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Full text of "History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois"

LIBRARY 

OF THE 

U N I VER.S1TY 

OF 1LLI NOIS 

977.38 
PA2 



™. VAistov^ Survjey 



HISTORY 



OF 



Bond and Montgomery Counties, 



ILLI NOIS. 



EDITED BY WILLIAM HENRY PERRIN. 



Illustrated. 



CHICAGO: 

O. L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers, Lakeside Building. 

1882. 





{ mi 




1. 2_ St\cv< 



PREFACE. 



nr^HK history of Bond and Montgomery Counties, after mouths of persistent toil and research, 
-L is now completed, and it is believed that no subject of universal public importance or 
interest has been omitted., save where protracted effort failed to secure reliable results. We are 
well aware of our inability to furnish a perfect history from meager public documents and 
numberless conflicting traditions, but claim to have prepared a work fully up to the standard of 
our promises. Through the courtesy and assistance generously afforded by the residents of these 
counties, we have been enabled to trace out and put on record the greater portion of the important 
events thai, have transpired in Bond and Montgomery Counties up to the present time. And we 
feel assured that all thoughtful people in these counties, now and in future, will recognize and 
appreciate the importance of the work and its permanent value. 

A dry statement of facts has, as far as possible, been avoided, and incidents and anecdotes 
have been woven in with facts and statistics, forming a narrative at once instructive and 
interesting. 

To those who have kindly assist ed our corps of writers in gathering material, and furnished 
us data of historical value, we acknowledge our indebtedness ; and to Williamson Plant, Esq., of 
Greenville Judge A. N. Kingsbury, of Hillsboro; H. A. Coolidge, Esq., of Litchfield ; and Rev. 
T. E. Spiln'ian, of Nokomis, our thanks lor able contributions are especially due. 

August, 1882. THE PUBLISHERS. 



CONTENTS 



PART I. 

BOND COUNTY. 

Page. 

CHAPTER I.— Introduction to Bond County— The Early State 
of the Country — Difficulties of Occupying It — Coming of 
the Pioneers — Hill's Station and Jones' Fort— Perils of 
the Wilderness — Timber and Prairie— Prairie Kirns — 
Hard Fare of the Settlers 11 

CHAPTER II.— Trials of the Pioneers— Skins asa Circulating 
Medium— War of is 12 — Murder of Cux and His Sun- 
Progress of Emigration — Early Manners and Customs 19 

CHAPTER [II.— Organization of Bond County-Its Present 
Boundaries ind Topography— Courts Organized — County 
Seat at Perryville — Jail Building — Lynching — Lawyers 
Lost in the Prairie — Permanent Location of the Seat of 
Justice 25 

CHAPTER IV.— Early Agricultun — Hug Raising— Difficulties 
of Teaming — Roads to St. Louis and Springfield — Ser- 
mon on a Load of Apples— Building Mills and Manufac- 
tories 33 

CHAPTER V.— Early Society— Whisky and Fighting— Work- 
ing Frolics — Gold and Silver Mines — Gaylord's Swindle — 
Slavery — Magoou Kidnaping Case— Early Physicians 39 

CHAPTER VI.— Religion— First Preachers and Churches- 
Methodists j'.nd Presbyterians — Moody's Camp-Ground — 
Sunday-Schools — "The Jerks" — Temperance — Education 
— The Improvement in Schools — Statistics — The People 
aud the State Debt— War History 47 

CHAPTER VII.— Railroad History— The Internal Improve- 
ment System — Old National or Cumberland Road — Mis- 
sissippi & Atlantic Railroad — The Present Vandalia Line 
and Its Officers — The Press of Bond County 54 

CHAPTER VIII.- Greenville Precinct— Boundaries and Con- 
figuration — Early Settlement — Pioneer Industries and 
Improvements — Sketch of William S. Wait— Villages — 
Gold and Sip er Mines — Educational — Religious 67 

CHAPTER IX.— C ty of Greenville— Locating the County Seat 
at Perryville— Its Removal to Greenvilb — Laying-out of 
Greenville — The Name— Early Settlers of the Town— The 
Kirkpatrick- and Others — First Business Men and Prom- 
inent Citizens — The Roll of Pioneers 73 

CHAPTER X.— Grleenville— Sato of Lots— Building a Court 
House — Public Buildings of the County — Taverns and 
Their Changes — Uncle Jimmy's Grocery — County Officers 
—The Water Supply— War History of Greeuville and 
Bond County ■ -The Ililliard Rifles, etc 101 



Page. 

CHAPTER XI. — Greenville — Educational — 1 k>mmon Schools — 
Almira College — Religious — Presbyterians and Method- 
ists — Erection of Church Building— Secret aud Benev- 
olent Orders, etc 109 

CHAPTER XII.— Retrospective— Building of Jails— Situation 
of the City — More of Early Business and Business Men— 
Agricnl in ml Warehouses— Banking Business— Shops and 
M i hanics — Summary 1-1 

CHAPTER XIII.— Ripley Precinct— Topography— Early Set- 
tlers—Old Ripley— Churches— Schools— Villages 129 

CHAPTER XIV.— Mulberry Grove Precinct— Its Configura- 
tion — Early Settlements — Bev. J. B. Woolard and 
Other Pioneers — First Birth, Marriage, etc.— Churches 
and Schools — Village of Mulberry Grove 133 

CHAPTER XV. — Pocahontas Precinct— Topography, etc.— Pio- 
neer Settlers— The Plants and Johnsons— The Old Meth- 
odist Church — Town of Pocahontas— Other Villages— 
Schools and Churches 140 

CHAPTER XVI.— Beaver Creek Precinct— General Description 
— Manners and Customs of Pioneer Times — First Post Of- 
fice, Blacksmith, Stores, etc.— Hills and Carding Ma- 
chines — Villages — Educational and Religious 145 

CHAPTER XVII. — Fairview Precinct — Descriptive— The 
Name— Isam Reaves and Other Pioneers— First Elec- 
tion — Early SchoolB— Religious— " Old Hurricane" and 
Other Churches — Village of Fairview 151 

CHAPTER XVIII.— La Grange Precinct— Boundaries, etc.— 
Its N.Ul.-niriit by White People— Pioneer Hardships- 
Churches and Schools 158 

OH VI'I'KK XIX.— /.ion Precinct— Its Topography— Earlj Set- 
tlements—Life on the Frontier — Pioneer Industries — 
" i tld Zion " Camp-Ground— Village of Woburn— Schools 
and Churches 162 

CHAPTER XX.— Cottonwood Grove Precinct— Early History 
—The M< ■C.iidn and Kuhit, nuns— old Shoal Creek Church 
— Village of Bethel — Schools and Churches 166 

CHAPTER XXL— Okaw Precinct— Description and Topogra- 
phy — The Pioneers' Habits and Modes of Living — 
Schools, Churches, etc 160 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 

CHAPTER I.— Introductory— Descriptive and Topographical 
—Varieties of Timber— Geological Features— Limestone 
and Sandstone— Coal Measures — Quality of Coal— Quar- 
ries— Climatology— Past Compared with Present 173 



CONTENTS. 



Page 
CHAPTER II.— Early Occupation of the Country— The Mound- 
Builders — Their Remains and Fortifications — The Indi- 
ans— Coming of the Whites— Difficulties Encountered 
by Emigrants on the Way— Growth and Development of 
the Country 1W 

CHAPTER III.— Organization of Montgomery County— The 
Act of Legislature Creating it— Early Officers and Courts 
—Location of the County Seat— Court Houses and Public 
Buildings — Divisions into Precincts and Townships — 
Convenience of Township Organization — The Poor Farm 
— Politics and Parties 186 

CHAPTER IV.— Early Religious History— Educational, Past 
and Present, with Statistics — Compulsory Education and 
its General Effects— The Press 194 

CHAPTER V.— Agriculture— Improved Methods, and Imple- 
ments — County Agricultural Association — Offices, Fair 
Grounds, etc. — Railroads 199 

CHAPTER VI.— War History of Montgomery County— The 
Black Hawk War — Muster Rolls of Companies — The 
Mexican War — The Great Civil War— Regiments, Officers, 
etc. — Litchfield's Participation — Incidents, etc 205 

CHAPTER VII — Hillsboro Township — Description— Bounda- 
ries and Topography— Early Settlement— The Mc Adamses, 
Rutledges, Bonnes and other Pioneers — Primitive Cus- 
toms, etc. — Mills, Roads and Bridges — Early Schools, 
Churches, etc 215 

CHAPTER VIII— City of Hillsboro— Its Laying-out, Loca- 
tion and First Sale of Lots — Streets and Additions — Judge 
Rountree and other Pioneers — Stores, Mills, etc. — Manu- 
factories — Grain and Railroads — Incorporation, etc 221 

CHAPTER IX.— Hillsboro— Its Religious History— The Meth- 
odist Church — Organization, Members and Preachers 
— The Presbyterians — Other Religious Organizations — 
Benevolent Institutions— The Masons — Odd Fellows, etc, J.;j 

CHAPTER X. — Hillsboro — Educational — Pioneer Schoolhouses 
— Hillsboro Academy — The Public Schools — Newspapers 
— Ups and Downs of the BusineHS — The A 7 t»'s and the 
Journal of To-day 242 

CHAPTER XL— North Litchfield Township— Description and 
Topography— Character of Soil —Early Settlements — The 
Briggs Family — Other Pioneers — First Preachers and 
Churches — Schools and Teachers — Pioneer Incidents — 
Tax Receipts, etc. — Early Diseases and Deaths- Ell"' ts 
of the War 218 

CHAPTER XII. — South Litchfield Township— Its Description, 
Boundaries and Topograph} — Settlement of White People 
— Early Customs and Industries — Facts and Incidents — 
Educational and Religious— Miscellaneous Topics 255 

CHAPTER Mil —City of Litchfield— First Settlers— Laying 
out a Town — Growth and Development — Public Sale of 
Lots — Improvements and Increase of Business^-Popula- 
tion in 18:"i7 — First Circus — Pioneer Business Men — The 
Machine Shop and Mill ot Beach, etc , 260 

CHAPTER XIV.— Litchfield — Increase of Population— Early 
Politics — The Journals — Douglas and Lincoln — Incorpo- 
ration asadty — Late Business Men — Physicians — Dur- 
ing the War-Fires— Removal of Railroad Shops, etc 275 



Page. 

CHAPTER XV.— Litchfield — Educational — The Press— The 
Journal — the Monitor and other Papers— Banking Inter- 
ests — The Coal Business— Sanitary Condition of the City 289 

CHAPTER XVI.— Nokomis Township — Position and Bounda- 
ries—Surface, Soil, Streams — Forest Growth— Agricult- 
ural Products — Early Settlements — Roads— Schools- 
Churches, etc 303 

CHAPTER XVII— Town of Nokomis— Its Location and Settle- 
ment—The First Stores, Mills and Other Business — Grain 
Trade — Manufacture of Agricultural Implements — 
Schoolhouses, etc.— The Press— Religious History— The 
Different Churches, Preachers, etc 307 

CHAPTER XVIII.— East Fork TownBhip— Boundaries— Water 
Courses— Early Settlers— Mills— Cattle Raising— Roads- 
Churches — Schools — Secret Societies 311 

CHAPTER XIX.— Fillmore Township — Boundaries — First 
Growth— Pioneers— Mills— Schools— Churches, etc.. 

CHAPTER XX.— Butler Grove Township— Boundaries— Soil- 
Timber— Early Settlers— Roads— Educational and Re- 
ligious—Village of Butler— Business Interests— Secret 
Societies, etc. 

CHAPTER XXI.— Raymond Township — Boundaries— Early 
Settlement — Schools — Churches— Busiuess Interests— 
The Fire — Secret Societies.. 

CHAPTER XXII.— Irving Tow i ship— Boundaries— Soil— Pio- 
neer Settlers— Schools— Churches— Physicians and Mer- 
chants 

CHAPTER XX1IL— Zanesville Township— Position— Bounda- 
ries, etc.— Soil and Products— Pioneer Settlements— Roads 
and Mills— First Election and First Birti— Schools and 
Churches— Village of Zanesville— Its Groivth and Decay 362 

CHA PTER XXI V.— Walshville Township-Ten. toiy Embraced 
—Soil and Timber— Crops— First Settlements— Schools— 
Elections— First Marriage— Religion, etc 368 

CHAPTER XXV.— Witt Township— Soil, Timbnr and Configu- 
ration— schools, Past and Present— The Circuit-Rider— 
Churches and Sunday Schools - 
dustries 

CHAPTER XXV I.— Hurvel Township— Position and Boundaries 
—Topography— Productions— Pioneers -,- Schools —Vil- 
lage ofHarvel— Industries— Churches— Sdcret Soi ietiea. 

CHAPTER XXVII— Rountree Township— Soil and Drainage- 
Timber— Firsl White Man— Pioneers- 
Various Denominations 

CHAPTER XXVIII.— Bois D'Arc Township— lloundaries and 

Topography— Its Early Settlements— First Deaths— Early 

Roads, Churches and Schools 

CHAPTER XXIX.— Grisham Township— Location —Soil and 

Drainage— Early Settlers— Religious— Secret Societies, 

etc 



320 



327 



340 



360 



-Mills and Other In- 



378 



384 



Sc lools — Roads - 



CHAPTER XXX.— Pitman Township — PoBitio i and Bounda- 
ries—Physical Features— Productions— En rly Settlers and 
Mills— Schools and Churches— Sei ret Societies- Robot ry, 
etc - 

CHAPTER. XXXI.— Audubon Township— To] ographical and 
Descriptive— Physical Features— Early Settlements— 
First Birth, Death and Marriage— The Littles— Cln 
and Schools— Old Town of Audubon, e* 



301 



PART I 



H ISTORY 



OF 



BOND AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES. 



CHAPTER L* 

INTRODUCTION TO BOND COUNTY— GENERAL OBSERVATIONS— THE EARLY STATE OF THE COUN- 
TRY—THE DIFFICULTIES OF OCCUPYING IT— COMING OF THE PIONEERS— HILL'S STATION 
AND JONES' FORT — PERILS OF THE WILDERNESS — TIMBER AND PRAIRIE — THE 
LATTER SHUNNED AS A DESERT— PRAIRIE FIRES— AN INi [DENT— HARD 
FARE OF THE SETTLERS— HOW THEY LIVED, ETC. 



" Time though old is swift in flight, 
And years go fleetly by." 

THE advantages to be derived from the 
study of history are numerous and im- 
portant. There is something in the breast of 
almost every individual which makes him de- 
sirous of examining the past, and ascertaining 
what has been, in relation to his own, as vvell 
as other countries. Man is anxious to look 
back and inquire into the transactions of the 
generation which immediately preceded him : 
this creates in his mind a desire to know some- 
thing of the one preceding that, and so he 
goes on inquiring back from one generation to 
another, and from century to century, until he 
arrives at his origin — Adam — in the Garden of 
Eden, fresh from the hand of his Maker. 
Knowing this general desire of the human 
race, men have written histories, in every age 
of the world, from the time of Moses down to 

*By R. 0. White. 



the present, in order to perpetuate the sayings 
and doings of their fellow-beings. 

The words and actions of man, either for 
weal or woe, constitute the most important 
feature in all histories ; there is no portion of 
the habitable earth that has not been made or 
ruined to a certain extent by his management. 
Christianity, the arts and sciences, peace and, 
as a consequence, civilization, render the earth 

"One great garden of her God, 
Bright with beauty and girt with power;" 

but when infidelity, ignorance, bigotry, super- 
stition and war prevail, barbarism is the result, 
aud the earth becomes, changed into a wilder 
ness. Such has been the case in the past, and 
if it is any criterion by which to judge the 
future, it is certainly of great moment, that we 
become well acquainted with the history of all 
countries, more especially that of our own ; 
when we peruse its pages and find there re- 
corded the former errors and virtues of our 



12 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



race, whether considered as individuals, com- 
munities or states, or, in a political, social, or 
religious point of view, there are many instruct- 
ive lessons to be learned. One of the first is 
to studiously avoid any course of action which 
has been fraught with evil consequences, and 
to earnestly strive for those principles that 
have been most productive of good, to all 
classes of society. 

Among all grades of history, none is more 
instructive or sought after with a greater 
eagerness than that which truthfully deline- 
ates the rise and progress of the State, com- 
munity, or even county in which we live. 
There is pleasure as well as profit to every 
well-educated and inquiring mind, in contem- 
plating the struggles of the early settlers in all 
portions of the great West ; how they encoun- 
tered and overcame every species of trial, hard- 
ship and danger to which human beings were 
ever subjected. But these things strike us 
more forcibly and fill our minds with more 
immediate interest when confined to our own 
little county of Bond, where we can yet occa- 
sionally meet with some of the now gray -haired 
actors in those early scenes, with whom life's 
rugged day is almost over, whose bravery in 
encountering the troubles and misfortunes 
incident to a frontier life has borne an impor- 
tant part toward making our county what it 
now is, and whose acts in connection with hun- 
dreds of others in the first settling of our vast 
domain, have compelled the civilized world to 
acknowledge that the Americans are an invin- 
cible people. 

It may appear, to some, rather small and in- 
significant work to record the history of a 
diminutive county like Bond, but it will be 
remembered that our vast republic is com- 
prised of States that are made up of counties, 
each of which contributes its share toward the 
general history of the country. Though occu- 
pying but a small portion of the State of 
Illinois, yet Bond County has a history that is 



fraught with interest to its own citizens, at 
least, besides many of those in adjoining 
counties. 

How little do many of the present genera- 
tion, when they behold the " old settler," as he 
is termed, either realize or appreciate the hard- 
ships through which he has passed, or the part 
he has performed in reclaiming our country 
from the rule of the wild and savage tribes 
that roamed at will over all parts of it. 
" Young America," as he passes the old settler 
by, without so much as nodding his head, little 
dreams that he has spent the bloom of his life 
in helping to make this country what it now is, 
or rather, in preparing it for the reception of 
all those modern improvements and business 
which surround us on every side. The old 
settler and his deeds should be remembered 
and appreciated by all. Every lover of self- 
sacrifice and undaunted energy cannot but 
admire that adventurous spirit, united with 
cool determination, which influenced the hardy 
pioneer to leave the civilization of the older 
States, and locate in this wild region, far re- 
moved from the influence of the schoolhouse 
and the church, driving back the savage, and 
paving the way for the great advantages we 
now so fully enjoy. And what must be the 
reflections of the old settler himself, as he 
looks upon this country and contrasts the 
present with the past — for he knows some- 
thing of the past. He looks over the thriving 
county of Bond, which may be termed almost 
one vast farm, and calls to mind the time when 
all those prairies, now teeming with grain, 
fruits and vegetables, were thickly covered 
with grass six feet in height, where the deer 
and wolves held high carnival, undisturbed, 
save by the stealthy Indian, or the occasional 
appearance of a white hunter passing from one 
to another of the settlements or forts that 
were ''few and far between." He views our 
elegant homes, telling of wealth, ease and com- 
fort, and remembers the time when there was 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



13 



not a glass window in the whole comity — not 
over two dozen dwellings, all of them log 
cabins with weight - pole roofs and wooden 
chimneys. He beholds neat churches, fine 
schoolhouses and colleges, and thinks of the 
time when there was not a church or school- 
house in the county. He looks at our court 
house, provided with its comfortable rooms for 
the accommodation of various county officers, 
and remembers the holding of the first court 
that ever assembled in the county, which met 
in a rude log house, the jury room being in the 
woods. He contemplates with wonder and de- 
light the railroad, one of the grandest achieve- 
ments of human enterprise, and as he beholds 
the numerous trains of crowded cars rapidly 
conveying passengers and freight from one 
point to another, his mind reverts back to those 
early days when there were no railroads, and 
not even tolerable wagon roads in all this 
country, the means of transportation being ox 
teams, the only market St. Louis, then a small 
town, while in some portions of the year the 
mud was many feet in depth. He sees our fine 
flouring mills in all parts of the county, and 
thinks of the days when there were no mills 
here of any kind, and the inhabitants lived on 
hominy and bread made of pounded corn. He 
is delighted with our various agricultural im- 
plements, and recollects the hardships of farm- 
ing, when there was not a seed-drill, corn- 
planter, reaper, mover, or thresher in the State. 
when scythes and sickles cut down the harvest, 
and flails or horses' feet, threshed or trod out 
the grain. He looks back to the first advances 
that were made here in improvement and civil- 
ization — the early schools, their teachers and 
many incidents connected with them ; the sing- 
ing-schools, where the young men brought their 
sweethearts behind them on the same horse ; of 
camp-meetings in the olden time, and promi- 
nent individuals and circumstances connected 
therewith ; of old-fashioned muster and elec- 
tion days, and the heroes of the various fights 



which there occurred, the result of old grudges 
and bad whisky. These, and a thousand other 
reflections must pass in review through his 
mind as he looks around upon the Bond 
County of to-day in contrast with that of fifty 
years ago. 

It will be the object of the following pages, 
to describe as accurately as possible the rise 
and progress of Bond County, and the incidents 
and characters pertaining thereto, from the first 
settlement within its limits down to the present 
time. In doing this, the great aim will be to 
present facts, so far as it is possible to obtain 
them. Many of these must necessarily be 
gleaned from individuals now living, who emi- 
grated to the county in an early day, and either 
witnessed, or were actual participants in the 
scenes connected with its early history, there 
being no written account to which we can go for 
information. 

The task will be a pleasant one, both to the 
reader and the writer, to go back to the period 
when this county, along with other portions of 
the State of Illinois, was a wilderness unmarked 
by the hand of man. and note the advent of the 
first white families, and contemplate the numer- 
ous and apparently insurmountable difficulties 
with which they were surrounded. But to give 
precise dates in all cases of the early histor}- of 
Bond County will be almost impossible, as 
there are but few of the old pioneers now liv- 
ing. The lapse of fifty-five or sixty years has 
not only swept from the theater of life most of 
those heroes of the old and perilous time, but 
has dimmed the in -m >ries of those who yet re- 
main, so that some of them have forgotten the 
exact time when many events, appertaining to 
our history, transpired. II >wever, by a careful 
comparison of the different statements and 
dates, they are given with sufficient accuracy 
for general utility, even in the instances where 
there is any lack of coincidence. 

The first settlement made within the present 
limits of Bond County was at Hill's Station, 



14 



HLST011Y OF BOND COUNTY. 



or fort — (called also White's Fort) — ■ about the 
year 1S12. This fort was situated about eight 
miles, in a southwesterly direction, from where 
the town of Greenville now stands. One mile 
and a half south of this was another station, 
one called Jones' Fort, built near the same time. 
These buildings were erected by the white inhabi- 
tants, as shelters not only to protect them from 
the inclemencies of the weather, but from the 
incursions of the Indians, with whom the 
county was infested, it being considered unsafe 
for one family to reside at a distance from 
others. These settlements were all made within 
a year or two of the same time, and during the 
last war with England. 

When we view the present prosperous condi- 
tion of the country, it seems scarcely credible 
to believe that no longer age than the period 
under consideration, the entire population of 
Bond County was comprised of only two feeble 
bands of adventurers, each containing but a few 
families, shut up within the walls of a fort, out- 
side of which it was dangerous to venture any 
distance. These forts, stations or block- 
in mses, as they were variously called, were 
located in the edge of the timber, and were con- 
structed of hewed logs. They would not, it is 
true, present a very formidable resistance to 
the military arrangements of the present day, 
but when considered as a protection against the 
implements of savage warfare, they proved 
quite efficient. 

The only land cultivated was a few acres im- 
mediately surrounding or near the stations. 
These farms, or patches, as they would now be 
termed, were in the timber also, and planted in 
cotton, tobacco, corn, pumpkins, melons, pota- 
toes, and a few other vegetables. Wheat, for 
the first few years, was not cultivated, as there 
were no mills ; hence, it would have been of 
little service. Most of the first settlers were 
from Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina, 
where all the laud is timbered, and the prairies, 
they viewed as uninhabitable deserts. The 



idea of hauling rails, fire-wood and building 
timber, several miles was not to be thought of 
b}' them. It was a current remark by the 
people then, that " the greatest drawback to 
this country was scarcity of timber." 

In the autumn of 1816, a few families of emi- 
grants were crossing the prairie east of Beaver 
Creek, in the southern part of this county. 
The grass had nearly all been burnt off, afford- 
ing a fine opportunity for viewing the soil and 
situation of the country. An old gentleman 
belonging to the part}' was walking along be- 
hind the wagons, in company with a few others, 
who, like himself, had become fatigued with 
riding and got out to walk. The old man gazed 
with wonder and delight on the boundless ex- 
panse of prairie spread out before him in all its 
original beaut}-. Taking up handfuls of the 
rich, black soil, he would examine it minutely, 
then toss it aside with the exclamation, "Ah 
me, how rich it is ; what a pity there's no tim- 
ber to fence it." He greatly deplored the 
strange freak of nature, which deprived a vasl 
extent of country of trees, otherwise so produc- 
tive, evidently believing this arrangement one of 
the mysterious workings of an All- Wise Provi- 
dence, in creating a soil where trees would not 
grow, and that it would be of no avail to ever 
plant them, for if the Almighty had so intended 
it, they would have been found growing there 
of their own accord. 

It is stated by one who belonged to this party, 
that some of the old ladies felt afraid to enter 
the first prairie they ever beheld ; fearful that 
the ground might give way and the}' be swal- 
lowed up as if in quicksand ; or that night 
might overtake them before getting across, and 
they have to wait in the darkness without wood 
or water until morning. 

It was the general opinion that, on account 
of the scarcity and inconvenience of timber, 
the prairies would remain as vast pastures, and 
hence the first farms were made in or near the 
edge of the timber. A heavy growth of coarse 



HISTORY OF BOND COUXTY. 



15 



grass from four to eight feet high covered the 
prairies and all the upland portion of the tim- 
ber, as well as much of the bottom land ; its 
place in the woods is now supplied by scrubby 
underbrush. When the grass became dry in 
autumn, or killed by the frost, it furnished ma- 
terial for vast conflagrations annually, sweep- 
ing over the country with destructive force, 
consuming everything of a dry nature in their 
pathway, and in some instances burning up 
wild animals overtaken by them in their devas- 
tating course. These fires broke out some- 
times by accident, but were often put out on 
purpose to burn the grass on", so that people 
could see to hunt to better advantage. 
Farms or settlements being few, this was not 
objected to. The neighbors united on a certain 
day agreed upon, and " burnt the woods,'' as it 
was termed, first making their farms or clear- 
ings secure by setting tire to the edge of the 
grass next to the farm and carefull}- watching 
it until a space was burnt all around it suffi- 
ciently wide to prevent the fire passing over. 
Fires were on some occasions set out by the 
Indians, many miles from the white settlements, 
and, driven before the wind, spread over exten- 
sive tracts of country, destroying everything 
in their course. As may be imagined from 
the height of the grass, a tire on the prairie at 
that time was a grand and fearful spectacle, 
more particularly at night. When fanned b} T 
a strong wind, the flames rose to a height of 
thirty or forty feet, presenting in the large 
prairies an unbroken wall of flame several 
miles in extent, having the form of a semi-circle 
with the convex side in front, and sending forth 
a roar that could be heard at a great distance. 
With a heavy wind, the flames advanced so 
rapidly that many instances occurred where 
persons, even on horseback, barely escaped 
being overtaken before reaching a place of 
safety. 

On one occasion, a party of hunters from the 
settlements near Greenville, returning home 



with a wagon load of honey and venison, when 
about a mile east of where Elm Point now is, 
set fire to the grass, for amusement. As the 
wind was from the south and blew the flames in 
a direction opposite to the way they were going, 
no danger was apprehended. After enjoying 
the sight to their satisfaction, they started on, 
when, in a short time, the wind changed to a 
strong gale from the north, bringing the fire 
directly toward them in all its fury, and so 
rapid was its advance, that they were forced to 
cut the horses loose from the wagon and, with 
all possible speed, escape for their lives. By- 
great exertion they managed to outrun it, but 
the wagon, harness, venison and honey were 
consumed. Quite a number of marvelous ad- 
ventures of this nature were related by the 
early backwoodsmen, detailing feats of horse- 
manship in comparison with which John Gil- 
pin's perilous ride was mere child's play. In 
eveiy public crowd would lie found indi- 
viduals who loved to hunt, and tell of their 
adventures, or listen to ihose of others. There 
was nothing wrong in this, perhaps, so long as 
the truth was kept in view, but as every such 
collection contained some " hard cases," es- 
pecially when warmed up with whisky, they 
soon entered the regions of fancy, trying who 
could tell the " biggest tale," betting "drinks 
for the crowd " on the result. The narrators of 
these stories told them so often, that they grew 
into the belief that they were actually true. 

One of these will be sufficient to give the 
reader. Its truth is not vouched for. but the 
substance of what the old hunter stated is 
here given. The hero of the adventure went 
by the name of " old Slaymush," and was ac- 
knowledged to be the " biggest liar " in Bond 
County at that time, with but one or two ex- 
ceptions, which was saying much for him in 
that respect, for in those early times there were 
some here " hard to beat " on frontier incidents. 
The old fellow said he had been out huuting 
" in the fall of the year, over on the Okaw, and 



16 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



there was a heap of bear and deer over thai','' 
but it seemed like " luck was agiu " him, hav- 
ing shot several deer, but failing to kill them 
instantly, or " drap them in their tracks," as 
he " ginerally done," they ran off and he lost 
them. He •' snapped " six times at the " big- 
gest bear that ever was seen," when the animal 
took fright and ran oh". Attributing his bad 
luck to some newly-purchased powder, and ex- 
pressing the modest desire that the individual 
who sold it to him might be safely domiciled 
in a region where powder would ignite without 
flint and steel, he started home, taking a west- 
erly course through the prairie lying in the 
eastern part of this county. It was about 2 
o'clock in the afternoon, and he was within two 
miles of the timber, on the west side of the 
" perara," when thick clouds of smoke ap- 
peared, stretching to some distance along the 
edge of the woods. At the first glance he 
" knowed the perara was a-fire, and that old 
Slaymush and his boss would have to git out 
o' thar, or be roasted alive," and as there was 
a high wind from the west, something had to 
be done immediately. Putting whip to his 
horse, he set out in a northern direction, hop- 
ing, by this flank movement, to get around the 
fire to a place of safety, but this was soon 
found to be unavailing, for the flames extended 
too far in that direction, and had already ap 
proached so close that the heat and smoke 
almost stifled him. The only remaining chance 
was to turn back and keep ahead of the fire to 
the Okaw timber — a distance of six miles. He 
said he never was as " nigh skeered " in his 
life as when he "seed " the race that was before 
him. Wheeling his horse, he took out his 
hickory rammer to urge him on, but his " boss 
was the worst skeered of the two," and when 
he " sort o' leaned forred and fetched a big 
yell, the critter actually cum very nigh jump- 
ing from under " him, causing him to " drap his 
ramrod and lose his cap ;" but holding on to his 
gun " like a possum to a simraon-tree limb," he 



sped on like the wind, with the fire advancing 
and roaring behind him like a hurricane. It 
often got so close that " great rolls of it, big- 
ger than a kivered wagon, would bust loose " 
and run past him " roarin' like all natur," 
sometimes on one side and sometimes on the 
other. Occasionally one of these " big rolls " 
would rush " clean over " him, when he would 
throw himself forward on the neck of his horse 
till it passed over and then straighten up again. 
Fortunately, none of the fiery billows happened 
to envelop him entirely, and, with the jaws of 
destruction snapping at his heels, he flew on- 
ward, leaping gullies, one of which was " forty 
foot wide." In crossing this, he and the fire 
were side by side, and "jest the instant his 
boss struck t'other bank, it was thar too." 
Thus he went on with his fearful race, anxious- 
ly looking ahead for the timber, near which the 
grass had been burnt some weeks before, know- 
ing that there he would be in a place of safety. 
Though nearly blinded and suffocated with 
smoke, he thought of making one more desper- 
ate efl'ort to increase the speed of his horse, 
although he seemed to be doing his very best 
already. So leaning forward and straining his 
voice to the utmost, he " fetched another big 
yell," when the animal "jumped clear from 
under" him. When he struck the ground, the 
momentum caused him to roll over two or 
three times and lose his gun, besides stunning 
him considerably. On rising to bis feet, he 
found himself on the open, burnt ground, and, 
of course, safe. The fire having ceased in a 
few moments, he looked around a little, and 
found his gun, which had received no further 
damage than being discharged as the fire 
passed over it. He saw his horse standing at 
a distance of a hundred yards, gazing at him 
most intently ; going up in front of the faith- 
ful animal and looking at him, he seemed un- 
hurt — not a hair showed the least sign of 
having been in the proximity of fire ; for this 
he was thankful, as also, his own preservation 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



17 



— " there was not a bar of his head even 
singed." He took his horse by the bridle and 
turned him round, when a sight presented 
itself that was horrible to behold. Every par- 
ticle of hair and skin was burnt off his tail and 
hind legs, the tail itself being literally roasted. 
The hair was also burnt off his hips and back, 
as far forward as the loins, but no farther ! 
The old man would relate this story whenever 
the subject of prairie fires was mentioned, 
evidently believing it to be the truth, for if any 
of his hearers showed any signs of incredulity, 
he appeared much offended. 

There being no mills in the country at the 
time the forts were occupied, and for sev- 
eral years afterward, the inhabitants used 
much less bread than at present ; it was all 
made of corn meal, procured in the following 
manner : A large block of wood, two or three 
feet in length and from one to two feet in diame- 
ter, was set up endwise on the ground, the up- 
per end being scooped out so as to make a hol- 
low capable of holding from a peck to a half 
bushel of grain. The corn was put into this 
and pounded with a maul, or other heavy weight 
made on purpose. This was, in the fullest 
sense of the term, " earning bread by the sweat 
of the brow," but there being no other chance, 
it was better to procure it in that manner than 
to do without. These " machines," called " mor- 
tars," were sometimes made in the stump of a 
tree when conveniently situated. Hominy was 
much used, being considered a saving of bread. 

The inhabitants, at first, depended rnostty for 
meat on the game, with which the country 
abounded. Nearly every article of clothing 
worn by either male or female, was manufact- 
ured at home by the women, on the old-fash- 
ioned spinning-wheel, cards and loom. The 
man dressed buckskins, out of which were made 
pantaloons, hunting-shirts, moccasins, and oc- 
casionally pillow-cases, and dresses for the 
women. 

They made shoes from leather tanned at 



home by themselves. To do this a tree, three 
or four feet in diameter, was cut down, and as 
large a trough as possible dug out of it ; this 
constituted a kind of vat, into which the hides, 
after being duly prepared, were placed along 
with oak bark, broken to pieces, and pulverized 
a little by pounding, the whole being filled up 
with water. They were kept in this condition 
until tanned. Some of the leather manufactured 
in this way was very good, but most of it rather 
indifferent. These, primitive tanners put no 
blacking on their leather, for the very good 
reason that lampblack could nowhere be ob- 
tained. Of course this kind of material made 
rather a rough shoe, but being the best that 
could be procured, the people were content. In 
fact, such shoes best suited the rough jaunts 
taken on foot by many of the pioneers, through 
brush, briers, swamps and grass, wet with dew 
and rain. Boots were seldom worn, except in 
the towns, and then only by professional men ; 
no better evidence could be adduced of a man 
being a preacher, doctor or lawyer, than his 
appearing in public with boots on. This scarcity 
of boots continued for several years. Many old 
ladies seemed disposed to consider them as 
belonging especially to the legal fraternity, 
styling every man who wore them a " dandy 
lawyer." 

Everything not manufactured at home was 
termed a " store " article, as " store shoes," 
" store hat," " store bonnet ;" and any one wholly 
or even partially attired in " store " articles, 
excited envy in the breasts of the younger and 
more shallow-brained portion of the community, 
and many a young lass, when appearing in 
public, considered herself highly honored, if so 
fortunate as to secure the attentions of a " feller 
with store clothes on," furnishing an instance 
of that weakness in human nature, too common 
even yet, judging persons by external appear- 
ances. 

The scarcity of the necessaries of life will not 
be wondered at, when we consider that St. Louis 



18 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



was the only market, and a very poor one at 
that, being then a small town of only a few 
thousand inhabitants, having but two ways of 
obtaining everything of foreign growth or manu- 
facture, one by keel-boats rowed or pushed by 
poles up the Mississippi from New Orleans ; the 



other from Philadelphia, by means of wagons 
across the Alleghany Mountains to Pittsburgh, 
thence down the Ohio Kiver, in keel-boats, float- 
ing with the current to its mouth, and from this 
point, pushed up the Mississippi in the same 
manner as from New Orleans. 




HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



19 



CHAPTER IX* 

TRIALS AND HARDSHIPS OF THE PIONEERS— SKINS AS A CIRCULATING MEDIUM— THE WAR OF 
181'.'— ITS EFFECT UPON THE SETTLEMENT OF THIS PORTION OF THE COUNTRY— MURDER 
OF COX AND HIS SON— THE BLESSINGS OF PEACE— PROGRESS OF EMIGRATION- 
BUILDING OF CABINS— EARLY MANNERS AND CUSTOMS— PIONEER COURT- 
SHIPS AND OTHER SOCIAL EVENTS. 

right," as they expressed it, one of them 
slipped back where the pile of skins lay, took 



"Oh, the waves of life danced merrily, 
And had a joyous now, 
In the days when we were Pioneers, 
Fifty years ago !" — Gallagher. 



FROM the time the first settlements were 
made in what is now Bond County until 
the close of the war of 1812, money was 
scarcely ever seen. Skins of the mink, musk- 
rat, raccoon and deer composed the circulating 
medium of the country. Tobacco, powder, 
lead and whisky were the principal articles 
purchased, and the merchant or grocery- keeper 
when asked the price of an} - of his goods, 
replied by stating a certain number of skins 
per pound or gallon. 

A story is told of a party of fellows on a 
Christmas spree, who, finding themselves about 
out of whisky, and not having the wherewith 
to replenish, hit upon the following expedient 
to obtain a supply : They went one night to a 
little grocery, having one raccoon skin with 
them. This paid for whisky enough to furnish 
them all a drink or two round, including the 
proprietor, who of course was fond of the article 
and imbibed rather freely, soon becoming quite 
hilarious from its effects. The party observed 
this, and each one, on placing the liquor to his 
lips, merely tasted it, but the grocery-keeper, 
whenever it came his turn, took a good drink ; 
consequently objects soon began to assume a 
confused appearance to his vision. This was 
just what they wanted, and getting him " about 

* By R. 0. White. 



one and put it through a large crack in the 
wall of the hut, to the outside ; then going out 
at the door he went round, took up the skin, 
and after waiting a few minutes came in — 
being saluted by the others as a fresh arrival, 
— and presented his raccoon skin in payment 
for a certain amouut of whisky. This offer 
was readily accepted, the whisky measured out 
and the skin thrown back on the heap with the 
rest. This feat was repeated every few min- 
utes till they obtained all the whisky the}' 
wanted, having actually sold the grocery-keeper 
his own raccoon skin six or seven times in a 
few hours. After the close of the war money 
was brought into the country and gradually 
took the place of skins. 

At one time during the war Hill's Station 
and Jones' Fort were abandoned, on account of 
Indian hostilities, and all the white inhabitants 
left the country except one man named Kenson, 
— generally called "Old Kenson." There is no 
account given of this man " showing whence 
he came or whither he went," but we are told 
he loved the spirit, but whether he was born of 
it or not is quite another question. He was 
as impervious to the angelic smiles and charms 
of the softer sex, and had never realized the 
truth, that 

" The world was sad, the garden was a wild, 
And man the hermit sighed till woman smiled." 

but lived in the enjoyment of single blessed- 



20 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY, 



ness, in a large hollow sycamore tree, situated 
in Shoal Creek Bottom, near where the Van- 
dalia Railroad now crosses. "Old Henson" 
remained alone in this primitive residence to 
look after his hogs and hunt, returning to his 
tree each time by a different route, to avoid 
being tracked by the Indians. He stayed 
there unmolested until the rest of the people 
returned to the neighborhood, after which no 
further trace of him can be found. But the 
presumption is that he joined some band of 
Rocky Mountain trappers, spending his life in 
the wild seclusions of the land of sunset. 

While the war of 1812 was in progress, but 
few emigrants came to the county, and these 
settled in the vicinity of the forts, or stations, 
on account of the hostile incursions of the sav- 
ages. Occasionally a settler erected his cabin, 
and made a " clearing " at quite a distance from 
the station, remaining there with his family as 
long as there were no signs of Indians about 
but as soon as the}' made their appearance in 
the neighborhood, he would remove, with all his 
responsibilities and household goods, into the 
fort for safety, returning home when the danger 
had passed. Families thus situated moved to 
and from the forts, perhaps, several times in a 
year, and, while living at their homes, were in 
constant danger of being attacked by Indians ; 
yet they appeared contented, and in the enjoy- 
ment of more happiness than seems possible, 
under the circumstances. 

There was a man named Cox, who, in spite of 
the warnings and entreaties of others, persisted 
in staying at home instead of coming with his 
family, into Hill's Station, the savages being then 
encamped on Indian Creek, four miles nearly west 
from Greenville. His house was near Beaver 
Creek, a little below where Dudleyville is now 
situated, and several miles from the station, 
but he insisted there was no danger. As a re- 
sult, however, of his imprudence, the Indians 
attacked his house one day during his absence, 
stole several articles of value, captured his 



daughter, Sally Cox, and carried her off with 
them. Intelligence of this melancholy event 
reached the station in a few hours. A party of men 
was instantly raised, the savages pursued, over- 
taken, and the girl rescued and brought back safe 
to her parents, all within the space of twenty-four 
hours from the time of her capture. After this 
occurrence, Cox was willing to remove his family 
to the fort, especially in times of imminent dan- 
ger, but, notwithstanding the remonstrances of 
others, he would go out to his house once or 
twice a week, " to see how things were getting 
along." On one of these occasions he was ac- 
companied by his sou, a small boy, both being 
on horseback. 

When they came within a short distance of 
his residence, he sent 1 the boy to water their 
horses at the creek, while he proceeded on foot 
to the house. As he approached he noticed In- 
dian tracks, which aroused his suspicions, but 
being a brave man he went on, almost fearing 
to enter. The savages were concealed in the 
house, standing on both sides of the door with 
rifles cocked and presented, ready to shoot him 
the moment he entered. He came up to the 
door, and on opening it. was shot by an Indian 
and instantly killed. They then ran down to 
the creek where the boy was, and gave him to 
understand they would not hurt him, that they 
only wanted the horses. Being greatly fright- 
ened he endeavored to ride toward them, or hold 
the horses so that they could come near enough 
to take hold of the bridles, but the poor ani- 
mals were so alarmed at the Indians he could 
not manage them. Hence, quite a struggle en- 
sued ; the Indians trying to get to the horses 
and they struggling away from them, while the 
boy was using every exertion to hold them, no 
doubt thinking his life depended on his efforts 
to do so. In this manner they gradually got 
farther from the creek, when, suddenly emerg- 
ing into the prairie, the boy thought to escape, 
and started off at a rapid pace. The Indians 
perceiving this, one of them leveled his gun 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



21 



and shot the little fellow off his horse as he ran. 
The house in which this tragedy occurred was 
standing but a few years since. 

The particulars of the murder of Cox and his 
son were related by the Indians themselves, at 
the treaty made near die close of the war. He 
was a large, powerful man, an experienced In- 
dian fighter, and had sent many a "brave" to 
the " happy hunting grounds." Had he cer- 
tainly known they were concealed in the house, 
it would have cost them many lives to have 
taken his, for he was considered a match for 
two or three Indians at any time. Most of 
them knew him, and acknowledged that, as they 
watched through a small crevice in the house, 
and perceived, from his looks and actions, that 
he had discovered their tracks, and vet was 
boldly approaching the door, they felt afraid of 
him, although ten to one in numbers. 

An incident occurred at Jones' Fort, about 
the time Cox was killed, which is of interest 
in this connection. At a little distance from 
it stood a large elm tree, which at the height of 
several feet separated into three prongs, all 
branching out at the same distance from the 
ground. Each of these being very large 
afforded sufficient shelter to conceal a man 
standing in the space thus formed. An Indian, 
observing this, conceived the idea of climbing 
up into the ambuscade thus furnished and 
shooting at persons inside the fort. From this 
elevated position, he could see over the wall 
and fire on the people, which was impossible 
from the ground. One evening, near sunset, 
he ascended the tree and took his station ; soon 
the report of a rifle was heard and one of the 
men in the fort fell dead. This was so sudden 
ami unexpected that no one could tell from 
whence the firing proceeded, though all were 
satisfied it came from an Indian concealed 
somewhere outside the inclosure. This was 
repeated on several evenings until four or five 
white men had been shot down without any one 
being able to find out the whereabouts of the 



murderer. He was finally discovered, however, 
in his hiding place, and shot by a man watch- 
ing for him. 

Another attack by Indians took place at 
Hill's Station in the latter part of August, 
1814. As there have been several versions of 
this fight already published it is but proper to 
mention that the following statement is in no 
particular derived from any of them, as they 
are not entirely correct. It coincides with them, 
however, in man}- of its details. It is obtained 
direct from persons now living who had the 
scene described to them by those residing in 
the station at the time of its occurrence, be- 
sides from the statement of the hero of the 
conflict himself, and may be considered relia 
ble. 

A few rangers, under the command of Maj. 
Journey, were stationed at the station in order 
to afford the settlers better protection against 
the savages. Benjamin Henson, a resident in 
the station, while out hunting one day, saw an 
Indian, which circumstance he related on his 
return in the evening, adding that he believed 
they were in danger of an attack. This story- 
was discredited by many, both officers and 
men, who believed he had manufactured the 
whole thing merely to get up an excitement 
and alarm. On the evening of the day in ques- 
tion some of the women found grains of 
parched corn scattered about the spring, situat- 
ed a little distance from the station, and as 
none of the white people had been using any at 
that time, this was conclusive evidence that the 
" red skins" were about. 

Strange as it may seem, however, some of 
the rangers still refused to believe that there 
was any danger. One Lieut. Boucher, on hear- 
ing Henson's statement, called him a liar to his 
face, and treated with contempt every sugges- 
tion of danger. 

After disputing and quarreling awhile over 
the matter, they decided to send out a squad of 
men on the following day to look for Indians. 



22 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Next morning Maj. Journey started out, taking 
all the men with him, thus leaving the fort in a 
defenseless condition, the gates all wide open 
and the women milking the cows, apparently 
unconscious of danger. The part}' of rangers 
proceeded along a narrow path leading down a 
narrow ravine, when they were suddenly fired 
upon by a large party of Indians, concealed 
behind trees and in the grass on both sides of 
the path. Maj. Journey, Capt. Grotz and two 

of the privates, ■ Lynn and William Pruitt, 

were instantly killed. The fifth man, 

Thomas Higgins, was shot in the thigh and fell 
from his horse, which ran off. The others, 
seeing danger ahead, left the path immediately, 
scattering in different directions and taking po- 
sitions at some distance from each other, man- 
aged to engage the enemy as best they could 
Having seen Higgins fall from his horse with 
the other four, they supposed him killed also 
and took no further notice of him at that time. 
There was a small field of corn close to the 
fort, on the north side, in which several Indians 
had concealed themselves, for when the firing 
commenced the women saw three or four run 
out of this field and pass round to the scene of 
conflict. They had doubtless been watching 
the whites, intending to commit some depreda- 
tion as soon as the men all left. Immediately 
after Higgins fell from his horse he was 
attacked by three Indians armed only with 
spears, evidently believing him entirely within 
their power. His wound had disabled him so 
that it was with difficulty he could stand with- 
out support, but the knowledge that his life 
was at stake seemed to give him super-human 
strength. Cocking his rifle, he presented it 
whenever one approached nearer than the 
others, as if intending to shoot, determined, 
however, not to do so until he could make sure 
of his game. The Indians, being uncertain 
whether his gun was loaded or not, were afraid 
to rush on him. Thus he held them at bay 
for a short time ; but they kept circling round 



trying to get on both sides of him, each time 
coming a little closer and closer, whirling about 
in various ways or falling down fiat in the grass 
and weeds whenever he seemed likely to fire. 
Occasionally one gave him a thrust with his 
spear, when they would all laugh to see him 
dodge and writhe with the pain, but were 
afraid to advance near enough to take hold of 
him. He still reserved his fire knowing that his 
only chance for life was to kill one " dead" at 
the first and only shot he would get. He said 
that one of them was the " biggest Injun" he 
ever saw, and he thought if he could only kill 
him first his chance for life would be much 
better. At length feeling himself growing 
weaker, and receiving a severe wound in the 
mouth and jaw from the spear of the largest 
Indian, who also was the boldest, Higgins 
leveled his rifle at him as he pulled the spear 
from the wound and fired, killing him dead on 
the spot. 

The other two, knowing that his gun was 
discharged, now advanced on him without fear. 
His success in killing the most formidable one 
inspired him with fresh courage, and not having 
time to reload his rifle, he seized it by the 
muzzle, arid as they rushed upon him with loud 
and triumphant yells, struck the foremost one 
with all his power over the head, knocking out 
his brains and killing him immediately. The 
force of the blow broke the gun off at the 
breach and the barrel flew out of his hands to 
some distance in the thick grass. 

He now fell exhausted, and being unable 
to rise to his feet, commenced crawling to- 
ward the gun-barrel, his only means of defense, 
in order to obtain it before the remaining In- 
dian, who had also started to search for it. 
The savage succeeded in getting it first, and 
with a tremendous yell, came slowiy up in front 
of him, brandishing the weapon in his hands, as 
if to give him all the anguish possible, before 
striking the final blow. Having reached a small 
tree, he raised himself by means of it to a 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



23 



standing position, leaning back against it for sup- 
port, feeling that his time had come when, to his 
great joy, he beheld two white men — William 
Pursley and David White — on horseback, com- 
ing to his rescue. They were coming up behind 
the Indian, who was too much elated with the 
idea of capturing his victim to observe them. 
As soon as Higgins saw them he exclaimed, 
• Pursley, for God's sake, don't let him kill 
me." 

The Indian still believing no one near. 
and that this was a cry of despair, laughed 
tauntingly in his face, and mimickingly repeated 
his cry in bad English. The words had scarcely 
passed his lips when the men were upon him 
with rifles leveled. Instantaneously he com- 
menced a series of the most vigorous and ludi- 
crous gymnastic exercises, but they finally suc- 
ceeded in killing him. 

A portion of this fight was witnessed by the 
women in the fort, and one of them — Mrs. 
White — when she saw Higgins likely to be over- 
powered, seized a gun, mounted a horse, and 
started to his assistance. She had not pro- 
ceeded far, however, when, perceiving Pursley 
and her husband hastening to his relief, she re- 
turned to the fort. Higgins was taken to the 
station, where his wounds were dressed and 
cared for until his recover}-. He died, a few 
years since, in Fayette County, having been a 
perfect specimen of a frontier man iu his day. 
He was once assistaut door-keeper of the House 
of Representatives of Illinois. 

Such are the scenes through which some of 
the pioneers of Bond County passed during its 
first settlement. Our citizens should cherish 
the memory of those victims who fell at Hill's 
Station, Jones' Fort, and other places iu the 
county. Their graves lie neglected, and some 
of them unknown. This ought not to be. The}* 
should all be found, if possible, neatly inclosed, 
and a monument erected to their memory. 

At the close of our last war with England, a 
treaty of peace was made with the Indians as 



well as with the English, thus bringing peace 
to the pioneer. After the conclusion of this 
treaty, the forts in Bond County were aban- 
doned, though with some misgivings on the 
part of the whites, lest the Indians should fail 
to observe the terms of peace. In a short time, 
however, the people becoming more satisfied of 
the peaceful intentions of the savages, " scat- 
tered out " from the different stations, forming 
settlements several miles apart. 

Emigrants came to the country but slowly, 
so that by the year 1816, Bond County num- 
bered not over twenty-five dwelling-houses, if 
their pole cabins could be called dwelling- 
houses. The people then managed to get along 
without nails, glass, sawed lumber or brick, for 
the reason they could not procure them. Their 
houses were small, consisting of one story, built 
of logs or poles, in many cases unhewed, with 
the ends projecting from six inches to two feet 
at the corners, the crevices between them being 
daubed with mud or clay, and the whole struct- 
ure covered with clapboards, held on by heavy 
poles called " weight-poles." The same kind of 
boards, fastened to cross pieces by wooden 
pins driven into holes made with a gimlet, con- 
stituted the door shutters, generally constructed 
to open outwards. The floor, when they had 
any, was made of puncheons, pinned down or 
laid on loose. These, when carefully dressed 
and closely put together, constituted a very 
good floor, but some of them conveyed the idea 
that the settlers believed in ventilation, for they 
left cracks so wide that the children, in pursuit 
of their juvenile amusements, their little feet 
often slipped through those dangerous trap- 
doors, causing many squalls and bruises. A 
wooden latch, raised by a string, served as a 
fastening for their doors. This string had one 
end tied to the latch and the other passed 
through a small hole above it, and when the 
door, fastened on the inside, was left hanging 
out, the person wishing to enter having only to 
pull it, iu order to raise the latch ; hence, to 



24 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



leave the "latch-string hanging out," they con- 
sidered synonymous with sociability and hospi- 
tality. They built wooden chimneys, plastering 
them inside with earth, making the jambs and 
hearths also of the same material — except when 
stone could be procured — beating the hearths 
with a maul to make them solid. The fire- 
places were from six to ten feet in width, and 
two rocks or billets of wood served instead of 
andirons. Though so wide, these fire-places 
were, nevertheless, quite convenient, furnishing 
a receptacle for most if not all the cooking uten- 
sils of the family, and when crowded the chil- 
dren, and in some families the dogs found ac- 
commodations on each side, in company with 
skillets, ovens and frying pans. But at one side 
or the other of these capacious hearths, one 
article always stood conspicuous, and that was 
the kettle of " blue dye," as the old ladies called 
it, in which they colored their "yarn " for weav- 
ing. This kettle being covered with an old 
barrel-head, or something of the kind, often did 
service as a seat for some member of the family, 
and even for visitors. Young fellows, when on 
courting expeditions, sometimes found it a very 
convenient seat, with the " idol of their heart " 
in close proximity. Some of the best men 
of our country wooed and won their brides, 
seated on a kettle of " blue dye " by the blazing 
fire of the backwoodsman's rude cabin. An in- 
cident is related of a youthful swain seated on 
a kettle of " blue dye," engaged in close con- 
versation with a lass, whose love he hoped to 
win, when the covering gave way. precipitating 
him to the bottom of the vessel in a sitting 



position. As he wore white pantaloons, the 
results may be imagined. 

Articles of household furniture were few and 
rude. With the exception of those brought 
from the States, chairs could not for several 
years be procured, their place being supplied 
by wooden stools, which, though answering 
very well the purpose of seats, were easily 
upset, a circumstance often causing much mer- 
riment. 

The tables and bedsteads were rude, the 
former being constructed of the same kind of 
material as the doors, and many of the latter 
by boring two holes in the wall with a large 
auger, six or seven feet apart ; into these, 
pieces of wood were driven having the oppo- 
site end of each inserted into an upright post, 
this constituting a kind of frame work, which, 
being covered with clap-boards, served as a 
receptacle for the beds. Sofas, rocking-chairs, 
center-tables, bureaus and all such articles 
were not used except where some old lady or 
whimsical old maid had refused to part with 
these " household gods," and had them hauled 
out to this wild region, over mountains, hills 
and swamps, at much trouble and expense. 

On the outside of the houses, it was no un- 
common thing to see a goodly number of rac- 
coon and deer skins stretched and hanging up 
against the wall to dry, and occasionally the 
skin of a wild cat, wolf or bear. The project- 
ing ends of the logs at each corner of the cabin 
served as places to hang the various utensils 
used on the farm, such as hoes, rakes, bridles 
and harness. 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



25 



CHAPTER III.* 

ORGANIZATION OF BOND COUNTY— THE TERRITORY FROM WHICH IT ORIGINATED— ACT OF THE 
LEGISLATURE— THE COUNTY AS NOW BOUNDED, WITH ITS DESCRIPTION AND TOPOGRA- 
PHY—COURTS ORGANIZED — THE FIRST GRAND JURY AND COURT OFFICERS — 
COUNTY SEAT AT PERRYVILLE— JAIL BUILDING— A CASE OF LYNCHING— 
LAWYERS LOST ON THE PRAIRIE— PERMANENT LOCATION OF THE 
SEAT OF JUSTICE, ETC., ETC. 



AS the country settled up and population in- 
creased, it became necessary to form the 
territory into smaller divisions for the purpose 
of convenience and the better administration 
of the laws. It may be of interest to the read- 
er to give a few of the territorial changes of 
the country in which we now live. Illinois was 
taken from the British in 1778, by conquest of 
Gen. George Rogers Clark, and became a 
county of Virginia. It then embraced what is 
now the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michi- 
gan and Wisconsin, with the seat of government 
at Kaskaskia.t In 1784, Virginia ceded it to 
the United States Government, and by the or- 
dinance of 1787 it became the Northwestern 
Territory, with its capital first at Marietta, and 
then at Cincinnati. Ohio. This continued until 
1800, when it was made a part of the Indiana 
Territory, with the seat of government at Vin- 
cennes, Ind., and embraced the present States 
of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. 
In 1809, that portion now forming the States 
of Illinois and Wisconsin, became the Territory 
of Illinois, and in 1818, Illinois became a State 
of the Federal Union, with her capital at the 
ancient town of Kaskaskia. The Southern 
part of the State was settled long before the 
central and northern part, and here the first 
counties were formed, even before the State was 
admitted into the Union. The country within 

*By R. O. White. 

fNe.ir Chester, the peat of the New Southern Penitentiary. 



the boundaries of the present State of Illinois 
extending northward to the mouth of the Little 
Mackinaw Creek, was organized into a county 
in February, 1790, and named for His Excel- 
lency, Gen. Arthur St. Clair, Governor of the 
Northwestern Territory. Other counties were 
formed, as population increased. In 1795, Ran- 
dolph was created, and Madison in 1812. Bond 
County, comprising a large extent of territory, 
and from which several counties have since 
been formed, was organized in 1817. The fol- 
lowing is the act of the Legislature, or that 
part of it pertaining to the subject, which gave 
it a legal existence. 

An act forming a new county out of the 
county of Madison, approved January 4, 1817 : 

Be it enacted by the Legislative Council and 
House of Representatives of Illinois Territory, and 
it is hereby enacted by authority of the same, that 
all that tract of country within the following 
boundaries, to wit: 

Beginning at the southwest corner of Township 
3 north. Range 4 west ; thence east to the southeast 
corner of Township 3 north. Range 1 east, to the 
third meridian line ; thence north to the boundary 
line of the Territory ; thence west with said bound- 
ary line so far that a south line will pass between 
Ranges 4 and 5 west ; thence south with said line to 
the beginning. The same shall constitute a separate 
county to be called Bond, and the seat of justice 
for said county shall be at Hill's Fort until it shall 
be permanently established in the following man- 
ner, that is to say, there shall be five persons ap- 
pointed, to wit : William Roberts, John Powers, 
Robert Gillespie, John Whitley, Sr., and John 



26 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Laughlin, or a majority of them being duly sworn 
before some Judge or Justice of the Peace of this 
Territory to faithfully take into view the situation 
of the settlements, the geography of the county, 
the convenience of the people and the eligibility of 
the place, shall meet on the first Monday in March, 
next, at Hill's Port, on Shoal Creek, and proceed to 
examine and determine on the place for the perma- 
nent seat of justice and designate the same. Pro- 
vided that the proprietor or proprietors of the land 
shall give to the said county, for the purpose of 
erecting public buildings, a quantity of land at the 
said place, nut less than twenty acres, to be laid off 
in lots and sold for the above purpose. But should 
the proprietor or proprietors refuse or neglect to 
make the donation aforesaid, then, in that case, it 
shall be the duty of the Commissioners to fix upon 
some other place for the seat of justice as conven- 
ient as may be to the present and future settlements 
of said county, or should the said Commissioners 
fix it upon lauds belonging to the United States, in 
that case, the Judges of the said county, or any two 
of them, may apply to the Register of the Land 
Office for that district, and in behalf of the county 
purchase one-quarter section for the use ofgthe 
county, and the seat of justice shall be established 
thereon, and the county shall be bound for the 
purchase money, which place, when fixed upon aud 
determined, the said Commissioners shall certify 
under their hands and seals, and return their certifi- 
cates of the same to the next County Court in the 
county aforesaid ; and as a compensation for their 
services they shall each be allowed $2 for every day 
they may be necessarily employed in fixing the 
[foresaid seat of justice, to be paid out of the coun- 
ty levy, which said court shall cause an entry 
thereof to be made on the records, etc.. etc. 

The remainder of the act, which is a very 
long one, is taken up with matters which have 
no reference to Bond County. It will be seen 
by this act that the county was much larger 
at the time of its formation than it is now. As 
at present constituted, it is bounded on the 
north by Montgomery, on the east by Fayette, 
on the south by Clinton, and on the west by 
Madison. 

It contains nine entire townships, in a 
square, aud five fractional ones on its north- 
ern and western sides, comprising about three 
hundred and seventy-eight square miles. The 



population is fourteen thousand, being thirty- 
seven to the square mile. 

Shoal Creek and its tributaries water the 
western and central portions, and the Okaw 
River and Hurricane Creek the eastern part. 

Shoal Creek rises in the northern part of 
Montgomery County, and crosses the line of 
Bond at the north half-mile corner of Section 
28, Township 7, Range 4, and. (lowing nearly 
south through the county, leaves it near the 
southwest corner of Section 36, Town 4, Range 
4. It has on both sides a fine body of timber, 
varying in width from two to five miles. Its 
principal tributaries in Bond County are the 
Dry Fork, Indian Creek, East Fork, Locust 
Fork, Beaver Creek aud the Lake Fork. 

The largest of these streams is the East 
Fork, which rises in the northeastern part of 
Montgomery County, and, running southwest 
into Bond, empties into Shoal Creek, in the 
southwest quarter of Section 36. The timber 
on this stream is of a good quality, aud several 
miles in width. Beaver Creek rises a few miles 
northeast of Greenville, and, flowing nearly 
south, crosses the line into Clinton County. The 
whole length of this creek is about twenty-five 
miles ; it is a muddy, sluggish stream, and wa- 
ters a fine portion of Bond County. When 
the Government Surveyors first came to this 
stream, they found a dead horse in it, and from 
this circumstance called it "Stinking Creek," 
a name which appears on some of the older 
maps. Lake Fork enters the county a few rods 
south of the uorthwest corner, flows in an 
easterly direction near the north line for a little 
over a mile ; then, turning north and northeast, 
1 Kisses into Montgomeiy County and empties 
into Shoal Creek. It is noted for being a rapid. 
rocky, stream, furnishing numerous quarries of 
a <rood building stone, and for beds of coal 
along its banks at various points. Dry Fork 
rises in the southwestern part of Montgoniery 
County, and, running southeast into Bond, 
empties into Shoal Creek. It is a rapid stream, 



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^^u^co^^i. U . rvousf"^ 



LIBRARY 

OF THE 
UNIVERSITY u f ILLINOIS 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



29 



and runs through a rough, broken tract of 
country. Indian Creek rises in the southwest 
part of Township 6, Range 3, and runs south- 
west into Shoal Creek. It was so named 
from the Indians having once been encamped 
on it during the first settling of the county. 
Locust Fork is a small stream in the the south- 
ern part of Township 4, Range 4, running 
southeast through a fine portion of country ; 
coal, and extensive beds of the finest limestone 
in the county are found along this creek and 
its branches. It flows into Shoal Creek, a 
short distance north of the Clinton County 
line. 

The Okaw or Kaskaskia River runs through 
the extreme southeastern part of the county. 
It rises in Champaign County, and, taking a 
southwestern course, empties into the Missis- 
sippi River, about one hundred and twenty 
miles above the mouth of the Ohio, passing 
through or bordering in its course the counties 
of Douglas, Coles, Moultrie, Shelby, Fayette, 
Bond, Clinton, Washington, St. Clair. Monroe 
and Randolph. A body of excellent timber; 
from two to ten miles wide, is found along this 
river, supplying the numerous and extensive 
farms on both sides of it with lumber. It is 
not navigable for any considerable distance, 
though a small steamboat once ascended as far as 
Carlyle in a time of high water. The Hurricane 
Fork and its tributaries water the eastern por- 
tion of Bond County, and are bordered with 
fine bodies of timber. 

Bond County contains a due proportion of 
timber and prairie, and has a generally level or 
undulating surface, but no mountains nor very 
high hills. The general quality of the soil is 
second rate, though in certain localities there is 
excellent land. Some of the prairies are too 
level to answer well the purposes of cultivation 
without some artificial drainage, but most of 
the land is sufficiently undulating to drain well, 
and in fact some of the finest landscape views 
in the State are found in this county. The tim- 



ber consists of white, black, Spanish, over-cup, 
water, black-jack, post and pin oak, hackberry, 
ash, hickory, walnut, elm, sycamore, cotton- 
wood, sugar and white maple, locust, mulberry, 
sassafras, wild cherry and other kinds. Springs 
are not very numerous, but good wells can be 
obtained in all parts of the county. With but 
few exceptions the water is limestone. There 
are saline springs in Shoal Creek, a short dis- 
tance above New Berlin, where, during the first 
settling of the country, salt was manufactured 
to a small extent, but, being down in the bed of 
the creek, they are inaccessible the greater part 
of the year, and have long since been aban- 
doned. 

In addition to the places already noted, good 
quarries of both sand and limestone are found 
in the western part of the county, at various 
points along the banks of the main fork of 
Shoal Creek, and many of the smaller streams 
running into it from the west. In the prairies 
are found, lying on or near the surface, large 
bowlders nearly round, weighing from five hun- 
dred to several thousand pounds. They are 
granite in formation, and have been broken 
from the parent quarry by some convulsion of 
nature, and removed to their present situation, 
probably through the agency of water, and 
seem to have been rounded by rolling over a 
hard surface. It is difficult to account for them 
on any reasonable ground. There is not, so far 
as is known, a quarry of granite in the State, 
and hence it is evident that these " lost rocks," 
as they are called, have been transported many 
miles. 

As Bond County was organized in 1817, 
when Illinois was yet a Territory, it was one of 
the fifteen counties represented in the Consti- 
tutional Convention of 1818. Thomas Kirk- 
patrick and Samuel G. Morse represented this 
county in the Convention that formed the first 
State Constitution. Of the dimensions of Bond 
at the time of its formation, Rev. Thomas W. 
Hynes, in his address, July 4, 1876, says : 

B 



30 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



" Originally our county was of immense size, 
extending indefinitely northward and eastward ; 
but in 1821 tbe formation of Montgomery and 
Fayette, and, in 1825, the county of Clinton 
reduced her extent on three sides till she was 
so small that an addition taken from Madison 
had to be made in 1843, to bring it up to the 
present extent of territory. This addition, two 
miles wide and nine miles long, leaves the 
county of respectable and convenient magni- 
tude, though much below the average of the 
102 counties in Illinois. Bond has 378 square 
miles, while the average for all the counties of 
Illinois is 544 square miles." 

After the adoption of the act of the Legisla- 
ture for the legal organization of the county, the 
next business in order was to establish the dif- 
ferent departments, and set the political, civil 
and judicial machinery in motion. This was 
accomplished without any unnecessary delay. 
The first Circuit Court was held at Hill's Station, 
on Monday, May 30, 1817. The State being 
under a Territorial Government, all the offices 
were filled by appointment, and were as follows : 
The Hon. Jesse B. Thomas, Judge ; Daniel 
Converse, Clerk ; Samuel G. Morse, Sheriff ; 
and Charles R. Matheny, State's Attorney. The 
following persons served as grand jurors : John 
Whitley, Sr., Foreman, Solomon Reavis, Fields 
Pruitt, Coonrod Hoosong, Samuel Davidson, 
Paul Beck, William Robinson, John Hopton, 
Robert Gillespie, Benjamin James, Charles 
Reavis, Charles Steel, Andrew Moody, Absalom 
Mathews, William McLane, John Whitley, Jr. 
Peter Hubbard, David White, Francis Kirk- 
patrick, William Burgess, John Samples, Elijah 
Powers, Thomas White. 

The list of petit jurors cannot be given, for it 
does not appear in any of the old records of the 
county, and, so far as can be ascertained, John 
B. White, residing a short distance west of 
Greenville, is the only man now living who 
served on either jury at that court. The petit 
jury, on retiring to make up their verdict, in- 



stead of being shut up in a close room, went out 
and sat on a large log. 

There was only one bill of indictment found, 
and but one case tried. Judge Thomas, allud- 
ing to this circumstance when dismissing the 
grand jury, remarked, " It speaks much for the 
morals of your community ; long ma}' such a 
state of things continue." In the foregoing list 
of grand jurors, quite a number of our citizens 
will recognize the names of ancestors and 
others with whom they have been familiar in 
former years. 

Two or three terms of the Circuit Court were 
held at Hill's Station, after which it was held at 
Perryville, the first county seat, situated near 
the mouth of Hurricane Creek, in the south- 
western part of what is now Fayette County. 
The following report of the Commissioners ap- 
pointed to locate the seat of justice for Bond 
Count}', shows something of the extent of terri- 
tory then under its jurisdiction, and also, the 
ideas entertained by the people in relation to 
the navigation of the small rivers and large 
creeks in this country : 

Shoal Creek, April 15, 1817. ( 
Illinois Territory, Bond County, f 

We, the Commissioners to fix the seat of justice 
for the county of Bond, being duly sworn, after re- 
viewing different parts of said county for that pur- 
pose ; we do nominate and appoint for that pur- 
pose, the bluff lying west of the Hurricane Fork of 
Okaw, being the southwest quarter of Section No. 
5, of Range No. 1 west, of Township No. 4 north, 
now the property of Martin Jones, taking into view 
the geographical center, the navigation, the eligibility, 
and the common good of the people, as directed by 
law. Given under our hands and seals, the day and 
year first above written. John Powers. 

Robert Gillespie, 
John Whitley. 

This town was laid out in the spring of 1818, 
and the plat recorded May 17 of the same year. 
Illinois having been in the meantime admitted 
into the Union, Bond County was regularly or- 
ganized the following autumn, and named for 
Shadrach Bond, the first Governor of the State, 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



31 



who was elected in October, 1S18, and filled a 
term of four years. The county then included 
a large scope of territory, extending to the 
north, east and south, which is now embodied 
in adjoining counties. 

The first Justices' or Count}' Commissioners' 
Court ever held in the county, met at Perry - 
ville in the month of October, 1818. The Jus- 
tices were Thomas Kirkpatrick, Martin Jones 
and Isaac Price. Daniel Converse was Clerk, 
and Samuel G-. Morse, Sheriff, Converse being 
Clerk of both Circuit and County Courts. The 
principal business of this first court at Perry- 
ville seems to have been rewarding persons for 
killing wolves, *2 being the amount paid for 
each scalp produced. There were thirty-five 
orders passed allowing pay for wolf-scalps, and 
it appears that fifty-one wolves had been killed. 
The whole amount of money expended by the 
county for the year previous, as stated by the 
Sheriff, was $97.75, which was probably mostly 
for wolf-scalps. 

Among the orders passed at this term of the 
court was one for the erection of a jail at Perry - 
ville, giving plan and specifications of the build- 
ing. It appears to be the only order of any im- 
portance passed after remunerating the wolf- 
killers ; a jail, whether needed or not, being evi- 
dently considered as a mark of civilization, or, 
at least, tending in that direction. After perus- 
ing this order, the reader can form his own con- 
elusions as to the condition of the literature 
and architecture of Bond Count}' at that time, 
and picture to himself the imposing appearance 
such a building would now present if located 
in the public square of Greenville. The follow- 
ing is the order, given word for word and letter 
for letter : 

Ordered thai Martin Join's lie appointed and Em- 
powered to let a Gail to the lowest Bidder to lice 
built in the following Manner; twelve by eighteen 

feet in the clear, in 1 built of timber hewn square 

12 Inches, the log with a partition of the same kind 
of Timber, the partition to be 6 feet from one end, 
the corners to be dove-tailed together and also the 



partion walls, — the outside door to be double, of two 
Inch plank, and sufficiently mailed with Strong nails 
and barred with two Iron barrs, half an inch thick 
and three inches wide, to answer for the hinges, to 
be hinged with steeples J of an Inch in Diameter 
drove through the Logs and Clinched, and also stee- 
ples through the logs in the same manner on the 
other side of the door, with holes through the bolls 
to Lock the door with Pad Locks to each. 

This jail was built, but not strictly in ac- 
cordance with the above order, for if it had, it 
would have been without roof or floor. It is 
likely the architect, supplied with his inventive 
powers what was omitted in the specifications. 
The first man ever imprisoned in Bond County 
was incarcerated in this building during the 
first CircuitCourt held at Perryville. Hecame 
into court not only a little " tight," but very 
drunk, swearing and making quite a disturb- 
ance. The Judge ordered him to jail until he 
became sober, which order was promptly exe- 
cuted by the Sheriff. That worthy official, how- 
ever, found it impossible to lock the door, for 
the reason that there had been no padlock pro- 
vided, as stipulated in the building contract, 
but as the door opened to the outside, he closed 
it and placed fence-rails and poles against it, 
making everything, as he thought, secure. This 
was late in the afternoon, near sunset. The pris- 
oner lay down and soon fell asleep. About mid- 
night he awoke, duly sober, and finding himself 
in such a place, was at first much surprised, 
but after a little reflection, recollected his con- 
dition the day before, and imagined that some- 
body had put him in there for mischief. After 
groping around the walls awhile, he found the 
(lour, and by pushing, kicking, swearing and 
yelling till almost daylight, succeeded in get- 
ting out. The next day he was going about 
trying to find the perpetrators of the outrage, 
swearing he could whip any man that helped 
to put him in there, never for a moment sup- 
posing that an order of court had anything to 
do with it. 

Some idea of the sparseness of the settle- 



32 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



merits at that time may be obtained from the 
fact that a party of three or four lawyers, on 
their wa}' to the above-named court, got lost in 
crossing the prairie between Shoal Creek and 
the Okaw. After wandering about for several 
hours, vainly endeavoring to discover some 
signs of a human habitation, night overtook 
them, and the}* were compelled to pass it in the 
tall grass near a pond, where, bitten by mos- 
quitoes and gnats, and serenaded by hundreds 
of wolves and myriads of frogs, their medita- 
tions were anything but pleasant. They ar- 
rived at their destination the next forenoon, 
hungry and sleepy, where their acquaintances 
accused them of having been on a spree the 
night previous, judging from the reddened ap- 
pearance of their countenances. 

The courts continued to meet at Perryville 
for more than three years, and until Greenville 
was laid out and established as the permanent 
county seat, which occurred in 1821. In the 
chapters devoted to the history of Greenville, 
the erection of the public buildings will be fully 
given. For several years Bond Count}' contin- 
ued to exercise jurisdiction over a large extent 
of territoiy, as the following will serve to show : 
At one of the Justices' Courts, held at Perry- 
ville, an order was passed at a subsequent ses- 
sion, when a license was granted authorizing 
one Jones "to establish and keep in operation 
a ferry over the Okaw River at Vandalia." 
This large territoiy, however, was curtailed, as 
we have seen, in the organization, some years 
later, of Fayette, Montgomery and Clinton 



Counties. Notwithstanding the rough state of 
society then existing, and that the county con- 
tained some pretty " hard cases," yet the laws 
were, with few exceptions, strictly and prompt- 
ly executed, without any serious resistance or 
attempts at lynching. The only case of the 
latter was that of a mau named Baker, arrested 
on Big Shoal Creek for horse-stealing, where 
he was tied to a tree, whipped, and then driven 
from the county. He went to Vandalia, stole 
another horse, and started east, but was pur- 
sued, overtaken and shot near the Indiana line. 
The precise date of this occurrence is not 
known, but was probabl}' about the year 1820. 
Bond County, in its civil organization, dif- 
fers from a majority of the counties in the 
State, in that it is not governed by township 
rule, or more properly speaking, is not under 
township organization. For civil purposes it 
is divided into ten election precincts, which do 
not correspond in territorial boundaries with 
the Congressional surve}-, but are laid off accord- 
ing to the best advantage, or to suit the will 
of the people. These precincts, which are 
more fully described iu other chapters, devoted 
to each severally, are as follows : Greenville, 
Ripley, Cottonwood Grove, La Grange, Poca- 
hontas, Beaver Creek, Okaw, Fairview, Mulber- 
ry Grove and Zion. These, as we have said, 
are more minutely described ill chapters which 
are devoted exclusively to them, and in which 
everything of interest in regard to them are 
fully given. 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



33 



CHAPTER IV* 

AGRICULTUKE IN EARLY TIMES— THE FUST PLOWS USED— HORSE COLLARS, HARNESS, TRACE 
CHAINS, ETC.— 'GREEN HEADS "—WHEAT, AND THE MODE OF HARVESTING IT— AN INCI- 
DENT—HOG RAISING— DIFFICULTIES OF TEAMING — ROADS TO ST. LOUIS AND 
SPRINGFIELD— A SERMON UN A LOAD OF APPLES— BUILDING MILLS AND 
OTHER MANUFACTORIES, ETC., ETC. 



THE inhabitants of Bond County are an in- 
telligent, industrious and enterprising 
people, and are engaged mainly in agricultural 
pursuits. In the early history of the country, 
when Southern Illinois was but sparsely settled. 
agriculture was in a very rude state, when com- 
pared to the science to which it is now reduced. 
The prime cause of this was the great lack of 
agricultural implements, which were few in 
number and of simple construction. Inventive 
genius and Yankee enterprise had not yet been 
employed in this direction to an} - great extent. 
The plows in common use when the first settle- 
ments were made within the present limits of 
the county of Bond were of a rude character, 
and of three kinds, viz., the " bar-shear," the 
" shovel" and the " bull-tongue." To attempt 
a description of the bar-shear plow would be 
useless, as those who never saw one could 
scarcely understand the description ; like the 
alligator, it must be seen to be appreciated. 
It was constructed on about as simple a plan 
as could be imagined, having a heavy wooden 
mold-board to turn the soil. The shovel plow 
is yet in use and need not be. described. The 
bull-tongue was like the shovel, though nar- 
rower and longer. 

With such implements as these it was im- 
possible to do good plowing, the ground being 
merely scratched over instead of broken up 
deep. The harrows then had wooden instead 
of iron teeth ; but a heavy brush drawn by a 

> By R. O. White. 



pair of horses or oxen usually served in their 
place. As there were no seed drills of any 
kind, the grain was all sown by hand, and cov- 
ered by brushing or harrowing. Horse-collars 
were made by plaiting and sewing together 
corn-husks. They were constructed without 
opening at the upper end, and put on the horse 
by being pushed over his head, a feat some- 
times difficult to accomplish, especially for 
boys. The hames were much heavier than 
those now used, and not plated with iron. A 
raw hide or buckskin strap fastened them 
together. When chains could not be procured 
for traces, raw-hide, hickory withes, bark ropes 
or dressed deer-skin served instead. These 
were held up in proper position by a strap or 
back-band made of the kind of material most 
convenient, a piece of rope passed over the 
back of the horse and tied to each trace, or a 
strap of leather or hide two or three inches in 
width and, in some cases, cloth obtained by 
taking strips of the best parts of worn-out 
pantaloons and other garments, sewing them 
together and forming a band of the required 
length and strength. 

In addition to the lack of good plows and 
harness, the early farmers were much troubled 
and hindered by horse-flies, which annoyed 
their horses during the plowing season to such 
an extent that it was often impossible for them 
to work except during a small portion of each 
day — early in the morning and late in the even- 



34 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



ing. The flies were most numerous in the 
prairies and vicinity. 

Some seasons, during •' fly-time," it was im- 
possible to ride across any of the prairies. In 
going a hall-mile, or mile at farthest, the 
horse's neck and shoulders would be literally 
covered with flies, which would cause him to 
rear and jump about, or lie down and wallow to 
get rid of them, so that the rider could not 
maintain his seat. These flies were of a gray 
color, with green heads, by which they attained 
the name of " green-head flies." With the 
rude plows and harness of the time an acre was 
as much ground as one team would break up 
in an entire day ; and hindered as they were 
by flies in the spring of the year, the amount 
plowed per day was much less. But, to com- 
pensate for this want of culture, the wild land 
was more productive than it is now, and the 
people raised the most abundant crops, in pro- 
portion to the ground cultivated. 

.Most of the early inhabitants of Bond County 
had emigrated from sections where corn was 
the principal grain, and continued its cultiva- 
tion here as their main crop, raising but little 
wheat, notwithstanding it was of good quality 
and fair yield. But, little as they did raise, it 
was just about as much as could be harvested 
with the implements they then had. For sev- 
eral years after the first attempt at wheat-rais- 
ing, the only means of harvesting was the old- 
fashioned sickle or " reap-hook," as some called 
it — a slow process — the man that could cut and 
bind one acre per day being considered an 
extra good hand. During harvest the people 
in a neighborhood would unite, on the principle 
that " many hands make light work," and be- 
ginning at the farm where the wheat was ripest, 
proceed to reap first one field and then another, 
till all the grain was cut. They looked upon 
harvest as a time of social enjoyment as well as 
profit ; when the neighbors, male and female, 
met together and had a good time generally. 
Sickles were succeeded by grain-cradles, which 



continued in use until superseded by reapers 
and mowers. 

Wheat was threshed by beating it with flails, 
or laying the bundles down in a circle and 
tramping them out by horses. As barns were 
very scarce, the operation of threshing was per- 
formed mostly on the ground, scraped off and 
swept for the purpose. The grain was cleared 
by slowly pouring it from a half bushel, or sift- 
ing through a coarse riddle, in the wind, and 
when this proved insufficient, an artificial cur- 
rent of air was produced by two men holding a 
sheet or coverlet at each end, and bringing it 
round with a peculiar swing ; this served to 
blow away the chaff and render the wheat toler- 
ably clean. In consequence of the scarcity of 
wheat, flour bread was quite a rarity, some 
families having none at all, others enjoying the 
luxury of biscuits for breakfast only on Sunday 
morning. 

The following incident will show the scarcity 
of wheat bread, and how highly it was prized 
by some persons : At a wedding party, the 
bridegroom, after the Justice had pronounced 
the words which bound two hearts together, for 
" weal or woe," called him to one side, and 
whether he gave him any money or not is un- 
known, but he took from his capacious coat- 
pocket six biscuits, with either of which one 
could knock a man down at a distance of twenty- 
paces, and giving them to him, exclaimed, " Here, 
Squire, take these home with you, and keep 
them expressly for yourself and the old woman ; 
hide them away somewhere, so the children 
can't get them, for you know what children 
are." The bridegroom is yet living in Boud 
County, and represents one type of the "old 
settler." 

Some of the first apple and peach orchards 
in the State were planted in Boud County. For 
many years it was noted for producing more 
and better fruit than any of the adjoining coun- 
ties, and at the present time, according to popu- 
lation, it produces more apples than any other, 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



35 



although the fruit is not as good as in former 
years, owing to the severe droughts. 

As most of the early emigrants settled in the 
timber where nuts and acorns were plenty, they 
paid but little attention to the raising of any 
kind of stock except hogs. There was then but 
one breed, a lank, sharp-nosed, long-legged, 
ravenous hog, that ran in the woods at least 
three-fourths of the year. Near the commence- 
ment of winter, the settlers usually began to 
hunt up their hogs for the purpose of convert- 
ing them into pork. 

These hogs, when found in the fall, were 
more or less shy, many of them being half or 
entirely wild. After finding them, the first en- 
deavor was to tame them in the woods, and when 
considered sufficiently gentle for the purpose, 
they were brought home and put into an inclos- 
u re, and afterward butchered. 

Such was the commencement of hog-raising 
in this county. Great improvements have been 
made in this kind of stock in late years, both in 
the breeds now reared and in the taking care of 
them. Hog raising has become an extensive 
as well as a valuable industry with our farmers. 

The same imperfection and rudeness of con- 
struction of other farm implements applied also 
to wagons, which were clumsily and heavily 
made, and drawn almost exclusively b} 7 oxen. 
liuggies. and the lighter kinds of carriages, were 
not used. When horses were worked to wagons, 
the harness was of but little better quality than 
that already described. Lines were ignored in 
those days ; the driver rode the lead-horse, and 
either held the reins of the other in his hand or 
hung them on the hames of the leader. A 
wagon, team and driver fitted up in the style of 
fifty-five years ago, if now driven through the 
streets of Greenville, would present quite a 
grotesque and ludicrous appearance. When 
people first began to drive with lines some of 
the settlers ridiculed them, saying it was out 
of the question for a man to drive horses as ac- 
curately in that way as to ride one of them ; 



that a horse could pull more, and with greater 
ease with a man on his back than without, and 
that it was all laziness, but notwithstanding 
their misgivings, the new way of driving soon 
became general, as everything always has done 
which tends to ameliorate, or to do away with 
an} 7 portion of manual labor. 

The largest part of the hauling to and from 
St. Louis — our only market at that time— was 
done with ox teams. Wagons intended to be 
drawn by oxen, were much more stoutly made 
than others, in order to stand the rough usage 
on the road, for it was no uncommon thing to 
see six or seven yoke of oxen attached to one 
wagon going to market in the spring, when 
the mud was tough and almost bottomless. 
The business of teaming necessarily increased 
as the country became more populous, for this 
was the only way in which produce could be 
sent off, or merchandise procured. When 
people first began to haul to and from St. Louis, 
and for several years afterward, there were no 
bridges across the streams on the route ; so the 
reader can imagine some of the difficulties at- 
tending those engaged in this business during 
the spring or breaking up of winter. Even 
after bridges were built over the larger streams 
it was, at certain seasons, a serious undertaking 
to perform the trip from Greenville to St. Louis 
and back, and usually occupied from two to four 
weeks, according to the state of the road. Per- 
sons were often under the necessity of unload- 
ing their wagons before going through a deep 
mud-hole, and after driving through reloading 
on the other side, carrying the load over by 
peacemeal on their shoulders ; or worse than 
this, undertaking to go through loaded, the 
wagon would mire down, every wheel sinking to 
the axle in the tough mud, and they be com- 
pelled to wade through it knee deep or more, 
and carry the loading out to solid ground. 

After orchards were planted and apples be- 
came an article ot produce, the settlers hauled 
them to other points besides St. Louis. Being 



II [STORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



scarce, they always commanded ready cash, 
and for several years it was not unusual to see 
teams from Bond County taking them to 
Springfield, a distance of eighty miles, over a 
worse road than that to St. Louis. 

The writer heard a sermon delivered about 
twenty-seven years ago, by one of the primi- 
tive preachers of Bond County, wherein he 
related a case of miring down on the road 
with a load of apples, about the year 1836, in 
which he and another individual were the 
principal actors. As nearly as can be recol- 
lected, he described it in the following lan- 
guage : 

" M3- dear brethring and sisters, I'm a going 
to tell you of a circumstance that happened to 
your poor, unworthy speaker on the road to 
Springfield with a load of apples. It is one 
that I love to tell to my d3 T ing hearers, when- 
ever I'm called upon to stand up and try, in my 
stammering and imperfect manner, to preach 
about the mysterious workings of Providence 
toward the poor fallen sons and daughters of 
men and wimmin-ah. Oh, my hearers, when I 
think of that awful winter night, when we lay 
out on the big prairie, with the wind and snow 
and sleet a pourin upon us-ah ; and when we 
had no fire and only about a quart of whisky 
to keep us from freezing, I feel, nry dying con- 
gregation, jest like the Lord had retched His 
hand down from the shinin cauopits of heaven 
and jerked me right out from between the very 
jaws of death-ah. We were on the road to 
market, my dear brethring, with a load of 
apples. They were ' big Romanite ' apples, 
put up in barrels, and were the finest apples I 
ever saw-ah. We had my big wagon and four 
yoke of oxens, and had on about forty hundred 
pounds ; we had got along very well and were 
making great calculations on gettin a good 
price for our apples-ah. And right here, let 
me tell you, my dying hearers, I learnt what it 
is to feel disappointment and have all our cal- 
culations blasted-ah. Along in the evening, 



my brethring, it commenced raining a cold 
rain, that soon wet us from head to foot, and 
just about that time the wind turned to the 
north, and the first thing we knowed it was 
blowing and snowing and freezing, with all the 
combined fury of the elements-ah. Then, my 
congregation, we came to a big mud-hole, 
where the ground had froze a little on top, but 
not sufficient to hold up the wagon and team- 
ah. When we drove into it, my hearers, the 
wagon and oxens went in plumb up to the 
hub-ah, and the poor unworthy worm of the 
dust that stands before you to-day, my breth- 
ring, was soon in the same deplorable condi- 
tion-ah. But, my dear friends, we believed 
we would get out safe, for we had a noble team 
— all except the off ox at the wheel. Some- 
times he was a little tricky and wouldn't pull 
when it came to the pinch-ah ; and now, my 
dear brethring and sisters, when we needed all 
the help we could get, it seemed as if Satan 
entered into that ox as he did into the swine of 
old, and he stopped stone still and wouldn't 
pull a pound-ah. So, my dear brethring, we 
had to unload and carry them barrels of apples 
about a hundred yards on our shoulders from 
the wagon to the dry ground and lay them 
down in the open prairie-ah ; and my dear, 
I dying hearers, as we carried them barrels 
through the mud, water, snow and ice, we sunk 
in up to our knees at every step-ah. Then, 
my dying congregation, we drove the wagon 
and team out, and crawled into it, wet, cold 
and hungry-ah ; and wrapped up and kept 
ourselves alive with that little bottle 
of spirits till morning-ah. When morn- 
ing came, my dear brethring and sisters, 
all our apples and two of the oxens' tails were 
froze hard and were fit only to be taken back 
and made into cider-ah. Thus you see, my 
dear congregation, that it is through the mys- 
terious workings of a spiritual power that your 
unworthy servant stands before you to-day." 
When the spring rains ceased and the roads 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



37 



became dry, hauling was attended with fewer 
difficulties. One of the greatest troubles, how- 
ever, was the failing of the water-courses, which 
became quite low in summer ; some of them 
drying up entirely, and others having water 
standing only in holes. This being the only 
chance for watering teams, it was often a source 
of much inconvenience. After traveling many 
miles through the heat and dust, the oxen, of 
course, grew very hot and thirsty ; in this con- 
dition, all who are acquainted with their nature, 
know that some of them are almost unmanage- 
able when coming within sight of water. At 
such times, they would start with a rush, not 
stopping until the whole four or five yoke, 
wagon and all, were in the water, or mud and 
water, as deep as they could get, notwithstand- 
ing the driver used every exertion to prevent 
them from so doing. Sometimes they turned 
so abruptly out of the road into the stream as 
to upset the wagon in the operation, and some- 
times the driver, fatigued with walking, would 
be carelessly' seated on his wagon, when he 
would find himself suddenly roused by the 
sudden start of his team, and fearing an upset, 
would be forced to jump from his seat, alight- 
ing up to his knees, or coming down sprawling 
in mud and water. 

Such scenes as teamsters passed through in 
the " olden times " until the building of rail- 
roads, may truly be termed the times that tried 
not onlyvmen's souls, but their temper and re- 
ligion. The remark was often made, though 
perhaps intended as a joke, that an}' one, not 
even excepting a preacher of the Gospel, who 
could drive an ox team through the mud to St. 
Louis and back without swearing, would be re- 
garded as one of the most remarkable men of 
the age. 

The price of hauling varied with the condi- 
tion of the roads and the distance ; from Green- 
ville to St. Louis it varied from 50 cents to a 
$1 or more per hundred ; to Vaudalia it was 
from $1 upward. This mode of transporta- 



tion, although attended with so many incon- 
veniences, was the only means of obtaining sup- 
plies for a large scope of territory, and as late 
as the year 1840, it was no uncommon thing to 
see ox teams, in gangs of five or six from Effing- 
ham County, passing through Greenville on 
their way to St. Louis. They were noted for 
offering venison hams for sale along the route ; 
hence, some gave that county the appellation 
of " Venison Ham County," a name which it 
has long since lost the ability to sustain. 

For several years after the first settlements 
were made in this county, the pioneers were 
compelled to do without mills of any kind. 
The sparsely settled country did not justify the 
expenditure required to erect mills even for 
grinding corn. The nearest place for having 
grain ground was at Edwardsville. For several 
years after corn- mills were first built in this 
section, the people had to take their wheat there 
to have it ground into what they called flour, 
though it would hardly be so considered at the 
present day. Most of the people were content 
if they had plenty of pork and corn bread, or 
" hog and hominy," as they called it. Warm 
corn "dodgers" and "johnny-cake," stewed 
pumpkins, fresh spare-ribs and backbones, with 
plenty of gravy, usually called " sop," varied oc- 
casionally by a dish of wild game, were con- 
sidered the sum total of good eating by the 
early backwoodsmen. 

In the year 1817, the first mill ever in Bond 
County was built by Paul Beck, on quite a 
primitive plan. It stood in the southwestern 
part of Greenville, near the cemetery, and is 
more particularly noticed in the history of 
Greenville. The fine spring near this mill was 
called " Beck's Spring." In a few years, other 
mills were built, some of which ground wheat, 
being supplied with a bolt turned by hand. 
The first water-mill in the county was put up 
on Shoal Creek, at Old Ripley, by Samuel Lee, 
about 1819 or 1S20. E. R. Wheelock and 
Wyatt Stubblefield erected mills on the East 



38 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Fork of Shoal Creek shortly after. Both of 
these mills, together with their owners, have 
long since passed away. 

Most of the mills for grinding, in Bond 
County, for a number of years, were horse- 
mills, similar to Beck's, with the improvement, 
however, of a large cog wheel instead of a raw 
hide band, but they ground very slowly. Every 
man had to hitch his own team to the machine 
and grind his own grain. The large wheel was 
furnished with two levers, so that either two or 
four horses could be worked to it. The work 
being much easier for four horses it was com- 
mon for two neighbors to join teams, each put- 
ting in a span of horses, and grind both their 
grists. As an illustration of the inconven- 
iences under which the people then labored to 
obtain meal, some of them carried their grain 
in sacks, on horseback, eight or ten miles to an 
old horse-mill, where they sometimes had to 
wait two or three days for their grinding. 

Other manufactories were few in number 
and on a par with mills in quality and impor- 
tance. The first settlers being mostly from 
the Southern States turned their attention early 
to cotton-growing, and hence establishments 
must necessarily be erected for its manufacture. 
So, in the 3-ear 1820, Thomas Long put up a 
cotton-gin not far from Stubblefield. A year 
or two afterward Samuel White and Moses 
Hintou put in operation a spinning-machine in 
Greenville. Neither of these establishments 
had a very extensive run, however, for their 
owners had built them with the expectation of 
obtaining supplies from the products of the 
surrounding country. But it was found im- 
possible to supply them with material, as it 
was soon demonstrated that cotton would not 



grow to do an} - good upon the soil of Illin- 
ois. A tannery was started by Samuel White 
in 1820, at the spring west of Greenville, the 
first in the county. In 1822, James B. Ruther- 
ford commenced the manufacture of hats in 
Greenville, which he carried on for several 
years. Other establishments of the kind were 
started up from time to time. Somewhere 
about 1823-24. Milton Mills started a wool- 
carding machine in the county near Wisetown. 
Many other small manufacturing establishments 
were started, most of which, however, had but 
a brief existence. 

In the years that have gone, since the first 
occupation of Bond County by the whites, 
rapid strides have been made in every depart- 
ment of life. Scarcely a trace now remains of 
the old customs of the people. We are sur- 
rounded by conveniences never dreamed of 
fifty years ago. Instead of Beck's primitive 
mill with its quaint " findings," we have a num- 
ber of as fine mills as may be found anywhere. 
We no longer have to wade through mud, snow 
and rain with slow-going ox-teams to St. Louis, 
but the iron-horse brings the best markets to 
our very doors. It is no longer necessary to 
go to Edwardsville for a physician ; every com- 
munity has one of its own, always ready to 
alleviate, so far as is possible, the ills of suffer- 
ing humanity. Children are not compelled, as 
of yore, to sit all day in a close, ill-ventilated 
log-cabin, " to learn to cipher," but comfortable 
schoolhouses are found in eveiy neighborhood. 
Churches, with their lofty spires pointing to 
heaven, dot the country everywhere. When 
we view all this, we are forced to acknowledge 
the Americans a progressive people, and the 
present an age of improvement. 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



39 



CHAPTER V.* 

THE STATE OF SOCIETY IN EARLY TIMES — DAILY' USE AND MANUFACTURE OF WHISKY- 
DRUNKENNESS, FIGHTING, AND OTHER INNOCENT AMUSEMENTS— SHOOTING MATCHES- 
WORKING FKOLICS — GOLD AN1> SILVER MINKS OF THE COUNTY — GAYLORDS 
SWINDLE— NEGRO SLAVERY — THE MAGOON KIDNAPING CASE — EARLY 
PHYSICIANS, ETC., ETC. 



IN the early history of Bond County, whisky 
was considered as almost one of the neces- 
saries of life, or at least " good in its place." 
This "place" was nearly everywhere, embrac- 
ing all occasions and applying to nearly every 
condition of life. Of course, no one presumed 
to uphold or advocate drunkenness, but a tem- 
perate use of spirituous liquors, was not only 
considered harmless, but in many cases abso- 
lutely beneficial. Hence, distilleries were 
erected, and the manufacture of whisky begun 
soon after settlements were made in the coun- 
try. 

The first distillery in what is now Bond 
County, was put in operation, in 181'J. by 
George Donnell, at a spring about two miles 
north of Greenville. Within a few years suc- 
ceeding the erection of this one, several others 
were built in different portions of the county. 
one of which was at Beck's Spring, near the 
graveyard (a very appropriate place for a dis- 
tillery). The manufacture of whisky at these 
distilleries was not carried on to a great extent, 
nor for any considerable length of time. And 
to the honor of Bond County be it recorded, 
that there is not now an establishment within 
its limits for the manufacture of ardent spirits. 
At the time these distilleries were in operation, 
and for several years after, intemperance pre- 
vailed to an almost alarming extent. It is not 
exaggerating to say, that whisky was in use, 

*By B. 0. White. 



either moderately or otherwise, by more than 
one-half of the people in the county. On pub- 
lic occasions, drunken men were so common, 
that sober men seemed to be the exception. 
At any time between the years of 1830 and 
1845, it was nothing unusual to see twenty or 
thirty men at one time, on election or muster 
day, in Greenville, drunk, swearing and yelling 
like Indians, the majority of them with coats 
off and sleeves rolled up, wanting to resent an 
insult which they fancied they had received 
from some one whom they were trying to find. 
Sometimes a fellow staggered against a tree, or 
post, or came in collision with another indi- 
vidual, and feeling the concussion, imagined 
that somebody had struck him. In an instant 
he would shed his coat and hat, and go rush- 
ing through the crowd, endeavoring to find his 
supposed enemy, and swearing that he was " a 
boss," and could " whip his weight in wild 
cats." And woe be unto the luckless indi- 
vidual who was mistaken for the aggressor. 
Many an inoffensive, respectable citizen re- 
ceived rough treatment under such circum- 
stances, and astonished his better-half by 
returning home from an election, or muster, 
with a smashed hat, black eye, or bloody nose, 
to satisfactorily account for which, required, in 
some instances, no ordinary amount of ex- 
planation. 

At the time of which we are writing, all the 
the voting at a general election was done in 



40 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Greenville. On these occasions the people 
from all portions of the county congregated 
together and proceeded to settle their old 
grudges. Quarrels were renewed, and fought 
out, under the exhilarating influence of whisky. 
People looked upon fights as inevitable on 
public days, especially at elections, and were 
disappointed if they did not occur. It was not 
uncommon to see two or three fights in prog- 
ress at the same time on an election day in 
Greenville. These contests were conducted on 
the regular old-fashioned "fist and skull" 
st3'le — knives and pistols being seldom used. 
Men prided themselves on their physical 
strength, and for one to declare himself the 
best man in the crowd was considered an in- 
sult to be resented b} T everyone present. This 
expression, " best man," had no reference to 
anything further than mere bodily powers — 
the finer feelings and nobler qualities of the 
mind were not taken into consideration. It 
may with safety be said that Main street, in 
the old part of Greenville, has been the scene 
of more hotly-contested fist-fights, louder yells 
and oaths, and more brutal, as well as ludicrous 
drinking revels, than all other places in the 
county put together. On that street were 
located the dram-shops where liquid ruin, 
dealt out by glasses, quarts and gallons, sent 
misery and destitution to all portions of the 
community. 

Other amusements, not quite so rough as 
fighting, were engaged in by the inhabitants 
on public days, such as wrestling, jumping, 
running foot-races and shooting with the rifle. 
Main street was, chiefly, the theater of these 
sports, except shooting. The scenes connected 
with them were more interesting, and occasion- 
ally somewhat ludicrous, and numerous inci- 
dents of the latter might be given, but space 
will not permit. 

Shooting with the rifle was practiced just 
outside of the town, that there might be no 
ihinger attending it. Certain individuals spent 



the greater portion of every public day in this 
exercise ; and many of them became ex- 
pert marksmen, and very proud of their skill. 
Shooting-matches were then of frequent occur- 
rence. A beef was " put up," at a certain 
price, to be shot for, each man paying a stipu- 
lated amount — usually 25 cents— for every 
shot. The best shots took the first choice of 
the beef, the next best, the second choice, and 
so on. About Christmas times, a live turkey, 
fastened on a stump or fence at the distance of 
a hundred yards, was sometimes put up and 
shot at, the first man that drew blood taking 
the turkey. 

Bond County, as we have already stated, at 
the time of its early settlement, abounded in 
all of the wild animals common in this lati- 
tude — bears, panthers, lynxes, wolves, cata- 
mounts, wild cats, deer, and many kinds of 
smaller game. Bears and panthers, however, 
were not very numerous, and soon became ex- 
tinct. A bear was killed in 1821, on Shoal 
Creek, in the northwestern portion of the 
county, which is the last account we have of 
Bruin in this part of the State. But many of 
the other animals remaining until a much later 
date, gradually leaving the country, however, 
as the settlements increased. A few deer and 
turkeys are yet found in two or three localities 
on Shoal Creek, where there are large bodies 
of timber. As the wild animals disappeared 
before the advance of the pioneer, a certain 
class of people left also, or changed their mode 
of living to the greater credit of the com- 
munity. 

The inhabitants were, for several years, an- 
noyed by the ravages of wolves, which de- 
stroyed many of their sheep and pigs. Wild- 
cats and catamounts were also troublesome — 
killing many young pigs and lambs. Wolves 
continued so destructive that, as late as the 
year 1842, wolf-hunts were organized, in order 
to rid the country of these troublesome ma- 
rauders. The writer attended one about that 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



41 



time, in the prairie northwest of Greenville, a 
description of which we will give as a sample. 
The people assembled on horseback, and formed 
a circle six or eight miles in diameter. At 
a certain hour, all commenced moving toward 
the center, and as the circle contracted, their 
line became more compact. 

The plan did not succeed well, only one wolf 
being killed during the hunt. Wolves are very 
suspicious of danger, and in nearly every case, 
before the hunters got close enough together to 
prevent it, they broke through the circle to the 
outside, and escaped. This sport was both ex- 
citing and amusing, and was often indulged in 
by the earl}' settlers. 

In those early times, the people were more 
dependent on each other than at the present 
day, and, as a consequence, more social and 
accommodating. It was the general custom 
for the neighbors all to meet and assist each 
other in performing their heaviest work, such 
as harvesting, log-rolling, house-raising, corn- 
husking, etc., etc. In opening a farm, a great 
many logs had to be burned, or taken off the 
ground, before it could be plowed, hence log- 
rollings were common. At these annual gath- 
erings, the logs were collected in large heaps 
suitable for burning, and men took special 
pride in testing their manhood at the end of a 
handspike. 

At corn-huskings and various other gather- 
ings common in those early days, lively, social 
times were experienced by both sexes. When, 
ever men met to roll logs, husk corn, or raise a 
house, the ladies would have a quilting, " sew- 
ing-bee," or something of the kind at the same 
place. When night came, it was not uncom- 
mon for the youngsters to have a dance or play. 
The dances were old-fashioned reels, and were 
sometimes continued till a late hour, and occa- 
sionally they 

"Danced all night till broad day light," 

when the young swains, with love-stricken 



hearts, and warmly-beaming affections, deemed 
it their duty to 

" Go home with the girls in the raoruing." 
Plays of various kinds, were as much in 
vogue as dancing, but they have long since be- 
come obsolete. Many persons, however, now 
living, can look back to the scenes of those old 
plays with pleasant memories. Who can think 
of the old lines, 

" Oh, sister Phebe, how merry were we, 
When we sat under yon juniper tree." 
Or, 

" We're marching down to Quebectown, 
And the drums are loudly beating. 
The Americans have gained the day, 
And the British are retreating," 

without thinking also of the " lads and lasses" 
assembled on such occasions. Many delight- 
ful reminiscences are connected with those 
scenes, when memory calls them up from the 
far distant past. 

A great excitement was created here many- 
years ago from a belief in the existence of the 
precious metals in Bond County. Both silver 
and gold were believed to be deposited at vari- 
ous points in the middle, western and south- 
western parts. Tales were related by some of 
the old settlers, giving accounts of fabulous 
quantities of silver ore being obtained here by 
the French and Indians, more than a hundred 
years before. The people credited these stories 
and dreamed of future wealth and luxury. 

Kobert Gillespie, living on Shoal Creek, a few 
miles above Pocahontas, found shining particles 
in the sand of a spring near his house, and 
washing out a quantity, showed it to some fel- 
low in St. Louis, who pronounced it pure gold. 
This was enough ; the demand for Gillespie's 
" dust " was such, that small quantities of it 
were in the possession of various persons, in 
order to compare it with such as might be found 
on their own premises. About this time, a 
man by the name of Gaylor, who was supposed 
to know something about minerals, being a 



42 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



" water witch," astonished the neighborhood by 
announcing that he had discovered an inex- 
haustible mine of silver on the land of Samuel 
Hunter, near Indian Creek, about four miles 
from Greenville. 

A furnace was erected at the expense of Mr. 
Hunter, and Gaylor went to work manu- 
facturing silver. The business was carried on 
for some weeks, producing but little silver, how- 
ever, in proportion to, the amount of ore smelted. 
Specimens of the metal had been tested by com- 
petent judges, and found to be silver, and men 
became almost insane with excitement, as they 
beheld the treasure issue from Gaylor's cruci- 
ble. Some individuals actually neglected their 
business, spending days in wandering up and 
down creeks, branches and ravines, and return- 
ing at night with their pockets crammed full of 
little pieces of the substance known as " horn- 
blende," the shining particles of which they be- 
lieved to be gold and silver. 

Several of Hunter's neighbors, believing the 
whole thing to be a deception, went, one after- 
noon, to the furnace, where Gaylor was at work, 
expressing a desire to see him smelt some ore 
taken from the mine in question. He did so 
producing a small quantity of metal which was 
pronounced silver by all present. But while 
stirring the mass of pulverized ore, one of the 
men saw him drop a piece of silver coin into the 
crucible, which fact he communicated to the 
others. They then filled the crucible them- 
selves with precisely the same kind of ore, and 
placing it in the furnace, told him that, after 
being thoroughly searched, he should smelt it, 
with his coat off and sleeves rolled up. He re- 
fused to do so, when they took him into custody 
and proceeded to melt it themselves. After 
heating and stirring the precious mass as he 
had done, they poured it out, but no silver was 
found. 

Gaylor was taken to Greenville and lodged 
in jail on a charge of swindling, but was soon 
after released. He left the country, and thus 



ended the gold and silver excitement in Bond 
Count}-. 

Strange as it may appear to the reader, slav- 
ery existed in Bond County in the early period 
of its history. A man named Houston, from 
Kentucky, emigrated to this county and pur- 
chased a farm three miles west of Greenville, 
the place first settled and owned by Dr. Per- 
due. He brought with him a number of slaves, 
among whom were a woman named Fanny and 
her two children, a boy and girl, Stephen and 
Charitj - . His family soon became dissatisfied, 
and he returned to Kentucky, taking all his 
negroes with him except Fanny and her chil- 
dren — she not being able at the time to travel. 
They were left at the residence of Thomas 
White, two miles west of town, until her recov- 
ery, when she went to Greenville and hired to 
work. 

According to the laws of Illinois then in 
force, she and her children were free, having 
been in the State longer than the time specified, 
sixty days. About this time, one Magoon 
came to Greenville and stated that he had pur- 
chased those negroes from Houston. He was 
informed that they were free and could not be 
removed without a violation of law. He then 
formed a conspiracy with two citizens of Bond 
County to kidnap them, which they carried 
into effect one Sunday while the people were at 
church. They wei - e pursued and captured at 
Pearce's, on Silver Creek, in Madison County. 
After being all brought buck, the negroes were 
released and the kidnappers placed under bonds 
for trial, but it appears were never brought 
into court. 

Magoon left the country, and remained away 
until the excitement subsided a little, when he 
returned and arranged with one of the Bate 
mans, living on the Okaw, to steal the boy 
Stephen, from a place north of Greenville, 
where he had gone to live. Bateman succeeded 
in kidnapping him, and carried him down into 
the neighborhood where he lived. He was kept 



HISTORY OF BOXD COUNTY. 



43 



concealed in the Okaw bottom until Magoon 
found an opportunity to escape with him. 

The excitement was intense, and a crowd of 
resolute men soon started in pursuit. They 
followed on to the neighborhood of the Bate- 
mans, and spent several days searching in the 
woods. Failing, however, to find the boy, the 
pursuit was abandoned and the party returned 
home. 

Magoon succeeded in escaping south with 
the boy, where he sold him into slavery, in 
which condition he remained until liberated by 
the late war between the States. He was 
never heard from until near the close of the 
rebellion, when he was found in the southern 
part of Georgia, by a Bond Count}' soldier, to 
whom he related the particulars of his cap- 
ture and abduction. Bateman was one of the 
Okaw desperadoes and drunkards, who were 
wont to assemble in Greenville in the early 
history of Bond County, on public days, to 
drink and fight. He died not many years 
since, in a state of intoxication, uttering with 
his last breath the most horrible blasphemies. 

Old Fanny's husband, Stephen Hudley, was 
a slave in Missouri, and she, after years of toil, 
saved money enough cooking, washing and 
selling ginger cakes, to purchase his freedom, 
and thus had the proud satisfaction of re-unit- 
ing those sacred ties which had been sundered 
by the curse of slavery. An attempt, as we 
have seen, had been made to kidnap her and 
her little children, not by slaveholders, from 
whom nothing better could have been expected, 
but by citizens of a free State — -the last men 
it would be supposed, who would commit such 
a dastardly act. But who can account for 
human depravity ? 

The health of the people of Bond County is 
mueh better now than in former years. This 
is attributable to the fact that there is less rain, 
less decaying vegetation, fewer marshes and 
stagnant pools, and a consequent diminution of 
the vapors thus generated, which have proved, 



in so many cases, fatal to the human family. 
In addition to all this, we live in more com- 
fortable houses, are better clothed, and expose 
ourselves less to the inclemencies of the 
weather. 

The first physicians who located here were 
Drs. William Perrine and J. B. Drake, from 
New Jersey. Before this, when people became 
sick, they had to send to Edwardsville for a 
doctor. Both Dr. Perrine and Dr. Drake were 
young men of talent and education, and well 
versed in their profession. They soon got a 
good practice, and became noted physicians. 

Dr. Perrine married a Miss Townsend — the 
daughter of a Presbyterian preacher,. residing 
in the northwestern part of the county, and a 
few years later removed with his family to 
Florida. During the Seminole war, he was 
murdered by Indians at his own house. Dr. 
Drake removed to Greenville, where he con- 
tinued the practice of medicine for many 
years. He then engaged in the mercantile 
business, and, still later, married, residing in 
Greenville until his death. 

As the county became more populous, other 
physicians of eminence located here and ac- 
quired considerable note as medical practition- 
ers. During some of the sickly seasons, there 
were not enough well persons to take care of 
the sick. This state of affairs was not con- 
fined to Bund County alone, but extended over 
the southern part of the State. The year 1844 
was, perhaps, the most unhealthy one ever ex- 
perienced in this part of Illinois. Then, all the 
physicians of this county resided in Greenville, 
and, of course, their practice extended many 
miles. They were kept going night and day. 
during the sickliest portion, not only of 1844, 
but of several years preceding, and after that 
time. 

There was much sickness then of a serious 
and fatal character, }-et there were some per- 
sons who would send for a physician for every 
trifling illness. When an individual mounted 



44 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



a horse to go for a doctor, he generally " put 
him through," no matter what the distance, nor 
what the disease, whether a sprained ankle, or 
congestion of the brain ; the speed was about 
the same. A man living ten or twelve miles 
from Greenville was seen one day riding at a 
fearful rate toward town, his horse in a foam of 
sweat, and evidently going for a doctor in a 
desperate case. He was hailed on the way, 



when the following dialogue ensued : " Who's 
sick?" "My brother." "What's the matter 
with him ?" " He's bleeding." By this time 
he had got so far off as to render further ques- 
tions impracticable. It was afterwards ascer- 
tained that his brother had only taken a spell 
of bleeding at the nose, from which he soon 
recovered. 




LIBRARY 

OF THE 
UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



47 



CHAPTER VI.* 

RELIGIOUS HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY — THE FIRST PREACHERS AND THE FIRST CHURCHES- 

TIIE METHODISTS AND PRESBYTERIANS— MOODY'S CAMP GROUND— SUNDAY SCHOOLS— 

THE "JERKS "—TEMPERANCE— EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES— IMPROVEMENT IN 

SCHOOLS — STATISTICS — THE PEOPLE AND THE STATE DEBT— WAR 

HISTORY, ETC., ETC. 



"Many things of many kinds." 

THERE is no better evidence of moral ad- 
vancement and Christian civilization in a 
newly-settled community than the establish- 
ment of churches. The history of Christianity 
in Bond County ma}- be termed coeval with its 
settlement by white people. The first preacher 
of whom there is any authentic account made 
his appearance in the county in the year 181G i 
and was of the Methodist denomination, among 
which were found those pioneer soldiers of the 
cross, who preceded or followed close in the 
wake of civilization in the West. Rev. Jesse 
Hale, the pioneer minister of Bond County 
preached his first sermon at the house of Robert 
Gillespie, who lived two miles southwest of 
Greenville, in the year mentioned (1816), and 
where he continued preaching at intervals, dur- 
ing that and part of the ensuing year. A 
church, the first established in the county, was 
organized in that neighborhood during the two 
years of his ministration. What State he was 
from, or where he went after this, cannot now 
be ascertained. 

The next preacher was Salmon P. Giddings 
of St. Louis, a Presbyterian, who preached oc- 
casionally at private houses, and in 1818 or 
1819, organized a church at "Moody's Spring," 
about a mile southwest of Greenville. This 
spring was so named for Andrew Moody, who 
lived there several years, though the place was 

•By R. 0. White. 



first settled by Thomas Kirkpatrick. Here the 
first church in Bond County was erected during 
the year 1817, by the Methodist denomination. 
It was built of hewed logs, and thirty feet 
long by twenty-five feet in width. We have 
not been able to ascertain the precise dates 
when the first ministers belonging to each 
of the denominations now in the count}- came 
here, but those of the Baptists and Cumberland 
Presbyterians arrived soon after the two already 
mentioned, and those of the others at a still 
later day. 

At " Moody's Spring " the Methodists held 
the first camp-meeting in. the county, and for a 
series of years these meetings were annually 
held there, so that it afterward became gener- 
ally known as " Moody's Camp-ground." As 
the county became more thickly settled, the 
number of "camp-grounds " increased, and, for 
many years, camp-meetings were annually held 
in various portions by the Methodists and Cum- 
berland Presbyterians. These gatherings of 
the people for religious purposes took place in 
July, August or September, when fruits and 
vegetables were the most abundant, and provi- 
sions to "feed the multitude" could most easily 
be procured. 

One of the most noted places in the county 
for holding camp-meetings was situated near 
the town of Newport, and called "Zion Camp- 
ground," a brief description of which may not 
be uninteresting to the reader. Many of us can 



48 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



well remember its cool, shady arbor in the green 
forest, with its primitive seats, the temporary 
pulpit or " stand," in front of which, on a nail 
driven in the trunk of a tree, was suspended 
the tin trumpet or horn, by which the people 
were called together for religious services ; the 
tents with their straw-covered floors, forming 
three sides of a square around the seated area, 
at a distance of thirty or forty yards ; back of 
these the cooking operations presided over by 
old ladies with caps on their heads, and young 
maidens with bright eyes, rosy cheeks and glossy 
curls ; the space reserved for '• anxious seats," 
called the " altar," immediately in front of the 
stand and covered with straw ; the shady and 
well-beaten path to the cool spring, trickling 
from its moss-grown sycamore gum ; the tables 
spread with the choicest viands of the country, 
of which all were invited freely to partake freely, 
" without money and without price ;" and the 
groups of singers in the tents, composed mainly 
of young gentlemen and ladies, assembled for 
the ostensible purpose of singing. All these, 
and many other associations of these old camp- 
meetings, will long remain fresh in the memory 
of those who witnessed them. 

Preaching then was very different from what 
it is now, being generally of the noisy order. 
Society, too, was in a rough state, and the 
preaching, in order to rivet attention and be 
effective, had to correspond with the times. 
For, unless a speaker can gain the attention of 
his audience and hold it, he may preach till 
doomsday and then find that his time and 
breath have been spent in vain. Thus the 
style of preaching, as well as any other public 
speaking, changes with the manners of the 
people. In those early days, the preacher 
who had the strongest voice and exercised it 
most ; who could give the most extravagant 
and over-wrought descriptions of heaven, hell 
and the day of judgment, and could slash the 
air with his hands and arms in the wildest man- 
ner, was considered the greatest man by the 



majority of the people. The singing partook 
of the same noisy character as the preaching 
and at night, with favorable wind, both the 
singing and preaching might be easily heard 
three miles. 

