Newton Bateman.

Historical encyclopedia of Illinois online

. (page 78 of 207)
Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 78 of 207)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


miles southwest of Chicago. It has eight
churches, and its public school system embraces
three graded schools and a high school. Wart-
burg Seminary (Lutheran — opened in 1853) is
located here. A good public library was founded
in 1870. The chief industrial plants are two iron
foundries and machine shops. The city has two
banks and four weekly newspapers. The sur-
rounding country is agricultural. Population
(1880), 4,142; (1890). 3,542; (1898) estimated,
4,500.

MERCER COUNTY, a western county, with an
area of 555 square miles and a population (1890)
of 18,545— named for Gen. Hugh Mercer. The
Mississippi forms the western boimdary, and
along this river the earliest American settlements
were made. William Dennison, a Pennsylvanian,
settled in New Boston Township in 1828, and,
before the expiration of a half dozen years, tlie
Vannattas, Keith, Jackson, Wilson, Farlow,
Bridges, Perry and Fleharty had arrived. Mer-
cer County was separated from Warren, and
specially organized in 1825. The soil is a rich,
black loam, admirably adapted to the cultivation
of cereals. A good quality of building stone is
found at various points. Aledo is the county-
seat. The county lies on the outskirts of the
Illinois coal fields and mining was commenced
in 1845.



MERCY HOSPITAL, located in Chicago, and
the first permanent hospital in the State — char-
tered in 1847 or 1848 as the "Illinois General
Hospital of the Lakes." No steps were taken
toward organization until 1850, when, with a
scanty fund scarcely exceeding $150, twelve beds
were secured and placed on one floor of a board-
ing house, whose proprietress was engaged as
nurse and stewardess. Drs. N. S. Davis and
Daniel Brainard were, respectively, the first
physician and surgeon in charge. In 1851 the
hospital was given in charge of the Sisters of
Mercy, who at once enlarged and improved the
accommodations, and, in 1852, changed its name
to Mercy Hospital. Tliree or four years later, a
removal was made to a building previously occu-
pied as an orphan asylum. Being the only pub-
lic hospital in the city, its wards were constantly
overcrowded, and, in 1869, a more capacious and
better arranged building was erected. This
edifice it has continued to occupy, although many
additions and improvements have been, and are
still being, made. The Sisters of Mercy own the
grounds and buildings, and manage the nursing
and all the domestic and financial affairs of the
institution. The present medical staff (1896)
consists of thirteen physicians and surgeons,
besides three internes, or resident practitioners.

MEREDOSIA, a town in Morgan County, on
the east bank of the Illinois River and situated
on the Wabash Railway, some 58 miles west of
Springfield. Flour and lumber constitute the
manufactured output. Population (1880), 750;
(1890), 621. It was the first point to be connected
with the State capital by railroad in 1838.

MERRIAM, (Col.) Jonathan, soldier, legisla-
tor and farmer, was born in Vermont, Nov. 1,
1834; was brought to Springfield, 111., when two
years old, living afterwards at Alton, his parents
finally locating, in 1841, in Tazewell County,
where he now resides — wlien not officially em-
ployed — pursuing the occupation of a farmer. He
was educated at Wesleyan University, Blooming-
ton, and at McKendree College; entered the
Union army in 1862, being commissioned Lieu-
tenant-Colonel of the One Hundred and Seven-
teenth Illinois Infantry, and serving to the close
of the war. During the Civil War period he was
one of the founders of the "Union League of
America," which proved so influential a factor
in sustaining the war policy of the Government.
He was also a member of the State Constitutional
Convention of 1869-70; an unsuccessful Repub-
lican nominee for Congress in 1870; served as
Collector of Internal Revenue for the Springfield



HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



3:1



District from 1873 to "83, was a Representative in
the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth General Assem-
blies, and, in 1897, was appointed, by President
McKinley, Pension Agent for the State of Illinois,
with headquarters in Chicago. Tlioroughly pa-
triotic and of incorruptible integrity, he has won
the respect and confidence of all iu every public
position he has been called to fill.

