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Full text of "Historical sketches of Jackson County, Illinois : giving some account of every town and city in the county : together with a description of the physical geography of the county, and the navigation by steam of its principal river"

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(jJ-iviiig some account of every 





Special Collec^mfiil !!'.|j | j||! ; 



Morris Library 



> OF 


Giving some account of every 



Together with a description of the Physical 
Geography of the County, and the nav- 
igation by steam of its prin- 
cipal river. 




PREFACE, Pagu i 


Introduction, 3 

Physical Divisions, 5 

Civil Divisions, G 

The Hiolior Level, 8 

The 'Lower Level, {Upper Bottam,) ... .11 
■ ' (Loice?' Bottom^) .... 12 

The High Lands, 15 

Streams, 18 

Geologica] Divisions, 23 




Pomona 41 

Eltham, 43 

Gillsboro, 44 

Harrison, 44 gt ^ ^^ 

Elkville, 50 

De Soto, 53 

Makanda, 55 

Boskjdalc, 57 

Dorchester, 60 

Mount Carbon, 04 

Grand Tower, 75 

Brownsville, 84 

Murphysboro, 90 

Carbondale, ..107 

' ' (Educational History,) 127 


This sketch of past events that have 
transpired in Jacksox County, Ij,l., does 
not pretend to be a liistory of the county, 
but only a sketch of hici dents as they come 
to knowledge of the writer, either from in- 
formation received from others or from 
persojial observation. Knowing that there 
are many persons in the county- to whom 
the incidents here related are unknown, 
either because of their youth, or their recent 
arrival and settlement in this vicinity, it 
was thought that to such persons, this sketch 
would be interesting, by giving a view of 
the past, so that they can better understand 
the present. 

'2 9'r-'yi^^ 


Mr. Ben. Boone, who was born in this 
county soon after its first settlement, had 
taken great pains to gather the facts and 
dates about the early settlement of the 
county, intending to publish it soon, but^ 
unfortunately, his manuscript was con- 
sumed by lire, and Mr. Boone died since 
that time, therefore the public has lost such 
a history as can never be replaced, for he 
was the only man that could have written 
it. He, however, has furnished the writer 
with a short account of the first settlement 
of Brownsville, which is used herein. 





Introduction. ■ 


Before •coinmenciiig these sketches, it • 
will be well to give some idea of the terri- 
tory of the countv. Frst, it will be neces- i 

sarv to locate the county and describe its j 

boundaries. Jackson County is situated 
in the south-w^est part of Illinois. It is 
])Ounded on the north bv Perrv Countv, on' - 


the east by Franklin and Williamson Coun- 
ties, on the south by Union County, on the 
south-west by tlie Mississippi l^iver which 
here divides the state of Illinois from Mis- 
souri, and on the north-west by Randolph 
County. It consists of townships T, 8 and 
9, in ranges 1, ^, 3, 4 and 5, also township 
10 in ranges 1, '^^ 3 and 4, with a small por- 
tion of township 11, in ranges 3 and 4, in- 
cluded between Big Muddy and Mississippi 

The north, east and south boundaries are 
township lines, except that portion of town- 
ship 11, in which Big Muddy River is the 
county line. The western boundary is a 
line commencins: at the north-west corner 
of township seven in range four, and run- 
ning in a south-westerly direction until it 
intersects Degognia Creek, the boundary 
line then follows that creek to its mouth, 
then down the Mississippi River to the 
mouth of Bijr Muddy River. 

Physical J>ivisioiis. 

The county is diviiaMl into tliree groat 
natural divisions: tlic; hilly hind and tin*, 
two portions of lev(}l land, one on eacli side 
of" the hillv portion. 

The western boundary of the hilly land 
is well defijied by a blutl, which in many 
places becomes a precipice. The line b(*- 
tween the brokcui country and the eastern 
level, or rolling land, is not so well defined, 
and in some places the level changes to 
rolling land, and that to hills very gradual- 
ly; but in other places the line is more 
definite. The upper level and rolling land 
lies in the north-eastern part of the county, 
and the lower level in -the soifth- western 

The lines dividijig the levels are both 
curved, thus )(. A quarter of a circle would 
nearly represent either of them. Placing 

the.n with the convex side towards each 
othir, w.>uld leave a space between them 
to rep:'e>3!it th.^ hilly land, which is broad 
at each end but narrow in the middle, and 
at this narrow place, Big Muddy River? 
which drains most of this county and sever- 
al others, breaks throng on its way to the 

* ^^^ 

Civil Divisions. 

It would be well, perhaps, before [)ro- 
ceeding with the subject, to give some ac- 
count of the townships into which the 
county is divided. . 

A Congressional township is a square of 
six miles, and therefore contains 36 sections 
or square n^ies, and are numbered east or 
west bv ranges from the third principal 
meridian, and north or south by townships 
from a base-line. In this county the ranges 
arc all west, and the townships all south. 


Elk Township consists of Town 7 South 
Range 1 West. 

Yergennes, Town 7, Range :l. 

Ora, T. V, R. 3. 

Brad%, T. 7, R. 4, and that part of T. 7, 
R. T) that lies in this county. 

DeSoto, T. 8, R. 1. 

Somerset, T. 8, R. '2. 

j.evan, T. 8, R. 3, and that ])art of the 
north row of sections in T. 0, R. 3 lying- 
north of Big Muddy River. 

Kinkaid, T. 8, R. -i, and the north row of 
sections in T. 9, R. 4. 

DeGognia, fractional townships 8. 4, and 
8. 5. 

Carbondale, T. 0, R. 1. 

Murphysboro, T. Vj, R. 2, and that part of 
[}. )), Ivino; east and south of Bio; Muddv. 

Fountain Bluff, that part of 9. 3, west of 
Big ]\[uddy. and fractional township 9. 4, 
except the north row of sections in both 


Makanda, T. 10, R. 1. 

Ridge, 10. 2, and that part of 10. 3, lying 
east of Big Muddy. 

Grand Tower, parts of 10, 3., 10. 4., 
11. 3. and 11. 4., lying between Big Muddy 
and the Mississippi. 

The Hi«lier Level. 

The physical div^ision in the north-east, 
which is level olr rolling, includes the fol- 
lowing townships: 

Elk^ which is nearly all level, and con- 
tains the greater part of Elk Prairie, and a 
part of Six-mile Prairie. Little Muddy 
River runs through the township. The 
banks of that stream are low, the bottoms 
broad and swampy, containing mau}^ large 
]>onds. A small rise of the water overflows 
the v.'holv3 bottom. 

DeSoto^ the northern part of which is 
verv much like Elk. Biq; Muddv runs 

through it, entering from the east, and 
running out at the south-west corner, 
making many large bends in its course. 
For instance, tlie town of DeSoto is two 
miles north of the rail-road bridge, but on 
-going east from the town, you would come 
to the river in less than a mile; or going 
south-west, half a mile would bring you to 
it again. The southern part of the town- 
ship, near Big Muddy River, is rolling. 

Carbondale^ which is all contained in 
this division, except the part that is east 
of Drury Creek, and a spur of hills which 
runs up within sight of the city, about a 
mile to the south-east. 

Vergennes^ is all in this division, being 
mostly level, but rolling in the south-west 
where Beaucoup {Bo-koo^ Creek drains it. 

Somerset^ is mostly rolling, and is the 
best situation for farms of any in the 
county, although there is some level, wet 
land in it. Beaucoup Creek runs through 

it from north to south, then it enters Big 
Muddy, which stream winds through the 
south-east corner of the township. 

Murphysboro^ is about one-third in this 
division and the remainder in the hills, 
the line dividing the divisions is very in- 
definite. The north-eastern part is hilly; 
the hills becoming higher and the ground 
more broken towards the west, terminating 
in a rocky precipice overhanging the river. 

Levari^ is partly in the rolling division 
and partly hilly. The Murphysboro and 
Chester road is nearly the line until it 
strikes the hills at Mr. Levan's farm. This 
ridge of ground runs in a north-easterly 

direction, and ends in a narrow ridge in 
Section 3. 

Ora^ is partly rolling and partly hilly. 
The southern part is cut up by Rattle- 
snake Creek. The western part is hilly, 
running out to a high ridge on the line be- 
tween Sections 11 and 2, overlooking a 
great portion of Perry County. 


The Lower Level. 


The lower level is the Mississippi bot- 
tom, and includes all the land between the 
bluffs and the Mississippi River, (except 
some hills hereafter mentioned.) 

The line of bluffs leaves the river at 
Rockwood, Randolph County, and runs in 
nearly an uniform direction, about south 
68 deg. east, to Big Muddy then nearly 
south to Union County. The bottom is 
divided into two parts, often called the 
upper and lower bottoms. 

The upper bottom consists of the greater 
part of Fountain Bluff township, and a 
part of Degognia and Kinkaid townships. 
It. is characterized by having large lakes 
and ponds scattered over its surface, so 
a great part is usually covered with water. 
The swells or ridges between the ponds, 
are of the richest soil possible, and where 


not cleared, are covered with a dense 
growth of timber, and also under-brusli 
full of running briers, so thick as to be 
almost impassible. 

The lakes and ponds, at certain seasons, 
are alive with Avater-fowls of various kinds, 
such as swans, geese and ducks. It is the 
hunter's paradise. In very dry seasons, 
the water all evaporates, and a person can 
walk over them. The Big Lake is nearly 
two miles in width and covers several sec- 
tions of land. 


The lower bottom is composed of the 
township of Grand Tower and part of 
Fountain Bluff,* It has no large ponds 
or lakes, but many swamps, and large 
open places called "glades." These glades 

*The l)Ouin]aries f>f townships as herein de- 
scribed, docs not correspond with Westbrook's 
map of Jackson County, for the reason that the 
townships have been reorc^anized and many 
'langes made since its publication. 

. 13 

run in a nortli-west and south-oast direc- 
tion nearly, and are parallel to each other. 
These glades are swampy, and destitute of 
trees. The swells between them are of 
very rich soil and well timbered. Much of 
this land is devoid of under-brush but cov- 
ered with long grass, making an excellent 
natural pasture. 

Usually, where there is a bottom, there 
is also a river in it as the principal feature, 
but the greatest natural curiosity about 
this bottom is that the Mississippi does not 
run through it, l)ut breaks th^iough the hills 
a shorter way. In traveling on the Grand 
Tower Rail-road, we cross the bottom, and 
then come to a high over-hanging cliff of 
rocks without coming to the river. It 
seems as if some convulsions of nature had 
opened a gap through the Missouri hills, 
and let the river through, leaving part of 
the hills on the east side of the stream. 


There are three of these hills, the largest 
of whicli, called the "Big Hill," is four 
miles in length from north to south, and 
nearly two miles from east to west; a por- 
tion of it being three hundred feet above 
the level of the bottom. Its surface is 
very broken and not fit for cultivation. 
The north end is the highest. There is a 
precipice all the distance along the north 
end and part of the east side, in some 
places rising perpendicularly one hundred 
and tw^enty-five feet above the rail-road 
track. The south-west corner also is pre- 

About a mile south of this hill, and close 
to the river, there is a narrow, ragged, 
and rocky ridge nearly a mile in length, 
called the "Devil's Back-bone," with a 
rock apparently pushed off its north end 
into the river, called the "Devil's Oven." 
This ridge is low and narrow in the middle, 
where a branch of the rail-road track ran 

through to the iron furnaces, situated on 
the side next to the river. A little farther 
back from the river, and farther south, is 
"Walker's Hill," having precipitous sides 
all around except on the south. The tpp 
is partly in cultivation. 

The town of Grand Tower is between 
this hill and the river, also between the 
two last mentioned hills and the Big Hill. 
These hills are not- connected with any 
other hills, nor with each other. ^: 

When the Mississippi River rises vei*y 
high, it runs through the lakes and glades 
into Big Muddy, and surrounds the whole 
country containing these hills, as it did in 
1844, and in 18&i. 

The High Lands. 

The division of the high lands is very^ 
wide at the northern and southern ends, 


but quite narrow in the middle, at which 
point Big Muddy, which drains all the up- 
per level of this county and several others, 
breaks through the hills on its way to the 

The dividing ridge which separates the 
valley of Big Muddy from Mary's River is 
called Campbell Hill; running from near 
Rockwood,RandolphCounty, in a northeast- 
ern direction, south of the town of Camp- 
bell Hill and on to the Perry County line. 
Another branch of the ridge runs in an 
eastern direction, and ends abruptly near 
the north-east corner of Ora township. 

On this point a person can stand and 
look to the north beyond Pinckneyville, 
and see DuQuoin in the north-east. South- 
ward, the view opens a long distance. 
There is also another branch of the same 
ridjje that runs south of Rattle-snake 
Creek, and ending near the line between 

. 1' 

Ora and Leuim townships, passing along 
by Mr. Le van's place. At the church on 
this hill, a person can see the hills east of 
Drury Creek, by looking- across ]Slurph3'S- 
boro and Carbondale, which are both in 
the same line. The width of tlie hilU' por- 
tion near Big Muddy from Indian Creek to 
Kinkaid Creek, is only about four miles. 

