History of The Village of Irving

  The town of Irving is situated in the South-Eastern part of this township, on the L. & St. L. Railroad, and is one of the growing towns of the county.   The first house erected here was a stone building.  It was built by William S. Berry and T. G. Black in the year 1846.   This was the first store in the township, and represented a capital of several hundred dollars.   One yar later, another store house was erected by Edwards & Petrie.   Both of these stores did a very flourishing business for several years, and as the population of the village increased, their trade increased also, until more room was required, hence their buildings were enlarged.   Quite a number of families moved into the village and built houses, in the years 1846 and 1847.   The first dwelling house was built by J. W. Taulbee.   The town dates its growth from the year 1856, at which time it was laid off into lots by messrs. Huggins & Rider.   The survey was made by J. W. Taulbee.    Huggins & Rider sold out to R. W. Davis and Madison Berry the year following, who at once commenced to improve the town.   The first brick store building was built in 1856 by H. J. Huestis.   This building stands just north of the depot,;and is at present occupied by the store of Knight & McDavid.

  Among the first buildings erected was the blacksmith shop of  ???    Sanford, which was built in the year 1856.    This was the first shop of the kind in the township.   It was sold to Jacob Bird two years after it was built, who continued to work at the trade till within a very recent date.
   We conclude this article on Irving with the following list of business men and the particular business in which they are engaged.

S. F. King makes groceries a specialty.

Kelly & Berry keep a large dry goods store, also an extensive line ready-made clothing, boots, shoes and groceries.   They represendt a capital of perhaps $7,000, and are doing a flourishing business.

S. T. Bartlett & Son, James McDavie and Knight & McDavid also keep stores whose stocks consist of a general assortment.

Berry & Grantham, restaurant and bakery.

James M Taulbee, feed and provision store.

Mrs. A. E. Newberry, miliner.

Williams sisters, milliners.

There are three drug stores kept by the following persons:   Thomas H. Padgett,  Sprinkle & Brother and Bartol, Leon & Son.

D. D. Boutlett & Co. Hardware

D. H. Luther, A. M. Edwards and J. Scherer, Blacksmiths.

George Rarer, Wagon Maker.

W. D. L. Cannon, cabinet maker and undertaker.

C. B. Wiley,  livery stable.

J. T. Manlbee, Jr., and I. G. Dawson, barbers.  
  T. G. Black and W. W. Berry erected a store house on the east side of the railroad tracks facing the railroad.    In fact, all the early stores on either side of the railroadd were built to face the tracks.    Land at that time was planted in corn and was fenced with rails, so in going to the stores, the fence had to be laid down to get there.

   A brick store was built by H. J. Huestis in 1856 and W. J. McLure built the Irving Hotel.    A passenger train stopped each morning while passengers and train crew were served breakfast at this hotel.    At this time, W. W. Wiley was railroad agent and post master.    He and Mr. Black built a large store house and in 1859 they built the first two brick buildings in the village.

   In 1855 a steam flour mill was erected by Kelly and Wiley.    A second mill was built by Hanners and Williams in 1868.    H. M Kelly also operated a mill which he bought and moved into the village, and Ezekiel Grantham operated a mill at one time.

   In 1870 and 1871 two large elevators were built along the railroad to handle grain in bulk.

   A Mr. Sanford built the first blacksmith shop and other blacksmiths included D. H. Luther,   A. M. Edwards,   J. Scherer and Mr. Bell.

   Among others who contributd to the progress of the village and township were Isaac Lewey,  C. B. Cromer,  John McDavid,  Milton Berry,  Caharles McKinney,  Dr. R. Parkhill,  John Wiley,  Sam Wiley,  Noah Taylor,   Jacob Lewey,  George File,  Marvin Thumb,  Marshall Winn,  Henry Latham,  Samuel Barnett,  James Morain and many others.   The descendants of may of these earlier settlers still reside in Irving.

   Before much longer, the village had a clothing store, hardware stores, millinery shops, restaurants, bank, weekly newspaper, livery stables and harness shops;

   The early settlers lived humble, economical and industrial lives.   They gathered together at parties, corn huskings, log rollings, apple parings, carpet rag tackings, spelling bees and singing schools and according to old tales, now and then some skullduggery was promoted by the pranksters.

   Many changes occurred during the early and middle 1900’s.    The main street stores were changed to face the present highway, new buildings replaced the old ones destroyed by fire, a new railroad was bult giving a double track to St. Louis, later garages and service stations replaced the blacksmith shops, truck service replaced freight by train, automobiles made passenger service by train profitable, livery stables discontinued to operate and the double railroad track was reduced to one track.   The present fredight trains are all through trains and contract only distant hauling.   There is no passenger service and the depot has been razed.

