Skip to main content

Full text of "Potomac, the Artesian village : [1876-1976]"

See other formats


The Artesian Village 


^(i. ^d^.*^.e^' ^h^-<^t' 

1876 - 1976 


The Api'esian Village 


Bluegrass Printing 

103 N. Vermilion 

Potomac, Illinois 61865 

Phone: (217) 987-6655 


Table of Bontenis 

Introduction 3 

In the Beginning 5 

Pioneers of Potomac 9 

Early Businesses 29 

Railroad 39 

Doctors ^2 

Churches "^4 

Schools 50 

Village of Potomac 59 

Special Events 72 

Organizations 77 

Disasters °'* 

Cemeteries ^^ 

Those Good Ole Days 87 

Civil Veterans 96 

Golden Years 98 

Centennial Farms and Homes 101 

Settlers of Potomac 108 

Potomac Businesses HO 

Advertisers 121 


Our town has pride in its heritage. It has been 
rewarding to wortc together to recall our history. 
People made long distance calls, wrote letters, 
searched through scrapbooks, albums, and went 
through abstracts and records. Many contributed 
articles, notes and histories. Personal histories and 
pictures came from families written about. We've 
relied on the memories of many, and we are grate- 
ful for all the time people spent with us. The Book 
Committee appreciates all those who helped or en- 
couraged in any way throughout the months of re- 
search and writing. 

To the best of our abihty, the information pre- 
sented here is as accurate as possible. There may be 
discrepancies in some stories because memories are 
not infallible, and many times records were not 
available or incorrect. If any names or events have 
been overlooked, we ask your pardon for our unin- 
tentional mistakes. We're thankful to Kathy Collett 
who checked articles for grammatical errors, and to 
Jean Davis, Carolyn Howie, Sandra Birt, Rocky 
Jolley Judy Harrison and Merry Gildersleeve who 
typed the book copy. A special "thank you" goes to 
Russell Biggs for getting the ads for the book. 

Residents from here have become military lead- 
ers, editors, bankers, lawyers, teachers, administra- 
tors, authors, nurses, doctors, ministers, business 
leaders, farmers, civic leaders, and homemakers. This 

is home to them. 

Although business houses have dwindled in 
number, this is a pleasant village-900 population. It 
has been an important part of this area since it be- 
gan, and today we are still making history. 

May you find old friends and neighbors, enjoy 
the programs, exhibits, parade and pageant planned 
to tell thestorv of our town, 1876-1976. 
History Chairman-Clarabelle Boggess, Helpers-Nelle 
Bennett, Helen Burke, Virginia 
Borror, Margaret Endsley and 
Nelle Taylor 
Centennial Colors-Green and White 
Parade Chairman-Alois Clementz, Donald W. Davis 
Church Programs-Potomac Ministerial Association 
Children's Contest-Chairman-Linda Carter, Help- 
ers-Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur Hickman 
and Mr. & Mrs. James Crawford 
Displays and Antiques-Chairman-Mr. & Mrs. Gene 
Talbot, Helpers-Mr. «& Mrs. Tru- 
man Spain, Mr. & Mrs. Don 
Reynolds, and Mr. & Mrs. John 
Decoration-Roger Fruhling 
Publicity-D. D. Phillips 

Concessions and Grounds- Lions Club, Boy Scouts, 
Methodist Church and Women's 


General Chairman-Mildred Curtis 
Co-Chairman— John Hoskins 
Secretary-Ann Duncan 
Treasurer— Carolyn Howie 

Board Directors-Steve Burroughs, Roger Fruhling, 
and Tom Ulmer 

We wish to express our sincere thanks to each 
and every one who made our Centennial the success 
it was. 

The Centennial Committee 

Mildred L. Curtis, Chairman 




Advertising has existed since the earliest trade 
of the Greeks and Egyptians. Early criers of wares 
were possessed with agreeable voices and clear 
speech, even as the radio and T. V. announcers of 
today. Stone tablets of carved advertising came a- 
long before print. The advertising structure today 
ranks among the first businesses in our nation. The 
people and firms who take care of our needs today, 
may be found in the pages that follow. The advertise- 
ments found hereare the final section of our history 
and are the "who" and the "now" of the entire 
community of the Potomac area. 


Information has been taken from write-ups from: 

Danville Commercial News 

Potomac Rustler- 1893 

Potomac Patrol -1897 

Potomac Record 

Middlefork Journal 

Scrapbooks of Ola Franklin 

Scrapbooks of Lizzie Sollars 

Scrapbooks of Josie Downing 

Prairie Farmer Reliable Directory— 1918 

History of Vermilion County, lUinois-Stapp and 

History of Vermilion County— Lottie Jones, Vol. 1 

History of Nelle Taylor 
History of Vermihon County, Illinois, Hiram H. 




'eod. to S>c>"n"l3't 

for one minute where to buy the besLgoods for the least money. Go to 
C. G- Layton's Big Store. See his finc: Heating Stoves including Air-tight 
Heaters, Garland Base Burnors, Original Round Oaks, Wood Base 
Burners Schoolliousfe stoves, etc. Examine our large and well selected 
stock of Ladies' and Gents' fine shoe". t)pys' and girl's warranted §chool" 
shoes, etc,* Buy the Lest flour on earih, that's the Pillsbury'-s Best, away, 
down in pi^ce to^make roooiklbr other goods. 

Everything sellir^g »t che very lowest prices. If you dcubt it be 
convinced by purchasing. 

Yours Ref:pectfully, 

C. C. L.^YT©Sy 

In f he Bedinnind 

Looking out over this area, we see homes and 
buildings; highways with cars, trucks and school 
buses. Green fields of com and beans that turn yel- 
low in the summer sun: loads of corn and beans 
pouring out of a combine. It is hard to visualize how 
this country looked when it was unoccupied except 
for the wild animals and an occasional band of In- 
dians who called this their home. Here the history 
of a county or village that was more than two cen- 
turies in the making cannot be written in a day, nor 
be told as it should in the limits of our little book. 

Our time began in 1828 when the first settlers 
came to this area from Kentucky. Mr. Partlow and 
his wife came with their 4 sons and son-in-law Asa 
Brown. They were all married and had families, and 
were all earnest members of the Methodist Church. 
Two were licensed preachers, and were the first ones 
to make a residence here. To the newcomers this was 
a most unexpected and disastrous winter. It was re- 
corded that this was the deepest snow ever, the like 
of which has never been seen here since. The depth 
of the snow prevented getting around to do any- 
thing. Deer, the principal meat-producing game, 
were easily captured, but they soon became so poor 
that their meat was not fit to eat. They all lived to 
bring up families, despite the hardships they had. 

At the time of townships' organization it in- 
cluded not only all of Butler township, but all of 
what is now Ford County, mnning up to the Kanka- 
kee River, and was more than 60 miles long. An ear- 
ly settler, when asked why the rich prairies were so 
long left vacant replied: "Why! If we had known 
that anybody could live out there, we would have 
saved ourselves a great deal of trouble." It was really 
believed that they would only be of use as pastures 
for the great heads of cattle that would roam over 

The streams through the pieces of timber were 
peculiar in one respect. When first found, they 
seemed to have worn no channels for the water 
courses. Every little rain spread them out into great 
ponds, as it still does in some areas along the Middle- 
fork River today. Wherever there was an obstruction, 
as a fallen tree, the water poured over and made a 
deep pond hole, which remained deep the year a- 
round. In these deep places large fish were caught. 
Even today they can still catch large catfish and carp 
in these holes. The Pottawatomie and Kickapoo In- 
dians had long had a home in the groves of trees in 
the Bluegrass area. Soon the wagons of the Kentuck- 
ians, Virginians and others cut trails over the unbro- 
ken prairies. Michael Cook was one of the first to 

settle here. He died soon, and was buried in a little 

graveyard one-half mile from Meneleys Mill on the 
hill. William Bridges came here in 1830, settled 
south of Marysville. He resided here 7 years. Mr. 
Menely, who himself was a millwright, built a saw- 
mill a little way downstream from Marysville in 
1837. He sold it to John Smith (plain), and it 
burned; Smith rebuilt it and sold it. This is the only 
water mill ever built in town. 

John, Dixon and Hamilton Baily were 3 broth- 
ers who settled in 1832 on land where Marysville 
now stands. 

In 1 835, a county road was established through 
Rossville and Bluegrass from the state line west. This 
was known as the Attica Road. 

In 1837, while Danville was making progress, 
it was a matter of satisfaction that the rest of the 
county was keeping step. Marysville in Middle- 
fork Township was increasing. Myersville, with Peter 
Chrisman's Mill, had aspirations. New Years Day- 
1850, the government census man showed the pop- 
ulation of Vermilion County was 1 1,402, and from 
all parts of the county there were rosy reports of im- 
proved condition of living. Most of the land had 
been taken up by actual settlers, and there were but 
few large tracts under single ownership, the excep- 
tions being the Mann estate in Ross, John Smith's 
(English) and John Goodwine in Middlefork. 


voiir feet reqnire comfortable piiy 
lecnou. Tbere s nothing In tbO 
work! as KOOd as 

Mishawaka All-Knit 


Three times as durable as any felt 

boot made— po«t(tr#/i* v<oth proof. 

Watch for the trade-mark "Ball 

Baod'thred. AlIotheTOi 

are Imltattons. Patentee i 

a,ta made by 


Buckingham & Co., 


Get 'Em at 



Depot on Eflst, Mala Street. UaiivlHc, llh 


No. 43. New York Express, dally 13;I8a m. 

^044 AUHiiLic Kxpre*.a. daily :i;t3p .in. | 

No 4li l.'jiTiiiuu Hull diiily ex Sunday. 8:10 a n» , 

Accomodatioulrelght ex Suivdtvy ■11:40 a i» ; 


No 4r, Prtriiic lix press daily 1:30 p m 

No 4:J bl L/Oui> Kxprtsa daily l;1£ain. 

No 41 C.iiinoii Ball n.iilyux Sundftv ...6:28 p m I 

■ ■n liPA -hi Hc- r-x N»iu'i*il>' •- --IQyJif.-jlJM jU , 

] NO 43 conuecta kt Sidney lor Lrua 


No 31 Expre-s Iv dftilyex Sunday 8:05 am 

No8:;i Express ar dally ex Sunday ti;40p m 

N0341 and 40 have free reclining chair cars- 
and Piilni-)ii Butfet =;teepiug cars between To- 
ledo and K.msas Ciiy ihrougb via Hannibal 

Nob44and'l.Sliflve smoking car coaches re- 
rlininK chair cars (seats free! and IJuffet.Par- 
lor cars between Toledo niid Si Louis. 

Nos 4L' and 43 have .^Dioking cura and coachOB- 
between Toledo L>eiroit and St Louis one sleeper 
St Louis and New \ork via Toledo M t) &N Y C 
& II R R II. One sleeper between St Louis and 
Boston via nutroil. M C. West ohore and Fltch- 
bnrgUys. Free recliuiiig chairs between To- 
ledo and St Louis. 

.ions SHUTTS Asent. Danville. 
Chas M Hays. C S Crane. 

Vice Pres. Geu'l Pass & Tkt, 

and General Manager. 


Potomac, r 

The Richard Courtney family came in 1835, 
and stayed. They enjoyed the richness of the land 
where grass was so thick that the few cows they kept 
came in at night loaded down with milk, and almost 
every hollow tree in the grove was the home of bees. 
There never was a land which, to the immigrant seek- 
ing new homes, flowed more hterally with milk and 
honey than this. Corn was 6^ a bushel and they had 
to go to Perryville, Indiana for their grinding. Pigs 
sold for SI. 00 per dozen. 

The fields were being fenced and the frame 
house was replacing the log cabin in many places. In 
1850, Vermilion County adopted the Township Or- 
ganization and instead of electing 3 Commissioners 
to conduct the affairs, 8 Supervisors— 1 from each 
of the 8 townships at that time: Ross, Middlefork, 
Pilot, Newell, Elwood, Carroll, Georgetown and 
Danville— were elected as the Governing Board. 

The township contained, originally, about 12 
sections of timberland, which was more in the form 
of pretty well-defined groves, with little under- 
growth, and hazel-brush patches which have since 
grown into timberland. So goes the story of our 
territory before Potomac was. 


The village of Potomac was not always known 
by that name, but was platted as Marysville by Wil- 
liam and J. C. Groves and others on May 1, 1869. 
Curiously enough the name Potomac does not ap- 
pear in any of the records in the county recorder's 
office except in parenthesis after the name Marys- 

Attorney C. M. Crayton, Danville, who spent 
much of his early life in "the artesian city," as Po- 
tomac has many times been called, says that the Vil- 
lage Board of Marysville in 1906 adopted an ordin- 
ance changing the name to Potomac, the post office 
department having changed the name because of My- 
ersville being close in Newell Township. In some un- 
accountable manner, the name of Potomac was nev- 
er filed with the county clerk, and therefore was 
never recorded in the recorder's office. The later 
name of the town was in honor of the Army of the 
Potomac. Many Vermilion County soldiers had 
served in that arm of the Union Army during the Civ- 
il War. The original name of the town was in honor 
of the wives of 2 of the early settlers in the commun- 
ity: John Smith (plain) and Isaac Menneley. The 
wives' first name was Mary. Robert Marshall and a 
man named Morehead lived across the creek, but 
moved in to help Smith make a town. This was in 
the 40's, although the plat of Marysville was filed for 
record in 1869 and it was not until 1876 that a peti- 
tion was filed in County Court asking incorporation 
of the village under the Act of Incorporating Villages. 
The village was originally incorporated as 
Marysville and later changed its name to Potomac. 
Another fact whicli made the location of the incorp- 
oration records difficult was that the County Judge's 
order sitting in probate appears to have been dated 
1895, entered nunc pro tunc 1875. The village will 
celebrate its centennial in our nation's Bicentennial 

Isaac Meneley built a blacksmith shop about 
1840; John Smith built a frame store across the 
street from the blacksmith, and went to keeping 
store. Dr. Ingalls was engaged in the practice of his 
profession here for 5 or 6 years. Henry Bass had a 
store here in 1852, and continued in business for 
some years. George and Mason Wright established 
themselves in trade in I 860. and remained 4 years 
and then moved to Danville. In 1864, Lloyd and 
M. W. Groves, who had a store in Bluegrass, came to 
Marysville and continued their business until the 
death of 1 partner in 1874, which dissolved the 
firm. They had a farm lying just north, which was 
purchased bv George May and laid out into town 

lots which is known today as the George May addi- 

I. Dillon built the steam grist-mill in 1 869. with 
2 nm of stone. He ran it awhile, when Robbins and 
Copeland bought it. They in turn sold it to Harris 
and Campbell. 

The schoolhouse is a very sightly and well-built 
2-story brick building, 40 x 56, with 2 rooms above 
and 2 below. The school is graded to 3 departments 
and is maintained for 8 months in the year. 

M. W. Robins was one of the prominent men of 
Marysville. He had a store building on the public 
square, the hotel known as the Murcle House, a feed 
yard for cattle and 1 5 or 16 lots in the village. 


At the Febmary term of the county court in 
1876, a petition was presented to the court by Rig- 
den Potter and 37 others, asking for the organization 
of Marysville under the act for the incorporation vil- 
lages, with the following bounds: commencing at the 
southeast corner of section 3, town 21, range 13: 
thence north to the northeast corner of said section; 
thence west to the northwest corner of the E. Vi of 
the N. E. % of said section: thence south to the north 
line of the right of way of the railroad; thence west 
along said right of way 40 rods; thence south 40 rods 
to the center of Main Street; thence east along the 
center of Main Street 27 rods; thence south to south 
line of said section; thence east to place of beginning. 
The petition set forth that there were within said 
proposed bounds 323 inhabitants. An election was 
ordered to be held on the 1 1th of April, to vote for 
or against said proposition to incorporate. At that 
election, 57 votes were cast of which 46 were for in- 
corporation and 1 1 against. And the court ordered 
an election to be held on the 1 1 th of May for 6 trus- 
tees of said village, to serve until the next time for 
regular election. At that election 74 votes were cast. 
George A. May, Caleb Albert, J. L. Partlow, Jesse 
Lone, M. V. Robbins and S. P. Starr were elected. 
The present trustees are C. F. Morse, S. Clapp, T. J. 
Honey, Jesse Lane, M. Guthrie and Isaac Brown. At 
the organization of the Board, G. rge A. May was 
chosen President; L. D. Hombeck was appointed 
clerk, and T. D. Austin, street commissioner. 

Marysville has lately been lost in the name of 
Potomac, and the artesian wells of the section have 
made it famous. 

APRIL 20, 1897 

The Vermilion Patrol: 

A number of citizens met in J. B. Courtney's 
office Monday night to arrange a ticlcet. J. B. Court- 
ney was appointed Chairman of the convention and 
Bert E. Pyke. secretary. The following ticket was 
nominated. President of the board- J. W. Layne; Vil- 
lage Clerk-Will Flaningan; Trustees (2 years)- L. D. 
Lane, C. C. Ransom and C. M. Yarrington; Trustee 
(1 year)— Henry Searls; Police Magistrate— William 

Another ticket was also filed with the Clerk, by 
petitions, signed by several voters nominating the 
following ticket: President of the Board— B. D. Wise, 
Village Clerk— Will T. Flaningan; Trustees (2 years)— 
L. D. Lane, C. C. Ransome and W. H. Copeland; 
Trustee (1 year)— W. L. Bentley: Police Magistrate— 
J. B. Courtney. 

The election will be held in S. Cheney's room 

on Tuesday, April 10 with the following as clerks 

and judges: Clerks— Geo. Avey and S. Cheney. 

Judges-Charles Shain, Elisha Hall and Wilham 



May 7, 1897 
The Potomac Rustler: 

New Village Board met in J. B. Courtney's of- 
fice Tuesday night for Organization. The roll call dis- 
closed the following members present: J. W. Layne; 
Taistees-Allen, Bentley, Lane. Ransom, and Wil- 
ber; W. H. Copeland being absent. 

The matter of appointing Treasurer, Village 
Constable, Street Commissioner and Pound Master 
was brought up and A. B. Duncan was elected Treas- 
urer. It was suggested that the 3 latter offices be con- 
solidated if a proper person could be found to ac- 
cept them. 

W. L. Bently and C. C. Ransom were appointed 
a committee to receive and pass upon application for 
this position. The matter of the suit of Schoonover 
vs. the Village of Marysville was brouglit up and Pres- 
ident J. W. Layne, Village Clerk W. T. Flaningan and 
Trustee L. D. Lane were appointed a committee to 
confer with and employ attorneys and attend to 
such other matters pertaining to the case as they 
may deem it the best interest of the village. The 
President announced that he had not as yet com- 
pleted his committees, but that he would be able to 
announce them at the next meeting of the Board. On 
motion, the Board adjourned session till Monday 
evening, June 10th. 


by Eva Hoskins 



Across the creek comes harsh, cawing cries, 
A wild, eerie calling drifts down from the skies; 
A redbird goes darting, a king-fisher shrills, 
To all who are listening, spring's message thrills. 

In the maples the sap is beginning to flow, 
The bluebird is back in the hollow below; 
The blackbirds cease chatter at the close of day. 
While robins give warning of rain far away. 

The sapsucker's tapping, while the woodpeckers rap, 
Can be heard in the elm, see his flashing red cap? 
The brown thrush goes slipping thru the fences, 
Off across the field drifts the meadowlark's song. 
On sunny, wouth hillside there are flowers coming up, 
Cress in the swamp, with wild flags at the edge, 
Violets and bluebells, and ferns on the ledge. 

Buckeyes are bursting, rebuds in bloom, 

Maple buds, falHng, for new leaves making room; 

Wild golden glow, and dandelions, too! 

And the grass in the meadow is greening anew. 

The creek's coat of ice is all washed away. 
While willow wands wave, with tassels quite gay; 
At reflections they cast on the water below. 
And buds drift in backwater with no place to go. 

The water is clearing, the stream running slow, 
The bass leap the shallows at the riffle below; 
Along the creek bank, on a watersoaked log, 
A turtle is sunning to the tune of a frog. 

The red berries are gone from the bittersweet vine, 
Climbing the fence in the pleasant sunshine; 
On the rattlebox bush the pods that fell, 
Were pushed off by buds now beginning to swell. 

Stir up the leaves with a stick and you'll find, 
Worms of all sizes and bugs of each kind; 
Where the woodcutter's axe took toU to keep warm, 
The sap is now seeping and the honey bees swarm. 

The sun is so warm, the wind so soft, 
The birds are building, in branches aloft; 
The catbird is busy at mocking his kind, 
While the little wren hurries, a homesite to find. 

In the night the wind blows out of the sky. 
Warm, splashy drops, on everything dry; 
With a new moon gleaming, distant and far. 
Thru thinning mist, one sees the glow of a star. 

The sun in the morning a great, rosy glow, 
With a white, dewy frost, like tine, silted snow; 
Nature bursts its bonds to begin a new life, 
Wliile the fetters of winter are shed in the strife. 

Pioneers of Poiomac 


Written for the Patrol by Tom M. "Zeke" Morgan, Paris, Illinois, Feb. 4, 1893. 

"If you want to see a hustler, 

An a town 'at's on the rise, 
Full o' men o' pluck an' ginger 

An' bus'ness enterprise, 
Jes' ski nout from Danville 

By a crooked northern route, 
Hug the Middlefork timber, 

Jes' a-joggin' in an' out: 
Drop some change in your pocket, 

Be prepared to pay your bill. 
An' when you come to Bean Crick 

You'll se old Marysville- 
Potomac, now they call it, 

'Zactly why, I do not know. 
But MarysvUle, I'm guessin' 

Was a little mite too slow. 
So when the railroad come— 

Narry-gauged to begin- 
Marysville she jes: skedaddled. 

An' Potomac trotted in. 

"You'll know it when you see it 

By its raal vim an' growth. 
An' you stay there twenty minits. 

You are sure to ketch 'em both. 
The whole town's full o' business 

As a houn' pup is d' flesa. 
It's a-floatin' in the air 

An' a-sproutin' on the trees. 
Ever'thing about the place 

Is up an' on the go— 
The blamed ol' Shanghai roosters 

Stay awake at night to crow- 
An' they cutter in the day-time 

As they strut about the straw. 
An' have a look as knowin' 

As a dude a-readin' law. 

"It's the smartest Uttle burg! 

In' the people's all in tune; 
'Cause they know their town's a-growin' 

Like a jimpson weed in June ; 
An' when you drop among 'em 

They come up in sech a way. 
You wish you'd brung your gripsack. 

An' come prepared to stay. 

"Good people there is plenty, 

An' the gals— Oh! sakes alive! 
They'll set your heart a-flutterin' 

Like it did at Twenty-five. 
They are not the flirtin' kind 

Like you see on city street. 
But they're womanly an' dignified, 

The kind you like to meet. 
An' you'll envy them young fellers 

It will take you by surprise— 
Who lauglis and loaf in sunshine 

Of them blue an' hazel eyes; 
An' youll ketch yourself a-wishin' 

You could put on all the styles. 
Swap your gray hairs for auburn. 

Run at large among the smiles. 

"An' them 'ere artehun wells! 

Jes' as common as the tress: 
Water's in sich a hurry 

'At it don't take time to Freeze. 
Another thing about it, 

It's as plenty as the air, 
A-bubblin' an' a-spoutin' 

All about you ever' where. 
It haint that kind nuther 

With bad eggs upon its breath, 
'At a drink of means slow death; 

As the dew upon the rose. 
An' when you go to drink it 

You don't have to hold your nose. 

"Jes' here I want to wlusper. 

What "m sayin' - keep it still - 
'At this 'ere arteshum water 

Will beat a dinner pill - 
Yes, 'twill down an' 'Early Riser', 

A 'Moffett', 'Jayne' er' 'Hood', 
It's a hummer in its bus'ness, 

An' is sure to do you good. 

"Now mark it-what I'm sayin' 

An' remeber 'at I said, 
'Don't bowl up on that water 

Before you go to bed.' 
If you do you'll git up airly. 

For it has a ketch way 
0' routin out a feller, 

Jes' about the break of day. 
You can dabble in it an' wade it. 

Have all the fun you please. 
But soak your hid full o' it. 

You'll want the mornin' breeze; 
An' you'll want it raal early — 

Now you mind what I say — 
You'll wake a-kickin' cover off 

About the peep o' day, 
An' slide into your trousers. 

Shoes, jacket, coat an' hat. 
But you won't be partic'lar 

'Bout your collar an' cravat." 


Caleb Bennett went on the prairie and took up 
the fine farm now owned by Zack Putnam, and im- 
proved it. He sunk 3 artesian wells, one of which is 
the finest in the Country. By boring thirty feet he 
got a permanent three inch stream, which is carried 
up high enough to furnish a good water power to 
drive a churn. Several other farms in that vicinity 
have artesian water. The farm which Mr. Caleb Ben- 
nett brought into cultivation is owned by Zack Put- 
nam, who carries on a butter dairy of 25 cows, the 
only one of the kind in the town. He uses the water- 
power to run a small turbine wheel, which drives the 
chum and nms the water through the milk house to 
keep it cool. With this care in keeping the milk cool, 
and with absolute cleanliness in the management of 
the dairy, he has no trouble in getting the highest 
market price for his product, and has solved the 
problem of profitable butter-making on these 
prairies in 1850. 


Bros. Al served on the school boards, Village council 
and was supervisor for 2 terms. He was treasurer of 
the U.B. Church Sunday School for 25 years and for 
the past 15 years as secretary of Potomac Lodge No. 
782 A.F. and A.M. also a member of the Consistory 
Valley of Danville. He was member of the Modem 
Woodman and was a charter member of the 
Potomac Lions Club and also Past Master of the 
Masonic Lodge in Potomac. 


Ed Blair was bom in 1878 northeast of Poto- 
mac four miles. He was the son of Humphrey and 
Nancy Adams Blair. He married "Tiny" Helvie in 
1900. She was the daughter of Alexander and Lucy 
Helvie. Mr. Blair farmed and sold insurance and 
later took employment as a carpenter at Chanute 
Air Force Base in Rantoul. He remained there for 
more than twenty years at the base carpentry shop. 
They resided in Rantoul at this time returning to 
Potomac after retirement in 1957. They had three 
children: Veva Hammond, Eugene Blair and Inez 

Frederick Bennett, farmer, was born in Bed- 
fordshire, England in 1831. He came with his par- 
ents to America when quite young. In 1853, he 
came to this county. He married Amanda J. Jameson 
in 1868. There were five children, two of whom 
were Thomas M. and Fanny B. Mr. Bennett held the 
office of postmaster. He owned two hundred six- 
teen acres of land, worth $30 and acre. 


Herman Biedermann, shoemaker, was bom in 
Germany on April 15, 1846. He came to America 
in July, 1870. He married Emma Martin. They were 
the parents of five children: Ralph, Mabel, Mary, 
Pansy and John. 


James Allen "Al" Blackford was born in Arm- 
strong, Nov. 17, 1882, in a family of 7 children. His 
schooling was at the mral school of Green Valley 
and Bean Creek for 3 years. The family moved to 
Potomac in 1911, and he then entered the Univer- 
sity of Illinois. On April 5, 1911, he and his brother 
Russell opened a general store known as Blackford 

Anna Brown (older woman) and her daughter, 
Kate Hodge 



Anna Brown left Ireland one hundred years 
ago, arriving at Ellis Island in America. Her husband 
had come earlier and had earned the money to send 
for her and their two small daughters, Anna and 
Mary. The couple had lost six sons while living in 
Ireland. Two daughters, Bettie and Katie, and a son. 
Tommy, were born in America. 

They first settled at Mansfield, Illinois where 
Mr. Brown was employed as a section and bridge 
building foreman for the railroad. 

Later they moved to Potomac. Mrs. Brown 
kept boarders, baked and sold bread. Ironed for the 
bankers and along with her twelve year old daughter 
Katie, was janitor at the Potomac Grade School. 

Tommy died in 1 889 at the age of five and Mr. 
Brown died the same year following a stroke. 

While her daughter Mary Roe was making a 
trip around the world, Mrs. Brown died at the home 
of another daugliter, Bettie Edwards, near Arm- 
strong. This was in 1923. 

Two granddaughters, Mildred Parsons and Paul- 
ine Behimer live in this vicinity. 


T. W. Buckingham, innkeeper and justice of 
the peace, commenced in 1876 to manage the hotel 
on Main Street in Marysville, known as Murcle 
House. He was born in Allen County, Indiana, on 
April 23, 1833. He came to this state in 1870, set- 
tling in Fainnount. Here he went into the grocery 
business, but afterward became a commercial trav- 
eler. He married Ellen A. Clark in 1856. They were 
the parents of five children: Mary A., wife of G. J. 
May, Mable P., wife of J. E. Butz, George T., Myrtie, 
and Clyde. 


Harry Carpenter was the son of Mr. & Mrs. 
Delos Carpenter living seven miles northwest of Po- 
tomac. He was born in Union Center, Cumberland 
County, Illinois on December 31, 1894. He and his 
parents moved to this vicinity and he volunteered in 
the aviation service in August with Fred Taylor. 
They were sent to .'efferson Barracks together. 
Harry was assigned to the 127th aero squadron and 
Fred to the 1 16th. both in training at Kelly Field. 
Texas. Harry was the victim of ptomaine poisoning 

and was contmed to the hospital loiM.'\or;il ucvks 
and was not as far advanced in training as tJie other 
boys. When the 127th and 1 16th sailed for France, 
he was assigned to the 100th squadron for further 
training which accounts for his being on the ill- 
fated ship, the transport Tuscania, which was tor- 
pedoed. He was the first boy lost in war from Poto- 
mac and at the age of 23 was buried in Scotland. 
Our American Legion Post in Potomac was named 
in his honor. 





Mr. Harmon Samuel Copeland was born May 
18, 1862, at Bean Creek. His parents were William 
H. and Rachael Stearns Copeland who were the 
parents of ten children of which all but two passed 
on. Those living were a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Cham- 
bers, and Mr. Copeland. 

Mr. Copeland was given the name Harmon 
from his oldest sister's husband, John Wilson, who 
was in the Civil War. His Colonel was a well-thought- 
of officer and Mr. Wilson, home on furlough, asked 
that his officer's surname of Harmon be given the 
baby as his first name. The middle name of Samuel 
was after his grandfather, Samuel Copeland. 

He was reared on a farm and received his 
meagre education at the Bean Creek School wliere 
seats were made of lumber from a saw mill nearby. 
In 1886, his father retired from farming and moved 
to Potomac. Young H. S. started a restaurant on his 


own. It was located where the present city building 
is. A partnership with a brother, Eh H., was formed 
and they remained together about a year. Then his 
father purchased Eli's interest, and after a few 
months, the business was sold. 

On February 24, 1886, he was united in mar- 
raige to Miss Nellie Williams, and they had two 
daughters, Mrs. Florence McCusker and Mrs. Rachel 
O'Byrne. They lived in the home that they built 
for over 65 years. They loved to travel and had 
many antiques. 

Then in 1887, H. S. and his father went into 
the business of furniture and undertaking. In 1894, 
he passed his test and was issued Embalmers License 
No. 341. The undertakers didn't only embalm but 
also built their own caskets. On October 10th and 
1 1th in 1942 he observed his 56th year in the busi- 
ness at the same location. 

Mr. Copeland's one wish was to live to be 100, 
but he passed away March 12, 1962, just lackmg a 
few months of his dream of being 100. 


William H. Copeland, a farmer, was born in 
Gallin County, Ohio on April 15, 1821. His family 
settled near Danville in 1829. He married Rachel 
Stevens who was born February 21,1 823, in Clinton 
County, Ohio. They were the parents of ten chil- 
dren. Nancy E. became the wife of William Duncan. 
Elizabeth married John Chambers. Other children 
were Eli, Andrew, George W. and Harmon. Mr. Cope- 
land was a school director for twenty years, com- 
missioner of highways for three years, and was su- 
pervisor of the township for many years. He owned 
one thousand acres of land, worth $25 per acre. 

The Copelands-Andy, Harmon, Nannie Duncan, Eli, Lib Chambers and George Copeland. 


The Cossairts 

Back row-left to right: Sadie Huber Cossairt (wife of Al), AdeUne Cossairt Crawford, "Al" Cossairt, "Sep" 
Cossairt. Mae Cossairt Harriman, Dr. "Sant" Cossairt; Second row: Laura Cossairt Harriman, Minerva Cossairt 
(wife of Sant), Katherine Cossairt (wife of Sep); Seated: Susan Cossairt-in arms-Irene Cossairt (daughter of 
Al), John Cossairt, William Cossairt-in arms-Arthur Cossairt son of Sep). 


The Cossairt Family has lived 1 mile west of Poto- 
mac on Rt. 136 for over a hundred years. William 
and Susan Cossairt had seven children born here who 
lived to be adults. 

Santford (Sant) married Minerva Acton. He be- 
came a doctor and practiced in Potomac for her life- 
time. They had 1 daughter Louie Jane Merkel who 
now lives near Danville. She has 1 son Patrick Fitz- 

Adeline married Charles Crawford of Jamesburg, 
Illinois. She had 4 step children: Harold, Homer and 
Don. One daughter, Irene Clem, is now living near 
Williamsport, Indiana. 

Septimus (Sep) married Katherine Terpening. Af- 
ter marriage they lived 1 mile south of Potomac on 
a farm. In 1919, they moved into Potomac and he 
became postmaster for nearly 20 years, until politics 
changed as such was the custom at that time. He then 
became tax assessor and acted as such until his death. 

After Katherine passes away in 1940, he was later 
married to Fannie (Williams) Werts. He lived in Po- 
tomac until his death. He had 3 children; Arthur (de- 
ceased 1905 at age 6 years); 2 daughters, Louise and 
Leota. Louise married Clinton Mackeyof Jamesburg, 
they have 2 children Elbert and Barbara. 

Leota taught school in Potomac for 4 years (1931 
-1935) before her marriage to Glenn Moore of East 
Lynn, Illinois. They have 3 children: David, Glenda 
Kay and Larry. 

Both Louise and Leota with their husbands now 
make their homes in Sarasota, Florida. 

Al Cossairt married Sadie Huber and they lived 
in Potomac for a few years. Later they moved to 
Faith, South Dakota. They had 4 children: Irene, 
Lowell, Wilbur and Donald. During the 1 9 1 8-Flu ep- 
idemic, his wife Irene and son Donald succumbed. 
In later years he was remarried and had 2 daughters: 
Nadine and Jacqueline. 

Laura was a primary teacher in Potomac for 
aeady 25 years. At that time she lived with her 


brother John on the home place. After the death of 
her sister Mae, Laura was married to Elmer Harri- 

Mae Cossairt was married to Elmer Harriman. 
They had 2 daughters: Carolyn and Grace. Carolyn 
married Loraine Bert and is now living in Interloch- 
en, Michigan. Their son Jack also lives in Michigan. 
Grace married Haskell Sexton of Urbana, Illinois. 
They had 2 daughters: Susan Jane and a son John. 
The Sextons now live in Naples, Florida. 

The youngest boy, John Cossairt, served some 
time in the Armed Forces during World War I. After 
returning home, he took charge of farming the home 
place. He married Faye Comer. He lived at the farm 
until his death. His wife now lives in the Cossairt 

TheCossairts were very musical. Many may re- 
member the men's quartet. After Al moved away, 
Elmer Moreland joined John, Sep and Sant. The Co- 
ssairt quartet sang at many types of functions such 
as 4th of July celebration, funerals and church meet- 
ings. Adeline and Mae gave piano lessons at one time. 
Many of the Cossairts grandchildren and great grand- 
children have shown talent also. Among them are 
flutists, trombonist, violinists, trumpet players, also 
alto and french horn. One was a drummer in 7th in- 
fantry band while in the service. 

Much of the entertainment in the family gath- 
erings at the Cossairt farm home was spent in after- 
noon song fests. 


David S. Cossairt was bom in Potomac, Dec. 27, 
1875. He was the son of William and Louise Smith 
Cossairt. He was a retired farmer, postmaster for 14 
years and Middlefork Township assessor. He married 
Catherine Turpening and they had three children, 
Louise, Leota, and a son Arthur who died at age 7. 
He then married Fannie Wertz Dec. 13, 1944, and 
he died Dec. 4, 1956. 


William Cossairt was a farmer born in Ver- 
milion County on July 5, 1836. He married Louise 
A. Smith in August, 1 86 1 . They were the parents of 
William A., Ada, David S., Samuel A., Laura and 
John. Mr. Cossairt held the office of school director, 
assessor and treasurer of the board of commissioners. 


J. B. Courtney, dmggist, was bom in Monon- 
galia County, Virginia on March 2, 1824. He came 
to this state in 1845. He married Samantha Gruey 
in 1848. They were the parents of three children. 
Mr. Courtney commenced the drug business in 
Marysville in 1875. His partner in business was Dr. 
Messner. He held the offices of collector, assessor, 
and justice of the peace. 

