The History of Minier, Illinois

September 8th, 2008 by Barbara

The History of Minier, Illinois

Centennial – Sept. 2, 3, 4, 1967

Page 9 & 10
The Village of Minier is located in Section 22 of Little Mackinaw Township.  It was laid out October 18, 1867 by George W. Minier, T. B. Blackstone of Chicago, the President of the C & A., and Charles Boyer of Lockport.  An election was held on the 17th of July, 1872 to vote for or against incorporation.  Fifty votes were cast for incorporation and none against.  The board of trustees at this time was composed of D. Saxbury, N. P. Williams, R. J. Mitchell, Louis Spelts, and J. Schaaf. On August 12, 1872, N. R. Baker, E. E. Howard, R. J. Mitchell, J. Schaaf, D. Saxbury and N. P. Williams were elected trustees of the newly incorporated village, and G. W. Ferree, clerk.  These men were duly sworn into office by Henry Freitag, Justice of Peace. E. E. Howard was elected president of the Board on August 15, 1872.
The site of Minier was a low-flat prairie, and there were ponds of water within the present size of the village that scarcely went dry during the entire season. Proper drainage was one of the first big problems of the village. Open ditches were dug in the early days to carry the water away. In the summer of 1880, a special tax of $2,500 was levied to lay 6100 feet of six, seven and eight-inch drain tile down Fourth Avenue (now Minier Avenue) to the Sugar Creek, south of town.  This was the first tax ever levied for village improvement. This system did not prove to be very satisfactory, so in the summer of 1884, four hundred feet of eighteen-inch tile was laid in the open ditch south of town along the T. H. & P. Railroad (now the Pennsylvania). The project was not competed until 1890. The tile, which ended near the T. H. & P. depot was continued east on North Railroad Street (now Park) to Fourth Avenue (Minier) and thence south to the hollow at South Railroad Street (Central). Thus the unsightly ditch along North Railroad Street was filled.  In 1918 a twenty-two inch drain tile was laid down Minier Avenue extending from the C & A Railroad to the Sugar Creek. This tile was continued north on Minier Avenue to Olive Street in 1919. Catch basins and other tile have been installed in the village to insure adequate drainage.

Page 59 & 60
Hotels, Restaurants, & Bakeries
Mrs. Hannah Cooper ran a boarding house in her home in the early days of the village. Pointon Baker built a hotel on the south-west corner of Main and Peoria streets in the early ‘70’s. This was known as the Baker House or Minier Hotel and was operated by a number of different individuals. Mrs. Mary Copper became the proprietor in 1898 and continued the business for seventeen years. The building was finally converted into an apartment house and was eventually torn down this year to make room for Cooper’s parking lot.
The Union House, including a hotel, saloon, pool hall, and stables was another of the early businesses in Minier. These were owned by C. Wullenwaber until they were sold to C. A. Flowers in 1888.  All of these buildings were destroyed in the fire of that year.
J. Hammond ran a restaurant in the Saxbury building (now the Masonic Hall) in 1876. At this time this building faced south on what is now Park St. at the location of the west end of the Peine Apartments at this time. Samuel Largent ran a restaurant and bakery in the Hecker building (on the corner were Peine Apartments now stand) from 1896 to 1906. There were also other restaurants and bakeries too numerous to mention in this short account.
Olive and Roy J. Bement opened a restaurant in the room back of Runion’s Barbar Shop in 1946. Shortly after, they moved to the present location of the Koffee Kup Kafe. In 1959 the business was taken over by Mrs. Iris Bare.
Kurth & Dreher opened a bakery in 1924 in the present Minier Motors building and in 1932 they moved to the present location. Albert Geske operated the business for a while in the 1950’s. Karl Kurth is the present proprietor.

Page 70
Photo of the First Minier Band, 1870
Back row: Frank Westfalt, Dave Saxbury, Jake Schaaf, Fred Munder. Front row: Ed. Dixon, John Smith, August Kind, Dave Adams, Simon Petrie, Louis Hagerboumer, George Whitman.
The first Minier Band was organized in 1870. There were about fifteen members in the band and Gus Kind was their leader. Philip Kadel, a well-known Bloomington musician came out occasionally to instruct the band. In 1873 L. Hagerbaumer succeeded Kind as the leader.
The Band was reorganized in 1880 with L. Hagerbaumer as its leader. In 1885 Hagerbaumer retired from the band and Z. W. McKenzie became the leader. In March 1888, the band was discontinued and all band property (seven horns and a bass drum) was turned in; but in April 1888, the band was reorganized. They invested in uniforms and had a great year. They played at numerous rallies and made a trip to Columbus, Ohio to Play at the Grand Army Reunion. In June, 1889, the band entered a contest in Decatur and won second prize.

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