   GUILTY…HANGED  on   4-15-1926…  JOE  was the Last man to ever be executed by Hanging in Peoria County.  In 1946  I saw the third floor of the Jail and the trap door where the men had fallen through…it was a bit scary for kids to see.




HALLMARK.   June   16, 1935   I WROTE A 368 PAGE BOOK ABOUT THIS   I HAVE ABOUT 3 MINUTES TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT.  My Mother In Law   Mildred wonderful girl and Gerald was a ladies man.  One Problem  he was Peoria’s first and ONLY Serial rapist and had 16 of his conquest in his little black book.  He rapped her and killed her by hitting her with his fist    upper cut  broke her neck.

Horrible   fearful   week finally arrested him.


Trial was the most sensation murder trial in our history and women actually tore the rear door off the courthouse getting in.     Horribly HOT July  22, 1935. PORNO  Pictures   SENSATIONAL  

GUILTY:   on   July  31, 1935  I went to Supreme court and copied a lot of the testimony including Thompson’s Confession…MOVIE.

Executed in   OLD SMOKEY   Electric chair in Joliet, Il  On OCTOBER  14, 1935.


1947…             December 3, 1947   Flavel Feuger…young Navy VET…and Young Navy Vet  HERMAN   WEBER…   1947 Pontiac  Rich  Girlfriend had everything.

Adams St….Aiport..Struggle  .25 Caliber from a lady he raped.


HUGE  Massive man hunt  finally found the car…  NORMA  WEBER

Confessed on way back from TEXAS…3 different time all different  He did not do it….all he wanted was the Pontiac.


TRIAL;      2-3-1948        GUILTY  He was Executed on

9-16-1948.   That execution was the tenth and final execution in the history of Peoria, Illinois.






He saw her at Knoxville and Pennsylvania talked into car.  Instead of taking her home they ended up in  SPRINGDALE   CEMETERY…




On This December 21, 2013         at  6:30 AM  A MONDAY  Mayor Edward Nelson Woodruff DIED.

12-21-1947        BORN    2-2-1862                            he was 85

He had been for almost 3 months and in Methodist Hospital when he died.        Family plot at Springdale Cemetery

His family was a Pioneer Family and Woodruff was born here in Peoria….

He was an Alderman for 2 terms before he first became Mayor in 1903    he was Peoria’s Mayor for 11 terms for a total of 24 years leaving office in 1945 for the final time.


His dad founded the Woodruff Ice Company…Edward his son worked there many years and later took it over.  Woodruff sold it in 1929 To the Peoria Service Company.


His mother came here ikn 1835 from Pennsylvania and they were married here in 1846.  


Woodruff went to Peoria High 3 years but dropped out tot take over his father’s business when his dad died.     That was 1879                  WRONG


Well I know better than that because after he left school he went to New Mexico where he was a ‘COWBOY’ for about a year then came back and took over his father’s business.


He was accused of having the “Woodruff Machine” almost from the beginning of his political life…Truth is he was a born leader…he awarded the men that got out the vote and he continued to do that his entire life.  The big award was the JOB….He knew that in order to stay in power he had to have loyal people on his side…the other side always tried to duplicate his FORCE but he rarely  he did lose more than once.    although he most certainly did…he was the first to say” I have lost and I have won and winning is much better….”


He championed the common people and always said that He would always make sure that the common tax payer’s money was well spent.


Just a few of his goals which he accomplished   to  improve the city’s garbage collection…build the TB sanitarium, the Cedar Street Bridge   EckWood Park…open up and widened Jefferson Street... just to name a few of his many   many accomplishments.


Several places were named after him  Eck   WOOD   park  woodruff High  woodruff field 


He hated what he called  “Swivel Chair Politicians” and called men who ran for office for private gain  “Porch Climbers”


He ran for governor once but lost in a 4   way run at the Primary level.   1920  He saved this city and the tavern owners and hundreds of jobs during Prohibition by allowing the Soft Drink Parlor License in Peoria.


Tremendously successful in Business.. and owned a Fish Company as well.  He became a very wealthy man and for anyone who thinks that he was on the take or somehow received money under the table  they are fools.


Under his administrations Peoria Grew and Prospered….

Might surprise people to know that he was connected with the

Peoria Life Insurance company located in what was then the life insurance building and later First National bank   Peoria Alliance Life building  and financially involved in the Pere Marquette Hotel as well.


