Everything Venice


Click HERE to take the NEW Venice Trivia Challenge!2.0
To try the original quiz, click HERE.

Sunday School
This is a photo that was brought to the 2013 Reunion. It is marked on the back "1942 - Old Methodist Church." We now know most of the names of the children in this photo. Place your cursor on the photo to see the correseponding numbers. Number 1-UNKNOWN, 2-Wilma Doyle, 3-UNKNOWN, 4-Face not visible, 5-Shirley (Kozart) Ochoa, 6-Yvonne Puryear, 7-(NO 1st Name) Riddle, 8-Frances Davis, 9-Phyllis Buschard, 10-Shirley Sitton, 11-Jane Sitton, 12-Barbara Fisher, 13-Marsha Edwards, 14-Neona Buschard, 15-(NO 1st Name) Ozanich, 16-Barbara Ozanich, 17-Alvin Reed, 18-Head is turned, 19-Everett Fisher and 20-Elizabeth(?) Reed. If you know any of the missing names, please contact us. To view a larger image, click on the photo. Send information to venicememories@yahoo.com.

Huge production for a small town in 1931
College Flapper
Foley Family Collection
THERE WAS A LOT OF "FLAPPING" going on in Venice. To see a larger version of this publicity flyer and the back side listing all of the sponsors, click the photo above. Be sure to check out the people who portrayed the women flappers.




    Finally, after being incorporated for 65 years, there was at least one way to leave and enter Venice without driving over railroad tracks. On Monday, April 4, 1938, the first viaduct over the tracks of the Terminal Railroad and several other railway companies opened for traffic. There were no fewer than nine sets of tracks to be encountered when traveling between Venice and Madison.

    The trip through Venice over the viaduct and evenutally over the McKinley Bridge to St. Louis became a favorite of commuters in the Tri-Cities and beyond.

    The news article to the right was on the front page of the Edwardsville Intelligencer news-paper.

    Not mentioned in this article is the fact that the funds used to build the viaduct were solely provided by the Terminal Railroad and other rail companies after years of negotiations by the Illinois Commerce Commission.


    After nearly 50 years of use, including streetcars for approximately 20 years, and tons of salt during the freezing winters, the old viaduct was replaced by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
    A bronze plaque under the northern safety rail of the new viaduct on the Madison end of the structure, above, documents the reconstruction of the structure in 1989.


This is an excerpt from the history of the City of Venice written by the Committee formed for the celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976.
The settlement which is known as the City of Venice was given its name in 1841 by Dr. Cornelius Campbell, who in conjunction with Charles F. Stamps, laid out the town.

Venice, the oldest city in the Quad City area, was so named after the Italian city because its streets were often flooded by the Mississippi River before construction of levees. Floods occurred frequently with the earliest record being the flood of 1844, the last major flood which plagued Venice was the flood in 1903.

Venice was incorporated as a Village in 1873 and was chartered as a City on March 16, 1897.

This is a list of the men who have served as mayor of the City of Venice since its charter in 1897:
James Brammell - 1897-1899
Dr. J.W. Scott - 1899-1911
Dr. John E. Lee Sr. - 1911-1915
John Selb - 1915-1917
Dr. Lee, again - 1917 til his death on Dec. 8, 1944
Arthur Schmitt - (interim) 1944-1945
Edward Hagnauer - 1945 to his death in 1946
Arthur Schmitt - (interim) 1946-1947
Harry T. Hartman - 1947-1953
Frank Reidelberger Sr. - 1953-1956
Leo Devany Sr. - (interim) 1956-1957
Dr. John E. Lee Jr. - 1957 til his death on Nov. 30, 1973
Lloyd Patterson Sr. - (interim) 1973-1974
William M. Ebersoldt - 1974-1978
Phillip Daniels - (interim) 1978-1979
Tyrone Echols - 1979-2005
Avery Ware - 2005-2009
Tyrone Echols - 2009-Present

Venice in the Polk City Directory

    An important publication used by many of the businesses in the Tri-Cities was the Polk City Directory. It had several sections, one that listed all of the homes and businesses on all of steeets of a particular city, another listed all of the phone numbers in the Tri-Cities by the exchange then the four-digit numbers in numerical order with the pertinent homeowner's name or business and another section listed all of the businesses, similar to the yellow pages of the phone book, by service or topic.

