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The Village of Leclaire was founded in 1890 as an experiment in cooperative living by St. Louis manufacturer N. O. Nelson. Small Victorian cottages with electric lights and running water were built by Nelson's company and sold at near cost to promote home ownership. The innovative Leclaire factory buildings were described by reporter Nellie Bly as the "ideal perfection of buildings for man to labor in," and workers were eligible for pension and profit-sharing opportunities. An educational building and clubhouse provided venues for a variety of programs including a kindergarten, guest speakers, social clubs, and concerts. A baseball diamond, bowling alley, and boating lake were also available to residents. Nelson believed that conflicts between labor and capital could be resolved if his workers' lives were fulfilling. His "company town" was nationally known for placing the welfare of his workers in high regard.
ISBN: 9780738583754
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Illinois
Series: Images of America
Images: 194
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
The images in this book depict life in Leclaire between 1890 and 1934, before it was annexed by the City of Edwardsville. Many of the photographs and personal stories were obtained from private collections of early Leclaire families. Author Cindy Reinhardt, a resident of Leclaire, serves on the Friends of Leclaire Board as well as Edwardsville's Historic Preservation Commission.
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