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George Washington Smith.

A history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.1) online

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Clay City, and Zenia, in the southwest corner of the county. This road
stimulated business in the towns and the agricultural interests as well.
Orman Pixley began a business venture where Ingraham postoffice is
now; his business thrived from the beginning. He received and for-
warded the mail and distributed the same when it was brought from
Louisville or Olney.

FOUNDING OP CHURCHES

On the first Sunday in September, 1839, the Christian church was
organized at the forks of Muddy, now the Christian church of Ingraham.
The charter members were William and Mary Ingraham ; William and
Patsy Read; Eli and Jane Read; John and Sarah Rogers; John and
Susan Jones, and others. The preaching was done by Elders Ingraham,
Read, Ballard, Schooley, Turner, Meeks, etc. The church was later
moved to Ingraham, and it is said by the historian of Clay county, Mr.
Jacob Shaclle, that from the Sunday of its organization to 1876 the con-
gregation never missed a meeting on the Lord's day.

The Methodists organized a church at. the home of Benjamin Ulm on
the Two Mile Prairie in 1843. The names connected with this church
are Ulm, Lough, Joy, Dewhurst and others.

The Baptist organized a church at the home of Jacob Toliver on
Union Prairie in 1843. Two preachers by the name of Elkins and Blair
were instrumental in building up the Baptist congregation.

This sketch has been taken from a manuscript history of the "Eastern



HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 441

Half of Clay County," written by Jacob Shadle in 1876. He settled in
Clay county in 1842 and was the blacksmith mentioned above.

SETTLEMENT IN WESTERN SECTIONS

The western half of the county had many things in common with the
eastern half. Thomas Elliott settled near Flora in 1818. In 1822 he
built a brick house, the first in the county, probably. Here he kept tavern
on the old Vincennes-St. Louis road. Schools were opened about 1840 in
the vicinity of the present site of Flora. The old settlers would make one
believe that all kinds of wild animals infested Clay county.

About the year 1820 George Goble came from Indiana and settled not
far from the present site of Louisville. At one time he ran a grist mill
on the Little Wabash. The Lewis' family came to the vicinity of Louis-




A LARGE TOBACCO FIELD, CLAY COUNTY

ville about 1830. Several families gathered about the Little Wabash in
the vicinity of Louisville and flat-boating came to be a thriving business.
These were built and sold at so much per running foot. They were from
sixty to seventy-five feet long and from twelve to eighteen feet wide.
They were used to transport farm products to New Orleans.

PRESENT VILLAGES AND TOWNS

The county is well supplied with villages and towns. Naming them in
the order of size they are Flora, Clay City, Zenia, Louisville, Sailor
Springs. In the census of 1910 cities are towns of over 2,500, and so these
are called towns and villages. In addition to the above there are the
small villages of lola, Bible Grove, Ingraham, and Oskaloosa. Flora is
quite a railroad center, being the crossing of the B. and 0. S. W. and a
branch of the same running from Shawneetown to Springfield.

The natural resources of the county are somewhat varied. Excellent
timber has been found in this county. Building stone, both sandstone
and limestone are found in limited quantities. Some lime is burned in



442 HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

the county. Pottery clay in small quantities is found near Flora. The
coal report for 1910 does not show any coal mines in the county. The soil
is light and not considered adapted to farming on a large scale. All the
grains are raised and the forage foods are sufficient for the stock raised.
Clay county is noted for its apples. Some years ago great quantities were
shipped out of this county, but in recent years there have been seasons of
utter failure.

An interesting story is one told of Sailor Springs. This village of a
few hundred people is five and a half miles north of Clay City. In an
early day there was found at this place a number of springs with very
peculiar water. This water was thought to be the cause of "milk-sick"
and so the stock was fenced from the springs. In 1869 Mrs. Thomas M.
Sailor of Ohio bought the land four hundred acres containing the
springs. Mr. Sailor had the water tested and found it contained health-
giving properties. Illuminating gas has been gathered from the springs
and it has been thought it could be made of real value about the hotels.
Back in the 70 's and 80 's the springs were liberally patronized as a sum-
mer resort. Two big hotels with fifty rooms each were often crowded
while scores and perhaps hundreds lived in tents upon the beautiful
grounds. In recent years the reputation of the springs has somewhat de-
clined and the place is not so popular.

There are ten banks in the county two in Flora and two in Louis-
ville. The other six are in the smaller towns.



