Gallatin County, Illinois
A History of the County
INTENDED FOR PERSONAL GENEALOGY AID
NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE
Thanks to the Miner family for making them available on line.
First Printed 1979
Second Printing with
and additions 1984
(Not in printed book)
Introduction and Explanation page 0
Cemetery Inscriptions pages 1 – 36
Markers found since publication of
Vol. 2 in 1979, not in index page 36B
SURNAME Index of pages 1 – 36 of this book pages 110 - 113
Gallatin Co. Court Proceedings, Shawneetown
Illinois Territory General Order Book
1813 – 1818 pages 37 – 39
A little history from Glen pages 40 – 46
Actions taken by Governing body of Gallatin
from 1813 – 1820 pages 47 – 61
Records from Gallatin Co. Commissioners
Record Book of 1850’s pages 62 – 70
Village of Equality Minute Book 1831–1853 pages 71 – 76
Towns, Postoffices and other places with
names in Gallatin Co. pages 77 – 78
Businesses, Ads, and Newspapers of
early Gallatin Co. pages 79 – 109
PART 3 OF 3 PARTS
REC0RDS FROM GALLATIN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS RECORD BOOK OF 1850s
county commissioners court of Pope County: $150 on Equality to New Haven road: $50 on road from McFarland's Ferry: $200 on road from Equality to Ford's Ferry and $150 on road from Equality to Carmi. The balance of said funds are to be applied to Monroe Academy under direction of county Commissioners court of Monroe County. These funds under control of John Marshall were spent by 1833. Other appropriations may have followed but the next available records are from March 9, 1853, to and including March court of 1860. By this time they were locating some roads on the straight, surveyed lines and changing an occasional road to lines of farms. The 2-horse road or dirt scraper had probably come along by this time, as an aid to drainage. By this time the roads, laid out 40 years earlier, were well established.
A list of orders and appointments of supervisors of road crews, made by the county commissioners of Gallatin County, beginning Mar. 9, 1853 follow.
#1 Francis Clayton be supervisor on Ford Ferry Road, from Hardin County line to Joseph Robinett's and on the Golconda Road from Daimwood's Ferry to Hardin County Line, and on Martha’s Furnace Road from upper locks on Saline Creek to Hardin County Line. Hands to work said roads defined as from Joseph Robinett's, including him, to county line etc.
#2 Rufus Christian, from Joseph Robinett to middle of Eagle Creek Bridge, with following bounds for hands, beginning at Daimwood Ferry, thence up Saline River to mouth of Eagle Creek, thence up said creek to William Smith mill, thence due South to Hardin Co. line and on this line to Golconda road, thence back to Joseph Robinett's and beginning.
#3 Alfred Rice supervise work on Ford Ferry Road from mid Eagle Creek bridge to the forks of said road at old Frazier Place and also on the Island Ripple road from said fork to the Island Ripple. Hands to come from area beginning at mouth of Eagle Creek, thence up Saline Road to Old Frazier Place, thence to Thomas Baldwin's, thence to William Smith's Mill on Eagle, thence down said creek to beginning. (Old maps show roads joining at the North end of the Dorsey Valley to go through Dorsey Gap, the roads formed a triangle on which stood the old school. One half mile to the West, at the salt spring was a ford, at which roads from the North crossed Saline River. It received much use prior to the opening of State Route One and the bridge in the late 1920's, especially from wagons hauling grain or coal. A deceased, long time resident of the site probably gave his name to the Old Frazier Place).
#4 Samuel Cozart be supervisor on Ford Ferry Road, from Frazier Place to
Hickory Tree, 1 mile from Equality. Hands living within these bounds are assigned to work on this road: from Hickory Tree south to top of Big Hill, thence East to Old Frazier Place including the Woods Hill Farm and Unity Dorsey Farm.
#5 William Greer be supervisor on McFaddin Ferry road, 1 mile from Equality to center of Big Eagle Creek bridge on so much of said road as is in Gallatin County. Bounds for hands begin where the Saline County line crosses the Saline River, thence on said line to Big Eagle creek and down it to William Smith Mill, thence to Thomas Baldwin's excluding him, thence North to Mrs. White's thence to beginning.
#6 James W. Clayton be supervisor on McFadden Ferry road from above bridge.
#7 Greenbury Ewing Lambert be supervisor on Martha's Furnace road from Shawneetown to the upper locks using all hands between said road and river.
#8 Joseph Logsdon (#1) be supervisor on Golconda road from the depot in Snawnee to the forks in road beyond Thomas Logsdon farm. Bounds begin at said forks, thence South to Martha's Furnace road and up said road to depot, thence SW to Peter Baker farm thence along foot of Big Hill to beginning.
#9 John T. Walters be supervisor on Golconda road from above forks to Daimwood's Ferry. Bounds begin at Forks thence on line between Thomas Logsdon's and John Forrester's including Hogan farm, thence on line to mouth of Eagle Creek including John Young farm, thence down Saline to Upper Locks.
#10 Thomas Logsdon be supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ Equality road South of Big Hill by Island Ripple, with the following bounds for hands to work said road. Begin at Ripple thence due South to mouth of Eagle Creek, thence on direct line between T. Logsdon and J. Forrester farms, excluding the farms of John Young, Benjamin Barlow, Hogan and Columbus to said forks, thence North to top of Big Hill and along Old Hill Road to beginning.
#11 Edward Rearden be supervisor on the rail road from Ohio Road to Junction with the plank road near Mrs. Bargers. Bounds for hands beginning at Main Cross St. and running along the Plank road to said junction thence east to river.
#12 Charles W. McGehee be supervisor on bottom Island Ripple road from Plank Road to Island Ripple. Bounds begin at Ripple and running with old Ridge road East to foot of Big Hill on the east side, thence along base of hill to Peter Baker farm excluding it, thence north to railroad, thence on Plank road to Big Cypress, thence down it to Saline Road and beginning. (The Ridge Road followed the high ridge from Gold Hill Cemetery toward Island Ripple and was called the high or wet weather road. It was much used in early 1800's by salt transporters. It passed the Island Ripple or Smyth Church, School and Cemetery which was donated for the use of church, school and cemetery in 1828 by Benjamin and wife Mary Jolly. The church joined the Baptist association in 1821, lapsed and rejoined about 1860. Most of this high land was among the early choices for farmland and home sites, when Gallatin County land sales began in 1814. Joe Barlow, of the Crossroads Community, as a boy lived in the old log house with his parents, on the Jolly farm. At that time threshing machines climbed to top of the hill to harvest the wheat grown there. Now, except for hay and pasture, most has gone back to the forest and nature. The plank road was planned from Shawneetown to Equality. Upon failing to meet expectations, most of this roadway became the right of way for the new railroad about 1870.)
#13 John W. Clifton be supervisor on Equality to New Haven road from middle of North Fork, where the old bridge stood, to the old courthouse in Equality, thence on Main Cross St. to Bailey's Corner, thence on Ford Ferry road to the hickory tree, one mile from old courthouse and on McFarlin road. Bounds for hands include those in Guard's brick buildings.
#14 Hiram McClusky be supervisor from McCaleb's shop in Equality to the county line by Hick's mill. All hands residing on said road shall work on same.
#15 John R. Dieter be supervisor on road from Bailey's Corner on Lane St. to county line on St. Louis Road.
#16 C. C. Guard be supervisor from Hays Corner on Clinton St. to county line on South America Road.
#17 George W. Flanders be supervisor on road West from courthouse in Equality to the junction with St. Louis Road, also on Carmi Road from courthouse on road by Robert Siddall farm. Bounds begin at courthouse thence to Siddall's, thence to line between I?D. Towle's and William Siddall's farm, thence to St. Louis Road, thence to beginning.
#18 Edward Holeman be supervisor of road from courthouse in Equality to the Bozarth Ford. All hands living on this road, including the Reynolds house and R. W. Davenport Farm, shall work this road.
#19 William R. Gregg shall be supervisor on Stone Ford Road from Saline county line to the middle of North Fork. Hands to come from within this area: begin at Saline Co. line, thence down North Fork to church or school house, thence due South to White Oak branch and up said branch to beginning.
#20 William Cook be supervisor on Carmi road from 1 mile of Equality to South end of North Fork Bridge and also on road from Proctor's mill to Saline Co. line. Hands from area begin at mouth of Backwater Branch, up it to Saline Co. line and on said line north to White Oak Branch and down it to a point directly South of church or school near William Cameron place, thence North by said school or church to North Fork and down it to beginning. (Part of the timbers of what is believed part of Proctor's Mill were at the old ford crossing North Fork on South side of SE 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Sec. 3, T9, R8. They were dredged out alone with the rocks when creek was deepened in 197?
#21 Alfred Garrett be supervisor on Stone Ford road from the center of N. Fork to where road intersects the Shawneetown to McLeansboro road.
#22 Jacob Danner be supervisor on road to Carmi from south end of N. Fork Bridge to where McLeansboro road forks off near the Bear Creek Bridge. Bounds for hands to work this road to commence at end of N. Fork Bridge and down N. Fork to Danner's place, thence on old road from Broughton's Ferry to McLeansboro road including Amos Mahew, thence across said road to Thorn Thicket Road and up side of said thicket to a point East of Big Lick thence west to Bear Creek and down same to beginning. Adjournment signed by commissioners, James Davenport, Charles Vinson and John J. Kanady. Mar. 9, 1853 (The Thorn Thicket is the area mostly contained within a triangle, formed by a line drawn between Cottonwood, Ridgway and Omaha, once poorly drained but now very productive farmland.)
Re-adjourned on March 10, 1853
#23 Alfred Davis be supervisor on Equality ‑ Carmi Road from where the McLeansboro leaves it near Bear Creek to White County line. Bounds for hands as follows, from Big Lick, east to William Stayton's, thence to Franklin Brills, thence to Calvin Davis, to Elvis Blair, to Benjamin Kinsall, to Hiram Kinsall, thence to David Kinsall, thence to Benton Harrell's, thence to James Keasler's, thence to Howell Edwards, thence to Lewis West, thence to James Campbell's, thence to Thomas Kinsall's thence to Leonard Haney's and thence to beginning.
#24 William L. Blackard be supervisor on road from New Haven to John Kinsall's and from said Kinsall's to county line. Shall use same hands as heretofore.
#25 Jonathan Waynick be supervisor on Shawneetown - McLeansboro Road from Kelly's Tanyard to Bartlett Garrett farm. (William Kelly Tanyard located on small stream, starting in NW Corner of S 1/2 of SW 1/4, Sec. 13, T8, R8, where it crossed S. center line of Sec. 14 and small acreage adjoining in Sec. 23. The total of 21 acres was purchased by Kelly in 1852.)
#26 Daniel M. Willis be supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ McLeansboro Road from Kelly's Tanyard to the Hargett Old place on the Equality road. For hands begin at Tanyard, thence West to North Fork and down said creek to Hargett's old place, thence along Equality Rd. to the crossroads, thence to Wesley Dillard's, thence to Robert Trousdale's, thence to beginning. (William Hargett place was S 1/2 of SW 1/4 and N 1/2 of W 1/2 of SE 1/4 of Section 22. Where the old iron bridge now crosses North Fork at old Dickey Ford, I and many others washed our cars here in 1930's. Water was usually less than 1 foot deep with a smooth, solid rock bottom. This crossing, now filled with sediment, was only a few feet South of bridge}
#27 Henry Miller be supervisor on Equality ‑ New Haven Rd. from Hargett's Old Place to Bozarth Ford and from the forks near Abraham Crenshaw's Old Place to the Ford near the Old North Fork bridge site. Bounds for hands begin at North Fork Bridge Site, thence to Crenshaw Salt Works site, thence to Old Billy Clayton Place, thence to Lewis Kanady's, thence to North Fork and down it to beginning.
#28 Jacob Beck (who lived on SW 1/4 of NW 1/4, Sec. 22, T8, R9) be supervisor on Equality ‑ New Haven road from crossroad near Benjamin Bruce's to South end of Murphy Bridge. Hands to come from area bounded by line from said crossroads, thence to Eli Dillard, thence to Henry Rollman's, thence to William Rollman's (NW 1/4 of NE 1/4, Sec. 28) thence to Wiley D. Brown's (NW 1/4 of Sec. 21), thence to J. E. Jackson (near Jackson Cem.), thence to Jacob Bean's (SW 1/4, NE 1/4, Sec. 30) and thence to beginning (Sec. 36 T8, R8)
#29 Preston Goforth be supervisor on Equality ‑ New Haven Rd. from south end of Murphy's Bridge to Joseph Pearce's (center of SW 1/4 of Sec. 6, T7, R10), bounds for hands begin at Ebenezer Stewart's on the State Road, thence to Old Man Glasscock's excluding him, thence to Jacob Boutwell's including him, thence to Josiah E. Jackson's excluding him, thence to William Rollman's excluding him, thence to William Rollman Farm excluding it, thence to Henry Rollman's excluding him, thence to Eli Dillard's excluding him and then on a straight line to John Maloney's excluding him and thence to state road and beginning.
#30 Andrew Donovan be supervisor on Equality - New Haven Road by Owen Riley's from crossroad at John Sherwood's Old Place to where said road intersects the Shawneetown ‑ New Haven Road near William Daily's.
#30 continued: Bounds for hands to work this road begin at VanLandingham Cypress Farm including it, thence up Cypress to Samuel Harrelson's, thence west to James Saul's, thence southwest to beginning. (As a boy I wondered why a few of the old houses stood at odd angles facing no road. The Owen (Uncle Odie) Riley Jr. house was one of these. It had been built by his father before the War Between the States, facing the road that grew from the old Salt Trace that crossed from SW corner to near the NE corner of section 35, T8, R9. This two story, weather boarded, frame home was 50' long and 20' wide. A large hall divided the two rooms on each floor and a double chimney in one end took care of upper and lower fireplaces. The stairway, low ceilings and plaster walls were unusual for this area and time. Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Rider bought this, the old home part of the Riley farms in early 1940's, lived in the old house for several years, then razed it in the 1950's, after building a nearby, modern replacement in which they now reside.)
#31 Michael K. Lawler be supervisor on Equality ‑ New Haven Road by Owen Riley's from the crossroads at John Sherwood's old place to where it intersects the Plank Road, and from where the Shawneetown Rd. leaves the Plank Rd. to the ford near the old North Fork bridge site. Bounds for hands begin at said ford on North Fork, thence to Crenshaw's Salt Works site, thence to Old Billy Clayton place, thence to Overton Bradley farm excluding it, thence to Cypress and down it to its mouth, thence up Saline and North Fork to beginning. (This plank road built on present L & N right of way, from Shawneetown toward Equality, about 1850 was probably much like that completed about 1851, in adjoining Posey Co. Ind. and described by Mrs. Anna E. Kelly in her book, THE PLANK ROAD. Interested citizens put funds into a company, which graded and drained the road from New Harmony to Mt. Vernon, at least 18 feet wide. This was wide enough for 2 lanes of traffic, one lane of dirt, the other of 8ft. boards 2 inches thick and from 4 to 18 inches wide. These were laid side by side. Tolls were charged at three locations but it was a money-losing proposition due to the high costs. Fortunately, for they and we, the railroads soon came to move the produce to markets.)
#32 Henry Wakeford be supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ McLeansboro Rd. from Carmi Rd. to county line. Bounds for hands begin at North Fork on Saline County Line, thence down said creek to mouth of Bear Creek and up Bear Creek to bridge, thence to James Campbell's excluding him, thence to Lewis West excluding him, thence to James Keasler's, excluding him, thence to White Co. line and along it and Saline County line to beginning, excluding all hands living along Stone Ford Road.
#33 Joshua Bradley be supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ McLeansboro Rd from crossroads near Bruce's to the hole in the water bridge. Bounds begin at said bridge, thence to VanLandingham's Cypress farm excluding it, thence to William Abbott farm, thence to Alexander Turner's, thence to crossroad near Bruce place, thence to William Pattillo's Old Place, thence to Overton A. Bradley's, thence to beginning. (These Bradley's owned large farms, in NW part of Gold Hill Township, on which were located early landmarks, in the form of large 2 story log houses, which stood until the 1950's. The home of the first had an addition making it the largest. It was located on South side of road, on the hill near the center of East 1/2 of Sec. 7, and the proposed village of Bartley. It was one of the many housing Bradley kin, in the community from 1840 to 1900, but empty during the last few years of its long life. A great uncle Levi Perkins 1851‑1929 and my Grand‑mother Glass gave me differing views of this family, to one generous and accommodating, to the other mean and troublesome. She has told me that as a small girl she waited in wagon and cried, being afraid her father S. L. Chappell 1828‑93 would be killed, while fighting a certain Bradley in front of New Market store. This man was often drunk and abusive. She mentioned several familiar names as those who often had fist fights at old New Market. G. S. (Dick) and Anna Riley Rollman, with their large family moved into the 2-story log home on the Ove or Obe Bradley farm as tenants in 1927. After the last parent died in 1951, sons George and Carroll took the old house down, had the hewed logs
Gallatin County, Illinois, Sketches from commissioner records 1853:
cut into lumber for a new modern home. The old home had originally been built with a dog trot or breezeway between two lower rooms as was the custom of that day. This had been made into a third lower room many years ago. Most of these logs were of cypress and well preserved, some of those on upper story were near 50 feet long. The south or lower end of this farm extended into the low Cypress area once covered by fine cypress trees. The brothers own the original farm along with much adjoining land, all of which they farm. Uncle Levi, as a young man, had often worked for his uncles, the Bradley's who were brothers of his mother Jane.)
#34 Stephen Fields appointed supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ McLeansboro road, from the hole in the Water Bridge to the Plank Road, near the Steam Mill. Bounds for hands begin at junction of said road with Plank Road and along said road to Cypress and up Cypress to Stephen Fields Sr., thence to Morris place, thence to Ruddick place, thence to old Hardin place, thence to John Robinson farm and thence to beginning.
#35 John Smith appointed supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ New Haven Rd. from Ohio River to foot of Big Hill on north side. Hands to work said road to come from area bounded by beginning at Ohio and running out Main Cross St. to John Richeson farm, excluding it, thence to Old Hardin farm including it, thence to Ruddick Place, thence to top of Big Hill, thence to Stout's farm and thence to Ohio and down it to beginning.
#36 David Allen be supervisor on above road from north side of Big Hill to the Beaver Dam Branch, bounds for hands beginning at said branch, thence to Stephen Fields Sr. excluding him, thence to Morris farm excluding it, thence to Gill place including it, thence to top of Big Hill and along it to said road, thence to Ben Crandle's including him, thence North to David Allen's and thence to beginning.
#37 Moses Logan be supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ New Haven road from Beaver Dam Branch to the Sycamore Hollow. Bounds begin at said branch and running up it to Samuel Harrelson thence to Edward McGuire place, thence to Thomas McGuire's, thence to John Maloney's, thence to the Madison Farm, thence to John Harrelson's, thence down pond to beginning.