Woodruff was said to have made more political comebacks than any living politician in America’s history.  He lost he came back…he lost and came back again then he was elected again when he was in his 80’s when most men his age were rocking in a rocking chair.  He was the biggest influence in this cities history.


He was a natural comedian and put in their place many a critic and during his administration Tuesday Nights were among the fun nights in Peoria History as he took on the alderman who opposed him. He was kind  courteous and was not afraid to listen to critics  but when it came his time to respond he usually left the crowd gasping for breath they laughed so hard.


He was a devoted husband…adored his daughter Mary and loved this town almost as much as life itself.  


During WW 11 and before he invented the   SIN TAX  demanding that there will always be  VICE in Peoria and with careful control and use of the gambling money that was paid into the city coffers   so-called  FUNNY MONEY  the city will benefit from it   and it did.   He was a liberal Mayor he knew what the people wanted and he gave it to him…other wise how in the hell would he have been elected 11 times??? Think about that.






                    For you ADVENTURE SPORTS OUTDOORS that like your news fed to you in a in a Rat-A-Tat manner then you should love this Article, it sums up one

                     Hell of a lot of historical news in a rather quick manner.      

                    The truth is in many cases I made feature stories out of these one liners. Google me and read them for yourselves.

                    After researching and writing about Peoria, Illinois for 34 Years, I am convinced that this little town was the most sensational

                    city in all of America’s History.   What startted as a little Trading Post along the Illinois River grew rapidly into a remarkable

                    city known as ‘The Gem Along The Illinois, and “The Pearl Beside the Illinois.’   It’s history of being a Bawdy Wide-Open Gambling Town

                    only enhanced its reputation, attracting people, industry and transportation like no other city in our history.   Our reputation got its

                    beginning at the start of the Civil War when Peoria was known as  ‘The Alcohol Capital Of The World.’                                

                    The following is a chronological record of Peoria, Illinois.  The stories connected with all this growth took me over three decades to complete; even             

                   though I pretty much included 1833 to 1951.   The only book that went beyond that era was called  Murder In Your Own Back Yard. With the help of

                    my friends I hope to get all of my stories on line…if I live long enough to get it done that is.


                                                                                                               ONCE   UPON  A  TIME  IN…..

1833     A  new well system was  installed  using water from 3 springs into center of town called the  Rose Hill spring. Hollowed out wooden pipes….

 1834:  The water was then moved along with primitive water pumps with improvements along the way.

1835”   The One square mile of Peoria becomes officially a ‘Town.            

                     1837  Andrew Eitle   establishes a one-story brew house   near today’s Michel  Bridge.  The Spirits are here!

                    1843  Mr. Cole built a  large Commercial ‘Still’  near  the old Cedar St. Bridge. 

                    1846   First black Church is established in what is now the City of Peoria, which was chartered in 1845.

                     1849    6 foot   170 Pound Catfish was caught out of local river near the foot of Main Street.

                    1850   Cole builds another distillery   and during 1850’s  four more are built.   Booze  is on the move.

                    1862    There is an income tax folks are griping about.  Abe   Lincoln tax…  first  $800.00 of income is exempt.  Which is about all of the working men.

                                  made per year.  Other tariffs were also put in place during the Civil War.

                    1864    John GIPPS    Beer  FAMOUS ‘Amberlin’ beer.  Ends up being Peoria’s favorite beer.

                     1864    First Telegraph message in Peoria  was received and sent here in Peoria, Illinois. 

                     1870    LEISY Brothers are here  ( Iowa is Dry)  Rochester’ Beer competes with GIPPS.   Eventually becomes PABST.  

                      1887    J.B. Greenhut and his huge Distiller’s and Cattle Trust   Local Beer and Whiskey makers pay over 15 million to Federal Government

                                   In Taxes.   Remember this is AFTER  the Civil War.

                                                                                                                                  PEORIA IN  1845

Peoria is a very busy place now that  we are a city…The Peoria Weekly Democratic Press  local paper  said we   gained 315 people from ’44   to  ’45    574 kids  under 10     399 over 10 but under 20      874 people over 20  but under 50.      Can you do the math?    88 were over 50   total  in 1845… 1,934   Peoria had       27 dry good stores   and hardware and grocery stores included.. we had 3drug stores   2 jewelry  stores   2 book stores       we had  2  steam saw mills and another horse powered one being built…  tannery and a leather hide and shoe store…we had an oil mill and a fan mill   two gunsmiths  3 copper  tin and sheet metal  shops  and a plough maker.

