North Judson – population 1,000 – This now enterprising town, seventy-seven miles out from Chicago, on the Pan Handle road, commenced billage and business life about 1863. In 1867 “Keller Brothers,” L. and J. Keller, commenced business. They had a store and a mill. The first year the amount of business transacted was about $7,000. It increased year by year until it reached $133,000. Their place of business is now occupied by Craig & Kurtz, the house being called “Hardware, Furniture & Merchandise Co.” Amount of business in 1899, $50,000. Expecting to reach $100,000 in 1900. Have shipped in one season two thousand bushels of huckleberries.
The industries here are:
1. A curl grass factory, said to be the only one in the State. The native grass is twisted and curled into a form to be used in making mattresses.
2. A pickle factory, J. Nichols, Manager, started about 1890. Some 25,000 bushels of cucumbers used in a season.
3. A broom factory, to be changed into a different factory.
4. A sugar beet factory near prospect. Seven thousand acres desired in an area with a radius of forty-five miles.
5. North Judson Brewery.
This was the situation in 1900.
North Judson has four physicians: J. F. Noland, W. A. Noland, P. O. Englerth, C. Waddell, and one lawyer, S. Bybee. It has three drug stores, seven business houses, two hotels. The brick school house, two stories and basement built in 1896 cost $12,000. The churches are four: Catholic, Lutheran, M. E., and United Brethren.
North Judson is located on sections 17 and 16, township 32, range 3 and was incorporated some 76 or 78 years ago.