Site Map


A Long-Range Plan to Brand the First Lincoln Namesake City as the Second City of Abraham Lincoln Statues

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration in Lincoln, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln and the Historic Postville Courthouse,
including a William Maxwell connection to the Postville Courthouse

About Henry Ford and the Postville Courthouse, the Story of the Postville Courthouse Replica,
Tantivy, & the Postville Park Neighborhood in the
Route 66 Era


The Rise of Abraham Lincoln and His History and Heritage in His First Namesake Town,
also the founding of Lincoln College, the plot to steal Lincoln's body, and memories of Lincoln College and the Rustic Tavern-Inn

Introduction to the Social & Economic History of Lincoln, Illinois,
including poetry by William Childress & commentary by Federal Judge Bob Goebel & Illinois Appellate Court Judge Jim Knecht

"Social Consciousness in William Maxwell's Writings Based on Lincoln, Illinois" (an article published in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, winter 2005-06

Peeking Behind the Wizard's Screen: William Maxwell's Literary Art as Revealed by a Study of the Black Characters in Billie Dyer and Other Stories

Introduction to the Railroad & Route 66 Heritage of Lincoln, Illinois

The Living Railroad Heritage of Lincoln, Illinois: on Track as a Symbol of the "Usable Past"


Route 66 Overview Map of Lincoln with 42 Sites, Descriptions, & Photos

The Hensons of Business Route 66

The Wilsons of Business
Route 66
including the Wilson Grocery & Shell Station

Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Lincoln Memorial Park
(former Chautauqua site),
the Historic Cemeteries, & Nearby Sites

Route 66 Map & Photos Showing Salt Creek & Cemetery Hill,
the highway bridges, GM&O bridge, Madigan State Park, the old dam (with photos & Leigh's memoir of "shooting the rapids" over the old dam), & the Ernie Edwards' Pig-Hip Restaurant Museum in Broadwell

The Historic Logan County Courthouse, Past & Present

Route 66 Map with 51 Sites in the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District,
including locations of historical markers
(on the National Register of Historic Places)

Vintage Scenes of the Business & Courthouse Square Historic District

The Foley House:  A Monument to Civic Leadership
(on the National Register of Historic Places)

Agriculture in
the Route 66 Era

Arts & Entertainment Heritage,
including the Lincoln Theatre Roy Rogers' Riders Club of the 1950s

Business Heritage

Cars, Trucks & Gas Stations of the Route 66 Era

including the hometown churches of Author William Maxwell & Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr

Factories, Past and Present

Food Stores of
the Route 66 Era


Hospitals, Past and Present

Hotels & Restaurants of the Railroad & Route 66 Eras

Lincoln Developmental Center
(Lincoln State School & Colony in the Route 66 era), plus
debunking the myth of Lincoln, Illinois, choosing the Asylum over the University of Illinois

Mining Coal, Limestone, & Sand & Gravel; Lincoln Lakes; & Utilities


Museums & Parks, including the Lincoln College Museum and its Abraham Lincoln Collection, plus the Heritage-in-Flight Museum

with Distinction

News Media in the Route 66 Era

The Odd Fellows' Children's Home


Memories of the 1900 Lincoln Community High School,
including Fred Blanford's dramatic account of the lost marble fountain of youth

A Tribute to the Historians and Advocates of Lincoln, Illinois

Watering Holes of the Route 66 Era

The Historic 1953 Centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois

The Festive 2003 Sesqui-centennial Celebration of Lincoln, Illinois,
including photos of LCHS Class of 1960 dignitaries & the Blanfords

Why Did the State Police Raid Lincoln, Illinois, on October 11, 1950?

The Gambling Raids in Lincoln and Logan County, Illinois,
During the Late Route 66 Era (1950-1960)


Pages in this section tell about Leigh Henson's Lincoln years, moving away, revisits, and career:

About Lincoln, Illinois;
This Web Site; & Me

A Tribute to Lincolnite Edward Darold Henson: World War II U.S. Army Veteran of the Battles for Normandy and the Hedgerows; Brittany and Brest; and the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge)

For Remembrance, Understanding, & Fun: Lincoln Community High School Mid-20th-Century Alums' Internet Community
(a Web site and email exchange devoted to collaborative memoir and the sharing of photos related to Lincoln, Illinois)

Leigh Henson's Pilgrimage to Lincoln, Illinois, on
July 12, 2001

Leigh Henson's Review of Dr. Burkhardt's William Maxwell Biography

Leigh Henson's Review of Ernie Edwards' biography, Pig-Hips on Route 66, by William Kaszynski

Leigh Henson's Review of Jan Schumacher's Glimpses of Lincoln, Illinois

Teach Local Authors: Considering the Literature of Lincoln, Illinois

Web Site About
Leigh Henson's Professional Life


Pages in this section are about the writing, memorabilia, and Web sites of other Lincolnites:

A Tribute to Bill and Phyllis Stigall:
Exemplary Faculty of Lincoln College at Mid-Twentieth Century

A Tribute to the Krotzes of Lincoln, Illinois

A Tribute to Robert Wilson (LCHS '46): Author of Young in Illinois, Movies Editor of December Magazine, Friend and Colleague of December Press Publisher Curt Johnson, and Correspondent with William Maxwell

Brad Dye (LCHS '60): His Lincoln, Illinois, Web Site,
including photos of many churches

Dave Armbrust's Memorabilia of Lincoln, Illinois

J. Richard
(JR) Fikuart
(LCHS '65):
he Fikuarts of Lincoln, Illinois, including their connections to the William Maxwell family and three generations of family fun at Lincoln Lakes

Jerry Gibson (LCHS '60): Lincoln, Illinois, Memoirs & Other Stories

Dave Johnson (LCHS '56): His Web Site for the Lincoln Community High School Class of 1956

Sportswriter David Kindred: Memoir of His Grandmother Lena & Her West Side Tavern on Sangamon Street in the Route 66 Era

Judge Jim Knecht
(LCHS '62): Memoir and Short Story, "Other People's Money," Set in Hickey's Billiards on Chicago Street in the Route 66 Era

William A. "Bill" Krueger (LCHS '52): Information for His Books About Murders in Lincoln

Norm Schroeder (LCHS '60): Short Stories

Stan Stringer Writes About His Family, Mark Holland, and Lincoln, Illinois

Thomas Walsh: Anecdotes Relating to This Legendary Attorney from Lincoln by Attorney Fred Blanford & Judge Jim Knecht

Leon Zeter (LCHS '53): His Web Site for the
Lincoln Community High School Class of 1953
including announcements of LCHS class reunions

(Post yours there.)


Highway Sign of
the Times:

The Route 66
Association of Illinois

The Illinois State Historical Society

Illinois Tourism Site:
Enjoy Illinois



April 24, 2004: Awarded "Best Web Site of the Year" by the Illinois State Historical Society "superior achievement: serves as a model for the profession and reaches a greater public"

Marquee Lights of the Lincoln Theater, est. 1923, Lincoln, Illinois

You can go home again. Email Leigh Henson at

Marquee Lights of the Lincoln Thea19.  Business Heritage  ter, est. 1923, Lincoln, Illinois

     Diversity of business and industry is the economic heritage of Lincoln, Illinois.  As a county seat, Lincoln has always been a retail hub for such essentials as food, clothing, building materials, and hardware.  In the past, this activity was centered in the area of the courthouse square.  Unlike other downtowns, this area continues to be viable for general business.  Yet, more and more stores are less centrally located, with a new developments on Woodlawn Road and its extension on Route 10 between Business 55 (old beltline of Route 66) and I-55.  

19.1:  Present-Day Shops Along Kickapoo Street on the Historic Logan County Courthouse Square

(Photo from Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce
Community Profile & Membership Directory
, p. 26.  Photo courtesy of, Elgin, IL.)

19.2: Ad Card for a Classic Retail Store Product

     This old-time (late 19th century/early 20th century) ad card was generously provided by Dave Armbrust, LCHS noble Class of 1960 and native Lincolnite. Others Dave provided on this page are #s 17, 18, 27, 28, 41, 42, and 43. Also, other miscellaneous ads and ad cards provided by Dave appear toward the bottom of this page. Many manufacturers provided an advertising service of selling these cards for use by specific retailers who could then have their business name and address stamped or printed on the card, often on the back.

     Email Dave at

     A history of businesses in this community is too large a subject for the purpose of this Web site.  Here, I classify a range of business types that were important to Lincoln in mid-20th Century.  I derived these categories by skimming ads and articles in the 144-page Centennial Edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier, published August 26, 1953.  The broad scope of this page produces a long download time.  For some business categories, I also list specific sources of information.  

19.3:  Pulaski Street on the Square in the Early 1960s

     (Photo from Gleason, Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, p. 82.  The vertical line in the photo is caused by a crease. Note Guzzardo's roof sign.)

