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In Vermilion County, Illinois 


of Villages and Rural Schools 
Vermilion County, Illinois 


Compiled for the School Libraries 


County Superintendent of Schools 



Qounty e)?<'perJHtenc/en^ of S^^-^^ools 
Since August 3rd, 1925 


The historical notes written by pupils of the 7th and 8th 
grades of the Vermilion County, Illinois, schools in 1932-1933 
were so successful that scores and scores of the same type of com- 
positions were written in 1934-1935 and submitted to our office. 
They were not published because of the lack of the necessary 

However, we believe that they are so valuable for future 
reference that the publication of these notes is for your perusal. 
Although these stories have been gathered by pupils from the 
dimmed memories of older people, we have faith that they are 
reasonably authentic. 

The formation of Vermilion County, the extinct towns, the 
duties of County Officers and how towns got their names will be 
valuable information one hundred years hence. 


County Superintendent of Schools 

Danville, Illinois 
December 21, 1940. 


By Larkin a. Tuggle (1940) 

Vermilion County was originally a part of New France from 
1682 to 1763. New France was divided into two immense dis- 
tricts— CANADA and LOUISIANA. Prior to 1745 the division 
line of the "Illinois country" began on the Wabash River at the 
mouth of the Big Vermilion River, thence northwest to a few 
miles above Ottawa. North of this line was CANADA. South of 
it and west of the Wabash River was LOUISIANA. The County 
Seat for Vermilion County south of that line was Fort Chartes 
and north of that line was "Post of Detroit." If a French trader 
living on the Big Vermilion River wished to get married to an 
Indian girl legally (in the absence of a parish priest) he would 
have to go either to Detroit or Fort Chartes. He seldom went 
to this trouble, however. 

In 1763, the country between the Mississippi and the Al- 
leghenies was ceded to Great Britain. Through the conquest of 
Gen. George Rogers Clark in 1778, Vermilion County became a 
part of "Illinois County" in the State of Virginia. In 1787, it 
became known as: "The territory of the United States northwest 
of the River Ohio." In 1800, this territory was divided and Ver- 
milion County became part of "The Indiana Territory." In 1801, 
counties were formed and part of Vermilion county lay in the 
county of Knox, and the other part in St. Clair county. 

In 1809, the "Illinois Territory" was formed off the "Indiana 
Territory" by a line running from the mouth of the Ohio River 
up the Wabash River to Vincennes; thence north to the British 
Possessions. By proclamation of the acting governor on April 28th, 
1809, Vermilion County fell wholly in St. Clair county. The 
county seat was at Cahokia opposite St. Louis. 

Then in 1816, Crawford county was formed and Vermilion 
county became a part of that county with the county seat at 
Palestine on the banks of the Wabash River. Clark county was 
formed off the northern part of Crawford in 1819 with the County 
seat many miles up the Wabash River at a place called AURORA. 
About this time several Indian treaties were made which appar- 
ently gave clear title to lands drained by the Vermilion River 
and its tributaries. Clark county was soon thereafter explored 
and settlements began on the Big Vermilion River near old 
"Kickapoo town" (Danville) and the "Vermilion Salines." 

Edgar county was formed off Clark county January 3rd, 
1823, and the "seat of justice" was established at Paris, April 21, 
1823. The northern boundary line of Edgar county was a line 
running East and West between Townships 16 and 17 (about one 
mile south of Ridgefarm). 



"Beginning on the state line between Illinois and 
Indiana, at the northeast corner of Edgar county, thence 
West with line dividing Townships 16 and 17 to the 
southwest corner of Township 17 North, of Range 10 
East of the 3rd Principal Meridian; thence North to 
the northwest corner of Township 22 North : thence East 
to the Indiana state line; thence south with the state 
line to the place of beginning." 
This original territory did not include six miles of the north end 
of the present county, but extended about 10 miles into the 
present Champaign county. 

For judicial purposes, many present counties were attached 
to Vermilion county in 1826 which embraced Champaign, Iro- 
quois, and Ford counties, 2 tiers of Townships on the East side 
of Livingston, 2/3 of the width of Grundy county south of the 
Kankakee River, and nearly 1-1/2 congressional Townships in 
the southwest corner of Will county. 

Iroquois county was formed in 1833, and by the terms of the 
Act of the Legislature, VERMILION COUNTY WAS EX- 
TENDED 6 miles farther North; making the line where it NOW 
is— making Hoopeston, East Lynn and Rankin in Vermilion 

Champaign county was also formed by an ACT in February, 
1833, by the terms of which VERMILION COUNTY LOST 
half of Range 14 West of the 2nd Principal Meridian, fractional 
Range 11 East and all of Range 10 East of the 3rd Principal 
Meridian; thus reducing the Western limits of Vermilion county 
by 10 miles in its entire length. Thus Allerton is on the western 
border line of the county in the southwest corner. 

Livingston county was organized in 1837 by which 10 full 
Townships and a half of two others were taken from Vermilion 
county of the attached judicial territory. 

Grundy county was established in 1841 and Vermilion 

county lost that attached territory south of the Kankakee River. 

Will county was formed in January, 1836, and Vermilion 

county lost the attached judicial territory. Ford county took 

what was left of the attached judicial territory in 1859. 

CIVIL TOWNSHIPS were adopted in 1851 in Vermilion 
county as follows: DANVILLE, GEORGETOWN, ELWOOD, 
Richland) and PILOT; BLOUNT in 1856; CATLIN in 1858; 
GRANT in 1862; BUTLER in 1864; VANCE in 1866; SIDELL 
in 1867; OAK WOOD in 1868; JAMAICA July 10, 1899; LOVE 
June 10, 1902; McKENDREE Dec. 10, 1912; and SOUTH 
ROSS June 13, 1927. At the second meeting of the County Com- 
missioners' court ever held in the county, on the 18th of March, 
1826, the county was divided into two civil townships. All ter- 


ritory south of the center of Township 18 was called CARROLL 
and all north of that line, RIPLEY. This was 25 years before 
civil townships were adopted. Why these names no one knows. 
Since 1833, Vermilion county has remained unchanged in 
area. It has 28 Congressional Townships six miles square, com- 
monly known as School Townships. These 28 Congressional 
Townships are divided into 19 Civil Townships. It operates 
under the Civil Township form of government instead of the 
commission plan still followed by 17 of the counties in Illinois. 
Its business is conducted by a Board of Supervisors instead of by 
3 commissioners elected "at large." 


By L. A. TUGGLE (1940) 

The first law providing for a free school in Illinois was passed 
January 15th, 1825. The first school taught in Illinois was a 
subscription school established in 1783 in Monroe county taught 
by Samuel J. Seeley. In 1829, the Duncan Free School Law was 
repealed and a new one passed which provided for the sale of 
lands which had been donated by Congress for the benefit of the 
public schools. 

School Commissioners were elected to take charge of the sale 
of this land and keep the funds for use of the schools. In 1855, a 
law was passed which is the basis of our present school system. 
In 1857, a law was passed which permitted the people of any 
school district to vote a tax for school purposes not to exceed two 
per cent, in addition to the tax authorized by the law of 1855. 

Vermilion county elected Daniel W. Beckwith as its "FIRST" 
School Commissioner in 1832. Thereafter, these School Commis- 
sioners were "Ex-Officio Superintendents of Common Schools." 
They were as follows: 

Daniel W. Beckwith 1832-1834 

John H. Murphy 1834-1843 

N. D. Palmer 1843 1850 

William Allin 1850-1852 

W. A. Murphy 1852-1854 

Norman D. Palmer 1854-1858 

Levi W. Sanders 1858-1862 

Ebon H. Palmer 1862-1863 

M. D. Hawes 1863-1864 

The title of "School Commissioner" was changed to that of 
County Superintendent of Schools" in 1864. 
They were as follows: 

M. D. Hawes 1864-1865 

P. D. Hammond 1865-1869 

John W. Parker 1869 1873 

Charles Victor Guy (Died Feb. 23, 1904) .. 1873-1881 



John D. Benedict (In 1940 Muskogee, Okla.). 1881-1889 

Lin H. Griffith, Danville, 111 1889-1899 

Ralph B. Holmes, Indianapolis, Ind 1899-1906 

Wm. Y. Ludwig (Died Feb. 18, 1936) 1906-1910 

Otis P. Haworth (Died Oct. 26, 1928) 1910-1923 

Larkin A. Tuggle, Danville, 111 1923- 


By L. A. Tuggle 

Part of the work of the county is done by the "Board of 
Supervisors," but the greater portion of it is done by elective 
officers all of whom serve FOUR YEARS. 

COUNTY CLERK.— Naturally the first officer needed in a 
county is the County Clerk. He is the Clerk to the "Board of 
Supervisors." He keeps a record of all their proceedings. He 
is Clerk of the County Court, has charge of all county records 
and issues marriage licenses. He canvasses the votes of every 
general election, computes the amount of taxes to be paid by 
every person, and must keep a complete record of all orders drawn 
upon the County Treasurer. He keeps record of all births and 
deaths. Dan Miller of Hoopeston is the present County Clerk. 

COUNTY TREASURER.— He has charge of all the county's 
money from whatever source. The office of township collector 
was abolished in 1917 in counties having less than 100,000 in- 
habitants, and the County Treasurer was made Tax Collector. 
He must give a large bond guaranteeing the safe-keeping of county 
funds, and properly paying out same according to law. In coun- 
ties having less than 125,000 inhabitants, he is ex-officio Super- 
visor of Assessments. 

An amendment to the State Constitution was adopted in 
1880, providing that the Treasurer cannot serve two consecutive 
terms; he is ineligible to re-election till four years after his term 
expires. Wm. E. Wayland of Danville is the present County 
Treasurer. (1940) 

COUNTY SHERIFF.— The Sheriff must attend all sessions of 
the County and Circuit Courts and obey their lawful orders. He 
is the chief police officer of the county and has several deputy 
sheriffs to assist him. He serves all writs and other legal papers 
of the court, makes arrests and enforces the laws. He has charge 
of the court house and the jail. The Sheriff is not eligible for 
re-election till four years after his term expires. F. W. Ward of 
Indianola is the present Sheriff. (1940) 

COUNTY JUDGE.— He presides over the County Court 
and has exclusive jurisdiction in many cases of tax matters, 
special assessments, elections, etc. He has charge of criminal 
cases where the punishment is not imprisonment in the peni- 
tentiary or death, and all juvenile cases. Harlin M. Steely, Jr. 
of Danville is the present County Judge. (1940) 


PROBATE JUDCxE.^In counties having over 70,000 in- 
habitants, a Probate Judge must be elected. He settles all mat- 
ters relating to estates of deceased persons, appointment of 
guardians of minors, and conservators of the insane and feeble- 
minded and settlement of their accounts. 

The first Probate Judge of Vermilion county was Clinton 
Abernathy of Danville, elected in 1910, who served one term. 
He was followed by Walter J. Bookwalter of Danville who served 
for 16 j^ears, or until December, 1930. Ralph M. Jinkins of 
Dan\alle was elected Probate Judge in 1930 and served till Decem- 
ber, 1938. Arthur Hall of Danville was elected in 1938 for a 
4-year term. 

PROBATE CLERK.^The Probate Clerk looks after the 
clerical duties pertaining to the Probate Court. Miss Mabel 
Redden, whose term expired in 1934, from Danville, has the dis- 
tinction of being the first woman in Vermilion County elected to 
a county office. Robert Edwards is the present Probate Clerk. 

COUNTY RECORDER.— His duties are to keep a record 
of all deeds, mortgages and other papers pertaining to the title 
of lands. Chattel mortgages on personal property are recorded 
by him. William H. Carter from Indianola was the Recorder 
since its separation from the Circuit Clerk's office in 1900. His 
term expired in 1932. Josephine Ray from Rossville is the pres- 
ent Recorder. She was re-elected in November, 1940, for a third 
term of 4 years. 

COUNTY SURVEYOR.^He makes surveys within the 
county and must keep a record of all such surveys. Such surveys 
are very important in case of disputes concerning property lines, 
boundaries for streets, alleys, and roads and in laying out new 
roads. Counties maintaining "state aid" roads have a "County 
Superintendent of Highways" appointed by the "Board of Super- 
visors." He serves for a term of six years and his salary is fixed 
by the County Board. He acts for the county in all matters re- 
lating to the supervision of the construction and maintenance of 
roads and bridges in which the county is financially interested, 
either alone or in conjunction with the state or with any town or 
road district of Vermilion county. William S. Dillon of Danville 
was "County Superintendent of Highways" from 1913 till 1932. 
Walter C. Dye of Danville was appointed County Superintendent 
of Highways in 1932 and has been repeatedly reappointed. (1940) 

COUNTY CORONER.— He must investigate the causes of 
all accidental deaths, or any unusual cases other than natural 
causes. He selects to aid him a Coroner's Jury and their investi- 
gation is known as the Coroner's inquest. He makes a report of 
his findings to the County Clerk. He often causes the arrest of 
persons suspected of violence or carelessness leading to such death. 
He has the power to make arrests. He is the only person who 
can arrest a Sheriff. John D. Cole of Danville is the present 
Coroner. (1940) 


CIRCUIT CLERK.— Although elected by the county, and 
termed a county officer, the Circuit Clerk is really an office of 
the Circuit Court. He must attend all sessions of the Circuit 
Court and keep a record of its proceedings. He keeps accounts 
of the costs of all suits of the court. These costs are made up of 
the fees of the Sheriff, Jury, Clerk, Witnesses, and others. He 
issues subpoenas, executions, and other processes of the Court. 
Albert D. Alkire of Danville is the present Circuit Clerk. (1940) 

STATE'S ATTORNEY.— He sees that offenders against the 
law are indicted, arrested and brought into court for trial. He 
is the legal adviser of the County Officers and Justices of the 
Peace. He represents the county in any law suit brought against 
it, or against any County Officers as such. Judge William T. 
Henderson of Danville is the present State's Attorney. (1940) 

COUNTY AUDITOR.— The office of the County Auditor 
was established in Illinois in 1911 in all counties (not including 
Cook county) having a population of 75,000 or more. Vermilion 
county is one of the 14 counties coming under this law. The first 
County Auditor was Chauncey E, Lewis who served from Decem- 
ber 1st, 1912 till his death March 19, 1918. 

L. H. Griffith who was serving as assistant under Auditor 
Lewis was then appointed by the "Board of Supervisors" to fill 
the vacancy and continued by re-elections each four years to 
serve as County Auditor. His term expired in 1932. Ray C. 
Wait of Danville succeeded Mr. Griffith in 1932 and he served 
till December 2, 1940. 

Briefly stated, the powers and duties of the office are: To 
preserve statistical information with respect to the cost of main- 
tenance of the county institutions; to audit all claims of whatso- 
ever character against the county, recommending to the County 
Board their payment or rejection; to approve all orders for sup- 
plies issued by the various County Officers before the orders are 
placed with the parties to whom the same are to be given; to 
keep a record of all contracts entered into by the County Board 
and all authorized County Officers for or on behalf of the county; 
to make reports of the financial condition of the county at cer- 
tain periods. Lawrence E. Newtson of Danville was elected 
Auditor in 1940 for a 4-year term. 


supervises the schools of the county, confining himself largely to 
the rural schools and village or town schools who elect to come 
under his Course of Study. He is the adviser for the local school 
officers, passes upon the bonds of township treasurers and audits 
their books once a year. Every "Order" issued by any school 
official of the county is audited through his office. He holds 
examinations for teachers' certificates under the State Examin- 
ing Board, but he does not make the questions, neither does he 
grade the papers. He holds an Annual County Institute for the 
instruction of teachers in methods of instruction. He supervises 
the Period and Final Examinations for the 7th and 8th grade 


pupils. He issues all certificates of promotion to the 7th grade, 
and all 8th grade Diplomas of Graduation. He supervises the 
work of the County Truant Officer. 

He has charge of the State School Fund and distributes it 
according to law to the schools of each Township in the county. 
This is done by "Claims for State Aid" based upon Average 
Daily Attendance of each pupil. The District gets $11.00 from 
the State Fund for each pupil's perfect attendance for the year. 
He makes a financial and statistical report of each District and 
Township each year to the State Superintendent of Public In- 
struction. This report alone in Vermilion county requires the 
work of one person continuously for three months. 

He has charge of signing all State Limited Certificates and 
their Registration each year. He must visit each school at least 
once each year, and one-half of his visiting period must be given 
to rural schools. In 1939-1940 there were 782 rooms in Vermilion 
county and about 100 days in which to visit schools. Can you 
figure the number of rooms which must be visited each day to 
comply with his duties? He furnishes a bond fixed by law. He 
is the official clerk to the Non-High School Board of Education 
and must take care of all their clerical duties, such as keeping 
records of non-high school pupils, paying their tuition, and other 
duties. He is supposed to attend all state and national educa- 
tional meetings and bring to his county the best modern system 
and thought of the leading educators of the nation. 

Each session of the Legislature adds many more clerical 
duties, and he is not given any additional help for these new 
duties. The recent "MUNICIPAL BUDGET" law and the 
"TRANSPORTATION of PUPILS" law add weeks and weeks 
of new clerical duties (and no money to pay for them). The office 
of County Superintendent of Schools has become a "clearing 
house" for clerical and statistical duties for the Township Treas- 
urers and to the Superintendent of Public Instruction instead of 
being permitted to be an educational leader. 

The present County Superintendent of Schools is L. A. Tuggle 
of Danville, who took office in August 1923. His term will expire 
in August, 1943. Miss Hazel Dodd, Sidell, is Assistant County 
Superintendent of Schools; and Miss Ruth Tuggle, Danville, 
niece of L. A. Tuggle, is Secretary to the County Superintendent 
of Schools. 

Each County Officer in Vermilion county is allowed deputies 
or assistants to help perform the duties of the office by the 
"Board of Supervisors." The Salaries of the County Judge, 
Probate Judge, State's Attorney and County Superintendent of 
Schools are fixed by law. The County Superintendent of Schools 
receives his salary from State Funds. The salaries of the other 
County Officers are paid out of the County Funds. The salaries 
of County Officers not named above are fixed by the "Board of 



By L. A. TUGGLE, Co. Supt. of Schools— 1940 

ALLERTON received its name from a large land owner, 
Samuel W. Allerton. The town was planned by Mr. Allerton. 
Every deed contained this clause: "It is understood that no 
gambling house, pool room, or saloon should be permitted for 
the sale of wine, beer or any intoxicating liquor, unless with the 
consent of the owner." 

ALVIN was first called Gilbert for Hon. Alvan Gilbert, an 
early settler and prominent in Township affairs. Later it was 
changed to Mr. Gilbert's given name Alvan. The spelling was 
changed when the name of the town was recorded. In 1903 
momentary oil boom was started at Alvin. 

ARMSTRONG was named for Thomas and Henry Arm- 
strong. This town was started in 1877. 

BELGIUM is east of Kellyville and was named Belgium 
because most of the early residents came from Belgium. 

BISMARK was built in 1872 and evidently must have been 
given its name by the C. & E. I. Railroad. 

CATLIN was first called "Butler's Point" in 1920 for James 
Butler who was the first settler. It was so called until the railroad 
officials called the name of their station Catlin after one of their 
men in 1856 at which time Guy Merrill and Josiah Hunt laid 
out the village of Catlin. 

CHENEYVILLE was laid out by Jake McFerren in 1878. 
It was named after J. H. Cheney, Vice-President of the Lake 
Erie and Western Railroad. It is said that the land was donated 
by Abe Swisher, J. L. Starr and John Dunkalbarger. 

DANVILLE was first settled by Dan Beckwith in 1824. At 
that time the site was occupied by a village of Piankeshaw 
Indians whose trading post was situated within the limits of the 
present Ellsworth Park. The Legislature passed an act on Decem- 
ber 26, 1826, to appoint a new set of three Commissioners, Wm. 
Morgan, Zachariah Peter and John Kirkpatrick of Sangamon 
county, to select a "County Seat" for Vermilion county. These 
three men selected the lands donated by Guy W. Smith and Dan 
W. Beckwith. This land was near the mouth of the North Fork 
of the Vermilion River. 

The Board of County Commissioners, Asa Elliott, Achilles 
Morgan (Mrs. L. A. Tuggle's great-great-grandfather) and James 
McClewer, accepted the report of the Sangamon County Com- 
missioners. Dan W. Beckwith surveyed the land into 100 lots. 
The above Board of County Commissioners decided to honor 
Dan W. Beckwith as the earliest settler on the site and named 
the County Seat "DANVILLE." 

Danville has an impressive group of civic buildings: Elk's 
Club, Carnegie Library, Federal Court and Post Office, Young 
Men's Christian Association, Wolford Hotel, Young Women's 
Christian Association and a large State Armory in one compact 


center. Other noted places are "Uncle Joe" Cannon's Home, 
Court House, Masonic Temple, Chamber of Commerce, City- 
Hall, Salvation Army Barracks, Danville Township Hall, and a 
Veterans Facility consisting of 27 buildings built in 1897 (and 
recently remodeled) for housing 1800 ex-service men who need 
domiciliary care. 

EAST LYNN was laid out in 1872 and was named after the 
charming novel of Mrs. Anna S. Stephens. 

ELLIS. Ellis was established in 1902. Ellis was named 
after Albert Ellis of Penfield, Illinois. The Post Office was estab- 
lished at Ellis in 1908. The Post Office was discontinued in 1935, 
and this promising village will soon be classed as one of the 
"extinct" towns. 

FAIRMOUNT was first spoken of as the "Queen of the 
Prairies" of Vermilion county, being known as a noted grain 
market in an early day, shipping in larger quantities of corn, 
wheat, and oats than other towns in Vermilion county. Fair- 
mount was first called Salina. It was changed to Fairmount in 
1863, by the suggestion of an early settler, Francis Dougherty. 
It was here that one of the first churches in the county was organ- 
ized, the Goshen Baptist, in 1832. 

FITHIAN was named after Dr. William Fithian who owned 
vast acres of land in this part of the county. 

GEORGETOWN village was named after the township of 
that name. It was established in the year 1827, two months 
after Danville was laid out. The naming seems to be in doubt. 
Some say Mr. Haworth named it for his son George who was a 
cripple. Others say that Danville having been named for Dan W. 
Beckwith, that Mr. Haworth believed it was a good stroke of 
policy to try to divide the sympathies of the Beckwith family 
for the two towns by naming his place in honor of George Beck- 
with. The probability is that both statements are true. This 
son, George, died of Cholera in 1854. 

In making the survey of lots in Georgetown, it is told that 
for want of more convenient implements the North Star was 
used for a compass and a grape vine for a chain. 

GRAPE CREEK began its existence with the opening up 
of the coal mine in 1866. It was named after a small creek named 
"Grape Creek" which flows through the village. 

HENNING. When the H. R. & E. railroad, now the Illinois 
Central, was built in 1878, a gentleman from Pontiac, Illinois 
bought ten acres of land from the E. S. Pope estate for the town- 
site and named it Henning, in honor of his wife's maiden name, 
which was Henning. The town was incorporated in 1905 and the 
first Mayor was Charles Mason. J. W. White was the first Clerk 
and J. M. Dusenberry was the first Treasurer. 

HOOPESTON was started in 1871 and was named for 
Thomas Hoopes, who owned a farm, which the railroad forced 
its way through, and hence a city was built. 

INDIANOLA is one of the oldest towns in the county. It 
was first known as old Chillicothe, which was recorded Sept. 6, 


1836. When Chillicothe demanded a post office it was found there 
was a town on the IlHnois River by the same name, so it was 
changed to Dallas in 1844. It was soon discovered that another 
post office in Illinois was named Dallas City. The postmaster 
asked the post office department to change the name to Indianola 
which was done. For a long time the people of the village would 
not accept the name "Indianola" which caused much confusion 
in sending of mail, but finally the name became a fixture. 

JAMAICA was first platted as "Kingsley" because a village 
had grown "up around" the church by that name which had been 
erected in 1873. The people petitioned the government to name 
the village and post office "Kingsley," but it was refused because 
there was another post office by that name in Illinois. It was 
finally called "Jamaica." 

JAMESBURG— In 1894, the C. & E. I. railroad was built 
from Rossville to Sidell. A station and depot was established a 
few miles west of Henning. Several of the people living at Hig- 
ginsville left that community and moved to this new station. A 
name had to be chosen, therefore the station was named "James- 
burg" in honor of James Goodwin. 

MUNCIE was platted and recorded in 1875, and evidently 
named by the surveyors, Alexander Bowman and Edward Corbley. 

OAKWOOD was established in 1870 and naturally named 
after Henry Oakwood because the township had previously been 
named after him. 

OLIVET was named after Olivet University which was located 
in that village. The beginning of this village was in 1908, three 
miles south of Georgetown. 

POTOMAC (Marysville) was first settled as a farm by John 
Smith (plain) in 1845. Isaac Meneley and others soon came to help 
Smith make a town. Both Smith and Meneley had wives named 
Mary, so they hit upon the plan of calling the town Marysville, 
after the two best Marys then living in town. The post office of 
Marysville was suspended for awhile, and when it was reinstated, 
the postoffice department changed the name to Potomac because 
of the near proximity to Myersville which seemed to confuse the 
mail carriers with the name Marysville. Marysville was incor- 
porated into a village in 1876 but soon lost its identity as a name 
and is known as Potomac. The artesian wells have made Potomac 
famous in the county. 

RANKIN was laid out in June, 1872 and named after Hon. 
David Rankin, the proprietor of a portion of the town and of a 
large amount of land in their neighborhood. 

RIDGEFARM was platted for record in 1853 and was 
named for the name given to the farm of Abraham Smith. In 
1849, when he commenced to bring his farm under cultivation 
he named it Ridgefarm. 

ROSSVILLE was first known as "Liggett's Grove" in 1829. 
Later on it was called "Bicknell's Point" and then it became 
known far and wide as "Henpeck." Just why it was called 
"Henpeck" no one seems to know. The original town of Rossville 


was laid out about 1857 and was incorporated in July, 1872. 
Alvan Gilbert was the "father" of Rossville. 

SI DELL was named in honor of John Sidell at the suggestion 
of John C. Short. John Sidell owned 3000 acres along both sides 
of the Little Vermilion River. It was incorporated in 1886. 

TILTON. Tilton was originally laid out in 1854 and was 
called "Bryant." It was named "Bryant" after the Assistant 
Surveyor Bryant, working under Mr. Catlin, who surveyed the 
Northern Cross Railroad. Mr. L. Tilton of New York was 
Manager of the Northern Cross Railroad from 1861 until the 
name was changed to that of the Wabash Railroad about 1875. 
The name of the town "Bryant" was then changed to that of 
Tilton in honor of L. Tilton. 

VERMILION GROVE history dates back to 1820. It is 
here where stands the "successor" of the first church built in 
Vermilion county. Also the first school established. The first 
plat was made by Elvin Haworth in 1876, and he called it "Ver- 
milion" which name continued until the railroad was built 
through the village. When the post office was established in 1873, 
it was found necessary to change the name to "Vermilion Grove" 
because of another post office named "Vermilion" in Illinois. 

Peanuts were kept in stores instead of tobacco, and hence 
men who couldn't purchase "tobacco" in Vermilion Grove nick- 
named the village "Peanut." This nickname is still known to 
the older generation. 

WESTVILLE was laid out by William P. West and E. A. 
West in May, 1873. "Brook's Point" near Westville was one 
of the first settlements in Vermilion county and the first white 
boy, James O'Neal, was born there in 1822. 



B}j L. A. TUGGLE, Co. Supt. of Schools 

ARCHIE. Once upon a time Archie, located one mile south 
of Sidell, was an interesting little village. Today only nine or 
ten small residences remain, and the old school house is used as 
a barn. The railroad was abandoned about 1936. 

BLUE GRASS CITY. A post office was established at Blue 
Grass in 1843. A town was platted in 1859. A large general 
store and Masonic hall were built. A flax warehouse was oper- 
ated and did a thriving business for several years. "Killed by 
railroads" is the epitaph that might be written over Blue Grass 
because not a single landmark remains today except the Blue 
Grass school. It was northwest of Potomac about five miles. 

BRONSON two miles west of Oakwood was one time 
"looked upon" as a promising village. A lot of money was in- 
vested in buildings. Modern roads put it out of business and 
business is silent as the grave at that place. 

BROOKVILLE was a thriving little incorporated village 


just west of Grape Creek during the heighth of the mining in- 
dustry in that coal field. All that remains today to locate the 
place are a few houses and the dilapidated Town Hall. 

