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Public Buildings

Knox County Courthouse (42685 bytes)Old Knox County Courthouse, Knoxville (erected in 1840)"Old Knox County Court House, Knoxville, Ill., Erected 1840" postcard.  The original Knox County seat was located in Knoxville.  In 1869, after years of political maneuverings between Knoxville and Galesburg, residents of the county voted by a narrow margin to move the seat to Galesburg.  The move was delayed while the vote was contested by Knoxville in the Courts.  Finally, in early 1873, nearly four years after the vote, the Courts issued their decision and the county seat was moved to its current location.  [Postcards and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Knox County CourtHouse (93815 bytes)"Court House, Galesburg, Ill." postcard.  The Knox County Courthouse is located between Tompkins and South Streets, facing east onto Cherry Street.  It was officially completed with a public reception on January 26, 1887.  The building is constructed entirely of "solid masonry with iron beams" and an exterior of Cleveland limestone.  The total cost of the facility, including all furnishings and land, was $156,261.  [Postcard contributed by Jim Ferris; text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Knox County Courthouse (161050 bytes)"Knox Co. Courthouse, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked September 5, 1909.  Provides a view of the courthouse from the southeast with Knox College's Whiting Hall in the background.  The courthouse located on two square blocks of land covered with trees and walkways as shown in the postcard.  {Contributed by Bob Miller.]

Knox County CourtHouse (97606 bytes)"Knox County Court House, Galesburg, Ill." postcard.

Knox County Jail.  [Postcard and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Knox County Jail (90008 bytes)"Knox County Jail, Galesburg, Ill." postcard dated October 17, 1907.  The old Knox County Jail is located between South and Berrien Streets, facing west onto Cherry Street.  The building was acquired by Knox College in 1995.

Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, page 642.  "The Jail.  The first jail in Knox County was built at Knoxville by John G. Sanburn.  The County Commissioners, at their June meeting in 1832, determined that a jail must be constructed. On September 14, 1832, Mr. Sanburn contracted to build one for $240.  It was soon finished; but, as may be judged from the price, it was not a very pretentious prison.  It was a square building, two stories in height, with a door leading into the upper story only.  There was a trap door in the floor and through this the prisoners were let down to the lower room, then the trap door was closed, and the prisoner was supposed to be safely incarcerated.  This temporary structure sufficed for a time; but in 1840, the Commissioners ordered the Clerk to advertise for bids for a new jail.  The successful bid was made by Zelotes Cooley and the contract was closed January 26, 1841, the cost to be $8,724.  But the Commissioners, after due reflection, considered this amount too excessive, so they gave Mr. Cooley $300 for his plans, and made a new contract with Alvah Wheeler, the price being $7,724, which, however, proved too small to insure first class work, and the building soon became dilapidated, causing the county large expense for repairs and the hire of men to guard the prisoners.

After the removal of the county seat to Galesburg, the Board of Supervisors appointed a committee to prepare plans for the construction of a jail on a lot on Cherry street, which had been purchased by the city.  The committee visited other counties for the purpose of inspecting their jails and procured the plans upon which, with some modifications, the county building has since been constructed.  These plans were adopted, and on March 18, 1873, bids were received.  On that same day, an injunction, granted by Hon. Thomas F. Tipton, Circuit Judge of McClean County, at the instance of Knoxville citizens in anticipation of an election to be held to decide on the removal of the county seat back to Knoxville, was served on the Board of Supervisors, prohibiting them from proceeding with the building.  The election, however, having been determined adversely to Knoxville, bids were received on January 15, 1874, and the contract awarded to Ira K. Stevens for $34,900.  To extend the grounds the Board, on January 16, 1874, bought of A. Burlingham an adjacent lot fronting on Cherry street and another lot of A. N. Bancroft, adjoining but facing South street, a part of which was afterward sold.  The building was well planned and very substantially constructed, and presents a good appearance.  It is of red brick, with foundations and trimmings of gray limestone, two stories in height, with a high basement.  The sheriff's residence is in front, and the main prison is in the rear.  The floors and ceilings of the later are constructed of large slabs of limestone, and similar slabs line the walls.  Corridors the height of two stories surround the room on three sides, and on each side of the center is a row of cells, back to back, in three tiers, comprising thirty in all.  The back, the sides, the floor and ceiling of each cell is a single slab.  Besides these cells, there is a dungeon, rarely used, and five cells in the front part of the building used for the insane women and boys.  The structure has proved secure and is well arranged for the supervision and control of prisoners, and is well heated, ventilated, and drained.  It was first occupied by Sheriff A. W. Berggren, October 3, 1874."

