Businesses in Brubaker, Illinois

                                     Brubaker, Marion Co., Illinois

               

               (Remember that you can also use CTRL-F to find a particular surname within these pictures when you are on the page.) 

 


 

       

   We are looking for photos of people and/or places from around Kinmundy & Alma.  Can you help?

Or maybe you have stories or memories from the "Good Old Days"?  What do YOU remember?

        The Kinmundy Historical Society would be honored to preserve your memories and stories.  We also have the

equipment to scan (or copy) your photos so that they may be enjoyed now as well as for generations yet to come!

        We would love to hear from you!  For more information, please contact: 

       

   Dolores (Ford) Mobley – Dolores@ford-mobley.com

                       208 Joan Dr.; Divernon, IL  62530; (217) 625-7527

            or

           

            Gladys (Corrie) See – gsee49@yahoo.com

                                         408 S. Washington St.; Kinmundy, IL 62854; (618) 547-7731

 


 

 

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“Brinkerhoff’s History of Marion County, Illinois - 1909”  by Prof. J.H.G. Brinkerhoff - "Brubaker" (page 200-201)

 

    "The station of Brubaker on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad is an active little hamlet.  It contains two stores, a saw-mill, blacksmith shop and the Alma town house.  It was laid out by E.E. BRUBAKER, who built a two-store room upon the completion of the railroad in 1895, and he has conducted a flourishing business ever since.  Much produce is also shipped from here, and also live stock.  The railroad company just after the Chicago & Eastern Illinois took charge opened an extensive ballast-burning experiment and acres of clay was dug and mixed with coal and burned, but for some reason the work was stopped, and all that remains is a considerable body of water, forming an artificial lake.

Red Lick Prairie is also the scene in which is laid the AStories of New Egypt@, by Frank Spittler, Esq., and the tale has a foundation in fact, which is as follows. About 1830 or 1835, two brothers with a small part amount of money were journeying westward from Vincennes, when they fell in with a third young man, who had about nine hundred dollars on his person.  When in the vicinity of Red Lick, the older brother killed the young man and the brothers appropriated the money and buried the body.  They settled near Red Lick Prairie and the older brother became an active member of the band of cutthroats and horse thieves, with headquarters at Cave-in-Rock, and operating all over Southern Illinois, and his house was a regular stopping place for the thieves and their plunder.  The suspicious of the rapidly increasing population were directed to the elder brother and he disappeared.  The younger brother lived in the township and reared a large and respectable family.  Such is the tale handed down by the old men and women at the fireside a generation ago, and the doubtless there is some truth at the foundation of the story.  It is impossible to say how much."

 


 

“Sesquicentennial - Marion County - Salem - 1973" - "Brubaker" (page 84-85)

 

    "Brubaker, a small station midway between Kinmundy and Salem, is a fruit and vegetable shipping point of considerable prominence; peaches, apples and strawberries being the principal items.  Not far from here is located the extensive stock farm of Mr. Joseph Telford, which in size ranks with the largest of this section, more than 1,000 acres ... In the mercantile line, Brubaker is ably represented in the person of Mr. E.F. Brubaker, whose business is general merchandise extends over a large territory.  In addition to this Mr. Brubaker deals extensively in hay, livestock and grain.  Mr. E.E. McColm, postmaster and general merchant; H.S. Shrigley and A. Coffin, dealers in hay, grain, fruits, etc., complete the business roster of the village. 

    Brubaker community now has about 20 families within a three-mile radius.  Once there was a population of around 80 families.  That was when there were smaller fatms and more of them. 

    Brubaker at one time, however, had a railroad depot, a post office, a doctor, a cider mill, a saw mill, a village blacksmith, three stores, an evaporator, and of course, their own school, Happy Hollow.

    The railroad first came through in 1894, and the next year, the Brubaker community came into being.  As the train stopped there regularly, a depot, was installed.  Many railroad men lived near the depot, thus adding to the population.  The community was named for the landowner whose property the railroad cut through.

    At one time, more poultry was shipped out of Burbaker by train than from any of the surrounding communities. 

    Within the past 20 years, the poulation has declined, the depot has been torn down, the businesses have vanished, and Happy Hollow School has been closed."

