pub Chas. C. Chapman & Co..

History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws online

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Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 73 of 79)
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ing business in this county, which has now within its borders
nine weekly newspapers, which cost at least $25,000 to establish.


This has the honor of being the first paper started in Delavan.
The first issue was submitted to public gaze in 1868, C. R. Fisk
being its publisher. It was independent in its political expressions.
This journal received a severe blow in December, 1869, when Mr.
Fisk died. Its publication ceased for a time, but ere long the pres-
ent editor and publisher, Mr. Jno. Culbertson, became its possessor,
and since which time it has, notwithstanding its ups oud downs,
assumed an enviable position among the local newspapers of Central
Illinois. Mr. Culbertson took charge of it in April, 1870, and
during the memorable Presidential campaign of 1872, it was the
only straight Democratic paper published in the State. It then
supported Charles O'Connor for President, and with considerable
energy and ability. Since under its present management, it has been
conducted on straight Democratic principles.

The Advertiser is an eight column folio, neatly printed, ably edit-
ed and a good circulation. Its advertising department is well sus-
tained by the business men of Delavan, which, we might remark,
shows them to be sagacious, wide-awake business men, and also is
the best of evidence that the Advertiser is appreciated by the bet-
ter class of the community.

John Culbertson, the editor of this journal, was born in Muskin-
gum county, Ohio, July 23, 1837. He is the son of John and Ann


M. (Beavers) Culbertson. He was united in marriage with Miss
Sarah E. Morris, on the 31st of October, 1861. The union has
been blessed with five children, three of whom are now living —
Celia B., Ella A., and Sarah A. Mr. Culbertson enjoyed only the
advantages of a common school education, yet he has taken ad-
vantage of the practical schooling received in the printing office.
He learned the trade of printing in the office of the Zanesville
Aurora, and then worked for about six years in the Cincinnati
Commercial office. After leaving that office, he engaged in farming,
and then embarked in the mercantile business, in Muskingum Co.,
O., where he remained until 1870, when he came to Delavan and
bought the Advertiser, which he has established on a paying basis,
with a fair prospect for the future.


The Minier News was established in September, 1875, by Geo. L.
Shoals, its publisher and proprietor. Mr. Horace Crihfield has been
its local editor, with the exception of a few weeks, since the first
issue. The News is an eight-page, forty-column paper, neutral in
politics, and devoted largely to local interests. It is published every
Saturday morning, at |1.50 a year, and has a good circulation.

Horace Crihfield, the local editor of the News, was born at Atlanta,
Logan Co., 111., May 13, 1856. He attended the common and high
schools of his native town, at which, together with the printing
office, he has acquired a good education. He is a plain, pleasing,
yet forcible writer, and conducts his department of the News with
satisfaction to the public. He was united with Emily C. Arnold,
in marriage, Oct, 2, 1878. Politically, Mr. C. stands upon the
Republican platform.


The Delavan Times first greeted its readers Sept. 5, 1874. This
publication is a happy illustration of the success ever attending
pluck and editorial ability. Its editor, Mr. Joe Reed, started the
concern largely on " wind." He had no means, and but little in-
fluence. By dint of persistent effi)rt, he establislied sufficient credit
to get together some material and issue a paper. Tlie first number
reached but one bona fide subscriber. Mr. Reed worked off his
edition and waited for patronage. It failed to come, and continued
discouragements seemed to doom the enterprise to an early death.
After waiting for a few weeks he put the subscri]ition price down to
a nominal figure on three month's subscription, and inaugurated a
fearless, pithy and outspoken editorial tone, which has characterized
the policy of the Times ever since. From that day the paper has
been a pronounced success, and noted fi)r its pungent editorial com-
ments on matters of local and public interest. Politically the Times


is Independent Republican. It is by no means a party paper, and
sometimes opposes Republican candidates. It is opposed to liquor
license, but is neither bound or influenced by any temperance organ-
ization, and is strongly in favor of individual freedom, as applied to
the use of ardent spirits. In short, the Times is a don't-care-a-cent
kind of a sheet, and favors or opposes men and measures with a
supreme disregard of financial or other results. It is now liberally
patronized, has a handsome circulation, a Avell-stocked oflice, and
free from incumbrance. Its proprietor is the editor, who is assisted
by correspondents and reporters unknown to the public. Mr.
Reed is a young married man, intelligent and red-headed. He has
lots of enemies and lots of friends, but seeks not the latter, and
cares nothing for the former.


