William Henry Perrin.

History of Jefferson County, Illinois online

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from Rome to John Foutts' on the Carlyle
road was viewed in 1853 by Owen Breeze,
John Foxitts and Arch Maxwell. The toll
road began in June, 1854, and a road
was opened from Rome to Kuneville by E.
Wimberly and others in 1854. Isaac Gar-
rison, Thomas Moore and Rolla M. Williams
located the Mount Vernon & Lynchburg road
in July, 1855. B. T. Wood, W. A. Dale
and D. B. Davis located one from Council
Bluffs to Lynchbm-g in July, 1857. The
Spring Garden and Tamaroa road began the
same year, viewed bj- J. B. Ward, James
Kirk and Henry Williams, and in the same
year a way was opened from Lynchburg to
Ham's Grove by J. Taylor, W. D. Daily
and A. D. Estes, and the next year one from
Ham's Grove south by G. H. Puehett,
Joshua Hopper and Morgan Harris.

And now roads get to be so numerous it
makes our head swim to try to follow the
story any further. Indeed, there are so many
that a stranger can hardly get anywhere.
And the changes have been so many! Some
have kept wriggling like a snake. For in-
stance, the Brownsville road. If every move
had made a move forward, too, like a snake's,
it probably would now be in the middle of
Arkansas. We might add that, under town-
ship organization, we have very expensive
roads and hardly any good ones.

The Railroads. — We desired to give a
complete history of the struggles made bj
our people to secure railroads, but the story
looms up before us now st) long and wide
that we submit in despair and consent to
give a mere outline.

The stniggle began long ago. Illinois



had a large amount of Saline lands in Gal-
latin County, aboiit four townships that had
long been withheld from aale and leased out
by the United States, but at length donated
to the State. It was about the year 1831
(L. 1831, 15.15), it was determined to sell
20,000 acres and distribute the proceeds
among the counties. Jefferson's share was
$200, but we never got it. In 1836 (Laws,

p. 120), the Illinois Central road was char\^road was chartered (L., 1853, p. 177), and

tered and our people made an effort to get it,
but got only about 400 yards of it across the
northwest corner of the county. The older
citizens all remember the crazy lit that the
Legislature had in 1836-37 and 1838. It
was attempted to supply the whole State
with railroads at once. One was to be built
from Galena to Cairo, one from Alton to
Shawneetown, one from Alton to Mount Car-
mel, one from Alton to Terre Haute, one
from Quincy, by Springtield, to the Wabash,
one from Bloomington to Pekin and one
from Peoria to Warsaw — over 1,300 miles.

1100 at one time and $50 at another, secured
by the persistent efforts of H. T. Pace.

Illinois bonds, credit, railroads, and every-
thing else were " dead as a mackerel " until
1850-51, when the new Illinois Central Rail-
road Company was chartered, and the road
now bearing that name was begun. This
moved hope and enterprise, and other roads
were projected. The Sansramon & Massac

February 15, 1855, gave birth to two or three
charters that promised roads for us (L., p.
24U. 296). One was the Belleville & Fair-
field with J. L. D. Morrison, et al. , of St.
Clair; A. D. Ha}% et al., of Washington; J.
M. Johnson, T. M. Casey, Z. Casey and H.
T. Pace, of Jefferson; and D. Turney, et al.,
of Wayne, composing the company, capital
unlimited and sis years to begin it. The
'Other was the Mount Vernon Railroad, capi-
tal $500,000; election of ofificers at Mount
Vernon, wben $1,000 per mile should be
subscribed; to run from Mount Vernon to the