1-15-1845  the newspaper announced that a Lard, Oil and Candle manufacturer was opening up shop…They made candles and soap there as well.

S.A. Cole was in town busy distilling Booze… and 2 other manufacturing firms were being built. We had 15 brick buildings and a slaughter house would open in 1845 as well.    Steamers… Packet Boats and Paddle Wheel Boats were coming in and out of Peoria and the place was a beehive of activity.  Our leaders met at the courthouse always planning for Peoria’s future.

Population                1845    1,934                 1850:      it grew to 5,095                                     1860:    included   14,045  within the city limits.

1865        We had  14 Distilleries  7 Breweries       1890   population   41,024        1900  population    56,100                1920  population     76,121 when the dreaded

Prohibition finally came.    During that first 10 years  just over 48,000 people moved into our city limits!!!    The distilleries and breweries were closed in September of 1917 and finally all the saloons were gone 1-16-1920.   Hell, the next 13 years were a riot here in Peoria, Illinois. 

                                                                                                                     ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN PEORIA

1833    Walked  down  Main Street to River….after the Blackhawk War   Bought a canoe and headed towards Pekin, Il.

1840    Spoke here  on  behalf of William Harrison..

1844     No idea what this is…  Henry Clay Club  but that is where Lincoln Spoke.  I do know that Lincoln liked and respected Mr. Clay.

184       Debated Calhoun here in one of the men’s clubs.

1844     WHIG Convention  at  Rouse  Hall  in Peoria.

1844      Legal Business here in Peoria, Il

1844      WREN  vs  WREN     Divorce case  this case became very famous.

1847      Here from Chicago…stayed here 4 hours.

1848      Spoke on  behalf of Zack Taylor.

1852      Spoke  on  behalf of General Scott.

1854       Debated Douglas    ‘The   Little Giant ‘      not part of their famous debates but drew huge crowds at Courthouse entrance.

1856       On his way to Chicago Convention he stopped here in Peoria.

1856       October spoke on behalf of John Freemont.

“Without guilt and with pure purpose let us renew our trust in God and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.”

1857     Stayed overnight at the Peoria House   papers said he was our next US Senator….

1858     Two days before Douglas Debate in Ottawa he stayed here   8-18-1858

    “Long Abe will mount his high heeled shoes and take on the Little Demagogue “      Abe said…“Come what may I will keep my faith with friend or foe.”

1858    Stayed here overnight on his way to Pekin.

Last time he ever saw Peoria   10-5-1958   Peoria House.   Abe  stayed  in room 16…


 WHAT ABOUT  RAILROADS AND TRAINS IN PEORIA, ILLINOIS?  Eventually we had 14 Railroad offices here in Peoria, Il.  Train leaving or

Pulling in every half hour.  We were indeed a major RR  Hub.


 Vote to become a city in  1845:             4-21-1845    215 Voted   yes    162   No  53

1845                                            32 stores   located within the city limits.

4-28-48                            WILLIAM HALE  Mayor  ( or was it president)  He was a Demo  other guy Merriman  a Whig

                                                                                                      178  to 156     334 Voted  For the First  Mayor   

Peoria’s First City Council:   All  Men  Of course                    Barlet  Sweet  Hamlin    Cleveland     Kettelle

                                                                                                      Stephen Douglas here    6-28-45

1845   12 dry goods   6 doctors  3 druggist one foundry that  made cooking stoves.  This changed all the time but mainly grew  steadily.

One book store   One tobacco Shop  made ‘Seegars’   (cigars)

SPRINGS   were made here as well as    Wooden pipes  for water and  there was a working  turn faucet for water on Main street

Peoria is building a new jail…Jail   costs $6,640 to build     1846

Planters House Saloon Band   played and another popular band played dance music.        Peoria Brass 50 cents   Ladies FREE!

A.P Loucks Hotel  is here…  we  named a  school after him later his big house burned to ground.

1846   We had a busy Steamboat Landing:          Tiogg    Amulet     Dial    Ben Franklin  were the names of some of the boats.   

 June 6, 1846      Recruiting here in Peoria         100 men accepted for Mexican war from Peoria, Illinois.

                                                                  1846  First Baptist Church  By 1937 we had 102 churches in Peoria.

1847   Jubilee College     Founded by  Bishop Chase  chartered  in 1847.

1848   Packet  Boat t named   PLANTER   blew up killed 5 people rather close to Peoria on the Illinois River .

4-15-48  Peoria  Medical Society formed…President   Dr. Roose…  famous and prominent  Peoria physician founder and president.

