THE INGER FAMILY IN ROYALTON , IL

From the memories of Meyer “bud” Inger Born in Royalton March 9, 1917,
Son of Sam and Sarah Inger

Sam and Sarah Inger were married in St. Louis, March 1. 1905. Shortly thereafter they moved to Herrin as Sam assumed the position of Manager of one of the Zwick stores.

Sometime prior to April 1909 (their second child, Lillian was born then, in Royalton) Sam investigated the possibilities of opening his own business and found Royalton to be a booming coal mining town close to Herrin.

He moved his Family to Royalton. His Brother Ike moved his Family to Royalton and joined Sam as a partner . Together they opened the Inger Company Store.

Construction Of The Home of Mr. & Mrs. Sam Inger, Mannering Street, Royalton, Illinois. This Home Is Presently Occupied By The Jerry McDowell Family.

THE INGER COMPANY STORE

This photo was taken from the North, looking South down Royalton's Main Street, Rt. #149. The Inger Building remains at the corner of South Main & 2nd Street South. Following the photography above, date unknown, a cross street, running east & west was added and was named 2nd Street South. This street separates the Inger Building and the building from where Royalton's first Post Office operated.

 A Company Store is operated with an agreement with the Mining Company. The Store issues credit to the Miners and the debt is deducted from their pay. the Inger Boys built their store on Main Street . It was a large building. One side was a single floor extending from Main Street back to near the elevated railroad tracks leading to the North Mine.

The North side of the building was two stories. They had the name “INGER’ imbedded in the bricks and placed above the entrance. The store stocked almost every need of the Miner, including groceries, meat, shoes, clothing, furniture, and mining supplies.

On the North Side (the two floor building) was housed an Ice Cream confectionary and the Credit Office, the rear was used as a warehouse. The second floor housed the furniture duspollay and an apartment for Brother Henry Inger who came to work with his Brothers.

A Miner wanting Credit signed a voucher and was issued coins (called Checkers) in various denominations. The checkers were imprinted with the Inger name and the amount and they were used the same as U.S. cash only in the Inger Company Store.. Each working day Henry would be at the mine to sell the necessary supplies and equipment required by the Miners. One of the items for sale was Carbide. For their light the Miners wore Carbide lamps on their hats. The lower level of the lamp was filled with Carbide and the upper section held water. The water dripped on the Carbide producing a gas when lit gave off a light much like a candle. Carbide had terrible odor and it was Cousin Aaron and My job to fill paper sacks with one pound of Carbide for sale to the Miners. We rewarded ourselves by sneaking into the warehouse and swiping a few chocolate cookies.

THE ROYAL THEATER  

I have no legal proof that Sam Inger built, owned or managed the Royal Theater. I have vivid memories that put him in charge of the Theater from 1923 until 1927, Sam had an eye infection when I was 6 years old (1923) and each night the Theater was opened I took his hand and led him there and waited until the picture was over and walked him home.. I also recall Sam supervising the renovation of the Theater to accommodate the new “TALKIES” that were scheduled to be shown. The side walls were covered with a thick cloth to absorb the sound, speakers were installed on the stage, and sound equipment installed in the projection booth. The sound was not on the film, but on a large record... The record and the film had to be started at the exact moment or the sound would be out of sync with the Actors lips. Our projectionist was “TINK” Waters, so called as he was an expert in fixing anything or everything. I spent many evening in the booth. When I was 10 years old (1927) I sold candy bars in the Theater and attended every night we were open. Sam Inger opened and closed the Theater every night it was open until he left Royalton (circa 1929).

THE INGER LUMBER YARD  

Shortly after establishing the Company Store, the Inger Brothers opened the “I. Inger and Bro” Lumber yard. They were instrumental in supplying material and in some cases building the homes in Miners Row on North Main Street.

Living quarters were built adjoining the main Building and at one time housed the Telephone Company’s Switch board. I learned the operation and once in awhile I would relieve the operator when she needed to visit the Rest room...


Crew Of "Ike Inger & Brother" Lumber Business. Sam Inger Is Shown In The Above Photo Taken With Clydesdale 2 Ton Truck Used In The Afore Mentioned Business. This Truck Was A Part Of One Of Royalton's First "Labor Day" Celebrations Carrying A Model Home Built In The Likeness Of A Royalton Home.

BYE BYE ROYALTON FOR THE INGERS  

The Royalton Miners conducted a very lengthy strike against their Union . During that time the Company closed the South Mine and mechanized the North Mine causing hundred to lose their jobs. The Inger Company Store continued to issue credit during the strike, but when it was over most of the Miners did not have a pay, so the Ingers did not receive payment for the credit they issued... This lack of payment plus the Bank trouble resulted in the Ingers declaring bankruptcy. Sam and his Brother moved back to St. Louis, leaving only Mother Sarah, Meyer, and Doreen along with Uncle Henry as the only Ingers remaining in Royalton. We stayed until I graduated the Eight Grade from Logan School in 1931.