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Ill. Centennial Committee Westville.

Centennial celebration, Westville, Illinois, 1873-1973 online

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Centennial Celebration
Westville, Illinois.
1873-1973.




77.365
529c




<^> FORD



UacKetta CT' ^on



reorae

FORD SALES AND SERVICE

ORE H. VACKETTA, Owner
WESTVILLE, ILLINOIS

Since 1926




1 BASICS





Mr. George Vacketta, our founder,
believed in the basic principles:
Loyalty, Honesty, and Dependabilty.
Our Organization still tries to keep
his teachings.



GREETINGS FROM OUR EMPLOYEES:

PETER LANGDON, Shop Foreman
JOSEPH FOYER, Body Shop Foreman
JOHN GRANT, Sales Mgr.
CHESTER SHAW, Parts Mgr.
NANCY BATES, Office Mgr.
CHARLES BYRON, Retired
DEAN BLAKENEY, Shop
STEVE IMRO, Shop
DAVID BARNES, Shop






Foreword

This Centennial History of Westville, Illinois was
prepared under the sponsorship of the Westville
Centennial Committee. The material was prepared,
edited, and written by Simon Ronchetto and Ernest
Brose. We wish to gratefully acknowledge all who
have contributed in any way to make this book a
reality. Without your wonderful cooperation in pro-
viding materials we could not have published this
record of Westville's History.

Every effort has been made to make this history
accurate and authentic, and to eliminate any errors or
omissions. For those that may have occurred we say,
"TO ERR IS HUMAN, TO FORGIVE DIVINE".

WESTVILLE CENTENNIAL COMMITTEE

FELIX MENSAVAGE, President
HERB SHUEY, Vice President
ERNIE BROSE, Vice President
SIMON RONCHETTO, Treasurer
ALBERTA URBAS, Secretary



WITH US YOU BUILD WITH CONFIDENCE'




ORE W. VACKETTA & SONS, INC.

GENERAL CONTRACTORS

Vacketta Plaza • 500 E. Fairchild Street
DANVILLE, ILLINOIS 61832

TELEPHONE 217-446-2651



Westville
The Melting Pot of Nations

it was about the turn of the Century that the New
York Central Rail Road and the Lyons Yards were
located just North of Westville. This truly made West-
ville a center of the Mining Industry, and brought other
new industries to the area. This also brought many
immigrants to Westville to work in the mines. These
immigrants came from all parts of Europe bringing
their customs and native tongues with them. This
served to help Westville to become known as a "melt-
ing pot" of many nations and peoples into a truly
"American Community". At one time Westville
boasted of having 37 different Nationalities in its com-
munity. From this beginning 100 years ago, Westville
has grown to its present size, and is justifiably proud
of its heritage of the melting pot of nations, its contri-
butions to the mining industry, and the home of the
first night football game played in the United States.
It is indeed understandable that the people of Westville
have a feeling of pride for their part in making the
Westville Community what it is today. Each resident,
past and present, has contributed to the Heritage of
Westville, and we sincerely hope that this record of its
history will serve to record your part in its history as
a lasting remembrance.



PERFECTION



["[wtotCaftL



GRAND CLEANERS

CLEANING — DYEING — REPAIRS — SHIRTS LAUNDERED

Phone 267-2831
146 N. STATE ST. Since 1947 WESTVILLE, ILL.



WESTVILLE FLORAL BOUTIQUE

148 NORTH STATE ST. Phone 267-3220 WESTVILLE, ILL. 61883

JIM & LINDA MAINS



Ho



w



It

All



Beg



an




Burial site in Georgetown Cemetery of Elizabeth A.
Scolt-West tor whom Westville was named.



When the first white settlers came to this region
in 1820, it was inhabited by the Kickapoo Indians who
erected their teepees at a point where the stream of
Grape Creek flows into the Vermilion River. This point
was also the site of the Piankishaw Indian villages for
the two centuries prior to the coming of the Kickapoos
and the Pottawattomes. The white man came into
this territory by following the buffalo trails.

One of the earliest white settlements in Vermilion
County was Brooks Point east of Westville, where the
first school stood. The first white child born here was
James O'Neal in 1822. Brooks Point received its
name from Benjamin Brooks, who was among the first
white settlers in Georgetown Township.

