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to over $6,500,000, while the total valuation of
real and personal property, for the purposes of
taxation, was less than $60,000,000, and the aggre-
gate receipts of the State treasury, for the same
year, amounted to less than $150,000. At the
same time, the disbursements, for the support of
the State Government alone, had grown to more
than twice the receipts. This disparity continued
until the declining credit of the State forced upon
the managers of public aff'airs an involuntary
economy, when the means could no longer be
secured for more lavish expenditures. The first
bonds issued at the inception of the internal
improvement scheme sold at a premium of 5 per
cent, but rapidly declined until they were hawked
in the markets of New York and London at a dis-
count, in some cases falling into the hands of
brokers who failed before completing their con-



tracts, thus causing a direct loss to the State. If
the internal improvement scheme was ill-advised,
the time chosen to carry it into effect was most
unfortunate, as it came simultaneously with the
panic of 1837, rendering the disaster all the more
complete. Of the various works undertaken by
the State, only the Illinois & Michigan Canal
brought a return, all the others resulting in more
or less complete loss. The internal improvement
scheme was abandoned in 1839-40, but not until
State bbnds exceeding $13,000,000 had been
issued. For two years longer the State struggled
with its embarrassments, increased by the failure
of the State Bank in February, 1843, and, by that
of the Bank of Illinois at Shawneetown, a few
months later, with the proceeds of more than two
and a half millions of the State's bonds in their
possession. Thus left without credit, or means
even of paying the accruing interest, there were
those who regarded the State as hopelessly bank-
rupt, and advocated repudiation as the only
means of escape. Better counsels prevailed, how-
ever ; the Constitution of 1848 put the State on a
basis of strict economy in the matter of salaries
and general expenditures, with restrictions upon
the Legislature in reference to incurring in-
debtedness, while the beneficent "two-mill tax"
gave assurance to its creditors that its debts
would be paid. While the grovi'th of the State,
in wealth and population, had previously been
checked by the fear of excessive taxation, it now
entered upon a new career of prosperity, in spite
of its burdens— its increase in population, be-
tween 1850 and 1860, amounting to over 100 per
cent. The movement of the State debt after 1840
— when the internal improvement scheme was
abandoned — chiefly by accretions of unpaid inter-
est, has been estimated as follows: 1843, $15,-
637,950; 1844, $14,633,969; 1846, $16,389,817; 1848.
$16,661,795. It reached its maximum in 1853—
the first year of Governor Matteson's administra-
tion — when it was officially reported at $16,734,-
177. At this time the work of extinguishment
began, and was prosecuted under successive
administrations, except during the war, when
the vast expense incurred in sending troops to
the field caused an increase. During Governor
Bissell's administration, the reduction amounted
to over $3,000,000; during Oglesby's, to over five
and a quarter million, besides two and a quarter
million paid on interest. In 1880 the debt had
been reduced to $381,059.11, and, before the close
of 1883, it had been entirely extinguished, excejit
a balance of $18,500 in bonds, which, having lieen
called in years previously and never presented for



HISTOEICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



oU5



payment, are supposed to have been lost. (See
Macali^itcr and SUbbin.-i Bonds.)

STATE tiUARDl.VXS FOR (JlRLS, a bureau
organized for the care of female juvenile delin-
quents, by act of June 2, 1893. The Board consists
of seven members, nominated by the Executive
and confirmed by the Senate, and who consti-
tute a body politic and corporate. Not more than
two of the members maj' reside in the same Con-
gressional District and, of the seven members,
four must be women. (See also Home for Female
Juvenile Offenders.) The term of office is si.x
years.

STATE HOUSE, located at Springfield. Its
construction was begun under an act passeil by
the Legislature in February, 1807, and completed
in 1887. It stands in a park of about eight acres,
donated to the State by the citizens of Spring-
field. A provision of the State Constitution of
1870 prohibited the expenditure of any sum in
excess of .$3,r)00,000 in the erection and furnishing
of the building, without previous approval of such .
additional expenditure by the people. This
amount proving insulficient, the Legislature, at
its session of 188.5, passed an act making an addi-
tional appropriation of .$.531. 7r3, which having
been approved by popular vote at the general
election of 1886, the expenditure was made and
the capitol completed during the following year,
thus raising the total cost of construction and fur-
nishing to a little in excess of .$4,000,000. The
building is cruciform as to its ground plan, and
classic in its style of architecture ; its extreme
dimensions (including porticoes), from north [to
south, being 379 feet, and, from east to west, 286
feet. The walls are of dressed Joliet limestone,
while the porticoes, which are spacious and
lofty, are of sandstone, supported by iiolished
columns of gray granite. The three stories of
the building are surmounted by a Mansard roof,
with two turrets and a central dome of stately
dimensions. Its extreme height, to the tt)p of
the iron flag-staff, which rises from a lantern
springing from the dome, is 364 feet.