Dressed:  Typical Pioneer man wore…   High and heavy Moleskin hat   bushy hair  black string tie  ends dangle carried a   claw hammer… coat  skin tight pants and boots.

1849   Division of townships…Illinois was divided into Townships among the counties.

4-14-49  Second Jail build    opens  Wash and Eaton  costs  $ 7,450   Must have been a big demand for jails.

Edgar Allen Poe died    10  20 49    why is this here?  He never visited us.

1-28-1850         Fire and explosion killed the editor of the   Daily Register. There was nasty talk of arson?

                             Monterey coffee house and saloon opens in Peoria

                              Judge Kellogg    21 criminal cases tried  here in less than a month.

Thomas Ford.    Died penniless in Peoria  who was he ?        Illinois  Governor and is buried in Springdale.…in a plot his wife’s family owned.

                                                                 Eulogy  ‘one of the noblest works of God’   that’s what someone said of him.

                                                                 Colonel  William Hamilton    surveyor of Peoria area’s  first original plot  died   1850 out East.

1850  Sam  Butt robbed and murdered just outside town  1850

The Prairie State Steamboat, a majestic boar docked here in Peoria.

July 1850   Brown and Williams attacked in jail   beaten and drug outside in an attempt to hang them.  Williams kills one of his attackers with a brick, Brown knifed a couple s well..  They gather around a tree  near the courthouse to hang them   but forgot the rope.  Both killers were hanged out in the Prairie which is now Second and Spencer.   .    1-15-1851  hanged.

1851  Peoria was a boat building Center.

Peoria County Jail  Circa 1850  Hamilton  near the square built.

Uncle tom’s cabin played here in Peoria  8-20-1852

 According to Record Keeper  Mr.   DeWitt Drown  Peoria did  $ 2,581,104.00  business in Peoria 1851

1851-1852                        1,500   arrivals   Steamboats here in Peoria  they had to depart too  huh

12-6-52                            American Hotel opens here.


                                                                                                             1851 In  Peoria, Illinois

1,934 people supposed to be living in ONE sq mile of the Peoria LIMITS….It was a city by then   centered in the Middle of Main Street      Main and Madison    no paved roads  

1834  Spring  7 frame houses  21 Log Cabins  

1835   40 dwellings        1844  50 Buildings built during this year.

1845    5 private schools   Catholic Lutheran 1854

No public schools until   1854

Churches    5 in 1844     9 by 1853

1845   1-15-45   Peoria has 32   stores


Saw Mill  2   Tannery  Oil Mill  Plough factory   Fan Mill 2 gunsmiths  3 iron shops

1858  Second city hall   1858    First construction was in   1848

William S Hale  first mayor or president….   We had big Drought 1845 and the harbor for the steamers  wasvery shallow an   hurt businesses.

First sheriff and judge here  1835

First Mayor  4-1845

Hale bought 80 acres within the town $700.00 Main and Perry  made a small fortune off the land.

Second county courthouse     1835

First Temperance idiots formed up here   1844   650 of them  wow that is a lot of sober women.


PEORIA HAS one  Pre-Civil War commercial building  it’s down at the visitor’s bureau now along the river   called Powell Press and it was moved there. It  was at   old building  music union restored over on Kumpf.  That building is now a ice cream store.

First Public School   Monson and 6th   11-1854

1855 Manufactured gas  1855  Street  Lights and businesses and homes.

TRIEBEL monument   defense of the flag…10-6-1899  Dedicated  by President   McKinley  Over 30,000 Civil War vets attended. And thousands of civilians.


                                                                                                         NO bridges  Here across the river in   1846

RR ENTERED PEORIA     1854  ( Lincoln debated that year)  George Finley Peoria chief  born in OKLAHOMA    See the story I wrote about him

                                                                                                         FIRST BRIDGE   1849 

Stage coaches served Peoria well…we had 12 a week entering and exiting.

1871   Black ONLY School  closed and integrated  60 Kids  black and white….

1875   Adeline Biddy   Cole   ‘addy’  fined  $28 having a whore house attempted to pay  1,000 bill.  She was sensational  see story

1878  Saint Francis founded   Spaulding  a bishop actually owned that land  sold it to OSF

1881  Big Bicycle club they made bikes here too   Peoria a great BIKE spot.  Bike center of the world.

Western’s  dDstillery   Largest Whisky distillery  is in Peoria, Il

GIPPS BREWEY    1881  late 1950’s   Give Me Gipps…

Proctor Hospital  was  COTTAGE  HOSPITAL     Second Street  John Proctor. Founder.     Now it is part of Methodist Hospital..