All this was undertaken just as the State had. Central or the Chicago branch, and Jefferson
begun to recover from a general financial Vallowed to give her swamp lands if the peo-
depression and had got out of debt. The
result was a debt of $14,000,000 and about
100 miles of railroad from Springfield to the
Illinois River, that was never worth over
$100,000. Our Representative, H. T. Pace,
strongly opposed these measm'es, and this
was one cause of our getting none of the
railroads. But in 1839 (L., p. 252), by the
efforts of Noah Johnston in the Senate and
H. T. Pace in the House, an act was passed
which gave us (?), in addition to the $200,
an interest in $200,000 that was appropri-
ated to counties that failed to get any rail-
road. Yet if a future sui-vey should put
Mount Vernon on the road, our interest in
the fund was to "determine." So we missed
getting a railroad that time; so did the rest;
Bo did we miss getting the money — except

pie so voted. The charter members were J.
N. Johnson, Z. Casey, H. T. Pace, S. H.
Anderson, Q. A. Willbanks, J. R. Allen, S.
K. Allen, S. W. Carpenter, B. T. Wood, J.
H. McCord, Uriah Mills and G. W. Pace.
The Bloomington & Toledo road was
changed to or united with the St. Louis &
Loi;isville. February, 1857, a consolidation
was perfected and this was confirmed by the
Legislature February 22, 1861.

Before recurring to the Mount Vernon
Railroad, we must notice the swamp lands,
as these have been the basis of all our efforts.
Congress passed a law September 28, 1850,
entitled "An act to enable the State of Ar-
kansas and other States to reclaim the swamp
lands within their limits," which gave to
the States named in the act all the swamp



and overflowed lands within their limits for
drainage, education or internal improve-
ments. Our Legislature, in the winter of
1851-52, accepted, and gave the land to the
several counties whereia it lay. September
6, 1852, GUI- County Court appointed Elijah
Piper Drainage Commissioner, with power
to sell iirst-class lands at $1, second at 75
cents, and third at 50 cents per acre. But
Piper gave no bond till December, when the
order was made for a sale at public outcry.
February 28, 1853, for cash or work on the
drains. From some cause, perhaps iinding
an injunction staring him in the face, Piper
didn't sell, and all was quiet for awhile.
In December, 1854, the Clerk was ordered
to notify magistrates to watch for trespassers,
and all was quiet again.

As soon, however, as the Mount Vernon
Railroad Company would organize, they, by
Scales, asked the County Court for a vote at
the judicial election, lirst Monday in June,
1855, on a proposition to donate the swamp
lands to aid in the construction of the road.
On the eve of the election, it was postjaoned
until the November election. The donation
was conditional, on the road being done
in three years, and the land to be sold for
not over §2.50 per acre in one year, or $5
after one year. The propositioH carried.

In the meantime it was found that the
Illinois Central had taken 7,000 acres of
swamp lands in this county, and W. B. An-
derson was appointed, August 17, to select
other lands instead. On the 28th, he reported
nearly 1,000 acres, and notices were sent to
the land offices and to Springfield, but we
believe that Mi-. T. A. Hendricks replied
that the resolution was void. A list of our
swamp lands was received from T. H. Camp-
bell, Auditor, August 20, footing up nearly
19,000 acres.

Soon after the election, a Mr. Alton, from

Wisconsin, came with proposals to build the
road, but was incontinently snubbed. Gov.
Casey founded a company under the style of
Vanduzer, Smith & Co., and to these the
work was awarded. For Gov. Casey was
President, and A. M. Grant Secretary of the
old company. Vanduzer was from Ohio,
Smith from Troy, N. Y., Vooris from Ohio
and Gortschius from New York, but at that
time from Peoria, 111. They came; books
for subscription were opened at Anderson &
Mills' store, and about $40,000 subscribed and
several thousands paid in. All went lively.
The track was cleared from Ashley to Fair-
field and the road-bed nearly finished. Joel
Pace, June 2, 1856, was appointed Trustee
of the swamp lands, and June 11 filed his
bond in the sum of $8,000. Vanduzer,
Smith & Co. were everybody's pets. Newby
took them out in his buggy or carried out
luscious dinners to them on the road. They
located a station at John Wilkerson's and
went for his beef and spotted horse. They
■ went in debt to everybody. Ties were piled
along the lino. They borrowed $6,000 from
Shackelford and Givens and got our Trustee
to give them a deed to 4,500 acres of our
land. Dr. Green and others found them-
selves guarantors for them to the tune of
about $10,000. One of them married one of
our handsomest ladies. Vanduzer, accom-
panied by Casey and Grant, took $500,000
in bonds to New York to sell and we believe
his report is not in yet. Things began to
drag, slow, slower, slowest, then a full stop
— one gasp and all is over — the company is
"smashed." The aforesaid guarantors at-
tach what little there is to attach, and are
further idemnified by the county with a
somewhat dead claim on Warren, and by
another party with a somewhat dead note on
Vanduzer, Smith & Co. for $3,000. The
note died entirely when suit was brought