   Various other businesses have come and gone.   In fact changes are surely a permanent thing.    Irving, having no major industries to perpetuate its growth, instead of becoming an industrial area, it has to some extent become more or less a residential village of which we, its citizens are justly proud.

   The first post office in Irving was established July 9, 1856.  We do not have the location but William W. Wiley was the first appointed postmaster on that date.   Following appointed postmasters are as follows.     Hiram J. Huestis  - July l6, 1861,  James M. Berry - March 24, 1873,  John E. knight - January 16, 1878,  John B. Cattle - March 7, 1881,  Rachel W. Cattle - March 31, 1884,  George Rarer - September 2, 1885,  Rachel Cattle - May 25, 1889,  Wm. B. Williams - April 3, 1893,  Abner Moore - May 28, 1898,  Wm. S. Berry - February 10, 1900,  Walter V. Berry - January 14, 1915,  William A. Cook - August 13, 1935,  Charley L. Funk - (acting) February 28, 1953,  George L. Bryce - April 15, 1955    Toots Bryce        Debra Owens        ???????

   The only record we have of location of post offices are as follows.    1878 a brick building on corner west of old hotel building.    1884 - A frame building between the corner and hotel building.    1885 - Moved to a building east of former bank building.    1893 - American Legion hall,    1898 - Abner Moore built a building that later became T. Coffey shoe store,    1902 - Grocery store building next to Kelly Mercantile store (later burned), 1905 - Moved to the building that later became Bob Funks office and later a variety store, 1905 - Moved to W. V. Berry building (now Kelly Mercantile).    1935 - Wm Cook moved it to where it now stands (1956) and in 1960 moved to the present location which was a new building on the corner of State & Pine Streets.    

  Newspaper article dated March 29, 1956.       BY GONE DAYS RECALLED   -   “Recalling some of Irving’s postal history, Walter V. Berry of Irving can still visualize the crowded post office after the 7:20 local* (train) unloaded mail and the letters, newspapers, and other pieces were brought in for distribution.   Like the stores in Irving and elsewhere in the Midwest, the post office was open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to serve patrons in those days.    Mr. Berry’s father William S. Berry, served as postmaster from 1900 to 1914 and Walter was appointed postmaster when his father died.  He served until 1935.   The postal service known a RFD, not to be confused with the initials of a former president, was inaugurated shortly after the turn of the century.    The advent of rural carrier service at Irving was welcomed by some persons and shunned by others. Mr. Berry recalls that the pay for a rural carrier in those days was about $50 a month and only three persons applied for the first routes out of Irving.   Mail wagons, enclosed horse-drawn buggies, became familiar sights as RFD service was expanded.   These wagons were furnished by the RFD carrier and not the government and Mr. Berry recalls that unlike equipment allowances made to RFD carriers today, the $50 a month was a flat fee for everything.”    The article goes on to say “Of course Montgomery County was still in the mud and the 18 to 25 mile RFD route could take many, many hours to cover in the winter and in the rainy season.   Patrons had to petition the post office for RFD service, usually 50 signatures were required to organize rural route service.   Often someone who wanted to be the RFD carrier would pass a petition to form a route.   Walter Neisler and Ross Perkins were the RFD carriers in 1956.

   In April 1867 the village board voted to make board walks, boards to be one inch thick with sills four feet apart, and street crossings to be two inches thick in lumber and twinty inches wide.

    The president of the board announced that the first Saturday night each month after the full of the moon would be meeting night.

   Regulating the rate of speed of railroad trains - “Be it ordained by the president and trustees of the board that the rate of speed for trains and cars on the St. Louis, Alton and Terre Haute Railroads within the incorporation of Irving shall not be more than five miles per hour.”

   In 1870 it was voted to levy an additional tax of one percent on all property to assist the Indianapolis and St. Louis Railroad in building a “Depot House” and that the public square be fenced. Bids for the fencing were submitted by Silas Kelly, Hunter and Satterlee, J. M. Taulbee and H.M. Kelly.  H.M. Kelly had the lowest bid of $156.00 and was given the contract.

   Samuel F. King was appointed attorney for the town and a committee drew designs for a public house for the corporation with a calaboose attached in the same year.

   1872, an ordinance was passed relative to boys getting on and off trains in the corporate limits of the village.

1873, the board voted that weighing scales and hog pens on the corner of State and Pine Streets near the business house of M.A. Satterlee was a public nuisance and were to be removed.

   November 1891, it was voted to hire C.P. Satterlee to attend to the calaboose and street lamps for five dollars per month.

   August 1893, Ridgeway addition was laid out, platted and added to the Village of Irving.

   1898, the Modern Woodmen of America was granted exclusive right of the street and park for Fourth of July celebration. An ordinance granting Howett and J.J. Frey a twenty year franchise to erect poles, wires, and apparatus in the streets, alleys, and public places. This was for the purpose of installing a telephone system. The vote passed to turn all tramps (kept in the calaboose overnight) out on Saturday morning in order to get them out of town. Several brick walks were laid.