CHAPTER XLI
CLINTON COUNTZ

CAKLYLE, FIRST SETTLEMENT AND COUNTY SEAT LAID OUT IN 1818
CANDIDATE FOR STATE CAPITAL JUDGE SIDNEY BREESE PRESENT
CONDITIONS.

This county was named in honor of DeWitt Clinton who was governor
of New York and made himself famous by fathering the Erie canal.
Clinton county was created by act of the general assembly on December
23, 1824. It has for neighbors, on the east Marion, on the south "Wash-
ington, on the west St. Clair and Madison, on the north portions of Madi-
son, Bond and Fayette. The Kaskaskia river flows through the county
from the northeast to the southwest and forms part of the southern
boundary. It is a picturesque and historic stream. Other streams are
in the west, Sugar creek, to the east of that stream Shoal creek, further
east Beaver creek, then Kaskaskia, and in the southeast Lost creek,
Prairie creek, and Crooked creek. These streams all run southward and
westward. The land along the Kaskaskia is dotted with lakes, many of
considerable size. Along the Kaskaskia the lands are heavily timbered,
and in other parts there are timbered areas. The prairie lands are rich
and loamy while the uplands that are timbered are somewhat clayey.

CARLYLE, FIRST SETTLEMENT AND COUNTY SEAT

The first settlers located on the Kaskaskia. Carlyle was founded as a
village of a few log cabins as early as 1817. A mail route from St. Louis
via the sites of Belleville, Carlyle, to Vincennes, was established as early
as 1805. Another mail route from Kaskaskia to Vandalia passed through
the site of Carlyle in 1810.

Another road, though not a mail route, ran from Shawneetown and
Equality to McLeansboro, Mt. Vernon, to Carlyle. At the outbreak of
the War of 1812, a block house was built somewhere near the present site
of Carlyle. The old maps show it on the river some three or four miles
below the present city of Carlyle. On Rufus Blanchard's map made in
1883 this fort is called Tourney's fort. But others say Tourney's fort
was near the present village of Aviston on Shoal creek some twelve miles
west of Carlyle.

LAID OUT IN 1818

When Clinton county was created, Carlyle was made the county seat
and has remained the county capital from that day to this. It was laid

443



444 HISTORY OP SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

out as a village or town in 1818. It was platted around a spacious square
in which is now a beautiful court house. The ground, twenty acres, was
given by Charles Slade and his wife Mary D. Slade. The deed was re-
corded July 4th, 1824. A village charter was granted in 1837 and an-
other one in 1865. Boats have navigated the Kaskaskia up to Carlyle.
The first one, about 1835, was called ' ' the Belleville. ' ' Little use is now
made of the river for steamboat navigation. It is used for lumbering
and fishing purposes and by pleasure parties. There is a very fine sus-
pension bridge across the Kaskaskia at Carlyle. It was built in 1860 by
the county at a cost of $45,000. It has a span of two hundred and eighty
feet swung from piers seventy feet high. It is a unique feature to stran-




THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE ACROSS THE KASKASKIA, CARLYLE, CLINTON

COUNTY

gers who drop into the little city without knowing the bridge is there.
The city takes its name from Thomas Carlyle, the British essayist. The
first settlers were English people through Virginia.

Carlyle had a population in 1910 of 1,982, while Breese numbered
2,128. Other towns are Aviston, Boulder, Germantown, Huey, Keysport,
New Baden, Shattuc, and Trenton. There are twenty post offices in the
county.

CANDIDATE FOR STATE CAPITAL

It is said that Carlyle was a candidate for the location of the State
Capital in 1819. The constitution of 1818 provided that at the first session
of the legislature under the constitution that body should ask congress
for a grant of land somewhere on the Kaskaskia, preferably east of the
third principal meridian, for the location of the state capital. Carlyle,
which had been recently laid off or at least settled, was a candidate for
the honor. Nathaniel Pope had some land above Carlyle on the river and
he wished to have the capital on his land. It is said that while the loca-
tion was under discussion as to Pope's Bluff or Carlyle, a hunter by the



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 445

name of Reeves happened in and made a short speech and captured the
location for his laud where the present city of Vandalia stands. It was
known as Reeves' Bluff.

JUDGE SIDNEY BREESE

Without doubt the most distinguished citizen Clinton county ever had
was Judge Sidney Breese. Judge Breese came to Kaskaskia in 1818, and
studied law with Elias Kent Kane. He acted as postmaster at Kaskaskia,
and was a clerk or assistant in the office of the secretary of state. He
drove the wagon which removed the archives of the state to the new capi-
tol, Vandalia, in 1820. He says he was obliged to make his own road in
some places. He was from time to time prosecuting attorney, United
States district attorney, supreme court reporter, lieutenant colonel in the
Black Hawk war, circuit judge, supreme judge, United States senator,
and later supreme judge and chief justice of Illinois. Judge Breese re-
sided in Carlyle during most of the time he was in public life. Scarcely
another early citizen of Illinois was held in such high esteem as was
Judge Sidney Breese.