With the rude state of society then existing 
in the community, the behavior of some at 
camp-meetings was not always of the best, and 
ministers and members had much difficulty 
some times in maintaining good order, espe- 
cially at night. Notwithstanding their best 
endeavors, frequent disturbances occurred after, 
dark, such as shaving off horses' manes and 
tails, smearing tar over the seats of saddles, 
and throwing watermelon rinds, empty whisky 
bottles, etc., into the altar among the mourners. 
Taking all things into consideration, however, 
the general behavior was as good as could have 
been expected at that time ; and much as we 
may now pride ourselves on our superior refine- 
ment and deplore such conduct, we have, never- 
theless, in our community at this day individ- 
uals who are only restrained from committing 
such disgraceful acts by the force of public 
opinion and the laws of the land. 

Though the religious exercises partook, to a 
great extent, of this noisy character, and the 
preachers were less polished in their phrase- 
olog} - than at this time, yet the people were as 
sincere in their profession of Christianity as 
they are now. In proportion to number, there 
were, doubtless, as few hypocrites among relig- 
ious people and as much true piety as at the 
present day. The pioneer ministers were not 
all of the above type, but many possessed 
talent and learning, used the best of language, 
and were graceful and dignified in their preach- 
ing. These backwoods preachers contributed 
largely in their day to the morals of the com- 
munity, and were mainly instrumental in laying 
the foundation of the various religious denom- 
inations in our county. They were not 
ashamed to be seen traveling on foot or on 
horseback many miles to meet their appoint- 



HISTORY OF BOX!) COUNTY. 



49 



ments, often encountering hunger and thirst. 
and exposing themselves to the inclemencies of 
the weather. 

The first Sunday school in the county was 
organized in the year 181 S, at the residence of 
William Robinson, about one and a half miles 
northwest of Greenville. It was under the su- 
pervision of the Presbyterian Church, which 
we have already mentioned. It was composed 
of grown people and children, and was termed 
a Bible class or society. This school has been 
kept up by that denomination ever since, but 
meets now in Greenville, at the Old Presbyteri- 
an Church, and is very justly entitled the pio- 
neer Sunday school of Bond County. After 
its organization, others, under the control of the 
different religious denominations, were estab- 
lished in various portions of the county, as new 
churches were organized. The progress of 
these schools was at first slow, but they gradu- 
ally gained in strength and popular favor, keep- 
ing pace with the various religious denomina- 
tions, until there are now in every neighbor- 
hood, not only neat, commodious churches, but 
well-attended and flourishing Sunday schools. 

Among the ministers of the Gospel who la- 
bored here at an early day, may be mentioned 
Bishop Ames, Peter Cartwright and James B. 
Woollard, of the Methodist ; Peter Long, of the 
Baptist, and Joel Knight, of the Cumberland 
Presbyterian Church. These, with the excep- 
tion of Peter Cartwright, have preached in 
nearly all parts of the county. J. B. Wool- 
lard and Peter Long have doubtless performed 
more marriage ceremonies and preached more 
funerals than any other two ministers in this 
portion of the State. Of the early preachers 
of this county long since dead, were Revs. John 
Dew, John M. Peck, William K. Stewart, and 
many others of the various denominations, 
whom the old settlers can call to mind. 

It is not inappropriate, in concluding this 
sketch of the religious denominations of the 
county, to notice briefly what was termed in 



those early times " the jerks." Although not 
so common here as in many other localities of 
the Western country, yet they were of frequent 
enough occurrence as to excite considerable 
speculation as to their origin. There is little 
doubt now, perhaps, that they were a species of 
religious excitement, though many believed 
then that they originated from witchcraft, or 
were the direct work of Satan. Persons having 
them were affected with violent convulsions, 
their heads, necks and limbs being involuntari- 
ly and forcibly jerked in every possible direc- 
tion, their hands clenched, and their jaws 
tightly set. 

A young lady took the jerks one evening at 
a camp-meeting at Mount Gilead, four miles 
west of Greenville, about thirty-five years ago, 
and so violent and rapid were her motions that 
four men who attempted to hold her, to prevent 
her being thrown against the benches or trees, 
were unable to do so. Her hands were shut 
more firmly than her natural strength seemed 
to wan-ant. Attacks of this kind came on sud- 
denly, lasting generally only a few minutes, 
though sometimes longer, and occurred only at 
camp-meetings, when the religious excitement 
was at its greatest strain. There was anoth- 
er phase or modification of the jerks, termed 
•' the falling down exercise," in which the per- 
sons affected suddenly fell down and lav per- 
fectly helpless. Sometimes they remained in 
this condition for several hours, but usually 
only a short time, when they would rise to their 
feet, and in most instances commence running 
and leaping about, throwing their arms in even- 
direction, manifesting all the symptoms of the 
first form of the disease, with the exception 
that, in the former cases, they seldom spoke a 
word, but in the latter, after rising from the 
ground, they often screamed, sang or laughed 
in the wildest manner. Persons, after recover- 
ing from one of these attacks, appeared li-iless 
and dull for awhile, having little or nothing to 
say to anyone, and utterly incapable of being 



50 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



excited in any way whatever, until the return 
of the paroxysm, which to some came every 
night of the meeting, when the mourners were 
called to the " altar.'' and the excitement again 
became great. 

From what has been said in a preceding 
chapter of the prevalence of whisky-drinking 
among the early settlers, and the general belief 
that ardent spirits " were good in their place," 
it will not be supposed that Bond County was 
a fruitful field for temperance organizations in 
old times. Temperance societies were formed, 
however, at different periods, between the years 
1830 and 1840, though with but little perma- 
nent success. A man would come along, de- 
liver a lecture, organize a society, and, for a 
while, all would go well ; but in the course 
of a year or two, the whole thing went to 
naught, and those of the members who had 
been in the habit of drinking, like the Biblical 
sow, " returned to their wallow." 

As late as 1846, when the company for the 
Mexican war from Bond County was organized 
at Greenville, after the requisite number had 
volunteered, the men were drawn up in line, on 
the public square, and a bucket-full of whisky 
brought out and distributed as a "treat," of 
which most of them partook, drinking it out 
of a tin dipper. It was not many years after 
this, however, before the temperance cause be- 
gan to gain ground, encountering more or less 
opposition, until at present no one who is an 
habitual drinker is admitted into the best 
society, and no young lady of the community 
will tolerate the addresses of a regular and 
known dram-drinker. This state of things is 
not so much attributable to the influence of 
temperance organizations, perhaps, as to the 
better training and education of the present 
generation. 

The schools and educational facilities of the 
county now claim our attention, and follow 
very appropriately the history of the churches. 
Both possess refining influences, and furnish 



the highest standard of the civilization of all 
communities. It is a characteristic feature of 
all American settlements that among their first 
efforts of a public nature is the establishment 
of churches and schools. The early school- 
houses in Illinois were rude, and constructed 
upon a primitive plan. 

The first school in the county was taught, in 
the year 1819, by Thomas White, in a little log 
cabin, on the hill west of Greenville, between 
the residence of Mrs. Black and where Samuel 
White's tanyard was situated. This school 
was small, as the inhabitants were few, some of 
whom had no education themselves, and did 
not care whether their children ever received 
any or not. But as the population increased, 
schools sprang up in various parts of the 
county, whenever a neighborhood became 
strong enough to sustain one. In some in- 
stances, where but two or three families lived 
near each other, they sent off several miles 
to those similarly situated, took in children 
and boarded them free, in order to have a 
school that would justify the paying of a 
teacher. 

There being no school fund then, every man 
paid for the tuition of his children out of his 
own pocket. The price of teaching was from 
$1.50 to $2 per scholar per quarter — equiva- 
lent to $12 or $15 a mouth, for a school of 
twenty-five pupils, which was more than any 
school in the county averaged for many years. 

The schoolhouses, for many years, were built 
of logs with puncheon floors, weight-pole roofs, 
and wide chimneys of wood and clay, on a par 
with the dwellings of the settlers themselves. 
The seats were long benches made of puncheons 
or slabs, without backs, and frequently so high 
that the feet of the smaller pupils could not 
touch the floor, and it was quite an irksome 
task for the little fellows to sit from early in 
the morning till late in the evening, with noth- 
ing to support their backs, aud their legs 
dangling from the rough seats. It is no won- 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



51 



der, then, that some scholars, instead of going 
on to school when they left home in the morn- 
ing, often played truant all day, concealing 
themselves in the bushes till the usual time to 
return in the evening. This trick the writer 
remembers having been guilty of several times. 
He once lay all day in a field of tall rye, near 
harvest, when the heat of the sun and his thirst 
were far more intolerable than sitting on a 
bench at school. 

The schools were conducted on the most 
noisy plan imaginable. They received the ap- 
pellation of " vocal schools," that is, the schol- 
ars spelled, read and " ciphered " aloud while 
studying their lessons, as well as when reciting, 
and such another jargon of unintelligible 
sounds as one of those schools presented has 
never been witnessed, perhaps, since the con- 
fusion at Babel. Some of the pupils tried to 
study, others gabbled away with all their might 
without uttering an intelligible sound, and the 
noise made rendered it almost impossible for 
the instructor to tell who were studying and 
who were not. But the culminating point 
came, when they were told to study the i: spell- 
ing lesson," which was the last one recited be- 
fore school " turned out " at noon and in the 
evening, and was participated in by all the 
scholars. The noise then produced has been 
often heard at the distance of more than a 
mile. When the teacher wished the class to 
recite, he brought his foot to the floor with a 
loud and vigorous stamp, which shook the 
whole house, and had the effect of stilling the 
noise for a moment, similar to the throwing of 
a billet of wood into a pond of croaking frogs. 
The whole school would instantly rise to their 
feet and make an unceremonious rush for " their 
places," recklessly running against or over each 
other. 

Occasionally, a "downy-chinned'' lad, un- 
der the influence of " puppy love," took ad- 
vantage of the confusion to imprint or, rather, 
daub a kiss on the cheek of some fair damsel, 



whom he imagined as far gone in the tender 
passions as himself* 

The teacher of one of these noisy schools 
once gave his usual stamp to call up the class, 
when his foot came down upon the end of a loose 
puncheon, which fell beneath his weight, letting 
him through as far as he could go. and tearing 
one leg of his pantaloons from, the ankle to the 
knee on a nail. The effect upon the school, of 
course, was a serious and melancholy one. 
Some of the teachers, when pronouncing the 
words to the class, or " giving out " the lesson, 
as it was called, spoke as though they intended 
not only their pupils, but many of the neigh- 
bors to hear them. 

When schools prohibiting pupils from study- 
ing aloud first began to be taught, they were 
called " silent schools," and such was the preju- 
dice in favor of the old, noisy system that in 
some neighborhoods it was made the test of 
qualification of teachers. School books then 
were scarce, Webster's Spelling book, the En- 
glish Reader, New Testament and Pike's Arith- 
metic constituted the list of books used for 
many years. 

Male teachers only were employed for several 
decades after the first organization of schools in 
this county. Female teachers were so scarce 
that none offered their services, and had they 
done so, the prejudice against them was so 
"■reat that no neighborhood would have em- 
ployed them. So great was the opposition to 
female education, many of the first settlers of 
the county held that all the education a girl 
required was to be able to read the Bible and 
Testament and write well enough to sign her 
own name. Some would not even go this far, 
but allowed her only the privilege of learning 
to read. When speaking of the literary attain- 
ments of a girl, it was a common remark, "she 
has education enough for a woman ! " 

Our educational interests and facilities, 

*[This was a part of the performance, wo presume, that was loft 
off the programme. — Ed.] 



52 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



though at first so inferior, have gradually kept 
improving as the county increased in popula- 
tion and wealth, aided by wise legislation, until 
we have arrived at our present system of free 
schools, of which all may feel justly proud. 
Below we present the following condensed 
school statistics of Bond County, as a matter of 
interest : 

Number of white persons in the county 
betwei n the ages of six and twenty-one 
years 4,618 

Number of colored persons in the county 
between the ages of six and twenty-one 
years 32 

Total 4,650 

Number of schools in the county 69 

Number of districts in the county 69 

Number of scholars attending school 3,685 

Number of teachers Ill 

Number of male teachers 67 

Number of female teachers 44 

Number of brick schoolhouses 12 

Number of frame schoolhouses 57 

Number of log schoolhouses 2 

Amount paid male teachers $14,501.64 

Amount paid female teachers 7,512.98 

Highest monthly wages paid any male 

teacher 125 

Lowest monthly wages paid any male 

teacher 25 

Highest monthly wages paid any female 

teacher 50 

Lowest monthly wages paid any female 

teacher 20 

The highest monthly wages paid to male 
teachers are in Township 5, Range 3, $165 ; 
Township 4, Range i, $65 ; Township 4, Range 
3, StiO. The lowest wages paid to males arc in 
Township 7, Range 3, $25 ; Township 4, Range 

2, $28. The highest monthly wages paid to 
females are in Township 5, Range 3, $50 ; 
Township 6, Range 4, $45 ; Township 7, Range 

3, $40. The lowest are in Township 4, Range 
2 and Township 6, Range 3, Township 4, Range 

4, and Township 7, Range 4, each $20 per month. 
Alruira Female College, beautifully situated 

in Greenville, is an educational institution of 



which Bond County may well feel proud. It 
was founded in 1857, and is in a very flourish- 
ing state. A full history of it, however, will be 
found in the chapters devoted to the history of 
Greenville. 

The citizens of Bond County have not been 
behind those in airy other portion of the State 
in asserting their opinions, demanding their 
rights, or responding to the calls of patriotism. 
As an instance of their readiness to make a 
public declaration of opinion, thej - were the first 
in the county to oppose what was called the 
" internal improvement bill," passed many years 
ago by the Legislature, the following notice of 
which appears in Ford's History of Illinois, 
page 201 : 

" The people of Bond County, as soon as the 
internal improvement system passed, had de- 
clared in a public meeting that the system 
must lead to taxation and utter ruin ; that the 
people were not bound to pay any of the debt 
to be contracted for it ; and that Bond County 
would never assist in paying a cent of it. Ac- 
cordingly, they refused to pay taxes for several 
years." The citizens of the county were correct 
in their conclusions, for in a few years the sys- 
tem went down, and left the State in the almost 
bankrupt condition they had foretold, with a 
debt of $14,000,000 hanging over it. When 
the subject of paying this debt by increased 
taxation came up in 1S44, William S. Wait ad- 
dressed a very able letter to Thomas Ford, 
Governor of the State, in opposition to the plan 

In patriotism the county has been equally 
prompt in maintaining her position. When the 
State of Illinois was called upon for four regi- 
ments of volunteers for the Mexican war, in 
1S46, Bond County furnished one company of 
ninety-three men. This company had the fol- 
lowing officers : Benjamin E. Sellers, Captain ; 
J. M. Hubbard, First Lieutenant ; S. G. Mc- 
Adams, Second Lieutenant, and I. N. Red- 
fearn, Third Lieutenant. Of this number only 
about forty men returned at the close of the 



HISTOKY OF BOND COUNTY. 



53 



campaign, the remainder having died or been 
discharged on account of sickness. But few of 
them are now living in the county. 

During the late rebellion, the county, small 
as it is. furnished five companies of cavalry, 
besides several companies of infantry. 

Notwithstanding so many companies went 
from this county into the late war, many of the 
citizens strongly opposed it. In consequence 
of their opposition, much excitement prevailed 
during a portion of the time, resulting, how- 
ever, in no very serious trouble, except in a 
few instances. Many occurrences, both ludi- 
crous and otherwise, might be related, but lest 



the} stir up and keep alive old prejudices and 
differences, they will be passed over in silence. 
Suffice it to say, in conclusion of the county's 
war record, that those who went forth to battle 
for their country's honor acquitted themselves 
as became American soldiers, and their history 
in the long and dreadful four years' struggle 
was that of all the soldiers from Illinois — noble 
and honorable. Those who met a soldier's 
death fell in a high and holy cause ; those who 
survived the struggle and returned home en- 
joy the proud consciousness that the Union 
was preserved — the government unshaken. 




54 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



CHAPTER VII.* 

RAILROAD HISTORY— THE INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM— OLD NATIONAL OR CUMBERLAND 
KOAD— MISSISSIPPI AND ATLANTIC RAILROAD— THE EARLY DIFFICULTIES IN ITS CON- 
STRUCTION—FINAL COMPLETION— THE PRESENT VANDALIA LINE— OFFICERS OF 
THE ROAD, ETC.— THE PRESS OF BOND COUNTY— EARLY NEWSPAPERS— 
"ADVOCATE" AND ITS ANTECEDENTS— THE "SUN," ETC. 



ALL who are acquainted with the history 
of Illinois, will remember the old In- 
ternal Improvement System, which well-nigh 
wrecked the Commonwealth. For a time it 
seemed as if the whole country had gone wild 
upon the subject of internal improvements, 
and railroads and canals were chartered with- 
out regard to cost or eligibility of location. 
Illinois took a front rank in this reckless ex- 
penditure, and voted away millions of money 
for internal improvements. But it is not our 
intention to go into details upon the subject — 
a subject that man} 7 still living in Bond Coun- 
ty are familiar with. It is merely alluded to 
by way of introduction to the internal im- 
provements of the county. 

The old National road was the first internal 
improvement in which Bond County took an 
active interest. Perhaps no work has ever 
taken place in the United States, of a public 
character, which excited so much interest 
throughout the country as the " National, or 
Cumberland road " from Washington City to 
St. Louis, with a branch diverging at Zanes- 
ville, Ohio, passing through Kentucky, Tennes- 
see, and on to New Orleans. Not even the 
Union Pacific Railroad excelled in magnitude 
the enterprise of the Old National road in its 
day, and which passed through Vandalia and 
Greenville on to St. Louis. For years it was 
the great question in the National Congress, as 

»By W. H. Perrin. 



the Mississippi River Improvement is now the 
all-absorbing theme in that august body. Our 
space, however, will not allow a sketch of this 
great project, and the reader is referred to other 
publications for its histoiy. The remarks upon 
this road, as well as the old internal improve- 
ment system, are but prefatory to the sub- 
joined sketch of the Mississippi & Atlantic 
Railroad, now so extensively and favorably 
know everywhere as the "Vandalia Line." 
The history of this famous railroad thorough- 
fare is written by Mr. Williamson Plant, who 
has been connected with it from the very in- 
ception of the enterprise, and is perfectly 
familiar with its career from the original sur- 
vey to the present time. He has written it up 
fully, and the article will be found interesting 
to all the friends of the road. It is as follows : 

The first railroad that gave an}- assurance to 
the people of being built through Bond Coun- 
ty was the Mississippi & Atlantic Railroad 
from St. Louis through Greenville, Vandalia, 
Terre Haute, connecting with lines to New 
York. 

One of the most earnest workers for that 
road was the Hon. William S. Wait, who was 
one of Bond County's oldest and most re- 
spected citizens. His letter written in June, 
1863, to ex-Gov. B. Gratz Brown, of St. Louis, 
will fully explain the difficulties that sur- 
rounded, and finally overcame that road : 

"The railroad projected so early as 1835 to 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



55 



run from St. Louis to Terre Haute, was in- 
tended as the commencement of a direct line 
of railway to the Atlantic cities, and its first 
survey (of which a copy is inclosed) was taken 
over the exact line of the great ' Cumberland' 
road. We applied to the Illinois Legislature 
for a charter in 1846, but were opposed by 
rival interests, that finally succeeded in estab- 
lishing two lines of railroad connecting St. 
Louis with the Wabash — one by a line running 
north, and the other by a line running south of 
our survey, thus demonstrating by the unfail- 
ing test of physical geography that our line is 
the central and true one. The two rival lines 
alluded to, viz., Terre Haute & Alton and Ohio 
& Mississippi. We organized our company 
with the name of the ' Mississippi & Atlantic 
Railroad,' in 1850, by virtue of a General 
Railroad Law passed the year previous, and 
immediately accomplished a survey. An ad- 
verse decision of our Supreme Court led us to 
accept the otter of Eastern capitalists to help 
us through, who immediately took nine-tenths 
of the stock, and gave us John Brough for 
President. Our right to construct was finally 
confirmed in February, 1854 ; the road put 
under contract, and the work commenced. The 
shock given to all railroad enterprise by the 
■ Schuyler fraud "' suspended operations, and 
before confidence was restored, the controlling 
power, which was enthroned in Wall street, 
had arrived at the conclusion, as we afterward 
discovered, to proceed no further in the con- 
struction of the Mississippi & Atlantic Rail- 
road. For purposes best understood by them- 
selves, the Eastern managers amused us for 
several years with the hope that they were 
still determined to prosecute the work. When 
we were finally convinced of the intentional 
deception, we abandoned the old charter and 
instituted a new company under the name of 
the 'Highland it St. Louis Railroad Company' 
with power to build and complete by sections 
the entire road from St. Louis to Terre Haute. 



The charter was obtained in February, 1859, 
with the determination on the part of the 
Highland corporators to make no delay in con- 
structing the section connecting them with St. 
Louis, but were prevented at the outset by 
difficulties, since overcome, and afterward by 
the existing rebellion.'' 

The foregoing letter portrays truthfully some 
of the prominent difficulties with which Bond 
and other counties on the central line had to 
contend. State policy was openly urged bj- 
many of the leading men north and south of 
the " Brough road," as it was generally called. 
Hon. Sidney Breeze, a long resident of Car- 
lisle, on the line of the Ohio & Mississippi 
Railroad, publicly declared for that doctrine. 
" that it was to the interest of the State to en- 
courage the policy that would build the most 
roads through the State ; that the north and 
south roads (alluded to in Mr. Wait's letter) 
should first be allowed to get into successful 
operation, when the central line should then 
be chartered, as the merits of that line 
would insure the building the road on that 
line at once, giving to Middle Illinois three 
roads instead of one, as the chartering of 
the central line first would be a death blow 
to the other two, at least for many long years 
to come." Mr. Wait replied immediately, say- 
ing it was the first instance he had ever known 
where the merits of a railroad line had been 
urged as a reason why it should not meet with 
merited encouragement, and after more than 
$100,000 was expended on the " Brough " road, 
further work on it was, of the necessity before 
referred to, suspended. 

In February, 1865, the rebellion nearing its 
close, the people along the " Central Line," or 
''Brough" survey, again renewed their peti- 
tion to the Illinois Legislature for a negotia- 
tion of their right to build their railroad on 
their long-cherished route. 

On the 10th of February, 1865, a liberal 
charter was granted for building the pros- 



56 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



ent St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Rail- 
road. The line was designated in the charter 
as " commencing on the left bank of the Mis- 
sissippi River, opposite St. Louis, running 
thence eastwardly through Greenville, the 
county seat of Bond County, and through Van- 
dalia, by the most eligible route, to a point 
on the River Wabash." The persons named 
therein as incorporators were Henry Wing, T. 
W. Little, John S. Dewy. Andrew Mills, Solo- 
mon Koepfli, Garritt Crownover, Curtis Blake- 
man, William S. Smith, Charles Hoiles, William 
S. Wait, John B. Hunter, Williamson Plant, 
Andrew G. Henry, Jediah P. Alexander, Na- 
thaniel M. McCurdy, August H. Dieckmann. 
Ebenezer Capps, Frederick Remann, Mathias 
Fehren, Michael Lynch, Thomas L. Vest, J. F. 
Waschfort, Samuel W. Quinn, Chauncey Rose 
and Joseph H. Morgan. The citizens of Bond 
County led in the enterprise of building the 
road, not only by words, but by liberal indi- 
vidual and county subscriptions. The county, 
"small in territory, made the liberal subscription 
of $100,000, payable in fifteen annual install- 
ments willi 10 per cent annual interest, all of 
which has been met promptly, and at this date 
only $16,000 remain due. all of which will be 
paid this year, the tax being already collected 
for that purpose, and Bond County will be free 
from debt, but the advantages in the use of the 
road to the people, and the yearly tax paid by 
the railroad company will continue as long as 
taxes are levied and collected. The railroad 
tax paid in Bond County for 1881 amounted to 
64.374.29. The individual subscriptions in 
Bond County were some $46,000 at Greenville 
and 824.000 at Pocahontas, were not only 
promptly paid as called for, but some half 
dozen citizens of Greenville, viz., W. S. Smith, 
J. F. Alexander, Williamson Plant, Andrew G. 
Henry and others, gave to the Highland sub- 
scribers their individual guaranty to refund 
their $65,000 subscribed by them and being 
then paid out on call as the work progressed, 



if the road was not finished to Highland by 
July 1, 1S6S. as per condition in their sub- 
scriptions. 

The road was completed to that point at the 
date agreed upon, and the Highland subscribers 
finished the payment of their subscription 
promptly. And although of the citizens of 
Bond County it may be said they led in start- 
ing this great railroad enterprise, which has led 
to the building one of the most popular lines 
across the State of Illinois, the fact should not 
be overlooked that Collinsville, Highland, Van- 
dalia. Effingham and Clark County did then- 
duty nobly. The entire subscription list along 
the line amounting to $500,000, and was divided 
as follows : 

Collinsville and vicinity, individual $ 9,600 

Highland, individual, and about $10,000 

from St. Louis 75,000 

Highland City 10,000 

Pocahontas, in Bond Count}', individual.... 24,100 

Greenville, in Bond County, individual .... 46,000 
Greenville City, in Bond County, for depot 

building 8,000 

Bond County 100,000 

Vandalia. in Fayette County 50,000 

Douglas Township, in Effingham County. . . 50,000 

Tentopolis, in Effingham County 15,000 

Moccasin, in Effingham County .1.0110 

Summit, in Effingham County 10,000 

Clark County 100,000 

Individual subscriptions in Clark County. .. 2,700 
Individual subscriptions in Cumberland 

County 600 

Total .... , $500,000 

The first meeting of the Board of Corpora- 
tors was held at Vandalia, 111., on the 14th day 
of November, 1S65, for the purpose of organ- 
izing and electing a Board of nine Directors, 
with following result : John Scholfield, and 
Charles Duncan, Clark County, 111.; Samuel 
Quinn, Cumberland County. 111.; J. P. M. How- 
ard and L. W. Little. Effingham County, 111.; 
C. Floyd Jones and F. Remann, Fayette Coun- 
ty, 111.: WilliamS. Smith and Williamson Plant , 
Bond County. 111. 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



57 



At the first meeting of the Board of Direc- 
tors held at Effingham on the 22d day of No- 
vember, 1865, for the purpose of electing the 
first officers of the company, H. P. M. Howard 
was elected President, and Williamson Plant, 
Secretary. 

Through the influence of E. C. Rice, who was 
chief engineer of the "Brough" survey, and 
had made estimates for the work under the 
same. Gen. E. F. Winslow, a gentleman of great 
energy and considerable railroad experience, 
after various propositions being made to build 
part of the line, or parts of the road, contract- 
ed. Augusl 22, 1 866, to build the entire line from 
the '■ west bank of the Wabash, to the east 
end of the dyke at Illinoistown." Thecoutract 
was finally ratified at a meeting of the Board 
of Directors held at Vandalia November 14, 
1866. An additional agreement was entered 
into November 28, 1866, and made part of the 
original. 

The first shock received by the Railroad 
Company in the outset, was the lamented death 
of its earnest leader and judicious friend, Hon. 
William S. Wait, July 17, 1865, thereby de- 
priving them of his mature judgment and wise 
counsel in making and carrying out the con- 
tract about to be entered into for the building 
of the road under the charter so recently ob- 
tained from the Legislature. 

In 1867, first mortgage bonds were put on 
the ■• property, rights, franchises, leases and es- 
tate," etc., of the company to amount of $1,- 
900,000. When the property was leased in Feb- 
ruary, 18G8, a second mortgage was put on the 
same to amount of $2,600,000, each mortgage 
bearing 7 per cent interest, payable semi-annu- 
ally. For the purpose of further equipment of 
the road, preferred stock has been issued to the 
amount of §1,541,700, bearing 7 per cent 
interest. The issue of $2,000,000 has been au- 
thorized. This stock will take precedence over 
the common stock of the company in receiving 
dividends, and as the interest on the preferred 



stock may accumulate before any payment 
thereof, the prospect for dividends on common 
stock is remote. 

By mutual understanding between the con- 
tractor and the company, E. C. Rice was en- 
gaged as Chief Engineer of the company Jan- 
uary 18, 1867, and he commenced the first sur- 
vey on the west end of the line in March, and 
the grading was begun as soon as the line was 
fixed at the west end, in April following. At 
the same meeting a code of by-laws was adopt- 
ed, and Greenville was designated as the gen- 
eral office of the company. 

At the annual election held in January, 1867, 
J. P. M. Howard was re-elected President, Will- 
iamson Plant, Secretary, and W. S. Smith, 
Treasurer. April 3, 1867, Mr. Howard gave 
up the position, on request, and J. F. Alexander 
was chosen President of the Company in his 
place. This gave to Bond County all the officers 
of the company, and at the same annual elec- 
tion Bond County had three of the nine Direct- 
ors. By the charter the company was author- 
ized to issue first mortgage bonds not to ex- 
ceed $12,000 per mile. The capital stock was 
made $3,000,000, which could be increased al 
an annual meeting by a majority of stockhold- 
ers in interest, as they should direct. 

At the annual election in January, 1SGS, five 
Directors from Bond County were chosen out 
of the nine, viz.: J. F. Alexander, W. S. 
Smith, Andrew G. Henry, William S. Wait, Jr., 
and Francis Dressor. The same officers, J. F. Al- 
exander, President, Williamson Plant, Secretary, 
and William S. Smith, all from Bond County, were 
re-elected, giving to Bond County again all the 
officers and a majority of the Directors. Men- 
tion is made of these facts only to show that 
in the building of the road Bond County citi- 
zens were considered and acknowledged as 
leading in the enterprise. This may be owing, 
in some degree, to the geographical position of 
the county, being twenty mrles from Green 
ville north, south or east to any railroad ad- 



58 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY 



vantages. It is not the intention of this arti- 
cle to detract in any way from the many per- 
sons and places along the line that responded 
with their liberal subscriptions. Highland, and 
the country around it in particular, by their 
heavy individual, though conditional, subscrip- 
tions, are deserving special recognition for the 
same. The road was completed to Highland 
by July 1, 1868, and the stock was issued to 
the subscribers, and they paid up in full as 
specified in their subscriptions. The first reg- 
ular passenger train did not run, however, until 
August 20. 1868, from Highland to St. Louis. 

B} - the consent of the railroad, company G-en. 
Winslow as contractor was paid $120,000 for 
labor expended on the line to the 10th day of 
February, 1868, and at his request was released 
from his contracts. The same was ratified and 
accepted by the company at their meeting 
March 13, 1868. The railroad company en- 
tered into a contract February 10, 1868, with 
Thomas L. Jewett and B. E. Smith, of Ohio ; 
George B. Roberts, of Philadelphia, and W. R. 
MeKeen, of Terre Haute, in the firm name of 
McKeen, Smith & Co., to complete the road at 
an earl}- day. At the same time and place an 
agreement was entered into, leasing the St. 
Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad to 
the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad 
Company. In the report of the President of 
the Vandalia Company made to the stockhold- 
ers at their annual meeting held at Greenville, 
111., January 6. 1872, he says : 

" When, on the 10th day of February, 1868, 
the contract was made insuring the completion 
of your road, another contract was also made, 
providing for its forming a part of a continuous 
railroad line from St. Louis (via Indianapolis) to 
Pittsburgh ; and for perfecting this object your 
line was leased for a period of 999 years to the 
Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad Company, 
for the joint interest of this company and the 
several railroad companies forming the said line. 
Under this lease, the lessees were to work your 



road at their own cost and expense, and to pay 
to your company thirty-five (35) per cent of the 
gross earnings, first paying therefrom all the in- 
terest due on the bonds of the company, and all 
taxes assessed against the property of the com- 
pany, advancing any deficit in the amount 
needed to meet these liabilities and paying the 
surplus (if any remained) of the thirty-five (35) 
per cent to your company. Your board, in view 
of the light traffic usually done upon a new line, 
reduced the proportion due your company of 
the gross earnings to thirty (30) per cent, pro- 
vided, that after payment b} - the lessee of the 
cost and expense of working your road out of 
the sevent}' (70) per cent received for that pur- 
pose, if any surplus remained it should go to 
your company." 

From small earnings from the time the road 
was opened, first to Highland and Greenville in 
1868, and finally through to Terre Haute, July 
1, 1870, it has developed a marvelous increase 
of business, not only to the road, but to the 
farming and all other industries along the line. 
The whole cost of the road and equipment of 
the same to July 1, 1S68, when the contractors 
turned the road over to the lessee, was $7,171.- 
355.89, which has increased steadily as the line 
is more fully developed by " rolling stock " and 
" betterments," etc., on the road, until the last 
report of Treasurer W. H. Barnes, made the 
total cost of road and equipment to October 1, 
1S80, $8,330,410.75. The amount of business 
over this line, for the past year, aggregates 
$1,565,515.04 ; and the rental due to the com- 
pany from the lessee for the year ending Octo- 
ber 31, 1881, was $469,654.50 ; and for the 
same time, $424,827.04 was earned in carrying 
passengers, $43,490.57 for express, and $90,- 
835.98 for mail services. 

Under the management of McKeen, Smith <k 
Co., the line was completed to Greenville on the 
5th of December, 1868 ; the first passenger train 
reached Greenville on the night of December 7, 
and the first regular passenger train on schedule 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



59 



time, from Greenville to St. Louis, was on the 
morning of December 8, 1868. 

The first train ran into Effingham April 26, 
1870. On the 8th of June, 1870, an excursion 
train was run through from Indianapolis to St. 
Louis, over the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre 
Haute Railroad ; and the first regular passen- 
ger train, over the whole line on schedule time, 
was on the 12th day of June, 1870 ; and, as 
mentioned before, the contractors turned over 
the road as per contract to the Terre Haute & 
Indianapolis Railroad Company, Jul}' 1, 1870. 

At first, one passenger train each way was 
started, but soon found necessary for two ; and 
now four regular trains each way for passen- 
gers, and twice as many freights, are needed to 
keep up with the increasing business. Boud 
County furnishes its full share of the heavy 
business of the road as it passes through the 
county from west to east, passing through 
Oakdale, Pocahontas, Stubblefield, Greenville, 
Smithboro and Mulberry Grove. 

The St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Rail- 
road is 158 miles from East St. Louis to east- 
ern line of the State, and seven miles from State 
line to Wabash River at Terre Haute. 

The interest of the people of Bond County in 
the Vandalia Railroad is such that the history 
of the county would be incomplete without, not 
only a history of the road, but a detailed his- 
tory or record so far as can be given of those 
who have been and now are connected with the 
same, probably made more appropriate as the 
general office of the company is located at 
Greenville, where the annual meetings of the 
stockholders and directors are held. 

Presidents— J. P. M. Howard, Effingham, 111., 
November 22, 1865, to April 3, 1867 ; J. F. 
Alexander, Greenville, 111., April 3, 1867, to 
February 15, 1871 ; George B. Roberts, Phila- 
delphia, February 15, 1871, to January 11, 1876 ; 
Thomas D. Messier, Pittsburgh, January 11, 
1876, to present time. 

Treasurers — William S. Smith, Greenville, 111., 



January 18, 1867, to April 14, 1869 ; Williamson 
Plant, Greenville, 111., April 14, 1860, to Febru- 
ary 15, 1871 ; Albert Hewson, Philadelphia, 
February 15, 1871, to June 26, 1871 ; William 
P. Shinn, Pittsburgh, June 26, 1871, to Janu- 
ary 11, 1876 ; W. H. Barnes, Pittsburgh, Janu- 
ary 11, 1876, to present time. 

Secretary, Williamson Plant, Greenville. 111., 
November 22, 1865, to present time. 

Superintendents and General Managers — R. 
B. Lewis, first Superintendent in 1868 ; J. W. 
Conlogue, second Superintendent, 1869 and 
1870 ; Charles R. Peddle, third Superintendent, 
1869, 1870 and 1871 ; Maj. John E. Simpson, 
General Superintendent, from 1S70 to 1876. and 
General Manager from 1876 to the time of his 
death in August, 1880 ; Joshua Staples, Super- 
intendent, 1877 to 1880 ; D. W. Caldwell, Gen- 
eral Manager, after the death of Maj. Simpson 
August, 1880, to May 1, 1882 ; Joseph Hill' 
General Superintendent, from January 1, 1881, 
to the present time, and since the resignation 
of Mr. Caldwell, May 1, 1882, has the entire 
management of the Vandalia line from St. Louis 
to Indianapolis. 

H. W. Hibbard has very acceptably filled the 
responsible position of General Freight Agent 
of the Vandalia line to Indianapolis for the past 
ten years or more. C. R. Peddle has been Mas- 
ter Machinist and Superintendent of Machinery, 
etc., since 1870 to present time; and held the 
same position with the Terre Haute & Indian- 
apolis Railroad, for fourteen years continuously 
before 1870. H. W. Billings was the first Gen- 
eral Solicitor of the company. John Scholfield 
was General Solicitor for the company from 
May 1, 1870, until he resigned to accept the 
Supreme Judgeship to which he had been 
elected in the latter part of 1873. R, W. 
Thompson, of Terre Haute, was appointed Jan- 
uary 13, 1874. Mr. Thompson held that posi- 
tion until he was selected by President Hayes, 
in 1877, as one of his Cabinet (Secretary of the 
Navy). John G. Williams, the present General 



CO 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Solicitor of the company, was appointed in 
1877. 

The interest of the St. Louis, Vandalia & 
Terre Haute Railroad and the Terre Haute & 
Indianapolis, as lessee, being almost identical, 
a history of one road necessarily includes much 
that belongs to both, and whilst their organi- 
zation are entirely separate — -each having a 
Board of Directors, a President, Treasurer and 
Secretary — many of the other officers and em- 
ployes, besides the General Manager, General 
Superintendent, General Freight Agent, and 
General Solicitors as given above are covered 
in both roads, under the latter head the names 
of F. M. Colbun, General Ticket Agent, St. 
Louis ; W. S. Roney, Auditor ; N. K. Elliott, 
Master of Transportation, and many others will 
be readily recalled. 

The intelligent traveler will soon make the 
acquaintance of the many gentlemanly conduct- 
ors on this line, who vie with each other to 
make the passengers feel at home whilst riding 
in the " Vandalia " cars. In his memory he 
will carry the names of John Wise, John Mc- 
Mahon, John Trindle, Samuel Trindle, L. D. 
Hibbard, Joseph Haselton. Richard Cornell, D. 
T. Conway, Curtis Paddock, John T. Elliott 
and A. E. Bobbins. The station agents at 
Greenville have been : First, S. B. Hynes ; 
second, J. E. Hunt ; third, M. W. Van Valken- 
burg, and fourth, our present efficient and 
affable agent, W. S. Ogden. Pocahontas has 
had, among others, P. Powell, Mr. Record and 
\V. H. Spradling, present incumbent. Mulberry 
Grove, among others, Pitts Powell ; M. J. Rob- 
inson, present incumbent. W. D. Hynes, mail 
agent since the road started from Greenville, 
having held his place until the present, is 
worthy of mention, a period of nearly fourteen 
years. 

The general management of the St. Louis, 
Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad is in the 
hands of W. R. McKeen, President of the Terre 
Haute & Indianapolis Railroad Company, as 



lessee, who has, by his judicious management, 
and the management of those acting under and 
in harmony with him, made it one of the most 
popular lines in the United States. 

Col. J. Hill, a gentleman of large railroad ex- 
perience, has been General Superintendent since 
January 1, 1881, and has had full control of 
the line as General Superintendent since the 
resignation of General Manager P. W. Cald- 
well, May 1, 1882. Col. Hill, since assuming 
full control of the line, has shown a determina- 
tion to keep the good name of the Vandalia in 
the lead by putting on an extra fast express 
train for the Eastern cities, and also by extend- 
ing the Highland accommodation to Effingham, 
where the company have proper accommoda- 
tion for their engines and cars, and make an 
extra connection with trains of the Illinois Cen- 
tral at that place. This last change will greatly 
encourage the small stations along the road, 
and will aid in developing the whole line. But 
a few years will elapse before the growing de- 
mands of trade and travel will require the com- 
pany to make a double track the whole line. 
Already steel rails are being laid as fast as the 
finances of the company will allow, and at the 
rate they are now being being placed, will soon 
be laid on the entire road. 

The Jacksonville & Southeastern Railroad is 
a project now, not only in agitation, but in the 
course of construction through Bond County. 
Its history, however, will be more fully given 
in the part of this work devoted to Montgomery 
County. 

The Press. — If journalism does not come under 
the head of internal improvements, there can 
be no denying of the fact that it is a stanch 
advocate of all legitimate public improvements, 
and that the press of the country is ever ready 
to lend its influence to promote all honest en- 
terprises for the common good, and for the 
welfare of the people. The fact is, the people 
themselves do not appreciate the press as it de- 
serves. It is a power for good in the country, 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



61 



and should be honestly supported by all enter- 
prising and wide-awake people. The press of 
Bond County merits an extended notice in this 
work, and the following sketch of the Green- 
ville Advocate is compiled from an article pub- 
lished in its columns, January 19, 1882 : 

With this issue the Advocate goes to its many 
readers as No. 1 of Vol. XXV. In other words, 
it enters upon its twenty-fifth year, or quarter 
of a century of service. As with individuals 
and nations, so with newspaper proprietors, 
there is a pleasure in looking back over the past 
history on special occasions. Inasmuch as 
readers have as much, though not exactly the 
same, interest in their paper that its editor has, 
it is quite appropriate that this historical 
review should not be confined to the editor's 
easy chair, but given to the public through the 
columns which all read — especially since about 
all the day-dreaming an editor finds time to in- 
dulge in must flow from the nib of his pen- 
Though the Advocate proper, and by that name, 
is scarcely yet twenty-five 3 r ears old, it is really 
a continuation of previous journalism, which 
only the oldest settlers will remember. It seems 
that in this review a brief notice of that and 
cotemporaneous journalism will not be out of 
place, and that it should come in the order of 
the respective papers. 

Of The Barn-Jin run; nothing is preserved, 
and the memory of the men of that time has 
been resorted to in order to get even a trace of 
its existence. Since then, however, everything 
has been preserved, and all the back numbers 
that could be obtained have been securely 
bound, and are kept in a convenient place for 
reference. The first that is accessible of the 
above is No. 30 of Volume I of the Protestant 
Monitor. This was the first paper ever issued 
in Bond County. As its name indicates, it was 
a religious paper. By counting the numbers 
backward from the number just mentioned, 
which bears the date of Wednesday, January 6, 
184G, it will appear that the first number was 



issued about the lGth of June, 1845, or more 
than thirty-six years ago — over a third of a 
century ago. It was owned and published by 
Mr. E. 31. Lathrap. The subscription price was 
$2 per annum, in advance ; $2.50 at the end of 
three months, and $3, if payment was delayed 
to the end of the year ; single copies, 6^ cents. 
So far as its denominational views gave color 
to its columns, it was a Protestant Methodist 
paper, and had a circulation and list of con- 
tributors reaching over an area of more than a 
hundred miles in every direction, including 
Springfield, Jacksonville, Alton and even St. 
Louis. Though a religious journal, it mingled 
secular affairs in its columns quite freely, after 
the fashion of day. There was but little local 
news, for in those days of little, and at best 
slow and tedious, travel, people wished to hear 
from the outside world, a want which is now 
supplied by the dailies and large city weeklies, 
which few could take at the then high prices. 
The last Protestant Monitor that is preserved in 
this office is dated May 24, 1848, and is two 
inches larger each way than the first issue. 

On Friday, September 13, 1850, the Green- 
ville Journal issued No. 37, Vol. 3. This was a 
four-page paper about the size of the first Mon- 
itor. J. F. Alexander appears as its editor at 
this time, though in the absence of other back 
files we are obliged to rely on the recollection 
of 0. Buchanan, that it was first owned by John 
Waite. According to Messrs. 0. Buchanan and 
J. Harvey Alexander, J. F. Alexander was in 
partnership with Mr. Waite for a short time, 
when he bought out his interest, but subse- 
quently re-sold the entire concern back again to 
Mr. Waite. Mr. Waite again sold out, this time, 
to Alexander Brothers, Harvey and Cal., who 
had been working in the office. These two sold 
to another brother, D. W. Alexander, and he in 
turn to Dr. Smith, whose widow, Mrs. Mary 
Smith, Greenville citizens remember as a resi- 
dent of this city only a few years since. Mr. 
John Harper also owned the paper, but wheth- 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



er he sold out to J. P. Alexander the records 
do not show. 

It should here be noticed that while Mr. 
Waite had the Journal, J. F. Alexander started 
and conducted for about one year the "Barn- 
Burner" as an organ of the extreme, or as we 
would now say, Stalwart Free-Soilers, who in 
New York had acquired the name of" barn burn- 
ers" and who were for Martin Van Bureu. This 
was the first journalistic venture of Mr. Alex- 
ander, and died out soon after the election. It 
was printed in the Journal office. A copy of 
the first issue was sent to Martin Van Bnren, 
who soon acknowledged the receipt of it in a 
letter of thanks to the editor, enclosing also a 
five-dollar bill. Mr. Charles Hoiles remembers 
having the bill' shown to him and further says 
that it was considered a big thing in those times. 
This change was without material difference in 
the paper or its management, except that J. F. 
Alexander was left to give his time to editing 
the paper by D. W. Alexander's entering the 
office as publisher. The Journal, as has since 
been the record of the paper, supported what 
are now distinctive Republican principles either 
settled or undergoing that process. Beneath 
the picture of a hand holding a pen, are the 
Fremont and Dayton tickets, followed by the 
State ticket. 

Next we find the American Courier, of which 
No. 47, of Vol. I, bears the date of May 21, 1857. 
Othniel Buchanan was editor and proprietor. 
The entire outfit for this paper was purchased 
new at St. Louis, 03- Thomas Russell and Othniel 
Buchanan. Mr. Russell, however, retired in 
about a year, leaving Mr. Buchanan alone. This 
outfit was the nucleus from which the present 
Advocate equipment has been developed. That 
identical hand press is still in this office. This 
outfit, press and all, cost $800 in St. Louis, 
whence it was ordered shipped to Carlyle. About 
the time it was expected at Carlyle, a wagon 
was driven over after it. Failing to find it at 
Carlyle, it was thought that the shipment had 



been made to Hillsboro. At the latter place 
some one told the " office-seeker " that he had 
seen a printing press traveling toward Vanda- 
lia, where the searchers were fortunate enough 
to find it. So the Courier continued a very 
readable paper of the dimensions of the present 
Advocate, only that it was a single instead of a 
double sheet. It should be stated that O. Bu- 
chanan purchased of J. F. Alexander the Jour- 
nal office, and subsequently sold both the Jour- 
nal and the Courier to Alexander & Bro., con- 
sisting of J. F. and J. H. Alexander, who, after 
a while, disposed of the Journal outfit to a 
Scotchman named Parson Percy, who took it 
to Stanton, Macoupin Co. Thus it will be seen 
that none of the Monitor or Journal material is 
now in Greenville. 

Next the paper became the Greenville Advo- 
cate. Under this name, which it has ever since 
retained, the paper began its first volume Feb- 
ruary 11, 1858. In size the paper was what 
the Advocate of to-day would be without the 
inside pages. Its editorial management con- 
tinued to be conducted by J. F. Alexander, 
who was also proprietor. All know that those 
times were eras of terrible earnestness. The 
old and the middle-aged remember, and the 
young have since learned of the situation of 
that day. The columns of the Advocate from 
that day to this have been true to the great 
principles of Republicanism, freedom and hu- 
•man right. 

It might be well enough to state here, that 
John H. Hawley, who is now, and has been for 
three years, one of the Advocate force, worked 
on the Greenville Advocate in 1860-61, com- 
mencing the 14th day of November, 1860. J. 
F. Alexander was editor, and Thomas Russell 
foreman. The paper at that time being less 
than half its present size, about one good man, 
and a country boy like Mr. Hawley, was then all 
that was necessary to do the work. The only 
machinery about the office was the old hand- 
press, now in use. On the editorial page an 




^^Y^^ 1 ^ 7 



LIBRARY 

OF 1HE 
UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



G5 



•■ Educational Department" was conducted by 
Thomas W. Hynes, who still continues a warm 
friend and occasional contributor to the Advo- 
catt An article from his pen on " Our Early 
Local History" urged the formation of an old 
settlers' society, that the early incidents might 
not be forgotten, and that memories of the past 
might be preserved. 

During the late rebellion. J. F. Alexander 
was succeeded as publisher and proprietor of 
the Advocatr by his brother, B. J. C. Alexan- 
der, who continued the paper until August, 
1865, when his interest was transferred to S. C. 
Mace, who managed the paper alone until April 
of 1866. when he associated with him T. 0. 
Shenick. as publisher, who combined his ener- 
gy with Mr. Mace, giving the public the only 
local reading in the county, till March, 1869, 
when Mr. Mace was again left alone. In No- 
vember, 1871, Mr. Mace sold out to Samuel B. 
Hynes. under whose proprietorship, his father. 
Rev. Thomas W. Hynes, had the editorial and 
general management of the Advocate, which, 
with the beginning of the year 1872, they 
had changed from a four page with eight col- 
umns to an eight-page paper of six columns 
each, considerably smaller than its present size. 
This form was retained for two years, when 
the former dimensions were again adopted. 
From Mr. Hynes the Advocate was purchased 
by George M. Tatham, the present proprietor 
and editor. This was October 1, 1873. Since 
that time the Advocate has steadily increased 
in size, never decreasing, and often requiring 
large supplements, so that readers might not be 
stinted by thepressureof advertisements. From 
a subscription list of about five hundred, many 
for wood and produce, which often never came, 
the present editor acknowledges the apprecia- 
tion of the reading community to the extent of 
over twelve hundred subscriptions, all settled 
for, and an influence extending over the entire 
county, and not unnoticed in neighboring coun- 
ties. States and cities. 



Also from a paper treating almost entirely 
of general principles, and news from the outside 
world alone, with rarely a word from different 
parts of the county, except a special letter now 
and then on some mooted question, the Advocate, 
keeping up with the demands of the age, has 
become a real news paper, with such an array 
of correspondents from every part of the coun- 
ty, that " Widow Bond " is no longer lonesome, 
but every week her children learn how the rest 
of the family are prospering. 

The Sun, published by William Boll and 
Fordyce C. Clark, at Greenville, is the suc- 
cessor of the Bond Count)/ Democrat, which was 
started by J. B. Anderson. June 2, 1876. On 
the 25th of January, 1877, Boll & Clark bought 
the paper, and changed its name from Bond 
County Democrat to the Sun. They worked up 
the circulation from 400 pay-as-you-please sub- 
scribers in 1877, to an edition of 1,280, on the 
cash- in-advance rule, reaching that circulation 
during the campaign of 1880. 

The Sun is an eight-page paper, with six 
columns to a page, being considerably larger 
than the average country paper. It is cut and 
pasted in pamphlet form by a machine invented 
by the senior proprietor. Its publishers are 
both practical printers, and spare no effort to 
get up a good looking paper. It is credited by 
newspaper men with being one of the neatest 
and newsiest country journals in the State ; its 
particular specialty is home news. A page is 
given every week to Greenville happenings, in- 
cluding court house news, real estate transfers, 
circuit and county proceedings, doings of the 
County Board, City Council proceedings, school 
and college notes, church and Sunday-school 
news, local personals, home markets, etc., etc. 
Besides this, the paper has a reporter in almost 
every school district in the county, and gives 
from three to five columns of news items from 
these county neighborhoods regularly. News 
from neighboring counties is faithfully gleaned 

also, as well as State news and a good sum- 

r> 



66 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



ining up of general news. Its editorial com- 
ment is on topics relating to home matters, and 
its opinions are stated clearly, forcibly and 
fearlessly, a proper respect of the right of 
opinion in others being observed. The Sun is 
popular, and while it has many friends, like all 
papers of influence, it also has enemies. Politi- 
cally, it is independent, leaning toward Democ- 
racy, but not controlled by party caucus or 



office-seekers' cliques. Its opinions in politics 
as well as on other topics are the expression of 
the convictions of its editors after study, and 
are not dictated or suggested by outsiders. 

The foregoing is a brief sketch of the press 
of Bond County, as there never has, we believe, 
been a paper published outside of Greenville ; 
none at least, of especial note. 




GREENVILLE PRECINCT. 



07 



CHAPTER VIII.* 

GREENVILLE PRECINCT— INTRODUCTION— BOUNDARIES, AREA AND GENERAL CONFIGURATION- 
EARLY SETTLEMENT — FRONTIER LIFE, HARDSHIPS, ETC. — PIONEER INDUSTRIES AND 
IMPROVEMENTS— SKETCH OF WILLIAM S. WAIT— VILLAGES— GOLD AND SILVER 
MINES— EDUCATIONAL— RELIGION— THE FIRST CHURCHES ESTABLISHED 

IN THE COUNTY, ETC . ETC 



" Where nothing dwelt but beasts of prey, 
Or men as fierce and wild as they." 

THE history of Greenville Precinct com- 
mences more than sixty years ago. and dates 
back prior to the departure of the savages for 
the land of the setting sun. It is the story of 
a community planted in the wilderness amid 
the murderous raids of prowling Indians ; of 
camp-fires that grew into block-houses, forts, 
and then into log cabins, and finally into 
wealthy and prosperous homes. There is a 
page which should come before this history, 
and, like the prologue to a drama, be recited 
first, but space forbids it, and the page which 
calls to mind the Indian occupation of the 
country will be found in other chapters of this 
work. Our narrative will begin with the settle- 
ment of the whiles among wild, ferocious beasts 
and savage men. and will recount their trials 
and hardships, their perils and hazards in sub- 
duing the country. 

Greenville Precinct comprises a large terri- 
tory lying in the central part of Bond County. 
it is irregular in shape, and embraces portions 
of Township 5 north. Ranges 2, '.', and t west, 
with one tier of sections in Township C. and 
same ranges. The land is diversified between 
hill and prairie, the latter predominating ; the 
rough and broken country being confined to the 
vicinity of the water courses. The principal 
streams are the east and west forks of Shoal 



! By W. H. I'errin. 



Creek. The east fork flows nearly through the 
center of the precinct in a rather southwesterly 
direction, while the west fork makes its tortu- 
ous course almost southeast, and unites with 
the east fork at the southern line of the pre- 
cinct. Beaver Creek rises in the vicinity of 
Greenville, flows southwest and passes out 
through Section 34 into Beaver Creek Precinct. 
Indian Creek touches the northwest corner of 
the precinct, and a few other small and name- 
less streams intersect it. The timber consists 
i if oak, hickory, walnut, elm, sycamore, cotton- 
wood and other species common in this section. 
This precinct is noted for containing the capi- 
tal of the county, and hence, much of the his- 
tory of the surrounding community centers in 
the town of Greenville. Two or three small 
villages have sprung up along the railroad 
since its completion, which will receive notice 
further along in this chapter. Upon the whole, 
Greenville Precinct is a fine agricultural region, 
and contains many excellent farms. 

The settlement of Greenville Precinct dates 
back to the days of forts and block-houses. 
Says i pioneer of the town : - Wyatt Stubble- 
field. George Davidson and the Kirkpatricks 
all came prior to the war of 1812, and when the 
war came on they left through fear of the In- 
dians, but when peace was declared, they re- 
turned to their former settlements." Thomas 
White ami William Robinson came into the 
precinct in 1816. They lived one year in Lind 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



ley's Fort, and in the fall of 1817 settled one 
and a half miles from where Greenville now 
stands. William S. Wait and his brother set- 
tled a little east of the present village of Ripley 
(just over the line in what is now Ripley Pre- 
cinct), in 1820-21. They went back East in a 
short time, but in a few years returned and 
settled permanently. William S. Wait was so 
long prominently known in the county, that a 
few words of him are not out of place in this 
connection, although he is extensively men- 
tioned in the railroad history. He will be re- 
membered as an early friend and supporter of 
the Mississippi & Atlantic Railroad, now the 
famous Vandalia Line. He wrote many articles 
in the Illinois papers, the St. Louis Republican, 
New York Evening Post, the New York Tribune, 
and other prominent newspapers, in earnest 
support of the enterprise. He was a constant 
worker for the road, from 1847, the time of the 
first agitation of the question, to 1865, and a 
large portion of his time was spent in procur- 
ing the charter, right of wa}-, stock, attending 
meetings in its interest, etc., and in discharging 
the duties of the different offices, viz., President, 
Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, which 
he successively held in the company. He was 
a thorough student, an investigator of all new 
subjects and theories, and a voluminous writer 
on political, educational, agricultural and re- 
formatory questions, and always took the side 
of progress and improvement. A regular con- 
tributor to the press, and in constant communi- 
cation with many of the leading minds of the 
United States, he was fully familiar with all 
topics of interest, and versed in all questions 
pertaining to the public good. 

Mr. Wait was Chairman of the National In- 
dustrial Convention, held in New York in Octo- 
'>er. lS-lf>. and delivered an able address, He 
was nominated for Vice President of the United 
States, on the ticket with Hon. Gerritt Smith 
{on National Reform Ticket) in 1848, but re- 
spectfully declined the exalted position. He 



wrote numerous newspaper articles, and able 
letters on the Constitution of Illinois adopted 
in 1848, and many portions of which were from 
his pen. In county and State agricultural so- 
cieties he took an active interest, and was a 
zealous friend to the public schools ; an active 
and valuable citizen, honored and admired by 
the people of the country at large. 

Joseph Lindley built the first house in the 
forks of the creek southwest of Greenville in 
1817, and was the first white settler in that lo- 
cality. Hezekiah Archer settled just below 
him soon after, and in 1818-19, the Hunters 
settled in the same neighborhood. John Pick- 
ett settled six miles west of Greenville about 
the same time as the Hunters. George Nelson 
in 1819 settled one mile east of Pickett. Sam- 
uel White settled in the neighborhood very 
early, and Thomas Long in the vicinity of Stub- 
blefield. Mrs. Morse, in a letter to Rev. Mr. 
Hynes, says : " One of the early settlers was 
Mr. Seth Blanchard. who arrived in 1820. He 
came out from New York expecting to settle in 
St. Louis, but, disgusted with the Frenchy look 
of that place, bought laud of Mr. Wyatt Stub- 
blefield, east of town, and opened a store and 
tavern in town, just laid out by Green P. Rice. 
Samuel G. Blanchard assisted in laying off the 
public square. The principal families then 
were the Kirkpatricks, Messrs. Camp, Goss. 
Leonard. Rutherford. Fergueson, White, old 
Father Elam, the Birges, and Drs. Drake. New- 
hall and Perrine." Andrew Moody was an 
earlv settler, and occupied a place originally 
settled by Thomas Kirkpatriek, about one mile 
southwest of Greenville. The famous spring 
at this place took its name from Mr. Moody, 
and was known far and wide as " Moody's 
Spring," a famous place for holding religious 
meetings, and the site of the first church built 
in Bond County. William Perrine and J. B. 
Drake might be termed early settlers, though 
they were young meu and single when they 
came here. Thev boarded at Richard White's, 



GREENVILLE PRECINCT. 



69 



two and a half miles west of Greenville, and 
were physicians. 

It is not possible, however, at the present 
day, to give the names of all the early settlers 
in as large a district as the precinct of Green 
ville is. as at present laid off. As the settle- 
ment of the country progressed, people scattered 
out on to the prairies, opening farms first near 
the timber, but gradually extending farther 
and farther from it. Thus large farming com- 
munities sprang up in different portions of the 
precinct, and at considerable distances from 
Greenville. Especially was this the case after 
all danger from the Indians had passed away, 
and the more savage of the wild beasts had 
been driven from the vicinity. Even then, how- 
ever, the lives of the pioneers were not all sun- 
shine and prosperity, but many hardships min- 
gled with their every -day experiences. Their 
implements of agriculture would be considered 
the most extreme hardships by the farmers of 
the present day, if they had to work with them ; 
and the mode of obtaining bread and other 
needed supplies, would be deemed by us among 
the impossibilities, and beyond human power 
to overcome. The Rev. Thomas W. Hynes, in 
a historical address on Bond County, delivered 
July 4, 187G, says : 

" We look back from our present position to 
the time when the brave and enterprising pio- 
neers left their homes and friends and came to 
this wild and unsubdued land to make their 
residence here. They faced danger, for up to 
1 816 the country was the frequent resortof hos- 
tile and predatory savages. They endured toil 
— for houses, orchards, farms, implements of 
husbandly, mills and shops, schools and 
churches, in short, all that men need in civilized 
society, were to be provided here out of the 
rough material. They bore self denial — for they 
left behind them the comforts and abundance 
of their old homes. They were few at first in 
their numbers, but strong in their faith and 
courage. The} - developed a character of which 



we, their descendants and successors, need not 
feel ashamed. Their necessities made them in- 
genious. Their perils made them brave. Their 
fewness made them sociable. Their community 
of wants and dangers made them sympathetic 
and helpful of each other. However scanty 
their board, it was shared with the neighbor or 
stranger with a free-heartedness that gave a 
relish to the plain repast. However small and 
unsightly their cabin, its room and bed and 
genial warmth were divided with a cordiality 
that sweetened your welcome. Their social life 
was adorned with the graces of liberality and 
true friendship. They did wisely and well their 
peculiar work of laying the foundations that 
we might build upon them. They established 
schools and churches, and organized society 
and civil government, and left us a heritage of 
freedom and a home of peace and comfort. 
Let us honor their names, cherish their memory, 
record their virtues, and, thankfully recognizing 
our obligations to them, see to it that we hand 
down to our successors an untarnished inherit- 
ance of manly independence, wholesome liberty, 
free intelligence and pure religion." 

As the community increased in wealth and 
importance, the people enlarged the facilities 
for living more comfortably, and with less toil 
and privation. Mills were built, and roads 
leading to them were laid out. Probably the 
first mills in the precinct were those of Wyatt 
Stubblefield and Beck, erected prior to 1S25. 
Stubblefield's stood a little northwest of Green- 
ville, on Shoal Creek, near where the Hillsboro 
road now crosses. A notice of Beck's will be 
found in the history of Greenville. Stubble- 
field's was constructed for sawing as well as 
for grinding, and was a great convenience to 
the neighborhood. The Waits built an ox-mill 
very early. The power was received from a 
"tread-wheel" — that is, a large inclined wheel, 
trod by oxen, was used, which, when put in 
motion, operated the machinery of the mill. 
They added a distillery, and for several years 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



carried on both distillery and mill. Samuel 
White started a tan-yard at the spring west of 
Greenville in 1820, where he manufactured 
leather for the purpose of contributing to the 
"understanding" of the community. ' Thomas 
Long put up a cotton gin the same year, near 
where Stubblefleld now stands. The cultivation 
of cotton having been attempted by the early 
settlers, led Mr. Long to that enterprise, but 
cotton growing in Southern Illinois proved a 
failure, and gins turned out to be poor invest- 
ments. 

It is a characteristic of the human race to be 
easily duped, and it has been said that the 
American people are more easily humbugged 
than any other race of beings below the sun. 
The settlers in this section of the countrj' were 
no exception, and when reports were circulated 
that gold and silver ore was hidden in the Shoal 
Creek bluffs and ravines, the most intense ex- 
citement prevailed in every home. People 
spent days and weeks in search of the precious 
metals, roaming through the swamps of Shoal 
Creek bottom, digging in the hills, and scratch- 
ing in the sands of the ravines, filling their 
pockets with glittering rocks, and accumulating 
stuff that in the end proved utterly worthless. 
A silver mine was once supposed to be found 
on Samuel Hunter's place by a man named 
G-aylor. Hunter lived on Indian Creek, four 
miles from Greenville. A close investigation 
showed that neither gold nor silver were native 
in that region, but that Gaylor was a good-sized 
fraud. He was arrested for an attempt to 
swindle, but finally succeeded in making his 
escape from the country. This put a damper 
upon the idea of digging out fabulous wealth 
from the creek hills, and had a tendency to 
shake the confidence of some of the wiser 
heads, but the excitement continued quite a time 
before the people settled down quietly again to 
their every-day duties. 

The first physicians in Greenville Precinct 
were Drs. Perrine and Drake, already referred 



to. and practiced the healing art for some time 
among the pioneers. Malarial diseases pre- 
vailed in the first settling of the country, some 
years to a fearful extent, and before the coming 
of Perrine and Drake, the people of this section 
had to go to Edwardsville for a physician. Al- 
though doctors were often actually needed 
when their services could not be obtained, yet 
many people sent for them for the simplest 
cases. Mr. White relates the following, which 
is illustrative : " One morning," says he, " we 
saw a fellow coming down the road on a gallop, 
whom we had seen pass rny father's ever} - day 
for a week or more, going for a doctor for his 
sick wife. This time he was riding faster than 
usual, without a saddle, the bottom of his 
breeches' legs slipped up nearly to his knees, 
showing his bare legs, although he had on coarse 
shoes ; and the rim of his old wool hat blown 
back in front. He was urging his horse along 
by the repeated strokes of a hickory sprout 
four or five feet long. As he passed the house, 
some one screamed out. ' How's your wife?' 
'She's worse; git up!' was the reply, the last 
part of which was addressed to his horse, at the 
same time he gave him a cut round the flank 
with the hickory which might have been heard 
at the distance of a hundred yards." Such 
scenes were common in those days, as though 
the pioneers were determined that the doctors 
should earn their money. Dr. Newhall was 
also an early physician in this neighborhood. 
These early practitioners, however, are more 
particularly mentioned in a preceding chapter. 
Schools were established and schoolhouses 
were built as soon as the population of the pre- 
cinct would permit. Just where, when and by 
whom the first school was taught outside of the 
town of Greenville we cannot say. The early 
education of the surrounding country centered 
in the town, and the first schools were taught 
there, and will be alluded to more fully in the 
chapters on Greenville. There is now, in the 
precinct outside of town, some half a dozen or 



GREENVILLE PRECINCT. 



71 



more excellent schoolhouses, where good schools 
are taught, and the rising generation can be 
educated " without money and without price," 
an advantage not possessed by their ancestors. 

Two small villages are located in the precinct, 
in addition to the city of Greenville, viz., Smith- 
boro and Stubblefield. Smithboro, or Hender- 
son Station, was laid out by H. H. Smith in 
1^70, and is on the Vandalia Railroad, about 
three miles from Greenville. It is called Hen- 
derson Station, but the post office is named 
Smithboro. and was established in 1871, with 
H. H. Smith as Postmaster. There is a grain 
elevator operated by Hoffman & Hinkle, who 
ordinarily ship a large quantity of wheat. A 
cheese factory or creamery was started in 1870. 
II. H. Smith was the first President of the Com- 
pany. The establishment is doing an exten- 
sive business, and makes up the milk of about 
five hundred cows. A. store is kept by T. L. 
Miner, the only one in the place. The Jack- 
sonville & Southeastern Railroad is laid out 
through this village, and, when built, will add 
considerably to its importance. 

Stubblefield is merely a station on the Van- 
dalia Railroad, about four miles west of Green" 
ville. It consists of but half a dozen or so of 
houses, a water tank of the railroad, and a 
shipping place for farm products. 

A place was laid out, probably about 1840, 
some three or four miles northwest of Green- 
ville, on the Hillsboro road, called Elizabeth 
City. " This famous city," says Mr. White 
" was to occupy ground little better than a frog- 
pond, and yet five plats of it were made and 
sent back East on which appeared in high- 
sounding names, its streets, avenues and 
squares. Flaming notices of it were published 
in the newspapers, in which it was represented 
as being eligibly situated on ' Shoal River,' 
and in the midst of a country which, with com- 
paratively little labor, could be transformed 
into an earthly paradise." These Haltering 
representations, or more properly speaking. 



misrepresentations, led many persons in the old- 
er settled States to invest in this " city on pa- 
per," all of whom, it is needless to say, were 
" taken in," as Elizabeth City never had any 
existence other than fancy plats and flaming 
advertisements. 

The first churches organized in Rond were in 
Greenville Precinct, by the Methodists and 
Presbyterians, and are fully noticed in a pre- 
ceding chapter. There are now, so far as we 
are able to learn, three churches in the precinct, 
outside of the city of Greenville, viz.: Methodist, 
Baptist and Cumberland Presbyterian. The 
Methodists and Presbyterians are about four 
miles west of Greenville, and are but a short 
distance from each other, while the Baptist 
stands near Stubblefield. 

The Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church, 
one of those mentioned above, is a very old 
church, and is believed to have been originally 
organized some time about 1820. William Hun- 
ter states that when he came here in 1821, the 
society was then in existence. The families 
forming it were those of Allen Conner, Aquilla 
Suggs, Richard White, John Hunter, Samuel 
Hunter, McHenry Nesbit, etc. The first minis- 
ter was Rev. Samuel Thompson ; Rev. Jesse 
Hale also preached here, and Rev. Joshua 
Raines. The society met at private residences 
at first. Allen Connor was a zealous Methodist, 
and his house was long used as a place of wor- 
ship, and a home of the preachers, who fre- 
quently stayed with hiin a month at a time, and 
preached as often on week days as on Sundays. 
The name of the society was finally decided -as 
11 Sinai," and they met in a schoolhouse which 
was dedicated to worship. The present society 
is called the " Centenary Methodist Episcopal 
Church," and was formed from the Mt. Horeb 
and Sinai societies as early as 1825. The 
church was built in the Centennial year of Meth- 
odism, and is thirty-four by forty-six feet — 
a frame building, costing $2,300. The present 
minister is Rev. J. H. McGrifF. The Trustees 



72 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



are Wesley White, W. B. Sibert, W. C. Nelson, 
James C. Causay, John Ward, John W. Plant 
and William Hunter ; has about sixty members. 
A Sunday school was organized early, of which 
Allen Conner was first Superintendent ; Conner 
was also the first class-leader ; the next, John, 
and then Samuel Hunter. 

Mount Gilead Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church was formed, or the society from which 
it originated, was formed about 1850-21. 
Among the first members were James Johnson, 
John Edwards, James Hunter, Thomas Hunter 
and their families. Mrs. Mary Nelson, etc.— 
about a dozen in all. The church was organ- 
ized by Rev. Joel Knight, and among the first 
preachers were Rev. John Berry, David Foster 
and G. P. Rice. Soon after the formation of 
this society, the members joined together and 
built a log church. Some years afterward, a 
frame house was built. The present church 
was built in 18(50, and cost about $1,500. There 
are at present about sixty members. The first 
Elders were James Johnson and Thomas Hun- 
ter ; the present Elders are Macklin Hunter, 
William King and Alvin Jackson ; Trustees, 
Robert Mackey and Larkin Jackson. Sunday 
school has been in existence nearly ever since 
the organization of the church, and now aver- 
ages about fifty children in regular attendance. 

The Smith's Grove Baptist Church was or- 
ganized less than twenty years ago. Prior to 



this organization, however, there was a society 
formed, perhaps as far back as 1828. and was 
under the ministrations of Elders John Crouch 
and James Long. They put up a large log build- 
ins, which was used both as church and School- 
s' 

house, and was located but a short distance 
from the present church. The society pros- 
pered for that early day, but dissensions final- 
ly sprang up, which injured its usefulness, and 
it after awhile became extinct, Through the 
instrumentality of the ladies of the old society, 
a new church was organized with the following 
members : Henrj- Harris and wife, John 
J. Smith and wife, John Leverton and wife, 
James Harris and wife, John Hagin and wife, 
Monroe Ditch and wife, and Mrs. Hillard. The 
church was organized July 23, 1869. Elder F. 
M. Long was chosen Pastor, and John J. Smith, 
Clerk. They decided the church should be called 
" Smith's Grove Church," to belong to the Ap- 
ple Creek association. Elder W. C. Harvey is 
the present minister, and J. M. Harris, Clerk. 
The church is a frame building and cost about 
$2,000. Preaching every two weeks. 

This comprises the history, so far as we have 
been able to obtain it, of Greenville Precinct, 
and with its conclusion we end the chapter, 
leaving the hisUny of Greenville to be treated 
of in a new chapter, by Mr. Williamson Plant, 
from whose pen we have no doubt that it will 
receive justice, and all the importance it merits. 



CITY OF GREENVfLLE. 



73 



CHAPTER IX* 

CITY OF GREENVILLE— LOCATING THE COUNTY SEAT AT PERRYVILLE— ITS REMOVAL TO GREEN- 
VILLE— LAYING OUT OF THE LATTER PLACE— THE NAME GREENVILLE— EARLY SET- 
TLERS OF THE TOWN — THE K1RKPATR1CKS AND OTHERS — FIKST BUSI- 
NESS MEN AND PROMINENT CITIZENS — THE ROLL OF PIO- 
NEERS—MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS, ETC. 



A S has been heretofore noticed in this work 
-*-J- under that part covering the county his- 
tory, the act of the Legislature approved Jan- 
uary 4, 1817, forming a new county out of 
Madison County, to be called Bond, in honor 
of Shadrack Bond, afterward elected first Gov- 
ernor of the State of Illinois, also appointed 
William Roberts, John Powers, Robert Gilles- 
pie. John Whitley, Sr., and John Laughtou, 
Commissioners to locate and establish a per- 
manent seat of justice for Bond County, and 
that their first meeting should be held at the 
house of David White, at Hill's Fort, on Shoal 
Creek, on the first Monday of March, 1817, and 
the act further provided that Hill's Fort should 
be the county seat of justice for Bond County 
until the same was located by said Commis- 
sioners or a majority of them, and that the 
County Court should be held on the first Mon- 
days in February, June and October. 

The first County Court for Bond County was 
held June 2, 1817. The following copy of their 
record at this first meeting, and the report of 
the said Commissioners to that court will be 
interesting : 

Be it remembered that on the id day of June, 
1817, at a County Court held for Bond County, be- 
gan and held at Hills Station, in pursuance of an 
Act of the Legislature of the Illinois Territory, 
passed in the year 1S17 [January 4], Thomas Kirk- 
patrick, John Powers and Martin Jones produced 
commissions from His Excellency, Ninian Edwards, 

*By Williamson Plant. 



Governor of said Territory, appointing them Judges 
of said County Court, who. having taken the sev- 
eral oaths prescribed by law, and thereupon took 
their seats. Present, Thomas Kirkpatrick, John 
Powers and Martin Jones, Judges. Samuel (4. 
Morse produced in court from His Excellency, Nin- 
ian Edwards, a commission appointing him Sheriff 
of the said county of Bond, and also a certificate 
that he bad taken the several oaths (before His Ex- 
cellency) prescribed bylaw. Daniel Converse pro- 
duced in court a commission from His Excellency, 
Ninian Edwards, appointing him Clerk of tin- said 
court, and also a certificate of hi- having taken the 
several oaths prescribed by law. The court then 
proceeded to business. 

The Commissioners made the following re- 
port to the court : 

A majority of the Commissioners appointed to fix 
and establish the permanent seat of justiee for this 
county, this day present the following report : " We 
the Commissioners to fix the permanent seat of jus- 
tice for the county of Bond, met according to ap- 
pointment, on the west side of the Hurricane Fork 
of the Kaskaskia River, on the southwest quarter ol 
Section No. 5, of Town No. 4 north, of Range No 1 
west, and stuck a stake for the center of the public 
square, as may be at any time when necessary 

" May 16, Anno 1817. " John Powers. 

" Robert Gillespie. 
"John Whitley." 

Illinois Territory. Bond County : 

We, the Commissioners to fix the seat of justice 
for the county of Bond, being duly sworn, after 
veiwing different parts of said county for that pur- 
pose, we do nominate and appoint for that purpose 
the bluff lying west of the Hurricane Fork of Okaw, 
being the southwest quarter of Section No. 5, of 



74 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY 



Range No. 1 west, of Township No. 4 north, now 
the property of Martin .Tones, taking into view the 
geographical center, the navigation, the eligibility, 
and tin- common good of the people as directed by 
law. 

(iiveu under our hands and seals the day and year 
first above written. John Powers. 

Robert Gillespie. 

John Whitley. 

The Commissioners were not authorized to 
locate the county seat on the land of any per- 
son, unless the owner or owners should first do- 
nate to the county at least twenty acres of land 
where the location was made, to be laid off in 
town lots, to be sold, and the proceeds to be 
applied toward erecting county buildings. 

The land designated b} T the Commissioners 
was deeded to the county by Martin Jones, who 
also surveyed and platted the same, and named 
it Perryville. The County Court -: ordered that 
the lots be exposed to public sale for the use of 
the county, on the 28th day of October, inst, 
[181 7], and it is further ordered that an ad- 
vertisement describing the place be inserted two 
weeks successively in both the Illinois Herald 
and the Missouri Gazette [now the Missouri Re- 
publican] ; and it is further ordered that money 
be lodged in the hands of the Postmaster at 
Edwardsville, for the payment of the advertis- 
ing of the same.'' 

William M. Crisp, the first Constable ap- 
pointed by the County Court, cried the sale of 
the town lots sold in Perryville, for which he 
was allowed $2. 

The first County Court held at Perryville, 
and being the third held in the county, was on 
the 20th day of July, 1818, and was called a 
'• Justice's Court," three Justices of the county 
acting, viz., Thomas Kirkpatrick. Martin Jones 
and Isaac Price ; Samuel G. Morse was Sheriff, 
and Daniel Converse had again been appointed 
Clerk of said court. The principal business 
transacted by the County and Justice's Courts 
fir several years after the organization of the 
county, was the laying-out the various county 



roads needed by the inhabitants, the hearing 
petitions from those desiring to erect water 
grist-mills on the numerous streams in the then 
large though not populous county. To that 
end the appointment and the summoning for 
each applicant " twelve discreet householders 
of the vicinage." to assess any damage that 
may accrue to the owner or owners of adjoin- 
ing lands by overflow or otherwise, bj the 
erection of a mill dam at the place stated in 
the petition, and to report whether in their 
opinion the health of the neighborhood would 
thereby be endangered, and the height of dam 
that the petitioner may erect, etc., and also 
granting license to those persons desiring to 
keep tavern and to sell spirituous liquors, and 
grant orders to those entitled to pay for vari- 
ous services performed, a large number of 
which were for wolf scalp premiums. Every 
age has its day ; much of the time of courts 
and citizens of fifty or sixty years ago was 
taken up in harmony with the surroundings of 
that time, much of which would be inappropri- 
ate for the present day and generation. 

Before closing the history and events con- 
nected with the County Court whilst being held at 
Perryville, it would be interesting to know that 
the court at its session July 2(1. 1818, empow- 
ered Martin Jones " to let the contract for 
building a jail, provided the bids did not ex- 
ceed $200. The building was to be 12x18 feet 
in the clear, to be built of hewed timber, 
squared one foot at each side, and laid up and 
dovetailed at the corners ; the floors, both up- 
per and under, to be of hewed timber one foot 
square, and laid close together with a partition 
of timber neatly hewed eight inches thick, and 
laid close together ; the roof to be made by 
laying ribs or straight timber in the form of a 
common cabin roof, and clapboards nailed on, 
so as to be perfectly tight and secure from 
storms, the outside door to be made of plank 
two inches thick, doubled and riveted together, 
or nailed with large nails, and hung with two 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



liars of iron, half an inch thick and three inches 
broad, hung on staples at one side, and the 
other the staples through the bar, so as to re- 
ceive a padlock at each end. the steeples to 
he let or drove in through the log and clinched, 
and the wires to be threee-fourths of an inch 
in diameter, and the inside door to be made of 
one inch plank, double, and riveted or nailed, 
and hung with strong iron hinges, with a good 
padlock, with sufficient clasp and staples. 
In 1820. Francis Brown and Eleazer M. 
Townsend were the only acting County Com- 
missioners. James Jones was Clerk of said 
court : the Clerks at this time were appointed 
by the County Courts ; the Justices of the 
1 'eace were appointed by the Governor on rec- 
ommendation from the County Court. 

In May, a second term of the Circuit Court 
was held at Perryville. Only five indictments 
were presented at this court. It does not ap- 
pear that any other business was acted upon. 

The last County Court, and being the eleventh 
held at Perryville, was held October 9, 1820. 
-ome time prior to this date, it was appar- 
nt that a new county seat for Bond County 
must be chosen. 

The county was large, and the settlements 
were being scattered over a large district of 
country — generally in the timber, near some 
water course; always near any spring found, 
no matter how rough the surrounding country 
— as the inhabitants found it necessary to make 
division of the county, necessarily the county 
seat must be removed. The act of the Illinois 
Legislature, at its session February 14, 1821, 
passed the following act : 

Section 1. Be it enacted, etc., Thai all thai tract 
of country lying north of a line beginning' at the 
southwest corner of Township No. 3 north. Range 
No. 1 west, extending cast to the southeast corner of 
Township No. ■ > north, of Range No. 6 cast, of the 
Third Principal Meridian, shall constitute a new 
county, to be called Fayette, the county seat of 
which shall be Vandalia. 

Sec. 3. Beit further enacted. That for the pur- 






pose of fixing a permanent seal of justice for the 
county of Bond, the following persons, to wit: 
James B. Moore. Abraham Eyman, Joshua Oglesby. 
Samuel Whitesides and John Howard be, and they 
arc hereby appointed Commissioners, which said 
Commissioners, or a majority of them, being duly 
sworn before some Judge or Justice of the Peace of 
this State, to faithfully take into view the conven- 
ience of the people, the situation of the settlement-, 
with an eye to future population, the eligibility of 
the place, and the preservation of the boundaries ol 
counties, the limits of which have been heretofore 
established, shall meet on the first Monday of April 
next, or at such other lime thereafter as they may 
agree upon, at the house of Thomas White, in said 
county, and proceed to examine and determine on 
the place for the permanent seat of justice, and des 
ignate the same; Provided. That the proprietor, or 
proprietors of the land shall give to the county, for 
the purpose of erecting county buildings, a quantity 
of land, not less than tweutyMtcre^to be laid out in 
lot, and sold for that purpose. Orshouldthe propri- 
etor, or proprietors, prefer paying the donation in 
money, in lieu of land, then and in that case the 
Commissioners are authorized to receive (lie bond of 
the proprietor, or proprietors, with good and sum 
eient security, for such same as in their opinion will 
he sufficient to defray the expense of the public build- 
ings of the county, the same to be paid in three equal 
semi annual installments. And should the proprie 
tor, or proprietors, refuse or neglect to make the do- 
nation aforesaid, then and in that case it shall be 
flic duty of the Commissioners to fix on some other 
place for the seat of justice, as convenient as may 
lie to the inhabitants of said county, which place so 
fixed and determined upon, the said Commissioners 
shall certify under their hands anil seals, and return 
the same to the next Commissioners' Court in the 
county aforesaid, which court shall cause an entry 
thereof to be made in their book of record, which 
place so designated shall be the permanent seat of 
justice for Bond County. 

And until the public buildings shall be erected, the 
courts shall be held at Greenville, in said county 
And it shall lie the furtherduty of said Commission 
ers, or a majority of them, within three days after 
they shall have established the seat of justice of 
Bond County, to repair to Perryville. in tin' said 
county of Fayette and proceed to appraise and as 
certain the damages sustained by the proprietor, or 
proprietors, of lots in said town in consequence i 
the removal ot the scat of justice therefrom, and 



7<; 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



shall certify the araout to the County Commission- 
ers' Court of Fayette and Bond Counties. Provided, 
however. That the Commissioners, before they pro- 
ceed to ascertain the said damages, shall be sworn 
before some Judge or Justice of the Peace of either 
of said counties, faithfully and to the best of their 
judgment, to ascertain the damage as aforesaid; and 
when the damages assessed as aforesaid shall have 
been certified as aforesaid, the said County Commis- 
sioners nf the said counties respectively, shall allow 
and direct the same to lie paid out of the County 
Treasuries in proportion to the number of taxable 
inhabitants of cadi county. 

The compensation allowed said Commission- 
ers for the time necessarily employed in fixing 
the county seat, and assessing the damages 
heretofore referred to. were to be paid $2 per 
day out of the treasury of Bond County, by 
order of the Commissioners' Court. The said 
court in Bond, Fayette and Edwards Counties 
were authorized and required to levy a tax, not 
exceeding one-half per centum per annum, on 
all taxable property within their respective 
counties, to pay the damages which may be ad- 
judged by the removal of the county seats of 
Bond and Edwards Counties, which shall con- 
tinue until a sufficient sum shall be raised to 
pay all the damages which shall be allowed by 
said removals. 

In accordance with the act just recited, the 
first Commissioners' Court for Bond County was 
held in Greenville, April 1G. 1821. The Com- 
missioners appointed to locate the county seat 
for Bond County made their report to said 
court, fixing upon twenty acres of land in the 
northeast quarter of Section 10, Township 5 
north, Range 3 west, of Third Principal Merid- 
ian, and near the center of which the said Com- 
missioners fixed a stake for the public square. 
The court made the demand upon Samuel Da- 
vidson, the owner of the land upon which the 
location had been made, as appears by their 
record, to wit : 

Wednesday, 18th April. 1821.— The court met 
cording to adjournment; present. William Rus- 
sell, John Kirkpatrick and Robert McCord, Judges. 



This day a demand was made by the court upon 
George Davidson, for twenty acres of land immedi- 
ately around and contiguous to a stake fixed by the 
Commissioners authorized to locate the seat of justice 
for Bond County, which demand was decline 
words hereafter inserted. It is considered by the 
court that the statute authorizing the location of tin- 
seat of justice required the donation of twenty ■ 
of land to lie in a body, and the court indulging that 
construction of the statute, had made the demand 
above set forth, in consequence thereof. John Kirk- 
patrick, one of the Judges, dissenting in opinion 
from the court with regard to the demand. 

To which Mr. Davidson made the following 
answer : 

"I, George Davidson, in answer to a demand this 
day made upon me by the County Commissioners 
t'nr a quantity of land around the stake equal to 
twenty acres, to be laid off in lots and sold for 
benefit of the county, present to the Honorable 
Court the following for my reply to the above de- 
mand (to wit) that in order fully and entirely to sat- 
isfy the requisitions of an act entitled an act form- 
ing a new county out of the parts of counties the 
mentioned. I duly executed to the Commissioners 
therein named a bond with sufficient securities for 
the gift or grant to the Count}' Commissioners for 
the county of Bond, which said obligation is now on 
the files of the County Commissioners' ( 'ourt for said 
county, of a quantity of land equal to twenty acres, 
the terms and conditions of which said writing ob- 
ligatory I am now perfectly ready and willing to 
fulfill. George Davidson.'' 

April 18. 1821. 

Mr. Benjamin Mills, a lawyer of some o 
and Probate Judge in 1822, etc., acted as at- 
torney for Mr. Davidson. 

An examination of the records and papers 
pertaining to the location, shows that Mr. 
Davidson had previously sold a small portion 
of the land (on the north side) included in the 
twenty acres fixed upon by the said Commis- 
sioners for the county seat of Bond County, to 
one Samuel Whitcomb, and was thereby unable 
to comply with the demand for the donation. 
Two members of the court, Russell and Mc- 
Cord, believing that the donation should be in 
a square around the stake fixed for the center 
of the public square; John Kirkpatrick, the 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



77 



other member, believing that the statute would 
be fully complied with if the land was adjoin- 
ing. The court met again on the 4th of June, 
1821, same Judges as last term. Samuel David- 
son was allowed to withdraw his bond given 
for the twenty acres of land, and substitute for 
the bond given April 18, 1821. a bond for that 
amount of land 

in the form of a square as near 
as may be, of which said square the stake fixed by 
the Commissioners appointed by the last General 
Assembly to locate a permanent seat of justice for 
the county of Bond, shall be the center, by or be- 
fore the first Monday in December next, then this 
obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full 
force. Provided, nevertheless, that this obligation 
shall not be held toobligate the above bound George 
Davidson to make a title to any land at present 
■ omprised within a tract for the conveyance of 
which the said George Davidson lias given his bond 
to Samuel Whitcomb. 

"Witness our hands and seals this oth day of 
June, in the year of our Lord, Eighteen Hundred 
and Twenty-one. 

"Georhe Davidson, [seal.] 
"Samuel, G. Blanchard, [seal] 
"Robert G. White, [seal.] 
"Samuel Whitcomb, [seal.] 

his 
'Daniel X Ferouson. [seal.] 

mark 
"Milo Wood, [seal.] 
"Samuel Houston, [seal.] 
"Witness, Ben.iamin Mills." 

More than two-thirds of a century has elapsed 
since the first white settler made his " clear- 
ing," and built his first log cabin in what was 
for many years called " East Fork," now Green- 
ville Precinct, near the center of which, nest- 
ling on the brow of the highest point of land 
between Terre Haute and St. Louis, sloping 
gently to the south, is situated the beautiful 
city of Greenville. Few are now living who 
can recall the time and the occasion of the set- 
tler, his clearing and his cabin. 

That settler has long since passed from the 
active duties of this life, his cabin is no more 
but his eleariner then commenced, is now wide- 



spread, and truly may it be said of him. " his 
works do follow him." 

And afterward, whilst he lived, though far 
removed from his early home, it has been said 
by those who occasionally met him, that lie 
spoke of Greenville as a fond parent would of 
his absent child to whom he was devotedly at- 
tached. It was to him, as the childhood home 
is to us all. to be recalled with grateful and 
joyous recollections. 

That first cabin built on the primitive style 
of logs, with clapboard roof, weight-poles on 
same to hold them in place, with puncheon 
floor made of split and hewed slabs, the entire 
structure without nails or glass was situated 
on the hillside, between the present residence 
of the family of J. H. Black, in the extreme 
western part of the present town, and the " tan- 
yard," was the first home of George Davidson 
in 1815 or 1816, the first known settler and 
owner of the land upon which Greenville has 
since been built, 

Mr. Davidson's family consisted of himself, 
wife, two sous and two daughters. Mrs. George 
Davidson was regarded as a most estimable 
woman, and an excellent nurse for the sick. 
One of the sons, Samuel Davidson, married 
Miss Violet Enloe, sister of James and Isaac 
Enloe, and died in 1820. He was taken to his 
father's house shortly before his death, that he 
might in his last days have his mother's care 
and sympathy. The widow of Samuel David- 
son married Thomas L. Waddle, County Treas- 
urer, in 1S27. Vance L. Davidson, the other 
son, married Miss Purse, one of the daughters, 
Saliy, was blind, and Caroline, the other daugh- 
ter, married William Blundell. Mrs. Blundell 
now resides in California ; letters have been 
received from her within the past three years, 
in which she speaks with happy recollection of 
her early home and friends at Greenville. Mr. 
George Davidson laid off some of his land in 
Section 10, Town 5 north, Range 3 west, in 
1819, into lots, but by some neglect the plat of 



78 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY, 



the town was not recorded, which occasioned 
much trouble to those who purchased lots in 
the first laid out town. 

Some diversity of opinion exists as to how 
or by whom Greenville was named. The de- 
scendents of Mr. Thomas White (R. O. and 
Sprague White), affirm that when the town was 
first surveyed, the question of name for same 
came up, and the bystanders said " we will 
leave it to Mr. Thomas White for a name, as he 
is the oldest man present," and Mr. White re- 
sponded as he cast his eyes over the green 
woods and prairie around — " everything looks 
so nice and green, we will call it Greenville." 
Rev. Peter Long, who came t<> Greenville in 
1821. and still lives to recount the incidents of 
early life in the county, heard Mr. John Ellis 
(who came here earlier than Mr. Long), say 
that his understanding of the name was. that 
Mr. Thomas White named it in honor of Green- 
ville in North Carolina, a State from which 
Mr. White had recently emigrated. 

Mr. James Enloe. who came to Greenville in 
February. 1818, when he was over fourteen 
years old. and more than a year before the 
town was first laid out. says that Greenville 
was named in honor of Green P. Rice, a Cum- 
berland Presbyterian preacher, who resided here 
at an early day. and kept the first store ever 
kept in the place, and was Clerk of the Com- 
missioners' Court of Bond County from August 
15, 1822, to March 3, 1823. For a number of 
years Mr. Rice lived on the old Stafford prop- 
erty, where Mr. William Morris now resides. 
Be the question or problem of the origin of the 
name as it may be. neither of the gentlemen 
to whom the honor is credited, could they see 
it to-day. would recognize the village then laid 
off in the wilderness, now sixty-three years 
ago. 

George Davidson is recognized as the pioneer 
settler of the land upon which Greenville has 
since been built. His son. Samuel Davidson, 
had the second store in Greenville, on the north- 



west corner of Sixth and South streets ; his 
health failed him. and he sold his stock of 
goods to Elisha Blanchard, and he sold to 
Thomas Long, brother of Rev. Peter Long, who 
kept the store for his brother until he sold to 
Drake & Durley. 

George Davidson " moved up into tow;. 
they termed it. from his residence, at or near 
the west end of Main street, to a lot just south 
of northwest corner of Sixth and Main streets. 
and kept what was then known as a tavern, in 
1819-20. and until September. 1821, when 
Seth Blanchard became his successor, and kept 
and enlarged tavern for many years, who was 
in turn succeeded by David Berry January 1. 
1828, to March 1. 1829, when he moved, and 
Thomas Dakin took the place for many years. 
and was well known by traveling men, who 
made long and tedious journeys on horseback. 
crossing the State, and going to and from St. 
Louis. Mr. Berry removed to the lot just west 
of Birges store (No. 7), where he kept an excel- 
lent hotel, which was headquarters for the St: _ 
stand for a great many years. His table was 
well supplied with the best the county afforded. 

Among the early settlers of Greenville and 
vicinity may be mentioned the Kirkpatricks. 
who came at least as early as 1817. Thomas 
Kirkpatrick lived about one and half miles 
southeast of Greenvile. in the hewed log house 
in which uncle Tommy Brown lived for many 
years afterward and died. He was, as has 
been stated before in this work, a member of 
the first County Court held in the county, at 
Hills Station June 2, 1817, and also a mem- 
ber of Constitutional Convention for Bond 
County in 1818. John Kirkpatrick. a Meth 
ist preacher, lived northeast of Greenville, 
near where Madison Alien now resides a 
half mile north of Almira College. He was 
one of the members of the first Commission- 
ers' Court held at Greenville April 16. 1821. 
His associate members of that court v 
Robert McCord and William Russell. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



;: 



Francis Kirkpatrick, brother of John and 
Thomas, above mentioned, lived about half mile 
northeast of John Kirkpatrick. The Kirk- 
patrick family were Methodists. Capt. Paul 
Beck whilst he held the office of Captain, and 
was duty qualified as such May, 12. 1817, also 
had a little band horse-inill situated some forty 
rods south of the old cemetery, and nearly west 
of the present cheese factory. His mill ground 
wheat and corn. The bolt for the flour was turned 
by hand, as was common for many years at the 
horse-mills in operation throughout the county. 
Asahel Enloe settled in 1818, on the highest 
point in what is now the old cemetery, west of 
Greenville. A short time afterward, Asahel 
Enloe and his son, Ezekiel. lived just southeast 
of the passenger depot at Greenville, about 
eighty rods therefrom — the first about where 
the old Lansing House was situated, and the 
latter (Ezekiel) a few rods north of his father; 
whilst James Enloe's house was on the north 
side of southeast quarter of northeast quarter 
Section 15, Township 5 north, Range 3 west, 
about fifty rods southwest of his father's house. 
He sold the land to Daniel Ferguson a few 
years afterward. Isaac Enloe, brother of James 
and Ezekiel, is at present a resident of the 
county. Ezekiel Enloe died about twenty 
years ago. Mr. A. Enloe and his sons cleared 
off a tract of land near the court house square, 
and planted the same in corn in the year 1819. 
Wyatt Stubblefield entered land east and ad- 
joining Greenville in 1817, and remained on 
same until the time of his death somewhere 
near 1851. He had a horse-mill and a cotton- 
gin in operation many years near his residence. 
Mr. Stubblefield was very generously disposed 
toward those who came from a distance to his 
mills. He had three brothers. John. William 
and Jeremiah, who lived much of their time 
within a few miles of Fairview in Bond County. 
Thomas White and his sons, John B., James. 
Hugh Alexander and Thomas White (tanner) 
came into the count} - about the year 1818, 



Only one, James White, is still living. Sam- 
uel and Eleazur White, sous of John B.White, 
live on the old White homestead. R. O. and 
Sprague White, sons of James White (who is 
also alive), live in Bond County. 

Of the early settlers near Greenville, none 
are more worthy of mention than Mr. George 
Donnell. who moved into the county, from 
North Carolina, about 1819,and after living on 
Shoal Creek, near Bilyew's Mill (northwest quar- 
ter Section 23, Town 5, Range 4). a few years, 
settled on a farm about three miles north of 
Greenville, where he lived many years, until the 
burdens of farm work, the privations of church 
privileges and advanced age admonished him 
that he must retire from the farm. He sold 
his farm, came to Greenville, where he spent 
the last dozen years of his life. He died aboul 
1874. Mr. Donnell was an active man, in not 
only the Presbyterian Church, to which he be- 
longed — an account of which is given in this 
history, under proper headings — but he was a 
co-worker in the cause of religion and temper- 
ance with all denominations. He was also the 
leader in the first Sunday school ever taught in 
the county, and scholars came often eight or 
ten miles to attend. The writer of this article 
heard Mr. L. D. Plant say that, in his lifetime/. 
he was under lasting obligation to Mr. Donnell 
for the Sunday schools he organized and 
taught, as a large part of his education was 
received from those schools. Mr. Donnell dis- 
played more than ordinary wisdom in provid- 
ing homes anil farms for his large family of 
sons. His family consisted of Joseph M., John 
D., William N., Mary J., James M., Thomas S .. 
George W., Henry C. and Emily K. 

His sons worked well when young, and their 
father secured for himself a good farm of good 
proportions, and, as the sons reached that 
period when they would need a farm, he bent 
his energies, with the help of the sons at home 
and the savings of the home farm soon secured 
the needed farm. Commencing at an earh 



80 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



. l:iv. as he did, with the low price of land and 
his good judgment, he was enabled to locate 
his family around him with but little trouble. 
To those who did not want land, he gave 
money and his own notes, as a matter of bus- 
iness. He lived to see the largest part of his 
family settled around him, happy and con- 
tented. 

Samuel 6. Morse was also an early settler. 
He was one of the delegates from Bond County 
to Kaskaskia that made for Illinois the old 
Constitution, adopted August 26, 1818, as has 
been stated before. He was the first Sheriff of 
Bond County, in 1817 and 1818 ; was fond of 
music, and taught singing schools occasion- 
ally. 

The following persons were in the county 
more than fifty years ago, and their faces were 
familiar in the streets of Greenville whilst they 
lived, or were in the county, viz.: 

Daniel Converse, first County Clerk, and half 
owner of water-mill of Converse & Lee, where 
Brown's Mill now stands. 

Samuel Houston, first Deputy Sheriff, and 
member County Court. August, 1826, to April 
111, 1827. 

James B. Rutherford, first hatter in Green- 
ville. 

Samuel Whitcomb owned land in Davidson 
trad before county seat located. 

James B. McCord, a cabinet-maker in Mc- 
Cord settlement. 

Andrew Finley, a good farmer and cooper in 
the northwest part of county ; kept a store in 
1835-36 at his home. 

James Wafer came to the county in 1818 ; 
was anti-slavery ; Presbyterian ; died February 
8. 1 873, aged more than eighty-seven years. 

David White lived in the fort, near the cen- 
ter of Section 6, Town 4, Range 3, southwest of 
Mr. Patrick Byrne's residence, as early as 
1816 — and from David White took the name 
of " White Port," sometimes called Hill's Sta- 
tion or Fort — and at this place the first two 



County Courts were held, before the county 
seat was established at Perryville. And it was 
at this fort Tom Higgins was so terribly 
wounded, and William Burgess surprised and 
cut off from communications by the Indians, 
as they were out for water. Mrs. Pursley, see- 
ing; the danger which surrounded them, seized 
a gun and shot the Indian who was leader in 
the attack, and then succeeded in getting them 
into the fort alive. Tom Higgins lived to re- 
late the adventure and thank his deliverer, for 
more than fifty years, and died near Yandalia 
about 1872. Mr. Burgess lived more than 
forty years afterward, and died at his home, 
near Millersburg, in this county. Benjamin 
Henson was out of the fort on horseback at 
the time, but by good luck he escaped the 
Indian bullet. Mr. White had a little band 
horse-mill to grind for those stopping in the 
fort during the war. This was the first mill in 
the county. Mr. White was a Methodist. 

John Powers, a Methodist preacher, and 
preached at Jones Station, near Andrew 
Green's, in February, 1816, and at White's 
Fort in March of the same year. These were 
his regular preaching places. The company 
who came with the Rev. Powers were his three 
sons, Thomas, Elijah and Samuel, all heads of 
families, Rev. William Hunter, son-in-law of 
John Powers, John Hunter and James Bolds. 

William M. Crisp, first Constable in 1817. 
lived in Locust Fork Precinct. 

Henry Rule, appointed Constable same time 
in "East Shoal." now Greenville Precinct. 

Francis Travis, first Treasurer Bond County. 
July 5, 1819. No record of any Treasurer be- 
fore that date. 

Martin Jones, one of first Judges of County 
Court, member of Legislature, owner of Perry- 
ville. 

James Jones (brother of Martin) appointed 
County Clerk June 6 and October 5, 1820 : 
was Circuit Clerk same time. 

John D. Alexander, Constable in 1821 ; Tax 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



83 



Collector afterward ; now lives near Bethel, 
with his son. 

Elezarum Ripley Wheelock, laid out Ripley; 
named same in honor of his uncle, Gen. Ripley. 

John Powers, a Methodist preacher and one 
of the first County Judges of Bond County ; 
built water-mill, east of Millersburg, in 1818. 
Thomas Powers (son of above), built the water- 
mill near John A. Smith's old residence, in 
Section 25, Town 5, Range 4. 

Francis Brown, member of the County Court 
in 1820. 

Eleazur M. Townsend, member of the County 
Court in 1820; was an Eastern man; his sister 
married Dr. Perrine. 

Green P. Rice, Cumberland Presbyterian 
preacher ; kept first store in Greenville. 

Samuel Hill, near Ripley, was father of 
Anderson Hill. 

Hezekiah Archer, had water grist-mill on 
Shoal Creek, near Brown's present mill. 

John and Hubbard Short, intelligent men. 
John married Robert McCord's daughter. 

Evan Hinton, first wife, sister of Rev. Peter 
Long's mother ; second wife, mother of James 
Bradford. 

David Smith lived about six miles southwest 
of Greenville, near Hill's Station. 

Jonathan Berry, from Tennessee, lived in 
southwest quarter of Section 6, Town 6, Range 3. 

Williamson Plant, Sr., from Tennessee in 
1818 ; lived and died on his farm, one mile 
northwest of Pocahontas. 

Charles Johnson, from Tennessee, settled on 
land now laid out as Pocahontas, in 1817. He 
was a member of the County Court at Perry- 
ville from July 5, 1819, to June 5, 1820. 

Benjamin Johnson, son of the above, brought 
the first drove of cattle to the county ; was an 
energetic, thoughtful man ; was a member of 
the Illinois Legislature, and was generally con- 
sulted in the neighborhood where he lived for 
fifty years. He built Pocahontas Academy, 
and laid out Pocahontas ; his home adjoined 



Pocahontas on the north ; he died April G 
1862. 

John Leeper, Presbyterian, was a member of 
County Court, July 5, 1819, to June 5, 1820. 
also from August 15, 1822, to September 2, 
1823 ; he built a horse grist-mill about four 
miles south of Greenville, near James Mc- 
Adams' old farm. 

Robert Gillespie, one of the Commissioners 
who located county seat, Bond County, at Per- 
ryville. 

James and Andrew, sons of the above, lived 
ten miles west of Greenville ; James having 
trouble with his eyesight from infancy, became 
quite famous for his remarkable memory ; he 
had a clear head, and was often consulted on 
points of law. 

John Laughlin, one of the Commissioners 
who located County seat Bond County, at Per- 
ryville. 

John Whitley, Sr., one of the Commissioners 
who located county seat Bond County, at Perry - 
ville. 

Hugh Kirkpatrick brought Titus, Jack, Bob 
and Haley, respectively ten, six, five and two 
years old, colored children, December 18, 1817, 
and had them registered, agreeable to the act 
of the Illinois Territory of September 17, 1807, 
to serve the said Kirkpatrick, the males until 

they are years of age, and the girl until 

she is . Mr. Kirkpatrick brought two 

colored women and had them indentured by 
" their consent " for a period of ninety-nine 
years — should they not consent to the inden- 
ture, Mr. Kirkpatrick had the privilege, under 
the law, to remove them to a Slave State at any 
time within sixty days. 

William Vollentine, son of Hardy Vollentine, 
an energetic and successful farmer, living twelve 
miles northwest of Greenville ; he died about 
sixteen years ago ; on the 17th day of June, 
1817, he had Silas, a colored boy, registered 
under the law of 1807 ; Silas was registered as 
five years old, but as he had the appearance 

E 



84 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



of being at least five or six years older, he 
probably served longer than otherwise would 
have served, had his age been certainly known ; 
Silas took the name of Register from the fact 
or his being registered, as before stated. The 
sons of William Vollentine, W. P., in his life- 
time, George and James M. Vollentine. have 
furnished many substantial comforts for old 
" uncle Si," as he has been called for the past 
thirty-five years ; Mr. James M. Vollentine, son 
of William, as before said, has cared for the 
wants of Silas almost as his own family. Silas 
was the last survivor of all the ten colored per- 
sons "registered" and "indentured" in the 
count}' so far as known. He was taken sick 
some two weeks before his death, which oc- 
curred on Thursday, June 22, 1882 ; he was 
about seventy-six years old at his death ; he 
was an exemplar}- Christian, had been a mem- 
ber of the Methodist Episcopal Church more 
than forty years. 

Hardy Vollentine (father of William), regis- 
tered a colored girl fourteen years old, on June 
30, 1817, named Tisby. 

Isaac Hill, of Okaw Township, indentured 
his colored man, named Peter, to serve him 
ten years. 

John Hapton, Sr., was a farmer living six 
miles southwest of Greenville. 

John Hapton, Jr., inherited a competency 
from his father, and kept it. He lived many 
years, before moving to Missouri, on the farm 
of W. Barker. 

Wilson Brown was an early settler and good 
citizen, living near White Fort, the fort being a 
few rods south ; he acquired considerable prop- 
erty, which he left, by will, to his children. 

Stringer Potts was neighbor to Hapton, Sr., 
and Wilson Brown. 

Henry Williams, an intelligent farmer for 
manj - years two miles northwest of Pocahon- 
tas, and for several years before his death twelve 
miles southeast of Greenville ; was a member 
of the County Court August 15, 1822 to 1824 ; 



he served in later years in the same ca- 
pacity. 

A. C. MacKay was for considerable part of 
his life in some official capacity ; was Justice 
of the Peace, and was member of the Commis- 
sioners' Court in 1834 and 1835, and also in 
later years held same position. 

James M. Davis, always characterized himself 
as " old settler ;" he was an active Whig ; mem- 
ber of County Court in 1834 and 1835 ; was 
engaged in merchandising in Greenville. 

Thomas M. Davis, brother of above, now liv- 
ing seven miles north of Greenville, was a Cap- 
tain in the civil war, from Bond County ; resides 
on his farm. 

Richard Bentley was a member of the County 
Court in 1835 and 1836 ; was also a member of 
the Legislature at a later period ; many anec- 
dotes were related bearing on his official posi- 
tion. 

Samuel White and Thomas White (brothers). 
Samuel had the first tannery just west of Green- 
ville ; he sold the same to J. Harvey Black) 
who manufactured leather for many years ; he 
kept store in the brick building on the north- 
east corner of Main and Sixth streets, in 1829. 
Mr. White retired to his farm adjoining Green- 
ville on the east, more than forty years ago, 
where he amassed a handsome fortune, aud 
died much respected about twelve years ago ; 
his sons were Edward B , John B. 0., James 
W. Samuel G. and William C. White. 

William and John Russell (brothers). William 
was a member of the County Court from April 
16, 1821. to June 4, 1822 ; John was a mem- 
ber of the County Court from August 7. 1827 
to 1833 ; John Russell was the surveyor who 
laid out Greenville, June, 1821. 

Rev. Peter Long, now living on his old farm 
on southeast quarter of northeast quarter of 
Section 35, Town 6, Range 4, some four miles 
northeast of Old Ripley. He and his brother, 
Thomas, came with their father. James Long, 
a Baptist minister, from Indiana; the family 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



85 



were orginally from Virginia. Peter Long taught 
school soon after coming to the count}', near 
the house of Bonham Harlan (father of Will- 
iam and Abner Harlan), he also clerked in his 
brother, Thomas Long's, store, who had bought 
the stock of goods of Blanchard. on the corner 
of Main and Sixth streets, Greenville. Mr. 
Long did not continue in the business but a few 
months when he sold his goods on hand to Dr. 
J. B. Drake and William Durley, who continued 
the business for a few years, when Dr. Drake 
purchased the interest of Durley and carried 
on the same for more than twenty-five years. 
Rev. Peter Long, now nearly fourscore years 
of age, has been a faithful and consistent Bap- 
tist minister of the Gospel for nearly sixty 
years ; continues to preach within the circuit 
of his near friends once each week, without 
compensation from his hearers ; he has never 
used tobacco in any manner. 

Ransom Gaer, a member of the County Court, 
from August, 1824, to August, 1825. 

Robert W. Denny, a member of the County 
Court from August, 1826, to August, 1832. 

Cyrus Birge kept store on Lot 8, Davidson's 
Addition to Greenville, in 1819 to 1824. 

Ansel Birge boughthis brother's (C\tus) stock 
of goods early in 1825, and kept same stand for 
at least eight years ; he removed afterward to 
his beautiful farm one and a quarter miles south 
of Greenville. He died over twenty years ago. 

Williard Twiss, a brother-in-law of Ansel 
Birge, continued the sale of goods from same 
stand, having purchased the stock of Mr. A. 
Birge. Mr. Twiss was also clerk of the County 
Court in 1831. to March 9, 1836, when he re- 
signed. 

William S. and Thomas W. Smith (brothers) 
had a store, for some years in name of W. S. Smith, 
in 1833, on the corner of Main and Sixth street, 
and after some twenty years of success as part- 
ners they removed to the corner of Main and 
Fourth street, northeast corner, and after en- 
larging to suit their trade carried on a heavv 



business. Mr. W. S. Smith carried on the mer- 
cantile business after the death of his brother 
in 1862, to 1876 ; was County School Treasurer 
for a number of years, and served one term in 
the Legislature of Illinois ; he also was Presi- 
dent of the First National Bank of Greenville 
several years, at present holding the place of 
Director ; he is also one of the Directors in the 
St. Louis, Vandalia & Terra Haute Railroad 
Company. Thomas W. died about twenty years 
ago. 

J. E. Rankin was appointed Clerk of the Coun- 
ty Court, in place of Isaac Murphy, who, by non- 
attendance, the court declared out of office, 
June 1, 1829. Mr. Rankin has filled several 
important trusts during his long residence in 
the county ; he is quietly living on his farm, at 
present, in Pleasant Prairie, at a ripe old age, 
much respected. 

Space cannot be allowed to give further de- 
tailed history individually of " old settlers," 
but we will give a concise list of those whose 
names or faces are familiar to those who have 
lived in the county for the past forty years, 
with occasionally some repetition of previous 
mention : 

Anderson, Ignatius, Beaver Creek. 
Anderson, James, Beaver Creek. 
Allen, Benjamin, large fanner, Beaver Creek. 
Armstrong, Joseph, father of Wesley and Will 

iam. 
Armstrong, Wesley, died in Iowa. 
Armstrong, William, died in Bond County. 
Armstrong, Robert, strong Democrat and Pres- 

byterian, died in Bond County. 
Armstrong, Thomas, died in Missouri. 
Armstrong, Joseph. 
Armstrong, Mid. These four — Robert, Thomas, 

Joseph and Mid., being sons of one man and 

cousins of Wesley and William. 
Alexander, Josiah N. 
Alexander, Jediah F., State Senator ; President 

Vandalia Railroad, Receiver St. L. & S. E. 

Railroad, etc., died in Greenville, in 1876. 



88 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Alexander, E. J. C, State Representative and 
editor. 

Alexander, J. H., farmer. These three — Jediah 
F., E. J. C. and J. H., were brothers. 

Allen, Albert, merchant, Greenville. 

Adams. John and James I., brothers, Zion. 

Alexander, John, early settler in Bond County. 

Alexander, M. H., son of John. 

Allen, Hector. 

Allen, William, Allery, J. M., A. J., Daniel, Jerry 
and George, sons of Hector, and the first four 
Whigs. 

Aduey, William D., peddler. 

Abbott, Thomas J., Hurricane, father of John B., 
Samuel W. and William H. 

Abbott, John. 

Abbott, Samuel W., died in the army, at St. 
Louis, during the war. 

Abbott, William H., cabinet-maker and mer- 
chant, Fairview. 

Abbott, John B., brother of Thomas J. 

Andrews, John, Beaver Creek. 

Austin, Josiah, Okaw. 

Aldemau, Henry, pump-maker. 

Aldeman, William P. and James W., broth- 
ers. 

Austin. William M., Zion. 

Alexander, H. B. and John, brothers, Green- 
ville ; the former a druggist, latter a carpen- 
ter. 

Allen, W. A., physician, Greenville. 

Abell, J. H, North Zion. 

Brown, Tommy, model Christian, near Green- 
ville. 

Berry, David, kept hotel at Greenville and died 
there. 

Berry, James W., David P., George F. and 
Franklin, sons of David, Greenville, the first 
named dying at Greenville. 

Beech, Rufus. 

Bi-yant, Thomas, southwest of Pocahontas. 

Blizzard, 

Blizzard, James and William, sons of above. 

Blizzard, J. J., son of James. 



Blanchard, Samuel G., Elisha, Seth and Lemuel, 
the first three being merchants ; Seth, a hotel- 
keeper ; Lemuel, a farmer. 

Brown, Wilson. 

Brown, Calvin, Marion, Charles, Robert and 
Kerney, all sons of Wilson. 

Bilyew, Joseph, who had a horse-mill south of 
Pocahontas. 

Bilyew, Jesse, Joseph, Isaac S. and John, sons 
of Joseph, the two latter being twins. 

Bilyew, Louis G., son of John. 

Bilyew, W. A. and Finis, sons of Joseph, Sr. 

Balch, Amos P., La Grange. 

Balch, Calvin, son of Amos P. 

Barr, Isaac G., S. N. and W. H, Isaac a farmer, 
La Grange S. N., La Grange ; W. H, a black- 
smith, Fairview. 

Bird, John H., Beaver Creek. 

Birge, Cyrus, Ansel and James, brothers. 

Birge, Cyrus, Edwin and William, sons of 
Ansel. 

Birge, J. H, son of Cyrus, Sr. 

Barlow, J. N, Town 7, Range 4. 

Barlow, W. Carroll, son of J. N. 

Buchanan, Welsheir. 

Buchanan, Othniel, son of Welsheir. 

Buchanan, John, cousin of Othniel. 

Bunch, Lambert. 

Baker, Hiram. 

Booth, James. 

Baldridge, D. C. 

Brown, Simon. 

Brown, Thomas M., W. W. and McCune, sons of 
Simon. 

Brown, Benjamin, William, Matthias and Hen- 
ry, brothers ; the first three farmers ; Benja- 
min, formerby a miller ; Henry, near Old Rip- 
ley. 

Brown, Thomas, southeast quarter of Section 
12, Township G, Range 4. 

Bine, Alexander, merchant, Greenville. 

Baits, Anson, Josiah, Samuel J. and Eliphalet, 
brothers ; the first two were farmers, the last 
two carpenters, as well as Anson. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



87 



Baldwin, Samuel. 

Baldwin, William T., S. F., J. P., John and 
Charles, all sons of Samuel, and farmers. 

Brown, J. M., Zion. 

Brown, J. H. 

Bradford, James, County Treasurer, Clerk Cir- 
cuit and Count}' Courts, and County Judge. 

Badoux, J., Beaver Creek. 

Blankenship. James and John, brothers. 

Bass, Henry and William, brothers ; the first a 
stock-dealer and large farmer, the latter also 
a farmer. 

Barth, Jacob, Okaw. 

Barth. Joseph, Millersburg. 

Bulkley, Samuel B., merchant, 1843, Green- 
ville. 

Barber, Rev. John, Cumberland Presbyterian 
clergyman. 

Badoux, F. E., Beaver Creek. 

Barber, Rev. D. K., Cumberland Presbyterian 
clergyman, son of John. 

Barr, John T., Sr., merchant, Greenville. 

Byrnes, Patrick O., large land owner and farm- 
er, died about ten years ago. 

Barker, Joshua and Jordan, sons of William, 
deceased. 

Barker, Williamson, son of Jordan. 

Briggs, Henry. 

Briggs, Kendall, son of Henry. 

Briggs, Richard, brother of Henry. 

Brookman, Garrett, hatter in Greenville in 
1836. 

Brooks, Dr. T. S., died of suffocation in fire at 
Greenville. 

Brown, W. P., physician. 

Brown, J. M., Mulberry Grove. 

Blaze, William, Beaver Creek. 

Coyle, John and James, brothers. 

Coyle, Jeremiah, son of James. 

Chisenhall, Alexander, Pocahontas. 

Cormack. William. 

Cormack, T. Jeff, son of William. 

Castle, John T., son of J. H. 

Castle, John H. 



Comer, Allen and James, brothers ; the former 
a Methodist, who settled in the county in 
1817. 

Comer, Thomas F., Samuel B. and Johnson 
sons of Allen. 

Coleman, Isaac. 

