Business of DeWitt: Mineral Water, Silver Creek Nursery, Draymen, Silver Creek Herd Farm, Sewing Machines, Post Office

From the end of January, 1880, until June, the Clinton County Advertiser ran a section called “Business of DeWitt” in which they tell quite a bit about the local businesses.

The good reputation which DeWitt enjoys in the surrounding country is enhanced by the justly famous


manufactured by J. G. Barr. This wholesome and cooling beverage is now found on sale in nearly every town in the middle or western part of the country, and even as far westward as Clarence and wherever found is likely to supersede all other brands.

SWEET CIDER, bearing Mr. Barr’s brand, and something new in the market, is fast winning its way into public favor. This is sold by kegs or bottles and is warranted to keep in any climate. As the season advances orders are pouring in thick and fast, but Mr. Barr is making increased preparations for supplying the demand, so that all orders will doubtless be promptly filled. These popular beverages may be found anywhere in DeWitt or Grand Mound where drinks are sold, and at Welton by Mrs. McMahon, Elwood by August Gabriel, Lost Nation by Chas. Teeple and ---- Specht, Charlotte by L. Bowden, P. Ingwersen, H. Gohlman and A. Thisch, Center Grove by F. Jaeger, Plugtown by A. Brinken, Riggs by Gollobicht, Browns Station by ---- Brown. If our readers who are accessible to any of the above points would indulge in pleasant and harmless drinks let them try Barr’s mineral water or his famous sweet cider. The factory is under the superintendence of Mr. Theodore Barr, a brother of the proprietor.


H. Dwire proprietor, although a little out of town is decidedly a DeWitt institution. Mr. Dwire has had a special training in this line, and by his straight forward dealing has worked up a good business, but, as many of our readers will regret to learn, has decided to abandon it and go more into stock raising. He has a large and choice variety of evergreens of various sizes which he will sell at low prices and as it will do to transplant them at any time during this month, we trust our country readers will not miss this opportunity to beautify their homes at a very moderate outlay. There is scarcely a farmer about here but that would be well paid by spending a day and a little money in visiting this nursery and making purchases from among Mr. Dwire’s choice stock.


the pioneer drayman of DeWitt, inherited the profession from his father, and has been in business here about 13 years 11 of which he has been running on his own account. By close attention he has built up a large and lucrative business. His drays are found wherever or whenever duty calls, whether with the mail to the midnight train or to bring up a car load of boots or shoes to Dave White. If he has a package for a person in a front room of the second or third story of a building, Mel’s melodious voice will bring him to the pavement quicker than a fire alarm. He transfers baggage or freight from one depot to the other, is in attendance at all the passenger trains to carry passengers and baggage, and in short does a general carrying business. In addition to this he makes a specialty of moving pianos, having a truck expressly for the purpose, and if they are up two or three flights of stairs it makes no difference. He runs two drays, one each for heavy and light work and keeps five horses. Mel is energetic and is not afraid to tackle anything to his line – provided there is money in it. He is assisted by Charles E. Gould an affable gentleman, whom everyone finds it a pleasure to deal with.


commenced about a year ago as successor to J. G. Fullick, and reports a good business and still increasing. John is gentlemanly and obliging and is well calculated to win favors from the public. He has his regular customers among the merchants, does a share of the transfer business from one depot to the other and is ready to answer any outside call – such as draying lumber or coal, either by the car load or less. We are glad to note that he is generally full of business.


has recently moved into town, and we notice is kept busy hauling hay, rock, sand or whatever is needed, and is not above doing any kind of team work. If you want a days teaming or less or more done, Mr. Miles and those mules will be around on time, and give you a good honest days work. He is strong and willing, and that makes it easy for him. He is living in Mrs. Hatter’s house to the north west part of town where orders can be left for him.


Geo. D. Staggs, proprietor, is well known throughout the state, by the fine Poland-China hogs he has exhibited at the state, district and county fairs, and from which he has taken first premiums. Mr. S. was brought up among the noted breeders of Ohio, and Fulton county, Ill., and about 12 years ago opened the Silver Creek Herd Farm, three miles south-west of DeWitt. Mr. S. makes annual pilgrimages among the best breeders, and never lets a few dollars frighten him from purchasing the best animals. He has now some ninety spring pigs with a prospect for as many more, and one would travel a long way to find their equal. He has fifty fall shoates which are as near perfection as are usually found. Our readers inside of the county and out will do well to correspond with Mr. Staggs in the matter of the purchase of this stock or what is better, go and see for themselves. Although hogs are a specialty with Mr. S yet he has a Billy Sherman colt, which he is justly proud of. He has also a thoroughbred Short Horn bull, whose good points seem to be all over him. Mr. Staggs is, in addition to his stock raising, a farmer of no mean pretensions. He is putting in 135 acres of corn this spring. His earnest efforts have been liberally rewarded financially.

In writing up the sewing machine interest two weeks ago, we accidentally omitted our friend,


who is selling the Light Running and Powerful Crown sewing machine at his residence just west of the ADVERTISER office. The are recommended for their ease, quiet and capacity, and for their simplicity, durability and power. The shuttle is self-threading, and is the largest in the market, and the device for spooling the bobbins needs to be seen to be appreciated. “Fred” has also all those little etceteras which are needed with these machines, and would like a share of the public patronage. He should have an ad in this paper.

Not withstanding our merchants enjoy an enviable reputation for straight-forward dealing, and this spring with their full stocks of goods are winning extra good opinions from their patrons, we think we can truly say there is no place of resort so popular as the


F. P. Kettenring, master. Our earliest recollections of this office were as it appeared in a dingy building on Jackson street, west of the public square, when it was presided over by a good natured German now living here. During the sharp political campaign which had then recently closed, over-zealous Republicans would bring in their letters enclosed in envelopes bearing a fine steel engraving of their favorite candidate for the presidency, and tantalize the aforesaid German post master with the remark that there was the likeness of the man who was to oust him from the post office. Usually at that time the money was paid to the post masters, and upon him devolved the duty of affixing the stamp. As they were not at all in sympathy with the candidate whose likeness was staring at them, they generally put the stamp over his eyes and then the blackened die would come down heavy on his nose, and the whole counterfeit would be stamped out as effectually as the real candidate was at the close of the campaign. But time have changed and the post office, following the business-centre, is now located on Dodge street, at the south end of Union Block. Of various sizes there are some 600 boxes nearly all of which are now in use. The receipts of the office for the first quarter of 1880, from the sale of stamps $701.53, showing a healthy increase over the same period of 1879. The money order business is quite an item, those issued during the last quarter amounting to $6, 219.16 while those paid were $2, 243. During the same period 345 packages of registered matter passed through the office and 45 letters were registered here. The intelligence of the people hereabouts is well illustrated by the fact that 1700 newspapers including 100 German, are distributed here weekly. Of these, the Advertiser takes the decided lead, and from this office reaches eight townships, viz., DeWitt, Orange, Welton, Washington, Center and Eden, in this county, and Butler and Winfield in Scott.

We have to acknowledge or obligations to post master Kettenring and his assistants for their earnest efforts to get each of the four to five hundred copies of this paper to its rightful owner weekly. Since Mr. K was appointed – April 1st, 1878 – this paper has twice been enlarged which, with a large increase of its subscription list makes more than double the bulk and yet that fact does not seem to worry him in the least, for by getting his work half to three-fourths of an hour earlier on Thursday mornings all are distributed before the average citizen gets around. The assistant is Miss Carrie L. West, an intelligent and obliging young lady who seemed to learn the workings of the office in a very short time.