1855  Peoria company MFG….GAS in the city 1855  Peoria Gas and Coke   installed 140 Gas Street, Lamps  and into 325 houses    1913  it became CILCO

OLDEST BUIDLING IN PEORIA   IS A pre-Civil war 3 story building now down at the river’s edge  POWELL PRESS  was at  river  then over to Washington  did business with boats and barges too  in the rear  river and out front door.

1855 Cumberland Presbyterian church   Old building  Kumpf Blvd.  was the Music Union building  restored  Still here in the city.


                                                                                                    John Proctor died  1907


1882  Grand Opera House on Hamilton   burned to the ground  12-19-1909  seats  1,744   27 year performance  Emma Abbott Peorian dedicated it.

                                                                     3 million Carp from Germany were ‘seeded’ in our river   Thanks that turned out great.

                                                                     Second largest fresh water fishery located in Peoria.


                                                                                                   December  1888  NEW  Upper FREE bridge dedicated.

Our Santa Parade   1889  but we did have a xmas parade on 1888   First one centered around the Illinois River/Main Street

Averyville opened  with 350 people  when we took over in 1926 or 1927 5,000 people and Avery co…Supreme court ruled for us  1928 

1892  Frankie Folson packet boat  exploded  27 dead   sank

1893  Peoria liquor industry paid  23 million in fed taxes..

1894  Park District Formed quickly      got  Madison   Glen Oak  and Bradley  Parks open to people.

1898  Stadium  Peoria  big race track and ‘play grounds plus a  one mile track


1870 POPULATION of Peoria, Illinois was   22,849

14 Schools including a high school here in    1870


                                                                                                   1870   30 churches  

Carpenters made $2.77  a DAY                    Brick  Layers     3.97   farm labor  1.50  fireman  1.75  day

CLARK  HORSE   RAILWAY was a great success.  Pulled pretty little Yello ‘troleys’    Mules as well tgook over when horses got ill.


Glen Oak  PARK     was at one time called          Birkett’s Hollow

1870   Horses got ill…so Mules took over pulling the Railway trolleys around Town..   Cost 6 cents to ride that ‘train’  


John GIPPS   They made  Hydrogen  Nitrogen and acetylene  gas  when they were forced to go dry.

CIGARS  we had a lot of makers of cigars   Grand Opera Special cigars…were  a huge hit for visitors.

They even had live elephants during some plays  Ben Hur at the Grand old Opera House. Center of Society in Peoria   1882-1908 it burned to the ground.  Magnificent place  People mourned the loss of that place.


                                                                          BU  Bradley Polytechnic  Institute   1895-1920  then college

                                              1903  Edward nelson Woodruff fist times as mayor  11 times for 24 years.


                                                                                   1904  Al Fresco park Opened  it   closed 1944


Franklin Bridge  1909

1910  HOLT  /Caterpillar     Holt was first Holt then became Caterpillar


The Bartholemu  GLIDE Automobile was made here in Peoria, Illinois and in the Wheels O Time Museum you can see 2 of them.



1890   41,024

1900  56,100

5 and ½ Square Miles    Peoria 

DWELLING UNITS    8,010  1900

1900  10,893  dwelling units    CHURCHES   60                                           MFG……556

1890 Block and Schipper   later Block and Kuhl      City Hall Flemish Renaissance   Style   1913  200 S Jefferson

That became Rialto                                                                  1915  ECHWOOD Park  woodruff and Sherman Eckley

                                                                         1920  Peoria Coliseum  4,000 seat    500 N Adams    Now the Old Armory 


                                                                                                       1921  Madison and Palace  open in Peoria, Il


                                                            Population figures     

                                                            1890  41,02                                      1900 56,100

                                               City of Peoria had   5.5  Square Miles within the City Limits                  Dwellings  1890’s     8,010         1900              10,893


28 schools                              Churches  60                                               Manufactures     556

1890 Block and Schipper                           Later Block  and Kuhls

                                                                                 1-5-1899 Flemish Renaissance style    CITY HALL 

                                                                                                       Lincoln Library  1899 

                                                                           Lydia Moss Bradley  1-16-1908   dead.