THE City of McLeansboro

Our Business Men

S. M Blades,
Pianos, Organs, Musical Merchandise,

     The subject of this sketch was born in McLeansboro, Ill.,  Hamilton county, March 22, 1864, and has always made McLeansboro his home.  He first engaged in the mercantile business as delivery clerk for Wheeler & Robinson in 1878.  In 1880 he accepted a position as grocery clerk with W. C. Stelle and remained in his service till May 1889.

     He embarked in the grocery business for himself in August of the  same year on the east side of the Public Square.  He also carried a  line of musical instruments.  In 1891 he moved to the south side, where  his business steadily increased, until 1894, when he moved to a larger building on the west side of the Square.  And again in August 1899,  he moved to the large well-lighted brick building on the southeast corner of the Square.  In the spring of 1900 finding that he could not give sufficient attention to the increasing demands of the music business he disposed of his large stock of groceries, glass and queensware to Chapman Bros. of Evansville, Ind., who will continue the grocery business here, leaving him an opportunity to devote his entire time to the music business.

      Mr. Blades has leased a commodious building on the north side of the Square in the Wiseman block, where he will carry a full line of pianos and organs and all small musical  instruments.  His line consists of Estey pianos and organs, Newman Bros.' pianos and organs, Milton and Cable & Son's pianos.  He has the general agency for the celebrated Keller Bros.' pianos south of the B. & O., S.-W. R. R. in Illinois and southeastern Missouri, where he will establish branch agencies, placing a strictly high grade instrument at medium price.  In the past twelve years (in connection with his grocery business) Mr. Blades has sold more than 300 pianos and organs in this county alone, and has sold several at other points in the state.  These instruments have in every case given perfect satisfaction.  Anyone thinking of purchasing a piano will find it to their interest to correspond with Mr. Blades, as he buys direct from the manufacturer and will thus save them middlemen's profits.  Pianos and organs sold cheap for cash or on monthly payments.  Old instruments taken in exchange for new ones.  All orders for repairs or tuning will receive prompt attention.

     In connection he will carry a full line of bicycles and sundries.  He has the agency for the well-known Waverly, Rambler, Ideal and Carnival.

     Mr. Blades married Miss Clara N. Harris, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Harris of McLeansboro, January 1, 1889, and they have two children, i.e.: Fred Harris Blades, 10 years old, and Irene Clair Blades, 6 years old, and live in their cozy home, which is situated opposite the Baptist church, and a picture of which will be found on another page.


Hyatt & Wilson Hardware Store

     The leading stove and hardware house in the city, is that which is controlled by the two young men whose names stand at the head of this article.  Situated on the north side of the public Square, right in the business center of the city, their handsome show windows stand out in bold relief displaying an elegant array of goods.

     Starting in business three years ago, they have by close application succeeded in establishing a splendid trade in McLeansboro and the surrounding country, and are recognized as leaders in their line.  They have an exceedingly large stock of heating stoves, ranges, gasoline stoves, hardware, cutlery, farming implements, from a spade to a harrow or gun to a game trap.  Not only is the husbandman provided for, but the wife can also make her selection for anything, from a package of flower seeds to a grindstone or a sausage cutter to a stove pipe.

     As an adjunct to their store they carry on a first-class tinning and metal working plant, which is of supreme importance to a growing city.  Without it the expense of roofing, guttering and similar work is greatly increased through the necessity of sending to a distance for material and skilled labor, hence the cost of building is greater and the delays occasioned by loss of time is multiplied.  Their stock of tinware, japanned ware and granite ware is full and complete, and it is a common saying "If you cannot get what you want in the hardware and stove line at Hyatt & Wilson's, there is no use looking elsewhere."

     These young men attend strictly to business, have competent help in all departments, embracing some of the best skilled mechanics to be found in Southern Illinois.  Go and see for yourselves, examine their stock and you will receive courteous treatment whether you purchase or not.


      Whose store is on the south side of the Public Square, an interior view of which accompanies this sketch, has gained an enviable reputation as a success merchant.  Starting in business in 1885 he made friends from the start, and those same friends still stand by him.

     In a word, Frank keeps a first-class family grocery and provision store, where the staple and fancy articles may be found--buys and sells country produce, keeps on hand a large assortment of queensware, hollowware, hardware, tinware, wooden war granite ware, chinaware and all other kinds of wares.

     He is the special agent here for "Pillsbury's Best," a brand of flour which has made the great city of Minneapolis famous and which has a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic ocean.  His stock on hand is quite large.

     His stock of sewing machines and supplies is quite extensive, so that any one needing these commodities need look no further, but just go and explain what is needed and it will be furnished.

     Mr. Chapman being a large buyer on a strictly cash basis, he is enabled to meet all competitors, and the low price he places upon his wares makes his store a favorite trade center with our people.  He is courteous and polite, attentive to business, always on hand and when the fire alarm sounds he sacrifices self-interests, responds to the call of duty, stands not upon the order of going, but goes at once.  Long life and success to Frank.


     A. A. Hyatt is the name standing out in hold relief on the fence surrounding the oldest and best lumber yard in Hamilton county, and where it has been located for the past twenty-eight years, doing a steadily increasing business, which is sufficient evidence to prove that the many patrons are satisfied that they get value received.

     Mr. Hyatt came to McLeansboro in 1872 and immediately identified himself with our business community, determining to handle none but the best of goods, and today the owners of numerous homes in McLeansboro and Hamilton county bear testimony that the quality of material was always as represent.

     The view shown represents but a small portion of his yard and ware-rooms in which are stored in endless variety lumber, lath, shingles, dressed flooring, siding, ceiling, wooden gutters, moldings, pickets, sash and doors.  In addition he has constantly on hand a large supply of red wood shingles from California; red cedar from Washington, and white cedar from Michigan, so that those who contemplate building will have no trouble in making selections; and in addition his assortment of wire screens and doors is quite extensive.  He is the sole agent here for the celebrated Hammon pain, carrying quite a large stock of all grades and colors.

     Having been so long in the lumber business, attending principally to the local trade, his judgment is relied upon.  He takes pleasure and cheerfully submits estimates on all kinds of building material, and if plans and specifications are sent him he will make an estimate on the entire building complete, or on the mill work complete.

     His handsome home, which we also portray, is located on Jackson street just south of the Public Square, and which contains nine rooms of modern construction throughout, having electric light and water connection, was built by Mr. Hyatt himself with these chief ends in view: durability and comfort.  How well he succeeded in carrying out this determination is well known, for everything that can tend to lighten the labor of the wife and mother are here, and the beautiful lawn in front makes a picture exceedingly pleasing to the eye.

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