Fredericksville was so namedafter its original proprietor, George Frederick Jonte. It was laid outin the northwest quarter of section 17, and surveyed and platted by AllenPersinger, county surveyor, May 12 and 13, 1836.
George Frederick Jonte andFrederick Merchant, both Frenchmen, were early settlers at this point beforethe place was laid out. The first goods were sold in the village by SamuelP. Vail, in a log house. It contained a small stock of groceries. RanslerWells also had an early store, a mile south, on the river, at a point calledErie, which was the landing at that time. The principal business of theplace was established by Charles Farwell & Co., about 1844. The firststock was kept in the old warehouse on the site of the present one. Thebusiness soon increased so that it required five or six clerks, and itsoon 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, beingnow occupied by E. M. Bradley. In 1848 Maro Farwell, brother of CharlesFarwell, who had been a partner in Ohio, came and associated himself withthe business, and they continued until 1877. About 1850 they establisheda boat-yard and began the building of tug-boats, steam-boats and bargesof all descriptions. They also built a stave factory and a pork-packinghouse. They packed as many as twelve thousand hogs per year. They had sometimesfrom seventy to eighty men in their employ, and the village had a muchlarger population than now.
At that time there were norailroads 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 therewere as many as a hundred and fifty wagons loaded and unloaded at the warehouse.Steamers, laden with cargoes expressly for this place, came direct fromPittsburg, and it was considered one of the best points on the river betweenSt. Louis and Peoria. These were the best days of Fredericksville. Theriver business was soon superceeded by the railroads, and to-day thereis comparatively little shipping done by boats, yet it is an item in thebusiness of the village. These enterprising gentlemen were natives of NewHampshire, and Maro Farwell is still a resident of the place, living aretired life.
The first school was taughtby Horatio Benton, in 1845. A one-story frame school-house was erectedin the village in 1846, and is now used as a town house They have sinceerected a fine brick one, two stories in height. It was constructed in1871, under the supervision of directors D. C. Linn, W. M. Grimwood,and David Curry, at a cost of three thousand dollars.
Frederick Flouring andSaw Mill was built several years ago, by Joseph Littlefield. It isnow 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.–JamesE. Gillespie and D. C. Linn.
General Merchandise.–E.M. Bradley, Tice Misenhimer.
Drugs.–D. C. Linn.
Groceries and Hardware.–A.Jacoba.
Wagon Shop.–M. Grimwood.
Hotel, Deane House,H. M. Deane, proprietor.
Excerpted from The CombinedHistory of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1882
Transcribed by Robin Petersenfor Schuyler County ILGenWeb
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