Case}', Green. 

Cochrane, Henry M. 

Clarage, John. 

Cock, Robert, Constable in 1826. 

Cawvey, Conrad and Martin, brothers. 

Cheesman, William, Mulberry Grove. 

Curlee, J. W., Zion. 

dishing, Roswell, died in Indianapolis. 

Cushing, Charles and Henry, sons of Roswell. 

Callihan, Alexander, Greenville. 

Cole, Rev. A. J., Methodist clergyman, Okaw. 

Coal, C. C, brother of A. J., merchant at Keys- 
port. 

Crosbie, House. 

Corie, Joseph. 

Corie, Joseph T. and Horatio, sons of Joseph. 

Clark, Solomon, son-in-law of Isaac Reed. 

Carson, William and John W., sons of Andrew. 

Carson, Andrew. 

Cruthis, James and John, brothers. 

Cruthis, Vincent, William and Henry, brothers. 

Cruthis, Neely, son of John. 

Clanton, James. 

Clantou, Wesley, Chap., John and Alfred, sons 
of James. 

Camp, Hosea T., was Sheriff and Clerk ; lived 
on home farm of Williamson Plant. 

Clouse, William and John, brothers. 

Colcord, Samuel, William S. and Otis B., 
brothers. 

Carroll, Mac. 

Carroll, Tillman, son of Mae. 

Clark, William. 

Crichfield, Joseph and James, brothers. 

Crichfield, William. 

Causey, James E., blacksmith and farmer, 
northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of 
Section 33, Town 5, Range -4. 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Comeitus, Zachariah, exhorter. 


Dowler, John Q. A., shoemaker (lame). 


Chittenden, M. B., Police Magistrate. 


Dixon, Walton B., Bethel. 


Challis. S. II., Representative in Legislature 


Downing, James, Beaver Creek. 


and merchant at Pocahontas. 


Duckworth, Paden, lived northwest of Poca- 


Combs, J. A., Justice of Peace, Mulberry Grove. 


hontas. 


Crutchley, M. W. and Samuel E., brothers. 


Duckworth, Thomas, son of Paden. 


Coburn, Reuben, Fairview. 


Deuson, Joseph, Constable in 1827. 


Dove, David. 


Dwelly, Alexander, merchant, Beaver Creek. 


Duckworth, Thomas, Okaw. 


Donnell. George. 


Daniels, Eli E., carpenter, Pocahontas. 


Donnell, T. Carson, S. Rankin and John P., 


Dormau, L. D., blacksmith. Bethel. 


sons of George. 


Davis, Joel M. 


Dressor, Rufus, member of Circuit Court sev- 


Durham, Kindrick and Baldy, brothers. 


eral years. 


Durham, Gideon L., son of Bald}'. 


Dressor, Nathaniel, Hiram and Joshua P., sons 


Der, John. 


of Rufus ; Nathaniel is President First Na- 


Der, Fred, son of John, Zion. 


tional Bank of Greenville ; Hiram was mem- 


Dnnsmore, S. L. 


ber of Legislature ; Joshua a farmer. 


Davis, James M., Thomas M. and William, 


Douglas, H. B., son of James, Sunday school 


brothers ; James died at Hillsboro. 


worker. 


Davis, Robert W., son of J. M., died at Hillsboro. 


Douglas, A. B., son of Nathaniel. 


Drake, J. B., physician and merchant at Green- 


Davis, Ira B., died at Bethel. 


ville. 


Dixon, William, died northwest of Greenville. 


Denny , Robert W. 


Dixon, James I. and William A., sons of Will- 


Denny, George, father of Jesse Denny. 


iam ; southwest quarter Section 6, Town 5, 


Denny, Samuel. 


Range 3. 


Denny, James. 


Durley, William and James, brothers ; the 


Denny, John. 


former of firm of Drake & Durley ; the lat- 


Denny, J. S. and A. S., sous of John ; the former 


ter Clerk of County Court in 1831, also 


Treasurer and County Clerk many years. 


Count} - Treasurer. 


Denny, M. V., son of Samuel, Cashier First 


Donnell, George, a Presbyterian and Sunday 


National Bank. 


school worker. 


Denny, Imbert H. 


Donnell. Joseph M., John D., William N., James, 


Denny, J. B. 


Thomas S. and George W., all sons of George 


Drake, William and John, brothers. 


Donnell. 


Denny, Alexander. 


Dale, G., member of Constitutional Convention 


Douglas, Nathaniel and James M., brothers — 


in 1848, County Judge, etc. 


Bethel. 


Dakin, Thomas, hotel keeper at Greenville in 


Diamond, Robert. 


183G, etc. 


Diamond. Samuel. 


Dewy, R. K., Greenville. 


Duncan, Robert. 


Dugger, Alfred. 


Duncan. Elisha, James Riley and Abraham, 


Dugger, James A. 


sons of Robert ; Elisha in Colorado ; James 


Davis, William, Jr., son of Major Davis, south- 


died in Okaw. 


eastquarter of the southeast quarter of Section 


Dulaney, Aaron, Dudleyville. 


22, Town 5, Range 2. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



89 



Davis. Major William, Greenville, died in 
1882. 

Dechenue, Phillibert, southeast quarter of the 
southwest quarter of Section 21, Town 6, 
Range 2. 

Dewy, Nelson, Yankee farmer. 

Dewy, H. C. and Theron,sons of Nelson, south- 
west quarter of the northwest quarter of Sec- 
tion 1 3, Town 4, Range 3. 

Driskill. William, Pleasant Prairie. 

Dixon, Bluford. 

Daggett, Daniel. 

Edwards, William M. and John N., old set- 
tlers. 

Evans. Edward, large land-owner, Zion. 

Etchison, W. H. southeast quarter of Section 
1, Town 6, Range 2. 

Elam. Alexander. 

Elam, Josephus, farmer. 

Elam, Samuel. 

Elam, James N., Sr. 

Elam, F. M.. large farmer. 

Elam. David. 

Elam, Moses. 

Elam, James N., Jr. 

Elam, Edward, blacksmith, Greenville, 1819. 

Elam, Joel, brother of Edward. 

Elmore. Hiram. 

Elmore, Hardin, son of Hiram. 

Elsworth, George, Wesley and Jerry, brothers. 

Eldridge, C. L., Greenville. 

Edwards, Charles. 

Etheridge, Henry. 

Etheridge, N. B. 

Enloe, Asahel, settled at Greenville, 1818. 

Enloe, Ezekiel. 

Enloe, James. 

Enloe, Isaac. 

Etzler, John. 

Etzler, George B.. son of John. 

Ellison. Price. 

Etheridge, Burrell. 

Elligood, Elijah. 



Essenpries, Les, large farmer, north half of 
Section 18, Town 4, Range 4. 

Ellis, Ed., large land-owner. 

Eblin, Samuel. 

Elder, John. 

Ellis, John, old settler. 

Ellis, Noah A. , son of John. 

Ellis, Joel, Hurricane. 

Eyman, Henry. 

Ewing, Thomas, Town 6, Range 3. 

Ewing, John H. , son of Thomas. 

Eakin, James, son of Samuel. 

Eakin, Ichabod and Samuel, brothers and 
farmers near Fairview. 

Fitch, J. W. , physician, Greenville, 1835— 
1849. 

File, Henry, old settler. 

File, Daniel, Moses, Tobias, George, J. Nel- 
son, Jacob and William, sons of Henry. 

File, John N. and Thomas B., sons of Moses ; 
the former southeast quarter of the south- 
west quarter of Section 16, Town 5, Range 4. 

File, Ed B. and E. J., sons of Daniel. 

Fisher, Charles, cabinet-maker, Greenville. 

Fuller, Seth, surveyor and carpenter, Green- 
ville. 

Fuller, H. Lyman, son of Seth, died in Green- 
ville in 1881. 

Fuller, Lucius, hotel -keeper, died in Mulberry 
Grove. 

Floyd, John W. and C. Stewart, brothers; 
former a Methodist, and died in Beaver 
Creek. 

Floyd, George, J., Wesley, John S. and Dr. 
Thomas W., sons of John W.; George, of 
Greenville; J. Wesley, north of Green- 
ville; John S. died on Beaver Creek; 
Thomas W. died at Gillespie, 111. 

Foster, Edwin, carpenter and farmer, dead. 

Foster, Charles, son of Edwin. 

Fenton, William, dead. 

Foster, Elijah, Okaw. 

Ferguson, Daniel, settled at Greenville, 1819. 



!MI 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Ferguson, William, George and Horatio N., 

sons of Daniel. 
Floyd, Jonathan C. — Okaw. 
Finley, Michael — Pleasant Prairie. 
Fouke, Joseph T.,old settler, Greenville. 
Garland, B. F. and John P., brothers; for- 
mer died at Patoka, latter resides at Green- 
ville. 

Gossage, . 

Gwyn, Elisha. died near Elm Point. 
Gwyn, H. B., R. H., Thomas C. and John, 
sons of Elisha; the first two live at Elm 
Point, the last one in Kansas. 
Graff, Daniel and Peter, brothers, Beaver 

Creek. 
Gross, Gustave. northwest quarter of Section 

25, Town 5, Range 3. 
Gill, Francis, early settler, Mulberry Grove. 
Grigg. Daniel, Frederick, Bowlin, Samuel, 
Jesse, J. R., John T. and Richardson — all 
Zion. 
Goodson, John, Spencer M. and Urban, 
brothers; first-named died south Green- 
ville; last one died west Beaver Creek. 
Goodson, Preston. 
Goodson, James M. and J. K., sons of Urban; 

James M., Beaver Creek. 
Goodson, S. Monroe and John, sons of John. 
Gaskins, E., County Judge and County Clerk 

many years. 
Gaskins, E. V., son of E. Gaskins. 
Gall, J., southeast quarter of southwest quar- 
ter of Section 32, Town 4. Range 4. 
Greenwood, John, cabinet-maker and farmer. 
Greenwood, John K. and A. W. , sons of John. 
Goddard, John and Alexander. 
Gillespie, Samuel. 
Gillespie, Robert, settled in Bond County in 

1816. 
Gillespie, James Ma, Andrew, Robert and 

John. 
Gillispie, Nathaniel. 
Gilley, James C. 



Grotts, Joseph and George F., brothers, 
Okaw. 

Glaze, William — Beaver Creek. 

Gum, Henry, Isaac J., Riley and J. Finley, 
brothers; first named died northwest 
Greenville, the second died at Okaw. 

Gill, W. R. and James, brothers; former a. 
farmer, latter a stage-driver. 

George, Aaron — Hurricane. 

Gardenhire, J. M. — Mulberry Grove. 

Gilliland, S. M— Beaver Creek. 

Gower, A. V. S. M.— Dudley vi lie. 

Gaston, John. 

Green, William, Andrew, George and Royal. 

Gracy, Joseph and William. 

Gilmore, John, Treasurer and County Judge. 

Gilmore, J. Mc. son of John. 

Goodin, Hezekiah and John, brothers, Okaw. 

Gullick, A. J., Sheriff Bond County eight 
years. 

Harkey, William, Town 7, Range 3. 

Helms, Thomas, second County Clerk. 

Herrin, Moses, Section 8, Town 4, Range 4. 

Huffstedler, John, Town 5, Range 4. 

Hill. Nathan, colored, originally slave of 
Samuel Hill. 

Henry, John, farmer, Beaver Creek, died in 
Texas. 

Henry, Andrew G., William D., Samuel T. 
and P. C, sons of John; the first, a mem- 
ber of Legislature and County Judge, 
Greenville; second, a farmer; the third, a 
farmer and stock-dealer; the last, a money- 
lender, Terre Haute. 

Hug, Martin, farmer, Town 4, Range 4. 

Howell, Joseph, farmer and Presbyterian, 

Town 5, Range 3. 

Howell, J. S., son of Joseph, Presbyterian 
minister, Elm Point. 

Haisley, Alexander, Greenville. 

Hastings, Sutton, early settler- Zion. 

Hastings, Joseph W. and William, sons of 
Sutton. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



91 



Harper, Robert, farmer, Zion. 

Harper, James R., Isaac and Samuel W.,sons 
of Robert; James died in Montgomery 
County; Isaac lives near Fairview, and 
Samuel near Zion. 

Hawks, Solomon and Drewry — Okaw. 

Hundley, James — Hurricane. 

Hays, W. T., southwest Mulberry Grove. 

Harper, Peter, south half Section 10, Town 
5, Range 2. 

Harper, J., Madison, northwest quarter Sec- 
tion 22, Town 5, Range 2. 

Hameteaux, Louis, southwest quarter Section 
33, Town 4, Range 3. 

Harrison. Daniel — north Bethel. 

Hill, Anthony — north Elm Point, 

Hill, D. W. and Joseph S., sons of Anthony, 
north Elm Point. 

Huffman, B., southwest part of county. 

Hubbard, David, Peter and Philip, brothers; 
the first. Mulberry Grove; second, east 
Greenville; last, west Greenville. 

Hubbard, T. S., L. B. and George W., Bons 
of Peter; first two, east Greenville. 

Hubbard, Simeon W. and John, sons of 
Philip ; Simeon, west Greenville; John, 
killed in Texas during the war. 

Henry, Matthew, old settler. 

Henry. Johnson, son of Matthew. 

Hull, William T. and S. V. R, brothers; for- 
mer died in St. Louis during the war; lat- 
ter moved to Kansas. 

Harned, William, died on return from Cali- 
fornia. 

Harned, John W. and D. B., sons of Will- 
iam. 

Hawley, Milton, lawyer and farmer. 

Hawley, R. M., Delavan B. and Luther C, 
sons of Milton; R. M., in Northern Illinois; 
Delavan. southeast of Greenville; Luther, 
attorney, in California. 
Hittle, William and Jacob, brothers, Town 
7, Range 2. 



Harris, U. B. and W. C, brothers; former 
member of County Court; latter a Cumber- 
land Presbyterian minister. 

Hill, George W., merchant, Greenville. 

Hurley, Isaac. 

Hoffman, Nicholas. 

Harlan, Bonum — Beaver Creek. 

Harlan, William and Abner, sons of Bonum. 

Hull, Benjamin, farmer, Beaver Creek. 

Hudson, R. H. , farmer, Mulberry Grove. 

Hunter, David. 

Hunter, William, Methodist clergyman. 

Hunter, Samuel, John P., William M., Mar- 
shall, W. Mc, Samuel J., James B. and 
D. N. 

Hunter, John B., Thomas N. and T. J., sons 
of David; the first, a large stock-dealer; 
the last, gone West. 

Hutchinson, Z. K, of singing family. 

Hazier, V. W.— Okaw. 

Hartley, S. P.— Okaw. 

Holsberry, John — Okaw. 

Holcomb, P. J. — Greenville. 

Holcomb, S. B. and P. E., sons of P. J. 

Hunt, Charles W. 

Hagan, John T. 

Hutchinson, W. T., Cumberland Presbyterian 
minister. 

Hoiles, Charles, banker and merchant, Green- 
ville. 

Harmon, Anderson and William. 

Hampton, John M. — Pleasant Prairie. 

Holbrook, Amos, farmer and old settler. 

Holbrook, Jacob, Methodist and great hunter. 

Hilliard, J. C, farmer. 

Harris, James H. 

Harris, James W., Charles D., Patrick H. 
and Jacob, sons of James H ; James, Pat- 
rick and Jacob, farmers; Charles D., lum- 
ber-dealer. 

Hynes, Thomas W., Presbyterian minister, 
Old Ripley, and Superintendent of Public 
Instruction. 



92 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Hynes, A. W., merchant, Greenville, brother 

of Thomas W. 
Hess, H. W., northwest quarter of northeast 

quarter of Section 32, Town 4, Range 4. 
Hugg, S., southwest quarter of the southeast 

quarter of Section 32, Town 4, Range 4. 
Isley, Stanford — Zion. 
Ives, Myron, farmer. 
Ives, Charles, son of Myron. 
Jackson, Larkin, James W., John C. and 

George W., brothers. 
Jones, James, second County Clerk, 1819. 
Johnston, James. 

Jandt, H. G. , merchant, Old Ripley. 
Jandt, H. A., merchant, son of H. G. 
Jett, John, had large family, died in La 

Grange. 
Jett, Thomas, Francis and Humphrey, all 

died north Zion. 
Jett, Thomas A. 
Jett, William A. and Stephen J., sons of 

Thomas. 
Jett, J. Madison, north part of Section 4, 

Town 6, Range 3. 
Jett, T. Jefferson. 
Jett, Jacob H., died in La Grange. 
Jett, B. F. and James W., live in La Grange. 
Jett, John H. and Gabriel, sons of Francis; 

the former on northeast quarter of Section 

31, Town 5, Range 2. 
Jett, Stark N. and Thos N., sons of Humphrey. 
Jackson, John. 
Jackson, James T. , Jonathan, W. H. and 

Freling, sons of John. 
Joy, Samuel N. and Sylvester. 
Jones, Nathaniel C. and Daniel D., brothers 

and twins; the former died in the army. 
Jarrard, Abram, runs saw-mill. 
Jewett, Benjamin, near Fairview. 
Johnson, Israel, died north Bethel. 
Jennings, B., died east Greenville. 
Jennings, W. E. and C. W., brothers; former 

died north Bethel. 



Jay, J. A., blacksmith. 

Jones, William, north Bethel. 

Johnson, Charles, member County Court, 
1820, etc. 

Johnson, Benjamin, member Legislature, 
Pocahontas. 

Johnson, Charles, died in Bond County. 

Johnson, Duncan, died at Vandalia. 

Johnson, J. P., banker. Highland, Kan. 

Johnson, Hugh, killed at the South. 

Johnson, James, died in California. 

Kershner, Isaac, died in Bond County. 

Kirkpatrick, William. 

Koonce, Nicholas, died in Bond County. 

Koonce, George, Jacob, Christ H. and Joseph 
L. , sons of Nicholas; George moved to 
Harper's Ferry; Jacob, Sheriff of Bond 
County, 1852, etc. ; Joseph a farmer. 

Kelsoe, Alexander, Clerk Circuit Court. 

Kizer, Henry, Okaw. 

Kimbro, Frederick, Zion. 

Kirkham. Jesse, Pocahontas. 

Kirkland, John. 

King, John B., Okaw. 

Kesner, Jacob, William C. and Josiah, Okaw. 

Kesterson, Robert, Okaw. 

Kuykendall, Simon, runs saw-mill and farm. 

Kingsbury, Ira, farmer and surveyor. 

Kingsbury, A. N., Daviess, A. N. and John, 
sons of Ira; all attorneys, and the latter, 
A. N., Judge of Montgomery County Court. 

Kerr, Lewis, Zion. 

Keys, Thomas, merchant, Keysport. 

Long, James, Baptist clergyman; came in 
1822. 

Long, Peter, Baptist clergyman, son of 
James. 

Long, Thomas, son of James, merchant and 
had a wool factory. 

Long, James, Lemuel B., Isham V. and 
Peter, sons of Peter; James, a farmer, and 
Lemuel a merchant at Old Ripley. 

Lindley, Jacob, an old settler. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



93 



Lindley, Elisha, Town 7, Range 4. 

Lindley, Urias, Town 4, Range 3. 

Lindley. JDseph, an old settler. 

Libbey, W. P., near Elm Point. 

Libbey, W. A., S. H. and John, sons of W. P. 

Little, James. 

Leaverton, Noah, Methodist minister, died 
in Kansas. 

Leaverton, John A. and Wilson, sons of 
Noah; former died in Sangamon County, 
a large land owner; the latter lives at 

Chatham, 111., a farmer. 

Lyttaker, Moses, a brave soldier. 

Lynch, Henry. 

Lynch, Henry F., son of Henry. 

Lookinbill, J. H. 

Lucas, William, old settler. 

Lister, W. W. 

Laws, Fielding, and John A , brothers, north 
of La Grange. 

Laws. Thomas A., James and Newman, sons 
of Fielding. 

Lawson, Joseph, Beaver Creek. 

Lampkin, P. W., merchant and farmer, Poca- 
hontas. 

Lampkin, Benjamin and George, sons of P. 
W. ; former died at Pocahontas. 

Lansing, J. D., died at Greenville. 

Littlefield, L. P., gone West. 

Lester, J. L. D. 

Lovet, John G., farmer. 

Lovet, John C, son of John G. 

Mains, James, died near Greenville. 

Moore, Albert, died near Beaver Creek. 

Mills, George S., son of David. 

Miles, David, son of William. 

Miles, William, Methodist minister, Poca- 
hontas. 

Miles, James, Elijah and Morris, brothers. 

Miles, Irving, Jonathan and William, sons 
of Elijah; the first named died at home, 
Beaver Creek. 

Moss, W. W., died near Woburn. 



Moss, Lemuel S. and James H, sons of W. 
W. 

Malone, John M., harnessmaker, Greenville. 

Moore, Emery, farmer, Okaw. 

Meritt, Isaac N. , farmer, Okaw. 

Murray, Jordan, farmer, Okaw. 

Moore, Joseph, farmer, Beaver Creek. 

Moore, William, farmer, son of Joseph. 

Metcalf, Balaam, died on Beaver Creek. 

Metcalf, William and Henry H. sons of Ba- 
laam, and farmers. 

Mason, Haywood, — Gillham Creek. 

Maytield, William and James, brothers, Gill- 
ham Creek. 

Miller, George W., Mayor of Greenville. 

Mattinly, J., eye doctor, Mulberry Grove. 

Miller, Rufus, —Mulberry Grove. 

Maxey, Joel, Fairview. 

Mathews, Elisha, north of Fairview. 

Mathews, J. J., John F. and E. P., sons of 
Elisha; J. J. moved to Fayette. 

Moore, Daniel and Philip, brothers, early 
settlers; the former a brother-in-law of 
Ned Elam. 

McClung, James, north of Greenville. 

Mills, Jonathan and Thomas J., sons of Rev. 
William Mills; former died in Texas. 

Mills, W. J., harness-dealer, Greenville. 

May, John, — north of Zion. 

Maxey, William O. 

Merry, Prettyman, David, Robert, Samuel, 
James C, Andrew B. and David W., 
brothers, sons of David; Robert keeps 
livery-stable; Samuel southeast quarter of 
the southeast quarter of Section 33, Town 
6, Range 3; James, northeast quarter Sec- 
tion 20, Town 6, Range 3; Andrew, north- 
east quarter Section 31, Town 6, Range 3; 
David, northwest quarter Section 32, Town 
6, Range 3. 

McAdow, S. N. and David K., brothers; for- 
mer County Judge and member of County 
Court. 



94 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



McAdow, John and William, sons of S. N. 
Miller, Lewis, near Ripley. 
Miller, Charles, founder of Millersburg. 
May, Morris, southeast part of Pleasant 

Prairie. 
May, Robert, Isaac J. and M. V., sons of 

Morris. 
McCulley, Clinton and Clement, brothers. 
McLean, James K., Captain in late war. 
McManus, B. P. 

McVey, Nathan, died at Greenville. 
McVey, Peter, Cleaveland and Thomas, sons 

of Nathan. 
McAdoo, D. C, farmer, near Fairview. 
McCollum, William, south of Pocahontas. 
McCollum, Aaron, A. W. and Henry, sons of 

William; A. W. lives in Pocahontas. 
McShawt, William, southwest quarter Section 

5, Town 5, Range 3. 
McKenzie, George, — Bethel. 
McDonald, F. R.,— Okaw. 
McLearen, John, — Okaw. 
McCaslin, J. O. and Hugh, brothers; former 

Beaver Creek. 
McCaslin, William G. and Williamson, sons 

of J. O. 
McAdams, Jesse, Robert, James, Sloss and 

John, brothers; first three farmers; Sloss for 

many years Sheriff; John member of 

County Court. 
McAdams. Jesse and Hiram, sons of Jesse. 

McAdams, Henry, son of James. 
McLenny, John H. 
McAlilly, James J. 
Murphy, John and Thomas. 
Morey, Hiram, — Mulberry Grove. 
Mayo, Benjamin F., Henry and Charles, 

brothers; Benjamin north of Fairview. 
Myatt, Alexander, member County Court. 
Myatt, Wesley, Alexander B. , W. C. and J. 

B. , sons of Alexander; Wesley, killed; 

Alexander and W. C. farmers, Okaw. 
McNeill, Noilly, father of Abe and William. 



McNeill, Abe, large land owner. 

McNeill, William, farmer. 

Mills, Andrew G., old settler, Beaver Creek. 

Mills, Milton, son of A. G. 

Mackay, A. C, member of County Court sev- 
eral years. 

Mackay, Robert, son of A. C. ; also member 
of County Court. 

McCaslin, JohnM., Sheriff, 1879-80. 

McCaslin, Younger, early settler. 

McCracken, James, Nathan and John P., 
brothers; the two first near Bethel; John 
southeast quarter of southeast quarter Sec- 
tion 30, Town 7, Range 4. 

McCord, John H., Robert E. and James S., 
Bethel. 

McCord, Elihu R., hotel-keeper, Greenville. 

Morgan, Thomas, Circuit Clerk, 1833, etc. 

Morgan, W. T., farmer. 

McFarland, Robert, died near Bethel. 

McFarland, C. C. and John V., farmers, sons 
of Robert. 

McCulley, James I. and Joseph, brothers, the 
former gone to Kansas; the latter a farmer. 

McCracken, Eli, Methodist minister. 

McCurley, Abraham. 

McCurley, Hartwell, son of Abraham. 

McCann, William, and Joseph, brothers, 
Pleasant Prairie. 

Murray, William B., member County Court. 
Pocahontas. 

McReynolds, John. 

Margrave, John, farmer and Presbyterian. 

Margrave, Felix, Treasurer of Bond County. 

Mears, Edward A. 

Moody, Richard. 

Moody, Andrew, son of Richard. 

McLain, John A., and J. Thomas, brothers. 

McLain, N. W., C. D., Thomas R., A. H. and 
Milton J., sons of John A.; N W. a ma- 
chinist; C. D. and Thomas, farmers; A. 
H. and Milton, in Kansas. 

Myres, Joseph, — Beaver Creek. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



95 



McAdams, William. 

McAdams, Samuel G., son of "William, Cap 
tain Company E, Twenty-second Regiment 
Illinois Volunteer Infantry, a brave soldier, 
killed while searching for deserters. 

McAdams, J. M., son of Captain S. G., 
Treasurer of the county. 

McCaslin, W. R., northwest quarter Section 
29, Town 7, Range 3. 

Montgomery, John. 

Newhall, Horatio, Greenville, 1824. 

Nowlin, David, Circuit Clerk in 1825. 

Nowlin, John. 

Neathery, G. W., northeast quarter Section 
35, and northwest quarter Section 30, Town 
7. Range 2. 

Nesbit, Robert, north of Fairview. 

Nance, Berick, north of Old Ripley. 

Neidhammer, John, east of Old Ripley. 

Neifardt, Jacob, north of Old Ripley. 

Near, Alfred, — Greenville. 

Nicholson, J. F. and George W., brothers; 
J. F., Pleasant Prairie. 

Orrusby, Martin P., Presbyterian clergyman. 

Oates, W. S. , east Greenville. 

Overstreet, William — Kansas. 

Pritchett, Thomas J. — Fairview. 

Potts, Stringer, Amos, Daniel; F. G. , north- 
west quarter Section 7, Town 4, Range 3; 
Henry and Robert 

Potter, J. M.— Elm Point. 

Pender, Andrew. 

Pugh, William H. , east Fairview. 

Price, Jonathan, Isaac H. , Oliver and 
Thomas. 

Powell, Benjamin E. and W. C, brothers. 

Page. R. G. and Jesse, Town 7, Range 4. 

Pierson, Aaron, Town 4, Range 2. 

Purveyear, James A., Town 4, Range 3. 

Petti John, Reuben, an early Justice of Peace. 

Perry, Joseph, east Elm Point. 

Paine, Elisha and William, brothers, Town 
5, Range 4. 



Paine, William R., Thomas and John B., 
sons of Elisha. 

Plant, Williamson, settled in county 1818, 
died 183-. 

Plant, John, William, Robert, Williamson, 
Lorenzo D. and James, sons of William- 
son; John died in 1805; William, at New 
Orleans; Robert died July 4, 1852; Will- 
iamson died of cholera May 12, 1833; Lo- 
renzo died May 21, 1801; James died 
March 22, 1850. 

Plant, L. B., son of Robert. 

Plant, Lemuel H. and Williamson, sons of 
L. D. ; former died on the way to Califor- 
nia in 1852; latter, Sheriff of Bond County 
many years, and Secretary of Vandalia 
Railroad Company. 

Plant, W. L., James D. and George F., sons 
of James; W. L., Town 5, Range 4; George, 
Town 5, Range 3. 

Pool, John, settled afterward in Putnam 
County. 

Perkins, John, north Fairview. 

Perkins, Ephraim, Henry, William C. and 
Thomas, sons of John; Ephraim — Fair- 
view; William and Thomas, Town 5, 
Range 2. 

Prater, Brice and Samuel, brothers, north 
Zion; Brice, Town 6, Range 2. 

Prater, John W., son of Samuel. 

Plant, John W. and Charles B.,sons of John; 
John, Section 1, Town 5, Range 4; Charles, 
Section 33, Town 5, Range 4. 

Page, William — Mulberry Grove. 

Pigg, Elijah — Mulberry Grove. 

Polhtt, John W., drowned in Shoal Creek, 
near Pocahontas. 

Peterson, Alexander, northwest part of Old 
Ripley. 

Plog, Charles F. , died near Old Ripley. 

Plog, John and Peter, sons of Charles F. 

Phelps, S. A., attorney, Greenville. 



96 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY 



Paisley, William and Robert, brothers; for- 
mer died at Elm Point; latter died of hy- 
drophobia. 

Paisley, Robert G. and "William F., sons of 
William; Robert, southeast quarter of 
northeast quarter Section — , Town 6, 
Range 3; William, on old homestead. 

Parr, Samuel, had a water grist-mill, east 
Shoal Creek. 

Pruitt, Solomon, early settler. 

Pursley, William. 

Peter, W. 

Pruitt, Fields, came to county in 1816. 

Ridgeway, William, northwest Pocahontas. 

Ridgeway, J. S. and George W., sons of 
William. 

Rosebrough, James. 

Rutherford, James B., first hatter in Green- 
ville. 

Redfearn, James and Ira. 

Ross, J. Milton, Andrew B., Thomas and 
William B., brothers. 

Rea, Andrew. 

Rhea, Henry D., County Commissioner and 
farmer. 

Reavis, Isham, early settler. 

Reavis, Hiram, Isham T. and Ewing, sons of 
Isham. 

Redding, Andrew J. — Mulberry Grove. 

Redding, William M. and James, sons of 
Andrew. 

Robinson, James W. and Isaac, sons of Alex- 
ander. 

Robinson, Alexander. 

Reneh, Joseph. 

Rench, David, William, John and Peter, sons 
of Joseph. 

Reeves, John, farmer, north Fairview. 

Reeves, W. B. , George W. and James, sons 
of John. 

Rushton, Gaius. 

Riley, Barnabas, farmer, near Mulberry 
Grove. 



Riley, James, John and William, sons of 
Barnabas ; James, a farmer ; John, mem- 
ber of County Court. 

Robinson, Gideon, married in Bond County, 
1817. 

Robinson, Lawson H., Sheriff in 1828-29. 

Rodgers, James, farmer. 

Rodgers, William M. and F. M., sons of 
James. 

Reams, William, farmer, Locust Fork, a great 
hunter. 

Stout, Samuel and Thomas, brothers ; the lat- 
ter a miller and hotel-keeper. 

Stout, H. E., son of Thomas. 

Senn, John, merchant, Pocahontas. 

Stewart, Robert, Presbyterian minister, and 
W. M., brothers. 

Stroube, Jacob, north Zion. 

Snow, James and W T illiam, north Zion. 

Seybert, Henry, west Greenville. 

Seybert, Morgan, H. V., Jacob and W. B., 
sons of Henry; first two, west Greenville; 
Jacob, north Pocahontas. 

Sugg, Aquila, Josiah, William and Lemuel, 
sons of Noah; the first a Methodist clergy- 
man, west Greenville; the second, a farmer 
near Pocahontas. 

Sugg, Howell and Noah, sons of William. 

Sugg, Noah A., Thomas W., W. Fletcher 
and Foushe T., sons of Aquila; Noah, a 
Methodist clergyman; Foushe, noted for a 
great memory. 

Sugg, William T. and Josiah F., sons of Jo- 
siah; latter was Treasurer of Bond County 
1853-56, and Sheriff 1856-58. 

Sheirod, Joel. 

Stoneburner, Samuel and William, brothers, 
near Dudleyville. 

Stone, James. 

Sellers, Benjamin E., Captain in Mexican 
war. 

Sellers, L. J., Sr.— Mulberry Grove. 

Spradling, James — Mulberry Grove. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



<J7 



Spradling, James H., son of James. 


Taylor, John H. 


Sturgis, Dr. D. B., laid out New Hamburg. 


Thompson, James W. and Williamson, broth- 


Scott, John, south New Hamburg. 


ers. 


Segraves, Bennett, south Mulberry Grove. 


Thacker, Abner, Martin, W. H., Allen and 


Segraves, L. J., son of Bennett. 


Elijah. 


Stubblefield, Wyatt, William, Jeremiah and 


Tabor, D. N., removed to Litchfield. 


John, brothers and early settlers; "Wyatt — 


Tabor, S. M. , Captain in the late war. 


east Greenville. 


Travis, John E. 


Stubblefield, John M., W. H. and A. H, sons 


Toler, Reuben. 


of Wyatt; John, at Stubblefield Station; 


Ulmer. Martin, father of George, Casper and 


others, Greenville. 


Martin, Jr. 


Skelton, John, early settler. 


Vanlaningham, Zimri. 


Scott, Moses, southeast Fairview. 


Van Grundy, John. 


Spratt, William. 


Vaughn, Newman, John, David C, William, 


Sargeant, James W. — Okaw. 


Samuel, Sr., and Samuel, Jr., member 


Sturgenhofeeker, G. L., peddler. 


County Court. 


Snodgrass, Isaac, member of County Court. 


Vollentine, Hardy. 


Stallard, Samuel D. — Pocahontas. 


Volleutine, William, son of Hardy. 


Stallard, Rawley E., son of Samuel D. 


Vollentine', J. 0., W. P., George W., Hardy, 


Shields, Thomas — Okaw. 


James M., Benjamin, John J. and C. C, 


Savage, Richard. 


sons of William; J. 0., killed by falling of 


Scott, A. E., carpenter and cabinet-maker. 


a house; W. P., deceased; George, in 


Stephens, Cyrus H. and Alvan, brothers. 


Christian County; Hardy, in Northern Ill- 


Smith, John and James, brothers; the former 


inois; remaining four Methodists. 


a nurseryman. 


Vest, James, Mulberry Grove. 


Smith, J. J., son of James. 


Vest, Thomas L. and J. E. , sons of James. 


Smith, C. J., T. N. and James M., sons of J. J. 


Vawter, Presley G. 


Schneider, Theodore, member of County 


Watson, Matthew, carpenter and farmer. 


Court; south half Section 19, Town 5. 


Wood, Charles, large farmer, Town 7, Range 3. 


Smith, Elisha, on Hurricane. 


Wood, Eli, Ezra and John, sons of Charles, 


Smith, C. T., George M., Sowoll and Merit, 


and farmers. 


sons of Elisha. 


Webster, F. M., George, A. J. and Levi. 


Sharp, Henry. 


Willey, John F., Wilson W. and James W., 


Sharp, Milton, Treasurer of Bond County 


brothers. 


1877-80. 


Watson, Fielding. 


Smith, Peter and Andrew. 


Widger, James D. 


Stoker, Joseph. 


Williams, Henry, member of County Court 


Sherwood, David. 


several years. 


Tatum, Richard. 


Williams, Henry M. 


Teasly, Jonathan. 


Walker, Andrew, north Zion. 


Teasly, William, son of Jonathan. 


Wightman, Charles. 


Tedrick. Alvin — Hurricane. 


Washburn, John A., Nevils, Lemuel, Martin 


Tate, Charles F. 


and J. S. 



98 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



White, Thomas, Commissioner to locate 
Greenville as county seat; they met at his 
house in 1821. 

White, Hugh T., John B., James, Thomas 
(a tanner), and Alexander, sons of Thomas, 
and Presbyterians. 

White, Robert G. and William, brothers; 
north Greenville; Presbyterians. 

White, S. D., killed by falling of Shoal 
Creek bridge. 

Wood, Frederick, shoemaker, Greenville. 

Weathers, Wilson, west Zion. 

Walker, Richard, north Zion. 

Wright, J. J., north Zion. 

Wollard, James B., Methodist minister. 

White, J. C. Stephen and Ambrose B. 

Wilmarth, Joel, son of William. 

Watson, Isaac and Joab, brothers. 

White, Richard, a Methodist. 

White, Wesley and Thomas M., sons of Rich- 
ard; former a farmer; latter a Methodist 
minister. 

Williams, Henry, son of Henry. 

Wishon, Ralph, — Okaw. 

Williamson, William. 

Whitsides, John, Town 7, Range 4. 

Wilson, Samuel, south Greenville. 

West, Alexander, cabinet-maker. 

Williford, James. 

Williford, Robert, J. H. and Willis, sons of 
James; Robert, west Old Ripley; Willis, 
east Old Ripley. 

Williford, James M. —Greenville. 



White, Samuel, east Greenville. 
White, Ed B., Samuel G., John B. O., 
James W. and W. C, sons of Samuel; E. 
B., — Greenville; Samuel, — -Beaver Creek; 
James died in the army; W. C, east 
Greenville. 

White, Thomas, brother of Samuel. 

White, John, — Beaver Creek, northwest quar- 
ter Section 36, Town 4, Range 3. 

Wafer, William, Thomas, Sr., and James, 
brothers; latter came to the county in 1819. 

Wafer, Thomas, James E, and John F., 
sons of James; Thomas a miller and far- 
mer; James, a machinist; John, Sheriff of 
Bond County 1869-70, now Sheriff in 
Kansas. 

Wait. Silas Lee and William S.. brothers; 
latter a large farmer, died July 17, 1865. 

Wait, William S., Richard S., Henry W. 
and Foster F., brothers; William, — Poca- 
hontas; Richard in California; Henry, east 
of Greenville; Foster, southwest Green- 
ville. 

Watson, Hugh, had a horse-mill, Zion. 

Watson, A. W. and W. P*, sons of Hugh. 

Wait, Stephen, farmer. 

White, Thomas D., north Greenville. 

Wait, Lee, son of S. L. 

Young, Tapley, a Methodist. 

Young, William M., Methodist minister. 

There may be omissions in the foregoing list, 
but it is as nearly correct as can now be 
given. 



-——___ __ 




■#m 



§ 

M 




^rp^^z^^O^ 



LIBRARY 

OF 1HE 

UNIVEKSlTr wflLUNu.; 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



101 



( 



CHAPTER X.* 

GREENVILLE — THE SALE OF LOTS — BUILDING A COURT HOUSE — PUBLIC BUILDINGS OF THE 

COUNTY— TAVERNS AND THEIR CHANGES— UNCLE JIMMY'S GROCERY— COUNTY OFFICERS 

— THE WATER SUPPLY — WAR HISTORY OF GREENVILLE AND BOND COUNTY — 

THE DIFFERENT REGIMENTS IN WHICH THEY WERE REPRESENTED — 

THE 1I1LLIARD RIFLES, ETC., ETC. 



AS has been referred to heretofore, Green- 
ville was surveyed and platted by John 
Russell, in June, 1S21. The court ordered 
June 5, 1821, " that thirty lots be sold in 
the town of Greenville on the first Monday in 
July, on a credit of six, twelve and eighteen 
months, payable in three equal installments, 
for the benefit of the county;" and it was 
further " ordered that the Clerk procure the 
insertion of the foregoing advertisement in 
the Edwardsville Spectator and the Illinois 
Intelligencer, for three weeks successively." 
The proceeds of the sale of the lots to he ap- 
plied toward erecting public buildings for the 
county. 

At a court held September 4, 1821, it was 
" ordered that the court house of Bond County 
be let to the lowest bidder on Wednesday, 
the 19th inst., and that the Clerk give due 
notice by advertisement of the same." The 
court met on the 19th of September, 1821. 
When the bids were opened, it was found 
that Robert G. White was the successful bid- 
der, for the sum of $2,135, and he imme- 
diately entered into bond for the fulfillment 
of the contract, with Andrew Moody, Samuel 
Houston and ElishaBlanchard his securities, 
payment of same to be notes of purchasers of 
town lots. At a court held December 3, 
1821, the Commissioners delivered notes 
from sale of lots to R. G. White on his con- 

* By Williamson Plant. 



tract to the amount of $1,338. The lots sold 
for average price of $44.60 per lot, provided 
the thirty lots were sold; if a less number 
sold, the average would be larger. Other 
lots were sold at various prices at private 
sale. By agreement between the court and 
the contractor, some change was made in the 
number of lights to be put in the windows; 
those below, twenty- four lights instead of 
twenty, and those above, twenty in place of 
sixteen, as per contract, and only to have two 
windows in each end to correspond with those 
on the sides in size. The glass in the win- 
dows were 8x10 inches, and to have but one 
chimney in place of two, as first designed, and 
that one in the end opposite the Judge's seat. 
At this time, and for several years after, 
there was not a stove in the county, the old- 
fashioned fireplace, that which yet brings to 
our minds the comforts of other days, was in 
use in every house, many of them being from 
four to six feet in length, and when a good 
fire was made in the same, resembled the 
burning of a log heap, such as are made when 
clearing timber fields for the plow. This 
house, made of a poor quality of bricks, was 
badly damaged by storms, wind and rain be- 
fore it was completed. In fact, it can hardly 
be said to have ever been completed. Com- 
menced in 1821, it was so nearly completed 
on June 4, 1822, that the court paid to Rob- 



102 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



ert G. White, the contractor, nearly the bal- 
ance due. 

At this time the center of business of Green- 
ville was at the crossing of Main and Sixth 
streets, in the west end of the present town. 
And the bad boy, of which there is sufficient 
evidence, was fully represented in this new 
town, would, for pastime and comfort, only 
understood by himself, gravitate, when his 
convenience was suited, near that public in- 
stitution of justice, and, with his sling in 
hand, under cover of the surrounding bushes, 
would watch the falling stone drop on 
those coveted 8x10 lights. The building, 
only half built at first, greatly perplexed the 
court to get and keep it in repair for the few 
years that it stood. They made at least two 
orders appointing agents at different times, 
to prosecute those who broke the glass, 
smashed in the sash, and defaced the house 
generally. Nothing appears on the record to 
show that any guilty parties were brought to 
justice. In the building of the next court 
house, which was commenced in 1829, and 
not completed until about 1835 or 1836, the 
court had the benefit of the experience of the 
court who superintended the building of the 
first one. On consultation, they thought best 
to try a frame building this time. Instead 
of the letting of the whole contract to one 
man, they let it out in parts. Thomas Stout 
furnished most of the lumber, others hewed 
the timbers, some furnished the shingles. 
Hosea T. Camp engaged to haul a large part 
of the lumber from Stout's Mill, and James 
McGahey contracted to " lay the floor, parti- 
tion the upper story into four rooms, run up 
stairs, make ■ Judge's seat and bar agreeable 
to the draft, previously season the plank in a 
suitable manner, furnish and put in such 
joists as may be necessary, make suitable 
steps of hewn timber at the outside doors, 
and have the same completed on or before 



the 1st day of September next (this was 
April 6, 1829), for which he is to be paid 
such sums of money as may be ascertained 
and fixed by three disinterested workmen, 
chosen by the County Commissioners, to be 
paid on or before the first Monday of Decem- 
ber next." The house was several years 
under contract before it was called com- 
pleted, as a sale of window sash, with glass, 
paints and oils, was made at public sale on 
the 25th day of June, 1836. 

This building served the people until 
1853, when a contract was made in April, 
1853, with Mr. Daniel W. Norris, to build 
the present court house of brick, at a contract 
price of $10,000. Some improvements have 
been added, making the total cost about §12,- 
000. Those who witnessed its erection can 
hardly realize that it is now more than a quar- 
ter of a century since it was completed. 
Could the court have fully comprehended the 
growth and prosperity of Bond County at 
that time, they would have built more with 
reference to fifty than twenty- seven years. 
The present building is 40x60 feet, two sto- 
ries high, with two jury rooms, which are used 
outside of court for the State's Attorney and 
Surveyor, two rooms for the use of the County 
Clerk, Circuit Clerk's office, with vault for 
records, Sheriffs office, and one for the County 
Judge, and for the holding of County Courts. 

Let us go back again in this history for a 
moment. Although the village of Greenville 
contained but few inhabitants, and the county 
was sparsely settled from the time of its or- 
ganization of the latter, until twenty years 
had rolled by, yet we find that the number of 
" taverns " licensed should have only been 
called for if the necessity for such could be 
admitted in a county containing many times 
the number of people in Bond County. 

The tavern licenses were more designed for 
the sale of liquors than for the accommoda- 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



103 



tion of " man and beast;'' but, with the grant- 
ing of such license, a lists of charges that the 
landlord may make were attached to each 
permit. We give the rates made by the 
County Court, March term, 1827. These 
rates varied slightly from year to year: 

For breakfast, dinner or supper 25 cents. 

Bedding, per night 12* cents. 

Feed for horse 12 J cents. 

Stable and forage, per night 50 cents. 

Whisky peach or apple brandy, per 

half pint 12| cents. 

Run, French brandy or wine, per half 

pint 25 cents. 

Gin, per half pint 18f cents. 

Whilst but few can be found who can go 
back to the first days of the county, when we 
step forward fifteen or twenty years we find 
many who, if fifty-five years old or more, and 
here at that time, cannot forget the excite- 
ment generally that attended " court week," 
" election" and " muster" days. The men of 
muscle were the heroes of that day. Each 
militia company had one particular man who 
could whip any man in any other similar com- 
pany. Each neighborhood had within its 
borders a man who could and would, on any 
suitable occasion, whip any man in some other 
neighborhood; and last, though by no means 
least, one political party had each a particu- 
lar man who could and would, on any pretext, 
whip any other man or particular man be- 
longing to that other party. 

The writer of this article, when a boy, say 
in 1835-36, so well understood these matters, 
that on public occasions referred to, or on 
Saturdays, he would station himself upon the 
fence across the street in good season opposite 
"Uncle Jimmy Clark's" "grocery," as such 
places were then called, about 1 or 2 o'clock 
in the afternoon, and await the milling fun that 
was sure to come, especially if Chap Clan- 
ton, Cob Coffee, Allery Allen, the Adamses, 
Washburnes, Will Coyle, Henry Harmon, the 



Albertses, Batemans or Dowds, or many others 
that might be named, were patronizing Uncle 
Jimmy. When all got ripe, the first intima- 
tion of what was certain to follow would be 
first, a quick, rumbling sound, " like a small 
earthquake in close proximity," then out they 
would come, piling over each other as they 
came out of the door, with their coats flying 
thick and fast in the air, only likened by 
coming out of bees from their hives to swarm. 
As soon as a ring could be formed, they raised 
or lowered their names with their friends, 
as the tide of battle turned. If any " foul" 
was called, then the fight became general, 
and, under such circumstances, the high fence 
upon which the writer was perched as a wit- 
ness, would have to be abandoned in haste to 
some more distant place of safety. In later 
years, in 1844, in the high political excite- 
ment, when Clay and Polk were candidates, 
the Democrats thought they had a man, Mr. 
James Adams, who could whip any Whig in 
the county. Of course, the Whigs could not 
stand such a challenge, or, perhaps, the chal- 
lenge came from the Whigs to the Democrats. 
With many, this was the biggest issue in the 
campaign, when and where would it take 
place? The mere mention of the subject in 
any crowd was enough to start excitement. 
On a hot, sultry day, when a great gathering 
of people was in the city of Greenville, these 
two giants were in the crowd with their 
friends. They seemed slow to meet each 
other from the fact that both kept reasonably 
clear of that which both knew might put them 
out of condition; but suddenly they came to 
gether, in the cross of Main and Second 
streets (between Justice's store and the south- 
east corner of the public square), they struck 
(as a bystander said), like " horses kicking." 
They were both jiowerful men. When the 
fight was over, the animosity was gone, and 
thev became better friends. Of all this long: 



104 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



list of men whose names are mentioned, most 
of them were as honorable men as the com- 
munity afforded, and only acted in harmony 
with their surroundings of the times in which 
they lived. Those who have lived on to the 
present time find no satisfaction in allowing" 
a stronger man than they to whip him, or for 
themselves to find some man not so powerful 
as themselves, and turn upon him and force 
him to cry " enough." 

Liquor was common at almost every house, 
and a store without it would be as hard to 
find as the average retail store in Greenville 
at the present day without sugar and coffee. 
One thing may be said in its favor then, it 
was pure, and not the poisonous compound 
made at present under the name of liquor. 

As we have said, Daniel Converse was the 
first County Clerk for Bond County in 1817- 
18; Thomas Helms in 1819-20; James Jones, 
June 6, 1820; Jonathan H. Pugh, March 5, 
1822; Green P. Rice, August 15, 1822; 
James M. Johnson, March 23, 1823; Asahel 
Enloe, March, 1825; Joseph M. Nelson, April 
10, 1827; Isaac Murphy, March 2, 1829; James 
E. Rankin, June 1, 1829; James Durley, 
June 30, 1830; Willard Twiss, December 
31, 1831; James Bradford, March 9, 1836; 
Enrico Gaskins, September 7, 1846; J. S. 
Denny, November, 1865; Robert L. Mudd, 
November, 1874, the present County Clerk. 

James Jones was the first Circuit Clerk, 
in 1819. His successor was James M. John- 
son, March 2, 1821, Clerk at the first court 
hel 1 in Greenville, on that date; next, David 
Nowlin, September 19, 1825; Thomas Mor- 
gan, June, 1833; James Bradford, October, 
1836; Alexander Kelsoe, 1848; John B. 
Reid, November, 1860; J. A. Cooper, No- 
vember, 1868; George S. Phelps, September, 
1872; T. P. Morey, November, 1876, the 
present incumbent. 

First Sheriff, Samuel G. Morse, 1817-18; 



second, Samuel Houston, 1819 and 1824; 
Hosea T. Camp, 1824 to 1827; Lawson H. 
Robinson, 1828-29; Sloss McAdams, 1830 to 
1846; W. K. Mastin, 1846, and part of 1848; 
S. H. Crocker, balance of 1848; Richard 
Bentley, 1848 and 1850; Samuel H. Crocker, 
1850, and 1852; Jacob Koonce. 1852, and 
1854; Williamson Plant, 1854, and 1856; 
Josiah F. Sugg, 1856, and 1858; Samuel H. 
Crocker, 1858, and 1860; William Watkins, 
1860, and 1862; Williamson Plant, 1862, 
and 1864; James L. Buchanan, 1864, and 
1866: John Fisher, 1866, and 1868; John 
F. Wafer, 1868, and 1870; Williamson Plant, 
1870, and 1372; Andrew J. Gullick, 1872 to 
1878; John M. McCasland, 1878, and 1880; 
Andrew J. Gullick, 18S0, and 1882. 

Mr. Francis Travis was first County Treas- 
urer, appointed June 5, 1819; next, James 
Galloway, June 6, 1820; James Durley, June 
5, 1821; Felix Margrave, March 2, 1824; 
Leonard Goss, March 11, 1825; Thomas S. 
Waddle, April 10, 1827 j John Gilmore, 
March 5, 1828; James Bradford, March 9, 
1831; Peter Hubbard, March. 1836. 

Peter Larrabe, Treasurer, 1845; John M. 
Smith, November, 1851; J. F. Sugg, Novem- 
ber, 1853 to 1854; J. F. Alexander, 1854 to 
1856; J. K. McLean, 1856 to 1858, J. S. 
Denny, 1858 to 1864; Milton Mills, 1864 to 
1866; Cyrus Birge, 1866 to 1870; R. L. 
Mudd, 1870 to 1876; M. J. Sharp, 1876 to 
1880; J. M. McAdams, 1880 to 1882. 

One of the first difficulties met by the peo- 
ple of Greenville was the supply of water 
needed. The first settlers, Mr. Samuel Dav- 
idson, Capt. Paul Beck, Asahel Enloe, with 
their families, settled near the spring on the 
west of the present town to obviate any 
trouble for water. But those settling up in 
the town carried all the water they used from 
the springs, except for washing clothes, and 
for that purpose went to Wash Lake, just 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



105 



west of town; but they found it too much la- 
bor for so small return. About March. 1822, 
the subject of public wells was discussed. 
Some attempts had been made, and failed to 
find water within a reasonable depth. The 
depth necessary to find water was found to 
be from ninety to one hundred feet. Three 
wells were finally dug and curbed with wood 
puncheon or plank, the part under water was 
mulberry, "charred by fire" before using, to 
add, as was supposed, to its lasting qualities. 
The first well was dug in the middle of the 
street, where Main and Sixth streets cross 
each other, in the west end of town. The 
next one was in the middle of the street, where 
Third and College streets cross, the other at 
the crossing of Second and Main streets. The 
mode of drawing water was with the old- 
fashioned windlass, a brake to hold on the 
same while the bucket was sent down. There 
was a frame around each well above the 
ground some three feet, which made it dan- 
gerous for the many boys of ten or twelve 
years that often had to draw from them. In 
1836, whilst a son of Mr. Hildreth, some 
twelve or fourteen years old, was looking over 
the curb into the well, when his feet slipped 
out, and down he went head first. It was 
never known whether he ever drew breath 
after striking the bottom. An accident also 
occurred at the well in the middle of the 
street, near the southeast corner of the pub- 
lic square. A Mr. William Gray, an experi- 
enced well-digger, was employed to clean out 
the well. Two men were at the windlass. 
He was warned by some bystanders of their 
fears of the safety of the rope, but he fear- 
lessly stepped into the bucket, holding to the 
rope or chain above, and had only made a 
start when the upper part of the rope or 
chain broke, and he was precipitated to the 
bottom, a distance of over ninety feet. He 
received internal injuries, beside dislocation 



of the ankle. He lived about twenty-four 
hours, and died in great pain. In time, these 
wells gave evidence of caving in, and were 
filled up to prevent accidents. A few months 
ago, the filling that had been put in this 
well more than twenty -five years before sunk, 
leaving a hole the size of the well, eight or 
ten feet deep. 

Cisterns have since become plentiful, and 
the water is so much preferred to the limestone 
water contained in the former wells, that no 
complaint is made on the question of water, 
except in excessive dry seasons, or when by 
some cause the cistern is out of order. Some of 
the best natural springs immediately north 
and west of the town are found, and the day 
is not far distant when they will be utilized 
by water-works in furnishing the town with 
a bountiful supply of water. 

The St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute 
Railroad is supplied with water from two of 
these strong springs. Nearly all trains take 
water at Greenville, the water giving the 
least trouble to their boilers of any other 
along the line of the road. The railroad 
company have made some very substantial 
engine houses, tanks and dams to secure the 
water. 

In the year 182T>. the Legislature appro- 
priated $200 to aid in constructing a bridge 
across Shoal Creek, on the St. Louis wagon 
road. Before this bridge was built, Benja- 
min Henson had a primitive boat at his house, 
a short distance below the present bridge, that 
was used in cases of high water. It has been 
stated in a preceding chapter in this book, 
that Mr. Henson was thought to have been 
the first white settler in Bond County, having 
been here in 1812 or 1813, and for a consid- 
erable time his house was a large, hollow 
sycamore tree, not far from the cabin he after- 
ward built and lived in until his death, about 
1848. When he first came into the county 



10G 



HISTORY OF BOXD COUNTY. 



the Indians were in some parts of the then 
large county. 

At a session of the County Court held June 
3, 1822, an order was made for the erection 
of a " stray pen in Greenville, forty feet 
square, to be made of posts and railing, each 
panel six feet high above the surface of the 
ground, and the posts let into the ground two 
feet and a half." In this " stray pen," the 
estray stock of the county was brought during 
the sessions of the Circuit Courts, and, per- 
haps, muster and other public occasions in 
Greenville, and any one having lost stock 
would go to the estray pen on these days and 
examine for his missing animal. 

When the county was first formed, not 
many years had elapsed since the straggle of 
the Revolution, and the war of 1812 and 1814 
had only just preceded the tirst settlement. 

It would be but natural for a people who 
had so signally in the tirst and latter struggle 
achieved and maintained their independence, 
to call together their comrades in arms, with 
their neighbors and friends at stated periods, 
and relight those battles, and thereby infuse 
into the rising generations, who are always 
the hope of a country, the spirit of their 
fathers. Actuated by a spirit of patriotism, 
the people held the election of military offi- 
cers, their drills and muster, as their highest 
privileges. The first election of militaiy 
officers was held as other elections for county 
officers, but in later years the mode adopted 
was for the candidates for whatever office 
they desired to elect, to step out of the crowd 
assembled and call out, " All who will join 

Company fall into line.'' This often 

led to much excitement, but was always kept 
within the bounds of good humor. Paul 
Beck was made a Captain as early as May 
12, 1817, and Samuel Davidson, Ensign, 
same date. John Laugh lin was elected Cap- 
tain June 14, 1817, and John Hopton, Lieu- 



tenant, and John Whitley, Jr., Ensign, same 
date. The troubles with the Indians in some 
of the northern counties, and anticipated 
trouble within the borders of the county, fol- 
lowed soon after by the Black Hawk war of 
1831-32, kept the military companies through- 
out the county well organized until about 
1840. Since that time it declined rapidly, 
until a Captain, Major or a Colonel was only 
a thing of the past, until revived by the ac- 
tive military movements in this country dur- 
ing the late civil war.* This civil war in a 
land so peculiarly blessed, between a people 
so enlightned aud refined, this fratricidal war, 
now as we review it when it is passed, having 
seen its commencement, its continuarce and its 
close, seems only as a dream of the past; yet it 
was to many hundred thousands a fatal dream. 

Bond County was in the front in furnishing 
her full quota of brave and patriotic soldiers 
to defend and uphold the flag and honor of 
our whole country. They went promptly at 
every call for volunteers, carrying with them 
the prayers of sympathizing friends and rela- 
tives, many of whom never returned, some 
returning with lost or shattered limbs, or a 
diseased body, as can be attested by the large 
pension roll in our Bond County. 

The volunteer companies, with their com- 
missioned officers for Bond County, may be 
mentioned as follows: 

Company D, Twenty-second Regiment Illinois Vol- 
unteers.— Captains, James A. Hubbard, John H. 
Phillips ; First Lieutenants, E. J. C. Alexander, Lem- 
uel Adams, John H. Phillips, Enoch J. File ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenants, Lemuel Adams, Edward Stearns. 
J. H. Phillips, Cyrus M. Galloway, Enoch J. File, 
Joel B. Paisley. 

Company E, Twenty-second Regiment Illinois Vol- 
unteers.— Captains, Samuel G. McAdams, George 
Gibson ; First Lieutenants, James M. Hamilton, 
George Gibson, J. M. McAdams ; Second Lieuten- 
ants, George Gibson, J. M. McAdams. 

* For convenience the war hiBtory of Bond County is given in con 
nection with the city of Greenville.— Ed. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



107 



Company C, Twenty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volun- 
teers. — Captains, George M. Keener, James A. Dug- 
ger, Owen W. Walls, Isaac N. Enloe ; First Lieu- 
tenants, Thomas L. Vest, J. A. Dugger, Owen W. 
Walls, James Manes, John McCallister ; Second 
Lieutenants, J. A. Dugger, E. B. Wise. 

Company E, One Hundred and Thirtieth Regiment 
Illinois Volunteers. — Captains, U. B. Harris, W. C. 
Harned ; First Lieutenants, William Harlan, Will- 
iam C. Harned, Charles W. Johnson ; Second Lieu- 
tenants, W. C. Harned, Charles W. Johnson. 

Company F, One Hundred and Thirtieth Regiment 
lllnois Volunteers. — Captains, William M. Colby, 
John D. Dounell, F. D. Phillips ; First Lieutenants, 
John D. Donnell, Charles Ives, Ficlden D. Phillips, 
John Murdock ; Second Lieutenants, Charles Ives, 
F. D. Phillips. 

Company F, One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Regi- 
ment Illinois Volunteers. — Captain, Samuel G. Mc- 
Adams ; First Lieutenant, James A. Hubbard ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Edward Stearns. 

Company F, One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Regi- 
ment, enlisted June 6, 1864, and discharged Septem- 
ber 28, 1864 ; served one hundred days ; only one 
man died during the time, viz.: James McCann, at 
Ironton, Mo., July 25, 1864. 

The Twenty-second Infantry Illinois Volun- 
teers was organized at Belleville, 111., May 
11, 1861, and was mustered into service for 
three years at Caseyville, 111., June 25, 1861, 
by Capt. T. G. Pitcher, U. S. A. July 11, 
they moved to Bird's Point, Mo. November 
7, seven companies engaged in battle at Bel- 
mont, three being left to guard the trans- 
ports; loss, 144 killed and missing. At Stone 
Biver, December 31, 1862, and January 1, 
1863, they lost 199 men out of 342 going in- 
to action. At Chickamauga, September 19 
and 20, they lost 135 officers and men out of 
an aggregate of less than 300 men. The 
severity of the battle was such on the 19th 
they lost ninety-six men in less than ten 
minutes. They were engaged in many hard- 
f ought battles during the three years of their 
service, including the storming of Mission 
Bidge, Besaca, battle of Farmington, Chick- 
amauga, etc. Among the many brave officers 
and men who had their names inscribed on 



the roll of honor in Company E, may be 
mentioned that of our lamented Capt. Samuel 
G. McAdams. 

The history of the Twenty-sixth Infantry 
of Volunteers would be almost a history of 
the war. They were mustered into service 
at Camp Butler, 111., August 31, 1861, and, 
after serving four years, were discharged or 
mustered out of service at Louisville, Ky., 
July 20, 1865. The company was paid off 
at Springfield, 111., July 28, 1865. The 
commanding General ordered the placing on 
their banners " New Madrid," " Island No. 
10,'' "Farmington," "Siege of Corinth," 
"Iuka," "Holly Springs," "Vicksburg," 
" Mission Bidge, " " Kenesaw, " " Ezra 
Church," " Atlanta," " Savannah," " Colum- 
bia," etc., etc., as recognition of the many 
hard-fought battles in which they had been 
engraved. The One Hundred and Thirtieth 
Begiment of Infantry Illinois Volunteers was 
especially noted for bravery, of which Com- 
panies E and F, from Bond County, whilst 
in the service, discharged their duty nobly. 
They were engaged in the battles at Port 
Gibson, siege of Vicksburg, siege at Jackson, 
Miss., battle at Sabine Cross Boads, or Mans- 
field, where Col. J. B. Beid was seriously 
wounded, siege of Blakely, Spanish Fort, 
Ala., and Mobile. Maj. J. B. Beid was pro- 
moted to that of Lieutenant Colonel in this 
regiment for meritorious services. Dr. David 
Wilkins was First Assistant Surgeon, and 
Bev. W. D. H. Johnson, of Greenville, Chap- 
lain of the regiment. 

The Third Cavalry was organized at Camp 
Butler by Col. E. A. Can-, in August, 1861. 
The regiment moved to St. Louis September 
25; October 1, moved up the Missouri Biver 
to Jefferson City, aud thence marched to 
Warsaw, where they arrived October 11; on 
the 23d, marched toward Springfield, Me. , in 
Col. Carr's Brigade, Brig. Gen. Ashboth'o 



108 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Division. On November 2, Gen. Hunter took 
command of the army. November 13, the First 
and Second Battalions moved with the army on 
Rolla, Mo. The Third Battalion, Maj. Riig- 
gles commanding, remained with Sigel's Di- 
vision, and was the last to leave Springfield. 

On the 18th of February, 1862, the Third 
Battalion participated in a calvary charge, 
routing the enemy. The regiment moved 
rapidly from point to point as ordered and 
the interest of the service required, and were 
engaged in many skirmishes and battles dur- 
ing the three years they were in the service. 
Their active duty was at Pea Ridge, Hunts- 
ville, Grenada, Vicksburg, Chickasaw Bayou, 
Port Gibson, Tupelo, Okolona and Gun 
Town, Miss. September 27, 1864, six com- 
panies crossed the Tennessee at Clifton, and 
confronted Hood's army, fell back skirmish- 
ing, and took part in the battles of Lawrence- 
burg, Spring Hill, Campbellsville and Frank- 
lin. They were also engaged in an expedi- 
tion after the Indians in 1865. Capts. Thomas 
M. Davis, J. Iv. McLean and S. M. Tabor, all be- 
longing to Bond County, made for themselves a 
noble record. The regiment was mustered out 
of service at Springfield, 111., October 13, 1865. 
During the time of service, a large number 
of the regiment re-enlisted as veterans. 

Hilliard Rifles. — The company was first or- 
ganized with a view of entering the State 
militia, entitled the National Guards of Illi- 
nois. Charles H. Beatty was one of the most 
active in securing the names that formed the 
first organization, effected December 30,1878. 
At a meeting held at the county court house 
the above date, and presided over by Lieut. 
Col. James T. Cooper, of Alton, 111., the fol- 
lowing list of officers was elected: Captain, 
P. E. Holcomb. a retired Major of the regu- 
lar army; First Lieutenant, S. M. Inglis; 
Second Lieutenant, Charles H. Beatty. The 
number enrolled in this first company was 



seventy-one. Maj. Holcomb, being a retired 
army officer, consequently skilled in milli- 
tary science, the company, under his com- 
mand, became one of the best drilled com- 
panies in Southern Illinois, and enjoyed gen- 
eral prosperity. In December, 1878, it re- 
ceived the title of Company G, Fifteenth 
Battalion, I. N. G., and was assigned to the 
Second Brigade, under command of Brig. 
Gen. J. N. Reece, and in September, 1879, 
entered encampment at Camp Cullom, near 
Springfield. The company at this time had 
been recruited to the number of forty -five 
members, with three commissioned officers. 
The Hilliard Rifles, as a social organization, 
by this time had gained some local promi- 
nence. In November, 18S0, they leased and 
established themselves in their commodious 
and well-equipped armory (hall), in which, 
from time to time, under their auspicies, the 
public was treated to first-class lectures, 
musical and other entertainments, festivals, 
etc. In the fall of 1881, they again went 
into encampment near Bloomington, 111., 
where they made a reputation and an excel- 
lent record in target practice, Lieut. Elam 
representing his battalion, and doing excel- 
lent work. February 18, 1882, the company 
was re-organized by a new election of officers, 
the term of service of the first elected having 
expired. Col. George C. McCord, of Gov. 
Cullom's staff, and a resident of Greenville, 
presided at this meeting, and Lieut. S. M. 
Inglis was elected Captain, C. F. Thraner, 
First Lieutenant, John A. Elam, Second 
Lieutenant. About this time the State 
militia was also re-organized into ten regi- 
ments, and the Hilliard Rifles, Company G, 
Fifteenth Battalion, was assigned to the 
Eighth Infantry as Company F. It has been 
recruited to fifty-three men, with three com- 
missioned officers, and in all essential respects, 
is enjoying prosperity. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



109 



CHAPTER XI.* 

GREENVILLE — EDUCATIONAL HISTORY— COMMON SCHOOLS — ALMIRA COLLEGE — RELIGIOUS - 

ORGANIZATION OF CHURCHES— THE PRESBYTERIANS AND METHODISTS— THE ERECTION 

OF CHURCH BUILDINGS — SECRET AND BENEVOLENT ORDERS — MASONS 

AND ODD FELLOWS— OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, ETC., ETC. 

Greenville District employed Samuel M. Inglis, 



'The Church and State, that long had held 
Unholy intercourse, now divorced 
She who, on the breast of civil power," etc., 



etc. 



THE education of children at an early day, 
all over the country, was much the same, 
and many were to be found who would recognize 
the necessity of any special effort to educate 
the females. They were quite unanimous forty 
years ago in believing that, at most, they might 
learn to read and write. Arithmetic and gram- 
mar were thought to be quite useless. But 
however much the parents may have desired 
to give their children a good education at that 
time, they would have found it often very dif- 
ficult to find teachers with the requisite qualifi- 
cations to teach the required branches to enable 
them to draw the small school-fund distributed 
annually by the State. 

The first schools taught at Greenville, so far 
as can now be known, was by Mr. Enloe, a Mr. 
Beeman and White. Miss Elizabeth Norton 
(afterward Mrs. Foster) taught a school in 1835, 
in a cabin on part of Lot 22, Greenville, nearly 
in front of Mrs. Larrabee's present residence. 
A number of teachers were at different times 
employed with varying success, until under the 
free-school system the present brick school 
building was erected about 1859. The first 
teachers in the new building as principals, 
have been Messrs. Cunningham, Clark, Hynes, 
Taylor, Mudd, Dean and Inglis. 

August 8, 1868, the School Directors of 

» By Williamson Plant. 



at a salary of $100 per month, and who has 
also been employed from time to time since, 
and at the end of the fifth year as Principal of 
the school he had the pleasure of having seven 
graduates. The sixth year, 1874, seven more 
graduated; in 1875, nine graduated; in 1876, 
eight; in 1877, eleven; in 1878, six; in 1879, 
nine; in 1880, fourteen; in 1881, eleven; in 
1882, twelve, making a total graduation of 
ninety-four for the ten years after the school 
was brought up to the present graded system. 
The same Principal is employed for the com- 
ing school year, making fifteen years of contin- 
uous principalship. Ten assistants are now 
necessary to aid in giving instructions in the 
different departments. 

This school is very popular at home and en- 
joys a high reputation abroad. 

Almira College.— In 1827, two lads, Ste- 
phen Morse and John B. White, attended 
school together at a public institution in New 
Hampton, N. H. One year later they entered 
Brown University, Rhode Island, where they 
were class and room mates during their colle- 
giate course. After a few years, one devoted 
himself to teaching, and the other engaged in 
the mercantile business. These boys were 
raised by unusually intelligent, devoted, Chris- 
tian parents, and each sought the path in life 
that seemingly would promise the most useful 
and lasting results. 

Mr. Morse was prospered in his business, 



110 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



and accumulated wealth. Occasional letters 
passed between these old friends and class- 
mates, in which the subject of education was 
frequently discussed. Nothing of unusual in- 
terest occurred, however, until 1854, when they 
arranged to meet in Greenville, 111., which meet- 
ing resulted in the initiatory steps for founding 
the much-talked-of institution. After some 
days of consultation and study, it was decided 
that the institution should be for the higher ed- 
ucation of young women. That it should not 
be engaged in as a private enterprise, but that 
an act of incorporation should be secured, so 
that the contributions could be held in perpe- 
tuity for educational purposes. Mrs. Alraira 
B. Morse, a lady of thorough and accomplished 
education, was fully in sympathy with her hus- 
band, and seconded every effort of his for the 
advancement of the worthy enterprise, aiding 
not only by words of encouragement and cheer, 
but with a generous personal money gift; and 
thus the institution was founded in 1855-56, a 
charter being obtained in 1857. The work of 
erecting the building was immediately begun, 
and one wing completed and occupied in May, 
1858. Work was gradually carried on and the 
main structure was finished in 1864. It pre- 
sents a frontage of 160 feet; width, forty-eight 
feet; is four stories high, and contains seventy- 
two large and elegant rooms. The college 
grounds contain twelve acres, consisting of a 
park, a yard front of the building, and land in 
the rear for domestic and ornamental purposes. 
In honor of the lady, Mrs. Almira Blanchard 
Morse, who endowed it with her little fortune 
of $6,000, this college was appropriately named 
Almira. 

From its foundation, the institution has been 
under the instruction and general management 
of Prof. White, and his wife as assistant, except 
for three years during the rebellion, during 
which time the Rev. D. P. French and Mr. 
Morse assumed control. Prof. White severed 
his connection with the institution in 1879, 



when Prof. J. B. Slade, of Springfield, took con- 
trol. 

Mrs. Almira B. Morse died at her home in 
Palva, Kan., in August, 1881. Her remains 
were returned to Greenville and interred in Mt. 
Rose Cemeteiy. 

The ladies of Greenville and vicinity, desir- 
ous of promoting social intercourse and of aid- 
ing in the intellectual and moral elevation of 
society, met on the 19th of January, 1856, 
and organized a society for the aforesaid pur- 
pose and adopted a constitution and by-laws. 
It was called the Social Circle, and its object 
was the purchase of a library. The ladies pres- 
ent at the meeting for organization were Mrs. 
A. Morse, Mrs. M. Shields, Mrs. L. Stewart, 
Mrs. E. Hutchinson, Mrs. S. Morse, Mrs. E. G. 
Smith, Mrs. S. Sprague, Miss J. Merriam and 
Miss E. M. White. 

The meetings were held once a week. In 
the afternoon, the ladies sewed, and, in the even- 
ing, gentlemen came in and some literary enter- 
tainment was given. An idea of the energy 
and labor bestowed upon the project may be 
seen from a single quotation from the records: 
'• Work on hand for January 28 — Knitting, a 
cradle quilt, three sun-bonnets, two pairs of 
pantalets, infants' dresses, caps and aprons, 
three shirts finished and price for making the 
same $2.25. 

An attractive feature in the evening enter- 
tainments for years was the reading of The Ga- 
zette, a collection of articles and essays written 
by the members of the society. Many of the 
papers contained productions that reflected no 
discredit upon their composers, indeed some 
evinced more real literary merit than much 
that appears in the leading periodicals of to- 
day. 

Besides the labor thus bestowed, we note a 
supper given April 25, 1858, at which $61.88 
were realized ; also, June 25, a concert, the pro- 
ceeds of which were $21. The first purchase 
of books was made August 26, 1856 ; the 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



in 



amount invested, $100. October 22 of the 
same year, by vote, the name was changed to 
Ladies' Library Association. Thus we Snd the 
little germ, planted and nurtured by the ladies, 
and supported by the good wishes and patron- 
age of the gentlemen, steadily growing. 

In the year 18G7, through the instrumental- 
ity of Hon. J. F. Alexander, a charter was ob- 
tained. About this time, the need of a town 
hall being greatly felt in Greenville, a number 
of ladies, many of them being also members of 
the Library Association, determined to raise 
money to build one and connect with it a 
room for the public library, which had been 
kept at the residence of some member of the 
society. After nearly 81,000 had been ob- 
tained, the project was abandoned, and a dona- 
tion of $712.40 was made to the Library Asso- 
ciation on the 13th of February, 1873. 

The interest of this fund is annually ex- 
pended in the purchase of books. The serv- 
ices of librarian having always been gratuitous, 
the institution is self-supporting, and has added 
some to the permanent fund. 

The twenty-fifth anniversary was celebrated 
on the 19th of January, 1881, at the residence 
of Dr. William Allen. The event proved an 
important epoch, in that it revived much of its 
history that had never been put on record, and 
awakened new zeal in the work. Letters were 
read from absent members, an historical sketch 
of the society was given, some poems of merit, 
good music and an elegant repast, combined to 
form a delightful re-union. 

At present the library consists of 1,500 vol- 
umes. Seventy-five or one hundred new books 
are added yearly, and it furnishes patrons the 
best magazines of the day. The library room 
is large, pleasantly situated in Bennett's Block, 
well furnished, and kept open every Saturday 
afternoon. 

The following is a list of the officers at the 
present time : 

Mrs. F. C. Mudd, President ; Mrs. E. Denny, 



Vice President ; Mrs. J. W. Hoiles, Secretary ; 
Miss A. E. White, Treasurer and Librarian ; 
Misses E. Birge and G. Blanchard, Assistant 
Librarians. 

Presbyterian Church.— On the 10th day of 
March, 1819, a church was formed in Bond 
County, called the " Shoal Creek " Church, em- 
bracing all the Presbyterians in the county at 
that time, with thirty-three members enrolled. 
On the 15th of September, 1825, the committee 
appointed by the Presbytery of Missouri, at a 
meeting held for that purpose, divided this 
church into three separate churches, known as 
the Bethel, Shoal Creek and Greenville ; and 
the following list of male members was assigned 
to Greenville at that time : John Gilmore, 
Hugh T. White, James White, John B. White, 
Samuel White, John Russell, John Short, 
George Donnell, Robert G. White, John White, 
Joseph Howell and William Nelson. 

The location of Shoal Creek Church was in 
what was then known as the Ohio Settlement, 
some four or five miles northwest of Green- 
ville, where the Union Grove Church now 
stands. The Bethel Church was about ten 
miles northwest of Greenville. These churches 
maintained a separate existence until April 7, 
1832. At this time, the Shoal Creek Church 
had become so enfeebled by removals and 
deaths, it seemed necessary for them to unite 
with the Greenville Church. The Greenville 
Church was organized by Messrs. Giddings 
and Lacy and Elder Collins, of Collinsville, 
September 15, 1825, with twenty -nine mem- 
bers. As before stated, the two branches of the 
church were consolidated April 7, 1832. Up 
to this time, no house of worship had been 
built at Greenville, but soon after the churches 
had united they built a house about two miles 
northwest of Greenville, as a more central and 
convenient point for all the members. The 
members of the united church hauled and 
hewed the logs, sawed the timber, split the 
boards and shingles, and did all the work for 



112 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



the completion of the same within the member- 
ship. From 1825 to 1829, the church had no 
stated pastor, hut was served from time to time 
by transient ministers whose names are un- 
known. From 1829 to 1831, Rev. Solomon 
Hardy was the minister in charge ; in 1832, 
Rev. W. J. Fraser ; then followed the labors of 
Revs. A. Ewing, T. A . Spillman, W. K. Stewart; 
Rev. J. Stafford, from 1837 to 1838, and again 
from 1840 to 1850. In 1847. the pastor was 
absent, and P. D. Young supplied the place 
for six months. In 1851 and 1852, Rev. Will- 
iam Hamilton, and from 1852 to 1867, Rev. 
Thomas W. Hynes were the stated supply ; 
1867 to 1868, Rev. Arthur Rose, 1869 to 
1872, Prof. George Frazier, were the ministers 
in charge. About this time, eighteen members 
withdrew from the New School or Congrega- 
tional Church, and joined the Presbyterian 
Church of Greenville. Rev. N. S. Dickey was 
the stated supply from 1873 to 1880, since 
which time the Rev. Hillis has been their very 
acceptable miuister of the Greenville Presby- 
terian Church. In 1S73, the building of the 
church had become so dilapidated, having been 
built and occupied since about 1845, that the 
members and friends enlarged the same with 
cupola, at a cost of about $2,000. It was re- 
dedicated July 13, 1873, free from debt. And 
now to-day it stands, as it has stood for more 
than fifty-seven years, like a city set upon a 
hill, radiating its light, shedding its beneficent 
influence on all around, in harmony with the 
community for good, and in fellowship with its 
sister churches. Its large membership and its 
admirable Sunday school speak well for its 
continued usefulness in the future. 

Congregational Church.— The origin of the 
Congregational Church was with the divis- 
ion of the Presbyterian Church about 1836, 
into the old and the new school churches. Dr. 
Lansing from New York came to Greenville in 
1839, and through his influence a house of 
worship was commenced soon after, which was 



not, however, completed and dedicated until 
January 1, 1843. Rev. Thomas Lippincott 
preached the dedicatory sermon. 

Up to this time no Presbyterian Church for 
the old division of the church had been built 
at Greenville, and many of both branches of 
the church held their membership together 
with a number of Congregatioualists. By an 
act of the Legislature of Illinois in 1844, the 
worshipers of the new building were afterward 
known as the Congregational Church of Green- 
ville. About this time the old Presbyterian 
branch had built for themselves a house of wor- 
ship, and the churches exchanged and withdrew 
from time to time according to their peculiar 
ideas — the Congregational society making some 
payment to the Presbyterians withdrawing from 
their church for their interest, and aid in build- 
ing the Congregational Church. Considering 
the early period in which it was built, the Con- 
gregational Church to-day is quite an imposing 
structure, standing as it does on Lots No. 27 
and 28, Davidson's Addition to Greenville. 

The church was for many years prosperous, es- 
pecially so during the time Rev. Robert Stew- 
art, Rev. George C. Wood and Rev. M. M. 
Longley were pastors, since which time the 
church has so often been without a regular pas- 
tor that its spiritual interests have not advanced 
as it otherwise would. Rev. John Ingersoll, 
father of Robert G. Ingersoll, of infidel noto- 
riety, preached to this church about six months 
about the year 1852. Since that time Rev. 
Longley was for a time a stated supply, as also 
have Rev. Isaac Godell and Rev. M. A. Craw- 
ford not labored in vain for the short time they 
each occupied the pulpit, The present pastor, 
Rev. Joseph Wolfe, sustains well the position 
assigned him, and the outlook of the church is 
brightening. 

Methodist Episcopal Church. — It is impos- 
sible to give anything like a complete his- 
tory of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in Greenville, because, as its present pastor, 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



113 



Rev. E. A. Hoyt, states, Methodism sets 
little value ou the formalities of organization. 
Its methods are simple ; those who desire a 
home in her communion are enrolled as a class, 
and one of the number appointed her leader. 
No official minutes of the transactions are 
kept or recorded, except incidentally ou the 
class books. The first sermon perhaps preached 
ill the county bj* the minister of any denomi- 
nation was that by Rev. John Powers, a Meth- 
odist minister at Jones Fort, in February, 1816. 
His next appointment was at White's Fort or 
Hill's Station in March, 1816, and for a time 
these two forts or stations were his regular 
preaching places. Jones Fort was in the Green 
neighborhood, and White's Fort was a few rods 
southeast of the old residence of Wilson 
Brown in Section 6, Town 1, Range 3. The 
first Methodist meetings at Greenville were con- 
ducted by Rev. John Kirkpatrick, assisted oc- 
casionally by Rev. John Powers, Joshua Barnes, 
John Dew and others. The several Kirkpat- 
rick families were Methodists. The first Meth- 
odist Church was built about a mile and a half 
southwest of Greenville where camp-meetings 
were held for several years, at which an old neg- 
lected burying ground some eight or ten rods 
northwest of the southeast corner of north 
half of northwest quarter of southeast quarter 
of Section 16, Town 5, Range 3, is yet visable. 
For more than twenty years after the first set- 
tlement of the count}*, Methodist services were 
very irregular. Mr. J. E. Travis, now living in 
Greenville, remembers of Methodist preaching 
at the house of his grandfather, Tapley Young, 
where the old cemetery is now located, and 
heard their family relate of those attending 
church bringing their guns and stacking them 
at the door whilst two sentinels stood watch 
outside the door to give the alarm, if any 
Indians made their appearance. His first rec- 
ollection was associated with class meeting, 
being held at the house of oue Knapp, in Green- 
ville, by Rev. John H. Benson, an early circuit 



rider of Carlisle Circuit in 1839. His appoint- 
ment at Greenville was once in four weeks, and 
continued one year ; only four of that class 
are obtainable. Knapp and wife, Elizabeth 
Drake and Elizabeth Stubblefield. The Rev. 
Thomas Brown was the next to take up the 
work, just at what date cannot be stated, but 
he held services once in four weeks until the 
fall of 1844, when he died, having left a good 
name. For the next three or four years serv- 
vices were only held by transient preachers. 
The first Methodist Episcopal Church built in 
Greenville on Lot No. 15. Davidson's Addition 
to Greenville, in the years 1848 and 1849. For 
several years previously meetings were held in 
the old court house, and in the Odd Fellows 
hall, which was the upper story of the present 
residence of William Evans. 

Before the building was erected, the " cir- 
cuit riders " were unceasing in their labors to 
increase the membership of the church, and to 
that end, one of them, a Mr. Falkner, would 
at the close of every service, " open the 
doors of the church." On one occasion, after 
the usual services in the Odd Fellows hall, 
whilst the brethren were singing a familiar 
hymn, the minister calling loudly and earnestly 
for any " who desired to unite with the church 
to manifest the same by coming forward, and 
give to him their hand, and God their hearts." 
As they were singing the chorus of the sec- 
ond verse, and manifestly a deep feeling pre- 
vailing through the audience, two well-known 
females of not the most unblemished char- 
acter came forward, and gave to the minister 
their hands, who took them, but without that 
cordiality sometimes discernible, and with a 
queer and much-puzzled expression on his 
countenance, remarked, as he released that slight 
grasp: " Occasionally, when the fisherman casts 
in his net he brings in a gar." It is unneces- 
sary to add, that the records of the church 
next da}' did not show any increase of mem- 
bership for the meeting of the previous night 
to the Methodist society in Greenville. 



114 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



For more than thirty years past the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church in Greenville has en- 
joyed a reasonable degree of prosperity under 
the charge of the many preachers sent by the 
conference of the church to minister to her 
people. A few familiar names of some of 
those worthy men are called to the mind of 
those acquainted with the church for half of 
a century or more, such as Kirkpatrick, Pow- 
ers, Barnes, Benson, Johnston, Falkner, Lin- 
genfelter. Munson, Moore, Vaucleve, Morrison, 
Taylor, Waggoner, House, Massey, Van Treese, 
Gibson, Robinson, down to the present min- 
ister, E. A. Hoyt. 

Some six years ago, the old church was sold, 
the title to the property being made to some 
of the members of the Christian Church, and 
the Methodists by the aid of many friends 
outside the church, have built a handsome 
brick edifice on Lot No. 50, on Second and 
Sumer streets, which was finished and dedi- 
cated some five years since. The membership 
of this church is steadily increasing, and their 
congregations and Sunday schools rank with 
the first in the city. 

Greenville Baptist Church — Was organized 
September 18, 183G, by Revs. James Lemen 
Elijah Dodson, Joseph Taylor, Joseph Lemen 
and A. W. Coole}\ The church comprised six 
members, namely, Lemuel Blanchard, Charles. 
Eunice, A. N. and Elizabeth C. Norton and 
Sibbel Blanchard. Within a year of its organ- 
izing, although without a pastor, and having 
preaching only occasionally, the number of 
members had increased to twenty, and up to 
1842 twenty-two had been received by experi- 
ence and baptism, and fourteen by letter, mak- 
ing the total membership forty-two. From this 
date, July, 1842, no additions were made, but 
on the contrary the church declined in nu- 
merical strength, until in May, 1847, the church 
relations were dissolved. This was done at a 
meeting held by the Rev. Ebenezer Rogers, 
who acted as moderator. At a meetiuar held in 



July, 1847, a new organization was effected, 
under the title of the Baptist Church of Christ 
of Greenville. The Revs. B. Rogers and I. D. 
Newell assisted, and the following persons 
signed the roll : K. P. and Elizabeth Morse, 
Sibbel Blanchard, Elizabeth Foster and others. 
During the year, seven others were added, mak- 
ing in all twenty-two. Like most churches or- 
ganized in early days, this one had to depend 
for preaching for years on such occasional 
supplies as could be obtained. Among those 
who occupied the pulpit from time to time were 
Revs. John M. Peck, James and Joseph Lem- 
en, Joel Sweet, Elijah Dodson, Joseph Taylor, 
Ebeu Rogers and Jonathan Merriman, all now 
deceased. 

The first regular pastor was the Rev. Thomas 
W. Hynes. He served two months, from June 
to August, 1838, and was succeeded by Rev. 
E. Dodson, et. al. 

Lemuel Blanchard and M. P. Ormsby were 
ordained the first Deacons, and served until 
their deaths, 1838 and 1845, respectively. Ben- 
jamin Floyd and K. P. Morse succeeded them. 
Prior to April, 1854, meetings of the church 
were held in private houses or in the Presby- 
terian Church. In 1839, the subject of erecting 
a Baptist meeting-house in Greenville was 
agitated, but nothing was accomplished, and 
the courtesies of the Presbyterian Society were 
gladly extended and accepted, until the present 
church, 32x50, was completed in April, 1854. 
at a cost of $2,500. In the summer of 1856, 
Mr. Charles Perry donated $200, to be used in 
procuring a bell. The sum was made sufficient 
by additions, and the present bell, weighing 
1,500 pounds, was cast in St. Louis. Much 
more might be said of this flourishing Chris- 
tian organization, but space forbids more than 
that it is firmly established, and is uow doing a 
good work. 

Catholic Church of Greenville — Was organ- 
ized in April, 1877. First mass was celebrated on 
Sunday, May 6, following, Rev. Father Quitter, 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



115 



of Vandalia, officiating. There were but a few 
Catholics in the Greenville district, and those 
living remote from Catholic divine service had 
become lukewarm in the faith. A few of the 
faithful, feeling the need of religious culture and 
astrengthened faith, had accustomed themselves 
to meet in a small hall on the third floor of the 
First National Bank building. In this room 
services were conducted for about three years. 
The subject of a more suitable place of worship 
was from time to time discussed and a building 
fund started. The citizens of Greenville were 
all afforded an opportunity, and many responded 
with liberal donations. Protestants not excepted. 
In November, 1879, a contract for the building 
of their present commodious edifice, situated 
in the eastern portion of the city, was awarded, 
the good work pushed to completion. On the 
first Sunday in June, 1880, Father Quitter, as- 
sisted by Mr. James Henry and others from 
Vandalia, celebrated the first High Mass. This 
congregation was made up of Catholics of 
many nationalities, but all met upon the one 
religious plane for one and the same purpose. 
The same harmony and true fellowship still 
prevail, and while the church is still in its in- 
fancy, it is thought that a permanent pastor 
will in the near future be engaged and a larger 
church needed. 

Protest/ 1 a t Episcopal Church. — Up to the 
year 1878, the Protestant Episcopal Church 
had not been known in Bond County. There 
had been several Episcopalians in Green- 
ville for years past, but uo effort had been 
made to secure the services of the church. Feel- 
ing the importance of a Christian education for 
their families they had worshiped with other 
religious societies. 

July 20. 1878, Messrs. C. K. Denny, M. B. 
Chittenden, W. S. Ogden, Henry Howard and 
Henry Chittenden met at Squire Howard's 
office, and there decided to organize a parish 
to be known as Grace Church. To the above 
list the names of about seventeen persons were 



added, who had been baptized in the Episcopal 
Church, also names of twelve others who were 
not connected with any church, and seemed 
inclined to aid in sustaining this. The Bev. 
Mr. Van Duzen, then officiating at Paris, Edgar 
Co., 111., heard of this movement and visited 
Greenville, and about the 1st of August, 1878, 
and for the first time, services of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church were held in Greenville, at 
the Congregational Church. It was found that 
the Canons of the Diocese did not permit the 
organization of a parish to so limited a number 
of communicants. W. S. Ogden was sent to 
attend the annual Diocesan Convention of 
1879, at Springfield, 111., and to confer with 
Bishop McLaren, Bishop of the Diocese. He 
carried with him a petition embracing some 
thirty -odd names. The petition was favorably- 
acted upon, and Messrs. Ogden and Denny 
appointed Senior and Junior Wardens ; M. 
B. Chittenden, Treasurer, and H. A. Ste- 
phens, Clerk, with Henry Chittenden Li- 
censed Recorder. In July, 1879, Rev. R. E. 
G. Huntington was called as Rector of Christ's 
Church. Collinsville, and as Missionary to 
Grace Mission, Greenville, and thereafter, fort- 
nightly, services were held until May, 1881, 
when Mr. H. resigned and removed to Kansas. 
During these two years, quite a number were 
added by baptism and confirmation. The 
church, however, lost, by death and removals, 
more than she had gained. For about one 
year, the church was without a rector ; but 
April 1, 1882, the Rev. Joseph G. Wright, of 
Altamont, took charge of the Mission, and the 
life of the church much revived. Measures 
have been taken looking toward the erection of 
a church edifice, and it is now believed that a 
pretty Gothic structure, sufficiently large to 
seat some two hundred worshipers, will be 
built at a cost not to exceed $2,000, and com- 
pleted this coming fall of 1882. Everything 
connected with the Mission, owing to the zeal 
and energy of the rector, is in a flourishing 



116 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



condition, and no doubt but that a bright 
future is before it. 

The Plymouth Brethren (so called). By one of 
the Brethren. — Those people who, for about 
twenty-eight years, have met together in this citj 
as Christians, are not connected in an}' way with 
any of the other denominations of Christians, 
as they meet on quite different ground than 
they do. First of all, they have no creed ; (and 
as one of them expressed) our creed is the 
word of God. They take into fellowship any 
believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose doc- 
trine is sound according to God's word, and 
whose walk in the world is in accordance with 
the teachings of God's word, as to how a be- 
liever should behave himself, who has been 
redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. As 
to their ground of meeting together, they do so 
as the disciples of the Lord, after he had left 
them to go in the glory ; that is, meeting 
every Lord's Day morning to break bread in 
remembrance of their Lord, as He told them, 
before He departed, " Do this in remembrance 
of me." They do not believe in ordination, 
accepting only the word of God, which says 
that He has given the church gifts, some 
apostles, some doctors, evangelist teachers, etc.; 
not educated by man, but by God alone. They 
meet without preachers, and any member of 
the body, led by the spirit, is free to offer a 
prayer or give a word of exhortation, or words 
of thanks to the Lord. If the Lord sends them 
one of His gifted servants from time to time, 
they gladly receive him, as from the Lord, to 
either teach, exhort or comfort, or preach 
the Gospel to sinners. Those gifted servants 
receive no fixed salary, but depend entirely on 
the Lord, thus walking by faith, and they are 
generally better cared for than those who are 
depending on man for support, though surely 
man is the instrument that God uses. This is, 
in short, the history of those people, so called, 
Plymouth Brethren. The building in which 
they meet was built by Mr. George Rutchley, 



for the purpose, and the assembly pays rent 
for it to him with money put in a box even- 
Lord's Day morning, b}' those whose heart is 
opened, and are able to thus contribute not 
only to expenses of rent, light, and so on, but 
also For the servants of the Lord, who are trav- 
eling from place to place, working for the Mas- 
ter. 

A., F. & A. M., Greenville Lodge, No. 245, 
received a dispensation October 28, 18(36, and 
the following list of officers were elected : W. 
H. Collins, W. M.; T. W. Hutchinson, S. W.; 
W. T. White, J. W.; W. A. Allen, Secretary ; 
J. Burchsted, Treasurer ; Neely McNeely, Ti- 
ler. Charter for this lodge was issued October 
7, 1857, and was signed by J. H. Hibbard, G. 
M.; William Lane, D. G. M.; Harrison Dills, 
S. G. W.; F. M. Blair, J. G. W.; Harmau G. 
Reynolds, Grand Secretary. Charter members 
were: W. H. Collins, P. W. Hutchinson, W. T. 
White, John Burchsted, W. A.Allen and Neely 
McNeely. According to last report, the lodge 
contained sixty-five members. 

/. 0. O. F., Clark Lodge, No. 3, was insti- 
tuted January 10, 1839 ; chartered August 1, 
same year. The following were the charter 
members, of whom only one, James E. Star, of 
Elsah, Jersey County, 111., is now living. James 
Clark, Patrick O'Byrne, David P. Berry, George 
Files, Thomas Dakin. Charter was signed by 
S. C. Pierce, M. W. G. M.; M. Botkin, D. G. 
M.; Daniel Ward, G. W.; John M. Krum. G. 
T.; Alfred Shannon, G. S.; J. 11. Woods, P. G; 
James E. Star, P. G.; A. W. Chenoweth, P. G.; 
John R, Batterton, P. G. Original officers 
were; James Clark. N. G.; Patrick O'Byrne, 
V. G.; James Bradford, Secretary ; R. F. 
White, Treasurer. Present number of mem- 
bers of the lodge is fift3 r -three. 

1. 0. 0. F., Greenville Encampment, No. 39, 
was instituted February 5, 1869. First officers 
were : Henry Howard, C. P.; C. W. Holden, H. 
P.; L. Adams, S. W.; J. F. Bowman, J. W.; 
G. A. Collins, Scribe ; E. Reidemann, Treasurer. 




££ufiu^ii&U 




C^^ jfi^**- e^C^-^^s/^L. 



LIBRARY 

OF 1HE 

UNIVERSITY yf ILLINOIS 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



119 



Charter was issuer! October 12, 1869, and was 
signed by J. J. Tichner, Grand Patriarch ; N. 
C. Nason, Grand Scribe. Present number of 
members, twenty-five. 

Independent Order of Good Templars, Green- 
ville Lodge, No. 44.6, chartered May 2, 1870, 
with the following members and officers : C. W. 
Moore, Wyatt Canse} - , J. H. Hallarn and thirty- 
one others signed the call. First officers 
elected: S.French, W. C. T.; Mrs. E. C. Smith, 
W. V. T.; Rev. M. N. Powers, W. C; J. J. 
Clarkson, W. S.; George Perryman, W. A. S.; 
W. C. Brown, W. F. S.; Mrs. Alice Phelp. W. 
T. R. E. A.; Munroe Mc Adams, W. M.; Miss 
Alice Alexander, W. D. M.; Mrs. C. Larabee, 
W. I. G.; H. H. Hughes, W. D. G.; Miss Kate 
Kelso, W. R. H. S.; Miss Flora Larabee, W. L. 
H. S.; H. H. Smith. P. W. C. T. Original 
number of members in good standing was 
forty-six. and present number is sixt}'. The 
lodge is in a prosperous condition, and accom- 
plishing much good. 

The title, Women's Christian Temperance 
Union, is strikingly suggestive of the laudable 
object of the society. A union of Christian 
women representing the different evangelical 
churches, organized so as to systematically, and 
with the blessings of God, aid in the suppres- 
sion of intemperance in their midst, working in 
harmony with the State and National organi- 
zations of their order. The Greenville Union 
was constituted April 1, 1879, with officers as 
follows : 

.Airs. E. W. Dewey, President at Large: Mrs. 
Dr. R. C. Sprague, Vice President at Large; 
Mrs. A. B. Byram, from the Presbyterian 
Church; Mrs. S. Perry, from the Baptist Church; 
Mrs. W. S. Dann, from the Methodist Church; 
Mrs. Charles Clark, from the Congregational 
Church; Caroline Phelps, Corresponding Secre- 
tary; Mrs. Samuel Colcord, Recording Secre- 
tary; Miss Allie Robinson, Treasurer. The 
Union is in a prosperous condition and accom- 
plishing much good, and at their last election. 



April 11, 1882, the following officers were 
elected: Mrs. A. E. Haven, President; Mrs. P. 
C. Reed, Vice President; Mrs. N. H. Jackson, 
Recording Secretary; Mrs. Mary Murdock, 
Treasurer. The Union has about thirty en- 
rolled members. 

A temperance society that accomplished 
much good was organized April 6, 1848, by J. 
R. Woods, A. D. G. W. P. of the State of Illi- 
nois, with the following charter members: 
Robert F. White, John Burchsted, John T. 
Barr, Otis B. Colcord, Daniel Detrick, John 
Waite, Franklin Berry, John A. Dowler, S. B. 
Holcomb, George Ferguson. Nathaniel Maddux, 
Lonson Lane, Joseph T. Fouke, Samuel H. 
Crocker, E. Gaskins and James Stafford. The 
following officers were elected and installed: 
Franklin Berry, W. P.; John T. Barr, W. A.; 
John Waite, R. S.; S. B. Holcomb, A. R. S.; 
Joseph T. Fouke, F. S.; Daniel Detrick. F.; R. 
F. White, C; George Ferguson, A. C; Nathaniel 
Maddux, I. S.; O. B. Colcord, O. S.; E. Gas- 
kins, P. W. P. James Stafford was appointed 
Chaplain, and John Waite alternate. During 
the remainder of April sixteen more were 
added to the membership, making thirty -two. 
This number increased rapidly, and the pros- 
perity of the order was unbounded. Many 
men joined who had been for years habitual 
drunkards, came for miles to attend the meet- 
ings, and in most cases were prosperous in 
their business whilst they were members, and 
often testified to their enjoyment during those 
several years of their membership. It gave 
way to other temperance societies, its last meet- 
ing being April 29, 1853. Its enrollment was 
over 200 members. 

Integrity Lodge, No. 72, ^4 0. U. W., was 
instituted April 28, 1877, with the following 
officers: S. M. Inglis. P. M. W.; George S. 
Phelps, M. W.; Henry Howard, F.; William 
Ballard, 0.; Cyrus Birge, Recorder; George C. 
Scipio, Financier; M. V. Denny, Receiver; C. 
W. Holden, G.; Samuel Werner, I. W.; S. M. 

G 



120 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Tabor, 0. W. Henry Howard was the first 
representative to the meeting of the Grand 
Lodge at Ottawa, 111., February, 1878. The 
lodge now has sixty-three members, and is in 
a prosperous condition. 

I. 0. M. A. was organized September 20, 
1880, with the following officers : J. J. Clark- 
son, P.; C. W. Sawall, P. P.; John Kingsbery, 
V. P.; Henry Rammel, R. S.; J. M. Mc Adams, 
F. S.; H. T. Powell, T.; E. C. Stearns, J. J. 
Clarkson, H. T. Powell, Trustees ; A. T. Reed ) 
0.j C. H. Beatty, I. G.; 0. L. Lupton, O. G. 

The I. 0. M. A. is a State organization, and 
the Greenville branch contains twenty-seven 
members. 

The Greenville Band consists of thirteen 
public-spirited and enterprising young men of 
esthetic musical tastes, who have, by enduring 
perseverance, accomplished much in the way of 
musical culture, and rendered themselves a 
credit to their city, county and State. 

The band was organized October 10, 1879 ; 
chartered November 12, 1880, with John A. 
Elam as their leader ; Adel Albright, first E 
flat cornet ; Ward Reid, second E flat cornet ; 
Will E. Robinson, clarionet ; Charles Thraner, 
piccolo ; Wallace Barr, first B flat cornet ; Will 
Johnson, second B flat cornet ; Will Donnell, 



third B flat cornet ; Robert Johnson, first 
solo alto ; Jesse Watson, second solo alto ; 
Walter Powell, third solo alto ; Rome Sprague, 
first tenor ; Jesse Smith, second tenor ; Frank 
Shaw, baritone ; Louis Derleth, tuba bass ; 
Frank Boughman, tenor drum ; Will White, 
bass drum and cymbals. 

Of the above only five were, according to 
law, old enough to have their names appear on 
the charter, namely, Leader Elam, Messrs. Al- 
bright, Johnson, Shaw and Boughman. Messrs. 
Reid, Robinson, Albright and Smith have re- 
signed and their instruments are at present si- 
lent, but a movement is on foot that will un- 
doubted!}' result in filling their places. 

On the evening of September 20, 1880, the 
band was treated to a most happy and appro- 
priate surprise by the loyal ladies of Green- 
ville, who presented them with an elegant flag 
of our country, twelve feet long and six feet 
wide, mounted on a substantial staff, and sur- 
mounted with a gold gilt American eagle with 
extended pinions. The stars are worked in 
silk floss, and among them appear the letters 
G. B. The cost of this flag was $50. The 
band is in constant practice, and bids fair to 
soon become one of the best in Illinois. 




CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



121 



CHAPTER XII* 

GREENVILLE— A RETROSPECTION— BUILDING OF JAILS— SITUATION OF THE CITY— MORE OF THE 

EARLY BUSINESS AND BUSINESS MEN. STORES, ETC.— GRIGG. BARR, DAVIS. ELLIOTT AND 

OTHERS— AGRICULTURAL WAREHOUSES— THE BANKING BUSINESS-SHOPS AND 

MECHANICS— SUMMARY, ETC., ETC. 



HPO what, extent the early settlers of Bond 
-^- County believed in the existence of 
ghosts, no official record has been left; but 
they have recorded their belief in that mys- 
terious healing art where faith is the active 
agent as late as June 2, 1829. In that rec- 
ord is found that Polly Harness, " in conse- 
quence of a canser or ulser is unable to earn 
a livelihood;'' whereupon the court makes the 
following order: " Ordered, that Thomas 
Hunter be appointed Agent to convey Polly 
Harness to a Dutch Doctor, living about ten 
miles below Herculanium, in Missouri, and 
that the sum of $30 be paid to said Thomas 
Hunter to defray said expenses. " The record 
in due time shows that the said Thomas Hun- 
ter reported to the court the delivery of the 
said Polly Harness to one " William Neiil, 
and took his receipt for the cure and main- 
tanence" of the said Harness "near Harkale- 
naum," and that the $30 was duly expended; 
after that announcment the record is silent. 
At least two jails have been built in Green- 
ville before the one now in use, which was 
built in 1859. The first was built by Andrew 
Moody and Thomas Stout, of square logs, ac- 
cording to specifications, at a cost of $2-1450, 
in State paper. It was built somewhere 
near the present house of Samuel Bradford. 
The contract is dated July 4, 1829, to be 
completed by the first Monday in December 

* By Williamson riant. 



following. The second jail was built by 
Richard Tatom, on the public square, for 
$321.74, payment made for same July 4, 
1835, that probably being the date of receiv- 
ing the building. The present jail is a very 
respectable building, having none of the for- 
bidding outward appearances often attending 
that class of buildings. It was built at a cost 
of about $5,000, with the cells since fitted up 
on the west side. But few persons have es- 
caped from the same since it was finished. 

The city of Greenville, containing a popu- 
lation of 2,500 inhabitants, is located on the 
highest point of land on the line of the St. 
Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad, 
fifty miles from St. Louis, gently sloping to 
the south, with woodland in close proximity 
on the north and west, through which nu- 
merous springs of pure water flow continu- 
ously, giving early promise of furnishing for 
the city and manufactories, to be established, 
a bountiful supply of water. 

Beginning as the towu did in 1819, with 
one small building made of unhewed logs, in 
which Green P. Rice measured his first yard 
of cotton goods to the early settler; next, to 
the time when it was made the county seat, 
in 1821, when he had retired from the trade, 
and his successor, Samuel Davidson, was no 
more; then the erection of county buildings, 
and. within the next ten years, the increased 
number of stores in the hands of Blanchard, 



122 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Birge, Long, Durley, Drake and White, al- 
though frequently changing in the time. 
Then George Davidson with his small cabin 
entertains, as best he can, man and beast. 
Next, Seth Blanchard, his successor, and 
David Berry, each with enlarged cabins, gave 
ample accommodations for shelter, and their 
ever well loaded tables (of which tradition 
speaks in praise), fed the weary traveler as 
he wended his way on horseback through the 
new country to the West. The next ten 
years bring an increased population, more ex- 
tensive business in every department. The 
first old court house had returned to the 
ground if not to the dust. The old jail failed 
of its purpose, and both were condemned as 
unsuitable longer for usefulness. 

We have now reached 1841. The business 
houses have increased not only in number, 
but their stocks of merchandise have been 
greatly enlarged. Within this last ten years 
we find Seth Blanchard, J. B. Drake, Ansel 
Birge, Williard Twiss, W. S. Smith, L. D. 
Plant, William Davis, Gooding, Morse & Bros, 
and James M. Davis have been selling goods, 
not all at one time, for many changes were 
made within that time. The hotels in the 
meantime had made further improvements 
under the management of Blanchard; then 
his successor, Thomas Dakin, and David 
Berry at his old stand, second house west of 
Drake's. A new court house has also been 
built, of wood, in place of the old crumbled 
brick, and a new jail on the southeast corner 
of the public square. 

During all these years, many times without 
building for Clerk's offices and places for 
holding courts, among the first places for 
holding the courts was in a building west of 
Elam's old blacksmith shop, southwest of 
Joel Elam's present residence; then in the 
house of Wyatt Stubblefield; then in the old 
Berry Tavern, where the difficulty between 



two lawyers occurred during session of court. 
One twisted the nose of the other, which he 
resented with his cane. If we move up ten 
years more, to 1851, living witnesses are nu- 
merous who know of the changes. We have 
some of the old merchaots, with many that 
are new. The list now is covered by W. S. 
& Thomas W. Smith, J. B. Drake, Morse & 
Bros., Charles Hoiles, George W. Hill, S. B. 
Bulkley, P. J. Holcomb and L. D. & W. 
Plant. 

The hotels, by David Berry, Thomas Stout, 
J. B. O. White, the latter where Mrs. McCord's 
hotel is now kept, and who that lived within 
the last period named does not remember the 
private boarding house of Mi - , and Mrs. John 
Ackerige, next house east of Dr. Drake's ? what 
nice meals at " moderate prices ' ' they pre- 
pared! During court week, their table was 
always crowded by jurors, witnesses and those 
interested in court, living in the county, 
whilst the Judge and most of the members 
of the bar from abroad stopped at the Berry 
House. The tables of these houses were 
abundantly supplied with wild game, such as 
venison, prairie chickens, quail, etc., which 
were plentiful and very cheap. The common 
price for " venison saddle" (the hind quarters 
with the loin), would sell for 37i cents per 
pair. The average weight would be from 
thirty to fifty pounds each, making the meat 
average about 1 cent per pound. 'What boy 
now living that was in Greenville during 
this time does not remember the ginger cakes 
made by old Mother Allred? The next ten 
years takes us to 1861. Increased business 
on every hand. We find during this time 
that the merchants are covered by the follow- 
ing list: W. S. & T. W. Smith, Morse & 
Bros., Charles Hoiles, E. A. Floyd, Alexander 
Buie, G. W. Hill, Samuel A. Blanchard, El- 
liott & Kershner, A. W. Hynes, and Barr & 
Elliott. 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



123 



The hotels are now all removed to near the 
public square. Tho St. Charles Hotel, by E. 
R. McCord, Franklin House, by Franklin G. 
Morse, from whom it took its name. "Within 
this last period a new jail has been built, of 
brick, where it now stands on Third street, and 
the present court house completed in 1855. 

Now let us pass from 18(31 to the present, 
1882, covering a period of twenty-one years, 
as the town has grown until it would be im- 
possible to make mention in detail of many 
changes and occurrences. The greatest im- 
petus given to Greenville since it was first 
named, was the building and completion of 
the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Rail- 
road through the southern line of the city. 
The first passenger train from Greenville to 
St. Louis was on the morning of December 
8, 1868. and from that date we mark the first 
march of improvement. As has been shown 
by an article in this book covering a history 
of the Vandalia Railroad that the citizens of 
Greenville and Bond County have more than 
ordinary interest in the success of this road. 

The stores that have been in operation in 
that time, but have closed out, are as follows: 
W. S. Smith & Co., J. M. Smith, Morse & 
Bros., C. Hoiles, G. W. Hill, A. Buie, Will- 
iam M. Evans & Co.. J. G. Sprague, H. Y. 
Schell, J. W. Elliott, P. C. Reed, McLain & 
Wafer, John B. Reid, Samuel B. Hynes, E. 
V. Buchanan, George F. Salisbury. 

If a stranjrer visiting Greenville for the 
first time should desire detailed information 
in regard to the business transacted in the 
city at the present time, and ask to be shown 
first the merchant longest in the trade, any 
one of whom the request was made would 
conduct him to the well-tilled " U. S." store 
of John T. BaiT, successor of Messrs. Barr & 
Elliott, on Main street, south side of the pub- 
lic square. This house has always had a good, 
regular trade. 



He would next be shown the store of Daniel 
R. Grigg, on Lot 31, corner of College and 
Second streets. Mr. Grigg has well proved 
the old adage to be correct, that " He who by 
the plow would thrive, himself must either 
hold or drive. " Mr. Grigg has succeeded well 
by his personal attention to his business. He 
would next be shown north across the street 
to the large, well-filled house of W. S. Dann 
& Co. This house speaks for itself, the pro- 
prietors having the happy faculty of pleasing 
their numerous customers, and to meet the 
requirements of their trade have recently en- 
larged their already commodious building. 

The firm of Berry & Davis, Third street, 
west side of the public square, would claim 
his attention next. The business of this firm 
has increased until they now stand in the 
front ranks with their worthy competitors; 
the range of their trade is varied, keeping a 
general stock of dry goods; they have bought 
and sold grain, wool, etc. Adjoining their 
store on the north is the well and favorably 
known house of Jandt & Weise, successors to 
Jandt & Reed. This house is connected in 
some degree with the house at Pocahontas, 
under the name of H. A. Jandt & Co., and, 
by concert of action by the two houses, have 
now a lucrative business. 

These five stores of general merchandise 
are all in a prosperous condition, each house 
having their friends, makes a good division 
in the trade, and, the competition being close, 
each stands as a guard on prices, to keep 
them within proper bounds. 

Only three clothing houses are in opera- 
tion at present ; a fourth, however, is in pros- 
pect. 

The New York Clothing House, on Lot 42, 
corner of Third and Main streets, first made 
its bow to the public some fifteen years ago, 
with Mr. S. Stearn as proprietor. Mr. Stearn 
was lost whilst crossing the Atlantic on the 



124 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



steamer Schiller, iu company with Mr. John 
Suppiger and family. Soon after, Mr. Louis 
Kaufman took charge of the store and con- 
ducted it successfully until recently. Mr. 
E. B. Wise became associated with him under 
the name of Kaufman & Wise. They have 
always had a good trade. 

The store of A. Abrams, on Lot 41, corner 
of Main and Second streets, under the name 
of " Golden Eagle," though not one of the 
largest, is well assorted for the trade. This 
store was broken into one night a few months 
since by two tramps, strangers to the town, 
and several hundred dollars' worth of goods 
taken. The thieves were captured soon after, 
the goods recovered, and are now serving out 
their sentence in the Chester Penitentiary. 

Theodore W. Coverdale is proprietor of 
the " Elephant" clothing, boot and shoe house 
on Lot 61, corner of Second and South 
streets. Commencing some eight years ago 
with a small stock of boots and shoes, he now 
enjoys a large, prosperous trade from his new 
stand with his large stock of clothing, as well 
as boots, shoes, etc. 

Mr. H. T. Powell is just fitting up his 
building on the northwest corner of Lot 47, 
on Main street, with a new stock of ready- 
made clothing. He has been a successful 
business man in the past, which argues well 
for him in the future. 

Of the grocery stores there are five, all ap- 
parently doing a flourishing business. The 
oldest is that of Mr. E. P. Justice, on Lot 
48, corner of Main and Second streets; has 
held a good trade for many years past. Mr. 
John Perryman's comes next. Mr. Perry- 
man's business has been conducted for several 
years by his son George, who has made a 
first-class grocery house of it. It is situated 
in his new building, built recently on his lot 
for the business for which they are so suc- 
cessfully using it. It is located on the south 



side of the public square. Robinson & Son, 
just north of Abram's clothing store, have 
had their share of the grocery business during 
the several years they have been in business, 
always keeping reliable goods. 

The firm of Watson & Jett, although only 
some two years in business, have a trade that 
often takes many years to secure its equal. 

| They were not new men in the trade, but 
had had several years' experience in business 

I at another point. Their trade is all they 
should desire. 

Mr. Warren B. Beedle, successor to E. V. 

, Buchanan, on the west side of the public 
square, enjoys his share of the grocery trade. 
He is well located, and his pleasant address 
will not fail to add to his already increasing 
business. 

Four drug stores adorn the town. The 
health of the county and city is so good that 
did they depend on the sale of medicines 
alone for a support, one would easily satisfy 
every demand; but these stores include, be- 
sides their drugs and medicines, a great va- 
riety of fancy and toilet goods, cutlery, paints, 
oils, dye stuffs and some medicinal liquors, 
to which they add the soda fount, etc., etc., 
and with a full line of these, each establish- 
ment, although of good proportions, find a 
paying business throughout the year. 

C. B. Bennett may be found at his old 
stand, on Lot 23, corner of Third and Col- 
lege streets. Mr. M. Ouyden, with a compar- 
atively new stock of goods, just south, across 
the street, on the opposite corner. C. W. 
Watson & Co., successors of H. T. Powell, 
one door east of the First National Bank, 
and George W. Seaman, on the corner of Lot 
47, corner of Main and Second streets. 
These four drug houses are all first-class. 

Only two tin and hardware shops are lo- 
cated in Greenville, but they have ample fa- 
cilities to meet the requirements that may be 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



125 



made upon them. Mr. Theodore Smith ha9 
been in business more than twenty-live years; 
is proprietor of one of the shops. He is now 
located on Lot 45, on Third street, in a large, 
commodious room, well suited to his busi- 
ness. The other is owned and conducted by 
Messrs. F. Seewald & Co. , on Lot 49, Green- 
ville, on Main street. A double building was 
found necessary to give sufficient room for 
their work and trade. 

There are two furniture stores, one kept 
by Gerichs & Norman, on Third street, who 
also keep undertakers' goods. The other, in 
charge of Mr. Gus Tripod, on Second street; 
besides which there is the cabinet shop of Mr. 
Barbey, who includes in his stock picture 
frames, undertakers' goods, etc. 

Three regular agricultural warehouses, 
with partial hardware stores attached, are to 
be found in the city — one on the corner of 
Main and Third streets, kept by Messrs. J. 
J. Glarkson and G. W. Lowrance, under the 
name of Clarkson & Lowrance. They handle 
many manufactures of plows, several self 
binders, and keep a good stock of hardware, 
seeds, etc. Another, and quite similar estab 
lishment, is first door north of the Presbyte- 
rian Church, kept by Jonathan Seaman and 
Hubbard, under the style of Seaman & Hub- 
bard. The third agricultural house is kept 
by William Leidel. He keeps everything 
belonging to a first-class agricultural estab- 
lishment, and is located across the street, 
west from his residence, near the railroad 
depot. Other agricultural implements are 
sold by parties who have no regular house for 
their sale. 

Three millinery and fancy stores may be 
named. McLain & Co., on Lot 49, Main 
street, is a house that has been established a 
number of years, and has always had the con- 
fidence of the public. The millinery parlors 
kept by Misses Jennie F. and May Barr, on 



Second street, one door south of the Thomas 
House, is well filled with fashionable goods; 
and the St. Louis Bazaar, by Mr. A. W. Hynes, 
one door east of E. P. Justice's grocery store. 
This last is more of a fancy store, with rare 
fruits, than to be called a millinery establish- 
ment. These houses have careful attendants, 
and are getting good trade. 