19.4:  Pulaski Street on the Square Today

(Photo by Leigh Henson, 12-02)

     Downtown Lincoln continues to offer shopping and professional services.  Guzzardo's roof sign may be gone, but Guzzardo's continues.


     "Bud" Roberts Trading Center, 223 McLean; Hanger's on Kickapoo Street; Hursh Television, 524 Third Street; McQuellon's Appliances on S. Kickapoo; Pelc's Radio Lab & TV, 116 N. McLean; Thorton Appliance, 506 Broadway.

19.5:  McQuellon's Plumbing and Appliances on South Kickapoo Street

(Display ad from the 1957 Lincolnite)

  I believe McQuellon's was still there when I drove past in 2002.


Colonel C.W. Wolpert; Sweeter T. Wiggers

Banking, Finance, and Real Estate

     The current Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce Community Profile and Membership Directory lists five Chamber-member banks operating in Lincoln:  CEFCU, Illini Bank (, Logan County Bank, Magna Bank, and the State Bank of Lincoln.

19.6:  State National Bank on Broadway Street in the 1960s

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch)   

19.7:  A Five Dollar Bill Stamped by the Lincoln National Bank from the 1920s
(Is this Allowed?)

19.8:  Lincoln Savings Located in the Hodnett Building (formerly First National Bank)
at Broadway and Kickapoo Streets on the Square


The Logan County Title Company

19.9:  Office of the Logan County Title Company

(Photo provided by Fred Blanford)

     An exterior view of the office above can be seen above in 19.2 at "Parker and Son."  In the above photo, note the photo of Abraham Lincoln on the back wall. 

     Fred provides the following information for the Logan County Title Company

     "Another retro pic. I knew of this pic as I had gotten it from my aunt and had given it to the title company--before I had scanning capabilities. They were kind enough to loan it back to me [for scanning and emailing]. When I make ID's in these pics, some are certain and others are based on educated guesses from my memory.

     In this pic, the gentleman on the left should be Mr. Lynn (R. Parker) while the gentleman on the right is/was John R. Parker--father and son respectively. Mr. Lynn was an abstracter who purchased what later became known as (and continues to this day in a thriving manner) Logan County Title Company. It was commonly accepted as fact that Mr. Lynn had better and more complete title records than the Courthouse as the Courthouse had lost some in a fire--while his remained undamaged. His son was engaged in the casualty insurance business and real estate. My aunt, Nelva Foster -- pictured second from the right -- worked for Mr. Lynn for 40 years give or take. My mom worked for John for 35 years, give or take. The pic was long before my mom's time there. The only other ID I can offer at this time is second from the left which I believe to be Evelyn Woodward Layman (Mrs. Roy), and I feel relatively secure on this ID.  I think I know one other, but await her confirming same--as well as maybe providing further ID's.

     While many businesses have died, this is one that has prospered in modern times. Same location. You can go in there on any business day and see the vault with the "Lynn R. Parker & Son" logo still printed
above the door. Four items I would note for your consideration: 1. The sun shining in the back door. That is where the fireproof/retardant file room (about half the depth of the storefront again) was added in
later years -- behind which is the garage/storage area which now extends to the alley behind the building. I mention this I point to emphasize the relative (by modern standards) small size of the functioning stores
we knew in our youth. 2. After noting the increase in size (they have recently added the office next door) I would also note the WHY of that increase--they have long been in an "information" business--the files
necessary to maintain their business have continued to multiply over the years -- and despite innovations in technology -- a lot of their business still depends on papers in files. This brings me to why I was there yesterday -- I went to look up an old city directory to ascertain the storefront occupants we had been discussing in this group recently.

     Alas -- to my amazement -- the 70-80 years worth of directories that Mr. Lynn had started many years ago -- had been discarded. Thankfully -- they had been offered to the local library -- and I was able to access (at least some) there. My time was short so I only asked for 1955 (as a nice middling year for this discussion) copied the three pertinent pages and was gone. 3. While it is a minor item -- look toward the ceiling in the rear -- where you can see the chimney for the "central heating unit" that provided the warmth for the office in the winter. 4. Last but not least -- for some of the charm of those bygone years -- lower left foreground -- the brass cuspidor!! When I first returned to town to settle (1966), I encountered these in a number of places (the Elk's town club being a prominent one) and while "chewing" has never been among my plentitude of vices, they were handy devices for the discard of many items of dross. If nothing else -- you needed to be aware of their presence  --as an unwary kick or stumble might leave your leg stained in a very unpleasant manner.

     I could jpg the pages from the directory --but that would deny me the opportunity to offer my pithy (?ugh) comments in the process. I will wait until I have the time to keystroke those entries -- at a later --  but not too--date."  Fred

Real Estate    

     Real estate sales in the Route 66 era was not the big and popular business it later became.  The centennial edition of the Courier does not show much real estate for sale and few realtors.  Under the heading of "Real Estate" (p. 15) are found both rental property and property for sale.  Seven houses were advertised for sale in the Courier on August 26, 1953:  one house and furnishings to be auctioned by Col. Wolpert; one for sale by Lynn Parker as agent; one house giving Hegele Bros. as the place to inquire; one with Pearl Musick given as the contact; two offered with only a phone number; and one display ad with a photo of a house on N. Logan Street offered by the Hodnett Agency.

Sources Cited and Suggested for Banking and Finance

     Gehlbach, Nancy Lawrence. "Hard Times in the '30s."  Our Times. vol. 4, no. 1, spring, 1999, pp. 1-2.

     Gleason, Paul E. Lincoln, Illinois:  A Pictorial History.  St. Louis, MO:  G. Bradley Publishing, 1998.

·   "Early Banking," p. 48

·   "State Bank of Lincoln," pp. 50-51

          Material from Mr. Gleason's books is copyrighted with all rights reserved.  Mr. Gleason's material used in this Web site is with permission from the G. Bradley Publishing Company, 461 Des Peres Road, St. Louis, MO 63131. Call 1-800-966-5120 to inquire about purchasing Lincoln, Illinois:  A Pictorial History (1998) (200 pages of rare photos and text) or Logan County Pictorial History (2000) (also 200 pages of rare photos and text).  Please visit

     Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce Community Profile & Membership Directory, 1998.  Photo courtesy of Village, Inc., 33 N. Geneva Street, Elgin, IL 60120.  Please visit the Web site of this remarkable company at

Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Wednesday, August 27, 1953.

·   "Lincoln Savings-Loan Founded Here 70 Years Ago," p. 10.

·   "Lincoln State Bank Is Oldest in City, Established in 1903," section 5, p. 12.

·   F.C.W. Koehnle Principal Organizer of German Bank," section 6, p. 7.

·   "Two Lincoln Banks Now out of Existence," section 8, p. 15.

     Stringer, Lawrence B.  History of Logan County, Illinois, 1911.  Evansville, IN:  UNIGRAPHIC, INC., 1978.

·   Chapter 31, "Commercial and Industrial," pp. 537-551.


     R. Georgi & Son, 223 S. Logan Street.  The Georgi Building had allegedly been one of the locations where some of the work was done to build the Lincoln automobile of Lincoln, Illinois.  (For more information about the Lincoln auto, see 22. Factories, Past and Present.)

19.10:  Georgi Blacksmith Shop at Logan and Clinton Streets,
Demolished in the Spring of 2002

(photo by Judy Henson, March of 2002)

     A history of the Georgi family in Beaver's Logan County History 1982 includes the family business: 

     "Richard Georgi, the father of Walter Georgi, Sr. (1886-1962), began a blacksmith shop at the corner of Logan and Clinton Streets. Walter Georgi, Sr., followed his father in this trade at this location, which this family affectionately referred to as "the shop."  Richard Georgi's performed "all kinds of wagon work, painting, horseshoeing, etc.

     The work of "the shop" "held fascination for many people, young people especially.  Walter Georgi was kept busy by doing repair work for people and his specialty was the plowshares that had to be gotten ready for the spring planting.  When the spring season would arrive, Mr. Georgi spent long hours working over the forge and there would be lines of plowshares on the floor waiting for the farmers to come by and pick them up.  He did a great deal of welding in his work.

     The building was brick with a brick floor and it was drafty in the winter, but there was a stove situated in the center of the building, where you would find Mr. Georgi and his friends quite often discussing the matters of the day.  He was an industrious, hard-working man who had many friends.

     Johanna Georgi [Walter's wife], before her marriage, worked in the Boyd Clothing Store, selling hats and then became a beautician and was one of the first owner-operators of a beauty shop in Lincoln. . .  She was a very good cook and enjoyed sewing, raising house plants, and participating in the activities of the Zion Lutheran Church and its Missionary Society" (p. 297).

