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History of Wayne and Clay counties, Illinois online

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presence of W. Turner.

It will thus be seen that the first county
seat was Hubbardsville. The name, most
probably, was in honor of Gov. A. F. Hub-
bard, of Shawneetown, of whom an extended
account may be found in the Wayne County
history in this volume.

Daniel McCall was appointed County Sur-
veyor, and ordered to lay off and plat the
new town on May's donation " on or before
the 25th day of the present month;" "the
main street is to be forty two feet in width,"
and the " cross streets thirty feet in width."
A sale of lots was ordered to be had on the
12th day of April, and the Clerk was ordered
to advertise the sale in the Illinois Gazette
and the Illinois Intelligencer.

Willis C. Osborne was then appointed
County Treasurer. He gave bond, and his
sureties were Thomas McCracken, Daniel
May, William Lewis, Alexander Rogers,
Thomas Nichols and George Goble.

The court recommended the Governor to
appoint William Lewis and Willis C. Osborne
Justices of the Peace.

The following were declared the taxable
property of the county: " Horses, mares and
colts, mules and jacks; all cattle over two
years old; till kinds of wagons, and carriages
of every description; all watches of every
description, gold or silver 'stiles;' all ne-
groes and mulattoes."

Dean, Jordan and Bishop reported they
had cut out and opened a road from Faris' to
Hickory Point, and John McCawley was ap-
pointed to work this road and make it pass-
able.

Then comes this curious order in regard to



HISTORY OF CLAY COUNTY.



3-2'5



the first court house, as follows: " Ordered,
that Daniel May is authorized arid permitted
to build and put up a house, which he has
now ready all the timbers to put together
upon the public square in the town of Hub-
bardsville, the seat, of justice in and for the
county of Clay, at any time he may think
proper, for the purpose of holding a court in
and keeping the Clerk's office in. On con-
ditions that the said May raise, weatherboard
and put doors and window shutters to the
said house, and lay plank on the lower and
upper floor,and make a partition across the said
house, so as to make two rooms to the same. "

A. road was ordered cut out on the most
eligible route from James Elliott's house to
George Goble's mill on the Little Wabash,
and from thence to the Fayette County line
to Asa Ledbetter's. To this work was as-
signed James Leavitt, William Daniel and
George Goble. Another road was ordered
opened from Hubbardsville, to pass by the
house of Enoch Wilcox, and thence to the
line dividing Clav and Lawrence Counties
in the direction of Mt. Carmel, and this was
to be attended to by Levi Jordan, William
Binion and James Embrey.

A tax of one half per cent was fixed upon
the taxable property of the county above
specified, and a portion of this money was to
go to making county roads.

Willis C. Osborne was appointed to sell
the lots in Hubbardsville.

At the Juno term of this court, same year,
the first act was to order " Willis C. Osborne
to pay to the Sheriff the sum of $8, the
amount which he received as County Treas-
urer, and that he personally appeared in
open court and resigned his appointment as
such."

Then appears this order:

" Ordered, that the seat of justice of Clay
County bo and hereby is named Maysville,



and that it shall and is hereby recognized by
that name."

And from that time, and for many years,
the place that from March, 1825, to June of
the same year had been named and called
Hubbardsville, became Maysville, in honor,
no doubt, of Daniel May, the man who do-
nated the twenty acres of his land and built
the court house for the seat of justice.

Benjamin Bishop was appointed Road Su-
pervisor of that part of the county embrac-
ing Bishop's aud Goble's settlements, and
Joseph Brimhall was appointed for that part
including Smith's settlement, and Philip
Devore for the Jordan settlement.

At the June term, 1825, the court received
and accepted the new court house that had
been built by Daniel May.

Daniel May was ordered and commanded
to build upon the public square an office for
the County and Circuit Clerks.

Willis C. Osborne was appointed the first
County Assessor, and he was also appointed
at the same time Recorder.

Peter Kinney was recommended to the
Governor for County Surveyor.