The first number of this excellent paper, which is published at
Washington, appeared Friday, Nov. 24, 1876. It was founded by
its present editor, H. A. Pallister, and George N. Bondurant.
These gentlemen had considerable experience in the world, practi-
cal knowledge of the art, and possessed more than ordinary ability,
which, backed by energy and moral tone, gave this journal an impe-
tus, from the start, such as few papers have enjoyed. We do not
mean to convey the idea, however, that it has not had obstacles to
surmount ; the various difficulties incident to the establishment of a
new enterprise, especially that of the newspaper, has attended it, but
with strong faith in ultimate success, its editors struggled on and
succeeded, even in so short a time, in placing it upon a firm founda-
tion. On the 16th of March, 1877, H. A. Pallister purchased Mr.
Bondurant's interest in the paper, and remained sole editor. At
present it is owned by Mr. Pallister and E. E. Heiple. The latter
bought an interest in the concern at the beginning of the present
volume, which was Nov. 21, 1878. At that time the publication
day was changed from Friday to Thursday. Mr. Pallister, however,
has sole editorial management. It is strictly non-partisan and unsec-
tarian in its principles, thus not binding its editor to party or sect,
but leaving him free to endorse and impartially advocate such meas-
ures as are of greatest public weal. Price, per year, $1.50.

H. A. Pallister was born in Liverpool, Eng., May 19, 1843. He
attended the common schools of that country, and was apprenticed
to learn the "art preservative." For seven years he served in the
job office of the Leeds Mercury, a journal published at Leeds, York-
shire, Eng., and one of the largest and most widely circulated dai-
lies in the north of England. At the close of his apprenticeship,
desiring to embark in life in the New World, he crossed the ocean,
and, after a safe voyage, landed in New York city. He remained
in that metropolis for a year, during which time he worked at his
trade. Desiring to further cultivate his mind, he entered Bethany


College, Bethany, AVest Ya., one of the best institutions of learning
in our country. At that time it had a corps of professors second to
no other college in the United States. Here he spent three vears,
taking a regular classical course. At the close of his term at Beth-
any, he returned to his native country on a visit. After spending
four months amid the scenes of his boyhood-life, he came back to
this country, when he was married, in Guernsey Co., O. Not long
after this important event of his life he was ordained a minister of
the Christian Church, and began earnestly laboring to save the souls
of his fellow men. His first charge in his new profession was at
McArthur, O., where three years were spent proclaiming the Gos-
pel, which was attended with great success. He next located at
Canton, O., then at Wheeling, W. Ya. From there he was called
to the Christian Church at Mackinaw, this county. After laboring
in that portion of the Lord's vineyard for about eighteen months,
and very acceptably to the entire community, he came to AVashiug-
ton, where he changed the pulpit for the editorial chair, which he
fills with ability. As a Avriter he is clear, lucid and forcible, and as
a citizen we believe he holds the respect and esteem of all who
know him.


The first number of the Legal Tender appeared on Dec. 20, 1877,
and was a perfect surprise to almost every body. It was a seven-
column folio, and was published in the interests of the Greenback
Labor party. It was started by B. S. Heath & Co., with B. S.
Heath as editor and manager, and J. H, Randall as associate editor.
Both of these gentlemen were easy vigorous writers, and handled
the subject of financial refi)rm with a zeal and energy beyond com-
parison. The paper quickly attained a reputation as one of the
leading organs of the Greenback Labor party in the United States,
and its subscription list and advertising patronage assumed quite
liealthy proportions. But Col. Heath, notwithstanding his abilitv
as an editor, was a failure as a business manager, and could not make
both ends meet, and on July 17, 1878, he shook the dust of Pekin
from his feet, and the Legal Tender passed into the hands of
Frank M. Cassel and James Yogan, under the firm name of Casscl
& Yogan. From this time the paper gradually declined, as neither
Cassel or Yogan were familiar to the business or editorial manage-
ment of a newspaper. On December 18, 1878, Yogan retired from
the paper, and it was conducted by Cassel alone until Feb. 1, 1879,
when James Whitfield joined hands with Cassel, under the firm
name of Cassel tt Whitfield, and the Legal Tender once more as-
sumed the appearance of a newspaper, and again became popular.
On the 1st of May, 1879, Frank M. Cassel retired, and the paper
passed into the hands of Whitfield Bros., James and Herbert, who
now control it. It is one of the best papers published in Tazewell
county, and is eagerly sought after by the reading public. Its


editors are both young men, but have had many years experience
in the field of journalism, especially in this county.

