William Henry Perrin.

History of Jefferson County, Illinois online

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press. Before they had run it long, they
offered to sell Mr. Bogan the whole concern
for about $200. Robinson soon quit, and
Bowman persevered for about six montiis



HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.



when he sold out to Dodds, Johnson & Co.
The origin of this company was peculiar.
The county had recently come in possession
of about 19,000 acres of swamp lands. One
party was in favor of selling these lands im-
mediately, and talked of a groat system of
drainage and numerous new schoolhouses as
the result. Dodds favored selling, partly,
it may be —and very naturally — because ho
was County Clerk, and would receive $1.50
for every deed made by the county. A
caucus of those opposed to selling and in
favor of holding the lands as a means of
some day securing a railroad, was held —
Casey, Seates, Johnson and Tanner, perhaps,
forming the caucus. They resolved to form
a company and buy the Jeffersonian, and
run it in the interests of their raiboad proj-
ect, fighting the pi'oposed sale of the lands.
Of course this design was not even whispered
to Dodds. The company was soon formed,
composed of W. Dodds, John N. Johnson,
Z. Casey, W. B Scales, T. B. Tanner, An
ders'jU & Mills, J. Pace & Son. This was in
April, 1855.

Tanner, fresh from the Legislature, be-
came the editor. A Mr. Smith — not John,
but Lute B., from Evansville — an inferior
printer but not easy to get rid of, was fore-
man, aided by any boys he could pick up,
especially, and for most of the time, by
John A. Wall. Tanner went to St. Louis
and secured a number of advertisements.
The people were talked to, and the subscrip-
tion list ran up to eleven or twelve hundred.
A new press was bought from Frank Manly,
and Daniel Anderson took a wagon to Gray-
ville and hauled it home. In short, the en-
terprise was quite a success. After Dodds,
Johnson & Co. had run the concern one year,
and had accomj)lished their design — the sell-
ing of the lands had been voted down by the
people — but still wishing to have a county



paper, they fell into the generous course of
giving the use of the press to anybody that
would take it and publish a paper.

The Sentinel. — This was the nest paper
that made its appearance. Tanner and Tom
Casey were practicing law together and Will-
iam Ander.'ion was studjing. Casey and
Anderson were ambitious, and wished to try
their hands at' the newspaper awhile, and
Tanner consented to the use of his name.
So Tanner, Casey & Anderson it was. They
took the office for one year. The paper was
styled the Sentinel, and Anderson was the os-
tensible editor. John A. Wall and Joel V.
Baugh were the typos. John had been
"devil" a good deal, but we believe Joe just
went in with scarcely any initiation. It was
before Casey had learned to write — we mean
like he does on the Judge's docket —so the
boys could read nearly all his articles. Tan-
ner wrote the long articles — so long, the boys
did not have time to correct the pi-oofs care-
fully; and Anderson not being a born wi-it-
ing master, it went hard with the editorials.
Tanner said that sometimes when the paper
came out, and he looked at the " leader, " he
could hardly remember whether he had ever
written anything like it or not. The Sentinel
did not prove very profitable, in fact, it be-
gan at the wrong time — just after the Presi-
dential election in 1856, when everybody
was cooling off so, when the year was out,
Tanner, Casey & Anderson went out. And
Baugh went out.

The Egyptian Torchlight. — Dodds, John-
son & Co. now sold their press and fixtures
to William R. Hollingsworth and John A.
Wall. They christened their paper the
Egiipiian TorchUght, and published under
the fii-m style of Hollingsworth & Wall, Ed
Sattertield and Sam Bird assisting. In the
fall, 1857, Wall withdrew and went to Mur-
freesboro, Tenn., and Hollingsworth went on



228



HISTORY OF JEFFERSOX COUNTY



alone, but not long. The Torchlight did not
shine so long as the Sentinel did — not much
over six months — say from spring till late in

1857. Hollingsworth then surrendered .the
office, not having yet paid for it, and went
to Missoui-i or Arkansas. He came from
Iowa. After Hollingsworth & Wall had both
gone, Ed Satterfield issued the paper for a
few weeks, making no notable change in it
except the adoption of a motto that some
were wicked enough to say was ambiguous:
" Egyptian darkness and Jackson Democracy
• — one and inseparable." The paper then
again changed hands and name