The hills south of Big Muddy, near Mt. 
Carbon, have no well defined limit, but 
chansre into lower land e-raduallv. From 
the south-west corner of Carbondale town- 
ship, the limits of the hills pass along the 
south boundary line till they cross Drury 
Creek, where they rise high and run north- 
ward to the Big Craborchard Creek. An- 
other ridge west of Drury runs northward 
almost to the city. All of Makanda and 
lildge townships are very hilly, with deep 
and rocky ravines having precipitous sides. 
This is true of the township of Bradley^ 
and parts of Degognia and Kinkaid^ but 

especially along Kinkaid Ci^ek and the 
bluffs that overlook the Mississippi bottom. 
The hills around Cedar Creek and its 
branches are also very precipitous and 


Besides the Mississippi on the western 
border, Big Muddy River enters the county 
on the east oi DeSoto township; its general 
course is a little south of west, until 
it breaks through the rocky barrier, as be- 
fore stated, then it follows the line of the 
bluff southward, but leaves it just before it 
reaches the county line, and then strikes 
across the bottom to the great river, enter- 
ing it by several channels, making two 

It is a very crooked stream. At one 
place a subterranean rock runs out from 

the blutf westward and then north-west 
turningr the river that course instead of al- 
lowinof it to run to the south. The river 
has then to find its way back to the hlufl', 
but it soon meets another line of rocks, 
that starting from tlie Big Hill, runs east 
then north-east then nearly north; that 
brings the river back to the bluff again, 
running nearly north, where it strikes a 
high wall of rock and turns at an acute 
anoxic to the south. This is called "Swal- 
low Rock," from the large number of the 
nests of those birds stuck on the rocky 

The streams which enter Muddv from 

• 1/ 

the north, are first. Little Muddv cominjr in 
from Perry County, and running through a 
flat swampy country. Next is Beaucoup 
Creek, also from Perry County. The two 
Pattle-snakes rising near Ava, run east- 
ward and enter Beaucoup not far from 

Gillsboro, and together enter Big Muddy 
near the south-east corner of Somerset. 

Kinkaid Creek is in the hilly country, 
and rises west of Ava, runs a south-east 
course through deep ravines and by pre- 
cipitous rocks then enters Big Muddy at 
Sand Ridge Station, near the rail-road 

Mary's River and branches drain the 
country west of the Campbell Hill and run 
westward through Randolph County into 
the Mississippi. 

Degognia Creek begins near the north- 
east corner of section 4, T. 8, R. 5, runs to 
the south then to the south-west and falls 
into the Mississippi. This creek is the line 

between the counties of Jackson and 


The two last mentioned streams do not 

run into Big Muddy; with the exception 

of these and a few small streams that flow 

. 21 
from the hills into the lakos, all the rest 
are branches of that turbid stream. 

South of Big Muddy, the Big Crabor- 
chard enters the county nearly east of 
Carbondale, runs to the west a mile and 
receives Drury, which rises in Union Coun- 
ty near Cobden, then runs northward 
through a deep valley, between rough hills 
to the junction with the larger stream, and 
together they flow northward and enter 
Big Muddy south-east of DeSoto. 

Little Craborchard rises in Midge town- 
ship and runs through Carbondale town- 
ship until it enters its larger namesake. 

There are several othes small streams 
running northward to Big Muddy, of which 
Lewis Creek enters at the Fish-trap shoal. 

Cedar Creek enters the county from the 
south, and runs northward about four 
miles, where Poplar Camp joins it, then it 
runs west, receiving Cave Creek from the 
south and Sugar and Bear Creeks from the 


north: then it enters Big Muddy below 
the Swallow Rock. 

Grassy Creek, a branch of the Big 
Craborchard, crosses the south-east corner 
of the county. 

Geological Divisions, 

Drawing a line about south sixty degrees 
east, (S. 60° E.) across the county so that 
it passes about two miles to the south of 
Murphysboro and Carbondale, that line 
will be v^ery near the southern limit of the 
coal formation; abundance of coal being 
found north, but only a few scattering 
beds south of that line. The vein at Mt. 
Carbon is five feet in thickness, and farther 
north, at the Gartside mines, it is over 
seven feet. 

Draw another line parallel to the first, 
but south of it a few miles, and so as to 


run through the northern part of the city 
of Grand Tower, will cross {\\o. 
Union County line before it reaches Ma- 
kanda. North of that line is sandttone, 
and south of it is limestone. The limestone 
land is full of sink holes, funnel-shaped 
hollows, with each a subterranean })assnge 
for the rain-water that falls into it. The 
two hills at Grand Tower are limestone, 
but the Big Hill is sandstone, some of it is 
ver}'- white and was used for carving pil- 
lars and capitals for the State House at 

Bald Rock is a spur of the limestone hills 
that terminates in a large, naked, rocky 
point, overhanging Big Muddy. It is 
composed of fossil shells, is hard and will 
bear a high polish. It is a grayish marble. 
An attempt was once made to quarry it 
for marble, but there are no roads to it. 
A long time ago it used to be made into 



There are many difficulties in the way of 
the navigation of Big Muddy River, the 
most serious of which are the shoals, 
several of which exist. The shoal at Mt. 
Carbon, iust below the bridg-e, extends 
quite a distance, including what was 
known as the Upper and Lower Fords. 
The most remarkable one is the Fish Trap 
Shoal, so called, because it was such a 
good place to set a fish-trap. This shoal is 
at the mouth of Lewis Creek, where two 
rail-roads cross each other, and is the larg- 
est and most serious obstruction, the river 
beinsr nearly three times its usual width at 

this place. There is another shoal at 
Worthen's place, and just below, a rock 
rises like a table in the middle of the river 
which is covered during- the time of high 
water. i\.t the mouth of Rattle-snake 
Creek, just above the Bald Rock, is another 
shoal. All these mentioned are rocky and 
permanent obstructions. At the mouth of 
Muddy, a shoal of mud is often formed dur- 
ing a rise of the Mississippi, if Muddy ])e 
low at the same time. But when Muddy 
comes down in her strength and spreads 
out over her banks, after the larger river 
has retired, then like a braggart when his 
superior is absent, she shows what she can 
do by cutting out the mud bar, and making 
for herself a deep channel again. 

Another difficulty in the navigation of 
this stream is its extreme sinuosity. Be- 
low Sand Ridge it is very crooked, with, 
some very acute angles, the most remark- 
able of which is at the Swallow Rock 


where the river is running N. 15^ E. and 
makes a sudden turn along the foot of the 
rocky wall, running south. 

Here appropriately comes in a little sto- 
ry about Batteese, a French darkey. He 
was going down the river on a barge with 
Mr. Kitchen by moonlight. On arriving at 
this place, Batteese, who had never been 
there before, was looking at the high rocky 
wall that arose on the right hand side 
above the tree tops, then he looked for- 
ward to the sudden turn, but saw trees 
only; he, little thinking that the river ran 
between his position and that wall, sud- 
denly exclaimed in terror, at the same time 
holding up both hands, "J!/?*. Kitchen! 
3Ii\ Kitchen! the river takes to the woods 

About the first account we have of a 
steamer navigating Big Muddy River, was 
about the time of the first settlement of 
Murphysboro, when a small steamboat 

named "Omega steamed up to Mt. Car- 
bon. Rather strange that the boat bearing 
the name of tlie last letter of the Greek 
alphabet, should have been the fiist; it 
ought to have been called AI[)ha. 

It was not until the year 1851 that any 
other boat attempted the voyage. On ac- 
count of shoals, the boats had to navigate 
during the time of high w^ater, and account 
of the sudden bends, thev could not navi- 
gate in a strong current, therefore the time 
selected is when the great river rises, 
which usually happens in June. In 1851, 
the Jackson County Coal Company having 
a large quantity of coal already on the 
banks of Muddy, just below Mt, Carbon, 
(on the ground now occupied by coak- 
ovens,) chartered the "Walk-in-the- Water,"' 
a new ferryboat that had just arrived in 
St. Louis, to bring down a load of coal. 
She went, and in a few days arrived at St. 
Louis with a load, also with two })arges in 

tow. That was the first introduction of 
this coal to the public, and was then pro- 
nounced by the foundries and gas works of 
that city, to be the best coal west of Pitts- 
burg. The company then being confident 
of selling any quantity of coal, bought the 
Walk-in-the- Water, because she was a 
strong boat and suitable for their purpose. 
She left St. Louis again May, 30th 1851, 
at 10 o'clock A. M., and arrived opposite to 
Preston before night, at a place selected 
for a landing, and afterwards called 
"Sheffield Coal Yard." On the first day of 
June, the boat started on the first of her 
regular trips, which continued until the 
tenth of July, usually going up the river 
one day and returning the next; the load- 
ing being generally performed in the night 
to avoid the heat. During these trips the 
Mississippi was rising continually until 
about the middle of Julv, and submero-ed 
all the bottom lands, this being the highest 

water ever known, with the exception of 
the flood in the summer oi' 1844, whicli ex- 
ceeded this by four feet. The boat had the 
best time possible for navigation, as far as 
related to having plenty of water. 

In navigating this river by steam, a 
great difficulty was experienced in making 
the turns at the acute angles of the river; 
more especially at the turn north of Con- 
ner's old steam mill, near a rock called 
"Sinner's Harbor," also at the one at Swal- 
low Rock. In many places, the boat 
would swing around sideways and strike 
the overhanging trees which line the chan- 
nel the whole distance; then either the 
trees or the boat had to tear, often both. 
At the sharp turns before mentioned, they 
had to shut off steam and push her around 
with poles. 

At one time, a snag, that leaned out 
from the bank and hung over the river, 
struck the boat on the .side of the cabin. 

rubbed along until it came to the first win. 
clow, when it pushed in its ugly head and 
tore out the whole side from thence to the 
stern. It went into the bunks and stole a 
blanket which was left hanging on the end 
of it. The man, who occupied that bunk, 
said that he would not have cared so much 
for the loss of the blanket, if the snag had 
not taken his tobacco also. 

Another day, when a family was on 
board with their teams and stock, moving 
from the Half-moon Island to escape from 
the rising water, the boat struck a tree 
and showered the large limbs on the deck, 
one of which came near hitting Temples; 
it frightened his horses. Another struck 
the chimney and punched a hole in it, and 
nearly upset the pilot-house, disturbing the 
pilot in his reverie. This is a sample of 
what occurred more or less on every trip, 
so that by the time the boat had finished 
her trin.-j, she looked like one of the boats 

. 31 
that ran the blockade at Vicksburg during 
the war. 

At one time, by some mistake in the 
bell signals, they ran the boat ashore; sIk; 
ran several trees under water and tore olF 
one of the guards. Every one expected 
her to sink, but, on examination, it was 
found that the hull was not injured at all. 

After making several trips, the pilot, 
Smith, put on a steam whistle. Very few 
boats carried whistles at that time; they 
were just coming into use on the fast 
boats. Smith delighted to awaken the 
echoes and alarm the natives with its ear- 
splitting scream. When he passed the 
Swallow Rock with it the first time, sever- 
al men and women were standing on the 
rock above, looking down at the boat, 
when the pilot let on such a sudden 
scream, that some of the women were very 
much frightened and started to run. He 
whistled at every bend, and when he 

arrived at the mines, nearly the whole pop- 
ulation was there to see what was coming, 
for most of them had never heard the 
sound of a steam whistle before. 

It was commonly said that Henry 
Dillinger and George McKinney dug out 
the channel of Big Muddy River; and one 
day, when the boat ran among the trees 
more than usual, Mr. Holden, the superin- 
tendent, who was on board at the time, 
suddenly called out, '•'• George McKinney V"^ 
"Here I am, what do you want?" answered 
George. "Why did you make this river 
so crooked when you dug it, instead of 
making it straighter?" asked Holden. 
George replied, „Well, Mr. Holden, we had 
to dig most of in the dark, and could not 
see to make it any straighter, so I guess 
you will have to put up with it as it is." 

On the 6th of June, the pilot, Smith was 
at supper, the boat going up the river his 
assistant, Jukes, being at the wheel, when 

suddenly, a largo log appeared in the way 
reaching across the channel. Smith jumped 
up and ran to the pilot-house, ])ut by that 
time the boat had struck the log; he then 
put on all steam and made her climb over 
it. If she had not been a stout boat she 
would certainly have been sunk there, but, 
she was not injured by it. 

One day, they passed a house floating in 
the river. It was a log house with a clap- 
board roof. The house was sunk low in 
the water with only the roof above the sur- 
face; there was a hole in it where some 
person had pushed aside the boards, ap- 
parently to escape, having in his flight left 
a pair of old pants on the roof. 

The water was so high that in going 
down the riv^er, no land could be seen be- 
low Sand Ridge on the west side, and none 
on either side below the Bald Rock, but 
the whole of the bottom lands were sub- 
merged. The Mississippi River was then 


four or five miles in width from bill to hill. 
Durinfy the risino- of the water. Bio- 
Muddy reversed its course, the water run- 
ning up stream towards its scource with a 
strong current for more than a month, and 
carrying large quantities of drift, so that at 
one time the crew of the boat found the 
principal channel between Half-moon Is- 
land and the main shore choked with drift. 
They worked all day trying to get it loose, 
cutting at the logs with axes and using the 
boat to pull it apart; but they did not suc- 
ceed. The boat retired for the night. 
Next day, a squad of men was left at the 
drift to cut it loose, which was quite a job, 
for the channel was blocked up with it for 
a mile. The boat went up the larger 
chute next to Burk's Island, and backed 
down the little chute, east of Half-moon 
Island, which was so narrow that it was a 
difficult matter to keep the boat out of the 

The following* day, when the boat re- 
turned, the drift was all gone, and Zeri 
Byers was found there asleep in a skiff 
He had been left there to tell them that 
the channel was open, but dozed off, and 
the boat would have passed by him without 
his knowledge of it, but some one saw him 
and gave the alarm, "A man in a skiff." 
The whistle was blown and Byers suddenly 
awoke looking much surprised and bewild- 
ered to find the boat so near to him. 