Laura and Leota Cossairt 


C. L. Duncan was bom April 21, 1888, he was 
the son of John and Nellie Wilkie Duncan. Raised on 
a farm near Potpmac,^ he went to the rural grade 
school at Wallace Chapel, and later on as a young 
man went to Denver and took a business course at 
the Central Business College. He then retumed to 
Potomac in 1910 to work on his father's farm. 
Four years later he joined his brother in the hard- 
ware business. 

He served three years on the Grade School 
Board. He was also a member of the Methodist 
Church, Lion's Club, and Potomac Lodge No. 782. 
A. F. and A. M. 

On February 14, 1917, he married Alma 
Helvie. and they had one son, William. 



Carl Duncan was bom near Potomac Septem- 
ber 24, 1884. He was a farmer and landowner. He 
lived in this vicinity all his life with the exception of 
a few years when he lived in the west. He married 
Edna B. Karr January 6, 1909. and they had two 
sons, Mason and Melvin Duncan. 


Charles P. Dun n was born in Fountain 
County, Indiana in 1852. He married Mary A. Cope- 
land in 1876. Their children were Ernest, Asa. Al- 
bert, Ada, and Mamie. Mr. Duncan did a thriving 
grocery business in Marysville having one thousand 
dollars invested in groceries. 

Fred Duncan 


Fred Duncan was born December 8. 1886. He 
was the son of John and Nellie Wilkie Duncan, raised 
on a farm near Potomac, he went to the rural grade 
school at Wallace Chapel, and later he came to Poto- 
mac High School. In 1908. he went to Denver and 
enrolled in the Central Business College. He returned 
to Potomac and became a clerk in the Leonard Hard- 

ware Store. He liked the merchandising business and 
in 1910 he formed a partnership with Chas. Jester. 
The firm's name was "Duncan and Jester." In 1914, 
his brother Claud became interested in the business 
and purchased Mr. Jester's interest, and the two 
brothers named their business, "Duncan Bros. Hard- 
ware Store." Mr. Duncan served on the school board, 
was a member of the city council and served as a dir- 
ector of the Potomac Building and Loan. He was 
a member of the Methodist Church, a member of 
the Potomac Lodge No. 782 A. F. and A. M. and a 
charter member of the Potomac Lions Club. On Jan- 
uary 16, 1915, he married Mary E. Goodwine and 
they had two children, Robert and Louis Duncan. 
He later married Lois Crawford. 


James H. Duncan, farmer and stockdealer, was 
born in Gallatin County, Kentucky on Febniary 12, 
1818. He married Elizabeth Crabbe on April 4, 
1839. To them were born ten children. One son, 
William H., married Nancy E. Copeland. Mr. Duncan 
was a school tmstee and school director. He fattened 
about one hundred head of cattle yearly. 


Ersom French, a fanner, was born in Knox 
County, Indiana on April 14, 1811. Mr. French 
was twice married. His first wife was Harriet Clem. 
After her death he married Eliza Carroll in 1850. 
Three children were born to them. Truman P. was a 
practicing physician in Ogden. Mr. French was a 
school director and a road commissioner. He owned 
two hundred and nine acres of good land. 


John Goodwine, Jr., Potomac farmer and 
stock-raiser, was born December 2, 1848, in Vermil- 
ion County. He first married Mary Alexander in Dec- 
ember, 1870. Anna was born to them in 1872. Mrs. 
Goodwine died in October 1872. He then married 
Lidora A. Lane in May, 1874. To them were born 
John W., Wilbur H., Cora, Ulysses S., Wayne, 
Everett, and Vesta. He fed and shipped a large num- 
ber of cattle and hogs each year. Later Mr. Good- 
wine founded and was president of the Goodwine 
Bank. He was joined there by his son John W. This 
bank became Goodwine State Bank in 1920. The 
Potomac National Bank merged with Goodwine 
State Bank in 1920. The Potomac National Bank 
merged with Goodwine State Bank in 1929. Later 
he was joined in the bank by his son, Ulysses and 
his daughter Cora Rice. 


Marion Goodwine, farmer, was born in Warren 
County, Indiana on August' 26, 1846. His father 
moved to this state when he was one year of age, 
and settled in this township. Mr. Goodwine re- 
mained on the farm until he was twenty-two years 
of age. For three years he was engaged in the mer- 
cantile business in Higginsville, and was also post- 
master while there. On September 1, 1870, he mar- 
ried Susan Selsor. They were the parents of Hattie, 
Fred, Ary, Mary, and Dale. 

U.S. Goodwine 


Ulysses Sidney "Uly" Goodwine was born Feb. 
11, 1884, in a family of 10 children. His parents 
were John and Alice Goodwine, who were eariy 
pioneers of this community. He attended the local 
grade and high school, graduating in the class of 
1905. He went to Gem City Business College and 
graduated. On returning, he helped his father in 
farming, but in 1906 he entered his father's bank. 
The bank was known as "Goodwine Bank," as in 
those days most all banks were private institutions. 
His father and brother John established the bank in 
1903. Later the bank was compelled by state law to 
change its name to "Goodwine State Bank." 

He was married on Feb. 15, 1909, to Margaret 
French and they had two children, Lois and Marvin 
Goodwine. He served on the school board, village 
board, a member of the Methodist Church, a Wood- 
man, Vermihon County Bankers Assn. and a charter 
member of the Lions Club. 


William H. Gray, Dorn in Foster, Indiana came 
to Potomac, working on a ditch digging crew at the 
age of seventeen. He was the son of John and 
Rebecca Steeley Gray. His father died and his 
mother remarried Mike Heffern. Besides his two 
brothers, Joe and Jake, he had several half brothers 
and sisters. Mrs. Josephine Goodwine is the last 
survivor of that family. On December 23, 1888, 
he married Etta Mae Hall who was the daughter of 
Elisha and Sabrina Hall. They started housekeeping 
in a large home in downtown Potomac, later 
buying the house in the north end of Potomac 
that they owned for over fifty years. Mrs. Gray 
died in 1939 and Mr. Gray died in 1952. There 
were nine children born to the couple, the last 
survivors being Mrs. Marjorie Beshears who lives in 
Rossville and Mrs. Minnie Hollowell who lives near 
Covington, Indiana. 

Mr. Gray was in public office for over forty 
years serving as assistant county deputy sheriff, con- 
stable, justice of the peace and supervisor for a short 
time. He was an active fifty year Mason and had re- 
ceived the 32nd degree. Mrs. Gray was active in the 
Church of Christ, Royal Neighbor Lodge, and re- 
membered for her beautiful quilts and crocheting. 


Charies LaGrange was born January 10, 1846, 
at Vestal, New York. He enlisted at Elmira, New 
York in the 10th Engineers in the Civil War and 
came to Marysville, now Potomac, soon after the 
close of the war and lived in his present home over 


55 years. Wlien he eame here, the country was a wil- 
derness with roads hewed through the timbers. 
There was a sawmill at Bean Creek and the iiristmiii 
in town. He hauled Hour to Hoopeston and Miltord 
and clerked in the Dillon Store which housed the 
post office also. The mail came from Danville about 
twice a week; helping in the post office he could 
hold all the mail in one hand. When the railroad was 
built he held the position of station agent for some 
time and later went on the road as a conductor. He 
then became a carpenter and built many of the 
buildings in town and surrounding country which 
are still standing. He also built many caskets. He 
helped to organize Steedman Post G. A. R. 352 and 
was commander for more than 35 years. He took 
part in Memorial Day Services for many years giving 
the Gettysburg address. He then married Mary Her- 
bert and they had one son that died in childhood. 
He himself died November 24. 1938. at the age of 



Harry D. Grimes was bom in Potomac, the son 
of Marion and Addie Duncan Grimes, on August 1 2, 
1908. He had three brothers, Manfred, Ralph and 
Clarence who preceded him in death. Harry died 
Feb. 3, 1974. Two sisters are living, Lois VanFossan 
and Maxine Wagner. Harry or "Huck" as he was 
known to many of his friends, opened "Harry's Pool 
Room" in Potomac on Oct. 16. 1950. The business 
was located on the second floor of the building at 
the southeast corner of Vermilion and State Street, 
and Gib Anderson's clothing store was located on 
the first floor. 

In 1954 the poolroom was moved to 102 N. 
Vermilion Street where it remained until his death. 

It was quite an undertaking for a siglitless man 
to enter into a retail and service business, but he was 
equal to the challenge and remained in business for 
over 10 years. 

Harry's hobbies included fishing, trapping and 
he was an avid baseball fan. He was known as a "die- 
hard Cub fan." 

Most of the townsfolk remember Harry's un- 
canny ability to identify a person from the sound of 
his voice. Even if he hadn't talked to a person for 
several years, it hardly took more than a "hello" be- 
fore Harry knew who he was speaking with. 

The young men in town were Harry's "boys." 
Many relied on him for advice and thought of him 
as "Dad." 

Harry bought a typewriter, memorized the key- 
board, and set up nights writing short stories about 
trapping, nature and the like. 

He was married in April, 1935, to Marie Judy 
and they iiad three sons. Laddie, Larry and John. 
Larry died soon after birth. Harry got a great a- 

mount of enjoyment out of his family. He taught iiis 
boys to fish, trap and swim. 

He played a guitar and sang ballads. He also 
played a violin. One of his special blessings was his 
three grandchildren. Vickie. Todd and Chad Grimes. 


Llisha Hall was born in Butler County. Ohio on 
March 20. 1823. He married Sabrina Meldrum on 
February 7. 1866, came to Potomac and the\ had 
four children, Etta Gray, Minnie Cheney, Frank 1 hill 
and one who died in infancy. He made the long and 
torturous trip to California with others in 1849 over 
the trackless plains remaining there for three years. 
He was a very industrious man. He was a member of 
the Christian Church when it was first organized. 

K. A. Harper 


Karl Ashton Harper was born August 14. 1875, 
on a farm near Lisbon, Cedar County, Iowa. He was 
one of six children. After going through the rural 
schools of that community, he remained home and 
assisted his father in farming until 1900. He then en- 
tered the grain business in Lisbon, and then selling 
his interest, he came to Potomac in 1907. purchas- 
ing the elevator from J. C. Koehn. He owned the 
business for years. 

He served on the Town Board and nine years 
on the School Board. He was a member of the Poto- 
mac Lodge 781. A. F. and A. M.,a 32 Mason belong- 
ing to consistory. Valley of Danville, Methodist 
Church and a charter member of the Potomac Lion's 

On October 16, 1901, he married Hattie V. 
Yeisley,and they had three children, Margaret, Dale 
and Paul Harper. 



John Hotli came to Potomac with his family at 
the age of three years from Minnesota. Both his par- 
ents were originally from Germany. His father, a 
blacksmith by trade, opened a shop in Potomac in 
the year 1881 and John left school at thirteen to 
serve as an apprentice learning his father's trade. At 
the death of his father he opened his own ship lo- 
cated where the Potomac Post Office stands today. 
In 1907. he married Alta Vina Shain and they reared 
nine children. He continued with his blacksmith 
trade and was well-known in this community during 
the horse-and-buggy years. The family moved to a 
farm during the depression years, which was not a 
success. They returned to Potomac. He went to work 
in a machine shop in Danville until retiring at the 
age of 80 years. He died on November 2, 1965. 


Charles A. Jameson, cabinetmaker, was born in 
Champaign County, Ohio in 1847. He learned his 
trade when quite young. He married Emelia Reihart 
in 1869. Their children were Maggie M., Lulu E., and 
Robert. His father was one of the pioneers of the 

George Elmer Jameson was born on March 8, 
1 866, in Vermilion County, son of Elizabeth Weiser 
and Joseph Jameson. 

He married Effie Louise Martin Miller in April, 
1894. They had three children, Gladys, Glenn and 

Mr. Jameson was a Potomac barber for sixty 
years and former town clerk. 


Earl Bert Jameson was born July 6, 1883, in 
Potomac, III., the son of Edmund and Irene Jameson. 
He had a brother Clarence, a half brother Roy, and 
half sister Mame. He graduated from the "old" grade 
and high schools in Potomac. On June 30. 1904, he 
married Stella Nan Wilson, daughter of William and 
Emma Wilson. They had three sons. Curtis, Don- 
ovan, and Dale. Curtis had a son Thomas and daugh- 
ter Delena. Donovan had three sons. Dean, Gary 
and Lee. Dale had four sons. David. Larry, Doug 
and Danny, and daughters, Sallie and Susan, harl 
and Stella's great grandchildren are Todd and Mary 
Jameson, Dawn, Frankic and Trenny Rliodcs and 
Brett and Kelly Jameson. 

Earl was a mailcarrier out of Potomac for thir- 
teen years from 1905 until 1918. His route was 
south of Potomac through NumberTen territory. At 
that time thev carried mail by using iiorses and carts 

Earl Bert Jameson 

or Klondikes. After he became a carrier, he bought 
out Lonnie Shanks. Later he carried through the 
summer months on a motorcycle. Next they started 
using Model T Fords. His route was extended and 
covered the territory northwest of Armstrong and 
Potomac. In 1918, he resigned to farm William Wil- 
son's farm. Frank McCormick followed Earl on the 
mail route. 

Earl moved to the Wm. Wilson farm on Armis- 
tice Day. 1918. Mr. Wilson moved into town on 
Earl's property. Later. Earl left the farm and bought 
the Ed Holden property east of town. Earl was hired 
by Wilbur Goodwine to operate a garage and sell 
Ford cars. For several years he worked for Wilbur 
until Wilbur sold out to Frank Talbott. Earl contin- 
ued working for Frank until he bought him out. 
This was in the twenties. He sold Oaklands and Pon- 
tiacs for two or three years, then sold the garage to 
O'Neal and Correll of Rankin. 

After that. Earl contracted painting in the com- 
munity. He was elected Supervisor of Middlefork 
Township in 1941, and re-elected three times. Dur- 
ing his tenure as Supervisor, he proposed and worked 
for perpetual care for cemeteries. The people of the 
county (Vermilion) voted this in. He served on the 
high scliool board for several years. He was well- 
known by all people in the community. For his re- 
maining years he continued as paint contractor. He 
suffered a stroke while in Florida in 1951, but re- 
covered and continued his painting until a year be- 
fore h:s death in 1962. His wife Stella died in 1963. 



J. E. Jameson, mechanic, was born in Mus- 
kingum County, Ohio in 1847. He remained in Ohio 
until he reached the age of twenty-five where he as- 
sisted his father in farming. He then learned the wag- 
on and carriage making trade. He married Eliza Knox 
in 1 873. Their children were Thomas R. and Mamie. 
After the death of his first wife, he married Irene 
Lawrence. Their children were Earl and Clarence. 
Mr. Jameson commenced business in Marysville in 


Charles Jester was bom in 1884, in the Wallace 
Chapel neighborhood and there were only 2 children 
in that family. He attended grade school at Biddle 
and Green Valley School and later Potomac High 
School. After leaving high school, he became em- 
ployed for one year as clerk in the Lou Wilber store. 
The next two years he spent with the Laytons De- 
partment Store, before going back to school for 
more mathematics. Attending business school, he 
graduated in 1906. Coming to Danville, he was em- 
ployed as clerk in the freight office of the Wabash 
Railroad, afterward going to Chicago where he was 
associated with American Express Company. 

Dissatisfied with city life, he returned to Poto- 
mac and took a clerical job with the Leonard Bros. 
Hardware Store. He then went into business with 
Wm. Archer, the two buying a local restaurant which 
they owned for 2 years. 

In 1910, he formed a partnership with Fred 
Duncan under a firm name of Duncan & Jester, and 
purchased the E. G. Leonard Hardware Store, being 
in partnership the next 4 years. In 1914, he sold his 
interest to Claude Duncan and the firm assumed the 
name of Duncan Bros. That same year, he became 
identified with the telephone company as manager, 
and in 1930 purchased from Frank Samuels the en- 
tire business. His business was sold in 1947. 

From 1917 to 1922, he was an active member 
of the National Guard. He held such positions as 
village clerk, member of the school board, village 
treasurer, secretary of Potomac Building and Loan 
Ass'n. and secretary of the Lions Club. He was a 
member of the Methodist Church of Potomac, Poto- 
mac Lodge No. 782 A. F. & A. M., a 32" Mason, a 
member of Consistory Valley of Danville and a char- 
ter member of the Lions Club On December 14, 
1924, he married Candace Kruder. 


Frank M. Johnson was an old-fashioned pio- 
neer teacher who was born in Brown County, Indi- 
ana in 1842. He came to Illinois at the age of 16 
years to work on farms. 

He saved his money and attended the Indiana 
Central College. After graduation there, he became 
a circuit rider in the ministry. Later he attended the 
Northwestern University in Chicago and obtained a 
Masters Degree. He moved to Potomac in 1900. He 
rode horseback to his school at Bixby, a small settle- 
ment northwest of CoUison. He also taught school at 
Wallace Chapel, Bean Creek, Hawbuck, Higginsville, 
Bluegrass, and his last school was at Red Oak. This 
school is still standing. He was a very strict teacher. 
He was his own janitor at these one-room schools 
where he taught pupils from the 1st through 8th 
grades. You could get a certificate to teach school 
with an 8th grade diploma. He helped several pupils 
to obtain their diplomas. He often rode horseback 
to the pupils' homes after supper to help them with 
their lessons. 

He died in 1910. 


E. Grant Judy was bom January 25, 1 867 near 
Potomac. He was the son of Isaac and Elizabeth 
Hombeck Judy. He was a retired farmer and stock 
raiser, was Superintendent of the Potomac Meth- 
odist Church and Wallace Chapel Sunday Schools 
for more than 45 years. At one time, he taught 
school at Georgetown and was a member of the 
board of directors for the annual Old Settlers' Re- 
union in Potomac. He married Hattie Talbott and 
they had a daughter Viola and a foster son Paul 



Markwood Kile Judy was bom near Bluegrass, 
Illinois, July 19, 1883, the son of David and Nancy 
Judy. He married Rosa Lockerby Jan. 20, 1909. 
They had six children, Kile. Marie, June, Morris, Ed- 
na and Arlene. They had one granddaughter and five 

Mark farmed for many years. He moved to Kan- 
sas for three years then returned to Potomac area. 
He raised turkeys for several years then moved into 
Potomac in 1951. 

He operated the Potomac Water Plant for a- 
while and served as traffic cop for a time. He was a 
loyal Republican all hishfe and enjoyed talking pol- 

He served as Deputy Game Warden for several 
years while he lived in the country. Although he lost 
one arm in a hunting accident when he was about 
21 years old, he still enjoyed hunting and target 
practice. Having an arm missing did not stop him 
from driving six horses hitched to a disk. He drove 
tractors and cars and said there wasn't much he 
couldn't do except wash dishes (which he attempted 
once when all in the family were down with the flu). 


Our ancestors came to America before 1 776. One 
Martin Tschudi came from Switzerland with his wife 
and children to Philadelphia, Pa. in 1738. Later he 
and some of his children went to West Va. Some of 
the children bought land in West Va. and that is 
where our people came from They changed their 
name to the English form "Judy." Our great grand- 
father George Washington Judy sent his eldest son 
John to Illinois to buy land for himself and for 
brothers and sisters. This John was the grandfather 
of Lloyd Judy who lives west of Potomac. John 
bought that land and bought some northwest of Po- 
tomac for his brother David. This was west of Blue- 
grass and east of Ellis. David was the father of Wil- 
liam Judy (Gladys Auth's father), also the father of 
Mark and Olen Judy who lived most of their lives in 
and around the Blue grass area. 

We found a tax receipt of Grandpa David's for his 
160 acres. The tax was $19.27! That was in 1868. 
Grandpa Judy was married first to Catherine Wnght, 
a sister of Uncle Henry Wright. They had children: 
William, Laura Bert and Stella. Catherine died and 
Grandpa married Nancy Kile from West Virginia. 
They had children: Mark, Olen and Clint. Nancy 
died and Grandpa married Mrs. Mary Woodworth 
from Urbana. She was the grandma of Don Burkhart 
of Armstrong. Mary died and Grandpa married 

Rebecca Hedrick from W. Va. Next Grandpa bought 
a house in Potomac and they moved in for a 
winter. They were homesick for the country and 
went back to the farm. Rebecca died and Grandpa 
married her sister Mrs. Mollie Riggleman who was 
the Grandmother of Kenny Riggleman who recently 
lived northwest of Potomac. She outlived Grandpa. 
He passed away June 6, 1920. 

William had children: Guy, Gladys (Auth), Ralph, 
Goldie, Lola and Edgar. All gone now except Gladys 
and Adgar. Bert had children, Velma and Opal who 
live around Claytonville. Laura Gitzen had children: 
Berniece (Mathis), Russell and Peari. Stella had sev- 
eral children and lived in N. Dakota. Mark had chil- 
dren: Kile, Marie, June, Morris, Edna and Ariene. 
The last two giris have passed away. Olen had chil- 
dren: Marthann, Ethan, Scott, David, Dan and Car- 
ol. Scott passed away. Clint went to Wisconsin. He 
had 10 children (2 sets of twins). 

Rick Lanham 


Richard G. "Rick" Lanham was bom April 1, 
1918; he was the son of J. G. and Grace 
He married Peggy Braunson, August 3, 1940. They 
had one daughter, Diana Jameson. 

He was chairman of the Vermilion County 
Board of Supervisors for sixteen years and county 
board member for twenty-four years. He was first 
elected to the old County Board of Supervisors in 
1949. He served seven terms as chairman of the 
Board of Review. 


He wasaHepublican candidate for State Repre- 
sentative in 1962. He served on several County 
Board Committees and was instnimental in getting 
the board's approval of the Public Safety Building to 
be built in Danville. 

He owned and operated the Lanham Funeral 
Home and was supervisor of Middlefork Township. 
He graduated from Worsham Embalming School in 
Chicago in 1940, and owned the funeral home since 
1950. He was a member of Masonic Lodge 782, Dan- 
ville Elks Club, Gao Grotto and Potomac Lions Club. 
He was also Master of Ceremonies at many functions 
held at Potomac. 


C. G. Layton was bom on a farm north of Po- 
tomac, and grew up on the farm. He took a course 
in Eastern Illinois College, and taught in Murphy and 
Wallace Chapel Schools. During his first years as 
school teacher he received thirty dollars a month 
for his services. He later attended Worthington Bus- 
iness College in Chicago. 

In 1887, he started a hardware store in Pen- 
field, Illinois later selling it to D. M. Hedrick. He 
then came to Potomac and started the grocery bus- 
iness. In 1907, he sold out and went to Danville, and 
then spent a few years in Tennessee and Mississippi. 

In 1916 he came back to Potomac and engaged 
in the grocery business until the time of his death. 


David R. Layton, farmer and stock raiser, was 
born in New York on October 16, 1829. He lived 
for a short time in Ohio and later in Indiana. He then 
came to Vermilion County. He married Martha Wil- 
son in 1859. They were the parents of Charley, An- 
nie E.. Coburn Grant, and William. He managed a 
ditching machine and by economy and industry ac- 
quired one hundred sixty-seven acres of land valued 
at $35 per acre. 


Alva Leonard, publishing the Potomac Record, 
vas the youngest newspaper editor of Vermilion 
County and undoubtedly one of the youngest in the 
state. He was bom January 4, 1 889, on a farm about 
3'/2 miles north and % of a mile east of Potomac. 
This was the home of his parents. Berry Franklin 
and Emma Jane (Swisher) Leonard, with whom he 
remained until after he had completed his education. 
He attended the district schools until about twelve 
years of age and afterward pursued his studies in the 
Potomac schools until 1907, when he entered the 
Brown Business College at Danville. During the vaca- 
tion periods he worked with his father in the fields 

and alter compietmg ms Dusmess course in uanvilie, 
he spent a short time in travel. Entering the field of 
business, he was employed for a brief period in the 
shops of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad at 
Danville, after which he returned to Potomac. 

The following summer, he became bookkeeper 
and general yardman in connection with a lumber 
business, and on the 1st of March, 1910, he pur- 
chased the Potomac Record from E. A. and C. R. 
Barnes. Following the lead of the city newspapers, 
he has given away a number of prizes, among these 
being a fine piano. Such a gift is very unusual for a 
newspaper in a town the size of Potomac. 

On the 4th of May, 1910, Mr. Leonard was 
married to Miss Charlotte Alma French, who was 
bom Febmary 1 , 1 89 1 , a daughter of Henry S. and 
Sarah (Endicott) French, who were among the early 
settlers of Vermilion County. 

Mr. Hugh Lucky 


Mr. Hugh Luckey was born November 2, 1 873, 
the son of George and Mary Morehead Luckey and 
was reared on a farm near Potomac. He was a stock- 
man and famier by vocation. He attended the pub- 
lic school in Potomac and was graduated from Poto- 
mac High School, On September 5, 1898, he married 
Miss Laura Smith and they had four sons and four 
daughters He had an interest in affairs of his com- 
munity and was president of the school board, mem- 


ber of the Methodist Church and a 32nd Degree 
Mason. As a member of the Danville Consistory he 
was active in the semi-annual reunions and was spon- 
sor of one of the largest classes for the Scottish 
Rite Degree. 

His long public career included membership on 
the Board of Supervisors at the time the county- 
wide system of highways was being built in 1918. 
He also served as board chairman in 1921. 

Mr. Luckey first was elected to the Illinois Gen. 
eral Assembly as a representative in 1922 on the Re- 
publican Ticket. He served continuously until 1936 
when he was the candidate of his party for Congress 
from the 18th District. In the election he was de- 
feated by the late James A. Meeks, but in 1940, he 
returned to the State Legislature. A special election 
two years later elevated him to the upper house, 
following the accidental death of Senator John 
Speak, Danville. He was re-elected to the Senate in 
1944 for a full term of four years. 

A member of numerous important committees 
in the Senate, Mr. Luckey was chairman of the com- 
mittee on motor vehicles and traffic regulations. He 
also was the author of many bills during his long leg- 
islative career, being particularly interested in agri- 
culture, schools, motor vehicle traffic, roads and 

Mr. Luckey, 73, died December 29, 1946, in 
Lake View Hospital after being seriously ill for 3 
weeks from a heart ailment, ending his activity in 
county and state public life for more than twenty- 
five years. 

His living children are: Al G. Luckey ; Tracy G. 
Luckey; Mary Foster; and Martha Hedrick. 

Alva Montgomery 


Alva Montgomery was bom March 11, 1899. 
He was one of four children. After leaving grade 
school, he went to work for Lou Wilber as a delivery 
boy for Wilber General Store. He did this work for 
about 2 years. He then went to work at the Wilber 
Goodwine Garage from 1915 until the World War. 
In 1918, he was called into the service. 

Returning to his home town, he went into 
business for himself. He established the Potomac 
Tire Service on Jan. 1, 1920, and became a Ford 
dealer in 1928. After 20 years in the business, he 
sold out and went to farming. 

He was a member of the Methodist Church, 
Past Master of the Potomac Lodge No. A. F. and 
A. M., a charter member of Steadman Post No. 485 
American Legion and charter member of the Lions 

He married Hazel Gutteridge on June 25, 1900, 
and they had one son, Alva, Jr. 

May Family 


The May family originated in Virginia. In the 
late seventeen hundreds they came to what is known 
as Maysville, Kentucky In the early eigliteen hun- 
dreds, Frank May and his brother George A. May 
came to Marysville, known now as Potomac. Frank 
May married Susan Wilson. One son was born to 
them whom they named John C. May, on December 
20, 1874. At that time they were living across the 
Blue Grass Creek opposite the present home of Jack 
and Ann Prillaman. They moved from there to a set- 
tlement of eight houses located on a raise known as 
the Indian Mound in Buckner's Bottom across the 
river from Berry's Grist Mill, just below the old 
Goodwine Park. 


John worked at the brick yard south of Marys- 
ville. now Potomac, located on the site where Lynn 
and Margaret Henry's home now stands. This brick 
yard was operated by Chariey Shain, father of Vel- 
ma Reardon who still lives in Potomac. 

John was one of the graduating students of the 
class of 1893, from Potomac High School. The other 
one was Myrtle Buckingliam Harrison. He taught 
school for a short time, but decided that being con- 
fined to a schoolroom was not for him, so he learned 
the carpenter trade. 

On June 27, 1904, he married Ida May Brooks 
of Newtown, 111. They were the parents of three 
children. John. Jr. died in infancy. Eva married Har- 
ry Hoskins, and they were the parents of ten chil- 
dren: John, Harry, Richard, Gordon Robert, Eva, 
Adam, Albert, Lester. Harold and Esther. George 
Alden May married Alice Rouse of Oakwood, Ill- 
inois, and they have two sons, Daryl and Gary both 
of Clearwater. Florida. Daryl married Marilyn 
Ellett. and Gary married Donna Hock of Gifford. 
Both Daryl and Gary have three children each. 

John May loved the outdoors, he hunted and 
fished the year around. In his younger days he was 
a member of a well-known quartette consisting of 
Elmer Moreland and the Cossairt brothers, all of 
whom are deceased. 


Joseph Moss, farmer and stock raiser, was 
born near Madison, Ohio on March 20, 1820. When 
he was four years of age he came with his parents 
to this state. He married Delila Staar on April 17, 
1845. They were the parents of three children. Mr. 
Moss was regarded as an outstanding citizen of Ver- 
milion County. He was a school director for ten 
years and a commissioner of highways for several 
years. He clearly recollected plenty of wolves and 
Indians when he came to this county. 


Following his mother's and father's deaths, he 
was forced to make his own way at an early age. He 
was four when his mother died, and ten when his 
father passed away.) 

His first business venture was at the T. W. Buck- 
ingham Grocery store where he and Clyde Bucking- 
ham started the first free delivery service in Poto- 
mac. They used a spotted pony and buckboard wa- 
gon. He later worked two years in the brickyard near 
the town; while still in school he did the janitor 
work for the building. He was one of the first grad- 
uates of Potomac High School and taught school 

seven years, riding horseback to classes. He did his 
own janitor work along with teaching for a salary of 
$35 per month. Later he tauglit in Potomac Public 
School. He entered a partnership in the insurance 
business with J. B. Payne beginning thirty-six years 
of Payne and Moreland Agency. On Payne's retire- 
ment, he continued the business until 1953, when 
after fifty years of service he retired. 

He was director of Potomac School thirty-four 
years. He served as president of both high and grade 
school boards and headed the board when the higli 
school was built in 1939. He was a member of the 
village board, township clerk and director of the Po- 
tomac Building and Loan for fifty-four years. 

He married Ary Goodwine, and they had one 
daughter, Ary. Later, he married Estella Thomas 
and they had two daughters and a son. (Claribel, 
Virginia and Thomas) 


Jesse L. Partlow, farmer, owned 160 acres of 
land, and 2 houses and lots in Marysville. He was 
born in Nelsow County, Kentucky on June 1 3, 1 826. 
When he was 3 years of age his family moved to this 
township. Consequently, he was one of Vermilion 
County's earliest settlers. 

In 1848, he married Rachel Davison who was 
bom in this county in 1829. Nine children were 
bom to them. Mr. Partlow was a school director for 
fifteen years and a pathmaster for five years. 


James B. Payne was bom March 11, 1857, in 
Danville, the son of John and Priscilla Payne. He 
attended school at the old Red Seminary in Danville. 
He became an orphan at the age of eight years and 
was given a home by the family of his half brother. 
Captain A. G. and Rhoda Payne, Newton, Illinois. 
He later moved to Catlin, Illinois. 

In 1877, he married Hettie Onmure Wamer 
from Newton, and set up housekeeping in Catlin 
as Mr. Payne had an interest in the old Goings Coal 
Shaft near there. They had two children: Lena V. 
and a son who died in infancy. 

In 1 884, they moved to Potomac and he oper- 
ated a grocery store. He was also postmaster one 
term during the administration of Grover Cleveland. 
In 1889, he sold the grocery store and devoted his 
time to writing insurance. In 1903, he and C. E. 
Moreland formed a partnership in the insurance bus- 
iness. The firm was called Payne and Moreland. 

Mrs. Payne died November 18, 1932, and Mr. 
Payne died February 23, 1939. 



Charles E. Pressey, merchant, owned a hard- 
ware and tin store on Main Street in Marysville. He 
owned the lot on which the store stood along with 
36 other lots. 

He was bom in Tompkins County, New York, 
on November 25, 1 837. He came to IlUnois in 1 859. 
He married Emily Stewart. Mr. Pressey was a village 
trustee for three years. He was appointed postmaster 
at Potomac in 1876. 


In 1929, a merger of the Potomac National 
Bank and that of the Goodwine State Bank became 
effective, and he held the position of cashier. 

He served on the Town Board for the first 
period for 4 years, and then the following 24 
years as President of the Village Board. He was the 
school treasurer and in 1928, was tax collector 
when the township collected their own taxes. 

He was a member of the U.B. Church, Poto- 
mac Lodge No. 782, A.F. and A.M., the Consistory 
and a charter member of the Potomac Lion's Club. 

On October 13, 1909, he married Cora 
Goodwine, and they had one son, Gordon Rice. 

Louis Herman Pinno was bom in Fondulac, 
Wisconsin. He was 1 of 7 children in the family. He 
received his education in Wisconsin. 

In 1 9 1 1 , he took up the art of cooking, and for 
9 years was chef on some of the fastest deluxe trains. 
He spent 3 years with the C E & I, 2 years with the 
Golden State, a crack passenger and pullman train 
on the Rock Island, the mn being from Chicago to 
Los Angeles. New York Central employed him for 
4 years, his mn being on the celebrated Twentieth 
Century Limited. 

He decided to make a change and came to Po- 
tomac in 1921, purchasing a restaurant and keeping 
it until 1928, when it was sold. He went to Danville 
and became proprietor of the "Chocolate Shop." 
He then gave up this shop and came back to Potomac 
to the cafe business. Retiring, he moved to Newell 
Road where he and his wife live. He married Hazel 
Famsworth on March 14, 1914. 


Albert Rice was born in 1877 to William H. 
and Caroline Sperry Rice; the 7th child. He learned 
the 3 R's at Knights Branch School about 5 miles 
south-west of Potomac. 

He then went through high school graduating in 
1900, and he may be the oldest alumnus of Potomac 
High. He went to State Normal for more education 
and after graduating he returned to Potomac, and 
was employed two years at Wallace Chapel and 2 
years in the Potomac Grade School. 

Growing tired of teaching, he entered the business 
world and in 1 905 he entered the Potomac National 
Bank as bookkeeper, serving the following 5 years 
in that capacity, afterward being promoted to cash- 
ier, serving for the next 13 years. When the bank 
was sold in January, 1923, Mr. Rice became Presi- 
dent of the new organization and remained in that 
capacity until 1929. 


Charles Lincoln Shain was bom near Potomac 
January 20, 1 86 1 , the son of Francis Shain. He was 
a retired building contractor and Middleford Town- 
ship assessor. He also served as a member of the Po- 
tomac village board, village clerk and mral mail car- 

He married Sarah Cochian and they had 3 sons 
and 3 daughters: Leone, Velma, Lucille, Everett, 
Paul, and Glen. 


A. G. Smith, farmer and stock dealer, was 
bom in Vermilion County on June 5, 1855. He was 
the son of John Smith (English) and Adaline Motore- 
head. By 1879, he was shipping 10 to 15 carloads 
of cattle every year as well as some hogs. 

He was married on October 7, 1875, to Lizzie 
Wilkie who was bom in Scotland. They were the 
parents of John C. and Laura who married Hugh 
Luckey. He later married Florence Young and they 
were the parents of Aleen and A. G. 

Mr. Smith owned several hundred acres of land. 


Perry Edgar Riegle was bom in Lafayette, In- 
diana in 1 867. He received his schooling in that vicin- 
ity. In early manhood, he took up the trade of paint- 
ing and then he shifted to plumbing, working his 
apprenticeship years in Lafayette. 

He came to Potomac in 1 904 and took a posi- 
tion with Frank Henry who was proprietor of a hard- 
ware store. He then went into the plumbing bus- 
iness. Although George Borror was associated with 
him for 17 years, it was not until 1934 that they be- 
came partners, establishing the plumbing firm of 
Riegle and Borror. 


He served one term as highway commissioner 
and was a charter member of the Potomac Lions 
Chib. On Nov. 21, 1895, he married Abbie Searls. 
They had one daughter, Mary Riegle Lynch. 

George Satterfield 

JOHN SMITH (English) 

John Smith, farmer, was born in England in 
Febmary, 1824. He came to the state of New York 
in 1834, but came to Illinois in 1836. He married 
Adaline Moorhead in 1 844. They were the parents 
of 4 children: Martha J., Alvin G., Robert H., and 
Laura J. 

