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Home > Mattoon > Robert Lorrig Memories

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The following memories and pictures of Mattoon were sent to the webmaster by Robert Lorrig.
He has graciously given permission to use them on my web site. Thank you so much Robert.

Memories of Mattoon by Robert Lorrig

basketball team
Top Row Left to Right:
Ernest Sturn, Darrell MacKay, Gerald Bossel, Harvey Stone, Robert Lorrig, Ray Weingartner
Bottom Row Left to Right:
Keith Wirrer, Bernard Fermanich, Robert Berger, Unknown, Jack Fermanich, Jack Garnes

From the early 1900's to 1922 the Nick Lorrig General Merchantile Store stood on the property where the community hall now resides. An arsonist destroyed this building in 1922.

store fire

Nick and his family lived in the house adjacent to the store until the mid 1930's. South of the house in descending order were the Kramer Bank, Mattoon Hardware (MacKay and Meagher were familiar names therein), a cobbler, a saloon, and a general store (Ladwig perhaps) where Nick Lorrig and Son resumed business until 1941.

residence and store

The railroad spur from the west (Aniwa) ran parallel to the store, pass the railroad station, sawmill, to a closed Y turnaround at the veneer mill. A maintenance shop (roundhouse) is a vague recollection. To the west of the store along the tracks is the Holy Family Catholic Church, a mission of the Phlox church. Father Schmidt and later Father Kern conducted Sunday services. Further west along the tracks, I believe, were farm properties of the Prost and Buchberger families.

railroad station

North of the Community Hall along main street was the U.S. Post Office building with the Ed White insurance Agency occupying the rear of the building, the White family lived upstairs. Next was a saloon, a barbership operated by Charlie Stoehr - later a lunchenette, Promeroy Drug Store, and the Joe Wierrer Store.

Across main street from the community hall was the Veneer mill manager's home, occupied by C. Heminway and later F. Berger families. The house across the street to the north - and across from the Post Office - was occupied by the Paul Meagher family. I believe that a Dr. Meagher practiced dentistry in this building, but it is a very vague memory. The John Lorrig family occupied the house to the east, where I spent 17 years with a full view of the Veneer Mill. A little ways to the north of the business buildings was the residence of Doctor Partridge, who during his long career in Mattoon delivered many babies. His career was remembered during the Mattoon High School all-class reunion held in 1957.

Nick Lorrig and his two brothers arrived in the Mattoon area in the late 1890's along with many immigrants from Germany. Their trek is unknown. Nick had married Anna Kaiser in the early 1880's. I have a picture of his parents taken at the Prosser Cottage Gallery in Mattoon. The notation on the back says "My great Grandfather and Grandmother" by Blanche Lorrig. I believe Anna was born in Michigan.

In 1912 John Lorrig married Alice Goodwill. Alice was one of fourteen siblings of Fred and Amelia Goodwill of Phlox, Wisconsin, who later migrated to Antigo. John and Alice had two daughters and a son. The eldest, Blanche, married Edward Bahr of Antigo. Ed served in law enforcement for Shawano County for twenty plus years. Marquette was an army nurse who served in England during WW II. Robert, who would have graduated with the Mattoon High School class of 1942, had moved to Shawano with the family in 1941.

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