1879 History of Menard & Mason Counties
Published by: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Mason County

Village Incorporated
Page 612

On the 13th day of April, 1870, pursuant to notice, the citizens assembled at the schoolhouse and organized by electing Rev. T. J. N. Simmons, President, and Samuel Dement, Clerk. The vote stood 31 for and 9 against incorporating. On the 21st of the same month, the following Board of Trustees was chosen: Edmund Rodgers, Jonathan Cory, Andrew Jacobs, Zenas B. Kidder, Samuel Dement and Dr. Charles D. Knapp. The following officers were chosen at a subsequent meeting of the Board; Jonathan Cory, President; Thomas S. Knapp, Clerk; Zenas B. Kidder was chosen Street Commissioner, and C. C. Ragan, Police Constable. June 12, 1876, the town was incorporated as a village, under the general law of 1872, by a vote of 29 for to 0 against. The following are the present Board of officers: Thomas S. Knapp, J. Parmentier, T. Bennett, E. P. Crispell, N. Woll, Sr., W. Steffan. L. J. Dillon holds the office of Police Magistrate, and R. W. Fleming that of Clerk. The village has a population of from three hundred and fifty to four hundred, and has three general merchandise stores, one hardware and tin store, one drug store, one saddle and harness shop, one meat market, two millinery establishments, one boot and shoe shop, one wagon-shop and one first-class smith-shop. In 1874, A. R. Chestnut and I. Thomas established an exchange bank in connection with their general merchandise trade. This has proved a source of great convenience to both grain-buyers and merchants. The firm does a general banking and exchange business. The prospects are flattering that, before the cycle of many moons, San Jose will have secured to herself an additional means of entrance and exit. Her full quota of stock toward the construction of the Havana, Rantoul & Eastern Narrow-Gauge Railroad has already been subscribed. Should the road be brought to completion, it will give her an eastern outlet and bring her in direct communication with Havana; but whether the building of the road will materially enhance her best interests is yet a mooted question in the minds of some of her best citizens. The completion and successful operation of seventy-six miles of the route augurs the speedy construction of the line to San Jose, and from thence to some point on the Illinois River. The village was named by Alexander W. Morgan, from the city of the same orthography, but differently pronounced, in the Golden State. Situated, as it is, in the midst of the fine agricultural region, but for its proximity to Delavan on the north and Mason City on the south, San Jose might, at no distant future, exceed in size and importance the most sanguine expectations of its original founders.

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