Mr. Smith owned 3,000 acres of land worth 
S30 per acre. He fattened several hundred cattle 
each year. He was a successful business man. 


Azariah Sollars was born November 14, 1875, 
in Eugene, Indiana, the son of Tniman and Susan 
Conrad Soilars. He married Elizabeth Ann Spain on 
August 14, 1901. His schooling began at Blue Grass 
and finished at Wallace Chapel. He then took up 

In 1903, he was told of an opening for a rural 
mail carrier in Potomac. He prepared and rode horse- 
back to Danville to take the Civil Service Exam. He 
was later notified of the appointment. He owned one 
horse and had to borrow money to buy a second to 
make up the team needed for deliveries. His first 
month's pay was fifty silver dollars. He made his de- 
liveries by various modes of transportation: horse- 
back, horse and buggy, klondike wagon, bicycle, 
motorcycle and automobile. In 1934, he retired af- 
ter more than thirty years of civil service work. 

Mr. & Mrs. Sollars had nine children: Josie, 
Cecil, Francis, Mae, Inez, Curtis, Glenn, Grace, and 
Harry. He passed away on October 3, 1966. 


Jesse Stone was bom September 17, 1871. He 
was the son of Wm. E. and Caroline Day Stone. He 
attended rural schools. No. 1 and No. 4, near Ellis. 
After leaving the grades, he went to Normal Univer- 
sity. Returning to Potomac, he took up teaching. 
He taught at Central for 2 years, south of Henning, 
3 years in Potomac and 1 year as principal in Alvin. 

His father had established the lumber yard bus- 
iness on May 1, 1891, wishing help from his sons, 
Jesse and his brother Charles. They assumed manage- 
ment of the yard and for 1 years were together. 
On Jan 1, 1909, Jesse purchased his brother's inter- 
est and became the sole owner. 

He was the town clerk for 2 years and was sec- 
retary of the high schobl for 3 years. He was a mem- 
ber of the Methodist Church, Potomac Lodge No. 
782 A. F. and A. M. and was the secretary and a 
charter member of the Lions Club. 

He married Josie Smith on Christmas Day, 
1 894. They had 2 children : Helen and George Stone. 

JOHN SMITH (plain) 

John Smith came here from Pennsylvania in 
1845. He came with a four-horse team which he 
traded for a piece of land. He accumulated consid- 
erable property in and around Marysville. He was 
the first to build a store there and was postmaster 
for awhile, and had a large influence on its early 


Frank William Talbott was born on March 25, 
1882 at Gifford, Illinois. The Talbott family moved 
to the Potomac area in 191 1. 

He started his career as a thresherman in 1907 
as a partner with John Siddens. After 2 years as a 
partner, he decided to purchase his own rig which 
was a 16 horsepower advance engine and a 36 ad- 


vance thresher. After moving to Potomac, he added 
a corn sheller and an 8 bottom plow to his machine 
fleet which was used for his custom work. However, 
the 16 horsepower engine was not large enough to 
pull the 8 bottom plow and a new 22 horsepower 
engine was put in service in 1914. 

Mr. TaJbott became very popular with the area 
farmers. His work was very satisfactory. 

He soon added a new threshing rig to his ma- 
chine fleet. This rig was a much smaller one in size. 
At this time, steam engines were getting too slow to 
move on the roads; therefore, a kerosene burning en- 
gine was put in service known as a 14-28 Rumley Oil 
Pull and a 28 inch Rumley thresher which made up 
the complete rig. This was a wise move as the tractor 
replaced the steam engine on the com sheller in the 
winter time. 

Business was growing and the small rig was re- 
placed in 1920 by a 20-40 Rumley tractor and a 
large thresher. The equipment remained as such 
until 1927. 

The combine harvester was used in the north- 
west. Mr. Talbott could see the advantages of 
having such a machine, so he purchased a 20 ft. 
combine and had it shipped to the northwest part 
of Minnesota and was then shipped back to Illinois 
to cut beans in the fall. After two seasons in the 
northwest, the machine stayed in Illinois. Approx- 
imately 1 ,000 acres were harvested a season. 

Mr. Talbott could see new and better ways of 
doing things. He decided to mount the com sheller 
on a tmck chassis and this was completed in 1930. 
It was a great success. Moving from job to job, the 
time was reduced 50%. This enabled him to shell 
550,000 bushels of corn in a season. 

As time passed by, the threshing rigs were dis- 
continued. The com shellers were updated on late 
model tmck chassis. 

Mr. Talbott was mechanically minded and pre- 
dicted that someday the combine harvester would 
replace all other methods of harvesting crops that 
are grown in the vast farming areas in the United 


William Henry Taylor was bom in Thomtown, 
Indiana on July 12, 1833. He married Mary Cather- 
ine Stephens in 1851. To this union were bom Wil- 
liam Taylor, Charley Taylor, James Taylor, Edward 
Taylor, and also Ella Bemet and Myne Scott. 

He came to Marysville (which is now Potomac) 
in 1847. He camped under a large elm tree in the 
southwest end of town where Clark Morris' resi- 
dence now stands. The ground around this tree was 
a swamp. He was a horse and mule trader by trade. 
He came to IlUnois to work on the Narrow Gauge 

Railroad which was to extend from Danville to Blue 
Grass; Blue Grass was then the county seat of Ver- 
milion County. Danville was later made the county 
seat of Vermilion County and the work on the rail- 
read was abandoned. 

He built a small house by the electric light 
plant on the June Goodwine lot. He had a good 
many horses and rigs which were used to take the 
traveling men to different towns and in the coun- 
try. He later moved his livery bam to a building 
where Potomac Equipment Company is located. 

Grandad was well-liked by the people of the 
town. He loved to tell stories about his experiences 
and life. People would sit and listen to these stories 
for hours. 

He died October 4, 1 92 1 , at the age of 84 years. 


B. D. Wise was bom in Hardy County ,West Vir- 
ginia, December 3, 1844, and was the son of Zeb- 
ulon and Indiana (Skidmore) Wise. The father was 
bom on the old Virginia homestead of the family, 
but when the shadows of war were about to darken 
the land, he left the South (March 11, 1861), and 
came to Middlefork township where he rented land 
and farmed for 2 years. Zebulon retumed to his 
home in Virginia (the ownership of which he re- 
tained), and there he died in 1882. Mrs. Wise came 
to Vermilion County to visit her son, B. D. Wise, and 
here she departed from this life in 1 900. 

B. D. Wise was educated in the public schools of 
Virginia, and when he became a resident of Ver- 
milion County, was 16 years old. At the beginning 
of the Civil War he was too young, but by 1 863, he 
enlisted as a member of Company E., Fifty-first Ill- 
inois Infantry, and served for three years. He was in 
many major battles in the South, was prisoner for 5 
months and confined at the Andersonville prison. At 
the close of the war, having performed his duty at 
all times as a defender of the cause which he advo- 
cated with all his heart, he was honorably discharged 
and retumed to Potomac, where he began working 
by the month on a farm. 

With his savings he bought 80 acres of land north 
of East Lynn and later became the owner of a farm 
in Middlefork Township. 

With Hon. J. G. Cannon, he owned 560 acres of 
land in Oakwood Township. He was a director and 
stockholder and also one of the organizers of the 
National Bank of Potomac. From 1889 to 191 1 he 
was a director of the Building and Loan Association 
of Potomac. He served for 1 8 years as a member of 
the county board of supervisors and for 2 years as 
president of the board. He was tmly a self-made 



Robert Young was born in Potomac, Jan. 1 , 1 858, 
and was the son of David and Mildred Young. His 
wife was born Jan. 24, 1869, nearTerre Haute, the 
daughter of Benjamin and Mary Franklin. They were 
married Feb. 4, 1886, at the home of A. G. Smith, 
northwest of Potomac by the Rev. Joe Scott. They 
came to their home which was owned by Mrs. 
Young's brother, Thomas Young, as bride and 
groom, and later moved to Crawford County where 
they lived 10 years before returning to Potomac. Mr. 
\'oung was a farmer, livestock buyer for 15 years, 
and owned the local meat market 3 different 

Mr. & Mrs. Young had 2 children: a daughter, Cleo 
Tennyson, and a son, Ralph Young. They also 
reared Mrs. Young's half brother. Arch Franklin 
and a grandson. Robert Tennyson. 


Isaac Meneley, Robert Marshall, James Colwell, 
Douglass Moore, Lloyd and M. W. Graves, Joseph 
Jameson, Dr. Ingalls, Rigden Potter, Charles Sar- 
gent, George A. May, Ben Biddlecome, L. D. Horn- 
beck, Jesse Lane, M. V. Robins, Charles T. Morse, 
S. P. Starr, T. D. Austin, Isaac Brown, T. J. Haney, 
S. Clapp, Caleb Albert, William O. Payne, John W. 
Duncan, R. G. Young. Walter Smith, M. C. Doney, 
John M. Davis, J. C. Merrill, Charles B. Westcott, 
James F. Anderson, W. A. McMurtrey, L. B. Mar- 
shall, James D. Anderson, James Wilson, Thomas 
Carter, George W. Young, H. E. Thomas, George 
Satterfield, and Andrew G. Copeland. 

Frank Golliday Family-Frank, Blanche, Ida, Mary and Lloyd GolUday. 




Frank Payne 

Ruth (8 years) and Harold (6 years) 
Nash, 1907-1908. 


Early Business 


Alexander, Jesse Ford 

Alexander, J. C Ford 

Alexander, Samuel .... Ford 

Alexander, S. A. D. ... Ford 

Armantrout, H Overland 

Ashwood, John Ford 

Auth, Adam J. .... Ford 

Baril, Oscar Ford 

Beadle, Jacob Ford 

Bennett, Thomas M. . . . Ford 

Bennett, T. M Auburn 

Blackford, C. F Metz 

Blair, H Ford 

Bradley, J. S Ford 

Bruner, F Reo 

Burton, Rev. George E. . . Overland 

Carpenter, Delos Studebaker 

Chapman, J. F Maxwell 

Collison, E. E Ford 

Cooper, John E Ford 

Cossairt, D. Sep Ford 

Courtney, J. W Ford 

Creighton, E. C Auburn 

Creighton, Frank Auburn 

Creighton, Harold W. . . . Ford 

Creighton, J. W Chalmers 

Davis, J. I Ford 

Downing, F. C Ford 

Dukes. W. L Ford 

Duncan, Albert Ford 

Duncan, C. T Haynes 

Ermentrout, A. E Haynes 

Fairchild, Edward .... Ford 

Firebaugh, J. M Auburn SLx 

Farrow, A. A Chalmers and Graut Six 

Goodwine, Everett .... Ford 

Goodwine, John Ford 

Goodwine, W. H Auburn and Ford 

Griffith, J. M Reo 

Hambleton, C. W Ford 

Harris, F. D Ford 

Heckerson, A. H Saxto 

Heckerson, A. H Saxon Six 

Henry, Charles V Ford 

Humphrey, T.J Maxwell 

Hunt, E. L Oldsmobile 

IngersoU,C.W Ford 

Johnson, G Ford 

Johnson, Peter E. M. F. 

Johnson, W.K 

Johnson, W. K Ford 

Judy. Charles W Ford 

Judy, E. Grant Ford 

Kinney, George Ford 

Kieser, C. A Haynes 

Lane, Victor Maxwell 

Larkin, Iva C Ford 

Leonard, G. W Haynes 

Luckey, H. M Haynes 

Lynch, C. J Ford 

Lyons, I. H Studebaker 

Martin, J. C Ford 

McGlaughlin, E. A Auburn 

Miles, C.G OldsmobUe 

Miles, Charles W Ford 

Miller, S MaxweU 

Mooney, M. E Ford 

Moore, John Ford 

Morris, E Ford 

Morris, Harry Reo 

Moyer, W. H Hudson 

Musser, John M Ford 

Nixon, William W Ford 

Perry, Mrs. Mary L Ford 

Rice, C Cole Six and Ford 

Rice, I. A Ford 

Roberts, Ase Auburn 

Roe, Joseph H Ford 

Rusk, F. P Cole 

Schrug, W. A Overland 

Severns, J. F Haynes 

Shumaker, George .... Ford 

Smith, J. Curtis Moline Knight 

Staley, Mrs. A. E Ford 

Swisher, Mertin Ford 

Talbott, A Ford 

Talbott.C. J Reo 

Talbott, F. W Haynes 

Talbott, J. W Ford 

Tillotson, D. C Regal and Ford 

Vanatta, J. E Ford 

Vliet, James A Auburn 

Wallace, J. E Ford 

Watts, Jacob Ford 

Wertz, Ed Saxon 

Weston, Mrs. S Cole 

Whitington, J A Ford 

Williams, James Haynes 

Williams, L. C Ford 

Wilson, Everett W Dodge 

Wilson, G.M Patterson 

Wilson, Homer Ford 

Wilson, W.H Ford 

Wise, E.J Ford 

Woods, A. H Oldsmobile 

Wright, H.C Auburn 

Wyman, E. D Auburn 


Duncan Brothers: Fred, Alma and Claude 

Inside of Grant Layton grocery store. 

The House Of Quality 

Laytoii Mercantile Company 


I would rather sell you one good article, than to 
sell you 100 poor ones, 

I would rather have one satisfied customer than 
to have 100 dissatisfied ones. 

Now, if you are one of the 100 dissatisfied 
customers, we welcome you to our store and will 
soon have you numbered with our satisfi d ones. 

Here, you gel both QUALITY and PRICE. 

Does it pay? Will it pay vou to be numbered 
with the right ones? It certainly will. Well, here 
we are. All right. Shake. 


Potomac Illinois 



American Express Co. 

Artesian Cabinet Works 

Artesian Hotel 

Biederman, Herman-Shoemaker 

Blackford Bros. -General Store 

Copeland, W.H. & Son-Furniture & Undertaking 

Copeland, H.S. -Undertaking 

Corkery, Dr. T.W. -Veterinarian 

Cossairt, Dr. S. A. -Physician 

Duncan Bros.-Hardward & Implements 

Fox, R.O. -Furniture 

Fox, Mrs. R.O. -Millinery 

Furrow, Arch-Garage & Repairing 

Goodwine Bank-John J. Goodwine. Jr., Prop. 

Goodwine, Wilbur H. -Garage & Auto Supplies 

Griffin, Alvin H. -Jeweler & Optometrist 

Griffin, Lulu-Millinery 

Harper, K. A. -Grain 

Hickman, Otto W. -Printing & Plumbing 

Hoth, J. -Blacksmith 

Howell, J. C.-Well Driller 

Jameson. J. E. -Barber 

Judy Industrial School 

Layton, John-Drugs 

Layton, C. G.— General Store 

Layton Mercantile Co. 

Magruder, Thomas O.-Saw Mill, etc. 

McMillen, G. -Meats 

Nixon, Jesse T.-Groceries & Photographer 

Payne. John W. -General Store 

Payne and Moreland-General Insurance 

Potomac Electric Light Plant 

Potomac National Bank 

Potomac Record-Newspaper 

Rader, Wint-Blacksmith 

Ransom, Dr. C. C.-Physician 

Rice, A. -Real Estate 

Riegle and Moss-Tinner & Plumbing 

Standard Oil Company 

Stone, Jess-Lumber, Coal, Implements, Hardware, Etc. 

Tennyson, Clause H. -Restaurant 

Walters, Dr. J. T.-Dentist 

West, Robert-Blacksmith 

Wilbur. Louis W. -General Store 

Wilson, R. Co. -Lighting 

Young, Robert C.-Meats 

The Livery Bam, 1902: Frank Deamude and Son. Making tile in early days-Thomas Youn at right. 

Looking east on State Street-a colt and stock show, Oct. 1907. 

From: Prairie Farmers Reliable Directory of Farm- 
ers and Breeders Published in 1918: Prairie Fanner, 



The Old Hotel 

The hotel on VermiUon Street was a large one. 
It was owned and operated by Del Roe and his wife. 
It was always filled with drummers who came to 
town to sell their goods to the stores. On June 2, 
1905, Del Roe, the bully of the town, was shot and 
killed and his brother, John Roe, was shot and ser- 
iously wounded by Boone Baty. Del Roe died at 
his hotel about an hour after he was shot. Baty had 
been a target of their abusive language and blows. 
When he came into town that afternoon, the two 
brothers jumped on him to give him a beating "just 
for fun" and one of them said Baty drew a revolver 
and fired twice, both shots taking effect, Boone 
Baty had a trial and was freed because he testified 
Del Roe shot first. The judge was Frank Martin who 
freed Baty in the small courthouse located where 
the Downs Restaurant is located. 

This Hotel was known also as the Artesian Ho- 
tel and rates as follows: 

A meal $ -5 

Bed and lodging .50 

Board per week 3.50 

Traveling public cordially invited 

William M. Combs, Proprietor May 7, 1897 

Inside the Hotel 


Jess Stone's Lumber and Hardware store-Tom Young 2nd from right, Jesse Stone on riglit. 

Jesse Stone-Lumber Yanl. 1902. 



The Opera House was located on the second 
floor of the Jesse Stone building on Main Street 
where plays were put on. Some taking parts were 
Albert Rice, Mabel Kirkhart, Hazel Reeves, Charles 
Jester and Palmer Smith. Later silent movies came 
along and a colored boy by the name of Roy Morris 
played the piano. Sometimes dances were held in 
the opera house and later the talking movies were 
held there until a fire which was caused by a film 
exploding did considerable damage ending the era 
of the opera house. 

Moving Pictures 


The Opera House 
Potomac. III. 

Every Saturday Night 

First Class Pictures Featuring 
the Most Popular Actors and 
Actresses in Motion Pictures 


Fred Taylor, manager 

Back-John Morrison, Candace Jester, Charles Fur- 
row, Alvin Griffin; Front-Alva Leonard, Arch 
Furrow, Earl Young. 


In the late teens or early twenties Sam Al- 
dridge and family moved to Potomac. He had a 
restaurant where the Village Discount Store is 
and a movie picture place next to it, where the 
J&J Pizza is in business now. Ina Aldridge Taylor 
played the piano for her father during the shows. 
In the course of a few years the movie place 
closed. Later the men of the American Legion 
showed movies in the old Opera House which was 
over Pinno's Restaurant-now torn down and the 
area is a display place for Potomac Implement Com- 
pany's farm machinery. Music for the Legion's 
shows was furnished by Roy Morris, Ina Taylor or 
Nelle Bennett whichever was available the night of 
the show. 

Another use of the Opera House was for Home 
Talent Shows. It was well suited for many presenta- 
tions because it had a curtained stage in the north 
end with "drop curtains" to thus provide scenery 
for the various Vaudeville Acts that were given by 
professionalists or by Medicine Show people. 

Some of the local people who had a part in the 
Home Talent Shows were: Palmer Smith, Albert 
Rice, Elmer Moreland, Mabel Kirkhart, Hazel John- 
son, Vesta Goodwine and Cora Rice. 


First bank in Potomac was 
located where Building and 
Loan is today and the Mason 

Village Hall where Library is 

E. J. Norton Blacksmithing 
and Horse Shoeing. Bill New- 
B^i^ berry and Bob Jameson. 




M. Hefferan— Practical House Mover 

Joseph Judy-Notary Public & Police Magistrate 

John James-Meat Market 

Taylor Bros.— Livery and Feed Stable 

Messer & Son— General Store 

Buckingham & Co. -General Store 

Emma Albert-Millinery Shop 

Mrs. R. G. Young-Millinery Shop 

Elliotts Restaurant 

J. B. Payne-Grocery Store 

C. M. Cordell-Drug and Medicine 

J. B. Moss-General Hardward, Heating and Cookstoves 

Buckingham & Co. -General Store 

H. Marxmiller-Hamess Shop 

Aldrich & Flanigan-Blacksmith & Woodwork 

Rachel Anderson-Hats 

A. B. Duncan-Implement Dealer 

Mrs. M. A. Littler— Millinery 

J. B. Courtney— Police Magistrate & Notary 

C. F. Habel-Watch & Jewelry Repair 

Charles Huffman— Liveryman 

W. L. Bentley-Hamess Repairing 

L. Wilber Co.— Cash Comer Store 

Jennie Marlatt-Millinery Store 

C. G. Layton— Department Store 

G. L. Moore-Photography 

J. M. Crayton— Real Estate & Attomey-At-Law 

J. B. Payne— Insurance 

H. S. Copeland— Funeral Director 

Col. Geo. Shoemaker-Auctioneer 

J. O. Brien-Auctioneer (1908) 

South side of Main Street. 

W. H. CoPELAND & Son 




We carry a full line of Furnilure, Rugs, 
Carpets, Oueenswaie, Etc., at all times. 
Our many years in business in Potomac 
is a standing guarantee of quality and 
price at our store. i i i 

W. H. COPELAND & Son. 



Modem machinery has changed a lot of things 
about farming, most of them for the better. But 
it seems with each improvement we lose some of 
the nostalgia of farming and the things it is 
made of. 

Brick making south of town and Charles Shain, 
last owner to run the brick yard. 


There was an electric light plant in the north- 
west part of town. It generated enough electricity 
for Henning, Armstrong and Potomac. People 
usually had one or two drops, as they were called, 
in the parlor and dining rooms. Lamps were gener- 
ally used. Emma Shain was collector. The plant 
was located on the comer of Logan and Wilson. 


Working on the road: Zeb Wise in cab. Evers 
Landis with rake, and Jim Jackson. 

Working at gravel pit on Jameson farm East 
of town. 


Cutting and shocking oats in early days. 

Roy and George Putnam's first combine in 1935. 

Shelling com on James Parson's farm west of 
Potomac. Frank and Carl Talbott, 1937. 

Lewis Thornton, Robert Knoll Jr., Henry Thornton, Robert Knoll Sr., 
Bernard Wilson, Robert Thornton, Edwin Knoll, Leslie Fredrickson, 
George Shumaker. 




The narrow 3-foot gauge railroad was built al- 
most entirely through the unaided efforts of Mr. 
Benjamin Gifford and the Penfield brothers of Ran- 
toul. This line opened up the market to a wide belt 
of rich agricultural country, extending the entire 
width of our Vermilion County. The annual ship- 
ments of livestock and grain would astonish citi- 
zens if they would take the pains to consult the sta- 
tistics of the business of this company and see the 
enormous toonage of this seemingly httle, though 
important, line. 

The Havana and Rantoul and Eastern Rail- 
road runs through the township from east to west, 
a mile south of its center at Marysville, a pleasant 
little village of 400 or 500 inhabitants, built on the 
prairie, but nearly surrounded by timber, on sec- 
tion 3 (21-13). The land is pleasantly rolling, and 
capable of easy drainage to the creek. 

Mr. Gifford, the president of the company 
lived in Rantoul. He came and called a meeting in 
1874, and explained what he proposed to do. He 
wanted a stock subscription of $2,000 per mile. 
The citizens had heard a good deal of railroad talk 
before, and had not much confidence in this, but 

subscribed some 516,000. The road was completed 
to Alvin by Christmas, 1876, and from Alvin to 
West Lebanon in 1878, and from Rantoul, west to 
LeRoy in 1879. The trains freight and passengers 
ran daily from LeRoy, Illinois, to West Lebanon, 
Indiana. Its shops and offices were in Rantoul. The 
little railroad never did reach across the state to 
Havana as planned, but did have a fantastic history. 

Gifford gained the reputation of being some- 
what eccentric by demanding nothing but gold pay- 
rhents in his dealings with the Illinois Central. Nev- 
ertheless, when his company began foundering in 
1880, he wrote President Ackerman of the Illinois 
Central in an attempt to sell the little railroad. 
When Gifford failed, he approached none other 
than the famous railroad baron, Jay Gould, who 
bought the narrow gauge line and merged it for 6 
years with the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific. Dur- 
ing these hectic years, it went into receivership 
twice and eventually was auctioned off for 
$ 1 00,000. The buyer was none other than Anthony 
J. Thomas, an officer of the famous Hill railroad 
empire of the northwest. It was Thomas who nego- 
tiated with the Illinois Central for its lease. In 1887 
the Illinois Central consolidated its holdings and 
took over the operation of the narrow gauge Hne, 
which was rebuilt to standard gauge. It's interesting 


to note that 2 of the most famous railroad organiz- 
ers in American history-Jay Gould and Edward H. 
Harriman-were presidents of the little railroad and 
the famous Hill empire also had a hand in its his- 

Today this part of the Illinois Central system 
is on the Rantoul District of the Illinois Division 
with headquarters in Champaign. 

The lUinois Central replaced the old steam en- 
gine with a diesel, which weighs 70 tons more. The 
tracks changed in 1878 to standard gauge. 


^n its day, the depot was to Potomac what the 
modern airport is to a city today. People arrived in 
town at the depot and departed at the depot. Many 
of our ancestors arrived in the area at the depot. 
Many people rode the train to visit relatives and in 
the teens and twenties high school students boarded 
the train to go to nearby cities to further their 

Merchants ordered new merchandise and it 
was delivered at the depot. The mail arrived daily 
at the depot, and telegrams were received there. 
Our depot was torn down in 1968. Potomac had 2 
passenger trains and 2 freight trains daily. 

About 1912 to 1914, an excursion train ran 
to Barlow Park in Alvin on Sundays. There were 
boat rides, ballgames and all kinds of entertain- 
ment. Families took their dinners and stayed from 
9:00 A.M. to 4;00 P.M. The train would whistle 
for the people to come back aboard for the trip 

The first agent was John Littler. Some of the 
other depot agents were: Charlie Nelson, Melvin 
Grey, Tom Cox, Lorene Thing and Max Clayton. 
Charles Smith from Armstrong was the engineer. 
Horace Sisk from Areola was our last agent and 
still works at the depot in Rantoul. 

The Potomac Rustler, May 7, 1897: 

Illinois central Railroad Time Table: Central 

Trains Going East: 

Mail and Passenger 10:28 

Local Freight 10:15 

Trains Going West: 

Mail and Passenger 1 :49 

Local Freight 4:20 

- -J. A. Littler, Agent 

From the looks of the crowd gathered 
on the platform, the IHinois Central 
train shown stopping at Potomac, IL, 
in 1910 got plenty of passengers and 
attention. This was a freight station on 
the 51 -mile Rantoul District of the 
I.e. which extended from Potomac to 
the east to Leroy, IL, on the west. 
A horse standing by the depot was 
eyeing the puffing locomotive with 
suspicion even though it was an iron 




T 2/ /\/.f? /JW. 

B D IV,3a 

47 -is 




One of the pioneers of Potomac was Dr. L. C. 
Messner who settled in 1866 to practice medicine. 
The life of a country doctor was not easy in those 
days. When forced by his health to give up his prac- 
tice, he ran a drugstore. Many of his friends got into 
the habit when having some money on hand to go in 
and have it put in his safe. To make it legal and safe, 
he organized the Bank of Marysville, which became 

John Goodwine was founder of the Goodwine 
State Bank, so Potomac had 2 banks until the de- 
pression days. Albert Rice was in charge of the Na- 
tional Bank, and his wife was a stockholder in the 
Goodwine Bank. They merged, and today Potomac 
has 1 bank. 


John E. P. Butz, Potomac, physician, was bom 
in Wyandot County, Ohio. His father moved to this 
state in 1853, settling in Decatur. His mother died 
when he was but seven years of age. Mr. Butz 
worked on a farm until twenty-one years of age. 
His chances for an early education were not very 
good. He entered Ann Arbor High School in 1871, 
and graduated in June, 1875. He commenced the 
study of medicine the same fall, and graduated at 
Rush Medical College in February, 1878. He com- 
menced the practice of medicine in Potomac on the 
1 St of April, 1 878. On the 25th of April, 1 879, the 
doctor performed a surgical operation on a child for 
a hare-lip, a child of Mr. Buckingham, of Potomac. 
He was assisted in the operation by Dr. Messner, of 
Potomac. The operation was a success. 

On the 24th of June, 1 880, in Ladoga, Indiana, 
Dr. Butz was united in marriage to Miss Mabel F. 
Buckingham, and they had one son. Homer E., who 
married Beryl M. Osbom and they had two sons, 
Edmund and Frederick. Dr. Butz was a successful 
doctor in Potomac. 


J. E. Tuttle, physician, was born in Fountain 
County, Indiana, in 1844. In 1856, he became a res- 
ident of Vermilion County, locating at Marysville. 

He began the study of medicine with Dr. C. D. 
Henton in 1862, and m '65 became a graduate of 
Rush Medical College of Chicago. 

After graduating, he returned to Vermihon Co., 
and continued his practice at Blue Grass, where he 
had done some practice before graduating. He re- 
mained there until 1869. He then went to Marysville. 
He was engaged in practice there until 1874, when 
he moved to Danville where he became firmly estab- 


Among the medical practitioners of Vermilion 
County who have earned success by conscientious 
application to their profession after years of thor- 
ough preparation is Dr. W. S. Cossairt, of Potomac. 

He was bom in Potomac, September 2, 1869, 
the son of Wilham and Louisa (Smith) Cossairt. The 
father was bom on a farm 7 miles east of Potomac, 
and the inother in the town. 

Dr. Cossairt was educated in Vermihon County 
and 3 years in the Wesleyan University at Blooming- 
ton, 111. He taught school for 3 years to earn money 
to become a student in Rush Medical College of Chi- 
cago, one of the great medical institutions of the 
country. He proved to be a highly promising student 
and was graduated with honors and the coveted title 
ofM.D.,in 1900. 

Immediately upon leaving college he practiced 
for 7 years in Potomac by himself and then became 
associated with Dr. J. E. P. Butz of that place. As a 
general practitioner. Dr. Cossairt was, from the be- 
ginning of his career, successful— his equipment for 
the work having been thorough and practical. 

On October 1, 1901, Dr. Cossairt was united in 
marriage to Miss Minerva Viola Acton of Potomac. 
They had 1 daughter: Louie Jane. 



H. E. Ogle was born in 1881 at Lewisville Rush 
County, Indiana. 

Hp received his grade and high school education 
in Tipton and Howard Counties. After graduating 
from high scliool he taught school for 3 years in 
Howard County. He quit teaching, becoming a stu- 
dent again and graduated with a Pharmacy diploma 
in 1906. 

He came to Attica and was a drug clerk for J. O. 
Reed and Son in 1907. He then moved to Hires, 
Iowa and for a year was a drug clerk. The next year 
lie purchased a drugstore of his own at Avery, Iowa, 
keeping it for 2 years. Selling this store, he again in- 
vested in one at Donaldson retaining ownership until 
1913. He then went to Chicago and entered the Chi- 
cago College of Medicine and Surgery, graduating 
in 1916. He received his license to practice in Illinois 
on November 18. 1918. 

He came to Armstrong and began his practice, 
and moved to Potomac 7 years later. 

He married Mable Ida Carter on June 24, 1908, 
and they had 2 children: Kathryn and Jasper Ogle. 

He was a member of Potomac Lodge No. 782 
A. F. & A. M., the Baptist Church in Windfall, In- 
diana. Vermilion County Medical Society md a char- 
ter member of the Potomac Lions Club. 


Dr. R. Vandoren 

Dr. John E. Butz 

Dr. Sant Cossairt 

Dr. H. E. Ogle 

Dr. C. C. Ransom 

Dr. Mayfield 

Dr. Mahorney 

Dr. Manuel Agusti 


Dr. Agusti 

Dr. Manuel Agusti was born in Sagna la Gande, 
Cuba on July 25, 1915, his parents: Isolina and Jos^. 

He received his medical degree from Havana 
University School of Medicine in 1943. He came to 
the United States in 1944, and served internship at 
St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington. Deleware. and at 
Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital in Bingham- 
ton. New York. He is a member of American Illinois 
State and Vermilion County Medical Association 
and American Academy of General Practice. 

He came to Potomac in November, 1950 and 
started his general practice of medicine, staying for 
22 years. 

Dr. Agusti married Kathleen Cosden of Chester, 
Penn. August 24, 1946. They have 3 sons: twins- 
Jose and Manuel; and Daniel, born while living in 

Dr. Augusti is now in active practice in Danville, 



»^K^j«»«?-JV-ipy<sg^^\^^ .^ ^ j, 


The Potomac First Church of Christ was or- 
ganized by Rolla Martin, grandfather of our present 
member, Mrs. Lawrence Hudson, in 1860. Early 
services were held in the schoolhouse that origin- 
ally stood on the Spain property on South Vermil- 
ion St., then known as South Main St. Special ser- 
vices, such as Revivals were held in the Methodist 
Church. Preaching was irregular, with Elders filling 
the pulpit. In 1874, monthly preaching services 
were held. 

The early preachers through this country did 
not see much money. They expected little and got 
less, but the devoted preachers seldom turned 
home without something to show for their circuit 
ride. The good sisters generally had a "brace" of 
chickens, a roll of butter in a cloth. The pastor re- 
ceived these in lieu of bank notes which he feared 
would not be legal tender by the time of his re- 
turn home. 

In 1876, action was taken to erect its own 
church building. The congregation bought 60,000 
bricks at a cost of $480.00 to be used in erecting 
the building 30 ft. by 50 ft. The building was star- 
ted in 1877, where the present building stands on 

ground donated by George May, grandfather of our 
Alden May. The ground was to be church property 
as long as the church stands there. Mr. Charles In- 
gersoll laid the bricks for the building. 

In 1877, five residents were appointed as trus- 
tees of the church. The meeting for this business 
was conducted in the Methodist Church of Marys- 
ville. Due to misunderstandings and wrongs in the 
building and management of the church it was re- 
organized in Potomac in 1886, praying to God to 
forgive each one of his wrong conceptions and to 
be restored back to Divine Favor. 

For several years the walls stood without a 
roof. Completion was made and occupancy began 
in 1897. The church was then used as originally 
planned for more than 20 years previously. 

In 1919, it was decided to add a room 30 ft. 
by 1 2 ft. on the south side of the building to be 
used as a choir loft and a classroom (this is the 
present baptistery area) and to make a basement 
and install a furnace. Up to this time the building 
was heated by a large stove located in the center 
of the room. Dedication to this addition was Nov. 
30, 1919. 

No full-time minister was called to serve the 
Church of Christ until in 1951, Robert Hasselbring 


began preaching every week. He was the first min- 
ister to live in the present parsonage. 

In 1952, the congregation voted to complete- 
ly remodel and redecorate the building inside and 
paint the bricks on the outside. During the time of 
remodeling, services were held in the Church's Ac- 
tivity Room where the Corner Cafe is now located. 
This room was sold and the proceeds were applied 
to the remodeling expenses. 

In 1955. ground was broken for the present 
new unit-72 ft. by 35 ft. with full basement. Sev- 
eral members of the church donated their labor 
and under the contractor's directions the new unit 
was completed enough to have the June, 1957 Va- 
cation Bible School conducted in the basement. 

On Sunday. October 16, 1960, a Centennial 
Homecoming was held in the new building. Since 
that time the original building has been made into 
2 floors, allowing for panelled classrooms, rest- 
rooms, secretary's office and minister's study. 

The first wedding to be held in the First 
Church of Christ's 76 years was that of Zella Yuer- 
gens and Ray McGlaughlin, followed in a few years 
by the marriage of Hmma Alice Scott and Charles 
Leonard-all 4 members of the church. But many 
marriages of both members and non-members have 
been performed in the present beautiful sanctuary. 
Nearly 40 elders or ministers have lead the 
congregation in Worship Service since the beginning 
of the Potomac First Church ot Christ. Bro. O. J. 
Thomas was employed for the most consecutive 
years: 8. The present minister. Dale Baldwin, has 
been serving the church and the community for 3 
years. In 1974, a Youth Minister was called to help 
with the ministry as the membership and attend- 
ance has been on the upgrade. 


Old Church of Christ 

U. B. Church 

Early in Sept., 1936, Rev. James H. Living- 
ston and another evangelist conducted services for 

1 week in the mobile band stand in Potomac that 
used to be moved to different places for public 
gatherings. At that time, it was just north of what 
is now the town park. Enough interest developed 
in these special services that a tent was then set up 

2 blocks north of the railroad on N. Vermilion St. 
on the east side of the street where a revival con- 
tinued until cold weather came in October. Ser- 
vices continued to be held until Oct. 20, in the 
home of Elmer and Daisy Stucker, after which the 
emerging congregation rented what was known as 
the "old cheese factory" in which to hold Sunday 
School and regular church services. This building is 
now wiiere Potomac Equipment Company is lo- 

The Church of the Nazarene continued to 
worship here until Aug., 1938, when property at 
HON. Grant St. had been purchased and the first 
white framed building had been built. Rev. Living- 
ston served as pastor of the congregation until suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Donald J. Gibson in 1944. Rev. 
Livingston, though still quite active in evangelistic 
work and pulpit supply preaching, now makes Po- 
tomac his retirement home. Dr. Gibson lives in 
Kansas City, Mo., where he now serves as Execu- 
tive Secretary of Evangelism for the International 
Church of the Nazarene. 

