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Chapter 29 - The Town of Industry

In 1846, Johnson Downen, living on southeast quarter of section 15, 5 north, 1 west, Industry township, made a proposition to John M. Price, a young blacksmith, to give him an acre of ground, and the neighbors of Mr. Downen offered to erect for him a shop, if he would settle there and follow his trade. This offer Mr. Price accepted, and a shop was erected for him, which he occupied for many years. This was the beginning of the present village of Industry, but at the time no thought was experienced of a town being there located. A postoffice had been located in the neighborhood, for many years, in charge of Joel Pennington, Esq., an old pioneer of the county, who kept the office at his residence. When Mr. Price settled here, the country around was in a wild and uncultivated state, save a farm here and there, the greater number of which were located east and southeast of the present town, around the old Carter settlement. He has stood in his door and shot wild turkeys, and from his yard killed deer, squirrels, and other wild game. He killed a wolf where the saw mill on Main street now stands; and again, when the mill was located about the center of the street opposite Vance's Hotel, upon one occasion, a half grown deer in its fright ran into the mill and was knocked in the head with an ax.

In 1860, Cleon and Desa Reddick came to the place and started a dry goods and grocery store, the first in the place. This business they continued for two years, when J. M. Price purchased the stock and continued the business. These gentlemen were the first to settle here after Mr. Price. Next came Dr. Duncan, so well and favorably known through the south part of the county. He was the first physician in the place, and for some years the only one.

The first survey was in October, 1855, six blocks being laid off by William H. Rile, county surveyor. In 1858, four additions were made to the town, viz: Eastern, western, southern and northern; and again, in 1867, Downen's addition was surveyed. The place was given its name by J. M. Price and Cleon Reddick. A nickname had been given it some time previous by Springer, who had called it Pinhook, for what reason is not known by even the oldest inhabitant.

Notwithstanding the place was laid out in 1855, it was not incorporated until 1867, when it was organized under a special charter, the first meeting of the board of trustees of the town occurring the evening of May 16, 1867. The following are the names of those comprising the first board: William Sullivan, president; Daniel Carroll, John Shannon, D. M. Creel and B. F. Botchlet. This organization of the place was continued until 1873, when it was re-organized, on the 24th of January, under the general law, as a village, with the following named trustees: John McKinney, president; J. F. Mosser, John W. Flack, J. D. Goble and John D. Merrick.

Industry has no railroad, yet this fact is not much against it, as there is no town or railroad for quite a distance in any direction, which fact gives the town the benefit of all the trade within a radius of several miles. Consequently there is no more prosperous town in the county than Industry. There are a number of good business men in Industry, a mention of whom is here given.

U. Beghtol is located on the north side of Main street, in a building owned by George Garrison. This building was erected in 1871. It is a frame structure, 22x46 feet in dimensions. Mr. Beghtol carries a good stock of dry goods and groceries.

J. W. Cordell, dealer in hardware and groceries, is located on the north side of Main street between Downing and Sullivan. His building is a frame structure, 20x62 feet in dimensions. In it he commenced business in 1877. He has a stock valued at about $1,500, and enjoys a good patronage. The postoffice is also located in his building.

James W. Cordell, postmaster at Industry, is a son of James W., Sr., and Catherine (Cartwright) Cordell, natives of Ohio. James W. Jr., was born near Piqua, Miami county, in that state, in 1842. He was brought up by his grandfather, Alexander Cordell, with whom he lived till 19 years of age. He then, February 1, 1862, enlisted in company I, of the 62d Illinois infantry, under Capt. J. M. McLane. He took part in a number of skirmishes, but escaped uninjured. He was mustered out, February 24, 1866. On returning home he engaged in the grocery business at Industry. In September, 1873, he was appointed to his present office, which position he has held since that time, to the satisfaction of all. He still carries on the grocery trade in which he has been very successful, and is now in possession of a competency. Mr. Cordell was married June 24, 1866, to Annie Springer, and by this union has had nine children, only two of whom are living—Francis M. and James O. Mr. Cordell is a republican.

Sullivan Brothers, hardware dealers, commenced business in Industry in 1880. Their establishment consists of three buildings, on the south side of Main street, between Sullivan and Downing. The first of these is a brick structure, 23x60 feet, and one story in height, erected in 1883. Back of this is a frame structure, 18x34 feet, used for a tin shop. In the rear of this is their warehouse, which is also frame, 16x28 feet. Their lot is 99 feet square. Their stock consists mainly of hardware and groceries, and will average $4,000 in value. They enjoy a large country trade.