STATE NORMAL UMVERSITY, an institu
tion for the education of teachers, organized
under an act of the General Assembly, pas.sed
Feb. 18, 1857. This act placed the work of
organization in the hands of a board of fifteen
persons, which was .styled "The Board of Educa-
tion of the State of Illinois." and was constituted
as follows: C. B. Denio of Jo Daviess County;
Simeon Wright of Lee ; Daniel Wilkins of Mc-
Lean ; Charles E. Hovey of Peoria ; George P. Rex
of Pike; Samuel W. Moulton of Shelby; John



Gillespie of Jasper ; George Bunsen of St. Clair ;
Wesley Sloan of Pope; Ninian W. Edwards of
Sangamon ; John R. Eden of Moultrie ; FlaveL
Moseley and William Wells of Cook ; Albert R.
Shannon of White; and the Superintendent of
Public Instruction, ex-officio. The object of the
University, as defined in the organizing law, is
to qualifj- teachers for the public schools of the
State, and the course of instruction to be given
embraces "the art of teaching, and all branches
which pertain to a common-school education ; in
the elements of the natural scieni'es, including
agricultural chemistry, animal and vegetable
physiology: in the fundamental laws of the
United States and of the State of Illinois in
regard to the rights and duties of citizens, and
such other studies as the Board of Education may,
from time to time, prescribe." Various cities
competed for the location of the institution,
Bloomington being finally selected, its bid, in-
cluding 160 acres of land, being estimated as
equivalent to §141,725. The corner-stone was
laid on September 39, 1857, and the first building
was ready for permanent occupancy in Septem-
ber, 1860. Previously, however, it had been
sufficiently advanced to permit of its being used,
and the first commencement exercises were held
on June 29 of the latter year. Three years
earlier, the academic department had been organ-
ized under the charge of Charles E. Hovey. The
first cost, including furniture, etc., was not far
from $200,000. Gratuitous instruction is given to
two pupils from each county, and to three from
each Senatorial District. The departments are :
Grammar school, high school, normal department
and model school, all of which are overcrowded.
The whole number of students in attendance on
the institution during the school year, 1807-98,
was 1,197, of whom 891 were in the normal
department and 306 in the practice school depart-
ment, including representatives from 86 coun-
ties of the State, with a few pupils from other
States on the payment of tuition. The teaehin;;
faculty (including the President and Librarian)
for the same year, was made up of twenty-si.v
members — twelve ladies and fourteen gentlemen.
The expenditures for the year 1897-98 aggregated
S47.626.92, against §66, .528. 69 for 1896-97. Nearly
§22,(100 of the amount expended during the latter
year was on account of the con.struction of a
gymnasium building.

STATE PROPERTY. The United States Cen
sus of 1890 gave the value of real and personal
property belonging to the State as follows: Pul>
lie lands, §328,000; buildings, §22,164,000; mis-



506



HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



1 property, §3,650,000— total, $35,142,000.
The land may be subdivided thus : Camp-grounds
of the Illinois National Guard near Springfield
(donated), $40,000; Illinois and Michigan Canal,
$168,000; Illinois University lands, in Illinois
(donated by the General Government), $41,000. in
Minnesota (similarly donated), $79,000. The
buildings comprise those connected with the
charitable, penal and educational institutions of
tlie State, besides the State Arsenal, two build-
ings for the use of the Appellate Courts (at
Ottawa and Mount Vernon), the State House,
the Executive Mansion, and locks and dams
erected at Henry and Copperas Creek. Of the
miscellaneous property, $130,000 represents tlie
equipment of tlie Illinois National Guard ; $l,9.o9,-
000 the value of the movable property of public
buildings: S-WO.OOO the endowment fund of the
University of Illinois; and $21,000 the movable
property of the Illinois & Michigan Canal. The
figures given relative to the value of the public
buildings include only the first appropriations
for their erection. Considerable sums have
since been e-\peiule'SO>', (Dr.) Benjamin Franklin,
physician and soldier, was born in Wayne
County. 111., Oct. 30, 18i2, and accompanied bis
parents, in 182,";, to Sangamon County, where the
family settled. His early educational advantages
were meager, and he did not study his profession
(medicine) until after reacliing his majority,
graduating from Rush Medical College. Chicago,
in 18.')0. He began practice at Petersburg, but,
in April, 1862, was mustered into the volunteer
army as Surgeon of the Fourteenth Illinois
Infantr}-. After a little over two years .service he
was niustered out in June. 18fi4, when he took up
his residence in Springfield, and. for a year, was
engaged in the drug business there. In 186.5 he
resumed professional practice. He lacked tenac-
ity i)f purpose, however, was indifferent to monej'.
and always willing to give his own services and
orders for medicine to the poor. Hence, his prac-
tice was not lucrative. He was one of the leaders
in the organization of the Grand Army of llie
Republic (whioli see), in connection with which
he is most widely known ; but his services in its
cause failed to receive, during bis lifetime, the
recognition which they deserved, nor did the
organization promptly flourish, as he had hoped.
He finally returned with his family to Peters-
burg. Died, at Rock Creek, Jlenard, County, 111.,
August 30, 1871.