The white framed structure was the home of 
the Nazarenes in Potomac until a larger building 
was erected on the same property in 1955. This 
newer block church has recently been purchased 
by Delbert Remole and serves our community as 


an apartment building. 

The church moved to her last home at 206 
E. State St. in 1969, where the congregation is now 
located. The United Brethren congregation made a 
lovely sanctuary and education facility, along with 
the adjacent parsonage, available to the Nazarenes 
when they merged with the Methodists to become 
the United Methodists. The U. B. Church built this 
structure in 1925, after the older U. B. building 
burned in a Christmas fire. The Nazarenes remod- 
eled this building when they moved in in 1969, 
and have been quite busy for the last year and a 
half in an extensive renovating program designed 
to preserve the beauty and usefulness of their 
place of worship. 

The Church of the Nazarene plans to continue 
faithfully serving Potomac with the Gospel until 
Christ comes again. Ministers having given parts of 

ir lives pastoring here are as 


Rev. James H. Livingston 


Rev. Donald J. Gibson 


Rev. James W. Ford 


Rev. Roy C. Bedinger 


Rev. Harry Hughes 


Rev. Frank Noels, Jr. 


Rev. Roeland Smits 


Rev. Frank Hawthorne 


Rev. Chester Kemper 


Rev. Ladell Morgan 


Rev. Paul Sartain 


Rev. Rex Eaton 


Rev. James H. Livingston 


Rev. Ernest Atwood 


Rev. Dorothy Reed 


Rev. Gary Jones 


Rev. Stanley D. Aubrey 



In 1840, a Methodist Class was organized at 
the home of Joseph Menely, which was located east 
of the Potomac Cemetery. The class consisted of 
the families of 8 persons. This Society became a 
part of the old Danville Circuit. 

At a session of the Illinois Conference held at 
Decatur, Illinois in September, 1865, the Blue 
Grass Circuit was formed from appointments taken 
from the old Danville Circuit. The appointments 
consisted of Wallace Chapel, Blue Grass, Partlow 
Chapel, Marysville, Schwartz, and School House 
No. 1. A parsonage was built in Blue Grass City. 
The first quarterly Conference was held at Wallace 
Chapel in November, 1865. 

The history of the Circuit reaches back to 
pioneer days. The country was rough. The roads 
were bad. There was no means of communication 
except by personal contact. The Church encoun- 
tered many hardships, both of financial and disci- 
plinarian character. The membership was small. The 
entire Blue Grass Circuit consisted of 274 members 
in the year 1871. 

For 5 years, the Marysville Church held its 
services in available places— part-time in a school- 
house which was located where the present church 
stands. That schoolhouse was later moved to the 
lot north of the Ingram home on So. Vermilion St. 

Under devoted leadership of 7 prominent cit- 


izens, namely: Isaac Menely, Carrie Mills, hrancis 
Shain, Joseph Jameson, Wm. Cossairt, Fred Ben- 
nttClt and Charles Pressey, the Church was main- 
tained as a place to worship, to sing hymns, to 
pray, to preach and to give thanks to the Almighty 
God for mercy and loving kindness. 

In 1869, the Tnistees of Marysville Chapel 
bought y^ acre of land (the present site of the 
church) and in 1 870, a church building was erected. 
In 1871, permission from the Illinois Conference 
was given for a committee to purchase ground in 
Marysville for a parsonage, and to sell the parson- 
age in Blue Grass City. In 1877, the Blue Grass Cir- 
cuit was changed by the Illinois Conference to the 
Marysville Circuit-then changed to the Potomac 
Circuit in 1881. 

In 1902, a deed was made to the Trustees 
and their successors of the Potomac, Wallace Cha- 
pel and Partlow (now Armstrong) Church to hold 
in tmst without right to sell or convey, 80 acres of 
land by John English Smith and his wife Mary. The 
income from this land was to be used for running 
expenses of the 3 churches. The parsonage for the 
Potomac Church was built in 1901-1902. 

In 1909-1910, the building committee. Pastor 
W. T. Beadles, J. B. Payne and L. C. Messner, let a 
contract to Jesse Stone to remodel the church 
building. A choir loft was built on the south. The 
old building was enlarged and land for a Sunday 
School room on the north side was purchased. 

On Sunday, Feb. 10, 1910, the First Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church of Potomac, Illinois was re- 
dedicated. In 1939, The Methodist Episcopal, The 
Methodist Episcopal Churches of the South and 
The Methodist Protestant Churches united under 
one name: "The Methodist Church." 

In 1954, work was done by the men of the 
church to make major improvements in the base- 
ment and the exterior of the church was redecor- 

Sunday School Qass— Mrs. Mills, teacher. 

Because the Conference was unable to supply 
full-time services to all its areas, the developement 
of a cooperative Parish arrangement between Arm- 
strong, Ellis, Penfield, Pleasant Grove, Potomac and 
Wallace Chapel, a Yoked Field of Potomac Metho- 
dist and Potomac Evangelical United Brethren 
Churches plus several other alternatives was made. 
A favorable vote at a quarterly Conference held at 
the church in May, 1 964, carried in favor of the Po- 
tomac Methodist and the Evangelical United Breth- 
ren Churches being formed in a Yokel Field. One 
minister was to assume the work of the 2 churches. 
The EUB parsonage was used as the minister's 
home. The Methodist parsonage was a meeting 
place for the Missionary Society, the Board of 
Trustees and the Youth Fellowship activities. Later 
the EUB parsonage was sold and the Methodist par- 
sonage became the minister's home. 

In Nov., 1968, the Evangelical United Breth- 
ren and the Methodist Church of Potomac voted to 
unite and become The United Methodist Church of 
Potomac with membership in the Central Illinois 

•'^-i ^ 1^ "%Cjr^Lr»_ U.B. Church group after the 
iM^fi^^ T , "^^ ' * -'' *f^ sermon in the summer. 



Methodist Church 

O.A.B. Boys 

Methodist Church Group around 1912 
Row 1 : Hugh Watters, Clarence Smith, 
Noble Taylor, Roy Davis; Row 2: R. 
Moss, Rex Moon (sword) Koehn, Ray 
Moon (drummer): Row 3: G. Hender- 
Alva Leonard, Bliss CoUins, Harold 
Wilbur, R. Moss. 

U.B. Church 


Prior to the EUB Church's union with the 
Methodist Church, its history dates back to 1874. 
In 1913, the building was remodeled with more 
rooms being added only to be destroyed by fire 
Dec. 15, 1925. Plans were made and carried out 
for a new building, the present Church of the Naz- 

In the early '70's the present Annex was 
built to the United Methodist Church, joining the 
church on the north. It is used as a Fellowship Hall 
and for Sunday School classrooms. The minister's 
study and restrooms are a part of the new addition. 
Adequate kitchen facilities are a part of it also. 


The Wallace Chapel Church was built in 1854, 
at a cost of $2 1 00. It was named after Wallace who 
was going to be the preacher and who did the 
building of the church with the help of Elsa Starr, 
J. W. Duncan, Johess Moss and Charles Stone. 
There have been 2 churches built there. The last 
one was built in 1900. 

The last services to be held in the church were 
on May 29, 1966. After those services, a meeting 
was held in the Potomac Methodist Church in re- 
gard to closing the church to services. Marjorie 
Judy read a statement to this effect and Caroline 
Hambleton recorded the same. At that time, the 
Tnistees of the Church were: T. E. Davis, Gene 
Talbott, Marjorie Judy, Harold Hambleton, Alice 
Davis and Wayne Way. David Judy and Grace Dav- 
is attended the meeting. 

Due to vandalism, the church had to be de- 
molished in 1974. 

Wallace Chapel 

To -he Readers of the POTOMAC HUSTLER: 

cannot help but attend sucli Pusli and fair business nietliods aa 
lliose pursued by (he NEW ERA Dry Goods and Clothing Co. 

-: Our Full last :- 


N'- 15.— To a-iy oui-jflown purcliaser cf $20.00 or over within 
ii ;;. lius ■: ;;3 r.;i'.e. JVom !)ftiivil!e. lull amount of rjilvoud fare re- 
fiiiKlcil U])r!; j>ii.'scii!u'.ii)ii of ielui:i ticket. 



School House, December 30, 1902 


In 1 870, citizens of Marysville held a meeting 
for the purpose of electing a schoolboard and mak- 
ing arrangements for a school building. It was de- 
cided to build a one-room frame building just 
south of where the United Methodist Church now 
stands. Though small, this building was evidence 
of the initiative and enterprise of the citizens of 

the village. It furnished ample room for the pupils 
who started to school there. 

When the Methodist Church was built, the 
school building was moved to South VermiHon St. 
where it stands today. Though vacant now, it was 
occupied for many years by the Frank Spain fam- 
ily. At present it is owned by Les Ingram. 


7th grade— first week of 
school, Sept. 1921. 

As the town grew it was necessary to have a 
larger building. It was voted to have a new brick 
building with 4 rooms. This was in 1876. The con- 
tract was let to John Lewis. It was built on the lot 
where the David Judy Park is now. 

When the new building was finished there was 
a parade from the old to the new with A. W. Knight 
and Mabel Buckingham at the head. 

By 1895, it was thought this building was too 
small and in poor condition, so the community 
voted to construct a new building south of the old 
one. It was finished and occupied in 1 896. The higli 
school occupied one room of the building, south- 
east corner of the second floor. At that time there 
were 30 students enrolled in high school. 

The first class of the new building finished in 
1898, and consisted of 2 members, Minnie McComb 
Wilber and Sherman Littler. 

The first teachers were M. L. Flannigan who 
taught all the high school subjects and acted as 
principal. Other teachess were Jesse Stone, 7th and 
8th; Ella Wescott, 4th, 5th, and 6th; and Myrtle 
Buckingham, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. 

The first Board of Education members were 
John Littler and Dr. J. E. P. Butz. The County Su- 
perintendent of Schools was L. H. Griffith. 

There was an enrollment of 140 pupils. 

In 1916, the new part (hot lunch room, 2 
classroom, gymnasium, and the auditorium) was 
added. For the next 20 years this building accom- 
modated both the grade and high school. 

As the years passed, this building became in- 
adequate and the Board of Education of the Poto- 
mac High School made plans for a new building on 
land purchased from Earl Jameson at the east edge 

of Potomac. 

In September 1938, school opened in one of 
the most modem, conveniently arranged school 
buildings of its size in the state. The architect was 
George E. Ramey and Company. Robert S. Wilson 
was Superintendent of the high school. L. A. Tug- 
gle was the County Superintendent of Schools. 

The Board of Education of the high school at 
that time were Elmer Moreland -President; Fred 
Duncan, J. C. Linfoot, Lou Williams, D. S. Cos- 
sairt, Harry Perry and Everett Wilson. 

The grade school occupied the whole building 
on College St. All the country schools surrounding 
the village consolidated with this school in 1946. 
The schools that consolidated were: Williams, Til- 
lotson. Green Valley, Higginsville, Hawbuck, Biddle. 
Bean Creek, Bluegrass, Wallace Chapel, Murphy and 
Knights Branch. An election was held to conform 
with the laws. All equipment from these schools 
was either brouglit into the present school or sold. 
The one-room school houses were sold to the high- 
est bidder. 

The Board of Directors at the time of this con- 
solidation were Curtis Jameson, Everett Ellis, and 
M. M. St. John. The County Superintendent was 
L. A. Tuggle. 

In 1964, the voters of the school district voted 
for a new grade school to be located just east of the 
high school which is outside the town boundaries 
and in May, 1970, the 2 schools were made into a 
unit district. 

In our centennial year the enrollment in the 
unit is 370 pupils with 29 teachers and 3 admin- 
istrators. The unit also employs 15 non-certified 


3rd and 4th grade-teacher, Grace Elliott-lst row: Orville JoUey, Edmund Howell, ? Hoth, Harold Blackford, ?, 
Clifford Reeves, Lewis Luckey, Donald ?, Bert Alldridge, ? Grove Raymond Baril. 2nd row;_ Dale Harper, Elmer 
Cannon, John Moss, Curry Voss, Robert Tennyson, Dwight Grove, Edith Howell, Gwendolyn Hall, Dorothy Mayfield, 
3rd row: Donald Kirkhart, Kate Thompson, Leota Cossairt, June Weiser, Lena Reeves, Ruby Spain, Ruth Spain, Marie 
Warren, Ruby Smith, Fern ?, Lois Goodwine, Adelina Groves, Bessie Simonton, and Louie Jane Cossairt. 


3rd and 4th grade-teacher, Grace Elliott-lst row: Dale Harper, Edmund Howell, Robert Tennyson, Fred Ermentrout, 
?, Fredrick Butz, ?, Frield Hall, ?, Dwight Grove, Richard Knott. 2nd row: Glady Kewis, Marie Warren, Elmer Cannon, 
?, John Moss, Curri Voss, ? Hoth, Edith Howell, ? Turner, ?, Lucille Bird. 3rd row: Kate Thompson, Leota Cossairt, 
June Weiser, Lena Reeves, Bessie Simonton, Ruby Spain, Gwendolyn Hall, ?. 

Seventh and eighth graders, 1919. Left to right standing: Thelma Bird, Esther Moss, Juantia Lindsey, Lois Norton, 
Marjorie Burkhart, Christine Royer, Miss Pansy Biedermann, teacher, Waneta Griffin, Henrietta Thompson, Mary 
Reigle, Eva May, Ercel Smith, LucUle Shain, Pauline Landis. Front row: Robert Ermentrout, Carper Kelley, Paul 
Harper. Edmund Butz, Clyde Jameson, Kenneth Bird, Leo Thompson, Herbert Cook, Curt Morris, Bruce Miller, 
Alvin Kelley, Elmer Miller, William Cook, janitor, in the background. 


"1915" Miss Barr, teacher. Given Courtney, Velma Magruder, Frieda Hoth, Josephine Philips, Mae Sollars, Thelma 
Bird, Mary Riegle, Bessie Searl, Eriel Smith, Auriel, Henrietta and Reatha Thompson, Cloyde Otis, Edmund Butz, 
Herbert Cook, Paul Harper, Harold Goodwine, Virgil Bergesse,, Glenn Shain, Frank Sollars, Ray McGlaughlin, Curtis 
Jameson, Victor Lewis, Kenneth Brid, Clyde Jameson, Clarence Blackford. 

Third and fourth grades, row 1: George Hickman, Glen Jameson, Harold Davis, Nanny Sexton. Row 2: Mary Rice, 
Florence Taylor, Elizabeth Watters, Velma Shain, Mae Bleavens, Eva Hoth, May Nixon, Maude Duncan, Mary Hall, 
Minnie Gray, Emma Kelton, Row 3: Leo Geotchus, John Hines, Vileto Barnett, Mary Andrews, Ida Johnson, Roy 
Morris, Forest Sperry, Emma Tillotson, Ruth Davis, Rufus Hoover. Marie Weller, Rosa Bohen, Curtis Messner. Row 4: 
Hazel Barnet, Earl Pierce, Walter Smith, Nettie Taylor, Albert Hickman. Row 5: Paul Shain, Teacher-Bess Dague. 


Seventh and eighth grades, 1922-1923, row 1 : 
Mary Wyman, Adeline Grove, Geneva Cosby, 
Raymond Baril, Curry Voss, Dwight Grove, 
Gwendolyn Hall, Carol Bever, Harold Black- 
ford, Forest Alexander, Lois Goodwine.Row 
2: Louis Jane Cossairt, Kate Thompson, Marie 
Warren, Edith Howell, Lewis Luckey, Leota 
Cossairt, Zelda Duncan, Orville Jolley, Ed 
Butz, Don Burkhart. Row 3: Ruby Smith, 
Gertrude Kelley, Ruth Spain, Lena Reeves, 
Ruby Spain, Bessie Simonton, June Weiser, 
Robert Tennyson, Bert Aldridge, Dale Harper, 
•3 Virginia Borror. 

Standing: Marjorie Gray, Lolamontus Bressler.i 
Minnie Brooks, Charolotte Young, Mabre Wise, 
Lena Blackford, Margaret Sperry. Front row, 
Paul Talbott, Ray West, Harrison VanNatta, 
Glenn Sollars and Gordon Kelly. 

Opal Schuelle, Minnie Brooks, Mary Gray, 
Marjorie Jolley, Lolamontus Bressler, Mar- 
garet Sperry, Ray West, Harrison VanNatta 
and Thomas Morel. 


Football team of Potomac High School 

Row 1: ? Hickman, Carl Hickman, Homer Butz, Frank Payne. Row 2: Tom Young, Fred Duncan, Otto Mayfield, Charles 
Jester, Albert Rice, Ben Young. 

Freshman class of "32", 1st row: Alton Smith, Bob Mockebee, Jack Goodwine, Paul Strauser, Ross Coil, Charles Crawford, 
Jr. Farnsworth, Ray Alexander. 2nd row: Claude Dawson, Maxine Anderson, Marquiet McQeen, Lillis West, Ardith Reeves, 
Wonda Oehmkea, Juanita Mockbee, RoSalee Bird, Helen Smith, Frank Taylor. 3rd row: Irene Schnelle, Dorothy Clem, 
Helen Crawford, Sara Mae Crawford, Eva Mae Morgan, Katherine Lane, Margaret Evans, Joe Bressler. 4th row: Eron Burgess, 
Lowell Crawford, Roy Miller, Marvin Emerson, Harry Sollars, Dale Jameson, Ollie Clementz, Ed Plotner, Chester Powell, 
Wendell Mockbee. 


Potomac Grade School 

Potomac High School 

Sherry Boggess 


Sherry Boggess, an eighth grader, won the 
1957 Vermilion County Spelling Bee. She defeated 
eight other sectional champions in a 62-minute bat- 
tle which awarded her the trophy and the traveling 
trophy with her name engraved and put in the Po- 
tomac School for the year. Mr. George Clementz 
was the principal. 

<Kerttficate of Promotion 

y,vr,i ///J 







^CMjt <iOt.<./-x^i.e^. ... .". o.^ 

ff Tkacsb* 

Certificate of Promotion 

Can you find yourself? 




Class of 1976 

Glenda Asbury 
Lynn Bussard 
Brad Davis 
Kim Duncan 
Wayne Forrest 
Vickie Grimes 
Dean Hambleton 
Cindy Hoskins 
Jim Hoskins 
Kim Hoskins 
Doug Howie 
Perry Jaynes 
Kevin Jolley 
Steve Judy 
Cindy Knerr 
Bob Long 
Dean McGuffee 
Theresa Meyers 
Diana Osborn 
Joni Reardon 
Dawn Remole 
Donna Remole 
Dan Wernigk 
Cynthia Wright 

Laying of Comer stone of the 

high school. 

The Judy School. 


Village of Poi^omac 

Looking west on State Street— the business section of Potomac. 


The earliest minutes of a village meeting that 
I could find was January 1 , 1912. 

At the Feb. 5, 1912 meeting J. E. Farmsworth 
was appointed marshal. Also, at this meeting the 
purchasing committee was instructed to buy a bed 
for the marshal to sleep on at the city building. The 
Illinois Central Agent, Hildebrant, was not granted 
permission to ride his bicycle on the sidewalks from 
the depot to the post office in bad weather. At this 
time the streets in Potomac were much lower than 
they are now and in bad weather they would 
be very muddy. The board walks were up several 
feet from the street, high enough the buckboards 
could be backed right up to them. 

The June 3, 1912 meeting shows that Wilson 
Lighting was supplying electricity to the Village of 
Potomac. Also there were 2 banks at that time- 
Potomac National Bank and Goodwine Bank. 

The total tax levy for the year of 1912-13 was 
S3410.00— a far cry from the many thousands it 
is today. 

October 7, 1912, it was ordered to have the 
artesian well at the corner of State and Vermilion 
Streets repaired. 

November 7, 1912, C. C. Crounch was granted 
a license to operate a pool table. 

In 1913, the oil for the streets was purchased 
by the citizens and the village paid for putting it on 
the streets. 

The first speed limit signs were put up in 
1913-1 east, I west, I north and 1 south. 

In 1913, a bell was rung at 7:30 P.M. warning 
the children under the age of 16 that they had to 
be home by 8:00 P.M. 

During the year of 1913, a man was appointed 
to serve as policeman for 1 month without pay. A 
new man was appointed each month. 

Mrs. Field owned the Potomac Hotel in 1914. 

June 25, 1914, owners of traction engines 
were prohibited from running their engines on the 
village streets and alleys without first having pro- 
tection over smoke stacks to keep sparks from 
coming out. 

August 3, 1914, J. E. Lay ton was granted a 


Old City Hall located on State Street. 

license to operate a poolroom, but his license was 
revoked Dec. 18, 1914, because he allowed minors 
to play pool. 

October 5, 1914, Mr. Good wine agreed to put 
down a well in front of Goodwine Bank. 

May 1, 1916, the board voted to make a new 
town well near the old one on South Vermilion St. 

Some sewers were placed in 1914, 1915, and 
1916. These were very short span. WPA put the 
existing ones in. 

October, 1919, the village board entered into 
a contract with the Highway Commissioner to con- 
struct hard roads through the village of Potomac. 

October, 1922, E. L. Curley was hired as po- 
liceman for the village with the understanding that 
he was also to keep the pavement clean and all 
manholes and sewers open at a salary of $80 per 

In 1922, every property owner was required 
to keep the board walks in front of his property 
in good condition and gravel on the street in front 
at his own cost. 

March, 1923, the Potomac Telephone Co. was 
granted a franchise. The phone company was the 
partnership of Frank Samuels of Boswell, Indiana, 
and Chas. H. Jester of Potomac. The franchise was 
for 30 years. 

It seems the hitch rack in back of the Duncan 
Bros. Store was an annual repair job for the street 
and alley committee. 

July 4, 1923, State Street was roped off for 
an evening dance. 

October 6, 1924, W. H. Goodwdne was granted 
permission to install a gas pump at the curb in front 
of his business. 

1924, Wilson Electric Co. suppUed electricity 
to the village. The name later changed to Alvin 
Electric Co. 

April 3, 1926, C.I.P.S. was granted a franchise 
to supply electricity to the village. 

1927 and 1928, Joe Cannon, Chas. Kissack, 
Clev Allen and Earl Jameson were ordered to pay 
for the lamp globes that they had broken. 

In 1927, a $50 reward was posted for the ar- 
rest and conviction of the person or persons steal- 
ing gas out of the firetruck. 

1929, a cement walk was laid from the school 
to S. Vermilion Street along the edge of the P. 
Smith property. 

June, 1929, Fred Taylor was granted permis- 
sion to close N. Vermilion St. on Wednesday eve- 
nings to show movies. 

In 1932, J. A. Hickman was paid 15^ per hour 
to ditch and clean streets. 

September 5, 1932, Cloyd Talbott was given 
permission to remove curbing of sidewalk for a 
"drive-in gas station." 

October 1, 1933, the village became a member 
of the Illinois Municipal League. 

April 7, 1936, the board passed an ordinance 
to issue and sell Bonds in the amount of $3500 for 
the purchase of land for a pubUc park. A special 
election for the citizens' approval was held on May 
29, 1936. 

December, 1941, the board accepted the bid 
of Tagwerker & Co. of Chicago to buy $40,000 vil- 
lage water bonds at 4^2% interest. The bonds were 
for a proposed water works system. The economy 
went down hill, so the water plant was forgotten 
about for several years. 

The first library board was: Lida Stephens, 
Mable SoUars, Estella Moreland, Myrtle Anderson, 
Ann F. Cope and Albert Rice. (1943) 

Through the 'lO's, '30's, '40's and '50's the 
dog problem was taken care of by the board. They 
would receive $1.00 for killing and 75^ for burying 

July, 1947, Reeves and Taylor asked permis- 
sion of the board to have a skating rink on the park 
grounds in the southwest comer. The board granted 
permission for 1 year and charged $ 1 5 per month 
rent. (It was torn down in 1953.) 

March 25, 1950, the question of issuing 
$40,000 in waterworks bonds was again voted on 
by the citizens of Potomac. It passed 236 to 69 
votes. Land for the water works was purchased 
from Mrs. Cross for $1000. The contract to build 
the water plant and system was awarded to 3 dif- 
ferent parties: W. L. Hall, Warner and Son Con- 
struction and Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. The cost 
was $93,777.54. C. H. Taylor and Sons drilled the 
weUs for the water plant. 

October 1, 1950, Harry Grimes was granted a 
permit to operate a pooUiall above the A & H Store. 

December 4, 1941, Clarence Taylor was ap- 
pointed the first waterworks superintendent. 

The first water rates were: 500 to 1000 gal- 


lons-Sl.25; 1000 and over-$2.50; 500 gallons 
and under— no charge. 

Dewey Clyden was water superintendent until 
May, 1952, when Mark Judy was appointed water 
superintendent and village marshal. 

Burt Hall was appointed water superintendent 
May 16, 1956. 

April 24, 1961, Bill Downing was hired as wa- 
ter superintendent. 

1954, Mildred McGowen was appointed vil- 
lage clerk. She was the first woman to hold this po- 

January, 1966. the first action was taken to 
widen Route 136 through Potomac and re-surface 

August, 1966, was the first mention of a lake 
in Middlefork Twp. and also the mention of a sew- 
age system for Potomac. 

1967-ice storm. There was no electricity for 

Prillman's burned on Febniary 5, 1968. 

February 3, 1969, a petition containing 107 

names was filed with the village clerk petitioning 
to allow Potomac residents to vote on the issue- 
ance of a package liquor license in Potomac. The 
election was held April 15, 1969, and it was voted 
down 158 to 121. 

The March 3, 1969 board meeting was opened 
at 6:30 because most of the board members wanted 
to go to the Potomac basketball game. Potomac 
was playing in the regional and they won. 

Nov. 7, 1972, 590,000 water bond issue elec- 
tion passed 265 to 56. It was for the purpose of re- 
modeling the water plant and equipment. 

A petition was filed February 1, 1974, at 
4:55 P.M. in the office of the village clerk which 
contained 128 names, 1 of which was not a resi- 
dent of the village. The petition was for a liquor 
election to be held April, 1974. The liquor issue 
was voted down again. 

January, 1976, the pre-application for federal 
funding of a sewage system for the village of Poto- 
mac was filed. This is the first step to be taken 
towards a sewage system for the village of Potomac. 

iii>f.4 > 

Azzie Sollars, Albert Sperry— Horse and Buggy days delivering the mail. 


Post Office in early days: Azzie Sollars, Albert Sperry, Alice Tyler. 

Story as told by Roy McMahan: 

I have been a citizen of Potomac 30 years and 
postmaster 21 years. So much is unknown to me 
and others. 

I have been postmaster 21 years, and possibly 
have the longest term of anyone. Before me, Curtis 
Jameson was acting postmaster for 13 months. 
Palmer Smith, who was later Mayor of Potomac, 
was postmaster from 1935 to 1953. David "Sep" 
Cossairt was postmaster before Mr. Smith. Mr. Cos- 
sairt was in the poultry buying business and was 
T. W. P. assessor after he was postmaster. Before 
that time Em Duncan and T. W. Buckingham 
served. How many more I do not know. 

The Post Office had been in the present loca- 
tion 20 years. Prior to that it was in the east half of 
what is now Burroughs Store for about 45 years. 
Before that it was located where the pool hall now 

There once were Post Offices in different 
communities near Potomac. Some of them were 
Jamesburg, Ellis, Bluegrass and many more. The of- 
fice at Ellis was closed in 1935. Back in those days 
most of the roads were mud and patrons were 
served by rural carriers in horse drawn vehicles. 

Today the mral customers of the U. S. Postal 
Service are served by Mr. Robert Keal on Rural 
Route 1, and Mr. Robert DeNeal on Rural Route 
2. Mr. Keal has 107 miles of route and delivers a 
part of Potomac rural mail, all of Armstrong's and 
Collison's. Mr. DeNeal has 103 miles of route and 
delivers part of Potomac rural mail and a part of 
Penfield's. The carrier from Gifford delivers the 
rest of Penfield's. This is a contrast to the old days 
when Potomac had 5 routes; Armstrong, 2; and 1 
or 2 at Penfield. Maybe routes out of Henning, Col- 
lison and other places. Before Mr. DeNeal and Mr. 
Keal's service, Frank McCormick served for 40 
years on Route 1. Curtis T. Sollars served for about 
20 years on Rural Route 2. Before Mr. Sollars, Wal- 
ter Ennis was the carrier on Rural Route 2. Before 
Mr. Ennis, Azzie used Model T Fords, motorcycles, 
horses and even walked at times to get his mail de- 
livered. Mail was even delivered on Christmas Day. 
The carrier often ate Christmas dinner with a pa- 
tron. Some of the names of other carriers were: 
Albert Sperry, Earl Jameson and John Searls. 


Palmer Smith 
Mildred Creighton 
Curtis Sollars 
Frank McCormick 

Old Post Office 

Sept Cossairt 
Albert Sperry 
Frank McCormick 
Azzie Sollars 
Mae Huffman 

Azzie Sollars' car, carrying mail 
on mud road. 

Azzie Sollars and son Curtis Sollars going on mail 
route in the early days. 




The David L. Judy Memorial Park was dedi- 
cated Sunday, September 21, 1971. Mr. & Mrs. Dav- 
id Judy unveiled the sign and plaque in honor of 
their son who was killed September 30, 1968, in 

There was a park loan mortgage-burning cere- 
mony dedication with a community carry-in dinner 
and an evening worship service. It was presented to 
the Judy's by President Richard Hoskins of the Com- 
munity Council. 

There were approximately 600 people who wit- 
nessed the dedication. Master of Ceremonies was 
Richard Lanham, who introduced the Potomac High 
School band and introduced the council members. 
The raising of the colors was by the marine Corps 
Color Guard, and Ed Weishar lead the community 
in the Star Spangled Banner and pledge to the flag. 
Speaker was Richard Nichols of Danville, the Amer- 
ican Legion State Commander, whose theme was 
"Dedication to Country." 

The Community Council purchased the former 
grade school property from Evert Berglund to make 
a park for the children in town. It has new play- 
ground equipment, a volleyball area, and baseball 
diamond. This is a community project. 

The first telephone office was located upstairs 
by the opera house and run by Charles Jester. Nova 
Vanatta, Emma Kinney and Eva Mae Kelly were 
the "hello girls"; Ella and Alta Montgomery took 
over the switchboard later on. The first lineman 
and repairman was Hicks Vanatta. The cost was 
$1.00 per month and later was raised to $1.50. 
Candace Jester went to the homes each month and 
collected for them. Mr. Jester had a brick building 
made located south of the Grab-It-Here store and 
moved the telephone equipment into it. It was op- 
erated by the Illinois Telephone Company of Ran- 
toul. Ola Frankhn, Inez Beck, Mildred Selsor and 
Kathryn Krout were operators. Mr. Jester sold out 
and a new building was made in 1950 on State 
Street and the dial system came in. 


Constniction started in the spring of 1968 to 
build a compressor station for Midwestern Gas 
Transmission Company at Potomac, Illinois. The 
station officially went into full operation Decem- 
ber 3, 1968. Our station, located south of Potomac, 
operates 24 hours each day of the year and em- 
ploys 12 people. This compressor station operates 
three TLA-6 Clark Engines and one Allison Tur- 

Midwestern Gas Transmission Company is 1 
of 4 natural gas subsidiaries of Tenneco, Inc. with 
home offices in Houston, Texas. The other 3 natur- 
al gas subsidiaries are Tennessee Gas Pipeline Com- 
pany, East Tennessee Natural Gas Company and 
Channel Industries Gas Company. 

Gas Co. 

The first Natural Gas in Po- 
tomac was officially turned on 
by Allied Gas Company, a sub- 
sidary of Northern Illinois Gas 
Company, on Nov. 20. In pho- 
to, Village President, Dorsey 
McBroom lights Gas light in- 
stalled by Allied Gas in front 
of the Water Department Buil- 
ding on No. Vermilion Street. 
On hand for informal turn-on 
ceremonies were (left to right) 
William Downing, George Bor- 
row. Paul Burroughs, Marvin 
Goodwine, Don Doran, Rich- 
ard Jameson, Katheryne Krout, 
John Suslavich— Vice-President 
of Allied, Lilah Vocs, Edgas 
Alms— District Manager for Al- 
lied, McBroom and Charles 



In 1884, the Eastern and Havana Railroad was 
built through the Village of Potomac, and at that 
time Potomac was laid out except for a few of the 

The highway, now called State Street, was a- 
bout 3 or 4 feet lower than it is now. 

The streets were muddy and hazel brush cov- 
ered both sides. The sidewalks were wooden, built 
to keep from walking in the mud and water. They 
were different in height because different people 
built them. When people came to town in their wag- 
ons and buggies they could climb off the sidewalks 
onto the vehicles. Hitch racks for tying their horses 
were placed in front of different stores. 

In the Spring the water would rise from the 
creeks and the people could usually use row boats 
on State Street. 

In 1 9 1 2, the first cement walks were built. The 

property owners built concrete walks on each side 
of their property, about 2 feet wide. 

The first bridge east of Potomac was built in 
the year of 1903 by Bresse. Before building this 
bridge, they got across any way they could. 

The first street built running north and south 
was Grant Street, which is the street east from Bur- 
roughs' Store. All streets were dirt and gravel. 

In 1936, a gas tax started. They then started 
putting oil on streets. The people complained be- 
cause iol ran into their yards. Then rock was put on 
over the oil like it is at the present time. 

State Street was first paved in 1920— one mile 
east and west. The State paid for 20 feet of the width 
and taxpayers paid for the rest. Men worked for 
$5.00 per day. Vermilion Street was next to be 
paved. Streets measured were at State and Vennilion 
by a stone block in the center of the Square. Later 
that stone block supported the Flag Pole. Total num- 
ber of miles of streets in Potomac was 9'/2, total 
feet- 49,985. 

Comer of Vermilion and State Street- 
changed to incandisants. 

1900 mud streets. In August 1913, the Arc street lights were 



Potomac has been blessed with Artesian water 
ever since the town was founded. As the Village 
grew and developed, people wanted their homes 
modem with running water in them. Few people 
were able financially to install pressure water sys- 
tems in order to have this. Then too, every commun- 
ity has the hope some enterprise will locate in it to 
give employment to citizens at home. When an en- 
terprise looks for a location, one of the things they 
consider is availability of a water supply. 

Potomac citizens have recognized the need of 
a water system for many years, and there are in our 
files plans drawn for a water system here in 1 946. 
The Village Board of which Mr. Albert Rice was then 
President, in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of 
Community Facihties of the Federal Works Agency, 
had plans drawn and surveys made for a water works 
system. The Engineering Service Corporation of De- 
catur, Illinois, drew these plans and specifications, 
and were paid $3,800.00 for their services. The 
Federal Works Agency made a grant to the Village 
of $ 1 ,771.00 which was a loan to be repaid when the 
building of the plant was financed and started. The 
balance of the $3,800.00 was paid by the Village. 

About the time these plans were ready, the 
general world situation became such that it was im- 
possible to get the money or material to go ahead, 
and the matter was at a standstill. 

In 1949, the Village Board felt there might be 
some hope of getting the system built, and the office 
of the Community Facilities Service was writing us 
that the outlook was favorable and it was their ex- 
pressed attitude that the Water System should be 
built and the $1,771.00 they advanced be repaid to 

After many citizens had encouraged them to do 
so, the Board decided to take the matter up with the 
Engineers- the Engineering Service Corporation of 
Decatur. On December 29, 1949, Mr. Ted Harris, 
President of that firm, wrote B. F. Behimer, then 
President of the Board of Trustees, stating as fol- 
lows: "In recent months there has been a definite 
stabilization of construction cost and it now appears 
that reasonable sale of Bonds may be possible. If the 
Board wishes to construct the improvement, we be- 
lieve that all conditions of the coming season will be 
as favorable as any time in the predictable future." 
With this information, we set about finding a 
market for the Bonds the Village would have to issue 
and sell in order to have the funds to pay for the 
Plant. Most Bond Investors wanted a larger Direct 
Obligation Bond issue on the Village than was felt to 
be advisable, and arrangements were finally made 
with a Bond Investment Company who would take 

$40,000.00 in Bonds as the Direct Obligation of the 
Village and Bonds for the balance of the cost of the 
System to be paid from revenue from the System, 
and known as Revenue Bonds. The security to the 
Revenue Bond owners being the Water System itself 
and not payable from any tax on the Village. 

After having the assurance that the material 
could be had and the money could be obtained to 
pay for the plant, the next step was for the people 
to decide if they wanted the Plant built. 

An election was called to decide if the Bonds 
should be issued and the Plant built. The elecfion 
was called by the Village Board to be held April 1, 
1950. The election was held and the vote was 271 
for and 74 against issuing the bonds and building the 
Plant. Notices to bidders that sealed bids would 
be received at the Village Hall at 7:30 P.M., July 3, 
1950, for constmction of the Water Works System. 