MERRILL, Stephen Mason, Methodist Episco-
pal Bishop, was born in Jefferson County, Oliio,
Sept. 16, 1825. entered the Ohio Conference of tlie
Methodist Episcopal Church, in 18G4, as a travel-
ing preacher, and, four years later, became editor
of "The Western Christian Advocate." at Cin-
cinnati. He was ordained Bishop at Brooklyn in
1872, and, after two years spent in Minnesota,
removed to Chicago, where he still resides. The
degree of D.D. was conferred upon him by Ohio
Wesleyan University, in 1868, and that of LL.D.
by the Northwestern University, in 1886. He has
published "Christian Baptism" (Cincinnati,
1876); "New Testament Idea of Hell" (1878);
"Second Coming of Christ" (1879); "Aspects of
Christian Experience" (1882); "Digest of Metho-
dist Law" (188.5); and "Outlines of Thought on
Probation" (1886).

MERRITT, John TV., journalist, was born in
New York City, July 4, 1806; studied law and
practiced, for a time, with the celebrated James
T. Brady as a partner. In 1841 he removed to
St. Clair County, III, purchased and, from 1848
to "51, conducted "The Belleville Advocate";
later, removed to Salem, 111., where he established
"The Salem Advocate" ; served as Assistant Sec-
retary of the State Constitutional Convention of
1862, and as Representative in the Twenty-third
General Assembly. In 1864 he purchased "The
State Register" at Springfield, and was its editor
for several years. Died, Nov. 16, 1878. — Thomas
E. (Merritt), son of the preceding, lawyer and
politician, was born in New York City, April 29,
1834; at six years of age was brought by his
father to Illinois, where he attended the common
schools and later learned the trade of carriage-
painting. Subsequently he read law, and was
admitted to the bar, at Springfield, in 1862. In
1868 he was elected, as a Democrat, to the lower
house of the General Assembly from the Salem
District, and was re-elected to the same body in
1870, '74, '76, '86 and -88. He also served two
terms in the Senate (1878.'86), making an almo.st
continuous service in the General Assembly of
eighteen years. He has repeatedly been a mem-
ber of State conventions of his party, and stands
as one of its trusted representatives.— Maj.-Gen.



Wesley (Merritt), another son, was born in New
York, June 16, 1836, came with his father to Illi-
nois in childhood, and was appointed a cadet at
West Point Military Academy from this State,
graduating in 1860; became a Second Lieutenant
in the regular army, the same year, and was pro-
moted to the rank of First Lieutenant, a year
later. After the beginning of the Civil War, he
was rapidly promoteil, reaching the rank of
Brigadier-General of Volunteers in 1862, and
being mustered out, in 1866, with tlie brevet rank
of Major-General. He re-entered the regular
army as Lieutenant-Colonel, was promoted to a
colonelcy in 1876, and, in 1887, received a com-
mission as Brigadier-General, in 1897 becoming
Major-General. He was in command, for a time,
of the Department of the Missouri, but, on his
last promotion, was transferred to the Depart-
ment of the East, with headquarters at Gov-
ernor's Island, N. Y. Soon after the beginning
of the war with Spain, he was assigned to the
command of the land forces destined for the
Philippines, and appointed Jlilitary Governor of
the Islands. Towards the close of the year he
returned to the United States and resumed his old
command at New Yoi'k.