Knox County Almshouse.  [Picture and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Taken from the 1870 Atlas Map of Knox County, Illinois, Andreas, Lyter & Co., Davenport, Iowa, page 7.  "Knox County Alms House is situated on the north side of Knoxville, and is the finest institution of the kind in the country.  Boyington, of Chicago, was the architect.  It was finished Aug. 12, 1867, at a cost of $45,000.  at present it has about 80 occupants.  Mrs. Olive Clearland is Stewardess, and gives general satisfaction."

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Taken from the 1878 History of Knox County, Illinois by Chas. C. Chapman & Co., pages 253-262. "Alms-House.  For several years the committee on the poor-house farm, in making out their annual reports, spoke at length of the unhealthful condition of the buildings.  As a sample of several statements of this nature submitted to the Board from 1856 till the alms-house was built, we give one appended to the report made in January, 1865.  The committee was composed of T. W. Miles, John S. Winter and Cephas Arms.

"Your committee do not feel willing to let this meeting pass without calling the serious attention of this Board to the condition of these poor misfortunate beings whom God has committed to our especial care, - a trust that your committee feel this honorable Board has not discharged.  There is but one very poor building for the poor-master's family, and the paupers have six rooms below and two small chambers above.  A hall running through the building divides the lower rooms.  Two rooms and a small store-room on one side are occupied by the family.  On the other side the two larger rooms are used during the day by the paupers, and the small room has been fitted up as a grated cell for crazy Hannah, a grated partition separating her from the stove.

"At night the paupers, many of whom are idiotic or insane, are locked up in the two small chambers; and this with the present class of inmates has to be done, irrespective of number, and almost of the condition of the paupers.  From this brief statement it will be seen how illy adapted the premises are to purposes of a poor-house, even when all are in health; but when any one is sick it is impossible to make them comfortable; and especially is this so, when, as in the case of the man with the frozen feet, it becomes as a loathsome pest-house, not only to the paupers, but to the poor-master and his family; the stench from the gangrened foot filling every part of the building, and sickening the inmates.

"In view of these facts your committee most earnestly call upon this Board to take some steps to make such improvements, that it may no longer with truth be said 'that the poor-house is a disgrace to Knox county.'"

Crazy Hannah, referred to in the above statement, was certainly a pitiable subject of charity, and her sad condition touched the finer feelings of the committee, as shown in a report made to the Board in 1863.  This committee was composed of John S. Winter and Cephas Arms.  We give below the portion of this report referring to the unfortunate being who is still an inmate of the alms-house, although in a much improved condition.

"We cannot pass this matter and justify our consciences without referring to a case known as 'Crazy Hannah,' who has been confined in a small room over three years, unsafe to permit to go out and breath the fresh air of heaven, compelled to live within four close walls until her destiny is fulfilled.  During all the cold days and nights of winter that poor demented girl cannot approach the fire.  Between her and it, at a safe distance from her hands, has to be placed strong iron bars, lest she should set fire to the building.  With all the modern improvements for heating buildings suitable for persons in her condition, are we, as citizens of Knox county, doing our duty to the unfortunate of our county?"