In the meantime, the engineers had redrawn 
plans and specifications to meet changed conditions 
and the approval of the State Board of Health. The 
contractors who desired to bid on the system ob- 
tained copies of the drawings and specifications 
to meet changed conditions and the approval of the 
State Board of Health. The contractors who de- 
sired to bid on the system obtained copies of the 
drawings and specifications from them in order to 
make their bids. 

The constmction was in 3 units: the tower (1 10 
feet high), the 60,000 gallon tank, a stand pipe to 
the tower which holds 9,000 gallons of water, and 
Cathodic protection equipment. 

The contract for this was awarded to the Chi- 
cago Bridge and Iron Company and this was com- 
pleted in January, 1951. 

The contract for the buildings and salt storage 
tanks and the well which originally was planned to 
be an 8-inch well was awarded the Hall Constmction 
Company of Atwood and Decatur, IHinois. They 
failed to make a well of their try at the 8-inch well, 
after which their contract for the well was cancelled 
and, owing to the fact that expenses of repairing or 
replacing a well of this size would be expensive and 
difficult, it was decided to drill 3 smaller wells with 
jet pumps and a capacity of 1 00 gallons of water per 
minute by using all 3 wells at one time. It was also 
believed it would be safer to have 3 wells instead of 

1 so if at any time 1 well was out of order the other 

2 would provide water. 

Water is pumped from these wells through char- 
coal as a filter into the Aerator Tank, then through 
the softener, and then by higli lift pumps into the 
elevated tank on the tower. From there it goes into 
the mains and to your own water faucets. 


At the present time, March 1, 1953, more than 
6,500,000 gallons of water have been used. 

The contract for the distribution system was 
awarded Albert N. Warren and Son Construction 
Company of Hoopeston, Illinois. There are over 5 
miles of water mains in the Village, ranging in size 
from 8-inch mains to 6-inch mains to 4-inch mains, 
and there are a few 100 feet of 2-inch mains. There 
are 19 fire hydrants. The pipes are so laid that there 
is complete circulation through the mains and this 
helps to keep the water pure and fresh. 

Water is treated by Cochran and Company e- 
quipment approved by the State. 

It was first necessary in starting the work to 
purchase the sight. This was purchased from Mrs. 
Lois Crawford and her mother, Mrs. Cross. After 
this, permits were obtained to run the mains under 
the railroad and State Highway Route 136 in order 
to reach all parts of the Village. 


Fire Deparimeni 

Years ago in the days of the Stage Coach, a 
small village called Marysville was located about 20 
miles northwest of Danville, Illinois. It was one of 
the most important trading centers for miles around. 

Fire was one of the great enemies of the early 
settlers. Plain John Smith formed the first Fire De- 
partment in 1846 and Ticky (John) Smith was the 
first Fire Chief. The equipment for the Fire Depart- 
ment was 1 wagon, 2 ladders, 36 buckets, burlap 
bags, and rope. The burlap bags were used to beat 
out the fire; the rope could be hooked to buckets to 
dip water from the creek. 

Later, about 1848, the Fire Department was 
updated with another wagon and it was put in ser- 
vice with a wooden tank mounted on it. This could 
be at the fire and the town's people would carry wa- 
ter in buckets to fill the tank, while part of the men 
would put water on the fire with buckets. Some of 
the men on the Department were: Ticky Smith, Eng- 
lish Smith, plain John Smith, Mennely, Morehead, 
and Marshall. However, all the town's people were 
more or less on the Fire Department. The important 
thing was to have someone to carry water so all of 
the people of the town were very important to the 

As the village grew, the Fire Department had to 
be updated, and about 1892, a hand-operated pump 
was placed in service. Water was pumped from the 
water tanks where the livestock was watered. There 

Old Ford fire engine driven by Roy Talbott 
and Joe Cannon 

Firemen, 1961 -Standing: Don Doran, Ray Wesley, Ken- 
neth Willard, Gene Wernigk, James Morgan-Asst. Chief. 
Kneeling: Ronald Willard, Ollis Clenientz-Secretary, Roy 
E. Talbott-Chief. 

were 3 such tanks that were kept full by wells. Each 
well was operated by a wind mill. (These windmills 
and pump might be confusing to some people who 
might read this because the artesian well did not 
come along until about 1905.) This fire pump was 
operated by 6 men— 3 on each side. However, 12 
men were required as they worked in shifts one half- 
hour at a time. 

The Department in 1912 was updated again 
and a pumper with a 4 cyUnder gas engine was put 
in service. The Village had grown and had experi- 
enced 2 bad fires which were the Grant Layton 
building on East State Street (it burned in February, 
1912) and the Oscar Bivens Livery Stable on East 
State Street. This pumper was housed in back of the 
present Village Hall and was pulled by a team of hor- 
ses. The hose was carried on a separate wagon 
which was pulled by horses. The town had grown so 
much the residential section was without fire pro- 
tection so a plan was worked out to have cisterns 
located in various parts of the Village. Thirteen cis- 
terns were then put down. Two each placed in the 
downtown fire district, which were very large as they 
held 5,000 gallons of water each. The remainder of 
22 cisterns held 1,500 gallons of water each. These 
are located in various parts of the Village. 


The first fire siren was in service in 1915, and 
it was mounted on top of the Village Hall. The fire 
call was called to the telephone operator and the tel- 
ephone operator would sound the alarm which was: 
one LONG BLAST for the business section, one 
LONG and one SHORT BLAST for the northwest 
part of town, one LONG and two SHORT BLASTS 
for the northeast part of town, one LONG and three 
SHORT for the southeast part of town, and one 
LONG and four SHORT for southwest part of town. 

As the dray business became a thing of the 
past, the Village president and town board saw the 
need of updating the Fire Department. A new Mo- 
del T. Ford truck was bought and the tongue was 
removed. A hitch was installed so the pumper and 
truck could be coupled together. The hose was re- 
moved from the hose wagon and hauled on the 
truck. This was in the year of 1923. The town ma- 
yor was the late Albert Rice and members of the 
Village board were: Elmer Moreland, Fred Duncan, 
Charles Jester, Elmer Jameson, J. B. Payne, John 
Payne and the Village Clerk, Louis Pinno. The Po- 
lice Chief was Earl Jenkins and the Justice of the 
Peace was William Gray. 

However, the depression came along in the year 
of 1929, and the Fire Department did not get up- 
dated from 1923 to 1946. 

The fire at the Hardy Sams Hatchery in the 
center of the block on East State Street north side, 
made the Village Board take a good look at the Fire 
Department. It was then decided to get a used pump- 
er as the Village could not afford a new one; there- 
fore, a 1929 Reo was put in service. If it had not 
been for the Danville Fire Department, the north 
side of State Street would have burned down. How- 
ever, the old pumper kept the Danville pumper sup- 
plied with water. I had a hard time keeping the old 
pump running (Roy E. Talbott); however, "Lady 
Luck" was with us. The decision was made by the 
Village Board to buy the used pumper when the late 
Albert Rice was Village President. The Department 
remained the same until the year of 1955. 

The Fire Department was let nm down due to 
the Fire Chiefs' being appointed every year. How- 
ever, under the direction of the late Ronald New- 
num, the Fire Department became better organized 
as the State and Federal Repilations began to get 
stricter. Chief Ronald Newnum and Ass't Chief Roy 
E. Talbott called in the Illinois Inspection and Rat- 
ing Bureau to find out what should be done and 
their recommendations to bring the Fire Department 
up to State standards. It was as follows: to get a new 
pumper, and to try to get a new building. A new 


Jack Prillamn's Fire, Feb. 

1955 Chevrolet 500 g. p. m. pumper was put in ser- 
vice. However, Chief Ronald Newnum passed away 
in 1955. Roy E. Talbott became Fire Chief and his 
work was cut out for him. 

However, the new Fire Chief (Roy E. Talbott) 
could see the need for more improvement and to get 
the fire insurance rates down. In 1958, Fire Chief 
Roy E. Talbott went to the Village Board and asked 
for permission to build a new building and permis- 
sion was granted by Palmer Smith after some discus- 
sion. The building was completed December 17, 
1 960. These were 2 major steps completed to be- 
coming State approved. 

There was no cost to the Village of Potomac 
for the new Fire Department building. The new 
building was built by Fire Department personnel 
and volunteer local contractors. Funds for the build- 
ing were donated by about 80% of the people out- 
side the Village limits and about 20% from the Vil- 
lage business people and residents. The Fire Depart- 
ment moved to the new building which is located 
north of the water plant on December 17, 1960. The 
Village Board passed an ordinance that the Fire De- 
partment could help the people in the rural areas. 
At this time, a 600 gallon tank truck was placed in 
the Fire Service which was loaned to the Village by 

17, 1968-ni^t fire. 

Chief Talbott. The tank truck was part of a promise 
made to the people outside the Village limits for 
helping donate to the Fire Department building. 

The people residing outside of the Village lim- 
its were required to have a rider on their insurance 
policy to pay the Fire Department for fire calls. 
These funds would be payed to the Village treasury 
to pay for the upkeep of the fire equipment and to 
purchase new equipment. (I must say, the Depart- 
ment did right well, money-wise.) 

In May, 1 96 1 , the fire siren was moved from be- 
hind the Village Hall to the Water Plant Tower. The 
moving of the fire siren was another of the Inspec- 
tion and Rating Bureau's recommendation, and was 
the third major step to be completed for State ap- 

The Water Supply Plant had to be improved. 
This was completed in the year 1962, and was the 
fourth step for State approval. 

The fifth step was the purchase of 500 ft. of 
2'/2-inch hose and a drying rack. 

All recommendations by the Illinois Inspection 
and Rating Bureau had been complied with. The 
Chief and the Department were ready for the inspec- 
tion, and on Febmary 8, 1962, the inspection was 


much better than the Number 10 Class that the Fire 
Department had previously held. This was a happy 
day for the Chief and the Village Board. The Village 
people were notified of the good news that the fire 
insurance rates were reduced by 27%. 

However, the good news was not to last long 
as 10 years had slipped by and we were notified by 
the Inspection Department that we. were due for 
another inspection. 

The times had changed and the Fire Service 
had become a whole new ballgame. There were new 
regulations to learn, schools to attend such as: First 
Aid, Fire and Rescue, Cardiopulmonary Resucita- 
tion (CPR), County Disaster, and Emergency Medi- 
cal Training (EMT). These are required by the State 
of Illinois and are required for the Fire Chief. 

The Chief went to the Village Board and the 
Village President, the late Dorsey McBroom, to re- 
quest permission to purchase a new pumper. After 
many discussions and heated arguments 6 months 
later, the Chief was given permission to purchase a 
new pumper. The truck chassis was ordered at the 
Biggs Motor Company in 1964, and it was received 
in 1965. The Chief delivered the truck chassis to the 
Howe Fire Apparatus Company at Anderson, In- 
diana to place the new pumper on it. On July 16, 
1965, the new pumper was placed in service. 

The inspection went fine for the Fire Depart- 
ment; however, the water plant failed the test. Anew 
6-inch well was put down and the Fire Department 
retained their Number 8 Class rating. The new well 
was a great help and a life-saver for the Fire Depart- 
ment and the community. 

In the year of 1 974, the Chief went to the Vil- 
lage President and Board to update the Fire Depart- 
ment again. This time the request was to purchase 
a 1 500 gallon tank truck to service the rural area. At 
first, the Village Board was not in favor of fur- 
nishing the mral area anymore fire service; how- 
ever; after some thinking about the situation, 
it was decided that the Village should help the 
mral area. All out-of-town fire rims are paid for by 
the insurance companies. The Village President, Car- 
roll Darrow, and Board member, Ronald Willard, 
were in favor of buying the tank truck. It was finally 
decided to purchase it. The Chief contacted Biggs 
Motor Company, and a new truck chassis was ord- 
ered (all fire equipment has to conform with State 
and National Fire codes). The new truck cliassis was 
received in July, 1975. The tank for the tnick 
chassis was ordered on July 10, 1975, from Livesay 
Bros., Inc., Hindsboro, Illinois. Some labor trouble 
was encountered and the tank was not received until 
December, 1975. Due to bad weather, the new tank 
tmck has not been placed in service; however, it is 

will be completed. This will bring the Fire Depart- 
ment up-to-date for the year of 1976. 

This brings to a close the history of the Poto- 
mac Volunteer Fire Department from 1846 to 1976. 

I want to express my sincerest gratitude and 
appreciation to all the wonderful people of the com- 
munity who helped to make the Fire Department a 
great success. A special thanks is given to the follow- 
ing: Biggs Motor Co.; Howe representative, Mr. Mar- 
tin E. Rhodes, from Howe Fire Apparatus Co.; Live- 
say Bros.: and all the members of the Fire Depart- 
ment, past and present. Also, to all of the 1976 Fire 
Department personnel, a special thanks to the fol- 
lowing: Donald Davis, Ass't Chief; Harley Clem- 
mons, Capt.; Gene Wernick, Gerald Chestnut, James 
Morgan, John Clingan, Kenneth Keen, Hollis Ab- 
bott, Carl Hoshauer, Lowell Creighton, Lee Krout, 
Harris Carley, William Downing, Willie Carter, John 
Bnins, Richard Smith, and Walter Carpenter. 

To them and to all the Fire Fighters of the 
community, I dedicate this history of the Potomac 
Volunteer Fire Department. May this story remain 
in the memory of all the firemen from the romantic 
days of horses to the colorful days of motor pro- 
pelled apparatus. 

The Village of Potomac has not been without 
its major fires. In the year of 1912, 2 major fires- 
Grant Layton's Store and Oscar Bivens Livery Sta- 
ble; in the year of 1924, the U. B. Church; McBroom 
Lumber Co. fires in the years of 1 954, 1 964 and 1 9- 
69; and Jack Prillaman Hard ward Store in the year 
of 1968. 

The present Chief, Roy E. Talbott, was ap- 
pointed to the Fire Department in the year of 1926 
by the late Albert Rice who was the Village Presi- 
dent. Long time members of the Potomac Volunteer 
Fire Department are: Chief Roy E. Talbott, from 
1926 thru 1976; Alois Clementz, 1942 thru 1976; 
Kenneth Keen, 1928 thru 1976; Kenneth Willard, 
1940 thru 1976;LowellCreighton, 1937 thru 1976; 
and Walter Carpenter, 1946 thru 1976. All of the 
above listed members have received 25 year Service 
Awards from the State of Illinois. 

During my time with the Fire Department, I 
have served with 8 different Fire Chiefs. They are: 
Chief Richard (Dick) Knott, Chief Butler Magruder, 
Chief Frank McCormick, Chief John Morrison, Chief 
Elmer Joe Cannon, Chief General (Arkie) Meister, 
Chief Everett Ellis, and Chief Ronald Newnum. 

In conclusion, I wish to thank all of these won- 
derful people of the Village and Community for the 
privilege of serving them for the past 50 years. 

Fire Chief, Roy E. Talbott 


Special Events 

Memorial Day walking to cemetery. 

Parade going to Park for the 4th of July. 


Street fair on Vermilion 
in Potomac. 



The homecoming celebration of Col. Margaret 
Harper was held September 15, 1963. It was spon- 
sored by the Potomac Lions Club and Civic Leaders. 

Col. Harper was honored that day because she 
retired September 1st from the Army Nurses Corps 
after almost 23 years of distinguished service. As 
Chief of Anny Nurses, Col. Harper had held one of 
the most honored commands in the military ser- 
vices. Her retirement concluded a 4-year tour in 
this post. 

Under her leadership the nurse corps personnel 
have made major contributions during the past 6 
months of the progressive success of Operation 
Nightingale, the campaign to meet the pressing 
need for more Army nurses. She had a key part in 
the program with speaking engagements, participa- 
tion in decisive conferences and in campaign mis- 
sion which gained effective results. 

Margaret was born and reared in Potomac and 
her mother still lived here at that time. She was 
graduated from Evanston General Hospital School 
of Nursing in 1934. She obtained her Bachelor and 
Master of Science degrees in nursing from Columbia 
University Teachers College and quahfied for an of- 
ficer's commission in the Army Nurse Corps in 
April. 1941. 

Eighteen years later on September 1, 1959, 
she assumed command as the 11th Chief of the 
Corps which was established by Congress on Febru- 

Chanute Band at Margaret Harper Day. 

inif ru 




ary 2, 1901. No Commander of the Corps held a 
higher rank than Col. Harper. 

During World War II, Col. Harper sened in 
the Southwest Pacific Theater as Chief Nurse of 
155th Station Hospital in Australia and was based 
in New Guinea. In the European Theater she served 
as Chief Nurse for 123rd Evacuation Hospital and 
the 1 20th Station Hospital. 

She received the Bronze Star Medal and Amn' 
Commendation Medal for services in World War II. 
She is a member of the American Nurses Associa- 
tion, the National League of Nursing and the Asso- 
ciation for Military Surgeons of the United States. 

This memorable day began with a parade 
through the business district to the municipal park 
west of town. The Fifth U. S. Army Band, the 
Fifth U. S. Color Guard, 3 platoons from A and C, 
troops of 1st Squadron, 106th Cavalry, National 
Guard from Danville and Potomac High School 
Band participated. The speakers were Brig. Gen. 
Conn L. Milburn, Jr., Deputy Surgeon General of 
the United States Army traveling from Washington, 
D.C. with Rep. Arends and Rep. Frances P. Bolton 
from Ohio's 22nd District. 

R. G. Lanham, president of the Lions Club 
was chairman of the event; Frank Andrews, pub- 
licity; and Russell Biggs, grand parade marshal. 
Many others helped with the event. 

\'^^ ' 

i i i i U 



Drum and Bugle Coit»- Margaret Harper Day. 


Joe Cannon, speaker at Old Settlers reunion 
at the park. 


The first reunion was held August 19, 1885, 
in the R. G. Young grove north of the present loca- 
tion. Potomac was then known as Marysville. It is 
said that 2,000 persons attended coming on foot, 
horseback and in wagons. 

There have been many distinguished speakers 
over the past 66-year period: Joseph G. (Uncle Joe) 
Cannon, Danville; Lee O'Neil Brown, State Repre- 
sentative of Ottawa; Congressman Henry Rathbone, 
Chicago; Dr. E. B. Cooley of Danville; former At- 
torney General Oscar Carlstrone, Aledo; fomier 
Congressman William P. Holaday of Georgetown; 
former Governor Dwight H. Green; and Congress- 
woman Jessie Sumner, Milford. 

Mr. Hugh Luckey was president of the organ- 
ization for many years. Entertainment for the day 
contained speeches, music and prizes. The prizes 
were awarded to the oldest lady present, the oldest 
man present, the couple married the longest, the 
couple with the largest family present, best looking 
girl baby under 1 year, best looking boy baby un- 
der 1 year, youngest twins present and the oldest 
twins in attendance. This annual reunion was 
sponsored by the Potomac Merchants. 


The July 4th celebration held at Potomac this 
year was a success in every way. A large crowd was 
in attendance-many coming from a great distance 
to meet old friends. The people began arriving early 
and at noon the grove was filled to overflowing. 


Play at Opera House-Cora Bird, Lizzie Duncan, Bess Wallace, Rhoda Fox, ? , May Jeakins, ? , Ott 
McGlaughlin, Cora Scott, Margaret Goodwine, Abbie Riegle, Zula Griffin, Esther McGlaughlin, ? , 
Thelma Bird on ciiair. 

The Potomac Band furnished music for the 
day and good singing was provided by local singers. 
Many speakers for the day were there. 

Professor Dennis of Franklin, Indiana gave 2 
of as fine balloon ascensions as were ever witnessed. 
Mr. Dennis has been here before and always draws 
his share of attention. 

The swings were going from early morning un- 
til late in the evening. 

The ballgame between Potomac and Oakwood 
ended 30 to in favor of Potomac. 

The celebration this year was one of the best! 

Ofnciar Ballot 

Town Ticket 

Town of Ff3idi3lefork 


Republican ^ Democratic 


(Vote lor Two) (Vote for Two) 





( VoU for Two) 

QlwM. 0. CABTER 



(Vote for Two) 


D -- - - 


--July 16, 1917 

A small carnival arrived in Potomac Monday 
and started business on the Smith lot south of the 
depot. It was doing a small business in the first few 
days, but Thursday morning a couple of the mem- 
bers disagreed and engaged in a fistic combat in 
front of the hotel to decide their argument. One of 
them was arrested and fined, but the other made 
his escape. The village board then revoked their li- 
cense and ordered them to quit business here. 

About the only thing that the company car- 
ried that seemed to do any business was their swing 
and dance hall. Several funny experiences have 
been reported from the dance hall. It is said that 
one married man almost tore up the back end of 
the tent in escaping when his wife appeared on the 
scene looking for him. At the time of her arrival, he 
was dancing with one of the girls connected with 
the carnival; hence, his hasty departure. It is also 
said that she didn't see him before his departure 
and that he beat her home, then when she arrived, 
she was given an awful call-down for being out so 
late at the carnival. 



Ws wiH SF-XD FRCE hr 
man a lii-Ec TRIAL BOnXE; 

alsp, a trcTlise en Epilepsy. DON'^ 

EUFl'ER ANY LONGER! Give Post Of- 
fice, "^Late and County, and Age plaioty. 

SUGif fr'ajMJicii&t Avenue, Pluiadciphia,FA* 



Memorial Day- 1965: Charies Remole, Vivian 
Hoth. Bobby Cox, Don Doran, George 
Save Allen, Lee Musser, Delbert Remole, Guy 
Judy, Curry, Voss Zeb Wise, Carl Talbott. 


American Legion Post No. 428 was chartered 
Jan. 12, 1920, with 15 members. Joe Moss was the 
first Commander. Roy Lowe was Adjutant. The 
Post carried that name of Steadman Post from the 
G. A. R. days. Then after World War II the name 
was changed to "Harry Carpenter" in memory of 
Harry Carpenter, who lost his Hfe February 5, 1918 
when the transport ship "Tusconis" was torpedoed 
near the coast of Ireland. April of 1945 the Post 
Commander Fred Bennett and Leland Musser, 
Adjutant had an all time high of 81 members. The 
first Post was on State Street and then later moved 
to the location on Grant Street. During World War 
II we lost 6 boys. Then again in the Vietnam Con- 
flict, we lost 1 -David Judy. Of that first Charter, 
there are still 2 members-Leland Mersser and 

Thomas Baker. 


Amvet Auxiliary Intermediate Class-First Methodist Church 

Lions Club Potomac Junior Woman's Club 

The Royal Neighbors The WSCS @ Ladies Aid-EUB Church 

Faithful Workers Class-Church of Clirist The JoUy Euchre Club 

Potomac Woman's Civic Club Artesia Chapter No. 1 27 OES 

p J A. Duble Class-Methodist Church 

The Masons Town Board 

The Artesia Past Matron's Club Potomac American Legion 

American Legion Auxiliary The Amvets 

Potomac Home Bureau 

Boy Scouts 


The American Legion Auxiliary charter was 
issued April 14, 1922, with 15 members. Mrs. Re- 
becca Blackford was the first President. The Auxil- 
iary served the V. A. Hospital at Danville as well as 
working in County, District, State and National 
projects. The auxiliary was found to aid the Amer- 
ican Legion in their peacetime program service to 
America. The unit sponsors poppy sales, collects 
coupons for equipment, and takes part in the 7- 
point program. Presently there are 35 senior mem- 
bers and 5 junior members. There are 15 charter 
members who held continuous membership from 
the duplicate charter in Dec. 1, 1945. Gold Star 
mothers are Maxine Lee Martin and Dora Burton. 
The unit has always had 100% quota in member- 

Woman's Club of Potomac 



Potomac Woman's Civic Club was organized 
in March 4, 1939, in the home of Mrs. Nelle Stone, 
as the Jr. Woman's Club with Mary Lucky as the 
first president. It was federated with the state dis- 
trict in 1939, and with the General Federation of 
Women's Club in 1945. On June 2. 1950, it was 
revised to the Civic Club. 

The club filled many needs in the community. 
It provided books and equipment for the town lib- 
rary. It also contributed to all federated works such 
as scholarships. Veterans Affairs, U. S. O., Cancer, 
Red Cross, Girl Scouts, Little League. It sent high 
school students to music and art camps, and spon- 
sored hot lunch program at the grade school. The 
ladies have always worked in all community pro- 
jects such as helping to buy the old grade school 
building, building of tennis courts, dug-outs for 
Little League, movies, and swimming lessons. 

Back in '39 their Motto was, "Work with a 
construction crew, not a wrecking crew." Club 
flower— yellow rose, Club colors— yellow and white. 
Mrs. Leland Kinney is the current president. We 
have 33 members with 4 of those being charter 


By: Norval Burke 

The Potomac Lions Club was sponsored by 
the Gibson City Lions Club. Twenty-five members 
signed the charter on August 10, 1931. Lions In- 
ternational sent Howard Chapel to Potomac to as- 
sist in organizing the club. I worked with Mr. Chap- 
el in the organizing of the club, but without the 
help of George Reinhardt, Jesse Stone, Albert Rice, 
Uley Goodwine, Fred Duncan and others it would 
not have been possible to organize the club. 

We held our Charter Nite at the Potomac U. 
B. Church, with District Governor Mark H. Whit- 
meyer of Peoria presenting the club the pins and 
charter. Donald Farnsworth played a trombone 
solo at this meeting. 

The original charter members are as follows: 
Norval Burke, George Reinhardt, Albert Rice, J. A. 
Blackford, Chas. Jester, U. S. Goodwine, L. C. Wil- 
liams, Louis Pinno, Paul Saunders, P. G. Batty, J. C. 
Alexander, Jesse Stone, Elmer Moreland, Alva 

Montgomery, Bruce Harper, Palmer Smith, D. S. 
Cossairt, Hiram E. Ogle, George L. Hanson, W. H. 
Goodwine, Curtis Alexander, A. H. Wood, Fred 
Duncan, P. E. Reigle, and K. A. Harper. 

The first-year officers of the club were: Presi- 
dent Norval Burke; 1st Vice, J. A. Blackford; 2nd 
Vice, Albert Rice; 3rd Vice, P. C. Smith; Secretary, 
Charles Jester; Treasurer, U. S. Goodwine; Lion 
Tamer, L. C. Williams; Tail Twister, Louis Pinno; 
Directors— Paul Saunders, P. G. Batty, K. A. Harper 
and J. C. Alexander. 

Through the years the club has engaged in 
numerous community activities: 

In 1931, they provided 15 destitute families 
with large baskets of provisions at Christmas time, 
and toys for the children of 35 families. 

In 1933, a cheese factory was secured for Po- 
tomac. In 1937, due to the close work of the club 
with Federal Representative Jame Meeks, and the 
extra effort of Lion Jesse Stone, Potomac was able 
to secure federal aid to build the high school build- 
ing we are now using. 

In 1941, the Potomac Club held their tenth 
anniversary at the high school, with Melvin Jones, 
the founder of The International Association of 
Lions Clubs as the guest of honor. 

They sponsored a bond issue to purchase land 
west of town for the Community Park, built by 
WPA labor. During World War II they were active 
in Bond Drives, USO, and set up a lighted Military 
Honor Roll. 

In 1950, the club was successful in securing 
a doctor for the town— Dr. Agusti. 

In 1953, the club donated $300 to the high 
school band for uniforms. 

The club gives an annual award to the out- 
standing boy and girl high school graduate. 

They donated $390 to help pay for a school 
flasher signal. 

In 1963, they sponsored Margaret Harper Day, 
honoring her retirement from the aiTny. Margaret 
was the first woman to receive the rank of Colonel 
in the army. The Fifth Army Band was here and a 
lot of Top Brass. 

The club's regular projects are: furnishing eye 
glasses to school children whose parents are unable 
to buy them, in the schools at Potomac, Armstrong 
and Newtown; contributing to Leader Dog, Hadley 
School for the blind, furnishing white canes, pur- 
chasing tape recorder for a blind high school stu- 
dent at Armstrong, buying a Braille Machine for 
the school for the blind in Champaign, refreshment 
stand building, basketball court in the David Judy 
Park, and it goes on and on. 

The Potomac Lions Club sponsored the fol- 
lowing clubs: Bismarck, Georgetown and Hoopes- 
ton (with Danville). 



Potomac Junior Women's Club was formed in 
1950, when the Women's Club of Potomac split in- 
to 3 groups. Phyllis McBroom was our first presi- 
dent, and Cheri Gallivan is our present president. 
The local club was affiliated with the Illinois Fed- 
eration of Women's Club until April of 1972. 

For some time we have participated in the Ju- 
bilee sponsored by the Community Council. 

In January of 1971, the club started a project 
that took nearly 3'/2 years to complete. The project 
was a renovation of the Pubhc Library. We painted 
and carpeted, and bought a drop box for the books. 

In March of 1974, we were asked to help the 
Blood Mobile come to Potomac for the first time. 
In March of 1975, we had taken the Blood Mobile 
as a club project. This is a very time-consuming 
project, and we would not have been able to do the 
job we have done without the help and cooperation 
of the community, the doners, the churches and 
the many organizations. This is truly a community 

In September of 1975, we were asked to spon- 
sor the newly organized Brownie-Girl Scout troop. 
We are proud to help all we can. We are proud to 
be an active part of the Potomac Community in 
this our Centennial Year. 


In the month of October, 1914, a group of 
women met and organized a club. The purpose of 
this club was education for better living and a wish 
to do bigger and better things for the community. 
They adopted a few by-laws. They had about 25 

Estella Moreland was elected their first presi- 
dent and served 4 different terms. They chose the 
name of "Domestic Science Club." Their fiower 
was the carnation; the colors, pink and white. 
Their pledge was "We pledge ourselves to loyalty 
to each other and to the best interest of the club." 

In 1915, the club became district federated, 
and since they were the only club in Potomac, they 
were called "The Potomac Woman's Club." They 
had spiritual programs, debates, needlecraft, music 
and drama at their meetings. 

In 1916, the club became state federated. The 
collect was adopted and repeated at each meeting. 
Lena Smith was elected president for the county. 
Josie Stone was later elected. 

In 1931, the club became county federated, 
and in 1954, the pledge of allegiance was adopted 
and "under God" was added and repeated at each 

In 1955, at the home of Hazel Montgomery 
the club celebrated forty years membership with a 
special program. Four charter members were pres- 
ent. They told of experiences they had while they 
were president. 

Our club is now 60 years old and we have ac- 
complished many worthwhile projects. We have had 
105 members, 33 presidents and 33 members who 
have passed away. 

The club became general federated in 1 946. 


The idea for a council started at a meeting of 
Potomac Woman's Civic Club in October of 1958. 
In the year of 1959, the Community Council was 
born. The presidents and project committees of 5 
civic service groups met and started the council. 
The councils first president was Dorsey McBroom. 
It is now Roger Fruhling. 

Potomac's Community Council has made a gi- 
gantic contribution to Potomac's community life. 
Cooperation of organizations and individuals have 
made it all possible, but none of it could have been 
without competent leadership. Council presidents 
spend more time than anyone realizes on commun- 
ity work that pays no salary other than the satis- 
faction of a job well done. 


The Potomac Home Bureau Unit was organ- 
ized in 1933 with Mrs. Katherine Barstead Kraut 
serving as the first chairman. (Due to the fact that 
our records of the meetings from 1933-1936 were 
destroyed, our early history of the Unit is some- 
what limited.) In 1936, there were 33 members on 
the roll. In 1938, the Unit received a loving cup 
for gaining 16 new members and dropping no mem- 
bers. As of January, 1976, we have 25 active mem- 
bers and 2 sustaining (inactive) members. There 
has been a total of approximately 193 women in 
the Unit over the past 43 years. 

The first meetings were held in the homes of 
the members, then moved to the grade school, later 
to the library and then back into the homes again. 

Members of the local unit that have served on 
the County Board include Mrs. Lida Stephens, Mrs. 
Edythe McConnell, Mrs. Lilah Voss, Mrs. Dorothy 
Davis and Mrs. Jean Davis. 

One of the outreaches of the Home Bureau 
is the sponsoring of the local 4-H Clubs. The first 
4-H Club was organized in 1937 with Mrs. Faye 
Cossairt as our first 4-H Chairman. Mrs. Marilyn 


Hoshauer is presently serving as 4-H leader to the 
"Helpful Homemakers" with 1 6 members enrolled. 

In 1939, the Unit sponsored a Library for 
adults and children which opened on September 8, 
1939. The Unit was granted the use of the Village 
Hall for this purpose. The library was a WPA proj- 
ect, with the members of the Unit doing the paint- 
ing, making the drapes, etc. Bookcases were loaned 
by the high school board, 150 books were donated 
by the WPA, over 100 books were donated by Mrs. 
Fontella Crouch Wood of Chicago, and a set of 
McGuffey Readers was donated by Henry Ford. 

In February, 1962, the name of the organiza- 
tion was changed from Home Bureau to Vermilion 
County Home Economics Extension Service. As a 
member, the Potomac Homemakers Unit has co- 
operated in every way by participating in such di- 
verse projects as serving lunch at the State Com 
Husking Contest, baking 86 dozen cookies for the 
U. S. O., "Christmas in October", and helping with 
the Eastern Illinois Fair. Other activities include a 
vision and hearing clinic and a diabetes clinic. 

One goal of the Homemakers is thinking of 
others. Ways we have done this are by dressing dolls 
for the Salvation Army (1962), making bibs for the 
Gifford nursing home (1972), and collecting col- 
ored bottles for V. A. craft projects. (1972) 

In 1965-66, the Unit won a certificate from 

the Cancer Association for accomplishing their 
"Pap" test goal. 

Sixty-three persons received certificates for 
completing the Defensive Driving Course which the 
Unit sponsored in 1968. 

Participation in community activities include 
contributions to the March of Dimes, Cancer Fund, 
and Community Council. In 1971, we began the 
tradition of sponsoring a "Bake-Off at the annual 
Community Jubilee. 

Homemakers have been busy over the last 43 
years learning everything from child care to inter- 
ior decorating to food preparation to financial plan- 
ning to energy conservation as early as 1945. Less 
intellectual, but more fun "busy-ness" has been 
handkerchief showers, silent auctions, traveling 
bake sales, galloping teas, a sink contest, and the 
selling of napkins, cookbooks and tri-sodium phos- 

Current officers for 1975-76 are Chairman, 
Mrs. Cheryl Cornell; First Vice-Chairman, Mrs. 
Rheta Forrest; Second Vice-Chairman, Mrs. Carol 
Addams; Secretary, Mrs. Karen Kennel; and Treas- 
urer, Mrs. Sara Miles. Three current members that 
have been members for 25 years or longer: namely, 
Mrs. Anne Prillaman, Mrs. Minerva Hulse and Mrs. 
Emma Alice Leonard. 

A group of 28 men of this vicinity have banded themselves together in a "Dewey Mustachio Club" and 
vowed to grow larger and better Mustaches until their favorite is elected to the White House. Confident that 
their hero will carry the G.O.P. banner to victory in Tuesday's election they have their razors honed and the 
mugs full of foam ready to off their extra attire on Wednesday. However should their color bearer fail in 
his endeavor to reach to the White House they are pledged to keep their lip adornment in good trim for a- 
nother four years. Cabinet members, left to right seated are: Vice-President, Elza Bales; President, Dave 
Spain; Secretary-Treasurer, Richard G. Lanham; Frank Sollars and Boyd Dennison. Standing— Buck Spain, 
Japies Carpenter, Mark Judy, Jess Spain, Curtis D. Jameson, Hobert Reeves, and Wilbur Spain. 


R.N. A. Convention, 1951— Front row neighbors: Hazel Musser, Eileen Qaytor,. Grace Tressner, Deputy— Laura B. Strong- 
man, Decatur, IL, Supervisor— Tillie Albrecht, Champaign, IL, Oracle— Myrtle Anderson, County Oracle— Opal Hudson, 
Elsie Behimer, Ella Creighton, Gladys Spain. Back row neighbors: Marjorie Burroughs, Thelma Auten, Lena Pierce, Lula 
Mae Clem, Mabel VanNess, Jewell Tressner, Charlotte Musser, Margie Clementz, Mildred Hoshauer, Ruth Hudson, Can- 
Imogene Hoshauer, Edith G. Duncan, Edith Morgan, Blanch Nelson, Clarice Morrison, Lilah Voss, Vada Hansen, Eva Watfroo. 


Royal Neighbors of America— Camp Number 
2877, located in Potomac, Illinois was instituted 
February 28, 1906, making it one of the oldest 
fraternities in town. Names appearing on the R. N. 
Charter are: Oscar G. Baril, Lillian M. & John W. 
Brindley, Catherine H. Cossairt, Emma Knott, Mary 
Lucky, Julia L. Magruder, C. C. Ransom, Jessie N. 
Roe, Otto B. Furrow, Earnest R. Duncan, Abbie 
D. Riegle, Minnie H. Seymour, Lulu Sperry, Emma 

Wilson. As of now Myrtle Anderson is the oldest 
member. She is 91 years young, and was recorder 
for 7 years. 