The first newspaper published in Clinton county was the Beacon. It
was started in 1843. It was edited by George B. Price, and was Whig in
politics. It suspended after a short time and was then revived and named
the Truth Teller. The Truth Teller flourished from 1844 to 1846, when
it was moved to Carrollton, Greene county, and became the Carrollton
Gazette.

PRESENT CONDITIONS

Clinton county has 22,832 inhabitants. The farming population is
chiefly native-born, but quite largely of foreign extraction. In the cities
and towns there is a large element of Germans. Clinton county people
are very thrifty. This is shown by the fact that they have fourteen banks
in the county. This is an average of one bank for every 1,616 people.



CHAPTER XLII
CRAWFORD COUNTY

LAMOTT, FIRST WHITE RESIDENT TERRIBLE HUTSON MASSACRE PALES-
TINE, THE OLD COUNTY SEAT ROBINSON MADE THE COUNTY SEAT
AGRICULTURE COMING OF RAILROADS AND OIL OBLONG THE OIL
INDUSTRY.

When Crawford county was created by action of the territorial legis-
lature of 1816, December 31st, it was made to include all that part of the
state east of the third principal meridian and north of town 4 north.
Today Crawford county contains four hundred and fifty-three square
miles and is bordered on the east by the Wabash, north by Clark, west
by Jasper, and south by Lawrence. Its population is 26,281, a gain of
36.6 per cent over the population of 1900.

LAMOTT, FIRST WHITE RESIDENT

The first white man to reside in the county was a Frenchman, a
trader, whose name was Lamott. He lived at the mouth of Lamott creek.
Lamott prairie was named after him. He was located on the Wabash as
early as 1811, how much earlier is not known. About this date three
families, Boatright, Eaton, and Cullom, came from Tennessee and settled
in Lamott prairie. At this date the Indians were friendly, but as a
matter of safety these families built two block houses on the west side of
Lamott prairie. These were occupied more or less during the war of
1812.

TERRIBLE HUTSON MASSACRE

While these forts were in process of construction, the builders were
agreeably surprised one day to see approaching a man, his wife, and
five children. It was Isaac Hutson, Senior, just arrived from Solon.
Madison county, Ohio. They shared the protection of the fort. The
forts were two or three miles south of the present village of Hutsonville
and directly across the Wabash from Merom, Indiana. Here Mr. Hutson
built his cabin and was living happily. One day in 1812, he was obliged
to go across the Wabash for provision. On his return late in the after-
noon he found that the entire family had been massacred. Among the
victims was a young babe which the savages had thrown into a kettle of
boiling soap which hung from a crane over the wide-mouthed fireplace.
The cabin was then burned, the charred remains of the family being
found in the ruins. Mr. Hutson vowed he would never show any quarter
to an Indian so long as he lived. In company with neighbors the savages
were pursued and many of them killed.

446



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 447

PALESTINE, THE OLD COUNTY SEAT

When the war of 1812 was over and peace was restored there was a
great influx of settlers, coming mostly from the states of Carolina, Ten-
nessee, Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. The town or village of Palestine
was probably settled in 1816, and when the county was created it was
made the county seat. It is six and a half miles due east of the city of
Robinson, the present county seat, and a mile and a half west of the Wa-
bash river. It was just at the south end of the Lamott prairie which was
a very rich farming country. The mail route from Shawneetown north
via Carmi, Graysville, Mt. Carmel, Lawrenceville to Marshall, passed
through Palestine. It was also close to the river and that fact helped its
commerce. It grew quite rapidly in the first few years. In 1818 a land
office was located at Palestine, and late in that year the president, Mr.
Monroe, nominated Phillip Foulke and General Guy W. Smith as receiver
and register of the land office at that place. Ninian W. Edwards op-
posed the confirmation of Foulke and the appointments both failed. In
the constitutional convention of 1818 Joseph Kitchell and Edward Cul-
lom were delegates from Crawford county.