BUSEY was a little village one mile north of the McKendree 
church about 6 miles northeast of Georgetown. It was the center 
of politics for several years. When the writer (L. A. Tuggle) 
was a green young neophyte, he was a candidate for Township 
Collector of Georgetown Township. Busey was a voting precinct. 
He canvassed every farmer in their own homes. His wife had 
two uncles living in the Busey precinct — a total of 4 votes amongst 
the relatives. Every farmer and all 4 relatives promised to vote 
for him. He was gullible enough to believe every one of them 
in their fine (?) promises. When the votes were counted, he (L. A. 
Tuggle) got exactly "TWO" (2) votes. 

Right then, he made a solemn oath never to be so "GUL- 
LIBLE" again in politics. He waited and learned "human 
nature" for 20 years before regaining confidence in promises. 
Busey has all disappeared and all the promises "Have Gone With 
The Wind." 

CHARITY. Charity was located at the crossroads % mile 
west of the present (1940) Craig school. The fine rolling prairie 
and the establishment of a Post Oflfice at Charity indicated a 
future city. Only beautiful farm houses remain of a once promis- 
ing town. 

CONKEYTOWN 75 years ago was quite a cluster of houses 
and a lively business was done. It was established in 1851. It 
had a postoffice. Today the town site is grown up in weeds. It 
was about one mile south of the Cass school house, or two miles 
south of Muncie. 

DENMARK. This ancient town was settled in 1826 by 
Seymour Treat. Denmark was located at the foot of the hill on 
the road that now goes across Lake Vermilion northwest of Dan- 
ville. By 1835, Denmark was important enough to have an in- 
dependent rifle team. Its greatest prosperity was from 1835 to 
1842. Denmark became a noted place. It had a bad name and 
whisky is alleged to have brought about its ruin. Brawls and 
street fights were alleged to be an everyday occurrence. Anyway, 
Denmark received a wet and watery grave because today nearly 
all the village lies at the bottom of Lake Vermilion. 

ELLIS. Ellis was started in 1902 and was named in honor 
of Albert Ellis who owned the land on which the village was 
located. The Post Office was established in June, 1908, and was 
discontinued in May, 1935. Mr. E. R. Philabaum was the Post- 
master during the entire operation of the Ellis Post Office. 

One of the first real rural Township High Schools established 
in Illinois was started at EUis in 1914. The first year of this 
high school was held in the Ellis rural school house. One teacher, 
Hattie Diemer, was employed with 10 pupils in attendance. The 
second year (1915) of school was held in a vacant store building 
which was torn down about 1938. One teacher only, Hattie 
Diemer Monson, was employed. 


In 1916, H. W. Wierman and Esther Johnson, were the 
teachers. In 1917, Principal Wm. Birdzell, Jennie Freeman and 
Marguerite Funk were the teachers. Principal Wm. Birdzell, 
Clara Stiegemeyer and Ruth Patton were employed for 1918-1919, 
but plans for a new school building failed to materialize and school 
was discontinued. Clark Morris, Guy Judy and Ephriam Driskell 
were called to the ''World War" from the Ellis high school in 

The "FIRST" and "ONLY" graduating class were Lucile 
Duncan, Jack Morris, Rose Auth, Gertrude Weimken and Leone 
Goetchius in May, 1918. 

The district was divided in December, 1918, and pupils went 
to other high schools. The Board of Education refused to order 
an election for Board members in April, 1919, and by February 
21st, 1920, the Ellis Township High School District No. 224 passed 
into oblivion. Thus began and ended a great rural city and a 
gallant high school. 

FRANKLIN was once a thriving village located just north 
of North Fork river near Seaton Hill on the old Dixie highway. 
It was laid out in 1837 for Jacob Fisher and Hezekiah Rogers. 
Only a filling station is left near the site. 

GERMANTOWN was organized July 6, 1874. The residents 
at that time were principally Germans so the village was called 
"Germantown." It remained a thriving and expanding village 
for many years, and became a part of the City of Danville Sep- 
tember 28, 1905. 

GILBERT was named after Alvan Gilbert, a pioneer resident 
of Rossville and who was a prominent member of the Board of 
Supervisors for many years. Gilbert was just west of the C. & 
E. I. Railroad halfway between Alvin and Bismarck. When the 
Illinois Central narrow gauge railroad was built from West 
Lebanon, Indiana, to Leroy, Illinois, Gilbert began to die, and 
Alvin started on its journey to grow into a fine village. 

GLENBURN was platted a long time ago in 1885 but no 
important village seemed to be very promising. It was named 
after a town in Pennsylvania. It is one-half mile north of the 
Webster school northeast of Oakwood. There are several fine 
farm houses clustered together today at Glenburn. 

GREENVILLE was platted in 1836. It was in Pilot Town- 
ship southwest of Charity. Do you know where it was located? 
I don't. 

GRIFFITH was in the extreme northwest corner of Pilot 
Township. There were 5 streets — Main, Vermilion, Griffith, 
Miller and Strickland. There was a post office but long since re- 
called. It was later named Gerald when the C. & E. I. Railroad 
passed through it. 

HIGGINSVILLE. In January, 1837, Amando D. Higgins 
laid out some town lots on both sides of the Middlefork river on 
section 36, Twp. 21 N. Range 13 W. and called it "Vermilion 
Rapids." This town was beautifully platted and taken to New 
York to find purchasers. It was too late. The panic of 1837 had 


struck the East. The village had a store, post office, blacksmith 
shop, and a doctor in 1851 and was called Higginsville. For a 
long time Higginsville was a center of considerable population, 
but today only the school house by that name is left and the 
usual farm houses. 

HIMROD. Several years ago Himrod was a thriving mmmg 
village of 300 people. The village was one of the first mining 
towns, out on the prairie, in the county. All kinds of stores were 
flourishing, but today only the dilapidated brick village hall which 
was built in 1904 remains. Also the cemetery is a silent monu- 
ment. Himrod was two miles east and one-half mile south of 

Westville. . i , , 

HOPE. Hope was not a regular village but it had the usual 
country stores and the village blacksmith shop. The post office 
was established in 1873. Hope will aways be renowned as the 
birthplace of Carl Van Doren who wrote an American classic of 
biography, "Benjamin Franklin," which was a Pulitzer prize win- 
ner. Mark Van Doren, a brother of Carl's was also born at Hope. 
Mark Van Doren is a great writer and his poems are excellent. 
Carl Van Doren's book, "AN ILLINOIS BOYHOOD," is a 
classic story of rural life at HOPE, VERMILION COUNTY, 
ILLINOIS. All that remains of Hope in 1940 is a church, school 
house, filling station, a village hall, a few farm houses, and a 
long line of majestic maple trees on each side of route No. 49 in 

Pilot Township. 

LICKSKILLET. Dr. A. M. Hawes came to Georgetown m 
1836 and built up a very successful practice throughout the 
southern part of the county. In an early day, a store was estab- 
lished 2 miles northeast of Georgetown. Dr. Hawes, m making 
his rounds, saw how poor the land was around this store and told 
the folks in Georgetown that the soil was so poor that not enough 
food could be raised to "lick a skillet." Thereafter, whenever 
Dr. Hawes was called to that territory, he would leave word that 
he was going out to "Lickskillet." That name has "stuck" to 
this day (1940), although the village has disappeared. 

MUNROE. Munroe was laid out in 1836 by Mayfield and 
J. C. Haworth on section 36 in the southeast corner of the county. 
They made a sale of lots and sold a few. Isaac T. Hunt opened 
up a store there in April, 1879, and did a fine business for a long 
time. He was deputy postmaster and the post office was called 
"LONG." Today, Bethel school and a church across the road 
are all that are left of MUNROE. 

MYERSVILLE. This thriving village had first for its start 
the Chrisman mill. People came as far as 70 miles away to Myers- 
ville to trade and get milling done. Myersville lost the post office 
to Bismarck in 1872. The last earmarks of Myersville— that of 
an old grist mill— were removed in 1929. It was located 2 miles 
west of Bismarck. 

NEW TOWN. This village was platted in 1838 and was 
once a thriving little town, one time having a post office and a 
flourishing Masonic lodge and building. Only a store, blacksmith 


shop, filling station, school and church remain today. It is about 
four miles north of Oakwood. 

O'CONNELLSVILLE was established by O'Connell 
Brothers when they had a flourishing coal mine in the valley 
near Lafferty Hill. Lafferty Hill is due east of the Big Four 
Lyons railroad yards. Only a few homes remain, 

PELLSVILLE. This village was platted in 1872. A post 
office, stores, Odd Fellows lodge, church and school all prospered. 
They even had a depot. Spirited rivalry existed between Rankin 
and Pellsville for over ten years, but at last Pellsville succumbed 
to Rankin and only the school house, one residence and a ceme- 
tery remain today. Pellsville was one and one-half miles west of 

PROSPECT CITY gave early promise of a good town. It 
was east of Hoopeston. It was laid out for Jane Taft in 1857 by 
A. D. Southworth, surveyor. When Hoopeston came into ex- 
istence Prospect City passed on to an unknown grave. 

RIOLA. Riola was first called Sandusky Station. Levi L. 
Dunnihoo built a store at Sandusky Station in 1888 and a post 
office was added in the spring of 1889. The post office was called 
Riola and hence, Sandusky Station became known as Riola. An 
ice house was built in 1888 which furnished ice to the farmers of 
the surrounding country. In 1889 a picture gallery was set up 
in a tent, which attracted many people to this little community. 

M. L. Hill purchased the store and secured the post office 
in 1891. Mr. Hill also had a grain elevator built. For many, 
many years, Riola was the center of community attractions, but 
like many other small communities faded out of the picture 
when Mr. M. L. Hill moved to Danville. Today, Riola is only a 

SALEM. Salem was laid out in 1840 one mile east of Hig- 
ginsville. A store had been kept there as early as 1837. It is all 

SOUTH DANVILLE was incorporated as a village in 1874. 
The territory being immediately across the river south of Dan- 
ville it was named "South Danville." The oflicials of this village 
carried on a good government for many, many years till it was 
annexed to the City of Danville September 28, 1905. As one 
passes through South Danville today, the old "Public Square" is 
easily recognized. 

STEELTON. When a new coal shaft was opened up out 
on the prairie on the C. & E. I. R. R. about five miles southwest 
of Westville a depot was built and a thriving village soon dotted 
the prairie. A two-room school was built. Stores and a post office 
were established. For years this mining village prospered but 
just as soon as the coal was gone, the village fell into decay. 
Today only one house remains, but no depot; no stores; no post 
office and only a one-room district school is maintained in the 
two-room building. (1940) 

WATKINS GLEN west of Woodbury Hill on both sides of 
Happy Branch. It was platted by W. J. Watkins. Stores and 


mines were the sources of a livelihood. The new "Hungry Hol- 
low" pavement runs through the once happy village. All gone 

WEAVER CITY was laid out and platted for George Weaver 
on his own farm in 1872. It laid on both sides of the "Nickel Plate" 
railroad, east of Cheney ville near the Illinois-Indiana state line. 
Nothing marks its grave today. 



Any map of Vermilion county shows a small triangular piece 
of land on the south side very near the Indiana State line, which 
seems as though it had been driven, like a wedge, up into the 
county, and because of its apparent bluntness could not be forced 
in with the amount of power applied. This irregular piece of land 
is called "Harrison's Purchase." The lines of the point of the 
wedge are found to meet a short distance east of Ridgefarm. 

The Superintendent of Indian affairs of the Indiana Territory, 
William Henry Harrison, concluded a treaty with the Kickapoos, 
Delawares, Pottowatomies, Miamis and the Eel River Indians 
at Fort Wayne, Indiana, September 30, 1809. He came to locate 
the new possession and met the selected Indians at a certain rock 
in a grove east of Ridgefarm. The Indians did not know how to 
use a compass, so they stipulated that the line bounding the east 
side of the land should run in the direction of the sun at 10 o'clock 
in the morning, and that the boundary of the western line should 
run in the direction of the sun at one o'clock in the afternoon. 

It was agreed between General Harrison and the Indians 
that all of the land which fell within the boundary of the extent 
of a man riding horseback for two and one-half days would be 
included in this purchase. The grove from which the riders 
started was used as a pilot on their return trip. It was the only 
grove of trees in that part of the country and it safely piloted 
them back and for that reason was called Pilot Grove. 

The west line of "Harrison's Purchase" extends south and 
west, passing through Marshall, Illinois. The east line crosses 
the Wabash River at the mouth of Raccoon Creek, below New- 
port, Indiana, and continues south and east of Terre Haute, 
Indiana. The easterly line of this survey has always been called 
the "ten o'clock line" by early settlers and surveyors. On ac- 
count of the difference in the later United States survey and in 
the "Harrison Purchase survey" of three-quarters of a mile, the 
boundary lines of Edgar and Vermilion counties on the south, 
and Edgar and Clark counties on the north, have always been 
irregular. The small part (about two sections) of "Harrison's 
Purchase" in Vermilion county was the only part of this territory 
which was surveyed up to 1821. 



IN 1940 

Michael Weaver came from Brown county, Ohio in 1828 and 
built a log house near Indianola close by the Weaver cemetery. 
He died in 1875 at the age of one hundred years. He had nine 
children seven of whom were daughters. Three became Baums 
by marriage, two Fishers, one the wife of James Gains, and one 
the wife of John Cole. 

Al. J. McMillan who was born in 1855 at Indianola and who 
was school township treasurer for over 40 years and was Carroll 
Township Supervisor for 40 years "off and on," came into posses- 
sion of the old Weaver log cabin several years ago. He concluded 
to preserve it as a historical relic of Vermilion county. Have you 
ever noticed a nicely painted lonely barn all by itself on the north 
side of the road (on Indianola- Vermilion Grove road) about two 
and one-half miles northeast of Indianola? This is not a barn. 
Mr. McMillan put a shed and roof all around this 112 year old 
log house in order to protect the logs from the elements and 
weather. The logs are 24 feet long and were hewed smooth by 
Adz. Certainly this is mighty grand of Mr. McMillan to preserve 
this pioneer relic. 


One half mile east of Conkeytown is the only wooden covered 
bridge left in Vermilion county. It is across the Salt Fork river. 
It was built before the Civil War and crosses the river immediately 
north of one of the first mills built in the county in 1826. Aaron 
Dalbey built a new mill here in 1837. CM. Berkley bought this 
mill in 1873 and ran it for many years. Only the runway is in 
evidence in 1940. Some Sunday afternoon pupils should take their 
parents directly south of Munice two miles and see this old land- 
mark and beautiful scenery surrounding it. 


The following citizens have served as Postmasters of the 
City of Danville since it was organized: 


Amos Williams May 3, 1827 (Estab.) 

James C. Cravens May 22, 1840 

Amos Williams June 25, 1841 

Isaac R. Moores July 31, 1845 

Othniel Gilbert June 8, 1849 

Samuel Frazier June 10, 1850 

Alexander P. Chesley December 12, 1850 

Charles G. Draper July 14, 1853 


Josiah Alexander December 7, 1853 

John M. Lesley March 28, 1856 

Henry G. Boyce June 23, 1856 

Enoch Kingsbury March 16, 1861 

William Morgan September 28, 1866 

Thomas McKibben April 6, 1869 

Samuel H. Fairchild January 17, 1871 

Charles W. Gregory January 22, 1875 

William R. Jewell February 5, 1883 

John P. Norvell July 20, 1885 

William R. Jewell April 16, 1889 

John Beard October 27, 1894 

William R. Jewell March 10, 1897 

Clint C. Tilton October 30, 1913 

George R. Tilton January 18, 1915 
Lawrence M. Birch (Acting) October 1, 1923 

Lawrence M. Birch January 7, 1924 
William C. Lewman (Acting) June 15, 1927 

William C. Lewman December 15, 1927 
Charles W. Collings (Acting) December 7, 1934 

James H. Elliott July 26, 1935 



"GOD'S ACRE" was the first cemetery in Vermilion county. 
It was known, aside from its title of *'God's Acre," as the Butler 
Burying Ground. Its title was vested by the donor, James D. 
Butler, in the "bones of those who may find rest here," and 
especially he wanted to make sure that his bones, and those of 
his good wife, and those of his good friend, Major John Vance 
and his helpmate, and others whom he loved, might forever rest 
undisturbed. . 

"God's Acre" was set aside for a burymg ground m 1822 
and is located south of the Wabash railroad about a half mile 
west of Catlin. Today the title to this acre is vested in the Ver- 
milion county board of supervisors by virtue of a deed made and 
recorded some 70 years ago by Josiah and Elizabeth Sandusky. 

James D. Butler and wife, John W. Vance and wife, Noah 
Guymon and "Grandma" Guymon are buried in the northeast 
quarter of "God's Acre." Marcus Snow and Annis Douglas are 
sleeping side by side in the west half of God's Acre." 

Every person in Vermilion county should make a visit to 
this sacred spot where these hardy men and women who lived 
and died as we live and die. who labored and loved, who sacrificed 
and suffered, whose hearts beat to the same rhythm of hope and 
ambition that human hearts beat to in this modern age yet who 
lie unfrequently visited in "God's Acre." , ^ 

The board of supervisors three years ago repaired God s 
Acre" and rededicated it to the sacred memory of these noble 


MT. PISGAH three miles west of Georgetown was one of 
the early cemeteries plotted. It lies on a gentle sloping hill back 
of which is a creek which makes good drainage. Jotham Lyons 
first wife was buried here on Christmas Day, 1827. He was buried 
August 2, 1843. Absalom Starr was buried in this cemetery on 
October 14, 1829. Many of the early settlers were buried at 
Mt. Pisgah. The writer went to church and Sunday school sev- 
eral years at Mt. Pisgah church and many Sunday afternoons 
were spent in contemplating the past activities of the Longs, 
Jones, Hewitts, Gepharts, Swanks and other pioneers who lie 
buried in this beautiful cemetery. 

The beautiful and well kept CEMETERY AT VERMILION 
GROVE speaks the story of unselfish devotion of home ties of 
the early settlers in that part of the county. The first person 
buried in the Vermilion Grove cemetery was Hannah Mills who 
died in the summer of 1823. The Haworths, the Mills, the Hesters, 
and Holadays, the Mendenhalls, the Rees, the Elliotts, the Cana- 
days, the Judds, the Smiths and many others are buried in the 
Vermilion Grove cemetery. 

has long since answered the call of modern progress and where 
once lay the bones of many pioneers on Washington Avenue 
between east Madison and Seminary streets, are modern cottages 
and industrial plants. Dan Beckwith was buried in the Williams 
cemetery in December, 1835, but his body was later removed to 
Springhill cemetery. 

THE LAMB CEMETERY is located on a beautiful knoll 
five miles northeast of Danville near the Lamb schoolhouse. The 
oldest marked grave is that of James Duncan who died October 1, 
1819. The next is that of Mary Lamb, daughter of John and 
Phebe Lamb, who died September 26, 1826. 

There are about 75 graves in the Lamb cemetery and are 
arranged in family groups. This family burying ground contains 
the families of the Lambs, Brewers, Campbells, Makemsons, 
Elders, Martins, Delays, Woods, and many others. The Makem- 
son family first used this cemetery in 1881, the Campbell family 
in 1835, the Brewer family in 1851, the Martin family in 1860, 
etc. The Lamb cemetery continued being used as a neighborhood 
burying place until in the eighties. The last person buried there 
was an infant of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Henson in 1914. 

mouth of the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River four miles 
west of Danville bears the appearance of having been used by 
the Indians for many years prior to the time of the cession of the 
territory along the Vermilion by the Pottawatomies and Kicka- 
poos. It is a level plateau of several acres, at an elevation that 
commands a fine view of both streams, and overlooking the bluffs 
beyond. The plateau is terminated at the westward by a preci- 
pitous cliff, the foot of which, nearly a hundred feet below, is 
washed by the Middle Fork. The stream has gradually en- 


crouched upon the bluff at the water-hne causing the earth to 
slide down from above. 

Two young men, John Ecard and Hiram Chester, living upon 
a farm nearby, were passing along the water's edge in April, 1855, 
and found a skull and some other parts of a human skeleton that 
had fallen out of a grave above and rolled down the hill. The 
skull was well preserved and had clinging to it the remains of a 
rotted band filled with plain brooches. The young men being 
curious proceeded to the top of the hill to the grave out of which 
the remains had fallen and found a part of the grave still intact. 
Ecard took a stick and digging around in that portion of the 
grave that yet remained unearthed, two medals were found which 
are believed to be none other than the silver medals attached to 
the "two large white wampum belts of peace, with a silver medal 
suspended to each bearing the arms of the United States" and 
which were given to the Wabash Indian tribes at their signing 
of the peace treaty with General Putnam September 27, 1792. 
Ecard sold these historic medals to Samuel Chester and the latter 
disposed of them to Josephus Collett of Terre Haute, Indiana. 

THE GUNDY CEMETERY is one of the prettiest places 
in Vermilion county and was the burying ground for the pioneers 
of Myersville. It is located north of the bridge on the Bismarck- 
" Moore's Corner" road. Joseph Gundy settled that part of the 
county about 1827. As years rolled along, new parts were added 
to this cemetery and today the utmost care is taken with this 
"city of the dead." 

A Revolutionary War soldier, Jacob Gundy, is buried here. 
He died in September, 1845. Ruth Davison was buried in Gundy 
cemetery in 1835, Andrew Davison is 1842 and Elizabeth Davison 
in 1845. Many Davisons, Gundys, Keers, Carters, Woods and 
Wiles of early days are buried here. 

THE DALBEY CEMETERY is east of the main highway 
between Muncie and Salt Fork River about two miles south of 
Muncie. This cemetery was laid out in 1838. It was on the 
property of Aaron Dalbey and James Cass. Because it was such 
a dreary spot when it was donated for common burial ground, 
Richard Cass, Jr. exclaimed, "I would not be buried in such a 
place," but he was the first to be buried there. The second grave 
was for Elizabeth Cass, mother of Richard, Jr. Richard Cass, 
Sr. was buried in 1843 and Aaron Dalbey in 1855. The Casses 
Radcliffs, Dalbeys, Meades, Boyles, McFarlands, Drapers, and 
many other families were buried in the Dalbey cemetery in the 
forties, fifties and sixties. This place was used extensively up to 
the sixties but today it is a tract of weeds and grass. Grave stones 
and markers are no longer reliable. 

THE SHARON CEMETERY is a small pioneer burying 
ground about a quarter of a mile northeast of the Sharon school 
near Olivet. The writer (January, 1931) saw markers of Smiths 
buried there in 1815 and 1819. His eyes could scarcely believe 
the dates, but there they were. A great many of the Smith family 
were buried here between 1840 and 1849, and different Smiths 


have been buried in the Sharon cemetery each decade down to 
the present time. 

THE LEBANON CEMETERY two miles southwest of 
Indianola was started in 1829. David Beard, age 70, was buried 
there in February, 1837 and David Beard, age 40, was buried 
in September, 1838. John N. McDonald was buried in August, 

1837, William B. Dickson in September, 1839, the Dormans in 

1838, the Willisons in 1849. This cemetery was the last resting 
places for a great many early pioneer families: Barnetts, Beards, 
Williams, Gaines, Pattisons, Swanks, Hiestands and Reeds. 

THE WEAVER CEMETERY near the Snyder school near 
Indianola was laid out in 1836. This pioneer cemetery has a 
great many graves in family groups such as the Weavers, Gaines, 
Baums, Alexanders, Bairds, Coles, Donovans and Gilkeys. The 
last person buried in the Weaver cemetery was 25 years ago. 
Some of the writer's relatives are buried in this cemetery. For 
several years this cemetery was neglected and allowed to grow 
up in wood. In 1924, one of the trustees, Al J. McMillan of 
Indianola, took up a subscription of a thousand dollars and put 
every marker and monument in concrete and otherwise beauti- 
fied the grounds. Trees were planted and the grass has been 
kept cut each year since 1924 so that today the old Weaver bury- 
ing ground is good to look at. There is only one granite marker 
in this cemetery. All of the other markers and monuments are 

There are a lot of private cemeteries in the County. The 
early pioneers had not laid out burying grounds close enough to 
their homes on account of lack of transportation, so they were 
compelled to bury their loved ones, when they died, on the family 
lot. A splendid example of this is Sandusky family cemetery on 
the William (his father was Josiah) Sandusky farm, northeast of 


By Mary Elizabeth Young. Dist. 2 
Teacher, Rosaline Guingrich 

Vermilion County History would be incomplete without the 
story of Cheneyville. 

Years and years ago when Cheneyville was an unsettled 
prairie, the "Burr Oak Grove," where William Regan now lives, 
was an old Indian trail mark. Indians used to camp under these 
very trees. Travelers on the Williamsport and Chicago road 
could see these trees as they came over the prairie and knew they 
were going in the right direction. 

From Mr. M. A. Harbart, freight agent for the Nickel Plate 
Railroad at Hoopeston, Illinois, I learned that the LaFayette, 
Bloomington and Western Railroad, later called the Lake Erie 
and Western and which is now the Nickel Plate Railroad, was 
built between 1872-73. 


Wood-burning engines were in vogue. The locomotives had 
funnel-shaped stacks which made a great roar and the insides 
were painted red. The hand rail was of brass. The steam pipes 
were copper. The bands around the cylinder head and the boilers 
were of brass. The fireman was required to keep these shiny. 

The farmers were so anxious to have the railroad put through 
that they donated their labor. 

Mr. James F. Swarner told me he helped haul ties. Mr. 
Tade Layden said he donated two days' labor and graded off 
the land where the depot now stands. Of course all the farmers 
helped but I do not know their names. 

Some children born along this right-of-way and still living 
in Cheney ville are Charles Reed, A. A. Carl and Jennie Odle 
(Mrs. William Regan). The latter two are grandparents. There 
are three generations of Carl's and Regan's living in the village 
at the present time. 

After reading the following item, (in an old Hoopeston Chron- 
icle) I found that the boys of long ago differ very little from the 
boys of today. "March 25, 1884. One day last week as the after- 
noon freight train was running through the place, three boys 
from Hoopeston were seen to jump from the train and two of 
them got tumbled, but fortunately without injury. They were 
taking their daily ride to the Hoopeston hill and the train gamed 
too much speed for them to get off. This should be stopped." 

Mr. Harlin M. Steely, now an attorney of Danville, Illinois, 
taught the Ziegler School in 1876-77 which stood in the south- 
east corner of the farm now owned by Mr. Steely and where I 
have always lived. He said that at that time there was a string 
of grain cribs along the railroad where Cheneyville is now. I 
supposed these cribs belonged to William Moore and he bought 
and stored grain, for I read in an old newspaper a notice to the 
farmers that a car of seed flax was on the track. The flax was 
sowed on virgin soil. It was customary to do this in order to 
prepare a good seed-bed for the next crop. 

Benjamin Ziegler, though not a resident of Cheneyville, was 
a pioneer of the community. His home was one half mile south 
of the village. He had purchased his land from the government 
at $1.25 an acre. The deed recorded on buckskin is still in posses- 
sion of his heirs. 

Not long after the railroad was built, Jake McFerren and 
William Moore built an elevator. When it was completed a big 
dance was given. Some of the men got drunk and it ended in a 
fight. Shelba Starr was hired by Moore and McFerren to operate 
this elevator. The elevator was run by horse power, for I read 
the following in an old Hoopeston Chronicle: "William Moore 
is building a fence around his property which is to be used as a 
pasture for his elevator horse." This elevator was later purchased 
by the farmers of this community and operated by Miles Odle 
assisted by his daughter, Hattie (now Mrs. Reason Alkire). 

The village of Cheneyville was laid out by Jake McFerren 
in 1878. Mr. Tade Layden said that the land was donated by 


the following: Abe Swisher, 2}4, acres; J. L. Starr, 5 acres; and 
John Dunkalbarger, 10 acres. It was named after J. H. Cheney, 
vice-president of the Lake Erie and Western Railroad. At first 
the village was named Cheneyville, but the post office was called 
Cheneysville. Later this was changed to Cheneyville. There is 
only one other Cheneyville in the United States. It is in Louisiana. 

The first station agent was Jessie E. Marvin. His wife, 
Ollie Marvin, told me she remembered well when they came to 
Cheneyville. Their oldest child, Ida (now Mrs. Chad Smith), 
was one year old. They lived in the first house built in Cheney- 
ville. It was built by a man by the name of Youngblood. It 
had three rooms. It was later bought and enlarged by Miles 
Odle before he with his family moved into Cheneyville from the 
farm. This house is still known as the Odle House. Marvins 
built a cottage where John Gregory's house now stands. Mrs. 
Marvin also showed me the original platt of Cheneyville and I 
noticed the town had changed very little. From an old news- 
paper I quote the following: "March 27, 1883. Our general 
operator, J. E. Marvin, felt very well remunerated for his services 
when he found he was over paid $20. But like the honest boy he 
is, he made it all right on the return of the pay car." 