James Whitfield, the senior member of the firm, was born in
Staifordshire, England, June 27, 1855, and came to this country
with his parents and brother in 1870, and first embarked in the
printing business under that old Republican champion, W. W.
Sellers, publisher of the Tazewell County Republican, in 1870, and
continued in the employ of that paper, except at short intervals,
until he took hold of the Legal Tender. He was for several years
city editor of the Tazewell Republican, and regarded as an able and
forcible writer ; energetic, and ever on the alert for items of interest
for his department. His brother and partner, Herbert, is nearly
two years younger, and is also a practical printer of many years
experience, and considered a good writer.

The Legal Tender is now a prosperous newspaper, and is, under
its present management, rapidly gaining popularity.

The Whitfield Bros, have also a job printing establishment in
connection with the paper, and the work they turn out is second to
none in Central Illinois.


No less than five different German weekly newspapers have, at
different times and at short intervals, been established here, none of
which withstood the storms of adversity and the trials incident to
the hard pathway of newspaper existence more than from six months
to two years. The causes for these repeated disasters may perhaps
be justly ascribed to the German public as well as to the respective
publishers, the former perhaps forget that the mission of the press is
to instruct the people, and not to he forced by the people into princi-
ples against a better conviction of right — while the latter may also
have erred, in forgetting tiiat it is also the mission of the press to
follow public sentiment rather than to attempt to drive the masses.
Another fault of the former German publishers, who have failed in
their attempts to establish a German press in this county, was that
they were in part exiles and refugees, who had fled from the iron-rule
of a Monarch across the ocean. They were men of learning and ex-
cellent abilities in other vocations ; men who hated despotism and
oppression, but who, in a measure at least, misconceived the Ameri-
can ideas of liberty and equality ; they no doubt lacked that " Help
yourself" qualification which is so essential, especially in the succes-
•ful management of a newspaper.

The first German paper was established in 1852 by L. Reitzen-
stine, and was called Der Wachteram Illinois. It existed only about
six months. The next was started by Koeber & Lohman in 1854.
The name of this we could not ascertain. It afterwards passed into
the hands of Mr. Lugans, but lived only a short time. The next
German weekly was started by Julius Myerpefer, in the fall of 1867,


called the Freie Presse. It was printed in Peoria and was in reality
only an anxilliary to a German daily published there. In the spring
of 1868 it passed into the hands of Mr. Luntz, but survived only a
few months. In the spring of 1870 Theo. Falk established Dcr In-
dipendent, which, for a time, flourished, but after a very brief period
of prosperity passed into the hands of Henry Fuss, but soon follow-
ed the way of its predecessors.

This brings us down to the period when the present popular Ger-
man paper, the Freie Presse, first made its appearance. We might
state right here, that unlike those that have gone before it, the Freie
Presse has continued to grow in standing, ]>opularity and real merit
since its incipieucy. Its editor, John W. Hotfman, has labored
assiduously and with ability to make it what the large, intellectual
and cultured German element of the county demand — a first-class
literary, newsy journal. His earnest labors have been appreciated to
a very great extent, and the paper can now boast of a larger circula-
tion than any of its predecessors. The paper made its bow to the
public June 15, 1876, as a seven-column folio. The impression
made on the minds of its German friends and the business men was
so favorable that in order to have space for all matter and advertise-
ments it was enlarged to eight columns the very next issue. The
mechanical work of the paper is in every way in keeping with the
age of fine printing.