Books, Newspapers, and Magazines

113 S. Kickapoo; Lincoln News Agency on Chicago Street

19.11:  Purcell's Bookstore in 1916

(Fish, Illustrated Lincoln)

19.12:  Three Businesses and Four Modes of Transportation on Chicago Street in the Route 66 Era
(Not Counting the Interurban, Whose Tracks Are Just out of Sight in the Foreground)

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch, with caption by Norm Schroeder)


     The Lincoln Coca-Cola Bottling Company 

   A complete history of this company, "Lincoln Coca-Cola Bottling" by Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach appears in Our Times, 7.1, winter, 2002, pp. 7 and 8.

     Howard Vaughn bought the franchise to bottle Coca-Cola in 1910.  At first the company was located at 307-311 N. Chicago Street. 

19.13:  A Vaughn's Clear-Glass Soda Bottle

     Howard's son, James ("Jimmy"), continued the business, which was later located at 221-23 South Kickapoo Street. "Over the years, the Vaughn family ran the concession stand at the Chautauqua; mixed other flavored carbonated drinks; had the Budweiser distributorship (though it didn't bottle the beer); and sold Wrigley gum, Hershey bars, and Snickers from its delivery trucks. But Coca-Cola was its main business" (Gehlbach, p. 7).  Vaughn's plant also bottled "B-1 (a lemon-lime drink), Vaughn flavors in a 7-ounce clear bottle with the name Vaughn in white paint [as seen in 19.12 above], and Orange and Grape Crush" (p. 7).  Jimmy Vaughn sold his business in 1976 to Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southern Illinois.

     Mrs. Gelhbach's article thoroughly describes the production process and distribution.  In her usual effective manner, she presents information from people directly involved, including in this case such people as the late Pete Andrews, Carol Poole Schmidt, Elmer Snyder, and Jimmy Vaughn's daughter, Susan Vaughn Lessen.  Susan continues the practice, begun by her grandfather, of drinking Coke without the ice that dilutes it and weakens its distinctive flavor.

     A 1/4-page ad for this company appears in the centennial edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Section Three, page 15. 

Building Supplies

     In addition to Builders' Supply Co. pictured below, Alexander's Lumber Company was a major source of lumber for local construction.  Alexander's Lumber was located on Sangamon Street in the same block as Lauer Hardware.

19.14:  Mitchell-Newhouse Lumber Company

(Beaver, Logan County History 1982, p. 625)

     A history of Mitchell-Newhouse appears in Paul Beaver's Logan County History 1982:  "On April 1, 1954, Mitchell-Newhouse Lumber Company was founded by David J. Mitchell, Roger E. Mitchell, Luther J. Newhouse and Bessie Gallagher.  The founders had been employed by Spellman and Company for an accumulated  total service of over 100 years.  With forced retirement of David J. Mitchell and other management changes, they decided to start their own business.  The business was located at 910 Woodlawn Road and was purchased from the Weldon Huffacker family which had operated a truck sales and repair business in the concrete block building located there. 

     The concrete block building was converted to provide an office and sales area in the front third of the building with the remaining area used as lumber storage.  In 1958 the first open lumber storage building was built and was later doubled in size in 1960.  A steelclad pole building was erected in 1973 for fork truck handling of bulk building materials.  An addition was added to the main sales area to house a full kitchen and bath sales area.

     The spring of 1977 brought about the biggest change in our business with a complete interior and exterior remodeling of the original building to triple our sales and display area to provide customers with a larger selection of home improvement items, and to display these materials for easy customer selection.  At the same time both storage buildings were converted to provide better storage of bulk building materials and for better utilization of existing space" (p. 625).

19.15:  Builders' Supply Company

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch and Norm Schroeder)


19.16:  Ad from Official County Plat Book and Farmers' Directory of Logan County, Illinois, p. 4.


    Davis, 505 Broadway; Dierker's on Broadway, French's on Pulaski, Gossett's , and Malerich and Sons.


     Dorothy Faye Shop-Tots and Teens, Pulaski Street on the Square (see 19.2 above); Gleason's Men's Clothing, Pulaski Street on the Square (19.2 above); Hosiery and Lingerie Shop; Jacobs and Company on Broadway; Myers Brothers, Kickapoo on the Square; Mode O'Day, Arcade Building; Penny's on S. Kickapoo; Spurgeon's, Broadway on the Square

     Boyd and Paisley Dry Goods and Millinery was located in the Gillett Building at the corner of Broadway and Kickapoo Streets and was major retailer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The following ad was generously provided by Dave Armbrust, LCHS noble Class of 1960.




     A.R. Kenshalo, 1404 5th Street; Chism & Miller, Springfield, Illinois; Frank Hinman; Klemm Brothers; and Martin S. Fultz


     Fullerton's; Hegele Brothers, Pulaski St.


19.20:  Paper Bottle Cap

19.21:  Real Glass Bottle

19.22:  Wax-Coated Carton

Drug Stores

     Drug stores in the Route 66 era in Lincoln included Alvey's at the corner of Broadway and Chicago Streets, Boss's on Broadway, Feuerbacher's on Pulaski, and Pfau's on Kickapoo (on the square).

  Alvey's Drugstore

     The Alvey Drugstore has always been located at the corner of Broadway and Chicago Streets.  The original business was located in the [2nd] Lincoln House (hotel), built in 1872 by John Gillett, one of the three founders of the city. 

     Homer W. Alvey, Sr., came to Lincoln from Ada, Ohio, in 1902 to be the pharmacist of T. Fuson, Lincoln's mayor, who also owned a drug store at another location on Broadway.  Homer Alvey, Sr., was a pharmacist in Lincoln for 53 years (Beaver, p. 626).

19.23:  Alvey's Drugstore in the Lincoln House Building in 1932

(Photo in Beaver, p.15)

     Paul Beaver's Logan County History 1982 contains a page devoted to the history of the Alvey Drugstore.  That page includes some of the senior Alvey's recollections of Lincoln from the first decades of the 20th century:

     "In the early days sodas were made from home-made ice cream and syrups for ten cents.  Varieties were endless:  marshmallow, caramel, maple nut were favorites.  Ice cream was a luxury.  Fountains in stores were not open in winter time.  In the summer ice cream was brought from Peoria in large wooden buckets which had to be hand packed with crushed ice each night. Soft drinks of green river, coke and root beer were popular at five cents.  In the 1920s housewives bought spices and herbs.  Farmers secured their hog cholera serum and vaccine from pharmacies.  On the shelves were common remedies, such as :  Pe-ru-na, Crazy Water Crystals, Swamp "Root, Lydia E. Pinkham and Hadacol."   

     The interurban ran next to Alvey's on Chicago Street.  When the interurban began, that railroad had no ticket office, so the drugstore was used for that purpose.

     "The Chicago and Alton  Depot was then located [directly] across the tracks [from Alvey's] on the right side of Elm Park on Sangamon Street, facing the tracks and the Lincoln House.  Many celebrities, including Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt and Chief Justice Hughes spoke from the platforms in Elm Park when they  were candidates for the Presidency" (p. 626).

     "Mr. Alvey, Sr., and the late W.H. Conley were ardent White Sox fans during  the World Championship Series between the White Sox and the Cubs in 1906.  Mr. Conley, whose grain office was across the street on Broadway from the drugstore, and Mr. Alvey decided to show their spirit  to the public and stretched a rope, across Broadway, 30 ft. high and suspended a 6 ft. white sock made of canvas from it.  The White Sox  won, much to the Cub fans' disapproval" (p. 626).

     Biographical information about the Alvey family appears in Paul Beaver's Logan County History 1982 on p. 155.

Alvey's in 1954


19.24:  Alvey's in Background of Homecoming Parade, 1954

     The above photo shows that the top floors of the Lincoln House, seen in 19.19, had been removed some time prior to the 1954 photo, which was sent to Fred Blanford by LCHS Alums Dottie and Bud Huffaker of Chatham, Illinois. 

     Respond to the Huffakers at

     Fred emailed this photo to 160+ LCHS alums of mid-20th Century.  The scene is the corner of Broadway and Chicago Streets during the 1953-54 Lincoln Community High School homecoming parade.  The young lady is only temporarily unidentified; she is most likely a homecoming queen attendant -- senior queen attendant?  Class of 1953 attendant, etc.?

Fred Blanford recalls Alvey's 

     "Spent many hours at the "fountain" there as the teenage "soda jerk" made wonderfully sweet (chocolate, cherry or green flavored--was the green supposed to be lime?) flavored cokes.  Never much cared for the bottled product -- but the flavored and supersweet fountain cokes were very drinkable.

     She/they (was one of the "jerks" an older sister to the Janet brothers?) indicated that shutting off and restarting the flow from the fountain added extra sweetener (coke basis) to the carbonated water.  Cannot state this to be a fact--but it seemed to work at the time.  Stopped there many times while enroute to Bree's to play pocket pool (with a capital P and that rhymes with T -- and you see how it corrupted all of us) with the other friends I consorted with" (email to162 LCHS alums, 2-2-03).