For the October Circuit Court, 1825. the
following were designated as grand jurors:
Isaac Brady, Isaac Elliott, Ephraim Haines,
Benjamin Campbell, William Hargis, Basil
Daniel, William Daniel, Levi Sceif, Francis
Harman, Levi Daniel. William Smith, Isaac
Romine, Andrew Evans, James Richerson,
Seth Evans, John Jeffries, C. D. Worthen,
James Leavitt, William Nash,Elisha Anglin,
William Binion, John Miller, Sr., and Jacob
Perkey.

Traverse jury — Benjamin Bishop, George
Goble, John R. Taylor. William Lewis, Levi
Jordan, James Embrey. Abraham Robeson,
Bonnet Robeson, Enoch Wilcox, Alexander
Rogers, Samuel G. Weatherspoon, Jacob
Dean, Mathias Moisenheimer, Daniel May,



324



HISTORY OF (LAY COUNTY.



Solomon Sherwood, Philip Devore, John Go-
ble, Leonard Melton, John McCawley, Dan-
iel Speaks, Thomas Elliott, George Faris,
John H. Lacy and John Mathis.

Daniel May had bo far constructed all the
public buildings, the court house, Clerk's
office, etc., and he had been paid in all $200
in notes that were given for town lots at the
Bale.

In December, 1825, the Sheriff settled
with the court for the year's tax, and the
following is the total amount, $84. 70 J.
Thomas McCracken was allowed for his
year's salary as Sheriff and Treasurer $27.50.
At the sale of lots in Maysville, Daniel
May purchased lots numbered 28, 37, 31, 26
and 23. John H. Lacy purchased Lots 16
and 33. Jonathan McCracken bought
32, James Bird 40, and William Lewis 4
and 13.

The grand jurors for the April term, 1S26,
of the Circuit Court, were as follows: Levi
Jordan, Enoch Wilcox, Ephraim Haines,
Alexander Rogers, John Goble, Leonard
Melton, William Melton, William Daniel,
Benjamin Bishop, William Hargis, Francis
Harman, John Bishop, James Leavitt. Isaac
Romine, Joseph Brimhall, William Smith.
In March, 1826, the final payment was
made to Daniel May for all the county build-
ings, making a total of $325.

William Hargis, William Smith and Alex-
ander Rogers were appointed to lay out that
part of the State road commencing at the
Wayne County line and extending to the
Marion County line.

All voters residing north of Hurricane
Creek, and northwest of Muddy Fork and
northeast of William Smith's were author-
ized to hold their elections at the house of
Samuel G. Weatherspoou, " formerly occu-
pied by George Goble, it being at or near
Goble's Mill," and Thomas Leavitt, George



Riley and Basil Daniel were appointed Elec-
tion Judges.

W. C. Osborne resigned the office of Coun-
ty Clerk, and July 8, 1826, the court ap-
pointed John R. Taylor County Clerk.

At the August election, 1826, Thomas
Elliott, John McCawley and Levi Jordan
were chosen .County Commissioners, and
they held their first court in September fol-
lowing. The first act of the new court was
to appoint Isaac Elliott Constable.

The new names that appear in the grand
jury list for the October term, 1826, of the
Circuit Court gave it interest enough to pub-
lish it in full as follows: Levi Self, Benja-
min Bishop, Basil Daniel, John Goble,
Thomas Leavitt, Thomas Nichols, S*th
Evans, Alexander Rogers, George Riley,
George Faris, William Webb, John Jeffard,
Elisha Anglin, David Moore, Marcus Wil-
son, John Evans, James Nelson, Sr., Andrew
Evans, Jacob Perkey, Philip Devore, William
Smith, Levi Daniel, John Binion and Daniel
Evans.

James Nash was the second Sheriff of Clay
County, elected in 1826.

In March, 1827, John McCawley was li-
censed to keep a toll bridge across the Little
Wabash, " where the road crosses, leading
from Vincennes to St. Louis, in Section 21,
Town 3, Range 8."

Traussy P. Hanson was appointed County
Assessor for the year 1827.