One day, the steam ferry-boat, "Jones- 
boro, that ferries at Willard's Landing, 
came up and followed the Walk-in-the- 
Water up to the mines at Dorchester, took 
on a load of coal and returned. 

Some enterprising genius at Chester put 
a small engine on a flat-boat, and built a 
cabin on it, fixing a wheel at the stern; 
and with his nondescript craft he made 
several trips up Big Muddy River to Mt. 
Carbon, taking up goods for the merchants 

36 ^ 

at Murphysboro. At a sharp bond, the 
^yalk-in-the-Wate^ and his boat came very 
near ha vino* a collision. J. 31. Morgan, 
who was on the small boat, having some 
goods brought up for his store in Murph^'^s- 
boro, looked out rather surprised; for if the 
boats had met, in all probability the small 
one would have been sunk. 

During the rising of the water, the town 
of Preston opposite the coal-yard, was 
nearly all swept away. The mighty river 
not only carried off the houses, but took 
away the ground first, and of course the 
buildings rolled into the river and floated 
away. When the water subsided, there 
were but three or four houses left of the town. 
After the Walk-in- the- Water had done 
takino- out coal for the season, she went to 
Thebes and loaded with steamboat lumber. 
Mr. Gross took command of her and then 
she started for St. Louis. She took a baro-e 
loaded with staves and hoop-poles in tow 


at the mouth of Muddy. On the 20ih of 
July, 1851, she struck on a sand bar, and 
there she stuck; as the water was falling, 
the prospect of getting her off looked du- 
bious. She got off, however, the next day 
and again started on her voyage up the 
river. On the 28th, a storm overtook the 
boat and sank the barge. They had to cut 
her loose, she then floated off full of water, 
the staves and hoop-poles covering the sur- 
face of the river for a long distance. The 
boat landed at St. Louis after dark that 
same night. 

In the summer of 1862, the Walk-in-the- 
Water, having been repaired and a new 
cabin built on her, one story higher than it 
was before, started on her regular trips, 
boating coal out of Big Muddy; but the 
pilot, being accustomed to the boa,t, and 
acquainted with the crooked channel, with 
the experience of the preceeding summer, 
did not run the boat among the trees and 


tearher up so much as before, but she fin- 
ished her trips with jut looking like she 
had run the blockade. 

In 1853, the Walk-in-the- Water again 
appeared on the scene; but having shown 
the way to navigate Big Muddy by steam, 
she had company all the season. That 
Chester man, having built a larger boat 
than he had in 1851, had put his engine 
and wheel on her, and named her the 
"Silver Lake," made several voyages up to 
Mt. Carbon. 

This year, the Illinois Central Rail Road 
was in process of construction, and several 
small steamers were employed to convey 
rail-road iron up the river to the rail-road 
bridge, four miles north of Carbondale. 
These boats, together with the Silver Lake 
and the Walk-in-the- Water, made Big- 
Muddy quite a lively stream for two 
months. During that time a person could 
scarcely go near the river without seeing a 

. :!9 

steamboat go by, or heariijg the whistle 
sounding through the forest. These boats 
jiot only carried iron to the rail-road, I)ut 
one day, one of them took up a locomotive? 
which was landed on the north bank of the 
river and hauled up on the track. By the 
aid of that engine the track was laid from 
the river, northward. The- boats also 
landed iron at the mouth of Sugar Creek, 
which was hauled on wagons to a point on 
the rail-road two miles south of Carbondale. 
After the year 1853, the Walk-in-the- 
Water had the river to herself as before. 
She continued her annual trips for several 
years, until ijiere came a time when, for 
two summers, the Mississippi failed to rise 
high enough to float her over the shoals; 
the coal accumulated on the banks of Mud- 
dy, and much loss to the company was the 
consequence. They extended their horse 
rail-road to a point below the Fish -trap 
Shoal, and piled up coal fhere. When the 

Mississippi did rise, the coal was all taken 
out, but the company soon afterwards 
abandoned the mines. Thus was Bijr 
Muddy left to its original solitude for years 
afterwards. About the time of the re- 
opening of the mines at Mt Carbon, a boat 
made a voyage up to that place, f>ringing 
some of the heavy machinery. Since then 
the river is again silent and forsaken, nev- 
ermore to be disturbed by the prow of a 
steamer, for the river is spanned by three 
vvacron bridfres and four rail-road bridgres, 
thus precluiing navigation in the future. 








When tj^e Cairo and St. Lonis Rail Road 
(Narrow Gauge,) was opened through from 
Murphysboro to Cairo, a town was laid off 
in Cave Creek bottom, in section 28, Town 
10 South, Range 2 West, in Ridge Town- 
ship, and named "Pomona." 

Very soon dwelling houses and store 
houses were built, ])ut no station house 


was erected by the rail-road company for 
some time; they only made a side-track 
and platform. Some parties built a saw- 
mill on the west side of the rail-road, and 
ran it awhile, but getting into difficulty, 
the sherrilF levied on the machinery. Dur- 
ing the absence of that officer, the parties 
took the engine, which was one of those 
on wheels, and rolled it on a flat-car, then 
put on the saw and frame and ran the 
whole to East St. Louis. This was long 
spoken of as "the town where a saw-mill 
was stolen and taken away." 

Some time afterwards, the company 
built a station house. Other parties built 
a saw-mill and a flour-mill on the west side 
and near the site of the mill that was said 
to have been stolen. 

Pomona is now a lively little town and 
is doing considerable business. A few 
years ago, it was incorporated, and elected 
municipal officers. 


A slaticii was made where llse Caiioand 
St. Louis Rail Road crosses Cedar Creek 
in the northern part of Ridge Township, 
and a station house was built. Some par- 
ties built a saw-mill there also, and very 
soon houses began to spring up in the 
woods, and it seemed that a prosperous 
little town would be the result. The new 
village recieved the name of "Eltham." 

After running for some time, the mill 
was destroyed by lire, but another one was 
built in its place. Some time afterwards 
this mill shared the fate of its predecessor. 
The station house was also consumed in 
the same conflagration. The town was 
abandoned to its original solitude, with the 
exception of passing of trains, and the 
post-office was removed three miles farther 
north, to Gillmore's mill. 



Mr. John M. Gill owned land in the 
south-east corner of Ora Township, in sec- 
tion 3(3. Here he laid off a town on the 
Cairo and St. Louis Rail Road, which runs 
through this land^ The town was named, 

This village had a late start, but bids 
fair to become a lively place. It now con- 
tains several store houses and dwellings, 
also a saw-mill and a post-office. 


About eight or nine years ago, a railroad 
line was surveyed from Mt. Carbon to 
Pinckneyville, and running through the 
north-west quarter of section 34, Town 8 
South, Range *-? West. This land had been 

• 45 
purchased by the Carbondale Coal and 
Coke Company which proposed to make 
the road. The general financial panic 
coming on about that time, the project was 
postponed indefinitely. 

A few years ago, the company com- 
menced work again by erecting a long row 
of coke ovens on the land before described; 
they also sank a coal shaft a mile or so 
farther westward. They then built a rail- 
road from Carbondale to run by the ovens 
and shaft and connect with the Cairo and 
St. Louis Rail Road ,about two miles north 
of the station at Murphysboro. 

The com]3^ny then built a rail-road from 
the ovens to Pinckneyville where it con- 
nects with other roads leadino; to St. Louis. 
They can now ship coal or coke directly to 
that city. 

Around the ovens, the dwellings of the 
workmen form a village called "Harrison." 


Campbell Hill. 

Many years ago, a post-office was estab- 
lished at the cross-roads in section 9, Town 
7 South, Range 4 "West, and was called 
"Bradley." A store was opened and goods 
sold to the farmers living near. The peo- 
ple also built a church close by. This is 
just west of the ridge called Campbell Hill. 

When the Narrow Gauge Rail Road was 
built, the people near Bradley Post-office 
tried to have a station there, but some 
other parties tried to have the station at 
another place three fourths of a mile farther 
north-west, and succeeded. At that place 
lots were laid off, a side track made, and 
two stores and a blacksmith shop built. 
This new town was called "Bradley." 

Meanwhile, Mr. Mohlenbroch, thinkhig 
it very awkward to have the post-office at 
one place and the station at another, raised 

• 47 
the enthusiasm ol" the peopK^ and l.y the 
influence and liberahty of liimsell' and 
others, laid off a town at the post-office, 
built a large Hour mill, and finally induced 
the company to make a station there also. 
As the other town had already appro- 
priated their name, they called this town 
"Campbell Hill." 

Soon dwellino- houses and store houses 
sprang up on the ground. One of the 
store houses at Bradley was rolled up on 
two flat cars and by the aid of mules, 
moved to the new village. A side track 
was made and a station house built; the 
mill was soop up and in operation, and the 
town outgrew its rival. It is now a prosper- 
ous little town, while Bradley is forgotten. 



Mmy yeirs ago, a man natnad Wright 
settled at a point on the Murphysboro and 
Chester road, in section 25, Town 7 South, 
Range 4 West, on a high ridge between 
the head waters of Kinkaid and Rattle- 
snake Creeks. Here he built a saloon near 
the road, displaying the sign, "Head 
Quarters." In this house he dispensed the 
"ardent" to his neighbors and to thirsty 
travelers for many years. The place was 
known as Head Quarters far and near, and 
the character of some of the inhabitants of 
the vicinity was such as might have been 
expected, with a branch of the bank of his 
infernal majesty in their midst so long. 

Some years ago, several houses and store 
buildings were erected, and Head Quarters 
began to look like a town. When the 
Cairo and St. I.ouis Rail Road was l)uilt 

. 40 

and a station made there, the land owners 

and the rail-road company laid olF a town 

and named it "Ava." 

After the rail-road was opened, the town 

began to increase rapidly. Many of the 

rowdies in the neighborhood have been 

brought to justice or run off; but some 
acts of violence have been committed since 

the road was opened, such as throwing 
the train off the track. It is to be hoped 
the influence of the more moral class of 
citizens, whose wealth and industry build 
up the town, will gradually diffuse intelli- 
gence and purify the community. 

Ava is now a flourishing town, contain- 
ing many fine buildings, some of them, 
including the post-ofiice, are built of brick. 
A newspaper has been published there for 
several years. 



About the year 1857, certain land own- 
ers, thinking it would be a good thing to 
have a town in Elk Prairie, Mr. Ashley, 
who was then division engineer of tlie 
southern division of the Illinois Central 
Rail Road, having assured them that a sta- 
tion would be made there, laid off a town 
in section 17, Town 7 South, Range 1 
West, in Elk Township. Mr. Ashley set 
men to grade the side-track. The citizens 
appointed a day on which to sell lots at 
public auction. When the day arrived, a 
large crowd assembled, and the sale was 
progressing in a lively manner, when they 
were surprised by the scream of an extra 
train approaching rapidly from the north. 
As the train came to a stand among them, 
some? of the people gathered around it and 
found that it contained what fail-road men 

expressively called the "Royal family,"" or 
the President arid other chief officers of the 
rail-road company'. Mr. Osborn, the Pres- 
ident, asked in apparent surprise, "What 
is ffoino: on here? What does this crowd 
mean?" When informed, he said, '"''There 
lo'dl he no station here. Stop that sale at 
ONCE." He was informed that Mr. Ashley 
had the side-track graded and was going- 
to make a station there. The President 
turned to McClellan, his chief engineer, 
who was present, saying, "Did you give 
Mr. Ashley such orders?" Mr. McClellan 
denied having given any such orders. The 

train returned to Centralia, and the Presi- 
dent, ill a rage, telegraphed to Mr. Ashley, 
asking, „Who gave you orders to make a 
station in Elk Prairie?" The answer was, 
"McClellan." The President replied, "He 
denies it. Come up on next train and con- 
front him." Then Ashley was angry, he 


said to those around him, "Yes, I will go 
and make McClellan acknowledge it.'''' 
When he met them at Centralia, he still 
insisted that McClellan gave him verbal 
orders to make that station, and that officer 
still denied it until Ashley shook his big 
fist at ' Little Mac's nose and made him 
own to it in Osborn's presence. It seems 
that they had made a mistake and wanted 
to make a scape-goat of Ashley, but could 
not succeed. The matter was hushed up 
the town was killed, and laid dormant for 
many years, until after McClellan had been 
commander of armies, when he so gallantly 
didn't take Richmond, and had run for the 
high office of Prcsidint of the United 
States, but was defeated by Lincoln. 

Some time after the war was over, the 
town plat was revived, lots were sold, a 
station house built and side-track made. 
Then people began to erect dwellings and 
store houses. It is a small town, and is 

not likely to grow much. There is no 
hotel or public accommodation for travel- 
ers arriving by the trains. 


■ ]3eSoto was named after the Spanish 
traveler who, in his search for the Fountain 
of Youth, discovered the Mississippi River, 
and was buried on its banks. 

This town is situated in sections 16, 17, 
20 and 21; but mostly in section 20, in 
Town 8 South, Range 1 West. It was laid 
off in the woods at the time of the building 
of the Illinois Central Rail Road, about 
the year 1853. It is of the same age as 

The rail-road company owned land in 
section 20 and laid off lots west of the rail- 
road, also a row of fractional lots east of 
the road. Otlier parties laid off lots on the 


east side, but the streets in the two plats 
do not correspond with each other. 

