Lori Hipsher Thacker found a bottle in the ditch buried in the mud imprinted with the words: The Crystal Ice and Supply Company of Bridgeport, Ill. She asked if anyone had any information about this company.
N King started the process by finding the advertisement, and then W. Gibson found the incorporation papers at the courthouse.
W. E. Rogers, J. M. Gilbert and R. E. Laughlin filed for incorporation on December 14, 1911 under Illinois Statute Chapter 32. They chose the name The Crystal Ice and Supply Company, and stated that the purpose of the corporation would be to buy and sell coal, manufacture and buy and sell ice, manufacture and sell ”soft drinks”, manufacture and sell distilled water, buy and sell feeds, seeds and grain, and buy and sell commercial fertilizers.
Stock in the company would sell for $100 and there would be 48 shares sold. R. H. Atkins bought 6 shares; J. M. Gilbert bought 12; and R. E. Laughlin purchased 6. Helen Burns Rogers and W. E. Rogers each bought 12 shares. These individuals owned the ice plant and the machinery, as well as the debt.
The duration of the corporation was to be 99 years and the principal office was to be in Bridgeport, Lawrence County, Ill.
The first stockholder meeting was held at the Bridgeport Bank in Bridgeport on November 15, 1911 and the following individuals were elected to the Board of Directors: W. E. Rogers (1 yr. term), J. M. Gilbert (3 yr. term), R. E. Laughlin, (3 yr. term),and E. H. Atkins, (2 yr. term). Rogers was elected President and Atkins was elected Secretary/Treasurer for terms of one year each. The post office address was to be 102 Main Street in Bridgeport, Illinois.
The advertisement states that the ice plant uses the latest improved methods to product a product of exceptional quality. Their bottled goods were made from pure extracts and distilled water, a feature not usually found in bottling works according to the company. If their distilled water was used in homes and business houses it would prevent diseases contracted from impure water, according to their publicity. They also handled feeds, fertilizer and Harrisburg Coal on the premises. A pair of Fairbanks-Morris wagon scales had been installed for accurate weighing.
(Ed Note: WE will leave it to the reader to ascertain the purity of the water and ice next to a coal loading facility....) WE have not determined the exact location of this business but would welcome researchers to help us.