The Advocate. — This was the name of the
new paper. S. Tm'ner Brown was the new
proprietor and Ed Satterfield and Frank
Dowler were his forces. This enterprise
lasted from "late in 1857," vide supra, imtil
very late in 1857 — that is, for about three
weeks. Dr. Brown was from Alabama by
way of Metropolis, and his tall, slender fig-
ure, his very [tall, slender coat, his nervous
locomotion, his fi'ay with Mi". Thorn, his real
estate speculations, his marriage to Miss Jen-
nie Lewellyn and his departiu-e will be well
remembered by many. The lady mentioned
was a niece to H. D. Hinman, was out on a
visit from West Virginia, was ij[uite hand-
some and accomplished and was with the
Doctor when they were heard from — what
was long the last time; they were then at
Memphis, he a surgeon in McCullough's
ai-my, which was moving into Arkansas. Re-
cently we learn that the Doctor now lives
near Little Bock, and is succeeding well.
After the Doctor left, Ed Satterfield again
came in as the forlorn hope, and kept the
paper going till after the publication of the
delinquent tax list in the spring of 1858.

The Mount Vernon Star. — Up to' January,

1858, the press was still owned by Dodds,
Johnson & Co. , and occupied the room over



Joel F. Watson's store, east of the present
Phcenix Block. J. E. Satterfield now bought
the office for about $250, and kept it till
after the sale of delinquent tax lands, as
above-mentioned, when he sold it to Curtis
& Lane for §300, and, we suppose, "was
happy." The new men, S B. Curtis and
James S. Lane, were both fi-om Y'psilanti,
Mich., both were school teachers and Curtis
had studied law. Wall was in Centralia.
and Curtis & Lane sent for him to take
charge of the type and press' work, as they
were not printers, and Wall felt " passing
rich" on a promise of §450 a year. Todd
Wilson was his only " devil." We now find
the office over James M. Pace's store, in the
Johnson House, and the paper comes forth
as the Mount Vernon Star, with a Latin
motto, something like Non nobis solum, sed
toto mundo nati. The" proprietors were
strongly anti-slavery — perhaps Abolitionists
would not be too strong a word; but they
tried to make the Ijaaper neutral and failed,
as usual. People found them out, and did
not support them well. So, in 1859, at the
end of one year, they retired, giving Wall a
lease for another year. We believe they both
returned to Michigan. Lane went into the
army and was killed, and Cm-tis is practic-
ing law.

"Wall soon after moved the office into the
basement of the old Odd Fellows Hall. Todd
Wilson and Ham Watson — now Dr. ^\'atson,
of Woodlawn — were his helpers. At the end
of nine months, Curtis & Lane, and Wall
and all of them failed to finish paying for the
press;] Wall's lease succiunbed to a prior
claim, and Judge Sattei-field closed up the
business by taking possession. But the Star
was not extinguished. The Satterfield boys,
Ed and John, moved into a room up-stairs in
the com-t house, where it remained until they
sold out to Haves in the fall of 1865. In



HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.



229



the meantime it was still changing hands.
We had Satterlield Bros., or Sattertiold &
Bro., till 1861. Ned went to the war, and
John ran it till the close of the year, then he
went South, and Judge Sattertield and Wm.
Davissim ran it till the next spring. Ned
came back and ran it till fall, then both ran
it till Hayes bought it.

The Mount Vernon Guardian. — In April,
1860, the Guardian appeared. It was pub-
lished by Eussell & Wall. Alex Russell was
from Minnesota, and was son-in-law to Mr.
Erwin, who had bought and located on the
hill where L. N. Beal lives. Eussell & Wall
bought their press from Judge O'Malveny,
of Centralia; it was the same that had been
used by the somewhat noted J. G. D. Petty-
john, when he was publishing his Modern
Pharos. It was located upstairs in the build-
ing now occupied by W. E. Jackson, south
side of the public square. This was our first
Republican paper; indeed, it rather |claimed
to be a War Democrat. Thus it went on for
one year, when Wall joined the army, and
was succeeded by William Durlinger, an-
other son-in-law of Mr. Erwin. In a few
months, Russell sold his interest to Durlin-
crer, and went to Belleville, and started the
Bellville Democrat. Durlinger held up man-
fully for some time, but at last gave way,
and retii-ed to a farm near Tamai-oa. Not
liking that, he changed again, went to Belle-
ville, and is still there with Russell, publish
ing the Democrat. We believe it was in
March, 1863, that the Guardian went down.
The Unconditional Unionist. — By this
time — 1863 — Wall came home from the ai-my,
crippled, and some of his friends aided him
to piu-chase the Guardian office. He moved
to the room formerly occupied by Jack Fly
as a furniture shop, near the old stand of D.
Baltzell, and gave his paper the name of
Unconditional Unionist. Of course it was