Five blacksmiths are scattered through the 
town. John Schlup, who also makes a spe- 
cialty of manufacturing wagons, has his shop 
on Third and Summer streets, T. B. Savage, 
aid to N. W. McLain's machine shop, is also, 
on Third street; J. E. Travis' shop is on 
Summer street, and W. W. Williams is lo- 
cated on Main, on Lot 50. J. D. Dorsey, 
"the village smith," makes a specialty of 
horseshoeing, on what is claimed to be an im- 
proved system; is located between the Baptist 
and Christian Churches. 

Three banks have been in successful oper- 
ation from fifteen to twenty years each. The 
first was under the style of W. S. Smith & 
Co., which was succeeded by the First Na- 
tional Bank of Greenville, located on the north- 
west corner of Lot 4(3, Main and Third streets, 
with a capital of $100,000, which has since 
been reduced about one-third. Its officers 
are: Nathaniel Dressor, President; Abe Mc- 
Neil, Vice President; M. V. Denny, Cashier. 

Mr. Charles Hoiles having retired from the 
bank bearing his name some two years ago, 
the same is now very successfully conducted 
by his two sons, C. D. and S. M. Hoiles, under 
the old firm name of Hoiles & Sons. Their 
bank is located on the southeast corner of 
Lot 47, on Second street. The bank of James 
Bradford and Samuel Bradford, under the 
style of Bradford & Son, is situated on the 
southwest corner of Lot 31, Second street. 
Each of the banks has the confidence of the 
people as regards their solvency. 

Two large lumber yards are located within 



126 



HISTORY OF BONO COUNTY. 



the corporation, that of Messrs. G. W. Flint 
& Co., successors to Gerichs & Koch, on 
Fourth and Washington streets, and that of 
C. D. Harris & Co., successors to Mudd & 
Harris, opposite the public school buildings. 
The lumber trade of Greenville is very large. 
The hotels should not be overlooked. The 
Franklin House, by L. Silverman, is well lo- 
cated on College and Third streets. The 
house ,was built in 1840, by L. D. Plant, for 
a hotel, but was not used as such for many 
years after. It has undergone considerable 
repairs and additions since building. The 
hotel on the east side of the public square, 
by Mrs. Elizabeth McCord, is the same build- 
ing in which J. B. O. White kept hotel over 
twenty-five years since. Mrs. McCord has at- 
tended closely to her duties, and has kept up 
the name of her house. She has many old 
traveling friends. 

The Thomas House, kept by Mrs. Mary A. 
Thomas, deserves special notice. She com- 
menced some ten years since, keeping her 
first hotel in the old Sargeant House; then 
the Franklin; next the new Empire. Her 
success in these houses enabled her to pur- 
chase the house she now occupies, which she 
has been keeping for the past three years, 
under the name of the Thomas House. She 
has shown more than ordinary executive abil- 
ity in conducting her hotel business in the 
past, which is a sure guaranty for success in 
the future. Her table is loaded with the del- 
icacies of the season, as the market affords. 

Three jewelry stores are at present in 
Greenville. That of G. S. Haven, on Lot 
32, northwest corner of court house square, is 
the oldest, Mr. Haven having been in the busi- 
ness about thirteen years. The other two stores 
are situated side by side on Lot 47, south- 
east corner of the square, one kept by Mr. 
Charles Derleth, the other by Mr Phillip 
Freeh. Both make attractive exhibits of their 



wares. There is but one machine shop in 
the city, and is kept on Lot 11, Third street, 
where ordinary repairs to machines needing 
experts are repaired. 

A number of shops for the manufacture of 
boots and shoes can be found by walking 
through the town. Across the street, on the 
north side of the square, may be seen the 
shop of Messrs. Flaharty & Sala. Just south 
of Mr. Justice's store the shop of Mr. Jacot, 
and south, on the same street, on Lot 53, the 
well-known shop of August Brunning: and 
the shop of Louis Derleth, in the basement 
of Hoiles Block, has had a good run of trade 
since he has been conducting the same. Mr. 
James Lyon's, two doors west of the Baptist 
Church, is the convenient shop for those liv- 
ing at the west end of the city. He has not 
been known to refuse to sell or work for those 
living in any other part of Greenville. 

For a number of years three elevators have 
been in operation in Greenville, buying and 
shipping grain, besides the mill of Plant & 
Wafer. The proprietors of the largest of 
these elevators have recently retired from the 
business, but the business will probably con- 
tinue under another management. 

Adolphe Breuchand and his brother Mark 
Breuchand have each an elevator on the line 
of the railroad, some forty rods distant from 
each other. The buying of wheat for ship- 
ping and grinding at Greenville annually 
amounts to more than two hundred thousand 
bushels, in good seasons. 

There are three steam ilouring-niiUs at 
Greenville — one situated half a mile north of 
the city, near the creek, from which the sup- 
ply of water needed in running the mill is 
taken. A similar mill, though not so large, 
was burned on the spot where the present one 
stands, by one Page, some forty years ago, 
for which he suffered the penalty of the law. 
Mr. W. S. Smith is the owner of the property 



CITY OF GREENVILLE. 



127 



at present. On account of its having been 
built on the ashes of the old mill, it was for 
years known as the Phoenix Mills. The small 
mill immediately north of the railroad, known 
as the Star Mills, was built some ten years 
ago by J. E. Walls and W. M. Evans. It 
was designed for a custom or exchange mill. 
Mr. E. Tinkey, its present proprietor, has 
made some improvements in the same during 
the past two years he has owned it, and he 
runs it to the extent that business justifies. 

The mill on the south side of the railroad, 
known as the Greenville City Mills, was built 
some fourteen years ago by N. W. McLain 
and James E. Wafer, who ran it for a number 
of years, when John B. Eeid became their 
successor, added some improvements, and 
sold it to its present owners, Williamson 
Plant and Thomas Wafer, who have recently 
expended several thousand dollars putting in 
improved machinery to enable them to man- 
ufacture a superior grade of flour for their 
large and growing trade. They have opened 
up a good shipping trade within the past two 
years with Belfast, Ireland, Glasgow, Scot- 
land, Liverpool and London, having shipped 
to those points within that time over thirty 
car loads of flour, at prices in advance of 
any market in the United States. This mill 
also does a general exchange business with 
farmers the same as the other two mills before 
referred to. The water for running this mill 
is abundant in a good well in the mill. In 
addition to the above, Messrs. Elam & Sons 
are putting up a mill on the railroad near the 
stock pens for sawing walnut blocks into legs 
for tables, and hickory butts into carriage 
and wagon spokes, etc. 

The perplexities and uncertainties of the 
law iD Greenville is explained and argued if 
necessary, for a proper fee, by Messrs. S. A. 
Phelps, D. H Kingsbury, A. G. Henry, W. 
H. Dawdy, John Kingsbury, W. A. North- 



cott (Mr. Northcott at present being State's 
Attorney), and L. H. Craig. Robinson & 
Reid, over the post office, are engaged in an 
abstract, loan and insurance business. 

The citizens of Greenville claim that the 
health of their city and surrounding country 
has been so good that they will need, if such 
continues, a list of the names of their resident 
physicians placed in some conspicuous place 
that they may not forget them. If such a 
list was posted in the order in which they 
came to the city, it would be in the following 
order: Drs. W. P. Brown, R. C. Sprague, 
J. A. Slaughter, David Wilkins, James Gor- 
don. D. R. Wilkins, Prank Brown, W. H 
H. Beeson and Miss Florence B. Holden. 

The above list will not need to have the 
name of our excellent dentist, Dr. N. H. 
Jackson, inscribed on it for fear we may for- 
get him, as each one, sooner or later, will 
have occasion to know of him or his brethren 
in the profession elsewhere. He is at pres- 
ent located pleasantly in rooms above the 
Elephant Clothing House. 

The three harness shops will not be over- 
looked by the farmer, or those in need of +heir 
goods. That of T. B. Wood, one door south 
of Bradford's Bank, of W. J. Mills, on Lot 
25, northwest corner of the public square, 
and last, but not least, that of Will Holdz- 
kom, on Lot 32, west side of the square. All 
these men give personal attention to their bus- 
iness. 

The pleasure-seekers will always be glad 
to make the acquaintance of the good natured 
livery stable man. When you step out of 
the Thomas House, on the first lot to your 
left you will find the Empire Stable, kept by 
Mr. James W. Whittaker, and he keeps 
many new buggies to sell to those who do not 
want to ride in his. 

Capt. S. M. Tabor, in the Francisco Stables, 
has had an excellent run of business. Capt. 



128 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Tabor's friends are loud in praise of the 
speed of some of his horses. 

Mr. Kobert Merry, successor to Wood & 
Merry, has found it necessary to own two 
stables to enable him to carry on his large 
and growing business — one just west from 
Gapt. Tabor's, and the other across the street 
north. Mr. Merry has some good rigs for 
the business. All seem to do a good busi- 
ness. 

The tonsorial art, in the hands of Messrs. 
C. R. Jones, Thomas Barbee, Mr. Kepler and 
Joseph Jones has had the tendency of smooth- 
ing the faces and shortening the locks of 
their numerous visitors, adding largely to 
their personal appearance in proportion as 
they remove this surplus growth. 

No one should shun Messrs. Hurley & Co., 
on Third street, below the First National 
Bank, because their home and business is 
among the tombstones. A call upon them 
will give some idea of the work that may 
stand as a sentinel at your last resting-place. 

No business list of Greenville would be 
complete that did not include the bakeries of 
Messrs. Frank Parent and Nicholas Faust; 
and they know how to make a good lunch or 
square meal. 

Mr. C. R. Brenning makes a specialty of 
his restaurant, and knows how to please his 
patrons by keeping a nice, clean house. The 
ice cream saloon and fancy bakery of Mrs. 
Heffer & Sons commands the attention of not 



only the young man and his girl, but older 
people find real comfort^in those dishes they 
know so well how to serve. In closing our 
Greenville notes, mention must be made of 
the " boy merchant, " Lincoln Reid, son of 
Col. J. B. Reid, a mere lad, yet he has been 
in business about three years, beginning at 
first selling stationery on a small scale from 
a counter in the corner of the post office in 
Greenville. His business is steadily in- 
creasing, until now it is developing into a 
business of larger proportions. Such enter- 
prise gives hopeful promise in the future. 
To write of incidents of a foreign land as 
they fall under our observation or related to 
us by others, is largely of the nature of ma- 
chine work. But to write of one's home, 
early associations and recollections, of inci- 
dents of days that are passed never to return 
and bring back those happy inspirations of 
youth, cannot but bring its share of sadness. 
But let these be as they may, the writer has 
honestly, but perhaps too hurriedly, given in 
the proceeding pages (or at least that part 
allotted to him), which came under his per- 
sonal knowledge, or was derived from official 
records of the different events as they oc- 
curred, faithfully and impartially, knowing 
full well that some errors may have crept in 
unobserved, for which great care has been 
used to make the number of such as few as 
possible. 



RIPLEY PRECINCT. 



129 



CHAPTER XIII* 

RIPLEY PRECINCT — TOPOGRAPHICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE — EARLY SET I'LEMENT — PIONEER LIFE 

AND HARDSHIPS — THE WHEELOCKS — THE ANCIENT TOWN OF "OLD RIPLEV"— OLD 

SPANISH TRADITION— CHURCHES— SCHOOLS— VILLAGES, ETC. 



" The past and present as herein told, 
Form topics of thought for young and old." 

— Riley. 

~^T~ATURE in her green mantle is nowhere 
-L. ' more lovery than in that portion of Bond 
County set aside by survey and known as 
" Ripley Precinct." Cozy farmhouses nestle 
in somber quietude amid the green orchards 
which dot the landscape in every direction. 
Though it has every appearance of newness, this 
country has been settled for many years. Scenes, 
familiar to many of the older residents, are fast 
passing from view, and the old landmarks are 
disappearing with those to whom they owe their 
existence, and mention must be made of them 
before the places which once knew them shall 
know them no more. Only too frequently it is 
the case, that people do not see beyond the 
narrow limits of their own lives, and items of 
private and public interest are neglected and 
allowed to drift into the channel of the forgot- 
ten past. A great many important facts con- 
nected with the earlier history of Ripley Pre- 
cinct are irrecoverably lost, but a few have 
been found by careful research, which will be 
appropriately mentioned. 

Ripley Precinct lies almost directly west of 
Greenville, and is somewhat irregular in shape, 
very much resembling in form an inverted L. 
It extends from the western limits of Green- 
ville Precinct to the Madison County line, with 
Cottonwood Precinct extending along its north- 
ern boundary and Pocahontas Precinct bound- 
ing it on the south. The entire surface is suf- 

* By Taylor J. Riley. 



ficiently rolling, so that artificial means of 
drainage is unnecessaiy. Some of the land, 
however, along the creeks is low, or so very 
rugged that it can only be used for grazing 
purposes, and is not susceptible of cultivation, 
but the farming lands are nearly level, or but 
slightly undulating. The soil is of the finest 
quality, and yields abundant harvests of all 
crops usually grown in this latitude. The 
principal products are wheat, corn and oats, 
which indeed are almost the only products. 

The residences throughout this precinct are 
mostly good, substantial buildings, though ver} - 
little attempt is made at the elegance displayed 
in older and longer settled countries, but the 
finely cultivated farms bespeak the success 
which has attended those who were fortunate 
enough to secure a footing here, when land was 
much cheaper. The original timber consisted 
of hickory, oak, ash, poplar, walnut, sugar ma- 
ple, and the present growth is much the same, 
though a great deal of the original timber has 
fallen before the industrious hand of the set- 
tlers. The water-courses flowing through Rip- 
ley Precinct are Shoal Creek, the only one of 
any importance which enters from the north 
and Bows across the precinct in a southeasterly 
direction. There are also two small creeks, 
both known as Dry Fork, one coming from the 
south and the other from the north, and, unit- 
ing, flow about three-quarters of a mile into 
Shoal Creek. Shoal Creek has a number of other 
small tributaries, hardly worth mentioning. 

The early settlement of Ripley Precinct is 



130 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



somewhat involved in obscurity, but promi- 
nent among those of whom anything is known 
was Anderson Hill, who came from South Caro- 
lina, in the time of the Indians, and settled 
upon the farm now owned by John Davis. His 
son, Anderson Hill, Jr., then but a child, came 
with his father and afterward settled upon the 
farm now owned by William Brown, where he 
lived until his death, which occurred in 1853. 
Moses File was also among the early settlers, 
coming from North Carolina and settling about 
seven miles west of Greenville in 1818. His 
son, John N. File, now owns the old home farm. 
The Wheelock Brothers came from the East, in 
1812, and founded the town known as "Old 
Ripley," which in early times was quite a trading 
post, people coming from within a radius of 
fifty miles to do their trading. The town was 
founded upon a farm belonging to a Mr. Lust 
of Edwardsville, now owned by William Brown, 
and numerous signs are still visible, though the 
buildings have long since been torn down or 
moved away, the ruins of old blacksmith 
shops and several old wells alone remaining to 
mark the site of this once prosperous village. 
Dr. Baker came about this time, and occupied 
the house now owned by the Widow Jandt. 
He was the first person buried in the old Brown 
Graveyard, where many wear3 - mortals are now 
resting. Numerous descendants of the above- 
named early settlers still live in this precinct, 
and the farms of their forefathers, which were 
then a wilderness, have indeed been made to 
" blossom as the rose." Other families con- 
tinued to move into the community just de- 
scribed, until the war of 1812 put a slight 
check on immigration for a time, but after its 
close it commenced again with renewed vigor. 
Glowing accounts were carried back to the 
older settlements of the richness and fertility 
of this new country, which brought many of 
the sturdy backwoodsman of Virginia and 
North Carolina, accustomed from their earliest 
childhood to lives of self-dependence, and in 



whom had been generated a contempt of dan- 
ger and a love for the wild excitement of an 
adventurous life. "We of the present day, 
accustomed to the luxuries and conveniences of 
a highly civilized state of society, lapped in the 
soft indolence of a fearless security 7 , accustomed 
to shiver at every blast of winter's wind, and to 
tremble at every noise, the origin of which is 
not perfectly understood, can form but an im- 
perfect idea of the motives and influences which 
could induce the early pioneers of the West to 
forsake the safe and peaceful settlements of 
their native States and brave the unknown 
perils and undergo the dreadful privations of 
a savage and unreclaimed wilderness." 

In early times, the procuring of bread was a 
source of great anxiety to the settlers, and 
when the first white people came to this coun- 
try they found none of the conveniences of to- 
day. An enterprising settler named Lee was 
the first to erect a mill. It was built on Shoal 
Creek, where Brown's Mill now stands, over 
sixty years ago, and for many years supplied 
the settlers of Ripley Precinct with corn meal 
and a scanty supply of flour. All signs of this 
mill have entirely succumbed to the lapse of 
time, and where it once was there now stands 
a thriving grist-mill, which was erected in the 
year 1840, by Benjamin and Henry Brown. 
When this mill was first built, it was used only 
for sawing lumber, but in 1847 William 
Brown purchased the interest of Henry Brown 
(his cousin), and he and Benjamin Brown put 
in machinery for grinding grain, and for thirty- 
five years this vicinity has been filled with the 
merry din of the wheels of " Brown's Mill." A 
few years later a saw and grist mill was built 
on Shoal Creek, about three and one-half miles 
below Brown's Mill, by William Hunter, which 
was afterward purchased by Wesley Bilyew 
who ran it for several years. No traces of this 
mill at present remain. At an early date a 
tannery was built on the farm now owned by 
William Brown, though the builder's name 



RIPLEY PRECINCT. 



131 



could not be ascertained, and only an old vat, 
or two remain to mark the place where it once 
stood. A distillery, supposed to have been 
built by the Wheelocks about 1813, once stood 
near where Brown's Mill now stands, though 
one looking at the place to-day would scarcely 
imagine it ever to have been the scene of an 
active industry. 

One particular in which Ripley Precinct is 
sadly deficient is its roads, which are very lit- 
tle superior to the early day " trails " or 
" traces." The first road of any importance 
was the old " Vandalia road," which is but lit- 
tle better now than it was then, being the same 
old, unimproved dirt road, and in the spring 
becomes almost impassable. It is an old road, 
and as there are no pikes in the precinct, it is 
very much used. Another road which has been 
used as a highway since an early date, is the 
" Pocahontas and Ripley road," but its unim- 
proved condition renders travel upon it any- 
thing but comfortable. 

The first bridge constructed in this precinct 
was over Shoal Creek, on the " Vandalia road," 
and was made of wood. It has been washed 
away twice and rebuilt of wood, and it was 
washed away the third time in 1875, and re- 
built of iron, the same 3-ear. In April of the 
present year (1882), this iron bridge was washed 
away, but was caught and replaced in June, 
without any material damage having been done. 
This bridge is the only one ever built in the 
precinct. 

For many years, an old tradition has been 
going the rounds in this vicinity to the effect 
that the Spanish, who lived here at a very earl}' 
date, had buried three barrels of silver dollars 
in that portion of Ripley Precinct known as 
" Shoal Creek bottom," on land now owned by 
Thomas B. File. So much credit has been 
placed in this tale that the three barrels of 
Spanish dollars have been often sought for, and 
numerous places give evidence of having been 
dug up, in the vigorous search for this mythi- 



cal fortune. An old gentleman named Bates 
living near New Berlin, claims to know where 
this " hoard " is located, but the thinking por- 
tion of the inhabitants place no credit in it. It 
is also stated that the Indians who inhabited 
this region in an early day have been heard to 
say that " if the people of Shoal Creek bottom 
knew what they did, they could shoe their 
horses with silver." 

The precinct of Ripley cannot boast of many 
churches. The first one erected was " Mount 
Nebo," built by the Baptists, in 1835. The church 
was organized on the 9th of February, 1832, at 
the residence of John Coyle, on Round Prairie, 
by Rev. Peter Long, assisted by Thomas Smith, 
of Madison County, and with twenty-three mem- 
bers, several of whom were subsequently turned 
out for unfaithfulness. At a meeting in March 
of the same year, Rev. Peter Long was chosen 
pastor, in which capacity he served for over 
forty years, and. in 1874, in his seventieth year 
of age, on account of his enfeebled condition, he 
resigned his pastorate, though he is still a mem- 
ber of the same church. Since its organization, 
the membership has run up as high as 130, and 
during this time two other churches have been 
organized out of it. Since the resignation of 
Rev. Peter Long, the pastors have been : Rev. 
W. C. Harvey, A. J. Sitton, John H. Jones, who 
filled the pulpit for about three years, and J. 
B. White, who is the present pastor, with a 
membership of about sixty. Their first church 
building was constructed of hewn logs, and was 
an enormous affair, said to have been the larg- 
est log building ever built in thecount}-. About 
1850, it was replaced by a frame house, which 
was destroyed by fire in 1S52, by ashes being 
put in a keg and igniting. Late the same year, 
the frame edifice, which at present occupies the 
site, was erected. No other churches have been 
built in Riple}- Precinct, until the present year 
(1882), when the Presbyterians, led by Rev 
Thomas Hvnes. erected a beautiful little church 
of brick in the village of New Berlin. This 



132 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



organization is as yet quite small, but supports 
a very good Sunday school, and is in a flourish- 
ing condition. Quite recently, also, the Regular 
Baptists have built a frame church on the 
" Vandalia road," about two miles east of New 
Berlin. Their membership only numbers about 
twenty souls, and their church is presided over 
by no regular pastor. For nearly twenty years 
the African Baptists, numbering about twenty 
members, have been worshiping in a little log 
church on " Shoal Creek Hill," near New 
Berlin, but have never had a regular pastor. 

The subject of education and the building of 
schoolhouses were paid very little attention to 
by the early settlers in Ripley Precinct. For 
many years school was had in a small way 
around at the houses of the settlers. The first 
schoolhouse erected in this precinct was built 
on the old " Lee Wait farm," in 1830. For 
some time, it was taught by Thomas Arm- 
strong, and afterward, the tutorship was as- 
sumed by Peter Long. At present, nothing 
remains to show where this old pioneer school- 
house was located. The instruction given the 
pupils at this time was of the most primitive 
character, embracing only the most common of 
the school branches, such as reading, writing, 
spelling and a knowledge of the rudimentary 
principles of mathematics. There are at present 
six schoolhouses in Ripley Precinct, namely : 
Round Prairie Schoolhouse, present teacher, F. 
W. Fritz ; Ray's Schoolhouse, present teacher, 
Henry Dixon ; the Baker Schoolhouse, presided 
over by Miss Bunn ; the Ripley Schoolhouse, 
teacher, George H. Donnell ; the Mount Vernon 
Schoolhouse, teacher, R. O. White, and the Terra- 
pin Ridge Schoolhouse, presided over by Millard 
Dixon. Of late years, the subject of education 
has received much more attention than it did 
in an earlier day ; efficient teachers are em- 
ployed at reasonable salaries and many of the 
higher branches are taught. 



New Berlin, the post office name of which is 
Old Ripley, is the only village in this precinct. 
It was founded in September, 1850, by Charles 
Plog and Mathias Brown, and is located on a 
part of the south half of Section No. 8, Town 5 
north, of Range 4 west, of the Third Principal 
meridian, near the old " Vandalia road." The 
originial plat contained twenty-four lots. 50x120 
feet in dimensions, and, in June, 1866, H. G. 
Jandt made an addition of sixteen lots, of the 
same dimensions as those in the original plat. 
Mr. Jandt was among the first residents in New 
Berlin, and for probably twenty years kept a gen- 
eral merchandise store. I. V. Long also was en- 
gaged in the general merchandising business 
about this time. William Lytle built and ran 
the first tavern, and kept in connection with it 
a small stock of groceries, and retailed liquors. 
The monotonous quiet, which always exists 
about a small village, was relieved in New 
Berlin by the merry clanging of the hammer of 
Ferdinand Gauzer, the first village blacksmith, 
and every Sunday divine service was held in 
his shop, led by the Rev. Thomas Hynes. H, 
G. Jandt kept the first post office in the rear 
end of his store. The present Postmaster is 
R. 0. White, who is also engaged in teaching 
the " young idea how to shoot" at the Mount 
Vernon Schoolhouse. At present, New Berlin 
is a thriving little hamlet of about one hundred 
and fifty inhabitants, mostly Germans, and is 
considerable of a trading-point, the business 
enterprises consisting of two general merchan- 
dise stores, one brick drug store, two black- 
smith-shops, two wagon-makers' shops, two 
shoe shops, two saloons, a steam grist and saw 
mill, owned by Mrs. Cox, and a neat, comforta- 
ble hotel, owned by Mrs. Mary Arnold. No 
secret societies exist in New Berlin as yet, 
though a number of the inhabitants are mem- 
bers of organizations in the neighboring 
towns. 



MULBERRY GROVE PRECINCT. 



133 



CHAPTER XIV.* 

MULBERRY GROVE PRECINCT — PHYSICAL, TOPOGRAPHICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE — EARLY SETTLE- 
MENT—REV. J. B. WOOLARD AND OTHER PIONEERS— FIRST BIRTH, MARRIAGE, ETC.— THE 
BEGINNING OF ALL THINGS— CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS— VILLAGE OF MULBERRY 
GROVE— WHEN LAID OUT— GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT, ETC., ETC. 



" A song for the early times out West, 
And our green old forest home." 

— The Old Pioneer. 

MULBERRY GROVE PRECINCT is 
rather diminutive in size, and its cit- 
izens, as has been said of those of the 
State of Rhode Island, when they want to 
communicate with each other, do not write 
letters or send messages, but go out in 
the yard and call to them. Though small in 
extent, it is fine land, well adapted to cultiva- 
tion, and numbers some excellent farms. It is 
mostly level prairie, with a few hills along the 
small water-courses which intersect it. It con- 
tains a fractional part of two townships ; a por- 
tion lying in Township 5, the remainder in 
Township 6, Range 2 west, and is bounded on 
the north b} - Zion Precinct, on the east by Fay- 
ette County, on the south by Fairview Pre- 
cinct, and on the west by Greenville and Zion 
Precincts. The land is watered and drained by 
Owl Creek, Lick Creek, Town Branch, Sea- 
graves' Branch, and a few smaller streams that 
are nameless on the maps. The streams drain 
the land sufficiently, without the farmers hav- 
ing to resort to artificial means. More or less 
timber bordered the water-courses, consisting 
of the species common to this section. The 
precinct has the advantage of the Vandalia 
Railroad, which passes nearly across the cen- 
ter, with a station at the village of Mulberry 
Grove, whence large shipments are made of the 

•By W. H. Perrin. 



surplus products of the surrounding country. 
Upon the whole, this little division, called Mul- 
berry Grove Precinct, ranks among the best 
and most prosperous portion of Bond County. 

The first settlement or improvement made in 
what is now known as Mulberry Grove Pre- 
cinct was made about the year 1826 b}' Zopher 
Foster, on the place now occupied by Rev. 
James B. Woolard. The next settlers after 
Foster were John Bilvew and Duncan Johnson, 
who came in about 1829-30, and were from 
Tennessee. Rev. James B. Woolard, from 
North Carolina, was the next permanent settler. 
He came to the country in 1831, and pur- 
chased the improvements of Zopher Foster, 
where he has resided ever since — a period of 
more than fifty years. 

Mr. Woolard has lived an active life, and 
been closely identified with Bond County 
throughout a long period of time. From a 
published sketch of his life, we extract a few 
facts and incidents that will probably interest 
the reader, and without which a history of 
Bond County would scarcely be complete. He 
was born in North Carolina, but brought up 
principally in Tennessee, and, as we have said, 
came to Bond County in 1831, locating upon 
the place where he still lives. In the spring of 
1832, the next year after he came here, upon 
the call of Gov. Reynolds for volunteers for the 
Black Hawk war, he enlisted as one of the fifty 
men comprising the quota of Bond County. 
For the money received for his services in the 



134 



HISTORY OF BOXD COUXTY. 



campaign, he entered his first forty acres of 
land, being that upon which he lives, and to 
which, in a few years, by industry and econo- 
my, he was enabled to add, until he was the 
owner of 600 acres in a body. He was one of 
the Judges of the first election held in his part 
of the county, and when a post office was es- 
tablished in 1834-35, he was appointed Post- 
master. 

Of his religious life, much might be said 
which space will not permit. In the summer 
of 1823, he made a profession of religion, joined 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, served as class 
leader and licensed exhorter. In the fall of 
1829, was licensed a local preacher ; his first 
license was signed by Rev. Peter Cartwright, 
Presiding Elder. In 1834, was ordained Dea- 
con by Bishop R. R. Roberts. In the fall of 
1836, was received as an itinerant in the Illi- 
nois Conference, and was appointed to the Car- 
lyle Circuit, in the bounds of which he lived. 
In 1837, to Grafton Circuit, and in 1838 to Car- 
linville. In 1839, was ordained Elder by Bish- 
op Morris, and appointed to the Carliuville Sta- 
tion ; 1840, to Staunton ; 1841 again to Carlyle, 
1842 to Shelbyville, 1843, to Sharon. On ac- 
count of his aged and feeble parents and young 
family depending upon him, in 1844 he asked 
and obtained a location from the annual con- 
ference. He continued laboring diligently as a 
local preacher until the fall of 1853; after he 
had buried his aged father, who died in his 
eighty-fifth year, and made comfortable pro- 
vision for his mother, he again entered the itin- 
erancy in the Southern Illinois Conference, was 
appointed agent for McKendree College, and re- 
moved to Lebanon. In the fall of the same 
year, was appointed to Trenton Circuit ; 1854 to 
Shiloh, and again, in 1855, to Shiloh. In 1856, 
to Fillmore ; 1857 and 1858, to Salem; 1859 and 
1860, to Middleton. In 1862, was appointed 
Chaplain in the One Hundred and Eleventh 
Illinois Volunteers, J. S. Martin, Colonel, in 
which capacity he served three years, but 



through exposure and fatigue of camp life, his 
health failed, and he came home at the close of 
the war with a broken constitution, not able to 
perform the labors of an itinerant minister. 
Yet his friends of the Conference continued 
him on the itinerant list as a superannuated 
member of the Southern Illinois Conference, 
and now, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, 
his voice still clear and strong, he frequently 
preaches and attends funerals. 

Since his first settlement in the county, his 
home has been a welcome stopping-place for 
friends, and especially for ministers ; none were 
ever turned away from his door. And now, 
full of years and full of honors, the hero of two 
wars, he is calmly awaiting the summons, 
" Well done, thou good and faithful serv- 
ant," etc. 

Other early settlers in Mulberry Grove Pre- 
cinct were Richard Moody, James Dunaway, 
James Spradling, Mark Dunaway, Joseph Arm- 
strong, Bennett Seagraves, Arthur Sherard, 
Drury Petty, Durham, Henry Inman, John 
Perkins and others. Durham settled on Sec- 
tion 12, and was from Tennessee. He has a 
son and a daughter living in Fayette County. 
Inman settled on Section 1, about the year 
1S30 ; Perkins, about the same year, settled on 
Section 10, and has several sons living in the 
county. Moody settled on Owl Creek, and was 
from the southern part of the State ; the Dun- 
aways settled east of Moody ; also, Petty. The 
latter sold out to Spradling about 1830. Arm- 
strong was a Tennesseean, and bought out 
Mark Dunaway. Sherard was also from Ten- 
nessee, and settled on Section 36, in 1833. In 
illustration of the healthfulness of the neigh- 
borhood. Mr. Woolard says that the first fifteen 
years he lived there, he did not pay $15 in 
doctors' bills, and although more than twenty 
different families have lived on the farm at dif- 
ferent times, there has never been but one 
death on it since it was settled. 

This comprises the sum and substance of 



: 




SZ^L 



C&Vi/ 



LIBRARY 

OF THE 
UNIVERSITY ot ILLINOIS 



MULBERRY GROVE PRECINCT. 



137 



what we have obtained of the early settlement 
of this portion of Bond County. The story of 
the early trials of the pioneers may be found in 
other chapters of this work. What applies to 
them in one section of Southern Illinois is com- 
mon in all parts of the State. Their life for 
years was hard, and beset with dangers and 
difficulties, but patience and perseverance, 
coupled with an indomitable will, carried them 
over safe, and wafted them on to wealth and 
prosperity. 

John Bilyew, who is mentioned as one of the 
first settlers of the precinct, and who built his 
cabin near where the village of Mulberry Grove 
now stands, erected a horse mill at a very early 
day, upon or near the site of the present Meth- 
odist Church, which he operated for a good 
many years. It was a great benefit to the 
neighborhood, and continued to do good service 
until enfeebled by age, and it had became so 
frail and rickety that the customers had to 
withe in the cogs with hickory withes so that 
they could grind their corn. But it finally 
went "the way of all the earth," and a good 
steam mill now occupies its place in the busi- 
ness of the community. 

Evervthing must have a beginning, and in 
Mulberry Grove Precinct, the increase of pop- 
ulation began bj the birth of a daughter to the 
wife of Zopher Foster, the first settler, and 
was the first birth in the precinct. The first 
marriage was a daughter of Arthur Sherard. 
She was married by Duncan Johnson, who was 
the first Justice of the Peace, but who she mar- 
ried we did not learn. The first election was 
held in the neighborhood under a tree, near the 
dwelling of Bennett Seagraves, about 1833-34. 
Rev. J. B. AVoolard and Drury Petty were the 
Judges of this election, and John Russell and 
William Hunter were candidates for the Leg- 
islature. The first sermon preached was by 
Rev. E. R. Ames, afterward Bishop Ames. 
The first post office was established about the 
year 1834-35, and J. B. Woolard was appoint- 



ed Postmaster. From the great number of 
mulberry trees standing around his cabin in 
which the post office was held, he gave it the 
name of Mulberry Grove, a name it still bears. 
and which has been given both to the village 
and precinct. 

As soon as a sufficient number of people had 
settled in the neighborhood, a schoolhouse 
was built and a school established. This 
schoolhouse was of the regular pioneer type, 
being of the rudest architecture, and having 
the usual puncheon floor, stick chimney, and 
great, wide fire-place. The school was taught 
on the subscription plan, as was the custom 
then, but the name of the first teacher was not 
obtained. On Sunday, the building was used 
as a temple of worship, where the pioneers 
gathered to hear the word. Near this house a 
cemetery was laid out, and the first person who 
died in the precinct (Mrs. Margaret Riley) was 
buried in it. Since then, many of the pioneers 
have been buried there. Arthur Sherard was 
one of the early school teachers, but we do not 
know if he was the first one. There are now 
three schoolhouses in the precinct, besides 
that in the village of Mulberry Grove. Educa- 
tion has advanced considerably since the build- 
ing of the rude schoolhouse described above, 
as the present handsome and comfortable 
houses now in use, and the excellent schools 
taught annually iu them truthfully attest. 

Bethlehem Baptist Church was originally or- 
ganized July 10, 1830, ou Hurricane Creek, in 
Fayette County. Among the first members 
were D. E. Deane, James Street, Willis Dod- 
son, Larkin Cragg and Henry Sears. Iu a few 
years, a great many others united and it became 
strong in numbers. Elder Dodson preached 
the first sermon ; the first Clerks were Joseph 
Williams and James Ferrell. The first meet 
iugs were held at the houses of the brethren 
alternately. The church was "dissolved" in 
Fayette County, June 11, 1835, and in 1837 
the first meeting of the congregation was held 



138 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



in Bond County, the church to be called Beth- 
lehem. The church house was built in the fall 
of the same year. Elder John Crouch was the 
first minister; the present, Elder John Lawler, 
and the present Clerk, J. H. Taylor ; meetings, 
the second Saturday of each month. 

The village of Mulberry Grove was surveyed 
and laid out April 28, 1841, by Asahel Enloe, 
for Francis Gill, the proprietor of the land upon 
which it stands. It is the second largest town 
in the county, and from the records seems to 
have been first called Houston, but afterward 
changed to Mulberry Grove. It is situated on 
the Vandalia Railroad, about eight and a half 
miles from Greenville. Contiguous to it on the 
east (in Fayette County), and lying on Hurri- 
cane Creek, is a fine body of timber, while 
north, west and south is a thickly settled coun- 
try, in a fine state of cultivation, rendering this 
an excellent shipping point for grain, stock and 
other products of the farmers. 

The first house in Mulberry Grove was built 
by David Hubbard, several years prior to the 
laying-out of the towu. In this house, he and 
a man named Dewelby kept a store, the first in 
this part of the county. Hubbard also built a 
steam mill in the fall of 1837, which succeeded 
Bilyew's old horse-mill, already described. It 
was a custom mill, and did a good business. 
A saw-mill was added, and the two were car- 
ried on until about 1850. In April, 1869, the 
present mill was built. It was first started as 
a saw-mill by E. W. and C. E. Dee, brothers. 
The saw-mill was sold in 1872, and moved 
to Fairview, flour-mill machinery having been 
put in by the Dees in 1870. C. E. Dee is the 
present proprietor, having bought the remain- 
ing half-interest in 1873. The mill is operated 
by a twenty-five horse-power engine, has two 
run of buhrs, and makes " straight grade " flour 
only. The first blacksmith was David Elam, 
just across the line. He did all the work for 
this neighborhood, as well as a large portion of 
Fayette County. The first school in the village 



was taught by Arthur Sherard, and the first 
church society was that of the Methodists. 
The town at present shows the following busi- 
ness : Three or four general stores, grocery 
stores and drug stores, blacksmith, wagon, car- 
penter and shoe shops, flour and saw-mill, sev- 
eral physicians, two churches, and an excellent 
school. The population is about 500 souls. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church at Mul- 
berry Grove was organized by Rev. J. B. 
Woolard, about the year 1830, with a member- 
ship of six, besides himself and wile ; the 
others were Duncan Johnson and wife, John 
Bilyew and wife and Zopher Foster and wife ; 
Duncan Johnson was the first class-leader, and 
Revs. William Chambers and Wilson Pitman 
the first ministers. This church has since 
grown to a large congregation from which 
several other churches have been formed. The 
old log schoolhouse, already mentioned, was 
the first place of worship, and served as a 
church for several years. The first church 
building was erected in 1841, on the site of the 
present church, and occupied by the congrega- 
tion until 1866, when the present brick church 
was built at a cost of about $3,000. The pres- 
ent pastor is Rev. J. W. McGriff, and John 
Riley, class-leader. The first Sunday school 
was organized by Duncan Johnson in 1834, and 
has been kept up pretty nearly ever since ; the 
present superintendent is John Riley, the 
school is well attended, and both it and the 
church are prosperous and healthy. This 
church was included in the first circuit ever 
traveled by Rev. E. R. Ames, afterward Bishop 
Ames, of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

The Christian Church, or " Church of Christ," 
as it is called, was organized in the 3'ear 1865, 
by Elder John A. Williams of Salem, 111. The 
only two members living here at the time of 
the formation of the church were A. J. Leigh 
and Elizabeth Hensle}', but this did not deter 
them from organizing a societ}', on the Bible 
principle perhaps, that " where two or three 



MULBERRY GROVE PRECINCT. 



139 



are gathered together in my name," etc. Elder 
Williams preached for the church about seven 
years after it was formed, and is now preach- 
ing for it. The membership is about eighty, 
with a good attendance. A large and flourish- 
ing Sunday school is maintained, of which J. 
B. Rodecker is Superintendent. 

Charity Lodge, No. 1,733, Knights of Honor, 
was organized in August, 1879, and has been 
in operation ever since. The meetings are held 
in Prather's Hall on the first and third Satur- 
days of each month. The present officers are : 



C. Ormsworthy, Dictator ; C. A. Ragland, Past 
Dictator ; W. B. Hutchison, Financial Reporter ; 
S. G. Gillian, Guide ; C. C. Simmons, Vice 
Dictator ; have about twenty-six members. 

Mulberry Grove village is provided with ex- 
cellent schools. The school has been graded 
for the past eight years. There are two school 
buildings — one brick and the other a modern 
frame, two stories high, costing about $2, GOO. 
Three teachers are employed, and the average 
general attendance is about one hundred and 
fifty children. 




140 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY 



CHAPTER XV.* 

POCAHONTAS PRECINCT— TOPOGRAPHY AND DESCRIPTION— ITS EARLY SETTLEMENT— FIRST PIO- 
NEERS— THE PLANTS AND JOHNSONS— THE QLD METHODIST CHURCH— THE TOWN OF 
POCAHONTAS— OTHER VILLAGES— SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, ETC. 



" O sprecht ! warum zogt ilir von donuen ? 
Das Neckarthal hat. Weill und Korn ; 
Der Schwarzwald steht voll finstres Tannen, 
Im Spessart kliugt des Alplers Horn." 

THE Precinct of Pocahontas lies in the south- 
west corner of Bond County, and is 
bounded on the north by Ripley Precinct, on 
the east by Beaver Creek Precinct, on the 
south by Clinton County, and on the west by 
Madison County. Most of the surface of this 
precinct is level prairie land, especially the 
western half. The eastern portion, however, is 
somewhat higher and more rolling, and well 
adapted to agriculture. The only broken or 
rough land is found along the borders of the 
creeks and water courses, and is mostly devoted 
to grazing. 

The timber consists of oak, ash, elm, walnut, 
hickory, etc. The original timber has been 
mostly cut down for building and various other 
purposes, and the present timber is a younger 
growth. The water-courses of Pocahontas Pre- 
cinct are all small. The most important stream 
is Shoal Creek, which flows in rather a south- 
erly direction across the precinct, near its cen- 
ter. It has a number of branches and tribu- 
taries, all of which are small and of but little 
importance. A small stream called Locust 
Fork flows through the southern part, and near 
it is Dry Branch ; both of these are verj' small. 

Prominent among the pioneers who first lo- 
cated in this precinct was William Burgess, 
who came in shortly after the war of 1812, and 

* By T. J. Riley. 



settled just south of where Millersburg now is, 
on Sections 22 and 27. He was a volunteer in 
this war, and has no descendants living here at 
present. Joseph Critchfield, another very early 
settler, came in about the same time, and lo- 
cated on Section 25. His wife was for some 
time an inmate of the old fort (in Beaver Creek 
Precinct, and referred to elsewhere). He has 
still one descendant, Mrs. Prichett, living in the 
county. Joseph Bilyew, another early pioneer, 
came to this State prior to the war of 1812, and 
settled in Madison County. In 1817, he moved 
to this precinct and settled on Section 1 0. He 
has several great-grandchildren, at present re- 
siding in this county. A family named Coles 
settled east of where Millersburg now is, about 
1820. John Bilyew came in as early as 1822, 
and settled on the land where Frank Meyers 
now lives (near Pocahontas). He afterwards 
sold this farm to William Mills. James Nance 
settled on Section 27, in 1820. Samuel Lee- 
came in prior to Nance, and located in the same 
neighborhood. William Reams came in 1830, 
and settled in Section 28. A man named 
Rolten settled southwest of where Millersburg 
now is, about 1822, but on account of ill health 
he soon after moved away. John Powers set- 
tled on Section 25 in 1820, but at present has 
no descendants living here. 

About this time three brothers, Andrew 
George and James Green, located on Shoal 
Creek, a little above Powers. Daviil White, 
after whom White's Fort received its name, set- 
tled near them late in the same year. Isaac 



POCAHONTAS PRECINCT. 



141 



Reed settled a little farther up the creek on 
Section 10 in 1820. The Johnsons and Will- 
iamson Plant settled near where Pocahontas 
now is during the same year. 

About 1833, Benjamin Johnson, accompanied 
by five brothers, Duncan, Charles, James P., 
Hugh and John P., came in and located near 
where the town of Pocahontas now stands. 
Benjamin was a large land owner, and at one 
time was a member of the Legislature from this 
district. He lived here until his death, which 
occurred in 1861. There are a number of the 
descendants of the Johnsons living here at 
present. About this time, came the Sugg 
family and the Gillespie family, from Tennes- 
see, and the Ridgeways from Ohio. Two men, 
named Weise and Stockley, settled in the south- 
west part of the precinct in 1833. Josiah File 
came in 1837, and was followed, in 1840, by 
Edward Ellis, who is now the largest land 
owner in the precinct. 

The early industries in Pocahontas Precinct 
were of the most primitive pattern. Among 
the first was a mill, built on Shoal Creek by 
Thomas Stout about the year 1S31. It was a 
saw-mill, run by water-power, but a small attach- 
ment for grinding purposes was afterward put 
in, which did not prove much of a success. The 
mill ceased operations in 1870, and has done 
nothing since. William Burgess ran a small 
copper still on a spring branch on Section 26, 
but it ceased to live in 1828. About the time 
the town of Pocahontas was laid out, Duncan 
Johnson built a mill on Shoal Creek, but it has 
long since ceased to exist. 

In early times, a great excitement was created 
on account of a belief that gold and silver was 
to be found in Bond County. To add to this 
excitement, Robert Gillespie, a settler who lived 
on Shoal Creek, a few miles above where the 
town of Pocahontas now stands, found some 
shining particles in a spring near his house and 
gathering them carefully together, he took them 
to St. Louis, and showed them to a fellow who 



pronounced them gold. For some time after 
this the fever ran high, but as time gradually 
elapsed and no more was found, the search was 
finally abandoned. 

The Methodist Episcopal denomination or- 
ganized a church at the house of Charles John- 
son about the year 1820. Among the earlj' 
members were Charles Johnson, the Plant fam- 
ily, the Williams family, Harley Valentine and 
wife, and a part of the Bilycw family. Among 
the first class leaders was Henry Williams. 
The first church was built south of where the 
town of Pocahontas is now located, near where 
the depot now stands, sometime during the year 
1826. It was a log building of the most primi- 
tive structure. About 1835, this organization 
erected a new frame church three and one- 
quarter miles west of the old log church. The 
next church was built in the village, in 1854. 
It was a frame building, 50 feet long and 34 
feet in width, and cost about $1,500. The ground 
was donated by Benjamin Johnson, with the 
proviso that it should be open to all denomina- 
tions, except Catholics and Mormons. 

The town of Pocahontas was surveyed on 
the 21st day of March, 183S, by T. S. Hubbard, 
for Benjamin Johnson, the proprietor. It is 
located in Section 3, Township 4 north, Range 
4 west, nine miles southwest of Greenville, on 
the Vandalia Railroad. The town was first 
called Amity, and the post-office name was 
Hickory Grove. When this town was laid out 
Mr. Johnson (the founder) made provision that 
no lots were to be sold to any one unless they 
would agree not to handle liquors of any kind 
in any way. It is a well-known fact, that the 
Germans like their beer, and as most of the set- 
tlers were Germans, instead of locating in Poca- 
hontas, they went to Highland, a neighboring 
village, and settled there. The plau proved to 
be a bad one, and after a few years it was 
abandoned. 

Benjamin Johnson was the first Postmaster, 
and the first hotel was run by P. W. Lampkins 



142 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



in 1837. Benjamin Johnson owned the first 
blacksmith shop, and it was run by a smith 
named Hereon. The first store was a general 
merchandise establishment owned by Benjamin 
Johnson and Dr. Fitch, in 1836. Dr. Griffith 
was the first physician, about 1843, and the first 
church building was erected in 1852 by the 
Methodist denomination. 

At present Pocahontas is a flourishing village 
of a little over four hundred inhabitants. It 
contains three churches, a flouring mill, owned 
by W. S. Wait, one furniture store, one agri- 
cultural implement store, the Union Hotel, kept 
by William Justi, and the Western Hotel, kept 
by Henry Idler, three blacksmith shops, two 
wagon-maker's shops, one harness shop run by 
Frank Senn, two millinery establishments, one 
barber shop. Leopold Knobel and Joseph 
Leibler buy grain, and John Snyder and John 
Meyers deal in stock. There are also two dry- i 
goods stores and one grocery store. A. A. 
Simms is the Justice of the Peace, and Drs, 
John Gordon and J. R. Clinton represent the 
medical fraternity. The present Postmaster 
is H C. Challis. 

But little need be said concerning the schools 
of Pocahontas. The land on which the first 
school building was erected was donated by i 
Benjamin Johnson for the purpose of building 
an academy thereon. At its completion, in 
1854, it waa put in the charge of Prof. Cav- 
anaugh (a minister), of Lebanon. 

The first Trustees were Benjamin Johnson, 
N. Leaverton, W. Mills, B. Kavanaugh, P. 
Lampkins, D. Johnson and L. D. Plant, who ' 
gave it the name of Amity Academy. The 
academy was run according to the original plan 
for some time, but on account of its being so 
far in advance of the times, it was not suffi- 
ciently patronized to warrant the management 
in continuing it as an academy, and finally the 
project was given up. At present the building 
is used as the public school in District No. 4, and 
is the only school in the village of Pocahontas. 



The " Gordon Lodge," of A., F. & A. M., was 
organized at Millersburg October 3, 1866, by 
Grand Master Bromwell, but in 1867 was 
moved to Pocahontas. The first officers were : 
James Gordon, W. M.; Edward Teter, S. W.; 
Robert Elegood, J. W.; R. J. Collin, Treasurer, 
and A. J. Gullick, Secretary. The charter mem- 
bers were : Sidney and Harvey Cole, William 
Casey, Robert Elegood, Bellfield Featherston, 
James Gordon, A. J. Gullick, Edward Teter, 
John C. Gordon, Isaac Howell, Jacob Lindley, 
J. M. Lucas, James Pigg, Franklin Pressgrove 
and P. C. Reed. The present officers are : S. H. 
Challis, W. M.; Joseph Dever, S. W.; J. M. 
Minor, J. W.: George Powell, Secretary ; John 
Gordon, Treasurer ; Morris Margood, S. D., and 
Joseph Hunter, J. D. The lodge at present 
has a membership of about twenty, is in a 
flourishing, prosperous condition, and has about 
$800 in the treasury. For some time after the 
removal of the lodge from Millersburg to 
Pocahontas, they held their meetings in the 
the schoolhouse, but since 1873 they have occu- 
pied a large, convenient lodge room of their own. 

Lodge No. 177, of the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, was organized on the 12th da}' 
of October, 1855, by James Starr, the Grand 
Master of the State. The charter members 
were : R. K. Dewey, George H. Dewey, A. W. 
Greenwood, R. T. Sprague and J. F. Sugg. The 
first officers were : R. K. Dewey, N. G.; R. C. 
Sprague, V. G. ; A. W. Greenwood, Secretary ; 
and J. F. Sugg, Treasurer. The lodge held their 
meetings in the schoolhouse, until in the fall of 
1873. when they moved into the hall the}' now 
occupy. The lodge is at present in good con- 
dition, having about twenty-two members, and 
$700 in the hands of their Treasurer. They 
built their hall in 1873, at a cost of about 
$3,000, but the building has since been pur- 
chased by S. H. Challis. The present officers 
are : H. E. Reed, N. G.; Joseph Neathammer, 
V. G.; John Robinson, Treasurer, and W. S. 
Wait, Secretary. 



POCAHONTAS PRECINCT. 



143 



The A. 0. of U. W. was organized by C. W. 
Sewell, District Deputy, in June, 1880. The 
charter members were : W. M. Haj-s, F. E 
Jaudt, William Justi, Frank Meyer, James, 
Chiswell, J. M. Minor, Joseph Lawrence and 
John Neathammer, L. B. Long, William Bolt, 
Jacob Segar, Harmon Treadbar, Hartman 
Gruner. Perry Reed, Fred File, Philip Leibler, 
Frank Hochdafer, H. E. Reed, W. E. Smith, D. 
C. Heston and J. A. Hamptou. The officers 
who have filled the places since the organiza- 
tion of the lodge are : W. M. Hays, M. W.; F. 
E. Jandt, Recorder ; J. M. Minor, Financier ; 
H. E. Reed, Receiver ; W. E. Smith, P. M. W.; 
Fred File, Overseer, and William Justi, Fore- 
man. At present, the lodge is in a thriving 
condition, and is growing steadily in popular- 
ity and members. They hold their meetings 
in the Odd Fellows hall, and have a regular at- 
tendance of about twent3'-two members. 

The Good Templar Lodge was organized 
February 9, 1881, with ninety charter members. 
The first officers were : Z. T. Hendricks, Worthy 
Chief ; Miss Laura Stevens, Vice Worthy 
Chief; E. Balch, P. W.; H. Hatchet, Secretary; 
Miss Jennie Harned, Assistant ; C. Phelps, 
Financial Secretary ; Joseph Dever, Chaplain ; 
E. Alderman, Marshal ; Fannie Savage, assist- 
ant ; John Savage, Outside Guard, and Miss 
Hannah Challis, Inside Guard. The lodge has 
at present a membership of about forty-five, 
and meetings are held regularly every Thurs- 
day evening in Itemick's Hall. John Jett is 
the present Worthy Chief; E. Alderman acts 
as Secretary, and Mrs. Bridgewater is Treasurer. 

The Catholic Church was organized in the 
spring of 18G9, by Father Peter Peters. Among 
the first members were : John M. Gilmore and 
wife, Louis Loux and wife, Mr. Schwedenmau 
and wife, George Hochdefer and wife, George 
Arnold and wife, George Hansilman and wife, 
father and two sons ; Charles Kuebel and wife, 
Tom Ryan and wife, Charles Rovolt and Frank 
Rudolph and wife. The society worshiped in 



a private house, which they purchased and 
used as a place of worship until the erection of 
their present church building in 1872. It is a 
frame buildiug fifty feet long and twenty-six feet 
in width, and cost about $2,400. It was dedi- 
cated by Bishop Battles. For some time after 
the organization of this church, it was under the 
care of the Franciscan priests of Teutopolis, 111., 
but of late years it has been under the pastorate 
of regular priests. The first Trustees were Leo 
Eisenpris and John Senn. The present Trus- 
tees are Baptist Eisenpris, Timothy Coffee, 
Frank Senn and Fred Eisenpris. The Treas- 
urer is Frank Senn, and the priest now in charge 
is Rev. A. Kersting. About forty families now 
belong to the church. 

The United Baptist Church was organized 
on the 10th day of January, 1873, by Peter 
Long. The church was formed from members 
of the old Mount Nebo Church in Ripley Pre- 
cinct. The first members were Albert Ray 
and wife, S. N. Jett, Agnes E. Jett, Mildred 
Wait, Mary Bridgewater, Catharine Harvey 
and W. C. Harvey. Albert Ray and S. N. Jett 
were the first Deacons, and W. C. Harvey was 
the first clerk. The society worshiped at the 
houses of the members until in the spring of 
1874 ; a church fifty feet long and thirty feet 
wide was erected at a cost of about $1,400. The 
first Trustees were Lee Wait, J. G. Scott and 
S. N. Jett. The present Trustees are N. Bridge- 
water and Louisa C. Gilmore. The church at 
present is under the pastorate of Rev. J. H. 
Jones, has about twenty-five members, and is 
in good running order. It belongs to the Ap- 
ple Creek Association, over which Peter Long 
is Moderator. A flourishing Sunday-school is 
conducted in connection with the church, under 
the superintendency of Lawrence Stevens. An 
interesting Bible school of about fifty scholars 
is also taught regularly every Sunday. 

Millersburg is a small village situated in 
the southern part of the precinct. It was laid 
off by William Burgess from Kentucky, and 



144 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



received its name from a man named Charles 
Miller, who built the first mill. The first store 
was run by David C. Baldridge, who built the 
first house erected in the village. Fritz Haek- 
ick was the first blacksmith. At present it is a 
flourishing little hamlet of between one and 
two hundred inhabitants. It contains one store 
run by Peter Minges, three blacksmith shops, 
one wagon shop, run by John Dishouser ; one 
schoolhouse and one saloon. The postoffice 
name is il Baden Baden," and Clem Williams is 
the present Postmaster. Only three mails 
are received each week. The mill is run at 
present by Peter Strife, and is doing only a 
moderate business. There are no churches in 
the town. Recently, for the convenience of cit- 
izens living in the southern part of the precinct, 
a sub-voting place has been established at Mill- 
ersburg. This sub-votiug precinct includes a 
part of the southern portion of Pocahontas 
Precinct, and a couple of tiers of sections off 



the western side of Beaver Creek Precinct, but 
as yet no lines have been made ou our maps 
to indicate it, and it was doubtless made more 
for convenience than anything else. 

Pierron, a small village of about one hun- 
dred inhabitants, is situated near the midway of 
the western boundary line of the county, a part 
of it lying in Bond County and a part in Madi- 
son County, though most of the business por- 
tion lies in this county. It was laid off in 1868, 
by J. Pierron, who built and ran the first store. 
August Pierron was the first Postmaster. At 
present the town is in a prosperous condition, 
and contains one store run b3 T Suppiger & Uti- 
ger ; two blacksmith shops, one on each side, 
of the county line ; two wagon shops; one ele- 
vator owned by Kuebel & Co.; three hotels, 
only one of which is in this county, namely, the 
" Oak Dale House." A. A. Pierron and Louis 
Sehuert handle agricultural implements, and 
A. A. Suppiger is the present Postmaster. 




BEAVER CREEK PRECINCT. 



145 



CHAPTER XVI.* 

BEAVER CREEK PRECINCT — DESCRIPTION AND GENERAL TOPOGRAPHY —TIMBER AND WATER 

COURSES— EARLY SETTLEMENT— MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE PIONEER TIMES— THE 

FIRST POST OFFICE, BLACKSMITH, STORES, ETC.— MILLS AND CARDING MACHINES 

—VILLAGES— EDUCATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS— CHURCHES, ETC. 



THE precinct of Beaver Creek, to which 
this chapter is devoted, lies in the south- 
ern part of Bond County, directly south of 
Greenville, and comprises Township 4 north, 
Range 3 west, together with a tier of fractional 
sections along Shoal Creek on the western side 
of the precinct ; thus giving it these fractional 
sections more than a regular Congressional 
township. The surface of the land is generally 
level, much of it originally being prairie. 
Along the margin of the streams it is some- 
what hill}' and broken, and was covered 
with timber when the country was first settled. 
The timber, which was that common in this 
section, has been considerably thinned out, and 
that plauted by the settlers themselves now 
makes nearly as much show as the original I 
growth. The precinct is drained by Shoal and 
Beaver Creeks, and their tributaries. Beaver 
Creek flows through the eastern part in a 
southerly direction, receiving numerous small 
streams in its course, while Shoal Creek drains 
the western portion. The precinct, as at pres- 
ent laid off, is bounded on the north by Green- 
ville Precinct, on the east by Okaw, on the 
south by Clinton County and on the west by 
Pocahontas Precinct. It is as fine an agricult- 
ural district as can be found in this section ; 
the people are an intelligent and industrious 
class, well educated, and rank among the best 
citizens of the county. The surplus products 
of the precinct find a market over the Vandalia 

*By W. H. Perrin. 



Railroad, which passes near the northwest 
corner, but does not come within the limits. It 
has no lack of churches, schoolhouses and vil- 
lages. 

Settlements were made very early in the 
present precinct of Beaver Creek. The first 
white man of whom we have any account of 
making a settlement here was James Blizzard, 
in the winter of 1817-18, unless we except 
" Old Kenson," as he was called, and Cox, who 
was murdered by the Indians near the present 
town of Dudleyville. Of Old Kenson there is 
nothing but a vague tradition. It is said that 
he lived in a hollow sycamore tree in Shoal 
Creek bottom, near where the Vandalia Rail- 
road now crosses (whether the " hollow syca- 
more" stood in this precinct or not we are 
unable to say), and that he was there during 
the war of 1812. When the few people then 
living in Bond County fled to the forts for 
safety from the Indians, " Old Kenson " re- 
mained in his " den," looking after his hogs, 
and hunting. When the war closed, and the 
people returned to their cabins, " Old Kenson," 
like the Arab, pulled up his hollow sycamore, 
or his tent — 

"And as silently stole away," 

leaving no trace behind. What became of him 
or whither he went no one ever knew. He 
utterly refused to go into the fort with the 
other whites, alleging there was no real danger, 
and that the Indians would not molest him. 
Mr. Blizzard made the first permanent set- 



146 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



tlement, as we have said, in the winter of 
1817-18. He settled on the northwest part of 
Section 7, near where the school house now 
stands. He has two sons living here, J. J. and 
William M. Blizzard ; a daughter, Mrs. Harriet 
A. Gower, lives in Missouri. A Mr. James 
settled on Section 3, about 1825, and a man 
named Harlan settled near Dudleyville, on a 
place since owned by his son. A Mr. Hoffman, 
John Henry and A. G. Mills also settled near. 
Wilson Brown came in soon after Blizzard and 
settled on Section 6. Abraham McCurley and 
family settled on Section 3, in 1830. Richard 
Briggs came in with Wilson Brown and settled 
in the same neighborhood. McCurley has a 
daughter still living in Bond County — Mrs. 
Mary Woolard, wife of Rev. J. B. Woolard, of 
Mulberry Grove. Wilson Brown has two sons, 
Charles and Marion, living in the county. 
Andrew Green settled on Section 18, and was 
a blacksmith — the first perhaps in the precinct. 
James Kirkpatrick and Samuel G. Morse 
settled a little south of Harlan, and William 
Burgess settled on the west side of Beaver 
Creek, near the county line. As early as 1826, 
the Crutchfield brothers, Joseph and Jacob, 
settled on Section 30 ; they have descendants 
still living here. The Drake family, who were 
from Tennessee, settled on the same section. 
Durham and Phipps came in about 1820; 
Phipps has a daughter, Mrs. Goodsou, and 
Durham a son, Gideon Durham, living in the 
neighborhood. John Henry was an early 
settler, and the first Postmaster in the pre- 
cinct. The "old fort," mentioned so exten- 
sively in preceding chapters of this work, 
* stood on Section 7, the land now owned b}' the 
Byrnes heirs. 

About the year 1S26 or 1827, the McCas- 
lands, James McCasland, and his sons, John 
and Hugh, came into the precinct. They were 
from Kentucky, and John settled on Section 
11 ; Hugh settled on Section 23, but afterward 
moved on to Section 11. He finally moved to 



Montgomery County, where he now lives. A 
Mr. Harlan settled on Section 15 in 1825 and 
1826. Andrew Mills and family, from Tennes- 
see, settled on Section 14. Joseph Mills, a de- 
scendant, still lives in the precinct. A family 
of Browns came in early and settled on the 
same section with Mills. Balaam Metcalf, from 
Tennessee, settled on Section 14 about the year 
1S28. He has a son, Henry Metcalf. still living 
in the precinct. William Downing settled on 
Section 24, and afterward sold out to Allen. 
Joseph Meyers settled on Section 22. This 
comprises a list of the eariy settlers so far as 
we have been able to learn anything concerning 
them. 

The first years in a new country are years of 
toil and hardship. It was particularly so in 
the early settling of Southern Illinois. There 
were no railroads then; no improved agricult- 
ural implements ; no mills deserving of the 
name, and, indeed, no luxuries, and veiy few of 
the necessaries of life. Log cabins with punch- 
eon floors ; " hog and hominy ;" the bar-shear 
plow, reaping-hook, and scythe and cradle were 
things with which the pioneers were altogether 
familiar fifty years ago in Bond County. We j 
in this age of civilization and refinement and 
of peace and plenty, know little of what the 
early settlers had to contend with. The fol- 
lowing incident will illustrate, to some extent, 
the dangers they were exposed to in the early 
days of this country : A man named Cox, who 
had built a cabin, near or a little below where 
the village of Dudleyville now stands, notwith- 
standing the remonstrances of the people, re- 
fused to take refuge in the forts during the war 
of 1812, but remained at his cabin several 
miles distant. He was a brave man, a cele- 
brated Indian fighter (considering himself a 
match at any time for half a dozen " red skins "), 
and a thorough frontiersman. One day, during 
his absence, a party of Indians attacked his 
cabin, and, among other depredations, carried 
off his daughter a captive. She was rescued! 



BEAVER CREEK PRECINCT. 



147 



however, a few hours later, without injury other 
than a severe fright. After this, he deemed it 
prudent to remove his family to the fort, but he 
persisted in visiting his cabin every day " to look 
after things," until the Indians finally looked 
after him. Going to his cabin one day as usual, 
accompanied 03- his little son, they were fired 
upon by a party of Indians, who had concealed 
themselves in the house, and were both killed. 
Their fate was a sad one, but was nothing more 
than had been anticipated and predicted by his 
friends. The incident, with its attending cir- 
cumstances, is more particularly noticed in a 
preceding chapter. 

The first settlers in this section had to go to 
Edwardsville to mill, au undertaking that some- 
times occupied several da}'s or weeks. The 
first mill in this precinct, of which we have any 
account, was a horse-mill built by William 
Downing, and was one of the early institutions 
of the community. For a number of years, it 
did good service, and was a great accommoda- 
tion to the people. A carding-mill, or cardiug- 
machine, as they were more commonly called, 
was built by Milton Mills on Section 13, about 
1823 and 1824, and was the first, not only in 
this precinct, but the first in the county. Be- 
fore it was put in operation, the people carded 
their wool themselves on hand cards, or took it 
to Edwardsville. This mill was shipped here 
from Kentucky, and was successfully operated 
for a great many years. Other pioneer indus- 
tries were confined to blacksmith shops, stores, 
and such other business as the wants of the 
time demanded. As the country settled up 
and improved, roads were laid out through the 
precinct to the different towns, bridges were 
built over the largest water-courses, which com- 
bined very materially to facilitate locomotion 
and transportation. The latter, in those days, 
was a very serious undertaking, as everything 
had to be transported by teams, and ox-teams 
at that, and several weeks, according to the 



state of the roads, were required to make a trip 
to St. Louis, then the principal market. 

In 18G9, a circumstance occurred near the 
little village of Dudley ville, which cast a gloom 
over the entire community. We allude to the 
brutal murder of Mrs. Louisa McAdams, in 
July of that year, b}- John Moore, a near neigh- 
bor. He went to her residence in the absence 
of her husband, grossly insulted her, and when 
she attempted to escape from him, he pursued 
her and cruelly murdered her by cutting her 
throat from ear to ear. For this crime, lie was 
arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to be 
hanged by Judge Gillespie. He made a full 
confession of his guilt, which was afterward 
published, and, on the 23d of October, 1869, he 
expiated his crime upon the gallows, under the 
sentence of the court — the only execution that 
has ever taken place in Bond County. 

There are two villages in Beaver Creek Pre- 
cinct, viz. : Dudleyville and Wisetown. The 
former was surveyed and laid out by R. K. 
Dewe} - , for John Dudley, the proprietor of the 
laud, March 14, 1857. It is situated on Section 
3 of Township 4, Range 3, and is five miles 
from Greenville on the Carlyle road, surrounded 
b}' an excellent farming region. It bears the 
name of Dudleyville, for its founder and pro- 
prietor, and, for a small place, does considera- 
ble business. Mr. Dudley inherited the land 
upon which the town stands, through his mar- 
riage with Fanny Blizzard, daughter of one of 
the early settlers of the precinct. He kept the 
first store opened in Dudleyville. Fred Kahn 
was the first blacksmith ; H. C. Dunham was 
probably the first physician of the place, and 
F. Thraner was the first Postmaster. Thraner 
was among the very first settlers in Dudley- 
ville, and built the best storehouse in the place, 
and which is still in use by W. D. Rockwell, the 
present merchant. About this time, a number 
of German families settled in the village, and 
opened shops of different kinds. F. Geries 



148 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



built a cooper shop, and John Schlup, a wagon 
shop. R. W. Chapman and brother came in 
soon after Kahn, and remained several years. 
There are now two blacksmith shops kept by 
Albert Keagy and A. W. Reed. The town now 
has about twelve families, comprising some 
fifty inhabitants. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Dudley - 
ville was organized so long ago (about 1820 it 
is believed) that no one now can give the names 
of the original members, except James Bliz- 
zard and several members of his family. The 
church was originally organized at his house 
by (it is believed) Rev. Simeon Walker. Serv- 
ices were held at the house of Mr. Blizzard for 
several years, then at Rebecca Hoffman's, his 
daughter, and subsequently at schoolhouses. 
The church building was erected about 1856- 
57, and was a frame 26x40 feet. It cost $900, 
and was built upon land donated by John Hud- 
ley for the purpose. There were about fifty 
members when the church was built at Dudley - 
ville, and the Rev. Daniel Oglesby was the 
minister, and J. J. Blizzard the class-leader. 
The membership is still about fifty ; the Trust- 
ees, J. J. Blizzard, Thomas Harlan, Jesse Mc- 
Adams and H. W. Blizzard ; and the pastor, 
Rev. J. H. McGriff. A Sunday school continues 
the year round, of which J. J. Blizzard is Su- 
perintendent, and which has a regular attend- 
ance of about sixty persons. 

The Free Methodist Church of Dudleyville 
was organized in the fall of 1880 by Rev. F. 
M. Ashcraft, and was originally composed of 
eight members as follows : P. M. Rogers and 
wife, Wilford Hockett, Ellen Upchurch, Charles 
Mayfield and wife, John Upchurch and James 
Garrett. The church edifice was built in the 
summer of 1881, is a frame 28x40 feet in size, 
and cost about $800. The first class-leader 
was Wilford Hockett ; Trustees, P. M. Rogers, 
Wilford Hockett and James Garrett. The 
church has a membership at present of about 
twenty-five, under the pastorate of Rev. C. C. 



Brunei'. Sunday school organized when the 
church was built ; the first Superintendent was 
James Garrett ; the present one, P. M. Rogers ; 
attendance good. 

The village of Wisetown, or Beaver Creek, as 
it is sometimes called, was surveyed and laid 
out March 14, 1860, by R. K. Dewey, for David 
W. Wise, the proprietor and founder. It is 
located on Section 26, about ten miles nearly 
south from Greenville, and five miles from Dud- 
leyville. Although christened Wisetown for 
its founder, the post office is called Beaver 
Creek, after the name of the precinct, and first 
one name and then the other is applied to the 
village. It is quite a business little place, and 
is surrounded by a class of enterprising farm- 
ers. No saloon has ever been opened, which 
speaks well for its morals. There were a few 
houses here long before it was laid out as a 
town. A post office was early established, with 
John Henry as Postmaster ; Samuel Avis was 
the first blacksmith, Peter Bostock the first 
wagon-maker, and Delkhaus the first shoe- 
maker. Dr. O. E. Hornedy was the first phy- 
sician of the village, and the first drug store 
was opened by Dr. Powell Gordon. The next 
physician of the place was Dr. D. A. Bailey, 
then came Dr. J. A. Warren, still here in prac- 
tice. The place now has one store, kept by N. 
B. Harues & Company ; two blacksmith shops, 
A. J. Sapp and T. J. Sapp, each running a sep- 
arate establishment ; W. A. McNeil, undertaker, 
and also wagon-maker; drug store, kept by J. 
M. Harlan, and an excellent schoolhouse. The 
place consists of some twenty-five houses, and 
has about one hundred and fifty inhabitants. 

Union Church, in the village of Wisetown, is 
composed of the following denominations, viz.: 
Methodist, Cumberland Presbyterian and Mis- 
sionary Baptist, members of which had be- 
longed to no organized body until the formation 
of this church, except the Methodists, who 
worshiped at a schoolhouse. The church build- 
ing was erected iu the summer of 1878, and is 



BEAVER CREEK FRECrNCT. 



149 



32x48 feet. The ground upon which it stands 
was donated and deeded by Dr. J. A. Warren, 
on the following conditions : That the Method- 
ists have it the first and third Sundays of each 
month, commencing at 6 o'clock P. M., preced- 
ing, and ending at 6 o'clock P. M. on Friday 
following these Sundays ; the Baptists to have 
the same privilege, including the second Sun- 
day, and the Presbyterians the fourth. The 
four extra Sundays in each year are divided up 
on the same principle. This plan was adopted 
by the donor of the land that no discord might 
arise as to the ownership of the church. The 
building cost $1,200 ; the Trustees are N. B. 
Harnes, I). C. Baldridge, J. M. Myers, A. J. 
Miller, E. B. Wise. J. A. Warren and Jesse 
Burch. A good Sunda3' school is kept up all 
the year round. 

The precinct paid early attention to matters 
of education, and schools were established as 
soon as the couutry was sufficiently settled to 
justify the expense of paying teachers. The 
first schoolhouse of which we have any ac- 
count was built on the present site of the 
town of Dudleyville, just in the rear of the old 
Methodist Church. It was a log building of 
the pioneer pattern, with puncheon floor, and 
the first school taught in it was by a man 
named Babcock. Another of the early school- 
houses was built on Section 26, a little south of 
the spring of the old camp-ground. The first 
school in it was taught by a man named P. G. 
Vawter. A school was taught about three 
miles west of Wisetown, in 1835, by a man 
named Tobey. There are now seven school- 
houses in the precinct, all of which are com- 
fortable and commodious buildings, well-fur- 
nished and ventilated, and in which good schools 
are taught for the usual term each year by 
competent teachers. 

The people of Beaver Creek Precinct are a 
religious people, if one may judge from its 
number of handsome churches, of which there 
are several in the precinct, outside of the vil- 
lages of Dudleyville and Wisetown. 



The first house in the precinct built exclu- 
sively for church purposes, and used also for a 
schoolhouse, was built at the old camp-ground 
on Section 26. The Baptists organized a church 
society here very early, and their church for 
some time had no floor except the ground ; the 
pulpit was 6x8 feet in size, raised (the plat- 
form) about a foot above the ground, and the 
whole thing boarded up about to the preacher's 
shoulders, so that while speaking, only his head 
and arms could be seen. The people attended 
this church for miles and miles away. Camp- 
meetings were held here, when the worshipers 
came and camped upon the grounds until the 
meetings closed. Among the first ministers at 
this church were Revs. Arnot, Joseph Taylor, 
Semons, Jesse Ford, etc. The congregation 
worshiped here for many years, and then moved 
into a schoolhouse. Several denominations 
worshiped here also, but about 1866, religious 
services were discontinued, and the house was 
removed to Wisetown, where it is yet standing, 
being used for a dwelling. The members went 
elsewhere to worship, and joined themselves to 
other churches. 

The German Methodist Church was built in 
18G5, and cost about $1,400. The society was 
first organized in 1850, and consisted of the 
following original members, viz.: George Ul- 
mer and wife, John Hilde and wife, Elizabeth 
Dollanbach, Charles Dollanbach, Elizabeth 
Tishruser, Mary Dollanbach, John Danler and 
wife, Mathias Huffman, Elizabeth Barnridher 
and Conrad Peters. The first Trustees of the 
church were John Thoman, Henry Garke, Fred- 
erick Schubert, George Barnridher and Chris- 
tian Dollanbach. The first minister was Rev. 
W. Fiegenbaum, who organized the church ; the 
membership is now about twenty-eight. A Sun- 
day school was organized in 1870, of which 
George Ulmer was the first Superintendent. It 
continues the year round, and is at present under 
the superintendence of Henry Garke and Mr 
Thoman. 



150 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Mount Carrnel Methodist Episcopal Church 
stands on the southwest quarter of Section 20, 
and was organized in the early part of 18(32, by 
J. J. Blizzard. The first regular minister was 
the Rev. Simeon Walker. Among the first mem- 
bers were J. J. Blizzard, Samuel J. Gilleland 
(class-leader), and others, amounting in all to 
about fifteen. The church edifice was erected 
in the fall of 1866, and was built of brick, 
costing about $960, and is a handsome little 
church building. 

The Camp Ground Cumberland Presbyterian 
Church was quite early in the field — believed 
by some to have had a society here about 
1826. Among the first members were the 



McAdamses, Goodsons, John Harris, William 
Harlan, etc. Early ministers were William 
Finley, Joel Knight, John Barber and Joseph 
Barlow. The society first worshiped in a log 
cabin, purchased of one of the first settlers 
named Durham. This house was used for sev- 
eral years, when the present house was built, 
probably about 1835, and is 24x30 feet in size. 
The organization is still kept up. The church 
property is deeded to the Board of County 
Commissioners for the benefit of the Cumber- 
land Presbyterians. The present minister is 
Rev. Allison Hunter ; the Sabbath school ia 
kept up all the year. 




FAIRVIEW PRECINCT. 



151 



CHAPTER XVII* 

FAIRVIEW PRECINCT-INTRODUCTORY AND DESCRIPTIVE -THE NAME •■ FAIR VIEW --TOPOGRA- 
PH Y AND PHYSICAL FEATURES — SETTLEMENT— ISAM REAVES AND OTHER PIONEERS— 
THE FIRST ELECTION-EARLY SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLHOUSES— RELIGIOUS— " OLD 
HURRICANE" AND OTHER CHURCHES— VILLAGE OF FAIRVIEW, ETC. 

" The fairest among ten thousand, 
And altogether lovely." 

ONE iu traveling through that part of Bond 
County known as Fairview Precinct, 
would scarcely realize that, less than a century 
ago, over these same rolling prairies, the red 
man roamed in all his savage glory, undis- 
turbed save by rival tribes of his own race. 
That where now maj>- be seen in every direc- 
tion beautiful and well-improved farms, he 
hunted the buffalo, chased the deer, and shout- 
ed his blood-curdling war-whoop as he dashed 
in pursuit of his fleeing enemy. Since that 
time, the light of civilization has spread o'er 
the land. The " wigwam blaze " has been ex- 
tinguished, and the red man has folded up his 
" tepee " and followed after the retreating j 
herds of buffalo. This precinct as well as the 
other precincts of Bond County, partook of the 
change, and the vast prairie was transformed 
into blooming fields, and beautiful homes. Be- 
cause of the beautiful view this precinct pre- 
sents, it received the name of " Fairview," 
which appellation it rightfully deserves, being 
without doubt one of the prettiest landscapes 
in this portion of the " Sucker State." 

Fairview Precinct comprises sixteen sections 
in the southeast corner of Township 5, Range 
2 west, and is bounded on the north by Green- 
ville and Mulberry Grove Precincts, on the east 
by Fayette County, on the south by Okaw 
Precinct, and on the west by Greenville Pre- 



*By W. H. Perrin. 



cinct. Its surface is mostly prairie, being 
gently rolling or undulating, except that por- 
tion which borders the water-courses, it being 
quite broken and very rugged in places. In 
some portions of the precinct, however, arti- 
ficial means of drainage is necessary, but it is 
as fine an agricultural region as any part of 
Bond County, the land being rich and fertile 
and growing in value yearly. There is more 
timber in this section than there was originally, 
considerable having been planted by the early 
settlers. The original timber, very little of 
which is now left standing, is found almost ex- 
clusively along the numerous streams through- 
out the precinct, and consists principally of 
oak, ash, hickory, walnut, etc. Most of the 
precinct is devoted to agriculture and grazing, 
the principal crops produced being corn, oats 
and wheat. 

Until recently, very little attention has been 
paid to stock-raising in this section, but the 
fine grazing facilities of the country induced 
some of the more enterprising residents to em- 
bark in this branch of farming, and of late 
years the stock has been very much improved. 

Numerous small streams contribute to the 
productiveness of the soil of this precinct, the 
most important of which is Sanders' Branch, 
which rises in the northwestern corner of the 
precinct, and flowing a little south, and then 
directly east, leaves the precinct near the sec- 
tion line dividing Sections 13 ami 24. Its 
strongest tributary is Booker's Branch, which 



152 



HISTORY OF BOXD COUNTY. 



rising in the northern part of Section 10. of 
Greenville Precinct, flows in a southeaster!}' 
direction into Sanders' Branch, which it enters 
in the southeast corner of Section 14 of Fair- 
view Precinct. Several other streams flow 
through various parts of the precinct, but they 
are so small as to scarcely deserve being 
named. 

The settlement by white people of Fairview 
Precinct extends so far back into the past that 
it is somewhat difficult to obtain reliable data 
in regard to the original pioneers. Among the 
first white men to locate here, probably, was 
Isam Reaves, who came here from Maryland 
with his family prior to the war of 1812. Some 
time after this the gReaves family removed to 
Kentucky, near Bowling Green, and, after re- 
maining there for awhile, again moved to this 
State and settled in Madison County, near Col- 
lins ville. In 1832, Isam Reaves again moved 
to this county and settled in what is now Fair- 
view Precinct. He died on the old Reaves 
farm, which he entered at a cost of 50 cents 
per acre. He participated in the war of 1812, 
on the Beaver Creek side. In one of the bat- 
tles, two of his comrades named Prewitt and 
Gratis were killed by the Indians, and Joseph 
Gratts' father, Thomas Higgins and William 
Burgess were wounded. Gen. Whitesides was 
also wounded at the same time. This occurred 
about the close of the war. Hiram Reaves, the 
son of Isam Reaves, was born in this county, 
four miles south of Greenville, and within one 
mile of the old fort on Shoal Creek, on the 10th 
of June, 1816, and is probably the oldest resi- 
dent now living in the county who was born 
in it. He resides in the southeast corner of 
Fairview Precinct, and is totally blind. Some 
time after the advent of Isam Reaves, in 1S29, 
came William Harper, Thomas L. Harper, Elisha 
Mathews and John Reaves, all from Tennes- 
see. John Reaves settled on Section 14, on the 
farm now owned by Mrs. Booker. William 
Harper settled on the northeast quarter of Sec- 



tion 22, where J. M. Harper now resides. John 
Reaves and William Harper both died in this 
township, and both have descendants now liv- 
ing here. Reaves has two sons and two daugh- 
ters at present residing in this county. Among 
the early settlers were also Jerry Stubblefield, 
Henry Brown and thrt 5 brothers named Jor- 
dan, Morgan and William Murray. About 
this time came the Long family. There were 
three brothers of them, namely, Abner, Joseph 
and John, who settled on the northeast quarter 
of Section 22. They afterward separated, Jo- 
seph settling on Section 15 on land now owned 
by J. M. Harper, and John settling on the 
land now owned by D. Cable. Abner being a 
"potter" and a maker of earthenware, floated 
about from place to place, plying his trade, 
until 1840, when they all "pulled up stakes" 
and moved to Missouri, leaving no descendants 
in this county. 

Isaac Snodgrass came in with the Longs and 
located on Section 15, on land now owned by- 
Charles Bowman. He was a Justice of the 
Peace, and was probably the first Justice in 
this section of the county, but ho has no de- 
scendants living here now. In the spring of 
1832, the Bates family, headed by Anson, came 
and settled on Section 22. He had a brother 
Samuel, who came shortly after him, and set- 
tled on the same section. John Crouch, a Bap- 
tist minister, also came at an early day and 
settled on the northeast quarter of Section 23, 
on the land now owned bj' E. Perkins. He 
was followed soon afterward by James Clark 
and Maj. William Pavis, who settled on Sec- 
tion 22, and John II. Taylor, who settled on the 
east half of Section 13. In the spring of 1830, 
two men named Fisher and McKee came in 
and settled on Section 22. Ben Jewett entered 
Section 27, and Andy and John Williams 
settled on Sections 36 and 25, respectively. 
In 1S20, Isaac Jones and John Williams 
came with their families from Virginia, the 
former settling near the Fayette Count}' line, 




JIcui^. £>jyj 



LIBRARY 

Of 1K{ 

UNIVEKbilt vl luiwuia 



FAIRVIEW PRECINCT. 



155 



on the east half of Section 24, and the latter 
settled on Section 13. They have no descend- 
ants in this county now, except one nephew 
named Winslow Taylor. Then, in 1827. John 
Lockhart came from Maury County, Tenn., 
and settled on Section 11, on the farm where 
L. J. Segraves now lives, where he resided un- 
til 1841, when he removed to Arkansas. He 
has one daughter. Nancy, the wife of L. J. Sel- 
lers, residing at Mulberry Grove, this county 
Then came Bennett Segraves, from Georgia, in 
the spring of 1829, and located in the north- 
east corner of Section 11, where he remained 
until his death, which occurred in 1868. His 
son, Lockhart J. Segraves, succeeded him, and 
now lives on the old home farm. 

The first election ever held in Township 5, 
Range 2, was held in the brush, near the cabin 
of Bennett Segraves, in August of 1835. The 
people cast their votes in the old-fashioned 
manner, by calling out the name of the candi- 
date whom they desired to vote for, and their 
own name, a register of the same being kept by 
a clerk, appointed for that purpose. 

It is not known at this day who taught the 
first school in Fairview Precinct, but the one 
said to have been the first, was taught by Joseph 
Williams, the schoolhouse built about 1831, on 
the northwest quarter of Section 13. It was a 
log building, the crevices between the logs be- 
ing plastered up with mud, and the pupils were 
accommodated with seats upon a slab, the ends 
of which were stuck into chinks between the 
logs on either side of the building. The school 
was taught on the subscription plan, the teach- 
er receiving a small remuneration (usually 
from $1 to $1.50 per term of three months) for 
each pupil placed in his charge. 

The first minister, of whom anything authen- 
tic can be learned, was a Methodist Episcopal 
minister named Rev. James B. Woolard, who 
came to Fairview Precinct about the year 1830, 
perhaps sooner. Usually divine services were 
held at the house of John Reaves, on Section 



14, and it was his custom to gather up his con- 
gregation on his road to the meeting. as they 
were generally to be found in the woods engaged 
in hunting or fishing. 

Another church which figured quite promi- 
nently in the early church history of Fairview 
Precinct, is the one known as " Hurricane 
Church." It is of the German Baptist order, 
and the present organization was established in 
1858. For a number of years after the organi- 
zation of this church, meetings were held in 
schoolhouses, in barns, and at the residences of 
the different members, and the first minister 
was the Rev. D. B- Sturges, who was assisted 
in his ministerial duties by George Beanblos- 
som. Rev. Sturgis was some time after this 
made a bishop, and the Rev. John Heckman 
succeeded him as pastor of Hurricane Church, 
and he was, in turn, succeeded by Rev. William 
Elam. After this, the church was taken charge 
of by Elder John Metzsger, after whom Elder 
John Wise assumed the pastorate. The first 
Deacons of this church were William and 
Edward Elam and Jacob Cripe. In 1874, this 
organization built a neat frame church build- 
ing, at a cost of about $1,500, on land donated 
for that purpose by Henry Jones, who is the 
present minister. The present Deacons are 
Jacob Root, Daniel NofTsinger and Cornelius 
Kessler. The church has at present a member- 
ship of about seventy, is in a highly prosperous 
condition, and regular meetings are held every 
first and third Sunday in each month. 

In 1833. a number of the old, original i: Hard- 
shell " Baptist denomination organized a con- 
gregation, and built a log church on Section 12, 
and Rev. Crouch was installed as pastor. This 
building still remains standing, and at present 
is occasionally used as a place for holding 
divine service. Among the first members of 
this organization were John Crouch and wife. 
Mrs. Mary Rushton, Polly Rushton and her 
daughter Susie, Elisha Mathews, John Taylor, 
etc. 



156 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



Another church of the German Baptist 
denomination, and probably the first church of 
this kind in Fairview Precinct, was organized 
by Joseph Bench and George Beanblossom, 
prior to the establishment of " Hurricane 
Church," in 1858, and the teachings of the Bible 
were explained by Rev. Isam Gibson. Its 
early membership was, of course, very small, 
but among those who were the first to join, 
were : George Beanblossom and wife, AVilliam 
Rench and wife, John Rench and wife, Aaron 
Rench and wife, Joseph Rench and his daughter, 
Mrs. Rhoda Sutton, Hiram Reaves and wife, 
Jacob Cripe and wife, Charles Edwards and 
wife, etc. This church gradually drifted out of 
existence, and most of its old members, now liv- 
ing, have united themselves with " Hurricane 
Church." 

About 1848, a Pennsylvanian named Dr. 
Daniel B. Sturgis, laid off a town uear the 
section line, between Sections 23 and 24, and 
gave to it the name of Hamburg, his idea being 
that the name would induce German emigrants to 
come there and locate. It, however, being located 
on low ground, those came who did not take 
to it readily, and pointed to the hill near by, 
significant of its superiority as a place of settle- 
ment. The first store and dwelling house in 
this village was erected by the Perkins Brothers, 
in 1854. They also ran a blacksmith-shop. 
This little hamlet had only about five families 
in it, and all the dwellings, excepting one, were 
rudely constructed of logs. 

In 1856, the Perkins Brothers accepting an 
offer of four lots to build upon if they would 
come, removed to what is now the village of 
Fairview, and Hamburg virtually met its death, 
most of the inhabitants removing to Fairview. 

The town of " Fairview " lies eight miles 
nearly east of Greenville, in Section 23, Town- 
ship 5, Range 2. It was surveyed by R. K. 
Dewey for the proprietors, E. P. Mathews and 
John Reaves, on the 28th day of January, 
1857. It is situated on a high ridge, affording 



a magnificent view in ever}' direction, and sur- 
rounded by the best and most beautiful portion 
of Bond County. (Hence its name.) In 1857, 
the Perkins Bros, traded their store to J. P. 
Mathews, for land on Section 28. He contin- 
ued the business for one j'ear, when he died, 
and his brother, J. J. Mathews, succeeded him, 
and run the store for about two years, when he 
sold out to Elisha Matthews and Ephraim Per- 
kins, who were succeeded by W. C. Perkins and 
J. H. Perkins (brothers). These gentlemen 
finally sold out to Owen Walls, who soon after- 
ward sold out to J. H. Pahlman. He ran the 
store some time, when he was bought out by 
J. S. Gorline, who continued the business about 
one year, when Elisha Mathews again pur- 
chased it, and after running it some time it was 
repurchased by J. H. Pahlman, who is the 
present incumbent. The first blacksmith shop 
was owned by the Perkins Bros., and was run 
by a German named Fred Kahn. Emmet 
Roberts was the first wagon maker. The first 
mill was run by Stephen D. Bouraer and Dan- 
iel Faulkner. It was a wind-mill and ground 
mostly corn, and some little wheat. This mill 
was not a success, and as a wind-mill it was run 
about one year, when steam power was put in. 
It has made several changes of ownership, and 
at present is run by Hammond & Tompkins, 
who have attached a saw-mill to the grist or 
grinding part, but as it is behind in the way of 
improvements, it is doing only a moderate busi- 
ness. 

There were at one time two stores in the vil- 
lage, but in 1879, the second one, run by Wel- 
lington Bourner, was closed out, and since that 
time no goods have been kept there. The first 
shoemaker was William Rench. Allen Caylor 
ran the first drug store in 1876, and the present 
drug store is run by S. D. Bourner. The first 
Postmaster was Reuben Coburn, in 1862, and 
the present Postmaster is J. H. Pahlman. 
There are two churches in Fairview, the United 
Baptists and the Cumberland Presbyterians. 



FAIRVIEW PRECINCT. 



157 



The latter-named church was founded about 
1840. and their first minister was Rev. Barber. 
Meetings were held around at the houses of the 
members, until in 1849 a schoolhouse was 
built on Section 23, on land owned by John 
Reaves, and meetings were held in it from that 
time forward, under the spiritual guidance of 
Rev. William Hutchinson. The church was 
re-organized in April of 1866, and a frame 
building was erected at a cost of about $1,300, 
and Rev. William Turner was installed as min- 
ister. The first regular minister, however, was 
the Rev. William B. Poland. The first Elders 
were George F. Berry, John H. Minor and Will- 
iam Davis, Jr. The first Trustees were John H. 
Minor, D. H. McAdoo and Thomas L. Reaves. 
At the time of its re-organization in 1866, the 
membership of the church numbered about 
thirty, and the}' have had preaching regularly 
ever since until within the past year (1881). 



At present there is a Sunday school conducted 
in the church, under the superintendency of 
»i. S. Duff. It is a recent affair, having been 
organized in April of this year (1882), and as 
vet they have no library. 

The United Baptist Church was first organ- 
ized December 30, 1869. The first members 
were E. P. Mathers, Mary J. Mathews, W. C. 
Perkins, John H. Perkins, Martha A. Perkins, 
Amanda Perkins, Amanda Stubblefield, Anna 
Perkins and Catharine Shipby. Their first 
minister was Rev. R. B. Reaves and the first 
Clerk was W. C. Perkins. The Deacons in Feb- 
ruary of 1870 were E. P. Mathews and John 
Perkins. At this time they worshiped in the 
building of the Presbyterian Church, and after- 
ward in an old dwelling-house belonging to 
J. H. Perkins, where they continued to wor- 
ship until the erection of their own church 
building in 1877. 




158 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XVIII.' 

LA GRANGE PRECINCT— TOPOGRAPHY, BOUNDARIES AND PHYSICAL FEATURES— SETTLEMENT BY 

WHITE PEOPLE — THEIR TRIALS, TROUBLES AND TRIBULATIONS — AN INCIDENT WITH 

WILD HOGS— NO TOWNS, VILLAGES NOR MILLS — BUT PLENTY OF CHURCHES 

AND SCHOOLS— A PRIMITIVE SCHOOLHOUSE — THE DIFFERENT 

CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS, ETC. 



LA GRANGE PRECINCT, the subject of 
the following pages, is situated in the 
northern part of the count}', adjoining the 
Montgomery line, and is comprised of frac- 
tional portions of Townships 6 and 7 north, in 
Range 3 west. It has something like about 
thirty-two sections of laud, which are well wa- 
tered and drained by the East Fork of Shoal 
Creek, Indian Creek and Panther Branch. 
East Fork flows through the eastern part a lit- 
tle west of south, receiving a few small tribu- 
taries within the precinct, while Indian Creek 
and Panther Branch drain the southwestern 
portion. The land is diversified with hills and 
prairie, the latter predominating, the hills being 
contiguous to the water-courses, and were orig- 
inally well timbered. As now formed, it is 
bounded on the north by Montgomery County, 
on the East by Zion Precinct, on the south by 
Greenville Precinct, and on the west by Cotton- 
wood Grove Precinct. It has no towns, villages 
railroads nor manufacturing establishments, but 
is dotted here and there with churches and 
schoolhouses. affording to the people excellent 
religious and educational facilities. 

Settlements were not made in what is now 
La Grange Precinct as early as in some other 
portions of Bond County. Among the pioneers 
of the precinct may be mentioned John Ber- 
neathy, Jonathan Teasley, John A. Laws and 
Fielding Laws, Abner and Allen Thacker, Rich- 

*By W. H. Perrin. 



ard Savage, Elizabeth Mallard, John and George 
Denny, T. G. McCasland, James White, Thomas 
Wafer, C. D. McLean, Charles Wood, a Mr. 
Parr, Humphrey Jett and others. Who of 
these are entitled to the honor of being the first 
settler we do not know ; most of them settled 
prior to 1830. Berneathy, Teasley, the Laws, 
Thackers, Savage and Elizabeth Mallard were 
from Kentucky, and some of them still have 
descendants in the county. The Penuys came 
from North Carolina and settled on Section 33 ; 
McCasland settled on the northeast quarter of 
Section 29 ; Wood settled also on the same 
section in the fall of 1828 ; Wafer and McLean 
settled on Section 30, and Parr on Section 35. 
Settlers were now coming in too rapidly to keep 
track of them. And after this long lapse of 
time, it is not strange if names have been over- 
looked that are entitled to mention in the list 
of early settlers. 

The first decade or two after the whites oc- 
cupied this country the}* lived in constant dan- 
ger, exposed to marauding bands of Indians 
and the depredations of wild beasts. Incidents 
are related in other parts of this work, of per- 
sons slain in what is now Bond Count}-, by the 
savages, before the} - were finally removed to 
distant reservations in the West. Other dan- 
gers, as well as from savage foes, surrounded 
the earl}- settlers. Wolves, panthers, bears and 
other wild beasts were numerous, that, when 
made furious by hunger, did not hesitate to at- 



LA GRANGE PRECINCT. 



159 



tack human beings. Add to these actual dan- 
gers the troubles and annoyances that the peo- 
ple were exposed to from the " ager " and other 
malarial diseases ; from mosquitoes, buffalo- 
gnats, " greenhead " flies ; the difficulty of pro- 
curing supplies, and a hundred other drawbacks 
which stood in the way as large and bold as 
Don Quixote's windmills, and we conclude that 
the pioneer's lot was not cast 

"On flowery beds of ease." 
But little stock was kept for many years ex- 
cept cattle and hogs, and the latter were reared 
principally in the woods, where they lived on 
the " mast," otherwise nuts and acorns. By 
the time the} - were wanted for meat, they were 
almost as wild as the native animals of the for- 
est, and quite as fierce and dangerous when 
a little angered and excited. Mr. White relates 
an incident illustrative of their savage nature 
when half wild and provoked to anger by a re- 
striction of their liberty, which, although it was 
quite dangerous, was ludicrous in the extreme. 
A drove of large, half-wild hogs had been driven 
into an inclosure in the spring of the year for 
some purpose, when the sap was running and 
the bark peeled easily from the trees. Several 
men were present with dogs by which the wild- 
est of the hogs had been caught in order to get 
them in the inclosure, and this had served to 
madden the entire drove to quite a degree- 
The inclosure contained several acres, in which 
stood a number of trees. The men were all in- 
side endeavoring to drive the hogs through a 
gap into another lot, but the more they tried to 
drive them the more they, hog-like, wouldn't 
drive, while all were more or less afraid of 
them. At last, one fellow who had made much 
sport of the others on account of their timidity, 
swore he was not afraid of any hog " that ever \ 
wore har," and so boldly started toward the 
gang, waving his hat at the excited porkers. 
Not one moved until he was in twenty paces of ! 
them, when a large male started right at him 
with an angry snort, displaying an array of long 



white tusks that did not look at all pleasant. 
Quick as thought the brave man dropped his 
hat, turned tail, and made for the nearest tree, 
which chanced to be a small elm, not over six 
inches in diameter, and from which the bark 
had lately been peeled, rendering it about as 
sleek as if it had been smeared with soft soap. 
The sapling was perfectly straight, and it was 
fifteen or twenty feet up to the first limb, and 
when the luckless individual reached it the hog 
was in ten feet of him. The exertions he put 
forth in trying to climb that tree was probably 
never excelled by mortal man. He gave a 
bound and sprang as far up the tree as possible, 
clasping it with his arms, legs and feet, and 
clinging for dear life, tried to hold fast, but de- 
spite his efforts down he went to the ground. 
But the hog, as it happened, passed the tree 
while he was up out of reach, and, missing its 
enemy, kept on beyond. The man, however, 
unaware of that fact, continued his efforts to 
climb the tree, believing that his life depended 
upon his accomplishing it, until he fell ex- 
hausted. His companions were in convulsions 
of laughter, but he, even after he discovered 
the danger was past, failed to see the least bit 
of fun in the matter. It cured him effectually, 
however, of his boasted bravery among wild 
hogs. 

This precinct, as we have said, has no vil- 
lages nor manufacturing enterprises. It is an 
agricultural region, and is devoted wholly to 
that calling. The early settlers went to other 
neighborhoods to do their milling, and even 
follow the same example to the present day. 
The first roads through the precinct were but 
trails, which were improved as the couutry set- 
tled up, and finally made into good roads. In 
later years, these have been further improved 
by bridges over the largest streams, which 
tend to facilitate travel. The people go to the 
neighboring villages and to Greenville to do 
their trading, and to purchase their supplies. 

The pioneers of La Grange were alive to the 






160 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



value of education, aud established schools at 
an earl\ T day. The first school of which we 
have an}- reliable account was taught in a small 
log cabin on Section 2S. This primitive temple 
of learning was without floor other than the 
ground, and had a chimney of mud and sticks. 
When the pupils practiced writing, it is said, 
they sat on a sycamore pole, the ends of which 
were placed in the cracks between the logs. 
The first teacher in this cabin was McCasland, 
and he taught at $1 and $1.25 per scholar for three 
mouths. If the youth of the present da}- de- 
serve credit for educating themselves, what did 
they not deserve in those days for obtaining an 
education under the circumstances such as de- 
scribed above ? 

Another of the early schools of this precinct 
was taught by Rev. John Barber on Jett Prai- 
rie. It was also taught in a small log house, 
which has disappeared with other pioneer land- 
marks. To note the advancement in educa- 
tional matters, we have but to look around us 
at the neat schoolhouses to be found in every 
neighborhood, which afford ample evidence of 
the present perfect school sjstem. There are 
about nine schoolhouses in the precinct as at 
present laid off. These are comfortable houses, 
well furnished, in which good schools are main- 
tained during the school year. 

On the land of Thomas Booker in this pre- 
cinct is a mound, supposed to have been made 
by the pre-historie races. Bones, it is said, 
have been dug up, which show their owners to 
have been of extraordinary large size. This 
corresponds with many writers upon the 
Mound-Builders, who are represented as a race 
large in stature. 

If the citizens of La Grange Precinct are not 
a God-fearing people, it is certainly their own 
fault, and not for any lack of church facilities. 
There seem to be almost as many churches in 
the precinct as schoolhouses. Nothing speaks 
more loudly for the civilization of a communi- 
ty than its churches and schoolhouses. Where 



plenty of these evidences of enlightenment ex- 
ist, the people cannot be very bad or very igno- 
rant. One of the first churches organized in 
the north part of Bond County was by the Old 
School Presbyterians in this precinct in 1825. 
Among the principal members of this pioneer 
organization were George Donnell, Newton and 
Joseph Laughlin, Robert Stewart and John 
Benny These were from Ohio. Benny was a 
prominent member of the church from its or- 
ganization, an Elder, and an upright and zealous 
Christian. Robert Stewart's remains lie buried 
in the cemetery adjacent. He was the first per- 
son buried there, about 1826 ; one of the 
Laughlins is also buried there. This was an 
old log building, aud stood upon the site of the 
present Union Grove Church. It was heated 
bj' a charcoal fire in the center of the building, 
and the floor and " loft " were laid with broad 
puncheons. A Sunday school was organized 
about the time the church was, which was kept 
up for a number of years. Services were final- 
ly discontinued at the church about 1831, 
when the building, grounds, etc., were vacated 
until the organization of Union Grove Church. 
The church originally known as " Union 
Grove Church" was organized January 12, 
1855, under the superintending care of the 
Yaudalia Presbytery of the Cumberland Pres- 
byterian Church. The minister at this time- 
was Rev. William T. Hutchinson ; the Elders 
were Thomas Cline, S. N. Jett and Thomas M. 
Bavis. The members were William T. and M. 
C. Hutchinson, Thomas N. and Jane Bavis, 
Thomas and Sarah Cline, S. N. aud Agnes E. 
Jett, John M. and Sarah Johnson, Thomas and 
Elizabeth Scott, Henry C, Elizabeth and Patty 
Hutchinson, James Hunter, Isaac and Minerva 
Kershner, Caroline Crocker, Newton Barr, J. L. 
and Martha Mathersou, Maiy Enloe, Maria 
B:ik'h,and William and Lucy Bavis. The soci- 
ety occupied the house known as the Union 
Grove Church and grounds, which had been 
deeded by William T. Hutchinson to four de- 



LA GRANGE PRECINCT. 



101 



nominations, viz.: The Old School Presbyteri- 
ans, United Baptists, Cumberland Presbyteri- 
ans and the Methodists. This organization 
continued until the formation of Maple Grove 
Church, since which time the other three de- 
nominations have occupied Union Grove until 
recently. It is now occupied by the Free Meth- 
odists. The church is a frame structure, about 
20x30 feet, and was built in 1854-55 by volun- 
tary labor of the people. 

Maple Grove Church alluded to in the above 
sketch, was organized by Rev. William T. 
Hutchinson, and worshiped at Union Grove 
until their church here was built in 18t!8. It 
is a frame building, 30x40 feet, and cost about 
$800. The present officers are N. A. Hughey, 
Wm. Smith, D. D. Jones and J. M. Jett, Elders ; 
Madison Jett, D. D. Jones and W. H. Vaughn, 
Trustees. Rev. Thomas McDavid is the pres- 
ent minister, who preaches twice a month, and 
has a membership of about sixty-live. A Sun- 
day school was organized at the same time of 
the church, and it is still maintained. 

Hopewell Christian Church was organized in 
1869, of scattering members — some from Wal- 
nut Grove Church and some from other points. 
Among the original members were Jacob 
Young and wife, James Baker and wife, Charles 
Baker and wife, John Davis and wife, Mrs. 
Rahm. William T. Gwiun and wife, Mrs. Caro- 
line Jett, William Clouse and wife, Miss Mary 
Oaks, Mrs. Eliza Harris, Miss Caroline Laugh- 
lin, Miss Jennie East, Mrs. Sarah A. Sharp, 
Mrs. Nancy J. White and John Haley. The 
society first worshiped in the brick school- 
house at Elm Point, then at the schoolhouse on 
Section 33, where they remained until they 
built their church in 1870. The first minister 
was Elder O. Hulen, J. G. Baker and W. T. 
Gwinn, Elders; present Elders, Ezra Wood, 
Hiram Crocker and William Vaughn. The 
Sunday school was organized since the church 
was built, and is flourishing at present. 

The Mount Carmel congregation of the Cum- 
berland Presbyterian Church was first organ- 



ized by Rev. Joel Knight, in Montgomery 
County, HI., February 24, 1868, and after 
one or two changes in reference to name and 
place of worship, said congregation having 
erected a house of worship in Pleasant Prairie, 
Bond County, they therefore petitioned Van- 
dalia Presbytery at the regular session at Blue 
Mound (in Bond County) in the fall of 1868, to 
change the name of the congregation, so that it 
should be known as the Pleasant Prairie Congre- 
gation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.* 
After leaving Mount Carmel, the church 
worshiped at Willow Spring Schoolhouse until 
the erection of their house of worship. The 
trustees of the Pleasant Prairie Church are Jas. 
E. Rankin, James F. Nicholson and Imbert H. 
Denny. The church is in a goodcondition. 

Mount Tabor Baptist Church was organized 
about the year 1857 by Richardson Grigg. J. 
G. Davis, Gabriel Jett and Kinley Hittle were 
the first Deacons, Robert Horton, Clerk. Among 
the original members were J. G. Davis and 
wife, Gabriel Jett and wife and daughters, 
Kinley Hittle and two sisters, Richard Savage 
and wife, Parmela and Mary Teasley and 
others. The church was built by the voluntary 
labor of the neighbors, and was 30x40 feet in 
size. It has prospered since organization, and 
at present has some sixty-five members, under 
the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Duff. The present 
Trustees are Thomas Jett, James T. Davis and 
George Sharp ; Deacons, John G. Davis and 
Martin Nelson, and Robert Savage, Clerk. A 
Sunday school has been in existence for a num- 
ber of years, the first Superintendent was 
Elijah Thacker ; the present Superintendent is 
Jesse Denny, and the school is in a flourishing 
state. This church was built by three denomi- 
nations, viz. : Baptist, Methodist and Presby- 
terian ; but is now only used by the Baptists. 
Thus we see from the foregoing that the 
people of La Grange Precinct have no lack of 
religious facilities, and if they are not good 
Christians it can certainly be the fault of none 
but themselves. 

* From the Church RecordB. 



102 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XIX.* 

ZION PREOINcT— TOPOGRAPHICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE— EAKLY SETTLEMENT— EARLY 1'IONEEES- 
LIFE ON THE FRONTIER — PIONEER INDUSTRIES — " OLD ZION" (AMP GROUND- 
VILLAGE OF WOBURN— SCHOOLS, CHURCHES. ETC. 



TTTHEN that section of Bond County known 
' * as Zion Precinct was first settled, the 
brave men who undertook its subjection were 
exposed to cold, hunger and savage brutality. 
They commenced clearing the wilderness, and 
thus laid the foundation of the beautiful coun- 
try, thickly dotted over with comfortable, lux- 
urious homes that we find there to-day. The 
pioneers of fifty years ago are gone, and " Old 
Time " with his scythe has made sad havoc 
among the children of men. They sleep in the 
quiet graveyard, beneath the sighing elms and 
weeping willows, where the balm} 7 breath of 
summer brings beautiful blossoms and luxuri- 
ant verdure. We know comparatively little of 
their trials except as they are handed down to 
us through family traditions. To the early 
settlement, and to the pioneers of that portion 
of Bond County now forming Zion Precinct, 
this chapter will be devoted. 

It lies in the northeast corner of Bond Coun- 
ty, and is bounded on the north by La Grange 
Precinct and Montgomery County, on the east 
by Fayette County and Mulberry Grove Pre- 
cinct, on the south by Mulberry Grove Precinct 
and Greenville Precinct, and on the west by 
La Grange Precinct. It is well watered by nu- 
merous small streams, the most important of 
which probably is Zion Creek, which rises in 
the northern part of Section 10, and flowing 
first south and then directly west, leaves the 
precinct in the southwest corner of Section 19. 
Its most important tributary is the Dry Creek, 

* By T. J. Rile). 



which, rising near the center of Section 30. 
Township 7, takes its course a little west of 
south, and enters Zion Creek in the southern 
part of Section 19, uniting with it about a mile 
from where it leaves the precinct. A number 
of other small brooks and rivulets flow through 
various parts of the precinct, rendering the 
rich soil still more productive, and very little 
artificial drainage necessary. 

At one time this precinct was known as 
■■ Dry Fork " Precinct, but in 1857 or 1858 the 
voting place was changed from Sutton Hast- 
ing's, where elections had previously been held, 
to what is now Newport, and at the same time 
the name of the precinct was changed to 
"Zion," in honor of the old Zion Church and 
camp-ground. 

The early settlement of Zion Precinct is very 
interesting, it being one of the first-settled pre- 
cincts in Bond County. Sutton Hastings came 
in from North Carolina earl} - in the year 1818, 
the same year that Illinois was admitted into 
the Union as a State. Two years later (in 1820), 
Daniel Moore and family, also from North 
Carolina, came and settled in Section 19. His 
father, Philip Moore, came at the same time. 
He raised a large family of boys, all of whom 
are either dead or have left the precinct. In 
1817. Horatio Durley came from Kentucky, 
and in 1819 he entered about one thousand 
acres of land, a part of which is the farm now 
owned by James H. Moss. Mr. Durley was 
considered a very wealthy man. He ran the 
first horse-mill in the precinct, about 1820. It 



ZION PRECINCT. 



163 



was a grist-mill, but at that time was used 
mostly for grinding corn ; it was located near 
where the old Enloe place now is. A family 
named Stubblefleld came in 1818, and in Au- 
gust of 1819 John Stubblefield entered the 
farm now owned by John Griggs. Daniel 
Griggs came from North Carolina in 1825, and 
settled in Section 31. He was accompanied by 
his brothers Samuel and Richardson, both Bap- 
tist ministers, and Bolin Griggs, another brother, 
who at present resides in Section 4, and is the 
oldest man in the precinct (ninety-two years 
old). There was a large family of Griggs, and 
numerous descendants at present reside in Bond 
County. Prior to the war of 1812, a man 
named Truitt came from Kentucky, and settled 
on what is now known as the " Old Kline 
place." but about the time of the war the In- 
dians became so bad that he was compelled to 
leave, and he returned to Kentucky. He after- 
wards returned to Illinois, and lived until his 
death near Edwardsville in Madison County, 
where he became quite a prominent man. and 
accumulated considerable wealth. 

The Diamond family came from South Caro- 
lina in 1820, about the time the Watsons came. 
The father, John Diamond, was a very old 
man, and deserves especial mention, from the 
fact of his having been a soldier in the Revo- 
lutionary war. He died soon after removing to 
this precinct, and was buried in the " Old Dia- 
mond Graveyard,'' near Zion Spring, in the 
northwest corner of Section 29. His son Rob- 
ert lived in the precinct until his death, which 
occurred in 1850. He was a very old man, 
and has three brothers still living in Arkansas. 
William W. Moss came in 1835, and located in 
Section 21. His son, James H. Moss, came 
with his father, and also settled in same sec- 
tion. He at present resides in Section 30, and 
is considered one of the best, most industrious 
and responsible citizens in Zion Precinct. 

On the "Old Kline place " there is an im- 
mense spring, known as " Zion Spring," and 



when the earliest settlers came to this region, 
a widow, named " Clarey," and her sons, occu- 
pied a cabin near this spring. She is said to 
have come from Kentucky, though nothing 
definite concerning her can be learned. She 
must have been a courageous woman, however; 
to brave alone the dangers and perils of the 
wilderness. Alex Glenn came from North Caro- 
lina about 1828, and located in Section 17. He 
was, for many years, a Justice of the Peace, 
appointed by common consent, to settle the 
grievances of the settlers of this region. 
Thomas Kline came with Glenn, and settled in 
Section 30. His widow at present resides in 
the village of Newport. William Hunter set- 
tled near the Cross Roads, in 1820. He was 
the first Methodist minister in this section of 
the county ; and was a very popular and good 
man, and very highly respected. Hugh Wat- 
son also came in 1820, from North Carolina 
and entered the land on which the village of 
Newport now stands. His son Wilson, who 
died last summer, was about the first merchant 
in that town. Daniel Moore came from North 
Carolina in 1825, and settled in Section 31 
His widow, Jennie Moore, who is now more 
than eighty years of age, at present resides 
with her daughter, Mrs. Henry Hill, about four 
miles west of the town of Greenville. It was 
at her residence and at the residence of Sutton 
Hastings that the first Methodist preaching in 
Zion Precinct was held. Asa Oliver came from 
Tennessee about the year 1830, and settled on 
Section 29. John Griggs came from North 
Carolina in 1829. and located on Section 30. 
Lemuel Scroggins came from the same State in 
1833, and settled in Section 17. Three or four 
miles north of the village of Mulberry Grove, 
a Frenchman, named St. John, kept a trading 
post, which was established prior to the year 
1816. Some of the first white settlers used to 
haul furs and skins from that place to Cahokia. 
Another Frenchman, named La Croix, lived 
near St. John, and also dealt in furs. When 



161 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



horses belonging to any of the settlers strayed 
away, they were sometimes taken up by the 
Indians. In such cases the settlers would em- 
ploy these Frenchmen to recover them, by giv- 
ing such rewards as they could afford. A few 
years subsequent to this time, settlers came in 
so fast that it is difficult to keep trace of them. 

The first church built in this precinct was 
the " Old Zion Church," reference to which is 
made elsewhere. It was built on Section 
19, about the year 1828 ; was a log building 
twenty-four feet in length, by twenty feet wide. 
It was built facing the south, and on the west 
side was an immense fire-place. The only win- 
dow in the building was on the east side, 
and was sixteen feet feet long, and two panes of 
glass in width. It had puncheon floors, and the 
congregation was accommodated with seats up- 
on slab benches, made by splitting a log in two 
and putting peg legs in each end. In 1833, the 
camp ground was cleared off, and regular camp 
meetings were held there until late years. 
About 1840, the old log building was torn down 
and a neat frame church, twenty-four by thirty- 
sis feet, was built in its stead, at a cost of about 
$500. In 1861, the society, which was of the 
Methodist denomination, removed to Newport, 
the Zion Church was torn down, and a new edi- 
fice erected in that village, which they now oc- 
cupy. Among the original members of this 
church were Robert Stewart and wife, Philip 
Moore and wife, Rev. William Hunter and wife, 
Arthur Sherrad, Asa Oliver, Jane McCracken, 
Eli McCracken, Ephraim McCracken, and Dan- 
iel and Jane Moore. 

In 1881, the Free Methodists built a church 
on the camp-ground, on the site of the " Old 
Zion " Church. It is a frame building, forty- 
two feet in length and twenty-eight feet in 
width. On the site of the Zion Camp Ground, 
there is at present a cemetery, where repose 
the last remains of many of those who, in an 
early day, attended meeting on that same spot. 

Schools were taught in the precinct as soon 



as there was sufficient population to support 
them, but where, when and by whom the first 
schools were taught, we are now unable to 
state. They were of the primitive pioneer pat- 
tern, being constructed of logs and having 
either puncheon floors or no floors at all. The 
advancement made in the schools in this pre- 
cinct is observable, however, in the number of 
good, comfortable, commodious school-buildings 
which may be seen there to-day, in which schools 
are taught for the usual term each year. 

The village of Woburn was first called New- 
port, but on account of there being another 
post office of the same name in the State, the 
name was changed to Woburn. In this section, 
it is more generally known as the Cross Roads, 
the name it bore in early days. It was laid 
out by John Hughes, of Virginia, who owned 
the land, about the year 185G. The first store 
was built and run b\* William Harper. The 
first Postmaster was A. W. Watson. His father, 
Hugh Watson, ran the first blacksmith shop. 
John Hughes was the first miller, and Abraham 
Jarred was the first wogon-maker. Dr. Har- 
nady first administered to the ailments of the 
settlers in this precinct. The first mill of any 
importance in the precinct, was erected here in 
I860. It was a saw-mill, but was afterward 
purchased by the Moss Brothers, who took out 
the saw-mill and put in two run of buhrs for 
grinding purposes. These brothers run the 
mill for several years and finally sold out to 
Porter McKay, who, after running it about one 
year, sold out to J. W. Daniels and William 
Davidson. These gentlemen, after continuing 
the business for some time, sold the mill to its 
present owner, George Force, and at present it 
is doing a fair business. Melton Phillips was 
the first shoemaker. At present there are 
about 150 inhabitants in the village; two stores, 
one run by Joseph Isle}- and the other by 
Eugene Enloe, who. is also the present Post- 
master; three blacksmith shops, doing a good 
business, though Thomas White has the best 



ZIOX PRECINCT. 



105 



trade. Dr. Poindextcr is the present doctor, 
and has the best practice of any physician who 
ever did business here. 

The Protestant Methodist Episcopal Church 
was organized here about the time of the laying- 
out of the village, through the influence of 
Samuel Glenn, of North Carolina. He and his 
wife had been members of this church in North 
Carolina. His family formed the nucleus 
around which this organization formed. Their 
first minister was Rev. William II. Collins. 
Among the first members were Samuel Glenn, 
wife and two daughters; Thomas Kline, wife 
and two daughters; Mrs. Thomas Enloe and 
Mrs. Joseph Washburn. The society at first 
had no church, and for several years worshiped 
at the houses of the members, and afterward in 
the schoolhouse. In 1871, a church building, 
forty feet in length and twenty-eight feet in 
width, was erected, at a cost of about $1,400. At 
present, the membership, which has been as 
high as forty, numbers but nineteen. The 
present minister is Rev. Edward Bache, and 
services are held semi-monthly. A flourishing 
Sunday school is at present held in the church 
under the Superintendency of Saburn Mid- 
dleton. 