Henry C. Sullivan, son of William and Sarah A. (Adkinson) Sullivan, was born November 10, 1841, in Industry township. His father is a native of Pennsylvania and his mother, of Kentucky. Their marriage took place in 1840, in this township. Henry C. resided with his parents until be attained his majority, at which time he was married to Catharine M. Vance. Eight children have blessed this union—Rosa C., Sarah E., Wm. A. and Eliza A., twins, Nellie, Forest H., Florence C., and Lena. In 1880, Mr. Sullivan formed a partnership with his brother, Thomas D. Sullivan, and engaged in the hardware business, the firm name being Sullivan Bros. They carry a stock of about $4,000, and have a full line of hardware, groceries, glass, queensware and notions. They are an enterprising firm and do a thriving business.

Thomas D. Sullivan, of the firm of Sullivan Bros., hardware merchants, was born in 1859. He is a son of William and Sarah (Adkinson) Sullivan. Thomas D. resided with his parents until 1884. January 13, of that year, he was united in marriage with Mary Anstine. Mr. Sullivan is a tinner by trade and has been engaged in his present business, five years. Politically, he is a supporter of the prohibition party.

W. S. Hiatt, druggist, is located on the corner of Main and Downing streets. The building occupied by this gentleman is a frame, and 20x35 feet in ground area and two stories in height. Besides drugs, he carries a stock of cutlery, jewelry, glassware, paints and oils, books, stationery and cigars.

W. S. Hiatt, is a son of Isaac and Sarah (Manlove) Hiatt, natives of North Carolina, where they were married in 1827. In the year 1838, they emigrated to Schuyler county, Illinois. There, Isaac Hiatt died in 1847. Twenty years later, his widow, Mrs. Sarah Hiatt, removed to Industry where she has since resided. Williamson S. Hiatt was born March 4, 1845, in Schuyler county, Illinois. He came to McDonough county, in 1867, and made his home with his brothers, who were engaged in farming, until 1871, when he established his present business. Mr. Hiatt was married December 12, 1871, to Celestia E. Hess. Four children have blessed their union, two of whom are living—Bessie B. and Sarah J. Enos E. and Arthur H. are deceased. Mrs. Hiatt is a member of the Christian church.

Dr. George G. Shannon has carried on the drug business in Industry since July 19, 1879. He is located in a building on the corner of Main and Downing streets. He carries a line of drugs, paints and oils, cigars, school books and stationery. A sketch of Dr. Shannon is to be found in the Medical chapter.

The building occupied by J. F. Mosser, general merchandise dealer, was erected by him in 1882, at a cost of $1,500. In size it is 21x70 feet, with a wareroom, 21x36 feet in dimensions, in the rear of the main building. He carries a full line of such goods as are usually kept in stock in such a store. His place is on the south side of Main street, between Sullivan and Downing.

Jacob F. Mosser, one of the leading merchants of the village of Industry, is a son of John and Susan (Frankhouser) Mosser, natives of Virginia, who spent their lives in that state. Jacob F. was born December 2, 1833, in Preston county, West Virginia. He began learning the blacksmith trade at the age of 18, and served three years. October 29, 1855, he came to Industry, which has been his residence since that time. He was united in marriage in this town, on March 6, 1861, with Mary Cordell. By this union there have been two children—Charles W. and Eva Leona. In 1868 Mr. Mosser engaged in general merchandising, which business he has continued until the present time. His store building was erected by himself. He is a live, energetic business man, and is prospering financially.

J. W. Leach has a large building, 23x110 feet in area, on the corner of Sullivan and Hickory streets, in which he carries on the agricultural implement business. This is used as a display and salesroom. Besides this, he has a warehouse, 24x75 feet in dimensions, which is used for the storage of goods. The business was established in 1871.

Mrs. E. B. Kemper, dressmaker and milliner, has her place of business on the south side of Main street. She has a liberal patronage among the ladies.

J. M. Kemper, Jr., & Son have an establishment on the south side of Main street, in which they sell boots and shoes. They also carry on the restaurant business there.

Benjamin F. Botchlett, shoe maker, is located on the south side of Main street, between Downing and Sullivan, and his place of business is 16x34 feet in dimensions. It is a frame structure, built in 1867, by Morris Merrick.

