403 E 8th St, Alton, IL 62002 $65,000
Affordable Home For Sale in Alton, IL $65K
In the early 1900s, this brick beauty was the home of Lillie and Frank Ruckel, a glass blower. As a young boy, Frank and his family came to live on Canal Street in New York City from Batavia in 1880 before relocating to Illinois. Frank worked for the Illinois Glass Works in Alton, which was founded in 1877 and produced glass products for a wide variety of uses including medicine bottles, alcohol bottles, soda bottles, ash trays, etc. By 1915, however, Illinois Glass Works had modernized their plant by using bottling machines invented by the Owens Bottle Machine Company, thus replacing skilled glass blowers. With Frank now out of a job, he and his wife moved back to New York.
My husband’s Irish ancestors had a similar experience. They settled in Brooklyn from Waterford, Ireland. Back then the newspapers were full of ads touting cheap land in Illinois, so they purchased a small farm in Bureau County. Sadly, my husband’s third great-grandfather hitched a ride to town on his neighbor’s hay wagon. The wagon and all the hay tipped over as it was driven over the railroad tracks, and my husband’s great-grandfather was crushed to death. He was just 35 years old. He left a wife and two young children who soon after moved back to Brooklyn.