William Henry Perrin.

History of Jefferson County, Illinois online

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ful pictures of an angry God or the horrors



370



HISTORY OF JEFFERSOK COUNTY.



of a literal hell of lire and brimstoue. A
favorite expression of his was, " my brether-
ing and sistering, the world is as round as a
horse' s head and ten times rounder. " What
meaning he intended to convey by the
phrase no one seems to know — or care. Such
was Elder Anderson, and such as he was, he
never seemed to tire of proclaiming to the
world that he was not " ashamed to own his
Lord and Master." Whether this compliment
was returned or not is wholly immateiial to
this narrative. Elder Anderson was no
band-box preacher. He was not a Beecher,
a Talmage, a monkey, nor a fool. He was a
humble, sincere, great pioneer preacher,
with lists like a maul and a voice like the
roar of a Numidian lion, and thus arrayed
and equipped with the two-edged sword of
faith, he went forth upon his mission and
waked the echoes of the primeval forests as
he proclaimed in his rude, wild eloquence
the promises of the Gospel.

Elder Smith organized a church of the
Hardshell Baptist persuasion in the neigh-
borhood, and among its early members were
many of the pioneer families of Spring Gar-
den Township. Church buildings are scarce
in the township, but religious meetings are
held in many of the schoolhouses and the
morals of the community are looked after by
the ministers of the neighboring churches.

Spring Garden Township is untouched by
railroads, but its citizens live in hope that
some of the projected roads will strike them.
The wagon roads of the township are equal
in quality and quantity to other portioijs of
the county, and bridges span the streams
where many of the more important roads
cross them.

Originally this township was included in
Elk Prairie aad Moore's Prairie Election
Precincts, but when the county adopted
township organization, some fifteeu years



ago, this became Spring Garden Township.
Since then the following is a complete list
of township officers:

Supervisors. — W. S. Bunessus, 1870; C.
M. Brown, 1871-72; J. F. Carroll, 1873 to
1875; T. Anglen, 1876 77; Benjamin Smith,
1878; J. F. Carroll, 1879-80; C. M. Brown,
1881; J. W. Peavler, 1882; C. M. Brown,
1883, the present incumbent.

Town Clerks.— T. S. Vaughn. 1872; T. S.
Vaughn, 1873; G. M. Kirk, 1874; G. M.
Kirk, 1875; R. J. Prince, 1876; R. J.
Prince, 1877; R. J. Prince. 1878; W. P.
Davis, 1879; W. P. Davis, 1880; W. P.
Davis, 1881; E. P. Bevis, 1882; E. P.
Bevis, 1883, the present incumbent.

Assessors. — T. Anglen, 1872 to 1875; W.
A. Clark, 1876; T. W. Davis, 1877; A. Pas-
ley, 1878 to 1880; T. Anglen, 1881; A. Pas-
ley, 1883; W. A. Clark, 1883, now in office.

Collectors.— J. W. Peavler, 1872; J. W.
Peavler, 1873; F. M. Carroll, 1874; J. W.
Marshall, 1875; F. M. Carroll, 1876; T. J.
Bevis, 1877; F. M. Carroll, 1878; J. W.
Peavler, 1879; R. N. Prigmore, 1880; J. W.
Peavler, 1881; L. E. Lloyd, 1882; F. M.
Carroll, 1883, now in office.

School Treasurers. — Anderson Clark, 1874;
Anderson Clark, 1875; J. W. Marshall,
1876; J. W. Marshall, 1877; T. H. Bernard,
1878; Joseph Jones, 1879; Joseph Jones,
1880 to 1882; T. H. Bernard, 1883, present
incumbent.

Highway Commissioners. — G. Peavler, J.
M. Duncan, S. L. Dunbar, Benjamin Smith,
T. A. Stringer. C. H. Howard. J. E. Hopper,
T. A. Stringer, C. H. Howard, S. L. Dunbar,
Benjamin Smith, G. W. Page, etc.

Justices of the Peace. — J. W, Marshall,
R. G. Cook, J. M. McKinney, Charles How-
ard, J. M. McKinney, J. Johnson, J. M.
McKinney, J. Johnson and A. P. Clark.

