William Henry Perrin.

History of Jefferson County, Illinois online

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Methodist Episcopal Church. His assistant,
the first term, was a Miss Evans, the next
term Joel F. Watson. Dwight began in the
fall of 1839, and taught two terms. In the
meantime, he married Mahala, oldest daugh-
ter of Gov. Casey, who died the following
year, leaving an infant son — now Samuel L
Dwight, Esq., of Centralia. People were
jaretty well pleased with Dwight, as Princi-
pal, except Bowman, Sheriff, father of two
extra bad boys- -Frank and Jim — one of
whom Dwight ventured to correct. Bowman
tried to raise an altercation with Dwight on
the street, and threw a brick bat at Dwight's
head, inflicting a very severe wound. Bow-
man was fined $1 for this cowardly assault.

The writer feels some pride in having
been a pupil in the academy, though he re
ceived of Mr. Dwight the only blow he ever
received in school. Many of the pupils have
since risen to some degree of eminence.
Among them may be mentioned Dr. Newton
E. Casey, of Mound City, Mayor, and member
of the Logislatiire ; Thomas S. Casey, now
Judge of this judicial circuit and also of the
Appellate Court; Robert F. Wingate, of St.
Louis, ex- Attorney General of Missoui'i; Tom
B. Lester and Ab F. Haynie, of Salem, both
distinguished in medicine, the latter also a
poet and scholar, the former Professor in
Kansas City Medical College; Isham N.
Haynie, Adjutant General of Illinois; James
M. Pace, first Mayor of Mount Vernon; G.
W. Johnson, Superintendent of Schools;
Lewis F. Casey, of Centralia; Charles T.
Pace, long a leading man here in business
and in his church; Dr. W. C. Pace and E.



C. Pace, bankers, of Ashley; Moses Shep-
herd, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal
Chiu-ch; Robert Yost, a lawyer of Thebes;
John H. Pace, many years in various offices
here; Thomas H. Hobbs, Alderman, and yet
more prominent in other positions; Joel F.
Watson, for sixteen years County Clerk, and

J. F. Watson taught a summer school after
Dwight's second term closed; then came
Johnson Pierson, who married a Miss How-
ard, wrote ap epic poem, the " Judaid," and
went to Burlington, Iowa. After Pierson,
Dr. Beech and lady — the Miss Bullock before-
mentioned, W. W. Bennett, T. B. Tanner,
Mr. Walbridge with his sister, and the noto-
rious Robert G. Ingersoll, were successively
Principals of the institution.

But all this while the academy was grad-
ually slipping away from the Trustees. The
later teachers taught on their own hook.
The financial career of the academy was in-
glorious. The tangle began early. The first
schedule, from some cause, missed fire; and
February 24, 1843, an act of the Legislatm-e
was passed, authorizing and requiring the
School Commissioner to receive the schedule
of a school taught in 1S40, and apportion
thereon its share of the funds of 1842, pro-
vided all other schedules in tie county were
paid iu the same manner — rather an odd act.
Then there was a balance due Watson and
Leonard on the building; John B. Leonard
obtained a judgment against the house for
$40.53; the claim changed hands a few times,
not being considered worth much litigation.
Asa Watson found a purchaser in the Ragan
family; execution had issued in November,
1852; Watson transferred the claim, and
Sheriff Dodds, in 1854, conveyed the prop-
erty to Richard and Barzilla Ragan. After
the death of these old people, on partition of
the estate, the lot was sold to C. R. Poole,

who transferred it to Mi-s. M. G. Rohrer.
She had the old building taken down in
1882, and a neat brick cottage erected in its

