Franklin History Book - Doctors
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Franklin has been without a doctor for quite a number of years, but it certainly has not always been the case. Around the turn of the century, there were four physicians practicing in the village. Perhaps the first to come were Doctors Rosenberg and Jerald, followed by Smith, Tandy, Clark (who was also the pastor of the Franklin M. E. Church), McClain, Hill Hughes, Manly, Metcalf, Perkins, Elder, Henderson, Ladenheim, and Kearns. The last two were here only a short time. Dr. Ladenheim entered the military service, and Dr. Kearns died soon after moving to Franklin.

Many present residents of the area have been patients of at least one of those fine doctors, and they regret that small towns do not attract young physicians anymore.

Dr. Glenn was a dentist here for many years. His home with his office nearby was located here Mrs. Kate Coultas lives now.

Mrs. Glenn and her daughter Dorthy Sargent were telephone operators at the local exchange for many years. We have no record of who the first operators were or where the first exchange was located, but for a period of time, it was maintained in the house where Evelyn Seymour lives and operates a beauty shop. It was later moved to the corner of Main and Prairie Streets. Here Dorothy and Ruth Brewer and others served the public as operators for many years. Modern technology has eliminated much of the personal services rendered by these ladies.

It is impossible to recall or find records of all those who have been a part of the Franklin business community. In the twentieth century we had the firm of Whitlock and Berryman, implement dealers, and the Hall Brothers implement dealership which was operated by A. J. Tranbarger, after he closed his own business. Al Steward ran a clothing store for a time and sold it to J. O. Rolston, who later entered the grocery and general merchandise business and continued to do so here in Franklin and at the Rees Station for about forty years. The Broverman Brothers took over the clothing store. Charles luther, John Schuler, Jim Wright, and Aaron Jolly had meat markets. George (Job) Jolly took over the meat business, supplying the community with good, home-killed meat for many years from his store and through the Rolston store. Franklin had a bakery for a long time and was operated at different times by Davis and Son, the Eaves Brothers, and Fred Huddlestone. Elmer Roberts had a furniture and hardware store which was purchased by J. A. Williamson in the early 20's, who also owned a tin shop.

The local grain, lumber, and coal dealer was W. C. Calhoun. This business was sold to Clarence Jewsbury in 1944. Jewsbury sold it to Edward Bergschneider in 1957 and purchased the lumber and hardware business operated by C. A. Dawson and Co. Mr. Bergschneider built a new and much larger grain elevator and is this year celebrating his twenty-sixth year in business. His sons Mike and Tony, and his brother Jack are now his business associates. Mr. Jewsbury retired in 1967 after selling his business to John Roach and Wayne Gray. They have been the local hardware and lumber dealers since that time.

Fred and Maud Patterson owned and operated a drug store, and were followed by J. E. Miles who store was destroyed by fire in 1938. The livery stable on South Main Street was owned by J. W. Stewart, and the Woods Brothers owned the one on the west side of the square. John Votsmier and Son owned a livery stable on the east side of the square, and later converted it into an auto sales and repair shop.

Glen Harney, Charles Beerup, Otto Beerup, and Porter Armstrong were long-time barbers followed by Weldon and John Tranbarger, and Darrell Wilner. The first creamery was owned by E. D. Scott. A creamery and poultry business was also owned by A. F. Ruble, who later established an auto agency and a garage. Edmond Featherstone also had a creamery.

J. W. Stewart and Charles Armstrong were veterinarians. C. E. Puckett, John Bland, Bert Cullum, and Joe Williamson were tinners. Local blacksmiths included W. C. Hart (who also served as Justice of the Peace), Mr. Yeager, Delbert Sublett, and Walter White, the most recent blacksmith and welder. Garage and/or service station operators included the Hills brothers, Seymour and Hamilton, T. A. Calhoun, Lowell Hughes, John Marguire, Earl Hayer, Emery Mann, Richard Hembrough, Don Thady, John Slocum, Leroy Seymour, and Mike Elliott who now operate a garage on Route 104. The man who has been in this business longer than any other in Franklin is Allen "Pete" Ebrey. Pete took over the Standard station on Main Street in 1935 and now has 46 years of continuous service to his credit.