At the June term, 1827, John Jeffards
was County Commissioner, vice Levi Jordan.
The county was divided in two voting
precincts, and James Embrey, Mathias Mei-
senheimer and Thomas Nichols were ap-
pointed Judges of the south district, and
James Leavitt, Hackley Sams and Euos
Johnson, Judges of the north district.

Seth Evans was appointed Treasurer of
the county.



HISTORY OF CLAY COUNTY.



325



Elections were held at James Cook's
house near Goble's Mill, and at the town of
Maysvillo.

The new names that appear in the grand
jury list for the October term of the Circuit
Court, 1828, shows there were new people
coming into the county: William Smith,
Francis Harman, Levi Daniels, Washington
Bishop, William Elliott, Absalom Sergeant,
Jacob Calclasure, William Blakeman, Jacob
Holmes, Joseph Andrews, John Speaks,
Hugh McDaniel, Charles Tankersley, Will-
iam Webb, Seth Evans, John Hix, David
Moore, Eli Barbreo, George Smith, Wilson
M. Miller, John Binion, Moses Angler,
Stephen Constable and Marcus Wilson.
In 1828, George Riley was Sheriff
In 1S2S, Thomes Nichols moved out of the
county, and Moses Angler was appointed to
fill his place as Election Judge.

The August election, 1828, the new court
was John Hix, Benjamin Bishop and Will-
iam Lewis.

In 1828, James L. Wickersham contracted
to build a county jail in Maysville for the
sum of $24.12.

Mathias Meisenheimer had failed to qualify
as County Treasurer, and thereupon the
Commissioners' Court appointed Tere Scutch-
field to act in his place.

At the June term, 1829, John McCawley
appeared as Commmissioner, vice John Hix.
The State appropriated " three hundred
State paper dollars" for the improvement of
the bottom between the Little Wabash and
the Muddy Fork.

In June, 1829, Francis Apperson was ap-
pointed County Treasurer.

The order of the coming of new settlers is
indicated by the grand jury list selected for
the May term of the Circuit Court, 1830, as
follows: P. Sullivan, William Sceif, John
Sceif, Enoch Sceif, Thomas Whiteley, Isaac



Elliott, Jesse Bishop, Strother B. Walker,
Frederick Songer, John Onstott, William H.
Sams, John Galloway, Thomas Elliott, Sew-
ell Heflin, John Miller, John Ditter, Elijah
S. Nelson, George Sirkle, Isaac Creek, Levi
Daniel, Francis Harman, John Jeffards, Cy-
rus Wrigbt and John Sutton.

The State Legislature having ordered the
opening of the Vincennes & St. Louis road,
it was surveyed, platted and recorded in
June, 1830, through Clay County.

At the September court, 1830, Isaac Elliott,
T. P. Hansen and John McCawley were duly
qualified as County Commissioners.

In the fall of 1830, James L. Wickersham

authorized to rent out the court house

for 75 cents a month, and J. R. Taylor was

authorized to rent out the clerk's offices at the

rate of $1.50 a month.

Wickersham was Sheriff in 1830.
March, 1832, Thomas Elliott was appointed
Treasurer; Robert Toler was then appointed
Sheriff.

John R. Taylor resigned the office of Coun-
ty Clerk in March, 1832, and William T.
Duff was appointed to the office. This year,
Washington Hughes appeared as the new
member of the County Court.

At the September court, John Onstott and
William Erwin held the County Commission-
ers' Court, John McCawley not being prosent.
In 1S35, Richard Sorrells appeared as the
new member of this court.

The first symptom that the " permanent
county" seat at Maysville was about to plume
its wings and fly to some other portion of the
county is given by the following court entry
in 1835: "Ordered, that Lots 57 and 55 in
the town of Maysville be offered for sail on
the 29th of April," etc.

By this time, the license for keeping a
tavern had been fixed or graded from $10 on
the road from St. Louis to Yincennes; on the



326



HISTORY OF CLAY COUNTY.



Vandalia road, $5; on the Shelby ville road,
$2; and on the Mount Carmel road, $1.