The order meets once a month in neighbors' 
homes and has a social hour of playing bingo. We 
have 140 paying members. Oracle for 1976-77 is 
Mildred Curtis. In all those years there have been 
only 5 recorders with Edith Hall doing it today. 


On September, 1888, Deputy Grand Patron 
W. A. Aldrich announced the object of the meeting 
and administered an obligation to the following 
brother Master Masons and their wives: Brother C. 
E. Pressey and wife Emily L. Pressey, A. B. Tilton 
and wife Lizzie Tilton, J. A. Littler and wife Mary 
A. Littler, Samuel Flaningam and wife Jennie Flan- 
ingam, G. C. Howard and wife Emma Howard, T. 
W. Buckingham and wife W. A. Buckingham, Sister 
Christine Doney and Nannie Griffith. The dispen- 
sation was read and the chapter was then instituted. 
This was the beginning of the Order of the Eastern 

Star of Potomac, Illinois. 

W. O. Butler, the Grand Patron, signed and 
sealed this dispensation on the 21st of September, 
1888. At this time it was resolved that the name 
of the chapter would be Artesia. Then the process 
of recording all the By-Laws of the chapter was be- 
gun and completed on October 3rd, 1888. The 
building is still in good shape and the one major re- 
pair to it occurred in 1971 when the west wall had 
to be completely re-done since it had collapsed 
from a lot of rain leaking through. The organiza- 
tion has gone on all these years because of the loy- 

alty of its members. The present Worthy Mason 
and Worthy Patron is Mary Lou Dishman and hus- 
band WiUiam Dishman. A special note to this his- 
tory is the fact that there are 15 living 50-year 
members today. That is a very special honor in 




The Potomac Masonic Lodge No. 782 was 
chartered in Chicago on October 6, 1887, by the 
Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons of the State of lUinois, with the 
following members: F. P. French, A. B. Tilton, 
J. A. Littler, Marion Goodwine, J. D. Anderson, 
E. A. Brown, C. E. Pressey, T. W. Buckingham, 
George E. Grays, H. Radermacher, P. F. Oliver, 
Guy C. Howard, G. White, L. H. Griffith, C. G. 
Miles, J. W. Terpening, J. E. Copeland, M. C. Don- 
ey, George A. May, C. A. Jameson, B. D. Wise, 
Fred Bass, J. E. P. Butz, John Coon, George W. 
Luckey, Thompson Roe, A. M. Parker, David H. 
Cade, F. A. CoUison, Barton Evers and Rigdon 

Brother F. P. French served as the first Wor- 
shipful Master, A. B. Tilton was Senior Warden and 
J. A. Littler was Junior Warden. 

The first Masonic Lodge met upstairs in the 
building located on the southeast comer of the 
main intersection in Potomac. This same lodge 
room was used by the Knights of Pythias Lodge. 

In a stated meeting on October 26, 1905, a 
committee was appointed to secure a lodge room 
from Dr. L. C. Messner for $75 per year for 5 
years. The lodge moved to this location on the 
northwest comer of the main intersection on Jan- 
uary 1, 1906 where it still meets regularly on the 
second and fourth Thursdays of each month. 

Repairing and remodeling to the Temple has 
been done on a number of occasions during the 
years, including extensive work on the lodge room 
in 1929, when the walls were papered, a new carpet 
was laid and the first electric lesser lights were pur- 
chased. The Lodge purchased the Temple in 1960, 
and again extensive remodeling was done over the 
next several years with the ehminating of coal 
stoves and the additions of restrooms. The most re- 
cent improvements were made during 1975, when 
the walls were painted and an air conditioner was 
installed in the north wall. A new carpet was laid 
in the lodge room as a gift from Alva H. Montgom- 
ery, Sr., who was a Past Master of Potomac Lodge 
and a fifty-year member of this lodge at the time 
of his death. 

The living fifty-year members of Potomac 
Lodge are: Lester M. Burd, Wayne B. Hoskins, Wal- 
ter S. Parrish, Sr., Louis H. Pinno, Glenn H. Sey- 
mour, Alvin G. Luckey, Dewey Foster and Joseph 
W. Kieser. 

The Past Masters of Potomac Masonic Lodge 
No. 782 and years they served are: 

T. P. French- 1887, 1888, 1889; J. A. Lit- 
tler- 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1896, 1897, 1902, 
1903; L. D. Oberlin-1894, 1895; A. M. Johnson- 
1898, 1899, 1900; A. Sperry- 1901, 1905; H. M. 
Luckey-1904, 1906, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1915, 
1918; W. H. Gray-1907; J. F. Payne-1909; J. C. 
Moss-1912, 1913, 1914; D. S. Cossairt- 1916, 
1920, 1929, 1930, 1945: C. H. Jester- 1917, W. H. 
Moyer-1919; J. A. Blackford- 1921; E. J. Wise- 
1922; Lester M. Burd- 1923, 1931; K. A. Harper- 
1924; Alva H. Montgomery- 1925; E. J. Smith- 
1926; D. E. Goodwine- 1927; Frank McCormick- 
1928; Z. H. Wise- 193 2; Louis H. Pinno- 1933; 
F. B. King- 1934; Homer E. Butz- 193 5; Walter 

B. Cooper-1936; 1943; Amiel Beck-1937;William 
Jameson-1938, 1939; H. G. Lanham-1940; A. H. 
Morrison- 1941; Cari Walters- 1942; F. M. John- 
son-1944; Bert Hall-1946; Griffith Johnson- 
1947; Walter Cossett-1948; G. M. aaytor-1949; 
W. D. Redman-1950; M. B. Duncan-1953; D. E. 
Farnsworth-1954; Wilbur Arford-1955; Gene 
King-1956; Robert Beck, Jr.- 1 957 ; Norval Burke 
-1958; Lyle Hamilton- 1959; Chester Powell- 
1960; Homer Davis- 1961; Harold Kile- 1962; Ev- 
erett Ellis- 1963; Thomas Hawkins- 1964; Gilbert 
H. Pugh-1965; Mason Burd- 1966; John G. Jibben 
-1967; Donald G. Davis- 1968; James King- 1969; 
Richard Jameson- 1970; John R. Lane- 1971; Don- 
ald W. Davis- 1972; Harry C. Kuchenbrod-1973, 
1975; Donald E. Doran-1974. 

The officers for 1976 are: Alva H. Montgom- 
ery, Jr., Worshipful Master; John R. Lane, Senior 
Warden: Ronald L. Ogburn, Junior Warden; Harry 

C. Kuchenbrod, Treasurer; Donald W. Davis, Sec- 
retary; Chester Powell, Chaplain; Norval Burke, 
Senior Deacon; John Grant, Junior Deacon; Wilbur 
Arford, Senior Stewart; Chester Atchison, Junior 
Stewart; Bert Knoll, Marshall; Donald Doran, Tyler. 



Potomac Lodge No. 782 A. F. & A. M.; 2nd 

and 4th Thursday of each month at City Hall; J. A. 
Littler W. M.; M. L. Flannigan, Secretary. 

Artisia Chapter No. 127; 1st and 3rd Friday 
of each month at City Hall; Mrs. Lizzie Tilton 
W. M.; T. W. Buckingham W. P.; Mrs. CoUison, Sec- 

Monte Cristo Lodge No. 470 K of P; Wednes- 
day night of each week at City Hall; W. T. Bucking- 
ham C. C; E. T. Jester of Rand S. 

Latta Rebekah Lodge No. 292; Saturday night 
of each week in J. H. Griggs Hall; Allie McCombs, 
N. B.; Menta Flaningan, Secretary. 

Middlefork Lodge No. Ill I. O. O. F.; meets 
Tuesday night of each week in J. H. Griggs Hall; 
Walter Pilkenton, N. G.; W. L. Bentley, Secretary. 

Artesian Comp No. 678, M. W. A.; meets Mon- 
day night of each week in J. H. Griggs Hall; Wm. 
Gray V. C; C. G. Layton, Secretary. 

Potomac Lodge No. 889 L O. G. T.; meets 
every Tuesday night in City Hall; Elmer Moreland, 
C. T.; Clyde Buckingham, Secretary. 

Potomac Court of Honor No 238, meets at 
City Hall 2nd and 4th Friday of each month; W. L. 
Bentley, S. C; Lew Oberling, Secretary. 

Middlefork Minute Men: meets 4th Saturday 
of each month; H. L. Terpening and John Duncan, 

Steadman Post No. 252 G. A. R.; meets each 
2nd and 4th Saturday in each month at City Hall; 
Charles Ingersol, Commander. 




High water over pavement south of Potomac, March 12, 1939. 

Flood of April 20th, 1964. 




The Middlefork River runs along the south 
edge of Potomac and every once in awhile it does 
flood. Back in 1939, as the picture shows, it was up 
to the very edge of the town. No homes were 
flooded, but it was awhile before it went down. 
Most of the time the river runs serenely along, but 
at times of heavy rainfalls, it, too, can go on a ram- 
page. In the last 20 years it has seen many a heavy 
rainfall and the streets have been flooded, but by 
morning everything is nmning smoothly again. 
Right now they're putting in new sewers and curb- 
ing so that should take care of the heavy rainfalls. 

Snowstorm of February, 1964. 

Heavy snows and teeth-chattering tempera- 
tures are not uncommon in this area, and may have 
occurred more often in the "olden days," but 
there was not quite the inconvenience then, be- 
cause people could stay at home and wait until 
such time as the roads were cleared or they could 
get out with horse drawn sleds or on foot. With 
modem vehicles, and electric homes, a blizzard or 
ice storm paralyzes traffic and makes cold homes. 

The ice storms of '59 and '67 both crippled 
Potomac. It was lucky for the ones who didn't have 
to travel out of town, but it was cold trying to 
work in the unheated businesses. Few trucks got 
into town with bread and milk. 

In 1964, a snowstorm hit on a Saturday 
night coming from the northeast. The viaduct over 
on Route 136 was full-traffic couldn't move. The 
deep drifts made travel impossible and schools were 
closed. Service stations were busy with calls for 
towing service, tires, chains and batteries. 

In '65, we had another snowstorm on Feb- 
ruary 25th, and we couldn't get out of town for 2 
days. I remember Bill Downing cleaned the street 
past our home 2 times a day-it kept blowing full 

Even today the mention of an ice storm or 
big snow causes families to clean the grocery shelf 
of bread and milk. The ice storm in Jan. of '76 was 
bad, but not enough to cut off electrical power. 


When I was young, my slippers were red, 
And I could kick as high as my head. 

As older I grew, my slippers were blue. 
Couldn't kick as high as I used to do. 


Now I am old, my slippers are black. 

I walk to the comer, and slowly walk back. 

In April of 1967, everyone was working as 
usual when about 1 1 :00 A.M. everything began to 
shake and rattle on the walls and shelves. It lasted 
about 1 minute, but it was an experience a person 
wouldn't forget in a lifetime. 

Imagine Central Illinois having an earthquake! 
That's what shook Potomac that beautiful sun- 
shiny morning. 

How do I know my youth is all spent? 

Why, my get-up-and-go has all got up and went. 

But I shed not a tear as I think with a grin 
Of all the grand places my get-up has been. 

- -Alfred Talbot 



The land for the cemetery was donated by 
Morehead and Luckey and this is Morehead 1st 
Addition. Mary Luckey donated the land for Luck- 
ey 2nd and 3rd Addition and Mr. Rice for the 4th 

In days when this was first beginning, the lots 
were sold at a very low price and the graves were 
dug by neighbors and friends. Then in 1900, Frank 
Golliday began to do digging and take care of 
people's lots for a small fee. After his passing on, 
Bert Moore was caretaker for several years. In 
1949, Harold Boggess began working and has taken 
care of it fo ""years. 


Wallace Chapel Cemetery was older than the 
church. Several stones date back to 1853. Many 
Civil War Veterans are buried here. 


The IngersoU Cemetery is along the creek 
bank northwest of town located on the James Par- 
sons' land. 

Harold Boggess-Caretaker 


Those Good Ole Days 


Ruth Davis Nash 

My mother, Mary Jane Foreman, and baby 
brother were brought by her father in a covered 
wagon from Ohio to the Sugar Grove area near Pen- 
field to hve with her grandparents following the 
death of their mother. Mother was eighteen months 
old at the time. In 1883, her grandparents moved to 
Potomac. In 1887, she was married to George Wash- 
ington Davis and lived in the same home where she 
reared 5 children. He was bom in Bean Creek area, 
1 of 1 1 children. Nelle Messner and Grant Layton, 
their friends, were married the same day. Being 
neighbors across the alley complicated things so 
neither could attend the other's nuptials. 

As long as I could remember, my mother sewed 
for people, charging $1.00 for a dress and 25^ for 
shortening men's pants. Often it was my duty to car- 
ry notes to slow payers asking for the small fees. I 
used to watch my mother make newspaper and 
brown paper patterns for several extra-large ladies 
she sewed for. She made baby clothes for Mrs. John 
Goodwine for Wayne. 

In the early 1900's, gypsies hit Potomac and 
the kids all high-tailed it for home for fear the ro- 
ving tribes would catch them. Tomatoes, vegetables 
and poultry were watched because these were the 

My Dad was a lover of the outdoors and he used 
to take my brother Harold and me for long walks 
in the woods and down the railroad and across the 

Fourth of July and Old Settlers Reunions were 
great days with the merry-go-round, ferris wheel, 
stands, bands, programs and fireworks. Too, there 
was the Jerry Butz fish pond at the east edge of Po- 
tomac— a pond with fish and ducks, surrounded by 
peonies and benches all enclosed with a fence and a 
gate, a great place to rest. 

Mr. Butz was the grandfather of the well- 
known VanDoren boys: Carl, a writer, Paul and 
Charles, $64,000 Question Program. 

I recall my friends Robert and Kate Young 
who kept school teachers, sold milk, owned a meat 
market, butchered his own animals, gave liver and 
cracklings away and sold steak at 25^ a pound- 
enough for a meal for five. Mr. Young also in his 
younger days fed cattle for Abraham Mann near 

Rossville. Kate was the daughter of Benjamin Frank- 
lin of Myersville. He hand dug our well and they say 
he almost drowned because the water came in too 

John Payne and wife had a general store and by 
helping them, my brothers and I were able to con- 
tribute to our family food supply. Dad died in 1 9 1 2, 
and we all had to pitch in. We got 25(^ an hour. The 
store had delivery service— a big box type wagon 
pulled by a horse. I recall the time the horse ran off 
and my brother Floyd came home in a bad humor. 
Allie Morrison also was a delivery boy. Uncle Merrill 
Jameson, Hazel Alexander, Louise Watters, Mable 
Payne, my two brothers and I were the working crew 
at the store. 

At the age of? I got the scarlet fever bug. 
Mother and I were in quarantine, so we had to have 
one of the first phones. It had a big old box below to 
hold the batteries. Ours was number 1 1. Our doctor 
was S. Cossairt. He almost always came in wearing a 

The old Opera House had its heydays: road 
shows like medicine shows, home talent plays, 
school plays, sales and dances— quite a place of en- 
joyment. I was working at Payne's store and took 
off time to go to a children's day program at the 

To my memory, the outstanding speechmaker 
was none other than Curtis J. Ermentrout. I can see 
him yet, newly starched blouse, tie and knee pants, 
walking upon the stage, red-faced and cheeks puffed 
out like a turkey cock. After a minute or two of 
silence, he came forth with, "I guess I can't say it!" 
which was hilarious and, to this day, sometimes it's 
best not to speak our piece. 


Peculiar Yarn by an Early Settler Led to Changing 

Of Name of East Branch of Creek 

(Press-Democrat Special) 

Potomac, 111., Nov. 7- The eastern branch of 
the Middlefork, known in the early days as SuUivan's 

Compliments of Russell and Kathleen Biggs 


branch, but since 1 85 1 known by its present appella- 
tion of Bean Creek, received this mid-century re- 
christening as the result of a strange tale told by one 
of the early settlers, Albright by name. While Al- 
bright's stories were of such magnitude that he could 
not be accused of trying to deceive anyone, he was 
regarded with some horrorby the more religious old 
ladies of the early pioneer days. They are said, how- 
ever, to have delighted in repeating some of his stor- 

According to Albright's story, told among res- 
idents of other parts of the country where he visited, 
the people who lived near him along the banks of 
the creek might be likened to the wandering tribes 
of Israel. In their manner of sustaining life. "Way," 
said the pioneer Aesop, "the stream flows bean 
soup, and the banks along the stream are bordered 
by a thick growth of this nutricious vegetable, ready 
baked to a most appetizing grown for the table. We 
just naturally go out and collect it every day, except 
Sundays, as the wandering tribes of Israel gathered 
manna in the wilderness. I was at first surprised at 
finding such delicious baked beans on every table 
when I passed through that country buying steers. 

but that was easily explained when I learned from 
whence they came." The yam was enough to give 
the name to the stream. 

In regard to some other locality he used to tell 
that when he one night remained with his men, he 
slept in the house and they in the bam. During the 
night, so he told, the bedbugs rolled him over and 
over until he thought to escape them by seeking 
shelter in the bam. Starting for the stable, he heard 
a terrible noise, resembhng the roar and clatter of 
an old-fashioned threshing machine. Hastening into 
the doorway, he found his men engaged in a battle 
with an army of fleas which had made the bam their 
home. And yet they say that the early settlers were 
up against such stem facts that they had no chance 
to develop their imaginations. 

The land along Bean Creek was well adapted to 
cattle-grazing, and many of the earlier settlers 
entered every foot of it at that time obtainable, and 
later became rich from the sale of cattle. The land 
is today among the most valuable tracts in the 
county, but it can truly be said that never has a man 
with the Albright type of imagination been pro- 
duced there. 

Bean Creek School 


Comnliments of Bob and Lois Keal 


Written by: Gladys Auth Judy, Ruby Crawford 
Judy and Martha Judy Day 

History tells us that Blue Grass began the same 
year as Chicago. It was located on what was known 
as the old Attica Trail. 

The country was all open prairie with lots of 
swampy land; consequently, hordes of mosquitos 
and malaria in hot weather. 

Some of the early settlers around Blue Grass 
were Nicholas Judy and family Vz mile east. 

They were the parents of Gabe Judy, Isaac 
Judy and Ambrose Judy. Ambrose Judy founded 
the "Judy School" in later years 1 mile south of 
Blue Grass. A McDonald family lived on east of 
the Judys. 

To the west were Abraham Talbott, Cordell 
family, Goetschies and David Judy (my grandfa- 
ther). Three miles west of Blue Grass was my Great 
Grandfather Wright. 

In Blue Grass were Wilsons, Pilkingtons, Fur- 
rows, Schnelles, Sollars and Artongs. 

The Judys, Wrights and Talbotts came from 
West Virginia. Nicholas Judy and Great Grandfath- 
er Wright came in the year 1852. All of these 
people, no doubt, came by covered wagon. 

My father WiUiam G. Judy was bom IVz miles 
west of Blue Grass in 1 870. 

These people, and more, would come on horse- 
back and on foot for their mail at the Blue Grass 
Post Office. No doubt they bought what supplies 
necessary there, as there was at least one general 

At one time there were 2 blacksmith shops 
and several houses and the school house. 

A large two-story square house on the south- 
west comer was owned by a Pilkington family. 
We were told it was a hotel-probably called an Inn 
at that time. To the west of that was the general 
store. Then farther south was the John Artong 

Mr. Artong had a blacksmith shop on the 
southeast comer and as late as 1908 to 1910 Mr. 
Artong would set the tires on wagons and buggies, 
repair and make machinery, sharpen plow shares, 
make wagon tongues, and double trees, and shoe 
horses as needed. There was no mechanical machin- 
ery or automobiles at that time. 

On the far northwest was an empty black- 
smith building then belonging to the Nichols. Mr. & 
Mrs. Nichols had 4 children: Tom, Oscar, Linnie 
(Dade to us) and Orrel (or Babe). 

The schoolhouse was in the northeast comer 
of Blue Grass. It was a one-room building with a 
pot-bellied stove in the middle of the floor and a 
row of seats and desks on each side. The ones near 
the stove cooked, and the ones far away froze in 
cold weather. 

My father, my brothers and sisters, and I, also 
my 3 older children attended school in this build- 

Just before Christmas in 1935, the old build- 
ing caught fire and bumed to the ground. Fortun- 
ately for the teacher and pupils, the building 
bumed at night. 

There were 30 or more pupils attending so 
arrangements had to be made to finish the term. 

The school directors (School Board now) 
went to Danville to the C & E I railroad shops and 
bought a caboose which was moved to the school 
grounds. The pupils finished out the term in that 
and by the time school started in the fall, a new, 
(what was then) modem building had been built 
with basement and a furnace. 

That school was used until only 2 pupils were 
left in the district. Those pupils were bussed to Po- 
tomac Grade School. 

Edmond Butz was the teacher when the 
school bumed. The building was sold for a dwel- 
ling house to Mr. & Mrs. Gordon Talbott and has 
since been remodeled and presently owned and 
lived in by Mr. & Mrs. Marvin Rumble and family. 

On the northwest comer, the Bob Spain fam- 
ily have a home. 

The rest of Blue Grass is farm ground at the 
present time. 


There was a Klu Klux Klan formed in Poto- 
mac by a man by the name of Clint Rice who was 
the Grand Dragon They bumed a cross west of 
town and one at the cemetery. They had white 
masks on their heads and faces and white robes 
draped around them. They formed a vigalanti 
group and people were afraid of them. It did not 
last long and they soon disbanded. 

The present "squaw" winter put a decided 
stop to garden making-May 7, 1897. 

Compliments of Village Discount 



By Ruby Judy 

Potomac has been the hometown of my fam- 
ily of my family for more than 100 years. My 
Great Grandfather Josiah Crawford settled in Ill- 
inois in 1836 on the Danville road. He frequently 
went to Chicago with a team and produce and re- 
turned with salt. There was at this time only 1 
house between his and Chicago. 

His son, our Grandfather William Crawford 
and family lived on a farm on the "eight mile" as it 
was then called (east of Potomac and northeast of 

We have heard through the years that Grand- 
father Crawford saw Abe Lincoln. He went to Mat- 
toon to hear him speak. 

When our father, Jesse J. Crawford and moth- 
er, Lola Caton Crawford were married in 1892, 
they went to housekeeping on a fami about 2 
miles northeast of Jamesburg. I was the first child. 
Ruby, and then my sister Nelle and brother Carroll 
were bom in that home. A few years later in 1 899, 
my father had the idea of moving to Potomac and 
mnning a Livery Stable. That was a new venture 
but every town had a livery stable, where they 
kept horses to hire out for driving or riding. There 
were no cars then. We lived in Potomac only a 
year. I can remember the livery stable very well. 
It was on the main street near the downtown area. 

When we lived in Potomac our family at- 
tended the United Brethren Church. My mother 
taught a Sunday School class of young girls. I re- 
member were Adaline Smith, Leota Smith, Marie 
Woods and the Moss twins. 

In those days everyone from miles around 
went to Potomac park to celebrate the 4th of July. 
There would be speakers and singing, also much 
visiting, with fae crackers all around. There was a 
horse-drawn hack (a coach for hire), that made 
trips from the town out to the park and back. The 
charge was 5^. Families came with horses and car- 
riages and brought picnic dinners to spread on a 
tablecloth on the grass. 

My grandparents on Mother's side were Wil- 
liam Harvey Acton and Jane Laflen Acton. 

In Grandfather and Grandmother Acton's later 
years they lived in Potomac. Their youngest son 
Dow Acton graduated from Potomac High School. 
Dow Acton then graduated from law school in 
George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 
He practiced Law for 50 years in Danville, 111. He 
and Una Dale were married in 1915 in Danville. 
Their 3 sons are Bob, Bill and Jack Acton. 

My parents lived in Danville 4 years. It was 
there that I graduated from Danville High School. 
Later I taught in the country schools. I taught in 
the Wallace Chapel school from 1913 to 1915. I 
boarded in Potomac at the home of my Aunt Min- 
nie and Uncle Sant (Dr. & Mrs. Cossairt). And I 
walked out to my school 3 miles northwest of Po- 
tomac each day. Sometimes I stayed with some of 
my pupils to attend a party or go to church. It was 
in my first year out there that I met the young man 
who was to be my husband. The Wallace Chapel 
Church was having prayer meetings in the homes. 
They were called cottage prayer meetings. It was 
there that a friend introduced me to Glen Judy. 

That spring Glen Judy and Maurice Lyle went 
out west to work. Maurice landed in Iowa but Glen 
went on to Laramie, Wyoming where he got a job 
on a ranch with a nice family. His work was mainly 
with cattle, and he spent some time living in a far 
corner of the ranch in a bunkhouse, cooking for 
cowhands. He also started a Sunday School in a 
school house, as there were no churches near. He 
came back in the fall, but his memories of Wyom- 
ing were pleasant ones. We had our first date at 
Christmas in 1914; when we went to the Christmas 
program at Wallace Chapel Church. I remember 
Judy School girls were there in a group and they 
sang "Silent Night, Holy Night." Mrs. Gordon was 
matron of the school then. The "Mary A. Judy 
School" was founded by Mr. Ambrose Judy, a sec- 
ond cousin of Olen Judy. It was a school for or- 
phan girls out in the country, northwest of Poto- 
mac, and was under direction of the IlHnois Chil- 
dren's Home & Aid Society, in Chicago. 

Olen Judy and I were married in January of 
1916, and went to housekeeping on a farm north- 
west of Potomac, on the Ellis road. 


There were large bands of gypsies that used to 
come to town. They camped in the Jack Goodwine 
timber east of town. They had a large num.ber of 
horses and mules that they liked to trade. The 
women would invade the town begging for food 
and telling fortunes. The men wore large hats or 
bandanas wrapped around their heads, boots and 
fancy shirts. The ladies wore bright colored shirts 
and low necked blouses and lots of rings and beads. 
They were very dark skinned with black hair. 


Compliments of Curtis Barber Shop, Potomac, Illinois 


Written by: Marthann Judy Day 

When I was a little girl, Potomac seemed like 
a big town. Two banks, stores, churches, businesses 
of several kinds, at least 2 doctors and gushing ar- 
tesian wells made Potomac a busy meeting place, 
not only for its residents, but for the farm families 
from miles around. 

My parents. Olen and Ruby Judy, moved to a 
little white frame house on the Ellis-Blue Grass 
road after their marriage in 1916. They planted a 
fruit orchard and vegetable garden, set out shade 
trees,, flowers and shrubs. I remember the pink ram- 
bler roses and pink almond bushes by our front 
porch and the tall, colorful hollyhocks rimming the 
vegetable garden in back. A smokehouse, with its 
pungent hickory smell, was in the sideyard, as well 
as a cob house. Its dry, red cobs kept the kitchen 
fire going for my mother's cooking and baking. 

Every Sunday morning my father drove our 
white horse. Jack, and the buggy from the bam to 
the hitching rail in front of the house and soon we 
would be on our way to Wallace Chapf^l Church In 
the winter, if there was a heavy snow, we some- 
times went to church in a sleigh, with jingling sleigh 
bells fastened to the horse's harness. Sunday was a 
day of worship and visiting with relatives and 
neighbors. The minister lived in Potomac and he 
divided his time between the Methodist Church in 
town and the Wallace Chapel Church. Mrs. Laura 
Goetschius was Sunday School teacher for the 
younger children. She told us Bible stories and ex- 
plained pictures of the Biblical characters, making 
them very real for us. 

Christmas programs at Wallace Chapel were 
exciting times. Each Sunday School class gave "rec- 
itations," and all the congregation listened to the 
reading of the Christmas story and sang carols. 
Sometimes a real tree was decorated by the side of 
the altar, and after the program the children would 
receive little Christmas boxes filled with mixed, 
hard candy. 

Decoration Day was another well-remembered 
occasion. Soldiers' graves, in the cemetery next to 
the church, were marked with flags and the chil- 
dren would line up in twos and march about the 
graveyard with armfuls of fresh flowers, placing a 
bouquet carefully on each veteran's grave. Three 
Civil War soldiers were still living, including Mr. 
Ambrose Judy, Mr. Littler and Mr. LaGrange. They 
would attend the ceremony, dressed in their old 
blue unifonns. One of them would recite the Get- 
tysburg Address. Members of the American Legion 

would then fire volleys of shot across the graves 
and we children would hold our hands over our 
ears as the acrid shell smoke drifted away. 

In 1924, when I was in second grade, my par- 
ents moved near the Mary A. Judy School, where 
my father would work for many years. Even nearer 
to us than the Judy School was the home of its 
founder, Mr. Ambrose B. Judy, who had built the 
school as a home for orphaned girls and named it 
in honor of his mother. When we moved next door 
to him, he was a widower and had no children of 
his own. Since he was in his eighties, our parents 
decided we would call him "Mr. Ambrose." (He 
was our Grandfather Judy's first cousin.) "Mr. Am- 
brose" was not as formal as "Mr. Judy," but more 
fitting than if we children called him "Ambrose." 
He seemed to enjoy having children living nearby- 
there were 6 of us as the years went by-my broth- 
ers Allen, Scott, David and Dan, and my sister 
Carol and 1. We played in his yard as much as we 
did in ours and picked the violets in his sideyard 
because they were larger and the stems were longer 
than the ones in our yard! 

When 1 was 10 years old, Mr. Ambrose would 
sometimes ask my mother if 1 could help him. He 
cultivated a small field about 'A mile from home, 
raising enough corn to feed his horse, "Old Nelle." 
She was a gentle, bay mare and we were allowed to 
ride her, although we preferred to ride Fannie 
when she wasn't needed for field work. Fannie had 
more pep and we didn't ffcl guilty riding her at a 
a gallop. Mr. Ambrose had rigged up a small culti- 
vator, pulled by Old Nelle, and he decided it would 
be better if he could concentrate on guiding the 
plow and have me guide the horse. When it was 
time to weed the field he would ask if 1 could help 
him, and of course my mother would say "yes." 
1 would go with him. sit on the tool box near the 
shafts, and guide Old Nelle between the rows of 
corn. The sun would be hot, sweat bees would be 
lighting on us, dust swirling up to our hot faces, 
and 1 would wish 1 were home reading a book in 
our shady front yard. Mr. Ambrose knew when 1 
was getting tired and he would tell me we would 
sit in the shade. He would tell me about General 
Andrew Jackson in the Civil War, who would en- 
courage his men by saying, "We will cross over to 
the river and rest under the shade of the trees." 
We would usually work only a half day and when 
we would get home he would pay me a quarter. He 
asked me to help him with other chores and even 

Compliments of The Thrift Shop 


had me trim his hair, and would pay me accor- 

Mr. Ambrose knew I liked to ride horseback 
so he suggested I save my money to buy a bridle 
of my own. He needed a new one and was going to 
order it from the Sears, Roebuck catalog. I had 
never considered saving my money for something 
like that and it sounded Hke a great idea. He waited 
for me to earn enough money to pay for a bridle 
and then we chose the kind we wanted from the 
catalog and I watched him write the order for 2 
bridles. In a few days he called me over and said 
the package had just come in the mail. I was a 
proud, excited child when I opened my part of the 
package. A light tan leather bridle with fringed 
tassels on each side! What a good leathery smell! 

The Bridle: 

That bridle was soon to become involved in a 
most exciting event. One hot, sunny morning Mr. 
Ambrose walked to his little field to hoe around 
the com. He left a young man, who had been visit- 
ing his sister at the Judy School, asleep in the 
house. Mr. Ambrose had offered to put him up 
for the night and then the young fellow was going 
back to the city. When Mr. Ambrose came home at 
noon to feed and water Old Nelle before going to 
the house for his own dinner he discovered she was 
gone. He went into the house. The young man was 
gone! My father came in from the field about that 
time and Mr. Ambrose hurried over to tell him the 
startling news. My father said he would go with 
him to look for the missing horse just as soon as 
he could water and feed his team and eat a bite 
himself. Checking around the harness shed while 
the team was drinking, he discovered his good wes- 
tern saddle was missing and so was my new bridle. 
What a turn of events that was! Dad said I could go 
with him and' Mr. Ambrose to look for Old Nelle, 
so I gulped down some dinner too, and climbed in- 
to the back seat of the 1922 Dodge and away we 


The Chase: 

We sped along the dusty, dirt road until we 
got to the outskirts of Potomac where the pave- 
ment started. The first person we saw was Mr. K. A. 
Harper, owner of the grain elevator. He was sitting 
in front of his office, taking it easy. Dad stopped, 
and after a quick "hello" asked, "Did you happen 
to see a young man riding by on a bay mare? 

"Why yes," replied Mr. Harper. "I was just 
starting to walk to the post office this morning 
when this young fellow came along on his horse 
and we talked all the way downtown. I told him 
'good-bye' and went in the post office." My father 

quickly explained that the horse had been stolen 
and that we must get on our way, thanked Mr. Har- 
per for his information, and headed east through 
town. At each crossroad we would look up and 
down, but kept on the narrow pavement through 
Jamesburg and on towards the Dixie Highway. 
Finally, we saw Mr. Percy Britain and his family 
picnicking along the road. (Mr. Britain was music 
teacher in Potomac. He and his family had evident- 
ly walked all those miles on a day's outing.) They 
said a young man had ridden by on a horse earlier 
in the day. Soon we arrived at Moore's Corner, the 
intersection of the Jamesburg road and Dixie High- 
way. In front of the comer gas station sat a motor- 
cycle policeman talking to the station attendant. 
My father drove up, called to the 2 men and asked 
if they had seen a man on horseback go by. The 
station operator said he had seen the horseman 
tum the comer and head south on the Dixie High- 
way about an hour earlier. Dad and Mr. Ambrose 
explained that the horse had been stolen. The po- 
lice officer jumped on his motorcycle, started it 
with a roar, and said reassuringly, "We'll catch 
him!" and sped off down the road. I was wide-eyed 
at this lucky encounter. The Law was going to help 
us! (It was as thrilling as a Western movie-only, of 
course, I had never seen a movie!) We started south 
too, but the policeman was soon out of sight. We 
drove for a few miles and then Dad decided we'd 
better inquire of someone if they had seen the 
horse thief He stopped and asked some highway 
workmen the same question he had been asking all 
afternoon. They hadn't seen anyone on a horse. 

"We'd better tum around and see if we can 
pick up his trail farther back," Dad said, and Mr. 
Ambrose agreed to wait there by the side of the 
road to convey that message to the motorcycle of- 
ficer if, and when, he came back. Dad and I tumed 
around, retraced our steps a mile or so and stopped 
by a steep, rut-filled driveway and walked up to 
the house. A tired-looking woman answered the 
floor My father asked if she had seen a young man 
riding a horse by that afternoon. She seemed sur- 
prised at the question and said, "Yes, someone hke 
that stopped a short time ago and offered to sell 
me a horse and saddle. I didn't need the saddle, but 
I bought the horse to pull the garden plow. I paid 
S7.00 for it. The boy said he'd come back later for 
the saddle and bridle." 

Dad asked her if we might see the horse. She 
looked at us suspiciously but led the way to a 
small lean-to at the back of the house, and there, in 
a small fenced enclosure was a tired horse munch- 
ing on hay. Dad looked at me and said quietly, 
"There's Old Nelle." About that time the police- 
man came down the road. Mr. Ambrose was riding 
in the sidecar of the motorcycle. We flagged them 


Compliments of John's Paint and Kustom Shop 

down, and while the policeman explained to the 
woman that she had bought a stolen horse, Mr. 
Ambrose hurried to see his faithful old animal. 

Mr. Ambrose insisted he would ride Old Nelle 
home. Dad decided he would hurry home, dt the 
evening chores, and then pick up Grant Judy, (a 
nephew of Mr. Ambrose's) bring him back to meet 
horse and rider. Grant would then finish riding the 
horse and Mr. Ambrose would continue home in 
the car. By the time Dad and Grant met Mr. Am- 
brose, he declared he wasn't tired and rode Nelle 
the rest of the way home. 

That was the most exciting day of my young 
life. I was happy that Old Nelle was back home 
safe and sound, happy that my father had his good 
western saddle back, and very relieved that my 
hard-earned bridle was again hanging on its nail in 
the harness shed. 


In the early days the west part of town was a 
wild place and was known as "Oklahoma". There 
was a "blind pig" located there. It was a house 
where liquor could be bought as the town was 
dry. Liquor could only be obtained there at night. 
A customer could knock at the door, place their 
money on a tray and a bottle of whiskey came out 
of a chute. 