March 5, 1856, the Board of Supervisors purchased of M. G. Smith the west half of the southwest quarter of section 21, Knox township, for a county poor-farm.  The deed, as recorded, states the consideration to have been $3,000.  Two additions were made in 1866 during the agitation of building the alms-house, - on June 15, of 36 acres from Wm. Y. Miller.  The deed states the consideration to have been $2,340, but by an order by the Board we find it to be but $17.50 per acre, which would be $630.  The other was 33 acres from John Eads, June 17, for which, according to the deed, $3,000 was given.  In 1866 the Board appointed Rufus W. Miles, L. E. Conger, and Cephas Arms a committee to build an alms-house.  Considerable interest was worked up in selecting a location.  The citizens of Galesburg tried to have it located near that city instead of the present site, which is that of the former building.  At a meeting in April, 1866, a committee consisting of the following members of the Board, were appointed to select a location:  E. S. Hardin, Orrin Beadle, L. E. Conger, Cephas Arms.  A majority of this committee selected and bought the northeast quarter of section 24, in Galesburg township, for which they paid $8,000.  While this action of the committee was approved by the Board, yet the land was not used for the purpose for which it was purchased.  It was afterward sold for $9,000.  Supervisor Gale, on behalf of the city of Galesburg, offered to give $10,000 if they would erect the building on the site; but the Board secured additional land adjoining the old farm and decided not to remove or change the location.  Thus the location was finally settled upon, and immediately the contract of erecting the building was let to Wm. Armstrong for the sum of $26,000.  Only one wing and the main building were erected at this time.  The full amount expended for the erection of this portion of the building, for furnished heating apparatus and stocking the farm, amounted to $39,037.21.

The following is a description of the building, which rates only second to the best county charity institution in the State:  The plan was drawn by W. W. Boyington, of Chicago.  The building is of Gothic style of architecture, and is constructed of limestone and red brick.  It is two stories above the basement in height.  The ground plan is 166 feet front by 80 feet in depth, relieved by projection bay windows, and a general irregular outline.  The grounds are large, thickly set with shrubs and trees and well kept.  The exterior view of the structure presents an imposing appearance from whatever point approached.  From exterior observation it rather resembles a sea-side hotel than a country alms-house.  The accompanying engraving [not included with this transcript] so fully represents in detail the exterior of the building that any minute description would be but repetitive.

The interior of the edifice is in keeping fully with that of the exterior.  It is finished throughout in a neat and substantial style, and furnished with all the modern conveniences, which are especially adapted to the accommodation of the class of inmates that are retained there.  The many improvements adapted in the construction of the east wing were suggested by the matron, Mrs. Cleveland, whose experience, coupled with her superior judgment, eminently qualified here to dictate alterations and additions to the plans of the architect.  Each and every room is amply ventilated, and the provisions for lighting are all that could be desired, there being a large double window in even the smallest chamber.

There are 97 rooms in the building, besides large, well lighted corridors.  Of these, 27 are sleeping-rooms for inmates under medical treatment, 23 are cells or, properly, screened rooms for the insane.  The remaining 47 rooms are devoted to various purposes, each class or condition of inmates having a department to which they are assigned.

The western portion of the structure is used for men, and the eastern part for women.  In the men's department on the main floor are dining-hall, sitting-room and chapel (in the latter apartment religious services are held semi-monthly), and sleeping-rooms, with bath-rooms attached.  On the second floor in this division is the department for the insane, being a tier of screened rooms, sick rooms, school-room and nurse's rooms.  The eastern division has similar apartments, and in addition has a large sitting-room, quiet room for old women, convalescent department, and working department, where all clothing is manufactured.  Every article of clothing, except boot and hats, are manufactured within the building.  In the basement story is the department for the uncontrollable insane, the laundry, ironing rooms, and the culinary department, which includes bread room, grocery room, milk-house, and large kitchen.  The building, besides these apartments, is well supplied with bath-rooms, closets, and numerous miscellaneous rooms.  The whole is heated by steam radiators supplied from heating apparatus in the basement of the west wing.

The following items of an historical and statistical nature will be found of interest, and are compiled after careful research.  Their correctness may be relied upon:

From October, 1872, to September, 1878, 439 paupers were admitted as inmates of this charitable institution.  These included 15 different nationalities.  Of this number 229 were natives of the United States, 104 of Sweden and Denmark, 55 of Ireland, 1 of France, 13 of England, 12 of Germany, 4 of Switzerland, 1 of the West Indies, 2 of Norway, 4 of Canada, 1 of Poland, 9 of Scotland, 3 of Whales, and the nativity of 1 not known.  Total, 439.  Of this number 287 were males and 152 females.  There are at present 109 inmates, of whom 66 are males and 43 are females.  Of the 109 inmates, 25 are insane.  The largest number ever admitted any one year was in 1870, when 121 were received.  The number of deaths occurring since 1863 are 69, none having occurred since January 1, 1878.  The number of births, 30.  Number of married persons admitted, 153.