Grocers not previously mentioned were Tom Miller, George Dunston, John Smith, Leonard Hills, William Bull, Calhoun and Topliff, Harry Whitlock (over 40 years), A. A. Hart and Son, Wayne Rolston, J. E. Hubbell, the Points Brothers, and Ina Bridges who now owns a combination grocery, lunch room and recreation room. A few of the previously owned and operated restaurants and lunch rooms were run by W. C. Teaney, the Matlock Brothers, Chambers and Matlock, Ber Kidd, Charles Minor, James and Shirley Slocum, Ray Jones, Lawrence and Della McNeely, Jack Slaughter, Grover M. and Ruby Caldwell, Wayne and Bernice Rolston, C. D. (Pat) Kenny ran the Shamrock, Mrs. Clements, and now Majorie White who has a business on Route 104.

One of the leading businesses here in Franklin is the Hamilton Catering Service. Started in 1975 by George Hamilton, Sr., who had been in the restaurant business in Jacksonville for many years, the venture prospered. After Mr. Hamilton's death in 1978, his son George Jr. took over the management, and with an average of seven employees and five delivery vans, services a large area of central Illinois.

Another well established, local business is the Kenny-Kingston Insurance Agency. Joe Kingston also conducts a real estate business as well.

There are three beauty shops in town operated by Gertrude Leadill, Evelyn Seymour, and Bonnie Stewart. Mrs. Robert Jones is the owner of the "Franklin Station," a very attractive gift and craft shop. James Newell and his wife have a fine paint and decorating shop and offer classes in various craft techniques.

The Neece Funeral Home was established more than fifty years ago by W. H. Neece in the east part of town. He purchased a large house from the Keplinger estate located where Miller Keplinger built the brick home now owned by "Bill" Caldwell. The house was moved to a lot at the end of E. Prairie Street. The former office building of Dr. Perkins on Main Street was purchased and moved to the same location and attached to the house. After considerable reconstruction, the funeral home was completed and served the public for fifty years.

In 1960, William Neece, Jr. purchased the business from his father, and the same excellent service that had always been given was continued until 1980. At that time, the vacated Franklin Bank building on Main Street was acquired. After renovation and redecoration, the funeral home was re-established here. About this time the Neece Funeral Homes of Waverly, Palmyra, and Franklin merged with the Airman-Hiresman Funeral Homes and are continuing the same superb service that our community has appreciated in the past.

Housing has been considerably increased in recent years with the opening of new subdivisions, the building of new homes and apartments by Reggie Toler, a local contractor. We hope that economic conditions will soon by such that more construction can be done.

In recalling the founders and builders of the Village of Franklin and subsequent business firms contricuted to its survival and growth, we cannot forget that it was the farmer and stock raiser in the surrounding area upon whom we have been dependent to a larger degree. We cannot give too much credit to these early settlers. Courageous and well acquainted with danger and hard work, they tamed the prairies, built homes, and endured long days of toil in doing so. They took time to build churches and schools throughout the countryside, most of which are now gone, but served for many years. Many descendants of those early pioneers still live in this area. Some of those family names that are familiar to us today are Wyatt, Woods, Clayton, Keplinger, Burch, Wright, Luttrell, Caldwell, Massey, Seymour, Hart, Roberts, Bateman, Scott, Bull, Burnett, Slack, VanWinkle, Darley, Ryan, Rees, Dodsworth, Spires, Bergschneider, Criswell, Jones, Oxley, Johnson, Ranson, Smith, Reed, Leak, Sweet, Lukeman, Six, Covey, Boulware, Whalen, Gotschall, and Fromme.