William H. Sullivan and Wm. Goble, commenced the blacksmith business in 1878, at their shop on the south side of Main street, between Downing and Sullivan. They do plow and wagon work, carriage repairing, horseshoeing, and carry on a general job business in their line.

The shop of J. M. Kemper, wagon maker, is located on Downing street, between Main and Hickory streets.

J. McKinney, shoe maker, commenced business in Industry in 1856. His building is one story in height, 14x20 feet in dimensions, and is located on Downing street, north of Main.

In 1883, B. F. Botchlett established himself in the restaurant business in Industry. His place of business is on the north side of Main street.


Caleb Hathaway, hotel keeper at Industry, is a son of Eleazer and Elizabeth (Flinn) Hathaway. Eleazer Hathaway was born in the state of New Jersey, and when quite small removed with his parents to Ohio. Elizabeth (Flinn) Hathaway, was born and brought up in Ohio. They were married in Shelby county, of that state, in 1810, and there, Caleb, the subject of this sketch, was born in 1825. They removed to Indiana in 1843. About six years later, Mrs. Hathaway died and Eleazer, subsequently removed to Schuyler county, Illinois, where he died in 1864, aged 84 years. When 17 years old, Caleb left home and went to Fort Jefferson, Shelby county, Ohio, where he spent a year in learning the blacksmith trade of his brother, J. H. Hathaway. He then went to Butler county, Ohio, and there followed his trade two years, after which he accompanied his father to Indiana. In 1848, he moved to Illinois, and engaged in farming in Rushville, Schuyler county. He was married there to Rhoda J. Veal, and remained three years, then moved to a farm in Stark county, where he lived four years. He then returned to Schuyler county, and seven years later, removed to the town of Industry. In November, 1871, Caleb Hathaway removed with his family to Butler, Bates county, Missouri, where he resided about 18 months, and then returned to Industry. Mr. and Mrs. Hathaway are the parents of three children—William C., born in 1851; Sarah E., born in 1855; and Edgar Lee, born in 1867. Mr. Hathaway is the supporter of the democratic party, and is, with his wife, a member of the Christian church.


Presley B. Cordell, formerly one of the board of county supervisors, is a native of Virginia, born February 1, 1820, in London county. He is a son of Alexander and Diana (Wilson) Cordell, also natives of Virginia, who were married in that state and remained there till October, 1828. They then moved to Ohio and remained till 1847, when they removed to Schuyler county, Illinois, and settled in Littleton township. Presley B. resided with his parents until 21 years of age. In February 1841, he was married in Miami county, Ohio, to Elizabeth H. Panabaker. He came to Rushville in the fall of 1849, and for 10 years was a resident of that town, coming from there to Industry in 1859, since which, this has been his home. He is one of the representative men of the township, and takes an active interest in town and county affairs. He is now serving his fifth term as notary public, and has held the office of justice of the peace four terms; he has also filled other township offices. He is a democrat, always, in politics. Mr. and Mrs. Cordell have five children, all of whom are living—Mary E., Emma F., Sarah R., Lydia and Horace.

William Pointer is a son of Cornelius and Rebecca (Snow) Pointer, the former born in 1788, in Puslaski county, Kentucky and the latter in 1789, in Maryland. William was born in Cumberland county, Kentucky, November 30, 1810, and came with his parents to Illinois in 1829. They located in Morgan county and engaged in farming. William remained with them until their death. His father died in 1833, and his mother in 1835. He was married May 31, of the latter year to Elizabeth Morrison, and in 1855, removed to Hancock county, Illinois, where he followed farming until the ring of 1858. At that date he removed to McDonough county and purchased the hotel known as the Brown house, of Silas French. He run the house one year then sold it to James Brown, and moved to Scotland township. In 1873, he came to Industry, where he has since resided. He is now engaged in farming, also keeps three fine imported stallions. Mr. and Mrs. Pointer have four children—Sarah R., Robert C., George D. and William A. Mr. Pointer was a soldier in the Black Hawk war in 1831 and 1832. He is an old and highly respected citizen. He was converted and joined the Methodist church in 1869, and was licensed to preach in 1871, and is still an ordained local elder in the Free Methodist church.