The business part is on the west side ex- 
cept the hotel. Most of the town is oh the 
west side. The town ^rew to its present 
size in a few years then stopped. There 
has been very little improvement for many 
years. A few years ago a fire destroyed 
nearly half of the business portion, and 
very few of the houses have been rebuilt. 

The town is situated in a fiat country, 
with Big Muddy nearly half way round it; 
the river being about a mile east of the 
town, two miles south and half of a mile 

DeSoto is not much of a business place. 
Sometimes it has almost the appearance of 
a deserted town, many of the front store 
houses being empty. There are several 
churches in the town, some of them are 
very good looking buildings. Two flour 
mills were there, but one has been removed. 



When the route of the Illinois Central 
Rail Road was laid off, the engineers had 
to follow the valley of Drury Creek 
through the hilly country in the southern 
part of Jackson and the northern part of 
Union Counties. This valley has the ap- 
pearance of a great crack or fissure in the 
hills, with mostly precipitous sides, and 
through this runs Drury. A person can 
almost imagine a convulsion of nature that 
opened a crack running north and south 
for miles, making ragged edges and broken 
rocks tumbling down the steep sides, then 
afterwards the gap gradually partly filled 
U]) with soil washed from the hills. 

A mile and a quarter north of the coun- 
ty line, in the west side of section 27, 
Town 10 South, Range 1 West, the com- 
pany built a water tank and a boarding 

lioiise, mide a station and called it 

Sometime about the year 1863, Mr. 
Zimmerman laid oif town lots on the east 
side of the rail-road, and several houses 
and stores were erected. Mr. Martin Rey- 
nolds had built a mill for sawino- lumber 
and grinding grain in 1861, on the west 
side of the creek and rail-road, which are 
here close together. About the year 1866, 
lots were laid off by Lummis and also by 
Evans on the west side, and afterwards on 
both sides by T. W. Thompson and others. 

There is quite a romantic looking village 
nestled in the valley and up the steep 
rocky hills on each side, where the houses 
perch one above another on ledges. 
The church is up on a high point overlook- 
ing the town. The company has built 
two brick tanks and a passenger house 
at that place. 

This town is in the midst of the fruit 
region, and is an important place in the 

fruit season. It would soon become a large 
town if there was room enough to build 
one; but, cramped up as it is in sucli a 
narrow valley, there is not much chance 
for it to grow. 

IJuring several years, a box-factory was 
in operation in the south part of the town, 
which supplied shippers with fruit-boxes, 
but it was removed. The mill that Rey- 
nolds built near the bridge, was operated 
for many years by O'Fallon, but he re- 
moved it to Gillsboro a few years ago. 
Other parties set up a grist-mill and box- 
factory on the same site. 

The school house is on the west side at 
the foot of the bluff. The inhabitants of 
Makanda and vicinity are industrious and 
intelligent people. 


This is scarcely to be opnsidered a town, 
but as it has a name, and is about such a 

place as Eltham once was, although not a 
rei^^Lilar station, vet it must not be omitted. 

When the Illinois Central Rail Road 
was in process of construction, the builders 
used a large quantity of stone for culverts 
and ballast. This stone was quarried in 
the north-east corner of section 9, Town 10 
South, Range 1 West, in Makanda Town- 
ship, and half way from Makanda to Car- 
bondale. They made a track across Drury 
Creek and loaded the cars in the quarry. 
After the road was finished, and the com- 
pany had quit using the stone, the quarry 
track was taken up, but a side-track was 
left for the convenience in switching irreg- 
ular trains out of the way. 

When the State of Illinois was erecting 
the Normal University at Carbondale, the 
red sand-stone used in that structure, was 
taken from this quarry, and after that was 
finished, much stone was shipped to distant 
parts by Mr. Johnson. 


In 1876, Mr. K» P. Purdy brought a saw- 
mill to this place, setfting it up near the 
side-track for convenience in loadino^ lum- 
ber on the cars. 

At the same time, Mr. S. Cleland, who 
was then owner of the quarry land, laid oil" 
town lots on the west side of the rail-road 
opposite to the mill, and named the place 
"Boskydale." Several houses were built 
and a few families dwelt there. Mr. Cle- 
land made a business of quarrying stone 
and shipping it to distant places for build- 
ing purposes. He employed a gang of 
men in th*i business. 

More houses were needed, therefore Mr. 
E. M. Hanson laid off an addition in 1877, 
and several more houses were erected. 

The town is in the valley of Drury. It 
is not likely ever to be much of a town. It 
has already gained a bad character for 
rowdyism. Murder has been committed 



This is one of the towns that was, and is 
not. It existed only about seven years. 
It was a mining town; and when the mines 
were abandoned, the miners left the houses 

In the year 1850, the Jackson County 
Coal Company opened their first mine three 
fourths of a mile south of Murphysboro, in 
the south-west quarter of section 9, Town 
9 South, Range 2 West. Mr. E. Holden 
was superintendent. Their mines were all 
tunnells. The miners were mostly from 
Scotland, therefore many persons called 
the place "Scotch Town." Quite a num- 
ber of houses were built for the men to 
reside in, for most of them had families. 
The Scotch were some of them zealous fol- 
lowers of Joseph Smith, but not of Brig- 
ham Youno;, at least not outwardly- Mr 
Edwin Hanson built a store house and kept 

store there. Thef company built a large 
boarding house ami Mis. Willis took 
charge of it and cooked for the boarders. 
The miners who had no families and the 
young men that worked for the company 
above ground, boarded there. 

For several years this was quite a busy 
place, and a good market for the produce 
that farmers have to sell. 

The miners, aS; usual, were a rowdy sot, 
especially when they were drunk. One 
night the miners were oifended at some- 
thing that Zeri Byers had said, about them 
making so much noise that he could not 
sleep. The next night they got drunk and 
danced and ^vvore, and threatened Byres; 
thus they kept up a row all night to the 
disturbance of the whole community. 
Mr. Kitchen, a-carpenter, who boarded at 
another house, heard them, and next day 
he reported them to Mr. Holden, who sent 
for them at once to come to the office, and 

to their surprise, he paid them off and told 
them to leave the place immediately. 

One peculiarity about Holden was, that 
he would not employ an Irishman on any 
terms. He seemed to have a deep seated 
hatred of that nationality. He was a per- 
fect gentleman, and treated all well who 
did their duty, and if they did not, he 
would soon pay them off. If he approached 
a gang of workmen and found some of 
them resting, he would go and sit down by 
them if they sat still until he came to them, 
but if they got up and went to work at his 
approach, he would discharge them. 

The company hauled the coal out of the 
tunnels to the bank of the river, about one 
fourth of a mile, in cars drawn by a mule, 
on a rail-road made with wooden rails with 
straps of iron nailed on them. Valentine 
Taylor was the driver of the mule during 
the first year. This was the first rail- road 
in Jackson County. The coal was piled up 

on the bank of the river where it waited 
for water sufficient to float it off. 

In the spring of 1851, the Walk-ln-the- 
Water, a new boat that was originally 
built for a ferry boat, had arrived at St. 
Louis, and the company chartered her to 
go up Big Muddy to bring a load of coal. 
She made her first trip in May, after the 
Mississippi had risen considerably, so that 
Muddy was filled with back-water. This 
boat took her load of coal, also two barges 
loaded with it, to St. Louis, and the com- 
pany introduced it to the foundries and 
gas-works, where it was pronounced to be 
the best coaj west of Pittsburg, and it soon 
became known to the public. 

After the boat had brought her first load 
of coal, the company purchased her, and 
then she made regular trips up Muddy one 
day, loaded during the night, returned next 
day and unloaded opposite the town of 
Preston; thus supplying the steamboats 


with coal, for most of them used only 
wood before that time. 

The coal was boated out every summer 
y at the time of the rising of the Mississippi. 
The business prospered, but there came a 
time when for two years the river did not 
rise high enough for the boat to cross the 
Fish-trap Shoal, and the coal accumulated 
on the river bank, while their coal-yard on 
the Mississippi was empty and their custom 
lost. They extended their rail-road past 
the shoal, but the expenses ate up the 
profits and the work was abandoned, the 
town deserted and the houses removed. 
It is now only a farm and is owned by the 
G. T. M. M.&T.Co. 

Mount Carbon, 

The Mount Carbon Coal Company was 
organized and chartered nearly forty years 
ago, and they commenced to mine out coal 

that long ago. Tney opened a mine where 
the coal crops out on the bajiks of Big 
Muddy River, at Mt. Carbon, about iialf 
way between the upper and lower fords, or 
where the hills come to the river just J)e- 
low the bridge. The present rail-road runs 
over the mouth of the old tunnel. There 
was not any large quantity mined in those 
days. Sometimes a flat-boat was loaded 
and floated down the river. Some of them 
would sink on the route, for that kind of 
navigation was very dangerous. There is 
one of them sunk about half a mile below 
the mines, full of coal; but it is probably 
now covered with mud. 

The company built a mill of several sto- 
ries in height on the north bank of the river 
below where the bridge is now, that was 
used for the purpose of sawing lumber and 
grinding corn. It ran for many years. 
Richard Dudding was boss of the estab- 


After some time, the company quit 
working the mines and the mill also, and 
evervthino; was silent and neglected during 
many years. There were no buildings 
at Mt. Carbon except the old mill, (which 
has long since rotted down and disap- 
peared,) and the ferryman's house, which 
was just above the mill. John Minto was 
ferryman for many years after Dudding 
had left the place; and, occasionally, Minto 
dug coal to supply the blacksmiths. The 
mine was so low that every high water 
filled it and left mud all over it. iVfter 
Mr. Minto left the place, Mr. Wilson was 
ferryman until the bridge was built, when 
the ferry was no longer needed. ' 

After the Jackson County Coal Compa- 
ny had built their wooden track rail-road, 
the Mt. Carbon Company procured a char- 
ter from the legislature of the state, for a 
rail-road from Mt. Carbon to the Mississip- 
pi River. The Jackson Company then 

obtained an amendment to the eflect that 
the new road would have to cross the older 
one at the same grade as the latter road. 
The two companies, as represented by 
their respective superintendents, Mr. Hold- 
en and Mr. Dudding, were working not 
very harmoniously, but sometimes contrary 
to each other; yet the two gentlemen be- 
came warm personal friends. 

The Mt. Carbon Company thus laid 
silent and quiet as far as working anything 
was concerned, for many years, including 
the whole of the time that the Jackson 
Company was at work, except the time 
when the chartered rail-road was to be 
commenced to save the charter, ])udding 
had men at work a few days, and in the 
expressive language of Holden, they 
"cleared out a txtrnip patch?'' 

The old company tried to do nothing 
more, when sometime about the close of 
the War of the Rebellion, they sold out to 

another company, who obtained a new 
charter under the same corporate name, 
"Mt. Carbon Coal Company." 

With Mr. Henry Fitzhugh as superin- 
tendent, they commenced work in earnest. 
At first, their office was in John Hanson's 
residence in Murphysboro. They built a 
saw-millnear the place where the mill is at 
present. They set up the engine that is at 
No. 2 shaft, and ran a slope, commencing 
under the old county road. The engine 
hauled coal up an inclined plane. The 
rail-road from Mt. Carbon to Grand Tower 
was commeiiced and pushed through vig- 
orously. The foundry and machine shop 
were built, and a small steamer came up 
the river bringing machinery and other 
heavy freight; but much of their machin- 
ery was brought by rail-road to Carbon- 
dale, and from thence hauled on wagons to 
its destination. 


As soon as the rail-road was completed, 
they began to ship off coal to Grand Tower 
to supply boats, and to send in barges to 
St. Louis and other places. During the 
time they had sunk several sliai'ts. Two 
that were sunk in the Hat north-east of the 
depot, could not be worked, because there 
was so much water and the roof was too 
thin and covered with quicksand, therefore 
they were both abandoned. 

A shaft was sunk south of these in the 
edge of the hills, called No. 1 shaft, and a 
rail-road track was laid to it. No. 2 shaft 
was sunk near the slope, so that the same 
engine could hoist from both. 

During this time, the row of houses 
between the depot and the bridge was 
built, also nearly fifty dwellings in the flat 
on the north side of the river. Houses and 
shanties began to accumulate on the hills; 
miners came flocking in. It was but a 
short time before there was a large popu- 

lation of miners, and money was plenty in 
the country. Especially did Murphysboro 
profit by it, and began to wake up from a 
long sleep and grow into city-like propor- 
tions; but, with its growth and prosperity, 
it also became vain, and obtained a city 
charter, including the Mt. Carbon works 
in the city limits. This arrangment 
displeased the company, because they did 
not want to pay city taxes, after having 
furnished the money that had built the 
city; so the city and the company pulled 
contrary to each other for some time. 

The company had laid out the fiat north 
of the river into lots, as an addition to 
Murphysboro, but they afterwards vacated 
the plat, and for a time talked of removing 
the houses. They did indeed build fifty 
houses for the miners, on the highest ridge 
at Mt. Carbon. Afterwards, the city char- 
ter was so modified as to exclude all south 
of the river, thus leaving out all the works 

and buildings of the company except those 
in the flat. 

■ Wishing- to ship coal by the Illinois 
Central Rail Road as well as by the liver^ 
the company extended their rail-road to 
Carbondale, and there formed a junction 
with that road. They next Ijuilt two iron 
furnaces at Grand Tower. About this time 
the company obtained a new charter under 
the title of the "Grand Tower Mining, 
Manufacturing and Transportation Com- 
pan3^" The rail-road, which had heretofore 
been called "Mt. Carbon Rail l^oad," was 
afterwards called "Grand Tower and Car- 
bondale Rail Road." 