#38 George Dawson be supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ New Haven road from Sycamore Hollow to town of New Haven. Bounds for hands begin at Joseph Pearce's (present Green House Center of SW 1/4, Sec. 6, T8, R10) thence NE to Aaron Heddon's place, thence to the Old Dodson Place in the Wabash Bottom, thence to Oliver Wilcox place, thence to the Goss place, thence with line of said town west to within 1/4 of the Gum road thence parallel with said road to where said road forks at Ebenezer Stewarts, thence to Charles Mill's place, thence to point of beginning.
#39 Thompson L. Boyd be supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ McLeansboro road from forks near the Madison Farm to the County Line. Bounds beginning at Cottonwood Creek Bridge and up said creek to White County Line, thence west on said line to Cane Creek and down it to mouth of Cottonwood Creek, and up it to bridge and beginning, including Stephen and Alfred Laughton or Lofton, William Baskett and Ebenezer Stewart, South of bridge inclusive.
#40 Alexander Glasscock be supervisor on Big Lick road from State Rd. near Stewart place to Samuel Hooker place. Bounds begin at Cottonwood Bridge and down said creek to point opposite Samuel Hooker place, thence south to Jacob Boutwell place, thence to the Old Mr. Glasscock's including him, thence to State Rd. at E. Stewart's above and by said to place of beginning.
#41 David Rogers be supervisor on Big Lick Road from S. Hooker's to the Big Lick. Bounds begin at Cottonwood Creek opposite Hookers and down said creek to its mouth (Junction with Cane Creek) thence to Aaron Quigley's, thence to Hiram Kinsall excluding he and balance, thence to David Kinsall's, thence to Ben Kinsall's, thence to Elvis Blair's, thence to Calvin Davis', thence to Franklin Brill's, thence to William Staton's, thence to William Sewell place on Lady Branch, thence to Jacob Boutwell (NW of NW of Sec 16, T8, R9) thence N. to beginning including Quigley and Hooker.
#42 Mar. 11, 1853, Zimri Perkins be supervisor on New Haven Road from State Rd. near E. Stewarts to New Haven and also on Carmi Road from T. O. Waltons to county line. Bounds for hands begin at Cottonwood Bridge on State Road and along Cottonwood Creek to White County Line, thence by said line to Corp. line of Hew Haven and beginning.
Items from old Gallatin County commissioner book of 1850's, continued:
Order #43 on Mar. 11, 1853: George W. Akers appointed supervisor in charge of working Shawneetown ‑ Bucks Ferry River road from Shawneetown to Bucks Ferry on the Wabash. All hands within 1/2 mile on West side of road and all on East side are assigned to work said road.
#44 Albert Brannon supervisor on Shawneetown – New Haven road from Scudmore place to New Haven. Bounds for hands, begin at New Haven Corp. line, thence to Goss and Wilcox farms excluding them, thence to John Smith farm on the Running Slough, thence down said slough to Wabash and down said river to beginning. (Adj. ferry in #22)
#45 James Burton? be supervisor on Shawneetown ‑ New Haven Bottom Road from Scudmore farm to Shawneetown. Bounds for hands begin at mouth of Running Slough, thence West along said slough to James P. Dudley place, thence south to David Allen’s excluding him, thence south to Benjamin Crandles, thence south to James Beasley’s thence south to Pool's Pork House including all hands except those within 1/2 mile of River road. (This completes March term of supervisor appointments for 1853. The Bottom Road probably followed much the same path as the present road by Buck's Cemetery which goes between Round Pond and the range of hills, then on second bottom ridge to W. C. Dillard home to cross slough at Sandy Ford. At Buck's Ferry it joined the River Road, continuing to New Haven.
Other business transacted at this term as follows. Michael K. Lawler made report of sale of old North Fork Bridge for $75 in county currency. These funds were paid into county, canceled and destroyed.
George Beck was granted license, to keep retail grocery at his stand in the house on south end of Lot #1141. License fee $200, bond $500 by Joseph Logsdon and Peter McMurchy. William Siddall received license to keep storehouse at corner of Main Cross and Clinton Streets, upon payment of $75 cash to county treasurer. Bond for this Equality store was by Abner Flanders and Benjamin F. White. Another Equality license with same fee was granted to John Oberly, to keep retail grocery in house known as late residence of Jeremiah Haywood. His bond for the year was signed by George Beck for $500.
An order for $50 was paid to E? Durban for rent of depot for Dec. 1852 term of court. (The depot was a large brick warehouse on the south side of Shawneetown. It is believed to have been used as a storage point for goods coming into and exported from Shawneetown and especially as a shipping point for salt from the John Crenshaw Works. The 35 foot square courthouse to be built of brick and with two stories, ordered built in Nov. 1818, had been sold in 1830 after the county seat had been moved to Equality in 1827, After Saline County was formed, from the West part of Gallatin in 1847, Shawneetown again became the county seat. A building committee was named, in March 1858 to build the old courthouse, which many remember as facing Route #13 and which was razed in early 1940's upon completion of its successor in New Shawneetown. The railroad mentioned earlier was a coal carrier running from mine at Bowlesville, due east to a tipple, where coal was unloaded on the Ohio River.)
Next came the names of 24 grand jurors and 48 petit jurors who were appointed to serve the next court. Charles Bishop, MD was named county physician at $100. per year.
Most of the general orders numbered between 973 and 993 represented payments totaling over $300 to individuals for keeping named, poor people or paupers, others were for burials of two of these. Order #1003 was for $800 to Robert Crenshaw and John Bell, for the NE 1/4 & W 1/2 of NE 1/4 & N 1/2 of SE 1/4 of Section 13, T9, R8. A decision had been made to purchase a poor farm and then $5 was paid Z. Russ for collecting the county wards and taking them to this farm. Managers or caretakers were chosen each year, after competitive bidding, on amount charged for boarding each ward one week. I have heard that a cemetery was located on the farm, the location or if any markers is unknown. The next poor farm was in Section 15 of North Fork Township, the overseer I believe was Josh Hargett, time 1870's.
Continued, March 1853 meeting.
Items, selected and shortened, from county commissioners records of 1853 license issued to Robert Walton, fee $50, to keep grocery store at his present stand near William Daily's. (I believe the Daily farm was in W 1/2 of NE 1/4 of Section 30, T8, R10, and the Waltonborough Precinct, in East part of Ridgway Twp, received its name from the Walton Store.) Security bond of $500 signed by Thomas R. Lawler and Patrick Handmore.
James Kersey granted license for grocery at his stand on Saline River, security by William N. Warford.
Mary Sheridan, license for grocery at New Haven, fee $75, security Patrick Handmore.
Henry A. Linn, license for grocery on River St., bond by Orval Pool & B. P. Hinch.
David Owen license for grocery at or near locks on Saline River, security Charles Bishop, date June 6, 1853.
James Kersey & William Warford to keep ferry across Saline River on Section 26, T10, R9, and on NE 1/4 of NW 1/4, fee $20. Rates as follows: wagon & 4 horses $.35, with 2 horses $.25, man & 1 horse $.10, cattle or horse $.05.
Charles Bishop issued license to operate ferry on SW of 8E 1/4 of Section 27 and NW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Section 34, fee and rates same as above. (Road crossed on section line of above description).
Begin June meeting in 1853
Survey ordered for new road, from near Kelly's Tanyard, on the Carmi Rd to Bill Jacobs mill and from thence to Shawneetown, reviewers appointed were Joseph Bowles, John Crawford and Owen Riley. (Jacobs mill must have been on a ridge on West side of road on South side of sec. 2, T9, R9, very near present Cypress blacktop road. Henry Shatteen 1869‑1965 told me that it was not far from his home and as a boy he climbed to the top or third story of this building. He said it had also housed a cotton gin.)
Order #1070 was to pay Samuel L. M. Proctor $50 as commissioner to superintend construction of a bridge over North Fork at said Proctors Mill. Next came the names of judges and clerks for next election. The voting place for North Fork Precinct was moved from residence of the late Henry Bean to residence of Robert Lamb who was also named judge replacing John Crawford. Next came a petition to change a part of Equility ‑ New Haven rd and a part of Golconda road near James Kendricks.
Mar. 8, 1855, Aaron Hardin appointed sup. on Equility ‑ New Haven road from crossroads near Bruce's to Daniel Miner's & on Cypress Mill rd. from New Pleasant (Crawford) Campground to the Cottonwood Pond.
Dec. 5, 1855, Voted to establish a new road, beginning 1/2 mile West of Owen Riley on Cypress Mill rd, thence to James Sauls, thence to Jacob Beck's, thence to Alexander Boutwell's, thence to Bricem Cox place, thence to Rogers Meeting House, (probably the C.P. Church, located near center of NE 1/4 of sec. 8, T8, R9, that was moved West 3/4 mile to house New Hope G. B. Church many years ago.) thence to Andrew Rogers, thence to John Quigley's, thence to George Overton's, thence to William L. Blackard's, thence to Alfred Blackard's, thence to William Kinsall's and thence to connect with the Carmi ‑ Equality road near the White County Line.
Mar. 7, 1856, license issued to James Pruitt to keep a toll bridge on Eagle Creek on the Fords Ferry to Equality to St. Louis road crosses. Erected by Abner Dutton, with rates about same as earlier ferry.
Received report of viewers, on New Market road, which recommends begin at a large cottonwood stump, on ridge on West side of Shawneetown McLeansboro road, thence running NE 10 rods or more to strike the 1/2 sectional line between O. Bradley's and the old Sherwood Farm, thence North to Main St. in New Market and continuing North to a point at or near Abraham Zucks, thence east 1/4 mile between Zucks house and shop (NW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of section 20, T8, R9, thus far same as today.) thence N following said 1/4 sectional line to where said line crosses the road leading from Blackard's Mill to Jacobs Mill in Cypress.
Petition heard for relocating a part of Big Lick Road so far as it runs through sections 2 of T8 R9 & 35 of T7 R9 on land belonging to Samuel Dryden. Viewers William L. Blackard, Aaron Quigley and Eli Sanders agreed that new road should diverge 40 to 60 yards West of Dryden house to
Continued, Gallatin County Commissioners meeting of March 5, 1856:
intersect the State Road 10 to 20 yards SE of Lofton house where Jess Johnson now lives. Above part of old road vacated.
Other petitions were beginning to be presented for placing roads on lines. Page ?72 Licenses were issued for retail stores to Jacob Beck at his present stand at New Market, to Adam Baker on lot #1137 in Shawneetown and Felix G. Robinson at his present stand on Lot 4 in New Haven, fees $75.
Mar. 7, 1857, received petition for removal of part of New Haven - Equility road in Sec. 1, adj. lands of Alonzo Stewart and in Sec. 11 also in T8, R9. Appointed jury of 72, also accepted petition for new road from Meadows Campground to State road and appointed T. L. Boyd, George Luther and Moses Blazier as viewers, accepted road and set bounds for hands as follows. With Boyd as supervisor, bounds begin at Boyd's, thence to Sander's, Boyer's, William Blazier's, George H. Blazier's, Charles Walton's, George Luther's, Anderson Bellah's, A. B. Howard and Levi and Bethel Cook.
Retail store licenses and renewals were issued to Job Smith, Lot 1108 in Shawneetown, William Bean at New Market, Robert Walton at present stand on Shawnee ‑ McLeansboro road in T8, R9, Cook & Elder, Adam Baker, F. G. Robinson, Crawford Rawlings, Bean & Roark at same stand in New Market, John M. R. McLean & David William's on Lot 1111 Shawneetown, William Bean Jr. Lot 4, Block 4, New Market, and John Oberly on Lot 7, Equality, Dr. James Hall & William Weaver on Lot 34 New Haven.
Granted $200 for lumber on bridge over Running Slough between farms of William Spencer and Morgan Williams. They also appointed Joseph D. Cadle as supervisor to build bridge over Burdick Slough on Shawneetown ‑ New Haven Wabash Bottom road.
Road orders #46 and #47 completed 1854 list and mention two new workers. #46 Andrew McCallen be supervisor on Cypress Mill road from Bell & Jacobs Mill to its intersection with Sh.‑ New Haven road near Stout's Brickyard. Bounds for hands begin at above mill, thence to Old John Robinson place, thence to the Ruddick place, thence West to Morris Farm, thence to Stephen Fields, thence to beginning.
#47 Jacob Beck be sup. on Eq.‑ New Haven road from Daniel Miner's to Pool's hay press. Bounds begin at Daniel Miner farm, thence to Pool's hay press including hands working there, thence to Preston Goforths, thence to Wiley Browns thence to Martin Browns, thence to Josiah Jackson's, thence to Lewis Miner's and thence to beginning. (Preston Goforth was active in the Liberty C. P. church started by Rev. F. M. Bean in early 1850's. I believe first called Rogers meeting house. Preston and wife Pamelia gave 1/2 acre off their farm to this church for a burial ground. This was near NW Corner of NE 1/4 of Sec. 16. The Brown's were active in the formation of New Zion Baptist Church and lived in NW 1/4 of Sec. 21 and SE corner of Sec. 17. Martin was a minister, born in 1822, officiated at wedding of Thomas and Iowa Elliot Goforth in 1865, helped them celebrate 50th anniversary, he was then living in Franklin County Ill., aged 93, states item in Ridgway News. Rev. Josiah Jackson founded the first M.E. Church in this area in 1841. Pool's hay press was located NE of New Zion church on New Haven road. It was a well-known landmark for it was mentioned each year during road supervisor naming, from 1854 to 1860, when the records ceased. Orval Pool bought much land on this road in 1841, most of it within one mile of New Zions future site. Wiley Brown left many descendants upon his death in 1902.)
Licenses to retail stores in 1858 went to the following: James N. Roark at his present stand at New Market, Lot 4, Block 4, fee $50. David Winkler & Samuel Seely at present stand at Seely & Veach Mill on Shawneetown ‑ McLeansboro Road. Lewis Frederick Lot 10, Equality 1st addition. Joseph Wolf also at present stand, Lot 7 in Equality. David Owens Sec. 2, Town 10, Range 9. The latter two were still at same location in 1860.
They paid Aaron Quigley $82 for building bridge over Cain Creek, from county funds.
March 10, 1859 the new boarding house of Shawneetown Mining and Manufacturing Co. was mentioned as new source of workers (Probably Bowlesville hotel).
Another landmark during this period was Pool's Pork house. It was mentioned in Pool biography in 1886 Goodspeed History. This Shawneetown business, operated by merchant and banker Orval Pool, slaughtered as many as 33,000 hogs a year during the 10 years of its existence. With a nearby salt supply for packing and the nearby Ohio River for shipping this business thrived but had to close during the War Between the States. Hogs were driven on foot in droves, but could only travel a few miles each day if fat. Some of the old inns or taverns had pens to hold the livestock of their drover customers. Several years ago an older man told me that he had heard, that at one time the Joseph Pierce place, South of New Haven (built about 1840 and now called the green house) had pens for hogs. His father said that slaughtering and pork packing was carried on there. Besides serving as a home it is said to also have been a stage stop and inn during its long life. Until stock trucks came alone only a few hogs could be hauled in one wagon, so we always drove dad's and uncle's fat hogs and cattle, the three miles to the Frank Welver stockyard here in Ridgway, from which they were shipped by rail. A saddle horse was needed with cattle. I read an interesting diary and story by a young man who helped drive a large flock of turkeys from about 50 miles west to Shawneetown. Here he helped load them, live on a boat and fed and cared for them on trip to southern market.
Part of the 87th U.S. Infantry Regiment, most of which was recruited in White County, trained at Camp Logan at or near Shawneetown. Dr. Daniel Berry, who served as a doctor with the 87th, wrote many letters to his wife during his almost 3 years in the War Between the States. These letters form a book of some 290 pages, recently published by his grand daughter, Harriet Vaught of Carmi, Ill. What he saw and experienced was described in these regular letters. In a letter dated Sept. 16, 1862, he described the Shawneetown Army hospital as a very large 2 story brick building having what must have been porches on 3 sides, which he said were very good for lounging by the sick. The building was very near the Ohio River bank and from his quarters on second floor he could view the cabins, the drill and parade grounds of the whole camp as well as the river up and down for 8 or 10 miles. He said the camp was in by far the best part of the town and on very flat ground described as hard mud when dry and something else when wet with almost 1,000 men tramping over it. In a later letter he told that he and Col. John Crebs took a horseback ride to the hill a mile or so from camp. He stated that they rode about 1/2 mile to the top of the hill where the beautiful view repaid them for their effort. He said this ride was through the neglected graves of Shawneetown Graveyard. He also mentioned Indian Mounds in what must have been Gold Hill Cemetery. In a later letter he said that John is going down to the Saline Mines to look for a new camping ground where it was thought there were enough vacant houses to house the whole regiment. Early in February 1863 the soldiers arrived in Memphis, having boarded the boats just before the rising floodwaters covered Camp Logan. Another training camp was located near the old Eddy farm home, which is located on higher ground a short distance East of Shawneetown High School, and now the home of descendants of the Curtis Taylor family. He and wife Elizabeth blended a more modern addition into this, her ancestral home, which enhanced its beauty and added much to its usefulness.
Increasing monetary value insure the preservation of most items of common usage in our early days, but with the old homes, some of which seemed to show the personal nature of the builder or owner, it is a different story. I remember several of these old landmarks, have seen pictures or been told of many others but few are left today. There were many fine early homes in Shawneetown, built sturdy to withstand the water but not practical for today’s use.
THE FOLLOWING ARE A FEW ITEMB TAKEN FROM THE TRUSTEES MINUTE OR RECORD BOOK, OF THE VILLAGE OF EQUALITY, FROM ORGANIZATION IN APR. 1831 TO 1853.
(Credit is due Vernon H. Crest for typing 53 pages to complete this copy in 1940 and to George McLain 1895‑ for preserving the copy until today).
At a meeting of the trustees of the town of Equality at the office of James Caldwell on the 9th day of April 1831 ‑ the President and clerk of a former meeting, and held in pursuance of an act to incorporate the inhabitance of such towns as may wish to be incorporated ‑ Approved ‑ 12 Feb. 1831.
Produced the Certificate that at the Town meeting held at the Courthouse on 4th day of April 1831 there was given 31 votes in favor of incorporating said town and no vote given in opposition thereto. All which we do certify, under our hands this 4th day of April 1831 ‑ And also reported that at an election held at the Court house in town of Equality on Saturday April 9, 1831 held in conformity with the act aforesaid the following named persons were duly elected Trustees of said Town viz. Willis Hargrave, John Siddall, James Caldwell, Joseph L. Reynolds & Leonard White, the four former being sworn by Leonard White and he by James Caldwell, well and truly to discharge their duty as Trustees of Said Town according to their best abilities ‑ Whereupon Willis Hargrave was elected President of the board and Allen Redman clerk and John Wood was appointed constable and Allen Redman was appointed Treasurer.
Ordered that Leonard White, James Caldwell & John Siddall be appointed a committee to draft an ordinance to suppress retailing spirituous liquors on the Sabbath day also to prevent shooting, and running horses in the streets within the bounds of Said Town and to prevent indecent exhibitions of horses within the bounds of Such Town. Ordered meeting adjourned until Friday 15th inst. A. Redman, clerk, Willis Hargrave, President.