 


 

Brubaker Illinois depot

                                                Depot in the town of Brubaker (the old townhouse is in the background)           

 

 

 

Women in front of the depot in Brubaker  - 1922

 



Thompson's Store in Brubaker

 

 

Thompson's Store in Brubaker

 

 

Thompson’s Store in Brubaker

 

 

In front of the Brubaker store.  The Brubaker townhouse can be seen to the right.  - 1923

 

 

 

Hiram Douglas Thompson and his wife Laura Bell Rowe Thompson.

They operated the store in Brubaker. This picture was taken in the back yard of the store in 1944.

Darrell Randolph was born in the upstairs living area of the store.

Before coming to Brubaker Hiram had been a farmer, run a saw mill (that's were he lost 3 fingers),

and was a licensed pilot for the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio rivers.

In the early 1900's he lived and raised his family on a houseboat while fishing for mussel shell.

 


 

Nov. 3, 1966 – Salem Times-Commoner

The Times-Commoner Reporter Visits BRUBAKER

By Diana Smith

 

 

                             Freda (Doolen) Walker Rainey & Harry Rainey

 

"News Day is Visiting Day for Mrs. Harry Rainey"

 

                "News gathering day is also visiting day for Mrs. Harry Rainey, Brubaker’s correspondent for the Times-Commoner.   Making the rounds of the community on Mondays in her little car, Mrs. Rainey devotes the entire day to her visiting.  She prefers to gather her news this way rather than by phone, because she enjoys person-to-person contact.  Probably the other Brubaker folks do too.

                For 12 years, Mrs. Rainey has been rounding up Brubaker news.  She was Mrs. Clyde Walker when she began, a widow with four children.  Since, she has married Harry Rainey, who had enjoyed bachelorhood for 72 years.  They have been married nine years.

                All of the Walker children are grown and live elsewhere.  The three boys have all served in the armed forces and now live in Alton, Des Moines and Des Plaines.  The daughter lives in Canton.  There are grandchildren, a girl 3½ and a boy 2½.

                The Raineys are both natives of this general area.   Mrs. Rainey, who was a Doolen, is from around Arnold’s Chapel, west of Kinmundy, but has lived in the Brubaker community since 1930.  Rainey was born right on the property they now occupy.  Both are from farming families.

                As a resident of the community for one more than four score years, Rainey is something of an authority on it’s history.  He attended Happy Hollow School and then taught there for two years, after passing the teachers’ exam.  His teaching experience convinced him that teaching was not for him, however, so he went back to farming.

                Harry Rainey I still farming today, with the help of a hired man.  They farm 300 acres, mostly in soybeans and corn, and have 50 head of Herefords, a milk cow, and sell yearling calves.  Mrs. Rainey still churns her own butter, bakes her own delicious sourdough bread, and raises about 100 chickens.  Her hobby is raising flowers, and has nine varieties of climatis, all in different colors.

                The Raineys are a pleasant couple, delightful to talk to, and interested in the future of Brubaker and of farming in general.  They have seen many changes take place here over the years and they expect more to occur within another decade."

 

 

Brubaker Illinois Duke's Grocery Mabel Duke Norman Duke

Duke’s Grocery - Norman & Mabel Duke

 

Brubaker Once a Thriving Community, With Depot, Post Office, Doctor

                Brubaker community now has about 20 families within a three-mile radius.  Once there was a population of around 80 families.  That was when there were smaller farms and more of them.

                The reason for this change seems to be economic.  It has become necessary for a farmer to farm more land, according to the Raineys, in order to survive.   The cost of farm machinery alone is so prohibitive that a small farmer cannot justify the purchase of such expensive equipment unless he expands his operation.  Young people today cannot go into farming because of the high costs, the Raineys say, unless they happen to inherit some land and equipment, and thus do not have to make such large cash outlays.

                Brubaker at one time, however, had a railroad depot, a post office, a doctor, a cider mill, a saw mill, a village blacksmith, three stores, an evaporator, and of course, their own school, Happy Hollow.

                The railroad first came through in 1894, and the next year, the Brubaker community came into being.  As the train stopped there regularly, a depot was installed.  Many railroad men lived near the depot, thus adding to the population.  The community was named for the landowner whose property the railroad cut through.  At one time, more poultry was shipped out of Brubaker by train than from any of the surrounding communities.

                Within the past 20 years, the population has declined, the depot has been torn down, the businesses have vanished, and Happy Hollow School has been closed.

