Fredericksville was so named after its original proprietor, George Frederick Jonte. It was laid out in the northwest quarter of section 17, and surveyed and platted by Allen Persinger, county surveyor, May 12 and 13, 1836.
George Frederick Jonte and Frederick Merchant, both Frenchmen, were early settlers at this point before the place was laid out. The first goods were sold in the village by Samuel P. Vail, in a log house. It contained a small stock of groceries. Ransler Wells also had an early store, a mile south, on the river, at a point called Erie, which was the landing at that time. The principal business of the place was established by Charles Farwell & Co., about 1844. The first stock was kept in the old warehouse on the site of the present one. The business soon increased so that it required five or six clerks, and it soon became necessary to erect a store-house, which was completed in 1852. This was built in the village proper, and is still used for a store, being now occupied by E. M. Bradley. In 1848 Maro Farwell, brother of Charles Farwell, who had been a partner in Ohio, came and associated himself with the business, and they continued until 1877. About 1850 they established a boat-yard and began the building of tug-boats, steam-boats and barges of all descriptions. They also built a stave factory and a pork-packing house. They packed as many as twelve thousand hogs per year. They had sometimes from seventy to eighty men in their employ, and the village had a much larger population than now.
At that time there were no railroads in this part of the State, and all the towns, north and west, as far as Macomb, did all their shipping at this point. Some days there were as many as a hundred and fifty wagons loaded and unloaded at the warehouse. Steamers, laden with cargoes expressly for this place, came direct from Pittsburg, and it was considered one of the best points on the river between St. Louis and Peoria. These were the best days of Fredericksville. The river business was soon superceeded by the railroads, and to-day there is comparatively little shipping done by boats, yet it is an item in the business of the village. These enterprising gentlemen were natives of New Hampshire, and Maro Farwell is still a resident of the place, living a retired life.
The first school was taught by Horatio Benton, in 1845. A one-story frame school-house was erected in the village in 1846, and is now used as a town house They have since erected a fine brick one, two stories in height. It was constructed in 1871, under the supervision of directors D. C. Linn, W. M. Grimwood, and David Curry, at a cost of three thousand dollars.
Frederick Flouring and Saw Mill was built several years ago, by Joseph Littlefield. It is now owned and operated by A. Wetmore. It is a three-story frame building, steam power, and has a run of two burrs and one circular saw.
Physicians.--James E. Gillespie and D. C. Linn.
General Merchandise.--E. M. Bradley, Tice Misenhimer.
Drugs.--D. C. Linn.
Groceries and Hardware.--A. Jacoba.
Blacksmith Shop.--Louis Raubnau.
Wagon Shop.--M. Grimwood.
Agricultural Implements.--A. Jacoba.
Hotel, Deane House, H. M. Deane, proprietor.
Shoe Shop.--Emanuel Henry.
Post Master.--Grove Cunningham.
Excerpted from The Combined History of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1882
Transcribed by Robin Petersen for Schuyler County ILGenWeb
Copyright 1999, 2000 Robin L. W. Petersen; all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these
pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright must appear with the information.
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