William Henry Perrin.

History of Jefferson County, Illinois online

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minister of the Cross of Christ. For almost
half a century, he served the people of Jeffer-
son County, and at last laid down his life
with the harness on, for he was a member of
the State Senate at the time of his death.
But it was the death of all deaths he would
have chosen to die — that at the post of duty.
Calmly he sleeps amid the scenes where his
active life was spent. He sleeps, and his
mantle is folded about him with but little
probabiiity of its ever being disturbed by
his successors. He sleeps, and the billows
of faction, which heave like the waves of a
stormy ocean, break not his deep repose more

than the hail, the lightning, and the thunder
that fall around his tomb.

Gov. Casey, as elsewhere stated, came here
in 1817, and made his tirst settlement in
what is now Shiloh Township. He was poor,
and brought his earthly all, which consisted
of his wife, one child and a few articles of
household use, upon a single horse, himself
walking most of the way. He built a cabin,
cleai'ed a piece of ground, raised a small
crop, and thus began life, where he was des-
tined to live long and serve his people faith,
fully. The history of his life-work is told
in preceding chapters, and to them the
reader is referred.

William Maxey was another of the early
settlers of this township, and like Gov.
Casey has been extensively written up in the
preceding chapters. He came from Sumner
County, Tenn., but was a native of Virigin
ia. He settled here in 1818, and raised a
large family of children, most of whom were
born and some of them married before he
came to Illinois. His _son Henry B. was
married while they lived in Tennessee and
had one child — an infant — when they came
here. It died soon after their arrival, and is
said to have been the first death and bl^rial
of a white person in the county.

The Maxeys were a prolific family of peo-
ple. William Maxey's childi'en were Clarissa,
Henry B., Bennett N., Elihu, Harriet, Vy-
linda A., Charles H.. Joshua C, Hostillina,
William M. A. and Jehu G. D. Of these
Henry had twelve children; Clarissa seven-
teen, Bennett thirteen, Elihu twelve (he was
killed by a kick from his horse), Harriet
twelve. Vylinda seven. Charles thirteen,
Joshua four, William ten and Jehu one.
William Maxey, the pioneer, had 101 grand-
children, forty-four of whom are now living.
He died in 1838; his wife, the year previous;
and in their death the county lost two good



citizens and most exemplary Christiana As
they moved about in their daily walks, doing
good to all, myriad spirits hovered over them
uttering the tones they had learned in heaven,
and as the good old couple drifted down the
somber and mysterious pathway that leads to
the door of the tomb, all were fain to ac-
knowledge that the world was better for their
having lived in it. A lasting monument to
their Christian piety is the fact that they
left every one of their ten living children
professing the same Christian faith, and
zealous members of the Church of God. Their
sons have been prominent citizens of the
county, some of them preachers, sijme physi-
cians, some of them civil officers, and all
farmers to a greater or less extent. Joshua
0., or " Canon Maxey, " as more commonly
called, is living on the old homestead, a
place settled originally in 1818, and which
has never been out of the possession of the
Maxey family. Canon Maxey is a preacher
of the Methodist Church, and for nearly
forty years he has been pointing the unre-
generate to that " far country " beyond the
" River," where those who have gone before
are waiting to welcome them home.

William Depriest was an early settler in
this township, and came in about 1821. He
settled where Joseph Philips now lives, and
is long since dead. His wife was a sister of
Gov. Casey, and a remarkably large woman,
weighing over 300 pounds. She died a
short time before her husband, and both
sleep side by side at old bhilnh Church.
They had two sons — Isaac and Green, both
of whom went to Missouri, and, we believe,
died there. Lewis Johnson came here in
1819, and settled on Section 22. He had a
large family, many of whom and their de-
scendants are still living in the county. A.
Bateman,asonin-law of Lewis Johnson, came
to the neighborhood with him. Archibald

Harris also came about the same time, and
was from Kentucky. He had been a Baptist
preacher, but had backslidden — if the Bap-
tists ever do such things — and became a
drunkard, and, as we have been informed,
died intoxicated. The Holtsclaws were early
settlers, as will be seen by sketches elsewhere.
William Woods came here early (about 1819)
and raised a large family, of whom some are
still living here. James E. Davis was also
an early settler in this township, and came
from Wilson County, TenD. He did not re-
main long, but moved away. Lewis Green,
the step-father of Jesse A. Dees, was an
early settler in this township, but the people
were now moving in so fast it was impossible
to keep trace of them.