At a meeting of the President and Trustees of the Town of Equality on Friday the 15th Inst. at the house of Gen. Willis Hargrave, Present Willis Hargrave, President, Joseph L. Reynolds, John Siddall, adj. until next day. (Thus far copied word for word but shortened and not complete after this.) At meeting on 16th Leonard White was also present. Ordered that the following be considered corporate bounds of the town of Equality so far as respects inhabitants thereof ‑ viz. the 100 acres originally laid off for the Town of Equality together with the 25 acre tract on the South Side thereof. (Marked in book without date, this order rescinded) This meeting held at the office of Gen. Leonard White and most of the next three pages were devoted to ordinances and rules adopted for governing the village.
Monday June 27, 1831: At this meeting street supervisors were appointed to keep streets in repair. Ordered that John Siddall work on Clinton St. beginning at his corner and work one mile from said corner on Kaskaskia Road and he have the following hands to work said road, viz: Soloman M. McCloud, Joseph L. Reynolds, Leonard White, James Graham, William H. Jameson, M. S. and A. H. Davenport, William R. Thompson, Lee Hargrave, William Robinson, George St. Aubin, Edmond Baker, John Troop, Charles Gilham and ? Poole.
Ordered that Giles Taylor work on Jackson St. one mile from Gen. Hargrave's corner on the Carmi Road and continue the street until it comes in to the Kaskaskia Road; and he have the following hands to work said road, George W. L. White, John Grant, Joseph E. Watkins, Thomas Smothers, Francis McCardle, John London, Loring Whiting, John J. Porter, Edmund Baker, William Siddall, John Wood, Samuel Hargrave, M. C. Willis, Edward Jones, Tyler D. Hewitt, Bennet Jones, James Jones, William J. Gatewood, Gen. Hargrave's Bob and Ranzo Tate.
Ordered that Lewis Reed work on Calhoun or Main Street, beginning at James Caldwell's corner on the Shawneetown & Jonesboro Road, and to have all hands not included in other bounds. Meeting adjourned.
July 30, 1831 a meeting held at courthouse to deal with canine madness. Ordained that any dog running at large may be killed by anyone except that dogs following their owners from the country shall not be killed until owner be given one hour to confine same. Later rescinded.
April 3, 1832: Ordered notice for election of 5 trustees be posted, said election to be held 14th Inst. New corporate bounds were set at one-mile square with the courthouse in the center. Earlier bounds rescinded. Appointed John Lane Supervisor to work the road from where Clinton St. intersects the St. Louis Road with Lane St. to where it intersects Calhoun St. and also the road passing the old ford from where it intersects the aforesaid road to where it intersects the Bridge road, and that he be allotted all the hands in the corporation South of the first ?teet of lots on the South side of Clinton St.
John Siddall be Supervisor to work Clinton St. 1 mile from courthouse on St. Louis Road and all hands on said Street to work with him.
James Caldwell is appointed Supervisor to work one mile from courthouse passing the bridge on Road to Shawneetown, bounds include all hands on both sides of road to work with him.
Willis Hargrave appointed Supervisor to work Jackson St one mile on Carmi Road and Jackson St to its intersection with St. Louis road with all hands on both sides of said street.
Israel Bozarth appointed Supervisor to work Calhoun St. one mile from courthouse. He is allotted these hands ‑ viz; Moses Thompson, John Norman, Steward W. Murray, Tilford Bozarth and Lewis Drury and all his hands.
Appointed John Lane and John Siddall to value village real estate. Adj. Anyone failing to pay fine for ordinance violation shall be committed to jail for 6 hours for each dollar of fine not paid.
In the 1832 election of trustees, John Lane succeeded Reynolds for the only change. Hargrave, Siddall, Caldwell and White were returned.
At a meeting Sunday May 27, 1832 at James Caldwell's office, Leonard White was appointed President Pro‑Tem. George G. Aydelott was appointed constable. (Authors note suggests that General Hargrave was absent because he had gone to the Blackhawk war as had the former constable John Wood)
May 31, 1832: Trustees appointed a committee of vigilance to superintend the welfare of the town, all citizens are earnestly required to be aiding and assisting each one of committee when called on, and when any citizen may think it necessary, the whole committee consisting of John Siddall, John Lane, A. B. Dake, Leonard White, M. S. Davenport, S. R. Rowan and Allen Redman, may be summoned for decisions on suggestions.
June 22, 1832: Trustees ordered an appropriation of $20 to John Lane for building a bridge across the branch on Equality to Shawneetown Road and $10 for cutting out Jackson St. from Court house to intersect the road to Crenshaw’s works.
Oct. 2, 1832: Bids were asked on building a market house on the public Square subject to plans at house of A. Redman, clerk. The bid of Loring Whiting was accepted on 6th, it being $99.50 and the lowest bid. Subscriptions are to be taken on above amount with village paying any balance due.
April 1, 1833: At this meeting Leonard White was appointed Supervisor to work Clinton St. one mile from court house on St. Louis Road and he was allotted the following hands to work with him on road to wit; Israel D. Towle, John Siddall, Lee Hargrave, Redin Renfro, Timothy Guard, William R. Thompson, Joseph Hirst, James Graham, Alex F. Grant, Thomas Napier, ? Napier, and Etheldred B. Puckett.
James Caldwell was appointed Supervisor to work road from where Clinton St. intersects Lane St. and St. Louis road to where it intersects Calhoun St. and also on the road passing the old ford from where it intersects the aforesaid road to where it intersects the Bridge road. He is allotted the following hands for this work; Jarrett Garner, John Lane, John Karns, A. H. Davenport, Samuel Hodges, Daniel Curtin, Edward Butler, John Greer, Moses Hayes, Andrew Hayes, John Barnett, James Hanes, ? Carr, George Williams, J. S. Beaumont, Charles G. Trask, Frederick Oldenburg & Soloman McCloud.
Israel Bozarth was appointed Supervisor to work the Northeast end of Calhoun St.
One mile from courthouse and is allotted the following hands.
ABBREVIATED ACCOUNT OF THE VILLAGE MINUTES OF EQUALITY, ILL. April 1, 1833 continued:
George G. Aydelott, Samuel A. Conger, Loren Whiting, Ranzo Tate and all hands at said Israel Bozarth house.
Giles Y. Taylor was appointed supervisor to work Jackson St. one mile on the Carmi road until it intersects the St. Louis Road. The following hands are allotted him to work said road; Willis Hargrave, Francis McCardle, William Robinson, Edward Jones, Samuel, Bob & Carter Hargrave, Alexis Maltby, Robert Olford, James Mulhereen, William Siddall, William J. Gatewood, Lewis Reed, Stephen Huls, Tyler D. Hewitt, Thomas H. and Roy Leavell and Lewis West.
William Hick be and is appointed supervisor to work 1 mile from court house, passing the bridge on road to Shawneetown and is allotted the following hands; Tarlton Dunn, James Dunn, Arnold B. Dake, John Mitchell, Lorenzo Hughes, William Bryant, A. E. McArthur, Joseph E. Watkins, A. Redman, Robert Lewis and Chesley Davis.
Loring Whiting was appointed Town constable and collector and Cornelius Rockafeller, constable and has accepted and taken oath of office.
Ordered that the clerk advertise the letting of three of the stalls of the market house on Saturday April 13, 1833. Be it ordained that the regular market days in Equality be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and that the market house hours be from sunup to sunset. A rule was made that anyone buying or selling anything, except at the market house on these days was subject to a $5 fine. Fresh fish was excepted and the order was soon rescinded.
At the 1833 trustee election Timothy Guard and Thomas H. Leavell were elected replacing Caldwell and White. Taxes were set at ¼% and collector was allowed 7 1/4% for collecting.
April 12, 1834: No change in trustee election, supervisors appointed for roads or streets, the same streets but several new names among workers.
April 20, 1835: Trustee election held, elected were Willis Hargrave, Thomas H. Leavell, Daniel Curtin, Tyler D. & William F. Hewitt. George Turner reappointed as town constable. Ordinance on hogs running at large in town passed. Ordered that clerk advertise to let out the grubbing of the graveyard in Equality, containing 5 acres to lowest bidder. Set and later rescinded were market hours of from sunup to 11 AM and stall owners prohibited from selling meat higher than 2 1/2 & 3 cents per pound.
July 11, 1835: At meeting at the house of A. Redman, the clerk presented the resignation of Willis Hargrave. Tyler D. Hewitt was appointed President Pro-tem and Chalon Guard was elected to fill trustee vacancy.
July 14, 1835: Meeting held at house of T. D. Hewitt, Paid William Siddall $19.75 for grubbing and clearing of graveyard in Equality.
Supervisors were appointed to work same area of streets as in earlier years. William Siddall on Jackson St. with these hands; Willis, Leonard and Samuel Hargrave, Edward Jones, Thomas H. Leavell, T. D. Hewitt, A. Maltby, W. D. T. McCool, W. J. Gatewood, S. Finn, ? Finn, William Hewitt, John Bailey, John Cook & Martin Jorden. George Clements on Clinton St. with these hands; A. F. Grant, Joseph Hirst, Leonard White, D. M. Lyles, W. L. Hiter, Wiley Pate, J. C. & Henry Yost, J. L. Reynolds, Nathan Pike and William Horton.
William F. Hewitt on Calhoun St. to work 1 mile from courthouse passing the bridge on road to Shawneetown with these hands; J. J. Robinson, A. Redman, Robert Hopper, James Hamilton, J. E. Watkins, I. D. Towle, Lee Hargrave, Albert Jackson, James Cook, A. B. Dake Sr. & Jr., Tarlton Dunn, William Hick, Sam Day, Ned & Abm. McCallister, Robert & Sam Lewis.
Israel Bozarth on NE end of Calhoun St. with hands Lewis Reed, Stephen R. Rowan, Benjamin Thomas and all hands at or about Bozarth premises.
Daniel Curtin be supervisor on Lane St. from where Clinton St. intersects St. Louis road to where Lane intersects Calhoun St. and also on the road passing the old ford from where it intersects the aforesaid road to where it intersects the bridge road. These hands allotted to Curtin; John & George Lane, John Karns, William Tate, A. W. Poole, John & G. B. Greer, James Ames, George Turner, Levi Blalock, John White, T. & C. Guard, Jess Murphy & Will Banyard.
ABBREVIATED ACCOUNT OF THE VILLAGE MINUTES OF EQUALITY, ILL. Mar 1, 1836 continued:
At this meeting held at house of T. D. Hewitt, James Cook was appointed constable, James Hamilton was appointed Treasurer, and Robert T. Hopper was appointed clerk, succeeding Allen Redman. Bonds for each were approved. Unanimous thanks to Redman for his efficiency in office. Supervisors named to work streets, names of a few hands new.
August 8, 1837: Specifications named for fence around churchyard and clerk advertised for bids. (Tyler D. Hewitt died 8‑16‑1836) lowest bid $240.
At meeting on July 2, 1838 street and road supervisors were again named along with hands to work said roads. On road leading from courthouse square (intersection of Jackson & Calhoun Sts.) to bridge on North Fork. R. T. Hopper named sup. with hands Viz. L. W. Hargrave, S. S. Scudder, E. Jones, A. B. Dake Jr., Thomas H. Leavell, J. J. Lindsay?, Samuel Johnson, M. D. Gillette, William F. Hewitt, J. E. Watkins, Granville S. & G. Y. Taylor and James Vangorder.
William Hick be supervisor on street & road leading from courthouse, one mile on the Shawneetown road, hands viz‑ J.J. Robinson, George Leviston, A. B. Dake Sr., M. S. Ensminger, Moses Thompson, S. Holt, J. T. Cook, Thompson & Harrison Blair, C. Guard, Sinclair & Dolphus Guard.
John Lane sup. on street & road leading from Saline Bridge, 1 mile on Mt. Vernon & St. Louis road, with these hands viz‑ Bob Ritchey, Negroes Tom & George, Joe. L. Reynolds, John Norman, William D. T. McCool, D. P. Wilbanks, John Hammons, Samuel Day, Abe McCallister, S. F. Spillman, A. J. McIlvain, H. F. Bourland, Dan Curtin and J. Haywood.
William Siddall, supervisor on Clinton St. l mile from courthouse on St. Louis road with these hands: A. W. Pool, George Turner, William Watkins, John Howard, Tarlton Dunn, James Trousdale, B. F. White, James H. Bennett, John C. Yost and Joseph Hayes, General Leonard White and T. Stafford.
Benjamin Lafferty be supervisor on Jackson St. to work 1 mile on Carmi‑St Louis
road from the courthouse, with these hands: Lewis Reed, B. Young, T. Tong, J.
Barrett, William J. Gatewood, Almand, I. D., & Albert Towle, William H. Stickney, S. Gillam and Thomas Turner.
John P, Manhart be supervisor on street leading from courthouse to Bozarth's Ferry and he be allowed these hands viz‑ Ranzo Tate, Robert Tate, Joseph Hopper and Oliver P?, Crippen.
Thomas H. Leavell appointed general superintendent of market house and in charge of 10 dollars voted for its repair. Ordered that no person shall occupy more room in said market house, to prejudice of anyone else, than is necessary to their convenience and comfort.
After missing pages the next record is in 1839 when the village had a new problem. The men were being divided into squads of 7 or 8 men with a different squad to guard the village each night of the week. Each year there were some names missing, died or moved perhaps, with others to take their place. Among the latter among the 7 groups were James Hamilton, John Dixon, James Jacobs, Thomas Scroggins, Thomas Tong, H. Sittes, M. Scudder, John Piles, William Carrilton, B. Scroggins, ?McCaleb and Thornton Young.
June 4, 1840: Grocery license set at $50 but later rescinded. William Hick be supervisor on road & street from Clinton St to Lane St, thence crossing the bridge and to the hickory tree. (This mark tree oft mentioned as the end of county road maintenance in county records) Hands include those at steam mill and bridge plus others. No names mentioned. John Lane be supervisor on Lane St. and to have all hands living on or near said street including Gatewood and Stickney.
Thomas Tong be supervisor on the street from Jackson St. to North Fork Bridge. He to have all hands on both sides of Jackson St. from his house to Scroggins, inclusive except Joseph Hayes.
Thomas H. Leavell be supervisor on street from courthouse passing the graveyard. All hands on both sides of said street allotted to him for work.
Abbreviated account or Equality, Ill., village minutes. 1831 to 1846 continued:
May 15‑1841 at trustee election on this date the following were elected. Samuel S. Scudder, Benjamin Lafferty, William Hick, William McCaleb and M. S. Ensminger. Upon the refusal of the latter to serve, James W. Hamilton took his place. Benjamin F. Ensminger was appointed constable and John C. Yost clerk.
Chalon Guard was appointed supervisor of road and street, commencing at Clinton St. and crossing Lane St. and the bridge, to the hickory tree. Samuel and Parmenus Redman, William McCaleb, N. Flanders, Franklin Grayson, H. Sittes, Mr. Beech, J. Gregory, G. Burk. M. S. Ensminger, A. W. Pool, B.T. Ensminger and E. Hayward are appointed to work said street. The following are appointed to work the street to the courthouse and from it to North Fork Bridge on Calhoun St. D. P. Wilbanks, J. E. Watkins, R. T. Hopper, George Turner, Thomas Tong, S. S. Scudder, Henry Vance, P. W. Green, A. B. Dake, B. B. & Harry Young, T. H. Leavell, Edward Jones and George Leviston.
John Flanders, be supervisor of road commencing at court house and leading to his house and James W. Hamilton, Charles Osborn, John N. Smith, Joseph Hopper, and Soloman Holt are appointed you to work said road.
John Lane be supervisor on Lane St. beginning at Jackson St. and extending west to corporation line and allotted him to work are B. Frish, J. Haywood, J. W. Clifton, W. D. T. McCool, John N. Bradford, Sam Day, Isaac Camern, William Parsons and John Karns.
Benjamin Lafferty, shall be supervisor on Calhoun St. beginning at court house and extending west till it intersects Lanes Road and on Carmi Road to corp. line, with John T. Cook, William Siddall, M. Scudder, G. W. Wallis, John Howard, I. D. Towle, W. H. Stickney, W. J. Gatewood and Samuel Arrington to work said road.
John C. Yost be supervisor on Clinton St. from Jackson, till it intersects Lane St. These hands allotted him, J. Miles, George Taylor, Asa Robeson, Abe McCallister, J. G. H. Jones and B. F. White.
Benjamin Lafferty and James W. Hamilton appointed assessors to value town lots and report to the next meeting. Some pages missing.
Monday Jan. 1, 1844: An election was held, with polls opening at 2 P.M. with these results: William Hick, Benjamin Lafferty, John Lane, Joseph Hayes & Jeremiah Haywood. Hick again elected president, all sworn in by Leonard White Esq., a Justice or the Peace. Lane & Hayes appointed to value real estate within the corporation limits.
4‑27‑1844: Upon a petition of a majority of qualified voters of Equality, it is ordered that no more grocery store licenses be granted in Equality.
7‑10‑1844: William Hick be supervisor for present year on street and road leading from courthouse, called Jackson St. to the Hickory Tree on Fords Ferry road. These hands allotted him. Commencing at courthouse and extending to the bridge on each side of street and any hands that may be living at the Steam mill, Viz‑ Richard Richardson, S. M. Gibson, John R. Smoot, Joseph E. Watkins, S. S. Scudder, John T. Cook, Joseph & Soloman Hayes, Edward Hayward, Henry W. Moore, Henry Cittes, any hands that may be at the bridge, John R. Dieter, M. S. Ensminger, also any hands that may be lawfully entitled to work said Road that may be within these bounds at time of working road.
(End of beautiful penmanship, continued by John Yost, clerk.)
William D. T. McCool be supervisor on Lane St. beginning at Jackson and running one mile west, with these hands to wit, R. T. Hopper, Smith Warfield, Samuel W. White, William McKever, Jeremiah Haywood, William Henry, Washington Duval, John Lane and any hands about his house and farm, Jim White and Sam Day.
A. W. Pool be supervisor on Calhoun St. from courthouse 1 mile each way and 1 mile on Carmi road, with following hands: James Gaston, Lewis Sandoz, I. D. Towle, Robert Siddall, R. W. Davenport, T. G. S. Herod or Herrow, Benjamin J. Lafferty, John Reynolds, Joseph Miles, William Eledge, Joseph Hopper, the hands at Sneeds, Mrs. Gatewoods and at William Siddalls farm and any others in bounds at time.
Above order of 4‑27‑1844 rescinded, licenses set at, $75 for grocery.
Abbreviated account of village minutes of Equality Ill. 1831‑1846 Continued:
Jan, 1845: Trustees Lane and Lafferty, having been appointed a committee to assess real estate of village, made their report at Feb. 15th meeting. Their report listed a value of $19,775 on which the board set a tax of 1/2 percent. John Yost was appointed collector and allowed 10% on money by him collected. At this meeting street supervisors were again appointed.
John R. Dieter to be supervisor on street & road commencing at courthouse and running to the hickory tree on the Ford a Ferry Road and on McFarlane Road, one mile from the courthouse. Hands to aid him were Viz‑ Edward Hayward, John Lane, John McDuffie, Henry W. Moore, M. S. Ensminger, C. C. Guard, D. P. Wilbanks, W. W. Gaston, William McCaleb, J. F. Grayson, George & Richard Broadhurst, Thomas Warfield, William Thomas and William Hick. This includes any others in bounds.