John W. Flack is a son of Bartholemew and Elizabeth (Hircel) Flack, both of whom were born in Germany in the month of August, 1811. They were married in America in 1833, and in 1839, settled in Schuyler county, Illinois, where they lived when the subject of this sketch was born, on the 30th day of December, 1840, and in 1849, moved to McDonough county, where they still reside. John W. was raised on a farm, living with his parents until he was 19 years old. He was then married to Louisa Osborn, in McDonough county, on the 18th day of March, 1860. In the spring of 1865, he moved to Fremont county, Iowa; and not being satisfied with the outlook, returned in September of the same year, and located at Industry, where he now resides. Mr. and Mrs. Flack are the parents of six children—Elijah A., Alice B., Charles W., Willis E., Lucy E. and Louis E. The last named being twins, all of whom are living. Mr. Flack is a public spirited man, and a prominent citizen; has served as justice of the peace eight years, and was re-elected for another term; as assessor five years, and re-elected for 1885; as a member of the town council three terms; as school trustee, two terms, and as school director one term. He is politically a democrat. Religiously, "As ye would that men do to you, do ye even so to them."

Mort. S. Hall, was born October 7, 1859, in Fairfield, Wayne county, Illinois. His father, Dr. J. H. Hall, was formerly from New York city. His mother, Louisa (Andrews) Hall, is a native of Ohio. They now reside in New Salem township, McDonough county. Mort. S., was sent to Hedding college, Abingdon, Illinois, for the purpose of completing his education, but on account of his health, he was unable to remain as long as he had intended. In 1879, he commenced teaching school, which occupation he has followed since that time. He is well fitted, both by nature and education, for the work in which he is engaged, and as a teacher, is popular and successful. He is now teaching in the village of Industry. His present term began in September, 1884, to continue eight months. He is also engaged for another term here, beginning September 1, 1885. Mr. Hall is a member of the Masonic fraternity, lodge No. 572, at Bardolph, in which he has served as junior deacon, two years. He is a charter member of the order of the Golden Rule, located at Industry.

Thomas Horton, a worthy citizen of the village of Industry, is of English birth. His parents, Joseph and Jane (Haddon) Horton, were natives of Northamptonshire, England. Joseph Horton was born October 4, 1793, and came to America in 1853, and died in October 25, 1866. His wife, Jane Horton, was born March 14, 1791, and died June 14, 1868. Both died in Littleton. Thomas came to America at the age of 18, and located in Littleton, Schuyler county, Illinois, in July, 1850. From that time, till 1855, he was engaged at the shoemaker's bench, and also in farming. During the latter year, he was united in marriage with Elvira P. Middleton, and removed to a farm of 40 acres, in Schuyler county. There he followed farming till 1862. In that year, he enlisted in company G, of the 73d Illinois infantry. He participated in a number of battles, and was taken prisoner by General Morgan, in Kentucky. After being detained by the rebels for nearly a year, he was exchanged, and subsequently took part in the Knoxville campaign, and later in Sherman's march through Georgia. During Sherman's march to the sea, he was under command of General Thomas, and in the detachment which whipped at Nashville, and pursued, so closely, the rebel general, Hood. While in the army he received a wound in the hand. He now draws a pension of $12 per month, on account of rheumatism and heart disease, contracted during the Georgia campaign. In 1881, he moved to the village of Industry, but returned to his farm, two years later. He remained there but one year and six months, however, then again removed to Industry, where he has since resided. He owns land here upon which he purchased a commodious and comfortable residence. In 1859, Mr. and Mrs. Horton adopted Luther Mathias, to whom they gave a good education, and who made their roof his home, until of age. He now lives in Schuyler county. In 1880, they took another little boy to bring up—Albert Horton. Mr. and Mrs. Horton are christian people, and have been connected with the Baptist church, of Littleton, for 32 years.