There were plenty of Indians here when
the first settlers came. The Maxeys remem-
ber to have seen Indians passing their cabin
in early times. A hundred of the " red sons
of the forest " passed there once in a body
and camped within a hundred yards of their
house. They were friendly, and made no
trouble nor interrupted any one further than
to call at the house and beg some salt and
meal. On the Gov. Casey farm (where Capt.
Moss now lives) the Indians used to camp in
numbers when hunting on Camp Branch, a
tributary having its source ou this farm and
empyting into Hooper's Creek. For seven
years after Gov. Casey came here, the In-
dians camped upon this branch during their
fall hunts. The woods at that ti.me were
f uU of game, and the savages frequently came
into the neighborhood to hunt, but so far as
we can learn never committed any depreda-
tions after the murder of Moore in Jtoore's
Prairie, and even that has never been defi-
nitely settled; it has only been supposed that
he was murdered by Indians. As we have
said, there was plenty of game here then,
and some of the Maxey boys, notably Ben-



nett and Jehu were great hunters. Hun-
dreds cif deer could be seen sometimes at a
"single look," feeding on the prairie, as
cattle can now be seen; and as to wild tur-
keys, " the woods were full of them," and
the settlers had but little trouble in supply-
ing their larders with meat. Indeed, it was
great fun for the most of them to lay in
their winter's supply of meat, but the pro-
curing of bread was an altogether different
thing. The first meal was brought with the
settlers from the older States, and afterward
gotten at the little horse mills put up in the
new settlements, which were very rude in
their construction and very p6or at best, but
better than none at all. The first mill in
this township was built by William Maxey.
It was a horse-mill of Ihe usual primitive
kind, but was of great benefit to the commu-
nity, and for many years was their chief
source of supply of breadstuff. A distillery
was kept by Abner Hill in a very early day,
in the northwest part of the township, but it
is a landmark that has long since passed
away. The old wooden mold-board plows
were the kind most in use by the early set-
tlers. J. C. Maxey used to stock these old-
style plows, making the mold- boards him-
self, and hence, next to the blacksmith who
made the plows, was a man in great demand
among the farming population.

Joseph McMeens, one of the pioneers of
this section, met with a sad bereavement
soon after his settlement. A child, a little
girl only four years old, was lost in the woods
and was never found, nor was her fate ever
clearly established. Whether she was de-
voured by wild beasts or carried off by prowl-
ing savages will probably never be known.

Births, deaths and marriages are matters
of great interest in new countries, particu-
larly among the female portion of the inhab-
itants. The first birth in Shiloh Township

cannot be recalled, bat knowledge of the
first death is more easily attainable. All
things earthly are fleeting and transitory,
even to the human beings who occupy this
planet of ours. We look around us at the
landscape clothed with beauty, ornamented
with flowers of the fairest hue and rich with
verdure. But yet a little while and winter
invades the beautiful fields and hills and
valleys, and with a relentless hand shrouds
in gloom the gorgeous scenery. We behold
the sky di-awn above us as a magnificent can-
opy- 'iyed in azure and beautiful with pict-
ures of floating silver; but as we gaze upon
the beautiful scenery, the world, awhile ra-
diant with beauty, is mantled in darkness.
Man looks upon these changes in nature,
and seems unconscious of the fact that he,
too, is as perishable as they, and is heedless
of the warning voice that tells him " Dust
thou art. and unto dust shalt thou return."
Joui-neying to the tomb, he wastes his price
less time, until finally death knocks at his
door and finds him unprepared.

"Aud years may go,
But our tears shall flow
O'er the dead who have died." etc., etc.

Death entered the settlement through the
Maxey family, and an infant of Henry B.
Maxey was the victim. It was brought here
an infant in arms, and survived the change
of climate but a short time. It was the first
death in the township, and believed also to
have been the first in the county. The well
populated graveyards in the township and
BUi-rounding country show how well death
has done his work and how busy he has been
among the " children of men."

The third wedding to occur in the county
took place in Shiloh Township, and was a
kind of wholesale wedding. Three couples
were married at the same time and place,
viz., Thomas M. Casey and Harriet Maxey,



Abraham T. Casey and Vylinda Maxey and
Bennett N. Maxey and Sally Overbey. The
ceremony was performed October 5, 1819,
and the affair was a grand one for those early
days. To use a backwoods expression, "the
big pot was put in the little one," the fatted
calf (deer) was slain, a great feast prepared,
and everybody within reach invited. This
triple wedding was long remembered as an
event worthy of note.