MESSl>'(iER, John, pioneer survej'or and car-
tographer, was Ijorn at West Stockbridge, Mass.,
in 1771, grew up on a farm, but .secured a good
education, especially in mathematics. Going to
Vermont in 1783, he learned tlie trade of a car-
penter and mill- Wright ; removed to Kentucky in
1799, and, in 1802, to Illinois (then a part of Indi-
ana Territory), locating first in the American
Bottom and, later, at New Design within the
present limits of Monroe County. Two years
later lie became the proprietor of a mill, and.
between 1804 and 1806, taught one of the earliest
schools in St. Clair County. The latter year he
took up the vocation of a surveyor, which he fol-
lowed for many years as a sub-contractor under
William Rector, surveying much of the land in
St. Clair and Randolph Counties, and, still later,
assisting in determining the northern boundary
"of the State. He also served for a time as a
teacher of mathematics in Rock Spring Seminary ;
in 1821 published "A Manual, or Hand-Book,
intended for Convenience in Practical Survey-
ing," and prepared some of the earlier State and
county maps. In 1808 he was elected to the
Indiana Territorial Legi.slature, to fill a vacancy,
and took part in the steps which resulted in set-
ting up a separate Territorial Government for
Illinois, the following year. He also received an
appointment as the first Surveyor of St. Clair



372



HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



County under the new Territorial Government;
was chosen a Delegate from St. Clair County to
the Convention of 1818, which framed the first
State Constitution, and, tlie same year, was
elected a Representative in the First General
Assembly, serving as Speaker of that body.
After leaving New Design, the later years of his
life were spent on a farm two and a half miles
north of Belleville, where he died in 1846.

METAMORA, a town of Woodford County on
a branch of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, 19
miles east-northeast of Peoria, and some 30 miles
northwest of Bloomiugton. Carriages and wagons
are manufactured here, and the town has seven
churches, two banks, a public park, good schools
and a newspaper office. Population (1880), 828;
(1890), 758. Metamora was the county-seat of
Woodford County until 1899, when the seat of
justice was removed to Eureka.

METCALF, Andrew W., lawyer, was born in
Guernsey County, Ohio, August 6, 1828 ; educated
at Madison College in his native State, graduating
in 1846, and, after studying law at Cambridge,
Ohio, three years, was admitted to the bar in
1850. The following year he went to Appleton,
Wis. , but remained only a year, when he removed
to St. Louis, then to Edwardsville, and shortly
after to Alton, to take charge of the legal busi-
ness of George T. Brown, then publisher of "The
Alton Courier." In 1853 he returned to Edwards-
ville to reside permanently, and, in 1859, was
appointed by Governor Bissell State's Attorney
for Madison County, serving one year. In 1864
he was elected State Senator for a term of four
years ; was a delegate to the Republican National
Convention of 1872, and, in 1870, a lay delegate
from the Southern Illinois Conference of the
Methodist Episcopal Church to the General Con-
ference at Baltimore ; has also been a Trustee of
McKendree College, at Lebanon, 111., for more
than twenty-five years.

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, one of
the most numerous Protestant church organiza-
tions in the United States and in Illinois. Rev.
Joseph Lillard was the first preacher of this sect
to settle in the Northwest Territory, and Capt.
Joseph Ogle was the first class-leader (1795). It
is stated that tlie first American preacher in the
American Bottom was Rev. Hosea Riggs (179G).
Rev. Benjamin Young took charge of the first
Methodist mission in 1803, and, in 1804, this mis-
sion was attached to the Cumberland (Tenn.)
circuit. Revs. Joseph Oglesby and Charles R.
/ Matheny were among the early circuit riders. In
1830 there were seven circuits in Illinois, and, in



1830, twenty-eight, the actual membership
exceeding 10,000. The first Methodist service in
Chicago was held by Rev. Jesse Walker, in 1826.
The first Methodist society in that city was
organized by Rev, Stephen R. Beggs, in June,

1831. By 1835 the number of circuits had in-
creased to 61, with 370 ministers and 15,000 mem-
bers. Rev. Peter Cartwright was among the
early revivalists. The growth of this denomi-
nation in the State has been extraordinary. By
1890, it had nearly 2,000 churches, 937 ministers,
and 151,000 members — the total number of Metho-
dists in the United States, by the same census,
being 4,980,240. The church property owned in
1890 (including parsonages) approached $111,000,-
000, and the total contributions were estimated
at $2,073,933. The denomination in Illinois sup-
ports two theological seminaries and the Garrett
Biblical Institute at Evanston. "The North-
western Christian Advocate," with a circulation
of some 30,000, is its official organ in Illinois.
(See also Religious Denominations.)