Carla Schmock replies

     "The two sisters who worked the fountain at Alvey's were  Pat and Janet Brosamer.  Pat is back in Lincoln now.  Her husband's name was Tom Berger, a friend of my husband in the 50's.  I believe Tom was a physicist in Virginia and a graduate in the 50's of New Holland High."

     My husband told me the foundation of Alvey's was originally thick wooden timbers with brick on top.  He was working for Paul Klem when he showed him.  I don't know if that changed when Alvey's was remodelled or not" (email to Fred and Leigh, 2-3-03).

  Respond to Carla at

Inside Alvey's in the 1960s    

19.25:  Three Lincoln Kingpins at the Conference Table in Alvey's

(Photo from Gleason, p. 93)

     Oh, to have been the proverbial fly on the wall to hear just what was said that so amused Homer Alvey, Jr., and evoked the "oh my god" expression on Mr. Randolph's face and the passively amused countenance of Mr. Sapp, with his trademark unlighted cigar in mouth.  At the back of the above photo, note the sign of the Thudiums' Lincoln Office Supply through the window (photo of Lincoln Office below).

Leigh's Memoir of Mr. Joe Sapp (and corresponding digression)

     The caption from Gleason's Lincoln:  A Pictorial History reads "Alvey's store -- who can forget it?  Perhaps as  many political decisions were made at Alvey's over the years as prescriptions were dispensed.  There one could expect to find left to right, William Randolph, Homer Alvey [Jr.], and Logan County Republican Chairman Joe Sapp, as well as Republican Vice Chairman Vince Boughan and others of the 'old school of backroom politics'" (Gleason, p. 93). 

     Darold Henson tells me that Joe Sapp was the "right hand man" of Illinois Governor William G. Stratton during the 1950s.  Above, Joe appears with his trademark unlighted cigar.  All in the photo wear ties, a standard feature of professional men's apparel in those times.

     I was one of the countless beneficiaries of Joe Sapp, a long-time family friend. His elderly parents had lived across Fifth Street from my father's childhood home (squirrels in the tree tops jumping back and forth across Business Route 66) .  A few years older than my father, Joe Sapp had been one of my Dad's baseball mentors.  Dad has told me that after games the team would refresh themselves at Bushel's Tavern, where Mr. Sapp and Dad's other older teammates would attempt to get him drunk.  According to Dad, they never succeeded.

     Mr. Sapp knew that everyone in my family -- both sides -- voted Republican, so he got me two summer jobs.  In the summer of 1960, after my high school graduation, he got me a job with the Illinois Department of Conservation that had me working on the old game farm located at the northwest corner of the Illinois State Fairgrounds, now the site of the new Department of Natural Resources Headquarters.  My dad arranged for me to ride -- a dollar a day gas money -- with a lady who worked for the state in Springfield.  Bing McCullough was also a passenger.  Just another way folks from Lincoln got their kicks on Route 66!

     My main duty in that job was pushing a power mower over areas not reached by the Ford tractor mowers.  I tended to move at a steady pace and stay on task.  The result was that I finished the day's work before quitting time -- sometimes by an hour or two.  The older guys who rode the Ford tractors admonished me to slow my pace so that I would not have extra time on my hands.  I followed their advice for the time being, but rejected it as a career work ethic. (Again, Abraham Lincoln's long shadow reaching two blocks north of the Postville Courthouse to where I lived at the corner of Monroe and Seventh.) 

     During the State Fair that summer, I worked at the Conservation exhibit (in the Centennial Building), where my job was scooping out dead fish from display tanks and replacing them from horse troughs with aerated water at the side of the building.  The main attraction that year was a 200-pound, 200-year-old snapping turtle that the Department folks had taken from the Big (or Little) Muddy River in southern Illinois.  This behemoth was grotesquely displayed in a small, round, shallow center pool that had originally been intended to exhibit panfish.  The old snapper had a huge parrot-like beak that, I was told, could snap a man's leg in half.  Fairgoers threw coins at the poor old creature to try to get it to move, blink an eye, or otherwise show some sign of life, ignorant of the fact that it was not adapting to captivity, was not eating the livers thrown to it at night, and was slowly dying.  It would not be attending the next fair.

     Other than this pathetic situation, my job there was "cool," and I wore hand-painted, pinstriped sunglasses accordingly.  I felt no pressure from the Department honchos who sat around looking important in their uniforms, retreating to the air-conditioned office to use the phone to make golf dates.

     In the summer before my senior year at Illinois State, Mr. Sapp got me a job at the Lincoln State School.  Then, I worked in the store taking inventory and in the commissary of the "Farm" as a short-order cook -- a bit less glamorous than working  in the Conservation Department's State Fair exhibit, but interesting to deal with hardworking patients.

Bevan Alvey's Memoir of Alvey's Drugstore and Tribute to Sgt. Carson Culleton

     Note: early in 2008, Bevan Alvey emailed me to introduce himself and express his pleasure in finding this Web site. I then invited him to write about his memory of Alvey's drugstore, and the result is the wonderful, evocative essay that follows.

     My name is Bevan Alvey. My great uncle Frank Bevan was the famous Judge who presided over the infamous pinball trials. My uncle was Homer Alvey of Alvey's drugs. Two of my favorite adult friends were Joe Sapp and "Little Billy" Randolf. I think I took the picture you have of the three of them at Alvey's drugs [scroll up to see it]. The Lincoln website is like having a window to my childhood. Like you, I worked in the [McKinstry] lemonade stand with the Fults brothers. Joe Sapp got me the job. I was a "spoiled" prep school kid and from a fairly well-to-do family and as such they did not like me much. As I recall they got quite a bit of enjoyment out of humiliating me except when it reflected poorly upon them with Jim Mckinstry [owner of various refreshment stands at the Logan County and State Fairs]. I have vivid recollections of sliced fingers and lemonade juice. I also remember knocking over the cash box at the height of the grandstand rush one Saturday night. I have had a lot of difficult situations to deal with in my life, but that job I think was the worst. I was in the constant state of fear, humiliation, exhaustion and burning fingers. Your descriptions are so vivid and timely that I wonder if we knew each other? I think I worked there two summers around 1961-1962.

     I just recently found your Website on Lincoln and have been overwhelmed with the fond memories it has rekindled. I can't tell you how much I miss those days walking into the Drug store and seeing George or Lennie Janet behind the counter and Uncle Homer peering out through the peep hole. I think I had more happiness in those days than at any other time in my life.

    I have a lot of fond memories of the drug store, Joe Sapp and Billy Randolph. Do you remember Carson Culleton? He was like a big brother to me, and it was one of the worst blows to me in life when he was killed. My father, Tom, was very well known in Lincoln as well. He was a football star and war hero. After a career in the Army, he renewed his pharmacy licenses and worked with Homer for about ten years in the drug store. Thank you again for all your work on this. I can't tell you how much this all means to me.

    My memories of “Alvey’s” start with visits to Lincoln beginning in the late 1950’s. At that time my father, Tom Alvey, was a Lt. Col in the Regular Army so our contact with Alvey’s came on semi-annual family visits to Lincoln. At that time my grandfather, “Granddad” Homer Alvey, was semi-retired with his son, Homer “Watt” Alvey, in charge. Alvey’s was started in the early 1900s by Grandfather Alvey at the same time his brother “Uncle Bob” started another drug store in Clinton, IL.

     In those days Alvey’s was more than just drugs, probably more like the old “general store” of its day. One of the more exotic items in its day was barrels of fresh oysters packed in salt brine shipped by rail from the east coast during holiday seasons. This led to the oddity of oyster casserole as a traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dish in the land-locked Alvey household.

     In my youth the center of attention was always the soda fountain. A majestic grey and black marble counter fronted by five spinning stools and backed by a mahogany wall casement adorned with engraved antique glass jars that formerly held exotically named drugs like Pv. Myrrha, Syr. Scillae, Limonis. The big red Coca Cola machine mixer and dispenser was the center of attention, but the with a wide variety of fresh syrups for cherry cokes, green rivers, chocolate cokes, ice cream floats, sodas, and Sundays, no need went unmet.

     Next, came the case with spinning trays of fresh warm nuts of multiple varieties. Finally, came the news stand with all the most popular newspapers and magazines. Across from the soda fountain were the main cash register and the candy case. The candy display was the last stop on the way out the door. I can’t remember a time leaving when Uncle Homer didn’t ask me if there wasn’t something sweet he could send with me. With mainstays like “Little Billy” Randolph, “Joe” Sapp, “Doc” Jerry Owings, Don Holland, the Barrys, the Goebel brothers, Vic Thudium, and many, many others there was a contestant stream of entertaining conversations about politics, local gossip, sports, funny stories and off color jokes.