Shiloh Township is as well supplied with
roads and bridges as any portion of Jefferson
County. Good wagon roads traverse it in
every direction, and substantial bridges span
the streams wherever needed.

Previous to 1809, the county was divided
into election precincts, but in that year, it,
under a law of the State, adopted township
organization. Since the chauge. the follow-
ing is a list of the township officers:

Supervisors — John R. Moss, 1870-71; J.

C. Tyler, 1872; J. M. Galbraith, 1873-74;
W. C. Webb, 1875; V. G. Osborne, 1876; A.

D. Collins, 1877; O. L. Moss, 1878; J. J.
Willis, 1879; N. L. Frost, 1880; J. C. Tyler,
1881; Thomas C. Allen, 1882; J. C. Tyler,
1883, the present incumbent.

Town Clerks — John T. Johnson, 1872;
Sanford Hill, 1873; W. Greer, 1874; J. D.
McMeen, 1875; E. S. Dillon, 1876-77;
N. H. Moss, 1878; W. A. Piercy, 1879 to
1881; L. Bond, 1882; W. A. Piercy, 1883,
now in office.

Assessors— J. M. Galbraith, 1872; J. D.
McMeen, 1873; W. T. Webb, 1874; O. A.
Dickerman. 1875; J. N. Bond, 1876; J. H.
Payne, 1877; J. A. Heed, 1878; W. T.
Maxey, 1879-80; J. A. Reed, 1881-82; S.
B. Gilbert, 1883, now in ofSca

Collectors— W. C. Webb, 1872-73; J. C.
Payne, 1874; Sanford Hill, 1875; W. C.
Webb, 1876; J. A. Eeed, 1877; J. J. Willis,
1878; T. C. Allen, 1879-80; Henry B. Wal-
ker, 1881 to 1883.

School Treasurers — J. Payne, Sr., J. C.
Maxey, T. C. Johnson, J. Henderson, T. C.
Allen, J. C. Tyler, C. C. Mayfield, J. T.
Payne and R. H. Hubbard, the present in-

Highway Commissioners — R. H. Hubbard,
C. B. Harper, W. B. Casey, J. M. Beckham.
C. B. Harper, T. W. Beal, George Hill, J.
M. Beckham, J. E. Ward, J. B. Pearcy, J.
R. Driver and J. E. Ward.

Justices of the Peace— C. B. Harper, J. Q.
A. Berry, J. R. Driver, C. M. Casey, J R.
Driver, J. DuBois, C- M. Casey, J. DuBois,
L. H. Hoiise and C. M. Casey.

Constables— Sanfnrd Hill, L. C. Johnson,
A. J. Smith, L. C. Johns on, J. M.Galbraith
and S. B. Gilbert.

Considerable attention is paid to stock-
raising in this township, and that there is
not more than there is the mere's the pity.
When the farmers of this section of the
State devote more time and attention to stock
and fruit and less to wheat — a crop that has
proved so thoroughly to be an uncertain one
— it will be far better for them and a good
revenue will result. Capt. J. E. Moss and
A. J. Moss are among the largest stock- rais-
ers in this immediate section. They raised
horses, Durham and Jersey cattle, Berkshire
hogs and Cotswold sheep — the latter 'were
originally imported from Canada. Capt.
Moss was the first man who brought Cotswold
sheep to the township and has done more,
perhaps, to improve the stock interests than
any other man. Others have more recently
embarked in stock-raising, until at the pros-
(tnt time it is getting to be the leading pur-
suit of the farmers of this re^jion.

The people took a deep interest in educa-
tional matters, and schools were organized
very early. Among the early teachers were
Joel Pace. Edward Maxey, a man named
Douglas, E. Knapp, Anderson Booth ^and