After the fall of the old academy, we had
schools at various places, as happened to be
convenient When Mr. Leffler, Presbyterian
ministei", was here, he undertook a private
enterprise, and put up a schoolhouse west
of Noah Johnston's a short distance. But
his school broke down on the start, or
soon after, and Judge Grant bought the
house, moved it into town, and annexed it to
the east end of his hotel. There it stood till
the old hotel was torn down several years
ago. A more successful effort was made by
H. T. Pace in 1851-52. He had bought a
lot with a beautiful grove on it, just north of
where Dr. Plummer lives, on Union street,
and here he erected and furnished a very
neat schoolhouse at his own expense, em-
ployed a teacher and kept u]i a school. Miss
AVillard, afterward man'ied to Rev. John In-
gersoll, taught in this house; then Miss
Chamberlain, Mrs. Hogue, A. M. Green and
others. Some schools were taught in the old
Methodist Church — notably those of the
Misses Martha and Sarah Green, both now
residing at Normal, where the former, now
Mrs. Haynie, is a Professor; the latter is the
widow of the late Dr. Gray.

When the Methodist Episcojaal Chui-ch
was built, it was understood that the three
rooms below were for school jjurposes; and
here Prof. J. Leaton, the tu-st stationed
preacher, opened a school in the fall of 1854.
Februarj' 0, 1855, a charter was granted by
the Legislature to Zadok Casey, James Lea-
ton, John N. Jo nson, John H. Watson, Joel
F. Watson, Charles T. Pace and Walter B.
Scates, who, with three others, to be named
by the Southern Illinois Conference, were to
be Trustees of " The Mount Vernon Acad-



emy." Prof. Leaton was chosen Principal,
of course, and continued for thi-ee years. He
succeeded well, being a finished scholar and
thoroughly systematic. After he left, Prof.
A. C. Hillman, now of Carbnndale, John H.
Pace, Charles E. Robinson and others con-
ducted the school. But there was a steady
decline of enthusiasm, till the academy de-
generated into a common school — sometimes
very common.

After the war, however, interest revived,
and the Board of Trustees was re-organized.
It then, 1865, consisted of S. T. Strattan,
Joel F. Watson, C. T. Pace, J. S. Bogan, W.
H. Herdman, Dr. W. D. Green, D. C. War-
ren, James Lyon, C. D. Morrison and Thomas
H. Hobbs. The services of Rev. Thomas H.
Herdman, of Greenfield, Ohio, were secm'ed
as Principal, with Mrs. Carrie Smith, of
Mattoon, as assistant. The school numbered
sixty to seventy-five pupils. At the end of
the first year, Mrs. Smith returned to Mat-
toon, and Miss Sadie K. Sellars, who had
formerly taught with Prof. Herdman, in
Ohio, was chosen to take her place. Miss S.
remained two years, and was succeeded by
Miss Anna Waggoner, now Mrs. A.'M. Strat-
tan. Thus Prof. Herdman remained four
years, giving entire satisfaction to his pa-
trons, and winning, in an unusual degree, the
love and respect of his pupils.

In 1866, the subject of building a school-
house was warmly discussed — indeed, it was
hot. Several sites were proposed, but it re-
quired an efibrt of the board to get the peo-
ple to say they wanted any. The effort cost
Bogan, Sattertield and others their positions.
But a site was chosen — Lots No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
6, Block 4, Green's Addition, and a deed was
obtained of Vi\ H. Herdman November 6,
1866. After so long a time, a large, two-
story brick building was erected, costing
about $12,000, and having two large rooms

above and two below. A Mr. Barbour was
employed to teach, but got cut by Duff Green,
one of his pupils, and quit before his time
was out. E. V. Satterfield finished his term.
Then followed G. W. Johnson in 1869, then
Ryder, Forbes, Wilson, Woodward, Courtney,
Frohock and Barnhart, the present Principal.
It was made a gi-aded school under Mj.

