Thompson Brothers laid out land north and east of two railroads, and called their town North Hoopeston. In 1871, S. Market was the site of early business and lots were built on rapidly.
Jerry Brown built a hotel at S.W. corner of Market and Young Ave. to accommodate railroad guests and others.
Thompson Brothers built a two-story building 48 X 60 ft.s on the S.W.corner of Market St. and Thompson Ave. This building housed J. Gleshman Clothing Store- Moore and Brillharts Hardware and Implements — Thompson residence and dental office. The North Vermilion Chronicle newspaper of Dale Wallace and G.W. Seavey occupied the second story. Their first issue of this paper was Januart 1872. Just south of this was Miller Bros. Grocery — Given and Knox grain and coal dealers. On the north railroad switch A. B. Perskins and Robert Casement were lumber dealers.
This faction also laid out and John Marlot plowed with George White grading streets for all factions. Mr. Thompson also donated a block of land between Thompson and Young Ave. and Market and Third Street, for a court house. Today it is the North Side Park.
After these factions had run their course they all pooled their talents and holding in building Hoopeston. Soon in 1871, there were 70 buildings in Hoopeston with 245 people. More came from here and there as they rushed in to help build this prairie town.
Now We Are United
In October 1871, J. M. R Spinning was the postmaster with a salary of $12.00 per year. The mail was brought from Rossville by horse and buggy until trains started bringing it in January 1872.
As you have to have water to exist four public wells were put in service in different parts of town. Hitching posts were installed to keep horses in one place.
Rev. D.D. Alkire from Rossville, Ill. preached the first sermon in Hoopeston October 29, 1871. Services were held in R. McCracken’s Dry Goods and Grocery Store. This building located on N. Market was 20 X 60 ft.
Dale Wallace arrived 1871 on the Dolly Varden, a freight train of 6 gravel cars, engine and caboose. Some of the early buildings he saw were J.W. Elliott Grocery, E.D. North Drug Store, Wymans Real estate and Bedel Grocery, Wyman and McCracken are building a two-story 24 X 60 ft. Hardware and Agriculture store at S.W. corner of Main and 1st Avenue, R. Morey and Brothers had a grain elevator N. W. corner of 2nd Avenue and L.B.& W. railroad. Dr. Anderson and McCaughey were early doctors. Lucken Brothers Dry Goods in a 20 X 80 ft building near railroad crossing, Dr. Roof Drug Store 18 X 40 ft. Miller Bros. Grocery Store 20 X 50 ft.
Hoopeston Historical Trivia
From some writings: William Glase was loaning and handling flax see in this area in 1865. A hemp mill was first industry and only lasted 2 years. Next was a sugar industry which failed after two years.
There was also a flax tow mill on W. Main St. and 2nd Ave. A tile and brick year on E. Maple St. between 1st Ave. and Market. I keep reading of these, but have found no history to relay.
About 1872, J. C. Davis built the Knicker Bocker Hotel at the S.E. intersection of the railroads. It was two stories high with 3rd floor being added later. It burned in 1880.
Hoopeston is 717 ft. above sea level and original town was 1 1/4 miles square. It is said that on old York farm 1 mile S.W. of Route 9 and Route 1, is the highest point between Danville and Chicago.
On Uncle Joe Cannon’s first campaign for congress, he made a political address in Hoopeston, August 17, 1872.
William Silvers a masonry contractor came to Hoopeston in 1890. He and his crew built two cisterns at the crossings of Main and Market and Main and Bank Streets. These were kept supplied with water shed in down spouts from area buildings. In case of fire, water was pumped from these by manpower to fill fire cart to fight fires, by a volunteer firemen.
January 1872 on Monday there were 150 farmers teams of horses in town trading and also three runaways.
Charles Lukens delivered milk to people with a horse-drawn buggy of sleigh.