    Presented here is the Venice pages for 1962. The streets are in alphabetical order and the homes and businesses are listed in numerical order under each street, with even and odd-numbered addresses in order, not by the side of the street they occupied. Of course, there are mistakes or old information, just like in the phone book, but the directory's accuracy was fairly good. The company paid people to canvass up and down the streets to update the information. Some houses and businesses were empty or no one was available to give the current information.

    To see the 1962 Polk Directory for Venice, click HERE.

    The file is large so it may take a while to download. Please be patient.

    More directories will be added in the future, some going back to the 1920s.


The Tri-City Bottling Co.

    One of the manufacturing companies in early Venice was the Tri-City Bottling Co. located on Main Street. According to records found, the company bottled flavored drinks including lemon and strawberry. Courtesy of long-time committee member Steve Barney, we have photos of one of the blue-tinted bottles. To view the photos, click HERE.

Here is some information posted on a blog by Jim Noeth about the Tri-City Bottling Co. that his grandfather operated:

    "Just a little more info. My paternal grandfather's family ran the Tri-City Bottling Company in Venice, IL which is just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. My grandfather's name was Christ Noeth, which might be the brother you mentioned in your post. Most of the family still lives on the 'East Side' in Granite City, IL which is just a little north of St. Louis on the Illinois side."

    "My grandfather's family went on to run Noeth Ice and Fuel (coal and ice), which was in business until the early 1950's. After they went out of business, my father (Jim) and 3 of his 4 brothers (as well, 2 of his 3 sisters) became teachers and taught in the Granite City school system. It seems that this started a tradition, as there are still a number of Noeth's who are teachers in the area."


Another type of money
Several Venice establishments and others nearby had their own "money" for customers to use. To view photos of this unique "money," which you may have used, click HERE.

Gazetteer of Madison County
A Gazetteer of Madison County was published in 1866. It was mainly about the Alton area, but did include one page about the village of Venice. To view the Gazetteer cover and Venice page, click HERE.

The Venice Connection

        This Chevrolet advertisement has a direct
link to Venice. Albert F. Ritchie, a former bartender at Joe Goodrich's tavern, started selling Chevrolets before 1920 on his off time and eventually opened a dealership on "D" Street (later Delmar Ave.) in Granite City. Ritchie lived in Venice for many years and was married to Josephine Saucier, a sister of Vincent Saucier who lived on Washington Avenue. To view the cover and his advertisement in the March 14, 1924, Granite City Press-Record Progress Edition, click HERE.


Construction of the original Power House
The original Venice Power Station, built by the Illinois Traction Co. to provide the 650 volts necessary to run the street cars and other electric trains and provide electricity to the Tri-Cities area, began operations on Oct. 1, 1910, along side the just-opened McKinley Bridge. To view the pages about the power house and information about the new street cars for the McKinley Line in the "Electric Railway Journal" dated December 1911, click HERE.

The following two photos may the be earliest dated photos of Venice school children. The blackboards in both photos have information dating them January 1914 and the second one even has January 21, 1914. It appears both were taken with the same type of camera and are mounted identically, so it can be surmised both were taken on the same day.

Foley Family Collection
This photo was taken on Jan. 21,1914, of the Venice School fourth grade. The young boy numbered "24" is Frank Foley (Class of 1923), son of Fred and Margaret Foley. If you know any of the other people, please contact us. If you put your cursor anywhere on the photo, numbers appear by each person for reference purposes. To view a larger image, click on the photo. Send information to venicememories@yahoo.com

Foley Family Collection
This photo was taken on Jan. 21,1914, in the "Venice School Annex" according to the chalkboard at the back of the room. The boy numbered "4" is Fred Foley (Class of 1927), son of Fred and Margaret Foley. If you know any of the other people, please contact us. If you put your cursor anywhere on the photo, numbers appear by each person for reference purposes. To view a larger image, click on the photo. Send information to venicememories@yahoo.com


Click the photo to read the Venice portion of "History of Madison County Illinois" published in 1882. This is the best quality available currently.


Above are parts of two pages from the June 19, 1950, issue of LIFE magazine. At far right is a poker chip with the initials "J.P.C." which were the initials of John P. Conner, a manager of the Hyde Park Club in at least the 1940s. Click the photo to read more about the club, see additional photos in LIFE magazine and photos of poker chips from the club.

If you are on Facebook, you can do a SEARCH and type in Venice History Committee and see what others have posted. There are many photos, some class photos and a number of candid photos from previous reunions.

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