William Sneed now settled up all his ac-
counts as County Treasurer. This year the
jail was ordered to be lined on the inside with
two- inch plank, well spiked. This was prob-
ably intended to keep the prisoners from roll-
ing out through the cracks when asleep. This
year, repairs were ordered upon the court
house. Among other things, a Judge's bench
" four feet high," and a lawyer's bar "eight-
een inches from the floor," and two jury
boxes were constructed. David D. Duff was
then appointed County School Commissioner.

In 1836, the Legislature appointed Craw-
ford Lewis, of Clay, William J. Hankins, of
Effingham, and Edward Reed, of Shelby,
County Commissioners to lay out a road from
Maysville to Shelbyville. These Commission-
ers duly performed their work in this respect.

William Hance was a member of the Com-
missioners' Court in 1836. In December of
this year, F. B. Thompson was appointed
School Commissioner.

The Legislature, by act of 1831, 1836 and
1837, appropriated moneys arising from the
State's saline lands in Gallatin and Vermill-
ion, and the county of Clay very sensibly in
1837 used this money to build bridges across
the Little Wabash on the road from Elijah
Nelson's to John Orender's, and across Fox
River on the Maysville & Mt. Carmel road,
and also one on Buck Creek on the road from
Maysville to Shelbyville, and across Crooked
Creek on the last named road. September,
183J, John Ochiltree was paid $496 for repair-
ing the court house, and then the job of repair
ing and enlarging again the jail. In 1838,
Erwin Webster appeared as the new member
of the Commissioners' Court. F. B. Thomp-
son resigned the uffice of School Commis-
sioner March, 1838, and Amaziah Treat was
appointed to fill the vacancy. Robert Toler,



Sheriff, was charged with $363.82, "the
amount of the whole revenue for 1837."

Francis Apperson and Peter G. Terry be-
came members of the County Court in 1838.
This year the county revenue increased to
$407. 28. George Green was County Collector
in 1839, and gave a bond of $1,300, with
Peter Green, James M. Hogue and Joseph
Maxwell as securities. At the September
County Court, 1839, George Baity was the
new Commissioner. Joseph M. Hogue was
elected County Clerk, and filed his bond and
assumed the office in December, 1839. The
same year, Thomas P. Gilmore was County
Collector, and Nathan M. Thompson was
Assessor. At the June term, 1840, James
Cheek was appointed Collector. In Septem-
ber, 1840, Francis Apperson was qualified as
County Clerk, and entered upon the duties
of the office. William Aldridge was the new
member of the court this year.

Removal of County Seat to Louisville —
February 26, 1841, the Legislature enacted
that Ferris Foreman, of Fayette County, John
Trapp, of Effingham County, and James
Bowman, of Jefferson County, be "Commis-
sioners, to relocate the county seat of Clay
County." They were required to meet in
Louisville in May, and after examining the
county, to select an eligible site, etc. If
they selected private property, the owner was
required to lay off twenty acres and deed the
square to the county for public purposes, and
to give one third of the lots in the twenty
acres to the county — these lots the county
was to sell, and the money was to be used in
constructing county buildings. The County
Commissioners were ordered to advertise and
sell the county buildings in Maysville, ex-
cept the jail, which should be reserved and
used until a new jail should be built. The
Commissioners were ordered to immediately
erect a new court house and buildings, and



HISTORY OF CI. AY COUNTY.



821



they were authorized to make a loan of $5,000
for this purpose. The spring terms of the
courts in 1841 were to be hehl in Maysville,
and the fall terms out at the new county seat.
At the June term of the Commissioners'
Court, the following report was made:

"State of Illinois, Clay County: We,
John Trapp, James Bowman and Ferris
Foreman, Commissioners appointed by the
Legislature to relocate the county seat of
Clay County aforesaid, do hereby certify that.
we have fixed and located the site for said
relocation upon the north end of the east
half of the southwest quarter of Section 23,
in Town 4 north, of Rango east of the
Third Principal Meridian, the whole town
plat containing forty acres of land. Given
under our hands and seals, 5th of May,
1841."

