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After the Railroad

Manufacturing jobs increased dramatically after the railroad arrived as needed supplies could be shipped in more easily. Additionally, finished products could be shipped to distant markets.

Working in a Dangerous and Challenging Environment

Running the trains, whether freight or passenger, meant higher pay, as well as increased risks.

Featuring:

  • Seth Copp, (1823 – 1890), train engineer
  • Patrick H. Morrissey, (1862 – 1916), brakeman
  • Leonard Seibert, (1831 – 1905), carpenter

Reaching a National Market

Featuring:

  • Cyrenius Wakefield, (1815 – 1885), inventor & factory owner
  • Benjamin F. Reeve, (1856 – 1925), newspaper printer

Producing for an International Market

Featuring:

  • George Hoagland, African American inventor and factory owner
  • Henry Conrad, cobbler
  • Frank C. Abbott, (1859 – 1926), soda entrepreneur

Providing for a Regional Market

Thanks to the ease of railroad shipping, many local manufacturers were able to sell their goods beyond McLean County.

Featuring:

  • Arnold Reigger, (1831 – 1913), Stove pattern maker
  • Richard Allen, (1832 – 1899), stove assembler
  • George A. Tay, (1842 – 1916), trunk builder
  • Mamie Delaney, (1864 – 1932), seamstress at Klemm’s Shirt & Overall Factory
  • Berthold “Bert” Embach, (1835 – 1879), Meyer Brewing Company laborer

Building for a Growing Population

A growing community in need of housing meant a greater need for workers in the construction trades.

Featuring:

  • Kirkpatrick “Kirk” Buffham, (1844 – 1895), painter
  • Alfred Carlsson Lundeen, (1862 – 1927), furniture maker
  • Charles Mott, (1847 – 1923), Brick & Tile Company laborer
  • Peter C. Duff, (1856 – 1919), African American carpenter

Powering the Community

Coal, used for generating electricity and for heating homes and businesses, was discovered beneath Bloomington in 1867. Soon after that coal miners were hired for the dangerous work of excavating it.

Featuring:

  • Peter Johnson, (1838 – 1914), coal miner
  • “Mr. Herrick”, gas laborer

Merchandising Expands Dramatically

Merchants and their workers saw their businesses grow as the population increased and more goods were transported into the area via the railroad.

Featuring:

  • Marie M. Curtis Robbins, (1866 – 1956), sales clerk
  • Howard Walton Kelly, (1871 – 1957), Traveling salesman
  • Bert Neal, (1899 – 1972), foreman
  • William T. Smith, (1887 – 1964), Traveling salesman
  • George P. Giering, (1878 – 1942), Department store clerk

Changing Healthcare Attitudes

The medical profession began to accept a limited number of women and African American professionals.

Featuring:

  • Louise Muxfeld, (1853 – 1909), midwife
  • Eugene Gray Covington, (1872 – 1929), African American doctor

Providing Services

A growing population meant a greater demand for service jobs.

Featuring:

  • Ellen “Nellie" Skinner Reiner Flynn, (1873 – 1954), worker at Model Laundry

Crafting Custom Products for a Local Market

Skilled craftsmen set up shops and began to produce one of a kind items for the local market. They often hired apprentices who learned the trade on the job.

Featuring:

  • Charles A. Kleinau, (1858 – 1933), stone cutter
  • Charles Gmehlin, (1834 – 1914), gunsmith
  • Mary J. Megowen Keith, dressmaker
  • Gustave A. Wohlfeil, tailor
  • Christ Mandler, (1858 – 1949), cigar maker