In 1827 Moses Scott sold his 40 acres of land in
Indiana near Rising Sun, loaded his family of several
children, one of whom was Elizabeth, onto an oxcart
with all their worldly possessions and travelled the
several hundred miles to the Westville Area. Elizabeth
was born on March 24, 1824. With the proceeds of



the sale of his 40 acres in Indiana, he purchased a
tract of land in what is now the South West corner of
Westville. Here he erected a log cabin on the land
that was eventually the Big Four Depot. He also had
a blacksmith shop at the same location.

Elizabeth eventually married David Spencer, and
they settled in the Northwest part of Vermilion County.
Mr. Spencer was called to serve on the Grand Jury in
Danville; and one evening while in Danville, he was
taken sick with spotted fever and died the next morn-
ing. Elizabeth was later married to William P. West.

In the meantime, her father had accumulated ap-
proximately 700 acres of land in the Westville area,
and was considered one of the richest men in Vermil-
ion County. Upon the death of Moses Scott, Elizabeth
inherited a portion of this land in the Brooks Point
area. Since a village was springing up on this land,
Elizabeth added "Ville" to her married name of West,
and from this came the prosperous mining Village of
Westville.



Now is the "TIME"
Find Todays "TREASURES" . . .

Tomorrows "ANTIQUES" at Williams

It's Worth a trip to Westville just to SHOP this delightful
Store. Brouse through the Sparkling Glassware . . . thousands
of Gift Items. Choose your HOME FURNISHING, Wall Decor
or accessories from Hand Picked Selections.



Make Williams — "Your Store"
C lA/Ullamd ^J^ome ^ uppity




We.UL, Jtii



ipplif




mois



Mohawk-Rugs



Chime Clocks
'Wallpaper - Too -"



DENNEY'S
RESTAURANT & BAKERY



PH. 267-7745



WESTVILLE, ILL.



148 N. STATE ST.




One ot the old landmarks in Westville.




Jenkins Ford Bridge crossing the Big Vermilion, built in 1893.



First Official Record
of Westville



In May, 1873, Westville, a station on the Danville
and Southwestern Railroad four miles from George-
town was laid out by William P. and E. A. West on the
Southeast corner of Section 6. At this time only two
blocks were platted for record. They were located on
what is now West Main Street, just West ol the railroad
tracks.

The first merchandise business actually started in
1872 when Parker Ellsworth opened a mercantile busi-
ness West of the railroad. When they moved across
to the East side of the railroad they sold out to Cook
and Alexander and began a general mercantile trade.
In succession the business was sold out to the Dukes
& Doops, then to Boone and Jumps Bros. After just a
short time they were succeeded by J. W. Lockett &
Bros, who carried on a fair trade in general merchan-
dise and buying country produce.

The first blacksmith business as such was estab-
lished in 1872 by Jonathan Clayton, and upon his death
was taken over by Mr. Holler, but after one year was
sold out to J. F. Hutchinson. This was not to be con-
fused with the blacksmith shop run by Mr. Moses Scott
for the convenience of himself and a few of his neigh-
bors only.

In 1877 H. C. Meyer opened a drug store and a
short time later sold out to Dr. W. D. Steele who was
engaged in the practice of medicine.




Southeast Corner of Square. 1896.



HENRY L. FALCONIO, JR., Mgr.

SEE-MORE CABLE TV

Office (217) IQT-mi^
133 N. Slate St. WESTVILLE, ILL. 61883



Congratulations

to the

'Finest Home Town Yet'



Westville, the Melting Pot of Nations

WESTVILLE
SQUARE DANCE CLUB

"Village Squares"



Founded in 1969
■Square Dancing Is Fun" ^^^ COFFMAN, Club Caller




Interior ot
Blacksmith Shop,
about 1900.



Interior view

of early Grocery

Store in Westville.






Early 1900's



Westville Garage in early 1900's.



Andy Yerem Barber Shop



LOOK SHARP BE NEAT
122 W. Main St.

Westville, III.