unquestionably Republican. After piiblish-
ing this paper for three years. Wall pulled
out and went to Salem. Then A. B. Barrett
and others formed a stock company, that we
might not be left without a Republican
paper, find soon found a man — A. J. Alden
— to publish it. Jack kept it going, aided,
of course, by Barrett and others, until the
summer of 1867. He then went to Mc-
Leansboro, and started the Hamilton Sucker,
and was succeeded by George W. Moray.
But Moray did not seem to succeed any fur-
ther, for in five weeks he subsided and went
to Princeton, Ky., and started a paper there.
The Statesman. — This paper followed the
Unionist. Henry Hitchcock, from Indian-
apolis, bought the press and fixtures, put
Theodore Tromley in as chief " type tosser,"
and issued his first paper Septembers, 1867.
Hitchcock was a nice, pleasant gentleman,
and his paper did well until domestic afflic-
tions compelled him to relinquish the busi-
ness. He sold out in 1873.

The Free Press. — C. L. Hayes, as before
noticed, bought the Star office from Satter-
field in November, 1865, and on the 6th day
of December issued his first paper, with the
name of the Mount Vernon Free Press. From
the court house he m(3ved to the room over
Tom Goodrich's store, where it was burned
in the great fire of March 16, 1869. His
friends promptly rallied to his aid, and in
about a month after the fire he had n new
press, and resumed the publication of his
paper. Hayes, with all that bitterness which
sometimes injured him, must ever [be ranked
very high as an editor and newspaper man-
ager. He was a good hand to gather news,
judicious in the use of the scissors, and much
above the average in his editorials. He pub-
lished the first history of Jefferson County,
and expended $100 in assisting the writer in
gathering up materials and preparing the



230



HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.



sketches that appeared from week to week in
his columns. In March, 1872, he sold to R.
A. D. Wilbanks and G. M. Haynes, under
whose management it continued till the next
October, John Wightman being chief print-
er. This last purchase may have been made
for a political pui-pose — we can't say.

The press was still nearly new; it was one
that Wilbanks & Haynes had traded the
old Star press for in Chicago, paying the
difference. These gentlemen, now having no
special object to accomplish, let the ofSee to
W. H. Mantz. He continued till the spring
of 1870, when he assumed a hostile attitude
toward Wilbanks & Anderson, whereupon
they " elected that his lease should termi-
nate," and he went out, and became corre-
spondent of the Missouri Republican. He
was succeeded in the Press office by Don
Davisson. Don was a Greenbacker now. and
so was the Free Press, and the editorials
presented a rare combination of softness and
roughness. It will be remembered that the
Greenbackers that year — 1877 — elected two
of their candidates — John N. Satterfield,
County Clerk, and John D. Williams. Su-
perintendent of Schools.

But it soon became necessary to do some-
thing more; so, in April, 1879, the Jefferson
Couuhj Greenback Printing Company was
organized. William B. Anderson, Seth F.
Crews and William H. Smith were the Com-
missioners to obtain license, etc., from the
State. The object, as stated in their ap-
plication, was to print and publish a weekly
newspaper and to do a general printing, pub-
lishing and book-binding business, with
power to change the weekly to a semi-week-
ly, tri-weekly or daily. Their capital was
$2,000, in 200 shares of $10 each, and their
corporation was to run for ninety-nine years.
The principal stockholders were W. B. An-
derson, W. H. Smith and S. F. Crews, fif-



teen shares each; G. W. Evans, G. L. Var-
nell, John Wilbanks. Ananias Knowles and
Jesse H. Smith, ten shares each; the rest
running from nine shares down to one. No-
vember 8, 1879, they elected as Directors,
for three years, T. Anglen, L. B. Gregor}%
J. B. Pearcy, Ananias Knowles, Alonzo Jones
and G. W. Evans. Thus backed — and green-
backed — the thing looked fearfully strong;
but the high colors soon began to fade, and
in February, 1880, they sold out to H. H.
Simmons, of the News. During the brief
existence of the Free Press, in its last days,
Anderson was the editor, and the vigor and
earnestness — not to say acrimony, — with
which he threw hot shot into the defunct old
parties are too fresh in mind 'to be referred
to here.