STEPHENSON COUNTY, a nortbwe.stern
county, with an area of .560 square miles. Tlie
soil is rich, productive and well timbered. Fruit-
culture and stock-raising are among the chief
industries. Not until 1827 did the aborigines quit
the locality, and the county was organized, ten
years later, and named for Gen. Benjamin
Stephenson. A man named Kirker, who had
Ijeen in the employment of Colonel Gratiot as a
lead-miner, near Galena, is said to have built the
first cabin within the present limits of what was
calleil Burr Oak Grove, and .set himself up as an
Indian-trader in 182G, but only remained a sliort
time. He was followed, the next year, by Oliver



W. Kellogg, who took Kirker's place, built a
more pretentious dwelling and became the first
permanent settler. Later came William Wad-
dams, the Montagues, Baker, Kilpatrick, Preston,
the Goddards, and others whose names are linked
with the county's early history. The first house
in Freeport was built by William Baker. Organi-
zation was effected in 1837. the total poll being
eighty-four votes. The earliest teacher was Nel-
son Martin, who is said to have taught a school
of some twelve pupils, in a house which stood on
the site of the present city of Freeport. Popula-
tion (1880), 31,963; (1890)', 31,338.

STERLING, a flourishing city on the north
bank of the Rock River, in Whiteside County,
109 miles west of Chicago, 29 miles east of Clin-
ton, Iowa, and .52 miles east-northea.st of Rock
Island. It has ample railway facilities, fur-
nished by the Chicago, Burlington & Quiucy and
tlie Chicago & Northwestern Railroads. It con-
tains fourteen churches, two opera houses, a
high school, a free librarj-, a national and two
jirivate banks, four new.spaper oflices, (of which
two issue daily editions) and a .school- liouse cost-
ing §80,000. It has fine water-power, and is an
important manufacturing center, its works turn-
ing out agricultural implements, carriages, school
furniture, burial caskets, jiumps, sash-doors, etc.
It also contains four flouring mills, a large dis-
tillery, the Sterling Iron Works, besides foundries
and machine shops. The river here affords
abundant water power, and flows through charm-
ing scenery. Population (1880). ,5,087; (1890),
.5.824.

STEVENS, Bradford K., ex-Congressman, was
born at Boscawen (afterwards Webster), N. H.,
Jan. 3, 1813. After attending .schools in New
Hampshire and at Montreal, lie entered Dart-
mouth College, graduating therefrom in 183,5.
During the six years following, he devoted him-
self to teaching, at Hopkinsville, Ky., and New
York City. In 1843 he removed to Bureau
County, 111., where he became a merchant and
farmer. In 1868 he was chairman of the Board
of Supervisors, and, in 1870, was elected to Con-
gress, as an Independent Democrat, for the Fifth
District.

STEVENSON, AdIai E., ex-Vice-President of
the United States, was born in Christian County,
Ky., Oct. 23, 183.5. In 18.52 he removed with his
parents to Bloomington. McLean County. 111.,
where the family settled; was educated at the
Illinois Wesleyan University and at Centre Col-
lege, Ky.. was admitted to the bar in 1H.58 and
began practice at Metamora, Woodf >rd County.



HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



where he was Master in Chancery, 1861-65, and
State's Attorney, 1865-69. In 1864 he was candi-
date for Presidential Elector on the Democratic
ticket. In 1869 he returned to Bloomington,
where he has since resided. In 1874, and again
in 1876, he was an unsuccessful candidate of his
party for Congress, but was elected as a Green-
back Democrat in 1878, thougli defeated in 1880
and 1883. In 1877 he was appointed by President
Hayes a member of the Board of Visitors to
West Point. During the first administration of
President Cleveland (1885-89) he was First Assist-
ant Postmaster General; was a member of the
National Democratic Conventions of 1884 and
1892, being Chairman of the Illinois delegation
the latter year. In 1893 he received his party's
nomination for the Vice-Presidency, and was
elected to that office, serving until 1897. Since
retiring from office he has resumed his residence
at Bloomington.