upon it, and the indorsers proved that it was
only "a goak." Smith — not Gen. but Dr. —
■went back to Troy and his wife got rich;
Vooris went to Memphis and got shot;
Gortschius went to Paducah and got a fatal
fall, and Vanduzer went to Michigan and
got into the penitentiary. Dr. Green didn't
get the depot on his land as promised;
Capt. Newby didn't get it on his, as prom-
ised; and Gov. Casey didn't get it on his, as
promised; most of us got " skun " for larger
or smaller amounts, and none of us got any

Of course, by their failure, Vanduzer.
Smith & Co. forfeited everything. The
original company brought suit for recovery
of franchise, etc., by Scates's advice the road
bed was suffered to go to sale, and they sent
Tom Hobbs to Springfield with $1,000 and
he bought it. A new charter, however, was
procured for the Ashley & Mount Vernon
Railroad. February 21, 1861, with all the
privileges of the Central. Z. Casey, H. T.
Pace, J. R. Allen, W. D. Green, T. B. Tan-
ner, C. T. Pace and Noah Johnston, being the
company. (This was to cover contingencies.)
Then came Maurice H. Baron, of New York,
and June 28, 1860, contracted to build the
road — a four-cornered contract — Baron, one
County Court, two; J. Pace, three: several
other men, four. Baron was to biiild the
road and run it ninety-nine years for the
road-bed and swamp lands, and to pay the
other parties $30,500 by October 1. The
"several other men" were to make the swamp
lands up to 19,000 acres. All went smooth-
ly, especially Baron, and he went to London
to sell bonds and never came back again.
The enterprise was now considered as dead
and bm'ied. And so it was, for it didn't ex-
hibit a sign of life for five or six years.

In September, 1866, came in petitions for a
vote on the $100,000 proposition again, and

the result, November 6, was. for, 691 ;
against, 1,188. Nothing daunted, the friends
of the project held a public meeting the nest
spring, and May 3, 1867, court was again
petiti-^ned to have a vote on it at the June
election. The petition was granted, the
county was " stumped " and the proposition
carried. The stock-holders of the road met
in Mount Vernon, November 8, 1867, and
chose as Directors W. D. Green, S. T. Strat-
ton, S. K. Casey, H. B. Newby, G. H. Var-
nell, T. H. Hobbs and T. S. Casey. Dr.
Green was chosen President and T. S. Casey
Secretary. April 23, 1868, it became neces-
sary to increase the capital stock $200,000,
and Varnell, Stratton, Newby, Green and
Hobbs went in $40,000 each. Next day a
contract was made with Crawford & Doane.
John H. Crawford was from Buffalo, N. Y.,
where he had been engaged in lake com-
merce; and Isaac S. Doane was from Mead-
ville, Penn. , and was a regular railroad man.
The same day Joel Pace resigned and
Thomas H. Hobbs was appointed Trustee in
his stead. Crawford & Doane agreed to
build the road for the swamp lands, the
right of way, depot grounds and $100,000, to
begin work July 1, 1868, and finish by May
1, 1869. If work was not progressing by
September 1, all was to be null and void,
Mr, Crawford was elected Vice President
and fiscal agint for the company -July 3,
A move was made toward organizing an Ash-
ley & St, Louis Company, and our company,
August 18, approved it and resolved to get a
through line. They therefore extended the
time for work to begin to October 1.