METROPOLIS CITY, the county-seat of
Massac County, 156 miles southeast of St. Louis,
situated on the Ohio River and on the St. Louis,
Alton & Terre Haute Railroad. The city was
founded in 1839, on the site of old Fort Massac,
which was erected by the French, aided by the
Indians, about 1711. Being in the heart of a
timber district, its industries consist largely of
various forms of wood-working. Saw and plan-
ing mills are a commercial factor : other estab-
lishments turn out wlieel and wagon material,
barrel staves and heads, and veneers. There are
also flouring mills and potteries. The city has a
public library, as well as numerous churches and
schools, and three weekly papers, besides one
monthly publication. Population (1880), 2,668;
(1890), 3,573; (1893), school census, 4,983.

MEXICAN WAR. Briefly stated, this war
originated in the annexation of Texas to the
United States, early in 1846. There was a dis-
agreement as to the western boundary of Texas.
Mexico complained of encroachment upon her
territory, and hostilities began with the battle of
Palo Alto, May 8, and ended with the treaty of
peace, concluded at Guadalupe Hidalgo, near the
City of Mexico, Feb. 3, 1848. Among the most
prominent figures were President Polk, under
whose administration annexation was effected,
and Gen. Zachary Taylor, who was chief in com-
mand in the field at the beginning of the war, and
was elected Polk's successor. Illinois furnished
more than her full quota of troops for the strug-
gle. May 13, 1846. war was declared. On May



I



HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



■rr.i



25, Grovernor Ford issued his proclamation calling
for the enlistment of three regiments of infantry,
the assessed quota of the State. The respon.se
was prompt and general. Alton was named as
tlie rendezvous, and Col. (afterwards General)
Sylvester Churchill was the mustering officer.
Tlie regiments mustered in were commanded,
respectively, by Col. John J. Hardin, Col. Wra. H.
Bissell (afterwards Governor) and Col. Ferris
Forman. An additional twelve months" regiment
(the Fourth) was accepted, under command of
Col. E. D. Baker, who later became United States
Senator from Oregon, and fell at the battle of
Ball's Bluff, in October, 1861. A second call was
made in April, 1847, under which Illinois sent
two more regiments, for the war, towards the
Mexican frontier. These were commanded by
Col. Edward W. B. Newby and Col. James
Collins. Independent companies were also
tendered and accepted. Besides, there were
some 150 volunteers who joined the regiments
already in the field. Commanders of the inde-
pendent companies were Capts. Adam Dunlap,
of Schuyler County; Wyatt B. Stapp, of War-
ren ; Michael K. Lawler, of Shawneetown, and
Josiah Little. Col. John J. Hardin, of the First,
was killed at Buena Vista, and the official mor-
tuary list includes many names of Illinois' best
and bravest sons. After participating in the
battle of Buena Vista, the Illinois troops shared
in the triumphal entry into the City of Mexico,
on Sept. 10, 1847, and (in connection with those
from Kentucky) were especially complimented in
(ieneral Taylor's official report. The Third and
Foiu'th regiments won distinction at Vera Cruz,
Cerro Gordo and the City of Mexico. At the
second of these battles. General Shields fell
severely (and, as supposed for a time, mortally)
wounded. Colonel Baker succeeded Shields, led
a gallant charge, and really turned the day at
Cerro Gordo. Among the officers honorably
named by General Scott, in his official report, were
Colonel Forman, Major Harris, Adjutant Fondey,
Capt. J. S. Post, and Lieutenants Hammond and
Davis. All the Illinois troops were mustered out
between May 2.5, 1847 and Nov. 7, 1848, the inde-
pendent companies being tlie last to quit the
service. The total number of volunteers was
6,123, of whom 86 were killed, and 160 wounded,
12 of the latter dying of their wounds. Gallant
service in the Mexican War soon became a pass-
port to political preferment, and some of the
brave soldiers of 1846-47 subsequently achieved
merited distinction in civil life. Many also be-
came distinguished soldiers in the War of the