One of the first entries in the recorder's office was a certificate of free-
dom presented by one Abram Camp, an immigrant from Battelora
county, Virginia. This gentleman of color had established the fact that
his mother was a Mohawk Indian and the Virginia judge had entered an
order establishing his freedom. His certificate of freedom was badly
worn having been obtained in Virginia in 1786. It is said some of Abram
Camp 's descendants still live where he settled just inside the north line
of Lawrence county.

ROBINSON MADE THE COUNTY SEAT

In 1844 the town of Robinson, more nearly in the center of the county,
was made the county seat. This was a death blow to Palestine. It de-
clined for many years. In 1854 it had one lawyer, James C. Allen. In
1837 it had four stores, two groceries, three taverns, two lawyers, four
physicians, two ministers and about four hundred and fifty people.

There seems to have been no bank in Robinson in 1854, and only two
settled preachers in that year. They were Rev. Jacob Reed and Rev.
Nathan Vance, both Methodists. In 1849, the members of the Presby-
terian congregation in Palestine under the leadership of Elder James
Eagleton organized a Presbyterian church in Robinson, but it had a brief
history. In 1872 the Rev. Thomas Spencer and Elder Findley Paull re-
organized the Presbyterian church in Robinson.

SCHOOL INTERESTS

In the last decade there- has been wonderful progress in the matter
of education in Southern Illinois. Public sentiment has grown and
wherever means would permit, fine school buildings have been built. The
returns from the oil industry in many of the eastern counties, have en-
abled the people to build better homes, schools, churches, lift the mort-
gages, and do many other desirable things. No other county has a finer
township high school than this county. The school is located at Robin-
son, and is under the direction of Prof. Os^ar J. Marberry.



448



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS



AGRICULTURE

This county was comparatively heavily timbered. The prairie lands
are in larger and more or less marked areas. There are three large areas
that are prairies. One, the Lamott prairie, another just west of Robinson
running from northeast to southwest, and one starting at Oblong and
running northeast. Those lands are not rich like the black prairies in
central part of the state but they are very excellent lands. In 1909, as
shown by the census of 1910, there were 138,052 acres in potatoes in Illi-
nois with a yield of 12,166,091 bushels an average of ninety bushels,
nearly, to the acre. Crawford county had an acreage of 11,864 with a
yield of 916,051 bushels an average of seventy-seven bushels, nearly, to
the acre. This county had eight and one-half per cent of the acreage of
the state but raised only seven and one-half per cent of the total bushels.
There is another phase of the agricultural report in the census of 1910.




THE ROBINSON TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL, ROBINSON, CRAWFORD COUNTY

Crawford reports under heading Wild, Salt, or Prairie Grasses and acre-
age of 28,415, and a tonnage of 26.899, the total acreage for the state be-
ing 112,978 and the tonnage 128,531. Large areas of the county were sub-
ject to overflows and to lake formations, but the opening of the farms has
drained the country and the swamps have gradually disappeared.

COMING OP RAILROADS AND OIL

There was slow growth in population in the county prior to 1905. The
coming of railroads gave an impetus to the towns and villages through
which they passed. Oblong. Robinson, and Palestine grew into flour-
ishing towns in the latter part of the last century, but the discovery of oil
in this county has revolutionized every phase of the people's life. The
population has grown, new business enterprises have started up, and the
comforts of life are more abundant.



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS



OBLONG



449



Oblong is a thriving city of 1,482 inhabitants. It is due west of Rob-
inson, nine miles. It has prospered by reason of the oil industry. A
large share of the credit for Oblong 's business activity is due to Mr. J. M.
Sheets, editor of the Obtong Oracle. He never tires of working in the
interest of his city. One thing for which the township is noted is the
interest in hard roads. The township has now about twelve miles of mac-




A GUSHER, NEAR ROBINSON, CRAWFORD COUNTY

adam road and is building more. The township has purchased a ten ton
steam roller at a cost of $2,500. The state highway commission speaks in
terms of praise of the roads and bridges of Oblong township.

The county has eleven banks : one each at Annapolis, Flat Rock, Hut-
sonville, Stoy, Oblong has two, Palestine two, and Robinson three. There
are no coal mines in Crawford county, and outside of the oil industry is
an agricultural county.

THE OIL INDUSTRY

Since the discovery of oil in such large quantities there has been a
large oil refinery established near Stoy some three or four miles east of

Vol. I 20



450



HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS



Oblong. This gives work to numbers of people and creates interest in
the oil field. The reports show a considerable decline in the oil produc-
tion in this county. The production for 1911 is reported at 18,000 barrels
per day as against 30,000 barrels in 1910. The production for the entire




A COMMON SIGHT IN THE OIL TERRITORY

state for 1911 is 30,000,000 barrels as against 33,000,000 barrels for the
year 1910. It is reported that 18,618 wells have been bored in Illinois. Of
this number 15 per cent are barren. There are some misgivings about the
oil wells keeping up the standard set in the first years of their history.



