"Kankakee Clay Partition" building materials?

Anyone out there ever heard of "Kankakee Clay Partition"? They are clay building materials that are throughout an old (mid 19th century) barn building a group I'm part of is looking to purchase in Peoria, IL. There's a town called Kankakee not too far from Peoria but so far I haven't had time to do much digging beyond the internet.
The pieces appear to be extruded blocks where stacked one way you see the sides and they look solid but stacked the other way you can see the open structure. I can find some pictures to share if it would help anyone out.
Thanks.
Rich Chillicothe IL snipped-for-privacy@mchsi.com
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Rich Gerberding wrote:

What specifically do you want/need to know? Sounds like a hollow clay tile which was (apparently) made locally. Pretty common building material from the 20s through 50s or so. There were numerous local manufacturing companies scattered around over the country.
I don't know about earlier than that. Iowa has/had a fair number of round barns and other structures (silos, etc.). One neat one restored is the Slayton barn of around 1915
http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/hardin/srb.htm
Grandpa was extremely proud of the new hoghouse in an application for consideration for a "modern farmer" award he filled out in the late 20's -- it was nearly new at the time.
I have no idea whether there's anybody still making a hollow clay tile or not.
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Clay tile or clay blocks were used for non-load bearing partition walls, some people used them for exterior walls in climates that could tolerate their use, but they were designed to be a lightweight (compared to solid brick or concrete) interior partition and were great firewalls. Largely replaced by lightweight concrete type blocks such as cinder blocks, slag blocks and other light aggregate concrete units. Also the use of steel studs with drywall provide an even lighter and removable interior partition now used in many high-rise buildings.

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Sounds like normal terra cotta wall blocks to me. Here is more information if you want: http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/14512.shtml
These were quite common building units, replaced by CMU today. I have encountered several gypsum block walls which were similar, but cast of white gypsum - not as strong as the terra cotta blocks.
______________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Thanks Dan G, EXT, and dpb for your responses, links, and knowledge.
I appreciate your help!!
Rich

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