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Barbershop Shaving Mugs

Next time you’re at the Cook Park location of the Cook Memorial Public Library, wander downstairs and find the local history exhibit case. Featuring items from the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society collection, the exhibit refreshes three to four times a year. Previous exhibits have featured vintage toys, Berggren Trayner dishes, lusterware, and Christmas ornaments depicting Libertyville landmarks.


The current exhibit displays barbershop shaving mugs that are usually found in Mr. Cook’s office on the second floor of the Ansel B. Cook home. These shaving mugs were used at the barbershop of Jack Bradford. The barbershop was in business at 528 N. Milwaukee Ave. (today’s Savory Spice Shop) from about 1920 to 1929. A few of Mr. Bradford’s clients were:


F. S. Kern – Franklin S. Kern (1875–1946) was associated with the Lake County National Bank and was in the real estate and insurance business. He served as Vice President of the Industrial Security Finance Co. of Waukegan and trustee of the Presbyterian Church. The family residence was at 139 Sunnyside Place.


C. A. Appley – Charles A. Appley (1851–1933) was superintendent of the County Poor Farm (later to become Winchester House) from 1880 to 1918. His last residence was located at 740 N. Milwaukee Avenue.


W. H. GeHinge – William H. GeHinge (1873–1939) lived in Libertyville for more than fifty years, part of which was spent on North Avenue. He worked as a clerk in a dry goods store and as a laborer for a freight company. He was a member of the Masonic lodge.


J. W. Brown – James W. Brown (1873–1942) served for many years as a freight agent with the North Shore Railway and was a member of the local Masonic lodge. He had been residing at 127 Third Street at the time of his death.


M. A. Pester – Matthew “Mat” A. Pester (1862–1930) was born in Somersetshire, England. He immigrated to the United States at the age of nineteen, settling in Libertyville and setting up shop as a blacksmith at 117 E. Cook Avenue. An active Mason, he set a record of never missing a meeting in more than sixteen years. The family lived at 146 E. Cook Avenue.


Charles Proctor – Charles Proctor (1885–1953) was foreman in the shipping department of Anchor Coupling. Born in Fremont Township, he lived in this area all his life and at 130 N. Stewart Avenue for forty-four years. He, too, was a member of the Masonic lodge.

Categories: Local History

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