W. D. T. McCool to be supervisor 1 mile from Jackson St. with these hands; Joseph Hopper, Andrew King, Jeremiah Raywood, S. S. Scudder, W. A. Duval, Richard Carlton, ? Gregg’s, Sam Day and James Bolin.
N. P. Flanders be supervisor on Clinton St. commencing at Jackson St and running west until it intersects the road running out from Lane Street, with these hands (to wit) Joseph Gregory, Willis Pinnel, B. F. & S. W. White, A. H. Trousdale, William Kelly, John C. Yost and any others within these bounds at time of working said road.
Israel D. Towle be supervisor on Clinton beginning at courthouse and west till it intersects the other road and on Carmi road 1 mile from courthouse. He is to have the following hands, those at William Siddalls farm, at Mrs. Gatewoods, at Stickney’s farm, Robert Siddall and the hands living with him, F. C. S. Herod, A. W. Pool, George C. Yost and R. W. Davenport.
S. K. Gibson be supervisor on road from courthouse to the North Fork Bridge. These hands assigned him; J. E. Watkins, Joseph & Soloman Hayes, William Bonds, John R. Smoot, John T. Cook, J. W. Hamilton, James R. Sneed and John Reynolds.
Feb. 3, 1846: Received $10.125 of John Laid, for market house, sold by town constable William McCaleb. William Hick again elected trustee president. Special meeting on 4‑8‑1846 to deal with mob danger from mob rising to molest or injure property or person of some of citizens of this town. Ordered that William McCaleb call as many citizens as he may deem necessary to protect the persons and property of town and that he receive a copy of foregoing order. Records not complete near end, next or last meeting on Sept. 10, 1853: At a meeting of trustees of the town of Equality, holden in the old Court House in said town, there were present John C. Yost, William H. Crawford, Joel Cook, Samuel Reynolds and S. K. Gibson all of whom had been previously sworn by Leonard White, an acting Justice of the peace within and for Gallatin County and State of Illinois. Simeon K. Gibson was elected President of board and John L. Campbell Clerk. (end)
The last 30 pages were of items selected and condensed from over 700 pages of records, dating from our county's beginning in 1812 to 1860. During this period of great change in the wilderness that had been Gallatin County, its population had increased to near what it is today, but all able-bodied men still had to work a certain number of days on the roads. Except for the newer ones, most roads still followed the nearest and best way to mill or market, without regard for surveyed lines. The many inns or taverns are explained by the many home seekers, traders and others looking for opportunities in the new land.
In June 1832, John Lane was paid $10 for cutting out the East End of Jackson St. in Equality, to intersect road to Crenshaw's Works. The county court on 3‑7‑1853 paid to Samuel Day, Abram McCallister and Francis A. Ritchey, $25 each for labor on stone wall in deep hollow near Equality on Shawneetown Road, This may have been the hollow East of the grade school on above street.
The Campbell 1870 Atlas of Ill. shows Gallatin County prior to the first railroad. This and other early main roads are shown. It had been hailed at its opening as being almost 3 miles shorter than the Island Ripple Road between Equality and Shawneetown. About a mile South of the old ford near today’s State Route 13 it crossed North Fork on North side of railroad, continuing East, it went on South side of rail line in Sect. 23, south of John Crenshaw home and of Junction and on to Shawnee. The part going west from South edge of Junction is still in use. James A. Dively, A Mexican War vet and father of Mrs. William H. McLain 1859‑1935, lived in Equality and drove a stagecoach on this road.
Mar. 11, 1853: M. K. Lawler sold old N. Fork bridge for county, proceeds $75. 9‑5‑1853: County paid Samuel L. M. Proctor $50 for building bridge over North Fork at said Proctors Mill. William McCormick 1840‑1936, as a boy made regular trips of 4 miles on horseback, to get corn ground into meal at this mill. The family lived Northeast of Cloud Hill in a log house on E 1/2 of SE 1/4 of Sec. 30 and he went to a log school near NE corner of NW 1/4 of NW 1/4 of Sec. 28 of T8, R8. His daughter Theresa told me this today, 5‑19‑1977. He described much of this area as swampy. As a young man he hunted for a missing calf during farming season and found water belly deep to his horse in parts of Thorn Thicket. (From son J. W.)
I was told by a descendant, that when Joseph Drone 1817‑92 and family moved from Ohio to Gallatin County in mid 1850's, the only completely cleared field of its size in this area was the 60 acres west of New Market. This was the S 1/2 of SW 1/4 of Sec. 29 T8 R9. A few years later they bought this, the Dillard Cemetery field, and harvested enough clover seed that fall to pay for the farm. In mid 1850's, the road running from the Old Robert Lamb place, due north along west side of this field and the Jackson Cemetery, for almost 5 miles was opened.
April, 1854: The Bear Creek voting place was changed from residence of John Kinsall, late deceased, to the residence of Alfred Davis. The Kinsall residence and school in or near center of Sec. 26, appear on maps of that time as Kinsall. This was many years before the railroad and Omaha.
Sept. 11, 1857: The county board appointed two men to raise funds for truss work and bridge repair on Shawneetown ‑ Equality road. As mentioned before, private funds had built the plank road, only one lane was planked most of the way. This presented difficulties when loaded wagons met and one had to get off and back on this lane. The green 2" road timbers often warped and soon rotted so private money was harder to get on this money loser. Then on 6‑3‑1860 the county commissioners authorized the expenditure of up to $3,000 to build a bridge over North Fork at place known as the Plank Road. Committee appointed to supervise construction was S. K. Gibson, Charles Carroll and Michael K. Lawler.
Robert Walton sold his store on east line of Ridgway Township to William Bidwell who paid the license in 1859. May have been licensed later years?
The early Equality ‑ Carmi Road began at the salt works & going North and East on West side of Equality. (Near Charles Wenzel residence on old Route 13) It touched the Section line of present road about 1 mile North of Equality. The road probably branched to cross North Fork at Dickey Ford or near Elba but the branches rejoined before reaching Buffalo in Sec. 3, T8 R8.
This road and the Shawneetown ‑ Springfield or State Road crossed at old Roland which was located about 1 1/2 miles North of Gallatin County line in White County. Thomas I. Porter 1846‑1936 wrote some interesting letters on this area. They appeared in both the story by Mr. & Mrs. Ernie Smith on the 150th anniversary of Old Village Church and the History of Two Deserted White County Villages by Micah Pearce Smith. In the 1850's, Mr. Porter lived on the State Road over which a stage ran each way, every day to McLeansboro. He wrote that Shawneetown supplied the whole country with every thing it had to buy and bought everything it had to sell, seldom could one stand on our front porch and look either way without seeing loaded wagons in cold or heat, in mud or dust, the teamsters were happy while the horses or oxen were in misery as they toilsomely moved.
TOWNS, POSTOFFICES AND OTHER PLACES WITH NAMES, IN GALLATIN COUNTY.
Shawneetown is the oldest town in the Eastern half of Illinois and perhaps the oldest continually occupied, non French town in the state. Equality and New Haven were started soon after Shawneetown's beginning.
Shawneetown benefited, by being the first boat landing below the Wabash, by being the location of the U.S. Land Office, opened in 1814 it drew the settlers of South East Illinois here, to select and buy their land and many back at least yearly to sell their produce and make land payments. Before the era of the steamboat, going upriver presented some problems. Rather than buck the current on the Mississippi above Cairo, many from the East landed at Shawnee town and traveled overland to St. Louis and beyond but great numbers of the home seekers found what they were looking for in Southern Illinois. Of those migrating from the Southern states, many crossed the Ohio River at Shawneetown on Wilson's ferry. All of these travelers were potential customers for Shawneetown merchants.
Cuming stopped at Shawneetown in 1809 and mentioned about 24 cabins. Judge Griswold in a letter dated 1815 mentioned the floods of 1813 and 1815, which almost swept the town clean. Thomas Lippincott, editor of the Edwardsville Spectator, described the houses in 1818 as being built on posts, several feet above ground, with but one exception. The next person to describe the town was Mrs. John Tillson in 1822. The only brick building in town was their hotel, which was very impressive on the outside, standing high on the riverbank among the 20 more or less log cabins and 3 or 4 box like frames. She also wrote that five or six of these were occupied as stores, a doctor’s office, a lawyers shingle was on the corner of another and the other must have been a tavern. (The hotel had to be the Rawlings. Missed was the John Marshall brick home, part of which housed Illinois first bank, which was chartered in 1816. Like most of the early business buildings, it faced Front or River Street on which the Ohio River levee was later built. In 1974, about 160 years after it was first built, the county Historical Society had the old building taken down and then rebuilt a few feet West of its original site. They are now refurnishing it and charge a small admission fee.)
James Hall was a practicing lawyer and a native of Philadelphia who settled in Shawneetown in 1820. There he became editor and part owner of the Illinois Gazette, the second newspaper published in the state. He moved to Vandalia in 1828 after being appointed state treasurer. In addition to his official duties he continued writing and publishing. In his 1828 story: Shawneetown and the Salines, which appeared in Prairie State by Paul M. Angle, he stated that Shawneetown had about 100 houses of which 5 or 6 are brick, several of frame and the rest of log. There were 12 stores with an active trade, two excellent taverns, an independent bank, a land office, a post office and two printing offices besides a number of smaller shops. Employment was furnished carpenters, blacksmiths, shoemakers, tailors, bakers and other tradesmen of whom a number are settled here. This and the salt traffic probably induced an earlier river traveler to write that he observed more activity here than anywhere below Pittsburgh. Another writer wrote that another bad flood in 1832 swept away near 100 Shawneetown houses. It has been the same story, continuing until the highest water of all in 1937 after which the federal government offered to move those willing to the new flood free town. Most accepted and new homes were built or old homes moved to New Shawneetown.
After disastrous floods in 1853, 58 and 59, Shawneetown received a 20-year tax break from the state and began a levee around the town. Both, the 1887 County History by Goodspeed and the Chronicle of a Century, which appeared in the Shawnee News on Aug. 13, 1896 tell of recurring floods and the towns efforts to build the four and a half mile floodwall higher and stronger. The new dame on Ohio Tributaries have prevented recent foods.
BUSINESSES, ADS, AND NEWSPAPERS OF EARLY GALLATIN
One of the first men starting a business in Shawneetown, following Michael Sprinkle, the gunsmith and blacksmith, was said to have been named Patterson. Also mentioned in Goodspeeds History, were Peoples & Kirkpatrick who kept a general store, Hiram Walters, blacksmith and wagon maker, Michael Kane also had a blacksmith shop near or between the above Walters and the river. Tarleton had a tavern down on the riverbank near where the brick warehouse, originally built as a depot by John Crenshaw, stands. James Weir & Oliver VanLandingham were also mentioned as storekeepers. Other records show that the Harmonist Rappite Society, an industrious and religious group which settled New Harmony Ind. in 1814 and left in 1824, had a thriving store in Shawneetown during much of this period.
An interesting history of Muhlenberg County, Ky. by Otto A. Rothert, tells that James Weir 1777‑1845, a surveyor by profession, settled in that county in 1798 and the next year started his and Greenville's first store. His partner in this venture, James Craig soon stepped aside. Craig (a Rev. War vet who died in 1816) and Weir were active in the formation of the new county. Weir's business grew rapidly and he soon had another store at Lewisburg (Kincheloe's Bluff). In the course of time he had mercantile stores at Henderson, Hopkinsville, Morganfield, Madisonville, Russellville all in Ky. and at Shawneetown in Illinois. He rode horseback to Philadelphia for most of his merchandise, shipped it overland to Pittsburgh, then downriver to the landing most convenient. An old account and record book from this early chain of stores was available to author Rothert. Dated from 1813 to 1815, it contains the accounts of 320 people and many other interesting items of what customers bought and how they paid for it, some were paid for trips to Orleans with produce, others were credited for hauling merchandise from Henderson or Shawneetown Landings or between stores. He seemed to have kept the Greenville store as his head‑quarters. Many times he went downriver with a boatload of produce he had bought, sold it at New Orleans, then boarded a sailing ship for Philadelphia and a new stock of goods for his stores. Some of the owners of the large stores at Shawneetown followed this pattern and also did a large wholesale business with the smaller inland stores.
Weir's name appears early in our county's first records when he and his probable partner, in the Shawneetown store, Thomas E. Craig entered the first of their debt collection suits in court on July 13, 1813. Weir, as a surveyor, helped in the layout of early Greenville, similarities including the names of streets, indicate he also had a part in the early plan of Shawneetown. In August, Weir and another James Craig (The elder had died earlier in the year 1816) were approved as administrators of Thomas E. Craig's estate. During this year the partnership of Weir and Oliver VanLandingham began in Shawneetown. The latter was long active in the Shawneetown business area and owned a large farm in Cypress. The partner of Weir in the Greenville store could have been either or neither of the above named James Craig, however the family was active in early Muhlenberg County history. Thomas Craig's interest in Lot 1148, Shawneetown was described as running from Front or Water Street to Main Street and on it, a ware and store house, when it was sold to Weir and VanLandingham in 1820. The latter bought a large plantation, near Baton Rouge, La., in 1845 and here he died in 1856, aged 72 years.
Lots 1113 and 1114, as stated earlier were the site of the first Gallatin County Courthouse and Jail and later in 1830 they were sold to William Docker for $127. after the courthouse or county seat was moved to Equality. The Armstrong Hardware Store long occupied this site and was followed by the Weiderhold Hardware Store, which was there from my first memory. Lot 1111, across the street to the south, was early known as the Gatewood Corner. Here by the 1830's, E. H. Gatewood was operating a large dry goods store. Many years and owners later I remember it as Howell & Waller’s, with one partner operating the grocery and the other the dry goods dept.
BUSINESSES, ADS, AND NEWSPAPERS OF EARLY GALLATIN (cont)
From the county records I also find that Lot 1138 was sold in 1822 by Elizabeth Griswold (widow of Judge Stanley Griswold) to William Sloo for $250. The North 1/2 of this lot was sold in 1823 by Samuel and wife Sally Marshall to John Marshall and described as 26 ft. from Main to Water St. and as joining property of Peeples and Kirkpatrick on Lot 1137. In 1824, Joseph Hayes, administrator of estate of Samuel Hayes, sold to Timothy Guard the undivided 1/2 interest of Samuel in Lot 1145 and then bought it from Guard. That property had become more valuable by 1841 is proved by the sale of Lot 1150 by William Limerick for $3,000. At that time business houses were not concentrated in one area, as in later times, but occupied sites on Shawneetown's Main St. as far south as the restored Marshall Bank. Some of these buildings, facing close on River or Front Street, had to go when the levee was started. Following John Marshall as storekeepers or businessmen, besides the above, were the Caldwell’s (John was manager of the Harmony Society store on Lot #1144), the Docker family and Thomas F. Vaught. An account book, of the last named store, dated 1840 list names and purchases of 83 customers.
M. J. Hartnett, editor of the Shawnee News, in the centennial edition of the weekly dated Aug. 13, 1896, quoted from the Southern Illinoisan edited by William Edwards and Son and dated Apr. 28, 1854. A glance at the advertising shows the following as businessmen in Shawneetown in 1854. Ridgway & Bros. (John G. & Geo. A.) were in the dry goods business at the Gatewood corner. Docker & Herring, wholesale druggists, had 5,000 almanacs to give away. Seabolt & Lowe were commission merchants and steamship agents. R. & J. Kirkham were dry goods merchants. William P. James, proprietor of the Phoenix store, offered for sale a fresh supply of bonnets, direct from Philadelphia and also 100 plows. D. U. Sells was a tinner and Martin Inman announced the arrival of his boat with a stock of almost everything. Beck & Kopf were the proprietors of a family grocery. W. A. Docker was in the dry goods and furniture business. Thomas Henning was a coffin maker and James H. Hart was a merchant tailor. Alfred Richeson & Co. were dealers in general merchandise on the Posey Corner and Charles Carroll 1833‑09 & John D. Richeson 1811‑1893 were also general merchants.
Another look at the past is provided by the Gallatin Weekly Gazette issue of Jan. 19, 1872, edited by Joel G. Morgan. Shawneetown has had many newspapers, the first of which was the Illinois Emigrant which was established by Henry Eddy about 1818, the present Gallatin Democrat was started in 1886. The above Gazette issue stated that it had been in existence only six months and already had due it $500. It asked its debtors to pay its agents as follows; Judge R. D. Pearce at Equality, Dr. J. C. Harrell at Omaha, Thomas J. Tate at Elba, J. Y. McCue at Saline Mines, W. Fuller at Pond Settlement, James Ford at New Haven, C. P. Evans at Ridgway and O. W. Evans at Bartley. The fact that sales were easy and collections hard, contributed to the short life of some newspapers as well as many early stores.
Business ads from Shawneetown were: Carl Roedel attorney, office with Squire Rhodes on Bank St., 3 doors west of First National Bank. Jacob Welte, The Excelsior Store. Complete stock of everything in grocery line. S. F. Herman, manufacturer of cigars, chewing and smoking tobacco & snuff. Located, first corner above Shawnee House on Main Street. Crit Hughes atty. William Hensley & Silas Rhodes, attorneys at law. Milton Bartley, attorney & solicitor in bankruptcy and in collections. Ed Youngblood, atty., office on Main St. 2 doors N. of P.O. The business directory follows. Adam Baker, wholesale & retail dealer, groceries and liquors, mfrs. of candy, crackers and bread. A. Ellsworth dealer in nursery plants & trees. Bechtold & Weber, whs. & ret. dealer groceries, wines, liquors, bread and crackers. Charles Carroll, whs. & ret. dlr. groceries, dry goods & notions. Docker & Peeples, dlrs. in dry goods, carpets, silks and notions. E. Armstrong, wholesale and retail dlr. in stoves and hardware. Fred Winner & Co. whsale & ret. tin ware, agriculture implements, pottery.
Business Directory of Shawneetown, January 1872 continued.
John D. Richeson, whsale. & retail dry goods, groceries, hardware & iron. (This and the Carroll Store, now separate, were popular in our area.) Inman was now Inman & Sons, dry goods & groceries. We always keep a good stock. Mason's Cheap Store. Dry goods, groceries, boots & shoes. First National Bank, J. McKee Peeples, Pres., Thomas S. Ridgway as Cashier. Gallatin Natl. Bank, Marshall M. Pool, Pres., F. M. Crawford the cashier. B. T. Mize, Saddlery & harness, everything kept in the saddle line. J. Callicott, Saddles & harness maker. Large stock cheap for cash. Docker, Peeples & Co., Manufacturers of blinds, doors and sash. The Gallatin House operated by William Connor, advertised moderate charges. Karcher & Scanland, coffin makers & house carpenters also kept metallic coffins. H. G. & W. Mason were watchmakers and Jewelers. A. H. Rowan, atty. B. F. Brockett, atty. & J.P. Ulmsnider & Sons were whs. & retail Grocers. J. S. Laverty & F. M. Aldridge both advertised as physicians & surgeons. The Gazette advertised job work, with neatness and dispatch. W. J. Elwell ads featured sign and house painting.