Nino Damilano

AUCTIONEER



Ph. 662-8763 Westville, III. R. R. 1

FARM — FURNITURE — REAL ESTATE Licensed & Bonded



CARPS GROCERY & MEATS

Serving the Westville Community Since 1899

267-2022 WESTVILLE, ILL. 325 W. MAIN ST.



Formal Organization of Westville




Grocery Store at turn of the century, located on West Street.




Westville Fire Department, around 1900.



It was in July of 1896 that a petition consisting of
35 names was submitted to the Vermilion County
Courthouse for an order of the Court requesting that
Westville be organized as a Village. Some of these
names are still well known here. Some of their chil-
drens Great grandchildren still reside in Westville.
William Boyd, John Roberts, John Possolt, John Kelly,
J. H. Dukes, Leonard Stark, John L. Moses, to name
but just a few who signed the petition.

The following September, a meeting was held of
the first Village Board at Westville, which had a pop-
ulation of 303 at the time. Dr. Buford Taylor was the
first Mayor, and J. B. Falcetti the first Clerk. The
Board consisted of six members: J. T. O'Neal, William
Ashby, R. L. Brooks, H. T. Parker, James Leichty, and
John W. Evans. The meetings were held at Dr.
Taylor's home for a time, and then at Ballard's Hall.
In 1902 the Village Hall was built on North State Street.
In 1897 Kellyville was annexed, telephone lines ap-
peared in 1900, and electricity in 1901.

Until recently Westville was served by two rail-
roads. The C & E I and the New York Central. (Big
Four)





Big 4 — wye fl.ft. station, located on W. Main in early 1900's.




C & El Depot, Westville.



State Street in Westville in early 1900 s.



illcr used in early 1900's.



Orde Dunham


Damilano


Refrigeration


Motor Sales


Air Conditioning - Heating


120 N. State St.




Westville, III.


Phone (217) 267-7359


Our 26th Year in Business




PLYMOUTH - VALIANT CARS


517 Ohio St. Westville, III. 61883


IHG TRUCKS




Sales & Service



CONGRATULATIONS TO WESTVILLE CENTENNIAL

PARMANTIER BROTHERS
& FAMILIES



WESTVILLE, ILLINOIS




Interurban crossing Vermilion River heading toward Westville.



The Interurban



It was in 1901 that the Danville Paxton & Northern
Railroad was given the right to construct and operate
an electric railway into Westville from Danville. It ran
one car daily along the street adjacent to what is now
Georgetown Road. They were originally allowed to
operate the cars at a speed of 10 MPH. At the
Memorial Bridge the track veered East to a bridge
erected across the Vermilion River, ending at the Illi-
nois Power Depot. Today's adults were yesterday's
children who still remember at the time they crossed
the bridge, they either hid their faces in their parents'
laps or gazed downward in fascination at what must
have appeared to be a hundred miles of space.




Westville Grain Elevator near C & El Depot.
Demolished 1937.



SUSIE'S

Drugs & Sundries

FOUNTAIN SERVICE
Since 1923



267-2291



131 N. State St.



Lattuada Grocery



Since 1912



Phone 267-2251



901 S. State St.



Westville, III.



P. N. HIRSCH & CO.



The Friendly Store for Friendly People



267-7117



108 S. STATE ST.



WESTVILLE, ILL.




Interurban crossing trestle in Westville Area.




Interurban
unloading baggage
in Westville area.




interurban Irom Westville to Danville before crossing Vermilion River.



WESTVILLE 5 TO $1 STORE

Serving the Westville Community Since 1940

PH. 267-7014 ROGER HUGHES, Mgr. 112 N. STATE ST.



Compliments of

STATE LOAN CO.



102 S. STATE ST.
WESTVILLE, ILLINOIS

267-2171



In 1903 the line was extended to Georgetown, and
in 1906 it was extended to Ridgefarm. During this
period of time, as the Village grew, the lines carried
two or three cars or coaches, and operated every thirty
minutes. This was in addition to hauling up to 12 cars
of coal to the Illinois Power Co., and a lot of merchan-
dise for the various business places. The Electric Line
maintained a passenger and freight Depot on the North
end of the present IGA parking lot. However, the bulk
of all general merchandise was hauled in via the Big
Four Railroad, or the C & E I Railroad, and the mer-
chandise picked up at their depots by the merchants.