Mr. Ben Guest kept a boarding house which is now the 
parsonage. He also sold tile to the farmers for draining purposes. 

When I interviewed Mr. Ben Guest he laughingly told me 
about Zachariah Fetters, the first blacksmith. His shop stood 
where A. A. Carl's garage now stands. He also had a hotel. 
A. A. Carl's house is part of this hotel. To get to bedrooms a 
ladder was used instead of a stairway. The young men who 
boarded there had good times, but when the pillow fights became 
too noisy, Zachariah Fetters called the noisy ones to come down 
the ladder until the others had gone to sleep. There was no argu- 
ment for they all feared Zachariah's brawny muscles. But they 
liked him I know, for while looking through an old scrap book 
made by Elta Swarner, now Mrs. John Parson, I found this 
little verse: 

There's Zachariah Fetters, 
A man of great renown 
Who runs a little blacksmith shop 
In the northern part of town. 
He also keeps a boarding house 
And his meals are all in style, 
And while he has his troubles 
He greets you with a smile. 

The young men had other good times, too, as I found in an 
old Hoopeston Chronicle; "April 19, 1883. The Cheneyville Band 
consisting of a fife and drum are preparing for the 4th of July." 

Mrs. Reason Alkire (Hattie Odle) said she would never forget 
when her father (Miles Odle) came home one day from the ele- 
vator and said there was going to be a post office in Cheneyville. 
He could now get daily market reports and a daily newspaper. 


He told the children they could go for the mail each day. They 
lived a mile and one half from Cheneyville. 

The first postmaster was John Beaver. The next was J. W. 
Underwood. He lived in the property now owned by Charles 
Reed. The next was John Leach. Mrs. Leach said they moved 
to Cheneyville from Talbot, Indiana in April, 1888. Mr. Leach 
had a drug, paint and hardware store in Cheneyville. Mr. Leach 
was postmaster from 1892 until his death in May, 1923, when 
his wife, Tillie Leach, who had served as assistant to her husband, 
became postmistress. She has served eleven years. Mrs. Leach is 
78 years old and is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, postmistress 
in the United States. The Cheneyville post office is fourth class 
and Mrs. Leach is under civil service, so she will serve indefinitely. 

Besides operating the elevator, Shelba Starr and his brother, 
Leece, owned and kept the first general store. Mr. Flowers bought 
them out. Miles Odle later bought the general store from Mr. 
Flowers and his daughter, Hattie, clerked for him. 

As I read the old newspapers furnished by the Hoopeston 
Library, I found that the old town pump was mentioned quite 
often. It seemed that water was scarce in Cheneyville. "February 
19, 1883. Our town pump is laid out for repairs and our citizens 
are compelled to use rain water." Another time, "The old town 
pump is out of whack again," and still again, "The old town 
pump is taking a rest and a new one has taken its place." 

Perhaps this scarcity of water was why a man by the name 
of John Bridges thought a saloon would be profitable in Cheney- 
ville. His saloon was located where John Prickett's garage now 
stands. He later sold it to two brothers, Joe and Douglas Cooper. 
As they had no license the good people reported them and they 
landed in the Danville jail. 

Some other items of interest are: 

"March 6, 1884. Cheneyville voted at home and don't you 
forget it." Mr. William Cooper said the first election was held 
in the elevator grain office. 

"May 29, 1884. An umbrella repairer, a scissors grinder and 
a jewelry peddler were among our visitors this week." 

I laughed when I read this item, but after talking to some 
of the old settlers I felt ashamed of myself. These peddlers were 
very welcome. They brought the news and gossip from other 
localities, which they related while they were selling their ware. 

A tile factory was operated by Mr. Flowers. It stood where 
John Prickett's house now stands. It didn't last very long ac- 
cording to an old newspaper item. "February 27, 1884. The 
tile factory is defunct. Parties from Bismarck have bought the 
mill and will take it to that place." 

The first child born in Cheneyville belonged to Mr. and 
Mrs. Flowers. 

In 1885 a schoolhouse was built on the same lot where our 
schoolhouse now stands. William Moore dug a well and donated 
the land for school purposes. The objectors were Ziegler and 
Dixon. Of course the Ziegler School was more convenient for 


them. Jessie E. Marvin and James Smiley were two of the first 
directors. Carrie Owen of Hoopeston was the first teacher. This 
schoolhouse burned in 1900. Our present schoolhouse was built 
in 1901. 

Church was held in the schoolhouse but the people of Cheney- 
ville felt they needed a church in their little village. Carrie 
Starr, wife of Shelba Starr, and Mollie Butt, wife of John Butt, 
circulated a subscription paper to raise money to build a church. 
The Christian Church was built in 1891. Mrs. William Gamble 
said that the land was purchased from Mrs. Emma Harris 
(now Mrs. Tomamichael of Chicago) for $50. The first deacons 
were James F. Swarner, Holmes Duffin and George Hoof. There 
were 100 members and most all of them married. The first minister 
was James N. Lester. He helped organize the church. He was 
well acquainted as he had held church services many times at 
the Ziegler School House. Mrs. Tillie Leach and Ina Duley Ogden 
at one time were getting up a Children's Day Program and they 
lacked songs. Mrs. Ina Duley Ogden said they must have some. 
So she wrote some. Later she wrote, "Brighten The Corner 
Where You Are," which has been sung in Sunday Schools all 
over the United States. 

The Odd Fellow Lodge of Cheneyville was organized in 1891. 
William Cooper, W. E. Alkire and David Stevens are the only 
living charter members. They are not living in Cheneyville. 

The first and only doctor in Cheneyville was O. P. Klotz. 
He also had the first automobile in Cheneyville. It was a two- 
cylinder chain drive. Dr. Klotz is not living in Cheneyville. 

I wish I could tell all the interesting things that have been 
told to me and all the news items from the old Hoopeston Chron- 
icle I read. There surely was not a more interesting community 
in Vermilion county. 


B7J Mary Martin, Dist. 2 
Teacher, Rosaline Guingrich 

Hoopeston had its beginning with the building of the two 
railroads which intersect at that point. The LaFayette, Bloom- 
ington and Western (now the Nickel Plate) reached the point 
first in 1871 and in May, 1872, the Chicago, Danville and Vin- 
cennes (now the Chicago and Eastern Illinois) was built to what 
is now Hoopeston. 

Adjacent to the railroads were forty acres of land known as 
"The Lost Forty," because of the difficulty in finding the previous 
owner. It was then owned by Joseph M. Satterwhaite, who with 
Thomas Hoopes, in 1871 laid out a part of this tract and on land 
owned by the latter; the original town of Hoopeston, This con- 
sisted of only lots facing West Main Street and a section facing 
what is now Penn Street. 


At this time land was selling for six dollars or less an acre. 
Mr. Alba Honeywell, an agent for the Hoopes land, had at- 
tempted to buy forty acres at twenty-five dollars an acre, but 
a misunderstanding arose which prevented this. Mr. Honeywell 
then secured an interest in the Thompson land, adjoining the 
above mentioned tracts, and proceeded to survey and plat north 
Hoopeston. Adjoining the tract on the east at about this time, 
William Moore and Noah Brown laid out Moore and Brown's 
addition to the city of Hoopeston. 

Snell, Taylor and Mix of Chicago Railway Construction 
Company bought 1000 acres of land on the west side of the 
Chicago Railway and in November, 1871, laid out the lots and 
called their town, Leeds. Strife broke out between the two rival 
sections of the city, in an effort to name the entire city. Leeds 
scored the first victory in this battle when they obtained the 
Post Office and named it Leeds. 

The first post office was established in 1871, and Mr. Spin- 
ning was appointed postmaster. He held that office until 1878. 

The first store building was built and occupied on lot sixty- 
nine, Main Street, by David Bedell, who stocked it with mer- 
chandise in 1871. This soon was followed by the first hardware 
store of Moore and Brillhart. 

In October, 1871, religious services were first held in Hoopes- 
ton in the store of Mr. McCracken. The Methodist Society was 
organized in 1872 by Reverend Hyde of Rossville and presiding 
Elder, Reverend Preston Wood. The United Presbyterian and 
the First Presbyterian Church were established in May, 1872. 
The Baptist Church was established in 1873. The First Church 
Of Christ was established in 1873 by Elder Rawley Martin and 
12 members. 

In 1874, Hoopeston had a population of one thousand in- 

Some of the early pioneers were: Alba Honeywell; William 
Moore; Dale Wallace; Peter Levin and James A. Cunningham. 

The first newspaper was issued November 11th, 1872, by 
Dale Wallace and Gideon W. Seavey. The paper was called 
"The North Vermilion Chronicle." It was published under this 
name for a year and then changed to "Hoopeston Chronicle." 

Hoopeston was incorporated as a village in 1874 and as a 
city in 1877. 

In the summer of 1880, Stephen McCall, an experienced 
canner from the State of New York, came west to find a place 
where sweet corn would grow sufficiently. A factory known as 
"Illinois Canning Co." was estabhshed. 

Influenced by the success of the canning factory established 
by Mr. McCall, in 1882 J. S. McFerren, A. H. Trego and A. T. 
Catherwood incorporated Hoopeston Canning Company. 

Attracted by the large quantities of tin cans needed by the 
two factories, the Union Can Manufacturing Company was es- 
tablished and later became a branch of the American Can Com- 


The First National Bank was incorporated in 1882 by Mr. 
McFerren, a pioneer who had come to Hoopeston as a settler. 
It was the city's first financial institution. 

In 1905, Mr. Wakeman was granted the privilege to manu- 
facture and furnish the city with illuminating gas. 

Then, the McFerren Park was laid out. 

Mary Hartwell Catherwood Club, Masonic Lodge, Ira Owen 
Kreager Post of American Legion, also Hoopeston Business Men's 
Association, were organized. 

Later, schools, library, stores, churches, and residences were 
added to Hoopeston. 


By Lyle Pricket, District No. 2 
Teacher, Rosaline Gingrich 

J. E. Leach moved from Talbot, Indiana where he had been 
Railroad Station Agent for six years, to Cheneyville, Illinois in 
April, 1888. 

He put a small stock of hardware and drugs in a small 
building at the site of the present Post Office. 

During his residence in Talbot, he had a short telegraph 
line from his house to the Depot, and brought the wire and in- 
struments with him to Cheneyville to connect his store and resi- 
dence. J. E. Marvin was Station Agent at that time, and soon 
decided he would like telegraph instruments at his home and the 
depot. Later other residents of the town and a few farmers caught 
the telegraph fever and there were eight or nine instruments in 
use here. 

There was no Doctor in Cheneyville and no way of getting 
one quickly at night, as the Western Union office at Hoopeston 
did not keep open nights. 

The two banks. First National and Hoopeston National, 
each had a former telegraph operator among their employees as 
did also the two newspapers. The banks offered if the Cheneyville 
people would secure a franchise to run their wires into Hoopeston 
and put a telegraph instrument into each bank, they would de- 
liver calls for Doctors during the daytime and the newspaper 
offices made the same offer for night calls. 

The offers were thankfully accepted, the instruments in- 
stalled, and Cheneyville people were able to get a Doctor with- 
out driving to Hoopeston over muddy roads. That was before 
we had any knowledge of telephones. 

The first telephones we had were installed by J. E. Leach 
to connect his residence with that of John Baker several years 
later. Those phones were not much like the ones we now have. 
We talked through the receivers and did not find it very con- 

A few years later there had been improvements in phones, 
and a telephone system was established in Hoopeston, so it was 


decided to substitute them for our telegraph instruments. Mr. 
Leach made a switch board and connected the hnes. 

Josiah Rusk of Hoopeston, had several farms near Cheney- 
ville, each one occupied by one of his children. He offered to 
pay for phones and wire to connect with Cheneyville. Next, 
J. D. Brown, E. A. Strader, N. E. Ross, and some others bought 
phones and wire to connect their farm with Cheneyville, finally 
extending a line to Rossville. Others followed at intervals of a 
year or more until after awhile a Company was formed and stock 
sold. J. E. Leach was Manager until his death in May, 1923. 
After that the switch board was moved to its present location 
and other arrangements made. 


By George Myers, Dist. 22 
Teacher, Minnie Burt Foster 

As early as 1852 some of the land near the present site of 
Bristle Ridge School was purchased from the government for 
only one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. This land had 
never been cultivated. There was not a tree or shrub upon the 
whole area. Wild game was plentiful. Deer, elk, and wolves 
roamed the district. The only wagon road through these parts 
was the Chicago Road, now known as the Dixie Highway. By 
1862, there was a field here and there enclosed by a hedge or 

Sometime before 1860, a subscription school was started in 
a lean-to of the farmhouse on the farm which is now the McFar- 
land farm. This school house was one-fourth mile north of the 
present site of Bristle Ridge. 

One of the first teachers was Lizzie Brazier, who was a New 
York orphan girl. She could read and write and do a few sums in 

The school benches were made of boards with four or five 
bricks under each end, to hold them up. The furniture was com- 
pleted by a rude home-made desk for the teacher. The walls 
were roughly plastered, not having the finish coat. No grades 
were organized, and the books generally used were McGuffey's 
Reader and Speller. School terms were very short in those days. 
They were only about two to three month terms. 

The school was moved to its second site in about 1862. 
This was about one-fourth mile north of the subscription school 
and on the opposite side of the road. Here it was called the 
Tilton School. The first blackboard in this school was made of 
floor boards nailed over the plaster. This was painted with black 
paint. In writing on these crude boards the writer had to be 
careful to keep the chalk from sliding down a groove between 
the boards. They used dampened woolen rags for erasers. 

One teacher had the plaster coated with paint, making 


blackboards all around the room. This was thought to be a 
modern improvement. 

In this school the benches or desks were not fastened to 
the floor and so could be moved about. The main recreation for 
the community, it seems, was dancing. The desks would be 
pushed up against the wall to make room. Music was usually 
furnished by a violin — better known as the fiddle. 

In about 1884, many disagreements arose over a proposed 
plan of moving the school house one-half mile south to the center 
of the district at the cross roads. People living at the north side 
of the district objected. Many heated arguments commenced 
and grew to hostility. They decided to vote to settle the dis- 
pute. The "Southsiders" had the most votes and so won. The 
election was declared illegal, but the "Northsiders" finally gave 
in and the building was built on the present site. 

One dark night, before much progress was made on the 
building, some boys spiked two twenty-five foot floor sills to- 
gether, and a barrel painted to resemble a beer keg was nailed 
to one end. This was raised to a standing position and then 
stones were piled around its base to make it solid. 

The next morning the country folks came to see the insult 
to civic pride. The keg, high in the air, had written on it, "Beer 
Corner," "Beer will buy votes," etc. No one at that time sus- 
pected the culprits. The insult was torn down but "Beer Corner" 
threatened to be the permanent name of School District No. 22. 

Tradition says that the school got its name from William 
Shively, an early settler, known as "Bill Bristle." He was called 
that because of his shock of black bristly hair. 


Bij Lillian Word, Dist. 25 
Teacher, ViVA Vaught 

Schwartz School was built in 1861 on the farm where Mr 
H. N. Seymour now lives — northeast quarter (14) of section 29 
in township 23 North, range 13 West of 2nd Prime Meridian. 
The school house was 23 feet long and 17 feet wide. The water 
was obtained for the school out of a dug well seventy feet deep. 
It was lined with those big round stones called "Nigger Heads." 
The well has been filled up recently. Some of the early directors 
of Schwartz School in 1862 were James H. Meharry, 0. S. Height, 
and Mr. Rigles. 0. E. Gilbert started teaching school October 16, 
1861. He had seven pupils to teach. He also taught school three 
months for $45. It was then in district No. 1, but in 1875 they 
changed it to district No. 9. April 17, 1875, three women were 
elected directors, but one refused to serve her term. The books 
that they used were Wilson's Reader and Spellers, Ray's Arith- 
metic, Pinnco's Grammar, Electer's Geography and Harper's 
history of the United States of America. 

March 19, 1877, an order was signed to H. Frankeberger 


for $60 for moving the school house where it now stands. The 
school house was moved in 1877 to where it now stands in the 
northeast quarter of section 32. The ground that the school 
house stands on was given to the school for school purposes. As 
long as the school house is left where it is the ground will be for 
the school. But if it is torn down or moved away, it will go back 
to the owner. 

The land was managed by John Campbell. "He was the 
first man to act as land agent in this neighborhood." The people 
that owned the place did not live here at that time. 

Mollie Wright was hired to teach in the new location at 
$30 a month. In 1880 Emma Allen taught for $25 a month. 
She had 54 pupils, and 3 pupils had to sit in each seat. July 1, 
1901, from district No. 9 it was changed to district No. 25. 
January, 1911, the district paid $25 for a stove. The following 
year, January, 1912, a No. One furnace was bought for $117.00. 
Later, after the school house was moved over where it now stands, 
there were 10 feet added on the west end of the school house. 

The reason that the school house was named Schwartz was 
because Mr. Schwartz was the first settler in this neighborhood. 
His son, Mr. Danny Schwartz, was one of the early teachers. 
Some other early teachers were Lorinday McCune, Lodema A. 
Brown, Mary Burch, Lizzie Jones, Mary Anne Jones, and John 
S. Hewins. 

The children used slate and pencil then, and the black- 
board also. 

The subjects that they taught were reading, spelling, arith- 
metic, geography and history. 

The games that the children played were Tom Ball, Ante 
Over, and Blackman. 

At the end of the term of 1934, there were 19 pupils enrolled 
in the Schwartz School. 

The directors now are Mr. Joe Schaeffer, Mr. Clarence 
Eighner, and Mr. H. N. Seymour. (1934) 


Bij Lloyd Smith, Dist. 31 
Teacher, EvA Mansfield 

When Squankum School was first built in 1850, the land 
was open prairie, treeless and fenceless. The first building was 
made of logs with a fireplace. For desks they had benches to 
sit on and do their work. The first building was built a quarter 
of a mile south of where it now stands. It was built on Mr. 
Bloomfield's land. It went by the name of Bloomfield School. 
There were about sixty pupils enrolled when it was first built. 

Church and Sunday School services were held in the school 
house before the building of Prairie Chapel in 1862. 

In 1858 the present school building was built. The old 


school was sold for a granary and the new school house was 
built a quarter of a mile farther north. 

In 1875 Mr. Jimmy Sharp taught one year at Squankum 
school. He received sixty-seven dollars for teaching one term. 
He received twenty-seven dollars for teaching the first two months 
of school. For the last six months of school, he received forty 

Squankum school had a Literary and Debating Club. The 
club had very good debators. John Donning Benedict, one of 
Squankum's best debators, became County Superintendent of 
Schools. The club would meet in the evenings. They would 
hold their Literary meeting first, and then they held their debates. 
They were very important events. 

Squankum is an Indian name. Mr. Sharp said that he was 
told that the school got its name from one of its debators. A 
debator's voice was changing; it was squeaky and squaw ky. 
The people called him "Squawkum," and then changed it to 
"Squankum," which came to be known as the name of the school. 


Bij Mary Mackenzie, Dist. 32 
Principal, Helen Burgess 

This township got its name from Jacob Ross who once 
owned a water mill on East Fork, which was a kind of center 
where the people met on business errands and for an interchange 
of ideas. Thus "Ross's Mill" became the prominent locality in 
the surrounding communities, and when the township was or- 
ganized, Jacob Ross's name was given it. About 1829, Andrew 
Davidson, James Davidson, Joseph and Thomas Gundy, Joseph 
Kerr, Daniel Liggitt, John Bean, John Demorist and Thomas 
McKibbean, his father and family, arrived from Ohio, and took 
locations within the limits of this township. Most of these set- 
tled a little north of Myersville, Liggitt and Bean within the 
present town limits of Rossville, and the McKibbean family 
about 3 miles east of Mann's Chapel, Robert Horr lived near 
where this chapel was afterward built in 1830. John Ray, Abram 
Woods, and a man by the name of Wills, an old bachelor, settled 
southeast of Rossville about 2 miles in 1831. Wills boarded with 
Woods, opened a farm, and for a year or two pretended to be a 
cripple from frozen feet and hobbled around, creating for him- 
self a large amount of sympathy. He had James Newell and 
James Cunningham be his securities for $1500 which he borrowed. 
The way he got out of Vermilion county was a wonder. He 
proved himself to be one of the most limber-jointed and sure- 
footed men of his age. Supposing him to have been murdered 
for his money, which seemed to be confirmed by his horse re- 
turning riderless, and the discovery of the saddle hidden away 
under a log, nearly all of the entire male population of the coun- 
ty turned out and spent about a week in search, dragging the 


mill pounds and "deep holes" in the creeks. He was never dis- 
covered until after the Civil War when a settler found him in 

In 1832, Alvin Gilbert bought out Robert Horr, where he 
made a settlement which was named Henpeck and later changed 
to Rossville. 

In 1834, George and William Bicknell, of Massachusetts, 
settled 2 miles north of this town. Abram Mann, from England, 
settled in 1835 near Mann's Chapel, after whom it received its 
name and who was largely instrumental in its erection. Dr. 
Richard Brickwell come to Rossville in 1836 and practiced medi- 
cine here. Clark Grean, who resided near Mann's Chapel, came 
in 1835, and Albert Comstock came about 1837. Lyman Kings- 
bury, Lewis Thompson, Matthew Bailey, Henry Kite, John 
Windsor, Joel Helmick, and Noah Messic were all in this town- 
ship before 1840. The Methodists had "circuit preaching" as 
early as 1831, and they erected Mann's Chapel in 1858. Rev. 
Enoch Kingsbury organized the first Presbyterian Church at 
Rossville, at the residence of Alvin Gilbert about 1840 and 
preached until about 1869. The first school house was erected 
near Mann's Chapel about 1856, and Mr. Lyman Kingsbury was 
the first school teacher. He was succeeded by Lewis Thompson. 
Samuel Gilbert, the father of Alvin Gilbert, was the first post- 
master and also the first Justice of the Peace. 

This township is principally prairie. It has a sufficient 
amount of timber. In the opinion of the state geologist, coal 
underlies the surface everywhere at a depth of from 150 to 200 
feet. There were plenty of good schools, and three Methodist 
and one Presbyterian Churches in this township in 1875. The 
soil of the township is rich and deep, with good drainage. Here 
is an abundance of stock, water, and many large farms. 

This township was originally called North Fork, and was 
changed to Ross in 1857. 


By Ora Lee Borders, Dist. 32 
Princvpal, Helen Burgess 

In 1824, Colonel Hubbard came west from Montreal to en- 
gage in business for the American Fur Company. He abandoned 
the water route, and by following an Indian trail leading from 
Chicago to Vincennes, Indiana, established what was known as 
Hubbard's Trace. He introduced pack horses instead of boats 
for transportation of goods. This trail passes through Rossville 
and was used mostly by the pioneer settlers. It has been marked 
by a stone monument which now stands in the yard of Mr. 
Harve Brackin. This trail gave place to the old Chicago road 
or the present Dixie Highway. Along the timber that skirts the 
North Fork and its branches, and near the state road, the settle- 
ments were made. Very soon after the organization of Vermilion 


county, the village of Rossville sprang into existence. The 
corporation limits include what was known as Liggitt's Grove 
on the south and Bicknell's Point on the north. The North 
Fork ran through its western border and the beautiful rolling 
lands were unusually attractive. For awhile the place was called 
Bicknell's Point, then it was changed to Henpeck. 

In 1829, John Liggitt came to this vicinity, entered land, 
and lived and died on the place where Mr. Harve Brackin now 
lives. His place was on the Chicago road and was a place for 
the travelers to stop, although he did not call it a hotel. Alvin 
Gilbert had moved from near Mann's Chapel to a farm with- 
in the northern limits of the town, and which is now the home 
of Galyens on Chicago Street. Upon the death of Mr. Liggitt in 
1838 he bought his farm in the southern limits of the town. 

The post office was called North Fork and was established 
near Gilbert's in 1839. Once, the mail, which was brought by 
stage coach from Danville, was delayed for six weeks on account 
of high water. The post master, Mr. Gilbert, called in some men 
to help him sort and distribute the mail which proved to be one 
letter. In 1853. the post office was moved to the village and 
was located in a north room adjoining the home of Joseph Sat- 
terthwait, who was the third post master. He lived on the farm 
he had bought of Mr. Gilbert in the northern limits of town. 
This farm was sold to Dr. Michail T. Livingood in 1866. 

About 1857, Alvin Gilbert and Joseph Satterthwait laid out 
the town of Rossville, and the name of the post office was then 
changed. They named the town after Jacob T. Ross, who owned 
a tract of land from which the timbers for the old mill were cut 
and hewn. He afterward became owner of the mill. For a long 
time it was known as Ross Mill. The original town contained 
two blocks at the crossing of Chicago and Attica roads. The 
two streets were named from this fact. 

In 1872 W. J. Henderson came to Rossville and immediately 
became identified with its business interests, being engaged in 
the mercantile and grain business. He also farmed a large place 
partly within the northern limits of the town, which had been 
the home of James R. Stewart, It was known as the Townsend 
House and had been built in 1847. This house is the home of 
Mrs. Susie Smith. 

The building of the railroad in 1851 and 1855 filled the 
prairies around the groves with hardy settlers. It became evi- 
dent that someone must keep a store at Henpeck; and so, Samuel 
Frazier of Danville put in a stock of goods in 1856, and continued 
in business for four years. In 1857 the two-story frame build- 
ing, which stood on the southeast corner of the crossroads, be- 
fore the fire of 1866, which destroyed all that part of the village, 
was built. The lower floor was used as a storeroom, and the 
upper floor was used by the I. 0. 0. F. and Masonic lodges as a 
lodge room, and also a public hall. Here, for years, church serv- 
ices were held. 

In 1859 Gidern Davis built the south part of the old hotel 


property that stood on the northeast corner of the crossroads. 
It was destroyed by fire in 1910. Alva Cronkite's residence is on 
the spot now. 

In 1872, Garret J. Pendergrast and his brother, Patrick, the 
husband of Mrs. Laura Pendergrast who now fives with Mrs. 
Susie Smith, built all the brick business houses in Rossville at 
that time. They were Deamude's, Henderson's, Putnam's and 

The Putnam and Albright building which was bufit m 1873 
was on the northeast corner of Attica and Chicago Streets. This 
building was replaced by the new bank in 1920. 

In 1875, W. J. Henderson had the brick buildmg built 
where the A. & P. and Bailey's Meat Market are located. The 
lower floor was a storeroom and the upper an opera house or 

public hall. . . 

In 1876, Mr. Deamude had the building adjoining the 
Henderson block on the south. It is now occupied by C. E. Ross. 

The first school house was on the site where Postmaster 
Young now lives. I think Miss Campbell, who was later Mrs. 
Wolvertine, was one of the first teachers. Phillip Reynolds at- 
tended his first school days there. The building was one large 


In 1868, a two-story brick school building was built on the 
east side of North Chicago Street, the place where the present 
Grade Building now stands. In 1874, the building was too small, 
so a two-story addition was built. The land had been given for 
the school by Dr. Livingood, one of Rossville's first physicians. 
In 1879, this building burned and v/as replaced in 1889. In 
1889, it was again burned to the ground. The building we now 
have was built in 1889. In 1898, the need for more room called 
for another building which was built on the eastern part of the 
ground, and which is now used for the High School. 

Rev. Enoch Kingsbury was the pioneer Presbyterian preacher 
in Vermilion county. They had church once or twice every two 
or three months. He preached at Rossville from the time of its 
settlement until he died. When Mr. Gilbert left Danville, he 
carried the devotion of the Presbyterian Church. The Presby- 
terian Church was organized at his house in 1850 by Rev. Kings- 
bury. There were six members who united to form the church. 
Church services were held in Mr. Gilbert's house until the Odd 
Fellows built their hall. The building was neat. This ground was 
given by Mr. Gilbert and cannot be used for any other purpose 
except religion. 

The Methodist Church was built in 1869. It was made of 
brick and was dedicated in July, 1870, by Elder Moody, the 
fighting parson who got his name by praying by night and fight- 
ing by day with the same spirit and faith. This church and the 
Presbyterian have been replaced by modern buildings. 