The following were news items. There are over 50 pianos in Shawneetown and almost as many organs. A concert was held in the courthouse courtroom for the benefit of Westwood Cemetery. Miss Missick and Lizzie Lowe played the organ and Professor Davis, the singing teacher, directed the singers. A large crowd attended. Small pox nearby, many children have sore arms from vaccination. Adam Baker is building most elegant residence in Shawneetown.
Sheriff Joel Cook, the tax collector, set date for beginning tax collecting. He notified taxpayers he would start collecting at house of William Geers in Eagle Precinct, the next he would be at storehouse of Robert Reid in Saline Prec., next at house of William J. Boyd in Wabash Prec., the next day at storehouse of Fred Sollars in New Market, next day at storehouse of William A. Crawford in Ridgway, the next day at storehouse of Hick & Hinch in New Haven, then 2 days at storehouse of James C. Harrell in Omaha, and 2 days at storehouse of J. W. Clifton in Equality, and 1 day at storehouse of J. H. Waynich in White Oak Precinct.
Under items from Equality were the names of the town board, school directors, and officers of Masonic Lodge #2 and of Hebron Lodge, which met every Saturday evening in the old courthouse. Pastors of the three churches, the Presbyterian, Methodist and the Baptist were also named. There were ads of Weideman wholesale & retail groceries, also wines, liquors, crackers, fresh bread and furniture, the best made and as cheap as at Evansville. J. W. & R. O. Clifton, dealers in general mdse, dry goods boots, shoes, hats and caps. Both paid highest prices for produce. W. T. Crenshaw was attorney and counselor at law, R. D. Pearce was a J.P. Ford and Hess were proprietors of the Flouring Mill. The Equality Marble Works will here after be the Equality & Carmi Marble Works. W. H. Fowler, an old and respected citizen of this place, died of consumption.
The Little Wabash Roller Mills will soon have a flatboat load of furniture at dock, $5,000.00 worth, which they will sell cheap for cash or exchange for corn. Signed, W. P. James, James McCain, Daniel Jacobs. The host of the Equality Hotel is running a hack from depot to hotel.
The only Ridgway items told of Dr. H. H. Hawkins building a new residence and Charles P. Evans moving into his new residence in the budding village. The above load of furniture was at Shawneetown waterfront, Bower & Halsted, wholesale and retail druggists also had their ad among Equality items but were located at Shawneetown. This was a time of adjustment to the advantages offered by the railroads which had been completed within the last year. The three rail lines touching Gallatin County were laid about the same time.
The Shawneetown Mercury of Sept. 13, 1866, D. W. Lusk editor, covers a period a few years earlier, when the river towns and the steamboats were in their heyday. Boat departures were advertised and there was much passenger and freight traffic up and down the river from Shawneetown.
Out of town ads were beamed toward the consumer as well as the retailer. There were 32 Evansville business places advertising their wares among which were furniture, false teeth, bitters, drugs, liquors, dry goods, jewelry, watches, boots, shoes and fine clothing. There were 23 ads from Cincinnati as well as 1 or 2 from towns from New Orleans to Philadelphia. This newspaper consisted of 4 pages with 7 columns on each. Two columns were devoted to the many items for which awards would be given along with names of the 3 judges of each class. Most were of agricultural products. The fair was to be in Equality on the 26th, 27th and 28th of Sept., 1866. There were also 2 columns of descriptions and owners of delinquent tax, real estate. Tax ranged from five to fifteen cents per acre and a vacant lot was slightly higher. One half column gave the Shawneetown market price from alcohol to wool. The price of cotton was 25¢, lb for ginned and 7¢ for seed cotton, Saline and Kanawha salt, market brisk at $3.50 per 280 lb barrel, barrel staves $12. per 1000 for black oak and $15. for white oak or cypress staves, tobacco hogshead hoops $60.00 per 1,000.
There were commission merchant, wharf boat operators, doctors and lawyers among the 42 advertisers in Shawneetown. There seemed to be a market for about everything there. Corn, shelled, fanned and sacked, was worth 60¢ per bu. for yellow and 65¢ for white, wheat $1.25 to $2.00, depending on quality, bacon, buying at 16¢, shoulders at 12.5¢, hams at 18¢ to 20¢ per pound, and selling at 3¢ to 4¢ higher. The surplus was shipped.
Congress had voted to pay $100 bounty to the widows and children of soldiers not surviving the recent war and the same to soldiers surviving. Two ads, W. P. Sloan at Golconda and James B. Turner located on Main St. near the town well of Shawneetown, offered their services in filing these claims with no charges until collected.
Judge Baldwin and Peter McMurchy operated the A. D. Baldwin & Co. and were forwarding & commission merchants and wharf boat proprietors dealing in hay and produce generally. John D. Richeson and Charles Carroll were partners in the same line with Alex Howell & Co. until Sept. 11, 1866 when it became Howell & Millspaugh. They continued the wharf boat and shipping business, Richeson and Carroll concentrated on their store business.
James H. Beasley advertised his stage line as operating 6 days each week between Shawneetown and McLeansboro via Cottonwood and Roland. It left at 6 A.M. from Shawneetown and began the return trip at same time next morn.
John A. Callicott had returned to his old stand between Tunnell's store and the Shawnee House and was making harness and saddles again. (Many business places had to close when their owners or proprietors went to war} Isaac Finch & Co were skiff and yawl builders. They also repaired steamboats. G. W. Gordon's Marble Yard sold monuments and tombstones. Tom O'Brien & Co. were manufacturers of mattresses and upholstery.
Ben Hoelzle, boot & shoemaker had his shop three doors below Dr. Redden drug store on Main St. Bowman & Curry Livery & Sale Stable was on Main St. opposite the Posey Building. J. W. Norton was prop. of Shawnee House for the reception of travelers. Dr. T. G. S. Herod resumed medical practice in office in City Drug Store. Dr. G. W. Trafton (late of U.S.A. General Hospital) starting practice in office 2nd door below Shawnee House. Dr. P. B. Cheaney, late of U.S.A. locating in Saline Mines area, Talbott res. Silas Rhoades and John M. Crebs attorneys & real estate agents, 2nd door above post office. Charles Burnett & Will R. Hall attys. A. M. L. McBane atty. all had offices in courthouse. Valentine Winterberger, gunsmith work.
James Quick, mfr. of carriages, buggies, spring wagons, saddles & harness. A. Redick & Pete McMurchy were in same line and also made plows. Shop near Main St., a short way above A. K. Lowe & J. L. Robinson’s store.
The Shawneetown Mercury advertisers of Sept. 13, 1866 continued.
Grocers, many of which also sold liquors and wines and sometimes dry goods as well, were The Bazaar, owned by Aaron R. Stout, almost a full column of 20 inches. Karcher, Bechtold & Co. successors to Adam Baker. Beck & Kopf facing Front St. opposite wharf boat. Only store so advertised Joseph Frey, family grocer. Joseph P. Chester, wholesale grocer. Jacob Scheer and Joseph Eckert announced opening of meat shop one door below Karcher & Bechtold Store. Drug Stores were Redden's at the old Brick Stand on Main St. and a new store opened by Becker & Colvard in the Chester Building on Main St., also the City Drug Store, John D. Neel late of Ky. proprietor. Redden had been in business six years, Neel, the latter, was located in the Docker Block and kept James R. Nichols chemicals. James Hanmore advertised that his Family Flour was stocked by Martin Inman and H. O. Docker as well as J. P. Chester and first three above named. H. B. Powell of Excelsior Mills wanted to buy 15,000 bu. of wheat and 1,000 cords of wood, exchanged flour and meal for wheat and corn, sold chickenfeed, bran, ship stuff, flour etc. John M. Eddy, for sale, quantity of shingles.
Among the clothing and dry goods store ads were George Ridgway's, Lowe & Robinson, H. Goodrich Emporium of Fashion, and James H. Hart.
The Shawneetown Silver Cornet Band and First National Bank also had ads. F. A. Brooks advertised his livery and sale barn, his office in Shawnee House. V. Karcher & M. Scanland were carpenters & house joiners. They made and sold coffins. E. J. Nichelson was a carpenter and undertaker. He had coffins of all sizes and was located on Front St. Coffins were of plain or polished walnut.
Ads from Equality were: E. M. Weidamen, family Grocery & general store, he had 500 bbls. of lime for sale. Bailey & Hazen also had general store. E. H. McCaleb, mfr. of buggies, carriages, wagons and plows, agent for sale of Straub's Improved Sorghum Mills and evaporators, feed cutters, cider mill and corn shellers. The Robert Reid General Store ad was from Saline Mines. Ads from New Market were: Dr. George C. Smith (late surgeon U.S.A.) coming back and hoping to resume former practice. Dr. S. A. Secord also announced that he had again established his office in New Market, welcomed back old friends. G. M. Parker & Bro. General Store named many of their wares and welcomed country produce in exchange for their goods.
Another Shawneetown ad was that of Martin Inman, mfr. of furniture of all kinds, chairs, sash, doors, blinds, flooring, siding and lath. Prices as low as at Evansville or Cincinnati. In some lines these towns were the main competitors of Shawneetown, one can think of many reasons why.
Subscription rate for this weekly newspaper was $2.50 per year, rates for advertising were, one square or 10 lines for 1 week $1.00, 6 mo. $7., one half column for 12 months $60.00, ¼ column for 3 mo. for $10. etc. More than half the space was devoted to advertising, editorials and politics much of the rest. There was little news from local area and no deaths mentioned but several legal notices and administrators’ reports.
Some of these business places were still under the same ownership in 1896 some 30 years later. The Shawnee News listed the leading business men of Shawneetown in issue of Aug. 13, 1896 as follows: under heading of dry goods, Allen & Loomis, Charles Carroll, A. K. Lowe & Sons, A. G. Richeson. A. N. L. McBane, Rose & Allen. Clothing Dealers were, H. Drucker, Peeples Bros., I. Allaun. Groceries, Goetzman Bros., A. Eswein, E. Nolen, George Harrelson, Krebs & Shaw, E. Richeson. Hardware dealers were E. F. Armstrong, Robinson Bros., Kookindoffer & Froehlich. Drug Stores were operated by Robinson Bros., E. Eberwine. Meat markets by Thomas Elsasser, L. V. Martin, George Rubenacker, harness and saddleries by F. E. Callicott, M. Rosselot, blacksmiths were M. Golden, James A. Quick, John Rawson.
Omaha is listed as having a population of about 500, a flourmill, a newspaper and several other industries. They listed the following as
Shawnee News, Centennial Issue of Aug. 13, 1896, continued.
among Omaha's leading business men, Rev. R. M. Davis, Millage Davis, R. A. Bruce, Dr. Harrell, Dr. J. W. Bowling, Charles Eubanks, Ben Kinsall and H. P. Bozarth.
Equality was listed as one of the oldest towns in the state and an important business center. It is the site of the old historic salt works. Its principal industries, flouring mills, planing mills, coal mining and the manufacturing of coke. The coke ovens, among the largest in the world, ship much of their production to factories in the east. Among the leading men are Joseph Castles, B. Temple, H. C. Strickland, Bourland Bros., A. C. Rogers, William McIntyre, H. G. Bunker, H. McKernon, George Moore, Al & Charles Smyth.
In this paper local news items were used. There were part columns from correspondents from New Haven, Junction City, Duncan and Equality. There were five deaths announced from Equality, Thomas and son Edward Hamilton, the young son of Mr. and Mrs. James Harberson, infant of Mr. and Mrs. George Helm and the infant of Mr. and Mrs. James Stilly. The 75 loads of staves brought to Equality last week, averaged bringing $2.00 per load.
Among items from Shawneetown was this payment of $168.00 by town council, to Electric Light Co., for lights. Among prices advertised by Nolens were these; gasoline $.125 per gallon, flour $3.50 per bbl., bacon $.065 lb. Deaths, James William Womack b. Moore County, Tenn. 1820, interred Westwood.
Ridgway was mentioned as being surrounded by rich farming country and having many prosperous merchants. They mentioned the following as the leading men of the town, W. S. Philips, Ed Mills, J. O. Brooks, J. H. Gahm, Dr. George W. Combs, Dr. J. M. Bartley, Dr. William H. Riley, Mike Riley, Rev. J. A Rensman and William Bowling.
During Ridgway's early years it grew rapidly. In 1895, 24 years after its official founding, a newspaper placed its population unofficially as near 1,OOO. It had many business houses vying for the town and country trade. At this time some of the older frame buildings were in need of repair and P. C. Bowles told Ridgway News editor C. T. Curry that he was thinking of replacing some with brick buildings. In 1905 he sold the largest or corner building which, when moved across the railroad, became the Marsh Smith Livery Barn, removed the others from the west 80 feet of Lot 5 Block 1 and in 1906, had a 3 unit, 2 story, yellow brick, store bldg built. It was razed about 1970 and replaced by a single story building which still houses Gallatin Tin & Hardware Co.
Ridgway's first business building was a single story, frame store building on what later became Lot 1, Block 1, erected 1866 or 67 for Albina Hammersley. She kept a store here until 1871 when she sold to William Dickey who operated it to near his death about 1891. There are 363 names on his account book.
After seeing 1894 issues of the Ridgway Headlight and its successor of 1895, the Ridgway News, I began trying to locate the business places of Ridgway in that period. From real estate transfers, old photos, newspapers, talks with older citizens one of whom Joe Febuary b. 1886, was active then and today, Goodspeeds 1886 History and my own memory of buildings in use later, I have made an effort to reconstruct a view of what the town was like in mid 1890's, who was where and what they did. Story originally compiled in 1971. In spite of much research errors are possible here and elsewhere in this book. They can occur anytime but more probable in old faded papers, which often have to be pieced together.
Lets start an imaginary trip at the alley on west side of Lot 1 above. First building was of brick, 24-foot front and 20 feet deep, a photo of the period has Baker on the front window but it is known that Frank Foster 1837‑1924 and also Joe McDaniel operated meat markets there at an early date. Barney Heathman watch repair & Jewelry store followed and beginning about 1917 E. L. Hale bought and remodeled the building and
Ridgway, about 1895, continued.
conducted a Jewelry business there for many years. Most of the time from 1930 to 1965, it housed a barbershop under several owners, R. Stallings, P. C. Cox, Alfred Leavell and V. Tite among them. Its last use was for seed corn sales. The next building was frame and slightly larger. Martin Esser had his harness and saddle shop here and lived in the old store, which had acquired a second story some time earlier. One of his sons told me that he was born there in 1893 but that they soon afterward moved to a new home on Sherman St. Ads in 1894 show that John A. Crawford had a meat market in this old 20 by 40 foot building. He must have sold to Henry Zirkelbach and Louie Bechtold who a short time later were advertising spring lamb for a change. T. A. Hall bought this corner in 1898 and for 17 years must have been the town's leading store from what I have read and heard. Hall had a pump and water trough on the east side of his store and here people and horses quenched their thirst. I have heard much on this. One of his ads stated, Hall's hitch racks are always full. In 1915 he sold his store to a Mr. Steel or Stell whose health caused him to soon quit.
William Mitsdarffer Sr. 1873‑1943 served as apprentice under Esser and continued the business after Esser left and had a large buggy & harness shop in the present Carl Mills Tavern. My grand father Joshua T. Glass had several small stores or restaurants and about 1914 he was in the old Esser building. The main thing I remember was, it was while there that he began selling cold soda pop, two bottles for five cents. William Kaufman and E. L. Hale bought the North 40 feet or 2/3 of Lot 1 in 1917 and began selling new Buick and Dodge automobiles. A 34 by 40 foot garage and storage building was needed so the old harness shop had to go. The soda pop came from the Slack Bottling Company at 8hawneetown by rail to Ridgway at $.35 per case of 24 bottles. Years later grandpa told me that after icing he made .15/ per case. He did do a lot of business there before the building sold.
In 1934 my cousin and partner used our credit and bought the 40 by 110 ft corner from Mr. Kaufman and moved our service station there. We had to move most of the old building for a drive in, but most of the lot was covered with buildings and we were soon in addition to gas & oil, selling most everything from a quart of milk to a Norge refrigerator. We sold out in 1965, quitting after 35 years. The rest of the old building was torn down in 1966, 100 years after it was started. Dr. Patricia Smith's medical building now occupies the site. The South 20 ft. of Lot 1 was vacant until 1906 when John Davis built a concrete block building there. It served as a post office for a while and as the Shatteen General Store for about 30 years.
Lot 2, Block 1, Sam Teer (later of New Market) advertised his rates in the Cralley House as $1.00 per day on June 1, 1894. Still in good condition in 1977. On Lot #3, now the bank parking lot stood the J. B. Randall blacksmith Shop. In the Headlite, he advertised as successor to Joel Lamb. (Lamb earlier at New Market and later at Ridgway did blacksmithing & made coffins. On the south side of Lot 3 was another old frame building in which Numau Febuary conducted a harness repair business.
On the east part of Lot 4 stood an old 2 story, frame building, part of which had, prior to 1880, been used as a school. I found no records of this but early residents told it to me many years ago. After 1880 it had housed Lamb's Woodworking Shop and in 1895 Charles Atteberry Saloon. Atteberry died in 1897 and in 1898 Mrs. John R. Lamb advertised her millinery shop as in this building and adjoining her husband's restaurant on the west. Next was the frame building (now the block building behind the bank) in which C. F. Barter started his old tin shop in 1885. He moved to a much larger building on Crawford St. about 1890 and the News of Sept. 13, 1906 told that he was rebuilding his business room on Division St. (now Murphy St.) which he may use as his store. Barter's Hardware Co., comprising this and two other rooms on Lot 3, burned in 1965 ending this family business.
Ridgway business growing in mid 1890s, continued.
In 1905 the Ridgway News began a campaign to improve the town by urging the owners to replace some of the ramshackle old buildings. They were of frame construction and 30 to 35 years old. On Nov. 8, 1906 they stated that Barter's were making another improvement by tearing down the old ranch. (Poultry buying businesses were called ranches, within my memory) Charles F. Barter had started with a tin shop in or about 1885, expanded many times, until 1965 when Berter's Hardware Store burned, still family owned.
The old frame buildings on Lot 5 Block 1, were torn down in 1905 and replaced the next year by 2 story brick buildings, 3 in west 80 ft, by P. C. Bowles and 1 by Ed Keane on east 30 feet. In 1895 the latter housed Robert Joyner & Andrew E. Lauderbaugh Grocery Store and after 1897 it was Joyner & Brown (Lauderbaugh died in 1897). Then followed Ed Keane, Bob Bean (an in‑law of Keane), and within my memory George Naumer, Frank & Mildred Davis and R. S. Bryant. The latter 3 were drug stores. Upstairs were rooms for rent and later the E. F. Bayley family home. The next two rooms were small, one housed P. C. Bowles office, the other a barber shop in 1895. In 1897 the post office was in one and C. W. Wiedeman, attorney, was in the other. In 1895 J. W. Dossett, shaving parlor in ad, next door east of store of J. & L.