The Electric Line, or 'Interurban' as it came to be
known, was a convenient way for the miners irom
Danville, Ridgefarm, and Georgetown to get nearer
their places of work in the mines around the Westville
area. Many of today's residents have a vivid recol-
lection of riding the Interurban. The Interurban was
abandoned in 1936.





FirsI Ambulance in Vermilion Co.. 1916.




The Thomas Building and Westville Baking Co.
located on N. State in early 1900's.



Cole Hardware Store.




Labor Day Parade, 1912.



BRYANT'S AUTO PARTS

R. R. 1 (MIDWAY) — WESTVILLE, ILL.




AUTO PAETS HEADQUARTERS

• NEW • USED • REBUILT

TRANSMISSIONS — ENGINES

Everything from "A" to "Z"

'One of the Area's Largesf Paris Suppliers"

Open Mon-Fri 8-5 Saf 8-12 Noon

CALL



267-2124 or 267-2125



COAST TO COAST PARTS LOCATOR

RADIO-TELEPHONE MONITOR COVERING SEVERAL STATES

APPROX. 100 PARTS YARDS



During much of this same time a Mr. Ellsworth ran
a pasture for grazing cows on the East side of North
State St., from about today's Moses St. to about Hick-
man St. This pasture was filled with 3 to 4 foot high
stumps of walnut trees. It was a common practice for
a family in Westville to have a cow for their daily
supply of milk. They rented grazing priviledge from
Ellsworth for $2.00 per month. Each morning and
evening the people would either go to the pasture to
milk their cow, or drive the cow home to milk. Some
of today's adults in Westville remember the Interurban
scaring the cows as they were being led to and from
the pasture. In several instances the cows would be
struck and killed by the Interurban. It was one of the
daily chores of the children to have to get the cows
for milking, or to go to the pasture to milk them and
carry the milk home.

It was in the early 1900's that the Saloonkeepers in
Westville got together to have a flying exhibition put
on in an effort to attract people to Westville, and thus
to their places of business. The airplane landed on





N.



5.;<^ .-




Curtiss Pusher Airplane which kVds in Westville in 1912.

the North side of the Railroad Tracks near where
present day Scott St. is located. This of course was
an open field at the time.

At the time of Prohibition there were 48 Saloons
and 4 wholesale whiskey houses in Westville.



Black Gold of Westville



Since coal mining played such a big part in the
growth of Westville, we go back to approximately the
year 1860 when Mike Kelly came to the Westville area
from Ireland via Pennsylvania. He went to work in the
brick yards at the age of 21. He soon gave up this
work to work a strip mine in the Hungry Hollow area.
He hauled coal out by the wheelbarrow load, which
was sold in Danville, and later to the Railroads. He
eventually purchased the Hungry Hollow Mine for a
reputed $160.00. From this beginning, Mr. Kelly
eventually opened and operated 5 mines in the West-
ville area as follows:



Kelly -1, located IV2 miles East of Kellyville. It
opened in 1889 and closed in 1898.

Kelly #2, located 2 miles West of Kellyville. It
opened in 1893 and closed in 1912.

Kelly *3, located at the Southwest edge of West-
ville. It opened in 1895 and closed in 1922.

Kelly #4, located at East Edge of Westville. It
opened in 1902 and closed in 1924.

Kelly *5, located just Northeast of Westville. It
opened in 1903 and closed in 1911.

The Kelly*5 mine closed prematurely because of
water difficulties.




Bunsenville Mine.




Kelly ^4 Mine.



URBAS FUNERAL HOME



Since 1926



In 1905 Mr. Kelly sold mines #3, #4, and #5, to
Mr. William B. McKinley, of U.S. Steel Corp. for a
reputed $3,000,000.00. Mr. McKinley later became a
U.S. Senator.

During the early 19O0's Mr. Kelly also owned and
operated a general merctiandise store at Kellyville,
located where the present day Jacket Factory building
is located. At this store miners and their families
purchased their household needs on a charge basis,
and these purchases were then deducted from the
miners' earnings. Many families found themselves in
debt to the store after their pay was applied to the
bill.