The United Raptist Church, commonly called 
" Liberty Church," was established about 1856. 
The first minister was Richard Keel. Among 
the first members were Richardson, Samuel and 
Bolin Griggs, James Elam, Gabriel Jett and 
wife, and Charles Messenger and wife. At that 
time there were only eight members, all told. 
Samuel Griggs and James Elam were the first 
Deacons. Their first meeting was held at the 
house of Gabriel Jett, and afterward at the res- 
idences of the several members, until in 1859, 
when they erected their present church, which 
is a frame building thirty-six feet long and 
twenty-six feet in width, and cost about $600. 



In this building, Richardson Griggs preached 
the first sermon, and was succeeded by Samuel 
Griggs, who is the present minister. The Dea- 
cons are R. S. D. Roberts, Joseph Bigham and 
Anderson 101am, and the Clerk is R. B. Griggs. 
The membership is at present 215. Regular 
services are held ever} - third and fourth Sab- 
bath, and prayer meetings on the first and sec- 
ond Sabbaths in each month. The first Sunday 
school was established in 18G0, with John 
Fisher as Superintendent, and at present a large 
and flourishing Sunday school is conducted 
here. 

The Church of God in Christ, or Christian 
Church, was organized at Newport in 1859. 
They experienced considerable difficulty in es- 
tablishing a church, but through the exertions 
of Jonathan Skates, who located here in the 
sluing of 1858, they finally succeeded. Among 
the early members were Jonathan Skates and 
wife, Miranda Lemert, Henry Allen, Daniel 
Tabor, James Adams, John Curlee, etc. In 
August, 1860, by vigorous efforts, they suc- 
ceeded in erecting a church, and Brothers 
Adams, Skates and Tabor were chosen Deacons. 
At present the church is in a veiy prosperous 
and thrifty condition, having a good member- 
ship, regular services, and maintaining a good 
Sunday school. From the foregoing church 
history, it will be seen that Ziou Precinct is well 
supplied with religious instruction. That it is 
not only well supplied at present, but ever 
since the settlement of the country it has had 
no lack of church facilities. If the people are 
not moral and religious, it is certainly nobody's 
fault but their own, and nobody but themselves, 
perhaps, will be held to account for their short- 
comings. With this finale on the moral influ- 
ence of this favored section, we close our chap- 
ter on Zion Precinct. 



/ 



1(JG 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XX.* 

COTTONWOOD GROVE PRECINCT — ITS EARLY HISTORY— WHITE SETTLEMENT — THE McCORDS 

AND ROBINSONS— OLD SHOAL CREEK CHURCH— THE VILLAGE OF 

"BETHEL" — SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, ETC 



THE early pioneers of " Cottonwood Grove 
Precinct," notwithstanding all the uncom-' 
fortable circumstances by which they were sur- 
rounded, were contented, and enjoyed life to its 
utmost. They knew nothing of railroads, and 
had never heard the whistle of a locomotive. 
The present improved mode of farming was far 
beyond their most extravagant expectations. 
To chronicle the changes and note the vast im- 
provements made within the past fifty* years, is 
the most interesting part of the historian's work. 
Notwithstanding these vast changes, numerous 
indications and landmarks remain to mark the 
primitiveuess of the early pioneers in this sec- 
tion. 

Cottonwood Grove Precinct, to which this 
chapter is devoted, lies in a northwesterly di- 
rection from the town of Greenville, in the 
northwest corner of Bond County, and well 
adapted to agriculture. It is bounded on the 
north by Montgomery County, on the east by 
the precinct of La Grange, on the south by La 
Grange and Ripley Precincts, and on the west 
• by counties of Madison and Montgomery. It 
is well watered bj r numerous small streams. 
The most important of which is " Shoal Creek," 
which, entering near the middle of the northern 
line of Section 3, winds its tortuous course en- 
tirely across the precinct near its center. An- 
other stream of considerable importance is Dor- 
ris Creek, which enters the precinct near the 
southeast corner of Section 12, and, taking first 
a westerly course and then directly south, leaves 

* By T. J. Riley. 



the precinct at the southern boundary line of 
Section 34. These streams have several small 
branches or tributaries, most of them of such 
diminutive size as to be considered scarcely 
worth} - of mention. 

The early settlement of what is now Cotton- 
wood Grove Precinct cannot be given with per- 
fect correctness. The precise date of the building 
of the first cabin by a white man within its lim- 
its is obscured in the shadows of half a century, 
and we are left to conjecture to a certain extent 
as to the commencement of its settlement by 
white people. Alexander Robinson, from Ten- 
nessee, settled here about the year 1816, and 
still has descendants living in the precinct. He 
was accompanied by Robert and Daniel Mc- 
Cord from Virginia. These men came togeth- 
er from Tennessee to Bond County and made a 
settlement in Cottonwood Grove Precinct, in 
the spring of 1816. They made their first 
camping ground where the cemetery now is, 
and kneeling upon the ground dedicated the 
land to the service of the Lord, and called the 
place " Bethel." In later years, about 1825, a 
church was built here, which still remains. It 
was a log structure, with no fire-place or stove. 
The only warmth was afforded by means of a 
raised place of dirt in the center of the room 
on which charcoal, which the members were re- 
quired to furnish, was burned, the only escape 
for the smoke being a hole in the roof immedi- 
ately above the mound. Robert McCord set- 
tled on the northwest quarter of Section 11. 
He has one daughter, Mrs. Mary Mears, living 



COTTON WOOD GROVE PRECINCT. 



107 



in Greenville, and a son, Blackburn, living in 
Iowa. David McCord settled on the east half 
of Section 1 1 , where J. T. McCracken now lives, 
in 1820. James Wafer was an early pioneer in 
this section. He located northwest of Bethel 
in 1817. James Denny settled on Pleasant 
Prairie, about 1819. During the same year, 
George Donnell settled near the mouth of Indi- 
an Creek. George and John Denny, sons of 
James Denny, settled on the east side of Shoal 
Creek, in the north part of the precinct, in 1820 
or 1821, and about the same time the Jetts, 
Vaughns and Thackers settled in the same 
neighborhood, on both sides of the creek. Will- 
iam and Lawrence Stewart settled on the west 
side of Shoal Creek about 1821. Jesse Mar- 
graves and others also located along the west 
side of Shoal Creek about this same time. In 
1819, Newton Coffee came in and settled on 
Jetts Prairie. 

In February of 1880, a church was organ- 
ized in this precinct by the Free Methodist de- 
nomination. The first minister chosen by them 
was the Rev. J. B. Colt. Among the first mem- 
bers were James Robb, J. F. Nicholson, John 
Parmalee, John McCracken, Daniel F. Justice, 
John F. Humphrey and Winnie Singleton. 
James Robb was chosen Class-Leader, and John 
Parmalee was chosen Steward. Early in the 
spring of the present year (1882), a neat frame 
church, thirty-six feet long and twenty-eight 
wide, was erected on Section 31, at a cost of 
about 1700, and John Parmalee, James Robb 
and J. F. Nicholson, were appointed as Trust- 
ees. This organization has grown in strength 
from the beginning, and at present has a mem- 
bership of about thirty-five, and maintains a 
good Sunday school. 

In noticing the early churches of Cotton- 
wood Grove Precinct, one church stands out 
prominently, and seems to be to a ureal 
extent the " mother " of all the Presby- 
terian Churches in this section. We refer 
to the "Old Shoal Creek Church." The 



original church was organized by Rev. Solomon 
Sidings, of St. Louis, Mo., on the 10th of March, 
1819, and is more particularly referred to in a 
preceding chapter. 

The " Pleasant Prairie Presbyterian Church" 
in Township 7, Range 4, was formed from the 
Mt. Carmel society of the same denomination, 
then existing in Montgomery Count}', on the 24th 
day of February, 1828. Through the exertions 
of Rev. Joel Knight, Andrew Finley and Jos- 
eph Barlow were chosen Elders, at its organiza- 
tion, and C. G. Keown was their first regular 
pastor. The first Clerk was Andrew J. Finley. 
Among the first members were William, Eliza- 
beth, Andrew and Rebecca Finley ; Joseph and 
Harriet Barlow ; Elizabeth, Sarah, Emily and 
Polly Barlow ; Sarah Keown ; William and Pol- 
ly Pitman ; William and Jane Kline; Nelly 
Breance ; Catharine, Polly and Joseph Buck ; 
Michael, Elanor, Sinah, Catharine, Polly and 
Palsey Finley; Andrew Keown, James E. Ran- 
kin, Eli Covvdon and James Driscol. They 
have at present a good frame church building 
sixty feet long by forty feet wide, which was 
erected at a cost of about $2,200, and the pres- 
ent membership is about thirty in all. James E. 
Rankan, the first Superintendent, organized a 
good Sunday school, which has been conducted 
here for man}' 3'ears. 

In an early day, some of the pioneers of this 
section built a " sod fence " for some purpose, 
out of which sprouted a beautiful grove of Cot- 
tonwood trees. It is from this grove that the 
village of " Bethel, or Cottonwood Grove," ob- 
tained its name. It was originally called " Au- 
gusta," but the name was afterward changed to 
" Cottonwood Grove, or Bethel." It was sur- 
veyed on the 9th day of June, 1836, by Asahel 
Enloe, for John Mitchell & Co., the proprietors, 
and is located in Section 11, Township 6 north, 
Range 4 west, about eight miles northwest of 
the county seat (Greenville). It is a flourish- 
ing little village, and is surrounded by an intel- 
ligent and industrious community. 



108 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



The Bethel Presbyterian Church was estab- 
lished here on the 15th day of September, 1826, 
several years prior to the laying-out of the 
town. It was the outgrowth of the church 
already alluded to, as the first church in the 
county, called Shoal Creek Church. The orig- 
inal church was in 1S25 divided into three 
churches — Shoal Creek Church, Bethel Church 
and Greenville Church. Of these three, the 
two last named still exist. The Bethel Church 
was organized with sixty-two members, and 
their first house of worship was a log building 
20x26 feet. It was heated in a novel manner. 
A space about six feet in diameter in the mid- 
dle of the house was left without flooring, thus 
securing an earthen hearth. A bushel of char- 
coal was laid there and then set on fire, render- 
ing the house quite comfortable. Among the 
ministers in Bethel Church for the past fifty 
years are the following : Thomas A. Spillman, 
Albert Hale, E. L. Huntington, Thomas Lippin- 
cott, Samuel Foster, Charles L. Adams, Charles 
Barton, E. B. Olmstead, N. A. Hunt, Robert 
Stewart, William Rankin, William H. Bird, J. 
S. Davis, Charles Barton (a second term), James 
H. Spillman, etc. Some years later, when the 
church had become strong in numbers and 



wealth, a new church was built a few rods 
from the old one. It was a frame building well 
adapted to the wants of the church and the 
times. A large volume might be written of 
this pioneer church, but our space is limited 
and only this brief sketch can be given. A 
large and interesting Sunday school of both 
young and old has always been maintained in 
old Bethel Church. 

In 1838, the town of Harrisonville was sur- 
veyed by T. S. Hubbard, for Andrew Finley, 
proprietor. It was situated on Section 32, 
Township 7 north, Range 4 west, on Pleasant 
Prairie, about twelve miles northwest of Green- 
ville. For some time this village gave consid- 
erable promise, but it gradually died out until 
nothing now remains of it except the records 
of the platt. 

On the 17th of May, 1856, the town of Elm 
Point was laid out by Anthony Hill, for William 
P. Libby. It is located on Section 31, Town 
7, Range 3, about nine miles in a northwesterly 
direction from the town of Greenville. It is 
on the prairie, and is surrounded by a well 
cultivated country, but has never made much 
improvement, and at present there is scarcely 
what might be called a town remaining. 




OK AAV PRECIXCT. 



lfin 



CHAPTER XXL* 

OKAW PRECINCT— DESCRIPTION AND TOPOGRAPHY— EARLY SETTLEMENTS— THE FIRST PIONEERS 
—THEIR EARLY LIFE AND HABITS— SCHOOLS, SCHOOLHOUSES, CHURCHES, ETC. 



IN giving the history of Okaw Precinct, there 
is probably less to tell than of any other 
precinct in Bond County, from the fact that it 
was settled at a much later day than any other 
portion of the county. For many years the 
land was held almost exclusively by large land- 
owners, and this is still the case to a consider- 
able extent. These land-owners would not sell, 
except at such exorbitant prices as deterred 
settlers from purchasing, especially as other 
lands at that time were sold at a very low 
figure. Thus it was that settlers who might 
have located here purchased elsewhere, and at 
present we find that, though there are a number 
of good farmers in this locality, it is settled 
mainly by squatters, or farmers on a small 
scale, who have come in at a comparatively 
late day and purchased small tracts of land. 

Okaw Precinct lies in a southeasterly direc- 
tion from the county seat ( Greenville ), and 
comprises thirty-six sections in the southeast 
corner of the county. It is bounded on the 
north by the precincts of Greenville and Fair- 
view; on the east by Fayette County; on the 
south by Clinton County and on the west by 
Beaver Creek Precinct. Almost the entire 
surface of the land is very low and level, so 
that artificial drainage is largely resorted to. 
The low, flat nature of the most of the land is 
another reason why it was not settled sooner. 
In the southern part, however, near the Clinton 
County line, it rises into nice rolling land, well 
adapted to agriculture, and it was here that the 
earliest settlers located. There is very little of 

* By T. J. Riley. 



the land but is susceptible of cultivation, the 
soil is of the richest quality, and yields abun- 
dant harvests of all the crops usually grown in 
this section. The principal crops are corn, 
wheat and oats. This precinct is not very 
thickly wooded, though along the creeks may 
be found an abundance of hickoiy, ash, maple, 
walnut, etc. 

Numerous small streams flow through Okaw 
Precinct, and among them is one of consider- 
able importance, namely, the "Kaskaskia," 
commonly known as the " Okaw," which flows 
just across the southeastern corner, through 
Section 30. This stream abounds in large 
numbers of the finny tribe, and is a great re- 
sort for fishing parties. Another stream is " Flat 
Creek," which takes its rise in " Calamus Lake," 
a small body of water in the northwest corner 
of Section 16, and. flowing a little west of south, 
leaves thf precinct near the line, between Sec- 
tions 31 and 32. Little Beaver Creek, another 
small stream, flows across the northwest corner, 
through Sections 5 and 6. Another stream de- 
serving of mention is " Keysport Creek," 
which, rising in the northern part of Section 14, 
flows directly south and leaves the precinct at 
the southern boundary line of Section 35. 

It is sweet, yet sad, to recall the scenes of 
the past ; sweet, because we see the faces of 
dear ones ; sad, because the picture is unreal, 
and will vanish like the mists of the morning. 
Though the early settlement of Okaw Precinct 
is not so remote, still most of the earliest set- 
tlers have been laid away in the quiet grave- 
yards, and, " though lost to sight, are to memory 



170 



HISTORY OF BOND COUNTY. 



dear." Among the first settlers who located in 
Okaw Precinct was Josiah Austin, who came in 
1833, and located in the southern part, on Sec- 
tion 32. Two men, one named Bateman and 
the other named Martin, settled near him about 
the same time. 

John Butler came in prior to the coming of 
Josiah Austin, and located in the southern part 
of the precinct. Alexander Myatt came in an 
early day, and settled in the west half of Sec- 
tion 33, and about the same time a man, named 
Fix, settled in the southeast part of the pre- 
cinct. Among the earliest settlers in this sec- 
tion was Mathew Henry, who first settled in 
Greenville Precinct, about four miles west of 
the county seat, and after remaining there some 
time, located in this precinct, where, at present, 
a number of his descendants reside. On his 
way to Bond County, Mr. Henry came through 
St. Louis, and it is said that, while there, he was 
offered five lots where the Southern Hotel now 
stands for a little pony mare, which he refused. 
Mr. Henry also was the possessor of one of the 
first " cook stoves " in this county. 

But little can be said of the early schools in 
Okaw Precinct, and for many years after its 
settlement but little attention was given to the 
subject of education, but of late years a great 
improvement has been made in this direction, 
and at present there are several schoolhouses 
in the precinct, in which school is taught by 
efficient instructors for the usual term each 
year. 

At present, there are two churches in this 
precinct, the Methodist Episcopal and the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran. The former was established 
early in the year 1842. For some time after the 
organization of this church, meetings were held 
at the residence of Alexander Myatt. Among 
the first members were Alexander Myatt and 
wife, Joshua Sharp and wife, Micajah Bowen, 
Mr. Zimmerman, Mrs. Rainey, Mrs. Gillespie, 
Robert Tucker, wife and mother, and the Skel- 
ton family. About the first minister was the 



Rev. Joshua Barnes. Their present church 
building was erected about the year 1856, on 
the southwest quarter of Section 33. It is a 
frame building forty-four feet long and thirty- 
four feet wide, and was built at a cost of about 
$1,000. The first minister who assumed the pas- 
torate, after the building of this new church, was 
the Rev. J. W. Low. The Trustees were A. L. 
Cole, William Hoppock, B. F. Taylor and A. J- 
Cole, and the first Class-Leader was A. L. Cole. 
Alexander Myatt was chosen the first Steward. 
The church is now in a highly, prosperous and 
flourishing condition, and the present Class- 
Leader is J. D. Blackwell, and J. B. Myatt and 
1). L. Reynolds are acting as Stewards. A good 
Sunday school is and has been maintained 
ever since the organization of this church. 

The last named, the Evangelical Lutheran, or 
St. Peter's Church, was built in the fall of 1874, 
on the southeast quarter of Section 33. Among 
the men who were instrumental in getting the 
church built were, Frederick Meyer, J. H. Pah- 
man, Julius Meyer, Conrad Kromer, Henry 
Shumaker, Henry Brauchmiller, etc. Their first 
minister was Rev. Kornbeaun. Prior to the 
erection of their church building, the society- 
worshiped at the private residences of its mem 
bers, and continued thus until their present 
church was built. It is a frame building, thirty 
feet long and twenty-four feet wide, and was 
built at a cost of about $600. 

No regular meetings were held here until in 
1880, but before this time, Rev. H. Wolfman, 
who had dedicated the church, preached at in- 
tervals. Since November, 1880, they have been 
having meetings every Sunday, and Rev. H. 
Baker, the present minister, is employed at a 
yearly salary of $300, which, it may be said to 
their credit, is always promptly paid. At pres- 
ent the church is in a prosperous, thriving con- 
dition, and maintains a large and very interest- 
ing Sunday school. The Trustees at present 
are Julius T. Brauchmiller and John Turenck. 



■'.- ■■-,■..•"•,■ ,."„lJ 





o-^z^!-^ 




LIBRAR/ 

OF The 

UNIVEKSlTy wf ILLINOIS 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



173 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



CHAPTER L* 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY — INTRODUCTORY — DESCRIPTION AND GENERAL TOPOGRAPHY — THE 
VARIETIES OF TIMBER — GEOLOGICAL FEATURES — LIMESTONE AND SANDSTONE— COAL 
MEASURES — QUALITY OF THE COAL — QUARRIES OF BUILDING STONES- 
OBSERVATIONS— CLIMATOLOGY— THE CHANGES OF SEASONS— 
NOW, AND FIFTY YEARS AGO. 



" When rust shall eat her brass, when Time's strong 

hand 
Shall bruise to dust her marble palaces, 
Triumphant arches, pillars, obelisks ; 
When Julius' temple. Claudius' aqueducts, 
Agrippa's baths, and Pompey's theater ; 
Nay. Rome itself shall not be found at all, 
Historians' books shall live." 

THE annals of time are marked by various 
ages under different denominations. The 
ancients had their fabled ages of iron and of 
gold. To the downfall of the Roman Empire 
succeeded the Dark Ages, with their dismal 
concomitants of superstition and crime. Next 
came the age of the Revival of Letters, which 
was followed by that of the Reformation of 
Religion. Great men have also stamped their 
names on ages, as their likenesses have been 
perpetuated by statues and medals. Egypt 
had her age of Sesostris, Greece of Pericles, 
and Rome of Caesar, Pompey and Cicero. Brit- 
ain boasts of her age of Alfred the Great, and 
France that of Henry the Fourth. History 
will yet speak of the age of Washington, 
Franklin and Jefferson, and that of Napoleon 
will also be commemorated. In splendor, use- 
fulness, the wonders of scienoe, and the power 
of art, the present age far surpasses all that 



>Bv W. II. Pen-in. 



have preceded it, and may lie fitly denominated 
the age of improvement. Instead of the monk 
laboring to ameliorate the condition of man by 
the dreams of his dusky and secluded closet, 
the real philosopher now walks abroad in open 
day. looks at things around him as they are, 
consults nature as his oracle, receives her re- 
sponses as pure emanations from the fountain 
of truth, and employs them successfully for the 
benefit of his race. 

In the wonderful changes which the present 
age has witnessed, the period of vision and hy- 
pothesis has gone by. Fact has assumed the 
place of abstract theory, and practice has 
ejected speculation from her seat. All this and 
much more has been accomplished, but we will 
not follow up the subject. In nothing are the 
changes of the present age more strikingly 
illustrated than in the wonderful improvement 
and advancement of our country, and especially 
the great West. But a few decades ago. and 
this country was the home of the red man and 
his kindred ; these broad prairies his hunting- 
grounds, where he chased the buffalo and deer. 
Less than a century has passed ;the Indian of 
the haughty bearing and the falcon glance has 
disappeared, and Cooper's "Last of the Mohi- 
cans " preserves in romance a story of the race. 



174 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



From a wilderness, infested with savages and 
wild beasts, the country has been reclaimed, 
and transformed into an Eden of loveliness, 
unsurpassed in glory and beauty, nowithstand- 
ing the poet has sung of 

" a clime more delightful than this ; 

The land of the orange, the myrtle and vine." 

The history which attaches to every portion 
of our countiy increases in interest as time 
rolls on. Its wonderful development and ad- 
vancement are more like magic tales than act- 
ual occurrences, and its vast resources the won- 
der of all nations. No section but has its tra- 
ditions and memories; no spot, however small, 
but is more or less historical. Montgomery 
County, which forms the subject matter of the 
pages following, bears no mean part in the his- 
tory or the importance of the State of Illinois, 
as she bears no inconsiderable part in the his- 
tory of our common country. 

Topography. — The county of Montgomery, as 
formed at present, is bounded on the north by 
Sangamon and Christian Counties, on the east 
by Christian, Shelby and Fayette, on the south 
by Fayette, Bond and Madison, on the west by 
Macoupin, and has an area of 702 square miles. 
Of its topography, timber growth, prairies and 
general surface features, the following has been 
published, which we give entire for the benefit 
of our readers : "On Ramsey Creek, the hills are 
low and the country gently undulating; near 
Nokomis there are several mounds, with long, 
gentle depressions between, stretching off into 
rich plains. Westwardly, across the country, 
through Townships 10, 11 and 12 north, the 
country is for the most part rather flat. Near 
the East Fork of Shoal Creek, the hills are gen- 
erally low, becoming higher as we descend the 
stream; in the south part of Township 8 north, 
they are forty to fifty feet high. On Shoal 
Creek and Middle Fork, the hills are forty to 
fifty feet high, and rise by long, gentle ascents. 
On the West Fork of Shoal Creek the country 
is generally broken for a few miles from the 



stream, and the hills sixty to seventy feet high ; 
near Lake Fork, the hills are not very high. In 
the south half of the county, between the main 
streams, there are occasional mounds, often a 
mile or more across their base, and about fifty 
feet above the adjacent plain, with which they 
are connected by a long descent. 

" A little less than two-thirds of the area of 
this county is probably prairie. The northern 
part is mostly prairie; the southern has a large 
proportion of timber. Near Hurricane Creek, 
there are post oak flats, changing to large 
white- oak hills near the creek. At the edge of 
the prairie, the growth is mostly laurel oak, 
sumac, hazel, plum, etc. Near Ramsey Creek, 
the upland growth consists of white-oak, black- 
oak, post-oak, laurel oak, hazel and sassafras. 
The East Fork hills have mostly pin oak, black- 
oak and post-oak, changing near the prairie to 
laurel oak, black-oak and hazel. Shoal Creek 
hills have mostly white-oak, black-oak, sassa- 
fras and hickory, often extending to the prai- 
ries. Near Hillsboro, the growth is principally 
black-oak, with some white-oak, hickory, sassa- 
fras and hazel. Near Walshville and Lake 
Fork, the country is gently undulating, with a 
growth principally of plum, black walnut, 
honey -locust, wild-cherry and grapevines. 
Wild vines loaded with grapes are observed 
nearly everywhere in the woods, proving the 
soil to be naturally well adapted to the grape. 
Post-oak flats occur near West Fork, as far as 
Township 10 north. Sugar trees are occa- 
sionally found along the Middle and West 
Forks, and some extensive groves are found on 
the bottoms of main Shoal Creek. 

"The following comprises a list of such trees 
and shrubs as were observed occurring in this 
county : Crabapple, ash, prickly ash, red 
birch, buckeye, box-elder, button bush, bitter- 
sweet, blackbeny, coralberry, chokecherry, 
common cherry, coffee tree, cornus (two spe- 
cies); Cottonwood, Clematis Virginiana; elder, 
grape (four or five species), gooseberry, black 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



175 



haw, hackberry, honey-locust, hop tree ; hazel, 
shellbark and thick shellbark hickory, pig- 
nut hickory, black hickory and common 
hickory, iron-wood, linden, white maple, sugar 
tree, red mulberry, papaw, persimmon, 
plum; black, red, white, post, laurel, pin, 
chestnut, black-jack, burr and swamp white- 
oak; red and American elm, red-bud, rasp- 
berry, rose, red-root, poison oak. sassafras, 
service berry, sarsaparilla, sumac, trumpet 
creeper, Virginia creeper, willow (several spe- 
cies), and black and white walnut." 

Geology. — The geological formations of a 
country are the most important part of its his- 
tory. By the science of geology, the history of 
the earth is traced back through successive 
ages to its rudimental condition. It is not in- 
appropriate then to introduce the history of 
this county with a brief sketch of its geological 
structure, as compiled from the official survey 
of the State. A familiarity with the subject 
should be of interest to all citizens, for we are 
told by men of science that upon the " geological 
structure of a country depend the pursuits of 
its inhabitants and the genius of its civilization. 
That agriculture is the outgrowth of a fertile 
soil; mining results from mineral resources," 
etc., etc. Hence, for the benefit of our readers, 
a few pages will be devoted to the geology 
of Montgomery County, as reported in the 
geological survey. " Along the various 
streams," says this authority, " are occasional 
exposures of sand and pebbles, with some beds 
of brownish-yellow clay. Five miles northeast 
of Litchfield forty-five feet of drift is exposed, 
the lower part a compact bed of dark clay, 
with some sand and pebbles. The following 
description is given of the various clays passed 
through in well-digging in the vicinity of 
Hillsboro: First, soil; second, yellow clay or 
hardpan; at twenty-four feet, reached a three- 
foot bed of sand, then soft, moist clay. Seventy- 
five yards from this, another well was dug, 
showing in the upper part brownish-yellow clay 



at twenty feet, and at thirty-eight feet was a 
two-foot bed of sand, and, at forty-two feet, 
specimens of wood. 

" On the head-waters of the Ramsey, there are 
many springs slightly chalybeate, and some 
containing sulphate of iron, issuing from beds 
of drift, sand and pebbles. There is certainly 
evidence that at some former period of time 
the whole surface of the count} 7 was fifty to 
seventy-five feet higher than at present; that 
since the original drift deposition ( it may have 
been just at the close of the drift period), large 
masses of these deposits were washed off, leav- 
ing occasional mound-like elevations, several of 
which may be seen near Nokomis, a few be- 
tween the East and West Forks, and the hills be- 
tween Hillsboro and Butler. 

" The upper coal measures appear in part in 
this count}-, and underly all the superficial 
deposits, and include coal beds No. 11 and No. 
13, and a trace of No. 12, and embrace 150 
feet of rock, reaching from the base of No. 33 
to No. 20 of the upper coal measure section. 
Nos. 20 and 21, in Section 12, Township 10 
north, Range 1 west, there crops out along the 
creek eight feet of sandy shale and blue lime- 
stone; close by is an outcrop of brown, shaly, 
soft limestone, containing Hemipronites crassus 
and crinoid stems; Machrocheilus and Spirifer 
cameratus were also found. The exact thickness 
between 21 and 22 is unknown; the outcrops 
are ten miles apart, with no evidence of a con- 
tinuous easterly dip, but it is probable that 
twenty-five or even fifty feet may intevene. 

" Northeast of Irving on East Fork, and 
down stream for a mile, there are occasional 
outcrops of an ash-blue hard shelly limestone, 
abounding in a large variety of Productus Prat- 
tenianus. It also contains P. cost at us, P. punc- 
tatus, P. Ncbrascensis, Spirifer cameratus, Avi- 
culojiecteii carboniferous, C/ionetes, Verneuiliana, 
Ch. Flemingvi, and a branching coral. A quar- 
ter of a mile up stream, the limestone appears 
in a regular layer, stretching across the bed of 



176 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



a small branch. Three miles up stream, many 
fossils were collected, weathered out of the shale 
beds in a fine state ot preservation, including 
beautiful specimens of Pleurotomaria, sphceru- 
lata, P. tabulata, Orthoceras, Macrocheilus pa- 
ludinaformis, and one like the M. primigenius, 
but with body, whorl and spire more elongated ; 
Goniatites globulosus, Bellerophon carbonarius, 
Leda bella-striata, Nucula ventricosa, Astar- 
tella vera, Conularia, Leda Oweni, Euompha- 
lus, subnigosus and Polyphemopsis peracuta. 
These shales contain round and oblong clay 
and ironstone concretions. In Section 28, Town- 
ship 10 north, Range 3 west, a few fossils were 
obtained, indicating the presence of the same 
beds as those last named. The upper blue 
limestone, named above, undulates along East 
Fork for about eight miles, which is regarded 
as equivalent to No. 22 of general section. 
Near Section 36, Township 8 north, Range 3 
west, on the East Fork of Shoal Creek, there 
crops out eight feet of sandy shale and sand- 
stone. On West Fork, at the bridge on the 
Hillsboro and Walshville road, there is a bluff 
of thirty-five feet of bluish-gray sandy shales 
with a thin bed showing markings resembling 
those of Fucoides catida galli, and containing 
one Bellerophon. East of Litchfield, at the 
creek bluffs, is seen thirty feet of sand}', shale, 
and below that ten feet of thick-bedded sand- 
stone, resting on limestone. Four miles up 
stream, this sandstone is quite ferruginous at 
the base, and contain many remains of plants, 
Calamities^ Sigilaroe,etc. One mile farther up 
stream, there were observed forty-eight feet of 
darkish micaceous saudj' shale. On Five-Mile 
Creek, in Section 26, Township 10 north, Range 
5 west, there are twelve feet of sandy shales, 
with a thin bed of partially carbonized wood, 
containing a fossil fern. A quarter of a mile 
up the creek, there is an exposure of sixteen 
feet of this olive-drab clay shales, with iron- 
stone nodules. These shales are evidently con- 
tinuations of the same beds, and make the 



total thickness of No. 26 not less than eighty- ' 
five feet. The best exposures of Nos. 27 to 
33 inclusive are on Lake Fork and at Litch- 
field. The section on Lake Fork, at the Bond 
County line, near McCracken's, coal, is as fol- 
lows : 

Ft. Id. 

Drift slope 20 

No. 27 — Lead blue limestone, with crinoid 

stems, and Athyris subtilita 2 

No.28— Coal 2 

No. 29— Blue clay shales 10 

No. 30 — Shale and shaly limestone abounding 
in fossils, but many are much crushed 
including Spirifer cameratus, Produc- 
tus punctatus, P. Nehrascensis, Spiri- 
ferinn Kentuckensis, Hemipronites 
crassus Productus, Prattenianus, 
Athyris subtilita Terebratula bovidens, 
Myalina subquadrata, a Macrocheilus, 
a Pleurotomaria, and one in fish tooth 4 
No. 31 — Ash-gray limestone; in the lower 
part there is from one to one and a half 
feet of dark ash-colorcd limestone, 
often traversed by fine lines of calc- 
spar ; fossils not abundant contains 

Productus longispinus 18 

Bituminous shale 4 

No. 33— Coal No. 11 1 5 

" Part of No. 27 appears two and one-half 
miles northwest in the bed of the creek, con- 
taining Spirifer cameratus, Fistulipora, Pro- 
ductus costatus, P. Nehrascensis, P. Pratteni- 
anus and Myalina subquadrata. The fossils 
here have a well preserved and nacreous ap- 
pearance. One and a half miles southwest 
of Bethel, part of No. 31 crops out along the 
creek ; the upper portion is an even bedded 
bluish-gray sub-crystalline limestone ; but lie- 
low it is more irregularly bedded. Productus 
longispinus abounds, associated with Ariculo- 
pecten carboniferus. Four miles northeast of 
Litchfield, the upper part of No. 31 is a thick 
bedded brownish-gray limestone, abounding in 
Rhynchonella ITta. 

Coal — " On J. Wilson's land, Section 7, 
Township 8 north. Range 2 west, coal No. 13 
(No. 24 of upper coal measures section) has 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



177 



been mined ; that used was from near the out- 
crop, and does not appear very favorable ; the 
quality and thickness might improve by thor- 
ough opening. The same coal has also been 
taken out on the land of John L. Newsman, in 
Section 28, Township 10 north, Range 3 west, 
some eighteen inches thick, but could not be 
thoroughly examined on account of the over- 
lying debris. On the land of Mr. McCracken, 
near the south count}' line (probably in Bond 
County) Coal 13 is seventeen inches thick. Oc- 
curring as it does below the bed of the creek, 
it can only be reached at low water, and even 
then the labor of one man is required most of 
the time to keep the pit sufficiently dry for two 
others to work ; but with this trouble it will 
repay very well to work for neighborhood pur- 
poses. The same bed has also been worked at 
Ross' old mill, on Shoal Creek, at the south 
county line, and ma}- also be reached just be- 
low the surface of the water on Shoal Creek 
above Long bridge. At the limestone quarries 
on the creek near Butler, it may be reached at 
about ten to fourteen feet beneath the bed of 
the creek ; also about four feet beneath the 
darker colored limestone at the base of Mi- 
chael Cleary's quarry east of Litchfield. 

Building Rock. — " On East Fork, about Sec- 
tion 2C, Township 8 north, Range 3 west, there 
is a tolerably good bed of hard bluish lime- 
stone. On Rocky Branch, east of Litchfield, 
there are extensive quarries of pretty good 
limestone; the beds are rather irregular, but the 
rock is very extensively used for ordinary 
stone work, and makes very good lime. North 
of the railroad on the West Fork, there are sev- 
eral outcrops of a brown and gray limestone in 
three-foot beds. The same rock is also found 
four miles farther up stream. At the latter 
place, part of it presents a beautiful bluish-gray 
variegated appearance. This limestone pos- 
sesses much durability, and being in a thick 
even bed, may become in time very useful for 
large columns. It is believed to be equivalent 



to that used in the construction of the old State 
House at Springfield. West of Butler, there 
are good quarries of limestone for lime, and it 
is also much used in the neighborhood for ordi- 
nary building purposes." 

The foregoing presents a pretty good digest 
of the geology of Montgomery County, and its 
wealth of coal measures, building rocks, etc., 
and will be found of interest to land -owners at 
least. 

The climate of Montgomery County, in com- 
mon with Southern and Central Illinois, is vari- 
able. No one who has lived here long needs 
to be told this ; it very soon becomes an estab- 
lished fact in his own personal experience. Of 
the temperature, climate, and the various 
changes of Southern Illinois weather gener- 
ally, Foster's Physical Geography has the fol- 
lowing : " The melting snows of winter, gen- 
erally attended by rains, convert the rich soil 
of the prairies into mud, and render earl}' 
spring the most unpleasant part of the year. 
The heat of summer, although more intense 
than in the same latitude on the Atlantic, is 
greatly relieved by the constant breezes which 
fan the prairies. Autumn, with its slowly di- 
minishing heat, terminates in the serene and 
beautiful season known as Indian Summer. 
Its mild and uniform temperature, soft and 
hazy atmosphere, and forests beautifully tinted 
with the hues of dying foliage, all conspire to 
render it the pleasant part of the year. Next 
comes the boreal blasts of winter, with its so- 
cial firesides, and tinkling bells in the mystic 
light of the moon, as merry sleighs skim 
over the level snow-clad prairies. The winter 
has its sudden change of temperature, causing 
colds and other diseases arising from extreme 
vicissitudes of weather. This is the most un- 
favorable feature of the climate, which in other 
respects, is salubrious." These sudden changes 
seem to increase both in number and in ex- 
tremes, a fact doubtless attributable to natural 
causes — the settling-up and cultivation of the 



178 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



country. It is very common to hear old citi- 
zens who have lived in the State forty or fifty 
years, tell how different the seasons are now 
and when they first came here. There is more 
or less snow or rain, the seasons are less favor- 
able for farming, the springs more backward, 
etc., etc., just as their fancy happens to get 
the start of them. 

The following extract from an article in the 
old Illinois Gazetteer, published in 1834, would 
indicate that there had been considerable 
atmospherical changes within the last half- 
century : " There are a great proportion of 
clear, pleasant days throughout the year. Dr. 
Beck, who resided at St. Louis during the year 



1820, made observations upon the changes 
of the weather, and produced the following 
results: ' Clear days, 245; cloudy, including all 
the variable days, 110.' The results of my own 
observations, kept for twelve years, with the ex- 
ception of 1826, and with some irregularity 
from traveling into different parts of Illinois 
during the time, do not vary in any material 
degree from the above statement." Taking 
the present year of grace (1S82) as a sample of 
cool, cloud}-, disagreeable weather, it presents 
a striking contrast to the observations of Dr. 
Beck quoted above, and proves conclusively that 
changes are taking place in the climate and sea- 
sons. 




HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



179 



CHAPTER LT* 

EARLY OCCUPATION OF THE COUNTRY— THE MOUND-BUILDERS— THEIR REMAINS AND FORTIFI- 
CATIONS— THE INDIANS— TRACES OF THEM IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY— THEIR SUCCES- 
SORS, THE'WHITES— DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED BY THE EMIGRANTS ON THEIR 
WAY TO NEW HOMES— INCIDENTS OF THE PIONEER PERIOD— GROWTH 
AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY. 



P RE-HISTORIC research has evolved the 
fact, that, at a period tying wholly within the 
province of conjecture, a semi-civilized people, 
whose origin and final fate, as well as their 
habits and customs, are enshrouded in com- 
parative mystery, inhabited, not only this conn- 
try, but most of the Western Continent. All 
attempts to unravel the rnystery enveloping 
their peculiar lives meet with failure, save where 
their fast-decaying works cast a feeble ray of 
light on the otherwise impenetrable darkness. 
From the northern lakes through the Mississippi 
Valley into Mexico, and thence into South 
America, these relics of a lost race extend. 
Many archasoligists believe that their occupa- 
tion of this country was anterior to that of the 
Eastern Hemisphere, and that this continent is 
really the Old instead of the New World. 
However extravagant this opinion may be, there 
is no longer any doubt in the mind of the 
archaeologist that this country was occupied by 
a race of people, of whose origin the Indians, 
found in possession of the country by the Euro- 
peans, knew absolutely nothing. The mounds 
and fortifications left by them form by far the 
most interesting relics of American antiquity. 
Some of the most extensive mounds in the 
United States are in Illinois, and are located 
contiguous to the Mississippi River. But our 
limited space will not admit of a detailed ac- 
count of this lost race of people. Their name, 

*Bj W. H. Perriu. 



language and history have utterly perished from 
the earth, and their very existence even would 
never have been known but for the almost ob- 
literated remains which still show the work of 
their hands. That they did exist, such writers 
as Rafinesque, Foster, Lubbock and others, who 
have spent years in pre-historic research, stoutly 
maintained. No traces, however, of the " lost 
race " are found in Montgomery County, so 
as we can learn. Fortifications, camps, bu r 
ing-grounds, etc., which some have attributed to 
the Mound-Builders', and which are located in 
different sections of the county, are believed by 
others, better informed, to be but the works o 
the American Indians. The latter theory is, 
doubtless, the correct one. 

Following the Mound-Builders, and supposed 
by writers upon the subject to have been their 
conquerors, came the Indians, the red sous of 
the forest. They next occupied this country 
and resisted the encroachments of the whites to 
the bitter end. From the Atlantic coast, they 
were pressed backward toward the setting sun, 
strewing their path with the bones and skeletons 
of their martyred warriors. They crossed the 
Alleghanies, and, descending its western slope, 
chanted their death songs as they moved slowly 
and mournfully away from the land of their 
fathers, before the ever-advancing tide of pale- 
faces. Halting upon the plains of the " Illini." 
amid the forests that bounded its streams, they 
made the last home of their own choosing. 



180 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Bat here they were not allowed to remain in 
peace. The handful of whites, who had dropped 
upon the western shore of the Atlantic, had 
grown into a great multitude, and like the little 
stone cut out of the mountains by unseen hands, 
were rolling on, as a mighty avalanche, crush- 
ing all that opposed. In the early dawn of the 
nineteenth century, the red man was again 
forced to take up his line of march from South- 
ern Illinois, nor allowed to rest until he reached 
his promised land, the great plains of the far 
West. His foot-prints are still visible in what 
now forms Montgomery County, in fortifica- 
cations, burying-grounds, etc. 

The Indians occupying this portion of Illinois, 
were the Kickapoos. The following extract 
will be found of interest to our readers : " The 
Kickapoos, in 1763, occupied the country south- 
west of the southern extremity of Lake Michi- 
gan. They subsequently moved southward, 
and at a more recent dale dwelt in portions of 
the territory on the Mackinaw and Sangamon 
Rivers, and had a village on Kickapoo Creek, 
and at Elkhart Grove. They were more civi- 
lized, industrious, energetic and cleanly than 
the neighboring tribes, and it may also be add- 
ed, more implacable in their hatred to the 
Americans. They were among the first to com- 
mence battle, and the last to submit and enter 
into treaties ; unappeasable enmity led them 
into the field against Gens. Harmar, St. Clair 
and Wayne, and to be the first in all the bloody 
charges on the field of Tippecanoe. They were 
prominent among the Northern nations, which, 
for more than a century, waged an exterminat- 
ing war against the Illinois Confederacy. Their 
last hostile act of this kind was perpetrated in 
1805, against some poor Kaskaskia children, 
whom they found gathering strawberries on the 
prairie above the town which bears the name 
of their tribe. Seizing a considerable number 
of them, they fled to their villages before the 
enraged Kaskaskias could overtake them and 
rescue their offspring. During the years of 



1810 and 1811, in conjunction with the Chip- 
pewas, Pottawatomies and Ottawas, the}' com- 
mitted so many thefts and murders on the 
frontier settlements that Gov. Edwards was 
compelled to employ military force to suppress 
them. They claimed relationship with the 
Pottawatomies, and perhaps with the Sacs and 
Foxes and Shawnees. When removed from 
Illinois, they still retained their old animosities 
against the Americans, and went to Texas, then 
a province of Mexico, to get beyond the juris- 
diction of the United States. There were other 
tribes, also, who roamed through this part of 
the State. The Foxes sometimes made incur- 
sions into this immediate section, and if they 
did not live here permanently, they remained 
at least temporarily. In what is now East 
Fork Township, on McDavid's Branch, in Sec- 
tion 34, at a fine spring, the Foxes once had a 
village or camp. Of this, however, we have 
but little that is definite, as none now living 
remember the event from their own personal 
knowledge. 

There is a tradition, but how true we do not 
know, that Capt. Whiteside, the celebrated 
pioneer and Indian fighter, once, in company 
with a few kindred spirits, fought a battle with 
the Indians on Shoal Creek, in the southeast 
part of North Litchfield Township; but of this 
battle there remains no record, other than tra- 
dition. Many other traditions may be gath- 
ered of the occupation of the count}- by the 
aborigines, but none of them are particularly 
reliable. In many parts of the county there 
are remains of camps, some of them fortified 
with something of military order. One of these 
near Hillsboro still shows the old fortifications 
very plainly, and has been examined by mili- 
tary men, who recognized its situation for a 
successful defense. Nothing, however, has 
been published in regard to it, and few people 
in the county know the place of its location. 

As the white settlement increased, the In- 
dians left the neighborhood, falling back, as has 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



181 



ever been their fate, before the advancing tide 
of immigration. Their camp fires paled in the 
sunlight of civilization, and then went out on 
the prairies of Illinois forever. 

The first white people who traversed this 
country, and claimed it by the right of discov- 
ery, were the French explorers and travelers. 
More than two hundred years ago, such men 
as La Salle, Marquette, Hennepin, Joliet and 
other Frenchmen, had traversed the State of 
Illinois, or what now forms this great State, and 
made settlements along the Mississippi River. 
Many trees and stones bore the impress of the 
finer </c /is of France, and Kaskaskia, Cahokia 
and Vinceunes became enterprising French 
towns surrounded by flourishing settlements. 
Marquette discovered the Mississippi River, and 
spent years of toil in explorations and Chris- 
tianizing the natives of the great West, then 
died, with none to soothe him in his last mo- 
ments save his faithful Indian converts. La 
Salle penetrated to the mouth of the " Great 
Father of Waters," and after planting the 
standard, and claiming the country in the name 
of his king, was treacherously murdered b} - his 
own followers. Rut time passed on, and 
eventually the lilies of France drooped and 
withered before the majestic tread of the Rrit- 
ish lion, who, in his turn, quailed and cowered 
beneath the scream of the American eagle. 
The conquest of Gen. George Rogers Clark 
made Illinois a county of Virginia, and wrested 
it forever from foreign rule. Rut few decades 
after Clark captured Kaskaskia and Vinceunes, 
white people from the Eastern States began to 
cross the Wabash into the present State of Illi- 
nois. The first settlements were made in the 
southern part of the State, and not until about 
the years 1810-17 was there a settlement made 
by the whites in what is now Montgomery 
County. 

It was in the latter part of 1816 or early in 
1817 that the first white settlement was effected 
in the county. This pioneer settlement was 



made in the extreme southern part, on Hurri- 
cane Creek. Among the settlers forming it 
were Joseph Williams, Henry Pyatt, William 
McDavid, John and Henry Hill, Jesse Johnson, 
Henry Sears, Aaron Case, Harris Reavis, Joseph 
and Charles Wright, Easton Whitten, John 
Kirkpatrick. Henry Rowe, John Russell, David 
Bradford, E. Gwinn and others. In what is 
now Hillsboro Township, on Shoal Creek, the 
next settlement was made by an importation of 
Kentuekians and Tennesseans in 1817-18, 
among whom were the following, viz.: Alexan- 
der McWilliams. Solomon Prewitt, John Nor- 
ton, Roland Shepherd, Jarvis Forehand, Gor- 
don Crandall, William Clark, David McCoy, 
Nicholas Lockerman, Hugh Kirkpatrick, Mel- 
cher Fogleman, William Griffith, Joseph 
Me Adams, Israel Seward, James Street, Luke 
Steel, John McPhail, Joel Smith, David Kirk- 
patrick, Jesse Townsend, Jacob Cress, Israel 
Butler, the Harkeys, and a number of others 
now forgotten. Hiram Rountree, one of the 
prominent men of the county, who is noticed 
fully elsewhere, settled in this neighborhood in 
1821, and spent the remainder of his life here. 
These settlements were made in the timber 
bordering the water-courses. The people who 
composed the original settlements came from 
timbered countries, abounding in springs and 
streams of running water. To them, the broad 
prairies of waving grass, overtopped with in- 
numerable blossoms and fragrant flowers (in 
summer), presented all the monotony, if not the 
dreariness, of sandy deserts, and the groves of 
timber were as welcome as the "shadow of a 
great rock in a weary land." It was not for 
years after the first settlements were made in 
the timber that people ventured out on the 
prairies. The prairies, the}' believed, would 
never be utilized, except for pasture, as the 
country afforded an insufficiency of timber to 
fence them, and " if God Almighty did not 
make timber grow on the prairies," they ar- 
gued, " it was no use for man to attempt it." 



182 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Hence, the prairies would never be fit for any- 
thing but pasturage. 

Settlements were made in other portions of 
the county soon after those already mentioned. 
Some of the people composing these early set- 
tlements, after a temporary rest, made other 
settlements. Melchoir Fogleman, with Nicholas 
Voylis and William Stephens, settled in what is 
now Walshville Township some time in ISIS. 
A little later, Austin Grisham, James Baker 
and John Jordan settled in the same neighbor- 
hood. In what is now Butler Grove Township, 
Jacob Cress and family, already mentioned, 
settled in 1818. The present township of Fill- 
more was invaded by a colonj' from Kentucky 
about 1820, among whom were James Card, 
Thomas J. Todd, John Alexander, Henry and 
Peter Hill, M. Mason and others. Thus set- 
tlers came in every year, and settlements were 
made in eveiy body of timber in what is now 
Montgomeiy County. As the population in- 
creased, and the timbered laud was occupied, 
settlers began to branch out on the prairies. 
Slowly at first, and with many misgivings, but 
as the first venturesome ones did not starve to 
death, others soon followed them, until all the 
prairie land was either settled or taken up. It 
is not our purpose to minutely describe the 
settlements made in different parts of the 
count} - in this connection, but will leave it to 
chapters devoted to each individual township. 

For a number of years after the first settle- 
ments were made in the wilderness, life pos- 
sessed few pleasures and comforts, and was 
hard in the extreme and often dangerous. The 
people were exposed to danger, and were forced 
to undergo the most arduous toil to maintain 
life. The following extract from an article by 
Mr. Coolidge will give the reader some idea of 
the life led by the early settlers until civiliza- 
tion and prosperity improved the times. The 
article referred to says : " The earliest houses 
or cabins were of logs, one story high, and usu- 
ally of one room. The door was frequently 



made of split stuff, and the openings for light 
sometimes were defended by a frame or rude 
sash, with oiled paper for glass, but more usu- 
ally the opening was closed only by a solid 
shutter. In the summer, this was left unclosed; 
in the winter, the cabin was lighted down the 
chimney or through an open door. In such a 
residence we have seen the entire family of 
father and mother and well grown boys and 
girls and the occasional guest sleeping on the 
floor, and heard Senator Douglas repeat the 
ludicrous comments of the grown-up daughters 
on the ' right small chance of legs ' he was 
forced to exhibit when dressing in the morning 
after a night's rest en famille. The kitchen 
utensils were a pot for boiling potatoes, a bake- 
kettle for bread and a skillet for frying meat. 
Twenty-five dollars would buy the entire do- 
mestic outfit of a family, the coveted feather- 
bed representing a moiety of the same. Chairs 
or seats were made at home, strong, durable 
and weight}', but not luxurious. The pantry 
was a rustic shelf or two in a corner, with a 
bit of cloth before them. We are dubious as 
to the cradles, but the crop of children was 
sure and large. They grew up stout, rosy- 
cheeked, and shy as untamed colts. As for 
pocket-nioney, nobody seems to remember if 
they had any. The writer's allowance, when 
sixteen, was but 5 cents a year. A tea-kettle was 
a superfluity, and irons were supplied by a 
couple of flat stones. The hearth was the 
naked earth; the chimney was outside the 
house. A bank of clay and stone was raised 
up several feet; about four feet from the gen- 
eral level, two stout pieces of timber were fas- 
tened on each side of the fire-seat, the upper 
ends inclining toward each other, and resting 
against a loft-beam, a yard and a half from the 
wall of the house. The angular space thus 
inclosed was filled with split sticks and clay 
mortar. At a convenient height on each side, 
a hole was left into which was thrust a pole 
from which depended a log chain, into which 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



183 



pot-hooks could be inserted to sustain a pot or 
kettle. If the owner was forehanded, he sub- 
stituted a trammel for the chain; this was usu- 
ally a flat bar of iron, the upper part bent to 
grip the pole easily, and the lower portion 
pierced with numerous holes for the 'insertion 
of pot-hooks. 

" After 1830, wagons began to be seen. Prior 
to this, the ox-cart was the universal vehicle of 
transportation. Judge Rountree brought his 
wife and worldly possessions to the count}-, 
drawn by a yoke of two-year-old steers* 
Thomas C. Hughes brought his family here in 
a similar vehicle. These carts were not built 
for rapid movement. A yoke of oxen usually 
lounged onward at the rate of a mile and a half 
an hour, and five days was the usual time for a 
trip to St. Louis. With the use of wagons 
horses began to be employed to draw them. 
Mules were not seen here until well on in the 
thirties. If a stranger noticed a house a fur- 
long or half a mile from a highway, and ap- 
proached only through several gates, he knew 
he was gazing on the site of a pioneer home. 

" The plague of insects was intolerable to 
man and beast. A green-headed fly was the 
most formidable pest. In the heat of the day, 
horses were frantic, and for safety were put iu 
stables. Cattle would dash through thickets 
•of hazel brush to dislodge their tormentors or 
stand midside deep in pools of water. The 
people would at times maintain ' smudges ' to 
drive away mosquitoes, and cattle would seek 
and stand in the smoke for hours for relief. 
With the increase of land cultivation, these 
pests have disappeared." 

In further illustration of the pioneer period, 

I'll.' following incident is related of Judge Rountree'a advent 
in Ilill.hniT. : A settler was at work upon his "improvement'* In 
lii' 1 south end of the present town, when he heard a doleful noise, 
which he \v;»s wholly unable to comprehend, and which was so per- 
fectly harrowing as to make every particular hair on his head 
Ht;iiMl on end. Stories of Indian outrages were rife in the land, and 
he imagined it was some Indian device to draw the whites into an 
■ ide, and with the greatest caution, he Bet nut to reconnoiter. 
Whi 11 he reached a poiut commanding a view of the trail— now the 
Vandalia road— he saw Judge Rountree coming up the long Blope, 
driving an oxcart, the creaking and screaking of the wheels ol 
which had produced the horrible Bounds, so alarming tohissensitive 
<\trs, ever on the alert for danger. — Ed. 



we quote the following from the " Rountree 
Letters," published a few years ago in the Hills- 
boro Democrat : "Biscuits and corn-dodgers 
baked in an oven over and under glowing coals at 
the fire-place, and johnny-cakes baked on a 
board in front of the fire, are among the pleas- 
antest memories. The big pot of lye-hominy 
was also one of our earliest delights. Game 
was so plenty that it rarely happened that 
meats were scarce. But the means of obtain- 
ing meal and flour for bread were scarce. Mills 
for flour came after awhile, but hand-mills, run 
not by steam, horses nor oxen, but by women 
and children, were occasionally seen ; new corn 
was often grated by hand for immediate use- 
* Instead of our gay chandeliers, 
and coal oil lamps, were candles of tallow or 
wax, and an old-fashioned affair, dignified by 
the name of lamp, that was stuck in a crack in 
the wall and held lard in a heart-shaped sheet- 
iron basin, in which was a wick which burned 
well and gave a torch-like glare. Those who 
had brass or silver or even iron candlesticks 
strove to keep them as bright as their pewter 
and tinware. 

" The clothing for both sexes was made at 
home. If of cotton, the cotton was raised, 
picked, ginned, carded, spun, woven, colored 
and cut and made at home. If of wool, the 
sheep were raised, the wool clipped, picked by 
hand, carded, spun, colored, woven and made 
up at home. All members of the household, 
male and female, men, women and children, 
were usually employed in some part, if not in 
all parts, of the manufacture. It is true that 
the men and boys frequently wore clothing 
either made entire of the dressed skins of ani- 
mals or had their clothes ' foxed ' with them. 
There are no doubt many now living in our old 
county who can tell of the long linen shirts, 
home-made, that were the only summer gar- 
ments worn by children and of the moccasins and 
the buckskin clothing. Boots were nearly un- 
known, and shoes were indulged in as a luxury 



184 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



milv by the grown people, while moccasins made 
at home sufficed for the smaller members. How- 
ever, as soon as tanning could be done, and it 
was also often done at home, it was not unfre- 
qnent that the shoe-maker went from house to 
house with his implements, and made the shoes 
for the family. There are no doubt man)- now 
living in the county who never wore boots un- 
til they were nearly grown, and, perhaps, never 
saw an)- until nearly grown. Yet while there 
were days of self-denial, they were days of sin- 
cere happiness ; and though the memories are 
pleasant, would we go back to them ? Would 
we be willing to live as our fathers lived ? 
Would those who grew up thus, like to try it 
again ? Times have changed, and with the 
times our people, and their notions and tastes ; 
and no doubt it is all right. But the memory 
is pleasant." 

Such were some of the experiences, and the 
hardships with which the early settlers of this 
county had to contend in reclaiming it from a 
wilderness. In the grand march of civilization 
the great changes that have taken place within 
the last half-century is almost beyond the power 
of the mind to comprehend. When we look 
around us at the enterprising cities and towns, 
the magnificent residences and broad, product- 
ive fields, the manufactories of various kinds, 
and the improved machinery in use, thus facili- 
tating men's work and giving employment to 
hundreds and thousands of human beings, we 
are startled at the fact that fifty or sixt} r years 
ago these fertile plains were the abode of savages 
and wild beasts ; and the few whites, scattered 
here and there, as little dreamed of the results 
of to-day, as we dare predict what the next 
fifty years may bring forth. The pioneer's cab- 
in '• rude in its simplicity, and simple in its 
rudeness," has given place to comfortable 
homes ; the rude implements of agriculture 
have disappeared before improvements and in- 
ventions that have made farming not a labor 
but a science, while the patient ox has been 
supplanted by the iron-horse. 



Additional to other troubles and trials of the 
pioneers in the early period of the country were 
prairie fires. These fires have always been a 
source of terror to people living in a prairie 
country, and much damage and loss of property 
and even of life have resulted from them. The 
tall prairie grass, from four to six feet high, 
when dry, with strong winds prevailing, pre- 
sented combustible matter only surpassed by 
kerosene, gunpowder, etc. " In. time of peace 
prepare for war," is an adage that was very 
generally observed by the settlers living on the 
verge of the prairies, and later in the prairies 
themselves. As soon as the grass began to die 
and dry up in the fall of the year, preparations 
against fire were made by burning or plowing 
roads around fields and farms. But even these 
barriers were sometimes overleaped, and dis- 
tressing consequences followed to the poor man, 
who had but little to begin with, and lost that 
almost in the twinkling of an eye. The early 
inhabitants were often melancholy witnesses to 
these great conflagrations — so glorious in their 
grandeur, and gloomy in their ruin and waste. 
The dense smoke arising from them in the days 
of Indian summer, often enveloped the land in 
the " shades of evening," recalling the lines of 

Milton— 

"The sun, 

In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight 

Shed o'er half the nations." 
In the natural course of event, everything 
must have a beginning. As the county settled 
up and population increased, mills were built, 
shops and stores established to supply the 
wants of the community, and highways opened 
to the markets of the outside world. The first 
store in the county was kept by John Tilson, 
a man prominent in the early history of the 
county. He was from Boston, and located on 
the farm afterward known as the " Scherer 
place," about three miles southwest of Hills- 
boro. He opened a store about the year 
1S20-21, where he lived, and when the county 
seat was established at Hillsboro, moved his 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



185 



store to town. He built the first brick house 
in Hillsboro, and kept the first store in the 
town as well as in the county. When the post 
office was established, he became the first Post- 
master. Melchoir Fogleman is believed to have 
been the first blacksmith, and had a shop in the 
west part of the county. The first mills, manu- 
factories, etc., will be found in other chapters 
of the work. We are informed I33 - a local au- 
thority, that N. Lockerman was the first man 
married, and that he was married by Rev. 
James Street, while hoeing corn, but whether 
it was Mr. Street or Mr. Lockerman hoeing 
corn, deponent saith not. It is said there is a 
woman in everything, whether for good or ill, 
but there is none mentioned in connection with 
the marriage of Mr. Lockerman, aud it may be 
that he was married by Mr. Street to the corn 
he was hoeing. We would be glad to describe 
the toilettes and bridal presents of this pioneer 
wedding, for the benefit of our lady readers, 
who are always interested in such things, but, 
owing to circumstances, are unable to do so. 
We doubt not, however, but that they were in 
accordance with the customs of the time. As 
to the truth of the assertions that 

' ' Full many cares are on the wreath, 
That binds the bridal veil," 

we cannot say, but presume that Mr. Locker- 
man and his bride — if he had one — lived as 
happily as the common lot. The second mar- 
riage celebrated in the county was David Mc- 
Coy to Miss Kirkpatrick, and the third, William 
H. Brown to Miss Harriet Seward. The license 
of the latter couple were the first returned to 
the Clerk's office of Montgomery County. 

Apropos of " marrying and giving ill mar- 
riage," the following incident comes in place : 
In the early years of the county, Judge Roun- 
tree was the engineer that ran pretty much all 
of its machinery. He was Probate Judge, 
Recorder, County and Circuit Clerk, Justice of 
the Peace, legislator, and held a dozen or two 
other minor offices " too tedious to mention." 



Once, while at Springfield on legislative busi- 
ness, a couple came to town to get married, 
and when they found him gone, they seemed 
greatly troubled in " body and mind." But 
somebody sent them to Mrs. Rountree, who 
told them that she could issue the license if 
she could get in the office, but that Mr. Roun- 
tree had carried off the key with him to Spring- 
field. The}' went to the office, however, when 
the bridegroom elect set up a lot of fence-rails 
against the window and finally succeeded in 
forcing it open. He then entered and opened 
the door from the inside, and Mrs. Rountree 
went in where she found a license signed by 
Judge Rountree, which she filled up for the 
happy couple, and sent them on their road to 
Hymen rejoicing. Since then, many couples 
have gone and done likewise ; the old, old 
story, and yet forever new, has been told over 
and over again, and still the work goes on. The 
date of the first birth is forgotten, but as Mr. 
Coolidge says, the crop of children was sure 
and large ; there loas a first birth, and, perhaps, 
at an early day. The present population of the 
county indicates their frequency. 

The first death which occurred is not now 
remembered. Sixty-five years have come and 
gone since the first white people came here, and 
now most of them have passed to that bourn 
whence no traveler returns. 

" Long years have flown o'er the scenes of the past, 
And many turned gray in the winter's cold blast; 
While others but dream of the time that is gone. 
They are bent by the years that are fast rolling 
on." 

It was appointed unto all men to die, says Holy 
Writ, and pretty faithfully have the pioneers of 
Montgomery County obeyed the summons. 
The grass has grown over their graves in the 
old churchyard, the flowers have bloomed and 
1 withered with the coming and waning years, 
and a new generation now fill their places upon 
the stage of action. 



18G 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



CHAPTER III* 

ORGANIZATION OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY— THE ACT OF THE LEGISLATURE CREATING IT— EARLY 
OFFICERS AND COURTS— LOCATION OF THE COUNTY SEAT — COURT HOUSES AND PUBLII 
BUILDINGS — DIVISION OF THE COUNTY INTO PRECINCTS AND TOWNSHIPS— CON- 
VENIENCE OF TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATIONS — THE FOOR FARM, ETC. 
—POLITICS AND POLITICAL PARTIES. 



THE American people tend naturally to self- 
government. Hence, the formation of 
States and counties as soon as the number of 
inhabitants will allow. Under the history of 
Bond County, we have seen how Illinois formed, 
first, a county of Virginia, then a portion of the 
Northwestern Territory, then of the Indiana 
Territory, later a territory of itself, and finally, 
a State of the American Union. Its first divi- 
sion into counties is there noted, and the man- 
ner in which Bond was created while the State 
was still a Territory, and embraced a vast ex- 
tent of country now divided into a number of 
counties. This tendency to independence and 
self-government, led to the formation of Mont- 
gomery County, when there were but a few hun- 
dred people within its present circumscribed 
limits. It was set off from Bond County, by 
act of the Legislature, passed at the session of 
1820-21, and approved on the 12th of February 
of the latter year. That portion of the act per- 
taining to the organization of Montgomery 
County, or the main point of it, were as follows : 
" Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Illi- 
nois, and it is hereby enacted by authority of 
the same, that all that tract of country lying 
within the following prescribed boundaries, to 
wit : 

" Beginning at the southeast corner of Sec- 
tion 24, in Township 7 north, and Range 2 west, 
of the Third Principal Meridian ; thence west 
eighteen miles, to the southwest corner of Sec- 

*By W. II. IVrrin. 



tion 19, in Township 7 north, and Range a 
west ; thence south to the line of said town- 
ship, thence west to the southwest corner, and 
thence north to the northwest corner of Town- 
ship 12 north; thence east twenty -four miles to 
the northeast corner of Township 12 north, and 
Range 2 west, thence south to the beginning, to 
be known as Montgomery County, and that 
Melchoir Fogleman, James Street and Joseph 
Wright, be appointed Commissioners to locate 
the seat of justice of said county, etc., etc." 
The remainder of the act, with a number of 
" whereases " and " enactments," has no particu- 
lar reference to this county and is omitted. The 
newly created county was named, it is said, in 
honor of Gen. Montgomery, a Revolutionary 
officer, while others are dubious as to whence it 
received its name. In the absence, however, of 
certainty, we will leave the honor with the old 
soldier mentioned above. 

Montgomery County retained its original 
boundaries until the formation of Dane County, 
now called Christian, the act of which was ap- 
proved February 15, 1839, when a large mouth- 
ful was taken out of the northeast corner of 
Montgomery, leaving it in its present irregular 
shape. The Commissioners, appointed to locate 
the county seat, met at the house of Joseph 
McAdams, to determine the matter, and to de- 
cide upon an eligible site. According to the 
act creating the county, the owner of the land 
selected for the county seat was to donate 
tvventj' acres for public buildings, as an induce- 
ment for bis land being accepted for the pur- 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



137 



pose. After mature deliberation, the Commis- 
sioners made selection of a site, known since as 
the "McAdams place," and which is about 
three, miles southwest of Hillsboro. A town 
was laid out and called Hamilton, lots were 
sold, streets surveyed, and contracts let for pub- 
lic buildings, and every effort made to start a 
town. In the meantime, however, there was 
much dissatisfaction as to the place selected, 
and strong objections raised to the erection of 
a court house and a jail at Hamilton. Joseph 
Wright, one of the Commissioners appointed to 
locate the county seat, refused to sign the 
report of the Commissioners, and made a 
kind of minority report on the question, 
urging as a reason for his course, that Ham- 
ilton was neither the geographical center 
of the county or of population. So great 
was the controversy over the matter that, by 
another act of the Legislature, passed early 
in the year 1S23, new Commissioners were ap- 
pointed to relocate the county seat. This new 
board consisted of Elijah C. Berry, Silas L. 
Wait and Aaron Armstrong, and in accordance 
with the provisions of the act they met and, 
after considering the different points contesting 
for the honor, they chose the present site of 
Hillsboro. The name is said to have been 
given by a North Carolinian, many of whom 
were among the early settlers of this section, in 
honor of his native place, Hillsboro, N. C. 
But it is quite as probable that the name 
was attained from the numerous hills, upon 
which the little city now sits as majestically as 
did ancient Rome upon her seven hills. 

The following incident is related in connec- 
tion with the location of the county seat at 
Hillsboro. The land upon which the town 
stands, and which had been selected for the 
capital, had not been entered at the time. The 
Commissioners had heard of a man living in the 
southern part of the county, of the name of 
Newton Coffey, who was said to have fifty dol- 
lars in money, something very unusual for a 



pioneer citizen of Illinois at that day. So they 
sent for him and prevailed upon him to enter 
the land, as none else had monej' enough to do- 
so. Coffey entered the land, made a donation 
of the usual twenty acres for public buildings, 
and proceeded to lay out the town of Hillsboro, 
as will be fully detailed in succeeding chapters 
of this work. 

The Courts. — No public buildings, as we 
have said, were erected at Hamilton, and the 
first court of the newly-organized county wan 
held at the house of Joseph McAdams, and 
after the relocation of the county seat, at the 
house of Luke Steel, until a building of a court 
house at Hillsboro. The first term of the Cir- 
cuit Court, as well as the County Commis- 
sioners' Court, was held at McAdams', and was 
presided over by Hon. John Reynolds, Judge ; 
Hiram Rountree was Clerk, and Joel Wright 
Sheriff. The grand jury were as follows : John 
Seward, James Black, George W. Shipman, 
David Bradford, William McDavid, John Beck, 
James Card, George Davis, Elisha Freemen, 
Henry Hill, Lewis Scribner, Hiram Reavis. James 
Walker, Newton Coffey, Jarvis Forehand, John 
Yoakum, John Elder and Thomas Robinson. 
The first County Commissioners' Court was held 
April 7. 1821, the Commissioners being John 
Beck, John McAdams and John Seward. The 
following county officers were appointed at this 
term of courts, viz. : Hiram Rountree, Clerk ; ' 
John Tilson, Treasurer ; Joel Wright, Sheriff, 
and E. M. Townsend, Probate Judge ; James 
Wright and Daniel Meredith were appointed 
first Constables of the county. Thus was the 
civil machinery of the county set in motion, by 
the organization of the different branches of the 
court, and the appointment of the requisite 
officers to properly administer the same. Some 
of these early officers were men of ability, and 
left their impress upon the history of the county, 
as will be seen from sketches of their lives in 
different departments of this work. 
" As population increased, the county was laid 



188 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



off into districts for the greater convenience of 
the people and the better administration of the 
laws. It was first divided into election pre- 
cincts, and subdivided as occasion required. 
The election precincts were continued until 
within the last decade, when the county adopted 
township organization, and the precincts were 
changed into civil townships. There are now 
eighteen townships in the count}-, viz.: Hills- 
boro, North and South Litchfield, Zanesville, 
Harvel, Pitman, Raymond, Bois D'Arc, Roun- 
tree, Nokomis, Audubon, Witt, Fillmore, East 
Fork, Irving, Butler Grove, Walshville and 
Grisham. These are all full Congressional 
townships, that is, comprise thirty-six sections, 
except Harvel, Bois D Arc, Audubon, Fillmore, 
East Fork and Grisham. Some of these have 
been divided for election purposes, but other- 
wise remain subject to the same township gov- 
ernment. Under the old precinct system, the 
court consisted of three Commissioners, elected 
by the people, and all business relating to the 
county was transacted by this court as it is 
now done by the Board of Supervisors. The 
system of township organization had its origin 
in the United States, in the early history and 
settlement of New England. " The root of this 
form of local government," says a late writer, 
" may be traced to the districting of England 
into tithings by King Alfred, in the ninth cen- 
tury, to crush the widespread local disorders 
which disturbed his realms." Upon this an- 
cient idea of tithing districts, the Puritans 
grafted their great improved township system. 
The count}' system originated in this country, 
in Virginia, and is also of English origin. The 
tobacco planters of the Old Dominion, owning 
their laborers more completely than did the 
Barons of England their vassals, lived isolated 
and independent upon their large landed es- 
tates, in imitation of the aristocracy of the 
mother country. The}- also modeled their 
county and municipal institutions, with certain 
modifications, suitable to the condition of the 



new country, after the same prototype ; whence 
has spread the county system into all the South- 
ern and many of the Northern States. All the 
Northwest Territory, now constituting five 
States, after the conquest of Clark, was, by 
Virginia, in 1778, formed into one county under 
jurisdiction (as already mentioned), called Illi- 
nois. The county feature was after retained in 
all the States carved out of this territory. The 
county business in Illinois was transacted by 
these Commissioners, in the respective counties, 
who constituted a County Court, which, besides 
the management of county affairs, had usually 
other jurisdiction conferred upon it, such as that 
of Justice of the Peace and Probate business. 
By the constitution of 1848, owing to Eastern 
or New England settlers in the northern part of 
the State, township organization was author- 
ized, leaving it optional for any county to adopt 
or not the law to be enacted. In accordance 
with the provision of that constitution, and in 
obedience to a demand from the people in the 
northern part of the State, who had observed 
its practical workings in the Eastern States, the 
first township organization act was passed by 
the Legislature. But the law, in attempting to 
put it into practical operation, disclosed radical 
defects. It was revised and amended at the 
session of 1851, substantially as it has existed 
until the recent revision in 1871. The adop- 
tion of the township system marks an era in 
the management of fiscal affairs in many of the 
counties of the State. Our township system is 
not. however, closely modeled after the New 
England States. There a Representative is 
sent directly from each town to the Lower 
House of the Legislature. In New York, owing 
to her vast extent of territory, this was found 
to be impracticable, and a county assembly de- 
nominated a Board of Supervisors, composed 
of a member from each town, was then estab- 
lished. This modified system we have copied, 
almost exactly, in Illinois. 

" Townships are often compared to petty re- 



LIBRARY 

OF 1ME 

UNIVERSITY of ILLINOIS 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



191 



publics, possessing unlimited sovereignty in 
matters of local concern ; and Boards of Su- 
pervisors are often popularly supposed to be 
vested with certain limited legislative powers. 
Neither is the case. Both the County and the 
Township Boards are the mere fiscal agents. 
They hold the purse-strings of the counties ; 
they may contract, incur debts, or create liabil- 
ities — very great powers, it is true — but they 
cannot prescribe or vary the duties, nor con- 
trol in any manner the county or township of- 
ficers authorized by law. While the County 
Court of three members is a smaller, and, there- 
fore, as a rule, more manageable, or control- 
table body by outside influences, there is little 
doubt that a Board of Supervisors is not only 
more directly expressive, but also that a thou- 
sand and one petty claims of every conceivable 
character, having no foundation in law or jus- 
tice, are constantly presented, and, being loose- 
ly investigated and tacitly allowed, aggregate 
no insignificant sum. A Board of Supervisors 
also acts or is controlled more by partisan 
feelings. There ought to be uniformity through- 
out the State in the management of county af- 
fairs. No little confusion seems to pervade the 
laws at the present time relating to our two 
classes of counties." 

Whatever may be the opinion of the writer 
of the foregoing, the system of township organ- 
ization now in vogue in a majority of the coun- 
ties of Illinois, is not without its merits. The 
fact — a very potent one, too — is that, when 
once adopted by any count}', it is never changed. 
None have been known, as far as we have been 
able to learn, though the attempt has often been 
made, to recede from the position and return 
to the old system. And, slowly as some of the 
counties were to enter into it, yet when they 
did finally adopt it, they have continued to 
cling perseveringly to it. Montgomery, as we 
have said, was late in adopting township organ- 
ization, remaining under the old precinct organ- 
ization until 1S73, when the new order of local 



government was inaugurated. The most im- 
portant township officers are a Supervisor, 
Township Clerk, Assessor, Treasurer, etc. The 
number and names of the townships of Mont- 
gomery County have already been given in this 
chapter. 

The Poor Farm. — This is a county institu- 
tion and deserves some mention in this connec- 
tion. It is located in East Fork Township, 
about three miles south of Hillsboro. The costs 
of pauperage in this county- are but small com- 
pared to those borne by the people of England 
and some other European nations. The local 
communities of Illinois give equally good care 
to a few unfortunates who, by constantly re- 
curring misfortunes, are at last brought to live 
upon the county. 

The first Poor Farm was in Irving Township, 
and was known as " swamp land," which was 
set apart for the purpose of a Poor Farm, but 
was never used nor improved as such. It was 
selected December 6, 1873, and was the northeast 
quarter of Section 1, Township 9 (Irving), Range 
3. A committee was appointed to prepare a 
place for erecting buildings, etc., and March 27, 
1874, a contract was let for $3,900 for that pur- 
pose, but on the 29th of April, before work 
commenced, the site was changed to the Black- 
man farm, in East Fork Township. The con- 
tractor was to put up the same buildings as 
those designed in Irving Township. May 1, 
1874, the east half of the northeast quarter of 
Section 24 (eighty acres), and part of the east 
half of the southeast quarter of the same sec- 
tion (sixteen acres); west half of northwest 
quarter of Section 19, and part of the west half 
of the southwest quarter of same section, 172 
acres, was purchased of 0. Blackmail, at 835 
per acre, and a deed made to the Board of 
Supervisors of Montgomery County. The 
buildings, as originally designed, were com- 
pleted and accepted September 9, 1874, by the 
Board of Supervisors. 

In a recent article upon the institution, Mr. 

K 



193 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Springer says : " The Poor House is shaded by 
handsome forest trees, and flanked on the left 
with a well-trained and productive orchard. 
The care and comfort which its inmates, who 
have in most instances some mental or phys- 
ical defects, and often both, is far better than 
they had met in earlier parts of their friendless 
lives, and here they seem actually to enjoy an 
existence, which to the rational visitor appears" 
unenviable. The establishment has been satis- 
factorily conducted ever since its removal here 
from its first location in Irving Township, and 
at an expense (under the management of Mr. 
Staub) to the county, comparatively light. It 
is part self-sustaining, the soil of the farm be- 
ing productive under careful cultivation." 

Political. — In the early history of Mont- 
gomery County, there was but little strife 
among political parties as compared to that of 
a later day. The war of 1812, and the ac- 
companying events, wiped out the old Federal 
party that had so bitterly opposed Mr. Jeffer- 
son, and for some years politics ran on 
smoothly. The scramble for office in the early 
period of the county was almost nothing to 
what it is at present. The office sought the 
man and not the man the office ; and an un- 
faithful " steward " was rarely heard of. The 
most lucrative offices were filled by appoint- 
ment and not by popular election, and as a 
general thing by faithful and competent men, 
who discharged their duties without fear or 
favor. Thus, Judge Rountree held several 
important offices at the same time, for more 
than twenty years — a pretty good proof that 
he discharged his duties faithfully. 

The appointing power, conferred by the 
Legislature upon the court, although anti-re- 
publican in principle, is believed by man}- to 
be the best calculated to secure efficiency and 
competency in office. Experience has proven, 
in many instances, that the less frequently 
changes are made, the better it is for the pub- 
lic service. The early records of the County 



show, under the appointing power, but few 
changes — the case of Judge Rountree being an 
example in point. 

The Presidential election of 1S24 was at- 
tended with unusual excitement. The candi- 
dates for President were Henry Clay, Gen. 
Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and William H. 
Crawford. Mr. Clay carried his own State 
but was overwhelmingly defeated. Neither of 
the candidates had a majority of the votes in 
the Electoral College, according to the Consti- 
tutional rule, and upon the House of Repre- 
sentatives devolved the duty of making choice 
of President. Each State, by its Representa- 
tives in Congress, cast one vote. Mr. Clay 
was Speaker of the House of Representatives, 
and it is supposed that, through his influence, 
the Kentucky delegation cast the vote of that 
State for Mr. Adams instead of for Gen. Jack- 
son. By this coup d'etat Mr. Clay was instru- 
mental in organizing political parties that 
survived the generation in which he lived, and 
ruled in turn the destines of the Republic for 
more than a quarter of a century. 

For several years after the political power 
and official patronage had passed into the 
hands of Old Hickory, parties were known 
throughout the country as the Jackson and 
anti-Jackson parties. These finally became 
the Whig and Democratic parties, the latter of 
which has retained its party organization down 
to the present day, and is still one of the great 
political parties of the time, and has ever 
been the dominant part}- in Montgomery 
County. During the existence of the Whig 
party, the Democrats usually carried off the 
spoils of office in the county ; and when the 
Whig party died and was resurrected under 
the title of Republican party, the ghost of 
Andrew Jackson still led the old hero's ad- 
herents on to victory, as he himself had led his 
ragged militia to victory at New Orleans. It 
is sometimes told of them, by way of derision 
that many Democrats are still voting for him, 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



193 



particularly in the south end of the county. 
We were informed, however, by a gentleman 
whose party predilections do not coincide with 
them, that, from the amount of mail matter 
which goes to that section, they have doubt- 
less learned of his death ere this. But, with 



all the slurs cast at the party, it is a significant 
fact that the Democratic party, inaugurated 
during the political career of Gen. Jackson, 
still exists, and was never stronger or in a 
more flourishing condition, with better show of 
success, than at the present day. 




194 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



CHAPTER IV.* 

EARLY RELIGIOUS HISTORY — PIONEER PREACHERS — ORGANIZATION OF CHURCHES — EDUCA- 
TIONAL— THE FIRST SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS— THE PIONEER SCHOOLHOUSES— PRESENT 
EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES OF THE COUNTY — STATISTICS —COMPULSORY EDUCA- 
TION AND ITS GENERAL EFFECTS— THE PRESS OF THE COUNTY, ETC., ETC. 



IT^DUCATION and religion received the 
-^ early attention of the pioneers of Mont- 
gomery County. It is a fact highly com- 
mendable to them that churches were estab- 
lished while yet there was but a handful of 
residents in the newly-settled community. 
People in those earl}' days seem really to have 
been more religious, more zealously devoted to 
their church and the cause of their Master 
than at the present day. Whether this result- 
ed from their lonely life in the wilderness, beset 
with toil and with danger as it was, or 
whether they were more zealous Christians, we 
will not attempt to say. But since we heard a 
minister of the Gospel recently declare in 
a sermon that some of the heathen countries 
of the Globe, who, fifty years ago, had never 
seen a Bible nor heard the story of the Cross, 
now had more Christians in proportion to 
their population than this enlightened country 
of ours, we are forced to believe the pioneers 
were more religious than their descendents. 
Their religion was more simple, earnest, and 
sincere, and possessed fewer forms and cere- 
monies than that now in vogue. Religion, like 
everything else, has kept up with the marvel- 
ous march of civilization, and the genuine old 
article, given us by "Him who spake as never 
man spake," has been wonderfully improved 
to adapt it to the lively wants of the nine- 
teenth century. 

The introduction of the Gospel into Mont- 

*By W. H. Ptrrin. 



gomery County was coeval with its settlement 
by white people. The preachers came in reality 
" as one crying in the wilderness," and where- 
ever they could collect a few of the pioneers 
together, the}' proclaimed the glad tidings of sal- 
vation " without money and without price." The 
first sermon preached within the present limits 
of the county, is believed to have been 
preached by Rev. James Street, in 1817, at the 
house of David McCoy, one of the early set- 
tlers of what is now Hillsboro Township. A 
church was organized in 1820, the first Chris- 
tian organization in the county, and in 1821 a 
church edifice was erected. It was of the 
pioneer type, built of logs, the cracks daubed 
with mud and split logs formed the " pews," or, 
in backwoods parlance, the " benches." A Bap- 
tist Church was built in 1823, which was also a 
rude log structure. Although Rev. Street 
preached the first sermon, Rev. Henry Sears, it 
is claimed, was the first resident minister. 
The first resident Presbyterian minister was 
Rev. Jesse Townsend. Rev. Daniel Scherer 
organized the first Lutheran Church ; the 
Presbyterians organized a church in East Fork 
in 1830, of which Rev. Joel Knight and Rev. 
John Barber were the first ministers. 

Thus churches were organized and temples 
of worship erected in the different settlements 
as soon as the number of inhabitants would 
permit. In the chapter devoted to the indi- 
vidual townships, villages and cities, the history 
of all the different denominations and churches 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



195 



will be written. The subject is alluded to here, 
merely to show the zeal of the early settlers 
of the county hi religious matters and their 
devotion to the cause of Christianity. 

Education — The pioneers were quite as en- 
ergetic in matters of education as in religion, 
and schools were established as soon as the 
settlements produced children enough to form 
a school or pay for the employment of a teacher. 
The first schools were taught on the subscrip- 
tion plan and were as primitive as the cabins 
in which they were held. The first school of 
which we have any account was taught by a 
man named Brazleton, in the winter of 1818-19, 
in the present township of Hillsboro. It was 
taught in a little cabin on Mr. Griffith's place, 
and was a subscription school, each patron 
paying at the rate of from $1.50 to S2 per 
scholar, for a term of three mouths. During 
the progress of this school Indian bo3's and 
young squaws used to come and play with the 
children at noon and at recess from their camps 
in the vicinity. The first regular schoolhouse 
built in this neighborhood was on Section 9, 
in 1822, and was the usual small log cabin. 
In 1S25, a schoolhouse was built in what is 
now Fillmore Township, and in 182S the first 
temple of worship was built in what is at pres- 
ent East Fork Township. Mrs. Townseud 
taught school in 1823, in the present township 
of Butler Grove, in a small log cabin which 
stood on Section 31, and which was the first 
school in that neighborhood. The first school- 
house built in Irving Township was in the 
southwest corner in 1827, and the first school 
taught in it by a man named Mclntire, then 
seventy years of age. Henry Lower was an 
early teacher of the county, and taught in a 
room of his own house; John King and 
Charles Turner were also early teachers. 
Martha B. Cass was an early teacher in the 
Raymond settlement, and taught in her own 
house. The first schoolhouse was built there 
in 1832, a small log building. A schoolhouse 



— the firstin Walshville Township — was built in 
1834, and a Mr. Clowsou was the first teacher 
to occupy it. Other neighborhoods and settle- 
ments inaugurated schools as soon as their 
population required them. 

The children now in school know little of the 
school facilities their parents and grandparents 
enjoyed. The sehoolhouses of fifty years ago 
were log cabins — some with puncheon floors 
and some with no other floor than the ground. 
They were built mostly of round logs, the 
cracks filled in with mud, a log taken out 
across one end and the space filled with greased 
paper. This served as a window, and under it 
was placed the " writing bench," where the 
entire school would repair to practice their 
writing lesson, which was done with pens made 
of goose-quills, and ink of home manufacture. 
The books used in the schools were as primi- 
tive as the houses wherein the schools were 
taught. The New Testament was the usual 
reader — a few had the " Pleasant Companion," 
the " Columbian Orator," and the " English 
Reader." Kirkham's grammar and Pike's 
arithmetic served to enlighten the pupil in 
those branches, and the boy who could " cipher" 
to the " rule of three," was considered a 
prodigy in figures. There are hundreds now 
living in Montgomery County to whom these 
reflections will vividly recall their school days 
— days when they sat ten hours out of each 
twenty-four, on a split log for a seat, and 
studied hard, with but an hour's intermission 
during the day. To them the log schoolhouse 
with its wide fire-place, its puncheon floors and 
uneasy benches recall few pleasant memories. 

School facilities have improved wonderfully, 
however, since the period of which we write. 
The log-cabin schoolhouse, with its rude fur- 
nishing is a thing of the past, and the most 
liberal schools and comfortable houses are now 
the order of the time. The basis of the school 
s_ystem of Illinois and the northwest was the 
act of Congress, by which one thirty-sixth of 



196 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



the public lands were donated to the several 
Northwestern States for the purpose of aiding 
a system of public free education. In the sur- 
vey of the lands, thirty-six square miles or 
sections, constituted a township, and the six- 
teenth section of each township was designated 
as the "school section." By the law of the 
State of Illinois, each Congressional Township 
was made to constitute a school township, 
without regard to either county or other di- 
vision lines. In many of the counties, espe- 
cially in Northern Illinois, the county authorities 
have made the lines of political townships 
identical with the Congressional or school town- 
ships, while in the central and southern por- 
tions of the State many are smaller and others 
larger. In many townships, the land was sold 
at a comparatively early date, when land was 
cheap, and therefore but little was realized, 
the whole section in some instances being sold 
at the Government price. The land would now 
sell, perhaps, for $10 or $50 per acre. To sa}- 
that any great mistake was made in thus dis- 
posing of the lands at so early a date, would 
be to cast a reflection on those having charge 
of the same. In the early histoiy of the 
county, the people were poor and were sadly 
in need of the little revenue arising from so 
small a principal. With schoolhouses to build 
and teachers to pay, they found it no small 
burden to make provision for the education of 
their children. And then, again, it would have 
taken no less than a prophet to predict that 
within half a century this laud would double 
in value five times over. Indeed, it was almost 
universally conceded that the prairie lands 
would never be occupied. The fund realized 
from the sale of these lands is irreducible, being 
loaned by law to responsible parties, the in- 
terest only being used for the purpose of pay- 
ing teachers' salaries. 

The Legislature of the State, in 1855, passed 
a law levying an annual school tax of 2 mills 
on the dollar on all taxable property in the 



State. This revenue is somewhat variable 
with different years and different assessments, 
increasing as the countiy grows wealthier. 
These two funds constitute the nucleus of the 
school system in this, as in the other couuties 
of the State. Hy the law making these gener- 
ous provisions for the education of the youth, 
a provision was enacted making it obligatory 
on the part of a district to support a school a 
certain number of months in the year (formerly 
six, but at present five), otherwise the district 
receives no benefit from either fund. 

This provision insures the co-operation of 
district authorities in the support of schools ; 
and as a consequence, none of the districts in 
the county a*'e without the benefit of school 
instruction. Under the old system, eveiy com- 
munity claimed the privilege of managing the 
schools without interference of other parties, 
or modification by general laws. Teachers 
were accountable only to their employers, and 
no particular standard of qualification was 
required. Schools were kept open only for 
such a length of time, or not at all, as the 
whims or prejudices of the people might dic- 
tate. Consequently, while some of the more 
wealth}" and intelligent neighborhoods were 
well supplied with school facilities, others were 
almost wholly without them. The following 
facts, furnished bj- Mr. Thomas E. Harris, 
County Superintendent of Schools, show the 
present state of the common school system 
for 1881, iu Montgomery Count}' : 

Number of persons in the county under 

twenty-one 14,274 

Number of persons between six and 

twenty-one 9,544 

Number of school districts in the county. 136 

Number of schoolhouses in the county. . 135 
Number of districts having school Ave 

months or more 132 

Whole number of months school 1,155} 

Whole number of pupils 7,15? 

Male teachers employed 88 

Female teachers employed ,... 131 

Number of ungraded schools 127 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



197 



Number of graded schools " 

Number of private schools 1 

Whole amount paid teachers. . .■ $39,727 68 

Estimated value of school property 162.275 00 

In conclusion of the educational history of 
the county, a word upon compulsory education, 
a subject attracting more or less attention now 
in nearly every State of the Union, may not be 
uninteresting to our readers. Concerning the 
right of State or Government to pass and car- 
ry into effect what are known as compulsory 
laws, and require parents and guardians, even 
against their will to send their children to 
school, there does not appear to be much diver- 
sity of opinion. But concerning such a policy, 
dependent upon so many known and unknown 
conditions, there is the widest diversity. That 
a great good would be wrought is indisputa- 
ble, if the wisdom of State government could 
devise some means to strengthen and supple- 
ment the powers of Boards of Education, and 
enable them to prevent truancy, even if only 
in cases where parents desire their children to 
attend school regularly, but their authority is 
too weak to secure that end. The instances 
are not few in which parents would welcome 
aid in this matter, knowing that truancy is 
often the first step in a path which finally ends 
in vagabondage and crimes. It is our liberal 
system of free education that has preserved 
our Government so far, and its perpetuation 
depends upon the education and enlightenment 
of the masses. With the most scrupulous care, 
England fosters her great universities, that the 
sons of her nobility may be properly trained 
for their places in the House of Lords, in the 
army, navy and church. Then, the character 
of citizenship should be high indeed, where 
every man is born a king and sovereign heir to 
all the franchises and trusts of the State and 
Republic. An ignorant people can be governed 
but only an intelligent people can govern them- 
selves ; and that is the experiment we are try- 
ins to solve in these United States. " The 



growth of agrarianism and communism has 
appalled statesmenship, and alarmed the dull 
ears of the people, who see in these twin broth- 
ers of ignorance impending ruin. The great 
army of tramps marching through the land, 
disturbing our domestic tranquillity and moral 
safety, furnish another element to the problem 
confronting those who yearn for a solid and 
stable peace, and seek for the security assured 
by a permanent government. Intelligence wed- 
ded to virtue constitute the palladium of the 
union. Relaxation of vigor in the effort to 
improve the quality of our citizenship, will re- 
sult in certain ruin. From all the towers of 
the Republic the watchmen cry, ' Educate ! 
Educate ! Educate !' "* 

Viewing the subject from the above stand- 
point, is one of the strongest arguments in 
favor of compulsory education. Whatever may 
be said to the contrary, or in opposition to 
compulsory education, it is a fact apparent to 
all, that the youthful idlers upon the streets of 
towns and cities should be gathered up by 
somebody and compelled to do something. If 
they learn nothing else, there will be at least 
this salutary lesson, that society is stronger 
than they, and without injuring them, will use 
its strength to protect itself. While reform 
schools are being established for those who 
have already started on the downward road, it 
would be well to provide some way to rescue 
those lingering upon the brink of ruin, and 
there is no better way, perhaps, than by com- 
pulsory education. 

The Press. — The newspaper and the print- 
ing press of the present day constitute one 
of the most important features of the time and 
of the country, and a chronicle that said noth- 
ing of their power and influence would be, and 
justly, too, considered very incomplete. The 
daily paper, by the aid of the telegraph, gives 
us to-day all the news that transpired yester- 

♦Kentucky State Superintendent of Public Instruction. 



198 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



day in the uttermost parts of the earth. And 
the county press, the faithful exponent of the 
county's interest, is the intellectual criterion 
for the masses, and the most popular channel 
for general information. It is furthermore a 
true record of the county's history ; the very 
advertisements in local papers eventually be- 
come historical facts, and it is to be regretted 
that so few persons seem to appreciate the val- 
ue and importance of their county papers. 



Montgomery County is well supplied with 
local newspapers. In Hillsboro, Litchfield, 
Nokomis and Raymond, papers are published 
weekly, and it is but justice to them to say 
that they are above the medium standard of 
newspapers published in country towns. The 
papers of each city and town will be fully writ- 
ten up, as a part of the history of their respect- 
ive places, and are only referred to here in a 
general vtny. 




HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



199 



CHAPTER V.* 

AGRICULTURE— ITS GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT AS A SCIENCE— THE WAY OUR FATHERS 
FARMED — IMPROVED METHODS AND IMPLEMENTS — COUNTY AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIA- 
TION—OFFICES, FAIRGROUNDS, ETC— RAILROAD HISTORY— THE INDIANAPOLIS & 
ST. LOUIS RAILROAD — DIFFICULTIES ATTENDING ITS CONSTRUCTION 
—OTHER RAILROAD ENTERPRISES. 



MONTGOMERY COUNTY has the reputa- 
tion of being a fine farming section, and 
without doubt its claim in this regard is well 
founded. While some counties may show more 
of rich soil, and while others may be better 
adapted to some specialty, yet we believe uot a 
county in the State can lay claim to all the ad- 
vantages in climate, soil, water, timber and 
healthfulness that are justly claimed for this. 
While in some sections a certain advantage 
may, with propriety, be claimed as peculiar, we 
believe no other county combines so many nat- 
ural advantages. In some of the more north- 
ern counties we find larger crops of corn, and 
in some of the more southern, a greater amount 
of fruit ; but these specialties, even in the local- 
ities named, are not always a certain crop. The 
farmer's safest course is a diversity of products, 
and .Montgomery County furnishes an example 
of soil and climate which make it in an emi- 
nent degree fitted for such pursuits. 

For a number of years the natural advan- 
tages of this region were scarcely appreciated, 
as the farming was carried on in such a man- 
ner as to obtain results far below those now 
realized. Better farm machinery, better meth- 
ods of planting and cultivation, and the adop- 
tion of crops better suited to the soil have 
wrought great changes. In an especial man- 
ner is this true in regard to methods of plant- 
ing, cultivating, harvesting and taking care of 

*By W. H. Perrin. 



products. The way that our fathers performed 
their farming operations is so little known to 
the present generation who depend much upon 
farm machinery, and require the horses to do 
all the work which men, women and children 
formerly did, that a description of the old way, 
gathered from conversations with those who 
know whereof thej' speak, cannot but prove 
interesting to the young farmer of the present 
day. Banish all such modern implements as 
reapers, mowers, corn-planters, sulky plows, 
horse hay-rakes, threshing machines, riding- 
cultivators, and some conception may be formed 
of the primitive way of farming. The follow- 
ing was the mode of planting corn. After the 
ground had been plowed with a wooden mold- 
board plow (which had to be cleaned every few 
rods with a paddle carried for the purpose), 
and had been scratched over with a harrow in 
which wooden pins were used for teeth, the lit- 
tle shovel plow and a single horse were used 
for marking out both ways. After the mark- 
ing was done, the children, big and little, the 
men and the women went into the field, and 
while the children with tin pails or small bas- 
kets dropped the grains of corn in the crossings, 
the others, with great heavy iron hoes covered 
or " kivered " it with dirt. After the planting 
came the hoeing, now superseded by the im- 
proved cultivators. The tending by the single- 
shovel plow was common until a few years ago. 
But the single shovel plow has had to take its 



2(1(1 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



place with the old spinning wheel and loom, 
and the} - are now considered as relicts of a 
past age. 

Harvesting wheat, oats, rye and grass was 
formerly a laborious process. Even within the 
recollection of comparatively youug men of the 
county, the scythe and cradle were counted as 
improved implements of husbandry ; but the 
reaper and mower, now in use, not only do a 
better job, but transfer the hardest of the labor 
to the horses. The manner of cleaning the 
wheat from the chaff, after it had been tramped 
out by horses or oxen, was by pouring it slow- 
ly out of a bucket or half-bushel measure, for 
the wind to blow the chaff away. Next came 
the old "fan-mill," turned by hand. But now 
the perfected thresher not only cleans and 
separates the wheat from the chaff and straw, 
but sacks and counts the number of bushels. 

With corn at from 6 to 10 cents per bushel, 
oats but little more, wheat at but 25 to 50 
cents, and other products in proportion, with 
the market at Chicago and St. Louis, it is a 
matter of wonder that a farmer succeeded in 
obtaining enough for his labor to pay for sav- 
ing his crops. It is not difficult to understand 
why so much of the county lay for so main- 
years without occupants. Of course the 
farmer in those days did not ride in carriages, 
pay heavy taxes, wear fine clothes, or indulge 
in many luxuries ; but they rode to meeting 
on horseback or in the farm-wagon, wearing 
their every-day apparel done up clean for Sun- 
da}', and paid the preacher with a bag of corn 
or potatoes, or not at all, as the}- felt able. 
Yet, to say that they did not live comfortably 
and independently would be a great mistake. 
The rifle supplied venison and other game, 
and the actual needs of life were all furnished, 
though it would seem a great hardship to go 
back to what some are pleased to call the 
" good old times.'' 

Fairs. — The farmers of the county turned 
their attention to the improvement of agricult- 



ure and stock very early. To this end an 
agricultural association was formed about the 
year 1850, as nearly as can now be ascertained, 
but as the records of this association have 
been lost or destroyed, but little of it is known 
beyond the fact that such an association ex- 
isted, and was superseded by the present so- 
ciety in 1857. Of the latter, the facts given 
herewith are furnished by Mr. William K. 
Jackson, Secretary of the association. 

The Montgomery County Agricultural So- 
ciety, as it is now known, was organized on 
Friday, July 3, 1857, at a meeting of a requi- 
site number of the legal voters of the county, 
all of whom have a voice in the affairs of the 
society. Of this meeting, Hiram Rountree 
was Chairman, and John W. Kitchell, Secre- 
tary. A committee was appointed, consisting 
of Benjamin Sammons, A. S. Haskell and 
Austin Whitten, to frame a constitution and 
code of by-laws. The following gentlemen 
were elected officers of the Society, to wit : 
Morgan Blair, President ; J. W. Kitchell, Re- 
cording Secretary; Solomon Harkey, Treasur- 
er ; J. A. Kolston, Corresponding Secretary, 
and the following Vice Presidents : Thomas 
Standing, Hillsboro ; Robert Little, Audubon ; 
James Kirk, Hurricane ; Easton Whitten, Jr., 
East Fork ; James McPavid. Bear Creek ; C. 
V. Seymour, Walshville, and John A. Crab- 
tree, Litchfield. The following General Com- 
mittee was appointed : Henry Philips, William 
C. Miller, Henry Richmond, Harrison Brown, 
Hillsboro ; William Wright, Daniel Easterday, 
Audubon ; Cleveland Coifey, Thomas L. Har- 
vey, Hurricane ; Austin Whitten, Ezekiel Bo- 
gart, East Fork ; John Price, William Cannon, 
Bear Creek ; William Kingston, Joseph Price, 
Walshville ; Elihu Boaii, Thomas Hughes, 
Litchfield ; Edgar Smith. Benjamin Rogers, 
Zanesville ; L. H. Thomas, P. De Witt, Bois 
D'Arc. The following resolution was adopted 
by the Executive Committee : "Resolved, That 
we adopt and indorse as our own. all the pro- 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



201 



ceedings of the incorporated association here- 
tofore known as the ' Montgomery County Agri- 
cultural Society,' and are responsible for all 
debts heretofore contracted b} - the same." A 
committee, consisting of Henry Richmond, J. 
A. Watson and J. W. Kitehell, were appointed 
to select and purchase suitable fair grounds for 
the use of the society. 

The fortune of the society has been some- 
what checkered, and from the records it appears 
never to have been attended with very great 
prosperity as an agricultural association. It 
owns very fine grounds southwest of town, and 
which, with slight expense, could be so im- 
proved, as to render them very beautiful, and 
at the same time valuable to the society. But 
the grounds and buildings have now a rather 
dilapidated appearance, as though little atten- 
tion was bestowed upon them. 

The present officers are as follows : Moses 
Berry, President; Robert Morell and A. G. 
Butler, Vice Presidents ; William K. Jackson, 
Secretary and Treasurer ; Directors — W. L. 
Blackburn. William Brewer, Hillsboro ; A. T. 
Withers, Walshville ; Miner S. Goring, Mor- 
risonville, and James Young, Nokomis. 

The Litchfield Fair. — Mr. Coolidge furnishes 
us the following of the Litchfield Agricultural 
and Mechanical Association : When, in 1S57, 
the permanent location of the County Fair 
was in suspense, it was officially announced 
that the question would be decided by the 
town offering the largest contribution to its 
funds. At the specified time, Litchfield offered 
a sum at least double any competing town. 
But the authorities delayed their award and a 
recess was taken. Before re-assembling, a 
pledge, which it was well understood would 
subsequently be released, was made by .Limes 
M. Davis, of Hillsboro, to carry his town to the 
top of the list. It was an accommodation 
pledge, and was used to secure the location of 
the fair at the county seat. The trick, to which 
the fair authorities were parties, was remem- 



bered when, in 1SG7-0S, Litchfield was re- 
proached by a Hillsboro journal in coarse, 
scurrilous terms, for not raising a large sum as 
a gift to the County Agricultural Society. The 
citizens, thus censured, gave reins to their 
indignation by organizing the Litchfield Agri- 
cultural and Mechanical Association. An 
eligible tract of land was bought, near the 
southeast corner of the town, and inclosed. 
Cattle-pens and stalls were constructed, a half 
mile speed-ring prepared, and an amphitheater 
for a thousand persons erected, and in October, 
1SG8, the first fair was held. John W. Daven- 
port was President, P. B. Updike, Treasurer, 
and H. A. Coolidge, Secretary. The weather 
was of a rigorous character. The wind and 
cold had a February ancestry, yet the attend- 
ance was large and the fair was a success. 
The premium list was liberal, and the awards 
were paid. But the cost of the ground and 
fencing and buildings remained a dead loss. 
The association passed into the hands of 
thirteen joint proprietors, who assumed the 
debts, and went forward in their improvements. 
Fairs were held each 3'ear until 1875, when a 
fair was omitted. But the next year the last 
one was held, and the association went into liq- 
uidation, and the losses were paid by the pro- 
prietors. The property was sold, and the con- 
cern became a thing of the past. A succession 
of vile weather Fair weeks, and the wearing off 
of the novelty and the hard times, ate out its 
prosperity. But its existence brought its 
compensations. It advanced the reputation of 
the city for enterprise and courage, and the 
money sunk gained for the community char- 
acter worth many times the sum swallowed up. 
Railroads. — The earliest attempts to con- 
struct railroads in the West originated in the 
insane desire to enrich that great empire, as it 
might be called, by the system of "internal 
improvements." This fever of speculation broke 
out in different parts of the United States about 
the year 1S35, and soon after it appeared in 



202 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, leav- 
ing, when past, an enormous debt upon each mu- 
nicipality or State Government. In Illinois, it 
amounted to nearly $15,000,000, while in Penn- 
sylvania it was more than double that amount, 
and in Ohio and Indiana did not vary far from 
it. Examination of the legislative acts of the 
Prairie State, at that period, discloses an almost 
unbroken line of acts for the construction of 
some highway, which was destined to only par- 
tially see the light of day in detached parcels, 
some of which still remain as silent monuments 
of a supreme legislative and popular folly. 
When the collapse came in 1837, and work on 
all was entirely suspended, only the old " North- 
ern Cross Railroad," as it was called, now the 
Wabash, was found in a condition fit to war- 
rant completion, and that onty a short distance. 
It was originally intended to extend from Mere- 
dosia through Jacksonville to Springfield, De- 
catur and Danville to the Eastern State line, 
where it was expected it would be joined to 
some road in Indiana, and be continued east- 
ward. A vast quantity of old flat- bar rails 
had been purchased in England by the agents 
of the State, at an enormous expense, too ; and 
quite a quantity had been brought to Meredosia, 
preparatory to being laid on the track. In the 
spring of 1838, some eight miles of this old 
track were laid, and on the 8th day of Novem- 
ber of that year, a small locomotive, the 
" Rogers," made in England, and shipped here 
in pieces, was put together, and made a trial 
trip on the road. It was the first that ever 
turned a wheel in the Mississippi Valley. The 
first rail on this road had been laid, with im- 
posing ceremonies, on the 9th of May preced- 
ing, and on through the summer the work pro- 
gressed slowly, until the locomotive made the 
pioneer trial trip above described. Only twelve 
years before had the first railroad train made 
a trip in the new continent, and only a year or 
two before this had the first application of 
steam been successfully made in this manner 
in England. 



This pioneer railroad, as stated, is now a part 
of the Wabash systeru, a division of which di- 
verges from the main line at Decatur, and ex- 
tends to St. Louis, passing through the western 
part of this county, intersecting the townships 
of Harvel, Raj-mond, Zauesville and North and 
South Litchfield. It was completed through 
in 1870. giving that portion of the county 
through which it passes increased railroad 
facilities, and forming a valuable improvement 
in that section. Further particulars of it will 
be found in the chapters on Litchfield. 

The oldest railroad in Montgomery County 
is the present Indianapolis & St. Louis Rail- 
road, whose earliest inception may be traced to 
the speculative fever of 1835. When the ap- 
propriations for different roads were made, a 
route from Terre Haute to Alton was one des- 
ignated, and work performed on it in many 
places. Contracts were let, portions of the 
road were graded, and the workmen were paid 
in State paper, which, when the internal im- 
provement system began to decline, parti ink of 
a downward tendency, and left the creditors in 
rather a sad plight. The work dragged for a 
time, and was at last wholly suspended as a 
result of the hard times following the panic of 
1S37. It was not until about 1849, that the 
country was aroused from its dormant condi- 
tion, when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad 
reached the east line of Illinois, and craved 
permission to come in and cross the State on 
its way to St. Louis, its western terminus. At 
this point, however, it met with a check which 
took it years to overcome. A " State Policy " 
party sprang up, denying the right of any for- 
eign corporation to cross the State, especially 
when the effect would be to enrich the neigh- 
boring city of St. Louis, a city Alton was 
vainly endeavoring to outstrip in the march of 
progress, and which she then vainly expected 
to do. The " State Policy " party held several 
rousing meetings in furtherance of their scheme, 
a scheme delusive in its effects upon the State 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



203 



at large, and confined mainly to the Alton in- 
terest. Counter influences were aroused, meet- 
ings were held, and an antagonistic party, much 
the inferior at first, began to appear. The cul- 
mination came when the Terre Haute, Yandalia 
& St. Louis road asked for a charter. The 
Baltimore & Ohio road had succeeded in their 
endeavor to build their track across the State 
mainly brought about by the press foreign to 
the State. It had, with one voice, denounced 
the " policy " as narrow, selfish, mean, con- 
temptible and invidious. It was sustained by 
the press in the northern parts of Illinois, and 
had already begun to open the eyes of many 
influential persons belonging to the policy 
party. When the Yandalia road asked for their 
charter, the policy party exerted themselves to 
the utmost to defeat that, and for a time pre- 
vailed. 

While these affairs were agitating the State, 
Congress had passed an act granting a mag- 
nificent domain of land in aid of the Illinois 
Central Railroad. The Senators in Congress 
from Illinois wrote letters to many influential 
men at home, urging upon them the necessity 
of being more liberal in their acts to foreign 
corporations, and not attempt to arrogate to the 
State a right she could not expect to possess. 
They further urged that the donation from the 
General Government could not have been se- 
cured had they not pledged their earnest effort 
to wipe out this disgraceful policy. These in- 
fluences had their effect. The " Brough" road, 
so called from its principal projector, afterward 
Governor of Ohio, gained a charter, and were 
enabled to begin work on their proposed Yan- 
dalia Line. In the meanwhile, influences were 
working to build anew the projected roads of 
the internal improvement period. The grade 
on the old route from Terre Haute to Alton, 
was, in many places, in a tolerably good condi- 
tion, and only needed energy to push it to a 
conclusion. A company was formed, the name 
Terre Haute & Alton Railroad adopted, and 



work began. Montgomery, in common with 
other counties on the route, subscribed aid to 
the enterprise. The road was completed from 
the west end eastward some distance, and from 
Terre Haute west to Mattoon, where it inter- 
sected the Chicago Division of the Illinois Cen- 
tral, then uncompleted, and in January follow- 
ing the breach was closed, and a passenger 
train made the entire trip from Terre Haute to 
Alton. For awhile, it transferred freight and 
passengers here to boats, and sent them to St. 
Louis, so strong was the Alton interest against 
that city. This, however, could not always en- 
dure, and the coal road from one city to the 
other was purchased, and trains run down on 
that. That changed the name to the Terre 
Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railroad. When the 
route was extended eastward from Terre Haute 
to Indianapolis, the name was again changed 
to the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad, by 
which it is now known. 

Montgomery County subscribed $50,000 stock 
in this road, while the city of Hillsboro also 
took an active interest in it, as will be found in a 
subsequent chapter. The county has sold her 
stock to Eastern capitalists, the sale of the last 
$25,000 having been recently made. The road 
has become involved in late years, and is at the 
present writing, we have been informed, upon 
the eve of being sold. It has been for some 
time controlled by the Bee Line — an Ohio road 
— by which the latter makes its connections with 
roads diverging from St. Louis for the West, 
and of which system it will in all probability 
eventually become a permanent division. 

Another Montgomery County road, now in 
course of construction, is the Jacksonville 
Southeastern Railway. This project has been 
in process of agitation some twelve or fifteen 
years, and is now completed, and trains are 
running from Jacksonville to Litchfield. The 
original intention was to extend the road from 
Jacksonville in a southeastern direction to Ceu- 
tralia, or Mount Vernon, or some eligible point, 



204 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



either on the Illinois Central Railroad, or in 
that section of the State. Several routes have 
been laid out and surveys made through this 
and Bond Counties. Through some lukewarm- 
ness or indifference on the part of the people or 
cities, both Hillsboro and Greenville have failed 
in obtaining this road, it passing a little west 
of Hillsboro and crossing the Vandalia line at 
Smithboro, some three miles west of Green- 
ville. The road will, probably, be completed 
though at no distant day, and if it does no 
more, will become a valuable feeder to the East 
and West roads which it crosses. The cities 



which sat still and let it pass around them, per- 
haps, know what they are doing, but to an out- 
side looker on, their acts seem scarcely up to 
the present standard of railroad enterprise. 

A narrow-guage railroad is also in course of 
construction through Bond and Montgomery, 
passing near the line between the two counties. 
But in this day of railroads and railroad enter- 
prise, a narrow-guage road is hardly looked 
upon as of sufficient importance to create even 
a small ripple of excitement. Of this road we 
learned but little, except that there is such an 
enterprise in existence. 




HISTOKY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



205 



CHAPTER VI.* 

WAR HISTORY — MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN THE BLACK HAWK WAR — MUSTER ROLLS OF COM- 
PANIES—THE MEXICAN WAR— SOLDIERS FROM THE COUNTY— THE GREAT CIVIL WAR 
OF 1861— THE DIFFERENT REGIMENTS, OFFICERS, ETC.— LITCHFIELD'S 
PARTICIPATION— INCIDENTS, ETC., ETC. 



" Dufoe ct decorum fat pro patria mori." 

ALL readers of American historj- are famil- 
iar with the questions that led to our 
Revolutionary struggle, and eventually culmi- 
nated in the independence of the original thir- 
teen colonies. The results of that war secured 
to us the liberty and freedom we to-day enjoy. 
Smarting under the humiliation of defeat, the 
mother country lost few opportunities to oppress 
and insult her former colonies and their people. 
In resentment of these oft-repeated insults, fol- 
lowed, what is known in our history, as the 
" War of 1812," and another chastisement of 
the British Lion. These wars occurred before 
there were any white settlements made in the 
present count}- of Montgomery. Many of the 
pioneers, however, of the county, had partici- 
pated in one or the other of these wars, and in 
the Indian wars of the frontier. As boys, they 
had fought savages with their mothers and 
sisters in their cabins ; in youth and ripe man- 
hood they had fought them in ambuscade and 
in open fields, and felt themselves a match for 
any foe, white or red. But it was several years 
after the close of the war of 1812 before the 
whites took possession of what is now Mont- 
gomery County, and hence it cannot be said 
that the county participated in our last war 
with Great Britain. 

The Black Hawk. — This was the first conflict 
in which the people of Montgomery County 
were called upon the take part. As soon as 

* By. W. H. Perrin. 



the war had assumed a serious aspect, Col. 
Stillman led a small force against the savages, 
but was signally defeated by overwhelming 
numbers. Upon the defeat of Stillman, Gov. 
Reynolds deemed it expedient to call out troops 
to defend the more exposed settlements of his 
State, and at the same time check the operation 
of Black Hawk. He called for volunteers to 
rendezvous at Peru, in La Salle Count}-, and in 
response, Dr. Levi D. Boone, a scion of the old 
Daniel Boone stock, recruited a compan} r in 
Montgomery County, and was sworn into service 
April 20, 1832. From the " Rountree Letters " 
published in the Hillsboro Democrat, we eopy 
the muster-roll of this company, and of a com- 
pany made up subsequently by Capt. Rountree. 
The roll of Boone's company is as follows : 

Levi D. Boone, Captain ; James G. Human, 
First Lieutenant ; Absalom Cress. Second 
Lieutenant ; C. B. Blockberger, First Sergeant ; 
M. H. Walker, Second Sergeant ; Israel Fogle- 
man, Third Sergeant ; William McDavid, 
Fourth Sergeant ; J. Prater, First Corporal ; 
A. T. Williams, Second Corporal ; C. S. Coffey, 
Third Corporal ; Newton Street, Fourth Corpo- 
ral. 

Privates — William D. Shirley, Peter Cress, 
George E. Ludwick, George W. Conyers, A. H. 
Knapp, J. B. Williams, John Crabtree, Eastin 
Whitten, Samuel Peacock, Michael Ternan, 
Robert A. Long, E. Kilpatrick, Daniel Steel, 
Thomas J. Todd, Johnson Hampton, Stephen 
Killingworth, McKenzie Turner, Samuel Ish- 



206 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



rnael, James Brown, Samuel Briggs, James 
Hawkins, Harrison Brown, Benjamin R. Will- 
iams, Eli Robb, James Young, John K. Mc- 
Williams, James M. Rutledge, Thomas Mans- 
field, William Griffith, James Grisham, Benja- 
min Holbrook, William Jordon, William Rob- 
erts, Barnabas Michaels, Joshua Hunt and 
Hiram C. Bennett. They served through the 
campaign for which they volunteered (one 
mouth) and were mustered out May 28, 1832, 
at the mouth of Fox River. The Indians being 
still far from subdued, the Governor made 
another call for troops, and under this second 
call, Hiram Rountree raised a company in this 
county, of which the following is the roll : 

Hiram Roundtree, Captain ; John Kirkpat- 
rick. First Lieutenant ; Thomas Philips, Second 
Lieutenant ; A. K. Gray, First Sergeant ; John 
Stine, Second Sergeant ; Samuel Jackson, Third 

Sergeant ; Fourth Sergeant ; 

Spartan Grisham, First Corporal ; Malachi 
Smith, Second Corporal ; Thomas McAdams, 
Third Corporal ; Thomas Edwards, Fourth Cor- 
poral. 

Privates — Luke Lee Steel, Thomas Sturtevant, 
George Harkej', Jacob Rhodes, John McCurry, 
Malcom McPhail, A. Forehand, John M. Holmes, 
John K. Long, Joseph Burke, William Harkey, 
Alfred Johnson, David T. McCullock, Samuel 
Paisley, William Young, William Jones, Thomas 
Evans, J. M. McWilliams, John Hanna, John 
Brown, Jesse Johnson, Samuel Bennett, (Quar- 
termaster), C. C. Aydelot, Thomas Wood, Thomas 
Johnson, A. McCullock, James Cardwell. Thos. 
Early, Willis Rose, Zeb. Shirley, W. S. Williams, 
Thomas C. Hughes, John Hart, S. W. Booher, 
Alexander Gray, Thomas W. Heady, John 
( lorlew, Harace Mansfield, Thomas Potter, John 
Briggs, J. W. Wilson, D. M. Williams. David 
Copeland, James Potter, James Wilson, Thomas 
Gray, James M. Berry, John Slater, Thomas 
Williford, James Lockerman, Robert McCul- 
lock, John Duncan, Levi D. Boone (Surgeon), 
William Griffith, Cleveland Coffey aud William 



McDavid. The men, so far as they were able 
furnished their own arms, horses and other ac- 
couterments. and marched to the place of ren- 
dezvous near Peru, where they arrived about the 
20th of June, 1832. The company continued 
in the service until the defeat of Black Hawk, 
at Bad Ax, which terminated the war. 