In March of 1883 William T. & wife Sarah Willis had sold Lot 5 Block 1 to William H. Lewis for $500. Three years later they sold to P. C. Bowles. In 1894 Willis operated a bakery and grocery, at which time Dr. William H. Riley had a drug store on corner facing present day Crawford and then called Main or Short and sometimes Front St. His partner was named Rice, next partner Trammell then W. R. Shewmaker in 1897. Jess Brown was also an early partner. H. M. Walk's name appears in 1908. He had a drug store on this corner many years and was followed by the Kroger Store in early 1930s, upstairs was the Telephone Co. which had rented a building from Bowles in 1895 and which in 1900 had 31 subscribers. Of the two center buildings, I first remember the one next to Walk as being occupied by Walter Hinkley who sold clothing, next one housed Walter Wood's Grocery, Vincent Drone followed Wood then Frank Drone, Joe & son Eugene Hancock, Ernie Funkhouser and in the 40's Paul Cotton and then Joe O'Neal and wife Wilma and her mother Laura Hedger Bean as partners. Beginning in 1930s, Hinkley building was again a clothing store and the other a grocery with both under same management.
In 1895 there were about 9 frame and 1 brick business buildings facing Crawford St. of today but then referred to as Main, Short or Front Street. In 1881 Isaac Smith sold the adjoining Lot 6 to Michael J. Moore. I assume it was unimproved since the price was only $45. In 1883 Moore sold it to Lucy Lewis at $800. In 1877 J. H. Waynick sold Lot 7 to Cicero Waynick for $100. In 1875 T. C. & wife Nancy Kimbro sold Lot 8 to Paulina C. McIlrath for $100. The price indicates some type of building on these lots at this early date. The original survey of the Village of Ridgway had been made for the Kimbros in 1870 and in 1871 they sold 80 or ½ of their lots to Thomas S. Ridgway (the railroad builder for whom town was named) and Charles Carroll, both of Shawneetown, for $800.
Facing Crawford St. in 1894 was the Riley Drug Store, probably Seten & H'y Frame's Famous Clothing Store, Buddy Dossett & son Restaurant, Francis M. Jackson Clothing Store which in Nov. 1894 housed Peeples Bros. of Shawneetown, W. C. Boyer advertised his barber shop as in Keane Bldg. (In 1891 C. F. B. sold south ½ of Lot 6 to Ed Keane Jr. for $600.) next door to F. M. Jackson's old stand, P. C. Bowles bought Lot 6 in 1872 and later sold south ½ to Peter Carlin who in 1888 sold to Jackson. Next was Keanes and then on north ½ was Barter's. The small shop adjoining on north housed the butcher shop of Joe McDaniel 1870‑1956 and Oscar Kanady who slaughtered their own meat. Next was store of Ridgway Mills for whom Henry Shatteen started as a clerk in 1895. There was a brick building in rear, which housed a bakery. I believe Tim Duty was the operator. John W. (Buck) Rollman tore it out in 1910 using the bricks to build his own store on Lot 1 Block 5 and now houses gas company office. Next was brick store housing Brooks Bros. (J. O. & Barney).
Ridgway business, growing in mid 1890s.
On the South part of Lot 8 was H. J. Gahm General Store on first floor and
The Gahm Hall on second floor. Various social events were held there. The store was acquired by Joe DeVous soon afterward and his wife Emma and her mother Mrs. Gus Smith kept a millinery and women’s store there several years. They were followed by restaurants operated by Morgan Awalt and Albert Baker and wife. Ice cream suppers, etc. continued in DeVous Hall for a time until the upstairs was converted to living quarters and finally torn down, probably in early 1920s. Elbert Lamb (1866‑1957) wrote
that his father Scipio A. (1811‑1888) and his elder brothers had built one of Ridgway's first stores on this corner or lot. The McIlrath family are known to have operated an early store here. As stated earlier they bought Lot 8 in 1875. Elbert E. wrote more than 80 pages of his memories of this area. He described this store as 18 feet wide and 36 feet long and with a porch high enough so women folks could step from their sidesaddle onto the porch and then tie their horse to the porch posts. He stated that his father started the store but owing to his many other interests soon afterward sold to a Presbyterian minister named McIlrath. This was the corner store, which in 1895 was operated as a drug store by C. E. Joyner. Back of this building was at least one frame building, used as an office by William W. Walton, police magistrate and Justice of the Peace at early date. The old photograph shows a small building between the Gahm and Joynor store. I was told that this served various purposes among which were a fur and hide buying store, a produce buyer named Henry Porter of Southern White County, may have been there in 1895. Joyner sold his store in 1899 to Dr. H. Larue who sold to W. R. Shewmaker a short time later. The latter’s son J. T. told me that in about 1902, S. Paul the restaurant man across Main St, introduced the first Coca Cola fountain drink to Ridgway. This was also the year the first automobile came to Ridgway. The News stated that Henry Schnurr of Mt. Vernon, Ind., drove the first auto ever in Ridgway. In 1894 it listed John McIlrath as operator of the Shamrock Hotel. In a photo of about 1912 only the Gahm building (then a restaurant) of these 3 was left.
Across the street, on corner of Lot 8 Block 8, in 1894 was the S. B. Hicks Grocery & Hardware Store, North of it was the Edgar Mills Hotel which was built in 1892 and closed in 1917 and now the site of fire station and other village buildings. The next building was the old G. F. M. Bean home advertised as office of Dr. S. C. Latham in 1894. In 1914 the News states that S. B. Hicks had purchased the old 2 story Terah Awalt house, probably the oldest home in Ridgway. I have heard that it served as a boarding house for railroad construction workers in 1869. The Bean or Awalt home was on corner Lot #5, east of Hicks Store (the present drug store) was the George Harrelson Building which in 1894 housed the Elbert E. Lamb Store. The Post office was on the east side of Lot 8 for many years (present News site). Most of these buildings were replaced by present buildings in 1910. I remember the Ridgway News as being located in one of these center buildings and a bakery, restaurant and grocery on east side of Lots 7 & 8. This combined operation was owned and operated by John E. Cox by 1920. Milton Jacobs was the baker several years earlier. Cox had the favorite eating place for school pupils. For a dime, one could get a good hamburger and ½ of a hot coffee cake, a welcome change from the usual lunch from the farm. Across the alley on the west side of Lot 1 the brick office building of Dr. Edgar A. Green was built in 1916 and he occupied it for about 30 years, next was the mid 1890s office of Dr. J. M. Bartley, sold about 1899 to Dr. William Johnson later of Eldorado who sold out to Dr. Green about 1908. I remember this old building as the office of Dr. Theodore Green, the dentist. It was different by being about 12 ft. off the sidewalk but similar in size, about 16 by 30 feet and frame construction to most business offices or stores of its time, with an addition on front and rear it still stands.
Early Ridgway business houses, continued.
The first Ridgway Post Office, that I remember, wad in the brick building adjoining. It was built about 1900, remodeled for an office by Joe Bryant MD in the 1950s and now houses the county health office. In May of 1910 work began on the building between the P.O. and bank, by L. H. Frizzell. It now houses Lavern Keeling's restaurant. The First National Bank was completed and started business in Oct. 1909 and closed during the depression in 1933, without loss to depositors I have been told. The building was sold in mid 1930s and was occupied by the P.O. for most of the next 30 years.
On Lots 9 & 10 Block 10 stood the Ridgway Flouring Mill which was very important to area residents. Farmers stored enough corn and wheat with the miller to furnish meal and flour until the next harvest. The miller usually charged about ¼ for grinding and sacking and let the farmer pick up the rest as needed. In 1872 a county newspaper mentioned the growing new town of Ridgway needed a mill. Abraham Zuck was the miller at New Market until 1874 when he sold to John F. Gott who bought Block 10 in Ridgway in June of 1875, on which, at great expense, he moved and rebuilt the mill. Mr. Gott died in Dec. 1877, the next owner Mrs. Sabina Speck, then in 1880 Dan M. Willis who operated it several years before selling it to H. L. & Joel Rice. Rices sold in March of 1893 to Robert A. Bruce for $6500 who operated it until 1897 during which period the picture of Ridgway's first mill was taken and preserved these many years by son William F. of Texas, New owners W. C. & J. T. Trusty, brothers of Eldorado, and T. A. McDaniel of Ridgway built a new mill on the site in 1898. There were other changes in ownership before 1906 when J. P. Colnon became owner. He was there for many years and the one I best remember. Our family was like the average family in having little money but able to manage on what we had. By raising most of what we ate and having plenty of flour in the mill made it much easier. Metal tokens or due in trade bills, issued by merchants during the spring or heavy egg laying season, were often saved for use in other seasons. The last mill owner, Fred Meyer was accidentally killed while working there. Much grain was bought and shipped by rail from this mill prior to the auto age. It was closed about 1930 and razed soon afterward.
Next comes fractional Block 9 and Lot 4 on which stands, well preserved, one of Ridgway's first houses. George Pillow and wife moved into this house in the late 1870s their son Eugene (1872‑1959) told me. At the time of our conversation, the house they had moved from was still occupied (Mrs. Mary Crayne) and was on Lot 2 Block 11 west of railroad. Part of Lot 3 Block 9 was the site of a low building used within my memory for showing movies, as a skating rink and in the early 1920s as warehouse for Ivan B. Green Chevrolet Agency. Next was a 2-story hotel usually known as the Shamrock. This large building, probably built in early 1880s, had a checkered career with many operators. It was taken down in 1923 by Charles H. Hise and sons; our farm neighbors, then used to build a replacement for their part log home. I helped raze the replacement in 1976. Its rough lumber had been cut from the Wilson Brown Farm on North Fork Creek, I was told by Hise. J. A. Bell operated the Shamrock in 1895 and William M. Harrelson became the owner in 1897. Harrelson 1841‑1905, had his first store at the old crossroads at Mackey then rebuilt ½ mile west in NW Corner of Lower New Haven Twp., his next move was to Lot 1 Block 9, 6 mi. to the west in Ridgway in about 1885. Here he and family sold buggies, wagons and implements as well as keeping a general store on Lot 1 and a hitch rack on Lot 2. The News in Oct. 1897 told that they had completed a rock cellar back of their home on Lot 8 Block 5. I was told that they bought and stored quantities of fruits and vegetables here for later use in store. In excavating for the Strand Theater in 1947 many of these heavy, hewed, sandstone blocks were unearthed. Rocks were quarried either from the creek banks or the hills. They also built a 2 story building or added a story to old building at or near
Early Ridgway business houses, continued.
the same time. The family operated the store until the 1920s, sold to Joe O'Leary who soon afterward sold to Aydt Bros. (Mat & Vic) who operated it until the 1960s. It now houses the Buveda Gravett Grocery.
Early residents, Bealus and wife Ann (Owens) Boaz, lived in the old frame house between the store and railroad. They died within a few hours of each other in 1904. It then became the home of Ad McDaniel who operated the blacksmith shop, (now site of side room of Jones Farm Store) sold in 1901 to John Vickery who with his sons operated it until 1940s.
I have never met Elbert Emery Lamb, mentioned earlier, but others have told me of his story telling ability and of how they looked forward to his visits. Many of these stories concerned his experiences and early life around Ridgway. During his later years, at the urging of family and his friends, he started writing these memories under the title; People I have smiled with. He had completed more than 80 typed pages and was past 60 yrs when he had a stroke at his New Jersey home and died soon afterward. I am indebted to one of his relatives, Mrs. Judy DaCastello of Nevada, for a copy of his story. My wife and I enjoyed a visit by his son Dr. Joe Lamb in the spring of 1977 during which I asked him about this ability remembered so long afterward. He told he acted out many of his stories by gestures and imitating the voices of others as well as their actions.
Elbert wrote that his father Scipio A. had a large farm on the Shawneetown ‑ McLeansboro Road and a general workshop on this road and farm. He had all the carpentry work that he and his sons William, born 1835 and Madison born 1837 (his half brothers) could do. Another half brother Joseph took care of the farming. His father spent most of his time in the shop building plows, harrows, wagons, ox yokes, bedsteads, bureaus and tables, in fact all the furniture for the principal farmers as well as blacksmith and iron work. For power, an ox on the treadmill was used to turn the flywheels and lathes, on finishing or particular work Elbert furnished the power on the treadmill. The home and shop was located across the road and about ¼ mile south of present day Ridgway Manor Nursing home in Sec. 36. This large 2-story log house was razed perhaps 30 years ago. He said many people had only the furniture, which they hewed out or made themselves. Most established farmers had geese and sheep and many raised some cotton. Those without, often wove on the shares for these thereby getting two bed ticks, one of which they filled with leaves or with straw if available. This they placed on a sapling bed in the cabin corner and placed a feather filled tick on top of this and an important furniture need was filled. With hard work they would soon have livestock to trade his father for looms, spinning wheels and their other needs.
As Ridgway grew, traffic on the once busy road lessened, so after a few years Scipio moved his woodworking and blacksmith shop to the new town. Eb wrote that his father built a six room, two-story house and on the lot North of the home building he built his shop. This move took Eb out of the Willis School (on present day Route 1, west end of Ridgway Spur) and placed him in the Jackson District. He attended each school for 3 years and described the seats as oak boards with 6-inch boards for backs. He seemed to like going with his friend ¼ mile for a pail of drinking water better than any studies except arithmetic. The shop was probably what was in 1895 advertised as R. T. Bozarth's Undertaking and Coffin Shop, Lot 8 in Block 12. I have been told it was a large building part of which was used as a home. It burned in Jan. 1913. Elbert wrote that they often made coffins to order at the shop of his father, others have told me that this shop was west of Harrelson's Store.
S. A. Lamb is said to have built an early store South of Harrelson’s on Lot 1 Block 17 a part of the William B. Swinney corner in 1892. Lamb was listed in the 1870 census as a grocer (probably here) and in 1880 again as a blacksmith, Swinney, a veteran, was here until 1905 when building was
Early Ridgway business houses, continued:
razed. The news had expressed the hope that this and other ramshackle old buildings would soon be replaced, a short time before. Swinneys son Charles continued the business in Block 2 on corner of Lot 10. Lot 1 of Block 17 had 3 other buildings besides Swinneys, all were 2 storied. The South 20 feet was the site of the John Hish and Tony Schoeny pool hall which they sold in 1895 to John Drone who rented it to Fred F. Tate for a general store. I have no information on the center building or the one on the back, which faced Main St. They were all replaced in 1906 by another 3 unit 2-story building. Swinney was on the corner, Sherman Lamb and Henry Shatteen were partners in a store in center, Pete Rooney’s saloon had been in the south part of old building from which he moved in 1899, it later housed The Rufus (Doc) Bean barber shop. The block building, built in 1906 burned in 1909 and was replaced by one of brick, which burned in 1912 while housing the L. E. West general store. It was soon replaced with the present 2 units by William Speck, one of which in 1915 housed the new undertaker J. Robin Glasscock while the one on corner housed in 1916, the new grocer E. F. Bayley. William Walton Jr. had a store, within my memory, there.
On fractional Lot 2, south of above, there were 3 small frame buildings of the type, which were common at the time. They were usually 14 to 16 ft. wide and 24 to 32 feet long. The first was a barbershop and in 1903 it housed Marcus P. Rogers (1842‑1912) photo shop. John Swager (1832‑1900) taught his sons Warren and Charles the shoemaking business. John and Charles were in this business in New Haven in 1880 but soon after they were in Ridgway working together again in one of these buildings. Elder brother Warren, who died in 1899, was in the center building in the same business. Uncle Charlie (his wife was my great aunt Kate Chappell) continued here until 1904 when they moved to East St. Louis, where he plied his trade on State St. for another 30 years. Before leaving he ran ads offering to sell many pairs of handmade shoes for $2.50 per pair. I have heard that one of these buildings was moved to Lot 1 Block 4, where it had many tenants the last of whom was Albert Baker, the barber. The other building I remember as the office of Robert M. Morrison, JP and coal dealer. He also rented cotton sacks to farmers for wheat thrashing. During those busy times, I helped as a small boy by driving the buggy to Morrison's and getting 100 to 200 sacks for my father and uncle before hauling water.
South of these stood the towns wooden water tower and windmill pump which with the underground pipes for firefighting were completed in 1894. There were many complaints about the creaky old windmill which blew down during a windstorm in Dec. 1898. This ended the waterworks for Ridgway until 1939 when the present works were put in. At one home, in the North part of town, a homeowner found a length of the old 1894 pipe in good condition and hooked to it and it is probably in use today.
Every early store had hitch rails or racks where horses often stomped or pawed holes. These depressions were favorite dumping places for ashes and cinders from the many coal stoves. Fresh cinders mean acids and a short life for steel pipe. My first knowledge of the old waterworks came in 1934 while we were placing a tank underground on north side of Block 1 and found a rusty pipeline. This started much reminiscing among the older men many of whom remembered some of the details. The tank often overflowed and created an attraction for any hogs getting out of their pens. This wallow and the noisy windmill and possible pipe problems caused many to say good riddance when John Drone hauled the tank and windmill away. The newspaper gave no rates for private hook‑ups, they were probably few, but did give the date of its start and end. Soon afterward another pump was put near the same place along with a tank for horses and mules. This pump was hand powered, put in by village due to public demand.
There were two livery barns west of railroad, one on Lot 3 Block 15 was at one time a store on Lot 5 Block 1, it was moved in 1905 by Marah Smith who operated it for a time. In the 1920s it housed Risser & Rabinowitz
EARLY RIDGWAY BUSINESS HOUSES, CONTINUED.
who did a large produce business. The other was the H. J. Gahm Livery and Feed Stable, mentioned in the 1899 News as being built due west of the elevator. It replaced the Gahm stable destroyed by fire a few months earlier. I believe the latter was located on Block Two. The new stable was located on Lot 9 of Block 8, Peeples addition to the village of Ridgway, surveyed and platted in 1888. All of Block 8, east of the alley except Lots 10 and 11 or 72 feet was in Lot 9. This strip of land was 216 feet North to South with the new building facing South St. and most of the rest covered by a barn and sheds. Here horses and mules were bought, sold, traded, boarded and rented. I remember many western horses, most of them wild, being shipped here by rail and then sold. These buildings seemed much older than the livery barn and were probably there in 1888 accounting for the lot being oversize. The first addition to the village was the Combs (Dr. George W.) First, in Sept. of 1887, consisting of the East four blocks of old Westview.