In 1903 Mike Kelly purchased the Himrod Coal Co.
Mine for $260,000.00. This mine was located about
2'^'z miles East and V2 mile South of Westville. It
opened in 1895 and closed in 1908. The Coal Co.
built about 40 to 50 houses for the convenience of the
miners and their families. There were also several
grocery stores, saloons, and other business houses,
including a jail. More than 500 people lived there at
one time. The town of Himrod was incorporated in
1897, and on one 4th of July, it is said the flourishing
town staged one of the largest celebrations ever in this
section. In 1908 water broke into the mine eventually
causing its closing, and the fall of Himrod. Many
houses in the Himrod area were jacked up and moved
to that part of Westville known as "Sardine Patch".
In 1905 the first building South of the C & E I Railroad
tracks on South State Street, was moved in from Him-
rod to the present site of the Stefani Tavern.



rKELLY COAL CO. STORE^ „^
GUS.M.&REENEBAUM & CO. .ill





Kelly Coal Co. Store, early 1900 s.




Himrod Coal Mine. 1906.





End ot Old Kelly #4 when destroyed by tire in 1922.



Little Vermilion Mine.



WESTVILLE
HARDING PHARMACY



103 S. STATE ST.
WESTVILLE, ILLINOIS

PH. 267-2188



Happy Westv'ille 100th Anniversary



Westville Canvas
Products Co.

"Tarpaulins are our Specialty"

TENTS - CHAIR AND BOAT COVERS
GEORGE SHAW, Owner



Phone (217) 267-2293



1419 N. State SL



Westville, III.



Owens Oil

Our Only Difference Is Our Price

1130 N. State SL
Westville, III.

GORDON COLLINS — Dealer



other mines in operation before and after the turn
of the century were:

Sharon mine, located between Georgetown and
Ridgefarm, which closed in 1924.

Pawnee Mine, located between Westville and
Grape Creek. It opened in 1885 and closed in 1907.

Deering Coal Co. operated 4 mines in this area:

Deering #1, located at South Westville Lane. It
opened in 1893 and closed in 1907.

Deering *2, located South of Westville. It open-
ed in 1902 and closed in 1913.

Deering ?r3. Located at Steelton. It opened in
1905 and closed in 1912.

Deering #4, located 4 miles Southwest of West-
ville. It opened in 1905 and closed in 1946.




One ot the first buses used to haul miners to the mines.

It was the Deering *4 mine that was sold out to
the Peabody Coal Co., and operated as Peabody Coal
Mine until its closing. It closed in 1946 just a few
months before the miners pension went into effect, and
the employees were not eligible for the miners' pen-
sion. The Deering Coal Co. maintained an office at
the C & E I Railroad tracks at the site of the present
Cheker Oil Station.

The Vermilion Mine was sunk in 1902 by John T.
Dickson in partnership with Mike Kelly. They later
sold interests to John Vermilion, and thus it became
known as Vermilion Mine. It closed in 1932.

Bunsenville Mine shaft was sunk in 1909 and
opened in 1914. A small town was growing on the
location called Bunsen after a man by that name. It
closed in 1947.

Bluebird Mine, located at the foot ot Lafferty Hill.

Dowiatt Mine, located 2 miles East of Westville.

Brookside Mine #1, located at Grape Creek.

Brookside Mine #2, located 2 miles East of West-
ville, presently the site of Westville Lake. It is said
that the Westville Lake was lost to undermining of
Brookside #2.

While the increase in coal production provided
daily bread for the miner and his family, it also created




V-Day Coal Mine.



hardships: Violence and even bloodshed caused by
poor working conditions, long hours, and low pay.
This resulted in strike after strike, of which the big
strike of 1896 was the most memorable. People had
empty pantries, worn-out shoes, tattered and patched
clothing, and no money with which to replace' them.
Ensuing years brought more strikes, all of them of
long duration, and all a struggle. One strike in 1906
lasted 3 months, another 3 months in 1910, a 6 month
struggle in 1912, and another in 1932. However, little
by little, the miners' union, headed by John L. Lewis,
was bringing about wage scale rises, improved work-
ing conditions, shorter working days, and child-labor
restrictions.




