Columns of Will Ball
Jim Foley, who had a grocery at one time
on Broadway, in part of the room now occupied by Kresge’s, at another time, on
the north side of the market just west of Third—had a team of ponies which were
especially bad when it came time to be shod; McCaffrey, another grocer on 6th
and Broadway, had another.
John Meyer, 516 North Street, father of
the man who still operates a shop at the same address, is the only man who
would try to shoe either of these teams, as well as one or two more owned in
town. Meyer had a sling made so that the
animal could be hoisted off the ground by means of a heavy canvas passing under
its belly. Then its feet were anchored
fore and aft.
John always had an audience when either
the Foley or McCaffrey teams were to be shod. It took about three men to handle
As we all know, there are few horses to
be shod today. The directory lists a few
blacksmiths in the rural communities who probably care for the few still
left. Tom Corcoran, who has a shop on
Clifton Avenue, looks after the saddle horses around town.
Fifty years ago there were probably
twenty in town, plus as many more throughout the county. The John Meyer shop at 516 North is, so far s
we know, the only place in town still occupied by a blacksmith shop although
the methods used now are vastly
different from those used by the first John Meyer. John, Jr., tells the writer that he has his
forge lighted nearly every day but most of his work is done by means of
acetylene torch, with which he can do work undreamed of by his father.
Some may recall the names of the old
timers who made the welkin ring with the clang of their hammers long ago. Besides Meyer, there were John Thompson, and
John Shaver on 6th Street, to say nothing of Jackson’s Wagon Shop in
the three story brick building between North and High and the Kreider shop
where the Coca Cola plant is now. Mort Elliott
occupied the room where the Weiland Restaurant now stands; Jack Regan had a
shop in the alley back of his home at 523 North, where he used to shoe the fire
Arthur Finegan, father of Walter
Finegan, the pain and wallpaper man, began his apprenticeship with Wm. H.
Keiser in the two story brick building on the south bank of the Wabash on the
east side of Burlington. He was 15. He later had his own shop on Chippewa, now
Linden, just east of Sycamore, now North Third; later in the alley where the
rear of the A & P now is.
Then there was Henry Klinsick, at the
north end of the 3rd Street Bridge, over the Wabash. He was the father of Fred Klinsick. There was Nick Klein on North 3rd
St; Joe Aman on Burlington Avenue; Chris Eckert on 3rd; John Wagner,
and a dozen others whose names we have forgotten.
Speaking of forgetting, we did forget
George Schaefer, who had a shop for many years at 500 North Street. He used to shoe Coleridge, the pacer.
Last week’s story about the almost
forgotten art of blacksmiths brought reminders from friends that we had
overlooked some who were prominent in early days.
One of these was John Deboo, whose shop
was in the rear of 510 Broadway, according to a city directory of 1883. We are not sure but we believe Elias Winter
had his shoe shop at the same address on Broadway. Quite fitting, it would seem: a man could leave his team with Mr. Deboo in
the rear and go to Mr. Winter at the front, thus having their underpinning
repaired at the same time on the same lot.
Another one of these old timers was
August F. Busjahn, father of the late Dr. Frederick A. Busjahn and John
Busjahn, the druggist, and grandfather of Miss Marie and Edwin Busjahn. Mr. Busjahn had a partner named Gustave
Asmus, the firm name being Busjahn and Asmus.
Their place of business was, according to the same directory, on the
west side of 6th Street, first door south of the Eel River, which
would locate them directly across the street from the Forest Mill which stood
for many years where the Central Fire station is now. This building was used for a store room for
the Aldrich factory at one time. Later,
Philip Pollard, who became one of Logansport’s most prominent citizens,
remodeled it and used it for a residence.
He later built the splendid brick house on Seventh and Market, now
occupied by Mrs. Alice Keller.
Logansport Press, August 27, 1950
Transcribed by Christine Spencer, April,
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