   Early 1900’s, an electric light at the site of Winn’s crossing was rented from Hillsboro Electric Co. for a term of ten years. A twenty five series of Tungstin lights at various places in the village would burn each night (except when the moon shone brightly) at a cost of twenty four dollars per year. They also voted to give Peoples’ Mutual Telephone Company the privilege of using streets and alleys for the erection of telephone poles;  Ordinance in relation to granting franchise for electric light and power permit was given Hillsboro Electric Light and Power Company to erect poles in streets, alleys, and public places for the purpose of conveying electricity;  A special ordinance for constructing sidewalks on some streets was approved.

   1911, Every able bodied male inhabitant of the village between the ages of twenty-one and fifty (except campers, idiots, or lunatics) shall labor on the streets and alleys for twenty days each year or pay into the village treasury $1.50 or be prosecuted (placed into the calaboose) with only clean water and well baked bread three times per day.  If he is still stubborn, he will be placed into solitary confinement. It was also declared unlawful to permit any wooden box to be used for spittoon purposes. Anyone riding a horse or mule in any street or alley in the village at a speed of more than ten miles per hour shall be fined. Those who turned from one street to another at a speed greater than five miles per hour were also fined. No animals or geese shall be allowed to run at large within corporate limits.  More concrete sidewalks were constructed.

1917: Fred Keisling was appointed Village Marshall

1919: Harry Truitt was appointed to rope off main street for the free Saturday night movies.

1924: Botkin and Funk Pool Room was given a license and C.M. Crissman was appointed to assist the policeman during the free shows.

1934: Howard Davis was elected policeman.

1935: A wage scale was set at thirty-five cents per hour for common labor in the village

1942: Voted to contact W.P.A and request an allotment of labor and material for a drainage project.

1954: Illinois Power Company substation was deeded to the village and later to the fire department (currently operating at this time).

1959: Railroad crossings at Spruce and Cedar streets were closed  and in turn, the Pine Street railroad crossing was widened with signal lights installed.

1961: The village voted in favor of a public water system. A contract was given to Freeburg Construction Company. A tower was built with water mains and meters installed.  The public water system was officially active on January 2, 1962.

1962: The Illinois Light and Power Company laid gas mains and installed meters. In October 1962, Natural gas was made available to all who requested it.
  In the year 1866, the present school building was erected at a cost of $2000. This house is of brick, two stories high, and contains two large-sized school rooms. These rooms are not sufficient to accomodate all the pupils of the schools, and the propriety of enlarging the building is being discussed. Below is a picture of that first brick school.
  The first post office was established in the year 1856, with W.W. Wiley as postmaster. The office was kept in the building now used by Berry & Grantham as a restaurant.
   A steam flouring-mill was erected in 1856 by Kelly & Wiley. Part of the machinery used in the construction of this mill was taken from the old Kelly mill, which formerly stood in the western part of the township, near shoal creek. A mill was built in 1868 by Hanners & Williams. This was a steam mill also. It burned down in the year 1870, but has since been rebuilt, and at present is the only mill in town. It has two run of buhrs and a capacity of about twenty five barrels of flour per day.
   Two large elevators were built in the town in the years 1870 and 1871, only one of which is now operated.
  The first school in the village was taught by a Mr. Frink, in the old Hopewell House, which had been moved to the town in the latter part of the year 1856.   The next School was taught by J. W. King,      John Franklin and George Baker were among the first teachers in the village.   The little frame building was the only school-house in the town for several years.   When there were more pupils than it could accommodate, rooms in the private dwelling houses were fitted up for the surplus scholars.   In the year 1866, the present school building was erected at a cost of $2,000.    This house is of brick, two stories high, and contains two large-sized school rooms.   These rooms are not sufficiently to accommodate all the pupils of the schools, and the propriety of enlarging the building is being discussed.
  This building is the first frame schoolhouse build in 1848 that is mentioned above and moved into the Village of Irving in 1856. Pubils shown above are the primary class of 1898 and are named below.

FIRST ROW L-R:  Chester Lack, John Morris, Walter Botkin, Clay Latham, Myrle Cockelreas, Tempa Borror, Philena Borror, Erma Grantham, Gertie Bost, and Bertha Grantham.

SECOND ROW L-R:   Homer Johnson, Georgie McCorkie, Irley Satterlee, Harry Aussingham, Roy Parkhill, Tressie LaDassor, Anna Grantham, Belle Carriker, Lester Vandever, Lottie Kipe, and Estelle Winn.