                The Raineys speculate that there may be other changes in farm ownership someday soon.  Many city dwellers, especially up around Chicago, are seeking to buy retirement properties down here in southern Illinois.  The demand is far greater than the supply.  To the seekers, these farm lands seem cheap in price and many are trying to buy now before they retire so they can buy on their present incomes.  The mild weather down here is an attraction, too, as compared to frigid Chicago with it’s long rugged winters and almost non-existent summers.  Bill Hester, a real estate agent in Alma, confirms this fact concerning the demand for he has several pages of inquiries from Chicago area people about such properties.

                Meanwhile, Brubaker is a prosperous farming community, with friendly, well informed and busy people.  Many womenfolk are active in church work, Girl Scouts and 4-H, besides selling eggs and trucking soybeans for other farmers.

 

Duke’s Grocery - Norman & Mabel Duke

 

Dukes Run Country Store with a Modern Look

                One store remains in Brubaker – Duke’s Grocery.  Although it is on the site of one of the original three, Norman Duke and his wife did not come to the settlement until 1948.  They celebrated their 18th anniversary at this location three weeks ago.  Brubaker was still thickly settled when the Dukes arrived.  The depot was here, though it was torn down soon after.   Where the doctor’s office was is now Duke’s egg house.

                The Dukes are not from around here.  Duke was raised in the Helm Lake area, and Mrs. Duke around Skillet Fork.  They are both from families of storekeepers.  Mrs. Duke’s father and brother both had stores, and so did Duke’s sisters.

                Since they came, the Dukes have made many changes in the store.  They have remodeled several times and expanded in all directions.  They still expect to enlarge some more.

                Although the store is known as a general store, it is modern, carries a surprising variety of groceries, and is actually no more general than most supermarkets now because they all carry general merchandise these days.  On the shelves at Duke’s, one sees cove oysters, water chestnuts and noodles Romanoff.  And of course frozen foods, boxes of cat cookies and all other staples found in a grocery.  However, Duke’s is a gathering place for friendly people.  “Folks come here because they want to, not for something special,” observes Mrs. Duke.

                The store hours are too long, however, says Mrs. Duke – opening at 4 a.m., and closing at 11 p.m.  But while the farmers are out combining in the dark, they like to drop in at the store.  And indeed, the store is a beacon in the night, their triangular light at the corner being the only bright spot for miles around.

                A fine old wooden mantel clock chimes back in the meat department, keeping perfect time with an elderly wooden wall clock behind it.  Old clocks are Norman Duke’s hobby.  He has seven striking clocks he is proud of, and works on all kinds of old clocks in his spare time.  The one on the meat counter and one upstairs are over 100 years old.  Sometimes parts are hard to get and have to come from Europe or England.

                Though slightly disappointed at finding no cracker barrel or pickle barrel in this modern store, described to us as an “old country store,” which it isn’t, we did learn that around Christmas time, holiday candy will be sold out of a giant lard can.  The Christmas candy is coming in now, and will be scooped up and sold by the pound from the big can when it’s time.

                The Dukes have raised two daughters here in Brubaker, both married now, and have five grandchildren, one brand new, so new she wasn’t named yet when we were there.   On daughter lives in Brubaker, and the other in Salem.  Another new grandchild is expected soon in Salem.  Going to Duke’s store is really a social activity.  Shopping is only incidental.

 


 

Meat counter at Duke's Grocery

 

 

Brad Easley, grandson of Norman & Mabel Duke, standing alongside the candy rack at Duke's Grocery.

 

Taking a rest outside of Duke's Grocery.

 

 

Norman Duke with his truck.

 

 

Duke's Grocery Rain Gauge

 

Snow day with the front of Duke's Grocery and the Brubaker townhouse in the background.

 

 

 

A snowy day at Duke's Grocery and the townhouse in Brubaker.

 


 

 

 

The house in Brubaker which was once owned by the Deadmond family.

 


 

 

 

 

Brubaker Illinois townhouse

                                                                         Townhouse in Brubaker (April 2006) – Photo #1

 

Brubaker Illinois townhouse

Townhouse in Brubaker (April 2006) – Photo #2

 

Brubaker Illinois townhouse

                                                Townhouse in Brubaker (April 2006) – Photo #3

 

 

Brubaker Illinois townhouse

Townhouse in Brubaker (April 2006) – Photo #4

 

Brubaker Illinois townhouse

Townhouse in Brubaker (April 2006) – Photo #5

 


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