CHAPTER XLIII
CUMBERLAND COUNTY

COUNTY SEAT CHANGES GENERAL FACTS OF INTEREST NEWSPAPERS
THE NATIONAL ROAD AND RAILROADS.

Cumberland county was created by act of the general assembly on
March 2, 1843. It was made from the south end of Coles county. Its
name comes from the old "Cumberland" road. The country was very
well settled before it was cut off from Coles.

COUNTY SEAT CHANGES

The first county seat was Greenup, a small town on the old National
Road, somewhat in the southeast corner of the county. Here the county
seat remained till 1855, when it was moved to a newly laid out town,
Prairie City, which afterward came to be called Toledo.

GENERAL' FACTS OF INTEREST

This county is a prairie county though well watered by the Embarrass
river and by a number of smaller streams. The chief interests are agri-
cultural though there are some lines of manufacture carried on, but only
on smaller scale. The county is one of the smaller counties containing 353
square miles, with a population of 14,281 inhabitants. The larger towns
are Greenup with a population of 1,224; Neoga, 1,074; Toledo, 900; Jew-
ett, 366. There are other small villages. There are ten post offices in
the county. In addition to the four mentioned above there are Brad-
bury, Hazeldell, Janesville, Johnstown, Vevay Park, and Woodberry.

NEWSPAPERS

The first newspaper in the county was the Greenup Tribune pub-
lished in 1855, and continued till 1857. It was published by Daniel
Marks and later by Templeton and Bloomfield. The paper was moved to
Prairie City in 1857. The Toledo Democrat dates from 1859, and is still
published.

THE NATIONAL ROAD AND RAILROADS

When the National Road was surveyed in 1829, it ran across the south-
east corner of the county. At a point thirty -seven miles west from the
state line the survey ran over the bluffs just east of the Embarrass river.

451



452 HISTOEY OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

The grade of the road drops into the valley of the river and rises again on
the west side. On the bluffs east of the river the town of Greenup was lo-
cated. The presence of rocks is marked in the bluffs about Greenup.
Some three miles further west the village of Jewett grew up, and two
miles further the road crossed Big Muddy creek which flows into the
Embarrass river at the south edge of the county.

The county has two railroads : the Vandalia which follows the line of
the National Road, and the Peoria Decatur and Evansville which passes
through the county from the northwest to the southeast.

The coal report for Illinois gives no mines in operation in the county
in 1911. There are nine banks in the county one for every 1,586 people.



CHAPTER XLIV
EDWARDS COUNTY

SETTLEMENT OF THE ENGLISH PRAIRIE ALBION FOUNDED JUDGE WAL-
TER S. MAYO PlANKASHAWTOWN AN EARLY TEACHER THE MANU-
FACTURE OF CLAY PRODUCTS INTERESTING COUNTY ITEMS.

No other county in Southern Illinois has a more interesting history
than Edwards. It is one among the smallest in both area and population
238 square miles and a population of 10,049. It was created by the
territorial legislature in 1814, November 28th. It included all that part
of the state east of the third principal meridian and north of the present
counties of White and Hamilton. It was named in honor of Ninian Ed-
wards who was the territorial governor of Illinois.

The present limits of the county are Wabash county on the east,
White on the south, Wayne on the west, and Richland on the north.
There were many settlements in other counties that were eventually made
out of the original Edwards, before there were any in the present Ed-
wards.

SETTLEMENT OF THE ENGLISH PRAIRIE

The story of the settlement of the ' ' English Prairie " is so fascinat-
ing that there is difficulty in abridging it. The town of Albion was set-
tled in the summer of 1817, but there were many cabins in the county be-
fore the coming of Morris Birkbeck. Mr. Birkbeck, an Englishman of
culture and means, together with Mr. George Flower, reached what is
known as English prairie in early summer, 1817. They had come from
the Atlantic coast together by way of the National Road over the moun-
tains to Pittsburg. From here on horseback a party of ten or twelve
came to New Harmony, Indiana. At Princeton, Indiana, the families were
left, and following the direction of Mr. Thomas Sloo, who at that time
was connected with the land office at Shawneetown, the two pioneers,



Online LibraryGeorge Washington SmithA history of southern Illinois : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principal interests (Volume v.1) → online text (page 55 of 65)