STEWARD, Lewis, manufacturer and former
Congressman, was born in Wayne County, Pa.,
Nov. 20, 1824, and received a common school
education. At the age of 14 he accompanied his
parents to Kendall County, 111., where he after-
wards resided, being engaged in farming and the
manufacture of agricultural implements at
Piano. He studied law but never practiced. In
1876 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Gov-
ernor on the Democratic ticket, being defeated
by Shelby M. Cullom. In 1890 the Democrats of
the Eighth Illinois District elected him to Con-
gress. In 1892 he was again a candidate, but was
defeated by his Republican opponent, Robert A.
Childs, by the narrow margin of 27 votes, and.
In 1894, was again defeated, this time being pitted
against Albert J. Hojikins. Mr. Steward died at
his home at Piano, August 26, 1896.

STEWARDSON, a town of Shelby County, at
the intersection of the Toledo, St. Louis & Kan-
sas City Railway with the Altamont branch of
the Wabash, 13 miles southeast of Shelby ville;
is in a grain and lumber region; has a bank and
a weekly jjaper. Population, 617.

STICKNEY, William H., pioneer lawyer, was
born in Baltimore, Md. , Nov. 9, 1809, studied law
and was admitted to the bar at Cincinnati in
1831, and, in Illinois in 1834, being at that time a
resident of Shawneetown; was elected States
Attorney by the Legislature, in 1839, for the cir-
cuit embracing some fourteen counties in the
southern and southeastern part of the State ; for
a time also, about 1835-36, officiated as editor of
"The Gallatin Democrat," and "The Illinois
Advertiser, " published at Shawneetown. In 1846



Mr. Stickney was elected to the lower branch of
the General Assembly from Gallatin County, and,
twenty-eight years later — having come to Chi-
cago in 1848 — to the same body from Cook
County, serving in the somewhat famous Twenty-
ninth Assembly. He also held the office of
Police Justice for some thirteen years, from 1860
onward. He lived to an advanced age,, dying in
Chicago, Feb. 14, 1898, being at the time the
oldest surviving member of the Chicago bar.

STILES, Isaac Newton, lawyer and soldier,
born at Suffield, Conn., July 16, 1833; was ad-
mitted to the bar at Lafayette, Ind., in 185."),
became Prosecuting Attorney, a member of the
Legislature and an effective speaker in the Fre-
mont campaign of 1856 ; enlisted as a private sol-
dier at the beginning of the war, went to the
field as Adjutant, was captured at Malvern Hill,
and, after six weeks" confinement in Libby
prison, exchanged and returned to duty ; was
promoted Major, Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel,
and brevetted Brigadier-General for meritorious
service. After the war he practiced his profes-
sion in Chicago, though almost totally blind.
Died, Jan. 18, 1895.

STILLMAN, Steplien, first State Senator from
Sangamon County, 111., was a native of Massachu-
setts who came, with his widowed mother, to
Sangamon County in 1830, and settled near
WilUamsville, where he became the first Post-
master in the first postofiice in the State north of
the Sangamon River. In 1832, Mr. Stillman was
elected as the first State Senator from Sangamon
County, serving four years, and, at his first session,
being one of the opponents of the pro-slavery
Convention resolution. He died, in Peoria, some-
where between 1835 and 1840.

STILLMAN VALLEY, a village and railway
station in Ogle County, on the Chicago & Great
Western and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul
Railways; has tile and brick works, a bank and
a weekly newspaper. Population, 475.

STITES, Samuel, pioneer, was born near
Mount Bethel, Somerset County, N. J., Oct. 31,
1776; died, August 16, 1839, on his farm, which
subsequently became the site of the city of Tren-
ton, in Clinton County, 111. He was descended
from John Stites, M.D., who was born in Eng-
land in 1595, emigrated to America, and died at
Hempstead, L. I., in 1717, at the age of 123 years.
The family removed to New Jersey in the latter
part of the seventeenth century. Samuel was a
cousin of Benjamin Stites, the first white man to
settle within the present limits of Cincinnati, and
various members of the family were prominent in



HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



509



the settlement of the upper Ohio Valley as early
as 1788. Samuel Stites married, Sept. 14, 1794.
Martha Martin, daughter of Ephraim Martin,
and grand- daughter of Col. Ephraim Martin, both
soldiers of the New Jersey line during the Revo-
lutionary War — with the last named of whom
he had (in connection with John Cleves Symmes)



Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 106 of 207)