Sunday, April 30, 2017

More on the Roberts Tile Factory


The first tile factory was built by Chris Anderson in 1883. The building was destroyed by fire in 1885. A new factory was built in 1886 by Chris Anderson and John C. Kenward on land in the Weber addition. Some of the buildings stood on the site of the Marie Hein residence and the Hethke Garge is the spot where the kilns stood.
Mr. Kenward spent many hours in the factory and some of his employees were, Nels Hensen, Walter Patterson, Jim Parkins, Mike Lally, Ernest Warnke, Mr. Hubner, R. Hamnon and Seward Arnold who died in December of 1984 at the age of 104. Before his death he wrote, "The Roberts factory made the best quality of tile within a 50 mile radius. It was in 1912, a snowy winter that Frank Kennedy and I hauled 13,000 tile on sleds to my parents farm. Nels Jensen was the best man that ran the tile factory. There were three or four kilns. The diggings can still be seen in the gulley east of William Sherfey's and north of the cemetery road."
The factory closed in 1913 but for many years the old factory grounds served as a recreation center for the youth of Roberts. In the summer, picnicking, swimming and boating were enjoyed. In the winter ice skating was popular.

--History of Ford County. 1985.

BUILT: 1886

The first Tile Factory in Roberts was built by Chris Anderson in 1883 and was destroyed by fire in 1885. This factory was (approximately) built on the site where Ken Eastin's home now stands.
The Tile Factory was put up in 1886 by Chris Anderson and John C. Kenward. John Kenward spent many hours in the factory, working. Others who worked there will be of interest to many and you may recognize some of the family names.
Nels Jensen
Walter Patterson
Jim Parkins
Mike Lally
Ernest Warnke
Mr. Hubner
R. Hamnon
Seward Arnold worked there one week.
The factory grounds served as a recreation center for the young of Roberts.
The tile factory land is now the Weber Addition and the Lawrence Seng residence and garage is the actual site of the old kilns.
This historical data was compiled with the help of Seward Arnold.

--Roberts Area Centennial Book. 1872-1972.

--These two articles were posted in October 2016 to the Roberts Illinois History Group page.
--Jean Fox added the following comments to the post:
The above, "Nels Hensen" should read, Niels Jensen. Niels Jensen, born in Denmark, married John Caleb Kenward's daughter, Sarah Jane. Niels is my great-grandfather. John Kenward went to Chicago to get workers for the tile factory and brought back, Niels and his brother, Soren, along with others. Since they were laying out the railroad and putting up telephone lines in the area, workers were hard to find.
The second tile factory was located in the Weber addtion. They dug up clay north of Lyman Park - just east of Bill and Donna Sherfey's house for the first tile factory. It was filled in with broken tiles and bricks over the years. The buildings for the second tile factory were all in the location of the "Weber addition." Yes, the tile pit is where they also dug for clay to use to make the brick and tile. It was not filled in after the factory closed because they continued to use it as a "recreation center." I have a picture somewhere to show the location. I will post it later.

John Ortlepp Store

--Paxton Record.  4 April 1889.

Listed in the Business Directory from 1908.  Next to the Roberts State Bank that was in the middle of the east side of the south side of Green Street.  Breeden's, Roberts State Bank, ??? Maybe restaurant with various owners over the years (Ortlepp?), Veatch's Appliance Store, and the Bar.  The empty spot in the photo below.

Rice & Lyman

I found this ad in the October 20, 1881, edition of the Paxton Record.

Dealers in everything in 1881 in Roberts, Illinois.

--Paxton Record.  20 October 1881.

T. W. Wakelin

I was excited to find this ad yesterday in the Paxton Record.

--Paxton Record. 20 January 1889.

Class of 1946

I posted this to the Roberts Illinois History Group Page to see if anyone would recognize the children and the date.  Written on the back of the photo, Third Grade.  In front row, far left Betty lou Havener and next to her Donna Mies (Sherfey). I think Delford Roeder is third in from the left standing. 
--Jean Fox responded on Facebook with the facts and a class photo:
The class of 1946:
Don Barber
Howard Evans

Phyllis Garrelts
Bud Hamilton
Betty Lou Havener
Frank Hummel
Art Johnson
Irene Johnson
Dale Mickens
Donna Mies (Sherfey)
Meta Jean Mosher
Eileen Patton
Delford Roeder
Robert Rule
Olive Sans
Delores Sturm (Kietzman)
Rosanna Swanick

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Some Updates

I added some info (maps and stuff) to the Early Days in Lyman 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 previous entries/postings/articles. You might want to look at those postings again. 
And just added some more photos to the post yesterday Roberts Brick & Tile Factory Crew.   