Hegeler Zinc Worl<s.

One of the leading figures to arise from the West-
ville Coal Fields was Tom Moses, who started out as
one of the most disadvantaged. His accomplishments
were most impressive. Born in 1869 in Pennsylvania,
later moving to Indiana, his formal education consisted
of only three terms of five months each. At the age
of 11, Tom Moses worked as a "trapper" (one who
opens and closes doors) in an Indiana Mine. At age
27 he was a full-time miner and after the days work
studied far into the night, being counselled by a high
school teacher. These extra efforts paid off when he
was made night boss of the Vermilion County Mine.
In 1904 he was awarded a political job as Secretary
of the State Mining Dept. In 1909 he became Super-
intendent of mines near Westville, connected with the
U.S. Steel Corp. In 1927 Mr. Moses became president
of J. C. Frick Coke Co., and U.S. Coke Co. coal feeders
to the parent U.S. Steel Co.

In 1890 there were 64 mines in production in Ver-
milion County, and in both 1897 and 1899 Vermilion
County ranked 1st in coal production in Illinois, with
over 4000 mine employees.



The creative pleasures of
crewel embroidery

The long evenings will fly by — and you will be the
richer for it. Columbia-Minerva's famous Creative
Crewel Kits offer a dazzling assortment of pillow
covers, samplers, and pictures to give you the
special pleasures of crewel embroidery.

Prices Start at $1.50 Per Kit

• HANDCRAFTED ACCESSORIES

• NEEDLE POINT YARNS
AND CANVAS

Yam & Keit
Shop

1519 North State St., Westville, Illinois
Phone 267-7089 FREE PARKING





Miners getting last pay check at Bunsenville Mine, late 1940's.
End ot a litetime work for many area miners.






f>3J;;U^. itfc"^***







Westville Mines
in the early years.




.'^iiJr



Kovanic Bros.



TOM



JOHN



Serving Westville Since 1933



Joy Ann Bakery

Cakes Pies, & Pastries Our Speciality

106 N. State St.
Westville, III.

Phone 267-2405



WESTVILLE COMMUNITY
FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

Put Your Savings Under Our Wings
Need a Loan? See Us and Compare Our Low Interest Rates



143 N. STATE



PHONE 267-7060



N C U A

NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION



The Westville Cumberland Presbyterian Church
was organized on June 17, 1871 by Rev. W. O. Smith
at Brooks Point. The Christian Church known as
Brooks Point Church was organized in April 1870 by
Elder Martin.

First Congregational Church was organized in
1901 and the 1st building was dedicated in January of
1906. Rev. Robert Atkinson was ordained as minister.
In 1940 they held a mortgage-burning ceremony for the
debt of the 1st church building. A reorganization and
reconsecration of the church was held in 1950. The
present church building on Moses Ave. was dedicated
September 23, 1962.

The Bethlehem Missionary Church was founded in
November 1907 under the leadership of Rev. Allen
White. This church was located on E. Kelly Ave. In
1909 the E. Church St. property was purchased, and
two houses were joined together to form a place of
worship, until 1918 when the present church was built.

The Church of Christ, located IV2 miles west of
Westville was organized in 1955. The first phase of the
building program was a basement, where the congre-
gation worshiped for several years. With much work
from members and friends the church was finished and
dedicated on April 3, 1965.

The white Frame Church on West Main St. was
built in the early 1870's as a Presbyterian Denomina-
tion Church. Later it was used as a Church of Christ,
and still later as an independent Catholic Church at
which time it was known as the Holy Cross Church.



CONGRfOATIONAl




Present day First Church ot cnriat.





Congrv,



Church built in 1905.




Trimly United Church of Christ as it appears today.




Holy Cross Church built in mid-1870's.



Bethlehem Baptist Church, present day.



TRANS CONTINENTAL
INSURANCE AGENCY



516 N. GILBERT
DANVILLE, ILLINOIS


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Online LibraryIll. Centennial Committee WestvilleCentennial celebration, Westville, Illinois, 1873-1973 → online text (page 1 of 3)