Rev. John L. Towner was born in Steuben county, New York, August 20, 1820, and was the eldest of eight children, four of whom were boys, and four girls. His parents were John K. and Hannah (Loop) Towner, the father a native of New York and his mother of Pennsylvania. His father was a man of marked character, having occupied many positions of honor and trust, bestowed upon him by his fellow citizens; he was likewise a true christian man, and for the advancement of the cause of Christ, he gave his time and means. His mother was a woman of remarkable mind, having an extensive knowledge of the scriptures, and her wise councils, and the purity of her life, had much to do in moulding the character and mind of her son. In 1835, the parents removed to this state, settling near the town of Belvidere, Boone county, of which county they have the honor of being the first white settlers. Indians were then all around there, and were frequent visitors to their cabin. At this time, John. L., was but a lad of 15 years of age. After erecting his cabin the elder Towner sent John, with a team, to Chicago, to bring their household goods which had been shipped by lake there. The present mighty city was then but a small village of about 1500 inhabitants; to-day it numbers more than a half million. All the advantages in the way of education that could be enjoyed by those dwelling in this new country, were given the subject of this sketch. He had the benefit of the common schools in his native county, and of the academy erected at Belvidere at an early day. In 1843, under the ministration of Elder William Roberts, he made confession of his sins, and was baptized into Christ, by that man of God, some three years after. Having given the subject much thought, be determined upon entering the work of the ministry, giving his time and whatever talents the Lord may have given him for the advancement of his cause. In order that he might specially prepare himself for that purpose, he entered the Divinity school, Meadville, Pennsylvania; where he remained 18 months. In 1849, he entered upon the regular work, having been set apart for that purpose, since which time he has devoted his entire time to the proclamation of glad tidings. His work has been prosperous to a great degree, and his labors have extended over a large territory, having received calls and served as pastor of churches in the towns of Belvidere, Plano, and Industry, and the counties of Kendall and Stephenson, Illinois, Greene county, Wisconsin, Grant county, Indiana. In Industry, where he now resides, he labored faithfully for nine years, to the satisfaction of the members of his own church, and the community in general.

Simon Anstine, a resident of the village of Industry, is a son of John and Mary (Heindle) Anstine, natives of Pennsylvania, who, in 1840, emigrated to Ohio, and 16 years later, came to McDonough county, Illinois, and located in Industry township. John Anstine died here in 1861, and his wife in 1874. Simon Anstine was born September 29, 1821, in York county, Pennsylvania. He was reared in his native state. He came west with his parents, with whom he remained until he attained his majority. March 4, 1861, he was married to Hannah Higby, a native of Ohio, where their marriage took place. In 1870, he purchased 32 acres of land on section 15, Industry township, which he still owns. He also has 80 acres on section 21, and a pleasant residence in the village of Industry. Mrs. Anstine died August 21, 1882. Ten children were born to them, nine of whom are living—Luella M., Mary M., Hannah A., Charles C., Sarah A., Emma L., Ruthie E., Lottie O., and Laura E. Frankie is deceased. Mr. Anstine is a democrat, politically.

Charles W. Greenup removed to Industry from Scotland township, in 1880, purchasing there his present residence, which is located on the main street of this village, where he is pleasantly situated, and has a desirable home. Mr. Greenup was born March 15, 1829, in Monroe county, Kentucky, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Harland) Greenup, also natives of Monroe county, the former born in 1797, and the latter 1800. They were married in 1820. John Greenup died in November, 1876, at Pennington's Point, McDonough county, Illinois. His wife's death occurred in 1844. Charles W. Greenup resided with his parents until he attained his majority. January 1, 1852, he was married to Frances L. Jones. He then purchased 80 acres of land in New Salem township, which he improved and lived upon until 1862. In that year he sold the place, and bought an improved farm of 80 acres in Scotland township. Two years later, he sold out, and bought another farm near Center Point school house, on which he remained two years, then again sold out and removed to another farm of 120 acres, which he purchased in the same township. There he resided until 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Greenup had four children born to them—Nelson B., Martha J., S. Eugene, and Eldora K., deceased. Mrs. Greenup died October 9, 1881, and Mr. Greenup was again married September 6, 1883, to Mattie Vance. Mr. Greenup is a member of the M. E. church, and politically a prohibitionist.

Christopher Vail is a native of this county, and of Industry township, born May 28, 1838. He has, therefore, witnessed the development of this section of country, having spent all his life here. He is a son of John B. and Sophia (Brown) Vail, who were natives of Ohio, and came to Illinois, in 1834, and still live in this township. Christopher remained on the farm with his parents attending school during the winter months, and in the summer assisting his father in the various employments incident to farm life, until 24 years old. He was married April 27, 1862, to Eliza Hendrickson. She died June 19, 1866, leaving two children—Lenora L. and Emma B. He was again married September 6, 1868, to Sarophene S. Dace. By the latter union were two children—Martha S. and Horace M. Mr. and Mrs. Vail are members of the Christian church. Politically, he belongs to the democratic party.