For entertainment in the winter time, people 
skated on the creek south of town. There were 
many fancy skaters. They were Elmer Moreland, 
Bess Dague, Mort Hall. John Moreland, Hstella 
Thomas, John Morrison, Dr. Cossairt and many 


Written by: Mary Jane Yard 

My father, Alfred Talbott, was bom on March 
12, 1880, on a farm west of Blue Grass. His grand- 
parents, Benjamin Johnson and Sarah Parsons Tal- 
bott, had migrated to Illinois from West Virginia in 
1 865. His parents Abraham Parsons and Mary Louise 
Burd Talbott lived across the road and a little east 
of the present John Gray farm home. 

Except for a year (about 1900) when he atten- 
ded Northwestern University at Evanston, he spent 
his entire life on his parents' homeplace and at the 
first house east of the bridge which I remember as 
our homeplace, even though he did teach some at a 
rural school. His college education was interrupted 
by his father's serious illness and lie took over the 
farm permanently. The first house I lived in there 
was destroyed by fire in 1927, and Dad built another 
on the same spot. 

After attending Blue Grass Grade School, Dad 
graduated from Potomac's then two-year high 

Dad was married first in 1 906 to Anna Tyler of 
Potomac, Their first child, a daughter, died at birth. 
The baby's mother died in 1914, leaving Dad witii 
a daughter Ruth, about 5 years old, and a son Paul. 
4 days old. 

He next married my mother, Blanche Golliday, 
also of Potomac, in 1917. She died in 1928, leaving 
him with four small children ages IV2 to 20 months: 
Gordon, Tom, Jr., and myself, the youngest. 

Much later in 1944. Dad married Carrie Foster 
of Armstrong and she died in 1 957. He then married 
Leona Laird of Milford who outlived him by only 
10 weeks. 

My earliest memories of my Dad was of a hard- 
working man who always worked as hard or harder 
than those he worked with and never expected 
others to do what he wouldn't or didn't do. 

Still other early memories concerned our "al- 
most every" Sunday attendance at Sunday School 
and church, if both were held. There was never any 
question of what we were going to do on Sunday 
like there often is today. Five generations of the 
family attended Wallace Chapel Church which was 
begun in 1854, named after Peter Wallace and sur- 
vived some 10 to 1 5 years after it celebrated its cen- 
tennial in 1954. 

The fact that my Dad was an avid reader of all 
the good material he could get- newspapers, reli- 
gious material and good books- has probably been 
the greatest contributing factor to my deep interest 
in books. 

He traveled to all corners of the United States 
many times in the last twenty years of his life, 
though I can remember very few trips in the other 
twenty years of my life. 

He remained active and continued to travel, 
garden and read until 2 months before his death in 
November 27, 1965. 

If 1 were asked what was the greatest legacy my 
father left me, it could not be limited to one. He cre- 
ated in me a great thirst for knowledge and wisdom, 
a love and concern for other people and the begin- 
ning of a great faith in God. His faith remained stead- 
fast despite all the adversities that life saw fit to 
hand him. 

Compliments of Ray Davis Trucking 



Written by: John Hoskins 

Grandfather Truman L. Hoskins was bom 
Dec. 19, 1874, in Steam County, Minn, in a home- 
steader's cabin during a pre-Christmas snowstorm. 

His father, Ezariah Hoskins, was bom in the old 
town of Denmark, now submerged by Lake Ver- 
milion, while his mother, Lucretia Fugate Hoskins, 
was a native of Kentucky. 

The family undertook to homestead a place 
near Fairhaven, Minn. After a loosing fight against 
winter blizzards, summer drought, wolves and grass- 
hoppers, they sold out to relatives and retumed to 
the vicinity of Potomac. (Indian Mound) He was 
then ten years of age. 

Later they traveled to the South and settled 
nearTullahoma, Tenn.. but this venture also was un- 
successful. They started northward by flat boat to 
Vincennes, Ind., and from there brought their be- 
longings back to the Danville area by horse and wa- 

Grandad Tmman L. Hoskins married Carrie 
Olive Brown July 4, 1 900. They had 1 2 children, six 
of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Hoskins died Jan. 3, 
1950, and one daughter, Mrs. Dora Spain, preceded 
her in death by six months. Hoskins was married 
Oct. 4, 1954, at the age of 80, to Mrs. Nancy Lay ton 
of Potomac. His living descendants are: Harry 
(Pence, Indiana), 10 children, 40 grandchildren, and 
2 great grandchildren; Jessie (Hoopeston), no de- 
scendants; Mrs. Hulda Spain Jarman (Niles, Mich- 
igan), 12 children, several grandchildren and great 
grandchildren; and Mrs. Alberta Sidwell Porter (Dan- 
ville, 111.), 3 children and several grandchildren. 

On my Grandfather's 85th birthday he had 
105 descendants. He was retired from farming and 
spent most of his life in the Potomac and Danville 
areas. He worked awhile for the Danville Street Rail- 
way Co. at the time when the switch was being made 
from the old horse cars to the electrics. 

My father Harry W. Hoskins, now 69, married 
Eva V. May of Potomac in 1926. They had 10 chil- 
dren. Eva passed away September, 1963. Harry was 
married to Pauline Markley on December 31, 1964. 

His living children are John Tmman, Harry 
Harvey, Richard Lee, Gordon Robert, Eva Wanetta 
Adam Everett, Albert Lee, Lester Dale, Harold 
Eugene, and Esther Virginia. Harry lived most of 
his life around Potomac, and worked for Jesse Stone 
as a carpenter in his younger years. His sons served 
in the armed forces— Navy, Marines, Army, War II, 
Korean and Vietnam. 

We lived in the old Goodwine park east of Po- 
tomac 1 mile when 1 was 6 years old. The State put 

in the new road between Potomac and Route 1. 
They used mules to haul dirt and Big Mac trucks 
chain driven to haul cement. The mules were kept in 
a lot across the street from Bill Downing's (Jesse 

I walked to school from the park. We moved to 
Blue Grass a couple of years later. That year at 
Christmas time the school burnt down. There was 
no telephone or way to get help. My Dad shot 3 
times in the air and it brought help from all direc- 
tions, but it still burnt to the ground. We moved to 
the farm March 1, 1935, the Doug Alexander farm 
south of Potomac 1 mile, where the gravel pitt is 
now. My brother Harry and I started to school and 
on the way home one night we had a snowball fight. 
He got wet and cold and he lay down and would not 
walk. He said to me, "Just let me die and I'll not 
have to walk anymore." I whipped him to make 
him go, but that didn't help any so I had to carry 
him home about 1 mile. After that Dad let us drive 
the race mare hitched to an old buggy. (He had 
traded a neighbor out of 1 sow pig for a buggy.) 
Boy, did we go to school then. We picked up the 
Davis kids and had horse races. We sure came up in 
respect to the other kids. One fall we put the corn 
in shocks and carried it on the hillside so we could 
feed the livestock that winter. The spring rain came 
and it took the corn down the river so Dad went 
broke and couldn't feed the stock and we had to 
sell the farm. 

He started carpenter work then and worked 
over at the base and also drove the school bus. His 
and Mom's dream came tme- some land of their 
own. Boy, we lived— 3 acres of bmsh and mosqui- 
toes! We cleared a garden spot and fenced the rest. 
We picked berries (wild strawberries, raspberries, 
blackberries), we fished, and hunted squirrel and 
rabbit. There were mushrooms (we lived off the fat 
of the land!) and sassafras tea (I drank gallons)! 
Harvey Pollitt made sorgam and we helped him strip 
the leaves of the cane for some syrip, and in the 
spring we made maple syrup. I could always see my 
mom's eyes sparkle when I'd bring her a handful of 
sweet William, as it was her favorite. 

We moved back to town about 1942 in my 
Grandfather May's house on May Street just north 
of the railroad. There we country boys went wild. 
Mom and Dad had to take us back to the woods so 
they bought 40 acres and this is what Mom called, 
"Hills of Hawbuck," just west of Jamesburg IVz mile 
at the Selsor Ford, end of the road. We had our own 
swimming hole, our own everything— berries and 


hunting! About this time I joined the Navy. I didn't 
miss too much of my home Hfe because my mother 
was a school teacher before she married. She could 
put more on paper than most people can talk. She 
only told me the happy things that happened or the 
funny ones— about how the cow knocked out Har- 
ry's front tooth, or maybe Bill stepped on a nail or 
Bill ran a skunk across the picnic blanket down by 
the river at the old turtle tree. 

But back to history, I guess remaining in his- 
tory. Time passes us by, and now I am a grandfather. 
We have a redheaded granddaughter and a grandson 
with big brown eyes. And now comes the time in my 
life to pass on my knowledge of fishing and hunting 
and finding mushrooms to my grandchildren. All 
the knowledge that they will absorb, or that I can 
make interesting enough for them to want to learn, 
has taken me 50 years to learn. 


Civil Yeierans 


The home where this picture was taken be- 
longed to Charles La Grange and stood where 
T & J gas station is today. Reading from your left 
to right, the soldiers in the front row are: William 
McMurtrv, Charles Ingersoll, Giles Gordon, Frank 

Selsor, J.W. Henderson and Charles La Grange. 
Back row: Raul Sides, Mac Coil, Alec Helvie, 
William Douglas, Ambrose Judy and John Kirkhart. 
The last man is not known. 



When the Boys in Blue came limping back 
from the Southland in 1865, there were but 
fifteen towns and settlements of size in Vermilion, 
and their listing makes strange reading today. 
Let the roll be called: Blue Grass, Marysville, 
Rossville, Myersville, Higginsville, Newtown, Den- 
mark, Danville, Tilton, Illiana, Catlin, Fairmount, 

Chillicothe, Ridgefarm, and Georgetown. Of these, 
Marysville is now Potomac, and Chillicothe after a 
span of life as Old Dallas, has ended as the town of 
Indianola. Blue Grass, Myersville, Higginsville and 
Newtown now are all memories. But with the de- 
sires of the communitiy life there have come into 
active existence with other towns and villages. 


George H. Hamilton 
Joseph Allen 
D. M. Moreland 
James Henderson 
John Fox 
Robert C. Golliday 
J. S. Anderson 
Ambrose Judy 
Myrick Coil 
Howell Davis 
Robert Land is 
Ernest Schreiner 
J. R. Kirkhart 
Henry Searle 

B. D. Wise 
John Alexander 

C. R. Littler 
John Littler 
L. Shanks 
Odom Coake 
Cyrus Kirby 
Jacob Poulson 
Joseph McConnell 
Micheal Guthrie 
Charles LaGrange 
W. C. Galiday 

T. W. English 
William McMurtrey 
Unknown Soldier 
Martin Landis 
John Nesbitt 
James Stokes 
William McMahon 
William S. Douglas 
William Payne 
Seth Fairchild 
George A. May 
Samuel Flannagan 
T. M. Saunders 
Sam Smithcrs 
Harvey Griffin 
A. W. IngersoU 
Peter Lawrence 
J. W. Cossairt 
Alexander Helvie 

Spanish— American Veterans 
John Cooper 
William Wyneau 


Colden Ijeaps 


Cora Goodwine Rice was bom Dec. 31, 1885, 
1 mile East of Potomac, Illinois. She is the daughter 
of John and Alice Goodwine. She attended the Po- 
tomac Public Schools and graduated from high 

She entered the banking profession, and was 
employed by her father (Banker) who founded the 
Goodwine State Bank. She became associated with 
her brother, John and Ulysses Goodwine who were 
also with their father in the bank at that time. 

She married Albert Rice who was at the time 
of their marraige associated with the Potomac Na- 
tional Bank, founded by Dr. L. C. Messner. With 
the consolidation of the Potomac National Bank 
and the Goodwine State Bank, she and her husband 
worked together in the banking business for a long 
number of years. 

She has 1 son, Gorden A. Rice, 3 grandchil- 
dren and 3 great grandchildren. Her husband Al- 
bert passed away on Jan. 10, 1964. She continued 
as President of Goodwine State Bank until her re- 
tirement in 1972. She now resides at the Danville 
Care Nursing Home, Danville, IlUnois. 

Cora G. Rice 


Beryl M. Osborn Butz was born February 12, 
1885, the daughter of Fred and Lou Ella Barkman 
Osborn on a farm west of Collison. She attended 
schools at Bixby, Collison and Danville Higli 

She met Homer E. Butz, and they were mar- 
ried on February 23, 1905, and from this union 
were 2 sons— Edmund of Elgin, Illinois, and Fred- 
rick who still resides here in Potomac. Edmund 
married Lucille Wolf and they have 1 daughter, 
Sondra Kay. 

Homer E. Butz, her husband, passed away at 
an early age on December 27, 1935. Beryl worked 
at the Grab-It-Here grocery in Potomac and at 
Chanute Field. 

Beryl enjoys her flowers, gardening and has a 
large strawberry patch. She still gets out every day 
at the age of 91. She cleans her flower beds and 
walks to town for her daily shopping. 

Beryl misses her old friends to visit and chat 
with. Her motto is to stay busy and keep a-moving 
and you'll stay young at heart. 

She has been a member of the Artesia Chap- 
ter for 63 years, a member of the Methodist 
Church and a pastmatron. 



Fannie Josphine Hefferan Goodwine was bom 
in Potomac, October 26. 1885, daughter of Mich- 
ael and Recbeeca Steely Hefferan. She was 1 of 12 
children. She is the oldest and only one living in 
her family that is left. 

She met Fredrick M. Goodwine, and they 
were married on May 3. 1903. Fannie and Fred 
raised 5 children: Louise, Alice, Marion, Frank and 
Dale (1 deceased). Fannie has 16 grandchildren, 
26 great grandchildren and 10 great great grand- 

In Fannie's early married life they lived on 
Father Goodwine's farm. She shucked many an ear 
of corn, milked cows, and raised a large garden. She 
worked in the canning factory at Rossville and 
helped cook in the restaurant that Hobert and 
Louise had here in Potomac. 

Fannie spoke about her boyfriends and their 
fast-spirited horses and how she helped Dr. Ran- 
som and Dr. Cossairt when they delivered babies 
and how she dressed the babies. Fannie had trav- 
eled around the country and seen lots of changes 
in her life from horse and buggy days to Jets and 
man going to the moon. 

When she was interviewed for this history, 
she had walked downtown, bought a can of paint, 
went back home and painted half of her front- 
porch by noon at the age of 90, mind you. 

She is always in a jovial mood and says if you 
are to keep a-goin' you have to stay busy and keep 
those wheels a-turning, and don't bog down. 

Fred Goodwine, her husband, passed away at 
the age of 86, in 1963. 

Fannie still resides at her home here in Poto- 
mac where she trims her hedge, plants a garden and 
does her own cooking. 

"Grow old along with me. 

The best is yet to be." 


Laura Smith Talbott was the fifth child bom 
of John R. and Permelia Shumate Smith August 27, 

l«84, on a farm near Gifford Illinois. She had 3 
sisters and 4 brothers. She is the only daughter 
left; but has 1 brother Forest Smith who resides 
here in Potomac. 

She grew up on the farm and attended the 
country school near her home. 

She married Charles B. Talbott Sept. 18, 1901. 
Of this union 2 children were born, the son de- 
ceased and daughter Hattie Talbott Daniels sunives 
and lives in Danville, Illinois. Her husband Charles 
passed away at the age of 81 on October 3, 1959. 

They lived on the farm north of town until 
1935 when they came to town and lived on Grant 
Street, the first and oldest street in the village. 

Laura's hobbies were raising a garden and 
flowers. She enjoyed the neighborhood children 
coming to visit with her as she told them stories of 
long ago. Laura says she has seen a heap of changes 
in her time, but guessed she was hearty and tougli 
cause the time for her wasn't set as yet. 

Laura now resides at the International Nursing 
Home in Danville, Illinois. 



The distinctive feature of the town of Potomac 
is the Artesian Wells. Charles LaGrange, a Civil War 
veteran informs us that the first flowing wells were 
shallow holes from which water was dipped for do- 
mestic purposes. This was called "slue" water. These 
holes were deepened if the water ran low. Camp 
meetings were held southwest of town to be near 
water which flowed from a sycamore tree. Years 
ago when drilling for oil on the farm of the late John 
Goodwine, in 8-inch vein of water was struck and 
water was thrown 32 feet in the air. The force was 
so great that it would lift a log chain or a 7 pound 
stone several feet. Fearing the earth would cave in 
around it, a red elm piling was driven into the casing 
by a pile driver from Rossville. The force was so 
strong that water penetrated the pores of the tree. 
People drove miles to see this strange sight. Zacharia 
Putnam attached a water wheel to his well, which 
was located on his farm (the farm of the late Carl 
Duncan), and used this power for churning and 
cheese making. The village streets were watered from 
a well on the Redman property. A well drilled by R. 
Knott on the Harmon Copeland farm had enough gas 

to bum while the water flowed. Due to the great 
numberof wells, the largest one in town was located 
on the Charles Edenburn property. This well flowed 
2 3-inch pipes full until it was slowed down because 
it was causing wells on higher ground to flow slower. 
These wells flow continuously the year round from 
a depth of 55 to 180 feet. Some flow as much as 
2,000 barrels in 24 hours. The water has a slight min- 
eral taste. Wells in town contain sulphate iron, and 1 
nearby contains magnesia. In most instances the wa- 
ter which has a temperature of 44 degrees flows into 
small tanks which are used as natural refrigerators. 
Some are inside the houses. Most of the tanks have 
covers or lids, although left open in the severest of 
weather, the water never freezes. Hydraulic rams 
were used to force the water up hills into the homes. 
Wells can be seen flowing in the middle of the creek 
south of town. The creek is never dry as the artesian 
wells drain into it. In the olden days, carpet rags 
were often dyed to a beautiful copper by soaking 
them in a tank of flowing artesian water for a week 
and the color was set by drying them in the sun. 


1. D. A. Arthion 

2. George Stengel 

3. Norval Burke 

4. Tom Downing 

5. Gary Session 

6. David Cessna 

7. Willie Carter - 2 

8. Leslie Ingram 

9. West Park - 2 

10. Robert Stahl 

1 1 . Larry Lawless 

12. Robert Bezely 

13. Harry Voss 

14. Wm.J. D. Middleton 

15. Larry Hutton - 2 

16. Scott Armantrout 

17. Otto Divan 

18. Ronald Willard 

19. Jim Behimer 

20. Don Ray 

21. Jack Taylor 

22. Virginia Borror 

23. Don Doran 

24. Earl Mourer 

25. Roy Talbott 

26. Lee Price - 2 

27. Roy Fulk 

28. B. J. Denham 

29. Clarince Brunson 

30. Lyle Markwalder 

3 1 . Mary Beiderman 

32. Marion Valetine 

33. Dave Spain 

34. Wayne Goodwine 

35. Gordon Rice 

36. David Malcolmson 

37. Curtis Alexander 

38. Seymour Fami - 3 


Centennial Farms 
G^ Monies 


Well ahead of the Civil War, John C. Alexan- 
der, a southerner, migrated to the North. He set- 
tled in the area of the present Alexander farm in 
the late 1840's. He had accumulated considerable 
acreage before his death in 1862. He was a young 
man at his death and very little is known of his 
early life. 

His son S. A. D. (Doug) Alexander became 
the 2nd generation owner. Bom in 1858, he was 
only a child when his father died. In 1879, he mar- 
ried Nelle Golliday and moved on the farm. He 
reared 3 sons and 5 daughters, and remained on the 
farm until his retirement in 1914. 

Jesse Alexander became the 3rd generation 
owner. He was married to Mary Selsor in 1916. 

She was a teacher in the Middlefork school. From 
this marriage there was 1 daughter and 4 sons. 
Jesse operated the farm till the early 1950's at 
which time he turned the operation over to his 
youngest son. He made his home there with his 
son until his death in 1966. 

Upon Jesse's death in 1966, the farm went to 
the 4 sons who are the present owners and the 4th 

Jay W. lives on the homestead and operates 
the farm. He is single and is an avid sports fan. 

Robert G. has been in the San Francisco area 
in California since the end of World War II. He has 
2 daughters and 1 son. His older daughter is a spe- 
cial education teacher, the second daughter has a 


degree in nursing, and the only son is in tiie Navy. 
Robert is in road construction. Raymond V. lives 
about a mile away from the homeplace. Ray has a 
stepson Michael E. Schull. His own son Douglas is 
the 5th generation of Alexanders in the line of in- 

D. E. (Gene) lives in Urbana, Illinois. Dr. Alex- 
ander is a professor at the University of Illinois 
where he has been on the faculty since 1947. He 
is a geneticist in the department of agronomy. Dr. 
Alexander has twice been recognized as an out- 
standing instructor in the College of Agriculture. In 
1971, Dr. Alexander became the first American 
named to the Russian All Union Academy of Sci- 
ence which includes only 22 foreigners among its 
153 members. This represents the highest honor be- 
stowed on an agricultural scientist by the U.S.S.R. 
Dr. Alexander's work is of special interest to the 
U.S.S.R. because he breeds com to increase oil con- 
tent and improve protein quality. 

The original home on the farm was torn down 

in 1967, and the only remaining building of past 
generation remaining is the barn. 

The original land was swamp and only the 
high ground was farmed. Of special note-in the 
late 1940's, foundation seed com was produced on 
the farm and in tum was used to produce double- 
cross seed corn which was used for commercial 

In the middle 1960's a few acres of sunflower 
seeds were grown from seed that Dr. Alexander had 
brought back from Russia. 

In the late 1960's several acres of high oil 
content com was produced. In 1961, the Alexan- 
ders installed one of the first artificial grain-drying 
facilities in this area. 

There are 2 English walnut trees on the home- 
stead. One is a seedling which does not produce 
and the other is a grafted tree— an English walnut 
grafted on a black walnut stump. This tree in good 
bearing years will produce 1 to Wi bushels. 


My Great Grandfather, Absalom Collison, 
came to Vermilion County, Illinois in about 1828. 
He was bom in 1 805 in West Virginia and was the 
son of Alexander and Rebecca (Kellison) Collison. 
He settled on a 40-acre tract of land near the Mid- 
dlefork River northwest of Collison. Later he and 
his sons started acquiring land on the prairie. 

Our farm at Collison was acquired from sev- 
eral parcels at different times. In 1844, Absalom 
ColUson, got a 40-acre tract from the government 
near the buildings where Earl Tucker now lives a 
half mile north of Collison. In 1849 and 1850 he 
bought 240 acres more from several owners at a 

cost of about $2.00 per acre. 

At Absalom's death in October, 1853, this 
land went to his son, Thomas F. Collison. Thomas 
purchased the remainder of the present farm in 
1 882 and 1 887 at a cost of about $34.00 per acre. 

At Thomas Collison's death in 1919 this farm 
was inherited by his daughters, Lizzie Crays and 
Stella Crays. 

In 1920, my grandfather, Samuel Collison, 
bought this farm from Lizzie and Stella Collison 
Crays. In 1931, my mother, Mae M. Collison Ham- 
ilton inherited this farm and I bought it from my 
mother in 1965. 



William H. Duncan purchased a farm from 
Elon Sperry on Feb. 21, 1884. The abstract shows 
that William paid $11,700 for one 160 acre tract 
of farm. Later he sold the farm to Carl F. Duncan 
in 1920 for SI 6,000. Melvin K. Duncan inherited 
the farm from his mother's estate in 1958. This 

is a third generation farm. 

The original house on the farm burned in 
1912, and was replaced in 1913. Jesse Stone was 
the builder of the new house, which is still used as 
the home of Melvin and his wife Margaret. 



John Judy bought the Judy family farm from 
Jesse and Mary Partlow June 6, 1853, at a cost of 
$5.45 an acre. Partlow had originally paid S1.25 
when he purchased the land. The farm was passed 
from John to his son George and from him to his 
brother Charles. George was never married. Charles 
was killed in a tractor accident in 1942. This coin- 
cides with the depression and the family farm was 
heavily mortgaged. Lloyd, Charles' son, managed to 
redeem the farm so that today— 123 years later— it 
still remains in the Judy name. 

Many changes have occured in the century 
passed. Lloyd remembers his father Charles telling 
of the covered wagons passing with signs saying, 
"Kansas or Bust" and then coming back East say- 
ing "Busted." 

An 1 1-room house was built on the farm in 
1876 at a cost of $2,000. Lloyd and his wife Ruth- 
al still live in that house today. 

In the early years only the higher land on the 
farm was cultivated because of poor drainage. To- 
day the entire farm is put into grain crop. 

The Havana, Rantoul and Eastern Railroad 
went through the farm in 1876. John Judy sold 
the railroad land needed to cross his farm for the 
price of $ 1 .00. The $ 1 .00 charge was only to make 
it legal. The railroad was built with a 3-foot narrow 
gauge track and owned 2 locomotives. 

John Judy and Emma Judy, his wife. This picture 
was taken on Monday, August 1, 1904, at their 
home two miles west of Potomac. 


In 1920, the narrow pavement cut the farm 
into going east and west. This was the main road at 
that time. The farm was again cut into in 1933 
when Route 136 was built. Electricity ran through 
the farm in 1929. Midwestern Gas Transmission 
Company laid a pipeline througli the farm in 1959. 

A tornado hit the farm in 1944 destroying 8 
buildings and laying the windmill across the cellar 
door. For years this was the only windmill between 
Potomac and Armstrong and was a kind of land- 


Some of the more interesting articles that re- 
main on the family farm are: a branding iron (the 
letter "J") used on John Judy's cattle, the wagon 
bows that covered the wagon bringing the pioneer 
Judy family here from West Virginia, saddle bags 
for horses, several old guns including a muzzle 
loader with the powder horn and pouch. John Judy 
used a 2-row check planter with a rope-check. 
Lloyd still has parts of that planter. 


The Montgomery Centennial Farm located 5 
miles southeast of Potomac, just east of the village 
of Jamesburg, is owned by Alva H. Montgomery, 
Jr., the sixth generation to own this farm since it 
was entered from the United States Government in 

The original 80 acres of this farm has been in 
the related family since it was entered from the U- 
nited States Government on October 25, 1828, dur- 
ing the administration of President John Quincy 
Adams, by Elza and Nancy Timmons. 

The Timmons sold this 80 acres to their 
nephew, Erastus Sperry died on or about May 
14, 1852, leaving his widow Ruth and 3 young chil- 
dren-a son Wallis and 2 daughters, Amanda and 
Arminda, as survivors. Daughter Amanda married 
Samuel D. Deamude on December 3, 1868, and 

this farm was transfered to them from her father's 
estate on July 2, 1872. 

A daughter, Ella was born to the Deamude's 
on December 7, 1873. She married Frank Mont- 
gomery on December 1891. The Deamude's trans- 
fered possession to their daughter on December 2, 
1924, and her son, Alva H. Montgomery, Sr. as- 
sumed management of it until her death on Sept- 
ember 26, 1936, at which time ownership went to 

Alva H. Montgomery, Sr. maintained an ac- 
tive interest in this farm until his death on Janu- 
ary 2, 1975, although ownership passed to his son, 
Alva H. Montgomery, Jr. in 1970. 

This farm is now operated by Alva H. Mont- 
gomery, Jr. as a part of a grain and hog farm, 
where a Purebred Hampshire herd is maintained. 


William F. Burd was discharged from the Un- 
ion Army following the Civil War, on June 9, 1865. 

Records show that in 1867 he purchased from 
Nelson Chenowith, a tract of land about 1 mile east 
of Armstrong, Ilhnois, consisting of 61 acres, des- 
cribed as 61 acres off the west side of the S.E. '^ 
section of section 2, twp, 2 IN. Range 14 west. 

This tract of land has remained in the Burd 
family ever since. 

In 1905, Mary E. Burd bought from William 
Smith, 78 acres joining the original farm on the 

In 1944, after the death of Mary E. Burd, 
wife of William F. Burd, a son, Lester Burd. be- 
came the owner of the farm now consisting of 139 

acres, more or less. 

In 1964, Lester and Edna Wernigk Burd, pur- 
chased 98 acres from the estate of Fred Wernigk, 

This 98 acres joined the original Burd farm of 
61 acres on the east, thus making a farming unit of 
237 acres, more or less. 

In 1924. a house and other buildings were 
erected on this farm. Edna and Lester Burd have 
lived here ever since. 

In 1952, a second house was erected in which 
a son. Mason, and his family reside. So passes the 
farm from generation to generation. 

- -Lester M. Burd 



The home where Charles and Emma Alice 
Leonard now live has been in the Leonard posses- 
sion since 1862. According to a Prairie Farmers 
Reliable Directory, published in 1918, the farm 
was called, "Riverside Stock Farm." 

On Dec. 24, 1862, William J. Leonard pur- 
chased the farm from John Smith. 

In 1866, Wm. J. Leonard died and his son 
James D. Leonard bought out the other heirs. 

In 1885, a tornado struck the area destroying 
all the buildings, leaving only a brick well house, 
which was left standing until it was torn down in 
1975. The house was rebuilt by Berry Leonard, 
brother of the owner (James). James Leonard died 
in 1913. In 1914, his son William C. Leonard 
(grandfather of Charles) purchased the farm. Later 

William Leonard and Sadie his wife moved to Hen- 
ning, Illinois. 

Families of Newt Henderson and Homer Wil- 
son lived here some time during 1913 and 1923. 
In 1923, Stanley and Dora Leonard and children 
Dorothy (now Mrs. Ray lungerich) and Charles 
moved to the farm. 

In 1923, Wm. C. Leonard passed away and 
his wife Sadie passed away in 1942. 

Stanley Leonard then became the owner and 
in 1947 he and his wife Dora moved to Rossville, 
Illinois and Charles and Emma Alice Leonard and 
sons Richard (Dick) and Jerry moved to the farm. 

Since the death of Stanley Leonard in 1967, 
and Dora his wife in 1973, Charles (their son) is 
the present owner. 

All departments full and complete at "way down prices 


The William E. Stone residence was 
built around 1891, and was the 
Stone residence until 1936. This 
home was later damaged by fire, 
and the home of Vernon McGuffee 
is now at this location 


The John J. Duncan residence lo- 
cated on West State Street, is now 
the home of Curtis Sollars. John 
Duncan was the father of Fred 

The John Moss residence, located 
at the north edge of Potomac, has 
been remodeled and is now known 
as the Lanham Mortuary. 

Seifleps of Poi^omac 

Frank Golliday 
Harry Perry 
John Thompson 
Johnson Miles 
Robert Jameson 
Donald Farnsworth 
Roy Lowe 
Loren Thing 
T. E. Davis 
Charles Weiser 
Frank McCormick 
George J. Pettit 
John Musser 
Everett Ellis 
B. C. Voss 
J. C. Smith 
William Blackford 
John Howard 
Zeb Wise 
William Nixon 
Jesse Nixon 
Rush Anderson 
Roy Felmley 
Cloyd Talbott 
Samuel Stephens 
Jacob E. Layton 
S. A. D. Alexander 
James Hickman 
Henry Coil 
Ed Cannon 
William LaBounty 
Douglas Alexander 
Butler Magruder 
Joe Wallace 
Arch Franklin 
Harry Bird 
Elmer Cannon 
Ben Behimer 
Walter Gossett 
A. H. Morrison 
John Morrison 
George Shoemaker 
Ira Blackford 
Frank Sollars 
Russell Duncan 
Arthur Edenburn 
Charles Edenburn 
George Turner 
Clyde Buckingham 
Louis Clem 
Benjamin Clemmons 

W. G. Judy 
Mance Abernathy 
Frank Nelson 
Palmer Smith 
Corwin Linfoot 
Noble Taylor 
Jack Taylor 
Elmer Layton 
Ralph Young 
William Cook 
Charles Talbott 
J. W. VanNess 
Hicks VanNatta 
Earl Jeakins 
Paul Saunders 
Arch Furrow 
Thomas Young 
James Davis 
John Coon 
A. L. Griffin 
W. L. Jameson 
Olen Judy 
Elmer Stucker 
Homer Butz 
Henry Baker 
Lee Musser 
Bruce Harper 
Floyd Allen 
Walter Cooper 
John Selsor 
George Young 
J. D. Clementz 
Fred Spain 
Verne Tresner 
Charles Alexander 
Zack Huffman 
Elmer Weller 
William Moyer 
James Wallace 
George B. Goetschuis 
Harry Lincoln 
Everett Wilson 
T. O. Magruder 
Marion Grimes 
Richard Knott 
Albert Sperry 
Frank Henry 
Abraham Landis 
Landis Hall 
James Taylor 
Carl Talbott 

Wilber Goodwine 
Wayne Goodwine 
Ernest Dryer 
Merton Swisher 
Harry Doran 
Grant Judy 
George Borror 
Lloyd Judy 
Earl Pierce 
Charles Pierce 
Ray Remole 
Joseph Smith 
Clarence Taylor 
Homer Davis 
Dorsey McBroom 
Harry Hoskins 
James Redman 
Cell Reeves 
Dan Reeves 
Walter Perry 
Joe Reeves 
Dee Haskett 
Bill Hines 
Harry Cheney 
Henry Whorall 
Marion Goodwine 
Pete Lawrence 
Roy Brillhart 
Ben Wise 

Godfrey Burkhart 
John Turpening 
George Weiser 
Walt Courtney 
Sam Deamude 
Amos Doan 
Pete Esworthy 
Clyde Felemey 
John Fowler 
Jim Rice 
Lonnie Shanks 
Frank Spain 
Berrv Leonard 
Fred Goodwine 
Fred Schnelle 
George Satterfield 
Ira Blackford 
Rev. James Livinston 
Clifford Reeves 
Burt Hall 
Ernest Duncan 
John Kelley 

John Musser 
Floyd Allen 
Carl Stahl 
Frank Baker 
Frank Hall 
Frank Spain 
Sherm Littler 
Ed Lewman 
John Lewman 
Benton Jolley 
Merrill Johnson 
John Haskett 
Tom Humphrey 
Tom Nichols 
Ira Larkin 
Wilham Selsor 
Bill Morris 
Lee Wickman 
Dutch Tommy 
Pick Cardiff 
Doc Synder 
Lee Price 
Ora Alexander 
George Hooker 
Alva Knerr 
Louis Knerr 
Daniel Underwood 
Ronald Newman 
Beard McCollister 
Joe McCollister 
Willis Auten 
James Parsons 
Jettie J. Bressler 
Fred Ermentrout 
Curtis Sollars 
William Beaver 
Frank O'Connell 
W. W. Wright 
Walter Ennis 
Elmer D. VanNess 
D. S. Cossairt 
John Cossairt 
John Layton 
George Young 
Fred Farnsworth, Sr. 
Forest McGowan 
Winnie Jolley 
Henry McDaniels 
John Scott 
John Howard 
Elmer Roy Kelly 


Hiram Watson 
Myrick Coil 
A. B. Duncan 
Robert Lindsey 
Lowell Creighton 
Charles Hoshauer 
Lewis Malone 
Fred Osbom 
Dan Reardon 
Bert Pyke 
Francis Shain 
Edward Jester 
Matt Kinney 
William Camp 
William Hines 
John Poulson 
W. Elmer Hobbs 
Presley Shaw 
Henry Williams 
Frank Andrews 
M. Max St. John 
Louis Alexander 
George Wyant 
George W. Leonard 

Cliff Reynolds 
Guy Roberts 
Otto Hulse 
C. M. Dodson 
Wilber Hurley 
Fred Powell 
Cornelius Dodson 
Newton West 
Issac Hombeck 
Morris Goetschius 
John Hines 
Clinton Crouch 
Charles Ingersoll 
Ernest Woods 
William Tomlin 
Charles Ellis 
Bert Perry 
Dale Huffman 
Gabriel Burkhart 
William Rice 
Leland Jameson 
Vernon Jameson 
Guy Seymour 
George Cook 

James Bowman 

Samuel Aldridge 

Marion Hall Paul Burrough 

Jesse Spain 

Merton Swisher 

Albert Waldron 

Chester Atchison 

Don Crawford 

Charles F. Hoth 

Charles Seymour 

Albert H. Ingersoll 

Edward Hunt 

Ray West 

Roy E. Talbott 

Ray Talbott 

Walter Talbott 

Melvin Duncan 

Mason Duncan 

Kenneth Willard 

Curry Voss 

D. A. Arthion 

Kenneth Keen 

Brice Ellett 

Haven Sheets 
Curtis Alexander 
Wilbur Howell 
Cheisa Howell 
Frank Waugh 
William Sager 
George Waugh 
Samuel Possee 
Nathan J. Lewis 
William Wilson 
William Kelly 
Raleigh H. Farnsworth 
Fred McDonald 
Joe Cannon 
Bert Selsor 
Evers Landis 
Lee Adams 
Edward J. Lawrence 
Egbert Ferrill 
Jesse Alexander 
Harry Falconer 
Cova Holt 

This poem was found in the papers of John 
Parker Scott, after he passed away in December 
1943, at the age of 82. 


"When I quit this mortal shore. 