When the schoolhouse was finished, the
classes that had been in the Methodist Epis-
copal Church went into it. Those in the
Presbyterian Chm-ch remained till 1878.
The contract made with the Presbyterian
Church August 3, 1859, by N. Johnston, C.
T. Pace and I. G. Carpenter, Directors, was
for the use of the room ninety-nine years,
for females only; the Directors were to finish
the house and keep it continually in good re-
pair, and to keep account of all expenses, and
the church could annul the contract by re-
funding the sum expended. In 1878, the
church asked for a settlement. The Directors
presented a bill of about 1555. The Trustees
of the church thought this too much, as noth-
ing had been done but lathing and plaster-
ing the room, running a partition and put-
ting up two cheap privies and fencing the
lots. They specially kicked at $50 or $60
for the privies. They also claimed to have
kept up the repairs. They also wanted some-
thing for the seats that were in the room at
first, but now gone. A hot war was brewing,
but was finally compromised by the Trustees
allowing the Directors to use the rooms for
one more term and paying $50. Thencefor-
ward, the school was consolidated. In 1881,
an addition eighty feet long was erected, and
now oiir six or seven hundred pupils are
pretty well accommodated.

Country Schools. — The first school in the
township, outside of Mount Vernon, was
taught by the late William H. Chastain. He



came in ] 338, and located near the spring,
near where Johnson Hutchison lives, about
three miles northeast of town. Finding out
that he was a teacher, the neighbors com-
bined and put up a log house on the rise —
now the eastern part of Joseph Dawson's
farm. Here Ghastain, Holt, Leech, Stockton
and others taught for a number of years.
The pati'ons of these schools were O. Harlow,
Mr. Lisenby (Chastaiu's father-in-law), Bur-
rell "Warren, James Carroll (who lived near
where George Stitch lives), A. D. Estes
(near the mouth of Two Mile), Freeman
Bm-nett, Mr. Marlow, the Summerses, the
Yearwoods, etc.

As the country liecame more populous, a
division became necessary, and a school was
taught in the Cumberland Church at the
Camp Ground, by a Mr. Wineburger. I
think the next school there was taught by
Miss Hamline, now Mrs. William B. Casey,
Miss Tempe Short following in the summer,
and William H. Summers the next winter.
These schools were about 1848 to 1851.
The writer taught tlu-ee schools there in
1853, 1854, 1855. July 12, 1856, John
Wright conveyed to J. R. Satterfield, W. M.
A. Maxey and R. A. Grant, Township Trust-
ees, a lot beerinninn: at the southeast corner
of Pleasant Hill Church lot, running north
208 feet, east 208 feet, south 208 feet and
west to beginning.

About the time the Chastain or hickory log
house fell into disuse,- and the division above
spoken of ensued, the northern neighborhood
erected a house of split logs near Hiram
Duncan's. This was known as the Split Log,
the Seven Mile, or the Duncan Schoolhouse.
After doing service for live or six years, this
house was bm-nt down, and in 1853 the

hewed log house was erected near the same
place, where most of the people in that part
of the township received their education.

After the Hutchisons and some others came
into the border neighborhood, between Mount
Vernon and the Camp Ground, still another
schoolhouse was demanded, and a site was
secured from John W. Summers April 7,
1856. It is described as beginning at the
northwest corner of the southwest quarter of
the southwest quarter of Section 22, Town-
ship 2, Range 3, running south ten rods, east
eight rods, north ten rods, and west to be-
ginning. A house was built here, and so
continues, except the addition of ten or twelve
feet to the north end.

Later school buildings are of such recent
date as to require but brief notice. The Col-
lins Schoolhouse was built on a lot bought
from Joshua C. Maxey Maj 3, 1863. It is
in the southeast corner of the southwest quar-
ter of Section 4, and is eight rods wide firom
north to south, and twenty from east to west.
The Block Schoolhouse was built in a district
organized chiefly by the efforts of C. G.
Vaughn, and is built on a square half-acre
bought of Garner Mc Walker October 9, 1876.