It was difficult at that time to raise money,
and Crawford & Doane could not begin ac-
cording to contract, though backed by Bel-
don with the promise of help to the amount
of $6,000,000, During the pause that en-
sued, March 10, 1869, a new company got a



charter for a road from St. Louis to Shaw-
neetown and took the name of St. Louis &
Southeastern Railroad Company. The com-
pany was O. Poole, James H. Wilson, J. J.
Castl es, S. S. Marshall, A. G. Cloud, R. W.
Townsend, S. K. Casey, W. D. Green, T. H.
Hobbs and E. F. Winslow. All these were
old residents except Gen. James H. Wilson,
who was Grant's chief of staff during the
war, and Gen. Winslow, who was from
Maine, had been a merchant in Iowa, broke,
went to the war, was i n a dry goods house in
Cincinnati, built the Bvough road by Vandalia
etc., sold out for $100,000 profit and became
a railroad man.

At a meeting of the Mount Vernon Rail-
road Company, in Mount Vernon, March 26,
1869, Dr. Green was directed to go to Chi-
cago to confer with Crawford, who now re-
sided there, and renew the contract with him
or foiTn one with Mr. Winslow, or otherwise,
as he might think best. He here met with
Douglas, who was then President of the Illi-
nois Central Railroad Company, and Douglas
said, "build your road yourself; we will in-
dorse your bonds and lease your road." But
Green knew that nothing but a through road
would satisfy his company and reluctantly
declined the generous offer. He found
Crawford with good vouchers, but no
through charter, and Winslow just the re-
verse. As our company had been repeatedly
twitted about wanting a " bob-tailed ruad,"
for the benefit of Mount Vernon, Dr. Green
inclined to prefer Winslow. Another fact
conlirmed this inclination; he found on a
slip of paper that Crawford had accidentally
left in a record book, a list of distances,
etc. , which indicated that it was Crawford's
design to make the railroad junction in
Moore's Prairie and build up a large town
there at the expense of Mount Vernon. So
he gave the contract to Winslow, saying,

" You shall have it on one condition, that
you build the depot south of town, opposite
the court house." "I will do it," said

Dr. Green, knowing there had been irreg-
ularities enough in the elections and legal
proceedings in regard to the Mount Vernon
Railroad to vitiate everything, if contested
and pushed to investigation, went to Spring-
field, and by help of W. H. Green, lobby
member from Cairo, put a bill through by
which everything hitherto done in the busi-
ness was legalized, and the title of the
Mount Vernon Railroad Company to the
road, franchises, etc., confirmed, March 31,
1869. April 8, the contract with Crawford
& Doane was rescinded, and next day the
contract was let to Winslow & Wilson. It
was a four-cornered contract: St. Louis &
Southeastern, one; Mount Vernon Company,
two; Court, three; and Hobbs four, thus:

It was first agreed to begin May 24, and
finish by January 1. Iron, forty-five pounds
to yard and fish-scale joint; guage and grade
of Illinois Central; ties, eight feet long, six
inches thick, six-inch face, 2640 to the mile;
bridges, workmanlike; three stations, at
Ashley, Mount Vernon and between.

Second, agreed to give $100,000 county
bonds, 14,700 acres of swamp lands, three
acres in 600 yards of court house for a depot
and right of way from Ashley to Mount

Third, agreed to issue the bonds on order
of President of Mount Vernon Railroad and
completion of road to Ashley, bonds bearing
8 per cent, principal due in twenty years,
payable after five years, and to cause swamp
lands to be conveyed — the bonds to be a sub-
scription to the capital stock of the railroad.

Fourth, agreed to convey the swamp lands,
etc. This was signed by E. F. Winslow, W.
D. Green. T. S. Casey, J. R. Satterfield, W.



