"Down the Road"
Published in the Kendall County Record, October 12, 1871.
Edited and compiled by Elmer Dickson
Friday we went down to Mellington to see that growing town. Saw Roadmaster Duggan on the train who says the roadbed is being put in first class order as fast as men and money can do it. He even intimated that some day the kinks might be taken out, the grade made more level, and thus shorten the distance from Streator to Aurora four or five miles. Mr. Duggan is a competent overseer. His long experience on the main line is of much use to him in fixing up the Fox River line.
Mellington is changing like a kaleidoscope, but always for the better, and we hope more lasting. On the left, on the Newark road stands an old trap called "Winter Garden," that has been moved from Newark and is to be placed on the stone foundation by its side. There to be run as a saloon, we suppose. Farther up the road a foundation is being laid 35 by 75 feet for a cheese factory. L. H. Partridge, of Belvidere is building it. He has been connected with the large factory there for some years, and is thoroughly posted in the business. The water is brought from the springs in the banks some 600 feet east. Butter will be manufactured here as well. The dairy interests about Newark and Mellington must prosper with this new enterprise in its midst.
Serrine's grain house is completed and running. A load of grain is drawn up on the platform, the end gate taken out, and the front end of the box drawn up by a windlass. The grain disappears in a hopper below. A couple of horses in an adjoining room carry it up by horsepower and elevators. The grain finds itself in a bin before it has time to draw a long breath. This is a very neat grain depot.
Adjoining the new store of Worsley & Foster is the new hotel building. A large frame structure with eaves to the road, built without any attempt at architectural beauty, but roomy and comfortable. It will be completed in a few weeks. The old Higby house from Newark is finished up and looks very handsome. Several new residences have been put up in this vicinity since our last visit.
Three or four handsome stores have been completed on Jackson Avenue and will soon be occupied. Fred Weisshaar keeps a nice meat market in the basement of one. Near the railroad is the schoolhouse. Opposite the schoolhouse is a beer saloon. North of the schoolhouse, adjoining, is a neat little one-story store building. It is new, with a fresh coat of white paint. It would make a fine room for some good business. However, the painted windows and the billiard table and bar through the open door show it to be a saloon. If Mellington desires to prosper as a town, it should not allow its streets to be filled with saloons, or its citizens will be of a class to drive away trade. The sooner that schoolhouse is gotten out of that place, the better for the children. Friends of morality and temperance, drive out the saloons at any cost if possible.
The canal or new race project is still in embryo. The race is to run
on the west side of the river. To our mind a perfect dam could be built
at Mellington across the river for one-fourth the money that would drive
all the machinery necessary.
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