     Of all the characters that flowed in and out of Alvey’s, Joe Sapp was my favorite. Joe and his best friend “Billy” Randolph were a veritable comedy act in motion every day. The-always cigar-chewing (but not smoking) Joe was a constant source of good humor with “Billy’ as his straight man or fall guy depending on the situation. Joe was one of those special people who always knew the inside scoop on everything going on in local and national politics. And, Joe’s connections were legendary. Any young (Republican!) person who needed a job could find one through Joe. I will never forget the sparkle in his eyes and the sly but warm smile that seemed to always be there.

     The Alvey’s gang seemed evenly divided between Cub and Cardinal fans with a few oddball White Sox fans to boot. During football season it was all Illini and Bears fans. Lincoln High sports were always a hot topic as well. Uncle Homer always had at least one or two part-time high school students employed to run the soda fountain and cash register up front. Chosen for their work ethic and outstanding character, some of them became my best older friends in Lincoln. My favorites were Carson Culleton, George and Lenny Janet. Lenny used to entertain me by catching flies in mid-air with one hand. These fine young men were like big brothers to me. One of the darkest days of my youth was the day my Father told me Carson had been killed in Vietnam. I think of him and miss him to this day.

     My father, Tom, was also trained to be a pharmacist and started out working in the drug store with his father and brother. Dad was also a reserve officer in the Illinois Army National Guard and went on active duty a few years before WWII started. After the War he made a career of the Army until he retired in 1961. Tom then renewed his pharmacy licenses and practiced at Alvey’s for a number of years before he retired completely. Over the years whenever I returned to Lincoln for family visits always the first stop, the morning after my return, was a visit to Uncle Homer and the drug store. My young sons also had a chance to spin on the fountain stools, taste the sodas and be indulged by their Great Uncle.

     Uncle Homer ran the drug store all the way up until his untimely death. While walking his beloved dog one evening, he was stricken by a heart attack. Coincidently, my father was walking his dogs on the same street, at the same time, and was the first person to come upon the scene. Uncle Homer died in his brother’s arms, and all but the memory of Alvey’s drug store died with him.

     I would like to share with you my memories of Carson Culleton. My father was a regular Army officer, decorated hero of WW II and an extremely good judge of character. When Carson worked at Alvey's, he and my father became very close friends. I know my father admired and respected Carson as highly as any young man he ever knew. This is not mild praise as my father worked with fine young men all his life. In some respects my dad was as close to Carson as he was to his own children.

     Carson was four years older than me, but at the age of fifteen it seemed liked a generation. In those days young men did not have much in common with fifteen year old boys. I was from a somewhat snobby family and was sent to an elite Eastern prep school beginning in the eighth grade. As such even the Lincoln boys my age did not have much to do with me. Despite all of this Carson befriended me like no other older boy I knew. I can still see clearly his smile and hear the warm greeting Carson would give me every time I walked into the drug store. He was the type of person who just made you feel good about yourself. There was something very special about how he could reach out and connect on a level of warmth and camaraderie.

     Carson had a little of the Devil in him as well and could kid around with the best of them. There was always a sparkle in his eye as if to say “don’t take life too seriously or you will miss all the fun."

     Despite his warmth, humor and kindness Carson was widely admired as “man’s man." He had an inner strength and calmness about him that drew other men to him as a leader. Through contacts my father had in the Army and correspondence from Carson, my father had some insights into Carson’s service in Vietnam. Carson excelled in infantry training and was identified early in his service to be a fine soldier and inspirational leader of men. At that time the Vietnam War was raging at probably its most intense phase. It is not well known that during the Vietnam War only about 20% of the American soldiers were actually engaged in active combat operations. The rest of the soldiers were engaged in support roles in very secure areas. Just because someone served in Vietnam does not mean they did anything more dangerous than drive a cab in New York City. But for the soldiers that actually served in combat units in the field, the danger and casualty rates were staggering. During the time Carson served in Vietnam combat units like his routinely suffered fifty to sixty percent casualties (killed or wounded) over the course of a year. Furthermore, a soldier’s job in a combat unit also had a lot to do with his chances of survival.

     Carson volunteered for and served in the most dangerous role of all. Because of his hard work and leadership, he rose to the rank of Sergeant and served as a squad leader. When the situation was most dangerous, he was the person who had to lead his troops when they were most afraid and in danger of losing their lives. He had to overcome his own fears and lead by example. That meant at the most dangerous moments he had to move and show himself to the enemy in order to lead his men. As result of his service, he was decorated for bravery and valor in the face of the enemy.

     During Carson’s service it was his unit’s policy that soldiers served in field combat operations for six months then were rotated back to a more secure area in a less dangerous position for their last six months. I recall my father telling me that Carson resisted returning to the rear for as long as he could but eventually was ordered to a more secure area to serve out his remaining months in country. It was a tragic irony that he was killed by a mortar attack while serving in a more secure area.

     Several years after Carson’s death I also served in Vietnam as a lieutenant in a combat unit. I experienced some terrible things, but nothing ever affected me more than the news of Carson’s death. Somehow I was never able to accept his death. I couldn’t even muster the strength to attend his funeral. To this day I suffer from his loss.

     You should know that though Carson’s life was short his spirit burned exceedingly bright in my father’s and my life. As I have aged, I have learned it is not how long you live but how you live. By that standard Carson lived many lives.

     Thank you again for all your work on this Web site. I can't tell you how much this all means to me.

Very truly yours,
Bevan Alvey
Lincoln, Nebraska

     Bevan Alvey is a true "Lincolnite at heart" as indicated by his perceptive essay. Please express your gratitude by responding to him at

      For more stories about Joe Sapp and Carson Culleton, access Jerry Gibson's Web page, and scroll to "One Summer" and "Mudjacking":

Boss Cut Rate Drugs

19.26:  Boss Cut Rate Drugs and Other Landmark Businesses on Broadway Street in 1962

    The Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Section Four, August 26, 1953, p. 5, presents a half-page ad for "Boss Drugs" that includes the following:  "Now! Open display. Serve yourself service.  Shop and look to your heart's content!  No turnstiles.  No check-out lanes.  10,000 items plainly marked and displayed at your fingertips."  The story of the store's founders, Marvin H. and Blanche Boss, is found in Paul Beaver's Logan County History 1982, p. 203.

19.27: Classic Headache Medicine

19.28: Cigar Ad: Nicotine Was a Common Non-prescription Drug



     McAffee Electric Shop, 401 Pulaski; Sablotny, 720 Clinton; William Lamprecht, 311 S. Kickapoo


     The 1953 Centennial Edition of the Lincoln Evening Courier contains ads for Gullett and Sons, Carl Hembreiker Florist, and Otto Hembreiker Florist.  This edition of the Courier also contains short articles on all three operations, as cited in places below.

Gullett and Sons' Greenhouses

     The Gulletts' enterprise was one of the oldest businesses in Lincoln, beginning in 1865, and one of the largest suppliers of flowers to the nation in the early 20th Century.  The greenhouse operation ceased in 1961, the floral shop on Tremont closing in 1966 ("Everything's Coming up Roses," Our Times, 3.1, spring, 1998, p. 3). 

     According to Paul Beaver's Logan County History 1982, "Raising roses was a specialty of the firm.  Four to five million were cut annually.  Carnations, chrysanthemums, and snapdragons also were grown in quantity.  Other cut flowers produced were gardenias, camellias, asters, gladiolas, delphinium, etc.  Also potted plants were grown:  cyclamen, hydrangeas, African violets begonias, geraniums, tulips, hyacinths, azaleas, green plants and various others.  Production focused on three large market days:  Mothers' Day, Christmas, and Easter.  Principal markets were in the Midwest, South, and southeastern parts of the U.S.  Employees numbered from 70 to 150 in peak years" ("Gullett & Sons, Inc.," p. 52).

19.29:  Gullett Greenhouse and Retail Store at Tremont and Logan Streets

(Photo from Gleason, p. 52)

19.30:  Gullett & Sons' Delivery Wagon

(Photo from Our Times, spring, 1998, and
provided by Stu Wyneken)

Chronology of Gullett and Sons Greenhouses

·  1865 -- William H. Gullett "opened a small 12 by 24 greenhouse at 515 North Logan Street ("Gullett Flower Business Dates Back to 1865,"  Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Section Six, August 26, 1953, p. 7)

·  1870 -- operation moved to the corner of Tremont and Logan Streets (Courier, p. 7)

·  1888 -- William's son Charles Edward joins his father; 1889 -- William's son Wilbur joins ("Everything's Coming up Roses!", p. 1)

·  1914 -- sons begin building greenhouses on east Tremont, on property bought from the Citizens' Coal Company.  That east side (wholesale) plant was located between Sherman and Limit Streets and by 1928 consisted of 41 buildings, each 500 feet long ("Everything's. . .," p. 1)

·  1915 -- shipped flowers from 10,000 Japanese Easter lily bulbs ("Everything's. . . ," p. 2)

·  1930 -- union strike with union workers -- force feeding a carnation to a scab ("Everything's. . . ," p. 2)

·  1940 -- greenhouses dismantled at Tremont and Logan Streets with glass saved to make repairs at the main east-side location ("Everything's. . . ," p. 2-3)

·  1942 -- a devastating hail storm in May and later that year a fire destroying more than two thirds of the greenhouses (Courier, p. 7)

·  1948 -- Alan Wyneken joins Wilbur J. Gullett in management (Beaver, p. 53)

·  1950 -- more than ten acres of greenhouses in operation bringing product to near pre-1942 levels in about 50% of the space thanks to "improvements in genetics and disease control" ("Everything's. . . ," p. 3)

·  1950s -- no local coal available; competition from California growers using cheaper labor and flying flowers into St. Louis and Chicago

·  1961 -- boilers shut down ("Everything's. . . ," p. 3)

·  1963 -- property sold; 185-foot chimney "blasted"; greenhouses demolished ("Everything's. . . ," p. 3)

19.31: Chimney Construction on Tremont St.