The last County Commissioners' Court
that ever assembled in Maysville met on the
4th of August, 1841. George Baity and
William Aldridge composed the court. The
tirst session of this court in Louisville com-
menced on the 21st day of August, 1841,
and was composed of Georgo Baity and Ja-
cob Stipp.

The County Commissioners' Court of the
September term, 1842, was composed of
William Lewis, Jacob Stipp and John Law-
son. The County Assessor for this year was
John \V. Tucker. The Collector was Jesse
R. Sorrells (this family name in Effingham
County was Sorrells).

The Circuit Court was held in a room
rented of Isaac Coleman, in Louisville, for
the years L842 and 1843.

At the September term, 1843, Samuel Slo-
cumb presented his bill, and demanded pay-
ment for building the new court house in Lou-
isville — §35.99. This demand was rejected,
and the bill not allowed, and the court would
not receive the house, and from this judg-



ment Slocumb appealed to the Circuit Court.

Francis Apperson entered upon a new term

as County Clerk. September, 1843. June,

1844. Thomas S. Parvin resigned the office
of County Treasurer, and William T. Cole-
man was appointed to the office. In 1844,
FranciB Apperson was delegated to secure a
house for holding the next term of the Cir-
cuit Court.

A special term of the County Court con-
vened 23d of September, 1844, when Thomas
J. Killian ai5d George Sapp were sworn into
office, when they determined "by lot" as the
law directed the number of years each should
serve, when Killian was elected for one year,
and to preside over the court, and Sapp for
three years. At the November term, same
year, Killian resigned. At the March term,

1845, W. P. Thompson and George Baity
presented their credentials as Commissioners,
and by lot it was determined that Thompson
should serve until August, 1845, and Baity
until August, 1840. W. P. Thompson there-
fore was the presiding officer of the court.
In March, 1845, Robert Toler furnished bond
and security as County Collector; William
T. Coleman was County Treasurer in 1845,
which office he resigned in December of this
year, and Anslam Hobbs was appointed to
the' office. In June, 1846, Hartwig Sam-
uelson was instructed to finish the new court
house. At the December term of the County
Commissioners' Court, the members thereof
were William P. Thompson, John Onstott
and George Sapp. The court appointed
William Lawson County Treasurer. This
year the Collector, Robert Toler, was charged
with the county revenue- $1,330.02. In
1847, John W. P. Davis was elected County
Clerk and duly qualified, and entered upon
his duties in September of that year. Rob-
ert Colborn was a member this year of the
County Court. In 1848, William Deremiah



328



HISTORY OF CLAY COUNTY



was the County Treasurer; J. W. Murry was
the new member of the Commissioners'
Court. 1848. A. Green was chosen Treas-
urer under the law; the new order of things
in reference to the County Court were in
force, and therefore at the March term, 1850,
the County Court met. Robert Field was
County Judge, and William Nicholson and
Robert Colborn, Associates.

Francis Apperson, Clerk.

As we have spoken of the various changes
in the matter of the county seat, that is, of
those that have occurred, it may not be out of
place to mention the fact here that as early
as 1861, the question was agitated to that
extent that an election was held in the
county on the question of removing the seat
of justice from Louisville to Flora. Louis-
ville triumphed, but the question, it seems,
was not settled by a vote of the people, that
is, in the minds of some Floraites, as they



continued to talk bravely, and for some years
would keep the people of Louisville in con-
stant hot water; but we believe we are now
safe in saying that matters generally quieted
down, and are as a general rule, regarded as
settled at least for some years to come.

It was not the selection by the Commis-
sioners of Louisville as the point to remove
the county seat that first started the idea of
a town there, as we find that as early as
1838, Isaac Coleman was licensed to mer
chandise in Louisville, and at the same time
Peter G. Gray was licensed to keep a tavern
at the same place. It probably was the lim-
pid waters of the noble Okaw that caught
the eye of these city builders. Something of
the idea of the growth of Louisville may be
gained from the vote on the question of in-
corporation held in 1850. The vote stood 19
for and 1 against, indicating a population of
about 100.