^^yf^rn^-K^ m^^






others. The old " Jefferson Academy " was
one of the first schoolhouses in the township.
Shiloh has never let its interest flag iu the
cause of education, and to-day it has nine
comfortable schoolhouses within its limits,
all of which support good schools. Christian-
ity occupied the minds of the people as
early as the cause of education. Some of
the earliest settlers were ministers of the Gos-
pel—notably Zadok Casey, of whom mvich
has already been snid. Abraham T. Casey
and Lewis Johnson were also preachers, as
well as some of the Maxeys. These were all
ministers of the Methodist Church, and sev-
eral societies of this denomination were
formed very early. Old Union Church in
Mount Vernon Township, was the first.
Pleasant Grove Methodist Episcopal Church
was organized in 1839 in the schoolhouse,
and the first preacher was the Rev. W. T.
Williams. Among the early members were
Thomas M. Casey and family, Abraham T.
Casey and family, Bennett N. Maxey and
Elihu Maxey and their families and others.
The present church building was put up some
twenty- five years ago, and is of, 'brick, 30x40
feet in size, costing about $1!,000. It has
some eighty members. There is at present
a Baptist Church in the northwest corner of
the townshij:) called New Hope Church.
Old Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church was
one of the lirst churches organized in the
township. Among the early members were
Lewis Johnson, Zadok Casey, William and
Edward Maxey, Mr. Depriest and their fam-
ilies. Their early meetings were held in a
house put up for church and school pur-
poses in 1821, and was given the name of
01(1 Shiloh. For years it was used both for
chm-ch and school purposes, but has long
since passed away. The New Shiloh Church
was an early organization. The present
church building was put up in 1S58; the

membership is about seventy-five; the pres-
ent minister Rev. L. S. Walker. The
church maintains a Sunday school with
some seventy-five pupils and five teachers.
Little Grove Church was organized in 1833,
near James Westcott's, who gave the land
upon which it stood. Salem Church was also
an early organization, and its origin was
due principally to Rhodam Allen, who was a
zealous Christian, and took great interest in
religious affairs.

Woodlawn Village was laid out by John D.
Williams for S. K. Casey and W. D. Green,
and the plat recorded October 1, 1869. It is
located on the range line in Section 25, and
is on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad,
west of Mount Vernon, and has about 300
inhabitants. The first house was built by
Hiram Ferguson. Among the first merchants
of the place were Benton, Masters. J. Q. A.
Bay and Dubois. James Farmer put up a
fine mill in 1872, and Hicks put up a drug
store. The post office was established in
1870, and Dr. Masters was appointed Post-
master; the present Postmaster is G. B.
Welborn. An excellent school building is
in the town. It is a fi-ame, 24x36 feet, and
the school attendance is about sixty. A
lodge of Odd Fellows was organized in 1874.
The present officers are J. T. Slade, N. G. ;
J. F. Brooks, V. G. ; L. H. Hawes, Treasur-
er; and G. W. Fyke, Secretary. In 1878,
James Dillon put up an oil factory in a part
of Farmer's Mill, and for several years car-
ried on the business. It was said at the time
to be the biggest thing of the kind in the
whole country. Pennyroyal and sassafras
came in by the hundreds of wagon-loads and
was made into oil.

The following is the business outlook:

Payne & Sharp, Smith & Capp, general

stores; George B. Welborn, drug store;

John A. Lelfield, groceries; Mrs. E. P. Rev-




Dolds, millinery; R. Richie, blacksmith, etc.
The village was incorporated under the State
law in 1880, with the following officers: Dr.
Watson, President; Emery Wood, James
Trout, Harvey Reynolds, J. W. Beckham,
J. H. Hicks; and W. P. Willis, Clerk. The
present officers are J. H. Hicks, President;
J. H. Clayborne, J. P. Morgan, W. H.
Breeze, Andrew Ferguson and L. A.

The Methodist Church was organized in
the township in the Hicks Schoolhouse, and
among the original members were Isaac
Hicks and wife, Benjamin McKinney and
wife, Peter Shaffer and wife, George Knos
and his mother, John Lemmon and wife, and
others. The church was built in the village
in 1879, and cost about $1,200. The society
has some forty members and a good Sunday
school is kept lip all the year.







' Of 'a the trades that I do ken
Commend me to the ploughman.


THERE is no truer saying than that of
the philosopher that oiir lives are what
we make them. In the city, the village or
on the farm is this true, but it is preemi-
nently tnte of the farm. If farming is only
given over to ignorant and unkempt boors,
it will to that extent be forbidding to the
growing young men. If the ritral popiila-
tion inform themselves and pursiie their bus •
iness in the most ennobling way, their every
movement giiided by a type of intelligence
that brings the best adaptation to the natii
ral means surrounding them, it will become
the most inviting puraiiit for the best men
and women. There is no foolish notion that
more urgently needs to be exploded than
the prevalent onB which makes a coiintry
life below the ambition of a young man of
education and spirit, and which regards