It is in the southeast corner of the south-
west quarter of the southeast quarter of Sec-
tion 16. The Waite Schoolhouse was built
on a lot bought of Mrs. Jane C. Webber De-
cember 6, 1880. The boundary of the lot
begins 24.89 chains west of quarter-section
corner on the east side of Section 35, Town-
ship 2, Range 3, runs east 4.47 chains, south
2.23 chains, we.st 4.47 chains, north 2.23
chains to beginning. The schools in these
houses are well sustained, and the people aim
to employ better teachers and have better
schools with each succeeding year.







"VXT^E have already noticed the sm'vey of
V V the original town of Mount Vernon.
It is dated July 10, 1819, and signed by
William Hosick. The question is often
asked why our corners aft'e not right
angles. A sufficient answer is found
in " Will's " statement of his beginning
and first line: " The public square be-
ginning at the northwest corner at a mul-
berry stake, running thence thirteen degrees
east, agreeably to the magnetical direction
ran by a compass made by Thomas Whitney,
of Pihladelphia, No. 419, thirteen poles to
another stake of the same description," etc.
This was the west line. The survey and plat
are acknowledged by Henry B. Maxey, John
Jordan and William J. Tunstall, before Oliver
Morris, Justice of the Peace. The fact that
William Casey sold ninety rods off the west
side of the quarter section on which the town
stood to James Gray has been referred to.
Gray sold a lot to theMethodist Church Sep-
tember 8, 1835. September 12, 1885, he
also sold to John Johnson all the ground he
owned east of the town and north of Bunyaa
street, now Blocks 14 and 15. August 25,
1837, he sold a square acre in the northwest
corner of his tract to Rhodam Allen, now
Block 31 ; October 5, 1887, he sold to James
Ross, Df. Adams and John Stanford all the
ground he owned west of the town and south
of Banyan street, now Block G; October 7,
1839, he sold to W. S. Van Cleve a strip in-

*By Dr. A. Clark Johnson.

eluding the ground where Merrill's livery
stable stands, running as tar west as Mrs.
Baltzell's and back to the alley. Downing
Baugh bought all the ground Gray owned
south of the town and east of Union street,
now Blocks 3 and 4.

Some of these were at once laid out in lots.
Adams, Ross & Stanford's Addition, of six
lots with a twenty-one foot alley — "North
west Alley" — on the west, was surveyed by
Daniel P. Wilbanks, De^juty Surveyor, No-
vember 27, 1837. Baugh's Addition of
thirty-two lots in two blocks was laid out by
the same surveyor, April 20,1838, comprising
the ground above named; the blocks were
not numbered. The lots were numbered
retroversely; acknowledgement taken by
Noah Johnston. The title to the lots in this
addition was pretty badly tangled for some
time, but finally came out pretty straight in
most cases.

By this time Gray had sold out most of his
land around the town that was available for
building lots. Very naturally the Village
Trustees wished to see the town grow and
branch oat in good shape; so they, and not
Jimmy Gray, as some supjjose, but no doubt,
at Gray'8 suggestion, employed John Storm,
County Surveyor of White County, to come
up and survey the town. Storm's survey
was to include all the tracts just mentioned
and what Gray had left and the original
town. Fortunately, there was not a block in
the whole menagerie, so he was free to num-



ber his blocks any way; but wherever lots
were immbered the numbers could not be
changed. This explains the numbers run-
ning so irregularly in some parts of the town.
The ninety rods off the west side of the quar-
ter section made about ninety- four acres.
The plat is dated September 18, 1840. The
key corner stone was set at the southwest
corner of Section 29, and the variation main-
tained degrees. The blocks ran from 1
in the southwest corner to 35 in the north-
east. Block 24 and several others in the
north and east were not lotted; they were
so far from town and so badly in the woods,
Storm states in his certificate, that the survey
was "made pm-suant to the request of the
Trustees of said town." The survey and
field notes fill thirty pages of the record,
Book C, and J. R. Sattertield, Recorder, cer-
tifies that they were recorded from the Ist
to the 27th of September, 1845.