Mr. Fitzhugh died during the first year, 
and was succeeded by Mr. A. C. Bryden, 
after him Mr. H. V. Oliphant had that of- 
fice; since his death, Mr. Williamson, the 
present superintendent, controls the affairs 
of the company. 


Tiie company have been much troubled 
with miner's strikes; which sometimes 
lasted for several months at a time. At 
one time, during a prolonged strike, they 
brought coal from Cartersville, Williamson 
County, Illinois, to supply boats at Grand 
Tower; and from Brazil, Indiana, to sup- 
ply the iron furnaces. At another time, 
after the men had held out on a strike for a 
long time, the company sent for fifty col- 
ored miners and set them to work. They 
then discharged nineteen of the strikers, 
and the rest soon went to work again, to 
prevent their places from being taken by 
the colored men. 

The company became involved in a 
$200,000.00 law-suit, and their works went 
into the hands of trustees, but the work 
was continued. 

During this time they had sunk shaft 
No. 3, half a mile from the station, and ran 
a rail-road track to it. 

This company having bought the land 
that had belonged to the Jackson County 
Coal Company, proceeded to make use of 
it. The site of Dorchester was made into 
a farm; the fifty, houses on the hill are on 
that land; so also is No. ^ shaft. 

This company has been much troubled 
with fires. First, the saw-mill was burned, 
and when it was rebuilt, the precaution 
was taken to place the mill and the boiler 
at some distance from each other. The en- 
gineer''s office at Grand Tower was burned 
with most of their plats and drawings. 
No. 1 shaft suffered a similar fate, destroy- 
ing the works on the top and ruining the 
hoisting engine. The shaft was never used 
again. The rail-road bridge across Big 
Muddy near Sand Ridge was consumed, 
but immediatly rebuilt. Nearly all the air- 
shafts have been burned at times, injuring 
the ventilation in the mines for a time. 
The station-house and store, which were in 

tli3 building, were destroyed, and 
they were rebuilt separately. 

A tunnel was opened west of the first 
opening, but it was not worked much for 
several years. It has been used more re- 

When the panic of 1873 came on, the 
work was nearly all stopped, miners left for 
other places. No. 2 shaft only was worke d, 
and thcLt only two or three days in a week. 
This state of things continued or grew 
worse for sev^eral years. In the spring of 
1876, Big Muddy rose so much higher than 
usual that No. 2 shaft was filled with 
water, and it took a long time to pump it 
out. The iron furnaces cooled, one of 
them collapsed; very few boats were run- 
ning on the Mississippi, therefore there was 
not much demand for coal, and for awhile 
only the tunnel was worked. Most of the 
larjie crowd of miners that used to be there 
The houses on "Fiddler's 

Ridge," which once had funned a louii; 
street, are most of them taken away. Tiius 
the large business at Mt. Carbon ahnost 
came to a stand. 

In 1880, business began to revive. The 
company erected a long row of coke-ovens 
on the ground on which Holden stored his 
coal thirty years before. No. 3 shaft which 
had been unused so long, was again alive 
with miners, and the subterranean passages 
once more reverbarate with the sound of 
the pick and the shout of the mule-driver. 
The houses are inhabited, and prosperity 
is returnino^. 

Grand Tower. 

In the year 1673, seven Frenchmen, in 
two birch-bark canoes, started from Green 
Bay, and went down Fox River, then down 
Wisconsin River, and on the 17th of June 


entered the Mississippi. The swift current 
swept them rapidly down, past the pictured 
rocks at the mouth of the Illinois River, 
then past the Devil's Oven and the 
'''- dangerous''' Grand Tower. 

This is the first mention of the Grand 
Tower, which is a tower-like rock rising 
out of the river near the Missouri shore, 
and directly opposite to the south end of 
the sharp ridge called the "Devil's Back- 
bone. This rock is considered dangerous 
to this day. When the water is high, an 
eddy starts at a rocky point near the 
"Tower" and reaches half a mile or more 
down the river, the outer edge of this eddy 
where it joins the main current is full of 
whirlpools. When a floating tree gets into 
one of these, it stands erect for a moment, 
then disappears beneath the surging water. 
Skiffs or other small craft are served in the 
same manner, and life has thus been lost. 
The danger to steamboats is that they are 

careened and turned out of their course, 
and for the time become uncontrolable. 

Sometime in the early settlement of the 
West, a keel-boat load of emigrants with 
their goods, was ascending the river. At 
this point, the unusally broad river is quite 
narrow, being about three-eighths of a mile 
in width, and confined between rocky 
shores, making the current is very swift; 
the boat could not ascend easily, therefore 
the emigrants landed to walk past this 
place; the men to pull the ropes, the wo- 
men and children to go at their leisure. 
Suddenly, they were attacked by Indians 
that had been hidden amongst the rocks. 
The emigrants were all killed except a 
boy twelve years old, who hid amongst the 
rocks, near the place where the iron-works 
were recently located. On the highest 
point on the south end of the Devil's Back- 
bone, graves have been found, but whether 
of Indians or white men is not known. 

That boy that escaped, after he was grown 
up, pursued that gang of Indians one by 
one, until he slew the last one on an island 
in the rix-'er. 

Many years ago, Marshall Jenkins settled 
where the south part of the town is now. 
After steamboats beg-an to navio-ate the 
river, he kept a landing and a wood-yard. 
The place was known as Grand Tower 
Landins: or Jenkins' Landinsr. x\fter the 
death of Jenkins, James Ev^ans married 
the widow. He built a warehouse and 
opened a store, and the place was called 
Evans' Landing, but it was always known 
as Grand Tower. Elisha Cochran settled 
near the south end of the Back-bone. The 
grave-yard was close to the foot of that 
hill, between that and Cochran's house. 
Several other families lived there, and the 
school house was sometimes used as such. 
The location is suitable for a landing. 
It i?> a strip of level ground between the 

river and Walker's Hill, whicii rises just 
back of it, having precipitous, rocky sides. 
This hill is not connected with ajiy other 
hill, but is entirely surrounded by low land. 
The Back-bone before mentioned is a 
sharp, rocky ridge, nearly a mile long, 
running along the river bank; the southern 
end being close to the river, and highest; 
the northern end and the middle leavino- 
a strip of level land between the hill and 
the river. There is also a narrow strip of 
level ground between this hill and Walk- 
er's Hill, where the two lap past each 
other. A detached portion of the Back- 
bone juts out into the river, forming the 
"]J>evil's Oven." Nearly a mile north of 
this is the "Big Hill," which is very high, 
about four miles long and two miles wide; 
it is also surrounded by low lands and the 
river which washes its western base. Its 
sides are mostly precipitous, at the north 
end rising perpendicularly one hundred 

and twenty-five feet. The formation of 
the whole neighborhood is peculiar, and 
the impression made on the minds of the 
early settlers caused them to name so many 
things after his Satanic Majesty. 

When the Mt. Carbon Company built a 
rail-road from Mt. Carbon to Grand Tower, 
the land owners at the latter place, Jen- 
kins, Evans and the company, each laid off 
town lots, and sold them rapidly for a 
while. Soon a town sprang up as if by 
magic. All the river front was built up 
with stores, hotels and other business 
houses; thus the obscure landing place 
sprang into a young city at once. Although 
it is a good location for a town, yet hereto- 
fore, there had been almost no communica- 
tion with Murphysboro or the interior of 
the county. The only road went through 
four miles of the muddiest ground that can 
be imagined, and was absolutely impassi- 
ble at some seasons of the year. But the 

rail-road remedied all that in a short time, 
and made a pass way through at all times 
of the year. 

The company began to ship coal on 
barges, and also to furnish steamboats with 
coal. The following: vear, the rail-road 
was extended to Carbondale and connected 
with the Illinois Central Rail Road; then 
passengers and freight were landed at 
Grand Tower for various points along that 
road, and the town still grew, and ex- 
tended northward towards the Big Hill, 
first, by building that part called "Red 
Town," afterwards by other additions. 

The company built two iron furnaces on 
that side of the Back-bone next to the 
river, and ran a rail-road track through the 
middle of the ridge where it is the lowest. 
Soon another company built a furnace at 
the southern extremity of the city. This 
is usually known as the lower furnace. So 
Grand Tower, with three furnaces, one 


rail-road, and a regular packet to St. Louis, 
g-rew and prospered, until it extended from 
the lower furnace nearly to the Big Hill, 
or almost two miles in length. Then came 
reverses. The lower furnace stopped for a 
long time, then fired up and continued in 
operation for a season only to stop again. 
It remained cold and silent for many years. 
The upper furnaces met with accidents. 
Sometimes one of them would fall to pieces 
full of melted iron, which hardened as it 
cooled, and it required a long time after- 
wards to cut it out before they could begin 
to repair the furnace. Then the company 
met with trouble and fell into the hands of 
Trustees. For a short time but one fur- 
nace was in operation, then it too became 
silent and deserted. The company almost 
quit shipping coal, and everything became 
dull. Some of the merchants left the town 
and removed to other places. The town 
had passed its period of prosperity; for, 

like Mt. OarboiH, it was dependent on the 
company, and when they ahnost quit work- 
ing, the business of the towns languished. 

The upper furnaces have been disman- 
tled, the costly machinery removed and 
everything that could be of use taken 
away, showing the intention of making no 
more pig-iron at that place. 

About the year 1880, business began to 
revive, and the town began to resume 
something of its former bustling appear- 
ance. There was talk of the lower furnace 
again being started. 

Thirty years ago, a gentleman, looking 
far into the future, predicted that the iron- 
ore of Missouri and the coal of Jackson 
County, 111. would meet near Grand 
Tower, and along the river bank would be 
a long row of iron furnaces. This has 
been only fulfilled in part; the time is yet 
to come its entire accomplishment. 



The following account of the early set- 
tlement of Brownsville, was kindly fur- 
nished by Ben Boone, Esq. 

"Brownsville was incorporated by the Legis- 
lature held at Kaskaskia in March, 1819. Jessee 
Griggs, John Ankeuy, James S. Dorris, Dr. 
Matthew Taylor and William D. Ferquay were 
Trustees. Brownsville was begun to be im- 
proved in the fall of 1816, or spring of 1817. 
The town had been laid out and some improve- 
ments made at that early date. In 1817 to J 819 
it looked town-like. The first settler was Jessee 
Griffors and family. Conrod Will resided near 
the salt-licks, outside of the town site. In 1817 
to '18, a goodly number of persons settled in 
the town. Those I recollect were, Peter Kini- 
mel and family, Cyrus F. Kimmel, S. H. Kim- 
mel, A. W. Kimmel, -^ Litchbarger and fam- 
ily, Katharine Schwartz and family. Conrod 
Will, S. H. Kimmel, James S. Dorris and James 
Harrold, all had stores. Lemon was a hatter, 
lie had a family : Henderson and Fild were sad- 
dlers; John Queen, attorney; W. Taylor and 
Davis, doctors; Burton and Richard J. Hamil- 
ton, lawyers; Marion Fuller, James Findley, 


John Lucas, John G. Clark, J. Kuuca, Porter, 
John Tinnun and David Burkey, were carpen- 
ters; Neff, Chamberlain and Howe, school 
teachers; Haltboru was a blacksmith, so was 
Grun. A. M. Jenkins and his sister, Liza came 
to town. 

This is th^ history of Brownsville to 1819 or 

When Jackson County was organized, 
Brownsville was the county seat. The 
town was situated in the south part of sec- 
tion 2, Town 9 South, Range 3 West. The 
court house was a frame building, and was 
situated in the middle of the square. The 
site of the town was on a level ground be- 
tween Big Muddy River on the south and 
the hills on the north. A slough runs 
along the foot of the hills, which is 
filled with back-water from the river, al- 
though the level land is above the usual 
high water mark. It was a beautiful site 
for a small town; rather contracted in 
width, but indefinate in length. Some of - 

the residences were built up the side of 
the hill and overlooked the town. 

Brownsville continued to be a flourish- 
ing town until the county seat was removed 
in 1843. There were several st(jres around 
the square. Among the residents there, 
were John M. Hanson, 13. H. Brush, Rob- 
ert H. Marron, and Dr. James Robarts 
who are well known to the present resi- 
dents of the county. 

On muster day, election day or court 
week, the citizens from the country around 
would go there, not only to attend to the 
duties of the day and do their trading at 
the stores, which often consisted of ex- 
changing 'coon skins or venison hams for 
coifee &c., but, not having the modern 
means of disseminating news, the newspa- 
per being seldom seen, they met to hear 
and tell the news. What enjoyment it was 
to those farmers who would often be for a 
week at a time without seeing a human 

face except those of their own families, to 
meet (;ach other and exchange items of 
news or tell "yarns." They would have 
their fun, hut nearly every one would 
drink, and many get drunk, as a conse- 
quence, fighting was often the order of the 
day. Sometimes Iri Byers and Peter 
Keifer would meet in a crowd and try who 
could tell the most unlikely stories. Thus 
did they amuse themselves like true 

On the night of the 10th of January, 
1843, the court house was discovered to he 
on fire; the flames spread so rapidly that 
nothing could be saved. All the books, 
papers and records were destroyed, except 
perhaps one or two small books that were 
not in the court house at the time. 