CHAPTER V.



ADDITIONAL ACCOUNTS OF THE PEOPLE— NEIGHBORHOOD FEUDS— REGULATORS AND SOME OF
THEIR VICTIMS— MARRIAGES, COMMENCING WITH NUMBER ONE— THE COURTS— JURIES
AND LAWYERS AND COURT AND COUNTY OFFICERS TO DATE— FIRST INDICT-
MENTS—FIRST COUNTY OFFICERS— THE PRESIDING JUDGES, ETC.



SOMETHING of the Old Settlers. —Fran -
cis Apperson, aged thirty-three, was born
in Abingdon County, Va. , came here in
1820. Now lives in Lebanon, Mo., where he
went about eight years ago. He married
Sally Duff in Virginia, a relative of D. D.
and N. H. Duff, the latter now living in
Clay City. Apperson' s oldest son, Albert,
died in the army, next was Elizabeth, who
married Isaac Martin, Jr., she died some
years ago, and Martin married again. John



Apperson was a long time Circuit Clerk, Master
in Chancery, and in fact held many offices in
the county. His accounts eventually were
short and he went to New Mexico, where he
now lives. Then there was Stephen, now in
Lebanon, Mo. , with his father. Charles mar-
ried Dr. Wining's daughter, and died.
Ellen, who married Simeon Bishop, is now in
Utah. John L. Scut-chfield married Ellen
Colclasure in an early day, some time in the
thirties. She was at that time living with



1ISH3AINA



HISTORY OF CLAY COUNTY.



331



William Lewis, her uncle. He is still living
and is seventy- four years old.

The Songers were Abraham, John and
Jacob, who were very early settlers. John
married Dr. Daveuport's daughter. Abraham
Songer is now living below Xenia. Jesse
Blair died in 1S83, he was from Orange
County, Ind., and was seventy-three years old
when he died; he married Ann Shirley,
daughter of Charles Shirley. His son
George now lives north of Louisville about
three miles. His daughter married a man
named Cox. Joseph Bishop, son of John
Bishop, a brother of Ben's; old John Bis-
hop's wife was the Widow Whiteley ; Joseph's
wife was Sarah Whiteley. John Sceif and
his brother Enoch were sons of old Jesse
Sceif; John was a carpenter, and for years a
prominent man in the county; they were
from Tennessee. Basil Davis was Mat H.
Davis's father; he was from Gallatin County,
Term.; of this family were Allen and John;
the two latter died; Allen died in Centralia.
A. P. Cox, now seventy-five years old, was
born near Lebanon, 111.: Jacob B. Cox, was
a Mexican soldier; he is said to be the second
child born in Illinois; he was buried in Blair
Township at the Union Chapel Cemetery.
Alfred J. Moore, from Wilson County, Tenn.,
married, first wife, daughter of William
Erwin, named Jane; had large family by her;
William, Crawford and Till were his sons;
William is in Arkansas; the others are in the
ity. Felix Cockorell (see his biography
in another department): Robert N. Smith's
father, Robert, came here very early; they
were Tennesseaus; Robert, Sr., died some
time in the sixties. John Craig cam • anion :
the pioneers; married ;i I'.ishoii, had suns
John and Wesley; Wesley is the only surviv-
or now living in county. Samuel Dillman
H- from Kentucky. John Jordan, the
father of William Jordan, was from South



Carolina; he was here early enough to serve
on the first grand jury; his son was William
Jordan. George Faris married John Me-
Cawley's sister; he died of cholera in 1834.
Levi Daniel married a Whiteley; had a large
family, and died on Crooked Creek. John
Jeffries lived in Fox Prairie; a cabinet
workman; married an Evans; had throe chil-
dren. Ephraim Haines lived with Thomas
Elliott, and his family kept house for Elliott
when he was a widower; he died in that part
of the county many years ago. The Selfs and
Bishops lived neighbors; Levi Self died
many years ago at a great age. Francis
Harman was from Tennessee; a son named



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