The Christians built a church which they afterward sold to 
the U. B. people. This building was just north of the beautiful 
church the United Brethren have now. 


The building of the Chicago, Danville and Vincennes rail- 
road boomed Rossville. It ran through the eastern part of the 
town and is called the Chicago and Eastern Illinois. The old 
depot stood at the foot of Gilbert Street for a number of years. 
Then a new brick building was built where the depot now stands. 

In 1873, the first newspaper was published in the town. It 
was a six-column folio which was published once a week. Mr. 
J. H. Moore established the Rossville Observer. John C. Cromer, 
almost immediately after Mr. Moore left in 1876, started the 
Enterprise. For three years he published this paper, then moved 
to Homer. 

In 1879 the Rossville Press was established. It is still pub- 
lished for the town's demand, a home paper and one of the 
best. It is now published by Mr. Reinhardt. 

The land where I live and all west of the Presbyterian 
Church was all fenced in and fixed as feeding pens. At one time 
Mr. Henderson had 1000 hogs in the pens to take to market. 
The trees which have been cut down in this vicinity had many 
nails in them where the early settlers had nailed the pens and 
feed boxes to them. 

The hogs were kept until they were fat enough not to run 
away, but not fat enough to butcher because they could not 
stand the trip to Chicago and elsewhere. 

Turkeys were also driven to market. The turkeys would go 
to roost in the trees at night and the men would have to wait 
until morning so as they could go on their way. 

Here are a few of the hardships of the settlers. Mr. Alvin 
Gilbert with his men were crossing the prairie from Bicknell's 
Point to Sugar Creek with a large drove of hogs. Before the 
storm arrived, the hogs and horses were uneasy. The hogs, at 
last, refused to go farther. They piled themselves up in one heap 
in order to protect themselves from the storm. During the night 
six of them died and the outside ones were so frozen they had to 
be cut loose. 

Mr. Gilbert and his men rode five miles farther. All had 
their fingers, toes and ears frozen and the harness was so frozen 
that they could scarcely be taken from the horses. 

Two men were coming from Chicago during the same storm. 
They tried every way to keep warm but could not, so they 
killed one horse, removed the entrials, rolled his back to the wind 
and put their hands and feet inside while they lay on the warm 
body. Before morning one man was frozen to death. The oiher, 
although badly frozen, rode the other horse to the nearest house 
five miles away. 

There is an odd legend which tells the death of an Indian 
woman, near the Indian settlement north of Barlow Mill. The 
woman had come frcm the place which is now Rossville to visit 
the members of the tribe. She had a little baby with her, and a 
horse in switching flies accidentally kicked and killed the baby. 
It's cries excited the Indians and one struck the woman and 


killed her. He ran away but the Indians found him and said 
they made a real Indian out of him. 

Many, many a hardship and many a trial was endured in 
order to give us our beautiful little city of Rossville. 


By WiLMA Foster, Dist. 32 

In March, 1913, the E. J. E. Railroad Company moved 
their terminal from the intersection of Railroad and McKibben 
Street at the south edge of Rossville to the new terminal, one and 
one-half miles south, near Rossville junction. At that time, there 
were about 135 men employed in all departments who were 
permanently located here, and about 100 men in trains and 
engineers who came into the terminal from Joliet and Gary and 
laid over for a rest period. On account of the terminal being so 
far from town, it was decided to build a building so the men could 
be fed, and a place to sleep. In the spring of 1914, one year 
after the opening of the terminal, the E.J. E. railroad decided to 
build a Y. M. C. A. Three acres of ground was purchased from 
the Thompson real estate and the building was erected thereon, 
at a cost of approximately $40,000. It was opened for business 
in December , 1914. The first secretary was Mr. Harold Stevens 
who was a trained secretary in Y. M. C. A. work, and he served 
in that capacity about two years. During the period from 1914 
to 1931 there was a number of secretaries in charge of the build- 
ing, the last of whom was J. W. White and wife, who served the 
longest in this capacity. 

During the spring of 1931, business fell off and on account 
of so few men using the building and the excess cost of hold- 
ing it open, the Railroad Company decided to close it indefinitely. 
On July 11, 1931, it was closed and all furnishings removed. 

The building was owned by the E. J. E. Railroad Cornpany 
and was operated under the auspices of the Young Men's Christian 
Association, the general secretary being located at Gary where 
the E. J. E. Railroad Company own and operate another Y. M. 
C. A. 


By Bessie Hanson, Dist. 38 
Teacher, Louie Jimerson 

Albright School was named for the Albright family headed 
by Alanson and Samuel, brothers, who came here from Ohio in 
1844 to herd cattle on the eight mile prairie. They both entered 
homesteads in 1852. 

The school house was built in 1858, but burned in 1888. 
Then the present building was built. 


All of the Homesteaders' children went to this school. Among 
them were Albright's, Coon's, Cork's, Haas's, Smith's and 
Chamber's. Two families have sent three generations: Mrs. 
Sue Albright, her daughters, Edna and Jennie Braden, and grand- 
daughters, Margaret and Bonnie Braden; also Mrs. Ella Coon 
Hillard, her daughter, Florence Hillard Reynolds, and the three 
Reynolds children, Helen, Leona and Raymond, who are attend- 
ing the school at the present time. 

Many years ago, Mrs. David Albright taught the school. 
Then her daughter, now Mrs. Orrie Cunningham, taught this 
same school twenty years later. 

Tom Campbell and his sister Lizzie taught the school for 
four years. She taught the time he had to work on the farm. 

One year on account of sickness, we had three different 
teachers, Blanche Borders, Helen Bennett and Boyce Borders. 

As there was but one pupil of school age living in the district 
in 1920, there wasn't any school and this one pupil attended 
Bean Creek School. There are nine children attending school 
this year. 

Some of the teachers besides the ones I have already men- 
tioned were Elmer Moreland, Sherman Littler, Carrier Littler, 
Nellie Stepp, Carrie Foster, Georgia Stepp, Ada Runyon, Etta 
Smith, Sarah Galloway, Celesta Barr, Ira Evans,?and Margaret 
Linfoot Lane. 

Our present teacher, Mrs. Louie Jimerson, has taught here 
eleven years. 


By Geneva Goodwin, Dist. 52 

The early schools of Vermilion county were much different 
than they are now. But the schools we have now are much better 
than they were then. 

The first school built in Vermilion county was in Elmwood 
Township in the year of 1824 and 1825. It was a Log school 
house one mile west of Vermilion Station. Reuden Black, eighteen 
years old, came from Ohio and secured enough subscriptions to 
make it worth while to open a school. John Mills sent four chil- 
dren, Joseph Jackson sent two children, Ezekial Hollingsworth 
sent four children, Henry Canaday sent one, and John Haworth 
sent three; making fourteen in all. They were taught reading, 
writing, spelling, and some were taught arithmetic. 

Few more schools were built until 1827 when one was begun 
at Butler's Point. It was south of the well-known Thonias 
Keeney home. Then, a school was built in Newell Township. 

The schools of 1824 and '25 were made of round logs. The 
floors were covered with sawed puncheons. Their windows were 
made of logs sawed out over which the piece of greased paper 
was put, through which the light had a hard time to come. For 


their desks they used slabs, and they had no seats. A rude fire- 
place at one end reached from one corner to the opposite one. 
In the other end of the room an opening had been made by leav- 
ing out a log, and in this, upright pieces were placed at intervals, 
and on these, oiled paper was pasted to admit the light. Under 
this improvised window, a long board was put up with proper 
pitch, and along it a long bench was put. Here in this "flood of 
light" the children practiced their copies, using a quill pen which 
the teacher made. 

The lessons they had were ''Readin', Ritin', and Rithmetic." 
Later they took up Grammar, History, Geography and Physio- 

The first school house was destroyed by fire. Mr. Henry 
Hunt had collected some two hundred venison hams and stored 
them in Haworth's smokehouse where he was smoking and drying 
them to ship to New Orleans by a flat boat. For a joke (a sorry 
joke it appears) some men attracted the attention of Mr. Hunt 
while others fired the building. The market was gutted with 
venison partially cooked, since the fire was discovered too late 
to save the meat. 

The High Schools of Danville were not legally incorporated 
into the system of schools until 1887. 

The schools now-a-days have stoves or furnaces. The 
windows they now have are much better. We also have a good 
system of ventilation. 


By Robert Gore, Dist. 52 
Teacher, Roberta Lane 

At first there was only Ross Township. The North Fork 
of the Vermilion River runs through the center of it. There are 
the Jordan and Bean Creeks, making Ross a well-watered region. 
Most of the timber is cut off. 

The first people were Gundy's, Green's, Dorison's and 
Mann's. The first man to enter Bicknell's Point was Joseph 
Lockart, about 1874. 

Ross was named after Jacob T. Ross, who owned a tract of 
land and also a timber mill. 

The early people kept close to the timber line and had plenty 
of wild game. Wild deer and prairie chickens were plenty. The 
hogs were kept in the timber till time to market them, then they 
were driven out, and then to market. They were very wild. 

Rossville was on the dividing line of Ross and Grant. The 
village was at a point on the state road from Danville to Chicago. 
The hmits of Rossville were Liggitt's Grove, Bicknell's Point. 
It is eighteen miles from Danville and six from Hoopeston. The 
North Fork runs about 1 mile west of it. It is on rolling land 
and makes the village unusually attractive. 

Another town, Alvan, sprang up from the village of Gilbert. 


Later, it was spelled Alvin by the post office department, but 
it is named in honor of Alvan Gilbert, an early settler. 

Henning was built later due to the putting through of two 
railroads, the I. C. and C. & E. I. branch lines. 

In 1927, due to continual opposition between the towns of 
Henning and Alvin on one side, and Rossville on the other, the 
township was divided. The south half containing Henning and 
Alvin became South Ross, while the northern part remained Ross. 


By Junior Brown, Dist. 58 
Teacher, Freeman McConnell 

In 1882 the Middlefork School, District 58, was built in 
Middlefork Township, near Potomac, Illinois. There was no 
porch in front then, but there were two steps in front of the 

The school house was used as a Baptist Church two years. 
Meetings were held every Sunday with people attending from 
several miles around. The building was small, and people found 
conditions very crowded. They had five oil lamps in the build- 
ing, and two still are in the school house. In the front there was 
one big seat that reached across the room and several smaller 
ones behind it. Mrs. William Nixon, who still resides in the 
district, was Secretary and had one class. Some of the early 
ministers were: Mr. Silas Rayls, Mr. William Dodson, Mr. 
Bucklew, Mr. Finer, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Snyder, and Mr. Beedles. 

This school was formerly spoken of as "Hawbuck" and still 
is referred to by that name. During early years of the school's 
existence, the enrollment was quite large, but attendance was 
irregular because the older boys would stay out to help at home 
during corn husking time and when the spring work began. 

Two of the early teachers were Shelby Starr (1899-1900) 
and Charles Wyman (1900-1901). The school board in 1899-1900 
was as follows: Mr. M. W. Haskett, Mr. William Simpson, and 
C. B. Alexander. Mr. Alexander was clerk. The scholars enrolled 
in 1899 were: Algie, Harley, Jess, NelHe, Flora, Sam, Homer, 
and Lemuel Alexander; Grace, Everett, and Harrison Chapman; 
Blanche and Clifford Simpson; Anna and Mattie Haskett; Dora, 
Nellie, and Ethel Wallace; and Jess, John, Gertie, Edna, and 
David Nixon. 

The school board of today consists of Jess Alexander, Wil 
Ham Nixon, and Bert Perry. A porch has been added to the 
school since its early days and a good ventilating system ; a garage 
has been built adjacent to the coal house and cob house. The 
present teacher is Freeman McConnell, and thirteen pupils at- 
tend the school. 

Middlefork School, or "Hawbuck," though small and un- 
pretentious in its picturesque setting on a hill among the woods, 
still holds a warm place in the hearts of many. 

[41 ] 


By Thelma Elliot, Dist. 67 
Teacher, Daisy Tillotson 

The first schoolhouse was built on the east side of the road. 
It was called the Stipp schoolhouse because it was on Stipp's 
land. It was later moved to the west side of the road, but closer 
to the south fence than the one standing now. 

In this schoolhouse there were long seats, and a hand-made 
recitation bench with no back. Sometimes the pupils would often 
take a tumble. It burned January 3rd, 1882, because of bad 
flue. Alford Holoway was teaching then. He wore his boots to 
school because of muddy roads, and then put on his shoes. His 
boots burned in the schoolhouse. 

It was later named the Central school because it was in the 
central part of the congressional district. 
Some who attended this school are: 

Billy Wyman Riley Hoskins 

Billy Baber Linda Fairchild 

Christopher Baber Pheba Fairchild 

Malissa Baber Nellie Fairchild 

David Clem Ed Fairchild 

George Albert Emely Cosatt 

Maggie Albert Martin Cosatt 

Alice Albert Dora Cosatt 

Theodore Stipp Julie Cosatt 

Union Stipp Nellie Cosatt 

Annie Stipp Don Stipp 

Rell Stipp Sarn Stipp 

Sarah Hoskins , Lillie Wyman 

Harriet Hoskins Austin Wyman 

Some who attended and are living near the schoolhouse now 
are: Riley Hoskins, Austin Wyman, Julie Cosatt, Emely Cosatt 
and Dora Cosatt. 

They held Church in the old schoolhouse before it burned. 
The preacher was Rev. Stipp. 


By Howard Leland Smith, Dist. 73 
Teacher, Kenneth Wilson 

In the year of 1869 when the Chicago, Evansville and Terre 
Haute (now the C. «& E. I.) railroad was running full force, there 
was a cut off on the railroad. It ran from Bismarck southeast to 
Covington, then south to what is now Stringtown, Indiana, and 
north to a coal mine along Coke Creek. Here coal was loaded 
into the little cars, which were about ten feet long and four feet 
wide. The coal was hauled to Bismarck and put on the Chicago, 
Evansville and Terre Haute railway and hauled on to Chicago. 

When the railroad was being built, my Grandmother lived 


one-fourth mile east of where the Price school house now stands. 
At the time the railroad was being built, Grandmother's folks 
kept eight of the men. The men were Swedes. Grandmother 
said the Swedes had wooden spoons for their silverware. One 
night Grandmother's folks had rice for supper. The folks passed 
the rice to the Swedes, but they did not want any, so they passed 
it on. Grandmother took some rice and put sugar on it. The 
Swedes wanted to do like the rest. One of them had an onion 
and a potato on his plate, so he covered it with sugar because 
he thought Grandmother did this. But he got fooled. 

On Saturday afternoons and on Sundays, other men who were 
boarding in the neighborhood came to my Grandmother's home, 
and waltzed in the yard to music made by an accordion which 
one of the men played. Sunday morning, they held religious 
services in their rooms upstairs in Grandmother's home. 

My Grandmother, who was at that time just a little girl, 
now lives in Bismarck, Illinois. It is very interesting to hear 
her tell of this old railroad. 

The old road bed can still be traced clear across the country. 
A deep cut, which is near the school house of District 73, furnishes 
a skating place for the school children during the winter months. 


Bij IRMA Bloomer, Dist. 88 
Teacher, DoRis Howell 

Sandbar school, district 88, was built in about 1865. It was 
named Sandbar because it had a roof of sand and tar. It was 
about the only schoolhouse in the country. Children for several 
miles around came there for a few months in the winter. They 
walked through the cold. 

After several years the first schoolhouse was torn down. 
Another was built in its place. This one stands where ours does 
now. It faced the east and had a large porch on that side. Some 
of the most common residents were the Scott, Kirkpatrick, Rice, 
Vinson, and the Ludwig families. Of these, Kirkpatricks, Vinsons 
and Ludwigs still live near here. 

They would have old fashioned spelling matches at the 
schoolhouse. Many people would come there to the spelling 
matches. They would have literary debates. They would debate 
with other schools such as No. 9 (Fowler School) and among 
themselves. The young men liked these debates very well. 

The old school building was torn down in the eighteen 
nineties. It was again rebuilt. The schoolhouse built then still stands, 
although the country around it is changed. It stands about one- 
half mile east of where the old town of Charity stood, on Charity 



By Curtis Montgomery, Dist. 90 
Teacher, Maude Juvinall 

One mile and a quarter south of Red Oak School, where I 
now attend, is one of the early landmarks in the eastern part 
of Pilot Township. 

This corner has been known as the Sidney Route Corner 
for over a half a century. 

The old house on this corner was built about eighty years 
ago. The frame was built of walnut timber hewed and cut to 
the proper size with an adz. It was put together with wooden 
pins and braces of the same material, and even the weather- 
boarding was made of walnut also. 

Mrs. Sarah Rout, pioneer settler of this part of Pilot town- 
ship from whom the corner was named, came to Vermilion county 
when she was about ten years old with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. 
Zacharia Connell. 

About 58 years ago, Mr. Rout left with a neighbor m a 
covered wagon to go to Kansas to take up claims. Mr. Rout 
owned the team and wagon that they took. He also had two 
hundred dollars in cash with him. He left his wife and two baby 
daughters, intending to stake a claim in Kansas and return for 

l^fipin 1/^I^PT* 

Months after months passed and Mrs. Rout failed to hear 
from him. Finally the man with whom he had gone came back 
telling Mrs. Rout many stories which later proved untrue. For, 
not long after his return, authorities in Kansas sent part of the 
clothing from the body of an unknown murdered man. Mrs. 
Rout identified the clothing from the patches she had put on 
it, and from the wrist bands that she had knitted. 

People became suspicious, and finally the man that had gone 
with Mr. Rout was arrested for his murder. On the way to 
town with the officers, he took his own life by taking poison. 

Mrs. Rout lived on in this house until her daughters were 
married. Her struggles living alone and keeping the place were 
known for miles around. 

During all these years the corner on which her house stood 
was known as the Sydney Route Corner. 


By John Chesnut, Dist. 90 
Teacher, Maude Juvinall 

Years ago. Red Oak School was known as the Brush School. 
This school house stood across the road and south about a mile 
from the present site. 

The Brush School was typical old-fashioned school building, 
with benches which were made by boring holes in the floor, stakes 
were driven into the holes, and planks were fastened to the stakes. 


A wide shelf built around the sides of the room held books, papers, 
slates, etc. A fireplace furnished the heat. 

This school was built in 1852, and the first teacher was 
Miss Cooper. There were between 50 and 65 pupils attending 
all the time. 

In 1884 a new school house was built where the present 
school building stands. 

This new school was named Red Oak because of the numerous 
red oak trees growing near. A few of the teachers during this 
time were as follows: J. C. Trout, Lester D. Harrison, Mabel 
Bailey, Willie Steinbough, Sam Richardson and J. F. Dodson, 

In December, 1914, while Mr. J. F. Dodson was teaching, 
the building caught fire from a defective chimney and burned. 

A new building was built by Brown Bros, of Bismarck as 
soon as possible. 

This is the present building of Red Oak School, District 
No. 90, where I have attended school for the past eight years. 


By Jimmy Drollinger, Dist. 101 
Teacher, B. C. Beck 

Before Danville had a High School they had two Seminaries, 
one located where Washington School is now, and the other on 
the corner of Vermilion and Seminary. 

Then after a few years, the first High School was started 
in the space above Yeoman Shedd's Hardware on Main Street, 
in 1869. 

After two years the High School was moved to the third 
floor of Washington school. 

In 1872 the school used but four teachers and the principal 
of Washington. Before 1890 they had only six teachers. 

The High School was not legal till after the people had a 
special election in 1880. After the election, the school expenses 
were paid by taxes. 

The school library at this time had obtained about 1000 
books, and when they moved into the new building they had no 
library and the books were partly lost. 

When the new school was entered in 1890, athletics were 
not neglected. The first football team was organized in 1890, 
and the first game was played at Terre Haute. Baseball and 
cross country was also a part of the activity. 

In 1895 Adarian and Athenaeum literane societies were 
organized which gave other students active work. 

When the new school was rebuilt in 1899 more room was 
added to the Washington school. Then in 1921 the annex was 
built to the Washington building. The demand for High school 
education by the boys and girls became so great that the old 
building was not large enough to accommodate the demand. A 
new building was completed in 1924. 


In 1890 there were six teachers, and in 1910 there were 14. 
In 1920 there were 30, then in the present High School there 
are 69 teachers and 1700 students enrolled. 


By Annabelle Johnson, Dist. 100 
Teacher, Margaret Beck 

According to an old-time resident and one-time pupil of Burr 
Oak School, the first school building was and still is located 
about one-half mile north of the present site. 

Later this building proved to be too small for the number 
of pupils, so another building was built on the present school 
grounds. For several years, the first school building was used as 
a residence. However, it has been vacant in recent years. 

The second building was also a wood building. It too was 
small but larger then the first one. It was later enlarged. At 
this time the district was called District No. 3. Even then there 
were too many pupils for the size of the building. They divided 
the southern part of the District into another school District. 
The number of the District was changed from District 3 to 
District 100. The new District was called District 101. This 
new school was called Liberty School. It is located on the S 
curve of the Dixie Highway about one-half mile south of the 
Poland Road. 

This last year, the Liberty school building was enlarged, hav- 
ing at present a larger enrollment than Burr Oak. It now is 
brick and has two rooms. It is all modern. 

In this second Burr Oak school the ages ranged from 6 to 18. 

In some of the remarks of the teachers, they said that the 
pupils didn't all have the same kind of books. Others mentioned 
that the directors didn't visit School very often to see if school 
was being kept. This implies that teachers might not show up 
at school at all times. 

In 1918, a modern brick building was erected on the same 
site as the second building. The second building was moved 
across the road. This third school had more modern equipment 
than the other two. 

Some of the first pupils that have sent children to the same 
school and still remain in the district are: Mae Campbell, Lloyd 
Olmstead, Ruth Blair, Clara Scieter, Orville Prather and Pauline 


By Forrest Sloan, Dist. 101 
Teacher, B. C. Beck 

In 1886 Liberty School District belonged to Burr Oak. 
But the people thought that they should have a school district 
of their own. So in 1886, W. Story and W. Bowman, who was 


then Justice of Peace, went out at night with a lantern to get 
the people to sign a petition that they would have a school dis- 
trict of their own. After they had everyone's name on the peti- 
tion they filed it. 

After the petition was filed, Mr. Bowman offered a site for 
the school which is now the Belle property. Mr. Story offered 
the original site. They then called a meeting and voted on which 
site they wished to choose. The Story site was chosen by the 
most votes. 

In 1887 they started to build the school. It was built where 
the Chicago Trail and the Salt Works to Lafayette Trail crossed. 

After the school was built, they could not decide what they 
were going to name the school. After several names had been 
suggested they decided to call the new school, Liberty. They 
wanted to call it this because it had received its liberty from 
Burr Oak District. They then called it Liberty and it still bears 
that name. 

About three-quarters of a mile south on the Hubbard Trail 
from where the school was being erected, there was a village 
which was known as String Town. The closest school at that 
time was the old Tincher Town School. The people now had a 
new school to send their children to where they would not have 
so far to go. 

The Liberty School District then extended as far south as 
the Willow Tree on the Kimbrow property, east to the C. & E. I. 
railroad, north to the Boiling Spring Road, west to the North 
Fork River. The children coming from the west to school had 
to cross the river on a little foot bridge. 

There are three very interesting land marks in the Liberty 
School District. One is a Hitching Barn owned by Mr. Meyers. 
It was located north of where Hegeler's Barn is now located. 
Mr. Meyers charged the people twenty-five cents to leave their 
horses and wagons in his care while they went to the city to 
shop. They would leave their horse and wagons in his care be- 
cause they were afraid that the horse would become afraid of the 
street cars and run away with them. 

The second land mark was the Pinkeshaw Indians' camp, 
which was located west of the school on the property now owned 
by Mr. Jake Miller. The Indians had a camp here because there 
was an abundance of water coming from a spring for their horses. 
The land was very fertile for them to grow their crops. The white 
settlers also stopped on the Miller property to water and feed 
their live stock. This stop was on the Chicago Trail which went 
north to Chicago. The settlers sometimes camped here many 
weeks and months. Here the settlers had a burial ground. Many 
skeletons have been dug up by Mr. Miller in his gravel pit. 
Each time he reburies the skeletons. The Indians also had a 
grave yard on the Miller property. Many of their belongings 
have been found including arrows, a tomahawk and a war club. 

The first teacher that taught at Liberty School was Miss 
Ada Cunningham. There have been sixteen teachers who have 


taught at Liberty School. Mr. Charles Keesler, who is now 
Secretary of the School Board, taught at Liberty School forty- 
two years ago. 

One of the amusements they had m those days was the 
forming of Debating Societies. These Societies would go to 
different schools to debate. The Liberty School Debating Society 
won many honors. These Societies were made up of the students 
and people of the community. They also had the old-fashioned 
spelling bee contests. They would meet two or three times a 
year and have the contests. Other times they would go to a 
different school to have the contests. 

There have been three buildings built on the original site. 
The third building was built in 1933. It has two rooms. The 
teachers are Mr. B. C. Beck and Miss Alta Tyler. The Liberty 
School today is considered one of the most beautiful and modern 
schools of Vermilion County. 


By Leone Liggett, Dist. 107 
Teacher, Maxine Payne 

In May, 1908 the graduation of the eighth grade pupils of 
Newtown School was held in the Newtown M.E. Church. This 
school is a little white school building situated a few miles north 
of Oakwood and almost in the noted old village of Newtown, 
which I think everyone has heard of, for though very small, it 
is over a century old. 

In these days many schools did not have graduating exer- 
cises, but this teacher, having a large class and being very good, 
arranged for her pupils to graduate. 

The seven members of the class were: Bertha Joiner, Nellie 
Burton, Marie Clem, Julia Corbin, Birdie Osborne, Nellie Graham 
and Glen Doney. 

Special music was furnished by the Muncie orchestra. 

During the exercises the graduates presented their teacher 
with a gold locket and chain to remember them by. 

After the diplomas were distributed and the exercises were 
over, the class adjourned to the teacher's home where delicious 
refreshments were served. They were entertained here also by 
the orchestra. The teacher, Miss Bertha Michaels, was enter- 
taining her pupils for the last time. 


By Vivian Frederickson, Dist. 116 
Teacher, Zola Dye 

The mill at Barlow Park is the oldest mill in Vermilion 
county. It is located on the North Fork River west of Alvin. 

It is a two-story mill and was first built in 1832 by Mr. 
Clawson, as a saw mill. Later it was turned into a grist mill. 


It was first run by a time wheel and later by the old water wheel. 
It is over 100 years old and the only water power mill left in 
this part of the country still in use. Farmers still take their 
corn there to be ground and some of this is sold to local and 
Danville stores. This mill was used to grind flour, corn meal and 
buckwheat flour. 

The burrs used in it came from France, and were brought 
down the Wabash River to Attica, Indiana, and hence over land. 
These burrs are still used. 

Around this mill has been placed a park with cabins along 
the river. This land is now owned by the Barlow Estate, and 
some of the family still live in the home by the mill. 

This mill with the water wheel turning and the trees around 
it in their hues of autumn would make a beautiful picture. 


By Mary Foley, Dist. 122 
Teacher, Jessie Gossett 

Nearly fifty-five years ago, about 1878, the Pleasant Grove 
Hall was built. It was at a funeral in the cemetery nearby that 
the people first got the idea of building it. 

A burial was in progress when rain started to fall. When 
the people tried to get inside the old Baptist church that is still 
standing, they found all the doors locked. After investigating 
they found one window unlocked. A man from the crowd then 
opened the window, climbed in and opened the door for the rest. 

This made the Baptist people of the crowd angry, and the 
others decided to build what is now the Pleasant Grove Hall. 

Before this, people had held their meetings in the Pleasant 
Grove School close by, but now that the Hall was built they held 
them there. Gradually its members decreased in number, some 
joining the churches at Oakwood, south of it, and others joined 
the one at Newtown, north of it. Now it has few members left. 

The Hall is a public one and stands open to every kind of 
meeting except dances. 

I obtained the material for this story from Mr. George P. 
Vinson, north of Oakwood. 


By Marion R. Van Allen, Dist. 122 
Teacher, Jessie Gossett 

Little would one guess that the small, sparsely settled district 
commonly referred to as Glenburn was once a flourishing village. 
The region first came into existence as a milling town. A large 
grist mill, owned by John Swift, was operated by power. Then 
Samual Swisher opened a mine near Glenburn. The air com- 
pressor was run by steam. Later, the mine was purchased by 


C. M. Swallow, who also was the proprietor of a creamery nearby. 

An amusing story is linked with the buttermilk well in which 
buttermilk was kept. An ordinary pump was placed above the 
well, and it was a tired stranger who stopped to quench his 
thirst with the supposedly cool and tempting water. Imagine 
his surprise and chagrin when a gushing stream of buttermilk 
came forth! 