On the 13th of January, 1843, the coun- 
ty commissioners met to make arrange- 
ments for the purchasing of new books, 
and empowered the clerk, D. H. Brush, to 

purchase such books as were necessary to 
carry on the county business. 

Soon after this, there was a movement 
among the people of the county to 
select another place for a county seat, 
and Murphysboro was located on the first 
day of August, 1843. Soon after that time 
the county seat was removed to that place, 
leaving Brownsville to die. The merchants 
and business men soon followed the court 
house, and the old town gradually died a 
lingering death. During s'iveral years the 
people kept leaving the town; the deserted 
houses rotted down, the owners of lots 
were glad to sell at any price, and Richard 
Worthen bought them cheaply, one after 
another. In 1853, iie owned all* Browns- 
ville. Very few houses were left on the 
ground; some had been removed, many 
had rotted down and had been burned, so 
^Tr. Worthen burned all the rest except a 
few for which he had use, to get them out 

of the way. He made a farm of the town* 
site, and it is now occupied by his descend- 
ants. The town has run its race and has 
ceased to exist. 

It might be well to mention here the 
Indian town at Sand Ridge, that was for 
many years cotemporary witli Brownsville. 
It was a settlement of the tribe of Kaskas- 
kia Indians. The United States govern- 
ment reserved for them a tract of land two 
miles in length and half a mile in width, 
including most of the ridge. Here they 
had a town, and often met the white men 
of Brownsville on friendly terms. A joke 
is told on Robert Worthen like this: that 
one day while he was passing along the 
banks of Big Muddy when it was nearly 
full, near the Indian town, he found a lot 
Indian children at play. He began to 
pitch them into the swelling river, one af- 
ter another, just for fun, koQwing that they 
would swim out. This sport he continued 

for som.^ time, but the youngsters, not ap- 
preciating the joke, made an alarm that 
brought their mothers to the rescue. The 
squaws took Bob and rolled him into the 
river too, and left him to get out as well as 
he could. 

The Kaskaskia tribe decreased in num- 
bers, and left their reservation. They went 
to the Indian Territory and became incor- 
porated with some other tribe. 

3Iur pliy sb o ro , 

According to Mr. Boone's account, in 
the year 1808, James Davis and Joseph 
French with their families, settled the 
place where Murphysboro is now. It 
seems that at some time afterwards, the 
iand became the property of Dr. John 
LwOgan, who lived there many years, and 
^here Gen. John A. Logan was born. 

When the court house at Brownsville 
was destroyed by fire on the night of the 
10th of January, 1843, the people of the 
county took the legal steps to have the 
county seat removed to some other place, 
and commissioners were appointed by the 
county commissioners' court to select the 
site of the intended town. Samuel Russell, 
William C. Murphy and John Cochran 
were the men that were appointed for that 
purpose. They reported that "after due 
examination of several places, a site was 
chosen, situated in the south-west quarter 
of Section 4, Town 9 South, Range 2 West, 
on land belonging to Dr. John Logan." 
Dr. Logan donated twenty acres for the 
town plat. The location was made perma- 
nent on the first day of August, 1843. The 
land was laid out into lots and streets with 
a central square for the use of the county 
buildings. The county commissioners had 
the plat recorded " and proceeded to sell 

lots. The town was named after one of 
the commissiouers, Mariyhifs Borough^ 
but the name was by common concent 
joined into one word, the apostrophe and 
the three last letters dropped, and spelled 

The first court was held in a frame house 
that was moved there for the purpose. 
Soon houses began to arise. The county 
built a court house of brick in the middle 
of the square. The court room was on the 
lirst floor, and the clerks' offices up-stairs. 

In the fall of 1845, the court house had 
been finished, the walls of the Logan 
House were going up, and the house was 
completed soon afterwards; but it was only 
two stories high. Dr. Logan kept hotel 
in that houso. until his death which oc- 
curred several years afterwards. Brush 
and Hanson opened a store one block east 
of the square, but after a while they dis- 
solved partnership and kept separate stores. 

The town was not long without drinking 
houses, and that has been its curse ever 

Of the three commissioners who located 
the town, William C. Murphy has been 
dead a long time; Samuel Russell died a 
few years ago; John Cochran is the 
only one that lives to see the present 
growth of the town. 

County court was first held in the new 
town on the 4th day of March, 1844, but 
probate court was held in November, 1843. 
From this time until 1850, there was very 
little improvement; most of the buildings 
were close around the square; and all, 
with perhaps two or three exceptions, were 
within the town plat. The town was sur- 
rounded on three sides by fields, and on 
the. south, where the land suddenly drops 
down to the river bottom, by woods. 
There were two roads leading to the south 
part of the county, the principal one crossed 


the rivjr at Mt. Carbon, either at the ford 
or ferry; the other road crossed the river 
at the Fish-trap Shoal, where the Cairo 
and St. Louis Rail Road crosses. 

There was no church or school house in 
the town at that time, except a log house 
that stood at the south side of the town, in 
the edge of the woods, which was used for 
both church and school purposes. 

Murphysboro was a very dull place usu- 
ally when there was neither court nor 
election in progress. Circuit Court was 
only held one week in the spring and one 
week in the fall, and elections were only 
once a year; but, at these times the farm- 
ers from the whole county would crowd in, 
aiid the town would then be lively, yes! 
tjery lively — for even at that time there 
were several "groceries" as they were then 
called; they were not yet dignified by the 
nanle of "saloons, but in them whisky was 
cheap and abundant; drunkenness and 

fighting were very common occurrences. 
It was often the case that during the lime 
that an earnest counselor was making liis 
best effort before a jury, a fight wouhl be- 
gin just outside of the court house, which 
soon became exciting and general; the 
crowd shouting, the audience in the court 
room rushing out, even the court and jury 
peep out through the windows. For a time 
the counsel pleads in vain; no one hears 
him as long as the fight continues. 

Near the place where the south end of 
the row of brick buildings east of the court 
house is now, was a horse-rack; the ground 
was beaten Ijollow by the stamping of the 
beasts. One day during circuit court, after 
a shower, when the hollow was a pond and 
several horses standing in it, two men be- 
gan to fight, their friends on both sides 
pitched in, and there was a struggling and 
surging mass of humanity, fighting, rolling 
and kicking, until the whole pile rolled 

into the water under the horses; the ex- 
cited crowd meanwhile cheering or swear- 
ing. The dogs that were present could 
not long remain silent spectators, but soon 
joined in the fray and did their best. The 
court house was deserted, the groceries 
emptied, and confusion reigned. Such a 
sight; men horses, dogs, torn shirts and 
mud mixed together. 

The town began to receive a new impe- 
tus in 1850. x\t that time the Jackson 
County Coal Company began operations 
about three-fourths of a mile south of the 
court house, at the place they called Dor- 
chester; and for the first time the people 
of Murphysboro knew what sort of people 
coal miners or colliers were. The com- 
pany paid out money to their many hands, 
aiiad moat of it found its way to the mer- 
chants of whisky sellers of Murphysboro. 
The town began t-o pixjsper, and many new 
houses were epect^^d. 

During the tlufe of tlie spring court, tho 
Alton Presbytery met at Murphysboro. 
They held their business meetings in the 
old log school house, and continued in sos- 
f-ions all the week. Each dav, during- the 
recess of court at noon, one of ministers 
preached in the court room. Rev. Norton 
of xA.lton was moderator of the Presbytery. 
During the same week, Big Muddy River 
was very high, so that people had to ferr}- 
from the hills at Mt. Carbon all the way 
across the low part of the "flats.'' All the 
hiofh bank where the north end of the 


bridge now is, was covered deep enough 
to ferry over. This flood was from head- 
water runniiio: with a stronj; current. 

In 1851, the Mississippi was very high; 
the highest that was ever known except 
the rise in 1844 which exceeded this by 
four feet. This time it backed up the 
river very high at Mt. Carbon. The Jack- 
son Coal Company boated out their coal 


with a small steamboat, which continued 
her trips for nearly two months. This 
company continued to work for several 
years, and most of the money that they 
paid out found its way to town, which be- 
gan to grow and look more like a business 
place than it had heretofore. 

About the year 1854, Rev. J. Wood, a 
Presbyterian minister, undertook to per- 
suade the people to build a church in the 
town, and by great exertions he succeeded 
during the winter and spring following, so 
far as to get the frame of a large church 
built and the roof and siding on, so that 
the weather would not spoil it; but there 
it stuck; nobody would help it any farther. 
Mr. Wood, in disgust, left and went and 
built a church at Carbondale. The unfin- 
ished house in Murphysboro remained in 
that condition for many years, while sa- 
loons prospered and increased in number, 
but the church was used as a public stable 

by every one wfio rode to town, to hitch 
their horses in. When the town afterwards 
l)ecanio prosperous, the old church was 
iinisheci off and made into a theatre tmd 
beer saloo?i. It is the same building- that 
was afterwards called '"Concert Hall." 

In the days when Judge Denning- pre- 
sided at the circuit court, the people woidd 
come on Monday morning, and often have 
to wait iintil Tuesday or Wednesday be- 
fore the judge would come to organize the 
court. He was reported sick at the Logan 
House. When there was too much noise 
in court, the judge would tell the sherriff, 
John Elmore, to have "silence in court,'* 
then Mr. Elmore would go in a quiet man- 
ner to the persons that were talking too 
loud, aud whisper to them to keep silence. 
Whenever a juror, witness or lawyer was 
wanted, the sherriff called their names at 
tlie door, for most of them would be in tlto 
"groc^.ty^' or clo<^ about there. Irj later 

times, David Williams kept a grocery just 
south-east of the court house that was a 
convenient resort of the thirsty citizens. 

In those days, the county court, in se- 
lecting a grand jury, on one occasion, said 
to each other, "Let us have the best men 
in tlie county, men of intelligence and hon- 
esty on this grand jury." They went over 
the tax list and selected the best men in 
the county. When the grand jury met, 
among other indictments, they found a bill 
against the county court for the condition 
in which the jail was kept. That court 
did not think that they would try that ex- 
periment again. At that time, the jail w^as 
a small wooden house that stood near the 
court house. 

The first newspaper published in Jackson 
County was printed at Murphysboro about 
the year 1854. It was published by Bierer, 
and was called the ''JACIiTSOI^ BEM- 
OCEATr It fiourished for a few months, 

then fell into the liaiuls oi' C)harh;y Cuin- 
mings, who soon ran it into debt and 
contempt, and abandoned the (enterprise. 
There it ended. 

About these times or sooner, James M. 
Morgan, Tho's M. Logan and Lindort" Oz- 
born built the mill at the foot of the hill. 

In the spring of 1855, the county sold 


the swamp lands at public auction at the 
court house. These lands were given l)y 
the United States to the State of Illinois, 
and by the state to the county, to be sold, 
the money to be used in draining the land. 
By this means it was hoped that much good 
land would be reclaimed and the greneral 
health of th^ people improved. The coun- 
ty needed a new court house about that 
time. "The money belongs to the county, 
and, although intended for a special pur- 
pose, yet it will do the county more good 
to build a court house than to dig ditches 
inthe'Mit>si«^j7j7i bottoin.''^ • So it- wft? (3o- 


cided to do so, ignoring the rights of pur- 
chsers, and most of the swamp land money 
was used for that purpose soon afterwards. 
'IMie new court house was built east of the 
old building, and fronting on Main Street, 
llie old house was not removed until the 
new ijuiiding was finished and occupied. 
The court room is above, and the clerks' 
offices below. The house has been changed 
around several times since it was first 
built; and a few years ago, it was enlarged 
by the addition of two fire-proof rooms 
and a third story in a mansard roof, the 
whole surmounted by a cupola and clock. 

When the war came on, Murphysboro, 
like every other place, became dull, and 
business came to a stand. The Jackson 
Cimnty Coal Company had long before 
that time quit mining coal, the mines had 
been abaudoued, the houses at Dorchester 
deserted, and tlie steamboat disabled. So 
nothing was left to make, any trade or btis^ 

iness, and tlie waf claimed tho attention of 
all for a few years. 

About the time of the end of the war, in 
18G5, the Mt. Carbon Coal Company began 
operations at Mt. Carbon. They sank sev- 
eral shafts, and employed a large fo.ce of 
miners and other hands. They built a 
rail-road from Grand Tower to Mt. Carbon, 
which was afterwards extended to Carbon- 
dale. They went to work on such a large 
scale that it threw all the works of the 
Jackson Company into the shade. Mur- 
physboro began to grow and prosper as if 
by magic. Soon all the old town plat was 
built up, and additions made, two by John 
A. and Tho'^ M. Logan and one by Wil- 
liam Logan, afterwards followed by addi- 
tions by the Logans and others, which 
were soon built up. The town obtained a 
city charter, but in doing so, included 
within the city limits all the works at Mt. 
Carbon. This displeased tlw? Mt Carbon 

Couip-iny, who had laid off all the flat into 
town lots, and had built nearly fifty houses 
on them. But they vacated the plat, and 
liuilt fifty houses on the hills south of Big 
]\Iuddy. The corporate limits were after- 
wards so modified as to exclude all south 
of the river. 