Adams, F. S. Casey and T. H. Hobbs. The
claim of the county against the United
States for lands entered after donated by the
swamp land act, which sums from the
County Court record B, page 632 to have been
part of the proposition to aid the Mount
Vernon Company, is entirely omitted in this
contract. These proceedings secured the road.
Perhaps we ought not to go back to say that
in 1855 a Marion and Jefferson Coimty Rail-
road was chartered, but limited to two years
to begin, so it didn't begin. In 1865. a
Shawneetown branch of the Illinois Central
was chartered, which was expected to give
lis a road from Tonti through Mount Vernon.
This lay pretty still until 1869, when April
1, the St. Louis, Mount Carmel & New Al-
bany Company was chartered. So at the
April meeting, 1870, the Supervisors re-
ceived plenty of petitions, some asking a
vote on giving Si500,0()0 to the St. Louis &
Southeastern when the road extended to the
east county line; some the same for a road
toward Benton; some the same for the St.
Louis, Mount Carmel & New Albany Com-
pany; some the same for almost anybody.
The only tangible result was the extension
of our road to the southeast, which was com-
pleted in 1871. Then those splendid ma-
chine shops were built which were bui'nt, as
we shall notice hereafter.

The Air Line.- — We have already noticed
that imder the internal improvement scheme
by the State during the mania of 1835 to
1838, a road was undertaken from Alton to
Mount Carmel. The $4,000,000 borrowed
to build all these roads was exhausted before
any railroads were built. Gen. William
Pickering was specially interested in this
Albany & Mount Carmel road, and when the
whole scheme fell through, the road was
seized by its creditors, and thus passed into
the hands of Pickering. He undertook to

finish it, and spent his fortune upon it, but
only got a road from Princeton, Ind., to Al-
bion, 111. He had arrangements made with
Eastern capitalists for money, but when
Elijah P. Lovejoy was killed at Alton and
his press thrown into the river, they became
alarmed, considering it an unsafe country
for the investment of money, and withdrew
their support. Gen. Pickering could go no
further, but he held on to what he had till
about the time he was appointed Governor
of Washington Territoiy, when he sold out
to Blueford, Wilson and others. He got
none of the money, but after his death his
heirs got about $14,000. To cover contin-
gencies, a charter was obtained, April 1,
1869, for the St. Louis. Mount Carmel &
New Albany Eailroad, and perhaps another
under the name of the Louisville, New Al-
bany & St. Louis Air Line Railway Com-
pany. Under the latter name, the company,
by Augustus Bradley, President, and George
Lyman, Secretary, executed a mortgage to
Calhoun & Opdyke, of New York, for
$4,525,000, due in 1902, but we don't think
they ever got any money.

Not much was done then till 1881. May
20, the stockholders met at the office of Bell
& Green, in Mount Carmel, and resolved to
issue $3,000,000 first mortgage bonds and
$3,000,000 four per cent, fifty jear cumulative
income bonds and $1,000,000 second mortgage
bonds. Robert Bell was then President,
holding two shares, while Goldthwaite, Burr
& Wilson held 3,806. The same day it was
resolved to increase the capital from $3,000-
000 to $5,000,000. In November of the
same year, the name was changed to Louis-
ville, Evansville & St. Louis Railway Com
pany. But in June 1881, the company had
executed a mortgage to the Mercantile Trust
Company aud Noble C. Butler, in which
the route is described as being from New



Albany, by Huntingburg, Intjleton, Oakland
City, Princeton, Mount Cavmel, Albion and
Fairfield, to Mount Vernon, about 192 miles,
forty-five miles being already finished from
Ingleton to Albion. Tlie change of name
was made necessary by a consolidation with
roads fi-om Evansville to Jasper, Ind, and
from Rockport to Gentry vi lie, Ind., making
now a total of 260 miles. March 1, 1882.
the road was completed from Mount Vernon
to Huntingburg, in all 202 miles, and by a
mortgage $1,000,000 was raised to finish it
to New Albany. Jonas H. French succeeded
Ml-. Bell as President, and he was succeeded
in turn by John Goldthwaite, the present
incumbent. Thus it will be seen that the
Air Line was built without costing our peo-
ple any great effort or ex-pense. Most of the
money was really furnished by Ballon, of
Boston. After it was completed, the road
was much damaged by high waters, and lay
quite awhile before trains ran regularly,
but the result was a settling of the earth
whioh made" it the best new road-bed in the
State. Its business has grown rapidly, and
it is already a paying road. The Salisbiu-y
Company do its repair work at present, but
we expect other shops and a depot at no dis-
tant day. The Air Line is using the Louis-
ville & Nashville track to St. Louis, but expect
to build a line of their own, when a connection
with the Chesapeake & Ohio will give us the
most direct route from St. Louis to the At-
lantic. The road is noted for the courtesy
of it.s ofi&cials.