Constables. — Silas J. Arlow, W. A. Clark,



HISTORY OF JEFFEKSON COUNTY.



371



J. W. Clinton, E. N. Prigmore, C. A. Mc-
Cullough, L. Harmon, C. A. McCullougli
and L. Harmon.

■^ The village of Spring Garden is one of
the old towns of Jeflerson County. It was
surveyed and laid out by L. F. Casey for
James F. Duncan and John S. Lucas, Octo-
ber 24, 1848, and is situated about twelve
miles nearly south of Mount Vernon, on Sec-
tion 22 of this township. W. W. Creek put
up a house on the site of the town and com-
menced business the year before the place
was laid out. Creek was a brother-in-law to
Michael Fitzgerrell and bought land from
him. In the winter of 1850-51, James E.
Cox put up a house ''n vphieh he kept grocer-
ies and furniture. About this time Duncan
sold out and left, and John H. Wyatt went
in with Lucas in the mercantile business.
He remained with him a while; was then
with Hawkins, then with Prigmore, and then
— died. The lu-st hotel was built by James
M. Williams. He owned a farm in the
neighborhood, which he traded to Creek for
his interest in the village, put up a house
and succeeded well. He built the brick
hotel in 1859-60. Joseph "Williams built a
house in 1853, and the next year his brother
Henry went into business with him.

In 1854, W. B. Anderson laid out an addi-
tion to the town, comprising six blocks of
two lots each, and two of four lots each.
The first mill in the place was built
by Driver & Pollock, and was a steam
mill. This was a great cuiiosity here
in those early days to the people, who had
been used mostly to horse mills. Many came
miles to see this modern wonder. The fol-
lowing incident is related of this mill: One
night soon after its completion, when quite
a number of people had come in to see it,



the proprietors, somewhat elated at their
success in the mill business, and to celebrate
their growing propserity, drank deeply, and
the miller, who was a green hand, crowded
on steam until the speed was so great that
the mill stones burst into fragments, scaring
the proprietors, spectators and employes half
to death and making a grand " scatterment"
of all present. James R. Combs came to the
town in 1854. and finally got an interest in
the mill. He was an enterprising man; mar-
ried Mrs. Compton, engaged in merchandis-
ing and finally died. Wiley Prigmore moved
into the t(jwn in 1856. One Joshua Kilabrew
opened a store, and some time later was suc-
ceeded by Thomas Williams, and he by John
Clinton. Driver & Pollock's mill finally went'
down and Harvey Williams built one some
distance from town. Among the physicians
of the place are Drs. Bernard, Reed, Cox
and Hughey. The two latter le ft in a few
years. Drs. Bernard and Reed W3re both
from Tennessee. An excellent schoolhouse
was built in 1857, which is still doing duty.
Carroll and Scott have carried on blacksmith -
ing here for many years, sometimes in part-
nership and sometimes each for himself.

Upon the building of the St. Louis k.
Southeastern Railroad (now the Louisville &
Nashville Railroad), and the springing up
of the towns of Opdyke and Belle Rive, they
have drawn heavily on Spring Garden. Sev-
eral of the stanch citizens and business
men of Spring Garden moving to those
places on account of the railroad facilities.
Spring Garden, perhaps, has passed the
zenith of its glory and prosperity, and is
now on the down grade to desolation and ob-
scurity, unless some of the railroads now in
contemplation pass it. Then its properous
days may return.



372



HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.



CHAPTER XII.



WEBBER TOWNSHIP-INTRODUCTION AND DESCRIPTION - BOUNDARIES, TOPOGRAPHY, ETC-
E\RLY SETTLEMENT-PIONEER LIFE AND TRIALS-PIGEON POST OFFICE-A LAW SUIT-
TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS-SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES-MARLOW, BLUFORD, ETC., ETC.



"And he sliiikes liis feeble head,
That it seems as if he said —

'They are gone.' "—Holmes.

