W.J. Dixon Bakery & Restaurant, 1904
Mrs. Dixon's Restaurant, 1933
William Jeremiah Dixon came to Momence in 1880 and was first employed by William Murphy as a baker. He then decided to open a bakery of his own. He built the building at 25 North Dixie Highway in 1886 and the Momence Progress Reporter article "Electric Lights Come to Momence" dated October 31, 1890 listed W.J. Dixon's bakery as one of the first businesses to use electric lights.
He was featured in an article in the Momence Progress Reporter dated June 17, 1904 "He has the distinction of being the oldest baker in the city. Mr. Dixon’s business is threefold, combining a bakery, a grocery and a well-appointed restaurant, the only one in Momence, and that is appreciated by public on account of the wholesome, appetizing food that is served summer and winter. Mr. Dixon has been a baker since 1870, and though he now employs a baker in his business, he attends personally to every detail. Mr. Dixon has accomplished considerable work in the building up of Momence, having erected two business buildings which he sold recently. In fraternal circles he affiliates with the Odd Fellows, in which order he has always taken a leading part. His motto is “Live and let live.” He has made a success in business, and though modest in regard to his own accomplishments is considered by all as a good man for the town. Personally he is a most genial and entertaining man, and takes an optimistic and cheerful view of life."
His obituary stated that "William began in a very humble way, but by industry and economy accumulated a nice property, his location being in a fine brick business block, which he erected in 1886. He also carried confectionery, restaurant, and ice cream parlors in connection with his bakery."
William passed away in 1929 and his wife, Caroline took over the running of the establishment, renaming it Mrs. Dixon's Restaurant.
W.J. Dixon also built the building at 19 N. Dixie in 1896 which was originally occupied by the Deliere Brothers Grocery Store.
Credits: Cheryl J. Smith Hess, History of an Old Border Town, Momence Progress Reporter, Kevin McNulty, Adkin’s photo collection, Momence Genealogy Corner, Karen & Bill Peterson, Sherrie Brazzie-Spencer, Nancy Porter / Graham Historic House.
The building at 25 North Dixie Highway was built in 1886 by W.J. Dixon. The original upper-story windows have pressed metal hoods and the original pressed metal cornice is intact.
In the late 1930's the building was purchased by Pete Swier who opened the Buckhorn Tavern - one of Momence's first taverns after prohibition.
In 1939 a new art deco storefront was installed by Kankakee Glass with the "Buckhorn" business name which still stands today.
The 1939 article from the Momence Progress Reporter stated "This modern front will be the first of its kind in Momence. It will have a single door recessed entrance. Surrounding the windows and extending to the second story windows will be blocks of cararra glass in colors of forest green and beige, with the firm name above the entrance. The installation will probably require three weeks and will be most attractive."
The building has been home to Rich's Tap since 1951.
W.J. Dixon, 1904
Momence History Museum
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