The News. — September 2, 1871, is the date
of the lirst issue of the Mount Vernon Neivs.
It was published by Lawrence F. Tromly,
the auxiliary side being furnished by Kim-
ball & Taylor, of Belleville, and the style of
the concern being L. F. Tromley & Co.
Theodore Tromley, who had handled some
types for Satterfield, and had graduated un-
der Jack Alden, on the Hamilton Sucker,
joined Lawrence and they bought the office.
Under the style of Tromly Bros., they then
changed the paper to a quarto of eight pages,
and moved from Varnell's Block to the Phoe-
nix Block. L. F. Tromly began his experi-
ence with Durlinger & Russell, in 1861, and
now publishes the Shawnee Neivs.

In the spring of 1876, the Tromly brothers
sold out to C. L. Hayes, and Hayes to C. A.
Keller in Januaiy, 1877, Hayes retaining
possession till April 1. November 28, Kel-
ler sold to H. H. Simmons. Simmons was
an Eastern man, who came West in 1849.
After exploring the W'est, from Dubuque to
New Orleans, he went into the Alton Demo-
crat office with John Fitch, and remained



HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY,



231



there two years. He then went to Greene
County, and published the CaiToUton Demo-
crat for cue year, and then the Logan Coun-
ty Democrat for one year, and through the
Presidential campaign, lighting Fremont.
He was then correspondent for the Herald
for a time, after which he traveled several
years in the East, in the in*^erest of the North
Missouri and the Atlantic & Great Western
Railroad. In 1867, he started the Lebanon
Journal, as an independent and local news-
paper, and continued it for several years,
when he sold out to Eckert and went back to
Washington County, Ohio. He'there bought
a half interest in the Democratic paper and
remained one year, when his wife died and
he went to Cleveland, where his sister lived.
Thence, he came here in April, 1877, and ran
the News for C. A. Keller till November 28,
when he bought it, as before stated.

In February, 1880, Mr. Simmons bought
the Free Press, and his paper is now the
Mount Vernon News and Free Press. He
paid what was, perhaps, a good price for the
Free Press — $1,100; but he has shown him-
self what most printers are not- -a good
financier, and has the whole outfit of both
papers paid for. The News is the first paper
in the county that proved a financial success.
By this, and by a dignified course, with a
good deal of editorial ability, the News has
attained a high rank among the local papers
of the State.

r/ie Si(cfcerS/a/e.— In May, 1873, C. L.
Hayes and R. M. Morrison bought Henry
Hitchcock's Statesman oifice, and began the
publication of the Sucker State. In changing
hands, the News changed politics — from
Republican to Democratic — without change of
name; but in case of the Statesman the
change of name was as conspicuous as that of
its political complexion. Morrison retired
from the Sucker State December 27, 1873,



and January 17, 1874, Hayes drup[)ed the
co-operative outside, after which he claimed
to have " the only paper printed in Jefferson
County." But this county is too small a
stream to float large or heavily-laden craft,
so he finally ran aground and went to pieces.

The Weeldy Exponent.— In our biograph-
ical department will be found a sketch of
Mr. Edward Hitchcock, the editor and pro-
prietor of the Exponent. This supersedes
the necessity to notice here his previous la-
bors as a journalist. In November, 1878,
when solicited by Rejaublicans of Jeflerson
County to publish a paper here, he was, and
had been for two years, publishing a paper
at Casey, in Clark County, bearing the name
of the Exponent. At that date — November,
1878 — the Republicans of Jefferson County
invited Mr. Hitchcock to locate at Mount
Vernon, and to bring hither his press and
printing material. He did so; and on the
5th day of December, 1878, the first number
of Vol. Ill of the Exponent was issued in
Mount Vernon. Since that date, and up to
the present, during a period of nearly five
years, the paj)er has regularly appeared, not-
withstanding difficulties and trials that can
scarcely be appreciated by those who never
tried to stem the tide of adverse political
sentiment and contend with a majority such
as uniformly sweeps all before it at election
in Jefi'erson County. The paper is now well
established, with a good circulation and
liberal patronage in the way of job work and
advertising. The office has been recently
moved from the northwest corner of the same
block to rooms in the Crews building, corner
of Bunyan and Washington streets. It will
not, perhaps, detract from Mr. Hitchcock's
reputation to attribute his success, in part, to
the amiable character of his family, as well
as to his own ability as a jom-nalist.

