Early Jewish Businesses

ICRR Train, 1856

ICRR Train, 1856

The arrival of the railroad to Champaign County in 1854 brought a flourish of growth and new economic opportunities to East Central Illinois. Enterprising Jewish merchants, mainly of German origin, began arriving from Cincinnati, Kentucky, and Indiana establishing dry good stores, groceries, clothing, cigar, and shoe shops. These shops were iconic and influential in their time and a few are still in operation today.   

Early Jewish Businesses