TH.A.T impulse which forces each genera-
tion to do something, however small, to
make the world wiser, batter and happier
than they found it, the struggles and sor-
rows through which each generation passes
in the accomplishment of the self-imposed
yet imperative task, are the sublimest trag-
edies of history. Upon this theme Carlyle
has said. "Generation after generation takes
to itself the form of a body and, issuing forth
from the Cimmerian night, appears Heaven's
mission. What force and fire is in each he
expends. One grinding in the mill of in-
dustry, one, hunter-like, climbing the Alpine
heights of science, one madly dashed to
pieces on the rocks of strife, warring with
his fellow — and then the heaven-sent is re-
called; his earthly vesture falls away, and
soon, even to sense, becomes a shadow. Thus,
like a God-created, fire-breathing spirit, we
emerge from the Inane. Earth's mountains
are leveled, her seas are filled up in our
passage. Can the earth, which is but dead
and a vision, resist spirits, which are reality
and are alive? On the hardest adamant some
footprint of us is stamped in The last rear
of the host will read traces of the earliest
van. But whence? Oh Heaven, whither?
Sense knows not; faith knows not; only that
it is through mystery into mystery, from
God to God." When we remember how un-

*By W. H. Perrin.



certain is life at best, and that its average
duration is not more than forty years, nearly
half of which is spent in preparing to live,
the wonder is that man is not content to stay
where he finds himself, " to let well enough
alone," and do as little for posterity as pos-
sible. But spurred up and on by the divine
impulse, he can neither explain nor resist, he
labors as if life were to last a thousand
years; as if his eyes were to see the harvest
from the seed he plants, his soul rejoices at
the onward and upward march he aids.

We\>ber comprises one of the east tier of
township:^ of the county and lies east of
Mount Vernon. It is bounded north by Far-
rington Township, east by W^ayne County,
south by Pendleton Township, west by
Mount Vernon Township, and according to
the Congressional survey is Township 2
south. Range 4 east, of the Third Principal
Meridian. The surface of the township is
somewhat rough and broken, and is mostly
■ timbered land, but takes in a small portion
of Long Prairie. The timber growth is sev-
eral kinds of oak, black hickory, wild cher-
ry, sassafras, hazel, etc. The streams are
Puncheon Camp Creek, which received its
peculiar name from the puncheon camps
erected along its banks by the early hunters;
Bear Creek, Four Mile Creek and Two Mile
Creek. Puncheon Camp Creek rises north-
east of Mount Vernon and empties into
Horse Creek; Bear Creek has its soui'ce in a
sulphur spring on Pope's farm and runs east



HLSTOUY OF JEFFEH8UN COUNTY.



373



and north into the Puncheon Camp Creek.
Four Mile Creek empties into the Skillet
Fork of the Little Wabash. Black Oak
Ridge, running nearly thi-ough the center of
the township, forms a water shod, the waters
on the east side flowing into the Skillet
Fork, finally reach the Ohio River, while
those on the west side flow into Big iluddy,
and thence thi-ough it to the Mississippi.
The products of the township are grain, stock
and fruit. The latter of late years is receiving
considerable attention, apples being mostly
grown, and to which the township seems
well adapted.

To particularize each settlement in the
county and tell just where each family set-
tled as they came in is not a task easily ac-
complished. A list of the early settlers of
the county has been given in different chap-
ters, but it has been impossible to locate
them all. Among the pioneers of Webber
Township we may mention the following:
Jacob Norton, Isaac Casey, Daniel Scott,
Word Webber, H. Wade, William Dale,
Peter Bruce, James Archie, xllesander Moore,
James Bridges, W. Willett, William Green,
David and Elijah Davis, Joseph Childers,
James Hunt, Joseph Brown, etc. , etc. Jacob
Norton was a brother-in-law to Gov. Casey,
and settled here about 1822. He remained
but a few years and then went back to Ten-
nessee and died thei'e. Isaac Casey, one of
the early settlers of the county, and who first
located in Mount Vernon Township, came in-
to this about 1S38, and lived here a few
years. But after the death of his wife in
1846, he broke up housekeeping and went
to live with his children. Daniel Scott set-
tled in the township in 1838. Webber came
in IS-iO and settled on the Fairfield road,
but about the time of the war moved into
Pendleton Toi*nship and located near
Lynchburg. He was (juite a prominent