The Mexican War. — After the close of the 
Black Hawk war, Montgomery County remained 
at peace with all mankind until Mexico ruffled 
the feathers of the American Eagle. The war 
with Mexico grew out of the annexation of 
Texas, formerly a province of Mexico, to the 
United States. Texas had revolted from Mexico, 
and at the battle of San Jacinto, where her army 
had captured Santa Anna, then Commander-in- 
chief of Mexico, and most of his army had forced 
him to acknowledge her independence. Mexico, 
however, paid no attention to this acknowledg- 
ment, but contiuued the guerrilla warfare, and 
used every means to annoy the Texans. Many 
people from the States had settled in Texas, and 
propositions from this time on were made by 
them to admit Texas into the Union. These 
propositions were favored by the Democratic 
party, but strongly opposed by the Whigs. In 
the Presidential campaign of 1844, the annexa- 
tion of Texas was made one of the chief issues 
of the contest, and Mr. Polk, the Democratic 
Candidate, was elected. This was taken as an 
endorsement of the question by the people, and 
early in the year 1S45, Texas was admitted into 
the sisterhood of States. Mexico at once broke 
off all diplomatic relations with the United 
States, called home her minister and prepared 
for war, which soon followed. 

Illinois, with that spirit of patriotism that 
has always characterized her, responded heart- 
ily to the call for troops. Under an act of Con- 
gress, the President was authorized to order 
out 50,000 men, and Illinois was required to 
furnish three regiments. These were made up 
without delay, and rendezvoused at Alton. 
The First regiment was commanded by the 





^inn^UD 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



209 



brave Col. John J. Hardin, of Jacksonville, 
who fell in the battle of Bueua Vista, in the 
same charge with the lamented Clay and Mc- 
Kee, of Kentucky. The Second regiment was 
commanded by Col. Bissell of the southern 
part of the State, and contained a large propor- 
tion of Germans, while the Third regiment was 
commanded by Col. Foreman, of Vandalia. It 
contained a Company from Montgomery Coun- 
ty ninety-six strong, under the following 
commissioned officers : James C. McAdams, 
Captain ; Thomas Rhodes, First Lieutenant; 
John Burk, Second Lieutenant ; and John Cur- 
lew, Third Lieutenant. The names of the pri- 
vate and non-commissioned officers cannot now 
be given. Many of them are dead, and others 
have moved away and are forgotten. Under 
the second call for troops, Illinois furnished 
another regiment, which was commanded by 
Col. Baker, of Cairo. These four regiments 
comprise the quota of Illinois in the Mexican 
war, and formed the starting point for the 
numbering of her regiments in the late civil 
war — her first regimeut being known as the 
Fifth Infantry. 

As stated, it is impossible now to give the 
names of all those who went into the Mexican 
war from Montgomery County Man}' are now 
dead, and others have moved away and are for- 
gotten. Many have also moved into the coun- 
ty, who went into the service from other States, 
and other counties of this State. Suffice it, 
they did their duty as Illinois soldiers always 
have done, before, as well as since. 

The Civil War. — After the close of the Mexi- 
can war. the country remained in comparative 
peace for more than a decade. 

A storm, however, had been gathering, and 
more than once had threatened to burst in fury 
upon the country, but after spending itself in 
low-muttered thunder, had passed over. But 
the political atmosphere was still heavy and 
oppressive, and it required no prophet to foresee 



the approaching tempest. The great question 
of slavery, which had been in agitation for a 
quarter of a century, culminated in the election 
of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency in 1860, 
by a party supposed to be hostile to Southern 
institutions, and the result was the " Great Re- 
bellion" — a civil war without parallel in the 
annals of history. To go into the details of 
this war, would be to open afresh wounds now 
rapidly healing ; but a history of a county, 
which said nothing of its war history, would, at 
least, be incomplete, and hence, a brief space in 
this chapter will be devoted to the part taken 
by Montgomery County in the late war be- 
tween the States. Upon the fall of Fort Sum- 
ter, a blaze of excitement swept over the 
loyal States, and aroused the people to instant 
action. The roll of the drum was heard in 
every city, town and hamlet, and the sturdy yeo- 
manry rushed to the defense of their coun- 
try. 

"The herds without a keeper strayed. 
The plow was in mid-furrow stayed," 

while the men, imbued with the spirit of 
their Revolutionary sires, gave themselves to 
the service of the Government. 

The Ninth Illinois Infantry, was the first 
regiment that drew on Montgomery for troops. 
Company C, of the Ninth, was made up aimost 
entirely in this county, and the Lieutenant Col- 
onel of the regiment, Judge J. J. Philips, is too 
well known to our readers to require any eulo- 
gy here. The commissioned officers of Compa- 
ny C were Jacob Miller, Captain ; A. J. Shel- 
don, First Lieutenant ; and George Short, Sec- 
ond Lieutenant. The latter was killed in bat- 
tle November 23, 1864, and John Droesch pro- 
moted to Second Lieutenant. Capt. Miller, 
Lieut. Sheldon and Droesch, were mustered out 
with the regiment July 0, 1865. 

The Ninth Infantry was one of the six regi- 
ments which was allotted to Illinois under the 
President's first call for 75,000 men for three 



210 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



months.* It was organized at Springfield, and 
mustered into the service April 28, 1861, when 
it was ordered to Cairo, and brigaded under 
Gen. B. M. Prentiss. At the end of its three- 
months' service, about five hundred of its men 
re-enlisted for three years, and on the 26th of Ju- 
ly, 1861, was mustered into the United States' 
service. The zeal with which recruiting was 
kept up during the summer of 1861 enabled 
the Ninth to number 1,040 men by the 1st of 
September. The regiment was ordered to 
Paducah. Ky., where it passed the winter, en- 
gaging in numerous expeditions in Western 
and Southern Kentucky. In February, it moved 
up the Tennessee River, and, as a part of Col. 
McArthur's brigade, participated in the battle 
of Fort Donelsou, in which it lost thirty-five 
men killed, and had 166 wounded. March 6, 
1S62, it embarked for Paducah, from Nashville, 
where it had been for some time, and proceed- 
ed to Pittsburg Landing. It engaged in the 
battle of Shiloh April 6, and sustained a loss of 
sixty-one killed and 287 wounded. Out of the 
twenty-six commissioned officers who went 
into action, twenty-one were either killed or 
wounded. 

The Ninth, during the advance on Corinth, 
formed a part of the brigade commanded by 
Brig. Gen. R. J. Oglesby, and on the evacua- 
tion of Corinth, was attached to the Third Ar- 
my Corps, under the command of Maj. Gen. 
John Pope, and pursued the retreating enemy 
to Booneville. In the battle of Corinth, Oc- 
tober 3 and 4, it lost nineteen killed and eighty- 
two wounded and fifty-two prisoners. After 
this the regiment served mostly in Mississippi, 
where it performed the most arduous service. 
The Adjutant General's report of the State, 
from which these facts are gleaned, sets down 

* Under the three months' service, the Montgomery County Com ■ 
pany was H, and was officered as follows : J. J. Philips, Captaiu ; J. 
W. Kitchell, First Lieutenant, and William F. Armstrong, Second 
Lieutenant. Philips was promoted to Major, during its three 
months' service, and, on its organization for three years, to Lieuten- 
ant Colonel. Kitchell was promoted Captain in the place of Philips 
and James Munn became First Lieutenant. Armstrong entered 
another regiment at the close of the three-months' service, where 
he served faithfully, and rose to the rank of Major. 



the number of battles and skirmishes, in which 
the Ninth participated, at 110, beginning with 
Saratoga. Ky., October 15, 1861, and ending 
with "near" Neuse River, N. C, April 10, 
1865. The regiment was mustered out of the 
service July 9, 1865. and discharged. 

The One Hundred and Seventeenth Illinois In- 
fantry received a company from the county, 
principally from Hillsboro, and the immediate 
vicinity. This was Company B, and was offi- 
cered as follows : Robert Mc Williams, Captain: 
Frank H. Gillmore, First Lieutenant, and 
George W. Potter, Second Lieutenant. Mc- 
Williams was promoted to Major, and resigned 
January 29, 1865. Gillmore was promoted to 
Captain, Potter to first Lieutenant, James M. 
Truitt to Second Lieutenant, and all mustered 
out with the regiment August 5, 1865. 

The One Hundred and Seventeenth was or- 
ganized at Camp Butler, in September, 1862, 
by Col. R. M. Moore, and mustered into the 
service by Capt. Washington, of the United 
States Army, on the 19th of the same month. 
It left Camp Butler on the 11th of November 
for Memphis, Tenu., where it arrived on the 
17th, and where it remained until July, 1863, 
when it was sent to Helena, Ark., but soon af- 
ter returned. It was next (in December) sent 
against Gen. Forrest in Western Tennessee, and, 
in a skirmish with him at La Fayette, lost three 
men killed. It was engaged in the operations 
around Vicksburg, and served in Mississippi. 
Louisaua and Arkansas, and September 19, 
1864, arrived at Jefferson Barracks. For two 
months it operated in Missouri, returning to St. 
Louis November 19, when it embarked for 
Nashville, Tenn., and took position in the works 
there December 1, 1864. It was engaged in 
the battle of Nashville December 15 and 16, 
and took part in the pursuit of Hood's army. 
Afterward it proceeded to New Orleans, where 
it arrived January 17, 1865. It participated in 
a number of battles and skirmishes, ending in 
the capture of Blakely on the 9th of April. 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



211 



It marched for Montgomery April 13, and then 
to Camp Butler, 111., where it was mustered out 
of service August 3, 1S65, by Capt. James A. 
Hall. 

The regiment, during its term of service, 
traveled by rail 778 miles ; by water, C,191 
miles, and marched 2,307 miles. 

The One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Illinois 
Infantry had also a company from this county. 
Daniel W. Munn, of Hillsboro, was Adjutant 
of the regiment, and Company D was from 
Montgomery County, and went out with the 
following commissioned officers: L. R. Slaugh- 
ter, Captain; E. T. Somers, First Lieutenant, 
and J. W. Newberry, Second Lieutenant. 
Slaughter resigned July 23. 186-4. and Somers 
promoted to Captain in his place, and as such 
mustered out with the regiment July 12, 1SG5. 
Louis Wagner was promoted to First Lieuten- 
ant, in the place of Somers, and mustered out 
as such. Second Lieut. Newberry died Sep- 
tember 3, 1863, when James M. Boone became 
Second Lieutenant, and was mustered out with 
the regiment. 

This regiment was organized at Alton, and 
mustered into service September 4, 1862, by 
Col. Richmond, who served as its Colonel until 
March 3, 1S64, when he resigned. It served 
in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi, and 
participated in the siege of Yicksburg. It took 
part in the capture of Little Rock, Ark., and in 
the fight at Clarendon, Ark., June 26, 1864. 
It was in active service from the time of its 
enlistment until the close of the war, and on 
the 12th of July, 1865, it was uuistered out 
and discharged. 

The One Hundred aud Forty-third Infantry, 
enlisted for one hundred days, contained a 
company (H) from Montgomery, which was 
officered as follows: James G. Seward, Captain; 
William R. Truesdell, First Lieutenant, and 
George P. Fowler, Second Lieutenant. The 
regiment was organized at Mattoon, and mus- 
tered into service June 11, 1864, for one hun- 



dred days, under the command of Col. IX C. 
Smith. It served in Tennessee and Arkansas, 
aud on the 10th of September returned to Mat- 
toon, where, on the 26th, it was mustered out 
of service. 

The First Illinois Cavalry was represented 
by a company from this county, viz.: Company 
E. Its commissioned officers were as follows: 
Paul Walters, Captain; Isaac Skillman. First 
Lieutenant, and Morgan Blair, Second Lieuten- 
ant, all of whom were mustered out with their 
regiment. The First Cavalry was organized 
July 1, 1861, and entered the service for one 
year. Of its operations we have no account, 
as the Adjutant General's Report of the State 
gives none, beyond its muster-roll, and that it 
was mustered out July 12, 1S62, at the close 
of its term of service. 

Additional to the foregoing, Mr. Coolidge 
furnishes us the following, as the '-war history' 1 
of Litchfield and immediate vicinity: 

•• News of the firing on Fort Sumter was 
caught from the wires on Sundaj' evening, and 
the fuller details came the next day in the 
morning dailies. A call was instantly issued 
for a public meeting in the evening, at Empire 
Hall. The hall was crowded with men. 
Speaker after speaker was called to address his 
fellow-citizens, aud declare his sentiments as to 
the Republic. There was but one opinion. 
War had begun. Force must be repelled De- 
force, and fort}' men responded that evening to 
the call for 75,000 troops to preserve the 
Union. In three daj"s, the company had a hun- 
dred and twenty rank and file, and with B. M. 
.Munn as Captain, and E. Southworth and M. 
P. Miller as Lieutenants, had departed to 
Springfield to become a part of the first Illinois 
regiment raised. For a few weeks the regiment 
was quartered at Alton, then ordered to Cairo, 
where Gen. Graut was in command. It com- 
pleted its extended period of enlistment at 
Mound City. The company saw no hostile 
Hag, and heard no hostile bullet. Only the 



212 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Captain and a few of his men re-enlisted for 
three years. The first exaltation of feeling was 
over, and the soldiers came home, some to 
enter other organizations, and the most to labor 
for daily bread, for no county can long keep on 
the field over four per cent of its population. 

" The three months' volunteers being in the 
field, steps were taken to enlist a company for 
three years. The attempt was speedily success- 
ful, and under Delos Van Deuzen, Captain, and 
L. G. Perley and P. G. Galvin, Lieutenants, and 
R. W. Short, First Sergeant, the company was 
mustered into service at St. Louis June 1G, 
1861, as Company H, Sixth Missouri Volun- 
teers, Col. Blood commanding. No regiment 
was then forming in Illinois. This Litchfield 
preferred to go into a foreign regiment, if it 
was necessary, in order to gain a recognized 
military status. Guarding Pilot Knob until 
November, the regiment then proceeded to 
Springfield, via St. Louis and Tipton, forming 
a part of the army under Fremont, which 
this leader marched to fight Gen. Price, but 
which Hunter led into pacific quarters, under 
the shelter of St. Louis. Wintering at Otter- 
ville, the Sixth, in April, departed for Pitts- 
burg Landing, and joined the army before 
Corinth, being the First of the First Brigade, 
Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, com- 
manded in succession by Sherman, Blair and 
Logan, went down the railroad to Memphis. 
The regiment preserved this position through 
its campaigns. 

" In December, 1862, the Sixth bore a bloody 
part in the assault on Chickasaw Bayou, leav- 
ing eighty men dead before the walls. This 
was the first sharp affair in which it partici- 
pated. Then it assisted at the capture of 
Arkansas Post, and, returning, was detained by 
high water at Young's Point, opposite Vicks- 
burg, until May, 1863, when it crossed the 
Mississippi thirty miles below, and advanced 
on Jackson. That town taken, the regiment 
bore its flag through the battles which sent 



Johnson whirling to the rear, and cleared the 
way to the successful investment of Pembertou 
in his stronghold. When Vicksburg surren- 
dered, the regiment assisted in the recapture 
of Jackson, and it was stationed in winter quar- 
ters on Black River until ordered to move to 
the relief of Chattanooga. The Sixth was the 
first regiment to cross the river against Mis- 
sion Ridge, and was on picket duty for 
sixty consecutive hours. In November, the 
regiment marched to the aid of Burnside, 
beleaguered at Knoxville, going light, without 
baggage or provisions, and foraging for food 
while advancing forty- miles a day. In the 
springoflS64.it re-enlisted as veterans, and 
were furloughed home for sixty days, and Capt. 
Van Deuzen went back as Lieutenant Colonel, 
commanding the regiment. Lieut. Galvin was 
promoted to Major, and Sergeant R. M. Short 
was made Captain of his company. A portion 
of the winter, the regiment lay at Huntsville. 
In May, 1864, the advance on Atlanta began, 
and Company H saw bloody service at Resaca, 
Dallas and Kenesaw Mountain. July 22, 1864, 
its depleted ranks fought on the field where 
McPherson fell, and six clays later burnt powder 
at Jonesboro, and Atlanta was fairly taken. 
Hood, throwing himself on Sherman's commu- 
nications, the latter marched to the north until 
his antagonist was beyond the Tennessee, and 
too far from his base of supplies to be trouble- 
some. Then leaving him to the stern mercies 
of Gen. Thomas, Shermau disappeared in the 
direction of the sea, to reach tide-water about 
Christmas. The Sixth, led the sharp assault 
of Fort McAlister, whose capture restored the 
connection between the army and the fleet sent 
to meet it with indispensable supplies. 

"The regiment was a Columbia, and win- 
ning fields by rapid marching even more than 
by fighting; fired its last shot on Goldsboro, 
and was present at the surrender of Johnston 
at Raleigh; having kept step to the music of 
the Union in a hundred fights in nine States, 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



213 



and marched in proud triumph in the grand 
review at Washington, the regiment was hon- 
orably mustered out of service at St. Louis, in 
September, 1865, only a remnant having sur- 
vived the perils of battle and the more deadly 
camp. 

" Many Litchfield men enlisted in companies 
recruited elsewhere. Some of them were with 
Zagonyi in his mad charge at Springfield, one 
against ten — a dash indefensible by military 
rules, but in its consequences hardly less val- 
uable than a battle gained. Others were sur- 
rendered at Lexington. They fought at Pea 
Ridge ; they did Garrison duty at St. Louis and 
Camp Butler ; they were in the gunboat serv- 
ice; they bled at Fort Donelson and suffered 
and lived through the horrors of Andersonville. 

" In August, 1861 , half a company of cavalry 
was enlisted here, and being refused admission 
to an Illinois regiment, completed an informal 
organization and became Company C, First 
Missouri Cavalry. While at St. Louis, the com- 
pany received recruits from home until the 
ranks were full. James Barrett was elected 
Captain, a position from which he retired in a 
few months, on account of deafness. The regi- 
ment took possession of Lexington on Gen. 
Price's retreat to avoid Fremont, and joined 
the latter's army at Warsaw. His body guard 
and two companies of the First Regiment were 
sent forward to disperse a small force at 
Springfield, and Company C in Zagonyi's fa- 
mous charge learned they were one against ten. 
The company wintered at Leavenworth, and for 
two years were fighting Quantrell and the 
guerrillas. At Pleasant Hill, Quantrell lost 
seventy-five men, while the Federals were weak- 
ened by about a dozen killed and wounded. 
In 1863, the regiment entered Davidson's Di- 
vision at Clarendon, back of Helena, and slowly 
approached Little Rock, which was captured 
with slight loss. In 1864, the regiment then 
dismounted, formed the advance guard of 
Steele's army to co-operate with Banks' Red 



River expedition. The First Missouri was 
under fire forty days of the forty-one, while 
absent ; on five days in severe battles. At 
the last one, at the crossing of the Saline, 
Kirby Smith lost his artillery, and Steele sac- 
rificed 1,200 wagons on his retreat. In August, 
1864, the regiment was discharged on the ex- 
piration of its term of enlistment. There re- 
remained in the city and its neighborhood only- 
four or five of the riders who fought Quantrell. 
" In 1862, E. Southworth began to raise the 
fourth entire company in the city. Isaac Skill- 
man soon co-operated with him, and when the 
ranks were full, was elected Captain ; M. Pack 
and J. Reubart, Lieutenants. The company 
was assigned the post of honor in the Ninety- 
first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Col. Day com- 
manding, and being ordered to Kentucky, was 
captured by John Morgan, at Elizabethtown. 
and paroled and sent home. Being at length 
exchanged, the regiment was sent South and' 
put on outpost duty near Galveston. Thence, 
in 1865, it was ordered to New Orleans, and 
saw active service at Mobile, where it bore an 
honorable part in the capture of Fort Blakely. 

" Three entire companies raised here were 
incorporated in Missouri regiments, in addition 
to several detachments enlisted here, by Lieu- 
tenants Gurney, Henderson, Perkins and others. 
Lieut. Perley was promoted to the Captaincy 
of Company K, and was killed by falling from 
a window in Memphis. Lieutenants White 
and Henderson, Pack and Reubart, and Ser- 
geants Short, V. Hoffman, and private W. Ed- 
gar, rose to Captaincies. 

" While the city thus sent her hundreds into 
the field, the men who could not go had an 
onerous duty to perform at home. A member 
of the Golden Circle visited a friend here in 
the critical time when trouble was apprehended 
in this county. ' I understand,' said he, ' that 
you have 4,000 stand of arms at the service of 
the Union League.' ' Certainly. I will show 
you a specimen of our guns,' and going to a 



214 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



neighbor be borrowed his Ballard rifle. ' This,' 
said he, ' is a specimen of one-half our sup- 
ply,' and producing a sixteen-shooter Henry 
rifle and explaining its construction and ef- 
ficiency, ' this is the pattern of the other half.' 
The euiissaiy of the Golden Circle was dis- 
mayed, and bis report to the Order was in- 
structive, and bore an obvious moral. Before 
this incident, parts of the Circle had been 
established in this county, and for a short time 
one met in the city. Military reviews or drills 
were held in the close neighborhood. At least 
three public addresses were made here by its 
orators, usually by way of a surprise, and the 
local speakers still live under an immeasurable 
weight of public odium. A Democratic Club 
was formed, which met each evening to hear 
read the latest war news, and an invitation was 
sought to address it by the Colonel of the Golden 
Circle regiment, which, in military array, had 
stalked through Hillsboro. The invitation was 
refused, and only by an abuse of authority and 
courtesy was he permitted to ascend its plat- 
form. The club was so deeply offended that it 
never met again. It was about this date that 
no one was permitted to call himself a Demo- 
crat unless he was hostile to the further prose- 
cution of the war. The writer saw and suf- 
fered from the zeal and malevolence of the 
disloyal element. But it is true that in pro- 
portion to their numbers, as many Democrats 
enlisted and served in the war as Republicans. 
Three of the four captains who raised com- 
panies here were Democrats, as were a majority 
of the rank and file. 

"Isaac Skillman, in the spring of 1861, en- 
listed half a company of cavalry which be- 
came a part of an Illinois regiment. The 



command was taken prisoners at Lexing- 
ton, paroled and sent home. D. W. Hender- 
son, Belmont Perkins, Al Gurnee and others 
enlisted men here who were mustered into 
Missouri regiments. For a time the fervor for 
enlisting was such that volunteers, being re- 
fused in Illinois, went into Missouri regiments. 
At least COO men were raised here, quite one- 
half the entire force supplied by the county, 
and the city, in draft times, received no credit 
for its sons fighting under the flags of other 
States . 

" Litchfield responded promptly to each call 
for troops, and what sort of men she furnished 
can be seen in her record of pensioners, and on 
the headstones of national cemeteries. She 
did her duty — no town could do more — and 
the Divine thing, which is duty, is always great, 
and always equally great. It is as great in the 
sentinel, pacing at midnight his narrow round, 
as in the General who gains his fame by hurl- 
ing redoubtable squadrons against intrepid 
foes to whom the day of battle is a time of 
of joy." 

This comprises a very brief, and, perhaps, 
imperfect sketch of Montgomery County's war 
history — a history that runs through three 
wars. How many men the county furnished to 
the national armies, in the late civil war, it is 
impossible to say, as many enlisted in regi- 
ments organized in other States, and for whom 
Montgomery County received no credit. Those 
who survived the conflict, have their reward in 
the knowledge that the old flag still floats over 
all the States ; those who fell in the fight, and 
rest in soldier's graves, are embalmed in the 
nation's history. 



HILLSBORO TOWNSHIP. 



215 



CHAPTER VTL* 

HILLSBORO TOWNSHIP— DESCRIPTION, BOUNDARIES AND TOPOGRAPHY— ITS EARLY SETTLEMENT 
—THE McADAMSES, RUTLEDGES, BOONES, AND OTHER PIONEERS— HARD LIFE OF THE 
PEOPLE— THEIR ROUGH HABITS, COARSE FARE AND SEVERE DUTY— THE PRIMI- 
TIVE CABIN AND ITS COMFORTS— MILLS, ROADS AND BRIDGES- 
EARLY SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, ETC., ETC. 



"Our grandmothers long have reposed in the tomb; 
With a strong, healthy race they have peopled 
the land; 
They worked with the spindle, they toiled at the 
loom, 
Nor lazily brought up their babies by band." 

— Eugene Hall. 

TT^AR across the dense woodlands of Indiana, 
-L beyond where Ohio's placid waters roll 
onward toward the Mississippi, and yet still 
farther on. among the grand old forests and 
gushing springs and fertile plains of Kentucky, 
Tennessee and North Carolina, came the pio- 
neers of this section of the county. Many of 
them left homes of comfort behind them, others 
but a small farm upon which they lived and 
rented by the year, and which barely gave them 
a support. All came to better their condition, 
to secure cheap lands, and to finally enable 
them to give their children a start in the world. 
Their journey hither was a hard one, and well 
calculated to discourage men of lesser energy. 
To those who settled the territory, now em- 
braced in Hillsboro Township, their trials and 
hardships, their toils and dangers, the pages 
following are inscribed. 

The township of Hillsboro occupies a posi- 
tion a little south of the center of the county, 
and is bounded on the north by Butler Grove 
Township, on the east by East Fork Township 
on the south by Grisham Township, and on the 
west by South Litchfield Township. It is most- 



»By W. H. Pen-in. 



ly of uneven surface, rolling and somewhat hilly 
along the water-courses, breaking, in places, in- 
to bluffs, and when first seen by white men, the 
larger portion was covered with timber. Nearly 
all of it, however, is susceptible of cultivation, 
and produces fine crops of corn, oats and wheat. 
The timber is principally oak, sugar-maple, Cot- 
tonwood, elm, walnut, ash, pecan, hickory, etc., 
etc. The land is drained by Shoal Creek and 
its tributaries. Middle Fork of Shoal Creek 
passes nearly through the center of the town- 
ship in an almost southwest direction, while the 
West Fork flows through the western part to 
the southward, and unites with Middle Fork 
near the south line. Brush Creek is a small 
stream in the northwest corner and empties in- 
to the West Fork, while there are several other 
insignificant streams that are nameless on the 
maps. Hillsboro, since the date of township 
organization (1873) has corresponded in size 
with the Congressional survey, embracing with- 
in its limits thirty -six sections of land lying in 
a square. 

The settlement of Hillsboro Township dates 
back to 1817 or 1818, and was among the first 
settlements made in the county. Look at the 
dates, 1817—1882! Sixty-five years stands 
between these milestones. Half that number 
is the average of a generation's lifetime, and 
hence, two generations have come and gone 
since the beginning of the settlement in what 
now forms Hillsboro Township. Among its 
early pioneers we may mention the names of 



216 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



the Killpatricks, Joseph McAdams, Jarvis 
Forehand, William Clark. Dr. Levi D. Boone 
James Rutledge, Solomon Prewitt, John Till- 
son, David McCoy, Nicholas Lockerman, the 
Wrights, Benjamin Rose, Hiram Rountreev 
Alexander McWilliams, Roland Shepherd, John 
Norton, D. B. Jackson, Gordon B. Crandall, 
Joel Smith and a number of others whose 
names cannot be recalled. 

Joseph McAdams, the progenitor of the Mc- 
Adams family, at whose house the first courts 
were held, settled some three miles southwest 
of the present town of Hillsboro. The Mc- 
Adams family was a prominent one, and many 
descendants of the patriarch, whose name is 
mentioned above, still reside in the count}*, and 
are useful and worth}' citizens. Joseph Mc- 
Adams raised a family of nine sons and three 
daughters, and it is a remarkable fact that not 
one of them — father, mother, sons and daugh- 
ters — but are dead, and, with perhaps, a single 
exception, the husbands and wives are also 
dead. 

"The mother that infant's affection approved, 
The husband that mother and infant who blessed, 
Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest." 

All were prominent citizens, but John only 
held office, and was one of the first County 
Commissioners. Joseph, the patriarch of the 
family, died many years ago, leaving a name 
untarnished. He was the first Coroner of Mont- 
gomery County, but never aspired to office ; 
one of his sons died on a place settled by Will- 
iam Clark, mentioned above as one of the early 
settlers of the township. But our space will 
not admit of a detailed sketch of this large 
family. 

About two miles west of Hillsboro, and near 
where the first county seat (Hamilton) was laid 
out, David Killpatrick settled. He was of Irish 
descent, well educated, and said to be one of 
the finest mathematicians of his day in the 
county. A man of stern integrity, useful and 
intelligent, he was often elected to the office of 



the Justice of the Peace. He. too, raised a 
large family, and has many descendants living 
in the county. It was a daughter of his, 
Martha Killpatrick, who married Dr. Garner, 
the first doctor that ever practiced medicine in 
the county. Near Killpatrick, Joel Smith set- 
tled. He was the step-father of David B. Starr, 
who is prominently mentioned elsewhere in this 
work. David B. Jackson and James Rutledge 
settled where Hillsboro now stands, and were 
early hotel-keepers. They are more especially 
noticed in connection with the earl}' history of 
the city. Of Mr. Rutledge we extract the fol- 
lowing from the Rountree Letters : " In an 
early day, he cut a conspicuous figure in our 
county, having served as Constable for many 
years, and incidentally as Deputy Sheriff, and 
many times have we seen him ' cheek by jowl' 
with some horse-thief or other violator of the law, 
We remember one fact of him, that he put in our 
old log jail the first prisoners we ever saw go 
to jail, a couple of horse thieves, by the names 
of Parks and Means. ' Uncle Jimmy ' also 
served in the Legislature as a Representative 
from this county. Indeed it may be remarked 
of him that he always took a large interest in 
the welfare of our county and our people. He 
was always at their service, and ever free to 
express his opinions on all subjects." 

Benjamin Rose was an early settler south of 
Hillsboro, near where the old woolen factory 
stands. He married a widow, who had two 
children by a former husband, William and 
Charles Linxwiler, whom he raised, and who 
became well-known citizens. He afterward set- 
tled a place known as the " Linn Knoll," near 
Brush Creek. He had two brothers, who were 
also early settlers, and both of whom are now 
dead. Other settlers soon flocked around 
" Linn Knoll," among whom were George H. 
Anderson, Robert Mann, Mark Rutledge, Will- 
iam Knight, John Bostick, James Grantham, 
James Wiley, etc., etc., all excellent men and 
citizens. Anderson had a large family ; most 



HILLSBORO TOWNSHIP. 



217 



of those living reside in Christian Count}'. 
His wife was a daughter of Robert Mann, who 
is long since dead. Knight and his wife and 
most of their family are dead. John Bostick 
and his aged father, Ezra, a soldier of the 
Revolutionary war, have likewise gone to that 
land, " whose sands bear the marks of no re- 
turning footprints." James Wiley and his good 
old father, Aquilla Wiley, have followed them. 
Thus the pioneers have passed away, leaving 
but few of their number who stand "like the 
scattered stalks that remain in the field when 
the tempest has swept over it." 

Dr. Boone was one of the early physicians, 
a contemporary of Dr. Garner, believed to be 
the first physician in the county. He was a 
man of intelligence, of the old Daniel Boone 
stock, and personally very popular. He com- 
manded a company of Montgomery County 
boys in the Black Hawk war, and when he 
served out his term re-enlisted as Surgeon iii 
Capt. Rountree's company, and served to the 
close of the war. Afterward he removed to 
Chicago, grew rich, became President of a 
bank, was elected Mayor, and was a man of 
much prominence. During the late war, he got 
into trouble, because his whole-souled generos- 
ity prompted him to provide comforts for the 
Confederate prisoners confined in Camp Doug- 
las, and he was arrested by the Federals for 
thus succoring those upon whom the fortune 
of war had frowned, and many of whom were 
sons of his old Kentucky friends. Hiram 
Rountree and John Tillson, two men, perhaps, 
more prominently connected with the county 
than any others, will receive further mention in 
the chapters devoted to the town and city. Al- 
exander McWilliams settled about four miles 
west of Hillsboro, on what was afterward 
known as the Zimmerman place. John Mc- 
Williams was a son, a man of excellent quali- 
ties, and one of the early business men of 
Litchfield. Lockerman settled in the western 
part of the present township. C. B. Blockber- 



ger settled in Hillsboro when it consisted of 
but a few log houses. He was a tinsmith, and 
opened the first tin shop in the county. He 
was a public-spirited man, made himself very 
useful to the early settlers, kept a general 
store ; made brick ; kept a hotel, and was sev- 
eral times elected to the Legislature. He was 
Deputy United States Marshal in 1840, after- 
ward Postmaster, also served as Probate Judge , 
and held several military offices. He was 
chiefly instrumental in organizing the first 
Masonic lodge in Hillsboro, and the first in the 
county, to which he was greatly devoted. 
When he died he was buried with Masonic 
honors, Gen. Shields officiating. 

The Cannons were early settlers, locating 
here as early as 1824. There were three 
brothers — William, John and Charles — all of 
whom settled near Hillsboro, and some of them 
in the town. William raised thirteen children 
out of fifteen born to him. Says Mr. Roun- 
tree in his sketches : " He is now nearly three- 
score and ten, and is quite a patriarch. He 
counts his descendants as follows : Children, 
15, of whom are living, 13 ; grandchildren, 
99, of whom are living, 90 ; great-grand child- 
ren, all living, 13, making 127 descendants, of 
whom 116 are now living." But our space 
will not admit of further details of the early 
settlement of the township. We have endeav- 
ored to trace its settlement from the beginning 
down to a period within the memory of those 
still living, giving the names and facts of the 
early history of the more prominent of its pi- 
oneers. Though doubtless the names of many 
are overlooked who are entitled to honorable 
mention among these pioneer fathers, yet no 
pains have been spared to make the list full 
and complete. 

The early life of the pioneers was one not to 
be envied, and one that could scarcely .be en- 
dured or borne by their more tenderly-nurtured 
descendants. The early settlers as we have 
said came here to better their condition, and 



21S 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, 



make homes for themselves and families. Their 
, first duty was to provide shelter, and their 
cabins were hastily built, the cracks between 
the logs rudely daubed with mud ; the floors 
were often mother earth, or of rough punch- 
eons, and the bedsteads and tables, with a chair 
or two, were almost the sole furniture. Pew- 
ter plates were common, and the big fire-places 
surrounded by pots, skillets, ovens, pans, etc., 
were used for cooking instead of stoves. Bis- 
cuits and corn-dodgers baked in an oven or skil- 
let, and " johnny cake" baked on a board before 
the fire, were considered diet fit for the gods. 
Game was plenty, and hence meat was never 
scarce, but the facilities for obtaining meal and 
flour were very limited. Mills for flour came 
after years with other improvements, but hand- 
mills, run not by steam, horses or oxen, but 
by the women and children, were the chief 
means of getting meal. New corn was often 
grated by hand for immediate use. Fruit 
could only be obtained from abroad, and with 
great difficulty, except such as grew wild. 
Honey was abundant, and could be had for the 
simple cutting down of the bee trees, so com- 
mon in the woods. 

The clothing was cheap and primitive as that 
of the cabin and its surroundings. That for 
both sexes was made at home, going through 
all the processes from the time of leaving the 
sheep's back until placed upon the back of the 
wearer. All the members of the household, 
male and female, men, women and children, 
were usually employed in some parts, if not in 
all parts of its manufacture. The men and 
boys often wore clothing made of the dressed 
skins of animals ; boots were unknown, and 
shoes indulged in only as a luxury by the 
grown people, while moccasins made at home 
sufficed for the smaller members of the family. 
Says Mr. Rountree : '-We wonder if the boys 
of our day are curious to kuow what kind of 
hair oil and neck-ties, what shaped collars and 
cuffs were the fashion then ? We wonder if 



our girls are curious to know what sort of dress 
trimmings, what shape were the bonnets and 
hats, and if they wore paniers and bustles, 
sacks and overskirts, and whether they wore 
furs, muffs, cuffs, etc., etc., and when fully in- 
formed upon the subject no doubt their looks 
of incredulity would be refreshing. There are 
doubtless many now living in the county who 
can tell of the long linen shirts, home-made, 
that were the only summer garments worn by 
boys and children, and of the moccasins and 
buckskin clothing. There were many who 
never wore a pair of boots until they were men, 
and others who never even saw a pair until 
nearly grown." It is still a mystery how the 
people lived and prospered in those early days. 
The manner of cultivating the crops was so 
simple, the tools so different and rude, and the 
distance to market so great, and the prices so 
incredibly low, that we wonder how any one, 
even with the strictest economy, could prosper 
at all. The farmers of to-day, who have re- 
duced agriculture to a science, and cultivate 
their lauds almost wholly with machinery, kuow 
little of what that same work required here 
fifty or sixty years ago. But times have 
changed, and the world, or the people have 
grown wiser as they have grown older. 

Among the amusements of the early citizens 
of the community, was that of fishing iu the 
classic waters of Shoal Creek. The numerous 
Shoal Creeks, East, West and Middle Forks, 
afforded ample " fishing grounds " for the pio- 
neer fathers. A rural bard thus sings of its 
glory, and of those who fished and swam in its 
tranquil waters " forty years ago." He says, or 
sings : 

"How many times I wander back, 
In pensive mood, on mem'ry's track 
To thy green banks, thou dear old stream, 
Where in my youth, so like a dream 
My days were passed, that toil and strife, 
No shadow cast upon my life. 
"E'en now with memory's eye I see 
Thy waters gliding bright and free. 



HILLSBORO TOWNSHIP. 



210 



O'er shining sands and pebbly beds, 

Where bass, and perch, and knotty heads, 

Pursued the minnows, that essayed 

To steal the eggs that they had laid 

On pebbly heaps. With crooked pin, 

Tied on a thread, I've waded in, 

And coaxed, and coaxed, with all my might, 

Those finny ones to take a bite — 

One little bite of angling worm, 

That on my hook did twist and squirm. 

' As dear as Jordan to the Jew, 
Or Ganges to the grave Hindoo, 
Has ever been thy name to me; 
And this my sole excuse must be, 
For pouring out this flood of rhymes, 
In mem'ry of those happy times 
I've spent, in angling on thy shores, 
Or 'mong thy hills in gathering stores 
Of nuts to crack in winter nights; 
An entertainment whose delights 
No boy or girl can e'er forget 
Till mem'ry 's sun iu death has set. 

"How often I in mem'ry meet, 
And with a hearty welcome greet 
The friends of yore who roamed with me 
Along thy banks in mirth and glee, 
********* 

"But, oh ! what changes time has brought ! 
What havoc has that monster wrought, 
Whose hungry jaws still cry for more, 
Devouring alike the rich and poor. 
Upou the brow of yonder bluff, 
With face so jagged and so rough, 
I see e'en now the resting place 
Of many, who began the race 
Of life with me, who fished and swam, 
From Wilejf's ford to Lemon's dam ; 
And gained with me their stock of lore, 
In log schoolhouses, where the floor 
Was naked earth, with weight-pole roof, 
That seldom proved quite water-proof ; 
With slabs for seats, with rough split-pegs, 
In two-inch auger-holes, for legs. 
I see with retrospection's eye, 
Upon yon hill so steep and high 
[Where J. M. Rutledge now resides], 
A cabin rude, where many a day 
I passed the tedious hours away, 
In picking up the little store 
That I possess of useful lore ; 
Exciting many times the ire 
Of poor auld Bobby Mclntire ; 



A native of the Emerald Sod, 
Whose scepter was the hazel rod. 
How often in Hibernian brogue. 
He called me ' spalpeen,' or a rogue ! 
And vowed when I some mischief did. 
That he would ' cut me to the rid!' 
At noon we often truant played, 
In thy cool flood to swim or wade, 
Forgetting how the moment's sped, 
Until the time for ' books ' had fled, 
And then crept back with some excuse, 
Though poor, intended to induce, 
The auld Hibernian to forgo 

The punishment we dreaded so. 
********* 

"I sometimes meet those Nimrods* here. 
Who once pursued the wolf and deer 
Among thy hills, or traced the bee 
To where, in some old hollow tree, 
Its luscious stores were hoarded up, 
In many a little waxen cup. 
Of all those Nimrods, none remain, 
With gun in hand to scour the plain. 
The wolf and deer are seen no more 
Among the woods along the shore ; 
And where was heard the panther's scream, 
The farmer drives his patient team. 
Where once the Indian wigwam stood 
Upon the border of some wood 
The stately mansion now is seen 
Amid broad fields and pastures green. 

"But I have neither space nor time 
Tii put the feelings into rhyme, 
That rise, while I, in mem'ry roam, 
O'er scenes about my childhood's home, 
Then, dear old stream, you'll pardon me, 
For thus apostrophizing thee, 
And grant me leave at any time, 
To talk to thee in rambling rhyme." 

The foregoing lines, from the pen of J. N. 
Wilson, of Springfield, contain quite a little 
history in themselves, and will doubtless call 
up pleasant reminiscences in the minds of many 
of our readers. Shoal Creek was early utilized 
for mills, as well as for " fishing and swimming " 
purposes. These are mentioned more fully, 
however, in subsequent chapters. The " Pep- 
per " mill, as it was called, was an early insti- 
tution, and was southwest of Hillsboro some 

*Yoakunis, Crease?, W'ilBuiis, NussuiatiB, etc. 



220 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



three or four miles. But it has long since gone 
to decay, and few people in Hillsboro remem- 
ber anything about it. 

The early roads were trails over the country, 
man} 7 originally made by the Indians, and 
afterward improved by the people and made 
into roads. One of the first in the township — 
and but very little of it was in the present 
township of Hillsboro — was the Hillsboro & 
Springfield road. Another was the Hillsboro 
& St. Louis road, which runs out by the Fail- 
Grounds. When first laid out, there were no 
bridges where these roads cross the streams, 
and hence, in time of high water, travel was 
suspended. Now there are substantial bridges 
where all the principal roads cross the streams, 
so that high waters are no impediment now to 
travel. 

The first school taught in the township was 
in Hillsboro, and will be more especially 
noticed under the head of the city. There are 
now sis schoolhouses, all comfortable build- 
ings, in the township, outside of Hillsboro, 
which afford ample facilities to the people for 
the education of their children. 

Hamilton, the first county seat, was in Hills- 
boro Township, some three miles southwest of 
Hillsboro. It was laid out as a town after 
being selected for the seat of justice. , Lots 
were sold, and a few houses built, though no 
court house or other public buildings were 
erected. John Tillson opened a store there, 
but as soon as Hillsboro was selected as the 
county seat, he moved to the new town. The 
changing of the location of the county seat, of 
course, was the death-knell of Hamilton, and it 
soon became another " Goldsmith's Deserted 
Village." From its ruins, however, arose 



eventually, the village of Woodsboro, which 
was laid out very near if not at the same place 
where Hamilton had formerly stood. 

Woodsboro was laid out about 1S48, by 
William Wood, a man of the most untiring 
energy and industry. He first settled six miles 
southwest of Hillsboro, where he opened a 
store, and about 1837 he commenced improve- 
ments on the " Woodsboro farm," and removed 
his store there. He succeeded, in 1848, in get- 
ting a post office, of which he was Postmaster. 
He laid out the town where the Springfield & 
Greenville road crossed the Hillsboro & St. 
Louis road, and, as we have said, it was some 
three miles southwest of Hillsboro. It was at 
one time a place of considerable business. Mr. 
Wood, in addition to his store, was instru- 
mental in having a wagon shop, blacksmith 
shop, cooper shop and tin shop opened in his 
town, and, in 1851, he built a steam saw and 
grist mill, which he ran for several years. So 
Woodsboro flourished until the completion of 
the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad, when 
most of the town went to Butler, Mr. Wood, 
himself, having moved to that place, and took 
an active part in building it up. He contin- 
ued an active business man until his death, 
which occurred in 1873. A church of the 
Methodist denomination was built at Woods- 
boro, which is still in use, and comprises about 
all of the town there is left. 

Some two miles south of Woodsboro stands 
the Presbyterian Church of Wavelaud, an off- 
shoot of the Presbyterian Church of Woodsboro. 
This and the Methodist Church at Hillsboro 
are the only churches, we believe, in the town- 
ship, outside of the city. 



CITY OF HILLSBORO. 



221 



CHAPTER VIII.* 

CITY OF HILLSBORO — LAID OUT AS THE COUNTY SEAT — ITS LOCATION, ETC. — FIRST SALE OF 
LOTS— STREETS AND ADDITIONS-THE FIRST INHABITANT— JUDGE ROUNTREE— OTHER 
riONEERS— FIRST FRAME AND FIRST BRICK HOUSE— STORES, SHOPS, MILLS, ETC. 
—AN INCIDENT— MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES — THE GRAIN TRADE 
AND RAILROAD — COURT HOUSES AND JAILS- 
INCORPORATION OF THE CITY, ETC. 



" Full sixty years have come and gone 

Since we commenced life's rugged way- 
Facing December's fleecy snows, 
And plucking flowers that grew in May," 

THE events which led to the birth of Hills- 
boro originated in the general dissatis- 
faction of the people of the first seat of jus- 
tice of Montgomery County, as noted in a 
preceding chapter. Hence, an act was passed 
by the Legislature, January 30, 1823, author- 
izing the relocation of the county seat, and 
appointing three Commissioners, viz. : New- 
ton Coffey, Maj. James Wilson and Harris 
Reavis, for that purpose. The site selected 
by them was that of the present city of Hills- 
boro, the land of which was at the time owned 
by Newton Coffey, one of the Commissioners. 
In conformity with the provisions of the act, 
he executed a deed for twenty acres of land, 
June 30, 1823, for the purpose of defraying 
the expense of erecting public buildings. 
Upon this twenty acres, the original town of 
Hillsboro 1 was laid out, and the sale of lots 
took place August 12, 1823. In another 
twelve months, the city may celebrate its three 
score years. 

Hillsboro is beautifully situated on high 
rolling ground, commanding a fine view of 
the surrounding country, and on the Indian- 
apolis & St. Louis Railroad, some sixty-five 

* By W. H. Perrin. 



miles nearly northeast of St. Louis, and about 
two hundred miles southwest of Chicago, the 
great commercial metropolis of Illinois and 
the Northwest. It is a city of about two 
thousand inhabitants, and is noted for its in 
telligent and enterprising inhabitants, for its 
excellent schools and handsome and spacious 
churches. It is a healthy place — what might 
be termed by enterprising physicians " dis- 
tressingly healthy " — its high and dry loca- 
tion being a safeguard against the malarial 
fevers prevalent in early times in the lower 
lands. 

The area embraced within the limits of the 
present city of Hillsboro is sufficient for a 
place of 20,000 inhabitants. To the stranger 
it would appear that the town was laid out 
without shape or design, and this, we learn, 
is to some extent true. Says Mr. Rountree: 
" The territory was of such shape, being filled 
up with hills and hollows, springs and run- 
ning streams, it was deemed almost impossi- 
ble that the streets could ever become har- 
monious by labor, the hollows filled up and 
the space economized, and, even if it could, 
there would never be no necessity for it, the ori- 
ginal town being only north of Col. Walters' 
hotel (now the American House) on each side 
of Main street, and ending south of the pub- 
lic schoolhouse. The distance east and west 
being from the section line to Hamilton 



222 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



street, and this embraced almost all the level 
land, and even then there was a deep hollow 
running southwardly from George Brown's 
house through the Eccles and Col. Walters' 
property; also, there was, and still is, in part, 
a series of hollows along Hamilton street. 
To avoid one hollow, John Tillson, in making 
his addition east and south of Col. Walters' 
hotel, made a jog (seemingly necessary then) 
to find good ground there for streets. Cress 
and Wright afterward laid out a few lots 
south and west of Solomon Harkey's prop- 
erty, running the lots far down the hill, while 
Hiram Rountree made an addition on the 
north, which was relaid out by Harry Wilton. 
The other additions were made many years 
later. " 

The first settler upon the site of Hillsboro 
was a German, named John Nussman. The 
land was owned, or, rather, was entered for 
the purpose of laying out a town, by Newton 
Coffey, who had first settled in the southern 
part of the county. Previously, however, 
Nussman, who had emigrated from North 
Carolina, had settled upon it. His cabin 
stood upon the ground occupied by the resi- 
dence of the late A. H. H. Rountree, and 
where Mrs. Rountree now lives. Mr. Nuss- 
man raised a large family of children, some 
of whom are, we believe, still citizens of the 
city and county. He was also one of Hills- 
boro' s early mechanics, and carried on a 
wagon shop — the first, perhaps, in Montgom- 
ery County. Among other early settlers of 
the town of Hillsboro were the "Wrights, Jo- 
seph Miller, John Tillson, Lloyd Martin, 
David B. Jackson, Hiram Rountree, James 
Rutledge, and others now forgotten. Jack- 
son built the first frame house in Hillsboro, 
which is now a portion of the old American 
House. He was quite an enterprising man 
in his day — an early merchant, a tavern- 
keeper, surveyor, saw-mill, etc., etc., and an 



energetic business man generally. He has a 
son, William K. Jackson, still living in the 
town. 

Judge Hiram Rountree was a ruling spirit 
in Hillsboro for many years, exerting a greater 
influence than any man, perhaps, that has 
ever lived in the place, and deserves more than 
a mere passing notice in these pages. He 
was a native of North Carolina, where he was 
born December 22, 17U4, but his early life 
was spent mostly in Kentucky. He was a 
soldier of the war of IS] 2, under Gen. Shelby, 
the first Governor of Kentucky, and who was 
a Revolutionary officer, and the hero of King's 
Mountain. He studied law in Bowling Green, 
Ky. , and, in 1S17, removed to Edwardsville, 
111., where he taught school for two years. 
He afterward removed to Fayette County. 
when the capital of the State was at Yanda- 
lia, and for several sessions was Enrolling 
Clerk of the House of Representatives. In 
1S21, he removed to Montgomery County, 
and, as Circuit Clerk, organized it. The re- 
mainder of his life was spent in the county, 
and there were few positions of importance 
but what he held at some time during his 
lontr and useful life. His official career has 
been so often alluded to in these pages that 
it is unnecessary to repeat it here. Suffice 
it, for forty-eight years in succession he 
served the county in an official capacity. He 
was a zealous member of the Methodist 
Church from the year ISIS to the time of his 
death, March 5, 1873, and his Christian life 
is still familiar to many residents of the city 
and county. 

Joel Wright was the first Sheriff of the 
county, and was from one of the Eastern 
States. He served as Sheriff from 1821 until 
1S26. James Wright was the son of a widow 
lady, known as "Granny" Wright, who lived 
in a cabin in Hillsboro, on the place recently 
occupied by Henry Haller. The following 



CITY OF HILLSBORO. 



223 



incident is related of "Granny" Wright, who 
is described as an "estimable woman, of 
strong, good sense and ardent friendships." 
She, it is said, always had corn to sell, and 
would demand a very high price for it. In 
measuring it, however, she always told them 
to " heap it tip, to heap it up as long as it 
would lie on; that if the old boy ever got 
her, it should be for high prices, and not for 
scant measure.'' The manner of measure- 
ment, she intended, should bring the price 
clown about fair. 

John Tillson, prominently mentioned in 
connection with the church and school his- 
tory, was the first Treasurer of Montgomery 
County. He first settled on the Scherer 
place, some three miles southwest of Hi 11s- 
boro, and was originally from Boston, Mass. , 
but emigrated West while still a bachelor. 
He went back to Boston and married, brought 
his wife to his new settlement, where he re- 
sided till after Hillsboro was made the county 
seat, when he removed to the town and built 
the first brick house ever erected in Hillsboro. 
The house was a large, massive, two- story 
edifice, and was built under the supervision 
of John Nickerson and David Eddy. Nick- 
erson also made the brick, but they were not 
of a good quality, and hence the house was 
not thought to be a success. It stood for 
many years, however, anl was finally torn 
down, and the brick used in buildings erected 
down near the railroad. 

Mr. Tillson was also the first Postmaster of 
Hillsboro, likewise the first merchant, and 
one of Hillsboro's most energetic and useful 
citizens. He engaged largely in land specu- 
lations in this as well as in other counties, 
and handled large sums of money. In the 
early struggles of the State to build railroads, 
which proved so disastrous to Illinois finan- 
ces, he was one of the Fund Commissioners, 
and prospered well until the great crash of 



2837, from which he never inlly recovered 
financially. By that he lost largely, and 
soon after disposed of his landed property 
here, and was no more identified with the 
county. He raised quite a large family of 
children, none of whom live here now. Gen. 
Tillson, of Quincy, who attained considerable 
distinction in the late civil war, was his son. 
Mr. Tillson died suddenly, of apoplexy, in 
Peoria. 

James Rutledge came to Hillsboro about 
the year 1825, and settled on a lot recently 
occupied by George Paisley. He was one of 
the first, if not the first, tavern-keeper in the 
town. He raised a large family of children, 
among whom may be mentioned Thomas J. 
Rutledge, an attorney, and Dr. H. R. Rut- 
ledge, dentist, both now of Hillsboro. 

Our space, however, will not admit of ex- 
tended sketches of the early settlers and bus- 
iness men of Hillsboro, but in the biograph- 
ical department of this volume, such sketches 
will be more fully given. We might fill 
many chapters with sketches and incidents 
of the pioneers of the town, but must confine 
our work to historical facts. 

The village was now laid out and perman- 
ently established, as we might say. It was 
the county seat, and the commercial center of 
a rich area of country. This brought mer- 
chants, mechanics and tradesmen to the place, 
with the intention of entering into active 
business life. We have stated already that 
John Tillson opened the first store in Hills- 
boro, and that he was the first merchant in 
the county, having first opened a store at his 
residence before Hillsboro was laid out, and 
then removing it to the town. 

The second store in Hillsboro is believed 
to have been opened by John Prentice, about 
the year 1825. He came from St. Clair 
County to Hillsboro and lived in the 
"Granny Wright cabin," as it was called. 



224 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



There were but few houses in the town at that 
time, and Mr. Prentice opened his store in a 
log cabin which stood near the present Rals- 
ton brick storehouse. The following is told 
of his settlement in Hillsboro. Before mov- 
ing here, ho came on a prospecting tour, and 
for the purpose of consulting with the citi- 
zens as to the propriety of locating here. He 
asked them if they thought he could sell on 
an average $5 worth of goods a day, to which 
he received a most decided "No'' in response. 
He then asked if he could sell an average of 
$4 worth a day. Upon this proposition, the 
testimony was divided, when he asked if he 
could sell an average of $3 a day. They be- 
lieved unanimously that he could. With this 
encouraging prospect ahead of him — the sell- 
ing of $3 worth of goods per day on an aver- 
age — he decided to locate in Hillsboro. His 
store was a general country store, and con- 
tained iron, nails, salt, sugar, molasses, 
whisky, dry goods, axes, common cutlery, dye 
stuffs, etc., etc. He brought on a few hun- 
dred dollars' worth of goods and opened out 
his store in full blast, but made no grand 
display, such as now attends the opening of a 
new mercantile establishment, such as flam- 
ing posters, newspaper puffs, fine show win- 
dows, etc. Mr. Prentice kept his goods on 
his shelves, behind and under his counters, 
and in front, but inside the building. He 
continued long in the business in Hillsboro, 
but his family all scattered off to other local- 
ities, and none now live even in this county. 
Another of the early mercantile establish- 
ments of Hillsboro was that of Charles 
Holmes. He opened his first stock of goods 
in a log house where Union Block now stands, 
about 1832 or 1S33. John S. Hayward, from 
Boston, became a partner. Mr. Tillson was 
also a silent partner for a time. About 1842, 
they dissolved, and Holmes and Tillson re- 
tired. Holmes went to St. Louis, amassed a 



fortune and died there. Tillson had embar- 
rassed himself in hi6 land speculations, and 
with him Mr. Hayward. The crash of 1837 
had paralyzed all enterprises, and the hold- 
ing and paying taxes on land became burden- 
some. Hayward by some means released 
himself from his entanglements with Mr. 
Tillson, and, seeing his way clear, and, by 
years of residence in Illinois, became satis- 
fied that lands would eventually be valuable, 
he sold out his store and engaged in land 
agencies. He commenced the purchase of the 
lands held by Eastern land companies at very 
low figures, and, through his friends in the 
East, was enabled to hold them until the real 
prosperity returned, when he sold them at 
advanced prices, re- invested his funds and 
finally became very wealthy. He was a dis- 
creet man, public -spirited, and took an active 
part in securing the railroad to Hillsboro. 
Somewhat late in life, he married Miss Har- 
riet F. Comstock, a daughter of Deacon Corn- 
stock, of whom Mr. Rountree, in his remin- 
iscences, relates the following incident: 

Deacon Comstock had an exceptionally 
long nose, and, having the end of his nose 
skinned on one occasion, he applied a circu- 
lar piece of black court plaster to it. "While 
officiating in church one day in that condi- 
tion, he saw on the floor what he thought was 
the court plaster, and, picking it up, moist- 
ened it and placed it upon his nose, quietly 
took his seat and engaged in pious meditation. 
But smiles and nudges, nods and winks all 
around him convinced him that his neighbors 
were otherwise engaged. All of his pious 
frowns and dignity could not reduce them to 
order. Merriment and fun had possessed 
them, even of his own large, well-trained 
family. He was horrified and shocked at 
their ill-timed levity. But his daughter 
pointed to the end of his nose, where he had 
placed what he took to be court plaster, but 



..-.'■'"■ 




(Ir?^>o~i*s-<s^ CX^A 



LIBRARY 

Of 1HE 
UNIVERSITY a ILLINOIS 



CITY OF HILLSBORO. 



227 



what was really the ticket of one of the 
"Coates' Spools," which, in beautiful gilt 
letters, was "warranted 200 yards," and 
which, being placed upon the end of a very 
long nose, seemed to the congregation to be 
peculiarly applicable. The good Deacon was 
never able to escape the joke as long as he 
lived. 

Other merchants came to Hillsboro and 
opened stores, but to follow them in detail 
would be tedious. Other branches of busi- 
ness, in the meantime, were established in 
the town. Hotels were built and accommo- 
dations for "man and beast" offered to the 
wayfaring man who came along. We have 
already alluded to the taverns built by Jack- 
son and Kutledge. Mr. Rountree says of the 
latter: "His was the first old-fashioned tav- 
ern sign we ever saw, embodying, as it did, a 
large tiger on a white ground, surrounded by 
his name and occupation. His, as well as 
Mr. Jackson's, were houses of entertainment, 
and not houses for the sale of liquors, though 
they both came under the same law. Any 
one who kept a grocery for the sale of liquor 
was compelled to take out a tavern-keeper's 
license, ranging from $5 to $20, and were 
under bonds to keep sufficient room and bed- 
ding for the entertainment of at least two 
persons, with sufficient provender and sta- 
bling for their horses. It was optional with 
them whether they sold liquors, and, though 
they may have kept them for the use of their 
guests, we cannot remember ever to have 
heard of them selling otherwise than in a j:>ri- 
vate way." Other taverns were opened by 
enterprising people in the new town. 

Hillsboro flourished in a moderate, old-fogy 
way, growing slowly but somewhat surely. 
Merchants, mechanics, etc. , came in and gave 
the town a healthy impetus. Among the ear- 
liest citizens were mechanics, who proved ex- 
cellent citizens. Nussman, the first inhabit- 



ant, was a wagon-maker, and also established 
a distillery in an early day. The distillation 
of whisky then was not a disreputable busi- 
ness, as it is now; neither was the drinking 
of it so strongly condemned. Indeed, it was 
deemed essential in a new country like this 
was. His distillery was carried on for some 
time, when it gave place to a tan-yard, a 
business more honorable, if less profitable. 
Joseph Miller carried on a tan-yard also, as 
one of the very early industries of Hillsboro. 
Jacob Wilson was one of the earliest shoe- 
makers, and used to go from house to house, 
making up shoes for the entire family. John 
Slater was another of the pioneer shoemakers. 
So was Deacon Alexander Scott. The fol- 
lowing incident is related of the good Dea- 
con's wife. She survived him some years, 
and, when near her end, but still able to be 
around, she had a dream so vivid and life-like 
that she accepted it as an omen, and prepared 
herself accordingly. She dreamed that her 
husband came to her, not as he left her, an 
old man, but young and handsome as when 
he visited her as a lover, and told her he 
wanted them to be married early in October. 
This she accepted as an omen that she would 
then depart and be again united to him. She 
visited her friends for the last time, as she 
maintained, made all her perparations, and, 
when all was done, she sickened, and, early in 
October, she died, having steadily refused all 
remedies looking to her recovery. This ro- 
mance was so contrary to her natural dispo- 
sition that she firmly believed that the spirit 
of her husband had warned her of her ap- 
proaching dissolution. 

Among the early blacksmiths of Hillsboro 
were Nathan and Burton Harmon and a Mi-. 
Hutchinson. W. A. Morrison and Kimball 
Prince were the next blacksmiths, perhaps, 
who located in the town. Fred Hillsabeck 
was also an early blacksmith. Another of 

M 



228 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



the early blacksmiths was Ned Gossage, as he 
was called. He lived in a small log cabin, 
with no floor but the ground, and his shop 
was a similar structure. Mr. Wesley Sey- 
mour is supposed to be the next wagon-maker 
to Nussman. John Meisenheimer was also a 
wagon-maker and a carpenter. John Dicker- 
son, David Eddy, Ira Boone and Hudson 
Berry were the first brick-makers of the town. 
William Brewer established a turning-lathe 
very early, and manufactured furniture, 
working in wood work generally. Thomas 
Sturtevant, Alfred Durant, E. B. Hubbell 
and James Blackman were of the same trade, 
and followed the business for years. 

The first steam mill in the town was built 
by John Tillson. It was originally started 
by David B. Jackson as an ox tread-mill for 
sawing lumber. But Tillson enlarged it, 
supplied steam and made a flouring and saw 
mill, which was of great benefit to the town 
and community. It was burned down about 
1840. No town in Central or Southern Illi- 
nois is better supplied with mills than Hi 11s- 
boro is at the present day. That of Glenn 
Bros, is a very paragon of excellence, while 
there are several mills in town, quite as good, 
but of smaller capacity. 

Hillsboro has never made any pretentions 
toward manufactories. A few rather small 
ones, such as Gunning's, which was burned 
early in 1873, and the woolen factory in the 
south end of town, a few small wagon and 
carriage factories, comprise her manufactur- 
ing ventures. She has never aspired to any- 
thing beyond being a quiet, retail business 
town. The grain trade is perhaps the largest 
business carried on in the town Since the 
opening of the I. & St. L. B. R., in 1855, 
Hillsboro has become the center of a large 
grain trade. An immense quantity of corn, 
oats and wheat, is annually shipped from this 
point. Enterprising buyers are always on 



hand in the grain season, who keep up with 
the market price and always pay the very 
best figures. The completion of the railroad 
gave the town quite an impetus, and from 
that time it grew more rapidly in population 
than it ever had before. Persons often won- 
der, particularly strangers, why the depot is 
away down under the hill where it is, instead 
of being east from the court house. The 
principal reason, we have been informed, was 
in consequence of a little game of " logger- 
heads," played between the railroad people 
and the citizens of the town. The railroad 
people wanted to run their road through the 
south end of the town, a route the citizens 
very rightly objected to. Hence, to gratify 
a little malice, the railroad people then placed 
their depot as far off as possible and in the 
most inconvenient location. But with the 
depot in an out-of-the-way place and the road 
down under the hill, it has been the crowning 
event in the history of Hillsboro, and given 
her an increase of business, prosperity and 
importance she had never known before. 

The first court house built in Montgomery 
was in Hillsboro, as the general dissatisfac- 
tion of Hamilton as the county seat had pre- 
vented the erection of a court house at that 
place. But when Hillsboro was selected as 
the future seat of justice, it was believed the 
selection would remain permanent, and there- 
fore arrangements were at once entered into 
for the building of a court house. It was of 
simple architecture and material, but up to 
the spirit of the times in which it was built. 
It was twenty-five feet square, a story and a 
half high, of hewed logs, the cracks well 
chinked, two glass windows of 8x10 glass, 
one for the room below and one above. The 
floors were of plank, as well as the doors, in- 
stead of puncheons and clapboards, and the 
roof was of shingles. Primitive as thisbuild- 
fng may appear, when compared to Hills- 



CITY OF HILLSBORO. 



229 



boro's present temple of justice, it was, in 
that early day, by far the most pretentious 
building in the embryonic city, and a great 
improvement on the residences of the people. 
It was situated on the southeast corner of the 
square, where it did duty until the next one 
was built — 1836-37. When the log house 
was finally removed, the logs were used in a 
small building still standing back of the pho- 
tograph gallery. The first Clerk's office was 
also built of logs, and is, or was until recent- 
ly, standing, a solitary relic of the pioneer 
period, near the Methodist Church. 

The original jail was a log structure, and 
a very formidable prison for that early period, 
when criminals were not so smart as they are 
now, nor so thoroughly educated in crime as 
they are in this fast age. It was of hewed 
logs and the walls were of three thicknesses 
— two horizontal and one perpendicular tier. 
When torn down to give place to a more mod- 
em "bastile,'' many of the logs were used 
for street crossings, thus displaying a spirit 
of economy worthy of imitation in these lat- 
ter days. 

The old log court house faithfully served 
its day and generation, and was used in other 
capacities than meting out justice to the 
offenders of the law. It was used by most of 
the religious denominations until they built 
church edifices and for all public meetings. 
The first term of court held in it was on the 
17th and 18th of June, 1824, Judge Thomas 
Reynolds presiding. Joel Wright was Sher- 
iff; Jarvis Forehand, Coroner, and Hiram 
Rountree, Clerk. As an item of interest to 
the present Clerks of the Court, it might be 
well to state that the fees of Hiram Rountree 
were $8 for the first year he held the office of 
Clerk. The following incident related of 
Mr. Rountree, and the first term of the Cir- 
cuit Court held in Montgomery County, is 
given here as illustrative of the primitive 



days of the county. The first term of the 
Circuit Court was held at Joseph McAdams,' 
before the county seat had been located at 
Hillsboro. Hiram Rountree, with his family, 
was residing at the house of Joseph McAdams, 
a cabin of two rooms, and in one of them the 
cotu-t was held, while Mrs. Rountree retired 
to the other with her two children until court 
should adjourn. Judge Reynolds very calmly 
and dignifiedly, it. is saifl, reposed his " ju- 
ducial honor" on the side of the bed. Mr. 
Rountree sat in a splint^bottomed chair — the 
only one in the room, by the side of a walnut 
table made of puncheons, smoothed off with 
the ax, both chair and table his own manu 
facture, and, with a goose- quill pen, kept the 
records and administered the oaths, etc. 

Somewhere about the year 1836 or 1837, a 
new court house was built, and the old log 
structure was removed. This second build- 
ing was a frame, and was a square edifice, 
two stories high, the lower story the coiut- 
robm, and the upper story divided into 
offices. The court -room being below, about 
two-thirds of the floor was mother earth; the 
remainder was laid of plank and was two or 
three feet above the ground, with a railing or 
banisters around it. And inside of this rail- 
ing was the Judge's stand, Clerk's desk, law- 
yers' tables, etc., etc. The spectators and 
lookers-on remained outside of the railing, 
where they could sjfit their tobacco juice in 
the dust without any lynx-eyed officer " to mo- 
lest or make them afraid.'' During the re- 
cesses of the court, the hogs occupied the room, 
and made a bed-chamber under the floor, 
which, as we have said, was two or three feet 
above the ground This small square, frame 
building, with roof running up to a point in the 
center, with a small cupola set on top, very 
much resembling a chicken-coop, was used as 
a court house until about 1854, when it was 
displaced by a brick building, at a cost of 



230 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



sosie $5,000. It was a two-story house, with 
large columns in front supporting a portico, 
something in the style of the present acad- 
emy building. Some years later, a wing was 
added to it, the upper story of which formed 
the jail and the lower story the jury-room, 
etc. This building is still standing and serv- 
ing the county as a court house, though it 
has been considerably repaired since the late 
war. It stood, however, until 1868, without 
material change, when it was very substan- 
tially repaired and transformed into its pres- 
ent magnificence. 

The court house as it now stands is but the 
old one remodeled. As is the case in many 
other counties in Illinois, there has been 
quite a contest between Hillsboro and Litch- 
field in regard to the county seat — on the 
part of Litchfield to possess it and on that of 
Hillsboro to hold it. It is said that " posses- 
sion is nine points in law," and hence Hills- 
boro holds " nine points " againnt Litchfield 
in the contest. When the subject came up, 
soon after the close of the war, as to the pro- 
priety of building a new court house, the 
qiiestion of removal to Litchfield was feared 
by those opposed to removal, if the project 
was undertaken to build a new house out and 
out, and hence it was finally resolved to 
merely " rejuvenate " the old one, and thereby 
save the county the expense of erecting a new 
and costly building. The sequel proved that 
the improvement of old buildings was not 
wholly devoid of cost. After deciding upon 
repairing the old court house, an architect 
was brought down from Chicago, who drew 
plans and designs for the work, and from 
them the present building was made out of 
the old one, at a cost of something like $120,- 
000 and §15,000 or $20,000 more for finish- 
ing the jail. In order to carry out the origi- 
nal design of repairing the old building, some 
half dozen or so of the old brick were left in 



the new house, which, notwithstanding all 
that has been said, or may be said about it, 
is a handsome and imposing structure and a 
credit to the county and the people. When 
we look at the sum expended on it, it appears 
to be a rather costly edifice, but the difference 
in the price of material and labor then and 
now considered, perhaps the cost is not ex- 
travagant. It is a comfortable and conven- 
ient house, as well as an imposing one. 
The court-room, which will comfortably seat 
about 500 persons, is in the second story, to- 
gether with jury -rooms, consultation-rooms, 
etc., while the first story is taken up with 
offices, comprising those of County and Cir- 
cuit Clerk, County Judge, Recorder, Sheriff 
and County Superintendent of Schools. 

The jail and the Sheriff's residence is in 
the north end or side of the building, and is 
quite a convenient part of the designs. The 
jail is in the top story, while the Sheriff's 
. residence is in the second, the house being 
three stories high on this side. The prison 
portion is finished up in the most safe and 
substantial manner, and is intended to keep 
an evil-doer, when once incarcerated in it, un- 
til he is taken out by the proper authorities. 
The court house is situated on the highest 
ground within the city's limits, and stands 
as a way-mark to the passing traveler, and is 
usually the first object observable when ap- 
proaching the town. From the lofty tower 
which ascends skyward from the southwest 
corner, a fine view can be had of the country 
for miles around. Indeed, one with a good 
pair of eyes, on a clear morning, may look 
away to the West, across the States of Mis- 
souri and Arkansas, and see the buffalo graz- 
ing on the prairies of Texas. Fact! The 
handsome court house, with its spacious 
court-room elegantly furnished, conveniently 
arranged offices, substantial jail and Sheriff's 
comfortable residence, taken all together. 



CITY OF HILLSBORO. 



231 



present quite a contrast to the old log build- 
ings of fifty years ago. 

Hillsboro was laid out as a village, as we 
have seen, in 1S23. It was incorporated as a 
town under the State law, and was governed 
by a Board of Trustees, with the necessary 
officers for the proper administration of its 
affairs. It remained under this style of gov- 
ernment until 1S69, when it was incorporated 
as a city, by an act of the Legislature ap- 
proved March 30 of that year. It was, under 
its charter as a city, divided into four wards, 
represented by members in a Common Coun- 
cil, of which the Mayor was and is the pre- 
siding officer. Since its organization as a 
city, the following gentlemen have served as 
Mayor, viz., John T. Maddux, 1869; Fred 
Noterman, 1870; Paul Walters, 1871; Fred 
Noterman, 1872; A. H. Brown, 1873; A. H. 
H. Rountree, 1874; E. S. Burns, 1875; John 
F. Glenn, 1876; M. M Walsh, 1877; George 
H. Blackwelder, 1878; William Conklin, 
1879; Charles B.Ehoads, 1880; Ben E.John- 
son, 1881; BenE. Johnson, 1882. 

In March, 1882, the city was re-organized 
under a special State law regulating the mu- 
nicipal government of cities. This order of 
things necessitated a new division of the city 
into districts or wards. Hitherto, under the 
old regime, the city was divided into four 
wards, but when re-organized and redivided, 
it was laid off into three wards. Each of 
these are represented in the Common Council 
by two members, who, with the Mayor and 
Clerk, comprise the municipal government. 
The present Council (1882) is as follows: W. 
L. Blackburn, J. M. Cress, members from the 
First Ward; A. H. May, B. Philips, members 
from the Second Ward; J. M. Truitt W. M. 
Neff, members from the Third Ward, with 
Simon Kahn, City Clerk; C. H Witherspoon, 
City Treasurer, and Ben E. Johnson, Mayor. 

The streets, buildings (residences and busi- 



ness houses) of Hillsboro are as good, if not 
better, than are to be found in the majority 
of cities of her size and wealth in the State. 
It is true that the people generally of Illinois 
towns and cities do not take as much pains, 
nor spend as much money in beautifying 
their streets, parks, etc., as some of the older 
States farther east. The streets of Hills- 
boro are beautifully shaded with trees, and, 
with a little care and taste, might be made ex- 
ceedingly attractive. Many handsome resi- 
dences and grounds are an ornament to the 
city, and show a refinement of taste that 
should extend to the beautifying of the 
streets and the purchasing and laying-out of 
a park. Young people recpure a summer re- 
sort and a promenade, and the addition to 
Hillsboro of a public park would be a ju- 
dicious investment by the city authorities, 
and relieve the railroad depot of crowds of 
idle visitors. The business houses, as a class, 
are good, of modern style and arrangements, 
and every class of retail business is repre- 
sented, from the banking house and first-class 
store, down to the most ordinary shops, and 
the annual trade of the city will compare fa- 
vorably with that of any of its sister cities. 

In looking back over the sixty years that 
have come and gone, we see the few log cabins 
that stood upon the crest of a hill, grown and 
expanded into a flom-ishing little city, in- 
stinct with life and the bustle of business. 
We have traced its growth and development 
in trade and traffic briefly for the sixty years 
that have elapsed since it was selected as the 
seat of justice of Montgomery County. We 
have seen how its first inhabitants settled 
down in the proverbial log cabin, and, by 
honest toil and strict integrity in their daily 
life and transactions, became prosperous and 
happy. And now we close the record of its 
growth, development and business, and, in 
the chapters succeeding, take up other branch- 
es of its history. 



232 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



CHAPTER IX.* 

HILLSBORO— ITS RELIGIOUS HISTORY— THE METHODIST CHURCH— ORGANIZATION, MEMBERS 
AND PREACHERS— THE PRESBYTERIANS— THEIR CHURCH— OTHER RELIGIOUS ORGANIZA- 
TIONS—BENEVOLENT INSTITUTIONS— THE MASONS— ODD FELLOWS, ETC., ETC. 



"God attributes to place 
No sanctity, if none be thither brought 
By men who there frequent. — Milton. 

THE Rev. N. S. Dickey, in his address upon 
the semi-centennial of the Presbyterian 
Church of Hillsboro, said : " The good seed 
carried by emigrants is usually sufficient to 
begin the work of raising society to a higher 
level of civilization, and their transforming 
power counteracts those demoralizing influences 
which tend to social degeneration and disrup- 
tion. These Christian influences are active in 
their conflicts with evil and attractive in social 
power ; and they usually act as a nucleus 
around which will gather those influences 
necessary to carr}- society onward to a state of 
comparative perfection. We may see by com- 
parison with the past how much has been done 
in this respect. The progress and triumph of 
Christian truth, the superstructure on which 
every society which approximates perfection 
must rest, is also made apparent. It is thus 
seen that no other power but Christian truth 
can vitalize, expand, harmonize, direct and con- 
trol the forces which underlie and build up the 
great fabric of society." This was true of the 
early settlers of Hillsboro and vicinity. It is 
much to their credit that they were mostly a 
Christian people, and laid the foundation of 
religious organizations in an early period of 
their occupation of the country. The Method- 
ist circuit-riders, the forerunners of Christian- 
ity, as John was of the Master, were the first 
heralds of the Cross in the wilderness of Illi- 

*By W. H. Perriu. 



nois. They traveled over the country on horse- 
back, gathering the scattered settlers together, 
preaching the Gospel to them, and forming 
them into religious societies. As early as 
1820, they made their regular visits to the 
neighborhood and preached in private houses. 
Jesse Walker, Peter Cartwright, Samuel Thomp- 
son, Charles Holliday, Joshua Barnes and 
Thomas Randall, pioneer Methodist preachers, 
were in the county from 1820 to 1823, and 
preached frequently in the settlers' cabins, and 
later, Bishops Morris and Ames preached in 
the old log court house and schoolhouse in 
Hillsboro. Thus was the introduction of Chris- 
tianity coeval with the settlement of the coun- 
try by white people. 

The Methodist Church. — The organization of 
the Methodist Church of Hillsboro dates back 
to about 1824-25. Says Mr. Rountree : " It 
worshiped mainly in one old log schoolhouse, 
while for more general annual worship a camp 
ground was established on land now owned, 
and perhaps then, by Wesley Seymour, near 
his house, but across the road in the brush." 
Among the regular ministers who preached at 
at Hillsboro, in that early day, were Revs. 
John Dew, John Benson, James Mitchell and 
his brother, John T. Mitchell. Rev. N. S. Bas- 
tian, now of the Christian Church, is said to 
have preached his first sermon on the Hillsboro 
Circuit. Among the early members of the 
church were Benjamin and Joseph Miller, Mr. 
Stout, John Prentice, Hiram Rountree, Samuel 
Bennett and others of the pioneers of the 
neighborhood. " Though much zeal was mani- 



CITY OF HILLSBORO. 



23;? 



fested, it was at a much later day before an 
effort was made to build a church edifice. A 
frame building was commenced and partially 
inclosed about 1834-35, on the lot now used 
as the Methodist parsonage. Being, however, 
unable to finish it for want of means, at the 
suggestion of John Tillson, who promised to 
largely assist them in completing it, they moved 
it to South Hillsboro, on ground known since 
as the Wyman lot, where it stood in an unfin- 
ished state for several years, being only used 
in summer when the weather was pleasant.* 

The great financial panic that swept over the 
country in 1837-38, so paralyzed the people 
that this building was never completed. About 
1840, a combined effort was made to build a 
church, and all denominations united together, 
the result of which was the final completion of 
the old Methodist Church that stood upon the 
corner of the square, and which was completed 
during the administration of Rev. N. S. Bas- 
tian. It was informally dedicated by a revival 
of religion which increased the membership of 
the church to over one hundred. Following 
Mr. Bastian. Rev. John Van Cleve came — a 
man of the highest order of talents and piety, 
as well as of usefulness in the church. Mr. 
Ro un tree gives the following as the manner in 
which these early preachers were paid for their 
services as pastor : "It was often amusing to 
cast up accounts and see how they were paid. 
For instance, few could pay nione}' — nearly all 
paid in truck or traffic. One would send, say, 
twenty-five bushels of corn, at 12£ cents a 
bushel; another, ten bushels of wheat, at 37 J 
cents a bushel ; another, fifty pounds of side 
bacon, at 3 cents a pound, or hams at 4 cents; 
while whole hogs of fresh pork would be at the 
rate of 1£ to 2 cents a pound. Again, one 
would furnish clothing, say, jeans, at 50 cents 
per yard, or linsey, at 25 cents, besides articles, 
such as gloves, socks, etc., at similar low prices. 
It was a mystery then, and is still a mystery, 

*Rountree Letters. 



how they lived ; but they did live, and that, 
too, when it was fashionable to have large fam- 
ilies, and to educate them at their own expense. 
They did live, and generally within their in- 
come, if their pay could be called income." 
The problem of how they lived may be solved 
in the simple statement that the good old-fash- 
ioned Gospel of that day was not so expensive 
an article as that served out to us at the pres- 
ent time, by the Beechers, Talmages and other 
silk-stockinged divines of the country, who 
proclaim the word from marbled desks to 
audiences arrayed in silks and broadcloths, 
who doze away the time in softly-cushioned 
pews, laid with Brussels carpets." 

Rev. John Van Cleve was followed by Rev. 
RobertBlackwell, and he by Rev. Samuel Elliott, 
who, the next year, was succeeded by the Rev. 
D. J. Snow. The Methodists differ from most 
other denominations, in that they change their 
ministers every two or three years. Rev. Mr. 
Elliott is represented as a preacher who won 
greaf popularity while pastor of the church at 
Hillsboro, and was almost unanimously peti- 
tioned for again, but from some cause the Con- 
ference saw fit not to grant the petition, and 
sent him elsewhere, which somewhat excited 
the indignation of the Hillsboro Church, and 
Rev. Snow found grim visages and sour faces 
confronting him upon his " first appearance." 
He seemed to comprehend the situation at once, 
or had had an inkling of how matters stood, 
and took for his text, upon the occasion of 
preaching his first sermon, the following words 
from Matthew, xi, 3 : " Art thou he that should 
come, or do we look for another?" The an- 
nouncement of his text is said to have brought 
to the countenances of many of his hearers 
feeble smiles, and the manner in which he ban 
died it. and the application he made, restored 
all to good humor, and lie finally became a pop- 
ular and beloved pastor. He was succeeded 
the next year by Bev. S. Shinn, and he by Rev. 
T. YV. Jones. Next came Rev. Preston Wood ; 



234 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



he was followed by Rev. James Crane, and he 
by Rev. William Pallet, who died in 1873. Rev. 
B. C. Wood was the next pastor, succeeded by 
Rev. D. Bardrick, who remained two years ; he 
was followed by Rev. Green McElfresh, he by 
Rev. B. Hungerford, and he by Rev. McCaskell, 
who did not stay, and the place was filled by 
Rev. W. C. Lacy, followed the next year by 
Rev. A. C. Vanderwater. Rev. S. S. Meginniss 
came next, remaining two years, and under his 
administration the present church was built, 
and the old one on the corner sold. 

Of this building, which was erected in 1863, 
Mr. Rountree says : " Though money enough 
was subscribed to nearly pay for its erection, 
still a debt was created, that with the debt on 
the parsonage, remained an incubus over the 
church for ten years, and was paid up in full 
this year (1873) leaving the church free from 
debt, with a building worth some $15,000 and 
a parsonage worth about $3,000, and some one 
hundred and fifty members with sufficient abili- 
ty to support a first-class preacher." Since the 
above was written by Mr. Rountree (in 1873), 
the church under the pastorate of Rev. Mr. 
Hoffman, experienced quite a revival and in- 
crease of membership. He remained with the 
church for three years. The present pastor is 
Rev. Thomas I. Coultiss, a preacher of great 
ability, a pleasing speaker, and a natural orator. 
He is now (1S82) serving his first year with 
the church, and his accomplishments as a pas- 
tor should endear him to his congregation. 

The Methodist Church of Hillsboro, almost 
from its original organization has maintained a 
Sunday school. At present it is large and 
flourishing under the superintendence of Mr. 
Burns. 

The Presbyterian Church. — Prom a sermon 
delivered March 10, 1878, upon its semi-cen- 
tennial anniversary, by Rev. N. S. Dickey, at 
the time pastor, we compile the following- 
sketch of the Presbyterian Church of Hills- 
boro : Hillsboro, March 10, 1828.— Rev. John 



M. Ellis met several people of Hillsboro and 
vicinity, at the house of John Tillson, Jr., and 
formed a church, to be known by the name of 
the " Presbyterian Church of Hillsboro." John 
Tillson, Jr., was received on certificate, and 
Mrs. Margaret Seward on examination ; John 
Tillson, Jr., was ordained as Ruling Elder. It 
thus appears that this church began with two 
members, one of whom was made Ruling Elder. 
From the organization, March 10, 1828, to Sep- 
tember 28, 1828, Rev. Solomon Hardy occa- 
sionally moderated the session and supplied 
the pulpit, or rather preached in the school- 
house and the court house, for there was no 
house of worship nor pulpit in Hillsboro. Four 
persons were added to the church under these 
labors, two on examination and two by letter, 
making a total of six. For more than a year 
after this there is no record, and report says 
the church only had occasional preaching from 
passing clergymen. From April, 1830, to Octo- 
ber, 1841, a period of seven years and six 
months, Rev. Thomas A. Spillman was the 
stated supply of the church. The first record- 
ed report of the church was made to the Pres- 
bytery of Central Illinois, April 2, 1830, a little 
more than two years after its organization, and 
was as follows : :I Total in communion, per 
last report, six ; added on certificate, one ; to- 
tal now in communion, seven. Funds for Com- 
missioner to General Assembly, $1." In Octo- 
ber of the same year, another report was made 
to the same Presbytery, when the communi- 
cants had doubled. October 11. 1830, the rec- 
ords of the church were first presented to the 
Presbyter}-, and with slight exceptions were ap- 
proved. The approval was signed by Rev. 
Benjamin F. Spillman, Moderator of the Pres- 
bytery. 

The next report, April 1, 1831, was made to 
the Presbytery of Sangamon, holding its ses- 
sion at Springfield, when the membership had 
again doubled, being twenty-eight ; $3 was 
given to the Commissioner's fund. In 1832, 



CITY OF HILLSBOEO. 



235 



the membership was fifty-three, and $3 was 
contributed for Assembly's fund. According 
to the report made April, 1837, the member- 
ship was sixty-four, $3 was given to the Com- 
missioner's fund, and 141 to education. These 
$41 are the first given by the church to any 
benevolent cause, and shows that the fathers 
were wise in providing for future pupils of the 
church. 

During the ministry of Mr. Spilman, 
138 persons were received to the member- 
ship, forty on examination, and ninety-nine 
by certificate ; thirty-three died, and sixteen 
were dismissed. The church under this minis- 
try contributed 8215 to missions, $60 for edu- 
cation and $39 for Commissioner's fund. No 
report of contributions for the last two years of 
Mr. Spilman's ministry is recorded, though no 
doubt collections were taken as usual. What 
was paid for salarj and congregational expenses 
is not recorded. The average yearly additions 
to the church under his labors were fourteen. 
Mr. Spilman was a faithful pastor, and did 
much toward laying a good foundation for build- 
ing up a successful church. Under his minis- 
try the Sabbath school was a union one, and 
usually all denominations worshiped with his 
congregation. The first house of worship was 
built during this time. Rev. T. E. Spilman, 
of Butler, and Rev. J. H. Spilman, of Bethel, 
honored and useful ministers of Jesus Christ, 
are his sons. During the fall of 1841, and the win- 
ter of 1842, Rev. James Stafford, pastor of the 
Greenville church, is recorded as having mod- 
erated the session several times, when twent}-- 
three persons were received into the church. Mr. 
Stafford supplied the pulpit for a few Sabbaths 
and held a protracted meeting during this time, 
when the Spirit was poured out upon the peo- 
ple. 

Rev. Archibald C. Allen received a unani- 
mous call to the pastorate of the church, March 
24, 1842, at a salary of $500. He was installed 
pastor by the Kaskaskia Presbytery, June 11, 
1S42. Rev. James Stafford presided, put the 



the constitutional questions, and delivered the 
charges to pastor and people. Rev. Thomas 
A. Spilman preached the installation sermon. 
During Mr. Allen's ministry of two years, fifty 
persons were added to the church, forty-two on 
examination and eight by letter ; fifteen were 
dismissed and six died. In these years the 
church gave for benevolent work, $56 — $28 per 
year. The average yearly increase during this 
pastorate was twenty-five. The church was 
vacant from May, 1844, until March, 1846. 
During this time Rev. C. C. Riggs supplied the 
pulpit a Sabbath or two, aud was invited to be- 
come pastor. The records for this period, near- 
ly two years, are meager. John Tillson and 
wife, and five other persons, were dismissed. 
John Paisley and Margaret W. Paden died, and 
Benjamin S. McCord was received into the 
church on profession of his faith in Christ. 
Rev. Alexander Ewing moderating the session. 
February, 21. 1846, Rev. T. W. Hynes, for 
some time a Professor in Hanover College. In- 
diana, was unanimously chosen to supply the 
pulpit, at a salary of $400. He accepted aud 
entered upon his work in the spring of 1846. 
The report to Presbytery from April, 1845, to 
March, 1846, gives the total in communion as 
one hundred and one, five having died and 
nine having been dismissed. Mr. Hynes' name 
appears upon the records as Moderator of ses- 
sions up to August 3, 1851, a period of about 
five aud a half years. During his pastorate, 
forty-one persons were received into the church, 
and sixteen were dismissed. Robert Paisley, 
Henry Tibbets, William Brown, Joseph T. Ec- 
cles, Thomas Sturtevant, were elected and in- 
stalled Ruling Elders. From September, 1851, 
to August, 1853, the church seems to have been 
without a pastor. September 24, 1851, the ses- 
sion was moderated by Rev. J. Smith, D. D., 
and six persons were received on examination 
to the fellowship of the church. June 21, 1852, 
Rev. Mr. Hamilton presided over the session, 
and two names were enrolled, one by letter anil 
one on examination. 



236 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



On the 12th of August, 1853, Rev. R. M. 
Roberts was called to the pastorate of the 
church, at a salary of $400. He accepted the 
call, and continued to sustain this relation un- 
til it was dissolved at his request, and the 
church declared vacant, October 30, 1859. Mr. 
Roberts served the church a little more than 
six years. During his ministry, one hundred 
and sixteen persons were received, an average 
of nineteen per year. Resolutions highly com- 
plimentary to Mr. Roberts, and indorsing him 
as a Christian gentleman, and commending the 
fidelity of his labors, were passed by the con- 
gregation at the time of his withdrawal. No- 
vember 12, 1859, twenty-one persons were dis- 
missed to form the Hillsboro Congregational 
Church. Rev. William L. Mitchell acting as 
Moderator of the session. 

On the 20th of December, 1859, Rev. William 
L. Mitchell was called as pastor of the church, 
at a salary of $500, and on December 23, 
1859, was ordained and installed by the Pres- 
bytery of Hillsboro. He continued this rela- 
tion with acceptance and success, until his la- 
mented death, February 23, 1864 — a period of 
a little more than five 3-ears. During this time 
seventy-one names were added to the roll, forty- 
six on examination, and twenty-five by letter — 
an average of fourteen per year ; twenty-nine 
were dismissed. Mr. Mitchel's remains are 
buried in the city cemetery. After Mr. Mitchell's 
death, Rev. Julius A. Spencer, of St. Louis, 
supplied the pulpit for several weeks. March 
1, 1865, Rev. J. R. Brown was invited to sup- 
ply the pulpit. He at once entered upon his 
labors and continued to serve the church until 
March 22, 1870, a period of five years. Fifty 
persons were added to the church during his 
pastorate, on examination, and sixty-five by 
letter — a total of one hundred and fifteen — an 
average of twenty-three per year ; twenty-nine 
persons were dismissed. 

From the close of Mr. Brown's labors until 
the beginning of the next year, about nine 



months, the church was vacant. August 24' 
1870, Rev. J. H. Spilmau acted as Moderator 
of the session, and Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus David- 
son were received into the church by letter, and 
three were dismissed. 

Rev. S. A. Whitcomb seems to have com- 
menced his labors about the beginning of the 
vear 1871. He served the church two years, 
at a salary of $1,000 per year, and free use of 
the parsonage. Rev. W. W. Williams was, by 
a unanimous vote of the congregation, April 
27, 1873, invited to supply the church for one 
year, at a salary of $1,000, to be paid quarter- 
ly in advance, and also the free use of the par- 
sonage. Mr. Williams worked with energy and 
acceptance for nearly nine months, directing 
his efforts to the completion of the audience 
room of the house of worship. The first services 
help therein, still in an incompleted state, was 
the funeral of the pastor. Resolutions of com- 
mendation were passed by the congregation, in 
reference to Mr. Williams, after his death. Af- 
ter this, the church was vacant for several 
mouths. In September, 1874, Rev. Charles 
Fueller was invited to supply the pulpit at a 
salary of $1,000, and use of the parsonage. He 
served the church for three years, during which 
time fifty-nine persons were added. Mr. Fueller 
labored earnestly to lift the debt off the house 
of worship. Under his lead furnaces, at a cost 
of $346, and cushions, at about the same cost, 
were placed in the church, besides what was 
done to lift the encumbrance from the building. 
He ceased to serve the church October 1, 1877, 
aud January 1, following, Rev. N. S. Dickey, 
entered upon his work as stated supply. At 
the present writing (1882) the pastor is Rev. 
S. C. Dickey, a son of the above, and a young 
man of rare promise. 

During the half century just closed, ten 
ministers have acted as stated supply or pas- 
tor. Seven others are recorded as having act- 
ed as Moderator, once or oftener, of the session, 
including those who organized the church. The 



CITY OF H1LLSBORO. 



2-',7 



whole number of members received since the 
organization is 669 — 321 on examination, and 
348 by letter. This is an average of about 
fourteen per year, nearly equally divided by 
letter and on examination. 

At a meeting of the congregation, held Au- 
gust 7, 1859, it was resolved to build a new 
and larger house of worship, taking down the 
old one and working the material into the new 
— provided sufficient funds could be raised. 
Rev. R. M. Roberts was appointed to canvass 
the congregation and take subscriptions and 
report at another meeting. Success did not 
crown this effort, and the old church was used 
until 1860, when it gave place to the present 
edifice, the basement being used in the fall of 
that year. During construction the congrega- 
tion worshiped in the Unitarian Church, and in 
Clotfelter's Hall. According to the report of 
the building committee, made by Judge J. T. 
Eccles, the cost of the edifice and furnaces was 
§13,758.31 ; of this sum the ladies paid $663.- 
43. Furnaces were put in the first year of Mr. 
Fueller's pastorate, at a cost of §346. Cush- 
ioning the seats cost nearly $400 more, so 
that the whole cost of the house in its present 
state was about $14,500. For some years a 
debt rested upon the house of worship. April 
25, 1875, Judge Eccles donated $2,602.18, prin- 
cipal and interest due him for money paid up- 
on the building. This noble example stimulat- 
ed others ; Mr. James Paden donated several 
hundred dollars due him, and under the lead 
of the pastor, Mr. Fueller, the whole debt was 
paid except a few hundred dollars, for which 
the parsonage is held. A united effort and 
this no doubt could be very easily paid. 

October 15, 1857, during the Rev. R. M. Rob- 
ert's pastorate, at a meeting over which Joseph 
T. Eccles presided, William Brown, William 
Witherspoon, D. S. and A. L. Clotfelter, and 
L. H. Thorn were appointed a committee to 
make estimates of the cost of a parsonage. A 
lot was bought for $300, and the present house 
was built at a cost of about $1,200. 



The Sabbath school has not been neglected. 
A number of years before the organization of 
the church, a school was maintained by the 
Tillson family, in their residence. In the early 
years of the church, all denominations repre- 
sented in the town patronized the school, and, 
though it was under the supervision of the ses- 
sion, it was carried on as a union school. In 
later ^years, the other denominations drew off 
and established their own schools. According 
to rules adopted by the church, the Superinten- 
dent and Vice Superintendent are to be chosen 
at a congregational meeting appointed for the 
purpose, the election to be by ballot, all the 
members of the church, in good standing, hav- 
ing a right to vote. The Superintendent thus 
chosen, with the advice and consent of the ses- 
sion, is to appoint the teachers; "keeping al- 
ways in view Christian character, and aptness 
to teach." The records of the school, until re- 
cently, have not been preserved. The interest, 
for a few months past, has been growing, but 
many of the officers, and many of the church 
members, do not attend the school, nor show 
that interest in it essential to its growth and 
highest growth and usefulness. Every mem- 
ber of the church, young or old, should, if 
practicable, be connected with the Sabbath 
school, as teacher or learner. That church which 
does not take care of the spiritual interests of 
the rising race must, in time, fail of success. 

In addition to the church Sabbath school, 
several interesting neighborhood schools, un- 
der the supervision of some of our people, have 
been and are maintained in the country, a few 
miles from the city. 

The Congregational Church. — This church is 
an offshoot of the Presbyterian Church of Hills- 
boro, and, as we have seen, was organized hy a 
number of persons, who were dismissed for that 
purpose. In the fall of 1859, they organized 
themselves into the Congregational Church of 
Hillsboro, or became the nucleus of the organ- 
ization. From Dr. Washburn, who communi- 
cated to us the principal facts connected with 



238 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



the history of this church, we learn that there 
was a large Eastern element here at that time 
who had not identified themselves with any 
church, and these, with the twenty-one persons 
from the Presbyterian Church, formed a mem- 
bership of about forty. The auspices seemed 
favorable for building up a large church, and 
up to the civil war everything in connection 
with it seemed prosperous. At the call for 
volunteers, a large proportion of its membership 
and congregation enlisted. Some never returned 
from the war; some of the members moved 
away, aud others died. In the meantime, the 
Old and New School Presbyterians united, a 
fact familiar to all readers of their history. 

At the close of the war, in 1865, the present 
brick church was built, at a cost of over $7,000. 
Services were continued and good congrega- 
tions were kept up for several years. A com- 
fortable parsonage was built in 1878, and the 
society was free of debt. However, removals, 
and the death of some of its best members, 
gradually reduced its strength and its financial 
ability, and since the beginning of the present 
year (1882) no services have been held. Its 
future usefulness and prosperity, at this time, 
seems somewhat in doubt. " The rapid growth 
of the town might infuse new life and continue 
its existence, but at present it would seem as 
well that thej' should become associated with 
the other Protestant churches of the place, 
rather than drag out a feeble existence." 
Though no preaching is had now at the church, 
a Sunday school is maintained. 

Lutheran Church. — The early history of the 
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hillsboro is 
somewhat obscure, and the best efforts to ob- 
tain the first written records of the society have 
proved of no avail. The}' have disappeared 
from the archives of the church, when or how, 
no one seems to know, and hence we are 
obliged to glean its early history from other aud, 
perhaps, less reliable sources. Mr. Springer 
furnishes us the following of this church: 



The Lutheran denomination was particularly 
strong in North Carolina, whence had come 
many of the prominent families of Hillsboro 
and vicinity. It was one of their first acts to 
provide themselves a church and a pastor in 
order to continue in the forms of worship 
familiar and dear to them. The Rev. David 
Scherer was the father of the Lutheran Church 
at Hillsboro, and organized it about the spring 
of 1833. The society worshiped for the first 
two years in the old log court house, and then 
commenced the erection of a comfortable frame 
church building on the sight of the present edi- 
fice. '■ Father Scherer," as he was called, and 
is now referred to, served the church for six or 
seven years, and was followed by the Kev. A. 
A. Trimper, and he, in 1847, by Rev. Francis 
Springer; he by Rev. J. J. Lovengood, in 1852; 
he by Rev. George A. Bowen; he by Rev. J. 
M. Cromer, and he by Rev. C. A. Gelwick, the 
present pastor. 

The congregation, at a meeting held in Feb- 
ruarv, 1856, resolved to build a new house of 
worship, and $1,700 were at once subscribed. 
Work was commenced, and the result was the 
present building, which was finally completed. 
It is a brick structure, with basement, and 
auditorium above, and is handsomely finished 
and furnished within. Among the officers of 
the church, as Elders and Deacons, in its ear- 
lier days, were Jacob "W. Scherer, Alfred 
Miller, Henry Meisenheimer, Caleb T. Sifford, 
John Ritchie, Simeon Scherer, E. B. Hubbell, 
Henry Walter, Richard McFarland, Jacob 
Cress, Sr., Jacob Cress, Jr., and Edmund Miller, 
about half of whom are yet residents of the 
county. The church has always been one of 
great influence for good in the community, 
having many liberal-hearted workers in its 
membership, and being favored in general with 
ministers of energy and high literary attain- 
ments. The church has long carried on and 
supported an interesting Sunday school. 

The Unitarians were an early religious organ- 



CITY OF HILL8BORO. 



239 



ization of Hillsboro. Their old church build- 
ing is one of the relics of the past, and few of 
the rising generation, perhaps, know that such 
a church ever existed in the city. The old 
building, now occupied by Mr. Cress as an 
agricultural implement depot, south of the 
American House on the main street, was the 
temple of worship of the Unitarians thirty or 
fortj' years ago. But, as the old aud promi- 
nent members died off, or moved away, the 
church diminished in numbers, and eventually 
became extinct. There has been no Unitarian 
service in the town, we believe, since the war, 
but the old church building still stands, a mon- 
ument to their former zeal and influence. 

The Cumberland Presbyterians organized a 
church in Hillsboro, prior to the late civil war. 
Rev. Mr. Logan, at the time editor of a religious 
paper at Alton, was chiefly instrumental in its 
organization, and was present at the time the 
church was constituted. A number of persons 
of the Cumberland Presbyterian faith united 
with the society here, and for several 3'ears the 
organization was kept up. Meetings were held 
in the old Unitarian Church building for a time, 
and arrangements were attempted for the erec- 
tion of a building of their own, but the move- 
ment was unsuccessful. The membership in- 
creased but slowly, the effects of the war were 
experienced, and the " Ship of Zion " was finally 
abandoned. Some of the members united with 
the Cumberland Presbyterians at McDavid's 
Point, and at other places, while others cast in 
their lots with some of the churches in the city, 
mostly with the Presbyterian Church. 

The Baptists have an organized society in 
Hillsboro. but have no church building. The 
society was organized a few years ago, and 
arrangements made for occasional preaching, 
its limited number of members not admitting 
of its paying a regular pastor. The organiza- 
tion is still kept up, and administered to now 
aud then by visiting preachers. 

The Catholics. — St. Agnes' Roman Catholic 



Church represents that denomination in Hills- 
boro. The first Catholic services in the city 
were held in private houses from about the 
year 1854 to 1859, by traveling rnissionai'ies, 
especially by Father T. Cusack, now of Ship- 
man, 111. From 1859 to 1870, the Catholics of 
Hillsboro were attended from Litchfield. It 
was not until the latter year that the building 
of a church in Hillsboro was encouraged, and 
for that purpose a subscription was commenced 
by Father L. Hiussen, now of Belleville, 111. 
The church was placed under the patronage of 
St. Agnes, and has since been known as the 
" St. Agnes' Roman Catholic Church." It was 
built under the supervision aud management 
of R. H. Stewart, of this city, costing, when 
completed, about $6, 0(11), and to its construc- 
tion both Catholics and non-Catholics contrib- 
uted with equal liberality. The building is 
40x60 feet in dimensions, and the membership 
at present is between fifty and sixty families. 
The regular pastors of the church have been, 
since its organization, Rev. G-r. Lohmau, from 
1871 to 1876, now of Aviston, Clinton County, 
111.; Rev. P. J. Virsink, from 1876 to 1882, 
now at St. Marie, Jasper County, 111. Present 
pastor is Rev. J. Storp, and to him we are in- 
debted for the above facts. 

The colored people, of whom there are quite 
a number in Hillsboro, hold services every Sun- 
day afternoon in the basement of the Lutheran 
Church. The}- have no regular pastor, and 
only enjoy occasional preaching by minister's 
from abroad. 

Secret Orders. — In conclusion of the chapter 
on the church history of Hillsboro, it is not 
inappropriate to devote a brief space to those 
benevolent organizations, which, in their quiet 
way, exert as widespread influence almost as 
the church itself. The good accomplished by 
these institutions cannot be estimated. There 
is nothing more wonderful in Freemasonry, the 
most ancient of these honorable and charitable 
fraternities, than its perpetual youth. Human 



240 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



governments flourish and then disappear, leav- 
ing only desolation in the places where their 
glory used to shine. But the institution of 
Freemasonry, originating so long ago that the 
oldest history tells nothing of its beginning, 
has survived the decay of dynasties, and the 
revolutions of races, and kept pace with the 
marvelous march of civilization and Chris- 
tianity. Freemasonry was established in Hills- 
boro at an early day by the formation of a 
lodge of the order, and has existed with more 
or less zeal ever since. 

The first lodge organized here was known as 
Hillsboro Lodge, No. 33. A., F. & A. M„ and 
was formed under the authority of the Grand 
Lodge of Missouri, by which grand body its 
charter was issued, under date of October 9, 
1840. Among the charter members were C. B. 
Blockberger, H. Kingsley, M. Kingsley and M. 
V. Nickerson. Of these, the first three (in the 
order named), constituted the first Master and 
Wardens. The lodge continued to work under 
the Grand Lodge of Missouri until the forma- 
tion of the Grand Lodge of Illinois, when it 
was rechartered and re-organized. 

Mount Moriah Lodge, No. 51, A., F. & A. M., 
was chartered October 4, 1848, and was but a 
re-organization of the original Hillsboro Lodge, 
under the Grand Lodge of Illinois. Its char- 
ter members were Ira Millard, Ira Boone, Jer- 
emiah Hart, John S. Hillis, J. H. Ralston, M. 
J. Blockberger, M. Turner, Jacob Lingafelter, 
and their charter was signed by William Lave- 
ly, Grand Master, and William Mitchell, Grand 
Secretary. The first officers were Ira Millard; 
Master ; Ira Boone, Senior Warden, and Jere- 
miah Hart, Junior Warden. The lodge has a 
nourishing membership, and is at present offi- 
cered as follows : M. W. Miller, Master ; C. 
L. Bartlett, Senior Warden ; J. B. Atterbury, 
Junior Warden ; J. W. Edwards, Treasurer ; 
Benjamin E. Johnson, Secretarj' ; J. M. Smith, 
Senior Deacon ; J B. Dreyhur, Junior Deacon, 
and W. R. Truesdell, Tiler. 



The lodge formerly met in the upper story 
of a building used by Gunning as a blacksmith 
shop. Afterward, in connection with the Odd 
Fellows, they built a hall on Main street, near 
the court house. Finally, they sold out and 
built their present hall. They own the third 
story of a large brick building on the Main 
street, and have it handsomely fitted up and 
furnished. 

Montgomery Chapter, No. 63, Royal Arch 
Masons, was organized several years ago, by 
the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Illinois. 
For a time it worked zealously, then the mem- 
bers seemed to become lukewarm, meetings 
were less frequent, and finally ceased altogether. 
The charter has been surrendered to the Grand 
Chapter, and Montgomery Chapter is, for the 
time at least, extinct. " It is not dead, but 
sleepeth," and may revive again when the com- 
panions awake from their present Rip Van 
Winkle sleep. 

Hermon Chapter, No. 46, of the Order of the 
Eastern Star, was chartered by the Supreme 
Grand Chapter of Adoptive Masonry of Illi- 
nois, January 18, 1871. The first officers were 
Isaac Shimer, a Master Mason, Worthy Pa- 
tron ; Sister Augusta D. Marshall, Worthy 
Matron, and Sister Eveline C. Harris, Associ- 
ate Matron. For several years an active inter- 
est was taken by the ladies of Hillsboro in the 
Order of the Eastern Star, and at one time their 
chapter was one of the most flourishing in the 
State. But of late their zeal has flagged, and 
they have suffered it to become almost entirely 
dormant. 

Montgomery Lodge, No. 40. I. 0. 0. F., was 
instituted in Hillsboro May 30. 1848, by WiH- 
iam M. Parker, of Belleville, Grand Master. 
The following persons were initiated into the 
order on that occasion, viz.: David B. Jackson, 
A. S. Haskell, Hiram Brown, William K. Jack- 
son, John Burnap, George Blackmail, George 
J. Brooks, J. L. Whitmore, and John R. Pais- 
ley. The first officers were : Henry Richmond 



CITY OF HILLSBORO. 



241 



(now of Litchfield). Noble Grand ; David B. 
Jackson, Vice Grand ; William K. Jackson. 
Secretary, and John Burnap, Treasurer. They 
met regularly in the hall then owned and oc- 
cupied bj- the Masonic lodge, being the second 
story of Gunning's blacksmith shop. In 1S55, 
in connection with the Masons, they built the 
hall already referred to. This was completed 
and dedicated on the 13th day of June. 1S56. 
Afterward they bought out the Masons, and in 
October, 1867, deemed it advisable to sell their 
hall and build a new one on the opposite side of 
the street. The corner-stone of this building 
was laid on the 23d of October of that year, 
and the building completed earl}- in 1868, when 
the lodge moved into it, and still occupies it. 
The present officers are: Wilbur B. Ralston, 
Noble Grand ; J. L. McHeury, Vice Grand ; 
William K. Jackson, Secretary ; C. L. Bartlett, 
Treasurer ; William K. Jackson, District Dep- 
uty Grand Master. 

The Encampment branch of the order was 
instituted by Charles Trumbull, of Alton, Jan- 
uary 16, 1857, and the following officers elected 



and installed, viz.: D. B. Jackson, Chief Priest ; 
G. G. Withington, High Priest; William K. 
Jackson, Senior Warden; J. W. Cassaday, 
Scribe ; A. S. Haskell. Treasurer, and A. II. 
Brown, Junior Warden. The membership of 
this body lias never been large. 

Hillsboro Lodge. No. 265, I. 0. G. T., was 
organized February 11, 1881, with some thirty - 
culd members. The present officers are as fol- 
lows : A. G. Taylor. W. C. T.; Mrs. Tirzah 
Depuy, W. V. T; Jacob Beck, P. W. C. T ; 
James Lynch, W. S.; Mrs. Man- Johnson. W. 
F. S.; J. J. Miller. W. T.; C. W. Taylor. W. M.; 
Mrs. M. H. Johnson, W. D. M.; Libbie Horton, 
W. A. S.; Dudley Depuy, W. S.; Meda Hanna, 
R. H. S. ; Lucy Robb, L. H. S.; Rev. S. C. 
Dickey. W. C. The lodge is small in num- 
bers, but stong in faith, and inspired with 
the lofty aims of the cause in which they are 
engaged ; the members, though few, work none 
the less zealously. That they have accom- 
plished much, none can den} - , but the field is 
still large for the exercise of their good 
work. 




242 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



CHAPTER X.* 

HILLSBORO— EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS— EARLY SCHOOLS AND THE OLD LOG SCHOOLHOUSE- 

HILLSBORO ACADEMY— ITS COLLEGE CAREER— THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS — NEWSPAPERS— 

THE FIRST PAPERS OF THE TOWN — UPS AND DOWNS OF THE BUSINESS— THE 

"NEWS" AND THE "JOURNAL" OF TO-DAY, ETC. 



"A little learning is a dangerous thing, 
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring." 

AMID the various conflicting opinions on 
moral, political and religious subjects, 
there is need of charity and forbearance, con- 
cession and compromise. Citizenship is of no 
avail unless we imbibe the liberal spirit of our 
laws and institutions. Through the medium of 
the common schools are the rising generation of 
all nationalities assimilated readiby and thor- 
oughly forming the great American people. 
The common schools are alike open to the rich 
and the poor, the citizen and the stranger. It 
is the duty of those to whom the administra- 
tion of the schools is confided, to discharge it 
with magnanimous liberality and Christian 
kindness. Diligent care should be taken by 
instructors, to- impress upon the minds of chil- 
dren and youth committed to their care, the 
principles of morality and justice, and a sacred 
regard to truth, love of their country, humanity 
and universal benevolence, sobriety, industry 
and frugality, chastity, moderation and temper- 
ance, and all other virtues which are the orna- 
ments to society. 

The people of Hillsboro displayed an early 
interest in educating their children, and among 
the pioneer institutions of the town, may be 
noted the old log schoolhouse, already fre- 
quently mentioned in these pages. Says Mr. 
Rountree. in his early reminiscences of Hills- 
boro : " It is a remarkable fact that Hillsboro, 

*By W. H. Perria. 



like Jacksonville, was a kind of Athens of Illi- 
nois. The early citizens, coming as they did 
from the older States, where education was the 
rule, the great mass of them were intelligent, 
well educated men and women. One of the 
earliest school teachers in Hillsboro was Nancy 
Crumba, who was a sister of the first wife of 
David B. Jackson. She taught frequent^' in 
Hillsboro, and was a refined, cultivated lady — 
so much so, that girls and young women were 
sent from abroad — Vandalia, Carlyle and Ed- 
wardsville, to her, that she might put on the 
finishing to the education that they had re- 
ceived at home." 

Another of the early teachers of Hillsboro 
was Rosetta Townsend, who was raised on the 
place known as Rose Hill. She afterward mar- 
ried Andrew M. Braley, an old sailor and sur- 
veyor, and died earl}', leaving one child, Ann 
Eliza, who also taught in Hillsboro years after 
John C. Terret was another early teacher, and 
the first who taught the classics in a school in 
the town. Many other good and efficient 
teachers taught in Hillsboro up to the time of 
building the academy. 

The first schoolhouse ever built in Hillsboro 
was in the winter of 1825. It was of round 
logs twenty-five feet square, chinked and daubed 
with mud ; the fire-place occupied nearly one 
whole side of the house, its jambs of mud, and 
chiuiney of sticks covered with the same mate- 
rial. A log was sawed out on two sides of the 
room, and the long space filled with sash and 
glass, while on the fourth side was the door, 




JdL> , yj( c t $0^-1^ , A— 



LI13RARY 

Of int 

UNlVthsil r «t Illinois 



CITY OF HILLSBORO. 



245 



■with shutter made of clapboards. The floor 
was of puncheons, the benches of split logs, 
with legs in the round side, and the upper side 
somewhat smoothed with axes. There was no 
loft or ceiling ; a few shelves on pegs, etc. The 
roof was of clapboards held to their places with 
weight-poles. Two writing desks made of punch- 
eons, perhaps a chair, a water " piggin," no 
andirons except rocks, no tongs, a clapboard 
shovel, wooden fire-poker, a mud hearth, and a 
few " peep-holes " through the chinks or cracks. 
This was the first temple of learning with which 
the youth of Hillsboro became acquainted, and 
in the unpretending structure, the foundation 
of the education of some of Illinois' great men 
were laid. This early schoolhouse stood on the 
crest of the hill above the natural spring at 
Rountree's pasture, in the eastern part of what 
is now the main city. Of the teachers who in- 
structed in this old house, it may be said, that 
they were men and women of culture, some of 
whom arose to eminence. Of these we may 
mention Maj. Campbell, of Carlisle; Maj. John 
* H. Rountree, a prominent politician and legis- 
lator ; Hon. James M. Bradford, who held 
various offices, and John Hays, Mr. Springer, 
W.L.Jenkins, Frank Dickson and many others. 
There are man}' of the citizens of the town and 
count} - received their education wholly or in 
part, viz. : the Cresses, Rutledges, Blackber- 
gers, Seymours, Boones, Grubbs, Rountrees, 
etc., etc., also Revs. R. J. Nail and W. S. Pren- 
tice, prominent Methodist preachers ; James 
and Sidney Harkey and Jacob Scherer, of the 
Lutheran Church, and Gen. Tillson, of Quiney, 
whoso part in the late civil war highly distin- 
guished him. Indeed many persons of distinc- 
tion taught, or were taught in that old build- 
ing, Hillsboro's first schoolhouse. 

No doubt the memories connected with it, 
s:iys Mr. Rountree, are warm in their hearts, 
but the old house is gone. Other buildings 
have been erected to take its place. Our tine 
brick free schoolhouse is an ornament and well 



worthy of our pride. The old academy still 
flourishes. But it is a question if they are more 
useful in their day than the log houses for simi- 
lar purposes were in the pioneer days. Of the 
new brick schoolhouse, it is a comfortable and 
commodious structure, standing on a beautiful 
lot north of the court house. It is built after 
the usual style of architecture of the modern 
schoolhouses, and is finished and furnished in 
the latest improved manner. 

The Academy. — About the year 1836, the 
people united together and built the Hillsboro 
Academy. At the time of its erection it was 
one of the most magnificent temples of learning 
in the State. John Tillson was the moving- 
spirit in its construction and endowment, and 
to him, more than to any other single individual 
is the community indebted for the high reputa- 
tion of the institution. Young men and boys 
came from all the surrounding country to re- 
ceive academic and collegiate training at Hills- 
boro Academy, and afterward College. Here 
the energy of Mr. Tillson shone out. He 
brought the first Superintendent, Prof. Isaac 
Wetherill, from the East, and his wife for asso- 
ciate in the female department, with Prof. Ed- 
ward Wyman associate in the male department, 
and Miss E. F. Hadley, teacher of instrumental 
music. The first session commenced the first 
Wednesday in November, 1837, and was liber- 
ally patronized for years. It gave Hillsboro so 
great a reputation for education and morality 
that no other public school building was erected 
until the present brick edifice alluded to above. 

The Academy was changed to a college ami 
carried on several years as such by the Lu- 
therans, but was abandoned by them in 1852, 
when they removed their institution to Spring- 
field. The building then became the property 
of the common schools, and has since been used 
by the city as the high school department. It 
has lost nothing in this capacity from the high 
standard of excellence it occupied, and is still 
an educational institution of more than ordinary 



•ua 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY 



merit. It stands in the most pleasant part of 
the city, near the center of a gently rolling 
piece of ground, whose rich, grassy carpet is 
shaded with a profusion of fine old forest trees 
of a century's growth. In a word, no city of its 
size and population possesses better facilities 
than Hillsboro for a good common-school edu- 
cation. 

The Press. — The newspapers of Hillsboro 
next claim our attention, and in connection with 
the educational history their mention is pecu- 
liarly appropriate, as the press has always been 
deemed a zealous friend and advocate of learn- 
ing. From the " Rountree Letters," so freely 
quoted from in these pages, we gather the early 
history of the press of Hillsboro, and no man, 
perhaps, was more capable than Mr. Rountree 
of doing the subject justice. 

The Prairie Beacon was the first paper pub- 
lished in Hillsboro, and was established about 
the year 1838, by a stock company. It was 
published in the upper story of Hayward & 
Holmes' old storehouse, and Aaron Clapp, Esq., 
was its editor. He is described as a tall, 
straight, red-haired man, badly cross-eyed, but 
a fine scholar, fresh from an Eastern college, 
and a friend and college-mate of Prof. Isaac 
Wetherill, then Principal of the Hillsboro 
Academy. The Prairie Beacon proved a poor 
and unprofitable investment, and after strug- 
gling on for about a year and a half it ceased 
publication. The press, type and fixtures were 
sold to some parties in Platteville, Wis., where 
it was used in the publication of a paper called 
The Northern Badger. So disastrous was the 
failure of the Prairie Beacon that some years 
elapsed before another attempt was made to es- 
tablish a paper at Hillsboro. In 1850, Frank 
and Cyrus Gilrnore established the Prairie 
Mirror, with Rev. Francis Springer as editor. 
The boys, for the}' were but boys at the time, 
did all the office work themselves. In national 
politics the Mirror was Whig, but upon home 
affairs it advocated " State policy," which by 



its success staved off the building of a number 
of other railroads until the building of Hills- 
boro's road. The Gilmore boys sold out to 
William K. Jackson in 1851, who became its 
proprietor, with C. P. Pickerson as editor. In 
the reconstruction of political parties the Mir- 
ror became the exponent of the Know-Nothing 
party. Pickerson bought out Mr. Jackson in 
1854, and carried it ou himself until 1S56, when 
he changed ittothc Montgomery County Herald; 
afterward sold it to James Blackmail. Jr., and 
removed from Hillsboro. 

