|Right: Tim Meier loved his coon
hounds. When one of his dogs went
missing in 1946, his $25 reward
offer would have been almost $300
in 2014 dollars. The story on the
right was reported by the Journal-
Standard on April 13, 1948.
Left: Tim's health was listed as the
reason for selling two farms near
Rock City. This advertisement
appeared in the October 19, 1946
edition of the Freeport
Journal-Standard. Our property was
advertised as "an ideal stock farm",
which seems to have been its
primary use into the early 1970s.
The 16 acres of standing corn that
came with the farm would have
been about all the acres that were
tillable. Based on the description of
some of the equipment, Tim's
health issues must have come
without much warning. A typical
farm sale usually happens after the
crops are harvested.
Below: Tim bought the Alamo in the
late 1930s or early 1940s. In the
1940 U.S. Census, his occupation
was listed as Tavern Owner. This
advertisement, in the December 29,
1940 edition of the Freeport
Journal-Standard, was one of the
earliest that showed Tim Meier as
owner. Ads for the tavern appeared
in the 1930s, but under different
ownership. After Tim sold the bar,
the "New Alamo Tavern" reopened
around 1947 under new ownership
and continued operating into the
|Above Right: Tim Meier's obituary appeared in the August 13, 1953 edition
of the Journal-Standard. His name was misspelled frequently over the years.
Above Left: Remember the Alamo? Most people probably don't, but this is
the building in which it was located (211 E. Stephenson Street in Freeport).
Right: Tim had an unfortunate experience with a hay fork when he was 18
years old. This was one of the many spelling variations of his last name. The
story was printed in the Rock Grove society pages of the Freeport
Journal-Standard on July 13, 1921.
|Left: Tim Meier didn't lose many fights.
This one ended up costing him a $3.00
fine, plus $20 in court costs. Of all the
owners of our house, Tim's name (and all
of its variations) appeared most frequently
in the Freeport Journal-Standard. The
Edward Herman beating came in June of
1941 and was followed by the Edward
McKibben beating in that same month.
McKibben was later a no-show in court,
and the charges against Tim were
Other examples of Tim Meier's
malfeasance included an 80 mph drive on
Illinois Route 75 from Freeport to Dakota
and serving a 16-year-old girl alcohol at
the Alamo Tavern.
|Above: The last property Tim Meier sold before moving
to Michigan. In July 1948, he paid a $5.50 fine for having
a barking dog here. Four months later, he sold the
house at auction and moved to Michigan shortly after.
|Above: Tim's first wife, Luella, apparently enjoyed the company of bad boys.
After divorcing Tim, she married Ralph Thorpe in 1945. Thorpe had a criminal
record going back to 1928, and had spent time in prison. The Freeport
Journal-Standard reported 3 separate divorce filings by Luella between 1946
and 1948. In 1952, Thorpe met an unfortunate end in Chicago. At a West
Side bar, he was murdered by an off-duty Chicago police officer. John J.
Nolan was later sentenced to 25 years in prison.
|Above: Tim Meier bought these two properties on Sherman Avenue in
Freeport in the 1940s. As best we can tell, the house on the right is the only
property he didn't sell before moving with his second wife to Pontiac,
Michigan. Tim's father and step-mother, Frank and Margaret Meier, lived
directly across the street from these two houses. The home on the left was
used as Tim's address on the liquor license he applied for in 1949, which was
granted in February and then revoked 12 days later by Freeport's mayor. Tim
deeded this property to ex-wife Luella in 1947, and she listed it as her
residence after a drunk and disorderly arrest in August 1948. It's possible she
had moved to the home while trying to get divorced from her second husband,
The two houses were eventually owned by Ethel Meier following Tim's death in
1953. After marrying Walter Vancil, Ethel sold the house on the right in 1956
to Sidney Bruce, whose family still owned the home as of this writing in 2014.
Ethel sold the house on the left in 1967. Its most recent use has been as a
rental property. The next house up the street, partially visible in the far left of
this photo, was a notorious house of prostitution in the 1960s. Vernon and
Ruby Stine were arrested in 1963 and again in 1964 for running the house.
During their September 1963 arrest, the Stines exacted a measure of revenge
against the Freeport police department by exposing Karl Stroh, the city's
Assistant Chief of Police, for his unnamed activities related to the house.
Stroh was suspended from the force for knowing of and failing to report a
house of prostitution, and later resigned. He had been promoted to Assistant
Chief just one month earlier.
|Above: This advertisement appeared in the October 14, 1933 edition of the
Freeport Journal-Standard. The ad would probably fit right in at a place like
this. As of this writing in August 2016, I have been unable to find the exact
location of the Shan-T-Town.
Right: The Meier residence in Dakota, Illinois. This home is located on the
northeast corner of Main and Divison Streets. As of this writing in 2014, it was
a rental property.
|Above: The farm Tim Meier auctioned the same day as the 74-acre property
(1955 photo). This view shows the farmstead looking east.
Right: The farm as it is today. Three of the buildings from the 1955 photo are
still standing. The house has been replaced, but still sits in the same general
spot as the original. Would Tim Meier ever have believed his farm would look
like this 70 years later?
|Left: The farm Tim Meier sold to Audrey Shelton in 1939 (1955 photo).
Above: The farm as was in about 2013. The barn burned down after this
satellite image was taken.
|Above: Ethel "Tootie" Meier Vancil in 1987.
The Southern Illinoisan newspaper showed
Tootie and her second husband Walter as
active in the Murphysboro, Illinois community.
In the "Personals" section, they often wished
each other happy birthday or anniversary.