Extraction from Early Local Newspapers
An early mention of Plano is found in the Aurora Guardian from Nov. 9, 1853 - Perhaps some of our readers are not aware that there is such a place as Plano, Kendall Co., on the Aurora Extension Railroad, fourteen miles from this place. The township in which it is located is the best timbered in the county. As for the richness of the soil, the number and hugeness of the stacks of grain awaiting the arrival of thrashers, are sufficient proof.
It has been but a few weeks since the first Store house was erected, and now six others are occupied for different purposes. A commodious tavern is being put up with all possible haste. The elegant and substantial Freight house is nearly finished. The foundation of the largest Passenger house on the extension is ready for the timber. Mechanics can then have a home cheap, and be well paid for their labor. There is in the deeds, a provision that no liquor, as a beverage can be sold on the lots. No lot can be bought for the purpose of speculating, thus keeping at bay the ferocious monsters, land speculators. As a good neighbor let our merchants have an eye to this new town, and attract the merchants and traders to our town to exchange their produce for merchandise.
April 12, 1854 - Little Rock
At a meeting of the citizens of the town of Little Rock, for the purpose of choosing candidates for town officers, who were opposed to the extension Slavery, and in favor of Temperance, the following persons were nominated as candidates, and also elected:
Nathaniel Smith, Supervisor, by 62 maj.
Lewis Steward, Assessor without opposition
O. J. Culver, W. T. Henning and Peleg Jones Road Commissioners, the latter without opposition.
Archibald Sears, and William Ervine, Justices of the Peace
J. W. Bending, Collector without opposition
Harvey Bullock and J. W. Bending, Constables, the latter without opposition.
Nathan C. Mighell Overseer of the Poor by 55 maj.
The maj's of those not stated above, were 30 to 50.
The citizens of this town, will not, be found backward in the cause of all mankind. Little Rock contains many thorough, energetic men, who are ever ready to aid good works, and the inhabitants are, generally intelligent, industrious, and enterprising. - Kendall County Journal
A few years later the Aurora Guardian writes on June 26, 1856 - PLANO - We recently had occasion to spend a few hours in this delightful and enterprising young town. We had repeatedly passed through on the cars, but had by no means a proper appreciation of the importance until we were favored with the opportunity of a more thorough view.
Like a great many towns along the line of the Railroad in Illinois it is new. It is but three years since a town was thought of and a village staked off, now it has a population for over four hundred, all of whom live in comfortable houses--and in nearly every instance, the occupant is the owner. All are painted white, and the gardens to each testify as well to the neatness and taste of the inhabitants.
The Academy. Among the first of the Public improvements was the erection of what is termed the Academy; a fine two story building, 36 by 50. The upper story is used as a public hall, and used for religious meetings as well as lectures, exhibitions, &c. It will comfortably seat a much larger audience than any public hall in Aurora. The first floor is used as a Free School, giving better accommodation for the scholars than the people of Aurora have now for their children.
Churches &c. But the Academy is not sufficient for all the services held on the sabbath, so the M. E. Church are engaged in the erection of a fine building to cost from $3,500 to $4,000, which is to be completed by the first of next December. W. P. White, a resident of Plano has the contract for the building, which is to be about 36 by 60 feet.
There are both Baptist and Methodist church organizations in Plano; the Universalists have occasional preaching.
There is a Lodge of Good Templars, and an organized living, active Fremont Club in existence in Plano. We believe that the Club has not much work to perform besides the conversion of one many, unless it sends missionaries to less enlightened portions of the country. The Club contains not a little talent, and is A No. 1 in Kendall Co., The Plano people are all for Free Kansas--the ladies included.
Business. A beautiful spot of land just on the edge of Rock Creek timber was selected, rising gently from the railroad.
Plano does much more business than is generally supposed. We found there quite a number of well stocked stores.
Mr. H. D. Henning, keeps Dry Goods, Crockery, Groceries, &c.
Messrs. N. & J. C. Eldridge have a general assortment of Dry Goods &c., and deal some what extensively in hardware.
Our old friend J. S. McDowell does his share of trade in general merchandise.
W. F. Lincoln has a fine stock of Dry Goods, and Dr. H. Caniff, as somewhat prominent temperance advocate and worker in the cause of Whitemen's Rights, keeps the only Drug store in the place.
Messrs. Henning and Doty have a large store devoted one half to Furniture, and the other to Hardware and stoves. Their Tin Shop turns out a good deal of work.
Mr. Bullock is building a fine store, which is intended to be kept in reserve for some one to fill up with clothing--or perhaps a jewelry establishment. There is a fine opening for some one in these branches.
The Messrs. Eldridge are building a new store which is already engaged for general merchandise.
Hotels. "Barber's Hotel," kept by Mr. Bullock and the "Plano House," by J. D. Clark, are no disgrace to Plano.
There is no whiskey, good, bad, or indifferent, kept at either hotel, or any other place in Plano. A friend of ours says they do not even keep cigars. Plano is a temperance town.