(photo, undated, courtesy of Stu Wyneken)

·  1966 -- floral shop closed at 620 Tremont Street ("Everything's. . . ," p. 3)

     Nancy Lawrence Gehlbach's article contains interesting personal observations from people whom she interviewed, including members of the Gullett family, neighbors, and other citizens.

19.32: View of Business District from Gullett's Chimney on Tremont Street with
Atlass Mansion in Foreground

(photo, undated, courtesy of Stu Wyneken)

19.33: 1917 Gullett's Construction at East Tremont and Limit Streets

(Photo courtesy of Stu Wyneken)

19.34:  Gullett's Massive Greenhouse Operation in East Lincoln

(photo from Gleason's Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, p. 53)

     Between the tall chimneys and Limit Street in the background is a pond used to supply water to the operation.  "The third daughter of Wilbur and Mildred Gullett, Julia [Gullett Holth] lives in Florida.  She remembers fishing in the lake. . . " (Gehlbach, "20 Acres Under Glass," Our Times, spring, 1998, p. 6).

19.35:  Gullett's 500-Foot-Long Greenhouses in East Lincoln Before the 1942 Disasters of Hail and Fire

(Photo from Beaver, Logan County History 1982, p. 52)

19.36:  1942 Extensive Damage at Gullett and Sons' East Side Greenhouses

(Photo from Our Times, spring, 1998, p. 4, and provided by Stu Wyneken)

Gullett Residences    

     Two houses built by the Gullett family are noted for their architectural style.  Artist David Alan Badger describes the older of these houses as built in the Colonial Revival style popular from 1880 to 1955 (The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois, no page numbers used).  This house, built in 1917-1918 by Charles and Ida Gullett, features "a side-gabled roof. . . one-story side wing with a flat roof (enclosed). . .stone lintels. . . pedimented dormers. . . curved entry porch. . .  an elliptical fanlight with sidelights. . . (Georgian features)" (Badger, David Alan.  The Badger Collection Featuring Lincoln of Illinois.  Havana, IL:  Privately published, 1987.  Mr. Badger's material is copyrighted with all rights reserved.  Material from his work used in this Web site is with his permission.  Please visit his Web site at

     The second Gullett residence noted here was constructed by the Wilber Gullett family in 1922.  It has been described by the Stuart Wynekens, its present occupants.  Mr. Wyneken is the grandson of Wilbur Gullett.  The Wynekens identify the architectural style of their home as 'English Tudor featuring "an original Vermont slate roof, copper gutters and multi-paned windows.'  The home received the 1999 Mayor's Award for Historical Preservation" (, May 8, 2000).

      I am unsure if the first Gullett house survives, but the second Gullett residence is just one of the many remaining historic houses that people enjoy seeing when they drive through Lincoln's traditional neighborhoods.  Historic houses of various styles may be observed -- Craftsman, Greek Revival, Italiante, Second Empire, Spanish, Tudor, and Victorian.

Memories of Gullett's and Related Regions

     Stan Stringer wrote, "As kids we'd walk out there [Gullett's], and look at the roses that had been pruned and discarded. Pick up a bouquet of rejects (that still look good to us) and bring them home for mom."

     Fred Blanford responded, "Those roses made very good bouquets for moms--I know. Grazed the discard pile many times as a youngster on a bike. Gulletts discarded some roses that were "fine" for the day but would not have shipped well. While stationed at Ft, Huachuca, AZ (67-69) -- a fellow heard I was from Lincoln and asked about Gullett's.  At one time -- I believe it was the world's largest such facility under glass and simultaneously (maybe the folks puffed a little) the world's largest producer of roses. Sadly--it is all gone. The other guy was from Pana, IL, which still has a very large rose producer--and he spoke of Lincoln 'in awe.'

     It was an adventuresome bike ride from my 'Northend' of town. The present Cilco property was cleared of what was a 'wonderful playland'-- an old auto graveyard that also provided many hours of exploring.

     Gullett's fostered what in retrospect was a program that was decades ahead of its time -- recycling. They bought old newspapers @ a penny a pound (if memory serves) which they used in their packing/shipping. I had done this as a young child even before then and when I joined the Scout troop (102 that provided the skywatchers) -- you could only get their specially designed unique neckerchief --by participating in the troop's paper drives -- and selling the papers to Gullett's. I'm a little fuzzy -- but think the troop got all the money and you earned the kerchief by the number of hours you contributed.

     The memory is very fuzzy -- but again your nudge -- I do have a slight recollection of the animals grazing in the lot around the jail property. To this day, my wife and I take an evening "buggy ride" around town -- to wind down and many times to just 'gather wool,' as my grandmomma called it.  I remember dad taking us by to see the animals (I didn't remember sheep specifically) there grazing on one such buggy ride. No a/c, no TV -- buggy rides were cooling -- and often ended at Hegele's.

     Hell -- in the 50's when I delivered papers in the Northend --, there were people on my route that kept chickens -- a few that kept a porker or two and I think there were a few cows -- IN TOWN. Everybody -- and I mean most everybody in my Northend had a garden, grape arbour, rhubarb patch and a fruit tree or two -- and most 'put food by' as a practical matter, not a hobby thing like we do. By the time I got to HS -- most of them had been phased out -- at least the animals. Even McMillen's layers (Starkeys' property at the junction of Nicholson Road and 66) had moved a mile further out."  fred (2-03)

Fred's email of 11-04 concerning Gulletts' original Tremont operation:

     Twenty-one greenhouses of the type pictured would be a lot of work space requiring a lot of laborers--and in 1903--80,000 of anything--was a lot of whatever.  I cannot document "the largest acreage under glass in the world" boast that I heard repeated many times as a youth--but do know that about 1967 while stationed in Southern Arizona--when a guy heard I was from Lincoln--he asked how Gulletts was getting along.  As a younger civilian--he had been somehow involved in the retail flower biz and told me that Gulletts was legendary--repeating the quoted boast above.  The claim obviously circulated further than the limits of Logan County. 

     This email message prompted the following remembrances:

     Fred...I read your email about Gullett's Greenhouse.  It brought back some memories for me also.  When I was in grade school, we lived in the 300 block of North Hamilton.  Gulletts also had greenhouses on the east end of Tremont, (within walking distance of our house), taking in the entire area where the trailer park is now and extending over to Limit Street.  As a child, I used to go over there with a neighbor and get flowers that were discarded.  It was quite a treat for us.  And, to make a little spending money, we would collect old newspapers in the neighborhood and sell them to Gulletts (they used them for packing).  I think the statement about them being the largest greenhouse in the world could very well be true.
Jim's grandfather worked for Gulletts at this location also. Just reminiscing...Nancy Ireland

     Respond to Nancy at

     Your latest message certainly pushed some "memory buttons" for me.  I along with several other teenagers trying to find income during our high school years worked at Gullett's.  By the 1950's all except the green house to the right of the picture had been removed and the building in the picture was modified but still located in the same spot.  By then Gullett's main green house had relocated to the edge of town far south of this location.  John Dehner will remember the summer when we worked at the southern location
repairing broken glass in the roofs.  The thin ladder-like structure seen on the roof of the green house second to the left of the "office" was our means of getting up to the broken panes without crashing through.  By the 1950's even the south green houses were old, the wood showing the effect of age and
some minor "crashes" did occur.  At that stage of life we didn't really consider the consequences of falling 20 feet through glass and landing on a mix of cement, poles, roses. etc.  It was hot work, but the $1.00/hr wage made it seem worthwhile.  With gas at $0.32 a gallon and Coca Cola $0.10 for 16 oz. we had plenty of money to do the essentials of the teen scene.  Chuck Lansford

     Respond to Chuck at

        I was going to let Fred's "Lincoln Views" pass without comment, but Chuck Lansford's story of his and John Dehner's employment at Gullett's has proven irresistible.   In the spring and summer of '59, I got my first real job with a real pay check at Gullett's wholesale operation on the southeast edge of town.  By that time pay had shot all the way up to $1.10 per hour.  My weekly pay check was around $36 and I was in the chips.  Oh, what a young buck could do on $36 a week.