The Herald was continued by Mr. Blackmail 
as a Know-Nothing paper until 1858, when he 
sold out to J. W. Kitchell and F. H. Gilmore, 
who ran it as an independent paper until t,he 
opening of the campaign of 1860. They then 
sold it to Bavis, Turner & Co., who published 
it through the campaign as a Pemocratic paper, 
and late in the season sold it to F. H. Gilmore, 
who continued it as a Pemocratic paper. In 
1862. he sold it to E. J. Ellis, a refugee from 
Missouri. Mr. Ellis was an old editor, and 
after the war returned to Missouri, where, at 
the last account of him, he was publishing a 
paper called the Montgomery Standard. He 
sold the Herald to Ed. L. Reynolds and Wilbur 
F. Stoddard. They coutinued it as a Pemo- 
cratic paper until 1867, when they sold it to 
William McEweu and John Auginbaugh, who, 
the next year (1868), sold it to E. J. C. 
Alexander. Mr. Alexander continued the 
paper as Pemocratic, but changed its name to 
the Hillsboro Democrat. " He so run the paper," 
says Mr. Rountree, " as to make a fortune and 
elect himself to the State Legislature, where he 
is now (1873-74) serving his constituents. While 
it claims to be a Pemocratic paper, it is only 
negatively so ; and it is in full accord with the 
' Farmer movement,' as against both political 
parties, hanging with the Pemocrats in their 
fight with the Republicans." With the issue 
of April 29, 1874, Mr. Alexander changed the 
name of the Democrat to that of The Anti- 



CITY OF HILLSBORO. 



247 



Monopolist, and became the zealous exponent 
of the farmer or grange movement. Still he 
was not happy, and another change came over 
his paper. This time he called it the Hillsboro 
Blade, and changed its politics to Republican. 
He then sold it to James L. Slack, who again 
changed its name, calling it the Hillsboro Jour- 
nal. Slack sold itto Charles R. Truitt in 1881, 
the present editor and publisher. It is a hand- 
some eight-page paper, neatly and tastefully 
printed, ably edited, and is the Republican 
organ of Montgomery County. 

About the year 1S59 or 1860, the Illinois 
Free Press was established in Hillsboro, as the 
advocate of the views of the Republican party. 
It was published by a stock company composed 
of the leading Republicans of Hillsboro and 
Butler, and Mr. D. W. Mann was its editor. 
Later it was in charge of J. B. Hutchinson and 
James Munn. Hutchinson afterward moved to 
Iowa, and Munn was slightly wounded at 
Ponelson, Tenn., when he retired from the 
army, and finally returned East, whence he had 
come, and where he was lost sight of. The 
Free Press was never a financial success, and 
suspended publication, but was resurrected 
again in 1863 by John W. Kitchell, and the 
name changed to the Union Monitor. D. W. 
Munn had become sole proprietor previous to 
the sale to Mr. Kitchell. It was next bought 
by Mr. Thomas J. Russell, Mr. Kitchell remain- 
ing as editor, until he was drafted into the 
army in the spring of 1865, when Mr. J. E. 
Henry, a native of Bond County, a good writer 
and an able man, became editor. He afterward 
removed to St. Joseph, Mo. Mr. Alexander, 
afterward editor and proprietor of the !>■ mo- 
crat, became, in May, 1867, proprietor of the 
Monitor, as the Republican organ, but becom- 
ing a little "tender-footed," as be expressed, it 



on the negro question, he sold out to B. S. 
Hood, of Litchfield, a man of fine abilities, but 
not being acquainted with the modus operandi 
of running a newspaper, did not make a fortune 
out of his investment. It was removed to 
Litchfield, and for a time was run by a stock 
company, Messrs. Bangs & Gray finally be- 
came the purchasers, who, after a little while, 
divided the office, and from this division sprung 
the News Letter of Hillsboro, conducted by C. 
L. and E. T. Bangs. The remainder was sold 
to Taylor & Kimball, of Belleville, who con- 
ducted the Monitor a few mouths by agents, 
and then transferred it to Coolidge & Litch- 
field, and it became what is now the Litchfield 
Monitor. 

The News Letter was sold to Slack & Tobin, 
and the name changed to the Hillsboro Journal. 
Mr. Tobin sold out to Slack, who sold to John- 
son & Tobin in 1875. Up to this time it had 
been Republican in politics, but Johnson & 
Tobin changed its name to Montgomery N< irs, 
and its politics to Democrat. In 1876, Johnson 
sold his interest to George W. Paisley, ami 
February 6, 1S82, Paisley & Tobin sold the 
paper to Benjamin E. Johnsou, who is the 
present owner and editor. The News is the 
official organ of the Democracy of Montgomery 
County, and is a large eight-page paper, well 
edited by Col. Johnson, a man of considerable 
newspaper ability, experience and enterprise. 

The press of Hillsboro at the present time 
is second to that of no town of its importance 
in Southern Illinois, and the people should be 
justly proud of it, and extend to it the support 
and patronage it so richly merits. No town 
can prosper without live, enterprising news- 
papers, and such papers cannot exist without 
liberal patronage. 



248 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XI.* 

NORTH LITCHFIELD TOWNSHIP— DESCRIPTION AND TOPOGRAPHY— CHARACTER OF SOIL— EARLY 

SETTLEMENTS— THE BRIGGS FAMILY— OTHER PIONEERS— THE FIRST PREACHERS AND 

CHURCHES— SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS— PIONEER INCIDENTS— TAX RECEIPTS, ETC. 

—EARLY DISEASES AND DEATHS — EFFECTS OF THE WAR, ETC.. ETC 

THIS township, lying on the west side of the the prairie and much of the timber is fenced, 
county, is south of Zanesville, west of and this has led to the adoption of a stock 

law. 

Iu 1816, Robert Briggs, born east of the Blue 
Ridge, and emigrating to Ohio en route to Ed- 
wardsville, where he dwelt in the fort, and 
where children were born to him, located on 
Lake Fork in Walshville. He built a cabin 
and began a farm. Two years later, the land 
was bought from under him by Government 
entry, and Mr. Briggs, leaving his cribs filled 
with corn, removed in 1818 to a point nearly a 
third of a mile east of Martin Ritchie's house, 
and began anew. His old neighbors relieved 
himof hiscribbed corn, and he had no new neigh- 
bors in the modern meaning of the word. A 
few miles to the north, a family settled a little 
later, and five miles to the south were two or 
three families. The region abounded iu gray 
wolves, tall, fierce, gaunt fellows, and occasion- 
ally a black one was seen. Muskrats were nu- 
merous in the shallow ponds, and skunks were 
met everywhere. The few sheep Mr. Briggs 
owned were penned each night to protect them 
from beasts of prey, for black bears and painters 
were not quite unknown. Grapes grew in the 
woods, and " bee trees" yielded their delicious 
sweets to the pioneer. Wagons were not in 
use ; in place of them rude ox carts were in 
creneral use, frequently made without iron. 
Cattle were the exclusively draft animals ; 
horses were employed only under the saddle, 
and to plow corn. In dry weather an ox cart 
in motion was the equal in noise to a Chinese 



^HIS township, lying on the west side of the 
county, is south of Zanesville, west of 
Butler, and north of South Litchfield. The 
west fork of Shoal Creek passes from north to 
south through the east side, and is fringed with 
timber for nearly a mile on each side. The 
west two-thirds of the township are prairie. 
The west and north portions discharge their 
surplus waters through a branch into the creek, 
while the southwestern sections send their 
drainage into the Cahokia, and the southeastern 
sections lie on Rocky Branch, an affluent of the 
west fork of Shoal Creek. For three miles the 
Indianapolis & St. Louis railroad divides it 
from South Litchfield. The Jacksonville road 
enters at the northwest corner and leaves it two 
miles east of the southwest corner. The St. 
Louis branch of the Wabash, going north, en- 
ters the township two miles from the county 
line and leaves it two miles west of the north- 
east corner. It thus contains nearly sixteen 
miles of railroad. 

The soil along the creek is white and better 
for straw grain than for corn. In the prairie 
the soil is black, glutinous and deep. The sur- 
face iu the prairie region requires artificial drain- 
age, which has been in part supplied by the con- 
struction of railroads, and a more careful at- 
tention to the location and improvement of 
ordinary highways. In the farms along the 
timber, rail fences are the rule ; iu other and 
more recently cultivated farms board fences 
are common, and many hedges are found. All 



llv II. A. Ooolidge 



NORTH LITCHFIELD TOWNSHIP. 



249 



orchestra. Oxen wrought in the ordinary yoke, 
but horses had wooden hames on shuck collars, 
made by some neighbors and connected to the 
whippletree with chains, supported by a strip 
of raw hide over the horse's back. 

The cattle were natives, small and hardy. A 
fattened animal which weighed dressed half a 
thousand pounds was a monster. The horses 
were usually about fifteen hands high, and of 
light weight. In a few years after Mr. Briggs' 
settlement, the Archy stock was introduced 
from North Carolina and was highly esteemed 
for the saddle. All travel was on horseback, 
and a steed, sure-footed, hardy, and with a 
swift, easy pace, was a possession keenly appre- 
ciated. Swine of the baser breed prevailed. 
They were not inclined to take on flesh, were 
fleet of foot and insatiable in appetite, and pug- 
nacious. The few sheep were kept for the 
wool. Quail and gray squirrels and wild 
turkeys, water fowl and herds of deer, made the 
country a valuable game region. Of song 
birds the pioneers do not speak ; they came in 
with the cessation of the annual burning of the 
prairie, and the appearance of orchards and 
trees around human habitations. 

For several years Mr. Briggs grew cotton for 
home clothing. When picked, it was ginned by 
hand, and then prepared on hand cards in the 
house for the spinning wheel. Sometimes wool 
was mingled with the "batts" for spinning. 
The cotton was carded, spun, wove and dyed at 
home, and the cloth fashioned into garments 
by the housewife's shears and needle. Nearly 
ever} - home contained a spinning wheel and 
loom and a variety of saddles. The children 
tasted neither tea nor coffee. Sassafras tea or 
crust coffee does not tempt a healthy or a ca- 
pricious thirst. The johnny cake board was as 
necessary in a well regulated family as knives 
and forks, and the corn meal was brought from 
Elm Point or the " Pepper Mill." The meal, 
wetted with water and salted and baked on a 
board set sloping before the fire, and eaten with 



milk, was a healthful food, and the children 
throve on it. 

The Briggs family went to Old Ripley, in 
Bond County, for meal, and their meat was 
wild game ; the forest yielded them grapes and 
plums ; their garden Irish potatoes and sweet 
ones. The father tanned each year, imper- 
fectly, leather in a trough, and from the product, 
which had the properties of rawhide, he made 
shoes for his children. When wet these shoes 
were a world too wide ! When dried on the 
feet they shrank until they bound like com- 
presses. 

The first school his children attended was in 
a log schoolhouse, two miles and a half east of 
home, and probably in Butler Grove Town- 
ship. The second school was taught in the first 
schoolhouse in the township, a few rods due 
north of the home of E. K. Austin. Religious 
meetings were first held at private houses, but, 
when schools were introduced, the school-room 
dining the week was the church on Sunday. 
The first sermon, so far as known, was perhaps 
delivered by Bennett Woods, a Hardshell Bap- 
tist, of whom our informant narrates several 
amusing incidents. The preacher had on one 
occasion forgotten his glasses, and when he 
arose to give out the hymn — which it was the 
custom to "deacon" in consequence of the 
want of hymn books — he began : 

" My eyes ai - e dim ; I cannot see, 
I've left my specs at home." 

The leader of the singing immediately raised 
the tune and the congregation began to sing ! 
" Stop, stop ! That is not the hymn ; I meant 
to say I forgot my spectacles and will not read 
a hymn this morning." 

On another occasion a mother was carrying 
her wailing infant out of the house to avoid 
disturbing the congregation. " Sister Sally, if 
3'ou go out, you will not hear the sermon." 
■ Vis. I will ; I will sit near the house, and will 
hear every word." In a few moments Mr. 
Woods went to an open window, and thrusting 



I>50 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNT!'. 



out his head and shoulders continued his dis- 
course, in order that " Sister Sally " should uot 
lose the benefit of it. 

The first church in the township was erected 
near the southeast corner of the west half of 
the northwest corner of Section 33, or just west 
of State street, and half a mile north of the In- 
dianapolis & St. Louis railroad. It was used 
jointly by the Lutherans and Presbyterians. 
This is the popular opinion which has found 
a place in local histories, but a log church near 
Honey Bend was built many years earlier, 
which long since decayed to a ruin, but the site 
can be identified just over the line in Zanes- 
ville Township. Near it several hundred In- 
dians were encamped in huts of pawpaw. The 
unwelcome visitors were energetically pressed 
to move on, and their shelters perished by nat- 
ural decay. This church belonged to the Hard- 
shell Baptists — a sect which believes in unsal- 
aried preachers and in paying their debts. The 
second religious body was the Williams Society 
of Methodists near Honey Bend. William 
Williams, the founder, is still spoken of as a 
godly man, whese piety was ardent and con- 
sistent. 

Isaiah Hurley was the first school teacher, a 
mild, inoffensive person. The Wilkinson boys 
were his especial tormentors. 

The Briggs family at first ate from pewter 
plates and drank from gourds or tin cups. The 
light at evening was the wood fire, or, if there 
was any grease to be had, a saucer was filled 
with it, in which a wick floated. Hickory bark 
or dry branches of trees were used as light 
wood to illuminate the cabins, and the boys 
spelled out their bibles or books by their flick- 
ering flame. Sometimes buttonwood balls were 
gathered, and, when dried, soaked in fat and 
lighted. They afforded good light, but were 
speedily consumed. 

Their earlier neighbors were the Mathews 
family, living a couple furlongs to the west. 
That family went west of the river during the 



" twenties," leaving no representative here, but 
a remembrance older than the oldest living in- 
habitant of the township. 

About the earliest physician was Dr. Hillis, 
of Hillsboro, lately deceased. The people did 
not " allow " to become ill, and midwives at- 
tended to women in labor. 

The scenes of Indian warfare are quite all 
outside the county, but the early settlers had 
seen their portion of these horrors. Robert 
Briggs' maternal grandfather, living in the 
Fort at Edwardsville, rescued a daughter from 
the savages, and, while bearing her home to 
the fort, began bleeding at the nose and died 
from loss of blood. Samuel Briggs, the eldest 
son, born in 1809, was a soldier in the Black 
Hawk war, and Stephen R., the second son, 
born in 1812, was for eleven months a ranger. 

As late as 1S30, only a few families had set- 
tled in the township. Mathews had removed ; 
Wilkinson and Lockerman remained, and Will- 
iams and the Woods and Ash had located along 
the Three-Mile Branch. 

The polls for the earlier elections were held 
at " Tennis' School-house " in Zanesville Town- 
ship, and when the west side of the county was 
divided into three election precincts the polls 
of Long Branch Precinct, which included North 
Litchfield, were opened at- John A. Crabtree's 
house in South Litchfield. The poll lists con- 
tain few names ; from a dozen to twenty votes 
would be received. As the population of North 
Litchfield by the last census was, outside of the 
city of Litchfield, only 951 on thirty-foursquare 
miles, and contains neither mill nor shop save 
at Litchfield and Honey Bend, it is credible 
that the township attracted population slowly. 
Nearly all the people are of Southern birth or 
origin. 

The elder ones still relate many homely in- 
cidents of the early days. When a family ar- 
rived and it was understood that they wanted a 
house, the settlers assembled, and some cut logs 
and built the walls, while others split shooks for 



NORTH LITCHFIELD TOWNSHIP. 



231 



the roof, and others hewed puncheons for a floor 
and another portion erected the chimney. They 
did not cease until the house was ready. If 
the supply of meal gave out, and high water or 
the state of the trails prevented a journey to 
Old Ripley, corn was bruised in a hollow block 
of wood with an iron wedge or a wooden pestle. 
The liner portions were used for bread, and the 
coarser part was converted into honiiny. Scant 
time had the settlers for social visits, but when 
one was paid the party came on horseback, the 
wife en croupe behind her husband. 

An annual visit to Mr. Briggs by Mr. White- 
side, the partisan ranger, well known for his 
prowess in Indian warfare, was the signal for 
renewed confabs on the incidents of border 
life. Whiteside, Robert Briggs, Sr., and his son 
Samuel were the center of the group, and the 
children would huddle into the corner terrified 
by their tales. Bits of description in their stories 
were of high merit for their graphic literaluess. 
What the good wives talked of is beyond con- 
jecture. He is a bold man who will venture an 
opinion as to the topics in a woman's palaver. 

The inquisitorial list of questions in the as- 
sessor's blanks, prepared in the early history of 
the State is inferential evidence as to the con- 
dition of the Illinois homes. But we have seen 
tax receipts of thQse relatively far-off days, in 
which the taxes on six hundred acres of land 
were $2.1(1. and on eighty acres, 12£ cents, and 
these receipts were given to early settlers of 
North Litchfield and its sister township, South 
Litchfield. The wages of a stout, willing boy 
were a " bit " a day during the summer, and a 
good harvest hand was paid as high as half a 
dollar, or the exact price of a pound of coffee. 
''Hired girls " had not become a class ; in case 
of illness some young woman would leave 
home for a few days to care for the afflicted 
household, but her services were not rendered 
for the pay she received. The discharge of the 
sacred duty to care for the sick was the motive, 
and it was never neglected. The accepted life 



of a woman was to marry, bear and rear chil- 
dren, prepare the household food, spin, weave 
and make the garments for the family. Her 
whole life was the grand simple poem of rug- 
ged, toilsome duty bravely and uncomplaining- 
ly done. She lived history, and her descend- 
ants write and read it with a proud thrill, such 
as visits the pilgrim when at Arlington he 
stands at the base of the monument which cov- 
ers the bones of 4,000 nameless men who gave 
their blood to preserve their country. Her 
work lives, but her name is whispered onl}- in 
a few homes. Holy in death, it is too sacred for 
open speech. 

Some of these cheerful dames still live, and 
seem to regret the times which will never come 
again. One of them says the floor of her cabin 
was so uneven that she placed rude wedges un- 
der her table legs to keep it steady, and when 
a heavy rain fell the water which came down 
the chimney formed a pool in the depression 
called a hearth, and she baled out the water 
with her skillet. Gourds were used for drink- 
ing cups, milk pails, dippers and receptacles 
for lard, some of them held half a bushel. When 
she became the owner of a stone pitcher, she 
felt rich, and at the table no person could have 
a knife and fork ; if he had the former, the lat- 
ter fell to another, and often the same knife 
answered the table needs of two or three. 

Until 1828, the whole county voted at Hills- 
boro, and there was the post office, store and 
physician. In 1830, twelve years after its set- 
tlement, but seven families had located in the 
township — Robert Briggs, Thomas Briggs, 
Aaron Roberts, Mathews, Wilkinson and Lock- 
erman, and possibly T. C. Hughes. A war trail 
from the timber at the head of the Cahokia to 
the timber on Shoal Creek ran along the south- 
eastern sections, and the Indian-fighter, White- 
side, and his rangers, pursued a band of war- 
riors along this, and brought on an action near 
the southeast corner of the southwest quarter 
of Section 26. Whiteside, 3'ears after the bat- 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



tie. pointed out the site. Flint arrow-heads and 
tomahawks have been found there. Tradition 
has preserved no details of the fight, save that 
the savages suffered from the shotguns. White- 
sides was a laborious slaver of Indians, but 
wrote no detailed history of his exploits on the 
trail. The early settlers lived in fear of Indians, 
though no incidents are preserved of any out- 
rage here later than 1815. 

Bennett Woods settled in the township east 
of Shoal Creek, and found that in addition to 
those previously mentioned, Aaron Roberts had 
preceded him. Of this Mr. Roberts, we can learn 
only that he was a man of great humor, and 
was not of kin to John C. or James S. Roberts, 
long well-known residents of " Roberts' Settle- 
ment," the earlier name of Honey Bend. Thom- 
as C. Hughes settled in 1829, on the farm now 
owned by Martin Ritchie. Thomas Briggs, a 
brother of Robert Briggs, lived about a mile 
south of Hughes. The farm afterward passed 
into the hands of Samuel Kirkpatriek, brother 
of the famous Sheriff. 

When 1830 dawned, the settlers lived at the 
edge of the timber— Bennett Woods east of 
the Creek, Aaron Roberts, the third set- 
ler, on the creek, and Mr. Hughes and the two 
Briggs west of it. Mathews had vanished and 
there is no mention of Lockerman or Wilkin- 
son. There were certainly five families, and 
possibly seven in the township. Mrs. Bennett 
Woods died in 1829, and was the first death. 
The first marriage was Joshua Martin to Sarah 
Briggs, eldest daughter of Robert Briggs. The 
first sermon was preached at the house of Ben- 
nett Woods, by James Street or Larkin Craig 
—probably the fromer. They belonged to the 
Missionary Baptists, and their earliest house of 
worship was a log chapel, a few rods over the 
line, on Section 35, in Zanesville — the venera- 
ble John Woods is able to fix its location. This 
decaying in 1865, Little Flock Church was built 
at Honey Bend. The Cherry Grove Chapel, in 
Butler Grove, was the primitive church for the 



Methodists of several townships. Being near 
the line, the Methodists had no place of wor- 
ship in this township until 1855, when the Hard- 
insburgh Chapel was drawn to Litchfield. Some 
of the early Methodists attended at Asbury 
Chapel, Raymond ; some at Cheriy Grove, in 
Butler Grove, and some at the Hardinsburgh 
Chapel. 

The Baptists first attended the log church 
near J. Woods,' but by the subdivisions in 
which that denomination rejoices, there are- 
now four houses for their occupation. 

The first burial place was the Bennett Wood's 
Graveyard. There were laid away Robert Briggs 
in May, 1857, and his wife in 1850, Mrs. Bennett 
Woods and other pioneers. The Crabtree Grave- 
yard was perhaps the second one, though it is 
in South Litchfield. We were not curious 
enough about mortuary matters to seek to know 
these things in their grim minuteness. The 
fact that a cemetery was found near each church 
or regular preaching place, points with great 
clearness to the fact that no funeral was thought 
to be properly conducted without a sermon, and 
the exposure of the face of the dead for a last 
look by the spectators, though the Baptists — 
almost the sole religious denomination — dis- 
countenanced funeral sermons or mortuary serv- 
ices at a church. The dead were lovingly borne 
from the house to the place of burial and there 
left to the awful care of the grave. 

The coffin was the handiwork of a home 
workman ; the dead was arrayed in the chill 
simplicity of a shroud. It was unknown that 
a dead person was buried in the dress worn in 
life, or in such a dress as living people wear. 
The defense of an}- custom is its utility, and 
the records of the pulpit contain little evidence 
of abiding religious impressions from the fu- 
neral sermons. Perhaps they are the Protest- 
ant form of praying for the dead. 

The diseases were chiefly fever and chills ; 
at times nearly every home contained more or 
less sick members. We have visited neighbor- 



NORTH LITCHFIELD TOWNSHIP. 



253 



hoods in which every house had its sick in- 
mates. The first physician was Dr. Moore, of 
Woodboro, and North Litchfield was the home 
of no physician until 1854. 

In 1832, Israel Fogleman occupied his 
life-long homestead, though he brought no 
■wife to his cabin for six years. Peter Black- 
welder had settled half a mile west, and 
Aaron Kean a couple of miles north. The 
Striplings were in the north part of the 
town, and in 1840 the township contained 
ten or twelve families. Alfred Blackwelder 
settled south of S. A. Paden's. Some chil- 
dren of the first settlers married and settled 
near the ancestral home. 

The Bandys and Pete Thompson, Jesse 
and Israel Ash, John C. and James Roberts, 
Isaac Weaver, Ahart Pierce, C. W. Sapp and 
Ralph and Jacob Scherer and Elihu Boan 
came, and, in 1850, there was one school- 
house, near the site of the brick one, just 
west of Mr. Austin's. In 1852, the Terre 
Haute & Alton railroad was located on the 
south line of the township, and, with the lay- 
ing out of Litchfield and the opening of a 
market for grain, and the consequent appre- 
ciation of land, a new era dawned. The 
vacant prairie began to be fenced and brought 
into tillage. The salient feature of this de- 
cade was the creation of the village of Litch- 
field, with a population of 1,500, many of 
them of different nationality, and widely dif- 
fering in manners and customs. The orig- 
inal settlers were conservative in habits and 
modes of thought. Litchfield was a good 
place to buy and sell in ; it was a conven- 
ience ; but socially and politically it was 
looked upon with coldness. If a Litchfield 
man wanted a county or town office, he failed 
to secure it. 

When the war was in its earlier stages, 
various parties proposed to resist what they 
erroneously supposed was in contemplation. 



Their fears were soon dissipated, and gather- 
ings of armed men at private houses, and 
armed sentinels around, were omitted. But 
men did meet at night for instruction in the 
military art, but they soon became ashamed 
of their untoward zeal, which had been stim- 
ulated by the presence of disloyal refugees 
from the States in rebellion. The result 
was an immediate feeling of unquietness, but 
no one imagined that this spasmodic moment 
of feeling would glut itself in action. It 
evaporated in fast riding and loud, boastful 
talk. 

On an evening in February, 1864, three 
men called at the house of William Gk Por- 
ter, five miles north of the city, and knocked 
for admittance. They said they were neigh 
bors on their way home, and had broken their 
wagon, and desired a hammer and nails to 
repair the injury. Mr. Porter and his wife 
were alone and had retired for the night. 
He went to the door with the nails, when he 
was seized, and a demand made for his 
money. Mr. Porter showed fight in his 
nightdress. One person stood guard and two 
dealt with Mr. Porter and his wife. He re- 
ceived a slashing blow from a pistol, which 
laid open a long wound, and was shot in the 
head, the bullet plowing into the skull, where 
it remains. Porter made a lively fight, and 
foiled the robbers. But help was coming, 
and the robbers fled. No arrest was made, 
as the assailants were masked. Their pur- 
pose was simple robbery, and no political 
meaning was attached to the affair. But in 
October of the same year, three persons, about 
7:40 P. M., visited the house of John C. Rob- 
erts, of Honey Bend, on an errand of plun- 
dei\ Each had two revolvers, and the fam- 
ily were wholly defenseless. They obtained 
a gold watch, §150 in money and the family 
silver. One of the robbers, being lame, 
walked on the side of his foot, and was 



254 



in STORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



tracked to Litchfield. Arrests were made, 
but as they were refugees from Missouri, a 
presumptive alibi was made out, and they 
were released. There was, in the selection 
of the family and the undoubted character of 
the robbers, a political element in this crime. 
Thonrpson Williams, a half-mile west of Mr. 
Roberts, was robbed of a gun the same night, 
but it was afterward found in a field where 
the robbers had cast it away. 

These three events comprise the criminal his- 
tory of North Litchfield for sixty-four years, 
for the plundering of chicken roosts and the 
occasional relief of a smoke-house, were inci- 
dents not unknown in all frontier settlements, 
and were accepted at their real significance. 

In 1870, the St. Louis Division of the Wa- 
bash road was built, and a station was located 
at Honey Bend. A town was laid out, and a 
post office established, J. E. Hickman, Postmas- 
ter, who also opened a store there. The place 
has neither passenger nor freight depot, but the 
shipments of cattle and grain have been noticed 
in the decrease of shipments from Litchfield. 
The village contains a church, schoolhouse and 
several shops, and about twenty neat dwellings. 

The adoption of township organization in 
1872, and a judicious road law, have wrought 
marvelous changes in the condition of the high- 
wa3 - s. The chief roads have been ditched and 
graded. Safe bridges and culverts were placed 
at the water courses. Of course taxation in- 
creased, and whether the consumption of iron 
be the test of civilization or not, no one will 
deny that increase in taxation marks the his- 
tory of our settlements. With the growth of 
wants comes a more rapid increase of taxation : 
and organized and regulated benevolence and 
administration of law, have superseded the ac- 
tion of individuals who took care that no de- 
serving persons suffered for food or shelter, or 
set at defiance the laws of mine and thine. 

There are now five school districts in the 
township, all with good houses in which schools 



are maintained for at least eight months in the 
year. For the convenience of those who had 
worshiped at Cherry Grove, or Asbury Chapel 
or Litchfield, Phillips Chapel, about two miles 
south of Honey Bend, was erected in 1872, and 
this house and the one in the Bend, are the 
onl}- religious houses in the township, outside 
of the city. 

A brick-yard is in operation a mile east of 
State street, and the margin of Shoal Creek af- 
fords an abundance of compact, crystalized 
limestone. Burned into lime it yields a superior 
article, which has been found especially useful in 
building the abutments of bridges and culverts. 

The pioneers of sixt} - years ago are repre- 
sented by gray-haired men and faded-tressed 
women. The ox cart has utterly perished ; the 
wooden plow, the winning shot, the sheep folds, 
exist only in imagination. The log cabin has 
gone, the flax and cotton fields are no longer 
tilled, the music of the spinning wheel and the 
beat of the loom are silent ; sidesaddles are out 
of date. And we have written of things which 
were the familiar sights and sounds of our 
3'outh, that those in the morning of life may 
learn what was only sixty years since. 

Our rural friends are incredulous as to the 
wonders of the telephone, and to the child on 
our streets to-day, the history we have written 
will be incredible : but that it is of modern 
times we have been speaking, he would class us 
among the weather prophets. Evidence wins 
assent, but experience commands belief, and we 
chide not the lad for believing .only what is 
confined to his own experience, when eminent 
men contemptuously reject whatever their poor 
reason cannot compress or fathom. 

We have tried to bring back to the reader 
the time which is now purely historical in North 
Litchfield. The prevailing peace and quiet of 
the people have been due to their own strong, 
simple, sturdy, high hearted characters, and to 
the auspicious fact that the law and the customs 
of their age were on a level with the average 
strong working moral quality of the people. 



SOUTH LITCHFIELD TOWNSHIP. 



255 



CHAPTER XII* 

SOUTH LITCHFIELD TOWNSHIP— ITS DESCRIPTION, BOUNDARIES AND GENERAL TOPOGRAPHY 
SETTLEMENT OF WHITE PEOPLE — THEIR EARLY HABITS AND INDUSTRIES— FACTS AND 
INCIDENTS— EDUCATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS— MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS, ETC.. ETC 



THE northeast third of this township was 
originally well timbered, and forest is 
found on one or two sections on its south bor- 
der. The surface is generally well-drained by 
Long Branch, Shoal Creek, Lake Fork and its 
three northern affluents. The northwestern 
sections discharge their surplus waters into the 
Cahokia. The center and west portions of the 
township are not as fairly drained as the other 
divisions, and may be called flat. The soil 
obeys the general law of change and decrease 
in depth, as one travels south. The black, 
clinging soil, peculiar to the prairie, loses its 
nortlu'i n depth. White soil is more frequently 
met. But there is as much in the cultivator 
as in the soil, and farmers in South Litchfield 
arc among the solid men of the county. Brick 
clay is found near the town and down by 
Shoal Creek. Stone is quarried along the 
Creek and down Rock}' Branch. 

The township is exclusively agricultural. 
There is no shop or store or mill now nearer 
than Walshville and the city of Litchfield; and 
but two churches — a German Lutheran in the 
south, and a union house in the east. The 
people are all farmers. Three railroads, the 
original Terre Haute & Alton, the St. Louis 
Division of the Wabash, and the Jacksonville & 
Southeastern — the last one just opened — con- 
nect the township with the wide, wide world. 

It was originally settled in 1816, by Nicholas 
Lockerman, who occupied the east half of the 
southeast quarter of Section 15. now the prop- 

*By H. A. Coolidge. 



erty of John A. Briggs. The first settlement 
in the county was at the Clear Spring Church, 
in Hillsboro Township, about two miles east of 
South Litchfield, and the early settlers located 
in the neighborhood, along the West Fork of 
Shoal Creek. Lockerman was not a desirable 
neighbor. His life was a scandal. He had a 
natural, but no legal wife, and Rev. James 
Street, finding him and the mother of his three 
children one day in the corn-field, lectured him 
so sharply and effectively that he coerced him 
to marry the woman, and the ceremony was 
performed in the field. It was the first mar- 
riage in the county. One of his sons settled on 
the Davenport place, in the city of Litchfield, 
and another one on or near the Martin Ritchie 
farm in North Litchfield. He was killed, many 
years since, at Zanesville, by Andy Nash. The 
family long ago became extinct in this region. 
Probably Mr. Street settled at Clear Spring in 
1814, as we have seen a tax receipt given him, 
in this county, dated that year. If this be con- 
clusive as to the date, the settlement of the 
county must be set back a year or two. 

The Indian trail, from the timber on the 
Cahokia to Shoal Creek, crossed the northwest 
corner of the county. So well was it used that 
the path, hard beaten, is still accurately re- 
membered, and flint arrow-heads were frequently 
found on the prairie, by the older settlers. The 
existence of '• buffalo wallows " seems to indi- 
cate the fact, or at least the belief, that buffalo 
once roamed this region, and an occasional 
bear or panther was seen by frightened fam- 



856 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



ilies peering into their homes. The fear of 
Indians was not unknown, and the trampling 
of a man's horse around the house has sent 
the trembling inmates into the loft, to shiver 
in fright until a new day banished their terrors 
by disclosing the cause. 

The political condition of a people depends 
on the tenure of land. If a settler could call 
land his, in the sense that a horse or a rifle 
was his, the region could not be retarded in its 
development, or such grave embarrassments 
arise as have been witnessed in older States. 
The land tenures of the Northwest were per- 
fect, and hence its peace was placed on a solid 
basis. The sole contingent blemish in the titles 
is the right of eminent domain. The land in 
this region was put in market for the benefit of 
the State by attracting settlements. There 
were no " land grants " in those days, when the 
price of land was put up to enrich the seller. 
The worth of a State is its people and their 
condition, and it is yet a question whether the 
people which feed the world or the one which 
clothes the world ; the people who produce or 
the people who traffic, will, in the long run, be 
the world's arbiters. 

We have been moderately curious as to the 
motives which set journeying hither so many 
from the States south of the Ohio. Most of the 
emigrants had not reached life's meridian. 
They were young, hopeful, courageous, and 
poor in actual worth, but rich in possibilities. 
Illinois was a Territory, reposing under the 
noble provisions of the famous Dane Ordinance 
of 1787. Not a few of the pioneers have left 
their record that they sought homes here be- 
cause the land would not be blemished by 
negro slavery, and civil and social distinctions 
would be yielded only to those who owned 
"niggers." A fat soil ready for the plow, 
cheap lands and a temperate climate, were not 
peculiar to Illinois or South Litchfield. For 
the grand simplicity, the sturdy virtue of 
their lives, they got recognition and fame as 



Enoch Arden did — after death. And though 
few families in South Litchfield are descend- 
ants of the pioneers, 3-et these few retain their 
pre-eminence, and from them are selected with 
rare assent of unanimity, the guardians of the 
orphans, the administrators of estates and the 
servants of the public in township or county 
offices. 

We cannot write history as a blind man goes 
about the streets, feeling his way with a stick. 
The facts are transparent, and through them we 
catch gleams of other facts, as the raindrop 
catches light, and the beholder sees the splen- 
dor of a rainbow. We are to speak of common 
men whose lot was to plant civilization here, 
and who, in doing it. displa3'ed the virtues 
which render modem civilization a boast and 
a blessing. These early times cannot be repro- 
duced by anj' prose of a historian. They had 
a thousand years behind them, and in their 
little space of time they made greater progress 
than ten centuries had witnessed. Theirs was 
a full life. The work thirty generations had 
not done, they did, and the abyss between us 
of to-day and the men of sixty years ago is 
wider and more profound than the chasm be- 
tween 1815 and the battle of Hastings. They 
did so much that it is hard to recognize the 
doers. They had a genius for doing great 
things. That olive leaf in the dove's beak per- 
ished as do other leaves, but the story it told 
is immortal. Of their constancy, one can judge 
by the fact that not one of them went back to 
the ancestral South. 

The only history worth writing is the histoiy 
of civilization, of the processes which make a 
State. For men are but as coral, feeble, insig- 
nificant, working out of sight, but the} - trans- 
mit some occult quality or power, upheave 
society, until from the moral and intellectual 
plateau rises, as Saul above his fellows, a 
Shakespeare, a Phidias or a Hamilton, the 
royal interpreters of the finest sense in poeti^-, 
in art and statesmanship. At the last, years 



SOUTH LITCHFIELD TOWNSHI.P 



257 



color life more than centuries had, as the sun 
rises in an instant, though he had been hours 
in hastening to this moment. 

As the county, in 1830, contained but 2,953 
inhabitants, in 1840, only 4,490, and ten years 
later 6,277, it will be understood that the bor- 
der townships, separated from Hillsboro, the po- 
litical and commercial capital, by the deep val- 
leys of Shoal Creek and its West Fork, must 
have gained slowly in population. Lockerman's 
cabin was the nucleus of the earliest settle- 
ment. Melchoir Foglemau located south of him 
just over the line in Walshville, and slowly pio- 
neers planted themselves between their homes. 

In 1821, Melchoir Fogleman, John Norton 
and James Bland, his son-in-law, had their 
homes ill South Litchfield. It is not possible 
to determine the order of their arrival. It ap- 
pears plainly that they located about the same 
time. There could have been only a few days 
or weeks difference in dates. Fogleman was a 
blacksmith, and brought from his North Caro- 
lina home the remarkable sum of $800 to Illi- 
nois, and after a stay of two years in South 
Litchfield, he removed to the neighborhood of 
Clear Spring, and in 1824 the Pepper Mill was 
built, the first water-mill in the region. Nor- 
ton and Bland disappeared from the local his- 
tory, leaving only their names. Spartan Gris- 
ham and Theodore Jordan lived with Fogleman, 
and were members of his family. Their descen- 
dants are still among us. Thus in 1820, Lock- 
erman's was the sole family in the township, 
and the population of the county is estimated at 
100 — nearly all in Hillsboro, and East Fork 
Townships. Lockermau lived on the southeast 
quarter of Section 15, near the spring. In the 
ten years ending with 1830, six families had 
settled in the township — four have been named 
and a Mr. Macaffee had settled where Newton 
Street now lives, and James Penter on Section 
25, between 1825 and 1830. 

Anthony Street, brother to James Street, made 
the gunpowder for the settlers at the Pepper- 



Mill, and Spartan Grisham and Theodore Jor- 
dan had modest distilleries near b} r . and made 
whisky, which passed as a legal tender at 50 
cents a gallon. Before the Pepper Mill was 
built in 1824, the people went to Old Ripley, 
or Edwardsville, to mill, and if those places 
could not be reached, corn was grated on the 
lower side of a tin sieve, or it was shaved off by 
a plane, or rudely crashed in a bowl, burned 
out in the top of a stump, by means of a wood- 
en pestle, suspended from a spring-pole. 

The few families were within two miles of the 
east line of the township. In 1830, or 1831, 
John A. Crabtree located on the farm, where he 
lived in honor and usefulness until his death, a 
lew years since. Wholly uneducated in books 
he possessed the masculine average common 
sense of his times, and like all other pioneers, 
was a life-long Democrat. 

It has not been possible to determine the 
date of the arrival of Jesse Horn, but it is 
possible it was prior to 1830. Several young 
unmarried men were domiciled with the earlier 
families. The} - were sojourners rather than set- 
tlers, and a portion of them were but the spume 
which crested the tide of advancing settlements. 
and having a large region where to choose, 
drifted to other neighborhoods. Some of their 
names are remembered, but their history has 
been forgotten. 

The James Copeland family appeared in the 
township about 1832, and the Forehands moved 
from Clear Spring to the bluff southwest of 
Truitt's Ford, not earlier than 1830. We can 
hear of no family here which did not come from 
south of the Ohio, and the earliest ones were 
from North Carolina. 

About 1838, the first schoolhouse was built 
a hundred and twenty rods east of J. N. MoEl- 
vain's. The first teachers are not remembered, 
but in 1843 John Fogleman taught one term. 
The usual terms were $2 per pupil for three 
months, payable in grain, pigs, a young steer or 
heifer, or wood, and sometimes in money. All 



258 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



the children attended. If their parents could 
pay, it was well. If they could not, nothing 
was said about it. Fogleman received about 
$40 for his school, and, after paying his board, 
had $30. The State had no public school sys- 
tem, and private schools alone were known 
here. The sessions opened in the morning and 
continued until night. The pupils were dis- 
missed in season to reach home before dark. 
The teacher's hours were the same as a farm 
laborer's — from sunrise to sunset, and if the 
school was not up to the " graded " standard, 
just consider how much there was of it. People 
were not afraid their children would injure their 
health with hard study. 

John Corlew moved into the township in 
1836. He was a commissioned officer in the 
Mexican war, and was elected Sheriff in 1848, 
and again in 1852, and since the adoption of 
township organization, has been almost contin- 
uously Supervisor. William Simpson was an 
early settler in the southeast part of the town- 
ship. He was Count} - Treasurer in 1871-73, 
but with this exception has attended strictly to 
the care of his farm. He came in 1S31. By 
1840, the township contained about eight or 
ten families. This year John Fogleman settled 
on his present homestead. Lewis McWilliams 
arrived in 1843, and his brother Thomas in 
1849, and a third brother, John M., probably 
about the same time. Ezra Tyler located with- 
in the city limits in 1849. 

Newton Street settled on his present farm in 
1833, and has restricted himself to agricultural 
pursuits. About 1S52, himself and John M. 
Paden had a steam saw-mill near his house. 
He feels the incurable illness of old age, but is 
still glad in his conversation to live over again 
the half a centur}* he has been an inhabitant of 
South Litchfield. 

The first burial-ground was the Crabtree Cem- 
etery, now in parts thickly crowded with graves, 
and there rest the early forefathers. There 
beneath noticeable monuments lie buried Ste- 



phen R. Briggs, long a Judge of the County 
Commissioners' Court ; Israel Fogleman, the 
general guardian and administrator, and John 
A. Crabtree, the model of consistent firmness 
and average working good sense. The ceme- 
tery was laid out in 1S43. and the first inter- 
ment was Julia Parmelee, wife of John Young. 
The first church was the Union Church, near 
John Fogleman's, in 1S53, and a burial-place is 
near it. The third church was the German 
Lutheran, near Henry Nemires, built about 
fifteen years since. The Methodist Chapel, at 
Hardinsburg, was the second one, erected in 
1853 or 1854, and subsequently removed to the 
village of Litchfield. 

At the close of this .decade, the township 
may have contained thirty families, chiefly in 
the east half. The high road from Hillsboro 
to Altou, ran along the south line of the first 
six sections, and a mile from the county line, 
the village of Hardinsburg was planned on 
Section 7. Seventeen blocks, of eight lots each, 
were laid out and several families had homes 
there. James Cummings kept the public house 
and afterward built a store and was appointed 
Postmaster. It was the only village between 
Woodboro and Bunker Hill, and was founded 
before the hope was entertained of a railroad 
in the vicinity. With the founding of Litch- 
field, its growth ceased. A part of its buildings 
were removed to the new town, and in two 
years the site of Hardinsburg was a plowed 
field again. In local history it still retains its 
place as a village, as the town plat has not per- 
haps been legally vacated. But the passer-by- 
sees nothing to instruct him that this was once 
designed to be the metropolis of the west side 
of the count}'. 

Few of the early settlers came direct from 
the South. The Foglemans, the Streets, the 
Padens, the Forehands and the Corlews 
paused near Clear Spring or Woodboro for a 
few years, before coming west of Shoal Creek- 
Brokaw and J. N. McElvain. David Lav and 



SOUTH LITCHFIELD TOWNSHIP. 



259 



W. Meisenheimer came during Fillmore's ad- 
ministration. Mount Olive, in Macoupin Coun- 
ty, a short distance from the count}- line, was a 
German settlement, and Germans began to buy 
lands in South Litchfield. They never sell, | 
but keep adding acre to acre, and to-day are the 
owners of the southwest part of the township. 

The four events which have marked deepest 
the development of the township are the con- 
struction of the Alton & Terre Haute Railroad 
in 1854 ; the city of Litchfield ; the Free School 
law, and the road law. The first put the 
people in easy communication with the river 
cities ; the second afforded a local market ; the 
third ministered to the better worth of the 
growing citizens, and the last has improved 
drainage and given safe highways. 

The Litchfield coal mine, the oil wells and 
brickyards, are in the north part of the town- 



ship, where are also the water works and huge 
ice houses. 

During the war, a few residents proposed to 
nullify all laws for re-enforcing the army by a 
conscription. They made furtive visits and 
urged a neighbor to accept the leadership of 
the enterprise. They did not desire the draft 
enforced, as then they might have occasion to 
see Canada. The neighbor declined their over- 
ture, and the scheme was abandoned, and the 
authors went on voting the same old ticket from 
the force of habit. Wheat at $3.50 per bushel 
satisfied their loyalty. 

The population of the township outside the 
city, is nine hundred and forty nearly, and 
the wide stretches of open land, which only a 
few years since were numerous, have now been 
reclaimed, and the last acre of speculators' real 
estate has passed into the hands of residents. 




260 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY 



CHAPTER XIII.* 

THE CITY OF LITCHFIELD— ITS FIRST SETTLERS— LAYING OUT A TOWN— GROWTH AND DEVEL- 
OPMENT—PUBLIC SALE OF LOTS — CITY IMPROVEMENTS AND INCREASE OF BUSINESS- 
POPULATION IN 18.:,?— LITCHFIELD'S FIRST CIRCUS— SOME OK THE PIONEER BUSI- 
NESS MEN— THE MACHINE SHOP AND MILL OF BEACH— LIFE AND 
CHARACTER OF THE PEOPLE OF EARLY LITCHFIELD, ETC., ETC. 



" A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. v 
The city of Litchfield, lying two-thirds in 
North Litchfield Township and one-third in 
South Litchfield, and two miles from the west 
line of the county, is forty-two miles due 
south of Springfield, and twenty-six miles 
east, and thirty-four miles north of St. Louis. 
It is 310 feet above St. Louis, and is popu- 
larly held to be the highest point on the rail- 
road between Alton and Terre Haute. Its 
waters of drainage flow in three cardinal di- 
rections and find their way to the Mississippi 
through Cahokia Creek and the Kaskaskia 
River. The town site is nearly level, one or 
two gentle mounds alone breaking the mo- 
notonous level. 

The first settler within the limits of the 
town was Isaac Weaver, who in 1842 occu- 
pied a cabin at or near the entrance to the 
public square. But in 1835, Evan Stephen- 
son entered the southwest quarter of Section 
4, in South Litchfield, and in 1836, Joseph 
Gillespie entered the east half of the south- 
east quarter of the section. In 1838, G. B. 
Yenowine entered the west half and the south 
half of the east, half of the northwest quarter 
of the section, and Isaac Ross entered what 
remained of the northwest quarter and all the 
northeast quarter, while not until 1849 did 
John Waldrori and Ezra Tyler enter the west 
half of the southeast quarter of the section, 
Tyler taking the south forty acres. 

*By H. A. Coolidge. 



But Weaver's cabin was the first building, 
though, in 1847, Royal Scherer had a cabin 
on the southeast slope of the mound now 
owned by W. S. Palmer. Scherer was un- 
married and did not occupy his hut. This 
year Ezra Tyler settled on his land, and the 
nest year Ahart Pierce moved into his log 
house, placed on the mound, partly on the 
street and partly on the grounds of W. H. 
Fisher. In 1849, Mr. Pierce and Caleb W. 
Sapp entered the southwest quarter of Sec- 
tion 34, in North Litchfield, the south half, 
of which became the nucleus of the 
present city. Weaver's rights of pos- 
session were extinguished by purchase, and 
Sapp and Pierce divided their purchase, the 
former becoming the owner of the south half, 
which extended from the Wabash Railroad 
half a mile east along the Iudianapolis and 
St. Louis Road, with a uniform width of a 
quarter of a mile. Ezra Tyler had the east 
half of this tract in September, 1850, which 
in May, 1861, passed to J. Y. McManus, who 
also bought the west half. This extinguish- 
ed Sapp's title, who had built him a house on 
the south side of the public square, and the 
remains of his well are still easy to recog- 
nize. 

In April, 1852, Nelson Cline bought the 
east forty of the Sapp purchase, and a year 
later he sold the west six acres to Y. S. Etter. 
who also purchased the forty acres lying imme- 
diately west of them. The same year George 



. 





WrrUO 5C c/ft &frs£+r* 



l/r\^ 



LIBRARY 

OF 1HE 

UNIVERSITY oflUmOU 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



263 



F. Pretlow bought out Etter, aud when the 
initial plat of Litchfield was laid out in the 
fall of 1853, it covered only Pretlow' s forty- 
six acres and the thirty-four acres recently 
owned by Oline. 

In the summer of 1853, residents of the 
present city were Alfred Blackwelder, near 
the site of the Weipert House, burned in 1880; 
Jacob Scherer, on the mound in the north- 
western quarter of the city ; his brother, Kalph 
Scherer, a quarter of a mile east of him; 
Nelson Cline, two doors east of Fred Stahl's; 
Ahart Pierce, on the schoolhouse mound; J. 
Y. Etter, between Martin Haney's restaurant 
and the Wabash Railway; O. M. Roach in 
a diminutive room in Cummings & McWill- 
iams' addition; Ezra Tyler, in the southeast 
part of town, and J. W. Andrews on the 
Davenport estate. The site of the town laid 
out for building purposes was a corn field, 
and when Simeon Ryder and Hon. Robert 
Smith, of Alton, Hon. Joseph Gillespie, of 
Edwardsville, Philander G. Huggins, of 
Bunker Hill, Josiah Hunt, Chief Engineer 
of the lerre Haute & Alton Railway, and 
John B. Kirkham, formed a syndicate to pur- 
chase the sites of prospective stations along 
the line of the road then in process of con- 
struction, they bought out Mr. Cline. They 
agreed to lay out a town on the eighty acres 
owned by Pretlow and Cline, and after 
reserving the land needed for streets, public 
squares, and railroad uses, to reconvey to 
Pretlow one-half the lots and blocks on his 
forty-six acres, in full payment for the 
remainder. Mr. Kirkham was made the 
agent of the syndicate, but in a few 
days he was replaced by P. C. Hug- 
gins, who retained his position through suc- 
cessive purchases of .additional land to be 
laid out in village lots, until E. B. Litchfield, 
of Brooklyn, N. Y., became the sole owner of 
the company's interest in the city. The rail- 



road was completed no farther than Bunker 
Hill from the western end, when Thomas A. 
Gray, County Surveyor, in October, 1853, 
laid out among the standing corn the origi- 
nal plat of the town. Gillespie was also laid 
out and Messrs. R. W. O'Bannon, T. W. 
Elliott, H. E. Appleton, James W. Jefferis 
and J. P. Bayless, and W. S. Palmer, of 
Ridgely, Madison County, having decided 
to remove to a point on the proposed road, 
drew straws to determine whether to locate at 
Gillespie or Litchfield. The fates willed in 
favor of the latter town. Accordingly, in Janu- 
ary, 1854, Mr. O'Bannon bought the east half 
of the block facing on State Street and lying 
between Ryder and Kirkham streets for $120, 
on time. Any part of the east front would 
now be a bargain at that price for a single 
foot. This was the first purchase in the pro- 
posed town. He at once began arrangements 
to build a store on the southeast corner of 
his purchase. Mr. Jefferis appears to have 
been the second purchaser, and Mr. Appleton 
and Mr. Palmer must have secured lots soon 
after. Mr. O'Bannon obtained lumber for the 
frame of his store in the neighborhood, but 
the other lumber was obtained at Carlinville. 
His store was completed and occupied April 
24, 1854, and Mr. Jefferis had his dwelling, 
now the south part of the George B. Litch- 
field House, nearly ready for his family; but 
Mr. Elliott, by bringing here the material of 
his home at Ridgely, managed to get his 
family placed in it May 5, 1854, and thus he 
was the pioneer settler of the town, though 
his home was antedated by the Jefferis house. 
Mr. Jefferis' family came three days later than 
Mr. Elliott, whose home stood nearly on the 
ground now covered by the Parlor Shoe Store. 
The fourth building was a rude blacksmith 
shop, on Mr. Southworth's corner. W. S. 
Palmer, in May, began the erection of the 
west half of the building the first door above 



264 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



L. Hoffman's bakery, but as Mr. Palmer went 
to the woods and hewed out the framing tim- 
mer, he did not finish his store until fall. 
The next building was erected by E. Tyler, 
for a grain warehouse, on the side of the 
"0. K." Mill. 

There was not time to build houses, and 
rude structures and small buildings were 
drawn over the slimy prairies on runners 
from other points. Thus J. P. Bayless 
brought here on rollers one-half of what had 
been a blacksmith shop at Hardinsburg. It 
had no door, floor or window He placed it 
on the corner north of Mr. E. Burdett's shop 
and made it do for a home for several years. 
Up to this date Mr. Tyler supplied meals and 
lodging to the men who were founding the 
town. As to roads, the great highway from 
Hillsboro to Bunker Hill ran a mile south of 
the town, and the route from Edwardsville 
by way of Stanton to Taylorville, entered the 
town near its present southwest corner, and 
ran diagonally to the half-section line of 
Section 34, in North Litchfield. The road 
was laid out by striking a furrow on one side 
for several miles and then returning with a 
furrow on the opposite side. The road lay 
between these shallow ditches, and marked 
the route well enough for the few people who 
were condemned to use it. 

Mr. Pretlow dying in the spring of 1S54, 
the lots owned by him were kept out of mar- 
ket for a whole year. Mr. O'Bannon, wishing 
a quiet home, bought a couple of acres of Mr. 
Pierce on State street, between Division and 
Third streets, and built his present home on 
the gentle swell, diu-ing the summer of 1854, 
and placed his family in it during the fall, 
while it was unfinished. 

Mr. Appleton built a wagon shop just in 
the rear of Jefferis' blacksmith shop, during 
the fall, and used the rear portion as a dwell- 
ing. Mr. Palmer and Mr. Mayo, his 



brother-in-law, put a stock of general 
merchandise in the store just built by 
the former, and the east end was also 
his family residence. There had plant- 
ed themselves here by the latter part of 1854, 
six families, and the town consisted of about 
a dozen buildings, of which one was a wagon 
shop, one a blacksmith shop, and two were 
stores. By November, 1855, the number of 
dwelling-houses had increased to eleven, and 
the town seen under a December sky had an 
uninviting aspect. The population must 
have been at least one hundred, for when 
need comes, folks can be compacted together 
as close above ground as in it. 

By October, the railroad was opened as far 
as Clyde, and in January the Pretlow estate 
was sold by his executor. The sale was held 
in the store of W. T. Elliott (the firm of E. 
W. O'Bannon and W. T. Elliott was so ad- 
vertised by a sign over the door) and the day 
is still widely remembered for the dense rain 
which prevailed. The embankment for the 
railroad had formed a dike across State street, 
and interrupted its drainage. A miniature 
lake was formed, and it was the policy of 
parties owning land just west of the town 
plat, to have the dyke maintained, in order 
to force the location of the passenger station 
in their vicinity, where, in anticipation of a 
decision in their favor, a side-track had al- 
ready been graded. Mr. O'Bannon, Mr. Bay- 
less, and others, cut the dike, and thus averted 
the location of the passenger house a quarter 
of a mile to the westward. 

The earlier sales of lots on State street had 
been made at the rate of $30 for sixty-six feet 
front. The price in May, 1854, was increased 
to $50. There were no apparent natural ad- 
vantages for the creation of a prosperous 
town. It was not known that the railroad 
shops would be located here. Shoal Creek 
was a serious barrier to communication with 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



265 



the country to the east ; and, on other sides, 
the prairie still spread, with here and there a 
settler who was toilsomely breaking, breaking 
the virgin sod. The site of the plat had been 
bought in midsummer, 1853, at S8 or 810 per 
acre, and the plat gave two acres to eight lots 
and the surrounding streets. At the Pretlow 
sale one half the lots in the west part of the 
town were sold by public outcry, and it is in- 
structive to note the purchasers and the prices 
paid. But few of the buyers have represen- 
tatives in the city. The terms were one-third 
down and the balance in one year. The Pret- 
low estate, after the original plot had been re- 
corded, consisted of Blocks 6, 8, 10, 12, '22, 
24, 26, 28, the west half of Block 20, Lots 2 
and 3, Block 4, Lot 10, Block 3, and Lots 2, 
4, 6 and 8, in Block 33. One familiar with 
their location will readily understand how 
sadly the withholding this real estate from 
sale and improvement delayed the growth of 
the town. The influence of this was fully 
seen in the two years immediately following 
the sale. 



PURCHASERS. 


Lt'T. 


Block. 


PltTCE. 


W. T. Elliott & Co 


1 

2 

3 \- 4 
5 
6 

7 
8 
1 
o 

3 

4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
2 
4 
6 
8 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 


28 
28 
28 
28 

28 
28 
28 
26 

:;; 

37 
37 
37 
37 
37 
37 
33 
33 
33 
33 
22 
22 
32 

22 

22 
22 


$164 00 
100 oo 






200 on 


T. C. Kirkland 


140 00 


J. W. Andrews 


IIS 1-0 


T. C. Kirkland 


160 50 




loo oo 


S. C. Simmons 


56 25 


Addison M'Lain 


:;r oo 


William Holloway 


26 00 


David Corlew 


12 on 


R. II. Cline 


(iii 25 


Peter Shore 


"ill llll 


T. C. Kirkland 


66 on 
127 25 


W. C. Henderson 


loo no 


L. Sweet 


57 00 




80 00 


L. Sweet 


52 00 


James Camming* 


92 nn 


James Cummings 


60 00 


T. L. Van Dorn 


I' 1 -Mi 


A. MeLain 


54 no 


Benjamin Hargraves 


77 nn 


T. L. Van Dorn 


ii 



PURCHASERS. 



J. W. Andrews 

J. W. Andrews 

John M. Mc Williams. 

T. C. Kirkland 

L. F. McWilliams. ... 

John S. Roberts 

J. W. Wade 

P. Shore 

H. II. Hood 

T. L. Van Dorn 

John S. Stewart 

O. F. Jones 

W. M. Bronson 

W. M. Bronson 

H. II. Hood 

Charles Davis 

[saac Baker 

J. B. Kirkland 

Peter Thompson 

John P. Bayless 

A. J. Thompson 

J. h. Wallis 

A. J. Thompson 

R. M. Gamble 

R. M. Gamble 

W. II. Furdown 

William Allen 

.1. W. Jefferis 

Samuel Harris 

Joseph Davis 

Joseph Davis 

J. W. Jefferis 

John C. Hughes 

R. II. Clin,-. 

T. D. Whiteside 

J. P. Bayless 

Don Wade 

W. H. Furdown 

S. ('. Simmons 

J. C. Hughes 



Lot. 


Block. 


7 


22 


8 


22 


3 


20 


4 


20 


5 


20 


6 


20 


2 


4 


3 


4 


1 


12 


o 


12 


3 


12 


4 


12 


5 


12 


6 


12 


7 


12 


8 


12 


1 


24 


2 


24 


1 


6 


2 


36 


3 


3(1 


4 


36 


1 


8 


2 


8 


3 


8 


4 


8 


2 


24 


3 


24 


4 


24 


5 


24 


6 


24 


7 


24 


1 


10 


2 


10 


3 


10 


4 


10 


5 


10 


6 


10 


7 


in 


8 


10 



Pbice. 



67 00 
100 50 
111 00 

8 > 

86 no 
155 on 
60 00 
51 no 
77 00 
60 00 
41 00 
55 00 
50 00 
50 00 
i:;; 50 
83 on 
31 00 
20 00 
39 00 

36 00 
:;:, 50 

37 00 
28 00 
is .-,() 
17 no 

16 ;:> 

17 50 

15 oo 

17 00 

16 50 
15 00 
13 50 
20 nn 
20 00 
20 25 
20 25 
20 50 

i; 75 
23 25 

38 50 



One of the lots would to-day sell for 300 
per cent more than the sixty-six did at that 
sale, which was at least four times greater 
than the value of half tho town site before it 
was laid out. 

In 1854, •"Nigger Dan," from Carlinville, 
built a hotel which is now the east part of 
the Phosnix House. He was able only to in- 
close the building, and such as it was, it was 
the first house of entertainment in the town. 
The next year, E. W. Litchfield supplied 
means to finish it. I have not been able to 
learn his real name or subsequent history. 
Dr. Gamble was the first physician, and lived 



360 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



on a lialf-floored house west of the Methodist 
Church. Dr. H. H. Hood, who first opened 
an office at Hardinsburg, was the second one, 
and had his office (in August) at J. M. Mc- 
Willianis store, which was between the Phoe- 
nix House and the Central Hotel. On No- 
vember 24, of this year, the railroad was 
opened to Litchfield and the sale of the Pret- 
low property soon following, the town received 
an impetus which it has not since lost, though 
panics, fires, the war, and the removal of the 
railroad shops, have each given a breathing 
time to lay wiser plans and build its prosperi- 
ty on a more stable basis. 

By the close of the year, eight or nine fam- 
ilies had homes in the city in addition to six 
or seven families on farm lands when the 
town was surveyed. We can enumerate R. 
W. O'Bannon, W. T. Elliott, H. E. Appleton, 
J as. Jefferis, J. P. Bayless, W. S. Palmer, 
"Nigger Dan," and probably G. Evans. T. 
G. Kessinger came in not much later. In 
the spring of 1855, Messrs. E. W. Litchfield, 
E. E. Litchfield, E. S. Litchfield, George H. 
Hull, and the three Dix brothers, and C. P. 
How, came from Central or Western Now 
York; all related to E. C. Litchfield, who had 
become practically the owner of the town site. 
Several additions to the town were laid out. 
James Cummings removed his store and con- 
tents from Hardinsburg, and placed it just 
west of the cigar factory on Ryder street. 
He was the first Postmaster. The original 
plat of the town which bore the name of 
Huntsville was never recorded. It was the 
purpose to have the name of the post office 
the same as the name of the town, and as 
there was a post office called Huntsville in 
Schuyler County, the name of the town was 
changed to Litchfield in honor of its virtual 
proprietor. Up to this date, the present 
townships of North Litchfield and South 
Litchfield were a part of Long Branch (Elec- 



tion Precinct), and I have heard an early resi- 
dent say, that a dozen ballots would be cast 
at an election. 

The railroad being open to Alton, Messrs. 
E. W. Litchfield and C. F. How began tim- 
idly the sale of lumber, buying a carload or 
two at Alton and unloading it where State 
street crosses the railroad. E. E. Litchfield 
bought the Tyler grain warehouse, and, remov- 
ing it to the site of D. Davis' grocery store, 
converted it into a store and began the sale 
of dry goods. A year or two later, he went 
out of dry goods and became a hardware mer- 
chant. James and William Macpherson 
erected a flouring or grist mill and a residence 
just north of the Planet Mills' office. These 
were the first buildings south of the railroad. 
In the fall, ground was broken for the railroad 
shops, but when S. E. Alden arrived in No- 
vember, there were but eleven dwellings and 
a few shops or stores in the place. W. T. 
Bacon, from Adrian, Mich., had formed a 
partnership with Messrs. How & Litchfield to 
deal in lumber, and had projected a planiug- 
mill. The winter of 1855-56 was an open 
one, and the tide of emigration setting in 
deep and steady, building went on during the 
entire season, and a hundred dwellings and 
other buildings were put up by the close of 
1856. The passenger station had been com- 
pleted and the round-house with thirteen stalls 
had been inclosed, and the foundation laid for 
the machine-shops. The town had been incor- 
porated as a village; R. W. O'Bannon, Presi- 
dent of the Board of Trustees. The public 
houses had increased to four ; The Mont- 
gomery House, now the Phoenix, by A. C. 
Paxson ; the Litchfield House, opposite Wood- 
man's lumber-yard, by Mr. Johnson, the nu- 
cleus of the Central Hotel, by J. Hawkins, 
and the beginning of the Palace Hotel, by R. 
Chism. The Methodist and Presbyterian 
Churches were built, but not quite completed. 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



2C7 



Hood & Bro., and Dr. Grinsted, had drug 
stores, the first adjoining O'Bannon's store 
on the north, and the second in the building 
now occupied by G. B. Litchfield as a restau- 
rant. Bagby & Corrington had succeeded 
McWilliams & R. N. Paden in the State 
Street store south of the public square. 
O'Bannon & Elliott and Palmer & Jefferies, in 
their own buildings, continued to sell dry 
goods and clothing ; and Henderson, Hull & 
Hawkins had a store across the street south 
of Woodman's lumber-yard. Til. Shore sold 
stoves and hardware in the Harris Building, 
below Brewer & Grubb's Bank, which he had 
erected in 1855; E. E. Litchfield was in the 
same line on his corner; James Cummings & 
Son were merchants in the Cummings Build- 
ing, opposite the Central Hotel; John Mc- 
Ginnis sold clothing and groceries where Ju- 
lius Machler's saloon now is. John P. Bay- 
less had succeeded James Cunmrings in the 
post office, which was in O'Bannon's store. 
There was one saloon open a part of the time 
where Peter Kane dispensed, and B. C. Beards- 
ly had begun business in Litchfield's store. 
There were two physicians, Hood and Grinsted, 
but no lawyer; one schoolmaster, and no resi- 
dent preacher. 

When the railroad was opened as far east 
as Litchfield, John P. Bay less was appointed 
the first agent, and his office was among the 
foundation timbers of the water tank, which 
stood near the southwest corner of the car 
works office, while a sister tank stood about 
on the site of the present one R. E. Burton 
was the painter and photographer; John P. 
Davis & Brothers, the plasterers ; William 
Downey, the brick-layer. Farrar & Sinclair 
had the livery stable where Griswold's stable 
is. P. J. Weipert made and sold horse fur- 
niture, and C. Hoog made boots and shoes, 
and J. W. Cassiday was the one sufficient 
tailor. Mr. Johnson and his sons, with saws 



and bucks, cut the fuel for the locomotives. 
G. W. Nelson — " Fiddler George ' ' — was the 
Constable, and L. D. Palmer, the Justice of 
the Peace. J. L. Hood sold furniture in the 
Cummings' building for Olcott & Co., of 
Alton ; and W. B. Charles — " Captain 
Charles"— -in his old age had deserted the 
river steamer, and had a little stock of cloth- 
ing in the same building. Carpenters were 
counted by the score, and their wages were 
high. 

The population had, by 1857, risen to six 
or seven hundred. The earliest residents 
were chiefly from the slave states, Kentucky 
or North Carolina. Messrs. Appleton, Grin- 
sted, and Mr. Long, his assistant, and a 
Mr. Thomas, were of English birth. Messrs. 
Hoog and Weipert were Germans. A few 
came from Ohio, and there was a liberal in- 
fusion of persons from the State of New 
York, and the Irish brogue was heard con- 
stantly. 

The spring of 1857 opened late with rain 
and cold. The streets were gorged by the 
depth of black, unctions, tenacious mud. 
Sidewalks there were none. The second 
block east of State street was a shallow pond r 
much visited in the season by water fowl. 
Drains and sewers were unknown, and the 
rainfalls skulked and dodged through grass 
and rubbish to the heads of the water chan- 
nels which begin half a mile or more distant. 
A few dwellings boasted more than two 
rooms. The people stayed here, comforting 
themselves with hopes of improved futures 
and release from narrow surroundings. The 
railroad had been opened to Terre Haute the 
previous year. Edwin C. Dix had succeeded 
Mr. Bayless as station agent. And occasion- 
ally some merchant would tell that he had, 
the previous year, shipped several car-loads 
of grain in sacks to St. Louis. The nom- 
inal village organization was kept up, E. C. 



268 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Dix being its President. Some ordinances 
were adopted, but not enforced. The town 
was the common fighting ground for the sur- 
rounding county. A group of bullies would 
ride into town, hre their courage with whisky, 
if they could get it, and then gallop through 
the streets, shouting and carrying clubs or 
weapons, seeking a fight. On such occasions, 
" Old Shake," foreseeing their purpose, would 
usually lock his door, and disappear for the 
day, under the pretense of hunting or fishing, 
though a thinner excuse than fishing could 
not be imagined. 

The first circus tent spread here drew not 
less than five thousand persons to town, peo- 
ple coming as much as forty miles to witness 
the moral horsemanship, and be astonished 
at the wit of the clown, and admire the frisky 
mules. Still the religious impressions of the 
performances in the ring have not yet been 
observed, or, if so, have failed of a chron- 
icler, though the town is not wholly ignorant 
of preachers who thought the noblest passage 
in the Bible was Job's description of ahorse. 
There have been circuses here since, but not 
to arouse the excitement of that first one, and 
men are said to have gone fishing, but no 
one with so good a purpose as "Old Shake," 
or equally commendable results. The most 
noticeable effect observed has been the repu- 
tation of the fishermen for accuracy of state- 
ment. Had the fish been bigger, their repu- 
tation would have acquired the rudiments of 
a moral quality. 

At length — it was in 1855 — the domination of 
bullydom came to inglorious grief. Bullies 
had paraded the town nearly the entire day 
putting quiet citizens to great fear of per- 
sonal violence. At last one of the gang stood 
up a citizen against Palmer's store and cursed 
him with Satanic eloquence and energy. He 
hoped to tempt him to some act of resistance. 
A crisis was imminent, when a preacher of the 



Christian Church, just risen from a sick bed, 
came down the street. He comprehended the 
situation and said it was time to push things. 
A local preacher of the Methodist's coincided, 
aud, saying he had in his store a basket of fine 
savory eggs well matured for use in such a 
case, brought them forward. The eggs were 
thrown at the bully with malignant precision, 
the missiles as they crushed on his face and 
against his person emitted a pungent odor. It 
was afterward thought the eggs were addled ; no 
one knew ; there were none left to experiment 
with. The gang fled, but the crowd, in antici- 
pation of this had taken possession of a pile of 
spalls at the railroad crossing, and as the odor- 
ous bully and his confederate came up a volley 
of stones was hurled at them with convincing 
effect. He never recovered from his injuries, 
but died a few years later of consumption. One 
other event completed the subjugation of the 
rowdy* element. In 1S87, the same element 
proposed to " run" the town for a day ; the plan 
— a rough one — prospered until evening ; when 
the shopmen were going home to supper, the 
opportunity was too rich for county blood ; a 
demonstration was made on a workman, and 
incontinently, the aggressor, was the worst 
whipped man in Central Illinois. The victory- 
was complete, the town had conquered a peace. 
Thenceforward there was amity between town 
and county rowdy, and no town of the State of 
equal population since that event shows a bet- 
ter record as to breaches of the peace. 

Manufactures. — At the founding of the city 
the only manufactories of the neighborhood 
were a blacksmith shop at Hardinsburg, a 
tread-wheel carding machine near Wilson Mei- 
senlieimer's, a steam saw-mill near Newton 
Street's, a second one near Judge Briggs' home, 
and perhaps a grain mill at Truitt's ford. 

In 1S54, James Macphersou, aud William, 
his brother, built a grain mill and residence on 
the site of the Planet Mill, and these were the 
first buildings south of the railroad, after the 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



269 



laying-out of the town. The mill would be 
called a humble affair to-day, but then it was 
ample for local wants. The next year R. H. 
Peall and J. M. McWilliams became the owners, 
and enlarged it and added expensive machinery. 
McWilliams dying in 1857, the mill, under the 
operation of law, fell into the hands of Ezra 
Tyler, who ran it with the aid of his sons until 
1860, when he sold it to M. J. Gage. He at 
once put in a new engine and sets of buhrs, 
and other needed machinery, fully doubling its 
size and capacity. Practically, he made the 
mill anew one. He subsequently admitted his 
son to a partnership, and when he sold it, in 
1866, he had paid his indebtedness and was 
the possessor of a moderate fortune. Best & 
Sparks, the purchasers, leased it first to E. A. 
Cooley and John Best, and then to A. W. Sam- 
son. While the latter was the lessee, the own- 
ers planned to replace the wooden structure by 
a brick mill. The main building was erected, 
when, in 1870, an evening fire destroyed the 
mill, and the project of replacing it was first 
deferred and finally abandoned. For ten years, 
at least, it was a flouring-mill, and shipped its 
goods to Eastern markets. 

A second flouring-mill was completed in 
1860, half a mile up State street, by John C. 
Reed and James Macpherson. In the spring 
of 1863, this, in an unknown manner, was also 
destroyed by fire. The attempt to connect its 
destruction with military and political troubles 
had no sufficient basis. Perhaps some card- 
playing youths knew more than they told. The 
mill was not rebuilt. 

Wesley Best and David R. Sparks, from 
Staunton, completed a 300-barrel mill, on the 
railroad a quarter of a mile west of State street 
The mill was twice enlarged, and its goods 
achieved a flattering reputation. It, too, was 
burned, in Februarj-, 1879, and arrangements 
were made to rebuild it in 1881. bat when the 
walls were fairly begun, the property was sold 
to D. L. Wing & Co., who demolished what had 



been built, and the barren site is to-day the 
sole memorial of what was one of the best old 
style mills in Central Illinois. As long as it 
stood, the city maintained its pre-eminence as 
a local market for wheat, and its destruction 
was a general calamity. 

Peter Boxberger, in 1S68, built a flouring- 
mill on the railroad, a quarter of a mile east of 
State street. Three years later he sold it to 
Daniel McLenan, in whose charge it was when 
destroyed by Are in 1873, bringing financial 
ruin to its owner. About this time, T. G. Kes- 
singer had a custom mill opposite Best & 
Sparks' mill, but it was not kept up long. In 
1871, Mr. Boxberger changed the furniture 
factory of Whitaker & Rogers into a grist and 
flouring mill, and held it for two years, when 
L. G. Hicks and T. G. Kessinger obtained pos- 
session of it. The}' remained in control as long 
as possible. Whitaker & Rogers ultimately 
regained it by litigation, and the junior mem- 
ber of the firm still runs it. In 1873, Mr. Box- 
berger built the flouring-mill near the Indian- 
apolis & St. Louis depot. Becoming embar- 
rassed, he formed a partnership with Julius 
Machler, and the firm failed. The mill was 
sold, and for a year it was operated by L. Whit- 
aker, but in 18S1 J. W. Thynne came into 
control, and it is now run under his manage- 
ment. All the mills used buhr stones, and 
completed the manufacture of flour in two 
grindings. Their capacity was limited, and un- 
til the opening of the coal mines and the intro- 
duction of water works, they struggled under 
formidable difficulties. But in the spring of 
1881, Messrs. D. L. Wing & Co., of Springfield, 
Mass., began the erection of the Planet Mill, 
which by reason of its capacity and the new 
system of converting wheat into flour and the 
character and completeness of its appointments 
will bear a rapid description. 

The mill building proper is 50x100 feet, and 
five stories high, exclusive of basement and 
texas. The basement contains shafting and main 



270 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



driving pulley, elevators, fans and wheat sink. 
The main floor contains seven reduction mills for 
grinding middlings, and nine sets of smooth 
and corrugated rolls, fifteen purifiers, six bolt- 
in l: chests and flour chests, packers and clean- 
ing machines. It may be of interest to know 
that flour-making consists of about thirty oper- 
ations. A barrel of flour is made every two 
minutes and a half. The motive power is 
given by a 300- horse-power engine. The grain 
elevator has a capacity of 100,000 bushels. 
There are six buildings belonging to the mill, 
and the out and the in business is equal to 
twelve car loads per day. Sixty-five men are 
employed. The cost of the mill was §200,000; 
W. N. Hewitt, Superintendent. The mill went 
into operation in November, 1881, and the 
wheat is nearly all obtained from the close 
neighborhood. The O. K. Mill was put in op- 
eration about 1873, and is owned by Perley, 
Beach & Co. In 1881, Mr. Whitnall opened 
tile works on the east margin of the city. His 
wares are for the most part shipped to other 
counties. 

The foundry and machine shop of H. H. 
Beach & Co. was built in 1857, and operated as 
a separate interest until 1876, when by sale 
they were consolidated with the car works. 
The original concern for years supplied the 
railroad repair shop with castings, and was 
largely engaged in the manufacture of engines 
and mill machinery. The concern worked an 
average of fifty men. The work is kept up by 
the new company. 

As early as 1856 a planing- rnill was running 
where is now Weigreffe's lumber yard. In a 
few years it was dismantled, and in 1867, Mr. 
Weigreffe built his sash, door and blind fac- 
tory, which was discontinued in 1876, and the 
machinery removed. L. Hoffman had a brew- 
ery where the coal shaft is, and finding the bus- 
iness ruinous abandoned it. J. E. Gay had a 
carriage factory, working twenty hands. He had 
no capital, and went into the bankrupt class. 



The railroad shops were removed to Mattoon 
in 1870-71, and the spacious buildings stood 
tenantless and silent. Those who imagined 
that the permanent welfare of the city depended 
on retaining the shops, began to look for the 
signs of decay. The mystery of cause and 
effect, is insoluble, but as a sequence, the city's 
gift of $50,000 to the Decatur & East St. Louis 
Railroad was followed closely by the removal 
of the shops, and when that decision was made 
public the population had sunk to the lowest 
point touched in twenty years. It was learned 
that the shops could be obtained on a long 
lease for a low sum. They could quickly and 
cheaply be turned into car works, and the 
scheme was elaborated to orgauize a stock 
company to build railway cars and coaches. 
Parties from the East offered to conduct the 
business if Litchfield would supply the capital. 
The proposal was declined without thanks. In 
the winter of 1871-72, the company was formed 
and in May work was begun. A year later a 
fire from the cupola destroyed the foundry and 
machine shop. This portion of the works was 
rebuilt. In a few years the company's patron- 
izing roads were unable to meet their engage- 
ments and the company obtained an extension 
on its own paper, and at the appointed dates 
honored all its obligations. The company re- 
organized in 1877 with a diminished capital 
stock, but in effect with enlarged resources, and 
has been prosperous. Last year the pay-roll 
bore over 400 names, and the monthly pay 
sheet exceeded $19,000. The coal mine and 
the car works employed nearly six hundred 
and fifty men and the monthly wages were 
83(1.(100. 

The influence of manufactures on population 
can be learned from a comparison of the census 
returns for a series of years, with the condition 
of our industrial enterprises. For 1870 and 
1880, the Federal census is given; for the other 
years the school census is used : 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



271 



1869. 
1870. 
1871. 
1872. 
1873. 
1874. 



4036 


1875 


3750 


1876 


3837 


1877 


4289 


1878 


4432 


1879 


4358 


1880 



4100 

4135 

3730 

3685 

3959 

4343 

In 1877 and 1878, the car works were re- 
suming business, and but few workmen were 
employed. The full consequences of the panic 
of 1873 had reached the climax. The fluctua- 
tions in the census accurately measures the ac- 
tivity in productive industries. In 1881, the 
population reached 5,250, and over a hundred 
dwellings were constructed. 

We herewith give a statement of the busi- 
ness done in the Litchfield Post Office, during 
the past five years ending June 30, 1882 : 

GROSS RECEIPTS. 

July 1, 1877. to June 30, 1878 $3,266 88 

July 1, 1878, to June 30, 1879 3,496 41 

July 1, 1879, to June 30, 1880 3,865 17 

July 1, 1880, to June 30, 1881 4,572 69 

July 1, 1881, to June 30, 1882 5,279 35 

SAT.ES OF DOMESTIC MONET ORDERS. 

July 1, 1877. t:> June 30, 1878 $2,117 00 

July 1, 1878, to June 30, 1879 2,303 00 

July 1. 1879, to June 30, 1880 2,083 00 

July 1, 1880, to June 30, 1881 3,088 00 

July 1, 1881, to June 30, 1882 3,301 00 

The sales of international money orders during 
the past live years amount to $450, and there have 
been registered in the same period 2,057 letters and 
parcels, against 1,188 for the eight years previous to 
June 15, 1877. 

, Perhaps the growth of local or city taxation 
for school and city purposes may bear on this 
question of manufactures and growth of the 
city. For 1859, the taxes given are for the 
levy of that year ; then until 1872, the taxes 
are the sum called for by the Collector's war- 
rant, which includes the yearly lev3 - and all 
back takes. Until 1865, the City Council served 
without pay. Subsequently the members were 
paid : 



Tear. Tax. 

1867 $19,098 94 

1868 22,307 23 

1869 22,802 63 

1S7U 27,114 62 

1871 19,936 75 

1872 18.457 29 



Tear. Tax. 

1859 $2,187 89 

1861 1,511 93 

1862 1,531 59 

1863 2,000 19 

1864 2,149 39 

1865 11,547 91 

1866 18,146 53 

The sum of $4,000 should be added to the 
figures for 1871-72 for interest on railroad 
bonds, which is collected as a part of the State 
tax. 

Until 1873, the city taxes were levied on the 
assessment made by the City Assessor, and 
were collected by the City Collector. From 
that year the taxes for the city were levied by 
the State authorities in part, by the School 
Board in part, by the City Council in part, and 
in part by the citizens of North Litchfield and 
South Litchfield in town meeting. For five 
years the School Board and the City Council 
was the same body, but acting in two capaci- 
ties. 

It appears proper to give a more detailed 
statement of local taxes from 1873 inclusive, 
representing only the amounts extended on the 
tax books, but having nothing to do with the 
amounts collected, and nothing to do with the 
expenditures of each year for current purposes. 

Tear. Mayor. Assessments. Local Taxes. 

I City $9,447 98 

School 7,500 00 

1873 W. S. Palmer 81,485,868 \ City Bond 3,394 74 

[ Total 820,342 72 

fCity 814,646 70 

| School 15,602 29 

1874 S. M.Grubbs 12,239,894 \ City Bond 4,409 42 

[ Total $37,716 42 

I City $14,439 18 
School 10,436 74 
Bond 5,217 18 
Total $30,093 10 

(City $11,157 20 
School 5,157 47 
Bond 5,487 89 



.D. Davis 1,106,379.. 



1877 W. Best- 



Total $21,802 56 

fCitv $7,218 11 

School 4,088 54 

Bond 4,765 13 



Total $16,071 78 



272 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Tear. 



Mayor. 



Assessments. 



1878 P. B. Updike.. 



.' — , 1 ■ . > . 



Local Taxes. 

"City $5,358 74 

School 3,534 14 

Bond 4.7U7 09 



1879 D. Davis.. 



,R. F. Beuu.tt 394,235.. 



.E. .Southward 433,927.. 



Total $13,599 97 

f City $4,1)42 64 

| School 3,021 45 

429,958 '. Bond 4,308 09 

[ Total $11,372 18 

fCity $3,514 88 

I School 4,025 20 

.J Bond 8,158 17 

|_ Total $10,698 25 

f City $3,917 18 

School 7,170 34 

. j Boud 3,G50 26 

I Sinking Fund 2,259 70 



[ Total $16,997 48 

During each year the city was in the re- 
ceipt of a revenue from miscellaneous sources 
of at least $6,000, which with the taxes col- 
lected represent the total yearly expenditure 
for city purposes. The era of high taxes rep- 
resents the years of building the new school- 
house, and the quickly abandoned policy of pay- 
ing oil floating and bonded indebtedness. 

We make no attempt to explain the decrease 
in the assessed valuation of the city, nor the 
wonderful sums yearly spent under the ambig- 
uous heading of city expenses. 

In April, 1857, the first number of the Litch 
field Journal appeared, of which a fuller account 
will be found in a subsequent chapter. In 
March, M. B. Savage, of Brooklyn, N. Y., ap- 
peared here to become a partner of E. E. 
Litchfield ; J. W. Haggart succeeded E. C. Dix. 
as railroad agent. J. L. Childs had, a few weeks 
earlier, become the successor of E. W. Litch- 
field in the lumber firm. Mathew Cyrus fol- 
lowed Mr. Paxson in the Montgomery house, 
and in May or June, H. W. Beach and D. C. 
Amsden arrived to begin the erection of a 
foundry and machine shop. This was made 
the terminal point of the division of the 
railroad, and work was begun on railroad 
machine shop. Messrs. O'Bannou, E. W, 
Litchfield and E. L. Dix opened a lumber 
yard where the Ballweg elevator stands. The 
railroad employes abounded, and railroad 



talk drowned politics. Shore's steam saw-mill, 
on Rocky Branch, after sawing three cuts had 
settled down to permanent idleness, and the 
ruin of its owner. This year the railroad en- 
gine house, machine shop and blacksmith shop 
were built and supplied with machinery, and 
there was a sudden increase of population — 
the families of mechanics and laborers in the 
shops. John S. Miller was the master mechanic. 
The road was not prosperous, only one freight 
train each way per day. and the train as low as 
three cars. Pay day was irregular and, with 
the panic which set in with tremendous severi- 
ty, and low wages, the profits of labor were 
scanty. O'Bannon and Litchfield's lumber 
yard was sold to Perley & Co., a firm consist- 
ing only of R. G. Perley. The year went out 
in gloom and various helps to discouragement. 
A second saloon had been opened, a billiard 
table set up, two more physicians had settled 
here, and a couple of lawyers had an office ; of 
these brief mention should be made, for they 
were conspicuous persons for a few years. 

B. M. Munn, a young man, came here 
from Charleston. He was a man of untiring 
industry, a gentleman in dress, temper and 
manners, ambitious and hospitable. But he 
was poor and impatient to become rich. He 
borrowed money and his plans did not prosper. 
He lost public confidence, went out as a three 
month's man at the beginning of the war, and 
drifted to Cairo and ceased to be a member of 
the county bar. 

He had hardly opened his office in the fall, 
when T. N. Marron, a native of Lewis County 
N. Y., in some way lounged into town, nearly 
or quite penniless, and with but an apology for 
personal baggage. He said he had during the 
summer been engaged iu the survey of railroads 
in Iowa, and had tailed to receive his pay. 
Mr. Munn tendered him a desk in his office, 
shared his slender purse with him, and sought 
to aid him in securing legal business. But 
Marron was a Bohemian lawyer and no student. 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



273 



He was, however, dignified and impressive in 
his manners, and soon was noted for the con- 
densed energy of his conversation. Though 
quick of resentments, he delighted in festive 
scenes and noise. Whatever his theory as to 
the adequacy of statute law and legal prece- 
dents as a good substitute for principles founded 
on Christian morals, he failed to win clients, 
and in the second year of the war he disap- 
peared, and was afterward seen in Cairo, where 
former acquaintances deemed it proper not to 
covet his society. His will acted in whirls 
and side currents, and he was as poor a friend 
to himself as he was to others. He was a man 
of impulses, jealous of others' success, ignobly 
poor, with tastes which a fortune alone could 
gratify ; he neglected the patient industry in- 
dispensible to a lawyer who would rise in his 
profession. 

If the year ended in omens of disaster, judged 
by the usual but fallacious standards adopted 
elsewhere, there was no time for despondency. 
The better wealth of the town lay in the 
character and temper of its people. Messrs. 
Hood & Fields, of Michigan, had built and 
occupied a grocery store on the lot immediately 
north of Litchfield's hardware store. Burr Rob- 
bins, of circus fame, and his brother began a 
saloon on the next business lot, and the brother 
dying the property was bought by C. W. Ward, 
who enlarged the building and carried out the 
design of the original owners. In May, D. C. 
Amsden and family arrived from Wisconsin, 
and the next month was joined by H. H. Beach, 
his brother-in-law. Mr. Beach brought the en- 
gines and equipment for a machine shop and 
foundry, and running up a huge barn-like 
structure, put the furnace in blast two months 
afterward, and then as resident partner and 
manager of the firm of Williams. Angel & Beach, 
entered upon a career of brilliant usefulness 
and prosperity as a mechanic and citizen. He 
was in the forenoon of life, and fully trained in 
practical mechanics and railroad work. He 



may have been worth a thousand dollars in his 
own right, but had a sound, healthy intelligence 
in his profession. He built his shops for the 
future, and then awaited the developments of 
business. He had the only foundry and ma- 
chine shop between Alton and Terre Haute. 
Soon after kindling his fires, the dread panic 
desolated the country, paralyzing enterprise, 
and bringing financial ruin to many, and hard- 
ship to all. For weeks Mr. Beach was on the 
brink of failure. Only by his popularity and 
personal influence could he get money to keep 
his shops open. The age of iron — the badge of 
power and industrial development — was about 
to dawn here, and its harbinger was the inevita- 
ble train of disaster which preceded the estab- 
lishment of a radical change in the methods 
and implements, and machines in the world of 
production and trade. The hour for an expe- 
dient had come. He bought on credit a mill 
for corn meal, and placing it in the loft over 
his machine shop. Mr. Amsden to his other 
incongruous duties added the care of the mill. 
Corn was abundant and cheap, and meal was 
high. Each week a shipment to St. Louis 
brought in money to keep affairs in order, and 
by spring the crisis in his fortunes was 
fairly over. The year had tested men. Who- 
ever could see the end from the beginning, 
could then have predicted the future of the 
town. 

Its history is but the simple monotonous 
story of the life of a little community, which 
had no startling or exceptionable incidents. If 
life here was quiet, it was intense and stern. 
All commercial and industrial facilities had 
been made the most of. It was not quite a fron- 
tier or pioneer town, but when it was founded 
the region around was sparsely settled, and 
large tractsof land were uninclosed and untitled . 
The people were rich in the prospective appre- 
ciation of their lands, but poor in actual wealth. 
They had clung to the timber along the streams, 
and the more sanguine had excited the deri- 



274 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



sion of their neighbors by saying that in half a 
centufy settlement might advance several miles 
into the prairie. Wheat sold at Alton for 20 
cents a bushel above the incidental expenses of 
transportation on wagons. The best wealth of 
the town was the sort of people who gave it 
tone and character. No one hoped to get on 
by pulling a neighbor down. The latest arrival 
was welcomed and helped to make a start. 
Competing tradesmen were warm personal 
friends. There was a broad public sentiment 
which attracted population. There was prompt 
co-operation in each new enterprise. Each man 
thought he would best benefit himself by con- 
tributing to the common weal. Life was a 
good, earnest, manly fight with narrow fortunes. 
It was won by character, intelligence, industry, 
prudence and courage. And it needed to be 



so. A greater progress than had cheered the 
last century was to be crowded into twenty 
years ; the full work of four generations of an 
earlier day, was now flung on one. A better 
Thermopylae was here, but the myriad Helots 
who died on Persian swords to lend deathless 
fame to their three hundred masters, had no 
representatives. Only a few men could do 
much, but all did what was possible. Through 
that year and subsequent ones, can be traced 
like a fairy ring, the example and influence of 
a few men from the East, who being full of go, 
sent their fieiy energy and daring through the 
community. Their positive incisive traits were 
as strong as passions and beautiful as hope. 
They came to succeed and stay, and, believing in 
themselves, they did. 




CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



275 



CHAPTER XIV.* 

LITCHFIELD— INCREASE OF POPULATION— EARLY POLITICS— POLITICIANS AND POLITICAL QUES- 
TIONS—THE JOURNALS— DOUGLAS AND LINCOLN— INCORPORATION OF LITCHFIELD AS A 
CITY— THE FIRST MAYOR — SOME OF THE LATER BUSINESS MEN — PHYSICIANS- 
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF I860 AND ITS RESULTS— THE CITY DURING THE 
WAR— FIRES— REMOVAL OF RAILROAD SHOPS— RECAPITULATION, ETC. 

were gathered Thomas C. Hughes, Elihu 



" Recollection is the only paradise from which we 
cannot be turned out." — Richter. 

BY the beginning of 1858, the population 
of Litchfield might have been a thous- 
and, nearly all drawn hither from a distance. 
They were poor, if reckoned by material stan- 
dards, but young, earnest, pushing, resolute, 
and able and willing to make favorable cir- 
cumstances if they could not rind them. 
Their true power and wealth lay in their ca- 
pacity to work and their skill in their callings, 
and their readiness to multiply themselves by 
doing so many unlike things well. They had 
to succeed. The population was a busy one, 
and splendidly in earnest. Somehow they 
tore their way upward. The same man was 
in the course of the day a coal dealer, super- 
intendent of the foundry, melting three tons 
at a heat; ran a corn-mill, carrying the corn 
in the ear on his back to the second story, 
shelling it and sifting the meal by hand, 
sacking it for shipment; keej>ing the books of 
the firm, taking the time of the workmen, at- 
tending to the correspondence, and in the in- 
tervals doing the " chores " around the estab- 
lishment. 

Everybody, not a railroadman, talked pol- 
itics, if not with wide knowledge, yet with 
zeal and earnestness. The Democratic head- 
quarters were at O'Bannon's store, and there 
on rainy days as well at sundry other times 

* By H. A. Cuolidge. 



Boan, Stephen R. Briggs, Israel Fogleman, 
John A. Crabtree, with " Uncle Dick" as Mod- 
erator, smoking amicable pipes and turning 
over their oft-expressed opinions as to the is- 
sues then prominent in Kansas. All these 
had been born and reared in slave States, 
and cherished the views peculiar to the South. 

They believed as tneir party believed, and 
small forbearance had they for any one who 
uttered to-day what the party would not utter 
until to-morrow. Next to being an Aboli- 
tionist, was the effrontery of believing any- 
thing until the party believed it, unless he 
was in Congress or had owned a "nigger." 
It was all the force of habit, and an endless 
diversion. 

The Republicans were few but conspicuous. 
Andrew Miller, H. H. Hood, D. C. Amsden, 
W. S. Palmer and H. H. Beach could not be 
overlooked in any community. They held 
caucuses, voted a straight ticket, and were 
uniformly beaten. Mr. Miller was suspected 
of being a train dispatcher on the Under- 
ground Railroad. Dr. Hood alone was an 
Abolitionist, and it was no festive thing to 
be an Abolitionist where one of your neighbors 
had been one of the hunters of fugitive slaves 
for the lowest motive men dare to acknowl- 
edge, and which if good, will excuse Arnold's 
meditated betrayal of West Point. Poli- 
tics or self love had no little to do with a 



276 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



condition of things which ultimately was no 
disadvantage. For twenty years the town 
had only forlorn friends beyond its own limits. 
There was a unanimous discrimination against 
its citizens in business and matters political, 
and for a quarter of a century, though Litch- 
field contained one-fifth the population, it saw 
but one of its citizens elevated to a cotmty 
office. The noble consequence was that no 
one here was spoiled or made a bench loafer 
by seeking or holding an office. 

In April, 1857, was begun the publication 
of the Litchfield Journal. The office was 
brought hither from Central New York, on 
representations and assurances which were 
coolly repudiated when they had served their 
purpose. The paper had a small circulation 
and little other patronage. The publisher did 
not grow quickly rich, and seven years after- 
ward he sold out and turned his attention to 
other things. He was so poor that no one 
would give him credit. He thus kept out of 
debt, though his subscribers did not, and the 
statute of limitation long since restored his 
books to white paper, or something even less 
valuable. 

The spring of 1858 was phenomenal for 
mud and bad roads. Even good intentions 
will not pave a prairie road in March. The 
cars ran ricocheting along the iron rails, and 
the rain fell dense day after day. Farm work 
was delayed. In January the highways were 
hard and dusty, and many a plow was stir- 
ring. The frostless nights ushered in delicious 
days, and winter was side-tracked up North. 
February brought a change, and it was long 
ere we saw hard ground or a clear or warm 
day. Not a few improved the weather by 
falling ill, and potion glasses were a relief 
from the drip and mud. We learned in the 
schools which fools patronize, the mysteries 
of a Western winter. During the summer 
the car shop and the paint shop were built, 



the Montgomery House enlarged, and the 
railroad continued its monthly issues of scrip 
in jocular payment of its employes. The 
Linder Brothers gave up business; Cum- 
mings & Son failed to meet their engage- 
ments; Henderson, Hull and Hawkins were 
embarrassed, and E. E. Litchfield owed more 
than he could pay. E. W. Litchfield built 
Empire Hall, and a brass band was formed. 
Our sorrows came not alone, but in battalions. 
Senator Douglas, whose official term was 
about to expire, was a candidate for re-elec- 
tion. A chasm had opened between him and 
his party. Illinois had gone Republican at 
the State election two years before, and he 
could hope for no aid from the National Ad- 
ministration, and had grounds for anticipat- 
ing its hostility, whether covert or open. 
On the Legislature to be chosen in the fall 
depended his hopes, and if he would not fail, 
he deemed it essential that he should make a 
popular canvass. The central counties were 
the debatable region, and on their political 
complexion rested the prospect of success. 
Mi-. Lincoln, the Republican candidate op- 
posed to him, gained the initiative before 
his return from Washington. And soon af- 
ter Douglas began his popular efforts, the 
terms of the famous forensic contest between 
them were settled. Their joint debate re- 
duced to the plainness of axioms the pending 
issues in the irrepressible conflict. Trumbull 
also entered the canvass, and in an address 
at Chicago, spoke of cramming the lie down 
Douglas' throat. Douglas' readiness and 
anxiety to meet his accuser on the hustings 
for a reply to this insult was well understood. 
The day that Trumbull spoke here, Douglas 
had an appointment at Gillespie. John M. 
Palmer was aunounced to follow Trumbull in 
the evening, from the Republican stand at 
the southwest corner of the public square. 
Several Democrats visited Gillespie to invite 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



i77 



Douglas here to speak in the evening. A 
rude stand was improvised against the north 
side of Empire Hall, where there was an open 
space about fifty feet by one hundred, thickly 
strewn with brick-bats. Douglas came, and 
proclamation was made that he would speak. 
When the hour came, no one was at the Re- 
publican stand, and several hundred persons 
were at the other one. Trumbull was not in 
the crowd, but a few rods away, where he 
could hear. Douglas knowing this, replied 
to the boast made in Chicago: his remarks 
were not reported, but it would be a charity 
to pretend that his language was parliamen- 
tary. It was vigorous, and uttered with a 
fiery vehemence and passion which manifested 
its earnestness. When he concluded, the 
Democrats shouted for Dick Merrick, who 
accompanied Douglas. The Republicans 
yelled for Palmer. The former claimed the 
stand; the latter clamored for fair play. 
They wanted Douglas to draw a crowd for 
their side. The shouting went on. If there 
was a lull, it was only to take breath. The 
brick-bats were suggestive. Some of the 
people laughed at the confusion, and some 
grew red in the face with anger or excite- 
ment. Finally, Judge Weir mounted the 
stand, and in a few sentences brought the 
meeting to a close. The Republicans ad- 
mitted the provocation under which Douglas 
spoke, and the boisterous display of feeling 
when he sat down, led to no serious results. 
A few days later was election, and the total 
vote of the Litchfield Precinct, and the 359 
majority for the Douglas candidates for the 
Legislature, were so unexpected that the le- 
gality of the vote was questioned at Spring- 
field in an unofficial way, and the suspicion 
was removed only by the aggregate of the city 
election the following spring. During the 
year the removal of John P. Bayless, Post- 
master, was attempted on a charge of virtual 



Abolitionism. Had the allegation been sus- 
tained, his official sin would have been unpar- 
donable. He was invited to reply to the 
charge, which he accomplished to the satis- 
faction of the Department, and he was not 
again molested in his office until Lincoln was 
seated in the White House. 

The village organization had been dissolved, 
and in November a special charter was draft- 
ed, for presentation to the Legislature about 
to convene for the incorporation of the town 
as city. At a series of public meetings this 
draft was submitted to the citizens, and, be- 
ing approved, B. M. Munn went to the cap- 
ital to urge its passage. On the 19th of Feb- 
ruary, 1859, it became a law, and at the first 
election under it, in April, W. E. Bacon was 
chosen Mayor, and C. W. Ward City Clerk, 
and James Kellogg Street Commissioner. 
The next year Mr. Bacon was re-elected 

The new city had an onerous task. An 
entire code of ordinances was to be framed 
and adopted, and public opinion to be edu- 
cated to the knowledge and obedience to 
wholesome municipal regulations. The 
Council served with no compensation. The 
City Clerk received $60 a year; all other offi- 
cers accepted their fees in full of salaries, 
and sidewalks were laid at the expense of real 
estate thus improved. The first year a tax 
of $2,200 was levied for schools and munici- 
pal purposes, and at the close of the year the 
Treasury contained a few hundred dollars to 
the credit of the next twelve months. 

The first stage of the transition period had 
been reached. The business fever of the 
day when people wore daily arriving with 
their little accumulations to buy or bui Id 
homes, was passing, and the hope of the peo- 
ple lay in their daily wages and employments 
here. Corn in the fall of 1859 sold at 10 
cents a bushel, and the railroad continued its 
payment of " scrip," which was worthless in 



278 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



the city mai - ket. Debt was universal; but as 
frost pulverizes the earth for a future crop, 
so adversity prepared the people for a sounder 
prosperity. The class of adventurers, the 
Jeremy Diddlers, was weeded out. The men 
who could not pay and would not work, 
drifted to other places. 

A telegraph line had been built, and George 
H. Smith appointed operator. An effort to 
secure the location of the County Fair was 
unsuccessful, through a dishonesty not to be 
extenuated. The commercial influence of the 
town was rapidly fostering political impor- 
tance. A big Democratic majority in Litch- 
field was something bound to be respected, 
especially as the party was run by men who 
three years before were Henry Clay Whigs, 
and a fervent class not to be moderate in 
views or zeal. 

In 1859, E. Southworth, wearied of failure 
to gain a livelihood on a farm where some 
calamity robbed him each year of the expect- 
ed fruits of his labor, and judging the future 
by the past, came to the city to become a 
lawyer. He had crossed the plains on foot 
to be. a miner in California; had taught 
school and tried farming. Here he read law 
fifteen hours a day. He preserved the hon- 
esty of common life, and circumstances bowed 
down to his energy. He was an officer at the 
beginning of the war; has served as Alder- 
man and Mayor, and been State Senator. He 
rose to the leading position at the city bar, 
and looks for promotion. 

William A. Holmes, formerly of Morris- 
ville, N. Y.,but later of Platteville, Wis.,caine 
here about the same date, in the vain hope 
that the milder climate of Central Illinois 
would stay, if not heal, the pulmonary dis- 
ease of his invalid wife. A man of social 
tastes, of warm sensibility, and ardent affec- 
tions, he never rallied after her death a year 
after his arrival. For a time he sought legal 



business, but though a dozen years before 
distinguished by forensic ability, he shunned 
the court room and became distinctively an 
office lawyer, and confined himself to the 
preparation of court business. In the sus- 
pension of litigation which accompanied the 
war, he failed to improve his fortunes, and 
sought to dispel the gloom in which his days 
were shrouded by irregular indulgences. He 
died on that terrible New Year's day of 1864, 
in the absence of the early friend who alone 
here knew the secret of his earlier life, and 
had been glad and proud of his friendship. 
By temperament born to suffer, and in his 
pride strong to keep silence, he lost no friend 
and made no enemy. 

Messrs. D. and O. Quick came here in 186< I, 
and remained but a few mouths. They did 
not distinguish themselves at the bar. Lit- 
igation was of the simpler kind and afforded 
but small opportunity for lawyers. Hugh 
Colton, a young Irishman, needed toning 
down. He was impulsive, and had not learned 
that an orator at the bar succeeds quite as 
surely by being a profound lawyer as by his 
rhetoric. His stay here was not a long one. 

George L. Zink passed from a lawyer's office 
in Steubenville, Ohio, to a pedagogue's chair 
in Gillespie, and in 1865, came here to begin 
the practice of his profession, bringing his 
political principles from the sanguinary field 
of Perryville. He had the legal cast of 
mind, was a hard student and a forcible 
speaker. When he became associated with 
E. McWilliams, he entered at once on a lu- 
crative practice. Subsequently, he was a 
member of the legal firm of Southworth & 
Zink, and on its dissolution opened an office in 
his own rooms. In 1868, he was a delegate 
to the Republican National Convention, and 
four years later went into the Greeley party, 
and in 1878 was sent by the Democrats to the 
Legislature. 



U3RAHY 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



281 



Eobert McWilliains flitted from Shelby - 
ville to Hillsboro, when J. M. Davis was most 
intolerant of the presence of a second lawyer 
in the county. Whether from constitution 
or abstemiousness, the plan of drinking him 
out of the county was a failure, and Mc Will- 
iams had clients and success in the courts. 
He was a Republican, and the time came 
when he re-enforced his exhortations by en- 
listing and raising a company and going into 
the field. At his own request, he was relieved 
from service just prior to the battle of Nash- 
ville; but his Irish temperament would not 
let him come home until he fought through 
that decisive affair. About 18(36, he removed 
to Litchfield, and asserted himself at the bar, 
in real estate operations and politics. He 
has just closed a term as a member of the 
Legislature, and the charity of the reader 
will not deem this much of a stain on a lawyer. 
Somebody must go to the Legislature and be 
misreported. 

George A. Talley, who completed his legal 
studies in McWilliams' office, and on his ad- 
mission to the bar became his partner, re- 
mained a few years, and then removed to 
Chicago. Though young in his profession, 
he had earned a high reputation for honesty 
and thoroughness. He had the aptitude of 
a student. He learned to know before decid- 
ing or giving opinions. He knew the law 
that others knew, and much that they did not. 
He cherished an honest judgment, and his 
departure was sincerely regretted. 

There is an inevitable meanness in every 
grand event, and homeliness of detail in each 
heroic life which time does not wholly erase. 
We go a thousand miles away to get the 
mountain's height, and we are too near the men 
and things of which we write. The present 
tense is the fit one for our task. A fine ear 
would still detect the echoes of the first ham- 
mer strokes in the town. The writer was a 



part of what he writes, and as the sentences 
grow, the events return in their freshness, 
and he is moved by his recollections as he 
was moved by the events themselves, and he 
cannot compose a history of the city on per- 
spective, and, like a Chinese draughtsman, 
leave the background and shadow out. Any 
one can be wise for yesterday, for he has re- 
sults to guide his judgment. But Litchfield 
scarcely has a yesterday. Its history still 
retains the morning freshness of to-day. The 
incidents of its first years are as freely can- 
vassed as those of the present. Each feeling 
and prejudice has been mused to keep it 
warm. 

Dr. Gamble was the first physician. He 
dwelt in a log cabin half floored, a couple of 
blocks west of the Methodist Church, and left 
but a faint record. H. H. Hood transferred 
his office from Hardinsburg to Litchfield in 
the summer of 1854. A man of decided 
opinions, active, persistent and inflexible, he 
is familiarly known to all. Dr. John Grin- 
sted came in 1856, from Woodburn, and, 
opening a drug store, practiced as a physician 
until advancing years compelled his retire- 
ment. In 1S57, Drs. Strafford and Speers 
located here from St. Louis. Speers so- 
journed but a short time, but Dr. Stafford, 
much reduced in health, remains here. He 
never gained the position to which, by his 
skill, he might properly have aspired. Dr. 
Ash was here a year or two, but the field was 
too unpromising, and he removed to Brigh- 
ton. Dr. John Skillman, from Alton, sought 
employment here, and then returned to Alton, 
but came back to die. His history is com- 
prised in his Alton life. 

Dr. R. F. Bennett located here in 1862, 
and has gained a large practice, and possesses 
a modest fortune. He has been twice May- 
or, and twice an Alderman. Of Dr. Neff it 

is proper to say that he is better remembered 

p 



282 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



for his financial transactions than for his pro- 
fessional successes. Dr. Colt, forced by the 
failure of his health from service in the gun- 
boat fleet, came here in 18(33, and has reached 
an enviable rank in his prof ession. He loves 
the science of medicine, and the rod and gun, 
when he can steal a day with them. Dr. 
Backwelder went with Sherman to the sea, 
and finally settled here, and has a large list 
of patients Dr. Clearwater was for many 
years the country physician. His practice 
was enormous, and hiB fees would have been 
large had he exacted them. His reputation 
is built on his success in healing his patients. 
Dr. James, after serving in Price's army, 
came here. He lost his health, tried farming, 
and went to Virginia to die, but regained his 
health, and now attends to professional duties. 
Dr. Leach was the first homeopathist, and 
since his removal, ten or twelve years ago, 
has not been seen here. 

Early in the " sixties," Ben Davis, the 
" snapping doctor, "made semi-monthly visits. 
His audience room in the Cummings Build- 
ing contained several backless benches, on 
which were seated a score or two of patients, 
as grave and silent and patient as "mourners" 
at a religious assembly. Davis circulated 
about the apartment, snapping his fingers 
like castanets, and professing to heal diseases 
by occult magnetic influences inijnarted from 
himself. The cures did not follow. His 
visits have been nearly forgotten, and the 
burly Ben is dimly remembered. 

Only by an effort can the names of several 
other physicians who tarried here be recalled. 

In the long, honorable list but three names 
have fallen to the ground. Drs. Alexander, 
Skillman and Grinsted have died. It is the 
best evidence of their worth and skill that, with 
the increase of population, the bills of mortal- 
ity in 1881 were but little larger than in 1857, 
with only one-eighth of the present population. 



In 1860, Litchfield was a microcosm. Not 
a speech at Washington, not an editorial by 
Greeley or Medary, or an utterance of the 
Charleston Courier, which was not re-echoed 
here. Not a general interest could be touched 
and not affect some business here. Politics 
was a study for each one. Supreme attention 
was paid to the presidential canvass, and 
there was much whistling to keep up a show 
of courage and hopefulness. Lincoln was 
elected, and the outlook was toward clouds 
and darkness. All classes here desired peace, 
and petitioned for the passage of the Critten- 
den resolutions. 

For some reason as inscrutable as a prize 
conundrum, a delegate Democratic State 
Convention was called to meet at Springfield 
to deliberate on public affairs and offer sug- 
gestions. A county convention was accord- 
ingly held to appoint delegates. The writer 
drafted and presented resolutions to the 
effect that as the Republicans already were 
in power in the State, and were about to go 
into power in the nation, and, therefore, 
would be responsible for the administration 
of public affairs, it would be time enough for 
Democrats to give advice when it was asked 
for; as the Democratic party when in power 
had not averted the present danger, it was not 
clear how any advice they could give would 
now meet it; and hence the county should 
send no delegates to the proposed State Con- 
vention. Every member save Jesse M. Phillips 
and B. M. Munn, was in favor of peace and 
a peaceful policy. Those two gent'emen 
breathed war and battle. The resolutions 
were adopted and fully met the views of the 
people — a fact whose significance became ap- 
parent within a few years. 

The Peace Congress was held, and accom- 
plished nothing it was convened to accom- 
plish, and much that was not anticipated. 

Wrongs it mijjht have redressed, but it 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



283 



could not change the fixed purpose of the 
South, which, by dividing the party, had 
caused the election of Lincoln, and then plead 
the consequences of its own act as a pretext 
for the consummation of a policy pursued for 
years. The Southern members of that Con- 
gress did not seek means of pacification. 
Their solicitude was to learn if the Yankees 
would fight. The answer covered more than 
the question. We quote the verbal version of 
it. as told by a member of the body : 

" If, on a summer morning, in the season, 
you visit the wharf of any of the little sea- 
ports near Boston, you will see many little 
undecked boats newly arrived from the fish- 
ing-ground with their night's catch. The 
owners are marine farmers. They gain their 
livelihood by fishing. The sea and their 
boats are their patrimony. Enter into con- 
versation with the fisherman who is tossiner 
his catch on the wharf. Dispute his asser- 
tions; call him a liar. 'Mister, I can prove 
what I say.' Spit in his face, and, as he 
wipes off the saliva with his brown arm, he 
will reply: 'Mister, look out!' Abuse his 
State, and ' Mister, my State supplies your 
shi es, your clothes and your markets.' You 
cannot anger him or provoke him to a breach 
of the peace. You conclude he has no spirit. 
But touch one of hie fish, and in a moment 
he'll thrash yuu within an inch of your life. " 
The Southerner stood on the principle of per- 
sonal honor, a shadowy thing, while the 
Northerner stood by the rights of property. 

The one was a chimera; the other is the 
foundation of States and the iEgis of civiliza- 
tion. The news of the attack and capture 
of Fort Sumter was known here dimly on 
Sunday afternoon. The next mornin"- the 
daily papers brought the details, and the hu- 
miliation of the policy which would not be- 
lieve or act. A call was at once made for a 
public meeting in the evening. Empire Hall 



was packed, and R. W. O'Bannon presided. 
Several brief, pointed speeches were made. 
The sentiment was that as war had actually 
begun, force must be met with force, National 
supremacy be maintained, National property 
protected, and the Union preserved. The 
hour for debate had gone by. Action was 
the alternative, and forty persons that even- 
ing enlisted to tender their services to 
the General Government. In two days more 
the ranks were filled, and on the third day 
the company departed for Camp Yates, at 
Springfield, to be mustered into service in 
the first regiment raised in the war. 

By association and early residence, this re- 
gion was friendly to the South. But her 
conduct startled the people to a comparison 
of the claims of duty against the glamour of 
sentiment. Everybody lost his feet, and 
bowed to the whirlwind of feeling in behalf 
of the Union. At a later day, a lower set of 
principles came into prominence, and men 
gave to party what belonged to the country. 

The history of the city during the war be- 
longs in part to a distinct chapter. But as 
the value of slavery as a preponderating sec- 
tional issue flung off disguises which misled 
no one who did not wish to be misled, and its 
disappearance, by changing public policy, 
consigned a proud party to disaster and a 
minimum of influence, a changed attitude 
was assumed by not a few. A lodge of the 
Golden Circle met in the city. Men met by 
moonlight for military drill. Speeches were 
made on the main streets, exhorting the peo- 
ple to resist the draft. Men left the station 
for Ohio to vote for Vallandigham. Others 
departed for Chicago to co-operate in St. 
Leger's conspiracy to capture Camp Doug- 
lass. Refugees from Slave States led furtive 
lives here, and used a freedom of speecn not 
permitted at home. The war was denounced, 
because in camp the " Democrat boys" became 



284 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Republicans. Both the Democratic papers in 
the county were conducted by war-Democrats, 
and the elements of hostility to the war lacked 
coherence for want of leadership and public 
expression. About this time one B. F. Bur- 
nett came to town to gain a livelihood by so- 
liciting legal business. His success as a law- 
yer was not great, but he prated dolorously 
of the misery of war, the sorrow it brought 
to uncounted families, and the blessings of 
peace. He knew some law, and might have 
been a reputable citizen if he had not. He 
became a nucleus for disloyal manifestations 
— a fit office for a loose-tongued scoundrel. 
Secret organization provoked a rival organi- 
zation, and in the spring of 1863, a Union 
League Lodge was established here, meeting 
in the engine house of the car shops. The 
League decided to seek control of the city 
government, and all the measures were quietly 
made. A messenger was sent on Sunday to 
Alton to procure ballots, and the printer was 
taken from church to provide them. The 
messenger could not return until nearly noon 
of election day. The Democrats were igno- 
rant of what was devised, and only themselves 
attended the polls, and few ballots were 
offered. The Republicans seemed to have 
lost their interest in civil affairs. The train 
came in from the west, and with electric 
quickness the ballots were distributed, and 
by evening were in the ballot boxes. The 
result indicated that about half of them had 
been dejjosited by former Democrats, and the 
League ticket had a tremendous majority. 
The Democrats were dumb with amazement, 
and the Leaguers, delighted by their success, 
celebrated the result in a manner which left 
headaches the next morning. The astound- 
ing change in public sentiment was not fruit- 
less. Numerous volunteer associations arose 
to aid the Sanitary Commission, and in vari- 
ous ways to remember the boys in blue. But 



here, as in all popular effervescences, the 
worst elements came uppermost. Efforts 
were made to hurry the League into measures 
to gratify personal malignancy, and they 
were promptly discountenanced and their 
authors vanished. Rixmor magnified the 
strength and purposes of the League. About 
the county, measures were concerted for forci- 
ble resistance to a draft. A military organi- 
zation was maintained for the purpose. But 
it was known that boxes of Ballard rifles had 
been procured by the Leaguers to preserve 
the peace and the supremacy of the law. 
Bounty- jumpers skulked along the streets. 

An emissary of the Golden Circle paid a 
visit to a Leaguer who was his personal 
friend. He said that he had heard that 5,000 
stand of arms were in Litchfield. His 
friend gave an ambiguous assent. He exhib- 
ited to him a Ballard rifle as a sample of half 
the weapons, and then producing a Henry 
rifle, or a sixteen shooter, affirmed the second 
half of the arms were of that pattern. What 
report was made to the Circle has not been 
made public, but there was no longer danger 
that Litchfield would be molested, or the 
draft resisted. 

The town was startled by fires, clearly the 
result of gross carelessness or incendiarism, 
and there was a disposition to connect them 
with political troubles. That pretence was 
speedily abandoned The disappearance of 
specie as a circulating medium, the deprecia- 
tion of greenbacks, and the augmentation of 
the paper currency, inflamed prices and the 
city rushed into public improvements. Taxes 
went up like a rocket. A city hall was built, 
a schoolhouse was built, and the money was 
in good part borrowed at 15 per cent. The 
city was drunk on the excellence of its credit. 
Population rose to 4,300; wheat was $3.50, 
and corn 95 cents a bushel; sugar, four 
pounds for $1; muslin, 40 cents a yard, and 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



285 



flour $19 per barrel. Those were good times, 
but they did not last. The people went wild 
on railroads. The sum of $50,000 was voted 
to the stock of a railroad west to Louisiana, 
Mo. ; the same amount to the St. Louis divis- 
ion of the Wabash, and $75, 000 to the Spring- 
field & St. Louis road. Fortunately, only 
the second one was built, and the other sub- 
scriptions lapsed. The town gradually 
adapted itself to the changed conditions pre- 
vailing since the war. Population had fallen 
ofl', the decadence of prices was established, 
and the Granger element was about to begin 
its by-play. 