John W. Hoffman, the editor of the Freie Presse and City Clerk
of Pekin, was born in Dayton, O., Jan. 18, 1846. He is the sou
of John and Maria M. (Kock) Hoffman, native Germans. John
attended the common schools and then entered Hamlin University,
Red Wing, Minn., and then took a commercial course at Chicago.
In that city he embarked in mercantile business, which after a time
he exchanged for the position of reporter on the Evening Journal
and subsequently for a German commercial paper. In April, 1876,
came to Pekin and established the Presse as an independent political
paper. His personal poj)ularity led his friends to have him run for
the office of City Clerk at the last election and he won a victory
over his opponent. June 7, 1870, he was married to Emeline
Wehrli, daughter of Rudolph Wehrli, an old and respected citizen
of Chicago. They have three children — Ada Louisa, born March
2, 1871 ; Charles "a., May 8, '73, and Florence Gertrude, July 27,
76. We give the portrait of Mr. H. in this volume.




Among the very first charters granted to railroads, perhaps the
second one, by the State of Illinois, was the one granted to the
Pekin & Tremont Railroad. This company was incorporated by the
Legislature, Jan. 13, 1835. Madison Allen, Harlan Hatch, J. L.
James, John H. Harris, George W. Brodrick and Aronet Richmond
were constituted a body corporate, with capital stock of $50,000, for
the purpose of building said road. It ran, according to the charter,
from Pekin to Tremont, in this county. The company was given
the power "to erect and maintain toll houses along the line."
The road bed was graded and track partially laid, but the
hard times of 1837 and the failure of the grand internal improve-
ment scheme of the State put a stop to further progress on the P.
& T. road. About a year after the P. & T. road was chartered a
grander scheme was undertaken, and the Legislature incorporated
the Pekin, Bloomington & Wabash Railroad, Feb. 16, 1836. This
was a continuation eastward of the P. & T. road. Considerable en-
thusiasm was at first manifested in regard to the matter, but, like
many other railroad schemes, it was never carried out.

Years passed by, and the work accomplished along the route left
to ruin. Nothing definitely was further done until June 26, 1866,
when fifteen or twenty persons met in the court-house at Urbana,
Champaign county. 111., for the purpose of taking steps to secure
the construction of a railroad from Danville to the Illinois river.
Very little was done at this meeting, the parties present merely
exchanged views and adjourned to meet Aug. 7, at LeRoy, McLean
county. The meeting was held there and largely attended, but no
definite action was taken, and it adjourned to meet on the 24th of
the same month. The enterprise was then fully discussed by the
newspapers, and when the time for the meeting came, some opposi-
tion to the road was manifested. It was a matter of some dfficulty
to effect an organization, nevertheless it was done under the general
railroad law of the State. But after some delay the towns along
the line subscribed the required amount. The road proposed was
116 miles in length, and the subscriptions amounted to $116,000.
The route selected was, so far as they went, over the P. & T. and
the P., B. & W. Railroads. The company immediately selected


officers, making C. R. Griggs, President; W. T. McCord, Vice
President and Dr. Henry Conklin, Secretary. The road was then
named the Danville, Urbana, Bloomington & Pekin Railroad.

The charter was adopted by the company at a meeting held at
Pekin, March 27, 1867. Commissioners were immediately appoint-
ed to secure the right of way and push the work. Steps were taken
to secure subscriptions. Most of the cities and towns answered the
call and subscribed to the stock to the amount of |85(),0()0. The
road had three divisions, the western extending from Blooming-
ton to Pekin, Work on the road was commenced Oct. 1, 1867,
and the last rail laid at Bloomington May 1, 1870. While this
road was being built, another road was projected from Indianapolis
to Danville, known as the Indianapolis, Crawfordsville ct Danville
R. R., and in August, 1869, the two roads were consolidated under
the name of Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western R. R., extend-
ing from Indianapolis to Pekin, a distance of 202 miles. Since then
the road has been extended from Pekin to Peoria.


is 83 miles long, passing through the county-seats of Tazewell,
Mason and Cass counties, and extending from Peoria to Jackson-
ville. That portion of its line from Pekin to Virginia Avas con-
structed in the years 1858 and 1859 under the charter of the Illinois
River Railroad Company, Richard S. Thomas, of Virginia, being its
President, and Benjamin S. Prettyman, of Pekin, its Vice Presi-
dent. Its Directors in 1857 were Wm. Thomas, of Jacksonville,
R. S. Thomas, of Cass county, J. S. Ruggles, of Bath, Francis Low,
of Havana, and Joshua Wagonseller, of Pekin. Its Treasurer,
James H. Hole, of Havana, who was afterwards succeeded by Francis
Low. Its Secretary, Dr. H. M. L. Sehooley. The first Chief En-
gineer of the road w^as W. G. Wheaton, who located the line. His
successors were J. C. Chesbrough, J. B. Cummings, and Thomas
King, in the order of their names. Dr. Charles Chandler, the
founder of Chandlerville, afterwards became a Director, and ren-
dered important aid in the construction of the road.