man, and has the honor of giving his name
to the township. Wade settled in the south
part of the township, and was a plain, hard
working farmer. Dale came in early and
carried on a tan yard — the first in the town-
ship. The farm on which he settled is now
owned by Levi Harris. Peter Bruce was
originally from Virginia, came to Illinois
and settled in this township in 1840. He
made what was called the " Ridge road," a
prominent thoroughfare in early times, but
of which there is now no trace. It extended
from the old Joseph Brown jilace to East
Long Prairie, and was much traveled by the
pioneers. James Archie was a " squatter,"
and " squatted" on the Ridgo road. He
stayed tptite awhile, but left a short time
before the war. Alexander Moore lived m
the southeast corner of the township, and
was a large stock-raiser for the time.
Bridges settled on the place now owned by
Leonard W. Bruce. Willett settled wheie
Mrs. Carter now lives and opened a small
farm. Green was among the first settlers in
the township; the place on which he located
is now owned by Mrs. Lancaster Green. It
belonged awhile to Dr. Wood, a practicing
physician here. He took the flux and died,
and his wife wont back to Indiana. The
Davisea were from North Carolina and came
here about 1839-40. David settled where he
now lives, near the Black Oak Ridge School-
house; Elijah died on the place where he
settled. Joseph Childers settled in the same
neighborhood. He kept a large pack of
hounds and was quite a hunter. Hunt set-
tled on Two Mile Creek near its som-ce.
Joseph Brown was a very early settler on
what is known as Spring Hill farm, so
named from a tine spring that breaks from
the side of a hill on the farm. Doubtless
there were others entitled to mention as early
settlers of the township, but we failed to
learn their names.



374



HISTOKY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.



A great change has taken place in this sec-
tion in the last half a centui-y. Where the
iii'st pioneers crossed the border there are
now no deer to pay the sportsman, for tnidg-
ing through the forests and over the hills.
Could the old hunters who used to enjoy
their broiled venison and roasted coou
around the evening camp fire come back here
and see the wonderful changes that have
taken place, they would doubtless turn away
in supreme disgust at the signs of civiliza-
tion that would everywhere meet their gaze.
Aye, could they revisit these scenes of their
youth, and behold their degenerate success-
ors with DO hunting grounds, no moccasins,
no leather breeche.s, no flint-lock guns,
broiled venison nor roasted coons, they
would no doubt gather their mantles about
them (their buckskin hunting-shirts) and lie
down and die. Would not their big hearts
burst asunder upon seeing the men of this
day in plug hats and store clothes, riding in
carriages and sleeping cars and chasing no
other game than the metaphorical tiger up
stairs behind closed blinds and under bright
gas lights! Wonderful, wonderful the change
the years have wrought!

Among the pioneer improvements were
mills, roads, bridges, tan yards, etc. , etc.
Willett & Fagan built a mill about 1848.
It was of very j^oor mechanical construction,
but did good service for a number of years.
James Hunt erect-^d a mill on Two Mile
Creek, which received its power fi'om that
stream. It was short-lived, however (the
mill, not the stream, for it is there yet), and
soon passed away. W. B. and Lewis Logan
built a saw mill about the year 1867, the
first ever in the township. William Dale had
a tannery as early as 1841-42. All the shoes
then that were worn at all were made at
home, and not bought at the store as now,
and hence a tan yard was an important pio-



neer industry — next, perhaps, to the mill.
A free- stone quarry in the township was
operated in an early day, from which mate-
rial was obtained for building chimneys
throughout the neighborhood.

The first road through the township was
the road leading from Mount Vernon to Fair-
field, and was known as the "Fairfield road."
The Black Oak Ridge road was also an old
road, and was made by Peter Bruce. Mr.
Marlow, who settled here just after the Mex-
ican war, was instrumental in getting a road
entitled the " East Long Prairie road," di-
verging from the Fairfield road at the seven
mile bridge and running to Long Prairie,
The township is now well supplied with
roads, and where the more important roads
cross the streams they are spanned by sub-
stantial bridges.