        My first day's task, one that repeated often, was to mix equal parts of that rich Illinois loam and manure in a large concrete bin with steam pipes in the bottom, cover it with a tarp, and "cook" it.  When I got home from my first day's work, and my mother took a whiff of her eldest son, I took great delight in explaining all about my new job as a "s*** cooker".

         I recall working with several Hungarian immigrants who had fled the repressive Soviet military action of 1956 and being so impressed with their work ethic, though I was unimpressed that Hungarian women did not shave their legs.  I suppose at that age I gave very little thought to the dire circumstances that brought them to a job in the heart of the midwest.  I think our schoolmate, John Poszgei(sp?), class of '61(?), arrived in Lincoln for those same reasons.  

        Another distinct memory is of old Wilbur Gullett, over 90 years, working every day at the menial tasks of the plant.  I suspect by this time he had turned over the business side of Gullett's to others and was content to spend his days engaged with the growing end of things.  My memory is of a small wiry man, a stump of unlit cigar in the corner of his mouth, trudging along the maze of aisles in the houses, hauling two buckets of potting soil to his work station.  He did not direct the work force, in fact, I don't recall him speaking to us.  He simply did his own thing eight hours a day, five days a week.  
        To this day I cannot enter a greenhouse, taking in its distinct aromas, without feeling a powerful nostalgic rush all attributable to a mere five months of my life at age 16.    Bob Goebel           

The Hembreikers

     Otto Hembreiker in 1953 owned and operated fourteen greenhouses comprising 50,000 square feet of glass.  He had begun working for Gullett and Sons in 1894 at the age of twelve, and he continued to work at Gullett & Sons for thirteen years.  Otto's younger brother, Carl, too, worked at Gullett's, under another older brother, William, a foreman, who later owned and operated a large greenhouse in Springfield, Illinois.

     In 1907 Otto began his own greenhouse at 437 Tenth Street, and brother Carl joined this company.  Their product was vegetable plants (mostly lettuce, tomato, and cabbage), and they expanded into growing bedding plants, such as geraniums, and then cut flowers.  First deliveries were made with a wheelbarrow before he could afford a horse and wagon.

     Otto Heimbreiker's motto was "Earth with every plant and a scent with every flower" ("Love for Flowers Began Business of Otto Hembreiker," Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Section Four, p. 10).

19.37:  Undated Delivery Label

     In 1923, Carl sold his share of Hembreiker Brothers Florists and began his own floral operation with a few blocks.  Carl's wife, the former Doris La Villa Camp of Peoria, worked as a partner in the operations.  "In 1944 a new office was added to this business, which is the modern curved front brick building on the corner of State and Eight Streets" ("Carl Hembreiker Veteran Florist," Lincoln Evening Courier, section seven, August 26, 1953, p. 10).  Carl also provided landscaping service. 

     I recall that on State Street near the round window of Carl Hembreiker's display room a very old and large elm tree had survived the Dutch elm disease that killed most of Lincoln's elm trees.  I wonder if he cared for that tree and helped it to survive into the early 1990s, after which it perished.

Funeral Homes

     What more logically (and, here, alphabetically) follows from flowers than funeral homes?    

     Fricke-Calvert-Schrader (formerly Dammerman-Fricke, Wright's), corner of Logan and Pulaski Streets, Kerrigan's 401 Delavan Street; and Holland and Barry at Pekin and Kankakee Streets.

19.38:  Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home,
Formerly Dammerman-Fricke, and Wright's in the 1950s

(Beaver, Logan County History 1982, p. 618)

     The photo above shows one of the oldest structures in Lincoln to be used as a funeral home.  According to Paul Beaver's Logan County History 1982, Mr. John Boyden first owned and operated this facility as a funeral home in 1893.  "Livery stables for horses and carriages were maintained directly across on Pulaski St.  The Boyden family, as well as future successors, maintained residence in spacious quarters within the funeral home" (p. 618).  The family of Edwin C. Goff owned and operated a funeral home at this site from 1924 till 1943, when it was purchased by Leigh G. Wright.  In 1952, the business was sold to the Frickes and Herman Dammerman (p. 618).

19.39:  Ad from Official Plat Book and Farmers' Directory of Logan County, Illinois, 1962, p. 18


     Avery and Comstock, corner of Broadway and McLean; Harold's, 108 N. Kickapoo; Harwick's, IOOF Building (McLean on the Square); Sears, Pulaski and McLean

Hardware Stores

     Gebhardt's on Broadway (see   below); Lauer Brothers, S. Sangamon Street; Lincoln Hardware Co., 116 N. Kickapoo;

19.40:  Lauer Brothers Hardware, 201-207 S. Sangamon Street

(Photo in Beaver, History of Logan County 1982, p. 389)

     Dave Armbrust points out that Lauer Brothers Hardware was preceded by M. Reinhardt Hardware (ads below):






     Atteberry-Taft Agency, 211 S. McLean Street; Dean J. Harris, Griesheim Building; Marion C. Thickson, 218 Willard Avenue; Vincent Jones, 509 1/2 Pulaski


     Doty's in the Arcade Building (Hamilton-Elgin, Feature-Lock diamond rings), Edwards' Jewelers at 211 S. Kickapoo Street, and Charter's on Broadway.

19.44:  Charter's Jewelry at 520 Broadway Street

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch and with caption by Norm Schroeder)

     Charter's Jewelry, founded by John Charter, Sr., was originally located in the Lincoln Theater building.  A full-page ad in the Lincoln Evening Courier, Centennial Edition, Section Two, p. 16, lists the merchandise offered as "Hamilton, Elgin, Gruen, and Bulova watches.  Keepsake, Orange Blossom and Art Carved diamond rings.  Gorham, International and Heirloom sterling.  1847 Rogers, Community Plate, Holmes and Edwards plated ware. Syracuse, Castleton, Haviland, Flintridge, Royal Jackson and Winfield china.  Tiffin and Duncan glassware.  Krementz, Kreisler, Jacoby-Bender and Speidel, fine Jewelry for men.  Trifari, Eisenberg, Kramer, Elgin-American, Deltah and Marvella jewelry for women.  Telechron, General Electric and Seth Thomas Clocks.  Sunbeam and General Electric appliances.  Ronson lighters, Sunbeam, Remington and Schick razors.  Justin and King billfolds and leather products.

Metal Work

     Briar's Tin Shop, 320 8th Street; Elmer Peck and Son, 112 N. Chicago Street; Pluth Tin Shop, 125 S. Sangamon Street

Miscellaneous Businesses

     Ace Novelty, 110 N. Chicago Street; B&B Optical (J.E. Fults, O.D.), Arcade Building; Cinderella Beauty Shop, 127 1/2 S. Kickapoo; Culligan Soft Water Service, 316 N. Chicago Street;  Lincoln Flying Service, Routes 10 and 66; Lincoln Monument Company, 550 Pekin Street; Stoll's Radio Service, 225 McLean Street; Western Auto

19.45:  It Doesn't Get Any More Miscellaneous Than This. . .

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch)

Except Maybe for This. . .

19.46:  Sign Says Sundries, Too

(Photo by D.D. Welch, captions by Norm Schroeder)

     Sangamon Street had some peculiar businesses.  I had forgotten about Birchie's till I got an email from Chris Huff in October, 2002: 

     Chris Huff wrote, "Hi all:  I remember Fegle's being on Chicago Street: First was Alvey's Drug Store then Harold Huff's shoe repair, Fegle's Barber Shop with a guy who cleaned watches in the corner of the shop, but believe that Birche's was on Sangamon Street somewhere near where the parking lot is now for Alexander Lumber Company.  Birchie also cashed payroll checks for a dime each and sold used tires.  Rumor had it that he stashed his payroll money behind the piles of used tires.  Sold any type of shotgun shells for 5 cents each and a box of .22 rifle shells was 45 cents.  BB's were a nickle a box.  He also sold
fishing and hunting licenses.  If you wanted to go squirrel hunting and only had 10 or 15 cents, you could buy two or three shells and if you were a decent shot - could have a couple of squirrels."

     Respond to Chris at

Office Supplies

19.47:  Lincoln Office Supply at Broadway and Chicago Streets in the 1960s

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch, caption by Norm Schroeder)    

     In 1935, Vic(tor) and Geraldine Thudium started their office supply company on south Kickapoo Street.  "One of the first sales in this new venture was a fan, sold for $35 on payments of $3.50 per month" (Beaver, p. 609).  In 1945, the Thudiums purchased the former "L" tavern building at the corner of Broadway and Chicago Streets, moving the business to this location in the 1950s and incorporating in 1956.  Lincoln Office held a franchise for Steelcase products, acquiring and maintaining several large accounts.  In 19756 construction of a new facility was begun on Route 10 west of Lincoln (Beaver, p. 609). 

