Fairbury, Ill. History

The present site of Fairbury was laid out in 1857 by Caleb Patton and Octave Chenute, the latter being one of the civil engineers of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad. County Surveyor Isaac R. Clark made the plat. Since then numerous additions have been made.  The first house was built by John Coomer. Just across the street from the Thomas House.   In 1864, the Village of Fairbury was incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois and later divided into three wards under the organized city government.

Fairbury is situated on the T. P. & W. railroad about eleven and one-half miles southeast of Pontiac. Locate in the center of the garden spot of Illinois.  On busy days, the streets are filled with teams and merchants are kept busy attending to customers.

As a grain market, Fairbury is generally conceded to be unequaled. It is situated in the very heart of the great corn belt of Illinois.  On account of the large crops of corn raised Fairbury has been selected for the location of a cellulose factory, which will work up the waste stalks into manufactured products. 

The deposits of coal underlying the City and surrounding country are easily accessible and practically inexhaustible.  The coal beds were operated as early as 1862, and shafts have been sunk at various points since that time, always finding a good supply of coal.

The City owns and operates a system of waterworks superior to most towns of its size.  The supply is from a well 2,000 feet deep. The water is pure, free from lime and contains many medicinal properties. A system of mains over five miles in extent conducts the water to all parts of the City and is used largely for household purposes. The City owns a fine City Hall centrally located. The lower floor is used by the city officials and the fire department and the second floor is the council chamber and a room large enough to accommodate meetings of a public nature.

The business part of town is lighted by arc lamps, while in the residence districts incandescent lamps are placed at the alternate street intersections. Thirty-five residences and all the business houses are lighted by electricity. Fairbury is preeminently a city of homes and the stranger in the city will be attracted by the large number of comfortable dwellings and well-kept lawns.


            Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. E. S. Wilson, pastor

            Presbyterian Church, Rev. Charles S. Davies, pastor

Baptist Church, Rev. H. H. Hurley, pastor

            Free Methodist Church, Rev. C. W. Lyman, pastor

            Christian Science

            African Methodist Episcopal, Rev. C. H. Sheen, pastor

            St. John’s Church, Dr. P. Dillon, pastor

            St. Matthias Episcopal Church, Rev. E. H. Clark, pastor

            Christian Church, Rev. J. Lemmen, pastor

            Omish Church

Secret Societies:

Fairbury Camp, No. 6, Modern Woodmen of  America

St. Bernard Lodge, No. 29, Knights of  Pythias

Tarbolton Lodge No. 351 A. F. & A. Masons

      St. Paul Commandery, No. 34 Knights Templar

         Fairbury Chapter No.  99  R. A. M.

         Fairbury Chapter No. 198, O. E. S.

         Fairbury District Court of Honor, No. 206

Aaron Weider Post, No. 75, Grand Army of the Republic

Fairbury Encampment No. 71, I.O. O. F.

Livingston Lodge, No. 290, I.O.O.F.

Charity Home Rebekah Lodge, No. 112

Indian Grove Lodge, No. 48, Independent Order

 of Mutual Aid


1898 Fairbury Church Directory


Carrithers & Agard, attorneys at law and Ins.

Herbert Powell, attorneys at law and Insurance


First National Bank, T.S.O. McDowell, Cashier

  – I. P. McDowell, President

The Fairbury Bank – L. B. Dominy, Proprietor

A. B. Claudon, Banker


T. F. Langabeer, barber

Seelman & Beckley, barbers

E. G. Spence, Barber

M. G. Sterling, Barber

Jay Tyler, Barber

Blacksmiths and  Wagonmakers:

Jonas Lough, Blacksmith

G. Steidinger, Blacksmith

W. Somers, Blacksmith

A. H. Birch, Blacksmith and Wagonmaker

George W. Westervelt, Blacksmith

W. L. Chesebro, Wagonmaker

S P. Knepp, Wagonmaker

Cigar Manufacturers:

John Conerus, Cigar Manufacturer

John Mammen, Cigar Manufacturer


Bayne & Amsler, clothing


Walton Bros., coal

Cooperative Coal Co., coal

Contractors and Builders

Charles W. Anderson

G. B. Brownson

C. J. Davenport

George Keyes

W. G. Miers

J. K. Shook

James Small


H. B. Bull,

J. H. Dye

J. R. Rayburn

Drugs and Medicines:

N. S. Parson & Co., Drugs, Jewelry and wallpaper

Wade Bros., Drugs and Medicine

E. M. Stuckey & Co. Drugs and Medicine

Florist and Gardeners:

Alex Milne, Florist and Gardener

John Milne & Son, Florist and Gardener

King Bros., Florists and Gardeners

Furniture and Undertaking:

John P. Cook, Furniture and Undertaking

Walton Bros., Furniture and Undertaking, J. J. Pence, Manager

General Merchandise:

Walton Bros., Dry Goods, Millinery, Clothing, Shoes, groceries

Jewelry, Furniture and Wall Paper, Hardware and Farming Imp.

W. J. Bethard, Dry Goods, Clothing and Shoes

C. L. Perice, Dry Goods, Groceries and Shoes


S. M. Barnes, Grain

F. L. Churchill, Grain

N. R. Claudon, Grain


Perice Bros. (C.L. & S. J.) Groceries & Cold Storage

C. A. Purdum, Groceries

A. E. Swap, Groceries

W. L. Wagoner, Groceries

Westervelt & Co., Groceries

Hardware and Implements:

Henderson & Eddy, Hardware & Farm Implements

J. A. Stoller, Hardware & Implements

Fairbury  Hardware & Implement Co. C. E. Amsler, Mgr.


Peter Henry, Harness

Mapel Bros. Harness & Carriages

Walton Bros., Harness & Carriages


 The Thomas House, F. E. Thomas, Proprietor


 C. W. Keck, Fire & Life Insurance

  George Lynn, Fire & Life Insurance

 Lewis Henderson, Life Insurance

1898 Fairbury Business Directory