Big Muddy coal soon had such a name 
that other parties began to buy or lease all 
the coal lands about Murphysboro. Joseph 
Gartside sank four shafts north of town, 
and the Lewis Company one shaft. The 
Cairo and St. Louis Rail Road (Narrow 
Gauge,) was constructed from St. Louis to 
Murphysboro, thus giving an opportnnity 
to all those mines north of town to ship 
coal directly to St. Louis. During the coal 
excitement, another rail-road was surveyed 
to run from Mt. Carbon to Pinckneyville, 
but it was dropped and nothing more was 
(ione about it. The Gartside mines and 
the Ijcwis liiinos gave employment to a 

large number of men, and thus the city 
continued to grow and prosper. All the 
land between the town and the new rail- 
road was laid ofl' into lots, and some build- 
ings erected before the panic came in 1873, 
after which, the mines began to slacken 
their work, the prosperity of the town soon 
stopped, and the erection of new buildings 
ceased, except where old ones had been 
destroyed by fire. 

Twice within a few years has the block 
east of the court house been consumed by 
fire, both times endangering that building. 
The block south of the square and the one 
north of the square have both been burned 
and the old wooden buildings replaced by 
brick edifices. The largest mill has also 
been destroyed and rebuilt. 

For many years, the town has had its 
share of newspapers: the Argiis^ the Era,, 
the Independent and the Tribune. There 
are now several churches and a fine brick 

school house as successors to the old log 
house which has disappeared long ago. 

This town, which has been built by the 
coal interest, came to a stand when that 
interest was nearly dead. The coal is there 
in inexhaustible quantities, and will be in 
demand ao-ain some day. 

^; ;Jc 3j: ij: :f; 

In 1880, business began to revive after 
seven years of stao^nation. The coal com- 
panics again commenced to work on a 
large scale. The Mt. Carbon Company 
built a lono' row of coke ovens near their 
road. The Carbondale Coal and Coke 
Company, which had been for years mining 
coal at Carterville, now sank a shaft north 
of Murphysboi'o, and built a row of coke 
ovens north-east of town and named the 
place "Harrison." They also ext^i;ided the 
Carbondale & Shawiieetowu Rail Road to 
Harrison and westward to comiect \yith the 
Narro'^v Gnag ). Next, the^: made a raiU 

road from Harrison to PinckneyvlUe in 
Perry County. 

The city is now improving rapidly. 
Several good buildings have been erected 
recently, including a city hall. Most ol' 
the space between the old town and the 
Narrow Gauge has been tilled up with 
houses. One street runs northward to the 
Fair Ground, and other clusters of houses 
scattered out to the north-west. The city 
bids fair to still increase for some time to 


Upon examination of old records, the 
following item was found. 

•'Oct. 11th, 1853. About this time the Illinois 

Central Rail Road was commcaced, and some 

persons laid off a town in Section 21, Town U 

South, Ran^e 1 West, and on the raii-road, and 

■ called it 'Cnrbondaley 


The town was owned bj' a company of a 
dozen persons, but the deeds to all the lots 
were signed by John Dougherty and wife. 
The surveying was done by William Rich- 
art, who was county surveyor at that time. 

The hrst public sale of lots, was about 
the 4th day of January, 1853. It was very 
cold weather at the time; still a great 
many persons attended the sale. When 
the terms of the sale were read, they in- 
cluded a condition that every deed was to 
contain a provision to the effect, that no 
intoxicating liquors should be sold on any 
lot, on penalty of the forfeiture of said lot 
to the inhabitants of the town for the use 
of schools. Several persons who had come 
with the express purpose of purchasing a 
lot on winch to set up a drinking shop, 
went away disgusted when they heard the 
terms. The sale proceeded however with- 
out them, selling the even-numbered lots, 
and resi-rvino; tlic odd-numb(M'ed lots for 

. 100 
priv^ate sale. The public sale was not eom- 
j)lete(l that day, but on the l'-3th day of 
April, the remainder of the eviMi-nunibored 
in-lots were sold. 

Mr. J. 13. Richart was the first resident 
of the town; he lived where R. Romig now 
resides, on the hill south of the south-west 
corner of the square. Aso-ill Conner built 
a house on the north side of Main Street, 
about fifteen rods west of the square, and 
soon occupied it. Col. D. II. Brush had a 
store in the small loo- house that is now 
used by him as an office. It has since l)een 
removed, for at first it stood east of the al- 
ley, where tl>^ brick building is now. Al- 
fred Sintrleton built a house where the 
north end of Chapman's block is, then sold 
it and built a hotel where Brunn's build- 
inors are. John Dunn built a lojx house on 
the north side of Main Street, about fifteen 
rods east of the square, and Edwai'd IXve- 
lev iMitlt a liousf iust -^ast of the alley. 

where .lames Scurlock's brick building is. 
Dr. Richart built a house on what has been 
since known as the Storer property. D. H. 
Brush built the first mill and soon after- 
wards sold it to Henry Sanders. (It was 
burned in 1880.) Estes and Clements had 
a shop in the east part of the town where 
they manufactured wheat fans. 

Preaching was very irregular for some 
time at first. Rev. Ingersoll and others 
preached occasionally in Col. Brush's new 
store house, at the corner of West and 
Main Streets; or in a grove of young oaks 
near to the place where the Presbyterian 
Church is now; afterwards in the shop of 
Estes and Clements. The Methodist Epis- 
copal Church was the first church that was 
erected in the town. It was built in 185G. 
Miss A. E. Richart taught the first school 
^n a house on the west side of West Street 
and north side of the alley between South 
and Walnut Streets, Charles Marten had 


a boot and sho(3 shop on tlie hill where Ivo- 
mig's coffin shop stands. A young doctor 
hung- out his "shingle" at the same place, 
but the otlier doctors were alxvjt to prose- 
cute him for mal-practice, when he emi- 
grated. John Dunn sold out to Mrs. Jane 
Jirush, who afterwards was married to ]Jr. 
Israel Blanchard. She died shortly after 
that event. A. litigation arose between 
Dr. Blanchard and Col. Brush, guardian of 
the heirs of Mrs. Blanchard, which lasted 
several years. D. N. Hamilton came here 
and occupied the house just vacated bv 
Blanchard. James Edwards and Isaac 
Rapp came here and first built a dwelling 
house for Col. Brush, where he resides at 
this time. Dr. Ri chart had a store house 
built whicli was afterwards occupied by 
Dr. Storer. After Storer's death, the old 
building was removed to make room for 
the brick block next to Richart and Camp- 
!>eirs building. James M. Morgan had a 


store where Pricket's drug-store is; it was 
afterwards used for the post-office by Rev. 
Jerome, then the house was removed to 
make room for a brick structure. 

The post-office was first in Brush's store, 
at the corner of West and Main Streets, 
and R. R. Brush was post-master. Then it 
was kept by George Bowyer at the corner 
of West and Oak Streets, in a house long 
since removed. After this by James 
Hampton at the corner of North and East 
Streets, in a house that has been removed 
to give way for E. Robertson's brick house. 
After this in a house now occupied by 
Wm. Gray, on East Street north of the 
square; then in the house now used as a 
butciiers shop at the north-east corner of 
the square; Edward Diveley was post-mas- 
ter at both of the last mentioned places. 
Rev. William Jerome kept the office in the 
house that stands two doors east of the M. 
E. Church when it stood on the site of 

Pricket's drug-store. That was duiinij- tlit* 
war of the rebellion. It was kept in a 
small room that stood two doors south of 
Pricket's; then in the butcher''s shop at the 
north-east corner of the square for the sec- 
ond time; then in a house at the corner 
east of Gager's hotel, at the north-west 
corner of the square. The house was 
burned on Christmas day. 1870. The office 
what was sav'ed from the fire was kept for 
a short time in the house next south of the 
Brush building; then romoved to the sec- 
ond room from the corner south of Gager's 
hotel. At the last four places, R. W. 
Hamilton was post-master. Next post- 
master was John H. Barton, who removed 
the office to the east side, next door north 
of Pricket's, and it remained there until 
the Chapman block was rebuilt after it had 
been burned, when it was removed to the 
middle of that block and remains there. 
Mr. Barton whs succeeded bv S. AValkor. 


Tho altitude of Carbondale is as follows: 

The rail-road track at the Central depot 
is 150 feet above the level of low water at 
Cairo; and 408.48 feet above the level of 
the ocean. 

The highest point on West Main Street 
is 185 feet above low water at Cairo, and 
443.48 above the ocean. 

The lowest point on East Main Street is 
27 feet lower than the rail-road track at 
the depot. 

The irround floor of the Normal Uni- 
versity is 439 feet above the level of the 

From the begnining, Carljondale was 
started on the anti-liquor principles, which 
has continued to be a characteristic of the 
town ever since. 

At the election for incorporation, the 
majority were in favor of incorporating. 
Soon after that, th*^y had an election for 
trustees ; two tickets were put out to be 

voted for, one in favor of giving liconsc to 
sell alcoholic liquors in the town, and the 
other opposed to it. The anti-lioense tick- 
et was elected by a large majority. The 
following persons were elected to be the 
first board of trustees; 

James M. Morgan, Pre&ide7it. 

Gabriel Sanders, 

James M. Campbell, 

Asgill Conner, 

Alfred Singleton. 
The board of trustees met and proceeded 
to pass ordinances for the government of 
the town. When they came to the prohi- 
bition of whisky selling, they had a long 
discussion on the subject. Four were for 
prohibition, but J. M. Morgan, whose name 
had been on both tickets, was in faver of 
granting license, and argued the cause 
eloquently, but failed- to convince any one, 
and had to give it xip with four steadfast 
votes against him. That decided the 

character of the town on the license ques- 
tion for. the future. 

There was much opposition to the pro- 
hibitory law, and some persons tried to 
evade or defy it, chief among whom was 
James Hampton. He sold liquor in a 
house that stood where Elijah Robertson's 
brick store is, at the north-east corner of 
the square. He was sued and lost the suit, 
then took an appeal to the circuit court, 
but still persisted in selling liquor and was 
sued again, so that he had several suits on 
the docket at the same time. When he 
was beaten in his suits at court, he estab- 
lished what was called a "6/iVic? tiger;'*'' it 
vras an arrangement by which a person 
could buy liquor and pay for it too, without 
any one seeing who sold it. Hampton 
thought that then he was safe from prose- 
cution, but they sued him promptly and 
p^roved that he was the owner of the estab- 
lishment, and fined him again. He tried 

1 i I 
to be oieot(Mi to he one of.tli*,' trustees, but 
bis party was defeated worse than ever 
He fought the law with m Tjerseverance aiici 
determination worthy of a bettei cause, 
hut finally left town in disgust, after spend- 
ing many years in the vain attempt to es- 
tablish a whisky saloon in Carbondale. 

On the 4th of July, 1854, the rail-road 
track having been laid from Cairo to Car- 
bondale, the first train came up from the 
south to this station. The bridge across 
Big Muddy was not then built, and the 
track was laid no farther than here at that 
time. A large concourse of people, most 
of whom had never seen a train before, as- 
sembled to see the cars come in. The news 
had been spread abroad some time before, 
and a large mnltitude was the result. The 
freight house had just been finished, and a 
dinner for all the crowd was set therein. 
When the train arriv&d, crowded with peo- 
ple from Cairo and Jon esboro, there was 


great rejoicing and wonder. Maj. Hamp- 
ton, marshal of the day, could scarcely 
keep the people off the track in front of 
the advancing engine; but there was no 
accident that day; all passed off peacefully. 
Some showers fell that day in places, 
and some next day in other places, but 
that was the last rain for over six months, 
except a few light showers in some locali- 
ties; but most of "Egypt" was dried up. 
The corn crop failed, the grass was dried 
up, the live stock starved and the people 
nearly so, before another crop could be 
made. During the fall and winter, the 
rail-road was completed to the central and 
northern part of the state, and corn was 
shipped to the southern part and sold at 
82.00 per bushel. That was a high price, 
but it saved the lives of the people; and 
some of the stock also. 

The year 1855 was remarkable for the 
heavy cro^") of wheat, and for a v<>ry rainy 

season in harvest time. Notwithstanding 
the rain, a larg^ crop of wheat was saved. 
It was during the Crimean war, when the 
large wheat-producing regions of Russia 
were shut up by the war, consequently the 
price of wheat was higher than usual. 

Merchants were in Carbondale buying 
wheat, and the town was filled with farm- 
er's wagons all day long. Money soon Ije- 
came plentiful, and farmers were relieved 
from the financial pressure that the dry 
year had brought. on them. 

The price of wheat reached over $1.(K» 
per bushel on average; at one time reach- 
ing $1.25. Before this, the price had been 
only 50 cent per bushel, and had to be 
hauled a long distance in wagons and the 
pay taken in store-goods. 

At this time the town was growing rap- 
idly; houses were being erected; town-lots 
sold high and still went upward. Several 
persons who owned' out-let?, had them 

subivided into small lots. At this time, 
there was but one hotel in town, the "'Car- 
bondale Hotel," but J. M. Campbell built 
a larger one on the same place where the 
Newell House is now, at the corner of East 
and Main Streets. It was a large frame 
house, two and a half stories high, with a 
wing at the south-east corner. Some years 
after this, J. T. Powell built a two story 
brick hotel at the north-west corner of the 
square and named it "Union House." The 
name was afterwards changed to "Planters 
House." Alfred Singleton built a two 
story frame hotel on East Main Street, 
which was afterwards called "Hundley 

Every Spring, an election for a new 
Board of Trustees was held, and for many 
years, national politics was forgotton, and 
the only question up at these elections was 
ichUky or miti-whisky. IJr. Blanchard, in 
a speecli attempted to introduce politics 

into the contest, by saying tljat tht- lust 
hoard of trustees that passed the anti- whis- 
ky ordinance, were ail Black Republicans. 
James M. Campbell, who was present, be- 
came very angry at once, and wanted to 
whip Blanchard for calling him a Black 
Republican; "for," said Campbell, "I was 
born and raised a Democrat, and I am a 
better Democrat than ever you were, and I 
don't want you to call me a Black Repub- 
lican^ for I was one of the board that 
passed the anti- whisky ordinance, and I am 
for it still." Alfred Singleton remarked to 
Blanchard that only two out of the five 
men on the.board were Republicans and 
three were Democrats, * It was with some 
difficulty that Campbell's friends prevented 
him from attempting to whip Blanchard 
on the spot. This transpired in the hotel 
that stood on the site of the Newell House. 
At the elections for trustees, the whisky 
party were defeated every tim<', and th(^ 

1 •)•) 

temperance ticket elected by a large ma- 
jority. Some of the elections were very 
exciting. At one of them, a man called 
J. M. Campbell a liar. Campbell struck 
him, and a general row was the result, in 
which Blanchard snapped his pistol among 
the crovvd. He said, "if it had fired, some- 
body would have been hurt." But order 
was finally restored, and voting proceeded 
as usual. 