But of all the parties interested, not a
man but Jimmy Gray acknowledged the
"act and deed." This raised grave doubts as
to the legality of it. Hence an act of the
Legislature was procured and approved Feb-
ruary 21, 1843, declaring " That the survey
of the town of Mount Vernon in Jefferson
County, made by John Storms in the year
1840, and the plats and profiles made by
him of said survey, are hereby legalized and
shall be taken and received in all courts as
prima facia evidence of the facts therein con-
tained and set forth, and the beginnings,
endings, boundaries and abuttals thereby es-
tablished are hereby legalized and con-
firmed." Thus perfected. Storms' survey has
remained almost unchanged. In February,
1865, by act of the Legislature, six feet were
taken off the east side of Washington street
from Main to Harrison, and added to the
several lots, but in March, 1869, this was re-
pealed. Block 24 was laid off into thirteen

lots for J. F. Wataon by B. R. Cunningham,
April 27, 1880. And Varnell opened an alley
in Block 19, and S. H. Watson and others
an alley through Block 26. Lots 7 and 8,
Block 12, have been cut up by H. T. Pace's
heirs, but no record made of it. It may be
added that Storms' chain may have been
just slightly too long, as many of his lines
overrun a little. I may also add, as I am
better at addition than multiplication, that
Judge Pollock, April 14, 1881, carved four
lots out of the parts of Blocks 28, 29, 30
and 31, lying west of the Salem road. He
opened a street and an alley, biit failed to
give them names, and A. Curt. Johnson has
divided Block 5 into lots.

Casey's Addition soon followed Storms'
survey. November 14, 1840, Zadok Casey
had E. M. Grant, Deputy Surveyor, to lay
out some lots on a triangular piece of ground
just west of town, from the Nashville road to
the Carlyle road. It had been a field. He
moved his east fences back to a line west of
where Judge Casey lives, and the town
looked expansive. He built two cottages and
a store, now on Main street, and invited im-
provement. But Jarvis Pierce had an idea
that the improvement would take the opposite
direction, and center about the academy; so
he bought a strip ten rods wide, and about
fifty rods fi-om north to south, in the north-
west corner of the east half of the north-
west quarter of Section 32, from James
Gray, and laid out sixteen lots, with
Seminary street twenty feet wide on the
west side, and South street fifty feet wide on
the south. This was done by A. M. Grant,
Deputy Surveyor, May 18, 1841; and Pierce's
Addition stretched from where Mr. Brun-
ing lives toward the Sunny South. But Jar-
vis failed to pay for the ground; failed to
sell lots, failed all over, and it all " went
under." He and Albert Towle and Almon N.



Towle, his nephews, held Gray's bond for a
deed, bui it did no (jood. In September of
the same year, the same three men. with Joel
Pace, laid oat South street, hoping this
would help Pierce's Addition out. It ran
from Union street east 639 feet, and was
sixty-six feet wide. There was noth i ng but
open jirairie south of it — nothing to hinder
its being 630 feet wide. It was not surveyed,
but it was recorde(1 twice. The first time they
had it south of BlocKs 3, 4 and 5 of Baugh's
Addition. But they found there were but two
blocks in the addition,' and they next got it
south of Baugh's and R<iss. Stanford &
Adams' Additions. This wiis no better, but
they let it go so — and I don't know that it
ever came back. Our blood did not call
for any more additions until after the Su-
preme Court came. Ca.^ey's Second Addition
was the result. Gov. Casey moved his fences
in again, and May 5, 1854, W. B. Anderson
surveyed one tier of lots south of Bvinyan
street two blocks north of them, a huge
block for the Supreme Court, and three
blocks north of that The lots ran from 1
to *25. On the plat of the huge block afore-
said was written "Block 1. donated to the State
of Illinois." This was all the " Block" in it,
and this is all the deed the State ever had for
that. Fourth street, which ran north and
south from the middle of the court house
lot, was soon after vacated. The court house
and the Presbyterian "Church soon brought
this addition into notice.