Previous to the township system coming
into vogue, the county was divided into
election precincts, but in 1869 the county
adopted township organization, when the
whole system of government was changed
and each township became a separate and
distinct municipality. It may be a matter
of some interest to some of our readers to
give the township officers, the first of whom
were elected in 1870. They are as follows:

Supervisors. — -S. V. Bruce, 1870-71; J.
Harlow, 1872-73; A. Marlow, 1874 to 1876;
J. H. Newton, 1877-78; John Hopper, 1879;
W. B Esman, 1880; D. S. Etlington, 1881;
B. D. Esman, 1882; T. F. Moore, 1883.

Township Clerk.— G. T. Bruce, 1872;
H. M. Maxey, 1873; J. H. Dulaney, 1874; J.
H. Newton, 1875-76; B. Bruce, 1877-78; H.
Benton, 1879; H. J. Benton, 1880; G. M.
Davis, 1881-82; G. M. Davis, 1883.

Assessor. — W. H. Morris, Jr., 1872-73;
J. H. Newton, 1874; J. B. Young. 1875; G.
L. Bruce, 1876-77; B. D. Esman, 1878; W.
E. Dulaney, 1879; W. S. Maxey, 1880;



HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.



375



William Dnianey, 1881; R. Young, 1882;
R. S. Young, 1883.

Collector. —T. F. Moore, 1872; G. M.
Watts, 1873; R. J. Scott. 1874; J. T. How-
ell, 1875; B. D. Esman, 1876: B. (i. Ward,
1877; J. T. Howell, 1878-79; R. C. Wood,
1880-81; E. W. Wallace, 1882; G. W. Ros-
enberger, 1883.

School Treasurers. — J. W. Gregory, 1872-
73; Wiley Green, 1874; J. H. Dulaney, 1875
to 1878; J. C. Masey, 1879; L. Harris, 1880;
B. M. Green, 1881; T. D. Fry, 1882; L. R.
Laird, 1883.

Highway Commissioners. — W. H. Morris,
Sr., H. M. Richards, C. Gowler, E. Gentle,
J. W. Gregory, E. Gentle, R. A. Allsbrook,
L. W. Bruce, C. Gowler, L. W. Bruce, Will-
iam Stone, W. ¥. Adams, A. Cook, T.
Green, and W. T. Adams.

Justices of the Peace. — W. S. Davis and
R. S. Young, 1870-73; O. J. Byard and R.
S. Young. 1874 to 1876; Wiley Green and
A. Marlow, 1877; B. G. Wood and A. Mar-
low, 1878; Wiley Green and A. Marlow,
1879-80; W. S. Dodds and B. G. Wood,
1881; W. A. Watson and B. G, Wood,
1882-83.

Constables.— J. M. Bruce, 1874 to 1876;
O. J. Byard, 1877; J. T. Feltz, 1878-79;
O. J. Byard, 1880; J. T. Feltz, 1881; and
G. Keele, 1883.

Some years ago, during Squire Mario w's
term as -Justice of the Peace, a suit was being
tried before him, to which M. Waters and
Fayette Osborne were the parties, and the
nature of which was " squatterism," or the
right to a certain improvement. While the
trial was going on a large rat caught a
chicken in the midst of the court room, when
some one with great gravity made a motion
that the rat be lined for contempt of court.
Fact!

A post office was established in 1875 in



the north part of the township called Pigeon
Post Office, of which Mr. Partridge was
Postmaster. It received its name from the
great Hocks of pigeons that used to roost in
the low trees in the vicinity. It is said that
millions of these birds might be seen there
at one time. The early settlers used to kill
great numbers of them.

Schools were taught in the township as
soon as there were children to support them
and money to pay teachers. One of the first
schoolhouses was a log cabin erected on Sec-
tion 28, on Black Oak Ridge. Among the
early wielders of the birch within this primi-
tive temple of learning, were Jehu Hodges,
Joel Hawkins, John Vick, Brown and Davis.
Another schoolhouse was built in the north
part of the township, which was known as
the Young Schoolhouse. Before this house
was built, a school was taught in the old
Council Blufi" Church, The Barren School-
house was, perhaps, the next one built. It
received the name on account of the barren
country around it. About the year 1850, the
precinct was divided into four school dis-
tricts. The township now contains six dis-
tricts, in all of which are good, comfortable
schoolhouses. The first School Trustees in
the township (prior to township organiza-
tion) were D. B. Davis and C. M. Casey.

