Village of Clifton History
by Norma Meier
Conrad Sorensen in poem Memories of My Old Home Town
Described Clifton’s Main Street beginning with far north block – Clifton Garage & Machine Shop selling Goodyear Tires. Next was Lars Jensen, well driller. On the corner of Third Avenue and Main streets was T.C. Brown, implement dealer [John Deere] and furniture. Next is the north block, and on the corner is First National Bank. Next is A.L. Morel’s store and next to it is Beardslee, Sanderson’s Hardware along with Sanderson’s undertaking parlor. Next building is billiard hall of Bill Reid who sold tobacco and candy. Next door is poolroom owned by John DeBreau auctioneer who also sold cigars and tobacco. Next is lunchroom of Charles Rochel who also sold fruit, candy and ice cream. Over all is Henrotin Hall.
In South block [he fails to mention corner tavern]is Vialta Theatre, then Ed’s Barber Shop, next is Ole Lauridsen’s butcher shop. Next door is Hobson & Lutton’s grocery store. C. Jensen & Son own place next door and sell dry goods, groceries, shoes. Next building is Barber Shop run by Meyer. Next is post office. Next is Palace Hotel run by Mrs. Fournier. A. E. Kuhn run pharmacy next door, sold school supplies [Chester Reid bought this drug store from heirs of A. E. Kuhn in November 1944]. Frooninckx ran a hardware shop next door, sold cooking utensils, stoves etc. Next was general store of Smith Brothers.
In far South block was Monroe Brothers garage on the corner of 5th and Main.
Clifton Centennial Book – Far north block, about center, was The Clifton House, a village landmark which was destroyed by fire 19 January 1894. It was owned an operated by Fred Hoyland. Later Nels Jensen owned a garage which stood on the spot.
North of the Clifton House, where the vacant Standard Oil Station was located in 1957, was the original site of the Henrotin house. “This house was moved later to the northeast corner of that block and was remodeled and enlarged and became the Henrotin mansion.
The Comet, Clifton, Illinois, 8 November 1901, “George Bilado went to Chicago Monday to purchase fixtures for the new butcher shop which he will soon open up in the old Henrotin building on Third Avenue.”
Farmers’ State Bank was organized 20 December 1920 and operated until 4 March 1929 when it was closed under the moratorium. The board of directors met on 8 June and voted not to reopen the bank. Shareholders were Richard R. Meents, Robert L. Lutton, L. E. VanSant, Alma M. Ruckrigel, Willard Meents, Nora Stien, Millie R. VanSant, Durl M. Meents, Harold R. Meents, Donald Lutton, Frank C. Hobson, Marybelle Hobson and George Sanders Jr.
18 January 1952 “After furnishing banking facilities to the Village of Clifton for over fifty years, the Gleason and Morel interest in the First National Bank passed into the hands of twenty-seven new stockholders, all merchants and farmers of Clifton and vicinity. Maurice Morel and Robert Morel retain a 10% interest. At a stockholders meeting January 9, 1951, directors were elected and organized as follows: Chester W. Reid, president; Louis Hansen, vice-president; Maurice L. Morel, cashier; Maurice Laurent, Arthur Speckman and B. J. Wallace, directors. Mrs. Virginia Shirley and Mrs. Ruth Christensen were appointed assistant cashiers.”