Rebellion, including sucli names as Jolin A.
Logan, Richard J. Oglesby, M. K. Lawler, James
D. Morgan, W. H. L. Wallace, B. M. Prentiss,
W. R. Morrison, L. F. Ross, and others. The
cost of the war, with §15,000, 000 paid for territory
annexed, is estimated at $166,500,000 and the
extent of territory acquired, nearly 1,000,000
square miles — considerably more than the
whole of the present territory of the Republic of
Mexico.

METER, John, lawyer and legislator, was born
in Holland, Feb. 27, 18.52; came to Chicago at tlie
age of 12 years ; entered the Northwestern Uni-
versity, supporting himself by labor during vaca-
tions and by teaching in a night school, until Iiis
third year in the university, when he became a
student in the Union College of Law, being
admitted to the bar in 1879; was elected from
Cook County to the Thirty-fifth General Assembly
(1884), and re-elected to the Thirty-sixth, Thirty-
eighth and Thirty-ninth, being chosen Speaker of
the latter (Jan. 18, 1895). Died in office, at Free-
port, 111., July 3, 1895, during a special session of
the General Assembly.

MIAMIS, The. The preponderance of author-
ity favors the belief that this tribe of Indians was
originally a part of the Ill-i-ni or Illinois, but the
date of their separation from the parent stock
cannot be told. It is likely, however, that it
occurred before the Frein-h pushed their expU>-
rations from Canada westward and southward,
into and along the Mississippi Valley. Father
Dablon alludes to the presence of Miamis (whom
he calls Ou-mi-a-mi) in a mixed Indian village,
near the mouth of Fox River of Wisconsin, in
1670. The orthography of their name is varied.
The Iroquois and tlie British generally knew
them as the "Twightwees, " and so they were
commonly called by the American colonists.
The Weas and Piankeshaws were of the same
tribe. When La Salle founded his colony at
Starved Rock, the Miamis had villages which
could muster some 1,950 warriors, of which the
Weas had 500 and the Piankeshaws 150, the re-
maining 1,300 being Miamis proper. In 1671
(according to a written statement by Charlevoix
in 1721), tlie Miamis occupied three villages-
— one on the St. Joseph River, one on the Mau-
raee and one on the "'Ouabache" (Wabash).
They were friendly toward the French until
1694, when a large number of them were
massacred by a party of Sioux, who carried
firearms which had been furnished them by
the Frenchmen. The breach thus caused was
never closed. Having become possessed of guns



374



HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS.



themselves, the Miamis were able, not only to
hold their own, but also to extend their hunting
grounds as far eastward as the Scioto, alternately
warring with the French, British and Americans,
(ieneral Harrison says of them that, ten years
before the treaty of Greenville, they could liave
brought upon the field a body of 3,000 "of the
finest light troops in the world," but lacking in
discipline and enterprise. Border warfare and
smallpox, however, had. by that date (1795),
greatly reduced their numerical strength. The
main seat of the Miamis was at Fort Wayne,
whose residents, because of their superior num-
bers and intelligence, dominated all other bands
except the Piaukeshaws. The physical and
moral deterioration of the tribe began immedi-
ately after the treaty of Greenville. Little by
little, they ceded tlieir lands to the United States,
the money received therefor being chiefly squan-
dered in debauchery. Decimated by vice and
disease, the remnants of tliis once powerful abo-
riginal nation gradually drifted westward across
the Mississippi, whence their valorous sires had
emigrated two centuries before. The small rem-
nant of the band finally settled in Indian Terri-
tory, but they have made comparatively little
progress toward civilization. (See also Piunke-
ahaics; Weas.)