The town continued to grow all this time 
by the addition of many new buildings in- 
cluding the Presbyterian Church. The 
population increased until the beginning of 
the war, when like as at all other places, 
everything stopped, and nothing was 
thought of but war. Times were very ex- 
citinor then, and the under-current of feel- 
ing was stirred both with the friends and 
enemies of the government. Troops came 
here suddenly, and left a guard at the rail- 
road brii^ge on Big Muddy River. The 

4th 111. cavalry came here and camped in 
the grove that has since been used as h 
place for public speaking; they also occu- 
pied the field adjoining, that now belongs 
Dr. Allyn. Volunteers were forming com- 
panies and marching to join new regiments. 
Men going off, many of them never to re- 
turn; women at home weeping for those 
loved ones that were leaving for the seat 
of war. Then followed the long dreary 
time, when the news of battles came, vic- 
tory or defeat, days of rejoicing and days 
of sorrow; but peace came at last and the 
absent ones returned, not all, but what 
was left of them. Many families were 
happily reunited; but many women looked 
in vain, watching every train for those who 
never came, until despair settled down on 
them and they looked no more. 

After the war was over and the men re- 
turned to their homes, the town began to 

prosper, and buildings began to be put up. 
The farmers had beg-un to cultivate cotton. 
At one time there were about a dozen cot- 
ton-gins in town, so that in autumn, the 
place had very much the appearance of a 
Southern town, for cotton was everywhere, 
and the bales were piled up on the depot 
platform ready for shipment. The price 
was high, money was plenty and business 

Sometime during the war the Illinois 
Central Rail Road Company built a hand- 
brick passenger house, and the old freight 
house was afterwards used for freight 
alone, until April, 187G, when the passen- 
ger house was ^et on fire by lightning and 
consumed, then a room in the old freight 
house was awain used for a ticket office- 
The passenger house was soon rebuilt and 

During the war, the hotel that Campbell 
l^uilt was destroyed by fire, and was not 

rebuilt for many yeais, when the Lir^e 
Newell House was reared on the same sit<% 
and was opened early in 1874. 

The Chapman block on the west side cf 
the square was burned, also two frame 
houses on Christmas, 1873. It was rebuilt 
in the summer of 1874. 

The first house that was destroyed by 
fire in this town was the residence of Will- 
iam B. Spiller; it was situated on the 
south-east corner of lot No. 86, where the 
alleys cross in the rear of the Gager House. 
The second fire was Rapp's carpenter 
shop, and tlie third was the old Carbondale 

The Mount Carbon Company had com- 
menced work at Mt. Carbon and made a 
rail-road from that point to the Mississippi, 
for the purpose of shipping coal to market. 
After a few years, they extended their road 
to Carbon dale and made a' junction with 
the Illinois Central; then thev shipped 

both coal and pig-iron by that route, and 
})rought iron ore that way also, after they 
had established furnaces at Grand Tower. 
Sometime after this, the Carbondale and 
ShawneetownRail Road was made from the 
former place to Marion, and the coal mines 
at Carterville opened. That coal also had 
to go via Carbondale, and, although there 
are not many coal mines close to the town, 
yet from the quantity of Mt. Carbon and 
Carterville coal that is shipped from this' 
station, the town has well earned its name. 
About 1868, theChristianChurch was built. 
J. M. Campbell said he was going to spend 
the summer building churches, as he was 
not in other business. He and Mr. Robert- 
son and others erected a handsome brick 
church. The Baptists also had erected a 
very neat brick church. At the dedication 
service, the house was full of people, the 
other, churches, not havii^g any s^rv;ice that 
day, and a subscription ^ya^.. ra,ised in^ the^ 

congregation, of about $1,700.0(), suflTicicnt 
to pay off the debt that had been contracted 
in building the church, before they went 
out of the house. Some time afterwards, 
the other brunch of the Metliodists erected 
a frame church in the nortii-west part of 
the town, opposite what was tlien General 
Lojran's residence. There are now fivti 
churches for the white people and three 
for the colored folks. 

Soon after the first settlement of the 
town, the people wanted a house in which 
to have a public school. The citizens met 
together to consult about it, and it was 
agreed that ,it would be too long to wait 
until they could have a school house built 
by the district; for the free school law was 
a new thing, and the district but recently 
organized; therefore they made up money 
enough right there to build the house, and 
set the carpenters to work. In a few 
weeks the West Side School House was 


ready for use. Mr. Eel. B.ibcojk tauofht 
the first school in the n^w house, assisted 
by Miss Ross. 

Soon after this, a committee of three 
preachers, sent by the Alton Presbytery, 
visited Carbondale as well as other towns 
alonor the Illinois Central Rail Road, for 
the purpose of selecting the most suitable 
location for a colleo-e for Southern Illinois. 
After talking with citizens of several towns, 
they were favoral)ly impressed with the 
liberality and public spirit of the citizens 
of Carbondale, and concluded that this was 
the place for the college. The committee 
then called a meeting of the Alton Presby- 
tery to have them confirm their selection. 
That body met in the new school house 
and there received offers from various 
towns, which were represented by delega- 
tions of respectable citizens. Jonesboro 
and Anna both made liberal offers, but 
could not asrree to have the buildinjr on 

the hill between the two towns. (Rev. W. 
S. Post was one of tlie delegates from 
Jonesboro; he afterwards preached here 
regularly in the fanning-mill shop, and 
later, became pastor of the Presbyterian 
Church.) The Illinois Central Rail Road 
Company telegraphed to the Presbytery 
that they would give o)ie thousand acres of 
land at Odin to have the college at that 
place. The citizens of Carbondale sub- 
scribed lands and money in a liberal man- 
ner, which together with the temperance 
character of the place, most favorably im- 
pressed the Presbytery, and that town was 
selected as the place to build the college. 
The next question to be settled was, "in 
what part of the town shall it be built?'' 
Those in favor of locating it in the north- 
western part, were about to gain their 
point, when Henry Sanders offered thirty 
acres of land in the southern part of the 
town in addition to what he had already 

given, if they would build it on that plat of 
ground. That settled it. Tt was at once 
decided to accept his oiFer. They next ap- 
pointed trustees to carry out the project, 
and then adjourned. 

Soon after this, tlie East Side School 
House was erected. Both school houses 
were built upon out-lots that had been set 
apart on the town plat for that purpose. At 
the same time, four building lots were set 
apart for churches and one out-lot for a 

The work on the college was begun by 
laying a good foundation. It was proposed 
to erect only the rear part of the building 
to begin with, and that was all that ever 
was built. Some person made bricks, or at 
least attempted to do so, but made instead 
a most miserable failure, and nothing more 
was done for a year or more. There stood 
the brick-kiln crumbling Imck to its origin- 
al contUtion near the pond from vt-hich it 


had been dug. The financial panic of 1858 
prevented any farther progress for a time. 
After this, another effort was made, a kihi 
of brick was burned and the walls built. 
Then the work went on slowly for a while, 
but was finished at last. During this time 
a preparitory department of the college 
was conducted in J. M. CampbelTs build- 
ing, but was soon abandoned. 

After the college building was finished, 
W. S. Post taught school in it; but it was 
not used for a college or high school as it 
was intended to be used. The public 
schools becoming too full, the directors in- 
stituted a high school and rented a room. 
At one time it was kept in the Grain 
House, a building that stood near the pas- 
senger house, and Hon. Isaac Clements 
was principal. The East and West schools 
were usually called Side Schools. Thus 
the public schools prospered while the col- 
lege did not succeed. 


Daring tlio war, the laud that had been 
o'iveii to l^uild and start the college with, 
was not available to use in paying off the 
debts incurred in erectina; the buiidinof, 
therefore it was sold to pay its own debts. 
Brush and Canipljell, who were the princi- 
pal creditors, were the purchasers. 

The building was unused for years, ex- 
cept occasionally, when the school directors 
used it for a high school, when Mr. Luce 
tiught school therein. The public schools 
still prospered, and Carbondale was famed 
for the encouragement given to the cause 
of education by the citizens thereof. 

The Christian denomination wanted to 
establish a college somewhere in Southern 
Illinois, and*, after examining several towns, 
finally selected Carbondale as the place. 
They purchased the college building, and 
opened their school at once under the 
maiiagement of Rev. Clark Braden, with 
a:, a:-:-: --.i-)^: -I'.'jd cM'ps of assistar.t teachers. 

. 133 
This school prospered for several years, 
and students came from all the counties of 
Southern Illinois to attend it. A success- 
ful normal class was organized which sent 
out teachers qualified for their work. A 
paper was puplished in the interest of the 
school called the "Herald of Truth." The 
fame of the college spread abroad, and 
Carbondale was known as a place of edu- 
cation. The public schools were so full, 
that the directors could not rent a house 
large enough to accommodate the high 
school comfortably, and, several times they 
made a contract with Mr. Braden to take 
the high school pupils and give them the 
benefit of the college along with the regu- 
lar students. The reputation of the town 
for temperance and education induced 
many families to make there home there; 
thus adding to the good order and pros- 
perity of the place. Such were always a 
desirable accession to the communitv. 

A convention of the friends of education 
was called. They met in the college grove. 
At that meeting, a proposition was made 
to make an effort to have a bill passed by 
Legislature for the establishment of a 
Normal University for Southern Illinois; 
because the Normal at Bloomington is too 
far to the north. The bill was finally passed 
and commissioners appointed to select a 
suitable location for the institution. Sev- 
eral towns bid more than they could pay 
in any reasonable time, and it was finally 
located at Carbon dale, after the city, (for it 
had just become a city,) had pledged it- 
self to pay $100,000 and several tracts of 
land, including the college building, which 
was purchased from the Christian Church 
for that purpose. Mr. Braden expected to 
continue to teach in the old building under 
the authority of the state, until the new 
building should be completed, but the 
Governor decided that the Normal school 

. 135 
could not be legally taught except in tlie 
house that the state would provide for that 
purpose; therefore the college was c1os(h1, 
and the students sent home until the new 
building was finished. The contract for 
the erection of the new building; was let to 
James M. Campbell, and as a part of the 
payment he took the old college, which he 
sold to the school district for a public high 

The foundation of the Normal University 
building was laid. The ceremony of laying 
the corner stone was attended by a large 
concourse of the Masonic order. 

When th(i first story had been built, and 
the workmen were hoisting joists in the 
centre of the building, they fell on J. M. 
Campbell and killed him. That put a stop 
to all work. The workmen left, business 
was dead, the town ceased to improve, and 
the building remained just as it was for a 
long time, until Mr. Campl)elPs estate ai.d 

and his contract with the State of Ilhnois 
could be adjusted. After that was all set- 
tled, which required a long time, the con- 
tract for the completion of the building was 
let to other parties, and in due time was 

On the first day of July, 1874, the Nor- 
mal University was formally opened. A 
vast number of people assembled to take a 
part in the exercises. The opening speech 
was made by Dr. R. Edwards. After that 
Gov. Beverido-e made an address to the 
Trustees and Faculty, and presented the 
keys to Dr. Robert AUyn, the Principal, 
who then made a lengthy speech on the 
dutv of Teachers. He was followed bv 
addresses from several others. 

The institution has been in operation 
ever since, and knowledge has increased. 

In 18G9 the town obtained a charter and 
organized a cit}^ government. J. B. Rich- 
art, who was the first resident of Carbondale, 

was also tlie first Mayor of the city. The 
charter contained a clause Drohibiting: the 
granting of license to «ell intoxicating 
liquor's, without a vote of the people in 
favor of that policy. A fe w yeai-s after the 
charter was obtained, a direct vote was 
taken on that subject, and the temperance 
party gained it two to one. Tn 1873, the 
city adopted the ''General Incorporation 
Act'' instead of the original charter. 

The east side school house has been en- 
larged to accommodate the colored people 
who constitute about one-fifth of the popu- 
lation. In 1881, there were 442 colored, 
and 1774 white persons. 

The population for the last nine years* 
(not including students whose homes were 
elsewhere,) was as follows: 

In 1872—1600. In 1877—2014. 

In 1873—1648. In 1878—2029. 

In 1874—1785. 1879 not counted. 

In 1875—1878. In 1880—2102. 

In 1876— ? 985. in 1881— 3216. 

Although the ''Normal" debt lies heavy 
upon the citizens, yet the educational in- 
terests and the absence of saloons are the 
chief sources of the prosperity of the city 
and will ultimately release it from the bur- 
den. These characteristics are the chief 
glory and honor of this young city; may 
it long continue so.