In the meantime, Glenburn had grown in size and popula- 
tion that extended east of the rock cut, a passage cut through 
solid stone through which passed a railroad to the mine. There 
were in all one hundred twenty-three houses within its limits. 
The post office was owned and managed by R. M. Rogers. The 
St. James Hotel, a two-story building owned by the coal com- 
pany, was located just across the road from the post office. 

An unsuccessful attempt was made in drilling for oil, but 
salt water was discovered, and salt wells were sunk in 1911. 
There are many streams nearby, also an artesian well, probably 
supplied by the underground stream supposed to run between 
Danville and Potomac. 

In 1898 a flood occurred, during which three houses were 
washed away. A cyclone about thirty-three years ago did con- 
siderable damage. 

O. M. Van Allen runs the only business establishment in 
Glenburn now. A few houses remain, but the mine has long 
ceased operation. Only a mere skeleton of its former self, Glen- 
burn stands a monument of its former prosperity. 


By Maudeane DeMoss, Dist. 132 
Principal, C. F. Huddelson 

C. M. Swallow started what is known as Glenburn in 1885. 
Mr. Swallow named the village Glenburn from a small town in 

Mr. Swallow first started a creamery, but as this was not 
a paying proposition, Mr. Swallow converted it into a feed mill. 
While Mr. Swallow was still in mill business he bought and 
operated a coal mine which employed several men. Both C. & 
E. I. and Big Four railroads had tracks leading to the mine. 
This was a successful mine until the tipple burned down in 1896. 
Mr. Swallow later moved to Mississippi and died there. 

Mr. 0. M. Van Allen carries on Mr. Swallow's work, having 
a general store patronized by neighbors. The rural route has 
also dispensed with the post office. 

The scenery around Glenburn is very grand. The stone cut 
is a very picturesque place. Also there are flowing springs which 
are very unique, one furnishing salt water and another pure, 
fresh spring water. 

There are two churches very close to Glenburn, also the 
old hall known as Pleasant Grove Hall, which is located on a 


beautiful spot. In the yard of the cemetery is what is known as 
the old Primitive Baptist Church. Later, a stucco church was 
built below the hill. 

There is also a little red schoolhouse near Glenburn con- 
taining one room and an ante-room. This schoolhouse has been 
attended by quite a few pupils in the past; however, there are 
only a few pupils attending there now. There is only one teacher 
teaching there. 

Glenburn is situated between the villages of Newtown and 
Oakwood. Glenburn and Newtown are not quite as large as the 
village of Oakwood. 


By Dorothea Arthelene Lomax, Dist. 122 

Mr. C. M. Swallow started this mine about 1885. His son» 
Howard Swallow, is now living in Danville. It was located about 
three miles northeast of Oakwood. 

Mr. Swallow intended to make a local mine and sell coal to 
the farmers, who would haul it with teams for miles, even as 
far as Armstrong and Potomac. 

The coal was hoisted with a gin. This is a drum with a 
long sweep and a horse hitched to the end of the sweep, pulling 
it round and round. 

The coal was dumped in large sheds where thousands of 
tons were stored, then sold to the farmers in the fall. The coal 
was shot or blasted out, dug by the miners and loaded in small 
cars drawn by mules. 

Mr. Swallow later converted it into a railroad mine. He 
had a track laid to his mine by means of a switch connecting 
with the Big Four at Oakwood. In order to do this they had to 
cut a road for the track through solid rock for a distance of about 
one hundred feet and to a height of about thirty-five feet. He 
shipped coal to markets for a short period. 

Finally they had a disagreement with the Big Four, dis- 
connected the switch and connected with the C. & E. I. at 
Brothers Station, a distance of five miles from the mine. 

During a keen competition in the 90's, Mr. Swallow was 
furnishing the Illinois Steel Mill in Chicago its coal. In 1898, 
he put in his bid to the Steel Company at fifty-three cents a 
ton and the Mike Kelly Coal Company bid fifty-one cents and 
got the contract. 

Soon afterward, Mr. Swallow abandoned the mine, took up 
the tracks and quit business. If he had continued for two months 
longer, coal would have been a better price, as it went up to 
two dollars a ton. 

Most of the miners lived in the houses built by Mr. Swallow. 
Many of them were near the mine. Nothing much remains now 
of the mine. One would hardly think such a large and flourishing 
mine ever existed there. 



By Lois Marjorie Langley, Dist. 140 
Teacher, Pauline Meade 

Over one hundred years ago, there was a schoolhouse in the 
woods about one-half mile east of the present school. A log 
schoolhouse was built in 1848 on the present lot. It had a clap- 
board roof. In 1865, a one-room schoolhouse was built just south 
of the present one. Church and Sunday school were held in 
this building. 

The name of the school was Union. About 1890, the en- 
rollment being eighty-two, another room was built on the east 
side with double doors between the two rooms. Daniel Stipp 
was the first principal, and Miss Leona Langley the first primary 

In 1891, a church was built across the road. As there was 
a church by the name of Union between here and Danville on 
the Rileysburg road, the new church was named Union Corner, 
and the name of the school was changed to Union Corner. 

In 1911, the building was sold. The west room is now used 
as a barn on the Peare Dye farm, and the east room stands 
across the road from Butternut School. Mr. Joiner of Newtown 
and Miss Lida Fairchild of near Snider were the last teachers. 

The present school was built in the summer of 1911. Mrs. 
Minnie Kemma Martin and Miss Lida Fairchild were the first 
teachers. The directors at that time were J. M. Kerby, W. W. 
Raine, and J. A. Jones. 

Some of the pupils who became teachers are Frank Hauser, 
Charles Evans, Oscar Wilcoxen, Tilman Breezley, the Misses 
Sadie Houser, Margaret Laura, Nora and Leona Langley, Min- 
nia and Alice Kemma, Matilda Breezley, Claudia Ashcraft, 
Edith Lindley and Emelyn Martin, 

Some of the other teachers were Rev. Mathix Coleman, 
William Neal, J. F. Geddles, Augusta Atherton, Mr. Campbell, 
Arthur Allison, Minnie Kiyger, Gertrude Lyman, Alice Rigdon, 
Ida Hay, Northcatt Thomas, Wilber Swem, Bessie Swank, Elsie 
Elder Breezely, Joseph Sailor, Sam Richardson, J. D. Dove, 
Mr. Robert Henry Brown, Alice Dukes, Helen Wait, Mr. Myers, 
John Shank. 

The present teachers are Miss Pauline Meade and Miss 
Emelyn Martin. 


By Frances Ellen Rohour, Dist. 144 
Teacher, Dorothy Gilkison 

One hundred and twenty-eight years ago, the first prairie 
land in what is now Vermilion county was cleared and planted. 
This work was done by a pioneer farmer, James D. Butler, 
native of Vermont. He came here in 1820. 


In the fall of 1822, James Butler's oldest daughter died 
and she was buried at God's Acre, the first cemetery in the 

The land then passed into the hands of Josiah and Elizabeth 
Sandusky. On August 6, 1850, they deeded it to the Vermilion 
County Board of Supervisors. This was not recorded, however, 
until November 24, 1855. It is now owned by Mr. C. W. Wherry 
of Cathn. 

After a time, the old cemetery was forgotten and became 
a tangle of weeds and vines. Tombstones were overturned and 
some were broken by livestock. 

During the year of 1926, when Vermilion county was cele- 
brating her centennial, the cemetery was repaired. Mr. Frank 
Carrigan, Walter Dysert and W. F. Baum were responsible for 
much of this work. After the work was finished, services were 
held and a public road built to the cemetery. 

Tombstones have been ordered for these old graves such as: 
Lura Guyman; Major John W. Vance and his wife; Asa Elliot 
and his wife; Noah Guyman; and several others. 


By Margaret Petrus, Dist. No. 154 
Teacher, Donald J. Williams 

The first settlers named the present town of Westville, 
Brook's Point, after John Brooks, the second white baby born 
here. James O'Neil was the first baby born. 

When the first settlers came here there were many Indian 
tribes, the chief one being the Kickapoo Indians. These Indians 
sometimes went on the warpath and to keep them in good humor 
the settlers used to give them little things. One day one of the 
early pioneer women had baked some fresh bread and placed it 
on the side board. Some had raisins and some was plain. One 
of the numerous tribes soon came, and the chief said he wanted 
some bread. She asked which kind he wanted. He replied, "The 
one with the flies in it." This shows that the Indians knew very 
little about the white man's ways. 

The early settlers found only mud roads and the Dixie 
highway was no exception to the rule. Where the C. & E. I. 
tracks are now was once a large stream crossed by a log bridge. 

Where the square is now was then called Scott's Corners. 
Here the girls and boys ran races. Scott's Corners was named 
after a man named Scott, who came from Ohio in a home made 
wagon pulled by an ox team. Scott built the first building. It 
was on the southwest corner of the square. This was a long, low 
rambling structure with a large veranda. The house was a frame 

On the northwest corner of the square was a blacksmith 
shop. It was run by a negro named Wright. On the southeast 
corner was another long rambling frame building built by Harry 
Cotton. On the northeast corner was a large pair of scales set 


up by a man named Dukes. These were called Dukes' Scales. 
The farmers weighed hogs before hauling them to Chicago or 

Other early settlers were the Brooks, O'Neil, Dukes, Scott, 
Graves, Sconce, Blakney, Ellsworth, Black, and Stevens families. 

Isaac Taber was the first man to build a home east of West- 
ville. James Ashbey was the first home maker south of Westville. 
West of Westville, William Stevens built the first home. The 
first home in North Westville was built by George Watson about 
51 years ago. This building still stands today. It is west of the 
Central school. 

Some of the early settlers started the early stores and places 
of business. Where the C. & E. I. depot is now, a brick and tile 
factory was run by John Dukes. Elliot Wade had a shoe cobbling 
shop near the Big Four depot. Mike Kelley ran a Company store 
on the southeast corner of the Kellyville Square. This was the 
first store in that vicinity. Some of the other early storekeepers 
were Scott, Rabern, John Lockes, Jim Scottin, and George 

The first mine. No. 1, was sunk 60 years ago, the second. 
No. 2, around 50 years ago, and 40 years past. No. 3. About 
1889 there was a mine strike. The State Militia was called out. 
In the fighting Mrs. Glennan and a daughter of Jack James 
were killed accidentally by the militia. This strike occurred in 
Grape Creek. 

Around 60 years ago, the Big Four Railroad came to West- 
ville, and nearly 8 years later the C. & E. I. was put in. More 
recently — 35 years ago — the street cars came. 

The earliest Doctor was Dr. Balch, followed by his son, 
Samuel Balch. Then came Dr. Taylor and Dr. Hickman. 

Nearly forty five years ago, the first saloon came. It was 
combined with the first hotel. Mrs. Haggardy ran this saloon. 
Soon Riggles, Tuvuada, Highnol, Warnakey, Minnecoes, and 
Boswell came. In Kellyville came Raye and Moyer. These are 
only a few because there were nearly 67 saloons in Westville. 

The first school was a log cabin east of Westville. John 
Myers was the teacher. In this schoolhouse, Rawley Martin 
preached many sermons. The second school, a brick building, 
was built in 1870. Billy Brinkley was the first teacher, followed 
by Eva Wells. The first school in town was a building rented 
from Isaac Taber. Neb Hartley was the teacher. Where Central 
school now stands was a frame school taught by Charley Morlin. 
John Olmstead was the second teacher. 

Some of the early churches. The Christian was where the 
frame building in Edison school yard. This was built in 1874. 
In 1875, a Presbyterian Church was built where the St. Procopius 
church is now. 

The old Lodges were the Temperence — a lodge for young 
people, and the Odd Fellows for men. 

This story was given through the courtesy of Mrs. Neis of 
South Westville. 



By Marguerite Reffett, Dist. 157 
Teacher, Merle Houston 

A school, among the first things of real importance in the 
early settlements, always has been given about first considera- 
tion. Many have interesting and unique histories in the beginning. 

After many conferences and a careful survey of the general 
situation, a location for a schoolhouse was finally decided upon 
in the valley, a place rather ideal, having plenty of good water, 
shade and play grounds. 

A small tract of land was purchased from Lewis Stevens and 
the school grounds cut off from the Stevens estate. The school- 
house was erected in the summer of 1877. A man by the name 
of Bishop built it by contract. 

A big willow tree, at the time and for many years after, 
stood near the present home of Erie Huffman, and there was a 
very fine spring of water near the tree. After many ideas were 
advanced, it was finally decided to name the place "Willow 
Springs," in honor of the big willow tree and a number of fine 
springs in the vicinity. The school got drinking water at the 
spring for many years. 

A school district was marked out and it was known for a 
number of years as No. 10. After several years, the districts were 
renumbered and district No. 10 given No. 157. 

W. J. Boone, Hugh Blakeney and Uriah McArdle were the 
first school directors, elected in district No. 10. They were re- 
elected from time to time, and served in that capacity for many 
years, as the School Board. David Smith taught the first term 
of school and gave general satisfaction. Some of the pupils that 
went the first year were— Mary Boone, Lily Trosper, Janey 
Bishop, Dill Bishop, Sarah Ellen Shoman, Nancy Reffett, Lettie 
Reflfett, Haile Bishop, Lisa Trosper, Hattie Galbreth, Mollie 
Galbreth, Clara Boone, Cora Boone, Mary Bishop, Nancy Ellen 
Stevens, Elva Nier, Ed Trosper, Jeneral Trosper, Joe Snyder, Bob 
Snyder, Lee Stevens, Harve Blakney, and Frank Collins. The 
schoolhouse for about twenty-five years was used for various 
educational purposes, the headquarters and meeting place for 
the community, and a civic center. 

The house served for school, church, elections, literary meet- 
ings, spelling bees, shows, exhibitions, Christmas programs, box 
socials, ice cream festivals, political and temperance meetings. 
It was a public place for all. 

Many terms of school have been taught there, and they 
have always graded fairly well in efficiency. 

John H. Martin, a resident preacher, conducted many stir- 
ring revival meetings in the original edifice. 

Several National Elections were held there, one in Fall of 
1888 a very memorable event. A number of old-time literaries 
have been organized there. Various questions were argued at 
length, and many hot debates have been staged. 


Occasionally, a magic lantern show of the old-time pattern 
would drop in. They were very wonderful a few years ago, and 
always showed to a full house. Many good exhibitions of home 
talent have been staged in the old schoolhouse. A number of 
Christmas celebrations have taken place there with a big Christ- 
mas tree and program. Box socials and ice cream festivals were 
always well attended. Several political and temperance meetings, 
of varied significance however, have been held there. Some 
celebrated orators of the day made speeches, all usually very 

After a time, population increased and it became necessary 
to build an addition to the old schoolhouse. Two rooms were 
needed and two teachers. In due time, two rooms were provided 
and two teachers employed. The whole structure, old and new, 
was overhauled in the summer of 1931. The building was placed 
on a good concrete foundation, cleaned up and re-painted. The 
grounds were given a good going over, and the trees trimmed. 
It all helped wonderfully and the place presented an up-to-date 
appearance in general. There are about forty pupils going there 



Teacher, Edna White 

I have chosen this subject because I am one of the fourth 
generation of my family to attend the Center Point Church. 

This church is located about six miles southwest of Fair- 
mount and three miles of Jamaica. In the year of 1891 this 
church was dedicated by Reverend Brooks of Paris, Illinois. 

Prior to this time, the people worshipped in the Center 
Pomt schoolhouse. It was in the year of 1891, while a revival 
meeting was being held, that a young lady. Miss Ada Hedges, 
now Mrs. Ada Smith of Homer, Illinois, desired to enlist in the 
services and work of her Lord. Her parents, being members of 
the Church of Christ, sought to start their daughter in the 
Gospel training and their own faith. A preacher of the New 
Testament was then called. This minister was the Reverend 
B. N. Anderson, who held a three weeks' meeting in the Center 
Point Schoolhouse, and in which building Sunday School and 
Church were held until February 14, 1891. Sunday School and 
Church had been held in the schoolhouse in former years oc- 
casionally, but there was no organization until 1891. 

Then the disciples named below met and organized them- 
selves into a congregation of the New Testament teaching: 

Mr. and Mrs. James A. Hedges, Mr. and Mrs. Richard 
Elliott, Mr. and Mrs. Robert McKee, Mr. and Mrs. David 
Sconce, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Greer, Mrs. Matilda Hitchcock, 
Mrs. Jennie Hopper, Mrs. Lucy Hedges, Mrs. Anna Elliott Sul- 
livan all now deceased. 


Mr. and Mrs. Ed. Ellis of Macy, Indiana 

Mrs. Emma Elliott Carrington of Georgetown 

Mrs. Ada Hedges Smith of Homer 

Mr. Harvey Elliott of Sidell, Illinois. 

Elders of the church chosen at the time the church was 
organized were: Richard Elliott, James A. Hedges. Deacons of 
the Church when organized: Ed. Ellis, Harvey Elliott. 

Thirty-two members were received in the first revival meet- 
ing, many of whom have "crossed the bar" but whose children 
and grandchildren are still carrying on the work. 

The Sunday School attendance on each Sunday is from 35 
to 50. There is one man attending who has not missed Sunday 
School in five years. This man is George Hedges of Fairmount, 
Illinois. Many have a one year record. 

Reverend I. L. Cummins of Danville has been the minister 
of the Church the last five years, and it is thought that his good 
work has kept the Church thriving and growing. 


By IMOGENE Onley, Dist. 180 
Teacher, Dale Robinett 

In the year 1850, there was built an old school about a mile 
and a half east of Meeks named the Underwood schoolhouse. 
It was made of thick logs and wasn't very big. All of the floor 
was made of hand hewed timber. It didn't have very many 
windows, and had old-fashioned seats in it. It was heated by 
a fireplace. 

Martha Sigler was teacher during the Civil War. She was 
the mother of 0. C. Robinett, superintendent of the George- 
town schools. 

About 1875, Doc Richardson was the teacher. Some of the 
children who went to school during this time are: T. J. Smith 
(Deceased), Phillip Dickerson, Silas Underwood (Deceased), 
Alfred Calhoun, Mrs. T. J. Smith. 

When Silas Underwood went to school he wore a beard and 
always chewed tobacco. Doc Richardson would not let him chew 
tobacco on the school ground. Every evening after school, he 
would chew his tobacco after he got ofi" of the school ground. 
All of them lived around here at this time. 

In 1915, this schoolhouse was rebuilt and made into a nice 
big one. This one had a coal house in it, and had a nice library 
in it which contained about 450 books. It was a modern school- 
house. In 1934, this schoolhouse burned down. Mr. Sanks was 
the teacher at this time. Some of the children that went to this 
school when it burned are: Mary DeLattre, Celestine DeLattre, 
Alberta Hartman. 

After this schoolhouse burned down, they built a small shed, 
and had school in it. At the present time, they are building a 


new one. It is going to look like the other one only it is not go- 
ing to have a coal house in it. They have the frame and all but 
one side finished. 


Bij Stephen W. Coate, Dist. 183 
Principal, Bessie Grose 

The house that bears this name is located in the small town 
of Olivet, which is on the Dixie Highway about fourteen miles 
south of Danville. 

This house was built in 1870. It stood where Mr. Luther 
Allen has his house and where the Olivet College Inn is located. 
It was a one-room house, and was moved to where Mr. and Mrs. 
Joe Anderson live at the present time. Some people moved in 
this room and built more rooms around it. It is situated between 
the kitchen and the dining room. The log floor that was in the 
house was not removed when the one-room house was moved, 
but a better floor was laid over it. 

At the time this one room was moved, Abraham Lincoln was 
holding court in Danville and Paris. He walked or rode horse- 
back from one city to the other. In making this circuit, he would 
nearly always stop over night at this house. This is why they 
named it the "Old Lincoln House." And to the people of Olivet 
and near vicinity, it still goes by this name. And, as I have stated 
above, it is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Anderson. 


By Ransom Beers. Dist. 187 

My great-great-grandfather (John Shephard) built the first 
grist mill at Conkey Town about 1826, bringing the burrs by 
ox team from Ohio. 

He died soon after the building of the mill, and the place 
of his burial is unknown. 

The mill was located about two hundred feet south of the 
covered bridge. A large cut was made through the solid rock, 
a large well inserted in the cut, and a dam farther north forced 
the water that ran the mill. The mill changed hands several 
times, but was last owned by the Berkley Brothers. The mill was 
torn down about 1900. 

The village, at one time, consisted of several dwelling houses, 
one distillery, a blacksmith shop. Doctor's office, one saw mill, 
and a store, all of which moved to Ogden when the Big Four 
Railroad came through. 

My Grandfather Beers lived near Conkey Town, living 
when a child in the village. He helped build the covered bridge 
about 1867, and is probably the only man living who helped 
build the bridge. 



Bij Melba Craddock, Dist. 192 
Teacher, Oma Patterson 

In the extreme southwest part of Vermilion county lies a 
large tract of land known as the "Allerton Ranch." This unusual 
name in the heart of Illinois corn belt applies to almost 3800 
acres of highly cultivated land belonging to the Samuel W. 
Allerton heirs. Mr. Allerton purchased this land in 1880 from 
J. H. Clark of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, who fore- 
closed the mortgage on the celebrated Joseph Sullivan farm. 

In earlier days this was called by settlers, "Twin Grove 
Farm," because of two groves of about one hundred acres each 
on this tract of land, that looked so much alike. Mr. Michael 
Sullivan was appointed a trustee of a large estate in Kentucky 
and Ohio since his son was an heir. He invested this inheritance 
in lands purchased from Robert H. Ives, who emigrated to this 
country in 1853. Mr. Ives purchased this land at government 
prices, later giving a quit claim to Michael Sullivan. 

In 1881 Mr. Allerton placed Mr. W. G. Herron in the en- 
tire management of this farm. The firm of Allerton and Herron 
was a successful business venture. They induced the Chicago 
and Eastern Railroad to forward its work, and Mr. Allerton 
donated the right-of-way through his land and laid out the town 
of Allerton. Because of its location Allerton became a good 
point for shipping grain, cattle and horses. Later, Mr. Allerton 
caused a large steam elevator to be erected which was operated 
by Mr. John Herron. He built all of the business buildings. He 
gave ten lots and $5000 besides for a school to be built. 

After the school was built, Mrs. Allerton gave a library, 
carefully chosen, to meet the school needs. She also gave a 
Domestic Science room to the school, and bought all the equip- 
ment that was needed, and paid the teacher's salary. In January, 
1892, the Allertons dedicated the M. E. Church to Allerton, 
Illinois. Mrs. Allerton purchased many song books for the church. 
Mr. Allerton established the bank at Allerton, Illinois, which 
was known as Allerton State Bank. Mr. John Herron was the 
first cashier. The Allerton Estate also donated a park to Allerton. 
The people paid a park tax each year for the upkeep of it. Mr. 
Allerton put in the water system of Allerton, mainly to give 
fire protection to his buildings. He made it possible to have gravel 
placed on the main street in Allerton. 

Mr. Herron, who was the first manager, was an outstanding 
cattle man and farmer. He managed the farm from 1880 to 1897. 
In 1897 Mr. John Phalen became manager. In 1898, Mr. Michael 
Phalen became manager. Under his management it became one 
of the finest farms for fertility, and well kept improvements, 
well fenced and well drained. It is rented in large tracts and is 
farmed with a rotation of wheat, beans, corn and clover. After 
the death of Michael Phalen, in 1927, his son, Joseph Phalen, 
became manager. 



NO. 192 

By Billy Walters, Dist. 192 
Teacher, Oma Patterson 

The Gerlaugh District is located in the southwestern part 
of Vermilion county, half-way between Sidell and Allerton. It 
is one of the best cultivated and improved sections of the county. 

This region was not always so highly productive or well 
drained as it is today. It was a raw prairie without trees or 
shrubs. The early pioneers journeying west were often dis- 
couraged at the bleakness, and not being favorably impressed, 
passed on. Many cattle men who had traveled on horseback 
over this land, expressed their opinion that this land "would 
never be worth a dime." But other men, being far-sighted and 
thrifty, settled here, buying up large tracts of land for only a 
few dollars an acre. 

Among these far-sighted men was Mr. John Sidell, who 
became owner of almost 7000 acres. This tract was admirably 
suited to stock raising, and many horses were raised. Later 
about 1872, Mr. Sidell decided to open up a portion of this land 
to settlers who would come and take up homes. He chartered a 
train from Columbus, Ohio, for the benefit of those deciding to 
make homes in the west. 

This offer attracted Mr. Jacob Gerlaugh of Dayton, Ohio. 
He purchased about 1100 acres of land. In the same year, 1873, 
Mr. Jacob Black came also to make his home. Mr. Lyman Terry 
of Chicago, catching a vision of the future, decided to trade his 
holdings in valuable city lots for a homestead. Later he invested 
in more land. 

Another pioneer, who saw possibilities in this land, was Mr. 
Isaac Rowand. Believing that proper draining would reclaim 
it into valuable corn land, he purchased an extensive tract known 
as the "Rowand Homestead." These men have labored early 
and late in the improvement of their homes. They watched the 
development and aided the growth of this section. There was 
abundance of wild game, a great many snakes, and in the spring- 
time the horizon was darkened by smoke of prairie fires. 

The Gerlaugh farm was operated in two divisions by Mr. 
Hanes Gerlaugh and Mr. Taylor Gerlaugh, sons of Mr. Jacob 
Gerlaugh. They made many improvements, built comfortable 
homes and commodious barns and sheds. Mr. Hanes Gerlaugh 
was the first farmer to install a windmill. Mr. Jacob Black was 
the first person in the community to possess a spring wagon, 
and it was often pressed into service as a hearse. 

The children of these early settlers were compelled to walk 
almost three miles to attend the Highland School. In 1888, 
Mr. Hanes Gerlaugh gave a site for a school called Gerlaugh 
District No. 192. A neat schoolhouse was erected, and Miss 
Ida Ames of Sidell was secured as teacher. At that time there 
were about 25 pupils. Some other teachers who have taught 


were Mr. Asa Gulp, Catlin; Mr. J. A. Heaton, Hoopeston; Dr. 
A. G. Gillogly, Newman; and Mr. A. B. Quick, Danville. 

The roads were made of dirt and in the winter were very 
hard to travel; yet, Dr. Martinie of Palermo always managed to 
reach his patients. Mail was obtained either at Homer or Hume, 
whenever the people happened to visit either town. 

These public spirited men and women have made it possible 
that I might travel with ease and comfort, receiving benefits 
from well drained, highly cultivated lands, and to obtain an 
education that will enable me to carry on the task they have set 
before me. 



By AiLEEN Erickson, Dist. 194 

Superintendent, B. H. Spicer 

As we look over the annals of Vermilion county and look 
over all the professions, there is none which surpasses the medical 
profession. No profession comes more into contact with the 
daily lives of the country's people and no greater good can be 
accomplished than by the medical profession. In the early days 
of our country, physicians suffered great hardships. Their work 
was not commercialized and all people rich and poor alike were 
served by our early physicians. 

In our own community we find the life of a physician who 
filled the needs of the community. Dr. Henry G. Holton. 

Dr. Henry G. Holton was a son of Leonard G. Holton and 
Helen Dudley. He was born on October 23, 1853, at Indianola, 
Illinois, in a house that stood just west of where the Baptist 
Ghurch now stands. When he was eight years old an attack of 
infantile paralysis left him a cripple for life. This affliction caused 
him to be often left alone by his companions in games and sports. 
Dr. Holton was reared at home, acquiring his education in the 
public schools of Indianola. At the age of eighteen he entered the 
University of Illinois, but for lack of funds he attended but one 
year. He then took up the profession of teaching which he fol- 
lowed ten years. In 1881 he entered the JelTerson Medical Gol- 
lege of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 
1883. He first opened an office at Homer, Illinois, practicing 
medicine there for a short time, but not finding the practice he 
wanted, he later came to Archie which was a thriving \illage at 
that time, remaining there about four years. In August 1887 
he opened an office in Sidell where he practiced medicine 44 years. 

In 1883 Dr. Holton was united in marriage with Miss Ura 
Ames of Palermo, Illinois. They had six children. Three died 
in infancy, and three are living, Max C, Wade A., and Garyl A. 
They reared three adopted daughters, Frankie L. Holton, Garnet 
L. Dickinson, and Ruth M. Dickinson. 


