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Jerseyville To-dayPresent Business Interests
Hazel Dell Stock Farm
Col. W. H. FULKERSON owner of Hazel Dell Stock Farm, one mile and a half north of Jerseyville, came to Jersey County in 1866 locating on the farm where he has since resided. His residence is one of the finest in the county, and is conspicuous for its taste and modern conveniences. Col. Fulkerson is a public spirited citizen and has done much for the improvement of stock in Jersey County he being one of the most extensive breeders of short horn cattle in the state. His farm embraces 630 acres and he has now 175 head in his herd. The herd is one of the largest if not the largest in the west: it was started with choice selections from Kentucky and Vermont, and the Col. has since been constantly improving it by the use of the best Males money could buy, no less than three of these animals having been imported from England. In years past, at fairs in Illinois and Missouri the herd always carried off its share of blue ribbons. The butter from this herd has taken first premiums at the Fat Stock Show and the Illinois Dairy Show. At Kansas City Fat Stock Show, his thorough bred steers, the official weight at 2 years old being 1,905 lbs. took first premium for: Best Short Horn steer 2 yrs. and under 3 yrs.; Best Carcass of Steer or Heifer of any breed 2 yrs. and under 3 yrs.; Best Carcass of Steer or Heifer of any age; Best Dressed Carcass of any Cow or Steer in the Show (grand sweepstakes).
Col. Fulkerson has been in the stock business to a greater or less extent the past twenty years and has contributed no little to the success and profit of the Jersey County Fairs in years past. He has given much study and time to the subject of stock breeding and raising, and as intimated above has, more than any other one man, stimulated the introduction of better grades of stock upon our home farms. Our farmers are indeed fortunate to have such a herd within easy reach and should not neglect the opportunity afforded to select there-from and improve their stock. In a recent interview, the Col. was asked Is not the price of cattle exceedingly low? to which he replied, Yes, cattle are at a low figure, but I have seen it much lower, so much so that people threw away their pedigrees declaring they would have no further use for them, but the price will advance again, and I have no doubt to a satisfactory figure.
This hotel has for many years been a leading hostelry in Jerseyville, and the fact that it has had 16,800 arrivals in four years is evidence of its popularity. Mr. Wallace LEIGH the senior proprietor was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1835. He came to Jerseyville in 1843, but returned to Philadelphia in 1852-53 for the purpose of learning his trade, that of fancy bread and cracker baker. His first business venture was in a bakery and grocery on State street, (the present site of the Wiley Block) in 1853 under the firm name of T. Leigh & Son. He continued here until 1859, when he moved his business to his new building on south State street, where he carried on the business alone until 1866, when Mr. A. L. BRINTON became a partner and the new firm name was Leigh & Brinton. In 1873-74, the present hotel building was erected by Leigh & Brinton at a cost of $15,000, and the confectionery and bakery on State street was moved into the new quarters on Pearl street. The hotel business was started in 1879 by Mr. Wallace Leigh and was conducted by him alone up to 1881, when Mr. Austin LEIGH, his son, became a partner in the entire business., Mr. Brinton having previously retired from the firm. The hotel is a handsome three story structure, supplied with every comfort and convenience possible in places the size of Jerseyville. It has twenty neatly furnished sleeping apartments, good sample rooms, and is altogether a cheerful home-like and comfortable resting place. The cuisine is under the special supervision of Mr. Austin Leigh, who as chef makes his guests happy with the best the market affords, served in the most approved style. A pod distended with the good things of life, is a great solace and provokes unlimited good nature, and as a consequence the guests at the Commercial are a good natured set of fellows.
Dodson & Curtis, Millers
The imposing mill structure near the junction of the St. L., A.&S. and Chicago & Alton railroads is the mill property of Dodson & Curtis, and was built in 1884. This mill is the outgrowth of the old N. C. ADAMS mill built back in 1851 by a man named Young. In 1873 the Dodson brothers came to Jerseyville to engage in the milling business. Theodore purchased the N. L. ADAMS mill, and with his brother Frank as general manager, the mill soon obtained an enviable reputation for the excellence of its flour and the uniform standard maintained. The old mill was thoroughly refitted with many expensive additions and alterations, and though a good mill it did not fully satisfy its owners, and a project to build a new and model mill in every particular, was seriously considered. Mr. Theodore DODSON had in the meantime taken for a partner Mr. W. D. CURTIS, a well known citizen of the county, and in 1884 the work on the new mill structure was started and when completed it was pronounced the largest and best equipped mill in Jersey county, costing not less than $35,000, and having a capacity of 150 barrels per twenty-four hours. This mill in its appliances and equipment is indeed a model mill; no money has been spared in securing the latest and best improved milling machinery, and it is safe to affirm that a very small proportion of the people of Jerseyville know anything of its magnitude or importance. They see and use its flour, but they know little or nothing of its improved facilities for manufacturing the same. All flour dealers in Jerseyville sell the Queen Lilly and other leading brands of this mill, and these brands find ready and large sales in all neighboring towns, and in the St. Louis market where the surplus is shipped. The mill is getting as it deserves a liberal and growing patronage.