     Because of steady growth, eventually the company headquarters moved to Peoria, and the company was sold.  A chronology of this company's "highlights" appears on its Web site at, which includes another version of the photo above.

     Note:  During one Easter break from college in the early 1960s, Jim Thudium showed me his ability to drive the company Ford cab-over pickup truck to herd sheep.  While I rode with him in this truck one night, he demonstrated this remarkable skill by moonlight in the pasture at the front of Karen Kleinschmidt's parents' farmhouse north of Lincoln near Lawndale.  He laughed hysterically while the truck lurched across the rolling field, turning sharply one way, then another.  I'm sure it scared me more than the sheep.

Paints and Painting

     Charles C. Wodetzki, 513 Broadway (in photo below at left); Feldman's Gifts and Paints, Kicapoo Street on the square; Lincoln Paint and Varnish Co., 428 Broadway; Raymond L. Lenhardt, Taylor's

19.48:  Downtown Paint and Hardware Stores on Broadway Street in the Route 66 Era

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch)


     Burchett Studio Inc., Marcucci Building

Plumbing and Heating

     Archie Fait, Fourth and State Streets; George H. Brown, 404 N. McLean Street; Rhoads', 410 Broadway


     Feldman Print Shop, 112 N. Chicago Street; Kickapoo Press, N. Kickapoo Street

Septic Work

     Merrill's Cesspool & Septic Tank Service, 606 Washington Street


     Barr's, Kickapoo Street on the Square; Dehner's Family Shoes, 416 Broadway; Nash's, 521 Broadway; Shoen's Shoes

Telephone Service

      Telephone directories surviving from yesteryear are rare because typically when a family got an updated version, the old one was thrown away. After more than ten years of looking at memorabilia on eBay relating to Lincoln, Illinois, and browsing in used bookstores, I saw and purchased a telephone directory for the Lincoln area published by the Illinois Commercial Telephone Company.

     Besides the regular listings, which will be useful to people in search of family history, the classified section at the back of the directory will be especially interesting to history buffs to show the services and products available to area residents of small Midwestern communities in the heart of the land of Lincoln at mid-twentieth century (twelve years before Walmart was founded in 1962). The tips on telephone etiquette are reminiscent of a kinder, gentler society. In view of the vast social changes that have taken place since then, this directory thus becomes a cultural artifact of a former civilization. As a courtesy, I have carefully scanned this entire directory and republished it on this site as a printable PDF: Click to access the January 1950 Telephone Directory for Armington, Atlanta, Elkhart, Lincoln, McLean, and New Holland. Note: this is a 51-page document and will take a couple of minutes to download.

Various Retail Stores Downtown

19.49:  Landauer's Clothing,
Broadway Street on the Square

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch)

19.50:  Avery & Comstock Furniture,
Broadway and McLean on the Square

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch)

     The Landauer family owned one of Lincoln's most enduring retail clothing stores, dating from the 1870s into the 1980s (Beaver, History of Logan County 1982, p. 386).  Joseph Landauer, the founder, had married Bertha Kahn, daughter of Solomon Kahn, who "had purchased the Postville Courthouse from the county for $300 in 1848 and opened a mercantile and general store on the first floor of the building" (p. 386).  In 1900, Joseph Landauer opened his clothing store at 604-606 Broadway Street on the square.  William Maxwell describes the Landauer clothing store in "With Reference to an Incident at a Bridge" (All All the Days and Nights:  The Collected Stories, pp. 265-269).  For more information on this description, see 5. Social Class & Race in William Maxwell's Writings Set in Lincoln, Illinois.  

     Joseph's sons, Nathan (Nate) and Julius, moved the men's and women's clothing store to 608-610 Broadway Street.  In 1931, the business was rebuilt, following a disastrous fire. In 1935, the store was sold to Nate's son, Norman. His nephew, Cary Block, became co-owner upon Norman's death in 1977 (Beaver, p. 386).

    Old photos of stores on the square in the 1900s show they often had large awnings.  The photos above show that even in mid-20th Century Broadway Street storefronts on the square had distinct awnings.

19.51:  Kickapoo Street on
the Square, 1960s

(Photo provided by D.D. Welch)

19.52:  Myers' Brothers, Kickapoo Street on
the Square, 1960s

(Photo provided by D.D.Welch)

     The store fronts in the above photos were on Kickapoo Street on the square, the same block shown above in 19.1. A close comparison of the second stories of the left and middle stores of 19.40 to the second stories of the middle in 19.1 shows the same architectural features, especially in the windows' designs.  Note the 1950s and '60s vehicle designs.

Sources Suggested for General Business in Lincoln

     Beaver, Paul J. History of Logan County Illinois 1982.  Published by the Logan County Heritage Foundation.  Dallas, TX:  Taylor Publishing Company, 1982:

·   A few photos of 19th-Century streets and storefronts in the courthouse area

     Dooley, Raymond, ed. The Namesake Town:  A Centennial History of Lincoln, Illinois. Lincoln, IL:  Feldman's Print Shop, 1953:

·   No articles focusing on general business but a few ads for such retailers (in order published) as Hanger's, Julius Jacobs & Co., Purcell Book Store, Sears Roebuck and Co., Spurgeon's, J.C. Penny, Roy Clappers Tire and Appliance, Landauer's, Lincoln Paper Co., Schoen's Shoes, Alvey's Drug Store, Charter's Jewelry, Avery & Comstock, the Lincoln Hardware Co., the Lincoln Camera Shop, Doty's, Spellman and Co., and the Music Shop.

     Gleason, Paul E. Lincoln:  A Pictorial History.  St. Louis, MO:  G. Bradley Publishing, 1998:

·   Inside cover filled with mosaic of numerous ads for Lincoln, Illinois, businesses over many decades

·   One-page section titled "Business," with photos of the Dehner Block and Lincoln Business College, p. 43.

·   Section titled "General Businesses" with photos of street scenes in the downtown area, including photos of man exteriors and a few interiors (Alvey's, Jacob Stuckel's National Cigar Store, and Denger's Grocery).

     Gleason, Paul E., and Paul J. Beaver, Logan County, Illinois: A Pictorial History.  St. Louis, MO:  G. Bradley Publishing, 2000:

·   Photo of Sheer's Wagon and Buggy Shop in 1865 and Sheer's Auto Supply in the 1960s

·   Photo of Sandel's at Fifth and Stringer Avenue in 1929

·   Photo of Pulaski Street on the square in 1941, showing Sears Roebuck and the Arcade

     Lincoln Evening Courier, centennial edition, Wednesday, August 27, 1953:

·   "John A. Lutz Drygoods Store Had Been a Part of Illinois for over Seventy-Five Years," p. 13.

·   Numerous ads, including full-page ads, for such major retailers as Avery & Comstock; Boss Drugs; Feldman's Paints, Wallpapers, and Gifts; Hursh Television (two full pages); Landauer's; and Myers.

     Stringer, Lawrence B.  History of Logan County, Illinois, 1911.  Evansville, IN:  UNIGRAPHIC, INC., 1978:

·   Chapter 31:  "Commercial and Industrial," pp. 537-551, deals mainly with early manufacturing. 

·   Information about general business is limited and found mainly in Chapter 33:  "City of Lincoln," pp. 560-586, with descriptions of early commerce and stores in Postville and Lincoln.

19.53:  Christmas Retail Promotion in Lincoln, 1923

19.54:  Penny's on Kickapoo Street in the Route 66 Era


  The Past Is But the Prelude (1953 centennial and 2003 sesquicentennial motto)

19.55:  100 S. Chicago Street as
Obcamp's Tavern in the Late 1800s

(Gleason, Lincoln:  A Pictorial History, p. 79)

19.56:  200 S. Chicago Street as
The Jane Wright State Farm Agency in 2002

(Photo in, 5-19-01)

Building received award for exterior rehabilitation.

Miscellaneous Old-Time Ads and Ad Cards from Businesses in Lincoln, Illinois

     All images below are courtesy of Dave Armbrust. Email him at

The Lincoln Herald Was a Predecessor of the Lincoln Courier



          Email comments, corrections, questions, or suggestions. 
Also please email me if this Web site helps you decide to visit Lincoln, Illinois:

"The Past Is But the Prelude"

The founding fathers of this town asked their attorney, Abraham Lincoln, for permission to name this new community after him, and he agreed.  On the first day lots were publicly sold--August 27, 1853--, Abraham Lincoln, near the site of the train depot, used watermelon juice to christen the town as Lincoln, Illinois.  It thus became the first town named for Abraham Lincoln before he became famous.