The following item connected with pauperism in this county should be noted by the tax-payers.  Though startling, it is based upon stubborn facts, and should be a warning to those who indulge in a moderate use of intoxicating liquors, and to the young man whose lips have never been tainted by the wine cup.  When we consider that three-fourths of all the persons admitted in the Knox county alms-house are brought there from the curse of intemperance, we learn some of the direful effects and consequences of the use of intoxicating liquors.  No contagious diseases have ever prevailed to any extent.  The oldest person ever admitted was George Felter, who became inmate January 16, 1877, at the age of 89.  Mr. Felter, who is still an inmate, was a soldier on the war of 1812, and is probably the only one living in the county who fought the British foe at that time, or indeed that ever did.  The oldest person in the house at present in 91 years old.

In 1874, in consequence of the failure of a supply of water at the alms-house, it was deemed expedient to bore in one of the wells, which was done to the depth of 175 feet.  At 119 feet a vein of good coal, four feet in thickness, immediately below three feet of slate, was passed through.  Failing to find water at that depth, they abandoned the boring and sunk a large well.

Ere a decade had passed, the alms-house had become too small to afford the best accommodations to all the inmates.  Accordingly, at the July meeting of the Board, in 1876, the alms-house committee recommended the building of the east wing.  In the original plan all arrangements were made for the necessary additions that might be needed.  Thus in less than ten years this addition is required, although the unfortunate could and did receive better care with the capacity of the portion already constructed than in most of the counties of the State.  At a special meeting in August, 1876, 21st day, the contract of building the east wing was awarded to Parry & Stevens, their bid being $17,000.  The construction of this addition was rapidly pushed to completion, and to-day the structure stands a harmonious whole, complete in detail, beautiful in design, and perfect in ordonnance and symmetry of architecture.  Thus perfected, as shown in the accompanying engraving [not included with this transcript], Knox county unquestionably has one of the most beautiful and superior alms-houses in the Northwest.  The Superintendent, Mrs. Cleveland, is endowed with native ability that especially qualifies her to have the charge of such a motley class of humanity as are gathered under the care of an institution of this nature.  In referring to the excellent manner in which Mrs. Cleveland discharges every duty devolving upon her, Dr. McClelland, the county physician, in his report of January, 1878, in speaking of the house, says:  "As usual, and in accordance with our duty, we passed through the house, closely examining every division of it, and to our satisfaction we realize that the care exercised over it was manifest in the order in which we found it.  Its condition throughout entitles the matron having the care of the premises to the heart-felt gratitude of all who have an interest in those who are kept there from necessity."  Again we quote the Doctor's language.  "In passing through the house, closely examining every department of it, we have realized what has frequently been stated by the agent of our State public charities, - that for cleanliness, freedom from offensive odor, and a manifest bestowal of vigilant care exercised over the premises, the Knox county alms-house stand unrivaled in our State as a model of praiseworthy order, and worthy of imitation by other institutions of the same character in the State.  Our worthy matron is not especially limited in her capacity for keeping affairs therein in order, but she possess additionally the rare ability essential to the managing and keeping subject to her will all those unruly elements that are submitted to her charge."

We can give no better detailed description of the manner of caring for the unfortunate of this society than is found in Dr. McClelland's report to the January meeting of the Board of Supervisors of 1872, which we give bodily, as it also compares the mode of conducting this institution with that generally adopted by public charities:

To the Honorable Board of Supervisors, Knox County, Illinois: - The undersigned beg leave to submit the following report:  Since the last annual meeting 127 person have received aid at the almshouse.  Of this number 85 are at present inmates, - an increase of 10 over the number present Jan. 1, 1871.  During the year there were deaths, by apoplexy [paralysis due to stroke] 1, old age 1, exhaustion incident to insanity 1, typho-malarial fever 1, albuminuria 1, consumption [tuberculosis] 3; total 8.  There have been during the same time 3 births.  Of the inmates at present in the house 84 are white and 1 colored.  Those not protected by previous small-pox vaccination have been recently vaccinated.  The good condition of the house in respect to ventilation and cleanliness forbid the occurrence of any endemic disease.  If not considered intrusive, I would desire to call the attention of the honorable Board to certain faults found by the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities in the management of paupers in the various counties of the State, to show that so far as Knox county is concerned we can plead "not guilty."