Church History. — The state of society fifty



233



HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.



or si sty years ago here was rough and rude.
But for all this, that curse of huuianity,
intemperance, was no more pre-valent, in
proportion to population, than now— perhaps
not as much. Scarcely was the nucleus of a
settlement formed ere a distillery was
started; for where there was such profusion
of snakes there must be whiskj- to cure their
bites! The settlers endured privations and
hunger, and their children cried for bread
for want of mills, they groped in ignorance
for want of schools and churches, but the
still house was reared in their midst, where
the farmer exchanged his bag of corn for the
pioneer beverage of the border. This is but
the history of Illinois, and particularly of
the southern part of the State. In every fam-
ily the jug of bitters was to be found, and
was regularly partaken of by every member
of the household, especially during the chill
season. The visit of a neighbor was signal-
ized by producing the bottle or demijohn.
At all rustic gatherings, liquor was consid-
ered an indispensable article, and was freely
used. Everybody drank whisky. Even min-
isters sometimes took a little as an — ague
preventive, or for the stomach's sake. There
were some rough neighborhoods in which the
people resisted all advancement and prog-
ress. In these, liquor was used to great ex-
cess, and then, as now, was an active pro-
moter of broils, disturbances and tights. In
these affrays — to their credit be it said— fists
and feet were alone used, and were called
"rough and tumble." The knife, the pistol
and the bludgeon were then unknown, and
are the products of a much later and more
advanced civilization. These sections were
known as "hard neighborhoods," and were
shunned by all respectable emigrants seeking
homes, who were so fortunate as to find out
their reputation.

Into this rude state of society came the



pioneer preacher, as " oae crying in the wil-
derness." These old-time ministers were
characters, in their way. They were pos-
sessed of an individuality peculiarly their
own, and as different from the high-bred
clergymen of the present day as possible. As
a class, they were uneducated, rough and res-
olute, and exactly suited to the day and
civilization in which they lived. They en-
countered and overcame obstacles that would
appall their effeminate representatives of a
later period. They were exactly suited, we
repeat, to the civilization in which they
lived, and seem to have been chosen vessels
to fulfill a certain mission. These humble
pioneers of frontier Christianity proclaimed
the glad tidings to the early settlers, at a
time when the country was so poor that no
other kind of ministers could have been main-
tained. They spread the Gospel of Christ
where educated preachers with salaries could
not have been supported. They preached the
doctrine of free salvation, without money
and without price, toiling hard in the in-
terim of their labors to provide themselves
with a scanty subsistance. They traversed
the wilderness through sunshine and storm;
slept in the open aii, with the green eai-th
for a couch and the blue sky for a covering;
swam swollen streams, suffered cold, hunger
and fatigue with a noble heroism, and all for
the sake of doing their Master's will and of
saving precious souls from perdition.

Many of these old-time preachers sprang
from and were of the people, and were with-
out ministerial ti-aining, except in religious
exercises and the study of the Scriptures.
In those days it was not thought necessary
that a minister should be a scholar, but that
he might be from the common people, just as
some of the disciples were from the lowly
fishermen of Gallilee, and that it was suffi-
cient for him to preach from a knowledge of



HISTOEY or JEFFERSON COUNTY.



233



the Bible alone; to make appealH warm from
the heart; to paint the joys of heaven and
the miseries of hell to the imagination of the
sinner; to terrify him with the one and ex-
hort him, by a life of righteousness, to attain
the other. Many of these added to their
Scriptural knowledge a diligent perusal of
Young's Night Thoughts, Milton's Paradise
Lost, Jenkins on Atonement and other kin-
dred works, which gave more compass to their
thoughts and brighter imagery to their fancy.
In profuse and flowery language, and with
glowing enthusiasm and streaming eyes, they
told the story of the crown of thorns, of
Golgotha and Calvary.

Their sermons sometimes turned upon
matters of controversy — unlearned arguments
on the subjects of free grace, baptism, free-
will, election, faith, jusitfication and the
final perseverance of the saints. But that
in which they excelled was the earnestness of
their words and manner, the vividness of the
pictures they drew of the ineffable bliss of
the redeemed and the awful and eternal
torments of the unrepentant They painted
the lake of fire and brimstone and the tor-
ments of hell so plain, that the startled sin-
ner, in his excited imagination, could hear
the ponderous iron doors open and their
rusty hinges creiik. But, above all, they
inculcated the great principles of justice and
sound morality, and were largely instrumental
in promoting the growth of intellectual ideas,
in bearing the condition and in elevating the
morals of the people: and to them are we
indebted for the first establishment of Chris-
tian institutions throughout the county.

The first religious sect represented in the
county was the Methodists, and of course
they organized the first church society. This
was different from most of Southern Illinois,
for in many other portions, in fact in a ma-
jority of the counties, the Baptists— the hard



Online LibraryWilliam Henry PerrinHistory of Jefferson County, Illinois → online text (page 29 of 76)