Green's Addition came next. The tidal
vrave had moved west — it now turns back to
the east. Billy Casey had sold the east sev-
enty acres of this quarter section to Stins.
Anderson. March 1, 1836. Anderson had
sold it to Edward Ridgway, April 4. 1850,
and at length. October *20. 1856. Ridgway
had sold it to Dr. W. Duff Green. When
Storm made his survev. evervtbing east and

north of where Fletcher Johnson now lives
was iu the woods, except an awfully small
and more awfully stumpy field on the hil)
north of the Fairfield road, and a field not
quite so small and stumpy soutli of it. But
now those fields had growa v.-istly. and mere-
ly a few clumps of the blackjack woods were
left. So Dr. Green. October 29. 1859, had
Mr. L. J. Germain. Deputy Surveyor, under
Mr. Grant, lay otit the entire seventy acres
into blocks and lots. This added seventeen
blocks to the town, in throe tiers running
north and south, with Breckinridge and
Spring streets between, and Green street
separjiting all from the old town, Jesse J.
Fly owned Block 7; H. D. Hinman most of
Block 17; Block 9 was owned by Dr. Brown;
Dr. Green reserved Block 12 for his home,
and 15 and 16 included the s))rings, so that
these blocks, as well as two and three, were
not lotted. The street between 15 and 16
was soon after vacated. Fly had Block 7
divided into lots by a Mr. William S. Morgan.
Deputy Surveyor. April 9. 1861, making eleven
lots, except a strip at the northeast corner
that he did not own. Indeed, he did not own
near all the rest. Frank Parker coming in
on the west and Benjamin Miller on the
east. etc. Block 9 was subdivided by B. R.
Cunningham. February 26, 1880, or rather
he surveyed and platted its seven lots, for it
was already divided among as many owners.
The rest of this addition remains about as it
was. Improvement progressed slowly until
the railroad was built, when it swept over the
whole addition like another tidal wave.
Newby's Addition, surveyed by Germain
June '20, 1860. also improved slowly for sev-
eral years and experienced a like revival
when the railroad was first built. Perhaps
a sufficient clew to the location of this addi-
tion is furnished by the record, for it seems
to have one corner at the intersection of



Breckinridge street ' and the Shawneetown
road, its northeast comer. The record
don't say where it is.

As soon as the railroad was an assured
thing, several more additions were made.
Samuel Iv. Caser came, bought out the Gov.
Casey heirs, and October 9. 1S67, had a
large square tract on the southeast quarter
of the southeast quarter of Section 30 laid
out into twenty-one lots. TJie southeast cor-
ner, or key corner, is north 68 degrees
west 3.90 chains from the key corner of
Storm's survey, vernier set at zero. This
throws it 150 feet west of First street
or the Brownsville road; Mills and Elm ai-e
its principal streets. Gov. Casey had sold a
lot at the corner of First and Bunyan to
Dr. Short, and lots fronting on First to va-
rious persons from time to time, south of the
Short lot and running back the same dis-
tance. After Samuel Casey had platted his
square, as he called it, it was hard for the
Assessor to pi-operly describe the lots between
it and First street, as they hardly seemed to
be still " parts of the southeast quarter of
the southeast quarter of Section 30. Town 2
Range 3." So Samuel W. Jones, then Treas-
urer and Assessor, had the County Surveyor
make a plat of those lots. Joel Pace owned one
at the corner: N. C. Pace one west of that,
and south of it were lots owned by Samuel
Hawkins, T. H. Herdman, J. J. Garrison's
heirs, J. J. Fly, J. F. Johnson and J. & J.
Slevin. a bad place for jays. The surveyor's
plat of these lots has no name on the record,
but is generally known as the Williams Sur-

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