Rededication Might 13 of clock, opening of Edwardsville time capsule set

Editor’s Notice: In recognition of Nationwide Historic Preservation Month, native historian Cindy Reinhardt tells the tales behind a few of Edwardsville’s historic buildings in a collection of eight articles within the month of Might. The articles might be revealed every Tuesday and Thursday this month. For this text, sadly the constructing has been gone a few years, however its signature function, a historic clock, stays on Edwardsville’s Essential Avenue

100 St. Louis St.

The Edwardsville Nationwide Financial institution

As soon as upon a time, the courthouse on Edwardsville’s Essential Avenue was flanked by two multi-story financial institution buildings: the five-story Financial institution of Edwardsville constructing to the north on Purcell Avenue and the six-story Edwardsville Nationwide Financial institution to the south at 100 St. Louis St. Each had been razed greater than 30 years in the past, however the clock from the Edwardsville Nationwide Financial institution constructing stays a landmark on Essential Avenue.

The Edwardsville Nationwide Financial institution (ENB) was based in 1917 by a who’s who of Edwardsville businessmen. Charles Boeschenstein, who had just lately offered the Edwardsville Intelligencer to pursue different pursuits, was president of the brand new financial institution. For the primary 12 months, the financial institution occupied rooms within the Yaeger Constructing on Hillsboro Avenue (the place Vacation Cleaners is now positioned). In July 1918, the financial institution moved to 156 N. Essential St., instantly throughout the road from the courthouse. Many individuals keep in mind that constructing because the decades-long residence of Schwartz Drug Retailer. At this new location, ENB added a clock and adopted the promoting slogan, “On the Nook on the Clock.”

5 years later, in July 1923, the financial institution moved into a brand new constructing only a half block away on the nook of St. Louis and Essential streets. It was the tallest constructing on Essential Avenue, and it was no coincidence that it was six tales as an alternative of 5 just like the competing financial institution on the other nook of the courthouse on Essential Avenue.

That nook was thought of the most effective business areas within the metropolis. Within the 1870s, Athanas Hoffman constructed a resort there, the Hoffman Home. It was bought by buyers in 1896 who reworked the constructing, including an elaborate turret on the nook, and adjusted the title to the Leland Resort.

After the financial institution bought the property in 1920, most, however not all, of the resort was torn all the way down to make room for the brand new constructing. The western wing of the resort on St. Louis Avenue continued to serve the travelling public. The final of the Leland Resort constructing was torn down in 1973, however by then, the resort had been closed for a few years. Solely the Leland Barbershop on the bottom flooring was nonetheless open.

After clearing the nook lot, development of the brand new financial institution started in June 1922 and took greater than a 12 months to finish. ENB opened at its new location in July 1923, with a brand new bigger constructing that required a brand new, larger clock. The clock was truly 4 clocks, so it could possibly be considered from all instructions; it was put in within the spring of 1923, a century in the past.

The brand new financial institution constructing was a contemporary marvel, the biggest financial institution constructing within the county and “fireproof all through.” The constructing included an elevator, nonetheless a comparatively new function for Edwardsville buildings of the time, that took guests to the higher flooring of the constructing the place {many professional} workplaces had been positioned.

These tenants included Dr. Eugene Wahl, whose workplace had the primary and solely x-ray facility within the space for a few years. It’s mentioned that when he gave college physicals, he requested the affected person if they’d taken the steps or the elevator. In the event that they took the steps to his fourth-floor workplace, then they handed.

Esther Funke, one of many county’s first feminine attorneys, had workplaces within the constructing, together with a dozen or so of her friends. There have been quite a few insurance coverage corporations with headquarters within the constructing and lots of Edwardsville residents nonetheless keep in mind visiting Dr. LeRoy Fink’s dentist workplace on the sixth flooring. Within the early days, tenants additionally included the Chamber of Commerce, the Madison County Farm Bureau and even a magnificence store. The financial institution, with its opulent workplaces and teller stations, was on the bottom flooring.

In August 1929, ENB merged with Citizen’s State and Belief Financial institution to change into the Edwardsville Nationwide Financial institution and Belief Firm. Almost 60 years later, in 1987, the financial institution was bought by Mark Twain Financial institution, which tore down the stately 70-year-old constructing to construct a big, trendy facility. Mark Twain offered to Mercantile and Mercantile to US Financial institution that’s nonetheless in Edwardsville in the present day, however not at this location.

When the ENB constructing was torn down in 1990, the clock was saved. Through the years it was moved a number of occasions to completely different storage areas, no simple feat with an object that weighs almost a ton. In 1998, by means of Herculean efforts by the Edwardsville Historic Preservation Fee, the clock discovered a brand new residence on the entrance of the Essential Avenue car parking zone positioned about half-way between Hillsboro and Excessive Avenue. Just like the St. Louis Avenue location, this website additionally had a resort connection. From 1874-1932, there was a three-story luxurious resort, the St. James Resort, at this website. The 75-room resort with its distinctive mansard roof was referred to as the best in Southern Illinois. One of many options of the resort was a second-floor walkway to the Tuxhorn Opera Home within the constructing subsequent door (on the south facet). The resort was destroyed by hearth in 1932.

A brick tower was designed and constructed to show the clock, that, though not maintaining correct time lately, has now been restored. The west facet of the clock tower park was completed off with a historic iron fence inbuilt Highland, Illinois, circa 1870. The fence had as soon as fronted the Madison County Sheriff’s Residence and Jail on Essential Avenue.

The brand new tower included a time capsule with directions for it to be opened on the one hundredth anniversary of the clock, which has now arrived. Accordingly, the time capsule might be opened on Saturday, Might 13, at midday, and the general public is invited to witness the ceremony. The contents ought to be attention-grabbing since, when sealed, many space residents and downtown businessmen had been requested to put in writing tales of previous Edwardsville to be included within the time capsule.

Sources for this text embrace supplies from the Madison County Archival Library and articles from previous problems with the Edwardsville Intelligencer.

If in case you have questions on this text, please contact Cindy Reinhardt at or 618-656-1294.

Nationwide Historic Preservation Month:

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