John B. Vail, is a son of Thomas and Nancy (Bridge) Vail, who were natives of New Jersey. She removed from that state to Pennsylvania, thence to Ohio, where they were married in 1810. They came to McDonough county, October 6, 1834. The father died February 2, 1860. They were both buried in the family cemetery. John B., the subject of this sketch, was born December 18, 1811, in Butler county Ohio, he had a twin sister who died in infancy. He remained at home on the farm until 22 years old. He received a limited education in the subscription school, which he was privileged to attend during the winter months. He was married May 11, 1834, to Sophia Brown, and with his father's family, they came to this state. Starting on the 16th day of September, of that same year. He located in Schuyler county, where he rented a farm and remained two years, then came to this county and settled on section 14, of Industry township, which place has since been his home. They are the parents of nine children—Mary, Nancy, Christopher, Thomas J., Adaline, Lavina, Eliza and William. Thomas J., died while in the army at Nashville, Tennessee, July 3, 1863, aged 24 years. Mr. Vail has 400 acres of good land in Industry township, which is well improved. The condition of the place indicates the thrift and enterprise of the owner. He has put in 800 rods of drain tile, and expects to put in as much more this season, thereby adding materially to the value of the place. Mr. Vail is a much respected citizen, and with his wife, belongs to the Christian church. Mr. Vail has been here a long time, and witnessed the development of this country, he has seen the transformation from unbroken stretches of natural wilderness, to comfortable and pleasant homes, and in this change he has contributed his full share of labor and sacrifice.

Ebenezer Vail is a son of Thomas and Nancy Vail, who were originally from New Jersey, and are both now deceased. Ebenezer was born in Butler county, Ohio, December 14, 1821, and remained with his parents until 31 years of age. March 20, 1855, he was married to Amy Garrison. The ceremony was performed by Presley Cordell and occurred in Schuyler county. They have had six children, four of whom are now living—Alice A., Elmer I., Etna A., and Cora A. Sarah L., and Lewis H., are deceased. He owns 250 acres of good land, well improved, having 225 rods of drain tile, and good fences. The buildings are all good and the place is in fine condition. Politically Mr. Vail affiliates with the democratic party.

Henry W. Vail, a leading citizen of Industry, is a son of Henry, Sr., and Parmelia (Bridge) Vail, natives of the state of New Jersey. Henry W. Vail was born January 19, 1826, in Butler county, Ohio. When he was six years old, his father died, and he continued to reside with his mother until her death, which occurred in 1851. He came to Illinois in the fall of 1847, and located then near Rushville, Schuyler county, where he resided for 20 years. He owned a fine farm of 292 acres, in that county, and carried on general farming. In 1867, he purchased a farm in Industry township, containing 200 acres, and removed thither. He resided upon the farm until 1883, when he moved into the village, where he erected a handsome and commodious brick residence, in which he now lives. Mr. Vail was married in Ohio, September 20, 1849, to Rachel Cox. Their union has been blessed with six children— A. L., William T., George W., Orinda, James E. and May. Mr. and Mrs. Vail are members of the Christian church. He is a democrat, politically.

George W. Vail is a son of H. W. and Rachel (Cox) Vail, both natives of the state of Ohio, where H. W., was born in 1826, and his wife in 1829. They were married in their native state, and in 1847, emigrated to Illinois. They are now living in Industry township. George W., was born January 5, 1854, in Schuyler county, Illinois. He was brought up on a farm, obtaining his education in the district school, which he attended during the winter seasons. In March, 1878, he was married to Sarah Butcher, and by this union, has three children—Della R., James O. and Nellie. Mrs. Vail is a member of the Christian church. Mr. Vail is engaged in farming, paying particular attention to fine horses. He owns the following horses: one Clyde, four years old, one Norman, of the same age, two English shire cart horses, eight and five years old, and one Cleveland bay horse, four years old. He has a large barn conveniently arranged for the accommodation of his horses and other stock.


On the north side of Main street, and between Downing and Sullivan, is situated the only school building in the town of Industry. This edifice was erected in 1866, and is 22x40 feet in ground area, and two stories in height. The first teacher in this building was James B. Campbell. The directors were—E. Wright, J. W. Leach and Dr. Creel. The attendance at the school is about 75. The destinies of the scholars are presided over by Mortimer Hall, principal, and Mrs. Scudder, assistant. The first school in the village was taught by John Claybaugh, in the first dwelling house erected on the site of the present town.


The Cumberland Presbyterian congregation was organized in November, 1843. (See Ecclesiastical chapter.)

The Methodist Episcopal church of Industry dates its organization back to 1855. (For particulars see Ecclesiastical chapter.)