I don't know of any early business buildings on Lot 1 Block 2. Clyde Smith built a service station there in 1930, which was operated by we Miners until 1934 and for many years after by his brother Paul. Lot 2 was the site of the one and one half story Gahm home, razed in late 1960s. On Lot 3 was the H. M. Walk home, it has been modernized and still in use. I am not sure about the first use of Lots 4 and 5 but do remember the large building, made of brown tile blocks, which stood there and housed a produce business for many years. Before this there was a home and a millinery shop, operated by a Mrs. Wenzel, on the corner. Susie Simmons, seamstress, followed Mrs. Wenzel. A Mr. Jordan and his son‑in‑law Clint Beagle (1884‑39) started the produce business and later sold to Hudson Mugge who continued until about the mid 1930s when fire destroyed the building, with great lose to the owners and to Ridgway. They picked up poultry and cream in Ky. as well as in Ill. within a radius up to 75 miles and then shipped the poultry by truck to Chicago or by poultry car on rail to New York. The cream was trucked to Champaign. All of this took a largo crew. Russell and Pearl Ellis were the next owners. They built a home on Lot 4 and a Case Tractor and implement shop on Lot 5. Continental Grain Co. now have their office and scales on the latter lot and their bins across the street on the old elevator lot which was being operated in 1892 by Edward Rice and Joe Devous. The News in 1912 stated that the large old elevator had been demolished preparatory to the erection of one of the finest in the state. The latter after being idle for several years was razed about 1975. The elevator has had several owners within my memory
I have heard that the Gahm Livery barn, which burned in 1898, was on Lot 6 of Block 2 and that Gahm also had owned the blacksmith shop on Lot 7, which joined it on the North. I remember the latter as a weathered old shop, covered with weatherboard, and as having a ramp up which they pulled buggies for storage upstairs. They repaired and probably sold buggies there. W. J. (Buck) Smith 1851‑39 was the owner and soon after this he razed the old shop and replaced it with one of reddish colored clay tile blocks. He operated this one story, black smith shop until he was very old. The Ridgway calaboose or Jail, consisting of 2 steel cells or large cages within a brick building the rest of which was the village office, was on the alley on North part of Lot 7. Here the police magistrate or Justice of the Peace held trials or hearings and the village board of trustees held meetings. This building was completed in 1915 and the waterworks building adjoining was completed in 1939.
Most of the following deed records concern Block Two. In 1893 P. C. and Ann Bowles sold Lot 3 Block 2 to David Wiedeman. In 1879 The Singer Mfg. Co. paid $181 for Lot 5 Block 2 and H. J. Gahm sold this lot to A. A. Harrelson for $400. This along with adjoining Lot 6 could have been site of the Gahm Livery Stable, which burned in 1858. In 1879 Lots 1, 4 & 5 of Block 15 were sold by C. P. Evans to J. A. Speck for $1,000. Evans is said to have
Early Ridgway Business Houses, Continued:
had one of Ridgway's first stores and Lots 4 & 5 was its probable location. This site was across the street from the railroad station or depot. Later issues of the News mentioned businesses setting up shop in the store building across the tracks. Lot 1 was the location of one of the early homes of Ridgway. Razed and replaced in the 1960's it had heavy sills and bricks laid between the studs, a solid wall but without mortar. In 1892 R. G. (Gus) and Harriet Greathouse sold Lot 10 Block 2 to F. M. & J. G. Jackson for $400. In 1894 George A. Lutzunm sold Lot 8 of Block 2 for $340. I have heard that this was the site of Cooks or the Star Grocery which advertised in 1894 that it was located in the old bank building. This lot had several owners before Fulton Etherton sold it in 1905 to William T. Hatfield, who in 1910 tore out the old buildings and erected a large brick building. He was Ridgway's top mechanic and machinist for many years. In the 1930's, 40's and 50's it housed the William Phillips then the William Lawler and finally the John Holderby Ford Agencies. It was used for storage until it burned a few months ago. It is now the site of a metal building used for storage. Lot 9 has a row of about 8 coalhouses, all in one brick unit. They were built to serve the buildings on Lot 10 and the one on Lot 9 back of the old bank building. My first record of the latter was the News mentioning W. W. Walton as moving from his office, back of the bank to the Bowles building. This was in 1897. After this came the Oliver Bros. Restaurant, Wickers Restaurant and Grocery and the William J. Baldwin Family Restaurant. In 1897 there were four restaurants operating in Ridgway.
In the division of April 1894, F. M. Jackson received the west ½ of Lot 10 and started the 2 story 2 unit building which is still in use. The news item a few weeks later; work on the Gregg - Jackson building is progressing nicely, indicates that it was built to house the new bank. Another item stated that the Gallatin County Bank had been organized about two years earlier by William M. Gregg, Winfield S. Phillips and David Wiedeman. Other directors were P. J. Valter and T. W. Hall, capital at $25,000. Wiedeman remained at Ridgway Bank as cashier until 1897, when he and Gregg started a bank at Equality where he was cashier in 1901. At this time he, along with John T. Hogan, Charles W. Wiedeman and James Gregg organized the Exchange Bank at Omaha. David Wiedeman was succeeded as cashier in 1897 by George Land and in 1901 William Phillips (1882‑1943) was named Vice President. They were, in a way, the bank until the 1940's, as they guided it through war, hard times and the depression. They seemed to always be on the Job. The News mentioned, in Feb. of 1910, that Mr. Land and C. F. Barter were going to visit the First National Bank of Poseyville, Ind. to get some ideas for a new bank. In Nov. they moved into their new building on the south part of Lot 4 Block 1. Soon after this Mr. Barter was working on a new frame building to house the Alamo Theater. This movie house, completed about 1912, furnished entertainment for our area until the bank needed more room and the Strand was built in 1947 by Dale and Clyde Miner on Lot 8 of Block 5.
The other half of the Jackson Building housed Jackson's own store. An earlier ad told that he was selling out his old store and on Oct. 26 of 1894 he was inviting customers to his new store. W. S. Phillips moved his office upstairs over the bank and The Ridgway News moved from Rogers Bros. building on Main St. to upstairs over Jackson's. In 1904 Jackson sold the two brick units to William M. Kaufman, operator or partner in many Ridgway enterprises beginning with the aforementioned A. J. Cook in 1894 and retiring from the garage business in 1930.
On the J. E. Jackson half of Lot 10 there were two of the common, early type of one-story business buildings. They were small and similar in type. A tin‑type picture of one shows tall corn growing on both sides and a millinery sign in the front. J. E. Jackson had the other built by James Wade in 1897. Wesley B. (Dad) Schubert (1848‑1936) had a shoe repair shop
Early Ridgway business places, continued.
in one for many years after 1910 and I have a picture dated 1916, showing my Grandfather, J. T. Glass inside his tiny store and restaurant in the other one. About 1940 they were removed and replaced by the present brick buildings. William J. Baldwin had one placed on his home lot in Block 5 Lot 1. There it started and continues as a barbershop. It is the only one of this early popular type of small business building left in Ridgway.
J. E. Jackson had the large brick building (on east ½ of Lot 10) built in 1899 for rent to Seten & Frame Clothing Store. Jackson was a clerk for Henry Frame, here for a few years, before buying the contents. It continued as the Jackson Store, operated by the family, until a few years ago when it became the Lee Clothing Store.
The building on Lot 9 of Block 2 was built and occupied in 1897 as a saloon by Gus Greathouse. They may have voted saloons out about this time for he was there only a short time. Buck Smith bought one of Ridgway's early businesses, the Henry Gahm blacksmith shop on Lot 7, and will continue the business and do wood and ironwork repairs. This was in 1894 News.
My grandfather told me that before 1870 and Ridgway's beginning, there was a sawmill located at the South end of Division (now Murphy) Street. I have heard that its sawdust pile covered most of the south part of Block 5 for many years after the town started. Elbert Lamb's story stated that it was about 100 yards East of the depot alongside the mill office. He described it as being about 16 by 20 ft. and of rough lumber and often used in the 1880's as a blind tiger by the bootleggers. From the description and location it was probably used as a part of the Robert (1856‑38) and wife Elizabeth Bruce home on Lot 3, which stood until the 1940's. Lamb wrote that the sawdust pile covered about one‑half acre. In 1894, Frank Drone built a 2 story brick business building on Lots 1 and 2 of Block 3. It was occupied in same year by the general store of Dent Reid and C. C. English. This store which faced Edwards St. was occupied in 1901 by W. W. Walton Hardware and Implement Store. In Jan. 1908 it burned with a large loss to the W. Herman Burnett Store on first floor and I.O.O.F. Lodge and Rush Weeks Shoe Shop on Second Floor. Part of its walls and hitch racks were standing in the 1930's. Many remember the T. W. (Uncle Della) Combs blacksmith shop on the back of Lot 1 on the alley from about 1910 to the 1920's. This small building probably served as home for he and his dog. His shop had earlier been on SW corner of Lot 4 of Block 4.
A letter from an early resident states that Lot 1 Block 4 was the site of the W. S. Phillips family home in 1890's. A news item of 1908 states that Dr. E. S. Hall moved his office from the Heath Building on this lot to the brick building between T. A. Hall Store and Bruce Barber Shop on Lot one of Block 1. Dr. J. C. Murphy then moved into the Heath Building. Albina Hammersley, operator of Ridgway's first store in 1867 lived in a 1½-story frame house on Lot 3. It was razed about 1903 and is now site of the Post Office. A news item of 1903 states that the Ridgway Produce Co. will occupy the Riley Building known as the old school house. Cal Frame (1845‑1916) was owner of this produce house which he sold in 1916 to M. D. Kinsall. I remember this old barn like building on the back of Lot 4, a part of which was an icehouse. In the summer we often bought ice there for homemade ice cream. My grandfather kept his store in a small room in the SW corner of this old building for a time. The old, two room, White school, stood across the alley on Lots 5 & 6. South room housed grades 1 and 2, the North room grades 7 and 8. My first three months of school were spent here, during the fall of 1912, when I lived with my grandparents. We first graders spent much of our free periods watching the 2 or 3 chicken pickers at work in the back of this old building. They seemed to work steadily at picking, icing and barreling chickens for shipment. The White School was built in 1880. Its replacement, which proved to be too small, was called the Brick School. It was built in mid 1890's and was struck by lightning in June of 1915 and burned. It was on the west ½ of
Early Ridgway, continued.
Block 1 of Valters Addition. The steps of the Dale and Fern Miner home, built in 1939, are from the old school. Many of its bricks are covered in their back yard. I am unsure of the early history of the Riley building known as the old school house. M. K. Riley and William M. Bowling, partners and early Ridgway dealers in implements, seed and livestock, bought Lots 7 and 8 Block 4 from Alex Drone in 1895 and may have owned this site also. Elbert Lamb wrote that he lived in Ridgway about 1878 and went to Jackson School, which was near Jackson Cemetery. He named children of the Phillips and Bean families as also going there and others of Ridgway who went to Willis School. A News item of 1900 mentioned that the Bowling & Riley Warehouse known as the Old School House had a new foundation under it. It was perhaps Ridgway's first school and may have housed the overflow, from the White School (built 1880), prior to the start of the Brick School. This, along with the frame building on Lot 4 Block 1, could have been where the boys and girls of the early 1870's attended school. Records show that sometimes buildings were rented for schoolrooms. The White School was built for a school and then sold after its replacement was built, then rented when the need arose and a two-year high school was started here. There was some complaint about this and pressure for a new building before the fire forced the district to start our present school in 1915.
Chickens played a very important part in the economy of this area at this time. With a family living on about every 40 to 80 acres and every family owning from a few to a few hundred chickens, it was not strange that there were estimates of 45,000 dozen eggs in Ridgway, waiting for shipment during the spring flood of 1913. When the best way we knew was a hard way for most to make it by farming, milk cows and chickens did much toward keeping most farm families fed while the surplus chickens, eggs, butter and cream went for other necessities and I know of cases where they helped pay farm payments. The old picking and packing shed with the dirt floor along with the rest of the old produce building were razed during the teens. For many years afterward, except for Dr. William A. Riley's small office on the NW corner, Lots 3 and 4 were only used about a week each summer by Choates Comedians or some other traveling theater group's tent.
Ridgway's stockyards were located on the present Wabash Valley Service Co. site, North of Sycamore St. and the Ridgway Lumber Co. was on the south. In 1894 Valter and Gomien were operators of the latter and by 1895 they had sold to M. A. Cady and Robert Tate. I have seen old church pews manufactured by the Tate & Cady Planing Mill and Lumber Co. After several years they were followed by Theodore Kramer. The next operator was Earl Thomas, now of Creal Springs, he was followed by Ralph Atkins. The place has been closed for the last several years and is missed.
Some of the other business places mentioned in the News of the 1890's were J. J. & William M. Kaufman Store, South of the bank, I. I. Sills Newsstand two doors from Post Office. He was called Billy Sills and had a store at various locations within my memory. Both of the above news items were in 1899. Mentioned in 1894 were Oliver Confectionery, Porter & Tarrance Fruit Market, Ed Keane Grocery, C. E. Joyner Drugs, G. W. Kelly Sawmill, Lauderbaugh & Joyner Grocery, George Harrelson Grocery, Elbert E. Lamb Grocery, Trammell & Cook's Star Grocery, The Shamrock House, Thomas Larkin's Tenement House near Catholic Church, Ed Rogers and J. M. Bruce starting barber shop on Main St., Harry Ross sold Ridgway Headlight to Rev. Peter Prince of the Ridgway Baptist Church. The latter changed name to Ridgway News. There was also the Karns & Wilderman Meat Market, The J. B. (Bede) Crawford Barber Shop (Later he succeeded Thomas Dillard as the dray operator. His wagon and team of mules were familiar sights until about the 1930's.), Motts Picture Studio, W. T. Willis Grocery & Bakery, E. R. Martin purchased J. C. Swinney Barber Shop, W. T. Matherly to assist father in latters store at Elba, Dr. Charles Choisser of Elba visited McIlrath family in Ridgway. Among the
Decoration Day in 1894, News Items and Sidewalk Building.
Equality items, Bourlands laying brick walk in front of their business, Equality Coal Co. has resumed work. Omaha ads in 1894 included, The Ferrell & Williams Cash Store & a new store, Eubanks and Greer in Hemphill Building on Main St.
Among the news items in 1894 was this, concerning festivities of Decoration Day, over 100 farm wagons with Ridgway Band and G.A.R. in lead, were in march to Lamb and then Jackson Cemeteries, then to Donaldson Grove for dinner and speeches by John A. Trousdale, Rev. C. T. Douthitt of Omaha and Mr. Rice of McLeansboro. They then went to nearby Crawford Cemetery to finish the decoration of the graves of their departed comrades. I was a spectator at later and lesser parades after the veteran’s ranks had thinned. Besides the drivers, riding on the wagons were those old soldiers too feeble for marching and women and children many of which carried baskets of flowers for decorating. The spirit and effort of these old men, along with the music, seemed to infect every one. The News published an annual report by secretary James A. Dickey (1844‑24) showing the number of unmarked and marked graves of ex‑soldiers in each cemetery within several miles of Ridgway.
Among the ads and news items of 1895 were ads of Dr. J. W. Bowling, Omaha Roller Mills owned by Blackard, Hogan & Harrell, and the Omaha Brick and Tile Co., Welsh & Wilson proprietors. From Inman were Henry Westphaelinger the blacksmith, Dr. H. L. Rodgers physician and surgeon, Bob Rodgers of Inman firm of C. T. Yost & Co. gave News a call. A few shortened items from Ridgway were - R. S. Bryant, popular young Omaha druggist, visited friends here. - W. E. Joyner is starting a new furniture store here with a nice stock. - J. W. Rogers is offering tailor made overcoats at $3 to $4 at Rogers Bros. Building, which joins W. M. Harrelson Store on west. ‑ Editor shown new, 61 by 65 foot schoolhouse by Mr. M. M. Davis. ‑ New road, South of Uncle Jim Beans, will be open by Decoration Day. This was the East extension of Main St. from village limit to Jackson Cemetery Road. ‑ Gallatin County Bank has reorganized as a state bank. ‑ C. J. Smith, the new watchmaker is located at Post Office. ‑ Village is building walks to the new schoolhouse. The above road opening was delayed for about 2 years.
In Oct. of 1896 the News announced that it had been leased by W. B. Barnum who had formerly lived in Beebe Ark. Prior to this it had 4 or 5 owners or operators but for about all of the next 50 years it was edited by the Barnum Family, at first by W. B. and the latter part of this period by his son Clifton W. Barnum.
The News has always pressed for improvements in the town. At that time most of the effort was directed toward getting Ridgway out of the mud. The last boardwalk mentioned as being completed, was from Sherman St., east to the corporation line and the date was Feb. of 1900. I remember many of these walks, near my grandparents home, in the south part of town and barely remember this one. It was between the ditch and fence on north side of the road. Its cinder foundation made a mud free path linking the rock road, which ran east from corporation line for 1¼ miles, with the village sidewalks. There was much walking in those times. We walked to and from high school each day or almost 6 miles. I knew groups of young people who walked much farther, some to Junction or Omaha. The railroads were used as mud free walkways from their beginning. Some rode the train one-way and walked the other. The boardwalks were made with 2 or more 2 by 6 inch runners of any length over which boards were laid and nailed. If these runners were laid on a cinder or rock footing they lasted longer.
Next came the brick sidewalks, in 1903 the village was buying bricks by the carload, selling them at cost and laying them free in order to get more interest. Then came an ordinance requiring property owners to build walks in busy areas or where needed to connect other lines. The only brick walk left in town that I know of is at Crawford and Cedar Streets.
Village and township improvements.
A news article stated that a portion of the brick walks on Front St. were bad as were most of the plank walks. Present day Crawford St. was then called Front or Short St. and earlier, present day Main St. was Kimbro St. During 1904 C. F. Barter and Gus Heath each built a section of what was then called granitoid sidewalks. These were in front of the Barter Store on Front St. and the Heath home on Main St. This walk on Lot 1 of Block 5 is in good condition, including the walk to the house and it is dated. The News continued to point out the good features of these two examples of new and better sidewalks. At this time, during much of the wet and winter weather, the streets were of deep mud and the crossings if any, were of ashes or boards. With concrete, the corner cross walks were made thick, with sloping sides to enable the heavy wagons to travel over them. The village Marshall often carried a shovel and cleaned the crossings of the mud falling from wagon wheels and horses feet. I can remember when they also cut weeds along walks and crossings. I have been told that Garland Kimbro, as mayor, had a crew working steadily at building crossings and walks over much of the town. For an outsider’s view of the town, I refer to an article on Ridgway by Karl K. Knecht, appearing in the Evansville Courier on Aug. 16, 1916. The headline was; Fine Little Town in Gallatin County, Ill., has electric lights, modern buildings and the movies, bandstand, tennis courts and baseball fields provide amusement for all. Also mentioned were the luxubria or boulevard type street lights on principal corners, the well oiled streets, the clean concrete walks, the pretty trees and the pleasant homes that can be seen from the business district.
This was the week of the annual Gallatin County Fair at Shawneetown, to which most everyone planned to attend at least one day. For many years there were two daily passenger trains down and two returning and many who could rode these, but our family only rode the train on longer trips. At our farm home we got up early on our fair day, mom dressed and fried two chickens for the main part of our basket lunch while dad did the chores and hitched a team to the surrey to join the procession going to the fair. Dad usually chose Thursday, thinking there were better running races that day. With $.25 or perhaps $.50 to spend, things to see and do with new or old acquaintances, what more could a 10 year old ask for? Only once did I try a trick game at a stand. I had been warned but winning was easy until I chanced $.25. After another try I was broke for the rest of the day. The 45th year of the fair was in 1916.
The fairground grove of perhaps 20 acres of virgin trees was located about ½ mile west of the Ohio, south of the main road, (now old Route #13) and north of the new raised Route #13.
Mentioned in the Courier story were the oiled streets in the village and the good roads in the county. Practically all the roads were of dirt at the time the exceptions being the 2 ½ miles of road made of fist sized crushed rock and located East of Ridgway, North by Jackson Cemetery and ½ mile on the flat east of New Market School. A bond issue financed the 10-ton roller, which arrived in Ridgway on Sept. 30, 1909 as well as the rock, which came from Cave‑In‑Rock a few days later.