towns and cities as the only places in which
men"^ rise to distinction and usefulness.
Farming is called a tame and monotonous
vocation, but can anything better be claimed
for the plodding, exacting and exhaustive
piirsuits which nine-tenths of those who live
in cities are compelled to follow? It is a
great mistake to siippose that the population
of a city is made up of great capitalists,
proprietors, manufacturers and eminent law-
yers and surgeons, and that it is an easy
thing for a yoitng man endowed with the
quality of "smartness" to achieve wealth
and distinction, or even independence, in the
fierce, pitiless whirl of city life. The wrecks
to be encountered in city streets every day
disprove it. Comparatively few persons
amass fortunes in cities, and fewer still re-
tain them. It has been estimated that where
one man becomes independently rich in a
city, a hundred never get beyond moderate
livers, and five himdred are but little better



than beggars. That riches in cities take
wings and fly away is proven by the fact
that in at least five "^cases out of ten of a
wealthy business man in middle life, he will
die penniless.

Farming is not subject to these rapid and
ruinous chances. In this pursuit industry,
economy and good management, aided by the
increase which time itself brings, will in-
sure a competence in fifteen or twenty years;
and it is a property of substance accumulat-
ed in farming, that, unlike fortunes ac-
quired in mercantile pursuits, jgenerally lasts
through life. IFew thrifty, industrious farm-
ers die poor; few prosperous merchants who
continue in business die rich. The farmer's
profits come in slow and small, it is true,
and often he does not find himself in com-
fortable circumstances until middle age.
But it is in the middle of old age he most needs
the comforts of independence, and if he is
wise enough to keep oi;t of debt, the moder-
ate competency which he has managed to
accumulate through his better years will
come unscathed through the storms and con-
vulsions that sweep away towering fortunes
in the business world. These reflections are
suggested in consequence of writing of town-
ships that are devoted almost wholly to ag-
ricultural pursuits, and it is our wish to im-
press upon the young men of the country
their own power to make their lives just
what they would have them to be. There is
no better pursuit or no more ennobling one
than that of a farmer, if we choose to so
make it.

The history of this township and the one
immediately south of it is so interwoven that
it is hard to separate them, and we shall
therefore incorporate them in one chapter.
The history of Moore's Prairie is really the
history of both townships, and outside of
Mount Vernon is the most historical spot of

the county. It dates back almost three-
quarters of a century, to the period of the
first actual white settlement.

Pendleton Township lies in the east tier
of townships, and Moore's Prairie Township
forms the southeast corner of the county.
They have for their boundnries Hamilton
County on the east, Franklin County on the
south. Spring Garden and Dodds Townships
on the west, and Webber Township north of
Pendleton. The latter is Township 3 south,
Range 4 east, and Moore's Prairie is Town-
ship -t south and Epnge 4 east, under the
Congressional survey. The fine scope of
country known as Moore's Prairie, which
forms the larger part of one of these town-
ships, and extending far into the other, is
probably the finest body of farming land in
all the surrounding country. Beautiful roll-
ing prairies, sufficiently undulating to drain
well, it is specially adapted for grain and is
a wheat-growing region almost unsurpassed.
Some of the finest and most valuable farms
in Jefferson County are to be found in this
extensive prairie. The timbered portions of
the townships produce oak, hickory and a few
other kinds common in this section. There
are no water- courses, except a few small and
nameless streams that go dry in the summer

The first settlement in the county was
made in Moore's Prairie by one Andrew
Moore, for whom the prairie was named.
He settled here in 1810, and the event and
his unknown, but supposed tragic, death by
the Indians is detailed in a preceding chap-
ter, and need not be repeated. He was the pio-
neer of all the pioneers uf Jefferson County.
After Moore's untimely death, no further
effort was made at a settlement here until
in the spring of 1816. when Carter Wilkey
and Daniel Crenshaw came. The latter
moved into Moore's cabin and cultivated his



patch of ground, while Wilkey raised a crop
in the prairie. Robert Cook came soon after
Wilkey and Crenshaw, and settled in the
lower end of the prairie. In the fall of the
same year, Barton Atchison came. He
bought Wilkey's crop and settled near Cook.
Mrs. Wilkey, Carter Wilkey's mother, and
Maxey Wilkey, an older bfother of Carter's,
and his family came in October, and during
the winter the two last-mentioned families
occupied one room of Crenshaw's cabin.
But, like the settlement of Moore, these set-
tlements are written up in another chapter,
and nothing additional can be said here.

The next settler, perhaps, was Dempsey

Online LibraryWilliam Henry PerrinHistory of Jefferson County, Illinois → online text (page 44 of 76)