The pioneers of Webber Township looked
early to their spiritual welfai-e as well as their
temporal. Meetings were held at private
houses. Congregations assembled regularly
in the old Ridge Schoolhouse, and preaching
was held whenever a preacher came along.
The first religious society formed in the town-
ship, perhaps, was the old Council Blufl'
Church. Among the early members were the
Caseys, Maxeys and Johnsons, and Thomas
Casey, A. Maxey and Simeon Walker were
among the preachers.

The Black Oak Ridge Methodist Church



376



HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.



was organized about ]855. Among the orig-
inal members were Jolin Faa;an and fam-
ily, D. B. Davis and family, and Abraham
Marlow and wife; the first class-leader was
D. B. Davis. A flourishing Sunday school
with about thirty pupils is maintained.

Hickory Hill United Baptist Church was
oro-anized in 1868, and the Dales and Davises
were among the first members. Elder C.
Richardson is the present pastor.

The Universalists and Adventists hold
meetings occasionally. The Adventists have
an organization, but no church building.
-^ The Louisville, Evansville & St. Louis
Railroad, oommonly called the " Air Line,"
passes through Webber Township from east
to west. There are two stations in Webber,
viz., Marlow and Bluford. The latter was
laid out aboi^t the time the road was opened
for travel, and consists of but a few houses.
It is located on the land of Evans and Crews,



citizens of Mount Vernon. The place con-
tains two stores — Thomas Moore & Co. and
B. D. Esman — a grocery and saloon, a saw
mill, a shop or two and a few residences.

Marlow Station is situated on Section 30,
on John Scott's land. Like Bluford, it is a
small place and has sprung up since the
building of the railroad. W. & H. Morris
carry on a general store. A grain house was
put up by Mr. Marlow, with wagon scales
attached; he also owns a dwelling house
here. A saw mill was started here and run
one year by Dallas & Burk. It was portable,
and hence has left the town. A post office
was established in 1882, and Mr. Marlow
appointed Postmaster. He resigned in April,
1883. and Mr. Morris was appointed in his
stead. Drs. Newton and Hillard are the
practicing physicians of the township, and
care for the physical ailments of the
people.



CHAPTER XIII.*



ELK PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP— TOPOGRAPHY AND PHYSICAL FEATURES— COMING OF THE PALE FACES
—INCIDENTS OF THEIR SETTLEMENT— HARD TIMES| ETC.— ROADS, MILLS AND BRIDGES-
SCHOOLS AND SCHOOLHOUSES— CHURCHES, ETC.— TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS— VILLAGES, ETC.



" Should you ask me whence these stories,
Whence these legends and traditions
With the odors of the forest—
I repeat them as I heard them."

— Song of Hiawatha.

TO illustrate the life the people lived in
the pioneer days of Southern Illinois,
we give an extract from the diary of an early
citizen of this portion of the State, and which
was written in 1824. It is true of the times
in which it occurred, and is as follows: " I
well recollect the first time I ever saw a tea-
cup and saucer, and tasted coffee. My moth-

» By W. H. Perrin.



er died when I was six years old. My father
then sent me to Maryland, to school. At
Bedford, everything was changed. The tav-
ern at which I stopped was a stone house,
and, to make the change still more complete,
it was plastered on the inside, both as to the
walls and ceiling. On going into the dining-
room, I was struck with astonishment at the
appearance of the house. I had no idea there
was a house in the world not built of logs;
but here I looked around the house and could
see no logs, and above I could see no joists.
Whether such a thing had been made so by



HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.



377



the hands of man, or had grown so of itself
I could not conjecture. I head not the cour-
age to inquire anything about it. I watched
attentively to see what the big folks would
do with their little cups and spoons. I im-



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