First, the farming out of paupers to the lowest bidder.

Second, the payment, under any circumstance, of a weekly stipend per capita for food and other necessities of life.

The third fault found has reference to the medical care of the family.  Whatever medicines or medical appliance, the pauper family need they receive, the county at no time restricting the physician in this matter.

Fourth, has reference to a certain annoyance which in this county is reduced to a minimum.

Fifth, pauper children are almost without exception uninstructed and untrained.  This county is an exception.  Children of the proper age are sent to the city schools, and the fault is with them if they are not instructed.

Sixth, refers to the condition of the insane and idiotic.  This class receives an abundance of light and air, are kept clean and warm, have an abundance to eat and good beds to sleep on.

Seventh, refers to epileptics.  Same answer may be returned as to fault sixth.

Eight, clothing and bedding plenty and good.

Ninth, "houses slovenly in appearance and inmates unsupplied with proper appliances for personal cleanliness."  Knox county alms-house speaks for itself.  Our paupers would not be known by their clothes.

Tenth, refers to classification of paupers.  This cannot be done in out alms-house till the building is completed.  (Editors Note: This has since been done and the inmates assigned to their various departments.)

Eleventh, "scarcely a county in the State in which any attempt is made to impart either secular or religious instructions to the pauper."  the matron has assumed it as one of her duties to read to the family on the Sabbath, and from time to time the pastors of the city churches have exercises in the alms-house chapel.  Publishers of the Galesburg Register and the Knox County Democrat have kindly sent copies of their papers regularly to the alms-house the past year; and in behalf of the pauper family I would return them grateful thanks and ask a continuance of the favor.  There have also been Swedish papers sent to the family, but how many and by whom I am unable to state.  For them, we return thanks.

The comforts provided by Knox county for the relief of paupers doubtless contributes to increase their numbers.  For this the honorable State Board suggest enforced industry.

The nature of the causes which have made a large number of our family fit subjects for public care will be understood from an inspection of the annexed table, which gives nationality and sex:

Nationality   Male Female
America 31 29
Sweden 24 21
Norway 1 1
England 4 -
Ireland 7 3
Scotland - 1
Wales 1 -
Switzerland 1 -
Denmark 1 -
West Indies - 1
Germany   1     -  


71 56

It may be a matter of interest to know that Knox county stands first in the amount invested for the care of its poor, $56,200 being the value of buildings and farm.  Peoria counts stands next, having $55,550.  Cook stands third, with $39,565.

These statements are made in answer to inquiries that are frequently made of persons that are in any way associated with the management of the institution."

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Knox County Almshouse (59973 bytes)Taken from the 1899 Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, pages 642-643.  "The Almshouse.  For twenty-five years after the organization of Knox County, the paupers were farmed out to the lowest bidder; but after township organization was adopted, this system was thought inadequate, and the Board of Supervisors, finding a convenient tract of land for sale cheap, determined to purchase a county poor farm.  On March 5, 1856, they purchased of M. G. Smith for the sum of $3,000, the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 21, Knox Township.  The farmhouse already on the land was converted into a poorhouse; but it furnished wretched accommodations, and the complaints that ensued were loud and frequent, even the committee of supervisors exclaiming against it.