The removal of the railroad shops was com- 
pleted in 1871, and the leading market for 
labor was closed. The spacious shops stood 
silent and tenantless. The city's opportunity 
had come; difficulty was but a goad to spur 
it on. Several parties here organized a com- 
pany to lease the shops for the manufacture 
of rolling-stock for railways. The stock was 
eagerly taken, and in 1872 the fires were 
lighted and the machinery set in motion. 
The new enterprise soon disclosed that it 
would do more for the city than railroad shops 
had done. But within two years a series of 
fires, not all accidental, perhaps, had raged 
on State street. The schoolhouse, the pride 
of the community, had gone down in flame 
and ruin, and now a conflagration burst forth 
in the car works. Fortunately, most of the 
works were saved, but the loss of property 
and time was still serious. The town was 
brought face to face with the imperative want 
of water for industrial and fire purposes. 

It is proper to be specific by way of reca- 
pitulation. In April, 1867, a fire kindled in 
the rear of the hardware store near the south- 
west angle of the public square, had humbled 
to ashes three stores and most of their con- 
tents, bringing financial ruin to two of the 
owners, and causing a total loss of $25,000. 



Fires mysteriously appeared in the rear of 
other business houses, and were discovered in 
season to avoid damage. In the fall of 1871, 
the alarm of fire again startled the town. A 
crown of flame rested on the Journal build- 
ing, and the rear rooms glowed with the yel- 
low radiance of a fire fed by dry pine. Five 
buildings crumbled to blackness in a couple 
of hours, and the losses were not light to bear. 
A year or two later, fire bells summoned the 
people to witness the conflagration of six bus- 
iness places, from the O'Bannon corner north 
on State street. The Criterion Mill, in the 
early morning, went down in smoke and flame, 
and the Gage Mill on a Sunday afternoon lay 
under a pillar of smoke. Pale flames trav- 
eled through the interior. The blaze broke 
white through the roof, and for a few mo- 
ments the people forgot the disaster in the 
presence of the magnificent spectack In 
1873, the car works had their baptism of fire. 
Brick walls and earnest labor checked the 
flames when their fury was but half glutted. 
All these fires, most of them compressed in- 
to two years, had touched only individuals, 
and any philosopher can maintain his equa- 
nimity in the presence of his neighbor's ca- 
lamity. The vagueness of each one's per- 
sonal interest in the general welfare, and it 
is only personal interest which moves the 
common mind, provoked only unsubstantial 
regrets. The losses did not directly touch 
the purses of the many. In whatever the 
public undertakes, it is seldom indifferent to 
its own advantage. It was so in Litchfield. 
But this complacency at the prevalence of 
fires was rudely shattered. The spacious 
schoolhouse, overlooking the city, and in its 
designs and proportions as beautiful as a 
poem, was the pride and the object of the 
personal affection of every citizen. For sev- 
eral days the teachers and their 800 pupils 
had been choking with the acrid odor of 



2 Q 6 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



smoldering wood. Like a gangrene, the 
perfume clung to the rooms. No smoke was 
seen, no fire discovered. A superficial survey 
detected no cause for the poison which had 
insinuated itself throughout the building. It 
was a Monday evening, about 6:30. A young 
married woman lay dying in the neighbor- 
hood. A lambent flame was seen quivering 
on the roof near the south chimney. Black 
smoke crowned the summit. Pale tongues of 
fire lapped at the woodwork. All the city 
rushed to the school grounds. The house 
burned like a flambeau. Nothing could be 
done to stop its destruction, and the people 
stood in speechless sorrow and saw the tire 
crawl downward from floor to floor, and ex- 
pire in the cellar for want of fuel. Each one 
knew the tire brought financial loss to him, 
and that with proper water-works $40,000 
would have been saved the city. 

The frequent recurring fires, and the extent 
of the losses, gave emphasis to a desire for 
protection from further losses of a similar 
character. Protection was better and cheaper 
than insurance. There was forced or hurried 
eagerness to meet this general demand. Va- 
rious schemes were considered. The cost of 
providing cisterns and a fire engine was com- 
puted, and the annual outlay of the system 
was found to be 10 per cent on the cost of a 
different system which would afford greater 
protection, and in addition produce a revenue 
from its value to shops, mills and households. 
In ltSTH, the car works brought water here 
by railroad. Best & Sparks paid $1,000 to 
teams to draw water four miles to their mill. 
The desirability of a water supply was not 
questioned, and there was a unanimous desire 
to fling a strong dike across Long Branch, a 
mile south of the city, and from the capaaious 
reservoir thus created, send water into the 
heart of the town, under conditions which 
would meet our varied requirements. 



Th e sort of works demanded was in substance 
the Holly system, or the system of direct pres- 
sure on the mains equal to the maintenance of a 
column of water 400 feet high, and through 100 
feet of hose would project a stream upward of 
100 feet into the air. Estimates of the cost of 
such a system were made to include only the 
dike, the mains and the pumping machinery, 
and this estimato was promulgated as a fair 
statement by experts of the cost of the water- 
works. We make no excuse for the error in 
simple multiplication, which affected the cost 
of the dike 100 per cent. We have no comment 
on the suppression in the exhibit submitted 
to the citizens of numerous expensive items 
of cost, which, in the aggregate, were truly 
formidable. The facts speak for themselves. 
A few citizens knew the water-works could 
not be built within $25,000 of the explained 
estimates, and their voices were overruled 
and they reduced to silence. They would, 
at the proper hour, have appealed to <he 
courts to prohibit the issue of bonds byalleg- 
ing a want of power to legalize them. They 
could not be blind to the mendacity or want 
of rudimentary capacity to make simple cal- 
culations on the part of those who held that 
it was none of the tax payers' business how 
they run things. Again, it was a matter of 
law against expediency, as if it can be expe- 
dient to do wrong. 

People are easily deceived when they want 
to be deceived. There was no uncertainty as 
to the value of water-works, none as to the 
ability of the city to build them, but there 
was a broad, explicit prohibition of law 
against going into debt beyond 5 per cent of 
the last assessed valuation of property, and 
our municipal debt was at that time within 
$12,000 of that limit. But the debt was in 
great part nominal, and not virtual. Since 
the completion of the Wabash road, in aid of 
which the debt was created, the assessed val- 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



287 



nation of property had increased $800,000, 
and by the Railroad Aid Law, the State 
taxes on that amount were appropriated to 
paying the debt. This tax met annual inter- 
est, and left an excess of several thousand 
dollars as a sinking fund which would quite 
extinguish the principal at maturity. It 
was this law which alone induced the city to 
issue $50,000 in bonds to secure the road. 
The bonds were against the city, but the 
State agreed to pay them. This debt then 
was treated as virtually canceled, and taking 
this view, and listening to the vehement as- 
surances of men in power that the water- works 
completed could not cost more than $42,000, 
or by adopting the higher plan, $55,000, and 
there was no intention of doing this, the citi- 
zens in various ways expressed their enthus- 
isatic approval of the project at an extreme 
cost of $45,000. 

This was the plan approved by the com- 
munity, under the knowledge that the opera- 
tion of the Railroad Aid Law released them 
from liability for the bonds granted to a 
railroad. 

True, in letter, they were bound ; but in 
fact, the debt was to be paid not at their 
charges. But when, after expending nearly 
$20,000 on the ground dike anl facing walls, 
the authorities ordered the preparation of 
bonds for $50,000 additional, framed so as to 
give full effect to the legal inhibition against 
their issue, and so as to give the city ground to 
content their payment, because issued in viola- 
tion of law; and the omission in the recital 
which was to do this was passed over in silence 
— the thing became too flagrant. Yet at home 
complaints came too late. Nothing could be 
done to stop the authorities, and soon there 
was a wide suspicion that private objects 
were sought under guise of zeal for public 
ends. The works were completed by contract, 
and as well and economically as the public 



is usually served by contractors. The work 
was done when labor and material were one- 
fourth dearer than two or three years later, 
when by comparison with the reduced prices, 
men, having their own aggrandizement only 
in view, bellowed about the town vague ac- 
cusations of fraud and veritable peculation. 

Not one of these fellows could be induced 
to make and stand to a single specific charge. 
They proved their statement by numberless 
repetitions — a sort of evidence better for a 
certain class than positive proof. 

The works cost $77,000 against the $45, - 
000 they were to have been built for. But 
they stand, and have not in eight years failed 
in their duty for an hour. They are worth 
all they cost, and more, and the clamor about 
them which had no higher origin than a per- 
sonal difference about matters disconnected 
with public affairs, would have died away 
had it not been kept alive by the city's repu- 
diation of her bonds. Noisy advocates for 
the works refused to pay taxes to meet any 
part of the indebtedness, and the Council, 
by resolution, refused the payment of interest. 
Suit was instituted, and in the court of last re- 
sort a decision was obtained that the issue of 
the bonds was illegal. The vast majority of 
the citizens desire their payment, and the de- 
cision defeats their wishes. 

This narrative of our shame had not been 
written or been true, had not the opinion 
crept into officers that their delegated powers 
were a franchise to be exercised according to 
their caprice. They forgot their represen- 
tative position, and spurned conference or 
opinions from a tax payer. They never for- 
got self, and no offense was so great as the 
assertion that the people had any rights not 
vested in them. 

In 1870, the population had fallen below 
three thousand seven hundred. The variance 
in population is the exact criterion of the in- 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



dustries of the town. In 1880, the total was 
reported at 4,343, and this was known to be 
too small. In 1881, the Jacksonville road 
had been extended to the city, a second coal 
shaft had been opened, oil had been found, 
the Planet Mill was in course of construction, 



the car works were over-crowded with work, 
and 100 buildings were erected, as the pop- 
ulation had risen to 5,250, and the city had 
again rehearsed the old lesson that the peo- 
ple are the city, and that their future would 
be what they willed it to be. 




CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



280 



CHAPTER XV.* 

LITCHFIELD— EDUCATIONAL HISTORY— THE CITY SCHOOLS— GRAMMAR SCHOOLS— BOARDS, PRIN- 
CIPALS, TEACHERS, ETC. — THE PRESS— ESTABLISHMENT OF THE •' JOURNAL" —THE 
"MONITOR" AND OTHER PAPERS— BANKS AND BANKING— COAL INTERESTS OF 
LITCHFIELD— THE DIFFERENT SHAFTS AND THEIR EXTENT AND CAPACITY 
—THE SANITARY CONDITION OF THE CITY. 



A SCHOOL fails in its office if its educa- 
-^— *- tional value to its pupils is not greater 
than the wages paid its teacher. If it be 
true, as the wise affirm, that education is the 
awakening of the mind to think and reason 
correctly, rapidly and persistently, to improve 
the heart and enlarge the understanding, the 
office of a school has specific limitations. 
All its instruction should be subordinate to 
education. Whatever be the amount of knowl- 
edge imparted in scholastic studies, it is true 
that the only positive instruction obtained in 
a school, which, under all circumstances is 
available and used precisely as it was learned, 
is reading and the multiplication table. 
The lumber of text-book rules becomes in 
actual life dry and pithless. They teach 
only to swim on dry land. The man needs 
the result of scholastic training; the proc- 
esses are but as the scaffolding to a builder. 
At last education makes a man more valuable 
to his community than to himself. 

The city north of the railroad was included 
in School District No. 1, of North Litchfield; 
the territory south of it belonged to the Crab- 
tree District, in South Litchfield, whose 
schoolhouse stood a few rods south of the 
residence of Samuel Stratton. District No. 
1 used the Lutheran Church, near the south- 
east corner of Scherer's Addition, for a school- 

*By H. A. Coolidga. 



room, and here B. S. Hood, of Jerseyville, 
taught a school for six months, in the sum- 
mer of 1854. Lusk Wilson taught there — a 
winter term in 1854-55 and a summer term 
of 1855. The Cummings building was erect- 
ed in 1856, and the west half of the second 
floor, was the schoolroom for several years, 
and H A. Wells opened there the winter term 
of 185(1-57. He continued in charge of the 
public school until 1800. Julia Palmer was 
first assistant in the Scott & Long building, 
then standing on the north side of Division 
street, a few yards east of Jackson. Hannah 
Skillman was the second assistant in the 
house two or three doors below the store of 
Thorp & Leach. For a term of six months. 
Mr. Wells received $360 and his assistants 
each $200. This was the first school of the 
Litchfield School District, created by the city 
charter, the Council exercising the combiued 
powers of Trustees and Directors. 

In the summer of 18(50, Mr. Wells sudden- 
ly disappeared, leaving his bills uncollected 
and his few debts unpaid. The next year, 
he as suddenly reappeared. In explanation 
of his flight, he professed forgetfulness of his 
departure. His life was a blank to him. He 
had a lucid moment at Niagara Falls and was 
astonished to find himself there; then he 
again became unconscious of his movements 
for an unknown period. When reason returned 



290 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



to him, he was in mid- ocean on a vessel bound 
to England. Friends told him that he sought 
their party at the Falls; he journeyed with 
them to Quebec, and when they said they 
were going to England, he declared that he, 
too, would go. He was transferred to a 
homeward bound ship, and came to America. 
Of his wanderings for a year after he landed 
on native soil, he gave no clear account. He 
arrived here in the fall of 1862, coming from 
the West. He said he had just been dis- 
charged from military service. His subse- 
quent conduct throws much doubt on his ver- 
sion of the history of his flight. 

In the fall of 1860, the grammar school 
was opened with two departments. Samuel 
Taylor, of Terre Haute, was elected Principal, 
and Sarah G. Perrot, assistant; the three 
ward schools were conducted by Hannah 
Skillman. Julia P. Palmer and Mary Gill- 
ham. The schools were notoriously insuffi- 
cient for the instruction of the children in 
the city. This fact was very widely re- 
gretted, and the schools were not distin- 
guished for educational value. 

The Litchfield School District had vainly 
tried to obtain possession of the avails of the 
levy made in 1857, by District No. 1, to 
build a schoolhouse on the northwest coiner 
of Block 68, where L. Settlemire's residence 
stands, the site having been given by E. B. 
Litchfield for that purpose. The Litchfield 
School District contained nearly 95 per cent 
of the property of the present district, and 
the holder of the school funds — not the 
Township Treasurer — declined to recognize 
the legality of the claim. An act of the 
Legislature was obtained on the joint re- 
quest of all parties apportioning that build- 
ing fund to the City School District and 
District No. 1, in proportion to the amount 
raised by each, and, after some delay, the 
parties who had borrowed it liquidated their 



indebtedness, and the city district used its 
share to support its schools. 

For 1861-62 — and the public schools were 
maintained only six months in the year, the 
summer schools being private ones — the 
wages of the Principal were fixed at $45 per 
month, while his four assistants were allowed 
$27. George C. Mack was chosen Principal 
and Mrs. Abby Paxton, now Mrs. H. H. Hood, 
was his assistant, and two teachers in each 
ward school. All applicants for positions in 
the schools were specially examined by Prof. 
Miller, of Hillsboro, at the request of the 
School Board, and it was thought Litchfield 
school officers were becoming particular when 
the certificate of the County Superintendent 
was not a sufficient guarantee of pedagogical 
qualifications. But the board was not content 
with the learn-as-you-please style of teaching. 

Mrs. Paden declining her appointment, 
Mrs. Stevenson was elected to fill the vacancy. 
The disbursements during this school year 
were $1,863.76, which included $780.24 for 
seats, repairs and payments on grammar 
school building, and the liabilities amounted 
to $2,097.71, chiefly for teachers and balance 
due on house and loans from the general 
fund. The fiscal statements were made up 
in March of each year, before the close of the 
schools and before the receipt of the school 
tax or the State fund. 

For 1862-63, Mr. Mack was again employed 
as Principal. Miss J. N. Lauder was his as- 
sistant and five teachers were employed for 
the three ward schools; two of the five were 
termed assistant teachers, and their wages 
were fixed at $15 per month. Mr. Mack did 
not complete his term and a Mr. Morrison 
was appointed in his place. Miss Lauder ap- 
pears not to have accepted her appointment, 
as Mrs. Stevenson's name is borne on the 
rolls as assistant in the grammar school. The 
disbursement from the school treasury for the 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



291 



year, for school purposes, was $1,622.41, and 
$511.50 were drawn from it and expended on 
the streets, and the district liabilities were 
$2,028.61. Probably the School Board be- 
lieved the money would do more good on the 
streets than on schools. Like matrimony, 
the schools were accepted " for better or 
worse," and if it was illegal to use school 
funds to improve streets, no one objected to it. 

For 1863-64, eight teachers were employed 
in the four schools. P. H. Pope, Principal, 
and Miss Hyde, his assistant. The expendi- 
tures were $1,470; liabilities, $1,493, and 
the treasury showed a balance in its favor of 
$2,078.24. 

The following year, the grammar school 
was closed and two teachers were placed in 
each of the three ward schools. Among these 
were Blanche Keating, now Mrs. D. Davis; 
Mrs. Elizabeth Burton, now Mrs. G. P. 
Hanks; Miss Kate Hyde, and Julia P. Palmer, 
now Mrs. George Stevens, of Jacksonville. 
The expenditure amounted to $1,547.97; the 
liabilities were $14.35 and the balance on 
hand, $591.60. When the average man buys 
a piano, another farm, or goes to the White 
Mountains, he finds it necessary to " retrench" 
by having school only half the time and cut- 
ting down teachers' wages. 

By the summer of 1865, the population of 
the city had, from temporary causes, risen to 
4,300, money was abundant and the city had 
no debt. The time had arrived to place the 
schools on a higher plane. The School Board 
informally decided to erect a house for a 
graded school large enough for the present 
and prospective wants of the district. By 
several purchases from B. H. Hargraves, 
' Wilder W. Davis and Ahart Pierce, an en- 
tire block was obtained on the west slope of 
Pierce's mound, on which to built the school- 
house, at a contemplated cost of $15,000, 
though a proper house should be built even if 



it cost a third more. In July of this year, 
Messrs D. R. Sparks, Thomas G. Kessinger 
and W. S. Palmer, of the School Board, were 
appointed a committee to select a plan and 
estimate of the cost of the desired house, for 
the consideration of the Board and definite 
action. The committee chose the design pre- 
pared by George P. Randall, of Chicago; the 
board confirmed their selection and the con- 
tract was given to W. P. Bushnell, of Men- 
dota, for the building above the stone base- 
ment, at the outside figure of $28,000. His 
contract was $5,500 higher than the architect's 
estimate, yet did not include seating or heating 
apparatus. 

In September, 1865, six teachers were em- 
ployed for the three ward schools, half of 
them at $35 per month and half at $30. The 
grammar school building did fairly well for 
the Second Ward, but the other houses were 
tolerated only for the reason that no better 
ones could be leased. Not much was expect 
ed. and the public expectation was not disap- 
pointed. 

The expenditures for this fiscal year were 
$4,526.90, and $1,992.02 were, in effect, 
loaned to defray the expenses of the city gov- 
ernment. Nearly half the disbursements for 
school objects was applied on the new school- 
house. The increase of taxation was to meet 
the demands of the contractor. 

In March, 1867, Mr. Bushnell was at his 
request released from his contract, as it was 
evident that he could not fulfill it. An expert 
was employed to examine the work up to date, 
and his report confirmed the opinion that in 
all respects it was satisfactory. During the 
spring and summer, the house was completed 
and furnished under the direct orders of the 
board, the price of labor and material being 
something frightful; the cost of the property 
was swelled to $48,000; a large debt was in- 
curred, bearing usurious interest. 



292 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



The School Board containing such men as 
D. C. Amsden, D. R. Sparks, John L. Hink- 
ley and S. M. Keithly and David Davis, pro- 
posed that a new era should dawn on the city 
with the opening of the graded school. 
Much anxiety was manifested to secure an 
accomplished and efficient Principal. Confi- 
dential inquiries were made, and Mr. A. J. 
Blanchard, of the Sycamore Graded School 
was unanimously selected, at a salary of $1,- 
500 for a term of forty weeks, and he was re- 
quested to select his assistants, with a view 
of securing harmony in the corps of instruc- 
tion and a fair trial of his system in school. 
Mr. Blanchard, a man tall, well proportioned, 
muscular, in the meridian of life and of great 
intensity of character, began his preparation 
of re-organizing the school, by approving the 
selection of such teachers as Misses Fanny 
E. Tower, Kimberly, Dustin, Lauder. Lyon 
and Mrs. Abby Paden and Hull. The house 
he was about to enter was a three-story brick 
edifice, heated by furnaces and seated in the 
best manner. The twelve rooms had a seat- 
ing capacity for 800 pupils. New test-books 
had been adopted. Six of his eleven assist- 
ants were from abroad, and, at the close of 
the winter session, no more than two home 
teachers remained in the school. New rules 
of government and new modes of instruction 
were introduced, and the teachers had good 
wages and they earned them. There was a 
tremendous amount of application to study, 
and, for the first time in our school history 
the capacity of the pupil was not underesti- 
mated, nor his comprehension of former stud- 
ies exaggerated. The Principal put double 
energy and industry into the school, and 
sought only the educational welfare of his 
pupils. He made it his chief business to see 
that each teacher did her utmost for the true 
benefit of those under her charge. He be- 
lieved in good teaching; he believed equally 



well in good study. He handled young men 
as other teachers handle children: he subju- 
gated the vicious and willful; stimulated the 
languid and idle; punished the insubordi- 
nate and controlled the mischievous. 

Of course, this could not be done without 
raising issues, which, though not forgotten, 
it is not wise to revive. Mr. Blanchard 
thought to maintain himself by success 
in the schoolroom alone. He failed just 
as others have who relied on the same 
merit. Outside dissatisfaction, by the close 
of the winter term, had grown until it 
was in doubt whether the school must not 
be closed. At the decisive moment, a 
county teachers' institute was held in the 
house, and several of the teachers consented 
to illustrate the methods of study and teach- 
ing pursued in the school by having their 
classes recite in the presence of the institute. 
The examples exemplified how lessons were 
learned and how recited, and the result of 
the double process, as shown by the rapid ad- 
vancement of their pupils. The spectators, 
and among them were not a few of the opin- 
ion-makers of the town, were amazed and de- 
lighted. They saw what could be done in 
school with competent teachers and correct 
methods, and the fate of the Litchfield school, 
which had been in fearful jeopardy was set- 
tled at once and for many years. The entire 
term was completed and Mr. Blanchard de- 
clining a re-engagement, Mr. P. K. Kider, 
now of the Missouri Normal School, of Cape 
Girardeau, became his successor. Wages and 
salary were reduced, and seven home teachers 
were engaged. Then began the policy of 
employing teachers because they lived here 
instead of on account of their success in the 
schoolroom. 

The next year, B. F. Hedges, proposing to 
take sole charge of the high school, was em- 
ployed as Principal, but when elected, earnest- 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



293 



ly solicited an assistant. Mrs. Lockwood, of 
Alton, was selected. A German department 
was added. The total enrollment exceeded a 
thousand. Mr. Hedges remained two years. 

In 1871- 73, W. C. Catherwood, from Jackson- 
ville, was the Principal — a thorough teacher 
and hardly an apology for a Superintendent. 
The tax bills for those years are conclusive 
as to the existence of a public school. Early 
in April, 1872, the schoolhouse caught fire in 
the roof, and, in the presence of thousands, 
burned like a candle down to the basement. 
A portion of the seats and the library were 
saved. The insurance covered two-thirds the 
loss. This misfortune closed the public 
school, and private schools were speedily 
opened in different parts of the city. 

Contracts for rebuilding the house were 
made with John D. Carson, with no avoidable 
delay, on a modification of the original de- 
sign. Pending its completion, public schools 
were resumed in the fall in the several build- 
ings around the public square. 

The second schoolhouse was occupied in 
the fall of 1873, under the super intendency 
of L. M. Hastings, from Iowa, at a yearly 
salary of SI, 650, for a term of thirty-six 
weeks. The five assistants who accompanied 
him from that State were a valuable addition. 
One of them, Miss Mary Fredericks, is fondly 
remembered as a teacher of wonderful quali- 
fication, aptitude and success. By the fail- 
ure of her voice near the end of her fifth ses- 
sion, she was compelled to retire for a season 
from the schoolroom. On her return to her 
profession in Iowa, the deplorable fret and 
wear of teaching, lessened her usefulness by 
inducing a nervous condition of irritability 
and peevishness. The harmony of the school 
was sadly violated by the controversy with 
Mrs. Johnson. The affair is too recent for 
description, though the district records are 
voluminous on one side of the trouble. Mr. 



Hastings' management of the school and the 
character of the teaching, were in brilliant 
contrast with the previous five years and the 
succeeding ones. 

J. N. Dewell, of Pike County, was the 
Principal for 1875-77, and, under his care, 
there were no complaints of over study or 
rigid school duties. The first year, a Board 
of School Inspectors were appointed, but their 
powers and duties not being clearly settled 
by usage, the Council soon supplanted them. 
The Inspectors retired. Thus ingloriously 
ended this honest attempt to take the school 
out of politics and favoritism. It was, per- 
haps, significant, that our Council usually 
begins its reformatory measures just as a 
majority are going out of office, and thus 
leave them to be carried out by their succes- 
sors. 

The school year was reduced to eight 
months, or thirty-six weeks, and George C. 
Boss, of Jackson County, remained at the 
head of the school for a year at a salary of 
$1,000. An unseemly struggle in the School 
Board over the election of teachers, during 
which the value of the applicants in school 
work was subordinated to personal feeling, 
was followed by the inevitable result. The 
school was a general and profound disap- 
pointment. 

For the last three years, Thomas J. Charles 
has been the Principal. 

The Press. — At the solicitation of E. B. 
Litchfield, the proprietor of the town site, and 
on his assurance of a large and profitable line 
of work — an assurance which was wholly il- 
lusory. H. A. Coolidge, in February, 1857, 
removed his printing office from Cazenovia, 
N. Y., to Litchfield. Mi-. Litchfield, in antici- 
pation of his arrival, erected him an office, on 
Jackson street, better known as the grammar 
school building. Here he issued the first 
number of the Litchfield Journal, in April 



294 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



though dated in May. The paper was a four- 
page, six-column sheet, set in long primer 
and minion, and, as there were then no " pat- 
ent insides," the editor and his assistants 
were busy in the mechanical department. 
The circulation did not exceed 200, and, 
during the six years of his control, never rose 
to 400. The paper was welcomed, but the 
town was too small and the neighborhood 
too scanty in population to afford the venture 
an adequate support. Those were the days 
of credit, and the payment of subscriptions 
was frequently omitted. The county was 
Democratic and intensely pro-slavery and the 
political views of the Journal not altogether 
satisfactory to the arbiters of local opinion. 
The attitude of men on the " Kansas Ques- 
tion," where the doctrine of popular sov- 
ereignty was exemplified by open war and the 
mockery of political rights, was the crucial 
test of his party fealty. The Journal dared, 
in May, to announce the views held by Doug- 
las in the following December in the Senate, 
and, for its temerity in disseminating opin- 
ions in advance of an utterance by a party 
leader, it fell under a suspicion of unsound- 
ness, and there is no forgiveness in politics. 
Success alone condones offenses, and the 
Journal received late toleration. It sup- 
ported Douglas for Senator in 1858, and for 
President two years later. 

The panic of 1857 nearly caused its sus- 
pension. For sixteen consecutive days in the 
February following, its total receipts were 
half a dollar. Somehow the paper lived, 
and in mechanical appearance has not been 
excelled in the county. The editor was a 
Yankee with an odor of books, and to be a 
Yankee here was to lead no popular life. 

Lincoln entered the White House, and in 
April the war of the rebellion began at Charles- 
ton. The evening after the heavy news 
was received, a public meeting was held at 



Empire Hall, and the editor briefly urged 
that the integrity of the Union must be pre- 
served and force be repelled by force. The 
Journal, foreseeing the influence of the war 
on parties, continued to advocate and sustain 
the policy of military coercion. Arms had 
been selected by the South as the arbiter of 
its pretensions, and the Journal accepted 
the arbitrament. By degrees a large section 
of the local Democracy first deprecated this 
policy, and then actively connived to thwart 
the Union arms and openly " sympathized " 
with the South. The patrons of the office 
fell away, income dwindled, and at one time 
a rush was made to wreck it for alleged 
" copperheadism. " The attempt was de- 
feated by the Union men of the city. 

In 1863, the office was leased to a Mr. 
Cook, and then to John Harris, now of Clyde, 
and Thomas B. Fuller, of Calhoun. The 
publishers changed the name to Litchfield 
Democrat, and placed its editorial manage- 
ment in the hands of B. F. Burnett, Esq., 
who well understood the art of writing with- 
out saying anything, but week by week in 
the thick coming news of Union victories, 
prated dolefully of the horrors of war and 
the woe of desolated families, and the beau- 
ties of peace. He was the perpetual Chair- 
man of the standing committee of dissent. 
He had' principles, but would have been a 
better citizen if he had not. 

The next year Mr. Coolidge sold the office, 
which for four years had been located in the 
Journal building on State street, to E. J. 
Ellis, a refugee from Troy, Mo., whose cli- 
mate had become pernicious to his health 
.since bushwhacking ceased to pay in that re- 
gion. He called his paper the Prairie City 
Advocate. He toiled assiduously and was 
repaid for his labor. The war being over, he 
desired to retire to the congenial wilds of 
Missouri, and sold, October, 1S65. his office 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



205 



to E. J. C. Alexander, from Greenville, who 
changed the name again to the Litchfield 
News, and declared it a Republican journal. 
He did not meet with distinguished success. 

In April of the following year, the ma- 
terial of the Union Monitor, of Hillsboro, 
was, to evade a seizure by the Sheriff, con- 
veyed to him and the publication of a news- 
paper in Litchfield was discontinued until 
the last of 1867, The News office was kept 
open for job work and advertisements, which 
were sent in type to Hillsboro. The Monitor 
was regularly dated at Hillsboro, T. J. Rus- 
sell, editor, on the first page, while the third 
page was headed Litchfield News, dated at 
Litchfield, E. J. C. Alexander, editor. 

In a short time the second head disap- 
peared from the third page, but when the 
Hillsboro editor of the Monitor was struck 
off, the head and date line were changed to 
Litchfield News, and half a dozen quires 
were printed for the Litchfield folks. 

From April, lNtiO, to December, 1S6T, no 
newspaper was printed in the town, with a 
population four thousand. This was not 
satisfactory— Alexander was " not the man for 
Galway." Steps were taken in 1867 to re- 
establish a home paper, and it became cer- 
tain that B. S. Hood would be the editor. 
Money was furnished, and Alexander learn- 
ing what had been done, and what was con- 
templated, changed his politics one day while 
crossing the street, and sold out to Mr. Hood, 
who began in the basement of Masonic 
Block the publication of the Republican 
Monitor, which in four months became the 
Litchfield Union Monitor. From these sub- 
terranean quarters he removed the office to 
Ferguson's Hall, enlarged to eight pages 
with "patent insides," and late in 1870, with 
more experience than profit from his venture, 
transferred the office to Messrs. C. L. Bangs 
and Ed. Gray, of Carlinville, both excel- 



lent printers. In the spring of 1871, J. H. 
C. Irwin was selected as editor and the 
Monitor had in addition C. L. Bangs and 
Emma Bangs as editorial writers, and B. S. 
Hood as local editor. Irwin excelled in 
" memories of the future,'' Bangs para- 
graphed en woman's rights, and Hood did 
the city locals. The paper was too rich for 
common blood, and in October, 1871, Bangs 
& Gray disposed of the Monitor to Kimball 
& Taylor, of Belleville. William Fithian, a 
graduate of the Carlinville Democrat office, 
was put in the office as editor and manager. In 
a year, the proprietors sunk a couple of thou- 
sand dollars and sold out at heavy loss to H. 
A. Coolidge, who thus found himself again 
in the editorial chair with the press and 
much of the printing material he had brought 
West fifteen years earlier. His absence for 
eight years from the newspaper world had 
taught him the value of a journal to the 
community where it is published. He was 
now to learn that this value was quite dis- 
tinct from any value to its publisher. 

He admitted G. B. Litchfield as a partner. 
The office was removed to Empire Hall until 
the fall of 1874 when it again began its 
wanderings. Litchfield withdrew, 1874, to 
begin the Montgomery County Democrat, and 
Coolidge for a year managed to conduct the 
Monitor without the handicap of a partner. 
In 1876, F. O. Martin became his pa tner — a 
good printer — and remained until 1878, when 
the paper was sold to Charles Walker and B. 
S. Hood. Walker went out of the concern 
in three months, and Mr. Hood in the spring 
of 1881 put in a Campbell press and took in 
J. G. Campbell as a partner. The circula- 
tion under his management rose to 1,100 or 
nearly double what any predecessor had been 
able to obtain. 

In the fall of 1861, a Union ticket for 
county officers was presented as a rallying 



296 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



point for such as cared most for the country. 
To aid the design involved in the ticket, the 
Campaigner was founded by J. P. Bayless, 
with whom Dr. H. H. Hood was associated. 
It was intended to maintain it only until the 
fall election, and was issued from the Jour- 
nal office. Not a copy of it is known to 
exist. 

About May, 1SG2, the Illinois Free Press 
was removed here from Hillsboro, J. B. 
Hutchinson, editor. It found a home in the 
Cummings Building, and after languishing a 
few weeks, ceased to exist. In June, 1871, 
Messrs. Kimball & Taylor bought G. B. 
Litchfield' s printing material in the Elliott 
Building and began the publication of the 
Independent, an eight column quarto sheet, 
three pages of which came ready printed. 
H. A. Coolidge was the salaried editor. 
The paper went up like a rocket. No such 
prosperity had attended a paper in this re- 
gion. It began without a subscriber, and on 
its consolidation, by purchase, with the Moni- 
tor, had two-thirds its circulation. Only 
fifteen numbers were issued until it was lost 
in its ancient neighbor. 

Mr. Fithian having ceased to be editor of 
the Monitor, in the late summer of 1872. pur- 
chased a newspaper outfit and began the 
publication of the Review, George B. Litch- 
field, printer. The 5th of the following 
December, Mr. Litchfield retired from the 
Review, which thereupon suspended, and 
subsequently, the material was sold to 
Messrs. Coolidge & Litchfield of the Monitor. 
In November, 1874, Mr. Litchfield and 
Robert S. Young issued the first number of 
the Montgomery County Democrat in a room 
over Beach, Davis & Co.'s Bank. Mr. 
Young, the editor, owning none of the ma- 
terial, was in a few months out of the edi- 
torial chair, and Mr. Litchfield assumed the 
sole management. For a year, embracing a 



portion of 1879-80, Col. Beu. E. Johnson, of 
Hillsboro, was associated with Mr. Litch- 
field as editor and business manager of the 
Democrat. On his retirement, Mr. Litchfield 
again became editor and proprietor until Au- 
gust, 1881, when he sold to Charles Tobin, 
late of the Hillsboro News. Mr. Tobin. in 
March following, enlarged the paper wdiich 
he renamed the Litchfield Advocate, to a six- 
column folio, and is doing a prosperous busi- 
ness, increasing his list of readers and hur- 
ried by job work. 

Quite a thousand copies of the Monitor 
and Advocate are taken at the home post 
office. Both attend chiefly to local matters 
and leave editorials proper to the imagination 
of their subscribers. The papers are con- 
ducted on business principles, and like news- 
papers generally are more valuable to the 
town than to their proprietors. 

Banking.— In 1862, Haskell, Davis & Co., 
of Hillsboro, opened a private bank in a 
wood building, whose site is now occupied 
by Updike's hardware store, Thomas F. Sey- 
mour being clerk or manager. Five years 
later, the name of the firm was Haskell, 
Seymour & Co., Mr. Davis being succeeded by 
Mr. Seymour. Mr. Haskell had removed to 
Alton, and in December, 1869, his interest 
appears to have been purchased by Judge 
Brewer, of Hillsboro, and the firm became 
Brewer, Seymour & Co., and S. M. Grubbs 
entered the bank as Teller. The following 
year the present banking house was built, 
and for ten years the firm remained unchanged. 
Then Mr. Seymour's sight failing, he was 
forced to retire from business, and the firm 
became Brewer & Grubbs. The house passed 
through the panic of 1873 with unimpaired 
credit and resources, as whatever its nominal 
capital, its virtual capital was twenty times 
greater. Its solvency was not for a moment 
in doubt. Its present officers are: S. M. 



LIBRARY 

UNivasinr Illinois 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



2D9 



Grubbs, Manager, and T. F. Davis, Book- 
keeper. The volume of business transacted 
over its counter must be left to conjecture, 
as all information on this point is refused. 

In 1860-61, John W. Haggart opened a 
bank in Beardsley's jewelry store, and dealt 
in exchange and occasional loans. He was 
not believed to control sufficient capital, and 
did but a meager businesi. His " bank" soon 
ceased, and its funds were easily transferred 
to a vest pocket, and the "banker" departed 
to another State. 

Under a special charter, the Litchfield Bank, 
Nathan Kenyon, President, and N. P. B. 
"Wells, Cashier, opened in July, 1S70, with a 
paid-up capital of £20,000. The officers 
were from Brockport, N. Y. , and held half 
the stock; the balance was held here. Fi- 
nancially, the institution was not fortunate, 
and ere the first year was over, Kenyon sold 
his stock and retired from the house. Thir- 
teen of the original stockholders formed a 
partnership under the name of Beach, Davis 
& Co., and, dissolving the corporation, con- 
tinued the business with D. Davis, Manager, 
and D. Yaa Deusen, Cashier. The bank was 
located in Hoog"s Building, where Mr. Smith, 
now is. The new firm began business in 
their proper name in May. 1871. Two years 
later, the articles of partnership were revised, 
three new partners admitted, and the paid-up 
capital increased quite fourfold. The bus- 
iness had been remarkably prosperous, and 
the stock was hold firmly. 

When the panic came, and the balances 
held in foreign banks became unavailable by 
reason of closing their doors, a meeting of 
the partners was held in the bank parlor, and 
the situation was rapidly considered. A rush 
on the bank was anticipated, but in a few 
hours the current funds bad been increased 
threefold, and all paper was met, and no en- 
gagement was delayed or abandoned. The 
bank pays regular dividends. 



The Coal Mine.— From 1817 to 1855. wood 
was the only fuel in use in this county for 
household and heating purposes. Until 185S, 
the nearest coal mine was thirty miles to the 
southwest, and not until the railway was 
opened for traffic was it expedient to change 
to coal for shops or mechanical uses. In 
1858, there was not a coal-burning locomotive 
on the railroad. Fitful attempts to find coal 
in this neighborhood were prosecuted in the 
mid "50's," and to no purpose. 

As early as 1856-57, coal from the Wood 
River Mine was bought at a cost of !?17 
freight for a car load, and closed out from 
the car at 15 cents a bushel, the buyer pay- 
ing for draying and weighing. Gradually 
the price fell to eight bushels for the dollar, 
though if, as not unfrequently happened, 
the supply ran short, the price leaped up 
to 18 and 22 cents a bushel. The flouring 
mills and car shops were large consumers, 
the annual consumption being estimated at 
300,000 bushels per year. If the supply at 
any time failed, the writer is afraid to recol- 
lect the fabidous sum he gladly paid for 
wood. 

In the first part of 1867, Andrew Howard, 
of Bunker Hill, a practical coal-miner, pro- 
posed to Messrs. Beach & Amsden and Best 
& Sparks, that for a bonus of $2,000 he would 
sink a coal-shaft 350 feet, and these firms 
guaranteed its acceptance. Howard's capi- 
tal consisted chiefly in his skill, energy, hope- 
fulness and a high-shouldered mule. A few 
acres of land were bought on Rocky Branch, 
just outside the corporation, and in March. 
1867, he began work. Mi-. Howard's purse 
was soon exhausted, but he persevered, 
being effectually aided by the late M. C. 
Manly. The bonus was expended and Mr. 
Manly was unable to defray the expenses 
of the work. A few citizens deeply in- 
terested in discovering coal here, and 

Q 



300 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



opening and working a coal mine, were 
convened, and Mr. Howard requested the 
formation of a mining company, with a 
capital of $20,000, into which he would enter, 
putting in the unfinished shaft at $5,000, to 
continue the work. His request was prompt- 
ly acceded to, a company was formed and 
incorporated, officers chosen, with R. W. 
O'Bannon, President; D. R. Sparks, Treas- 
urer, and H. A. Coolidge, Secretary. The 
stock was taken by nearly fifteen persons, 
Arnsden & Beach and Best & Sparks sub- 
scribing largely, and others according to 
their ability. The shaft went down slowly; 
the cost was nearly $5( ) per foot, and when, 
in December, 1868, a thirty-two inch vein of 
coal was reached at a depth of 416 feet, the 
entire capital had been consumed, and 
no one was willing to contribute more 
capital to open and work the vein. Some 
debts had been incurred, and in the summer 
of 1869 the mine was sold at auction to pay 
debts, and was bid in by Warder Cummings, 
acting in behalf of a new organization inside 
the mining company. A new company was 
at once legally organized. The stock of the 
old one was worth only five per cent, and 
most of the stockholders did not receive even 
that pitiful legacy. The capital of 'the new 
company was $10,000. Mr. Howard was dis- 
discharged, and Messrs. Green & Little, of 
Moro, 111., took the contract to finish sinking 
the shaft. A third vein of coal was reached 
at a depth of 500 feet, and then the company 
learned to their consternation that it costs as 
much to open a mine as for sinking the shaft. 
The operatives wanted lawyers' wages; $20,- 
000 beyond the capital stock was expended, 
and still the mine was not prepared to put 
out coal. 

In this emergency, Messrs. D. C. Amsden, 
H. H. Beach, James W. Jefi'eris, J. Smith 
Tally, Charles E. Benton and Warder Cum- 



mings formed a partnership and leased the 
mine, and assumed the payment of the debt 
from the lease money. In 1874, these part- 
ners had become possessed of the entire shares 
of the mining company, which was thereupon 
dissolved, as its predecessor had been, and 
the Litchfield Coal Company organized, with 
a nominal capital of $10,000, but with a 
property which had cost six times that 
amount. This third company still operates 
the mines, and by prudent management has 
reduced the expense of mining so that coal 
is delivered to local buyers at 10 cents a 
bushel, and yet satisfactory profits have been 
gathered. The price of mining was at one 
time such that miners received upward of 
$30 a week. 

In 1878, a second shaft was sunk at one- 
half the cost of the first one, and the output 
rose to 5,000 bushels a day in the busy season. 
At the foot of the second shaft a boring-rod 
was sent down about a hundred and fifty feet, 
to develop the character of the underlying 
strata, and coal oil was reached. The aston- 
ishment of the miners was unbounded. The 
news was received with incredulity. But the 
oil rose to the bottom of the mine and over- 
flowed the floor. A few barrels of it were 
collected and the well carefully closed in 
order to the safety of the mine. 

Secret Societies. — Whether it be from the dis- 
position of the human mind which would pry 
into a knowledge of the paintings on the left- 
hand side of the temple of Paphos, or from the 
absence of the joys of home, or from a desire to 
draw closer the ties of brotherhood, or from 
purposes streaked with self- hood, secret socie- 
ties were early planted in Litchfield, and have 
flourished in undecayed vigor and influence 
and usefulness. 

The list of secret organizations of a temper- 
ance character is long, and the history of each 
one is brief and uneventful. They were each 



CITY OF LITCHFIELD. 



301 



short lived, and, like the " Murphy movement," 
have died and left no sign or contingent memo- 
rial. Total abstinence organizations are not 
unknown here, but none of them are secret. 

Until 1857, the Masonic fraternity had no 
lodge nearer than Hillsboro. But, on the 4th 
of March in that year, a dispensation was 
granted to <;. (i. Withington, W. S. Palmer, W. 
H. Curamings, R. H. Peall, James Thalls, Sam- 
uel Boothe, S. W. McDonald and C. W. Parish, 
who instituted Charter Oak Lodge in the city, 
and the first regular communication was held 
on that date, W. S. Palmer, Master. The lodge 
met in the texas of Cummings' building, which 
was occupied jointly with the Odd Fellows un- 
til 1865. 

R. H. Peall was the second Master. In 1850, 
W. H. Cummings was Master, and then in suc- 
cession came J. T. Duff, W. T. Elliott (for two 
years). C. W. Parish, W. T. Elliott and D. C. 
Anisdeu. In 1865. the lodge removed to the 
Elliott corner, State and Kirkham streets. 
Mr. Amsden was re-elected in December, 1866, 
and ( r, M. Loughmiller in 1867. James Rogers 
was chosen Master in 1868, and Gr. W. Amsden 
in 1869, and James Gowenloek in 1870. G. 
M. Loughmiller was Master 1871, 1S72, 1873, 
1 374 and 1S75. But in 1876, G. W. Hathaway 
was Master, though in 1877, 1878, 1879,andl880 
G. M. Loughmiller was Master. In December, 
1881, the usual time of election, J. W. Hose was 
chosen Master. In 1S68, the lodge moved to 
the third floor of Masonic Block, across the 
street from its previous rooms. 

St. Omer Commandery, No. 30, Knights Tem- 
plar, was organized under dispensation Septem- 
ber 3, 1868, H. W. Hubbard acting as Eminent 
Commander, assisted by several Knights from 
Alton. On November 6, 1868, the charter was 
granted to Sirs George H. Pomeroy, S. P. Kirk- 
patriek, George M. Raymond, James Rogers, 
George W. Amsden, Wesley Best, P. B. Up- 
dike, D. R. Sparks, B. C. Beardsley and Janus 
Davie. George H. Pomeroy served as Eminent 



Commander the first year, since which, George 
M. Raymond has continuously filled the office, 
James Rogers has been the constant Secretary, 
and B. C. Beardsley, the Treasurer. The Com- 
mandery has fifty members. 

August 9, IS67, a dispensation was granted 
to G. M. Raymond, W. E. Bacon, S. D. Kirk- 
patrick, James W. Davenport, H. C. Watson, 
C. W. Parish, S. S. Tyler, George A. Stoddard, 
John B. Hall, N. C. Alexander and Wesley 
Best for a second lodge here, which was to be 
called Litchfield Lodge. September 3, 1867, 
the regular charter was received and G. M. Ray- 
mond was chosen Master, and re-elected the 
following year, when he was followed by W. E. 
Bacon, and lie in turn ljy George A. Stoddard. 
By years, the successive Masters have been : 
1S71, G. A. Stoddard; 1872, G. M. Raymond ; 
1873, G. W. Goodell ; 1874, G. W. Goodell ; 
1875, W. E. Bacon ; 1876, W. E. Bacon ; 1877, 
A. T. Keithley ; 1878, W. E. Bacon ; 1879, 
W. E. Bacon ; 1880, W. E. Bacon ; 1881. W. 
E. Bacon ; 18S2, A. T. Keithley. 

Of Elliot Chapter, No. 120, no facts have 
been learned beyond the facts of its existence 
and that George W. Amsden has for ten con- 
secutive years been High Priest. 

Litchfield Lodge, No. 202, of Odd Fellows, 
was instituted by D. B. Jackson, of Hillsboro, 
March 28, 1856, with the following charter 
members : R. N. Paden, S. W. McDonald, E. R. 
White, E. W. Miller and John P. Davis. Mr. 
Miller was the first presiding officer. 

Until 1866, the lodge met in the Cummings 
building. Fur three years it met at Cheap 
Cornel', and. since, has occupied a hall on the 
third door of the .Masonic building. 

Jackson Encampment, No. 88, of Odd 1V1- 
• was instituted by D. B. Jackson, July 22, 
1S6S. The charter members were J. K. Milnor, 
H. M. Langley, William M. Beindorf, R. Ochli r, 
Joseph F. Chuse, Louis Turner and M. P. 
Thompson. Louis Turner was the first presid- 
I in"' officer. 



302 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



White Cross Lodge, No. G6, Knights of Pyth- 
ias, was founded April 27, 1876, by W. T. Van- 
dever, of Taylorville. The charter members 
were Joseph Lawrence, J. R. Blackwell, G. W. 
Rattenbury, E. C. Thorp, L. G. Tyler, J. W. 
Steen, T. J. Cox, C. Paullis, Jr., George S. Webb, 
Ben. C. Best, George Kilmer, H. G. Tuttle and 
A. J. Reubart. Mr. Rattenbury was the chief 
officer. 

February 14, 1875, Augusta Lodge, No. 507, 
of Odd Fellows, was instituted. This is a Ger- 
man lodge, and the ritual and the proceedings 
are in that language. They had a separate 
lodge room here, initiated thirty-eight members, 
and received eleven by card. Three members 
here died, and fifteen have terminated their 
membership by removal or otherwise. The 
present list contains the names of forty-four 
members. The lodge has had peace and pros- 
perity within its gates. 

Sanitary. — As early as 1854, cholera ap- 
peared in South Litchfield, by importation 
from a river town. Several cases terminated 
fatally, but the disease did not visit the scanty 
population of the village. 

In 1857 or 1858, a case of small-pox was 
declared in Litchfield ; the patient, a man 
named Johnson, was removed to a pest house 
a mile from State street, where he died. A 
few of the citizens were attacked, but they 
recovered. In later years, sporadic cases 
were exhibited. There is no tradition as to 
their origin. No alarm was manifested; suit- 
able precautions were observed, and no fatal 
results followed. But in the winter of 
1881-82, the loathsome contagion gained here 
a determined lodgment. It was a sequence 
of immigration or railroad travel. Notwith- 
standing the prompt adoption of preventive 
or remedial measures, the fearful plague con- 
tinued its insidious advances until forty-four 
persons had been smitten, of whom nine died. 



The mortality might have been less had all 
the sick refrained from grossly imprudent 
courses. General vaccination was enforced, 
and the disease starved out. 

In the summer of 1867, five members of a 
circus company were seized with cholera the 
same night while at a hotel. The patients 
rallied enough to be removed to Pana, where 
it is believed they died. The pestilence 
spread, and several citizens fell its victims. 
Seven years later, the conditions were favor- 
able for its re- appearance. The heated teim 
was intense and protracted, and sanitary mat- 
ters were generously suffered to run them- 
selves. An elderly couple from Tennessee 
came in on the railroad, ill with cholera. 
They were removed to a private house, and 
within twenty- four hours were dead. Other 
persons were speedily attacked, and in a few 
hours were moribund. On two occasions, the 
deaths were four per day. The total number 
of cases was nearly ninety, and the deaths 
were reported to be thirty-nine. The stroke 
was swift. Men in apparent sound health at 
night would be dead in the morning. 

In each visitation of cholera, the disease 
was plainly of a foreign origin, and if the 
contagion theory be well-founded, the ravages 
here have been only such as may be appre- 
hended in any town so placed that careless or 
infected strangers are constantly on its streets 
or stopping at its hotels. 

The average annual mortality cannot be 
accurately given. The usual record of inter- 
ments is of no use here; as for family reasons, 
sepulture is in distant cemeteries, while the 
city cemeteries are used by town and city 
alike. It is certain that the ratio of mortal- 
ity in the city is as low as in the country, 
and last year did not exceed two per cent. 
With a population exceeding five thousand, 
the total deaths were about eighty. 



NOKOMIS TOWNSHIP. 



303 



CHAPTER XVI.* 

TOWNSHIP OF NOKOMIS— POSITION AND BOUNDARIES— SURFACE, SOIL, STREAMS, ETC.— FOREST 
GROWTHS— AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIONS— EARLY SETTLEMENTS— ROADS— SCHOOLS, 

CHURCHES, ETC. 



" Once o'er all this favored land, 
Savage wilds and darkness spread." 

^VTOKOMIS occupies a scope of territory 
-L^ lying in the northeastern part of Mont- 
gomery County, west of Audubon and east of 
Rountree Township. It borders on Christian 
County on the north, Witt Township on the 
south, and is admirably located with reference 
to railroad and other accommodations. Its 
close proximity to the flourishing towns of 
Hillsboro, Morrisonville, and other equally good 
market places, affords many advantages to the 
citizens which they have not been slow to avail 
themselves of, as is shown by the increased 
prosperity of the agricultural interests through- 
out its territory. The distinguishing charac- 
teristics of Nokomis are its fine, undulating 
prairie lands, which, in point of fertility and 
productiveness, are unsurpassed by any other 
similar amount of territory in the State. The 
northern portion is somewhat flat, and in certain 
places contains some low, marshy land, but the 
great majority of its acres are susceptible of a 
high degree of cultivation, as is attested by 
the rank which the township takes as an agri- 
cultural district. In the southern part, along 
the several water-courses and among the wooded 
portions, the surface is more rolling, but in no 
place is it too broken or uneven for tillage. 
The soil is generally a fine quality of loam, 
mixed with clay in certain localities, and sand 
in the low places along the creeks. The town- 
ship is sufficiently well watered for agricultural 
purposes and stock-raising, with several beau- 

*By G. N. Berry. 



tiful streams traversing it in different directions, 
the chief of which is the East Fork of Shoal 
Creek. This is a stream of considerable size 
and importance in the southern townships of 
the countj', and has its source in Section 1, 
from whence it flows in a southwesterly direc- 
tion through Sections 22, 28 and 33. A small 
stream flows through the northeastern part of 
the township, draining that portion, and receiv- 
ing in its course a number of rivulets which are 
not designated by any particular names. 

Originally, about one-sixth of the township's 
area consisted of timbered land, the wooded 
districts lying chiefly in the southern and south- 
western parts. The productions of these forests 
were at one time the source of considerable 
wealth to those who settled in the timber and 
made the lumber business a specialty. At the 
head of these forest products stands the black 
walnut, a tree unequaled in the United States 
for its many uses in cabinet-making. It is be- 
coming scarce in this part of the country on 
account of its wide demand, and owing also to 
the prodigal manner in which much of it was 
destroyed by many of the pioneer settlers. 
Next in value is the oak, of which several va- 
rieties are to be found growing in the forests of 
this township. It affords the principal amount 
of lumber for all practical purposes to the 
farmers in this section of the country, and con- 
siderable quantities of it have been shipped to 
other localities. Another of the forest mon- 
archs is the elm, which grows to gigantic sizes 
in the low lands skirting the water-courses. 
There are several different kinds of maple to 



304 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



be seen here, all of which are much used for 
artificial groves, on account of their hardiness 
and rapid growth. These species are highly 
ornamental, delighting the eye of the most 
careless, and giving a charm to the most unin- 
viting prospect. Hickory is found in certain 
localities, and is much used in the manufacture 
of carriages, sleighs, and almost all agricultural 
implements made in the different factories 
throughout the State. Besides the different 
varieties already enumerated, there are many 
trees and shrubs of smaller growth known as 
underbrush, much of which has been cleared 
away of late years. 

Of the farm products we can speak only in 
a general way, as no statistical information 
concerning them was obtained. Agricultural 
productions of every kind indigenous to this 
latitude are certain of a rapid growth and large 
returns. As is shown by the vast wealth that 
has been drawn from the bosom of the soil 
during the thirty years that have passed — a 
wealth that has covered its surface with beau- 
tiful homes, and contributed toward feeding the 
hungry millions of other lands. Wheat is and 
has been the staple product of Nokomis, to 
which its soil seems peculiarly adapted, and 
has been known to yield as high as thirty-five 
and forty bushels per acre in favorable seasons 
although its average production is much less. 
Other cereals are raised in the same proportion, 
particularly oats and rye, which return abund- 
ant and well-paying harvests almost every year- 
As a corn district, this part of the country will 
compare favorably with anj 7 other locality in 
the county, as the land in the main is sufficient- 
ly rolling to render drainage eas} - . While other 
townships in the county suffered more or less 
severely during the drought of 1881, the farmers 
of Nokomis raised a sufficient amount of corn 
for home consumption and some for market 
also. Apple orchards are beginning to be ex- 
tensively cultivated, and fruits of the finest 
and hardiest varieties yield abundantly, and are 



being produced in large quantities, while the 
already large area of orchards receives yearly 
additions. This product alone in a few years 
will form one of the principal articles of sale 
during its season. 

The early settlement of Nokomis is so inter- 
woven with the pioneer settlements of the ad- 
joining townships that their history is, in the 
main, almost identical. The same difficulties 
were experienced, the same hardships endured 
by the pioneers of Nokomis that for years re- 
tarded the development and advancement of 
older municipalities. There were no roads, so 
to speak, no stores nor mills nearer than Gris- 
ham and Butler Townships, a distance of twen- 
tj- or thirty miles ; no school buildings except 
of a very primitive character, and no places of 
worship except the houses of the pioneers. 
These and other experiences of a similar char- 
acter were what the first settlers of Nokomis 
had to contend with in the days of its infancy, 
but, thanks to the energy and thrift with which 
the earl}' settlers were characterized, all these 
difficulties have been successfully overcome, and 
on every hand are to be seen well-tilled farms, 
elegant private residences, good roads, hand- 
some church edifices, commodious school-build- 
ings, and other evidences of prosperity, which 
combine to make this part of the county a de- 
sirable locality. 

The first permanent settler in Nokomis Town- 
ship, as it is now designated, was one Bluford 
Shaw, the exact date of whose arrival could not 
be ascertained, although it is supposed to have 
been prior to the year 1840. In the year 1S43, 
Hugh Hightower. a name familiar in the north- 
ern part of the county, came to Illinois and 
settled on a piece of laud lying in Section 33. 
Here he erected the first house ever built within 
the boundaries of the township, traces of which 
still remain. For the space of three 3 - ears, 
Hightower was the only resident in this part of 
the county, his nearest neighbors living at a 
distance of at least ten miles awav. John 



NOKOMIS TOWNSHIP. 



305 



Heury located here iu 1846, securing land in 
Section 26, which he improved quite exten- 
sively. After him came John Lower, John 
Nichols, Mason Jewett and an old man, by 
name Redden, all of whom located near the site 
of the present city of Nokomis. In the year 
1854, a number of settlers located in the north- 
ern part of the township, where they founded 
quite an extensive cominuuity. Among this 
number can be mentioned the names of Royal 
N. Lee, John Wetmore, William Bonton, Ab- 
salom Van Hooser, William Lee and Andrew 
Coiner, several of whom are still living on the 
farms they settled, and numerous descendants 
are scattered over different parts of the county. 
The northeastern part of the township was set- 
tled principally bj- an intelligent and thrifty 
class of Germans, who have improved that lo- 
cality until it is now one among the very best 
farmed sections of country in the township, and 
in point of improvements, as houses, barns, etc., 
it will compare favorably with any other com- 
munity within the limits of the county. 

It has been asserted, and wisely so, that the 
avenues of communication are an undoubted 
evidence of the state of society. The history 
of this planet from its earliest days furnish in- 
disputable proof of this now universally admit- 
ted truth. As civilization progresses, intercom- 
munication increases, and the channels of trade 
are improved, while the conveyance of products 
and the movements of armies require an unob- 
structed highway. Of the Eastern nations who 
comprehended the truth of this great principle, 
the chief were the Romans, whose broad high- 
way s and ruined arches still survive to remind 
us of the former power and greatness of those 
masters of the world. While in the Western 
Hemisphere, Mexican causeways and Peruvian 
stone roads attest the vigor of a national life 
centuries departed. But the trails across the 
prairies and through the forests of this part of 
the country — ample for the aborigines of 
Illinois, and withal equal to their capacity, have 



given place iu turn to a network of highways, 
while not comparable to the military roads of 
the Romans or ancient Mexicans, and perhaps 
far inferior to the turnpikes to be seen in older 
States, arc at least equal to the requirements of 
a highly civilized people. The first road estab- 
lished in Nokomis passed through the township 
in a northeasterly direction, and was known as 
the Hillsboro and Nokomis road. Its original 
course has been changed, although it is still 

j one of the important highways in the northern 
part of the county. A road leading from the 
town of Nokomis to Irving was laid out and 
improved in an early day, but does not appear 
to have been properly established until several 
years later. One of the most important high- 
ways passes through the central part of the 
township from north to south, and is rather ex- 
tensively traveled. The greater number of 
roads which traverse the township in all direc- 

| tions have been established in recent years, and 

j are well improved. Like the highways in all 
parts of Central and Southern Illinois, these 
thoroughfares, during certain seasons of the 

[ year, become well-nigh impassable, owing to 
their muddy condition. The porous nature of 
the soil, however, causes this mud to dry up 
quite rapidly, and in a comparatively short 
time after the frost leaves the ground in the 
spring, the roads improve and remain in good 
traveling order until the following winter. 

Passing through the southeast corner is the 
Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad, which has 
promoted the material interests of the town- 
ship more than any or all other improvements 
combined. In its course, it passes through 
Sections 32, 28, 22, 14 and 12. intersecting the 
southern boundary at a point about one and one- 
half miles from the Rountree Township line, 
and the eastern boundary two miles south of 
Christian County. The city of Nokomis owes 
much of its prosperity to this road, as does 
also the township at large. 

It is a fact which the splendid educational 



306 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



institutions of the present make it difficult for 
us to-day to comprehend, that in the early set- 
tlement of the country, one of the greatest dis- 
advantages under which the pioneer labored 
was the almost entire absence of facilities for 
the education of his children. When the ques- 
tion of keeping soul and body together had 
once been solved by the constantly increasing 
acreage of farm land, and the corn waved over 
the spot which required toil and perseverance 
to conquer from its primitive natural state, and 
bountiful harvests told of no more immediate 
wants, then the pioneer's attention was called 
to the necessity of schools, and means of sup- 
plying the want were most earnestly sought. 
A man by the name of Henry Lower, an excel- 
lent teacher by the way, is said to have taught 
the first school in the township, at his private 
residence, about the year 1848. It was attend- 
ed by the boys and girls in the new settlement 
and supported by subscriptions, as were all the 
early schools in the county. The first house 
erected for educational purposes was built on 
Section 27, and is still in use. There are a num- 
ber of good frame sehoolhouses in the township, 
and the citizens can point with pride to their 
educational institutions, which, for efficiency 
and thoroughness of work, are unsurpassed by 
any in the county. Many facts relating to 
educational matters of the township, belong 
properly to the town of Nokomis, and will be 
spoken of in connection with the history of that 
place in the next chapter. 

One of the first public officials of the town- 



ship was John J. "Wetmore, who was elected 
Justice of the Peace in an early day, although 
we are unable to give the date. About the 
same time, J. W. Hancock was elected Con- 
stable, in which capacity he served the town- 
ship several years. His marriage to Miss 
Margaret Meratt was the first event of the kind 
ever solemnized in Nokomis. Several healthy 
religious organizations, with as many substan- 
tial temples of worship, are the most convincing 
evidence of the existence of high moral princi- 
ples, and a sense of religious duty on the part 
of the people. The Methodists organized the 
first church in the township, and their ministers 
were the first to find their way to the cabins of 
the pioneers, and preach the everlasting truths 
of the Gospel to the early inhabitants. Rev. J. 
L. Crane conducted the first religious services, 
and assisted in the organization of several 
churches of his denomination, in the township 
and town of Nokomis. The first church edifice 
was built by the Lutherans, in the town of No- 
komis, and will be more particularly spoken of 
in the chapter devoted to that place. The Luth- 
erans and Methodists have several good societies 
in the township, whose congregations are in 
excellent condition, and destined to accomplish 
a great amount of good in their respective com- 
munities. For want of particulars concerning 
the various churches, the writer is obliged to 
give them the above very brief notice. For 
further church history, see the following chap- 
ter on city of Nokomis. 



TOWN OF NOKOMIS. 



307 



CHAPTER XVIL* 

TOWN OF NOKOMIS— ITS LOCATION AND SETTLEMENT— THE FIRST STORES, MILLS AND OTHER 
BUSINESS— GRAIN TRADE OF NOKOMIS— MANUFACTURE OF AGRICULTURAL IMPLE- 
MENTS— SCHOOLHOUSES, ETC.— THE PRESS-RELIGIOUS HISTORY— THE 
DIFFERENT CHURCHES, PREACHERS, ETC., ETC 



"History enriches the mind, gratifies a worthy- 
desire to be informed on past events, and enables us 
to avail ourselves of the experience of our prede- 
cessors." 

IT is not expected that the simple narrative 
of these pages will be anything more than 
a mere record of events that have occurred 
within the limits of this quiet little town. To 
sketch its progress and improvement from the 
building of the first cabin to its present growth 
and prosperity, is the extent of our aim in this 
chapter. In the preceding chapter, the history 
of Nokomis Township has been given by another 
writer, and hence the village only will occupy 
our attention. In gathering statistics concern- 
ing early settlements, organization of churches, 
etc., it is sometimes difficult to find records 
which will give, with certainty and accuracy, 
the information wanted. While we have taken 
pains to secure facts, it is possible that in the 
following pages there are inaccuracies. 

The town of Nokomis was settled as a village 
about the year 1 855. It was laid out by T. C. 
Huggins, of Bunker Hill, 111., and Capt. Simeon 
Ryder, of Alton, 111., and it is beautifully situ- 
ated on the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad, 
about twenty miles northeast of Hillsboro, the 
county seat. It was incorporated as a village 
March 9, 18G7, and has since been incorporated 
as a town under special charter. It is the third 
town in the county in size of population, and is 
a place of considerable business, having a large 
grain trade. 

* By Rev. T. E. Spilman. 



The first store in the village was owned by 
Oliver Boutwell. He was bought out by H. F. 
Rood, who built another store in the year 1859. 
The first hotel was built by a Mr. Hart, and is 
the same building, which, witli recent improve- 
ments, is now called the Eureka House, and 
stands north of the railroad. The second hotel 
was built by James Bone, in the year 1865, 
and burned down in 1881. The first physician 
locating in Nokomis was Dr. James Welch, who 
came to the place about the year 1859. 

A flouring-mill was built in 1857, by Jewett 
& Wetmore. This mill, as well as the third 
one, which was built by Mulkey & Gamble, 
burned down. The second mill built, which is 
the one now standing, and doing good work, 
was built by Rhoades & Boxberger. It is now 
owned and operated by Hobson & Hartsock. 

The first schoolhouse in Nokomis was a 
one-story rame, built in the year 1858, and 
served the wants of the town for educational 
purposes until the present handsome brick 
building, containing seven rooms, was erected 
in the year 1871. This edifice cost a little 
over 113,000, and is finished and furnished 
in the latest improved style. 

The Nokomis Post Office was probably 
opened about the year 1856, and had for 
Postmaster Oliver Boutwell. In 1858, Mr. 
H. F. Rood took the position of Postmaster. 
He was followed about the year 1861 by W. 

F. Mulkey. Mr. Mulkey held the situation 

probably something less than a year, when 



308 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



the office came again into the hands of Mr. 
Rood, who conducted it until probably about 
the year 18(34, when it came into the hands 
of Thomas Judson. The present Postmaster, 
D. P. Broj>hy, came into possession of the 
office in the year 1865, and is a faithful and 
efficient officer. 

The grain trade was commenced in Noko- 
mis probably as early as the year 18(30, by 
H. F. Rood. In 1868, there were four par- 
ties buying grain; at the present time there 
are three. The country in the vicinity of 
Nokomis is a fine one for agriculture, and the 
grain market is good. 

The oldest dwelling house standing in the 
town is probably the small building, made of 
logs, now boarded upon the outside, stand- 
ing south of the lumber yard. 

Nokomis has never been much of a manu- 
facturing town, but has paid most of ber at- 
tention to grain and merchandise. J. C. 
Runge & Bro. commenced the manufacture 
of agricultural implements about the year 
1868. Their factory is now worked by a 
steam engine, of about eighteen-horse-power. 
They do quite a large business. 

The Nokomis National Bank had its origin 
in the year 1872. Its Directors were James 
Pennington, A. E. McKinney, J. H. Beatty, 
T. Ernst, Jacob Haller, John Johns and C. 
W. Townsend. Its President was J. W. 
Beatty; Vice President, John Johns, and its 
Cashier, B. F. Culp. It commenced business 
with a capital of $50,000. It now has a sur- 
plus of $10,000. The President of the bank 
at this time is H. F. Rood; Vice President, 
George Tayloi - , and Cashier. Alfred Griffin. 

Secret and benevolent institutions are rep- 
resented in Nokomis by Masons, Odd Fellows 
and Knights of Honor. The society of Free- 
masons was organized in the year 1856, the 
Odd Fellows in 1866, and the Knights of 
Honor February 6, 1879. These organiza- 



tions have comfortable halls, and appear to 
be in a nourishing condition. 

Newspapers. — The first newspaper pub- 
lished in Nokomis was the Nokomis Adver- 
tiser, edited and published by Draper & Hen- 
derson. It was established in the year 1868, 
and had a free circulation. It was devoted 
largely to the land interest of the country. 

About the year 1871, Messrs. Picket & 
White came to the place and commenced 
the publication of the Gazette. At this time 
the Advertiser was suspended, and the whole 
field given to the Gazette. The expenses of 
publication being greater than were antici- 
pated, the concern was sold to meet encum- 
brances. A. H. Draper then, in 1873, com- 
menced the publication of the Bulletin. Its 
career was closed in 1876. 

After a time, the publication of the Bulle- 
tin was resumed, taken up at first by H. F. 
White, one of its former proprietors, and 
afterward passed through the hands of sev- 
eral successive publishers. 

In 1877, E. M. Hulburt entered upon the 
publication of the Free Press, and in March, 
1878, it was consolidated with the Gazette, 
and took the name of the Free Press- Gazi ll< . 
the consolidated paper being edited and pub- 
lished by E. M. Hulburt. 

In 1880, H. M. Graden commenced the 
publication of the Nokomis Atlas, which 
closed its career in 1881. 

In December, 1SS0, E. M. Hulburt began 
to publish a paper in the German language, 
called the Deutsch Amerikaner. 

In the year 1881, Mr. Hulburt purchased, 
and has now in successful operation, a Camp- 
bell cylinder press. 

The Free Press-Gazette, and the Deutsch 
Amerikaner, under the control of Mr. Hul- 
burt, are the only papers now published in 
the town of Nokomis. 

Churches. — In the year 1855, St. Mark's 



TOWN OF NOKOMIS. 



309 



Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized 
at the village of Audubon, seven miles east 
from the present site of Nokomis. and was 
called Zion's Evangelical Lutheran Clmrch. 
Sometime afterward, an organization of th9 
Lutheran Church was formed in Nokomis. 
A house of worship was built, being the first 
house of worship erected in Nokomis, the 
cost being about $4,500. This house was 
dedicated to the worship of God by the Luth- 
eran Church October 21, 1866, the dedicatory 
sermon being preached by Rev. M. M. Bar- 
tholomew. The two churches, the one at 
Audubon, and the one at Nokomis, were or- 
ganized into one October 22, 1866, and called 
St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church. 
The names of those who signed the Constitu- 
tion of this new organization were as follows: 
Christian Easterday, Anna M. Easterday, 
Daniel Easterday, Jane Easterday, Leonard 
Leas. Mary Leas, George Culp, Elizabeth 
Culp. Stephen L. Latimer, Joseph Miller, 
Isabella Miller, Solomon Miller, Samuel 
Friend. Martin V. Easterday, J. W. Russell, 
Martha B. Russell, Isaac F. Strider, Amos W. 
Easterday, Anna M. Easterday, Hannah M. 
Easterday, Benjamin F. Culp, Barbara A. 
Culp, Sophia Graden. The first pastor chosen 
by this church was Rev. M. M. Bartholomew. 
His successors have been Revs. John Rugan, 
M. L. Kunkelman, J. C. Wesner, D. M. Henkle, 
D. D. , and John Booher, the present supply, 
a student not yet having completed his theo- 
logical studies. 

The first Elders chosen by the church were 
Leonard Leas and Joseph Miller. The first 
Deacons were S. L. Latimer and J. W. Rus- 
sell. The church has a membership at pres- 
ent of fifty, and maintains a good Sunday 
school. 

The Baptist Church of Nokomis was organ- 
ized in the year 1856, by Rev. Mr. Hutsen, 
at a schoolhouse in what was known as Cot- 



tingham's Grove. The following are the 
names of those who at that time entered in- 
to the organization: Mason Jewett, Royal W. 
Lee, Christopher Jewett, Polly Lee, Jane 
Jewett, Melvina Wetmore, Mary Jewett and 
Marcusia Smith. The house of worship now 
occupied by this church in the town of No- 
komis was built in 1870, and the first seiwice 
held in it was on the 9th of July of the same 
year. The following ministers have been 
supplies of this church: Revs. R. R. Coon, 
Jacob V. Hopper, E. Jones, J. H. Mize and 
the present supply, Rev. S. G. Duff. The 
present membership is probably near fifty. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Noko- 
mis had an imperfect organization as early as 
about the year 1857, and appointed as its 
Class-Leader James Watson. In the year 
1860, the society was more perfectly organ- 
ized by Rev. John E. Lindley, at that time 
supplying the Irving Circuit. About the 
year 1S73, Mr. Lindley was appointed to the 
Nokomis Circuit, and died while in charge, 
February 19, 1S75. His remains were buried 
in the cemetery near the town. The first 
sermon preached in Nokomis Township was 
by James L. Crane, a Methodist minister, 
about the year 1848. The house of worship 
now occupied by the Methodist Church was 
built in 1869, and dedicated November 14 of 
the same year. 

The pulpit of the Methodist Church has 
been regularly sujjplied by the following 
ministers: Revs. Taylor, Kershner, John E. 
Lindley, P. Honnold, E. E. Copperthwait, S. 
H. Whitlock, Martin Miller, George Miller, 
J. M. West, T. M. Dillon, L. T. Janes, and 
the present pastor, J. W. Crane. 

The roll of the original members has been 
imperfectly kept; but the following is prob- 
ably nearly correct: Mr. Taylor, Jonathan 
G. Fellers, Margaret Fellers, Nancy Rood, 
Horace Graves, Ann Graves, Elias P. Baxter, 



310 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Elizabeth Baxter, James Watson, Mary Wat- 
son, Solomon Smith, Mary F. Bone, Susan 
Brophy, John Hancock, Margaret Hancock, 
Alexander Vanhauten, Martha Jane Vanhau- 
ten, Stephen B. Waples. The present mem- 
bership of the church is probably about one 
hundred and fifteen. A Sunday school is 
carried on the year round. 

The Christian Church of Nokomis was or- 
ganized by Rev. William Vanhooser in the 
spring of 1861, with the following members: 
John Lower, Mrs. Magdalena Lower, Miss 
Diana Lower. A B. Vanhooser, Mrs. Mary 
Vanhooser, Mrs. Mary Swords, F. M. Osborn. 
Mrs. E. C. Osborn, E. M. Thompson, Mrs. 
Ann Thompson, Miss Malissa Thompson, 
Rev. William Vanhooser, Mrs. Jane Van- 
hooser, W. F. Mulkey, Mrs. M. A. Mulkey, 
Milliam R. Vanhooser, J. A. Vanhooser, Miss 
R. A. Vanhooser, Miss N. E. Vanhooser, T. 
Patterson, Mrs. M. J. Patterson and Mrs. 
Maria Lant. At the time of organization, 
the congregation worshiped in the public 
schoolhouse. The present house of worship. 
at a cost of about $4,000, was completed and 
opened for worship in 1863. Rev. A. D. 
Northcut preached the dedicatory sermon, 
assisted in the service by Rev. Newton Mul- 
key. 

The following ministers have been regu- 



larly employed as Pastors of the church: 
Revs. William Vanhooser, Abraham Martin, 
John Friend and James Ament. Rev. Will- 
iam Vanhooser has been re-employed, and is 
at present the Pastor of the church. Several 
other brethren have, for a few months at a 
time, also been supplies of the pulpit. The 
church has at present a membership of about 
fifty. Only five of the original members are 
now residents of the town. 

The Presbyterian Church of Nokomis was 
organized by Rev. Joseph Gordon, in June, 
1862, with the following members: Thomas 
Derr, David Nickey, Wilson Sible, Jane 
Nickey, Rebecca Matkin, Eglantine Stridor, 
Rebecca Sible, Phcebe D. Derr, Nellie A. 
Derr, Irene B. Derr, Amanda E. Matkin, 
Nancy Yarnell. David Nickey was chosen 
Ruling Elder. Rev. Joseph Gordon was the 
first regular supply of the pulpit. His suc- 
cessors have been Revs. Gideon C. Clark, C. 
K. Smoyer, N. Williams, J. P. Mills, James 
Lafferty, D. L. Gear, and the present supply, 
T. E. Spilman. 

This comprises a brief sketch of the town 
of Nokomis from its laying-out as a village to 
the present time. As both time and space 
were limited, we have confined ourself to a 
brief statement of facts, avoiding all unnec- 
essary embellishments. 




mMm^m 



EAST FORK TOWNSHIP. 



311 



CHAPTER XVIII.* 

EAST FORK TOWNSHIP— BOUNDARIES— WATER-COURSES— EARLY SETTLERS— MILLS AND CATTLE- 
RAISING— ROADS— CHURCHES, SCHOOLS AND SECRET SOCIETIES. 

the best townships in the county. The north- 
ern boundary is Irving ; eastern, Fillmore ; its 
southern boundary is La Grange Township, of 



" Like the race of leaves is that of human kind. 

Upon the ground the winds stir one year's growth, 

The sprouting grove puts forth another brood that 

Sport and grow in the spring season. 

So is it with man, 

One generation grows while one decays." — Mad. 

|~T is difficult to realize as we travel along 
J- the highways that traverse this beautiful 
prairie township, and note the broad, fertile 
acres of well-tilled soil and the stately farm- 
houses, where the happy husbandman lives in 
the midst of plenty and contentment, that 
scarcely three-quarters of a century ago these 
luxuriant plains were peopled by a few wan- 
dering savages and formed part of a vast, un- 
broken wild, which gave but little promise of 
the high state of civilization it has since at- 
tained. ■ Instead of the primitive log cabin 
and diminutive board shanty, we now see dot- 
ting the prairie in all directions comfortable 
and elegantly formed mansions of the latest 
style of architecture, graceful, substantial and 
convenient. We see also the bosom of the 
country decked with church structures of all 
religious denominations and well-built school- 
houses at proper intervals. Her fields are laden 
with the choicest cereals, her pastures all alive 
with numerous herds of the finest breeds of 
stock, and everything bespeaks the thrift and 
prosperity with which the farmer in this fertile 
division of the county is blessed. East Fork 
is one of the southern townships of Montgomery 
County, and is also one of the largest, being ten 
miles in extent from north to south and six miles 
from east to west. It contains sixty square 
miles of land, and is, in many respects, one of 

•By G. N. Berry. 



Bond County. It is bounded on the west by 
Hillsboro and Grisham Townships. The area 
embraces one township and a half, the northern 
part being designated as Township 8 north, 
Range 3 west, while that division lying south of 
the dividing line is known as Township 7 north, 
of Range 3 west. The township is well drained 
by a number of small creeks and their tribu- 
taries, which meander through the prairie in 
many different directions. The most prominent 
of these are McDavid's Branch, in the south- 
eastern part, and the East Fork of Shoal Creek, 
near the eastern boundary. The first named 
rises near the northeastern corner of the town- 
ship, flows in a zigzag channel toward the 
southwest, to within a mile of the county line 
where it empties into Shoal Creek. 

East Fork, the largest and most important 
water-course, flows in a southerly direction 
through the eastern part of the township, and 
affords an excellent system of natural drainage 
plenty of stock water and is indispensable to 
the success of the farmer and grazier in this 
region. Bear Creek is a stream of considerable 
size in the western portion. It receives many 
small tributaries, which frequently flood the 
lands through which they flow during very rainy 
seasons. Brush Creek flows in a northwest- 
erly direction and intersects the northern bound- 
ary at a point about one half mile east of Hills- 
boro Township. Wolf Pen Branch and Indian 
Camp Branch arc small streams in the western 
part, but are of no considerable importance. 
The greater part of the surface of East Fork 



•312 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



consists of undulating and gently rolling prai- 
rie lands, of the very best and most fertile soil 
in the county. In the southern and southeast- 
ern parts, for about three miles along Bear 
Creek and McDavid'a Branch, the surface is 
broken and in some places hilly. The soil on 
these high places differs very materially from 
that of the prairies, being thinner and more 
sandy, but nevertheless very productive. 

The greater amount of timber is in the 
southern part of the township, adjacent to the 
creeks already named. There are also small 
strips of woodland in the eastern and north- 
eastern parts," but the most of this has been 
cleared and put in cultivation. Like the tim- 
ber in the other townships of the county, the 
varieties consist of elm along the water-courses, 
hickory, oak and walnut on the uplands. The 
best of the timber was cut years ago, what is 
left being merely a new growth, which has made 
its appearance since the country was settled. 
On McDavid's Branch, in the western part of 
the township, is a large, beautiful spring, where 
the Fox Indians, in j-ears gone by, made their 
home. Near this spring numerous relics have 
been found, such as beads, flint spear heads, 
silver trinkets of various kinds, pipes, stone 
axes, etc. These Indians did not remain long 
after the white man made his appearance, but 
left for parts unknown in the year 1828. Scat- 
tered bauds frequently visited the scene of th< ir 
former camping grounds in after years, but 
they never remained for any great length of 
time. These visits were finally discontinued, 
and no Indians have been seen in East Fork 
since 1835. The first settler in this township 
was William Me David, who came to Illinois 
from Tennessee as long ago as the year 1820, 
and entered a piece of land lying in Seel ion 
34, near the place now known as McDavid'a 
Point. He came in company with one Jesse 
Johnson, who stopped at the little settlement 
in Grrisharn Township, near where the village 
of Donnellson now stands. 



At the time McDavid settled in East Fork, 
there was no house nearer than five miles, and 
for several months his neighbors were few 
and scattering. Time, however, makes great 
changes, and within a few years the little set- 
tlement became one of the most thrifty and 
flourishing communities in the county. Mo- 
David lived in the place where he first settled 
exactly forty-six years. He died the 14th day 
of February, 1800. His wife is still living, 
having reached the ripe old age of eighty-two 
years. The old homestead is now owned by 
his son, T. W. McDavid, who has added to it 
much of the surrounding land. His farm is 
one of the largest in the county. Another son, 
W. C. McDavid, lives on the farm adjoining 
that of his brother. He was the first white 
person born in the township, and his whole life 
has been passed within its borders. The next 
settler of whom anything definite is known was 
James Card. He found his way into the wilds 
of East Fork in the year 1821, and located the 
farm now owned by Daniel Cress in Section 4. 
Here he erected a cabin and lived one year, 
when his wife died, after which he returned to 
his former home in Kentucky. In the 3-ear 
1823, he came back to Illinois and settled in 
the northern part of East Fork, near the Irving 
Township line, where he remained for two 
years. He moved from this last place to Fill- 
more Township. Card came from the mount- 
ains of North Carolina, and was in many re- 
spects a remarkable man. Daring, intrepid 
and intensely religious, he knew no such word 
as fail, and all his undertakings were crowned 
with success. He made the first journey from 
this township to St. Louis for flour for the set- 
tlement, a task at that day attended by no little 
trouble and inconvenience, as there were no 
roads in the country. He directed his course 
across the almost trackless prairies by means 
of a pocket compass, cut his own roads in the 
woods through which he was obliged to pass, and 
readied his destination after many weary days' 



EAST FORK TOAVNSHIP. 



313 



traveling with his slow ox team. The return 
trip was made in face of fully as man}- difficul- 
ties, as he was more heavily loaded, and the 
way was made almost impassable in some 
places by the heavy rainfall. Several sons of 
Mr. Card are living in Illinois, one of them 
being a business man of Hillsboro. A number 
of settlers located in the southern part of the 
township between the years 1821 and 1826, 
among whom were the following: Joseph 
Williams, John Kirkpatrick, E. Ghiin, Henry 
Rowe and David Bradford. Williams settled 
on the farm where Riley Hampton now lives. 
Kirkpatrick located in the southwest comer of 
the township near the village of Donnellson. 
The places on which the other three settled is 
not known, nor could the dates of their deaths 
be ascertained. The earliest settler in the 
northern part of East Fork was Benjamin 
Rhodes. He came here from Southern Indiana 
in the year 182G and located a farm in Section 
8, about two and a half miles east of Hillsboro. 
Aside from the little settlement at McDavid's 
Point already alluded to, Rhodes' cabin was 
the only house in the township at this time. 
He died in 1877. William R. Linxwiler, a step- 
son of the preceding, came to East Fork while 
very young, and has lived here ever since. His 
whole life has been identified with the growth 
and development of his township in which he 
takes a deep interest. He has lived on the 
farm which he now owns for the last thirty 
years, and is one of the oldest citizens in East 
Fork. 

Among the first settlers was Jordan Williford, 
a Tennessean, who came in an early day and 
rented a small piece of land lying in the central 
part of the township. This was in the year 
1825. The following year, he located on Mc- 
David's Branch, where he lived for three years. 
when he sold his farm to William McDavid, 
and moved farther west on Shoal Creek. Here 
he purchased an extensive tract of land, which 
was his home till the year 1856, at which time 



he disposed of all his possessions in this State 
and moved to Arkansas. 

He was a man of sterling integrity, high, 
moral character and unbounded hospitality. 
No one was ever allowed to leave his pioneer 
home in need of anything which his liberal 
hand could supply. He raised a family of 
eleven children of whom seven are still living. 
Andrew J. Williford, one of the sons of Jordan 
Williford, can be called an early settler, as he 
came here with his father when but eleven 
years old, and has been a resident of the town- 
ship ever since. He is a Baptist preacher, and, 
like his father before him, is a man universally 
respected by the community in which he has 
resided. Robert and Joseph Mann, two broth- 
ers, were among the first settlers in the north- 
ern part of East Fork. Little is known defi- 
nitely about them, as to where they came from 
or how long they remained, but they are spoken 
of as good citizens, and were well thought of. 
Just south of the place where the Mann broth- 
ers settled, James Wiler located, though how 
long he remained was not learned. The Aliens 
were also an old family of East Fork, and set- 
tled here prior to the year 1830. Many repre- 
sentatives of this family are still living in the 
county. 

Prominently identified with the early history 
of this township was one Samuel Haller, who 
settled near the northeast corner on a large 
tract of land known as the, old Haller farm. 
Here he built his little cabin, and raised a 
goodly family of children, who figured largely 
in the early settlement of the county. One of 
these, T. B. Haller, is now one of the leading 
physicians of the State, and is located at Van- 
dalia. Many privations were experienced by 
the early settlers, among which was the diffi- 
culty of obtaining flour. In order to obtain 
this, they were obliged to go to St. Louis or Ed- 
wardsville, which required a great deal of time, 
as there were but few if any good roads in those 
early days. For a number of years, the mill at 



314 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



Edwardsville and the little mill on Shoal Creek, 
in Grisbam Township, were the only places 
where breadstuff's could be obtained. The first 
mill in the township was built by G. W. Tray- 
lor in the southeastern part, about the year 
1830, as near as could be ascertained. This 
was a steam mill with saw attached, and was in 
operation about twenty-five years. Another 
mill run by steam was that of D. M. Williams, 
in the southern part. This mill was in opera- 
tion as early as the year 1840, but at just what 
date it was erected, and how long it was run, 
was information which the writer was unable to 
obtain. A. M. Miller built a mill in 1867, which 
is still in operation. This is a steam mill with 
saw attached, and is doing a good business. 
The Brown Mill was moved into this township 
about the year 1875, and operated till 1877, 
when it was torn down, and taken to Fillmore 
Township, a few miles away, where it is still 
standing. 

C. C. Root has a saw-mill in operation in the 
southern part of the township, which is doing a 
large and paying business. There have been 
several portable mills in the township at vari- 
ous times, but none of them did business on a 
very extensive scale. The} - have all been re- 
moved, and, at the present time, there ai - e but 
the two mills already mentioned in operation 
in this section of the county. 

The stock business, breeding, raising and 
shipping stock, receives considerable attention 
from the citizens of East Fork, and a number 
of large farms are to be seen where large herds 
of fine cattle and sheep are kept. 

Prominent among those who make the stock 
business a specialty are J. B. McDavid, William 
H. Wilson and Thomas H. Wilson. McDavid 
owns one of the most extensive tracts of land 
in the county, there being in his farm over one 
thousand acres. Here can be seen some very 
fine cattle that have been bought and reared 
with no little expense. 

The farm of W. II. Wilson contains nine 



hundred and twenty acres of choice land, 
which is well stocked. Thomas H. Wilson 
owns some six hundred and forty acres of 
land in the best part of the township, aud 
has some very fine breeds of cattle and 
sheep. The first stock-markets were reached 
by driving the cattle overland to St. Louis, but 
! the presence of railroads in the county brings 
the market nearer home. The first roads through 
East Fork were probably better than the early 
roads in any other part of the county, as there 
are but few hills to cross and little woods to go 
through. The township is now well supplied 
with good roads passing through it or along its 
boundaries. 

The oldest road through the township is the 
Vandalia and Hillsboro road, which connects 
those two places, aud is one of the most im- 
portant highways in the county. It intersects 
the eastern boundary of the township at a point 
about one mile and a half southeast of Hillsboro, 
and passes through the township in a south- 
easterly direction. Its course varies but little 
till within a couple of miles from the line which 
separates the township from Fillmore, where it 
bears southward for a short distance. The Hills- 
boro and Fillmore road passes through the 
northern part of the township from east to west, 
and is one of the early roads of the county. It 
was laid out in the year 1823, and established 
in 1S27. Among the first roads laid out in 
the township was the Irving road which runs 
through the western part from north to south. 
It intersects the Fillmore and Hillsboro road 
at right angles, about one-half mile from the 
Irving line and the Vandalia and Hillsboro 
road at McDavid's Point in the southern part 
of the township. The Hillsboro aud Greenville 
road runs in a southerly direction from Hills- 
boro and forms part of the boundary between 
East Fork and Grisham Townships. These 
roads are all kept in good condition, and are 
among the best highways in the country. 
Many roads of minor importance traverse the 






L'C^?^<X<4 



LIBRARY 

Of 1HE 

UNIVf-Kbll Y ut ILLINOIS 



EAST FORK TOAVNSHIP. 



317 



township in different directions and intersect 
each other at various points, but they are known 
by no particular names. 

The early pioneers of East Fork were a 
moral and religious people as is evidenced in 
the fact of a church being established as far 
back as the year 1830. The Bethel Regular 
Baptist Church dates its organization from this 
year, though there had been religious services 
held at different places in the township several 
yars previous to that time. The first sermon 
was preached by Elder James Street, in a pri- 
vate dwelling house. He was assisted in the 
services by Elder Jordan, and together they 
organized the church already named some time 
afterward. 

The first meetings of this church were held 
in private dwellings of the members in cold ami 
inclement weather, and in the groves, " God's 
first temples," when the weather would admit 
of out-door services. Among the first mem- 
bers of this church were the following : Eleanore 
Freeman, Mary Goodwin, James Card, Mr. and 
Mrs. Colbert Blair, not one of whom is now 
living. James Street was the first pastor, in 
which capacity he acted for about twenty-five 
years. He was succeeded by Elder Larkin 
Craig, of Kentucky, who ministered unto the 
church for a period of about forty years. 
Craig was a fine pulpit orator and a man of 
more than ordinary vitality and energy. He 
would frequently travel twenty-five miles on 
Saturday, preach Saturday night, Sunday 
morning, afternoon and evening, and be at 
home in time to do the greater part of a day's 
work the following Monday. Elder Scars 
assisted Craig for several years, preaching in the 
latter's absence. 

Willis Dodson had charge of the church for 
five years. He was succeeded by Elder Peter 
Long, who preached for the congregation a long 
time. The present pastor, A. J. Williford, has 
been preaching for the church during the last 
twenty years. The house in which the church 



was organized belonged to Elisha Freeman, 
and stood in the southeast part of the town- 
ship. This was the principal place of worship 
for about ten years. The first church edifice 
was built of logs and stood one mile north of 
the place where the church was organized. It 
served as a place of worship about six years, 
when the organization was moved farther west 
and the meeting place changed to a little school- 
house on Shoal Creek. The congregation met 
at this place until the year 1855, at which time 
the building in which they now worship, was 
erected. This house stands on an acre of 
ground which was donated the church by 
Samuel Brockman. The house was remodeled 
in the year 1880, and is a very pleasant and 
comfortable house of worship. The church 
has decreased somewhat in membership through 
deaths and removals, having at present only 
about thirty names on the books. The 
Presbyterians organized a society in the j'ear 
1833, under the auspices of Revs. Joel Knight 
and John Barber. The original membership 
was about ten or twelve in number, mostly 
from other churches in the county. Their first 
building was of logs, and stood on Section 4, 
in the northern part of the township. For a 
number of years public services were conduct- 
ed at this place, but the organization was 
finally abandoned or moved to some other place. 
Nothing definite concerning this church could 
be learned. 

The Methodists have an organization in the 
southern part of the township, where for years 
a faithful band of Christians have met to wor- 
ship. This church is no longer the stronghold 
that it used to be, many of the members hav- 
ing died and many moved to distant places. 

The writer was unable to obtain any facts or 
data concerning this society, and much to his 
regret was obliged to pass it by with the fore- 
going brief notice. 

The Presbyterians organized a society, known 
as the McDavid's Point Cumberland Presbyte- 



318 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY 



rian Church, in the year 1857. The organiza- 
tion was brought about by the labors of Revs. 
Joel Knight and Joseph Bone. 

The records of the church give the names of 
ten persons as constituting the original mem- 
bership, most of them being from the church at 
Donnellson. We eive some of their names as 
follows : William Linxwiler and wife. J. B. Mc- 
David and wife, Mrs. Elizabeth McDavid. Many^ 
of the best citizens from time to time been mem- 
bers of this church. The first building used for 
a place of worship was the schoolhouse, where 
the congregation met for almost three 3 _ ears. 
As the church increased in numbers, a larger 
bouse was required, and their present com- 
modious structure was erected in the year 1S60. 
This building is 30x40 feet frame, and will com- 
fortably seat three hundred and fifty persons. 
It cost the sum of $2,000 and is one of the most 
comfortable and substantial church edifices in 
the county. It was dedicated in the year 1861, 
by Rev. J. B. Logan. A flourishing Sunday- 
school is maintained in connection with the 
church, and like the congregation, is in splendid 
working order. Rev. J. B. Logan was the first 
pastor of the church. He was succeeded by L. 
P. Dutheridge, who ministered in the congre- 
gation for several years, and was in turn suc- 
ceeded by Rev. T. W. McDavid. 

Revs. Daniel Bell, E. R. Jones and E. R. 
Rogers have preached for the church at different 
times, though not as regular pastors. At pres- 
ent the congregation is without a pastor. The 
Walnut Grove Free Methodist Church is located 
in the southern part of the township, and was 
organized in the spring of 1880 by F. H. Ash- 
croft, with a membership of twenty-nine. 

For six months after the organization, all the 
public services of the society were held in the 
barn and private dwelling of William Neal. 
The house in which the congregation now wor- 
ships was built in the fall of 1880. This is a 
very tastefully arranged little building, and cost 
about $000. The first sermon was preached in 



the new house by Rev. E. Outlander. The first 
pastor of the church was Rev. C. A. Flemming. 
Present membership, about thirty ; services are 
held every Sabbath ; prayer-meetings every 
Wednesday evening. It is impossible to esti- 
mate the great good done by these religious so- 
cieties, in the communities where the}' are to 
be found. They have had a tendency to elevate 
the morals and strengthen the nobler instincts 
of life. Many vices have been shunned through 
their influence, and the result is an abundant 
harvest of pure lives. May the churches con- 
tinue their well-begun work until 

"All crimes shall cease, anil ancient frauds shall fail 
Returning justice lift aloft her scale. 
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, 
And white-robed innocence from Heaven descend." 

The early school history of the township is 
almost wholly lost in the shadows of the past. 
and many dates and interesting incidents relat- 
ing thereto, have been forgotten long since, 
hence, we cannot hope to give it with perfect 
correctness. The first schoolhouse, as near as 
can be learned, was built in the year 1828, on 
Section 8. This was a diminutive log cabin, of 
the most primitive kind, no vestige of which re- 
mains to show the exact spot where it stood. 
One of the first schools was taught by Lewis 
Cass, in the year 1829. The house in which 
Cass wielded the birch stood near McDavid's 
Branch, and was similar in rnauy respects to 
most of the schoolhouses of that day. having 
neither floor nor chimne^y. A log removed from 
the side of the building left a considerable open- 
ing, over which greased paper was pasted, thus 
affording a very fair substitute for a window. 
Fires were built in one end of the room, the 
smoke finding its way out through a large open- 
ing in the roof the best way it could. The fur- 
niture was of the simplest kind, consisting of 
a few benches made of hewed logs, and a broad 
writing-desk, fastened to the wall by means of 
several long pins. These early schools were all 
supported by subscription, and were attended by 



EAST FORK TOWNSHIP. 



319 



the children of the settlers from miles around. 
The first public school was taught by A. J. 
Williford, in a little house which stood near the 
county line. This school was taught in 1839, 
and lasted but three months. Michael Walker 
was one of the early teachers of East Fork, hav- 
ing taught a school in the western part of the 
township in the year 1830. 

The first frame schoolhouse was built in 1843, 
on McDavid's Branch. There are now seven good 
schoolhouses in the township, five of them frame 
and two brick. The school board is composed 
of the following gentlemen, viz., John Fath, W. 
S. Barry, A. C. Williams, Trustees ; George 
Linxwiler. Treasurer. 

The East Fork Post Office was established in 
the year 1873, with S. H. Smith as Postmaster. 
This office was kept in Smith's store, in the 
western part of the township. It was discon- 
tinued several years since. 

The first store in the township was kept by a 
Mr. Cockerel, whose stock of merchandise con- 
sisted of groceries, boots, shoes, dry goods and 
whisky. His place of business was in the 
southern part of the township, and was the 
scene of many knockdowns and riots, occa- 
sioned by a too free use of the fire-water. One 
evening a man stopped here, on his way, as he 
said, to Kentucky. He drank heavily, and did 
not take his departure until a late hour in the 
night. The next morning his dead body was 
found a short distance below, oil which were 
marks indicating the fact that he had been 
choked to death. The supposition was that he 
had been followed, robbed and murdered by 
some unknown parties who had been on his 
track for the purpose. No clew to the mystery 
was ever found. The body was buried near the 
spot where it was found, according to the law 
of that day. 

A man by name of Rutter was killed near 
this place in the year 1838, by a certain Jack 



Wood. It seems that the two had some diffi- 
culty, during which Rutter became very abus- 
ive, and wanted to fight Wood. The latter 
tried to get away, and begged to be let alone, 
as he wanted no trouble. Rutter, however, 
would not be pacified, but continued to follow 
Wood up, and finally struck him. Wood re- 
turned the blow, and struck Rutter on the neck 
just below the ear. The blow was fatal. Rut- 
ter dropped and died instantly. Nothing was 
ever done with Wood for the killing. 

A part of the village of Donnellson lies 
in East Fork, though none of the original 
plat of the town. There is one good store 
here kept by R. C. Clark, whose stock of 
merchandise represents a capital of several 
thousand dollars. M. N. Allen keeps an agri- 
cultural store in connection with his blacksmith 
shop, and is doing a veiy fair business. 

Over Clark's storeroom is a nice, commodious 
Hall, where Lodge No. 255, A., F. & A. M., holds 
its meetings. This lodge was established Octo- 
ber 8, 1858, by Most Worshipful Master Harri- 
son Dill, with a membership of seven. Their 
names are as follows : William Gordon, M. S. 
Davenport, J. C. Banner, P. S. Davenport, 
Casba Hawkins, Tipton Cox and James H. 
Moss. The first officers were : William Gordon, 
W. M.; M. S. Davenport, S. W.; J. C. Hanner, 
J. W. The hall was built in the year 1861. 
Present officers of the Lodge are : M. N. Allen, 
W. M.; R. C. Clark. S. W.; F. W. Kummell, J. 
W.; J. B. Casy, S. D.; H. S. Hanner, J. D.; B. F. 
McLain, Sec; William Williams, Treas.; Henry 
Walkerline, Tiler. Present membership, 35. 
At one time, this was one of the strongest 
lodges in the county, but of late years the 
un'iniii'i'ship has decreased to a considerable ex- 
tent. 

Several granges and farmers' clubs have 
been organized throughout the township, but 
at present there are none in existence. 



320 



HISTOKY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



CHAPTER XI.X* 

FILLMORE TOWNSHIP— BOUNDARIES— FIRST GROWTH— PIONEERS— MILLS— SCHOOLS- 
CHURCHES, ETC. 



•• To the West, to the West, there is wealth to be 
won ; 
The prairie to break is the work to be done — 
We'll try it, we'll do it, and never despair 
While there's light in the sunshine and breath in 

the air ; 
The bold independence that labor shall buy, 
Shall strengthen our hands and forbid us to sigh. 
Away, far away. let us hope for the best, 
And build up new homes in the land of the West." 

— Mackay, 

THE great rapidity with which certain 
portions of the Western States have been 
explored, mapped out and settled, and the 
numerous changes that have been made by 
bringing the vast fertile prairies, but a few 
years ago the roving grounds of savage In- 
dians and vast hereis of deer and buffalo, into 
cultivation, furnishing happy homes for hun- 
dreds of the restless population of the South 
and East, have excited the wonder and admi- 
ration of the entire country. Especially is 
this true of that portion of Montgomery 
County to which this chapter is devoted; al- 
though settled in a very early day, it is, com- 
paratively speaking, a new country. Fill- 
more is situated in the southeastern part of 
the county, and extends from Witt Township 
on the north to Bond County on the 'south, a 
distance of ten miles. Shelby and Fayette 
Counties form its eastern, while East Fork 
Township forms its western boundary. It is 
drained chiefly by the East Fork of Shoal 
Creek, a stream of some size, flowing in a 
southerly direction, near the western part. 
A stream of considerable importance has 

"By (;. s. wry. 



its source in Section 10, and flows in a south- 
easterly direction, chaining that part of the 
township. Hurricane Creek and Dry Fork 
are the principal water-courses in the south- 
ern portion, and along which the first settle- 
ments of the county were made. The surface 
is undulating and gently rolling in the north- 
ern half, while along the course of Shoal 
Creek the land is more broken, being consid- 
erably hilly in some localities. The soil like 
that of the greater part of the county, is a 
rich, dark loam, sand mixed in certain places 
near the streams, and very fertile. Clay un- 
derlies a great deal of the surface, making it 
easily drained. Gravel beds and sand banks 
of considerable extent are found in the vicin- 
ity of Shoal Creek and other water-courses, 
sufficient for building roads and all other 
practical purposes. The southern part was 
at one time covered with a dense growth of 
deciduous timber, among which was a very 
large proportion of walnut, maple, oak, hick- 
ory and other valuable varieties. Much of 
this was used for rails, and destroyed by the 
early settlers in clearing their lands, as they 
then had no adequate idea of its value. Some 
years since, many thousand feet of black wal- 
nut were exported annually, besides immense 
quantities of oak, maple and sycamore lum- 
ber. There is still a good supply left, which, 
by judicious management, will supply all de- 
mands for lumber for many years to come. 

The forest productions in Fillmore are not 
excelled in quantity or quality by any other 
township in Montgomery County. 



FILLMORE TOWNSHIP. 



321 



The principal crops to which the farmer 
looks for his maintenance are wheat, to which 
the soil seems peculiarly adapted; corn, rye, 
oats, hay, vegetables, fruits — in short, all the 
productions common to Southern Illinois. 

The first settlements in what is now known 
as Fillmore Township were made by a small 
band of pioneers from the State of Kentucky, 
as early as the year 1817. The previous year 
had been spent by them within the present 
limits of Bond County, although at that time 
there were no civil divisions, Illinois being a 
Territory. 

Being considerably harassed by Indians, 
they were compelled to fortify, which they 
did by building a block- house, where the en- 
tire company took refuge. Several attacks 
were made at different times on this fort, but 
so obstinately was it defended by the brave 
little garrison that the savages, finding they 
could accomplish nothing by their hostility, 
finally withdrew, and gave the settlers no fur- 
ther trouble. Parties from this little settle- 
ment passed through the southern part of the 
present township of Fillmore in one of their 
hunting excursions, and, being favorably im- 
jiressed with the appearance of a tract of land 
on Hurricane Creek, induced the company to 
locate there, which they did in the sj)ring of 
1817. This was the first settlement by white 
men in Montgomery County. Among this 
little band of pioneers were Harris Revis, 
Henry Hill, Levi Casey, Aaron Casey, John 
Lee, and a number of others whose names 
have faded from memory. Their little cabins 
were built in a group around a large spring, 
from which each family obtained its supply 
of water. The Indians at that time had un- 
disputed sway, but caused the settlers no an- 
noyance after they located in this locality. 
Bears aud wolves infested the woods in great 
numbers, proving very destructive to the live 
stock, which had to be closely watched to in- 



sure safety. It required will, nerve and a 
determined resolution to successfully grapple 
with the many serious obstacles presented; 
yet, despite all the hardships and trials 
through which they were called to pass, the 
pioneers flourished and were happy. As time 
passed, the different members of the little 
community selected the lands destined for 
their future homes. 

Revis located his claim on Dry Fork Creek, 
near the southeast corner of the township, 
where he lived until the year 1840, at which 
time he died. Several grandchildren are liv- 
ing in Fillmore and adjoining townships. 
Henry Hill entered a piece of land adjoining 
that on which Revis settled. 

Both of these places are now owned by 
Samuel Hill, a grandson of Henry Hill, and 
one of the well-to-do citizens of Fillmore. 

John Hill improved a farm in the vicinity, 
which is still in the possession of his descend- 
ants. 

Levi Casey settled on the place since known 
as the Briggs farm. He sold the place in 
1837, and. with his family, moved to Shelby 
County, where he afterward died. 

Aaron Casey, a son-in-law of Revis, settled 
on a part of the Samuel Hill farm, which 
was his home for twenty-three years. A por- 
tion of this place was improved by John Lee, 
also, who purchased it about one year after 
its settlement by Revis. Joseph Wright was 
one of the little community. The place which 
was selected for his home is now owned by 
his son, Jarrett Wright, a prominent citizen 
of the township. A part of the Wright farm 
was improved by Henry Piatt, who came to 
the State in the year 1818. He was an up- 
right, honorable man, and one of the leading 
citizens in the community. He became the 
possessor of a considerable tract of land, and 
a number of his grandchildren are now liv- 
ing in the county. One of the most promi- 



322 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



neut pioneers of Fillmore, and one who did 
as much, if not more, than any other man to 
advance its material interests, was Newton 
Coffee, father of Cleveland S. Coffee. Iden- 
tified with the early history of the county, his 
life demands more than a mere passing no- 
tice. He was born among the hills of Ken- 
tucky, where were passed his youth and early 
manhood in those rugged out-door pursuits 
which so well fitted him for a pioneer. When 
he came to Illinois, the terrritoy now embraced 
in Montgomery County wan a wilderness, into 
which but few white men had penetrated. 
The one small settlement already referred to 
was the only spot within its borders cheered 
by the presence of civilization, and of this 
little community he had no knowledge until 
nearly one year passed away. He built a 
little cabin in the timber near the Bond 
County line, and lived there for several years, 
with no neighbors nearer than eight miles. 
This was in the fall of 1817. After locating 
his place here, he went farther north and en- 
tered the land where Hillsboro now stands, 
twenty acres of which he afterward donated 
for the county seat. He died in the year 
1 8 lit. at a good old age. The place where he 
settled lies in Section 18, South Fillmore, 
and is at present owned by his son, Cleveland 
S. Coffee. A number of early settlers locat- 
ed in the vicinity of the Coffee farm in 1819 
and 1820, among whom were Easton Whitten, 
Colbert Blair. Thomas Beck and Stephen 
White. They were all Kentuckians. Whit- 
ten bought a tract of land on Dry Fork, 
which he improved the year after coming to 
the State. The place is now in possession of 
his son, Thomas Whitten. Beck settled an 
eighty-acre lot lying just north of Coffee's 
farm. This comprises the early settlement 
of the southern part of the township, as far 
as we have been able to learn its history. 
Other early settlers there probably were whose 



names properly belong to the foregoing list, 
but in- oxvc research we have been unable to 
obtain any particulars concerning them. The 
northern part of the township was settled by 
emigrants from Kentucky, Tennessee and 
North Carolina, but it was a number of years 
after the settlements already referred to were 
made. Among the first to locate and improve 
farms in North Fillmore were James Card, 
T. J. Todd, John Alexander and M. Mason. 

The oldest settler now living in the county 
is Cleveland S. Coffey. He was fifteen years of 
age when his father came to this part of the 
State, and for sixty-five years has been a res- 
ident of Fillmore Township. He is still a 
vigorous man for his years, and in possession 
of all his mental faculties. The writer will 
always remember the pleasant hours passed 
under the hospitable roof of this stanch old 
pioneer while gleaning the facts of history 
contained in these pages. 

For many years during the early history of 
this section of the country, the lives of the 
pioneers were not enviable ones. Their trials 
were numerous, and the hardships they were 
called upon to encounter would discourage the 
bravest-hearted of the present day. Hard as 
was the life in the wilderness, it had its seasons 
of recreation, when the pioneers would meet, 
recount various incidents, talk over old times, 
and thus relieve the monotony of their iso- 
lated situation. Light hearts, good health 
and clear consciences made the toilsome hours 
pass pleasantly, and old men now living whose 
youth was passed amid the stirring scenes of 
those times look back with pleasure to the 
old days as the most enjoyable period of their 
existence. The nearest market where grocer- 
ies could be obtained was St. Louis, then but 
a mere village, fifty-five miles distant. Flour 
aud meal were obtained at Pad's Mill, about 
ten miles nearer. Many of the early families 
manufactured their own meal. Cleveland Cof- 



FILLMORE TOWNSHIP 



323 



fey gives the following description of a primi- 
tive hand-mill used by his father : ' ' The top of 
a solid hickory stump was hollowed out to the 
depth of about eight or ten inches. Over this 
was suspended a heavy iron wedge made fast to 
a pole, after the manner of an old-fashioned 
well-sweep. By working this up and down 
with considerable force, the corn in the hol- 
low could be crushed and a very good meal 
obtained." Wild meat of all kinds was 
plenty, on which the pioneer's family fared 
sumptuously. Tanned deer-skins formed the 
wearing apparel of the men, while the women 
clothed themselves with a coarse cloth manu- 
factured from cotton, of which each settler 
raised a goodly patch. The first mill in Fill- 
more was erected in the year 1825, by John 
Beck. This was merely a tread-mill, which 
the proprietor operated with a yoke of oxen, 
and. although an insignificant affair, it aU- 
swered the purpose for which it was intend- 
ed, and for a number of years did all the 
grinding for the entire neighborhood. New 
machinery was afterward supplied, and, alto- 
gether, the mill was in operation about twenty 
years. Benjamin Rose built a little horse- 
mill in Section 18 about the year 1838, and 
operated it ten years, when he sold it to a 
man by the name of Austin. Austin kept the 
machinery running several years, and did a 
very nourishing business. 

The next mill of which we have any knowl- 
edge was a steam-mill, built by John Hill, 
near where the village of Van Burensburg 
now 6tands, in 1840. The mill had but one 
buhr, and was kept running almost constantly 
in order to supply the increasing demand for 
its products. It was sold to Harris Wright 
and James Kirk in 1842, and by them operat- 
ed until the year 1846. It was torn down a 
number of years ago. The first lumber man- 
ufactured in the county was sawed by hand 
with a whip-saw, and used in the construction 



of Newton Coffey's dwelling house. Some 
of this lumber can still be seen in the kitchen 
of Cleveland Coffey's residence. 

A saw-mill was built by John Fuller, in 
Fuller's Grove, about four miles west of Van 
Burensburg, in the year 1840. It was in oper- 
ation a little more than one year, when it 
was sold and removed from the township. A 
steam saw-mill was built on Shoal Creek, 
near where the Vandalia road crosses that 
stream, many years ago. It was in operation 
but a very short time. A great amount of 
lumber has been sawn in the forests skirting 
the several creeks, by portable mills, at differ- 
ent times. Several of these mills are in oper- 
ation at the present time, and the lumber 
business still continues to be an important 
industry. 

In educational matters, Fillmore is not be- 
hind her sister townships in the county. 
Her citizens have always taken special inter- 
est and pride in the public schools, which 
have been well sustained and patronized. Its 
school history begins with the year 1825, or 
with the advent of Mr. Hatchett, the first 
teacher. This gentleman taught school in a 
little log house that had formerly been used 
as a residence by the family of Aaron Casey. 
It was situated in the southeast corner of the 
township, on Hurricane Creek. 

The following winter, Benjamin Bobbins 
taught school in a cabin that stood on the 
east bank of Shoal Creek, near the eastern 
boundary. Josiah Whitten was one of the 
pioneer teachers of the county, having taught 
several terms in the southern part of Fillmore, 
when the early settlements were in the infancy 
of their existence. 

In these early schools, nothing but the 
simplest elementary instruction was imparted, 
as many of the first teachers were men of lim- 
ited intellectual attainments. Reading, writ- 
ing, spelling, and the rudiments of arithmetic, 



324 



HISTORY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY. 



comprised the sum total of branches taught. 

The first schoolhouses were built of round 
logs, undressed, with chunks in the cracks 
and daubed with mud. Puncheon at the bot- 
tom and split sticks at the top> were the chim- 
ney material, with pounded dirt jambs and 
packed mud hearths. No floors were laid; 
the earth being smoothed off by constant use, 
became in time very compact. 

There were puncheon and plank seats, with- 
out backs. A long window around the room, 
with a rough writing-desk against the wall, 
complete the picture of one of these primitive 
college buildings. This may be taken as a 
sample and general description of the condi- 
tion of the schoolhouses in this part of the 
county from the year 1820 to 1845. 

The first frame schoolhouse was built about 
the year 1845, near the little village of Van 
Burensburg, and was known as the Easley 
Schoolhouse. The township has a number of 
good, substantial frame schoolhouses, all well 
furnished with patent seats and desks, globes, 
maps, charts, and other necessary requisites 
to education. The old cramped ideas of in- 
struction have long since been abandoned, 
and the schools are now enlivened by an in- 
vasion of fresh ideas and methods, which have 
been well received throughout the township. 
Near the Dry Fork of Hurricane Creek, a 
burial-ground was staked off in the year 1821. 
This graveyard is the site of an old battle- 
field, where at one time, many years before, 
an encounter took place between a detach- 
ment of United States troops and a band of 
hostile Indians. Many human bones, musket 
balls, spear-heads, knives, etc., have been 
brought to the surface at different times, 
while graves were being digged. The first 
interment in this cemetery was that of Ste- 
phen White, who died in the summer of 1 82 1 . 
The first marriage in what is now Fillmore 
Township took place in 1822, the contracting 



parties being'John Revis, son of Harris Re vis, 
and Patsey, daughter of Newton Coffey. The 
ceremony was performed by Squire Levi Casey. 
A daughter of John Beck was the first white 
child born in the county. This birth oc- 
curred in 1819, the same year that the fam- 
ily came to the State. 

As the country increased in population, 
good roads became a necessity, and many of 
the old crooked by-ways were abandoned. 
The Vandalia road, which passes through the 
township in a southeasterly direction, was the 
first regularly established highway. A county 
road was surveyed and established through 
the southern part of the township in an early 
day, the exact date of which was not learned. 
Many other roads were laid out and improved 
as the settlements increased, but, as none of 
them were roads of much importance, a f urther 
description is unnecessary. 

Van Burensburg is a small village, situated 
near the southwest corner of the township, 
about fifteen miles from the city of Hillsboro. 
It was founded by Joshua White, in the year 
1842, who kept a store there for several years. 
There are now one store, post office, black- 
smith shop and two churches. The post office 
was established about the year 1837, with 
Benjamin Roberts as Postmaster. The sec- 
ond Postmaster was Robert White. It is 
kept at present by a maD by the name of 
Bookstrock. One of the first stores in the 
place was kept by a Mr. Eddy, whose stock 
of merchandise consisted of groceries, a few 
dry goods and a plentiful supply of whisky. 
A man by the name of Nathan Harmon was 
killed at this pi ace shortly after Eddy started 
his saloon, under the following circumstances: 
It appears that Harmon was a dissipated, 
worthless character, and, when under the 
influence of whisky, very quarrelsome and 
abusive. Upon the occasion referred to, he 
had been drinking rather freely, and, seeing 



FILLMORE TOWNSHIP. 



835 



a stranger pass the door of the saloon, made 
some insulting remark to h im. To this speech 
the stranger paid no attention, but kept on 
his way, whereupon Harmon became very fu- 
rious, and started in pursuit, for the purpose, 
he said, of killing the "damned scoundrel.'' 
The stranger tried hard to avoid having any 
difficulty with the drunken man, but Harmon, 
with many fearful oaths, sprang upon him. 
Calmly the stranger met him, turned aside 
his high, wild thrusts, and, in return, struck 
him several well-directed and crushing blows 
on the chest and head. Harmon fell, and in 
a short time expired. The citizens regarded 
it as a just punishment, and no arrest was 
made. 

The early pioneers were not derelict in 
their religious duties, as is proved by the fact 
that devotional exercises were conducted in 
the. little settlement on Hurricane Creek the 
first year in which it was founded. These 
social meetings were held as often as circum- 
stances would admit, in the houses of differ- 
ent members of the community, and were led 
by some one selected on account of his pecu- 
liar fitness. The first church established was in 
1820 or 1821, by the Regular Baptists, who 
were more numerous than any other religious 
denomination. This church was organized 
under the pastoral labors of Elder James 
Street, a preacher who figures rather promi- 
nently in the early church history of Mont- 
gomery County. He was a man of strong 
powers of intellect, to which were added fair 
scholastic attainments and a persuasive power 
of oratory rarely excelled. He assisted in 
the organization of all the early churches of 
his sect in the county, and of him it can truly 
be said, ' ' his life was spent in traveling about 
doing good. " 

The first congregation was known as the 
Hurricane Creek Regular Baptist Church, to 
which nearly all the early settlers on Dry 



Fork and Hurricane Creek belonged. For 
several years, publ