Coming Boads. — The Kaskaskia, St. Elmo
& Southern Railroad Companj' was incorpo-
rated in September, 1882, but by a delay in
the notice of a meeting of the stockholders
last spring, it was apprehended that damage
might result, and a new incorporation was
perfected July 30, 1883. B. F. Johnson,
B. C. Smith, L. E. Stocker, I. H. Johnson,

W. H. Smith, A. M. Johnson, Joseph
Micksch and J. B. Leash, all of St. Elmo,
are the incorporators; capital, $10,000;
shares, $50 each; route, Altamont by Blount
Vernon, etc., to the Ohio, opposite Puducah.
From Altamont there is a line of roads to
Chicago already, 200 miles. The estimated
cost of the road is $3,500,000, of which
$500,000, to be )-aised on stock and $3,000,-
000 on bonds. A meeting is to be held in
October to issue the bonds. Timothy Genay
and G. M. Haynes are the financial agents.
They have secured the indorsement of
Gov. Hamilton, ex-Gov. CuUom, the Chicago
Board of Trade, Mayor Harrison, Farwell &
Co., the Missottri Pacific and the Chesapeake
& Ohio Railroad Companies, and many
others, and have every asstu-ance of being
able to place the bonds at once when issued.
The right of way has been seciu-ed for nearly
the entire route.

The Mount Vernon & Tamaroa Railroad
comes in place of the Tamaroa, Mount "Vernon
& Vincennes Railroad, of two years ago.
The latter lapsed by the two- years clause.
Its length will be twenty-six miles; estimated
cost, $450,000, of which $50,000 are to be
raised on .stock and $400,000 on first mort-
gage bonds. It is to connect with the Wa-
bash, Chester & Western, whose eastern termi-
mis is Tamaroa, with the Air line, and be-
yond the Mississippi with the Chester &
Iron Mountain. This road has been consol-
idated with the Kankakee, St. Elmo &
Southern, Col. Evans, of the Mount Ver-
non & Tamaroa, becoming Treasurer of the
consolidated company, and R. A. D. Will-
banks one of the Directors. All the right of
way has been secured except a short distance
neai- Mount Vernon.

The Toledo, Texas & Rio Grande Railroad
Company began June 7, 1882, incorporated
for fifty years. The route is from Charles-



ton, Coles County, by Marti Qsvi lie, in Clark
County, to Cairo. Capital, 12,500,000. The
incorporators are J. C. Allen, of Olney,
John Mason, of Newton; J. G. Rupert, of
Decatiu-; E. Pratt Buell, of "Warsaw; O. B.
Ficklin, of Charleston; F. A. Vongassy, of
Effingham; William Lindsay, of Martins-
ville; Robert Hannah, of Fairfield; John H.
Halley, of Newton. Judge J. C. Allen is
President, J. G. Rupert, Secretary. The
great advantage of this road is that it has
its outlet to the northeast, striking the lake
commerce 600 miles nearer to the seaboard

than Chicago, parallel with scarcely any
other road, crossing them all, and running
through an excellent but chiefly undeveloped
or very imjaerfectly developed country. The
right of way has been obtained, the timber

Online LibraryWilliam Henry PerrinHistory of Jefferson County, Illinois → online text (page 27 of 76)