Lumber &c. We found our friend Jacob Cass dealing in Lumber, Produce, Coal, Water-lime, Salt, &c., &c. If we might judge of Plano's prosperity by Jacob's it may be set down A No. 1. When he left Aurora three years since, no one was aware of his owning anything more than a good name. Now he owns a yard which he keeps well stocked, a comfortable office--a large garden with a large handsome house in it--and some one in the house besides himself. Well done, Jacob!
Messrs. Latham and Henning also keep a good assortment of lumber.
Warehouses. Messrs. Steward & Henning are building a grain warehouse 48 by 60 ft. to be completed as soon as the work can be done.
Messrs. Fuller & Lincoln have rented the upper part of the R. R. Co's warehouse. This will provide ample provision for the storage of produce.
Blacksmith Shops. There are three blacksmith shops including one where quite a business is carried on in wagon building. Willet Chittendon and L. Thomas: the latter by by George Steward, who is also a wheelwright.
Mills. Marcus Steward is building a Gristmill and Saw mill on Rock Creek, which runs through on one side of the village. The Gristmill is expected to be in operation about the 1st of July. These will prove a source of prosperity to the village.
Miscellaneous. We notices a Daguerrean Palace which was doing good paying business. But it was on wheels and may be off ere this--Chapman & Wright own the machine.
There are one or two Millinery Shops, but we don't recollect seeing a Shoemakers or tailors shops. We presume there are such, however.
On the whole, Plano is a thriving place; its people are of the right stamp, intelligent, thrifty, enterprising; and to such villages--springing up as in a night over the prairies as an Illinoisan we point with pride.
December 13, 1856
The Plano Academy
This institution and its Principal for the last two weeks, has been, the all absorbing topic of conversation in our village. While some have denounced him, others have defended him and many have waited to hear the facts before they formed any opinion. In this number of the Journal, Mr. H. H. Haff gives the rules by which he governs his school. After giving them an attentive perusal, we think, all will coincide with us in saying that they are just, and at the same time liberal to all.
The rule about which so much has been said is as follows: "The bell rings at five minutes before nine to summon all to prayers." This exercise, we are informed, lasts until 9 o'clock, during which time the door is locked. This does not interfere with the regular school hours for we all know that 9 o'clock is the usual time to commence school. If any should come during this exercise they have the privilege of going into the primary room where they can remain until the door is unlocked. We think it is proper to lock the doors while engaged in prayer for by this means a proper reverence is instilled into the mind of the young for the Supreme Being.
The other rules are equally good, and being good they should be properly observed and duly enforced. There is no other method for the proper regulation and government of a school then by laying down rules and ... them, if just, to be surely obeyed. There should be a time for everything and everything should be done in the time allowed for it.
Dispensing with an hour at noon and letting out the school at three o'clock, is a good arrangement, as it allows scholars who have to come from a distance to reach home in good season. The scholars enjoy the privilege of two intermissions of fifteen minutes each, at which time, they can make a repast of such articles of food as they may have brought along.
We hope parents in particular who have children at school will not forget to read the rules. Next week we intend to pay the school a visit and we shall plead of things just as we find them.
To the Editor of the Kendall County Journal
Sir: As the rule by which students trady have been obliged to wait at the door a few minutes , or go to the primary room until a change of classes, has been misapprehended, and this misapprehension is liable to be greater abroad, you wil oblige the friends of the Institution by publishing the following:
1st. The bell rings at fifteen minutes before nine, and a second bell at five minutes before nine, to summon the pupils to prayers. This exercise occupies about five minutes, during which time the front door, except in bad weather, is closed. -- Hence a pupil who is tardy one or two minutes may possible be obliged to stay at the door two or three more. The benefit of this arrangement is to promote order, prevent disturbance in the hall, secure prompt attendance in the morning, and cultivate a becoming respect for the worship of the Divine Being.
2nd. Immediately after worship, the front door is unlocked and remains so all the remiander of the day, and at the same time the higher department, or main study room, is open, and all who belong to this department take their places for study. The first half hour is devoted to study, except the class in geometry. -- Here again, that the study room and recitation room may not be disturbed, the door is closed for half an hour until a change of classes, so that a tardy student though he may get into the front door may be obliged to go into the primary room until a change of classes, when the door is opened and he can take his place. By this arrangement, it will be seen, we aim to secure a quiet room for study, and no interruption to recitations, and certainly it is inexpressibly more reasonable that the one who is tardy to submit to the inconvenience of taking his time in the primary room for ... even twenty minutes, rather than disturb and hinder the whole school, and interrupt the recitations.
3rd. Another arrangement adopted here is to dispense with the hour intermission at noon. The six hours in each day are divided into three sessions by a recess of fifteen minutes between each session. This allows precisely the same time for study and yet we can close at three instead of four so that all can reach home in good season, even though they come from a distance.
Students are admitted from abroad by paying a moderate charge for tuition, and good board can he had at reasonable rates.
H. D. Haff, Principal
Plano, Dec. 18, 1856
Anne Sears Genealogy
Updated: June 23, 2005, by Anne Sears
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