In 1862 the Illinois River Railroad Co. had exhausted its assets,
and steps were taken to foreclose the road upon its issue of 1 1,020,
000 first mortgage bonds, which had been used in jMirchasing the
track-iron. At the foreclosure sale on the 1st day of October, 1863,
the property was purchased by John Allen, of Old Saybrook, Conn,
on behalf of himself and Aaron Arnold, and Edwin I^. Trowbridge,
of the city of New York, fi)r the sum of S400,000. They sold the
same to the Peoria, Pekin & Jacksonville R. R. Co. on the May
21, 1864, and in the autumn of that year the road was completed
from Pekin to Peoria. In 1868 the extention of the line from
Virginia to Jacksonville was commenced and completed on July 4,
1869, when trains were first run with passenger cars to Jacksonville.


Edwin L. Trowbridge was the first President of the Company.
He retained the office until Sept. 25, 1867, when he was succeeded
by Mr. Allen, who has held the office until the present time.
Under his administration the extention from Virginia to Jackson-
ville was made, the road and bridges thoroughly rebuilt, and about
twenty miles of steel rails placed in the track. It was also supplied
with its present excellent equipment.

April 1, 1878, the road was placed in the hands of a Receiver by
the Circuit Court for Peoria county. Judge Cochran presiding, who
upon the request of the Trustees for the Bondholders appointed Mr.
Allen Receiver. One of his first official acts thereafter was to peti-
tion the Court for authority to issue Receiver's Certificates for the
protection of the legally preferred indebtedness, which was granted,
and all such indebtedness, including arrearages to the employes of
the road, was soon paid in full. The Receivership was a measure of
protection to all interests involved, and the road thereby was
quickly placed on its feet for business purposes.

The main offices of the road were in Pekin till 1876, when they
were moved to Peoria. The shops, which are located in Pekin, have
for many years, been in charge of Mr. R. F. Hurd, who has, with
economy and distinguished ability, discharged the duties of his de-
partment. It may be stated that Mr. John S. Cook, the present
Traffic Manager, has been identified with this property almost un-
interuptedly since the trains first commenced running over the Illi-
nois River Railroad in 1859. He is a well-known resident of Pekin
and a man thoroughly identified with the interests of this county.

The operation of this road has been signally free from accidents,
no passenger having been killed on its trains or the trains of its
predecessor. The outcome of the present Receivership will proba-
bly be the incorporation of the property into one of the longer roads
it intersects, of which it must form a valuable addition.


The Jacksonville branch of the Chicago Alton and St. Louis
Railroad, which runs from Bloomington through this county to
Jacksonville, is the outgrowth of the old Tonica & Petersburgh
Railroad. This road, as its name suggests, was chartered, Jan.
15, 1857, to run from Tonica, through Tazewell county, to
Petersburgh and Jacksonville. The county voted to bond itself
for $100,000 in aid of the road, but work progressed very slowly.
After building the line from Jacksonville to Petersburgh work
stopped, and the whole thing came to a stand-still. Finally
the C, A. & St. L. people offered to advance money to com-
plete the road, if the company would allow it to run to Blooming-
ton, thus making it a feeder of their main line. The proposition
was accepted, and the road was completed in 1868. While it is
controlled by the C, A. & St. L. Company, a separate organization


is still kept up. Its charter will allow the extension of the road
from Jacksonville in a northeast direction indefinitely through the
State, and it is said to be the only railroad charter with such indefi-
nite privileges. It was drawn up by Richard Yates. The Directors
mentioned in the charter are as follows : Albert Reynolds, Elijah N.
Farnsworth, Jesse Hammers, Josiah Sawyer, Henry R. Green,
John Bennett, Wm. G. Green, William Crow", and Richard Yates.

Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 73 of 79)