Dr. Holton was affiliated with several fraternal organiza- 
tions: I. 0. 0. F. lodge, I. 0. O. F. encampment. Patriarch Mili- 
tant, Rebekah Lodge, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen, 
Elks, Illinois Society, and Sons of the American Revolution. 

Dr. Holton passed away Thursday, March 5, 1931, in St. 
Louis, Missouri. His funeral services were held on Sunday after- 
noon, March 8, 1931, at the Christian Church of Sidell. He was 
laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery near Indianola. 


By Helen Jane Hooker, Dist. 194 
Superintendent, B. H. Spicer 

No doubt the early settlers thought the building of a rail- 
road from Danville to Villa Grove would be inevitable, and that 
what is now Sidell, a point on the old Danville, Olney, and Ohio 
River Railroad, would be a logical point for the extension of 
such a road westward. This doubtless was one of the factors 
which caused John Sidell to lay out the town in 1884. The rail- 
road mentioned was built some four or five years later, and in 
1888 a man by the name of Thomas Morgan, a school teacher, 
started a publication which was known as the "Sidell Reporter." 

Sidell at the time of the first issue was a town of two or 
three hundred people. At this time there were few publications 
in this section. Fairmount no doubt had one and so did George- 
town. But there was no paper in either Indianola or Allerton. 
The "Reporter" therefore served southeastern Vermilion county 
as a source of news. 

The print shop was first housed in a frame building located 
across from the C. & E. I. depot. The building, owned by G. W. 
Gulp, has been torn down in recent years. After a period of about 
fourteen weeks under the first management the publication was 
bought by Charles Allen Wright. 

Charles A. Wright was born at the old homestead one mile 
north of this place, April 15, 1860. In 1888 he took over the 
management and published the paper for seven years. A hand- 
some residence on North Gray Street and a new business building 
now occupied by the Sidell Hatchery were but a part of the 
material improvements which he added to our city. The "Re- 
porter" flourished under his care from an uncertain venture in 
a very small village to a successful local paper on a paying basis. 

Wright was a stalwart Democrat. He was recognized as one 
of the leaders of his party and had the confidence of a large 
number of politicians of his party throughout this section of the 

Charles Wright died in 1895 and following his death his 
wife, the present Carrie E. Jenkins of Sidell, edited the paper for 
a short time and then it was given over to H. R. Rogers. 

At the time of Charles Wright's death, the building now 
occupied by the Sidell Hatchery was being built by him but was 


unfinished. Pending its completion his presses and office equip- 
ment had been moved to temporary quarters above J. M. Miller's 
implement store. (Now F. M. McCauley's undertaking parlors). 

In 1898 the paper, still the Sidell Reporter, was edited for 
one year by Fielding and Lester Coggeshell. The print shop 
during this time was located in the brick building in what is 
now the M. W. A. hall. In 1899 it was sold to Al Smith who 
gave a chattel mortgage on it to John Herron and Nick Keller. 
They closed the mortgage and stored the presses and other equip- 
ment in the building where Frank Gilroy now has his blacksmith 

shop. ^ „ „ 

In 1900 T. B. Williams bought the equipment from Keller 
and Herron and moved it to what is now the Woodmen's Hall. 
It was here that Williams published the first issue of what has 
since been known as the Sidell Journal, December 8, 1900. He 
maintained his print shop in this location until the summer of 
1909. At this time Williams became postmaster. The post office 
was then where Lowell Myers now has his poultry and feed store. 
Early 1910 the pest office and "Journal" were moved to the pres- 
ent post office building on Gray street just south of the C. & E. I. 
Railroad. Here Williams published his last issue September 1, 

When Williams took over the paper in 1900, there was a 
great deal of competition in this and surrounding towns. The 
greatest circulation during his management was about nme hun- 
dred. The circulation area was some two hundred square miles. 
Early in 1932 Williams sold the newspaper to Charles Lane, an 
experienced newspaper man, wlo came from French Lick, 
Indiana. The paper is now flourishing under his care and the 
present circulation is about five hundred. The shop is now 
housed in the Sawyer building just north of the C. & E. I. Rail- 
road. Some new equipment, including a linotype machine, has 
been added. These additions make it an entirely modern news- 
paper plant. 


By Janice Weaver. District No. 194 
Superintendent, B. H. Spicer 

The Stunkard Grave yard, which lies about two miles east 
of Sidell on the east bank of the Vermilion river, was started 
over one hundred years ago. The only reason that can be found 
why this cemetery was called the Stunkard Cemetery is because 
a large family by the name of Stunkard lived near there when 
it was laid out. 

One half of the land occupied at the present by the Cemetery 
belonged to Mr. James Spicer, and the other half was owned 
by Mr. Koonrod Zeltener. Mr. Zeltener came from Germany 
to the United States in a sailboat. He settled down in a little 
log cabin just a short distance west of the present Cemetery, 


and when the cemetery was to be laid out he gave one half an 
acre of land for this purpose. Mr. Zeltener was the grandfather 
of Mr. Fred Lucas, one of the rural mail carriers of Sidell, Illinois. 

One of the oldest graves that can be found in this cemetery- 
is the grave of Miss Mildria Hutt, who died July 12, 1842. Corbin 
Hutt, a veteran of the War of 1812, was buried here in 1846. 
The latest inscribed monument that can be found there is the 
one of James Pendred who died May 26, 1917. There are many 
other monuments in this cemetery. Some were inscribed in 1846, 
1847, 1849, 1851, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1856, 1859, 1860, 1861, 1862, 
1863, 1864, 1866, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1873, 1875, 1877, 1878, 
1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1892, 1895, 1896, 
1904, 1910, 1914, and 1917. There are many other graves in this 
cemetery that are not marked by monuments. Some of the 
people who were buried here have since been removed to other 

This cemetery has not been properly cared for the past 
several years, and many of the monuments have been broken or 
have fallen over from lack of care. 


Bij Charles Carter, Dist. 194 
Superiyitendent , B. H. Spicer 

Mr. John Sidell was born in Washington county, Maryland, 
on the 27th of June, 1816. His father died when he was eighteen 
years old. He remained in his native county until he was nine- 
teen years old. He worked on a farm for twelve dollars a month, 
and as soon as he had saved enough money he came west on 
horseback, passing through Illinois and on into Iowa. Not find- 
ing a location at that time he went to Ohio, this time taking a 
contract to cut cord wood for thirty three and one-third cents 
per cord. This was his starting point of success. 

He came to Illinois and bought a farm in Vermilion county 
in 1860. The farm contained three thousand acres on both sides 
of the Little Vermilion River. He added to this about six thousand 
acres more, buying some of this land from the government. 

He first built a log cabin which burned while he was away. 
It stood in the orchard just south of the brick house that he 
built after the log cabin burned. 

The bricks used to build his new house were made north- 
east of the house in the little grove called "The Towhead" on 
the south bank of the creek bottom. The house has a basement 
with eight rooms and one hall in it. The first floor has six rooms 
and three halls. The second floor has seven rooms and two halls. 
It has a large attic and an observation tower. The house had 
nine fireplaces. The house is still standing about one mile north- 
west of Sidell. 

The southeast room of the first floor was the post office 
and Mr. Sidell's office. The house was surrounded by a large 


grassy yard which had a high fence around it. All around the 
fence were tall poplar trees at an equal distance apart. 

There was a cow barn, horse barn, a machine shed, a corn 
crib, and other buildings on the farm. 

The land was very fertile. Mr. Sidell raised wheat, corn, 
rye, barley, oats, tobacco, broom corn, flax, and hemp in great 
abundance. For clover, timothy, and all the hays the land was 
unsurpassed, and produced blue grass equal to that of Bourbon 
county, Kentucky. Mr. Sidell also had many cattle. One time 
he bought some Texas longhorn cattle. The cattle had some 
disease but they did not get sick and die. When any other cat- 
tle came near them or walked over the ground that the Texas 
longhorn cattle had walked over they would take the disease 
and die. There were not very many fences and everyone's cattle 
roamed together. Cattle belonging to many different people 
took the disease and died. The owners of the cattle that had died 
sent bills to Mr. Sidell for the damage his cattle had done. Mr. 
Sidell always paid these bills. The land was a rolling prairie with 
many groves, the soil being a deep, rich black alluvium. 

Mr. Sidell decided to sell off a portion of his land. The sale 
began at 10 o'clock, August 21, 1873. John Loucke and D. B. 
Stockton were the auctioneers. A free lunch was served for all. 

Mr. Sidell was a Whig in politics until that party died out. 
Then he became an ardent Republican, standing firmly with 
Lincoln during the Civil War, and being elected a member of 
the Lower House of Illinois for one term, 1874 to 1876. He 
remained a steadfast Republican, but took little part in later 
demonstrations. He was a shrewd business man, careful in mak- 
ing contracts. When once made, however, he took pride in 
promptly fulfilling them. Mr. Sidell was a busy man. So many 
people came to go with him over his farm that he built a carriage 
with a seat just large enough for himself to sit in, so he would 
not have anyone bothering him. He had a favorite riding horse 
that he would not let anyone else ride. The sire of this horse 
was a wild horse that Mr. Sidell had caught and tamed on the 

Mr. Sidell laid out the town of Sidell. He planned the town 
to be built around the park, but it was not. 

Mr. Sidell gave the C. & E. I. Railroad the right to come 
through his land. In return the railroad company offered him 
passes for himself and his family. He would not accept passes 
for his children because he thought they would travel too much. 

Mr. Sidell gave the land for the Methodist Church, and he 
also gave $500 for the church building fund. Mr. Sidell died 
January 29, 1888 after a few months of illness due to Bright's 
disease. He was taken to Danville to be buried in Springhill 
Cemetery by the C. «& E. I. railway train free of charge. 

The remaining one thousand five hundred acres of land was 
divided among his children. Some of the children sold part or 
all of their land and it is in the hands of other people today. 




By Marjorie Mills, Dist. 198 
Teacher, Hazel Dodd 

The modern road, which leads from place to place, is an 
evolution of the trail of an Indian which, in turn, was the evolu- 
tion of the track made by some wild animal. The instinct of 
all animals is to go from one good feeding spot to another and 
to the nearest and best drinking places. 

The buffalo made the first roads, and they left these paths 
as a guide to their almost equally untamed successor — the 
American Indian. 

The Danville and Fort Clark road was surveyed and laid 
out as a legal road in 1834. In 1828 Runnel Feilder had been 
made supervisor of the construction work. This road is referred 
to in the following description written by a traveler, "After 
safely crossing the state of Indiana which was then a wilderness, 
I entered Illinois where Danville now is, here I found a settle- 
ment of friends. I made a short stay here, then I continued my 
journey, with only a map and compass for my guide. I usually 
put up where night found me. Striking a light with my flint and 
steel, I wrapped myself in my blanket and slept soundly. My 
horse became very cowardly, so that he would scarcely eat the 
grass; he would keep close to me, following wherever I went 
and sleeping by my side at night. With no well defined trail; 
only a faint Indian trail through high grass and bushes and over 
the limitless prairie, it is not surprising that a lone horse and 
rider should be lonely, suspicious, and fearful." 

Later the "Ottawa Road" was built through Vermilion 
county. It ran north of the present site of Danville. The "Hub- 
bard Trace," a pack horse trail ran a short distance west of 

These three roads, the Fort Clark road, Ottawa road, and 
Hubbard Trace, filled all the requirements of travel in those 
early days. 


By Geoege Gose, Dist. 200 
Teacher, Helen Coggeskall 

No section of the country in this part of Illinois presents. 
more attractive view than that occupied by Pilot Township. 

Pilot is bounded on the north by Middle Fork township, on 
the east by Blount, on the south by Oakwood, and on the west 
by Champaign county. It occupies the middle of the western 
side of Vermilion county. 

The surface of this land is gently rolling in the central 


part. In the south and southwest portions the tendency is to 
flatten out and become too level. Along the eastern side there 
is a high portion of the township which is known as California 
Ridge. It is the water shed between the waters of the Salt and 
Middle Forks. It is high ground for this country, and has on 
it some of the most desirable farms in the state of Illinois. 
Nearly all of the land is prairie. There is some timber on the 
eastern side along the Middle Fork, though not much of the 
Middle Fork timber extends into Pilot township, and there is a 
small grove near the center of the township known as Pilot 
Grove. This point of timber away out in the prairie, away 
from any stream, and on the highest portions of land in the 
country, attracted the attention of early settlers. It was called 
Pilot on account of its peculiar situation, making it a kind of 
guide as a beacon-light to explorers of the prairie. The town- 
ship got its name from this grove. 

There is no village within the borders of Pilot. It has one 
post office and store, but a village has not been laid out. The 
soil is black, deep and fertile. Corn, wheat, oats, flax and grass 
are the principal products. Cattle and hogs are grown in large 
numbers. There is an unusual amount of grazing and cattle- 
growing. Sheep are kept quite extensively by some farmers. 
It is said to be the best paying business that can be followed in 
this country. Very little of the vast acres of corn are shipped. 
It is generally bought up by cattle-feeders in the neighborhood. 

A good thing in Pilot is the herd law. People fence in 
their stock instead of their grain. This they found easier and 
less expensive. Vast areas of corn and other grain may be 
seen growing by the roadside, with nothing in the shape of a 
fence anywhere in sight. Pilot, like some other portions of 
west Vermilion, suffers socially from a number of large land- 
owners. When this country began to be settled, men who 
realized the importance of the movement strove to get posses- 
sion of large areas, that they might have the advantage of rise 
in value. The prairies of Pilot offered as attractive farms as 
any in the country, and accordingly we find here a number of 
farms, each of which includes vast areas. These would not 
have been as detrimental to the best interest of the community, 
had the owners been able, in every case, to improve them and 
keep them up with the progress of the times. 


By Oma Lucille Smith, Dist. 207 
Principal, Clyde Williams 

The Christian Church was organized by Rev. Evans and 
Hev. S. S. Jones in 1897 in the old armory hall. It was moved 


from the armory to the Interurban Station while the church 
was being built, which was completed in 1900 and dedicated in 
November of the same year. The first Trustees were Charles 
Clayton, J. J. Smith, Charles Hathaway. The first Elders were 
Robert Bratton, Charles Clayton and J. J. Smith. In 1900 
after the church was completed, Rev. Hale was the first min- 

The debt was paid off and the mortgage was burned by 
S. S. Jones, who was always considered as the father of the 
church, and during his life often came down to Ridgefarm to 
give advice and encouragement. 


By Bluford Edmiston, District No. 207 
Teacher, Clyde Williams 

The first automobile of Ridgefarm was owned by Grand- 
father Bines. It was a Ford made in 1901. 

He kept the car for twenty-seven years. 

It was a curiosity of the countryside to see Mr. Bines rid- 
ing down the road in the car sitting under the steering wheel 
as straight as a pin. The car had a square back, a square radi- 
ator, and the hood which covered the engine was square. It 
was a two-seated car. 

When the people of Ridgefarm first saw the car they 
flocked out like sheep to take a ride in the car. 

In 1928 his son, Robert Bines, of Ridgefarm, sold the auto- 


By Betty Ann Newby, Dist. 207 
Principal, CLYDE Williams 

The original library was founded early in the century by 
the Chautauqua Circle, composed of Mrs. H. J. Cole, Mrs. J. B. 
Morton, Mrs. W. R. Julian and Mrs. Joseph Burgan. It was 
located in the rear of W. R. Julian store, and later it was moved 
to the rear of Monroe's jewelry store. At first there were only 
a few volumes, assembled by donation, but the collection grew 
as money for an expense fund was raised through entertain- 
ments and socials. 

Finally Mrs. Cole suggested that Mr. Carnegie be asked 
for a $6,000 donation. To the request, Mr. Carnegie's secre- 
tary replied that it would be necessary for provision to be 
made through taxation for the support of the library. A cam- 
paign was started and that same year a two-mill tax was voted 


by Elwood township, resulting in a revenue of about nine hun- 
dred dollars a year. Mr. Carnegie was notified, and he replied 
that his donation would be $9,000 instead of $6,000. 

There were 1,400 books on the shelves of the beautiful new 
library that was dedicated January 14, 1911. The first libra- 
rian was Mrs. Florence Newlin Carmack. She served until 
April, 1934, when Mrs. Esther Ensor succeeded her and is now 
serving. The library is supported by the tax rate of 1.9 mills. 
There are now 7,083 books in the hbrary. 

The members of the library board are: President, Mrs. 
Rosa Woodyard; vice-president. Miss Aurilena Ellis (de- 
ceased) ; secretary, Mrs. Florence Rees; Miss Clyde Williams, 
Mrs. Ola Pierce, and J. W. Foster. 


By Martha Mae Larrance, District No. 207 
Teacher, Clyde Williams 

Miss Mary Jane Baker was born in 1844. When sixteen 
years of age she came from Pennsylvania to ChilHcothe, Illi- 
nois, later called Dallas and now Indianola, in a covered wagon 
pulled by oxen. At Indianola she went to school and they only 
had benches to sit on with no backs or desks. They also wrote 
on slates. 

Later her parents bought a farm south of Indianola and 
lived there until 1875, when they came to Ridgefarm. 

When she was eighteen, she was married to Perez Barker. 
They had four children. Mr. Barker died and she married Mr. 
Smith, this family consisting of two children. Of Mrs. Smith's 
seven children, five still survive, three of whom live in Ridge- 

Mrs. Smith died in 1932. She was 80 years old. 



By Virginia Banta, District No. 207 
Teacher, Clyde W^illiams 

Ridgefarm has a good location. She has a bus line run- 
ning north and south. This line is a branch of the Greyhound 
bus line, which is one of the best bus lines in the United States. 
This branch of the line runs from Chicago to Louisville, Ken- 
tucky. It furnishes a means of transportation for the people 
at a low fare. 

There are two railroad lines on the outskirts of Ridge- 
farm. The Nickel Plate runs east and west, and the Big Four 


runs north and south. They are both well equipped and exten- 
sively traveled. They both furnish ways for the transportation 
of goods and raw products. 

The city of Ridgefarm is located along the Dixie Highway 
in Illinois, the most extensively traveled highway in Illinois. 
She also has a county highway which is used quite a lot. 
Ridgefarm draws the attention and trade from quite a number 
of tourists who travel these roads. 

Ridgefarm is situated about midway between two good- 
sized cities. They are Danville and Paris. She gets all the 
trade of people traveling between these two cities because of 
being midway between them. Ridgefarm is also on the direct 
route to Chicago. The city of Ridgefarm is located close to the 
corn belts, the greatest corn producing section in the world. 
The land around Ridgefarm is very rich and with favorable 
seasons she produces very rich crops. Her principal occupa- 
tion is agriculture, in which she thrives very well. 


By Cecil Burton, Dist. 211 
Principal, J. W. NiswONGER 

The fifteen divisions of Vermilion county remained the 
same until in 1893 when Jamaica township was formed. This 
new township was laid out from the corners of Catlin, Sidell, 
Carroll, and Vance townships where the corners came together. 

Some of the early settlers were James A. Dickson, Richard 
Miller, Thomas Hughs, the Stockers and others. 

The first church was in a small log schoolhouse somewhere 
close to where the Ross school now stands. 

They decided they wanted a real place to worship so they 
built a frame church. They used it for several years. 

The church that now stands is a large brick structure 
called Kingsley Chapel. 

The two-room schoolhouse is a fine frame building. It is 
about twenty-five years old. 

The C. & E. I. railroad was built through Jamaica. The 
first telegraph operator was W. I. Baird, who still resides in 

Carter and Lucas ran the first store in Jamaica. Jamaica 
was a thriving village until the Fairmount rock quarry shut 

Some of the most prominent people at present are the 
Bairds, Darrs, Carters, Moodys, Williams, and Dicksons. 



Bu Kathleen Purdum, Dist. 213 
Superintendent, James Talbott 

S. W. Allerton owned thousands of acres of fertile land in 
Illinois. There was no town convenient to his farm from which 
his produce might be shipped. Mr. Allerton, thinking the situ- 
ation over, decided to build a town of his own. 

He chose for the spot an area located southwest of his 
ranch between Danville and Tuscola. Mr. Allerton encouraged 
settlers to come in. They came till the town had a population 
of five hundred. The town was carefully planned by Mr. Al- 

Mr. Allerton, having in mind the creation of an ideal town, 
had this clause put in every deed : "It is understood that no 
gambling house, pool room, or saloon shall be permitted for the 
sale of wine, beer or any intoxicating liquor, unless with the 
consent of the owner." 

Buildings began to appear on Main street. These build- 
ings consist of the bank, general and hardware and the drug 
store. All of these were situated along a street of crushed rock 
which cost Mr. Allerton $5,000. 

Mr. Allerton, to protect his properties from fire, installed 
a private water system. 

Some of the people were Methodists and others were Pres- 
byterians. They were united until 1891. Mr. Allerton donated 
several lots for building of each church. 

Mr. Allerton prepared for the education of the children. 
School was held in a building moved from one mile north of 
town until a new brick building could be erected. That build- 
ing burned in 1921. 

Mr. Allerton wanted his town to be beautiful. A land- 
scape gardener was brought in from Chicago. Mr. Allerton 
added to the beauty of the town by giving a little park in the 
northern part. 

I think everyone in Allerton appreciates Mr. Allerton very 
much and tries to keep the little town as he would have liked 
it to be kept, were he living now. 


Bi) Eleanor Mae Ervin, Trinity Lutheran School 
Principal W. C. Poll 

Trinity Lutheran congregation was founded on February 
15, 1863. A constitution was drawn up and signed by fourteen 
members. The official name adopted by them was "The Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation U. A. C. at Danville, 

[71 ] 

Illinois." Soon after the founding, a lot was bought on Jack- 
son street near Harrison for $125.00. At the same time, a Bap- 
tist congregation offered its church building for sale and the 
Lutherans bought it for $185.00. The building was moved and 
they dedicated it to the service of the Triune God. 

Rev. H. Schoeneberg of Lafayette, Indiana, preached once 
a month. Gottfried Markworth accepted a call on April 3, 
1864. The number of members had by this time increased to 

Owing to the rapid growth of the congregation, the build- 
ing soon proved too small. A new church was erected on the 
corner of Jackson and Harrison streets. The old building was 
utilized for parochial school purposes. Mr. G. Bernthal was 
called to take charge of the school. 

The following year, the pastor broke down and the congre- 
gation accepted his resignation. Rev. R. Biedermann was 
called as his successor. He resigned from office on October 6, 
1872. Rev. G. Reinsinger was then installed. The old church 
building was sold and a new two-story school building was 
erected at a cost of $3,000.00 ; likewise a parsonage for 
$1600.00. Mr. Zachow was now called to assist Teacher Bern- 

Rev. Ernest Martens was now called. He took charge on 
October 20th, 1878. G. Albers and A. Theiss were called as 
teachers. In the early eighties a large number of immigrants 
from Pommerania, Germany, were gathered in by Lutheran 
Church. On the 3rd of September, 1893, Trinity Congregation 
celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the dedication of 
the church. 

The congregation had by this time grown wonderfully. It 
was deemed advisable to divide the charge and to erect a new 
church building at Germantown. In the meanwhile, the health 
of the Rev. Ernest Martens began to fail. He resigned in June, 
1912. Rev. J. E. Elbert was called as his successor. 

The 18th of May, 1913, was a red letter day in the history 
of the Lutheran church at Danville. All the Lutherans of this 
city and a large concourse of visiting Lutherans from neigh- 
boring congregations joined hands to fittingly celebrate the 
golden jubilee of the Lutheran church at Danville. A week 
later Trinity congregation resolved to purchase the so-called 
Mayers property on East Main street as a building site for the 
new church and school. 

On the first day of April, 1914, ground was broken for the 
new school. The laying of the cornerstone of the church oc- 
curred August 2nd, 1914. August 30th, the new school was 
dedicated, and April 25th, 1915, the church. 


In 1924, Rev. Elbert accepted a call to Oshkosh, Wiscon- 
sin, and Rev. T. J. Mehl was called. Rev. Mehl served the con- 
gregation until 1930, when he resigned on account of illness. 
Rev. A. C. Bernthal was called as his successor and is now 
serving the congregation. At the present time, the three up- 
per grades of Trinity school are taught by Mr. W. C. Poll, the 
three intermediate grades by Mr. H. G. Schroeder, and the two 
lower grades by Miss Renate Martens. 


By LaVerne Dobels, Trinity Lutheran School 
Teacher, W. C. Poll 

The first location of the public library was on the second 
floor of the McDonald building on West Main street, adjoin- 
ing the First National Bank building. In 1883, this organiza- 
tion became known as the Danville Public Library, which title 
it still holds. 

More room being needed, the library moved to what is 
now known as the Tobin building, at 132-34 Vermilion street, 
occupying the entire second floor. 

It remained in this location 16 years, when it was moved 
to the Fera building, on the northeast corner of Walnut and 
North streets. The next move was in 1904 to the present build- 
ing, the money for which was given by Andrew Carnegie, the 
lot being purchased by the city. 

The first floor of the building contains reading, reference, 
stock rooms, off"ice and catalog room, also a small room hous- 
ing the historical collections of the Daughters of the American 

A large addition to the stock room has recently been com- 
pleted through the generosity of the late A. L. Webster, who 
left a sum of money for this purpose. 

The children's room has a large south room in the base- 
ment, across from which is a lecture or assembly room. This 
is used by various clubs, High School students, etc. 

The librarian's report for 1929 gives the total number of 
volumes in the library as 48,769, 11,190 of which are in the 
children's room. 

The library does a great deal of reference work for clubs 
and organizations of various kinds, the most, however, being 
with high school pupils. 

In the past ten years, the circulation has more than dou- 
bled, and nine are on the staff" in place of four in 1930. 



By Harvey Dettman, Trinity Lutheran School 
Principal, W. C. Poll 

That part of Illinois now known as Vermilion County was 
orig-inally a portion of New France. It, together with all the 
immense territory lying west of the Alleghanies and north of 
the Ohio, belonged by right of discovery and occupation to the 
king of France. New France was divided into two immense 
districts, the one known as Canada and the other as Louisiana. 

In 1819, the year after Illinois was made a state, the 
county of Clark was formed off the northern part of Crawford, 
with the county seat established some miles higher up the 
Wabash at a place called Aurora, which in turn became the 
county seat of all that region bordering on the Indiana line, 
and extending north as far as the Illinois and Kankakee Rivers. 
When Vermilion county was a part of Clark and while Aurora 
was a county seat, the first permanent settlem'snt was begun 
within the present limits of Vermilion County. In less than 
a month after the treaty at Fort Harrison, August, 1819, the 
Vermilion River was explored. The inducement was the hope 
of discovering salt. Captain Blackman set two or three men 
to work with spades, and by digging two or three feet into 
the saturated soil, saline water was procured. This was boiled 
down in a kettle brought along for that purpose. 

About two gallons of water yielded four ounces of good, 
clear salt. An experimental well was dug a few rods from the 
former where the brine was much stronger. It was agreed by 
Captain Blackman that Treat, Whitcomb, and Beckwith should 
be partners in the discovery of the salt water and each pay his 
portion of the expenses. In the latter part of November, 1819, 
Treat returned, coming up the Wabash and Vermilion Rivers 
in a pirogue with tools, provisions, his wife and children. With 
the assistance of Beckwith and Whitcomb, both good axemen, 
a cabin was quickly erected and Treat's family took immediate 
possession. In this way and at this place began the first per- 
manent settlement within the present limits of Vermilion 


By Kenneth H. Davis, Dist. 9 
Teacher, Jewel Perry 

Some of the fairest, most productive countries of the great 
Prairie State lie upon its eastern border, and among the chief- 
€st of these is Vermilion county. Although settlers came in 


here at an early day, yet the commencement of its rapid growth 
was not until many years later. It was the railroad that did so 
much toward the encouragement of sturdy tillers of the soil 
to come to the fair and fertile prairies. 

Since then the county has enjoyed a steady growth ; and 
today it stands among the foremost counties of the great North- 
west. In the growth and development of her vast resources 
in her agriculture and stock-raising, in all departments of 
labor, in her churches and schools, in civilization and culture, 
Vermilion county has taken first rank. Within a half century 
a wilderness has been converted into beautiful farms and thriv- 
ing, populous cities, and a community estabhshed, commanding 
the admiration of the country. 

The Wabash Railway was the pioneer road of Vermilion 
County and contributed most to the development in the early 
days of Danville and the extensivz coal and agricultural in- 
terest of the county. At Danville, connection is made with all 
the main roads. Centering there, it has about fifty miles of 
road, including side tracks, in the county. 