And mosey round the world no more, 

Don't weep, don't sigh, don't sob; 
I may have struck a better job. 

Don't go and buy a large bouquet 
For which you'll find it hard to pay. 

Don't mope around and feel all blue, 
I may be better off than you. 

Don't tell the folks I was a saint 
Or any old thint! that I ain't; 

I you have jam like that to spread, 
Please hand it out before I'm dead. 

If you have roses, bless your soul. 
Just pin one in my buttonhole 

While I'm alive and well today; 
Don't wait until I've gone away." 

Author Unknown 


Poi^omac's Businesses 

Street Scene 

According to the abstract of the shop, this 
land was first bouglit from the United States Gov- 
ernment by Isaac Haughom June 6, 1834. It was 
then sold to Francis Morton, to John Bailey, to Rob- 
ert Marshall, to John Smith, and 1 867 to David Part- 
low and his wife Sarah. Next it was sold to Herman 
Biedermann, June 19, 1876, who came here from 
Germany. He died March 18, 1937, at 90 years of 
age. His daughter Mary Biedermann sold it to Ernest 
and Sadie Woods who had it until Sept. 19, 1958, 
when Ellis and Mildred Curtis purchased and still 
own the shop. 

Tine, as everyone knows, is the third generation 
in his family to be a barber. His grandfather, father, 
and 2 uncles were barbers in the surrounding com- 
munity of Potomac. One gentleman told me not too 
long ago that all 3 generations had cut his hair, start- 
ing when he was a small boy of 3. 

Would you believe at one time there were 3 bar- 
ber shops in Potomac at one time! These were Fred 
Rice, Elmer Jameson (now the Curtis shop) and Jess 
Vanness. This was back in the 30's. 

Tine is busy shaping hair, giving haircuts and 
driving a truck besides. 

Tiny Curtis 



Paul Burroughs bought the locker late in 1948 
from Forsythe Brothers, and they had just taken it 
over from Leo Wahls from Homer, Illinois. 

The Slaughter House was built in 1951. 

The store was purchased from Jim Holden ( Bob 
and Wilma Taylor had owned it prior to Mr. Holden) 
in 1963. At that time the opening between the store 
and the locker was made, and the two businesses be- 
came one. 



In 1939, Potomac wanted to have a public li- 
brary. The Home Bureau made a study of the pos- 
sibilities, and the town board agreed to allow them 
to use a part of the city building. Neva Littlepage 
made a trip to Springfield. Illinois to learn the nec- 
essary procedure in setting up a library. She appoint- 
ed Leda Stephens as president; Nell Taylor, Myrtle 
Anderson and Estella Moreland as Library Trustees. 

The Library opened on September 8, 1939, and 
Ina Taylor was selected to be the librarian. She was 
paid by W. P. A. funds from the state. The State Li- 
brary at Springfield furnished some of the books, 
many others came from the Danville Library and 
many others were donated. 

Mabel Lowe was librarian from 1943 to 1946, 
when Myrtle Anderson was elected librarian. She 
held the position of librarian for 22 years, retiring 
in 1968. 

The library is supported by the residents of the 
community. It has over 5,000 volumes and there are 
260 borrowers. The library joined the Lincoln Trails 
Libraries System in 1971, and the residents are able 
to obtain many services. 

Clarabelle Boggess was elected librarian in 
1968, and is now serving in that capacity. 

The Board of Trustees are: 

Lilah Voss. president; Marylyn Hoshauer, treas- 
urer; Nelle Bennett; Dale Goempler; Margaret End- 
sly and Jewell Clements. 


Lincoln Trail booknidhilc comes tn town along 
with a furry animal to attract the kids! 



Building & Loan Association. Early in the year 
1889, when the Village of Potomac was a teenager- 
13, to be exact, a group of men of the village talked 
it over, and decided to start a Building & Loan Asso- 
ciation. A State Charter was obtained and the Poto- 
mac Building & Loan was born. 

It was set up on a basis of service to the Ordin- 
ary people. Many saved money for education of their 
children. Many young people saved their own money 
for college. Many saved for old age and unexpected 
expenses. Some saved for homes they wished to buy. 

Then great numbers of people borrowed mon- 
ey to buy homes. Others to remodel, etc. The fore- 
sight of this group of men was remarkable. The bus- 
iness they started has continued longer than any 
other ever started in this village. It was sound. It 
stood the test of 2 depressions (the '90's and the 
'30's); it was there in the Boom and Bust, through 
wars and peace. The Board of Directors, who over 
the years were many different persons, kept the bus- 
iness solvent. No one ever lost a penny of their in- 
vestments. The crash of '29 was survived. 

How can you sell that kind of business? Only 

one way: pass a law that puts too much on it. This 
was done June 30, 1 973. Although the reserves were 
enough, because others in other towns failed, the 
state passed a law requiring Federal Deposit Insur- 
ance. The board quickly explored this and found 
that to do this you would need to have at least 
$1,000,000 in assets. With us that was impossible, 
so a group of directors went to Springfield to talk it 
over with the people at the Savings & Loan Commis- 
sioner's office as to what we could do. It was found 
that there were only about 2 things that could be 
done: 1 . Sell our mortgages to someone else and close 
up shop; 2. Sell our business to someone else who 
would be willing to keep a facility in Potomac. 

The board decided that the second alternative 
was the best for all concerned. So, the business has 
been sold to Unity Savings Association of Chicago, 
Illinois. Unity is an over $300,000,000 association. 
They are fully insured by the Federal Deposit Insur- 
ance Corporation. 

Money deposited with them is as safe as in oth- 
er financial institutions in the U. S. The office in Po- 
tomac is open and ready to do business. 


In the summer of 1942, on July 13, Clark Mor- 
ris purchased the Alexander Drug Store from Charlie 
Alexander as a family project to be owned and op- 
erated by himself, his wife and 2 daughters. 

The Morris Family came to Potomac from Mar- 
shall, Illinois where Mr. Morris also managed a drug- 

Clark Morris was to own and operate this bus- 
iness for 21 years, through the history-making years 
of Worid War II and the Korean conflict. 

Mr. Morris sold his place of business in 1963, 
when he retired to Mr. & Mrs. Ray Fulk. It has since 
changed hands several times and is now known as the 
Village Discount Store. 

Morris Drug Store 



On September 14, 1945, Russell and Katha- 
leen Biggs stored their furniture in Kankakee, 
climbed in their '39 Ford and motored to Potomac, 
Illinois to go into business selling Case Farm Machin- 
ery. To add to the dismal day of pouring rain were 
the tears shed by Kathaleen all the way to Potomac. 
The rain continued for 3 weeks! As we passed the 
Mental Institution in Kankakee, it was questionable 
as to whether we should leave Russell or not. Having 
arrived in Potomac, we rented a sleeping room from 
Mary Reeves in the Buckingham House. We started 
in the Case Farm Machinery business in the Daniels 
building which was a part of the Daniels Lumber 
Yard. Alden May and his father, John May, built the 
counter and parts bins for us in that building. We op- 
erated business from there for a year and a half when 
Dorsey McBroom bought the Daniels Lumber Yard. 
Russell then bought a piece of ground west of town 
on State St. from Qare Young and started to build. 
Dorsey, being the kind and considerate man that he 
was, let us stay there in the lumber yard and operate 
business from there until our building was complet- 
ed. Trees had to be cut down, and a huge hole, which 
had been a basement, had to be filled in by a bull- 
dozer. Then the footing was started and the begin- 
ning of Biggs Motor Company. 

Peachie Wright and Herb Warren laid the brick 
and the block for the new building. Tanner Jameson 
and his crew- Cari Stuckey and Winnie Jolley, Harry 
Bird and his crew- William Bird and French Spain, 

did the interior. Peachie Wright, Herb Warren and 
Sellis Lawless did the concrete work. 

In November of 1 948, we moved into our new 
building. Lowell Creighton, Jack Biggs and Vivian 
Hoth were the first employees in our new building. 

A great day in April of 1 949 came around noon 
when Russell signed his Chevrolet contract. He 
signed it, came straight home and we started to Sa- 
lina, Tennessee with Dorsey and Ruth McBroom on 
a fishing trip. 

All wasn't fun and sunshine, as Russell became 
quite ill with a sore throat. After 2 days, we had to 
start home, but didn't make it. We stopped off at 
Lake View Hospital in Danville with him. The doc- 
tor hospitalized Russell with quinsey. He was there 
for 3 days and upon his arrival home, he was greeted 
by our first carrier of Chevrolets. We shall always re- 
member this as one of the greatest thrills of our lives! 

July 1 , 1 949, we moved into our own home pur- 
chased from Orvill Bottrells. Then in September, 
1949, we got our daughter, Sue Ellen. We have al- 
ways said these 3 things were of the greatest impor- 
tance for us, and all in the same year- 1949. 

Business was growing and we needed more 
room, so in 1953, we added the back part of the 
building, which took care of all the shop. Frank 
Auten with the help of the employees, Nelson Kes- 

Biggs' secretary for years- 
Grace Stucky 


singer, Short LaMar, Ray Wesley, Gene Poyner and 
Eldon Larkin laid the block and poured the garage 
floor and put in the drain. George McClellan engin- 
eered the roof construction. 

The first bookkeeper to work for us was Rob- 
ert DeNeal. He was with us for 1 2 years and then 
left us to become a rural mail carrier. He was re- 
placed by Grace Stuckey who was with us for 15 
years. She had to leave us because of failing health, 
so our next bookkeeper was Anne Duncan. 

Eldon Larkin, Herman Ackerman, Eugene Poy- 
ner, Ray Wesley, Vernon Brown, Allen Shumate, 
Ronald Ellett, James Polhtt and George Marrs were 
ail good mechanics and worked on many Chevrolets 
for us. Gerald Chesnut and Curt Grider, who was 
with us for 1 5 years, worked in the Parts Depart- 
ment. Nelson Kessinger and Francis Clements were 
our salesmen and part-time parts men. Francis was 
the last salesman to work for Biggs Motor Company. 
He started working in 1962 and worked for us until 
his death in 1974. We missed Francis very much as 
he was our "Detail Man." 

Our present employees are Ronald Ellett, Mark 
Bartlow, Ron Smith and Anne Duncan. 

Over a period of years we owe much of the 
success of Biggs Motor Company to all of these 
people. They were not only our employees, but also 
our friends. We have made many friends here in Po- 
tomac in the 30 years we have been in business as 
well as many fine customers for which we are thank- 
ful. We had some that were "stinkers" too, but you 
can't win them all, now can you? 

As of this writing we have sold our business to 
Tom BeVard of Lincoln, Illinois. It became Tom 
BeVard Chevrolet effective February 1, 1976. It 
makes us sad to be going out of business, but "time 
waits for no man" and it's time to turn it over to a 
younger man. Please be as considerate of Tom as 
you have been to us. Potomac is a good place to live. 
We like it here! 
Kathaleen & Russell Biggs 


Everett Ellis and Lowell (Cap) Creighton ran 
the Standard Gas Station in 1939. 

In 1 940, Everett started a garage and Ford trac- 
tor agency in a building where the Potomac Post Of- 
fice now stands. 

In 1945, he moved to the building where the 
new addition to the Goodwine State Bank is, where 
he was a dealer of Allis Chalmers, Oliver, New Idea 
and M & W Gear Implements. He also handled ma- 
chinery parts, lawn mowers, and did machinery re- 
pair work in the back of the building. He operated 
this business until his death in 1972, when the build- 
ing was sold to the Goodwine State Bank and torn 
down for the addition to be built to the bank. 



Standard Oil bulk plant was built at the present 
location in 1929. Davey Allen was the agent at the 
time the plant was built. Prior to Davey were agents 
Charlie Weiser and Homer Butz. Davy's first tank 
wagon was 500 gallon capacity. 

At present the plant is owned and operated by 
Arnold Reynold who has been servicing the area in 
and around Potomac for the past 1 7 years. Prior to 
coming to Potomac, Arnold worked for Standard 
Oil in Danville, Illinois for 8 years. 

He presently operates one 1,700-gallon tank 
truck and services 1 20 square miles around Potomac. 

Floyd Faulkner on Floyd Davie Allen's 
1934 Chevy tank truck for Standard Oil. 


The Marysville Independent was established in 
1 876 by Benn Biddlecome. It was a six-column folio 
independent in politics and religion, devoted to the 
news of the day and was well-sustained by the busi- 
ness men. 

The Vermilion Patrol— ]893— Albert Flaningan 
The Potomac Rustler- 1 897-Clyde C. Buckingham 
The Vermilion Patrol-lS91-'W.T. Flaningan 
The Potomac Record- 1908-E. A. & C. R. Barnes 
The Potomac Record— 1 9 1 0— Alva Leonard 
The Potomac Record-l9l6-0. W. Hickman 
The Potomac Record- 1911— O. W. Hickman 
The Potomac Record -1922- J. H. Patton 
The Potomac Record— \926—G. Huntoon 
The Potomac Record— \930—Geo. A. Reinhardt 
The Potomac Record -1934-^. W. Burke 
The Potomac Leader-\94\—B. F. Morgan 
The Middle fork Journal- 1950-CTaw & Craw 


For 7 years Potomac was without a weekly 
paper when Craw & Craw came here and started the 
Middlefork Journal. The first issue was April 28, 
1950, and now in its 27th year. B. F. Morgan was 
the last publisher in town and he had The Potomac 
Leader. Best wishes from the entire area, Joyce and 
Lyle Craw! 


As times come and go, so did Remole Cob In- 
dustries after about 6 years of operation in Potomac. 

Usually a surpressed grin and a polite twinkle 
in the eye were obvious when Delbert Remole an- 
swered inquiries as to what his profession was, and 
he answered, "the com cob business." 

Despite the indignity that went with it, Del- 
bert began the operation in 1947. His equipment in- 
cluded a hammermill, a tractor and a truck with high 
sideboards and he had a new bride to take his phone 

Com cobs were hauled from a corn sheller, run 
through the hammermill and blown into railroads 
boxcars. Each car would hold from 20 to 40 tons. 
The ground cobs were then shipped to Quaker Oats 
Company in Memphis, Tennessee. Other plants were 
in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska. 

Contrary to what some folks might think, the 
cobs were not used for cereal. Quaker Oats Co. ex- 
tracted a chemical, called furfural, which was simi- 
lar to industrial alcohol. About 50% of this was sold 
to Dupont to be used in the production of nylon. 
The rest was used for coating airplane wings, cement 
for light bulbs and coating for the wiring in electric 
generators. Furfural is an adhesive product that was 
used to revolutionize the old farm grinder to the high 
speed grinder of today. 

Delbert's fondest hope was that they would 
start using nylon in track tires. This came in later 

Shortly after the beginning of Remole Cob In- 
dustries, a storage bin with a 25 car load capacity was 
built in the northwest part of town and truckers 


were hired to haul cobs from com shellers to the 
storage. Most farmers were anxious to get rid of this 
by-product and it was often that more calls were re- 
ceived to haul cobs away than there were trucks a- 
vailable to haul them. Between 400 and 500 boxcar 
loads were shipped each year. 

Because more cobs were available than could be 
stored in the bin and shipped, a stock pile was star- 
ted near "Bud" Young's gravel pit, north of Poto- 
mac. The pile grew until at one time, it reached 700 

In 1953, the demand from Quaker Oats Co. be- 
gan to diminish because of the increased production 
of com in the south and lower freight rates. It was 
obvious that the demand would continue to de- 
crease. This caused Delbert to begin to look for 
brighter horizons and so Remole Cob Industries, like 
the old soldier, just faded away with the final ship- 
ments in 1954. 


It was in the spring of 1954 that Delbert Rem- 
ole announced the birth of a new industry in the Po- 
tomac area, and Remole Soil Service began as an in- 

The first services included one tRick with a 
lime spreader bed on it and a small stock of bagged 
fertilizer. The first fertilizer customers were Del- 
bert's brother. Sonny Remole, and the late Charles 
Hoshauer. This was all it took to spark the enthusi- 
asm that grew as time went on. The late Burtt Hall 
was hired as the first employee, and Delbert's wife, 
Frances, was to be the keeper of the telephone and 
books. Their dining room desk was the office. 

That same spring, despite much discourage- 
ment from outside, Delbert decided to add a new 
product that had never been introduced in the area 
before. Anhydrous Ammonia was becoming well- 
known for side-dressing corn, but there was a new 
type of low-pressure liquid nitrogen coming onto 
the market and because of his desire to add some- 
thing new, it was added to the Remole fertilizer fam- 
ily. The product was being produced by Allied 
Chemical Co. and was called Nitrana. It proved very 
satisfactory and was soon being made by other com- 
panies and given their name brand. It became very 
popular in the fertilizer industry. 

Again, Delbert's pioneering spirit began to 
show as he studied the possibilities of offering liquid 
fertilizer. With the approval of the Farm Extension 
Service, in 1955 he became the first fertilizer dealer 
in Vermilion County to introduce non-pressure 
mixed liquid fertilizer to go through a corn planter. 

Mr. Irvin Story was the first customer and was a sat- 
isfied one. It caught on fast. The company's selling 
slogan was "All you have to lift is the end of a hose." 

Enthusiasm was running high as Remole Soil 
Service began to grow and in 1956 a storage shed 
was built and the equipment added for mixing dry 
blend bulk fertilizer. The following year a liquid 
manufacturing plant was built and the name brand 
"Rem-Gro" was attached to both the liquid and dry 
blend fertilizer. 

The territory began inching out and by this 
time an office was set up in the backyard at the Rem- 
ole residence and the business was incorporated. In 
1959, the existing fertilizer facilities at Bismarck, 
Illinois were purchased from Cleo Dolbee. Storage 
buildings and tanks were installed and it became an 
active branch of Remole Soil Service, Inc. The next 
year the business expanded to the west as storage 
buildings and tanks and an office were erected at 
Gifford, Illinois. Later, facilities were established in 
Fithian, Illinois. 

Due to needed space for expansion, ground was 
purchased just west of Potomac along the railroad 
tracks and the liquid and dry manufacturing plants 
were moved to the new site and a new and larger 
office building was built with a complete state ap- 
proved soil-testing lab in the basement. A bagging 
machine was installed for bagging dry fertilizer. 

During the spring planting season production 
at the Potomac plant reached 5,000 tons of liquid 
Rem-Gro and 10,000 tons of dry Rem-Gro with a- 
bout 1 ,000 tons of the latter going into bags. Em- 
ployment reached 60 a couple of times, however, 
full-time employment was about 20. The small fleet 
of trucks operated the year around, spreading lime- 
stone and rock phosphate along with the fertilizer. 
In addition, spring and fall found nitrogen apphca- 
tors and tanks in the fields and tractor-drawn spread- 
ers were available for the farmer's own use. The com- 
pany's slogan was, "A Department Store for your 
Soil Needs." 

In 1967, the entire operation of Remole Soil 
Service, Inc. was sold to Standard Oil Co. of Ohio, 
and Delbert and Frances Remole retired from the 
fertilizer industry. The business continued to oper- 
ate as Remole Soil Service for a year until it was 
changed to Sohigro, and still is serving the respective 
areas under this name. 

Cash for Eggs. 
The Bargain Couater^ 

John A. Smith. 



Teddy Roosevelt was President, the airplane 
was just beginning to become a reality, a buggy with 
a gasoline engine to take the place of a horse was be- 
ing tried for the first time, and the average working 
week was sixty hours with an average pay of 1 54 an 
hour, when John Goodwine (Jack, as he was better 
known), a prominent fanner and land-owner of this 
community, along with his oldest son, John W. 
Goodwine, founded and established the Goodwine 
State Bank of Potomac. Jesse Stone's Lumber and 
Coal, along with W. H. Copeland & Son funeral par- 
lor are the only businesses in Potomac that are still 
in operation today as they were in 1903, the year 
the bank was established. 

The bank operated as a private one until a law 
was passed to the effect that all banks must be 
either state or national in organization and oper- 

John (Jack) Goodwine was president and his 

son, John W. Goodwine, was cashier. A few years 
later Cora Goodwine, now Cora Rice, became book- 
keeper. John VV. later moved to Fredrick, Oklahoma, 
and entered the insurance business. Later, when his 
father purchased additional land in Michigan, he 
moved there and took up fanning. It was while living 
m Michigan that he became interested in politics 
and was elected to the Michigan State Legislature 
on the Republican ticket. In 1 935 he, along with sev- 
eral other state senators and representatives, lost his 
life in a hotel fire in Lansing. 

U. S. Goodwine, another son of the founder, 
joined the bank personnel following his death. 

Business was slow at first and some of the pres- 
ent bank officers can recall that there was plenty of 
time to read the newspapers during banking hours. 

October 1 2, 1920, and application for permis- 
sion to organize and become a state bank, with a cap- 
ital stock of S50,000, a duration of 99 years, to be 


located at Potomac, Illinois was filed by John Good- 
wine, U. S. Goodwine and Cora G. Rice, in the of- 
fice, of the Auditor of Public Accounts at Springfield 
This application for permission to become a state 
bank was approved October 23, 1920. In 1922, Cora 
G. Rice discontinued working in the bank, but still 
had an active interest in its operation. With the death 
of John Goodwine, May 30, 1 924, Cora G. Rice be- 
came president; U. S. Goodwine, cashier, and Mar- 
garet Goodwine (wife of U. S. Goodwine), assistant 

In 1929, the Potomac National Bank, which 
was founded by the late Dr. L. C. Messner, with Al- 
bert Rice as president and Palmer C. Smith as cashier, 
decided to liquidate its banking business and join 
forces with the Goodwine State Bank, thus selling 
to them certain of its assets. With this new consohda- 
tion of forces, U. S. Goodwine became president, 
Cora G. Rice, vice-president, Albert Rice, cashier, 
and Palmer C. Smith and Margaret Goodwine, assis- 
tant cashiers. 

The bank continued to progress and grow, even 
though it has had set-backs and both large and small 
decisions to "iron out." With the depression of the 
early 30's and the election of President Franklin D. 
Roosevelt and his declaring a bank moratorium; the 
Goodwine State Bank suspended operations for a 
short time, along with many other thousands of 
banks in the country, some of which were destined 
never to resume business. President U. S. Goodwine 
was finally given the OK to re-open and continue 
giving this community a safe and competent banking 

In 1948, Gordon A. Rice, son of Albert and 
Cora A. Rice, joined the bank personnel, and in 
1950, Marvin F. Goodwine, son of U. S. Goodwine, 
President, joined the personnel of the bank. 

A complete remodeling operation of the bank 
building, both inside and out, was started late in 
1949, and completed in 1950. A new fire-proof 
vault for storage of records, along with a new dir- 
ectors' and consultation room, was added on the 
rear of the building. 

In 1954, U. S. Goodwine, president of the 
bank, passed away and Cora G. Rice became presi- 
dent. In the latter part of the 1950's and the early 
part of the 1960's another extensive remodeling pro- 
gram was underway. This time a new bookkeeping 
room was added in the lower level (basement), and 
new consultation rooms were added on the ground 

Albert Rice, cashier, passed away in 1964, and 
Gordon A. Rice became cashier. Evelyn J. Rice was 
employed in 1966. Marvin F. Goodwine, vice-presi- 
dent of the bank, passed away in 1967, and Evelyn 
J. Rice was elected vice-president. In 1972, Cora G. 
Rice, who was president of the bank at the time, re- 

tired and Gordon A. Rice became president. 

With the continued financial growth of the 
Goodwine State Bank, it was decided to purchase 
the adjoining building, which was the E. F. Ellis Im- 
plement dealership (formerly the W. H. Goodwine 
Garage, which was one of the first Ford dealerships 
in the country, starting in 1913 . This building was 
razed and a new building was constmcted and joined 
with the original building, thus giving the bank twice 
the floor space. This construction was completed in 
1975. The bank has remained at its present location 
during the 73 years of business. 

The present stockholders, directors, officers, 
and employees of Goodwine State Bank are: 

Lois Andrews, Frank Andrews, June Goodwine, Ev- 
elyn J. Rice, Gordon A. Rice, Stephen G. Rice, Dr. 
Weldon G. Sheets, John Goodwine, Doug Goodwine, 
Dean Andrews, Gilbert Goodwine, Gertrude Good- 
wine, and Dan Rice. 

Lois Andrews, Frank Andrews, June E. Goodwine, 
Evelyn J. Rice, Gordon A. Rice, Stephen G. Rice, 
and Dr. Weldon G. Sheets. 

Gordon A. Rice, President; Dan Rice, Vice Presi- 
dent; Frank Andrews, Vice-President; and Evelyn J. 
Rice, Vice-President, Cashier. 

Sonna Carley, Becky Chngan, Connie Dawes, Pat 
Downing, Carolyn Howie, Rocky JoIIey, Ruthanne 
Reardon, Dan Rice, Roger Showalter, Shirleen War- 
ren, and Beverly Reynolds. 

Today the bank stands as a $9,000,000 insfitu- 
tion that is striving to serve the Potomac, Armstrong, 
Collison, Henning communities and rural areas. 


Chester Atchison was first licensed to sell in- 
surance for State Farm Insurance Company in 1 937. 
At that time he was residing on a farm near Rankin, 

In spring of 1947, he moved to the Potomac 
area. At that time, insurance business was conducted 
from home until spring of 1972, when the business 
was moved to the village. The first office in Potomac 
was next to Curtis Barber Shop on the east side 
where the late Ben Behimer had conducted insurance 
business until his death. 

After a few years at this location, opportunity 
arose to rent the telephone building where the cen- 
tral office had formerly been. One more year will 
round out 40 years in the insurance business. 

I feel that the Potomac area is a good place to 
live and hope to continue a long time yet! 



About the turn of the century, Fred Duncan & 
Chas. Jester started the business known as Duncan & 
Jester at 41 State Street, on the south side. 

About 1 907, Claude Duncan came into the bus- 
iness and it became known as Duncan Bros. They 
sold McCormick Deering tractors starting about 
1916, as well as hardware, wagons, buggies and mak- 
ing their own harness. They continued in business 
until 1952, when they sold out to Jack Prillaman. It 
then became known as Jack W. Prillaman Hardware 
& Implement. They sold International Harvester 
tractors & farm equipment, and in 1961 also sold 
Ford cars and trucks. 

In Febniary of 1968, the buildings at 41 State 
Street burned. The business was then incorporated 
into Potomac Equipment Co. and moved to 42 Ver- 
milion into what was at one time the old livery sta- 

In 1973, they purchased the old empty hotel 
or apartment building just north of them known at 
various times as the Batey Place or Taylor or Behim- 
er. They tore it down and put up a new storage build- 
ing on the lot. At the present time, they sell and ser- 
vice International Harvester tractors and machinery 
as well as some hardware. 


A youthful Curtis Alexander came to Potomac 
in 1920 to assume teaching and coaching responsi- 
bilities at the high school. A native of tiny Eminence, 
Indiana, the 21 year old Alexander had already held 
teaching positions at Gosport and Lewisville, Indi- 

During his 16 basketball seasons at Potomac, 
Alexander guided his teams to an over-all winning 
percentage of 78%. He was the first coach in Ver- 
mihon County to win 4 consecutive regional tourna- 
ments (1933-36). 

In 1921, Alexander married Ola Taylor, a Poto- 
mac native. Their only child, Robert Lee Alexander 

taught at Williamsville, Illinois for 5 years; acted as 
instrument instructor at Chanute Air Force Base for 
1 year; served as Wellington High School principal 
for 7 years; and was principal for 4 years at Unity 
Senior High School at Tolono, Illinois. 

After the untimely death of Ola in 1 945, Alex- 
ander married Hilda Roodhouse of Jacksonville, 111., 
in 1947. Their 2 children were christened John and 

In 1953, after devoting 35 years to education, 
Alexander returned to Potomac and purchased an 
insurance agency from Elmer Moreland, who was 
failing in health. The agency was originally estab- 


lished in 1879 by J. B. Payne, and later, Moreland 
bought into the agency. The agency was located up- 
stairs in the old Stone building on the north side of 
State Street. 

After purchasing the agency, Alexander moved 
into the Charles Jester building south of the Grab-It- 

Here Store. In 1966, the offices were moved next 
door south to the Miller house at 105 S. VermOion 

Alexander's son John joined the firm in 1975, 
after completing college. Juha is now a Junior at 
the University of Illinois. 


At one time there was a two-story brick build- 
ing east of the present florist shop to the alley west 
of Paul Burroughs locker and grocery. This building 
was owned by W. E. Stone. 

This building was bought by Jack Prillaman 
who had it torn down in 1959, and now uses the lot 
to display farm machinery. Mr. & Mrs. Hobart 
Reeves stained their restaurant in the 2 rooms on the 
ground tioo'. on the east end of this above-men- 
tioned buiiumg on Saturday, May 22, 1944. These 
rooms, as far back as I can remember, had always 
been used as a restaurant. I bought equipment and 
stock from Mr. & Mrs. Carol Hammond who oper- 
ated the restaurant for about a year back in the ra- 
tioning days. 

Previous owners were: Louis Pinno, Cleo Ten- 
nyson, Claude Tennyson, Clint Crouch, Fred Tay- 
loy and Clifford Bush. We operated the restaurant in 
the above-mentioned building until Sept. 12, 1955. 
We then moved to the northeast comer of the square 
now operated by Ronald Newnum and Laddie 

We rented the restaurant part of the building 
for 6 months, then bought the building from Arthur 
Reepe. The building contained 1 large 6-room apart- 
ment and 1 small 1-room apartment upstairs. The 
small room behind was Harry Grimes' pool hall. The 
large room which we had rented was the restaurant. 
We retired from the restaurant business on July 31, 

The building was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Wil- 
son Morgan. Mr. &. Mrs. Morgan opened August 1, 

Ours was the first restaurant that had pre,ssure 
water in town in 1945. It was a pump installed by 
■;rge Borror. 

When we first opened the restaurant, our cooks 
were as follows: the late Sylvia Magruder, the late 
Emma Reynolds (grandmother of Don Reynolds), 
Edith Hall, the late Mary Reeves, my mother, the 
late Ella Creighton, and the late Carrie Keller. They 
were plain old-fashioned country cooks who con- 
tributed to the success of our restaurant business. 




Pr irlps 1 lie lowest, ritnge uf sizes 
cnipctt*, Vft'iely of styles unsurprtsscrt 
and fit Hud nisli ot every ummeut per- 
f(Ct. Film tliH plainest and 'ow price 
to llie ninst I'xpHnsive. I he Kft''>'e"it'' 
have « ilistiDcf ivL' cliiiriioler— not iisu 
»llp found ID :ill cnjitg nnd cupes. This 
is nwiiii; til llib ptoficit-nny of the 
Giinlielx 09 biiyei^. No firm in the 
priidu tod:iy me l)etter known ti» the 
Chink m«nuta»:t.iier3 of tipscuntiv t'f 
whieli symiicule we me memlnrs. Voii 
c.iily know out (usEl's tiirr)U<jh our diSM 
ctelioii in kt-epiu<; poor itvles out; 
wliite you feel thiitT>ui' helpfulness in 
the econ.any we mhke att-ch la the 
most exclusive things. 

Women's Reefer 

Women's Cloth 


D.fuhle capes of good heavy cloth, up^ 
per <:t\pe trnd C'»lliir t-rtgeJ with tfjl AO 
fur. 30 inches long at ffl • vO 

Women's cloth capes. 

Dnrhle cHpe^i, tfti'.or made, siiiched 
(dge, tielvet collar. 24 incites ^4) AO 

Women's cloth capes. 

Fine UeMVer cloth double cape, 30 in. 
loi'i;. 160 ill. sweep. fftlin libnoa 
stitclied collar, upptr c-ipe and all 
a ound the bottom^ colors ^1 Q^ 
black and navy ut ^T^VV 

v7omen's cloth capes. 

Double cape >>( fine Kersey, v*iiii six 
IOW9 of stitchinjj aiound cdjje* set in 
velvet r.olhir, Urife sweep iHilst <frK HK 
ov niftdo, extraordinary value ai<P^« I 





Remole Mobile Homes, Inc. 

2019 Georgetown Road 
Danville, Illinois 

Located 1 mile south of 1-74 on Route 1 

We can furnish you with a beautiful new twelve foot or fourteen 
foot wide mobile home, a double wide mobile home, a modular 
home, or we can build you a home according to your plans. 

We Congratulate 


'One of the greatest httle towns in the Midwest' 



Wescove Christian School 

«& 3 ^ & 

\/ Completing our first quarter-century in the Potomac \/ 

5> community. Providing quality Christian education by ^0 

' people who care. ' 


R. & H 


Custom Built 
Camper Repairs 

Charles Rogers 

John T. Hoskins 



Cotomac, IMinoi; 


DJtiv / a.m. I p.m. 

:.i >i 


Market Information 



Good wine 




Complete Banking Service 

~"-.". -;?:^.i'^sis;'<:«Ss^-CA:-'.vs->„. ;. 

Fan)] Loans 
Real listafc Loans 

Auto Loans 
Conuiicrlcal Loans 

Member of tlie Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 




Blue Jay 


State Street 
Potomae. Illinois 


Plu'iie; 9S7-6300 




Home cooked meals and rriendl\ seniei. 

Ron & Sii/ie Newman 

Lndd and Diana diinK-^ 

Vermilion Service Co. 


Service Co. 








Service Co. 





Ray Crc 

Jim King 


Hospital Life 

Jim Mullen and Associates Representing 

Pioneer Life 


Individual Retirement Disability 

Accounts Income 

Bur rough's 

Potomac Locker and Star Market 

Complete Line of Groceries - Custom Meat Processed for Your Freezer 

Potomac, Illinois 



Bob L. Davis 






PHONE (217) 286-3214 





Vivian & Slain Hoth 

Alexander Insurance 


105 South Vermilion Street 
Potomac, Illinois 61865 
Phone: (217) 987-6144 

Curtis Alexander John C. Alexander 

Owner-Agent Agent-Broker 

Meeting Potomac's Insurance Needs Since 1953 


Let us help you 

with your 


Divan Disposal 





Service Co. 





Bob Doran, Manager 

Phone: 987-6113 


». — ■ ' 





V J5 ' 

Potomac, Illinois 




Jim Clingan 


CoUison, Illinois 

Florist and Gifts 

Weddings * Corsages * Cemetery Decorations 

Plants * Sympathy Tributes * Rain Gardens 



•x Potomac- Royal 


Phone: 569-3180 

Cornelius & Johnson 


Rielly — Ellis - Armstrong 




Grain Co., Inc. 








106 S. Wilson 
Potomac, Illinois 
987-6444 for appointment 

owner—Shirley Willard 





Complete Line of Car, Truck 
and Farm Tires and Batteries 

8 miles west of Rossville 


Body Shop 

Potomac, Illinois 


T & J 
Gas for Less 


Tod— Jim 



Null Ice Service 

'Ice Goes With Everything" 

Potomac, Illinois 



H. F. Cope Co, 


Potomac 987-6341 











^ Leaver's 


Potomac, Illinois 61865 






Potomac — Danville 


La nham 




Fred W. Lux-Joe D. Gallivan 




Depend on 







Dekalb Agricultural 
Research. Inc. 

200 College . . . Potomac, Illinois 61865 

Telephone . . . (217) 987-6355 

Life, Health, Group Insurance, Annuities, Pension Plans 

Charles C. Remole 

Business and Personal Insurance Planning 



Potomac Lion's 


Community Service 


45 Years 


\^ Beck 






Electric & 

O.xy-Acetylene Welding - 
Lawnmowers & Lawnmower Repair 

Con - Ron 

\v Henning, Illinois 



\v 61848 

We do our best to promote clean living. 



Connie, and Jeannine Weishaar 

Beef - 






Tom Bevard Chevrolet 





Monte Carlos 







El Caminos 

'/2 Tons 

% Tons 

Chevy Vans 



4 Wheel Drives 


Thank you for letting us be a part of your community and in helping celebrate your 100 years 




Marauder & 

*Kit Cars 


*Body Work 

*Welding, Gas, Arc, Tig, Mig 

*Fabricating of Fiberglass and Metal Products 

* Repairs of Fiberglass Farm Products 

RR /,/ 2 

Potomac, Illinois 
Phone: (217) 569-4255 




Markwalder Realestate 

Lyle Markwalder 

PHONE: 987-6923 


All Of Us 

Potomac Equipment Co. 

are pleased to see the first 100 years go by and hope to help make the next 100 a little easier 

for our friends and customers. 

Jack Prillaman 

Mike Haley 

Don Davis 

Walter Carpenter 

Eric Judy 

Mike Kinnett 

Marjorie Hudson 

Jeff Steinbaugh 

Eddie Goon 

John Brans 

John Allison 



Judy Bros. Electric 

Stan Judv 



Phillips % 



of Potomac, Illinois 





Bob & Bobbie 

CoUison, Illinois 



Farrar Grain Co. 

Harrison & Dot 



3 0112 050742219