Finally, in 1866, the Board determined to erect a new almshouse and R. W. Miles, L. E. Conger, and Cephas Arms were appointed a committee on building.  The people of Knoxville, being naturally a great deal interested in the matter, prepared plans and submitted them to the Board.  But the plans were for a building as large as the present one, which rather dismayed many of the supervisors and temporarily stopped the project.  Then the Galesburg members proposed a committee, appointed in April, 1866, to secure a location for the building.  At the instance of W. Selden Gale, L. E. Conger bought for this committee the northwest quarter of Section 24, Galesburg Township, for $8,000.  On behalf of Galesburg, W. S. Gale offered the Board $10,000 to locate the almshouse on this site.  But the Knoxville people rallied their friends, asked that only a portion of the proposed building be built and secured the erection of the almshouse on the present site.  The Board sold the Galesburg property for $9,000 and purchased, on June 15, 1866, thirty-six acres adjoining the old poor farm, from William Y. Miller, for $2,340; and two days later, thirty-three acres from John Eads, for $3,000.

The contract for the main building and west wing was let to William Armstrong, for $26,000.  The furniture, heating, and the stocking of the farm brought the total cost to $39, 037.21.  The east wing was built by Parry and Stevens, of Galesburg, in accordance with the original plans, the contract being let August 21, 1876, for $17, 400.  The design was by W. W. Boyington, of Chicago, in Gothic style.  The building is constructed of brick and limestone, 166x80, with two stories and a basement.

In 1890, the number of insane in Knox County was larger than the state asylums would take from the county, so the erection of an annex for the insane became necessary.  W. S. Gale, J. S. Simpson, William Robson, H. M. Sisson, and James Rebstock were appointed a committee to consider the matter, and they adopted plans of I. A. Coleman (really their own plans approved by Mr. Coleman) for a three-story building, corresponding to the almshouse, to be attached to the west wing by a corridor.  March 18, 1890, P. O. Munson, of Galesburg. contracted to build it for $26,459.  In 1898, the building was again found inadequate, and the Board determined on an annex for insane females, to be erected at the east side of the building, according to plans prepared by Gottschalk and Beadle.  The contract was awarded to Munson and Tingleaf for the sum of $20,000, exclusive of heating and lighting, which will probable be $6,000 more.

The contract was let in the latter part of July, 1898, and the annex was finished in the summer of 1899.  A new laundry building also became a necessity, and the contract for this was awarded F. W. Hawk, of Knoxville, on September 27, 1898, for $16,000, the work to be done as soon as possible.  It was finished in early 1899, and, with these improvements, the almshouse was one of the handsomest and most convenient in the state.  The poor farm comprises about one hundred and fifty acres.

When the almshouse was built, Dr. L. J. Cleveland and his wife took charge.  Soon after Dr. Cleveland died, and Dr. M. A. McClelland was appointed to the place.  Mrs. Cleveland (afterwards Mrs. M. A. McClelland) was a most efficient matron and superintendent, and retained her position until March 1, 1886, when M. P. DeLong was appointed superintendent, which position he filled until February, 1892.  The Board at that time appointed John Cook, the present superintendent, the change being made on account of Mr. DeLong's ill-health."

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See also the Knox County Almshouse 1900 Federal Census in Excel spreadsheet format (requires that you have Excel and either Internet Explorer or AOL installed on your computer) or in HTML format that will work with any browser.  [Contributed by Tom Lundeen.]

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Alms House, ca 1911 (58508 bytes)"Dickinsons AlmsHouse, Knoxville, Ills." postcard postmarked August 14, 1911. [Contributed by Bob Miller.]

Galesburg City Hall.  [Postcards and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Galesburg City Hall (58003 bytes)"City Hall, Galesburg, Ill." postcard from circa 1910.  The village of Galesburg was organized in 1841.  The former Galesburg City Hall is located between Simmons and Tompkins Streets, facing west onto Cherry Street.  The building was constructed in 1905-06.Galesburg City Hall and First Baptist Church (76577 bytes)  The tower was removed around 1916 and never replaced.  In September 1991, the city's municipal offices were moved to a newly constructed city hall on Tompkins Street.

"City Hall and First Baptist Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked September 20, 1912.  This view along Cherry Street shows City Hall flanked on the far left by the Brown's Business College building and on the right by First Baptist Church.