MICHAEL REESE HOSPITAL, located in
Chicago, under care of the association known as
tlie United Hebrew Charities. Previous to 1871
this association maintained a small hospital for
the care of some of its beneficiaries, but it was
destroyed in the conflagration of that year, and no
immediate effort to rebuild was made. In 1880,
however, Michael Reese, a Jewish gentleman
wlio had accumulated a large fortune in Cali-
fornia, bequeathed .307,000 to the organization.
AVith this sum, considerably increased by addi-
tions from other sources, an imposing building
was erected, well arranged and tliorouglily
equipped for liospital purposes. The institution
tlms founded was named after its principal bene-
factor. Patients are received without discrimi-
nation as to race or religion, and more than lialf
those admitted are charity patients. The present
medical staff consists of thirteen surgeons and
physicians, several of whom are eminent
specialists

MICHIGAN CENTRAL RAILROAD. The
main line of tliis road extends from Cliicago
to Detroit, 270 miles, with trackage facilities
from Kensington, 14 miles, over the line of the
Illinois Central, to its terminus in Chicago.
Branch lines (leased, proprietary and operated) in



Canada, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois swell the
total mileage to 1,643.56 miles.— (History.) The
company was chartered in 1846, and purchased
from the State of Michigan tlie line from Detroit
to Kalamazoo, 144 miles, of which construction had
been begun in 1836. The road was completed to
Michigan City in 18.50, and, in May, 1853, reached
Kensington, 111. As at present constituted, the
road (with its auxiliaries) forms an integral part
of what is popularly known as the "Vanderbilt
System." Only 35 miles of the entire line are
operated in Illinois, of which 39 belong to the
Joliet & Northern Indiana branch (which see).
Tlie outstanding capital stock (1898) was §18,-
738,000 and the funded debt, .$19,101,000. Earn-
ings in Illinois the same year, §484,003; total
operating expenses, §540,905; taxes, 834,250.

MICHIGAN, LAKE. (See Lake Michigan.)

MIHALOTZY, Oeza, soldier, a native of Hun-
gary and compatriot of Kossuth in the Magyar
struggle; came to Chicago in 1848, in 1861 enlisted
in the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Illinois
Volunteers (first "Hecker regiment"), and, on
the resignation of Colonel Hecker, a few weeks
later, was promoted to the Colonelcy. A trained
soldier, he served with gallantry and distinction,
but was fatally wounded at Buzzard's Roost, Feb.
34, 1864, dying at Chattanooga, March 11, 1864.

MILAN, a town of Rock Island County, on the
Rock Island & Peoria Railway, six miles south of
Rock Island. It is located on Rock River, has
several mills, a bank and a newspaper. Popula-
tion (1880). 845; (1890), 692.

MILBURN, (Rev.) William Henry, clergy-
man, was born in Philadelphia, Sept. 36, 1826.
At the age of five years he almost totally lost
sight in both eyes, as the result of an accident,
and subsequent malpractice in their treatment.
For a time he was able to decipher letters with
difficulty, and thus learned to read. In the face
of such obstacles he carried on liis studies until
12 years of age, when he accompanied his father's
family to Jacksonville, 111. , and, five years later,
became an itinerant Methodist preacher. For a
time he rode a circuit covering 200 miles, preach-
ing, on an average, ten times a week, for SlOO per
year. In 1845, while on a Mississippi steamboat,
he publicly rebuked a number of Congressmen,
who were his fellow passengers, for intemperance
and gaming. This resulted in his being made
Chaplain of the House of Representatives. From
1848 to 18.50 he was pastor of a church at Mont-
gomery, Ala., during which time he was tried
for heresy, and later became pastor of a "Free



Online LibraryNewton BatemanHistorical encyclopedia of Illinois → online text (page 78 of 207)