The Ohio, Indiana and Western, including side tracks, 
has about twenty-eight miles of road in Vermilion county. 

The Chicago and Eastern Illinois road has more miles of 
track than any other line in the county, and extends through 
the county on the east side from north to south. This is the 
great coal road of the county, and has exercised a large influ- 
ence in the development of that industry in eastern Illinois. 

The most important station is Danville, where connection 
is made with several roads centering there. 

The Toledo, Cincinnati and St. Louis railroad has about 
eleven miles of road in the extreme southeast corner of the 
county, the most important station being Ridgefarm. 

The Lake Erie and Western traverses the extreme north- 
ern part of the county from east to west and has contributed 
in a large measure to the building up of the thriving town of 
Hoopeston, the second town in the county. At that point it 
crosses the line of the Chicago and Eastern Illinois railroad. 


By Dorothy Maxine Liggett, Dist. 132 
Principal, C. F. HUDDELSON 

Dan Beckwith was one of the first settlers of Vermilion 
county. Dan was a native of Bedford county, Pennsylvania. 
He was born there in 1795. He had six brothers and two sis- 
ters who went with their parents into New York State, while 
Dan was yet a lad. Three brothers came west and settled in 
Vermilion county for a time. 


George Beckwith and Dan Beckwith left New York State 
together and came to Fort Harrison in 1816, the year Dan was 
twenty-one years old. Two years later, they went to North 
Arm Prairie and lived with Jonatha Mayo's family. They 
stayed here until 1819, and then they went to the Vermilion 

Dan Beckwith was a man of pleasing appearance. He 
was six feet, two inches tall. He was broad shouldered, was 
straight, and when in good health weighed 190 lbs. He was 
an expert axe man and a shrewd Indian trader. After two 
years, he had everything an Indian would want. He had a 
cabin built on a hill at Denmark, to trade with the Indians. 

Later, Danville was selected county seat. Danville was 
named after Dan Beckwith. He built a cabin near the end of 
West Main street and continued to trade with the Indians. 
Later, he built a cabin farther west on West Main street and 
formed a partnership with James Clymer. 

■ Dan Beckwith died while still a young man. He did not 
live beyond pioneer days of Vermilion county. He died in Dan- 
ville in December, 1835. He was buried in the old Williams 
burying grounds. The city bought the privilege of opening a 
street through this cemetery of the heirs of Amos Williams, 
and Dan Beckwith's remains were moved to Springhill. Both 
children of Dan Beckwith are dead now. 


By Lowell Macy, Dist. 128 

Teacher, Gladyne Boggess 

The John R. Thompson farm was owned and improved by 
the late J. R. Thompson, founder of the famous restaurants 
which bear his name. He was born and lived to manhood on 
this farm, going to Chicago during the World Fair in 1893 and 
operating a small grocery store and restaurant which was the 
beginning of his career. 

In the early days when his father owned this farm, it was 
tended by oxen. The road past this farm was the way Abra- 
ham Lincoln traveled when he served on the circuit of the 
Eighth Judicial District, 1847-1857. He was a friend of Mr. 
Thompson, and spent many nights with him. How dear their 
friendship was is shown by the erection of a statue at the en- 
trance of the Thompson farm. 

At the death of his father, Mr. J. R. Thompson purchased 
the shares in the farm owned by the other heirs, which gave 
him possession of the entire farm, which was at that time three 
hundred fifty acres. Later, he bought other land adjoining 
the old homestead and there is now seven hundred and fifty 


acres in the farm. When he first possessed this farm, there 
was a pleasure resort having a deer park and race track. Later, 
he built a large cattle barn and began raising pure breed cattle. 
In 1926, the noted Shorthorn Show herd was started which 
became famous over the United States and Canada. After 
death of Mr. Thompson, the show herd was sold in 1930. In 
the summer of the same year, a fire destroyed all the buildings 
except the house. During the next few months the buildings 
were replaced. Since that time the farm has been used for the 
production of grain and livestock. The Thompson farm is in 
the Biddle district southeast of Fithian. 


Bij Robert Howard, Dist. 51 
Teacher, BURL Foote 

The country I am writing about is the lone tree prairie, 
and happenings on the lone tree prairie. 

The lone tree prairie is and was a country within a radius 
of ten miles of the village of Alvin, Illinois. It was called Lone 
Tree Prairie because there weren't any trees, only this one. It 
was an enormous hackberry tree, about four feet in diameter 
and about sixty feet tall. There were names carved on it as 
high as a man could reach on horseback, and completely around 
it. Everyone that came along that way would carve his name 
upon the tree. The tree was located about four and one-half 
miles southeast of the village of Alvin, Illinois. 

The children of the early settlers of this neighborhood 
had few toys, and they would gather the tumbleweed. It was 
a weed that grew everywhere. On a windy day they would 
take the weeds out and they would start rolling, and roll till 
they could not be seen, for in those days there were no fences 
on the prairie. 

In those days, the snakes were very thick on the prairie 
for it was in the 1860's and 70's. The snakes of that time 
weren't the common garter snakes as we see now. They were 
poisonous snakes, practically all of them. 

The country of the Lone Tree Prairie was full of swamps 
and marshes, and people going any place would have to wan- 
der around on the high places so they would keep out of the 

The people would turn their cattle and horses out on the 
prairie. Many times the horses or cattle would get in the 
swamps and marshes and couldn't get out. Everyone in the 
country would come and help them out. 

There were high knolls in the prairie in those days and in 
these knolls were dens of wolves and foxes. The country was 


full of wolves but not so many foxes. 

Another occurrence of the Lone Tree Prairie was in the 
70's. A g-roup of men brought out a lot of Texas longhorn cat- 
tle. The cattle had some kind of a disease. It didn't hurt or 
affect the western cattle. The native cattle took the disease 
and died. Almost all of the cattle died from this disease. The 
men were ordered to take the cattle away, then the disease 
faded out. 


By Allen Larry Fox, Dist. 5 
Teacher, Elsie Cox 

My grandfather, George W. Fox, was born in Shoals, In- 
diana, in 1846. He had very little education. In 1860 he sold 
a load of his father's wheat and enlisted in the army. 

His father, who had already enlisted in the Civil War, 
was going to make him go home. But the other soldiers begged 
him not to, so my grandfather stayed in the army. His father 
was killed in a battle. He was wrapped in a red blanket and 
buried in a pine box. 

In 1893 my grandfather moved to Davis county, Indiana. 
In his early life he used to cut logs and dump them into the 
river, where they were chained together. Sometimes many 
hundreds of logs were floated down the river at a time. They 
were floated down White River and out into the Wabash river, 
down to Grayville, where they were sold. 

My grandfather and his friends used to get powerful flash- 
lights and go out coon hunting. When they had spotted a coon, 
one would hold the flashlight, and grandfather would go up the 
tree after it. 

Grandfather was married in 1867 to Emiline Zollars. He 
was the father of sight children, five boys and three girls. 

In 1910 he moved to Dexter, Missouri, where he is still 
living at the age of eighty-eight. He was engaged in farming 
until recent years. My grandmother died February 20, 1930, 
at the age of eighty-one. 



By Josephine Hughes, District No. 52 
Teacher, Roberta Lane 

My great-great grandfather was born in Russellville, Ken- 
tucky on a southern plantation, which he owned that consisted 
of a thousand acres. He ov^oied at one time a hundred slaves 


and was considered a wealthy man, but after the Civil War he 
lost his wealth because his money, the Confederate, was put off 
the trade. 

The family consisted of him, his wife, two sons and a 
daughter. My great-grandfather, of whom I'm writing, was 
youngest of the three children. Richard was his name. 

The southern people were very cruel to the slaves. My 
great-grandfather did not believe in such treatment to the 
slaves. One day he was asked to whip a woman slave, which 
he steadfastly refused to do. This angered his father, who 
then disinherited him, and ordered him to leave his family 


He came north to Vermilion county to a village named 

Denmark, before Danville was a city. 

In 1830 he married a northern girl by the name of Eliza- 
beth Thrasher. He became the father of eleven children, of 
whom there are now four living, the oldest being 91 years. My 
grandmother is the youngest at 62. At his request, he was 
buried at Gordon Cemetery, in 1879, on the banks of what is 
now Lake Vermilion, near his old home. 


Bij Lorraine Moore, Dist. 65 
Teacher, Irma Dodson 

My father, Albert Moore, was born in Waverly, Ohio, in 
1893. He lived there among the hills of southern Ohio with 
his father, mother, and two younger sisters, for several years. 
He did not get to go to school very much, as the schools in those 
days were not like they are now. 

Many interesting things happened while my father lived 
there. One of them happened one time when my father was 
taking a wagon and team of horses with a load of oats to the 
elevator. He was going down one of the steep hills when some 
of the harness broke. The tongue came down. The horses 
were running away and, as my father feared his life was in 
great danger, he leaped to safety. No serious damage was 
caused by the runaway. 

Another time, my father and a friend were hunting. The 
other man was out hunting ahead of my father, when my 
father shot at a rabbit. Instead of hitting the habbit, he hit 
the other man in the shoulder. He had to be taken to a doctor, 
but he recovered from the wound that was made. 

When my father was eighteen years old, he decided he 
would leave Ohio and come to Illinois. He and a friend, Mr. 
Triggs, came to Illinois together. My father did not return to 
his home again until five years later. After he returned to 


Illinois this time, he went back only once, when his father died. 
He was married after he returned to Illinois, and began farm- 

A few years later, the United States entered the World 
War. My father enlisted in the army and was sent to work at 
the Rantoul airport. He was there when the first airplane 
landed on the field. An American flag was set up on the field 
and the pilot tried to see how close he could land to it. He 
landed within twenty feet of it. 

While he was working here, there was a cyclone that 
swept over the country, destroying buildings and tearing up 
trees by the roots. After a storm such as this, or when it was 
rainy, the men had to stand in deep water to do their work. 
When they ate, they stood up around tables to eat what food 
was given them. 

At night, many times he had to sleep on wet ground. I 
know it was not only my father that had to endure S'lch ex- 
posures, nor the men at Rantoul during such times of war. 
The war ended before my father was sent to any other place. 

Since that time, my father has been a farmer living near 
Potomac or Armstrong, Illinois. Now, my father, one sister, 
three brothers and my mother are living on the Tillotson farm, 
which is located southeast of Potomac. 


By Dorothy Strong, District No. 73 
Teacher, Kenneth Wilson 

My grandfather's name was John N. Badewitz. He was 
born in Germany in the year of 1854. He crossed the ocean in 
1870 and came to the United States when he was sixteen years 
of age. When he came to the United States he could not speak 
English. It took him five weeks to get across the Atlantic 
Ocean and he landed at New York. He took the train and went 
from New York to Chicago in 1871. When he first came over 
here he took out his naturalization papers and that made him 
an American citizen. 

During the time he was in Chicago the fire broke out, 
burned all of his clothes, and then he came to the northern part 
of Illinois. When he came to Illinois he stayed at the home of 
Mr. Alph Duncan. It was while he was there that he learned 
to speak English. He made that place his home for about three 
years. During this time he worked on the farm. Then he got 
a job in the tile factory and worked there for about two years. 
He boarded at the home of Lester Leonard, who at that time 
lived in State Line, Indiana. Before he worked in the tile fac- 
tory he stayed with Frank Cunningham. 


In 1885 he went back to Germany to see his mother. He 
was gone about one year. Then he returned to the United 
States in 1886. When he came back he started farming. On 
March 9, 1887, he was married to Miss Clara J. Andrews. 
After they were married they went to housekeeping on the 
farm of her mother. After her mother's death they bought 
the home place. There were four children in the family. In 
1893 he was elected road commissioner. He held this office 
for three years. He was school director of Price school for 
fifteen years. He held this office until his death. 

In the year of 1905 he built a new home. After that his 
health began to fail and he was not able to carry on with active 
work. He was a member of the Odd Fellows lodge and he was 
a member of the German Lutheran church. 

My grandfather died on September 25, 1908. He was 
buried in Walnut Corner cemetery. 


By Sarah Jane Jackson, Dist. 114 
Teacher, Pearl Rubottom 

About 63 years ago my great-grandfather and his family 
lived in England. He wanted to come to America but his wife 
and children did not want to leave England. Without their 
knowledge he boarded a ship and came to America. 

He got work in a granite mine where he earned more 
money than could be earned in England. 

After he was here a month or two, he sent his family 
enough money to come to him in New York State. They came 
as soon as possible in a sailing vessel on a steerage ticket. It 
took three weeks for them to come. They brought all they 
had to eat in a carpet bag. 

After they wiere here about a month, a slab of granite fell 
on him and killed him. This left his wife and children without 
anything except a small sum of money, which did not last long. 

She then went to her dead husband's brother's home in 
Fowlerton, Indiana, but he was too poor to keep them. The 
mother was then forced to turn her children out. 

Her only daughter, Jane, was only ten years old when she 
went to work for an old blacksmith, where she remained for 
eight years. She later went to work in a hotel in Tilton. 

She still corresponds with her relatives in England, but 
none of them ever came to her except a cousin and his two boys. 
They came in a steamship, making the journey in three days. 

Jane later married. She has five children, one of whom is 
my father. 



By Lucille Mendenhall, Dist. 122 
Teacher, Arizona Montgomery 

One of the most noteworthy women of her day was Lura 
Guymon, who is better known as "Grandma" Guymon. Many 
people will remember her for the work she did while on earth. 
She was a woman doctor, or midwife, as they were more com- 
monly called. She spent the greater part of her life in the 
vicinity of Catlin. Her ashes are now at rest in "God's Acre'* 
burial ground, the pioneer cemetery west of Catlin, 

"Grandma" Guymon was a Connecticut Yankee, being 
born in Connecticut in 1794 and came to Ohio about 1812, 
where she was married to Noah Guymon. 

Believing there was a future for them in Illinois, she and 
her husband came to Vermilion county about 1830. He came 
on foot, bringing his wife, "Grandma" Guymon, on horseback, 
which conveyance also served to pack what earthly possessions 
the two owned. He took a claim on Section 29, which is north- 
west of Catlin. They built a little cabin, which served the 
double purpose of residence and a place of shelter for the faith- 
ful old mare, which had transported his plunder from Ohio. 

Butler's Point was the end of their destination. In the 
place of the old log cabin, a tidy house of brick was built, which 
for nearly half a century stood as one of the show places of 
Catlin township. This house was destroyed by fire in 1928. 
It was and still is owned by a grandson, Milton Payne, who is 
my grandfather, residing in Catlin. My parents, Carlos and 
Gertrude Payne Mendenhall, lived in this house 15 years. Five 
of their seven children were born there. 

There were several hundred Indians in this county when 
the Guymons came here. The white woman, with her knowl- 
edge of medicine and herbs and their uses, appealed to the 
redskins and she soon became their friend. She had studied 
medicine in Ohio, and while there were no licensed physicians 
at that time, her knowledge of medicine placed her on equal 
ranking with the men doctors of that day. 

The day or night was never too bad or stormy for the 
"white medicine woman" to answer the call for help. She 
would ride horseback over the trackless prairie or thr^u^h the 
forests to bring a new babe into the world. It is said that she 
officiated at approximately 1,000 such events. 

She was not a home woman in the sense understood by the 
pioneers, and even today she would no doubt have been termed 
a modern woman. She was much criticized by her neighbors 
for going out and doing a work which was generally conceded 
to be a man's work. 

"Grandma" Guymon came from a fighting family, her 
father having been a lieutenant in the American army under 


General Washington. Washington once spent the night in the 
home of her parents in Connecticut. She died in 1884 at the 
age of 90 years. 


By Doris V. Coffman, District No. 213 
Teacher, Minnie Davenport 

My grandmother was born in Ohio. When she was a 
young girl, her father bought a piece of land in Illinois. He 
had it for several years before they got ready to move. They 
traveled on a train to near Homer, where they were met by a 
wagon to take them to their new home. They traveled a long 
way, and finally reached their farm, only about four miles 
southeast of what is now Allerton. They then moved out into 
a log cabin which had already been built. They soon set out to 
make a real home in Illinois. 

It was time to plant crops so they set about doing it. 
There were no trees or fences as far as you could see. They 
had to cut the hedge balls off the hedge trees and plant the 
seeds. In a few years they had a good hedge fence. There 
were no shade trees so a few trees had to be planted. 

In the summer it was extremely hot, and in the winter it 
was bitterly cold. 

My grandmother's father taught school in the winter for 
a few months. On the way to school, the children would see 
strange animals. The prairie chickens would get under the 
house ; and, if at night you heard a strange bumping sound, it 
was the prairie chickens bumping their heads on the bottom 
of the house. 

The roads were extremely bad. In winter they were knee 
deep in mud and about that bad in dust in summer. If you 
wanted to make a long trip, you went to Newman or Homer. 
The whole family would start out early in the morning. You 
would eat your lunch in a grove. You got to town finally and 
spent about an hour ; then you would start home. 

There was plenty of excitement about this time. The 
world's champion heavyweight boxer lived in Newman. If you 
wanted to move to Illinois you usually bought the land a 
couple of years before. It took brave people to make homes in 
this new land. 


By Annabel Miller, Dist. 158 
Teacher, Matilda Breezely 

My grandfather, George W. Miller, came to Vermilion 
county from Indiana with his parents in 1846. He was five 

[ 83 ] 

years of age. The family settled on the banks of the East Fork 
of the Vermilion river, three miles east of Rossville. They 
lived in an old house for a time, but a few years later built a 
new home, hauling the lumber for it from Attica with ox teams. 
This house still stands in good condition, although it has been 
built for more than 80 years. 

The first school which grandfather attended was con- 
ducted in the various homes of the community, taking turns. 
Later, a log school was built, such as was used in most parts of 
the state. 

For the first school, the settlers met with a yoke or two 
of oxen, with axes, saws and an auger. Trees were cut, rough- 
trimmed and unhewn, and they were put together to make a 
log house about 16 ft. square. A hole was cut on one side for a 
door and a larger hole on the other side for an outdoor chim- 
ney. The roof was made of clapboards, held in place by weight 
poles laid on the ends of the clapboards and secured by pins. 

The next step was "chinking" and "daubing" to fill the 
cracks. On one side the space between two logs was left open 
to admit light, but covered by greased paper to exclude the rain 
and snow. The door was made of clapboards, put together 
with wooden pins and hung on wooden hinges which creaked 
distressingly. A floor of puncheon was laid. 

A ceiling was laid under the roof, clapboards stretched 
from joist to joist, and earth spread on these to keep out the 
cold. The chimney was 6 feet in width. It was built of small 
poles and topped with sticks split to the size of two inches 
square laid up in log house fashion ; then its chinks were filled 
with mud. The fire was kindled by the aid of flint, steel and 
tinder or coals must be brought from the nearest house. Fire- 
wood was cut four feet in length, green and fresh from the 

The seats were made of puncheon with 4 legs set into 
auger holes. There were no desks except for the older pupils 
who took writing lessons. Stout pegs were driven into the wall 
to slope downward. On these supports was fastened the 
smoothed puncheon. Thus the writing pupils sat or stood 
facing the wall. A pail of water with a gourd was part of the 
furniture. It was a reward of merit to be allowed to go to the 
spring or well to fill the bucket or piggin. 

Grandfather received no other education except that pro- 
vided by the primitive country school of his time, but was a 
great reader all of his life. He lived the rest of his life within 
a distance of three miles from his childhood home. He passed 
away at his home in Rossville on October 18, 1927, at the age 
of 86 years. 




By Beulah Lingley, District 2, Cheneyville 
Teacher, Rosaline Gingrich 

The First Brick House in Vermilion county is located on 
my great-grandfather, Isaac Knox's farm. It was built to replace 
a log cabin in the year of 1853. 

The farm, on which the house is placed, is located 6 3/^ miles 
northeast of Danville or 1 mile east of West Newell. 

The bricks which were used were being prepared for the 
State House at Springfield, Illinois, but because they were soft, 
they were used to build houses in Vermilion county and for other 
building purposes. The brick yard was known as the Fairchild 
Brick Yard on North Oak Street in Danville, Illinois. 

The house was a two-story structure and was not as strong 
as it might have been if solid bricks had been used. 

During the years past, the farm was inherited by my grand- 
father from my great-grandfather. 

Because of the soft bricks the house met its destruction in 
a windstorm in the year 1927, having stood for seventy-five 


By Herbert L. Frederickson, District No. 116 
Teacher, Zola Dye 

The coal industry is also called "The Black Diamond In- 
dustry." Coal is of a plant origin. It has been formed by slow 
changes of vegetation which grew in ancient swamps and bogs 
changed into coal. The first stage is a spongy material called 

peat. . 1 1 • 

By continual pressing of accumulated material, this peat was 

slowly changed to lignite, a woody coal. The pressing out of 

some of the gas and moisture caused a harder material called 

bituminous coal. . 

Coal was first seen, it is believed, by Father Hennepin along 
the Illinois river near the present site of Ottawa, Illinois. 

The use of coal was discovered by accident by an iron com- 
pany who was determined to make it burn. They bought a load, 
and put some in a furnace, and kept poking it, and wasted a 
whole load without results. They bought another load to try 
again, and worked all night without making it burn. The work- 
men left it in the furnace with some burning wood under it. 
After breakfast they came back and were astonished to find an 
intense fire in the furnace. This proved that it would burn. 

Before railroads came, transportation was the biggest prob- 
lem in the coal industry. 

Although coal is mostly mined with shafts, there are three 
other popular ways in use in this country. 


One way is an open pit called a strip mine. The surface 
dirt is removed by small team scrapers or by steam shovels, 
thus exposing the coal bed. This is the simplest type of mine. 
Another way is by drift mining. This is done by digging 
one or two sloping tunnels until the coal is reached, and the 
coal being hauled out through these tunnels. Slope mining is 
similar to this method. 

Still another, which is used mostly, is a process called, 
"shaft mining." This shaft mining is done by digging a large 
hole straight down into the earth from the surface till the seams 
are located. Sometimes three or four seams are mined at the 
same time. 

When miners are below the surface of the ground, they 
niust be supplied with plenty of good air. This is done by dig- 
ging another hole or shaft some distance away from the hoisting 
shaft, this one being called an, "air shaft," which is also dug 
down to the lowest seam being mined. At the bottom of this 
shaft is located a fan, either drawing bad air out or forcing good 
air into the mine. The fan is run generally by an electric engine. 
The opening used for forcing the fresh air into the mine is called 
the "downcast." The opening drawing the bad air out is called 
"up cast." A tunnel must be first made to connect these two shafts 
to make a circulation of air possible. 

The hoisting shaft might be used for either the "upcast" 
or "downcast." 

The other mines are "slope" and "drift" mines have this 
same system of ventilation. 

After the shafts are completed and properly lined to prevent 
entrance of water, the actual mining is started mostly in "room" 
and "pillar" method. One or more tunnels or so called, "en- 
tries," about six or seven feet wide are first made from the bot- 
tom of the shaft, used for hoisting the coal. These are the main 
streets of a mine and along these are laid steel tracks over which 
the coal cars travel. Other entries branch off and gradually there 
is built an underground town with it's blocks and streets. 

Pipe lines are also layed to remove any water which naturally 
accumulates in a mine. These lines lead to a hole in form of a 
reservoir, which is called a "sump." Pumps are used to remove 
the water from here and it is pumped to the surface of the ground. 
Fi'om the entries other tunnels branch off, and places are 
opened called "rooms" where the coal is mined in a space from 
eighteen feet to thirty feet wide, and the rooms are sometimes 
worked from one hundred feet to two hundred feet long. Be- 
tween each room there is a pillar of coal from seven to ten feet 
in thickness left to help support the rock and other overhead 
ground. Timber is also used for this purpose in the room to 
support the overhead earth. The track is then made into the 
room so that the "loader machine" or the miners can load the 
coal into cars holding from one to five tons of coal. 

The coal is then "shot from the solid," that is to say, with- 
out being cut to the side or bottom of the seam. Cutting under- 


neath before blasting is popular among small mines to get bigger 

The cutting is often done with machines and sometimes by 
hand "picks." The "cutting of the coal" is making a groove in 
the coal so as to allow the coal to crowd out when blasted. 

To blast a small hole about 1^ inches in diameter, is drilled 
above or to the side of the groove with a machine, and this hole 
is charged with powder, and then the hole is plugged up with 
fire clay or the drill dust. The charge is set off by lighting a 
fuse inserted into the powder which is wrapped with tape. The 
fuse burns about two feet a minute allowing about three minutes 
for the miner to get to safety after lighting the fuse. This blast- 
ing is usually done at night just before quitting time, so that the 
powder smoke can be drawn out before morning. In the morn- 
ing, miners are loaded in the cages and let down into the miners' 
working places. These cages are elevators used to hoist coal, 
and let men up and down to work. 

The miner and his helper, or "buddy," load the coal into 
cars, and they are drawn away by electric engines and about 
ten cars already loaded form a trip when linked together. These 
are drawn to the bottom of the hoisting shaft and then separated. 

The loaded cars are then elevated to big tipples or enclines 
which are a net work of screens. It is there weighed and the 
screen called "shaker" screens, shake the coal through the screens 
is either loaded on railroad cars or sold to men operating trucks 
which haul the coal to its destination. After the coal cars are 
emptied, they are let down the shafts and drawn to the miners 
to reload. 

Besides using coal for heat and power, many more things 
can be made or partly made from coal. From the tar in coal comes 
baking powder, flavoring for cakes, picric acid explosive, radio 
parts, cresoles, photodeveloper, paraffin, T.N.T. explosive, ink 
solvent, rubber solvent, naptha, perfumes, aniline dye, artificial 
silk, benzol, heavy oil for wood preservations, pitch. 

From the coke comes graphite lubricant, i)riquets, carbon 
electrodes, lamp black, and black paint. 

From the gas we get heat, illumination and anesthetic. 

From the gas liquor comes ammonium, sulphate fertilizer, 
nitrate explosives and salammoniac for batteries, soldering, etc. 


By Gail Green, Dist. 122 
Teacher, Stella Brothers 

In order to make Sorghum you have to have seed and plant 
it about the same time that you do corn. It has to be hoed 
about two times. In September, the cane is ready to be made 
into Sorghum. 

Some people say, "Only clay ground makes good Sorghum." 


But we have disproved it at R. E. Green's, i-i of a mile west 
and ^ of a mile north of Bronson, on black ground. 

The cane is stripped which means taking the leaves or blades 
off the stock. The top or head which has the seed in it is cut 
off about 12 inches from the top. It is cut at the bottom and the 
cane is put on the wagon to be hauled to the mill. At the mill it 
is crushed between three big rollers driven by an engine. The 
stock, after the juice is squeezed out it, goes out into a pile to 
be hauled away. The juice runs into a tank and runs over into 
the evaporator after it is settled, then it is cooked and skimmed 
constantly. It runs between fins to the other end where it is 
taken off and put into the finishing pan, where it later is sorghum. 

This year, we made 464 gallons of sorghum, and it takes 
about 3 hours to make a 15 gallon batch. 


By Deola Clark, Dist. No. 90 
Teacher, Maude Juvinall 

Before moving to Illinois in 1929, I lived in the Sunny 
South in the state of Alabama. My home was in the northern 
part of the state about one hundred miles from Birmingham. 

In the section of the country in which we lived most people 
were engaged in farming. Near our home was some timber land 
the most of which was pine and oak. So my father's work con- 
sisted of farming and running a saw mill. 

My father's lumber camp was situated about a half of mile 
from our home. The logs were hauled to the saw mill on log 
wagons which were pulled by teams. My father used a seventy- 
five horse power steam engine. There were about eight men 
employed in cutting the timber into lumber and ties. And about 
eight or ten men employed in cutting and hauling the logs to 
the saw mill. 

The ties and lumber were hauled in trucks to the nearest 
railroad at Decatur. Some were sold for use in this city and 
some were shipped by railway to other towns. Some of the 
best lumber after being sent to Decatur to the planing mill was 
used in the building of houses. 

On the farm we raised cotton, corn and vegetables. We 
planted cotton about the last of April or the first of May. When 
the cotton plants were well started, Negroes were hired who 
went into the fields and thinned the plants so as to make them 
grow better. When that was over the cotton was left for about 
a week, then Negroes went into the fields with hoes to destroy 
the grass and weeds. After it had been gone over two or three 
times it was left until picking time. 