The present town board of Industry is constituted as follows: H. W. Vail Sr., president; Simon Anstine, E. Fish, William Pointer, Jacob Sowers and D. M. Creel. Uream Begthol is street commissioner; W. H. Wyatt, village constable.


Industrial lodge No. 367, A. F. and A. M., was established on the third day of October, 1859, with the following charter members: W. S. Hughy, W. D. Vawter, O. F. Walker, Henry Downen, W. K. Hobert, John Kemper, W. B. Pyle, and W. B. Miller. The first worshipful master was W. S. Hughy. W. D. Vawter was the first senior warden, and O. F. Walker was junior warden. The lodge has a membership of 30. Their hall is located on the corner of Main and Downing streets.

A lodge of the Golden Rule was organized at Industry village recently with 28 charter members, and is now in a flourishing condition. All able-bodied persons, of both sexes, of good moral character, are cordially invited to become members. The lodge meets on Friday nights, on or before the full moon. The following persons are the officers: Chief patriarch, Dr. G. G. Shannon; chief counsellor, Mrs. V. L. Odenweller; chief captain, J. W. Flack; secretary, J. W. Cordell; treasurer, Emma Botchlett; captain of the guard, M. A. Lawyer; first guard, C. W. Flack; second guard, Chas. McGaughey; sentry. John W. Wilhelm; sentinel, A. O. McCoy.


This company was organized and commenced business June 20, 1877, under an act of the legislature concerning township fire insurance companies. During the session of the legislature in 1877, a law was passed providing for county insurance companies, and also providing that township companies could reorganize under the new law as county companies. This company was duly reorganized according to law as a county company, and now insures farm property in all parts of McDonough county. The company's pamphlet for 1885 gives its membership as being 316 in numbers, states that it has $450,000 worth of risks outstanding, and claims bright prospects for the future. Many farmers of the county are going into this company as their policies in other companies expire.

The officers for 1885 are as follows: H. W. Vail, Sr., president; A. J. Wilhelm, treasurer; J. E. Vail, secretary. Board of directors, H. W. Vail, Sr., J. W. Miller, C. R. Shannon and A. J. Wilhelm, of Industry township; Hugh Watson, of Scotland township; L. B. Mourning, Benjamin Boyd and W. A. Hutchinson, of Tennessee township; Darius Runkle, Doddsville.


There is a saw mill in Industry, located on the corner of Main and Sullivan streets. It was erected in 1854, by Cornelius Adkinson. It is now owned by Mosser & Sullivan, and is operated by J. Hiatt.

The first grist mill in the village of Industry was built by Joel Pennington, in the year 1849, in order to meet the demands for such an institution in this vicinity. It was built on the site of a saw mill, which had been put up some two years before. This grist mill is now the property of Wetherhold & Wells, who are doing a profitable business in the milling line. The mill is situated on Sullivan street.

John Stewart Wells is a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1832, and a son of Benjamin H. and Eliza (Stewart) Wells, also natives of that state. In 1840, the family moved west, settling in Iowa; where they remained until 1858. In that year they removed to Missouri. Benjamin H. still lives in that state, but John S., subject of this sketch, remained there only one year, then came to Illinois, and located in Knox county, where he was employed in a flouring mill. A number of years later he went to Victoria, in the same county, and there rented a mill with a capacity of 30 barrels per day. He remained there a year, then moved to Wataga, and took charge of a mill at that place, where he was engaged three years; thence he went to Bardolph, McDonough county, where he ran a mill for Henry Booth six months. His next move was to Macomb, where for five years he remained in charge of N. P. Tinsley's mill, after which he removed to Industry and entered the employ of Wetherhold & Penrose, taking charge of their mill. In 1884 he purchased a further interest in the Industry flouring mills. Mr. Wells has been twice married; first, in December, 1866, to Rebecca Patrick, of Knoxville, Knox county, Illinois. She died September 5, 1877, in Wataga, leaving two children—Luella and Eddie F. The latter died on September 19, 1884. Mr. Wells was again married, May 19, 1879, at Victoria, Knox county, to Maggie Levalley. By this union there have been three children—Harry M., Winnie F. an Ray S. The former son died in infancy.

Source: The History of McDonough County, together with sketches of the towns, villages and townships, educational, civil, military and political history; portraits of prominent individuals, and biographies of the representative citizens, 1885, pages 745-757. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen

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