Inventors and Patents From the City of Peoria
Peoria’s first store opened in 1889, and the city’s first school building was completed in 1891. The longest time between a patent being filed and granted was 373 days. Today, Peoria is home to more patents than any other city in the United States.
Peoria’s first store opened in 1889
The downtown area of Peoria has changed considerably over the last century. While downtown is still a destination for dining, entertainment, and shopping, many businesses have closed or consolidated. Several decades ago, Peoria’s downtown featured a variety of stores for all needs. Water Street alone contained nine lumber merchants.
The first store in Peoria was operated by Peter Alan Bergner and opened in 1889. It was a seven-story retail wonderland with holiday displays and a restaurant on the top floor. Bergner’s had a long and rich history in Downtown Peoria.
In 1855, an article in Drown’s Record noted that five breweries operated in Peoria. In 1870, there were six. One of them, Samuel Lidwinosky, immigrated from Poland in 1869. He earned his livelihood selling notions in Peoria and eventually opened a dry goods store on Main Street. By 1880, his stock was valued at $5,000.
A few specialty stores opened in Peoria. While most retail stores focus on selling groceries, dry goods were more common. Zerwekh Grocery Store, at 615 Starr Street, and A&P Store on North Monroe Street were two of these stores. The town also had a number of specialty meat shops, including J.E. Gerber Meat Market at Third and Spencer.
The Illinois-American Company has been serving the Peoria area for over a century. In 1898, the company ran a deficit and incorporated in New Jersey. Today, the Illinois-American is one of the largest grocery chains in Peoria. In addition to their grocery stores, the Illinois-American has also been the main bank for the city.
The first store in Peoria was located at 1502 South Washington Street. The company was founded in 1888 and was one of the town’s major industries. Kingman & Company started the company in 1888. Heidrich was interested in rope manufacturing before the invention of twine binder.
Peoria was home to an extensive agricultural industry, including milling and flouring. The city has become a global manufacturing center for agricultural implements. Nearly everything in the implement line is manufactured in the city. It is the state’s second largest manufacturer. The Avery Manufacturing Company continues to grow and expand rapidly.
Its first school building was completed in 1891
Peoria’s public schools began building new buildings in the late 1800s to serve its growing population. By the mid-1900s, the city was booming with the addition of over 900 industries. By 1910, the city had begun construction on a new high school. This school was to be located on a large tract of land on North and Richmond streets. In addition to its new location, the new high school would also have access to a new streetcar line.
The original school building was a two-story brick building that was constructed on the site of the J. C. Ayres residence on Peoria Avenue. It cost $6000 to build and was destroyed only two years later. It was filled with dozens of students and had wooden desks.
The development of Peoria’s early history was tied to the availability of water. The Salt River Valley, which extends into the foothills of the surrounding mountains, provided enough water to sustain a settlement. It was founded by William John Murphy and other citizens from Illinois. In 1888, the town was organized and a post office was established. In 1891, the first school building was completed.
While this school building was not a public school, it was a private school. A rival school was operated on the northwest corner of Washington and Harrison streets. This school had moderate success for a period of time, until its founders sought to obtain a position in the county recorder’s office. Later, he turned back to teaching and founded the German Free School of Peoria, which still exists today.
After several years of operation, the school needed to be expanded and modernized. This new building included a new Vocational Agriculture Department and Homemaking Department. The school also added a new social science classroom and two dressing rooms for the physical education department. These additions provided more room for students and helped ease crowding.
The City of Peoria’s first high school was named Sacred Heart School and opened with 38 pupils. German nuns taught the students at the time. The community grew and established a mother house in the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Madison Avenue. After the German nuns left, Sisters of St. Francis took over the school in 1896. Today, the school serves approximately 75 students.
After the construction of the high school, the city of Peoria began to invest in a new school building. The construction cost over $3 million and was completed just a few months after the city had been established. The new school has a large library and a gym. The building also serves as a recreation center for the community.
The city of Peoria’s water tower is another significant landmark in the city. This landmark signaled the town’s arrival. The town was booming, so developers looked to the east and the resulting land was surveyed. In 1848, Almiron S. Cole, a wealthy merchant and distiller, constructed the first toll bridge. The building was later converted to electric light. The church is the oldest building in the townsite and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Its longest time between a patent being filed and granted was 373 days
During the week ended July 30, four patents were granted in the City of Peoria. These patents were filed by Paul D. Doubet, who designed a container adapter for removable attachable syringes. The patent was approved on July 26, 2022.