By July 4th almost every one had gone over their cotton 
the third time. About October the first the cotton was ready 
to pick. Then more Negroes were hired who went into the fields 
with long sacks and picked the cotton. From October to Novem- 


ber the twentieth is the busiest time of the year. By Christmas 
almost every one has their cotton out of the fields. 

After the cotton was picked it was loaded on wagons and 
trucks and taken to the cotton gin where the seed was separated 
from the cotton. The cotton was then pressed into bales usually 
weighing about five hundred pounds. After it was made mto 
bales we could sell it there or take it home and wait awhile be- 
fore we sold it. Some people took their cotton home and held 
it for some time hoping to get a better price for it. The seeds 
could be taken home for seed the next year or sold to be fed to 
cows or made into cotton seed oil. 


By Donald Harry Hosch, Dist. 113 
Teacher, Cecil Lafferty 

I have liked the drawing very much and I have drawn some 
nice pictures. We traced some pictures and then we colored 
them and we put them on the wall, and they look very pretty. 
We colored the pictures with crayons and made them look very 
nice. We traced little boys and girls from foreign countries and 
a good many birds, and we colored them different colors and made 
them very pretty. Some of the pupils drew their favorite pictures 
yesterday, and they all looked very nice. The pictures were 
colored different colors and they were so pretty I could hardly 
stay away from them. Some were pictures of rivers and some 
were of houses. When we were in the other school we drew some 
awfully pretty pictures and they all burned up. Before the other 
school burned down, we were going to have an exhibit and invite 
all our school patrons and show them all of our pictures, and when 
the school house burned down all of our pictures burned up. 

I have liked the music very much. I have liked the way we 
studied different kinds of keys. We have sung many different 
kinds of songs. The songs we sang were very pretty. We have 
learned the syllables and we like it very much that we learned 
them. We have a lot of good singing and it sounds very pretty. 
Our teacher taught us the music and we think she is a good music 
teacher. The little folks are doing better in music than some of 
the bigger folks. 


By Mildred Irvin, Dist. 11 
Teacher, DOROTHY Griswold 

In 1859 John S. Hewins started to break prairie in Iroquois 
county. Before he had accomplished much he enlisted in Com- 


pany E, 76th Regt. Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the Civil 
War, and was mustered into the service the 22nd of August, 1862, 
at Kankakee, Illinois. He was made a lieutenant after several 
months of service. He was mustered out July 22, 1865 at Gal- 
veston, Texas. Then, he was brought back to Chicago where he 
got his pay and final discharge. 

After coming out of the army, he taught school, in the win- 
ters, in Vermilion county, and broke prairie with oxen during 
the summers for about five years. He had twelve yoke of oxen, 
and used six yoke on a twenty-four inch braking plow. He 
hired a man to run the other six yoke to another plow. He broke 
prairie in Vermilion, Iroquois and Ford counties. 

A nephew of John S. Hewins, J. H. Irvin, used to enjoy 
very much seeing those cattle yoked. They would put the yoke 
on one ox and hold the other end up and call his mate to come 
under. They usually didn't want to but would do it. 

At that time, there were great sections of land that were 
in wild prairie and large herds of cattle were herded on them 
each summer. There were deer and plenty of wolves in this 
part of Illinois. Almost any night you could hear the wolves 
howling. Ducks, geese, brant, crane and prairie chickens were 
very numerous. 

The farm implements were very crude. At that time the 
sod plow, the walking plow, the walking cultivator and the two 
horse harrow were practically all the implements used. 

The sod corn planter was used with four horses. A boy 
sat on it and dropped the corn. All the oats and wheat were 
sowed by hand. 

A few years later, the mower and reaper combined were 
used. The reaper raked off the bundles and they were bound by 
hand. The flax was done the same way, only not bound. My 
Grandfather, a nephew of Mr. Hewins, has stood on the back 
part of the reaper and raked flax and oats off the reaper. 

The schools were not very well equipped. Any child, who 
had a book, brought it and used it, regardless of the name. 
They seldom used two books alike. A few years later, there was 
a uniform set of books for the children to use. The grammar 
and history were not used until the children were about 13 or 
14 years of age. Every child used a slate and slate pencil instead 
of a tablet and pencil. The Bratton School is the oldest in Butler 
Township. The Schwartz School is the second oldest, and Murphy 
the third oldest. 


By Thomas White, Dist. 76 
Teacher, Oleeta French 

Scout is a word which means watch. Many years ago they 
liad scouts to watch in war and to watch against Indians. In 
late years the meaning has been widened. 


In 1905, Daniel Carter Beard founded a society. It was 
called Sons of Daniel Boone. About the same time Ernest Thomp- 
son Seton, a great naturalist, formed an organization called the 
Woodcraft Indians. In 1910, the Woodcraft Indians decided to 
unite with the Sons of Daniel Boone and form a larger organiza- 
tion called the Boy Scouts of America. Meanwhile, Sir Robert 
Baden-Powell had founded the Boy Scouts of England. 

The Boy Scout society began to spread and it is now in the 
United States, England, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, 
Australia, China, and in several more countries. In the United 
States alone there are 550,000, and in other countries there are 
800,000 or more. 

The method has been summed up in the term scoutcraft. 
Scoutcraft includes first aid, life-saving, tracking, signaling, 
cycling, nature study, swimming, rowing, and many other ac- 

All these things give great physical exercise. Many of the 
organizations have summer camps in which they have drills in 
tent pitching, fire making, and cooking. They teach boys how 
to be comfortable in woods without the luxuries of home. 

In Vermilion county, there is a summer camp for boys near 
Potomac. I have often seen boys on bicycles on roads of Vermilion 
county who were Scouts. 

Anyone between the ages of twelve and eighteen can be- 
come a Scout. Before you become a tenderfoot or a Scout of the 
lowest rank, you must take the Scouts' oath. The Scout law 
includes honor, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness, kindness to 
animals, and obedience. In order to become a second class 
Scout, a first class Scout, a star Scout, an Eagle Scout, and a 
life Scout, you must pass certain requirements. 

In form, the organization is semi-military. It does not 
have gun drills. Eight boys form a patrol and three patrols are 
a troop. A troop has a Scoutmaster and a patrol has one of its 
own boys to be a patrol leader. They have simple uniforms. The 
Scouts have a motto which is Be Prepared. 


By Marie Miller, Dist. 145 
Teacher, Daphne Cromwell 

Back in the year of 1872, my grandmother's father, John 
Dobson, went to Minnesota and took up a claim near Wadena, 

Several months later, he went back to Janesville, Wiscon- 
sin, for his family, where preparations were made for the trip 
back to the claim. The ten-day trip in covered wagon was 
made without seeing anyone. At night, the women and chil- 
dren slept in the wagon while the men and older boys took their 
blankets and slept under the wagon. To the wheel was tied a 


larg-e deer hound which was to guard against Indian or wild 
animal attacks at night. They lived in the covered wagon until 
enough trees were cut down to build a one-room log cabin, in- 
cluding a loft and a large fireplace at one end of the room. In 
the loft the men and boys slept. To get to the loft, a ladder 
was nailed to the side of the room. Soon the land was cleared 
of stumps and undergrowth and crops were planted. Many a 
wintry morning they awakened to find snow had sifted in on 
the beds through the chinks between the logs. 

Game in the woods and fish in the streams were plentiful. 

They had many a visit from the Indians, who were friendly 
with the white people at that time. When they came to a house, 
they never knocked but walked right in. If it was near meal- 
time, they would walk up to the table and sit down without an 
invitation. One winter morning an Indian chief and two 
squaws walked into the house while grandmother's mother was 
baking pancakes. The old chief wanted sugar to eat on his 
cakes but was refused because of the scarcity of white sugar. 
One old squaw reached over and took a piece of fat side meat 
in her fingers and handed it over her shoulder to a papoose tied 
on her back. The smaller children were frightened and hid 
behind the stove until they left. When the Indians wanted 
their dogs to come to them, instead of whistling they called, 
^'Kittie-koo, Kittie-koo." 

My grandmother, Mrs. Catharine Elliott, was a resident 
of Danville for twenty-three years until her death two years 


Bij Louise Johnson, District No. 101 
Teacher, B. C. Beck 

It is a known fact that the churn was first founded in Ver- 
milion county. 

Few people know of this, as there are few markers in Dan- 
ville. Many historical events which have occurred in Danville 
have been forgotten. 

In 1837, Mr. and Mrs. Caleb Pottle came from Ohio early 
in the spring. They made a settlement in the prairie where 
the vacant lot at the corner of Harrison and Pine streets now 

Mr. and Mrs. Pottle had a cow for their own use. One 
summer morning as Mrs. Pottle was milking their family cow, 
a very funny incident happened. 

As the flies bothered her cow very much, the cow kicked 
at a fly. The cow got its foot wedged in the milk pail. Mrs. 
Pottle began to kick at the cow's leg to make it change its po- 


sition. Her leg then became wedged in the pail with the cow's 

The cow began to run, and Mrs. Pottle had to run, too. 

This five-legged race lasted for fifteen minutes. 

Mrs. Pottle's screams finally reached the ears of her hus- 
band at the public square, where he was peacefully whittling. 

When Mrs. Pottle's leg was removed, a half pound of but- 
ter was found in the bottom of the pail. 

Mr. Pottle wanted his wife to make butter every week by 
this method, but she rebelled. Mrs. Pottle then made her hus- 
band whittle out a crude churn from a log. 

The milk churn has been adopted by all foreign countries 
but yet no marker or monument has been placed on this lot to 
show where the churn was first discovered. 


By LaVerne Ruth Miller, Dist. 145 
Teacher, Daphne Cromwell 

In olden times, about the time of the Revolutionary War, 
this is how they would make their candles. 

The women would put on a great pot of tallow to melt. 
They had been saving this tallow a whole year to make candles. 

While the tallow was melting, they would cut strings about 
thirty-two inches in length, then they would double the string 
and tie them to a long pole. 

When the tallow was melted, they would take the pole and 
dip the strings into the tallow. They then would hang the pole 
over the back of two chairs to dry. They would repeat this 
process until the candles were the size required. 

They would cut the candles off of the pole, and put them up 
in a cool place to keep them hard. These candles would last 
the whole year. 

In later years, about the time when my grandmother made 
candles, they had candle wicks instead of string, and later still 
they had candle molds. 

These molds would make about six candles at one time. 
They would cut the wick, and thread it through a hole in the 
bottom of the mold. They would pour the mold full of tallow. 
When the tallow was hard, they would cut the knot, tap the 
mold, and the candles would fall out of the molds. 

They would put the candles away in a cool place so the 
candles would keep hard. 

Now, candles are made in factories, and people use electric 



By Robert Martin, Dist. 140 
Teacher, Pauline Meade 

A Vermilion county soldier told me this story. Shortly 
before the United States entered the World War, men were as- 
sembled into temporary camps to do guard duty at ammuni- 
tion factories and important bridges. Later on, they were 
assembled in several camps in different parts of the country. 

All kinds of buildings were being built. After this was 
completed, a period of intensive training had to be gone 
through with, to get every man thoroughly acquainted with 
the different weapons of war, and how to use them. After this 
training was over, men and equipment were loaded on trains 
and started for the east, where they were held in quarantine 
and examined to be sent to France, where the major part of 
the war was going on. 

Men were all loaded on giant ocean liners and secretly set 
sail. No lights were allowed on the ships. When out, they 
were met by small ships which were known as submarine 

After a week on the ocean, land was sighted. After land- 
ing in the harbor, the men were loaded in smaller boats manned 
by English and French. They were taken to the shore, where 
camp was made by using the shelter half, sometimes called pup 
tents. Francs is sometimes called sunny France, but to the 
average doughboy this is not true, for some rain seemed to be 
falling every day. 

After a short period in these camps, the men were loaded 
in funny little box-cars. After four days and nights riding in 
these cars, they arrived at their destination and unloaded. 
After a greeting by a Scotch band, they were given tea and 
small cakes by the English. After this, most of the traveling 
was done by foot. Each move brought the men closer to the 
war zone. First, it sounded like a distant thunder, which was 
the long range guns firing. The men were so anxious to go in 
the lines that sometimes at night they would steal out and go up 
to see what it was like. 

In a short time, order came to go in the lines and take their 
part in the war. The trenches were full of mud and water, 
which came about knee deep. 

No firing was done in the day time and the men used the 
time to sleep. At night, under cover of darkness, patrols were 
sent out to get information from their enemy. Often, they 
met one another and a short battle resulted. The victor took 
the prisoners for information. After a time in this sector, 
these men were moved and others took their place. After a big 
battle, one could see men lying on the ground dead. Some- 


times, these were gathered up and buried, but if the firing was 
too much, men were allowed to lie until there was nothing left 
but the bones. 

The last big drive was at Verdun, a city built mostly under 
ground. It was centered on a hill named Dead Man's hill, as 
this hill had been in no man's land for two years. So many 
men had been killed on this hill that a pick could not be put in 
the ground without striking bones. 

This proved to be the deciding battle of the war. It was 
a complete success for the allied armies. 

On November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed which 
ceased all hostilities. Everybody was happy to know that soon 
they could come home. Some divisions were called to the army 
of occupation. 

Soon the order came to prepare to start home. Back to see 
the camp from which they first came about a year before. They 
started home in a storm and were seasick about half way 
home. The rest of the ocean journey was good. 

The men were all sent to the camps from which they came, 
to be discharged and take their place in civilized life again. 
Some returned well and healthy, and others are crippled who 
are still fighting the world war but not noticed by the masses. 



By Jackie Crist, Dist. 101 
Teacher, B. C. Beck 

Larkin A. Tuggle, with whom all school children arc fa- 
miliar, was born in a log cabin about fifty-nine years ago, July 
29, 1875, in Indianola, Illinois. Until the time when he started 
to school young Tuggle's life, like most boys and girls of his 
dav, merely consisted of the usual routine, of seeing that the 
special chores assigned him were done, and a short period daily 
for recreation which was not nearly as long as the children of 
today enjoy. 

Following the passing of his seventh birthday, young Lar- 
kin Tuggle was marched off daily to Snyder school. The boy 
was so bashful that more often than once his mother found it 
necessary to use a stick on the young fellow in order to per- 
suade him to hurry off to school. The boy was always bright 
at school, for his keen and alert mind soon realized the neces- 
sity of a good education. It might interest the boys and girls 
of today to know that Mr. Tuggle had as a boy a licking at 
school in his early days. In those early days after the small 
children had stumbled through a lesson of A B C's, the teacher 


would pass on to another class, leaving the small youngsters 
with empty hands, ideal for mischief. The story goes that dur- 
ing such a period of the day, young Tuggle produced his slate, 
and with chalk drew a truly queer animal. Unfortunately his 
school teacher caught him in the act, and there ensued a pain- 
ful moment, while Tuggle received his first, and last, school 
licking, and learned the evils of wasting school hours in idle 

After graduating from grade school at the age of fourteen 
years, there followed a four year course of schooling at various 
high schools. 

Finishing this course of learning, he entered Westfield 
College, in Westfield, Illinois. The college is a United Brethren 
College, and but for this fact Mr. Tuggle's schooling might not 
have been sufficient for his later undertakings. As Mr. Tug- 
gle's father was a United Brethren clergyman, the off'icials of 
the school helped him, Larkin Tuggle, financially. He gradu- 
ated in 1895. Throughout his college years Mr. Tuggle showed 
a fine personality and splendid dependability, as well as an in- 
telligence rarely surpassed. 

His amusements during his younger years were of the sort 
that did good rather than destroyed the property of others. 

From fourteen to twenty-one years of age, Mr. Tuggle dur- 
ing intervals between school terms, hired out as a workman to 
the rich. They all would hire him because his dependability 
and sound determination to work thoroughly were known facts. 
In after years Mr. Tuggle always says that these years were 
the years in which his life's ambition became that of a school 
teacher, for he hoped in the future to oversee others, rather 
than be overseen by others. Why he, with such intelligence, 
should choose to be a school teacher is easily answered. Of 
course it might seem that he would have followed in his fa- 
ther's footsteps and been a clergyman, but when he was young 
the hardship and hard work of a minister's life became appar- 
ent to Mr. Tuggle. Later in life Mr. Tuggle did feel a desire 
to become a lawyer, but financial conditions prevented any such 
desires happening. 

In 1897 Mr. Tuggle procured his first position as teacher 
of the Snyder school, the same one that he first attended. This 
was followed by two years at Pleasant Grove as teacher. In 
short, we might say six years were spent in teaching country 
schools. We need not think that Mr. Tuggle was fickle in keep- 
ing a position, for he wasn't. He actually resigned from each 
position, contrary to the various school boards' wishes, in order 
that he might procure a bigger and better position. For some 
years Mr. Tuggle had been trying for a teaching position in 
Danville. At last he obtained such a position at Collett school. 
He followed this up with a position as principal at Batestown. 


This position he kept for two years, when he resigned in favor 
of being principal at Lincoln school. Seven years here brought 
him the popularity necessary to obtain a position as superin- 
tendent of manual training in the Danville city schools. After 
eleven years in this position Mr. Tuggle was elected to the of- 
fice of County Superintendent of Schools. This position he has 
kept for eleven years and has shown himself an efficient and 
reliable superintendent. 

Mr. Tuggle hopes to serve one more term as County Su- 
perintendent. If he does, he will hold the record of having held 
the position longer than any one man ever has in the history of 
the superintendent position. The boys and girls of Vermilion 
county all hope he will win the next election, as Mr. Tuggle's 
splendid personality has made him popular among the students 
of the county. They all feel that no one else is, and ever could 
be as efficient for the position as Mr. Tuggle. 

Mr. Tuggle is a World War veteran, having served two 
years and four months in the war. Few people realize, how- 
ever, that Mr. Tuggle was a captain in the army. He was in 
the Houston, Texas, camps when the negro soldiers of Uncle 
Sam's army caused the great riot. Under the captainship of 
Mr. Tuggle, his men succeeded in quieting the riot. After this 
riot, his company was sent to Europe, where they landed at 
Brest, France. Following their arrival he was put in the 
Amiens trench. He hadn't been there one hour before a ter- 
rific battle began. This was on July 4, 1918. This battle, as 
all World War battles were, was dangerous yet thrilling to the 
utmost extent. He was in several more battles before he re- 
turned in July, 1919. This was several months after the re- 
turn of the rest of his company. He landed in New York, 
where his wife and family joyously met him. You can well 
imagine how he felt to be home from foreign lands. 

When asked what he intended to do in the future, Mr. 
Tuggle replied that he intended to devote his time serving, if 
possible, another term as superintendent of the county. He 
likes school students, and therefore to his utmost skill intends 
to do everything possible to forward an excellent educational 
system for the students of the county. 

Mr. Tuggle is easily pleased when it comes to food. He 
.eats almost everything. However, if he should ever eat where 
some of you readers plan the menu, see, if it's possible, that 
some good green lettuce is included in the menu, especially if 
it's spring or summer time. 

Mr. Tuggle hopes, and expects, to live another score of 
years. As I feel sure all the county students hope he will live 
that long, let's drink to his health ! And so, "Long life to Mr. 
Tuggle, may he live long and happily!" 





By Charles Perry, Dist. 9 
Teacher, Jewel Perry 

I would like to have Mr. Tuggle for our superintendent for 
four more years because when he walks in our school I always 
feel just like I do when I am at the circus waiting for the show 
to begin. He always says, "Hello, boys and girls", as if he is 
so glad to see us. He always looks so nice and says nice things 
about us, and he always tells us good-bye. He always has 
something funny to tell us, and he tells us about his trips and 
what he saw. 

I think Mr. Tuggle has done more for the schools of Ver- 
milion county than any other superintendent we have ever had. 
He has sent out so many things to help the boys and girls. I 
think the questions he sends out for each pupil make it easier 
for us. The questions are always just what we have studied 
because we have followed his state course. 

About every time I read the Danville Commercial-News I 
see where our superintendent is going to speak at some meet- 
ing, so I think he must be a busy man. 

He always says how much he likes to come to this school 
and how nice our school looks, that I always am sorry after he 
has been to our school for the year. 

So I hope that Mr. Tuggle gets to be superintendent of 
Vermilion county for four more years. 


By Lucy Tuggle (1934) 

The Snyder school is located two miles northeast of In- 
dianola, Illinois. The land on which the schoolhouse sets was 
deeded by Josiah Sandusky on August 6, 1873 and filed Octo- 
ber 11, 1873. The land was to be returned to Mr. Sandusky if 
at any time it was no longer used for a schoolhouse site. The 
schoolhouse was built near the home of Emanuel Snyder, and 
he helped to build it. This is the reason why the school is 
called Snyder school. 

The first directors of the school were Emanuel Snyder, 
Abraham Sandusky, and James Branam. For several years 
there were two school terms, one winter term and one summer 
term. In those days the teacher received from $25 to $50 per 
month salary. Mr. Alonzo Hunt was the first teacher of Sny- 
der school. Some of the other early teachers in Snyder school 


were J. T. McMillan, J. A. McMillan, Louie Adams Glick, Anna 
Knipe McClellan, Simon Gibson, Alice Clinkenbaird Spicer, 
Mrs. Laura Gray Baird, Malen Sanders, Grace Downey, L. A. 
Tuggle, Bert Sheppard, Charles Lenhart, Daisy Spry, and 
Winter Davis. 

In the spring of 1874, Emanuel Snyder wanted Mrs. Louie 
Adams Glick to teach school in the summer term, but her fa- 
ther refused to let her teach because she was only 14 years of 
age. However, the following spring of 1875, she went to Dan- 
ville, Illinois, and took an examination for a second grade cer- 
tificate. She then taught the summer term of 1875 as she was 
16 years of age then. She only taught in the summer terms 
as the larger pupils, who had to work in the summer months, 
went to school in the winter and were very hard to manage. 

Teachers had to have either a first grade teaching certifi- 
cate or a second grade teaching certificate in that tinie. For a 
second grade teaching certificate, they took an examination in 
reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, grammar, spelling and 
United States history ; and for a first grade teaching certificate 
they added physiology, botany, philosophy, and zoology. 

Ray's arithmetic, Pinneo grammar, and McGuffey's reader 
and speller were the books used then. The McGuffey readers 
are the most wonderful series of readers that have ever been 
published, and a few years ago Henry Ford had several books 
of this series published and gave them out to his friends. 

Soon after J. T. McMillan was hired as teacher of the 
school, he took sick and his brother, J. A. McMillan, substituted 
for him. While he was sick, J. T. McMillan secured a position 
in Mr. Grace's store. J. A. McMillan was then hired as teacher 
for the rest of that term, and taught the following summer and 
winter terms. J. A. McMillan has been and still is treasurer 
of Township 17 North, Range 12 West of the second principal 
meridian since 1894. 

Some of the people who used to go to Snyder school are 
well known and still living today. Some of them are Collie 
Billings Jackson, Rosie Billings Wilcox, Matilda Homes 
Thompson, Cornelia Homes Jordan, Philip Homes, Nerve Ref- 
fitt Demond, Mollie Reffitt Seekers, John Snyder, William Sny- 
der, Urma Snyder Shultz, Perry Snyder, Susan Branam Jor- 
dan, Bell Branam, Charlie Branam, Josephine Jordan, Charlie 
Jordan, William Gilman, Pitsie Smith Kincaid. Frank and 
Grant Ward attended school there one term. Larkin Tuggle 
and Carrie Tuggle Ward, and Addie Moser Tuggle went there 
for one term also. 

Some of the younger generation who went to the Snyder 
school where their parents attended school are Mrs. Addie 
Mosier Tuggle's children, Elvin, Emery, George, Collie, and 
Laura; and George Tuggle's children, Ivan, Mary, Imogene, 


Ruby, Joy Love, Mae, and James Robert. This makes three 
generations of Tuggles all going to the same little country 
school for their education. 

Some of the children going to Snyder school at the present 
are Robert Knight, Franklin Knight, Thelma Taylor, Joseph 
Taylor, Stanley Allison, Otis Allison, Louis High, Merle Ste- 
vens, Lester Hugg, Robert Almy, Ruby Tuggle, Joy Love Tug- 
gle, and Mae Tuggle. 

County Superintendent of Schools L. A. Tuggle attended 
and taught the Snyder school, and he is now superintendent 
over all the schools in Vermilion county. 

In the early days, church and Sunday school was also held 
in the school building. Some of the preachers were Rev. Mer- 
ril, a faith healer, Rev. Phettiplace, Robert Ellis, James Tug- 
gle, father of Co. Supt. L. A. Tuggle, and B. F. Duncan. Mr. 
Duncan held a writing school there during its early days. 

In the year of 1883, B. F. Duncan married Mr. and Mrs. 
Glick. Mrs. Click was formerly Louie Adams, one of the first 

Mr. Asa Butler, grandfather of Louie Adams, met B. F. 
Thomas at a Baptist Association meeting. He was a poor, 
Kentucky boy who wanted an education and to learn how to 
preach. John Lawler and Egbert Willison, Benson Willison's 
father, agreed with Asa Butler to help board Mr. Thomas and 
let him go to school at Indianola. Later, Mrs. Abe Sandusky 
took an interest in Mr. Thomas, and as they had no children, 
they took him into their home and treated him as their own 
son. Mr. Thomas went to school and later made a very fine 

John Frainer made the first course of study for schools in 
1881, which was used in many counties of the state. There 
have been seven revisions of the State Course of Study of 1903, 
and Mr. L. A. Tuggle, our present county superintendent, uses 
a course of study made by himself in this county. 

Some of the men who have been county superintendents, 
in Vermilion county are John Parker, Vic Guy, son of Asa Guy, 
who v/as county surveyor for many years, John Benedict, L. H. 
Griffith, R. B. Holmes, W. Y. Ludwig, 0. P. Haworth, and L. 
A. Tuggle. 

In the early days, schedules were used and were turned in 
by the teacher to the school township treasurer to receive their 
salary. Michel Fisher was then treasurer of Carroll town- 
ship. Nothing was known about grades or examinations in 
that day, but a few of the leaders were trying to introduce it at 
the institutes, which were held for about six weeks each sum- 
mer at the county seat. 

Old wooden buckets were used for water buckets, and 

[ 100 ] 

long-handled dippers used to drink out of. The teacher would 
take turns in dismissing two pupils to let them carry the water 
from Emanuel Snyder's home, and when they returned the 
water was passed around to all of the pupils to give them a 
drink. The boys and girls thought it was a great treat to carry 
the water from Mr. Snyder's to the schoolhouse. Later heavy- 
glazed, paper buckets were used in which to carry the water. 
In a few years, Charlie Parker dug a well at the schoolhouse. 
Mr. A. P. Jackson, John Tuggle, and Emanuel Snyder, who 
were directors at that time, let the bricks down to Mr. Parker 
to build the well. 

In the center of the schoolroom stood an old cast iron 
stove with the chimney in the center of the building. In 1913, 
a new heater and ventilator costing $128 was bought. Orvill 
Cundiff built a new chimney at the right side of the door, and 
this cost $42.85. The old stove was sold to Claude Williams 
for $2. 

A new floor was put down in August, 1916. In 1909 Ed 
Miller put down a cement walk, which cost $54. 

Double seats were used in the early days. The pupils had to 
march orderly to the front to recite their lessons on a long 
recitation bench. New seats have been bought for the past 
several years, and now all of the seats are modern style seats. 
A recitation bench is still used, but it has a back rest on it, and 
the one used in the olden days did not have a back rest. 

New blackboards have replaced the old blackboards. Dou- 
ble and single slates were used in the olden days instead of the 
writing tablets used today. A cloth or sponge was used to 
wash the writing off of the slates. 

The school girls wore long-sleeved dresses with high col- 
lars, and lots of ruffles, ribbons and lace. The dresses were 
also full and long. They wore copper toe shoes, and the boys 
wore leather boots with copper toe shoes. Some of the pupils 
wore yarn mittens made by their mother or grandmother. 
Some of the girls wore apron dresses which were buttoned 
down the back. 

In 1893, a small porch was built on the schoolhouse, so that 
the pupils could clean their shoes before going into the school- 
house in stormy weather. 

A new bookcase was bought in February, 1920, and the 
old one was sold to Opal Jordan for $5 on March 8th, 1920. 

Some of the more recent teachers of the Snyder school are 
Samuel Lanover, George Sanders, Nellie Pollitt, Marie Lough, 
C. A. Bradfield, Flora Mosier, Kate McKee, Gwen Coggeshall, 
Forest D. Gibson, Violet Larrance, Etta Donley Kraft, Amy 
Ruth Jordan, and Dora Sanders. 

Some of these teachers' pupils were Opal Knight, Dale