THIRD ROW L-R:  Flo Bryan, Emma Allen, Jesse Grantham, Lou Pruitt, Homer Rebman, Jesse Franklin, Effie Allen, Armie Cundiff, Inez Bost, Frank Newberry, Kenneth Grantham, Alexis Mckinney, and Powell Padgett.
  Dr. J. H. Spears was the first physician who practiced medicine in Irving.   He came here in the year 1858 and remained till 1863.    Since 1858, the following physicians have been located here :   W. F. Linn,  Elias Petre,  J. P. Murphy,  W. H. Hobson,  B. F. Burries,   ???  Hart,   ???   Tuck,   ???   Nicholby,   J. P. Whitten,   ???   Sweet,  W. B. Sprinkle,  Joseph Cobb,  Vincent Parkhill,  J. W. Parkhill,  A. B. Ault and Isaac Short.

   Irving Lodge No. 455, A. F. & A. M. was instituted in the year 1865, with the following charter members:  B. F. Barnes,  E. B. Randle,  W. B. Van Horn,  B. B.Pitts,  H. J. Huestis,  William M. Cox,  George M. Davenport,  Bartol Leon,  John E. Lindley,  Ryland Tuck and John B. Cox.    The first officers of the lodge were Benjamin F. Barnes, W. M.;   Edward B. Randle, S. W.;   George M. Davenport, J. W..    The present officers are the following:  John T. Carriker, W. M.;  Thomas Padget, S. W.;  H. J. Bowtell, J. W.;
  The schools are at present under the superintendence of professor M. T. Miller, assisted by W. C. Hobson, Miss Means and Miss Hogshett.

   The best growth of the town has been since the year 1878. The large brick building occupied by the sotres of Kelly & Berry, Thomas H. Padget and A. W. Kelly, was built in the year 1880, as was also the brick building in which the stores of James McDavid and S.D. Bartlett are kept. Bartol Leon built the large house which he and his son occupy as a place of business in the year 1881. Several fine dwelling houses have been erected during the past two years, and quite a number of other are in process of erection at the present time.

   The town was incorporated in the year 1863, under a special charter.   In 1873, it came in under the general law, when the ordinances were all revised by S. F. King and published.   The present officers of the town are the following:   John T. McDavid, presidendt of the board;  Augustus McDavid, clerk;  M. D. L. Cannon, George Rarer, James M. Taulbee, Hiram J. Huestis, W. S. Berryk Jr., Trustees.
Above is a picture of the Irving Lodge No. 455, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons meeting hall build in 1868
  The Irving Coal Company was recently incorporated with a capital of several thousand dollars.   They have erected machinery in the western part of the town, where they are prospecting for coal and oil.
  A temperance organization know as the Royal Templars of Temperance was established in the year 1879. The meetings are held semi-monthly.   This organization is secret, and has the following officers.   Select councilor,  vice councilor,   past councilor,  secretary  treasurer, herald, guard,  sentinel and deputy herald  1912 Picture shown below
  Text has been taken from Robert R. Bliss book "1882 History of Bond and Montgomery Counties". Pictures have been taken from The Irving Area Historical Museum Files.
The large hotel which stands in the eastern part of the town was erected in the year 1868, by W.J. McLure , at a cost of $7,000.
High School Class of 1898
C.C. Ettling - Don McClean - Neva Grantham - Anna Mack - Tony Barringer - F.F. Priss (Teacher) - Bert Walcher - Marvin Gregory - Cora Bond - Harry Snell - Mary Rutledge - Earl Wiley - Gus McClean - Marie Snell
Play in Irving...Winter of 1898
Bertha Lipe - Minnie Grantham -  Adah Wiley - Eula Satterlee - Anna Burke - Cecil Kelly - Eunice Romine - Mrs Frank Saterlee
Just when, where or why this picture was taken the writer of this feature does not know, but from the few facts available these bewhiskered gentlemen were all veterans of the Civil War and members of the Grand Army of the Republic at Irving.
The flag bearer, the armed color guards, the veterans, some wearing the hats and parts of the uniforms they wore in service, and others wearing the medals they had earned, posed for this picture for some special event. Any reader of the NEWS who can furnish the answers as to when, where, and why the picture was taken, and by whom, is asked to let the editors know about this part of the past.
The veterans of the war between the states were:
Front row left to right: Al Rhinehart, Dan Hinkle, John Moncravie, Wilbur Frazier, John Senior, Jim Wilson, John Bartlett, and Dave Pruitt.
Back row left to right:  William B. Grantham, Elijah Pruitt, Ambrose Kelly, John McCarty, Thomas Grantham, W.T. Ault, William Lohr, Joe Tester, Vincent Feraris, Marion Satterlee, John Williams, Jim Cressman, Tirmp Hefley, and Tom Padgett.
One of the many trains that stopped at Irving each day.
Irving creamery - Trains like the one above would stop every day at the depot and pick up cans of milk and other products and haul to Pevely Dairy Co. in St. Louis.