Reflections: History of Reichelderfer Street


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

The name of Reichelderfer (pronounced R I chelderfer) has been appearing in recent accounts of Cardington village council. It is a street running west off of North Marion Street in this village and it has gained publicity since 1973 when the wastewater treatment plant was completed at the sanitary sewer system.

For many years the northwest section of Reichelderfer Street was no more than a muddy lane from Union west to North Fourth Street. According to news reports that week, construction of the waste water treatment plant also provided for the construction of an access street which would be above flood height of Whetstone Creek.

Approximately 1,200 feet of street was built from Union Street west fo the plant with the west end of the street being built over a four foot fill. Fill also was required for the plant site to eliminate flooding by the creek. Dirt for this fill came from the nearby Brown farm north of State Route 529 where a sizable lake site was created.

The west end of the street also was graded and improved, the street being carried over a small bridge on Hardscrabble Creek before reaching a junction with Fourth Street.

This summer with the traffic increasing to the plants, the old road was pulverized, according to Danny Wood, village administrator, with new pavement placed.

This street was dedicated in 1866 by Levi Reichelderfer when he asked for the addition of several lots to the village. He was a local business man as the owner and operator of a lumber yard.

I have my own recollections of Reichelderfer Street as my uncle Martin Hunziker lived in one of only four houses on the street many years ago.

My sisters, parents and I visited Uncle Martin often. He had a tailor shop in one part of the house and I have his record books where he kept a detailed account of his customers. He also handled clothing that was picked up for dry cleaning by an area company.

Clothing that needed a bit of mending was done by Uncle Martin. I have found the names of hundreds of people I knew or heard of in this area, from professionals to area residents. He wrote the cost of each transaction in a separate column, usually 50 cents in the 1930s and going up to $1 in the early 1950s.

Uncle Martin also had a grape arbor in the back yard. My sisters and I would eat some of those grapes right off the vine. Uncle Martin harvested them to make the wine used in the Communion Service at his church. He died in 1956 and sadly, his house was razed several years ago.

I’m glad to see Reichelderfer Street playing an important role in our village’s operation.

80 years ago, 1938: A Gandee Bakery truck crashed into a tree a mile south of Denmark after a front spring broke. Gerald Fowble, the driver, escaped with only bruises.

70 years ago, 1948: Gilbert A. Grady, of Cardington, enlisted in the U. S. Navy for a three-year hitch.

60 years ago, 1958: Eleven Cardington High School students competed in the Prince of Peace Declamation contests this month. They were Diane George, Nancy Ulery, Marcia Poorman, Janet Lee, Maeve Murphy, Patty Rengert, Veda Van Sickle, Linda Haycook, Joan Greenawalt, David Jenkins, and Betty Greenawalt. The contests were held at five local churches.

50 years ago, 1968: Shortly after noon on Nov. 9, an earthquake, the strongest in 20 years, was felt in Morrow County. The quake was centered in Eastern Illinois.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

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