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Roberts Tile Factory

Business called us to Roberts on Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday morning, in company with Christopher Anderson, the proprietor of the new tile works, we inspected the establishment which had just started up and was running very successfully, turning out six inch tile at the rate of ten to twelve a minute, or 6,000 a day, which certainly is a rapid gait for the size. The buildings are much more substantial than those usually constructed for the purpose, consisting of a boiler room, a building for the machine and engine 24x60 feet, drying sheds 23x150 feet, enclosed entirely and heated by steam pipes so arranged as to create an intense heat which dries the tile equally on all sides and prevents the cracking caused by unequal shrinkage when dried by the air. The system of heating is by iron pipes placed under the floor and extending the entire length of the building into which the exhaust steam from the engine discharges and into which steam can be forced directly from the boiler when desired. An additional advantage to be gained by this system is that it will enable him to keep his works going in winter as well as summer. The power necessary for the operation of the machinery is supplied by a forty horse power boiler and a splendid thirty horse power engine, which will not only operate the machine, but will work a system of cars arrranged on a tram way for conveying the clay to the mill, which will save a large amount of labor when completed. His kilns are of the improved down-draught system, and are being very substantially constructed by L. E. Bressie. One is just completed and will be tested next week. Two more will be built at once, each having a capacity of 25,000 to 30,000, which will enable him to turn out an immense amount of tile. The clay used was thoroughly tested before operations were commenced, as there can be no question of the superior quality which will be produced, and we can congratulate Mr. Anderson on the spendid prospects of a large and we believe paying business, and Roberts on having among its citizens one of capital and enterprise to engage in and bring to a successful issue so important a manufacturing enterprise. 
--Paxton Record. 7 June 1883.

This article is from 1883, so this building/buildings were destroyed by fire in 1886 and Christopher Anderson rebuilt and reopened in 1886.

Roberts Brick & Tile Factory Crew

Roberts Brick and Tile Works Crew
The only men that I can identify are:
Back row, L to R: John Caleb Kenward, Niels Jensen, ?, Chris Anderson

--Posted by Jean Fox to the Roberts Illinois History Group page.  Her comments under the photo.

We had some discussion on the Roberts Illinois History Group page, Jean Fox and I.  The following was posted by Jean Fox after I added this picture to the page. She thinks Seward Arnold is the person to the far right sitting. 

Posted by Jean Fox:  L to R: John Kenward, Niels jensen, Soren Jensen (brother to Niels), and Chris Anderson. Seward Arnold gave the picture to mom and dad. I believe the last person in the front row (L to R) is Seward.

I don't think it is.  I have several photos of Seward.  I do believe the young man to the far left is Seward. 

--From my family photos.

Side by side.  What do you think?  Jean agrees in another post after she sees these photos.  Definitely not the guy on the right of the Tile Crew picture.

The Tile Pit

Looking west of the tile pit at the tile factory.

The kilns - They stood near the corner of Dilks St and 115.

Swimming at the Tile Pit. The kilns were located on the left and the tile factory was located on the right. Looking towards Roberts.
Location: West of the Tile Pit, east of the railroad tracks.
--All photos were posted by Jean Fox to the Roberts Illinois History Group page.  Under each photo is her identification of the photos.

First Tile Factory

--Posted by Jean Fox to the Roberts Illinois History Group page. 

She notes: 
Seward Arnold told me that this was a photo of the first tile factory.

Ida Havener

Kietzmans Etc.

Krallman Brothers of Roberts

Roberts Light Plant

Friday, April 21, 2017


--Melvin Motor.  31 March 1911.

--Melvin Motor.  14 March 1911.

So the ad says "First Door West of Dueringer & Guise's Store.  I think Dueringer & Guise's was the last in the line up of the brick buildings on the south side of the street, last to the east. Next to the block-building creamery. Where I always remember a bar location. But of course more research needed. 

Plat Lyman Township 1948

John Edward & Caroline (Bleiler) Stewig

Maurice & Mary (McNeish) Welsh

Grace Agnes Lisk

Joseph Whorrall

John Henry Shambrook Family

BR -- Florence Shambrook, Bessie Shambrook, Ulysses Shambrook.
FR -- Jane Amy (Huxtable) Shambrook, John Henry Shambrook, Art Shambrook.

Walter & Emma Shambrook

Arista Foster

William & Augusta (Ziebarth) Zabel

Martha Clark Foster

Maria Arlene Rebholz

Norman Woodruff

Lillian Minch

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Roberts School

--Posted by Jean Fox to the Roberts Illinois History page.

Businesses 1908

--Posted by Jean Fox to the Roberts Illinois History Group page.  September 2016.

Roberts Devasting Fire 1894

--Posted by Jean Fox to the Roberts Illinois History Group page.  September 2016.

The Trees Home

--Paxton Record. 20 March 1913.


--1916 Plat. Corner of Adda and Locust.  Lot 18.  ??

Business District

Before the Fire of 1894.

Date of photo?

--Photo from Jean Fox.

Fire 1894


--Photos from Jean Fox.

Friday, April 14, 2017