Galesburg Post Office.  [Postcards and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Taken from Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, 1886, page 1043.  "Post Office.  The first post-office established at Galesburg was in 1837, with Prof. Nehemiah H. Losey as Postmaster.  There have been but few changes in this office since it was established.  Col. Clark E. Carr held it for an unusually long period, receiving his appointment from from President Lincoln in March, 1861, and holding the same until April 19, 1885, when M. J. Daugherty took charge.  During last December the office was transferred to the new building on the north side of East Main street, which was expressly built and fitted up for a post-office.  It was erected by Robert Chappell, at a cost of $15,000, his bid having been accepted by the Post-Office Department.  The plan plan for the interior of the office was devised by Mr. Daugherty, and it is certainly very creditable to him, for it is as complete in all of the arrangements as could be desired.

The Yale lock boxes are arranged on three of the sides of a quadrangle which extends forward to within 16 feet of the front, and occupies the center of the room, the lobby extending around the sides.  It is finished off in light hardwood, neatly ornamented and artistically designed.

This was made a free-delivery office some years ago.  The average number of letters mailed daily is 5,000.  The carriers handle about 157,000 pieces each month, while the registered letters issued are about 500 each quarter.  The excess of money orders over receipts amounts to about $250,000 a year.  There are 52 street letter-boxes, with five carriers, who make six delivery trips and three collection trips.  During the last fiscal year there were 5,892 registered letters delivered, 478,125 mail letters, 102,486 postal cards and 24,654 local letters, and 337,484 newspapers.  Revenue from box rents, $630.75; from sale of stamps, $21,807.27; total $22,438.02.  Expenses, $10,835.44; net surplus to the department, $11,602.58.  Amount received for orders issued, $54,205.92; amount paid on orders, $270,201.87; total amount of business, $324,407.79; excess of orders paid over receipts, $215,995.95.

To meet this demand drafts were on the Department during the year for $216,000."

U. S. Government Building (43845 bytes)"U. S. Government Building, Galesburg" postcard postmarked February 17, 1907.  The U.S. Government Building (Post Office) was located at the southwest corner of Cherry and Simmons Streets, facing east onto Cherry Street.  Note the horse and buggy and the two bicycles on the street in front of the building.  The streets are paved with bricks, although there is a lot of sand or dirt covering them.  The building was erected in 1894.  It continued to serve as the post office and government offices until the late 1930s when a new post office was built on Main Street.  The building was razed in the late 1950s.Galesburg Post Office and Public Library (66763 bytes)

"Post Office and Public Library, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked March 2, 1910.  This is a later view of  the Post Office than is seen on the previous postcard.  The Public Library is in the right background facing Simmons Street.  Again, note the bicycle in front of the Post Office.  A wagon can be faintly seen  in the lower right corner of the card on Simmons Street.

Galesburg Public Library.  [Postcards and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Taken from Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, 1886, page 1044.  "The Galesburg Public Library is one of the attractive features of the city.  It had its inception with the organization of the Young Men's Literary and Library Association in 1860.  A nucleus for a library was formed by donations of books by the citizens and also by money.  Prof. A. Hurd was selected as Librarian, and rendered most efficient service by his valuable experience.  He was aided in his efforts by many of the citizens.  In 1866 the library had 2,850 volumes.  A small membership fee was charged to keep up expenses and increase the books.  In 1872 the Association donated its accumulation of books to the city and dissolved its society.  There are now some 15,000 volumes in the library, and the number is constantly increasing.  The Directors are appointed by the Mayor and have full powers to act for the best interests of the library, as their judgment dictates.  The City Council annually appropriates $2,500, which, with the receipts from fines, etc., make up the income.  The library rooms are lightsome and comfortable and are well patronized by the public.  The selection of books has been good.  The leading newspapers and magazines are also kept on file.  A monthly report of the Librarian show about 3,000 volumes drawn out, with a visitation of 5,000.  Present Board of Directors: I. S. Perkins, T. J. Hale, Geo. Churchill, Parley Johnson, Hiram Mars, A. A. Matteson, E. R. Drake, J. B. Holland and A. G. Humphrey.  Librarian, Miss D. M. Rice."

Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, page 670.  "The Public Library had its inception in 1857 or '58 when the Young Men's Literary and Library Association was organized.  In the winter of 1858-59 and 1859-60 lectures were given for the benefit of its library fund, and on February 4, 1860, the association had four hundred volumes and over one hundred dollars' worth of furniture in their hall.  In 1866 the number of books had increased to 2,850; and on May 26, 1874, the entire collection, 3,732 volumes, was donated to the city, upon its agreeing to assume future management and become responsible for all expenses incident thereto.  Annual appropriations - at first $2,500, now $4,000 - are made by the council.  At present there are 142 periodicals and 2,200 volumes in the library.  It is kept open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every week day.  The sum of five thousand dollars has been appropriated by the municipality for the erection of a library building, on the northwest corner of Prairie and Ferris streets.  It will be thoroughly modern in plan and construction, and the value of the library to the people will be greatly enhanced.  Miss Celia A. Hayward is now librarian, with Miss Anna F. Hoover as assistant."

Galesburg Public Library and Post Office (100802 bytes)"Public Library and Post Office, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked August 11, 1908.  The Public Library was located at the southeast corner of Broad and Simmons Streets, facing north onto Simmons Street.  Note the wagon on Simmons Street in front of the Library.  The Post Office and Brown's Business College can be seen down Simmons Street to the left of the Library.  As with other pictures of the era, the streets are paved with bricks and covered liberally with sand or dirt.  The Library building was erected in 1902 with the help of $50,000 from the Carnegie Foundation.  On May 9, 1958, it was destroyed  in what was described at the time as the worst fire in Galesburg history.  Over 200,000 books and four letters written by Abraham Lincoln were lost in the fire.Galesburg Public Library and Post Office (65922 bytes)

"Public Library and Post Office, Galesburg, Ill." postcard.  This is a later view of the Public Library than is seen on the previous postcard.  Note the trolley car tracks running north and south on Broad Street and the decorative street lights along the full length of Simmons Street.  Again, the Post Office and Brown's Business College can be seen down Simmons Street to the left of the Library.

Galesburg Fire Department.  [Postcard and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Taken from Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, 1886, page 1041.  "The fire department of the city of Galesburg was inaugurated by the purchase of a hand engine, and the organization of a company to man it.  After the construction of the water-works, mains were put it in, with hydrants to to furnish the water supply.  The water-works failing to furnish the water, arrangements were made with Frost & Co.'s works to force the supply into the fire mains.  In 1878 a chemical engine was purchased, and in 1885 a steam engine at cost of $1,100, also two hose carriages, with 2,000 feet of hose.  The fire company consists of seven full-paid men and five call men.  A. H. Allen is Chief of the Fire Department."

Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, page 670 - "Galesburg's Fire Department is well equipped and efficient.  The effectual step towards its organization was taken in 1856, when the council bought an engine named "The Prairie Bird" and a volunteer company was organized, composed of a majority of the business men of the community, with H. R. Sanderson as chief.  In 1862 the "Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company" was formed, which disbanded in 1863.  For several years volunteer companies were the only ones, but in 1879 a paid fire department was established, with Bus Peterson as chief.  At present the force numbers ten regular and two call men, beside the chief.  The equipment consists of a hose carriage, hose wagon, a ladder truck, a steam engine, a double chemical engine, eight horses and 2,200 feet of hose.  The first fire attended by the department occurred May 19, 1879.  James C. O'Brien is chief, and John E. Cater, assistant."

Central Fire Station (46900 bytes)"Central Fire Station, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked January 15, 1908.  The old Central Fire Station building is located in the middle of the block between Cherry and Prairie Streets, facing north onto Simmons Street.  Construction of the building was completed in 1906 and featured a watchtower lookout three stories high, also used for hose drying.  The station included garages for equipment and horses, sleeping quarters, a library, a billiards room, and office space.  The station became the final part of a three-building civic complex that included the police station and the city hall.  In 1976, a new fire station was built.  This building is now used as a community center.

FireEngine.jpg (65151 bytes)This postcard is of an early horse drawn fire engine from the Galesburg Fire Department.  The side of the engine reads "Galesburg Fire Engine No.2".  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]