The earliest surfaced county roads were made of poles or sawmill slabs, placed over the low or miry sections of the dirt roads. An early hard road was mentioned in an old letter as the old rock road which ran SW from Shawneetown, by Buck Lafferty's blacksmith shop, to the hills.
When more county roads were surfaced, beginning about 1919 or 20, river gravel was used, it being kinder to horses feet and easier riding for vehicles than the crushed rock. It was more economical and easily available in the county. It was sometimes shoveled from the Johnson bar on the Wabash at first but most of it was pumped from the Ohio at Shawneetown and loaded on cars and shipped nearer to where needed. Later during the 1930's it was pumped from pits South of New Haven. The crosslay roads of
ROAD BUILDING AND COAL MINING IN GALLATIN COUNTY.
poles or slabs were very rough when riding in vehicles, especially for wagons but much better than the deep holes that preceded them. I remember the cross laid roads being called corduroy roads.
In Ridgway, during 1922, we drivers scooped our one-yard load from the railroad car into our wagons and received from $.65 to $1. per load, depending on the distance of the haul. The gravel was dumped into forms 8 to 12 inches deep and 8 to 12 feet apart. If much usage was expected on the road, the plank forms were set wider and the bed made deeper. A soft, shale‑like rock was used on some roads especially in South Gallatin County.
By the late 1920's, graders prepared the roadbed and dump trucks were hauling and spreading the rock or gravel. These along with mechanical loaders eliminated much hand labor and enabled the highway commissioners to complete the surfacing of most township roads before 1940.
Gallatin County’s first paved road, Route #13, was under construction by 1922 or 23 and most of it was in use by 1924. Route #1 came a bit later. Many farmers worked with their teams and scrapers on the grade work on these roads. I worked a few days in 1929 by substituting for the regular driver on a small Model T ford truck. I hauled gravel or concrete mix from the railroads open cars to a section of Rt. 1 North of Rt. 13 and South of Rocky Branch. In 1922 we drivers loaded our wagons but the construction company furnished scoopers here and the trucks were dumped by lever and gravity. The Ridgway News stated Ridgway Spur complete June 1929.
Route #1 and its bridge over Saline River, supplanted two very early roads. One was the Shawneetown to the Salines via the Island Ripple Ford. A ferry was available here during river raises, from the early 1800's until the river was bridged. In 1972, two huge, steel pipe piers, filled with rocks, were all that remained of the metal bridge erected about 1890. The other branched off this road, crossing the Saline River at the ford near the salt spring and continued North about ½ mile, west of Route #1, to the other Shawneetown ‑ Equality Road near the present L & N rail line. Facing east on this road, a short distance south of the railroad, was the 2-story log dwelling known as the old Crenshaw house. The frame house, which succeeded it, has been gone many years. John and Abraham Crenshaw in the 1830’s bought most of the land in this area from the U.S. Government. They were in the salt making business and about 1840, John built the large home on the hill now known as the old slave house and which is open to visitors for a fee. I have been told that cuts of first road, near the river, are still visible. The very old, Valentine Tite 2 story, log house, located in the SW corner of the NE¼ of NW¼ of Section 36, T9, R8, faces the Island Ripple road and is still used for storage by the Robert Patton family. Part of the road, 1 mile East to the ford, can still be traveled, the rest to the South and West has been improved and is still in use.
Within my memory, there have been several coalmines near the John Crenshaw home on Hickory Hill. The village of Lawler or Guineaville, with a store and several red tile houses located South of the railroad and West of the present Route #1, came into existence with the Hickory Hill or Guineaville mine and died when it closed. The Bud Chinn Mine was located in the valley, west of the Reese Sanks home on the hill. During the teens, we along with many of our neighbors hauled the winter supply of coal from Chinn's mine. During the early 1920's we hauled from the A. J. Sisk mine. It was located very near the entrance of the abandoned Hickory Hill mine on the railroad and perhaps 300 feet from the John Crenshaw home. The Logan Highway mine, located a short distance South of Crenshaw Cemetery, was operated during the 1930's by John Sharp, Ira Adams and Noah Kerstein.
COAL MINES AND TOWNS OF GALLATIN COUNTY.
Next came the Mid City or Kaufman mine, operated by Lawrence Boutwell. It was located about 1 mile to the east on the south side of Rt. 13. It was closed several years ago at which time it was called the B & W mine. Jack Sisk owned the John Crenshaw house and lived there with his family and also owned the farm on which his mine was located. If I remember correctly, he was both management and crew. There were other 1 to 3 man wagon mines scattered through the hills. Some used handpower to move the cars, others used small mules.
Castle and Temple had their own coal mine in Equality, which furnished fuel for their salt-water evaporator. After the salt business faded in the 1870s, they developed by the 1890s into one of the leading coke makers in the country. Among the mines that followed, the West Side and East Side Mines shipped coal by rail car, as did Guineaville. Other Equality mines were the Sunny Side on the east side of town near the railroad, the William H. McLain Mine was in the north part of town and slightly west of Calhoun Street. It was located on a hillside and in operation during the early 1900s. The Pekin Mine followed many years later and was located on the SE corner of the intersection of Calhoun St. and Illinois Route 13.
The first county mines of record were started in Bowlesville Township in the mid 1850s. Bowlesville Twp. and village, near which the large mine was located, were named for Joseph Bowles, superintendent and operator of this mine. From it grew a village of 350 people. The three main railroads touching Gallatin County were all completed during the early 1870s but this mine had a rail line running east to the Ohio several years earlier. It operated for many years and was especially busy during the war years of 1861‑65, when Goodspeed's 1887 History told that as many as 9 steamboats sometimes waited at the terminal to take on coal. Much of the mine area has been strip-mined during the last decade. The more recent Middle Mines, located about 1½ miles NW of Saline Mines and near Saline River, is remembered by few in the area. A long abandoned cemetery of the same name is nearby.
As for the formation of towns and trade centers in Gallatin County, Old Shawneetown was started by 1800 or soon after on the site of an old Shawnee Indian village. I have read two accounts, with no details, of a battle between the white men and red men, near this village in 1786, after which the Indians left the area. This was during the rapid settlement of Kentucky, long the hunting ground of the Indians. Much blood was shed on both sides. At first a river port, for shipping Equality's salt, Shawneetown soon became a mail center. Service to Vincennes was started in 1806 and a few years later, John Friley was carrying the mail on horseback, the 170 miles between Shawneetown and Louisville each week as stated in an early Henderson County History. John Crenshaw built a large brick warehouse in Shawneetown for storing and shipping salt. It was called the old depot and it had many uses during its life including use as a courthouse during the 1850s. Many of the early settlers of this area came by boat to or crossed the ferry into this old town and its merchants did a large wholesale and retail business. The coming of the area railroads in the early 1870s ended much of the inland towns dependence on Shawneetown and the riverboats for freight. The advantages of the river were countered by the periodic floods that caused great damage. The town never recovered from the highest water of all, that of 1937, when it rose about 6 feet above the levee and left some wood 2 story houses on their side and most off their foundations. After that most citizens accepted the federal government offer to move their homes or assist them in acquiring new ones at the new or present site. Most of the large and historic old brick homes were deserted and left and now torn down. Two exceptions are the museum at the Docker House (built about 1838) and a near replica of the Marshall Bank started in 1816. Both are open to the public for a small fee.
TOWNS AND TRADING CENTERS
They house pictures and many other items and furnishings of the early days.
I have heard that Junction began in the SW part of the present village, along the old Shawneetown ‑ Equality Road, as a few houses, a mill and a store and was called Rawlingsville. The address of Crawford Rawlings store was listed as Equality previously but in the 1858 store license application, it was specifically listed on the county records as on the Equality - Shawneetown Road at the place known as the burnt mill on Cypress. The two rail lines finished in 1870 or soon after, joined a short distance to the west and went a bit north of this place. The town was built toward the NE following the ridge to near the railroad and here most of the business buildings were erected.
It is said that Equality was started by those making salt at the Licks, a short distance to the west, near the south center of Section 18. They were dissatisfied with the nearby, low and poorly drained land as building sites. Equality succeeded Saline Lick as the post office in 1827?. It also became the county seat in 1827 it being near the center of a much larger Gallatin County. Salt was the necessity that had brought the early settlers, from a large area, to Equality for their annual or semi‑annual supply and gave the town’s early merchants a chance to supply their other needs. From territorial days and for many years after, Equality was the hub or main road center of Southern Illinois. Salt making was big business here for many years but stronger wells and increased competition caused it to cease around 1870.
New Haven was platted in 1818 and was earlier called Boones' Mill. The 1806 mall route from Shawneetown to Vincennes crossed the rock ford here. Daniel Boone's brother Jonathan and Joseph, said to have been Jonathan's son, started this mill soon afterward but sold in 1818 to William P. (Paddy) Robinson and Darius North, owners of the towns store. An interesting sale and account book of this store and date is still in existence.
Cottonwood, in Section 28 of Asbury Township, is another old trading center and like these earlier mentioned towns has had a bank within my memory. It was located on the old Shawneetown – McLeansboro (via Roland) State Road and stage line and had a Post Office by 1855. Its aggressive merchants had the name of paying more for produce and drew trade from a large area. The Hale Orchards (started by James B. 1842‑1933, a surveyor and continued by his son Raymond) sold peaches and apples to much of White and Gallatin County and shipped many barrels to the cities. They furnished employment for many. The stores are gone but several of the then 15 to 25 homes are still in use. Longtime resident Dr. William E. McGuire (1873‑1940) was areas last physician.
Christmasville became the Post Office site in 1856 and was discontinued in 1861 and re‑opened as Elba in 1866. They were in the fork of White Oak and North Fork Creeks in Section 16 of T8 R8. Soon afterward or in April 1866 those in the Fork were petitioning for a 5th school in the township. Whereas, we the citizens of Elba and vicinity, being deprived, etc. Signers, William P. Skelton, Robert C. Nelson, M. or W. D. Hudgens, J. W. Tate, William Matherly, James Dixon, Joseph ? irst, J. W. Shaw, M? B. Thompson, R. W. Bain, S. Brown, William Bain, J. R. Lewis, Allen ?yse, William Summers, William Tate, William P. Fowler, A. W. Brumbaugh, David Hedger, William Simpson, Z. F. Endicott, Caleb Simpson, S. R. Tucker, B. W. Bozarth, William S. Elder, ? W. Hedger, Joshua Snedecor, R. L. Bellah, William Morris, A. H. Ferrin and W. L. Endicott. The 1870 census listed the area as having two doctors, James C. Latham and William G. Hopkins, merchants J. H. Waynick and Joseph Karnes, Dan Files the blacksmith was also there in 1880 with competition from John Gooch. A sawmill was also listed in 1880 with workers and operator.
William S. Elder is listed as the miller in 1870. Dr. William Scott was the only physician named in 1880. William Matherly kept the store then and for many years afterward. There was a covered bridge over the creek in North part of the town that was said to be haunted. Eb Lamb, mentioned earlier, tells an interesting story on this of many seeing a white ghost on this bridge.
FARMERS TRADE CENTERS, COUNTRY STORES AND EARLY POST OFFICES.
This began to hurt the business of the mill and of the store then operated by a Mr. Scott. Josh Hargett, who had a reputation of fearing nothing earthly, took a sack of corn to the mill late one afternoon and started home after dark. On entering the bridge he heard the chain rattle and then saw a white form, at this he turned his horse to the old ford at bridges side. The water was up, the horse had to swim and Josh lost his sack of meal. On hearing this, many of the skeptics were convinced and something had to be done. Four men agreed to try and on checking the bridge one night heard the rattling chain and then fired at the suspected white ghost and then sped away on their horses. The widow Betty Allison's white cow, lay dead there the next morning. She had sought the bridges protection from the night’s bad weather. The chain had been used for leading and tying at milking time. The 1870 and 80 census both listed this family.
The Zion M. E. Church and cemetery, located almost a mile to the South, was started in 1870. The above cemetery was located across the road on north side of church while the new part (adjoining the church) was also deeded by John and Alice Sloan in 1913. Ridgway and Zion shared their pastor for many years with the last regular services at Zion ending about 1940 but the old brick landmark is still erect. The old frame school building held school until about 1950 with its consolidation of rural schools. It served as the Elba voting place after that. Its last merchant was W. P. (Doc) Brown. John and son Riley Belt, the blacksmiths, left Elba for Eldorado about the year of 1923. There are now only one or two families in this once busy place.
New Market, located about 1½ miles SE of the center of Ridgway was platted into 120 lots in 1854 of which 90 were sold. It soon became a thriving trade center with a Post Office from 1857 to 1871 and more than 100 people. By early 1850s most new roads were straight and put on land lines. The intersection of the new road about ½ mile west of New Market Square (now the crossroad) with the old cross-country Equality to New Haven road was designated on old records as the gum tree corner and a few years later as the crossroad at the gum tree stump. With so many thousand virgin gun trees then, why this distinction? During my youth I heard old men tell of trees, in this area, being skipped because they were too large for their saws which were probably the common 6 ft. crosscut type. I remember a small tract of solid virgin gum trees ranging from 3 to perhaps 4½ feet in diameter. I have records of the Ira Philower – Joseph Smith Store (1858‑61) at New Market. There were many others, some short lived, before town faded.
Crawford had a Post Office from 1853 to 1867 located in the Alex Bruce (1824‑97) log home which accidentally burned a few years ago while occupied by the McDaniel family. It was located on the north side of Crawford Creek. James M. Elder and Nathaniel Holderby operated a store on the ridge, south of the creek and north of New Pleasant C. P. Church, from 1854 to 1860. Rev. John Crawford lived nearby and donated the church and cemetery site now known as Crawford Campground Cemetery. The store and the Bruce home were both on the old Shawneetown ‑ McLeansboro Road.
Another Ridgway Township trade center and Post Office was called Inman and was located on the road dividing Sections 11 and 12 at the crossroad, the east part of which is now closed. Upon opening in 1885, the P.O. may have been called Gwaltney for the Keith Gwaltney family who lived a short distance south of the school. Closed and then re‑opened during the same year, it was named for William Inman (1832‑08) who lived nearby and each day made a trip to Ridgway for Inman's Mail. P.O. was discontinued about 1905. Inman had several doctors, usually one at a time. Dr. E. A. Green was there but finished his long career at Ridgway. George Westphaelinger and son Henry started a blacksmith shop on NW corner of Section 13. Grandsons George & Gus continued it at their later home ¼ mile nearer Inman. There were several earlier stores but not more than 2 at one time, but the one I have heard most of was the Hale Store managed by Mage A. Caldwell. The Gwaltney farm was sold by Benjamin & Nancy in 1893 to George Huebner.
CHANGES BROUOHT ABOUT BY THE INCREASED USE OF AUTOMOBILES:
The main or parent Hale Store at Cottonwood was one of county's leading stores for many years. The Inman store was sold in 1911 to brothers Charles and Ed Barnett. This partnership lasted only a short time for Ed opened a garage and began selling cars in Ridgway in April 1912 and later changed brands and began selling the Model T Ford which proved very popular in this area. William Rosselot must have started near this time for his was the Inman General Store that I best remember. In his later years he enjoyed telling of his working in Panama at building the American Canal. His son Leo finally moved the stock to Junction in the late 1930s and later sold it at auction along with the store he had bought there. We (Miners Service) bid on a few lots among which were showcases which we used and a quantity of overalls which we were finally able to sell at $.75 a pair for mens and $.50 for childrens sizes. Virgil Downen (1873‑42) who had lone worked in the Inman store tried to continue it and later moved it to his home ½ mile north but finally had to close. Jobs and store profits were scarce and most prices low. We paid our farmer friend $.08 for the quart of milk which we sold for $.10 and $.04 to driver for 8 or 10 oz. loaf of bread which sold at $.05. Some ¼ lb. candy bars, Baby Ruth among them, also sold at $.05 during the 1930s.
The closely grouped buildings on the Inman Crossroad including the Hale Store, the office Dr. Alfred Jones, Dr. Greene and Dr. Gregory used, the school, 3 homes, the lodge hall and the shoe cobblers shop are now gone. The rear ½ of the old Rosselot Store remains, the front had to go when the road was improved and widened about 1960.
Better roads and more cars enabled many country store customers to go to towns with stores having more variety of choices among other advantages. One country storeowner, in telling me why he had to quit, said many of his customers were buying at the cash stores in town and some, on their way back, if short of cash would expect him to charge the balance of their needs. In 1925 the Ford Company was advertising their Model T Touring Car, with side curtains, at $290 F.O.B. Detroit, the cheaper sedans were almost double that, a self starter was $85 extra. Good used cars were much less and this put an auto within range of most families. This along with the newly graveled roads changed life on the farms and small towns a great deal. Ridgway, like most in this area, was a Saturday town with much of the weeks business on that day. During warm weather, many families came to or up town in late afternoon, parked their cars on the square if early or fortunate enough to find a space. From here the mothers could watch their own or the many others going around the square, mind their younger children in the car or visit others doing the same. Many young and some couples went to the movie at the Alamo. Many waited until 10 PM to collect for their eggs and cream and purchase their needs for the next week. Most stores were able to close by midnight. There were so many living on area farms during the 1920s and 30s that all parking spaces were taken within 2 or 3 blocks of the square at times. Ridgway voted in a bond issue in 1922 and began graveling the main streets soon after the first township roads were finished. Other bond issues were approved and most main township roads were graveled before the 1920s were out.
During the teens, at my first memory, John Wallace was the manager of the Ridgway Standard 0il plant. Robert Pease usually drove the 3 or 4 horse team which pulled the 480 gallon tank on the delivery wagon. Most of the tank's compartments held kerosene or coal oil which every store sold but many also sold gasoline and oil as did about all the garages. This wagon was a familiar sight on the dirt roads toward New Haven and Eagle Creek. The route was often altered, enabling him to fill the gasoline barrels of the early car owners. He was doing this in 1915 and perhaps a bit earlier. Another route took him to the Kedron Store, in Section 8 of T10, R8, via the Equality Bridge. Earl Kimbro, teamster and straw hauler of this period, recently told me that he had made this haul for Pease, often returning
P0ST OFFICES, COUNTRY STORES AND COMMUNITY CENTERS OF THE PAST:
after dark. Being empty, he could cross at the rocky ford near the present bridge over the Saline River. Only during low water could this crossing, near present day Route one, be used but once safely across the teams would return home with little or no attention from the driver. A former mine owner in the Guineaville area told me that area mines had, for a short time each season, furnished a driver and team enabling their customers south of the river to double up when crossing the Salt Spring Ford. One bank was about all of rock, the other was of dirt. Many straw stacks were bought and baled during this period by local men. Wagons hauling it, being top heavy, had to go by bridge to a railroad siding where it was loaded on cars for the paper manufacturers.
Of the community centers and country stores in the south part of Gallatin County, Guineaville was started late, grew fast and like the mine where most of its wage earners worked, short lived. They must have started a few years before the beginning of World War #1 and were deserted soon after its end. Mrs. Julia Syers, who lived nearby as a child, described it as having 2 rows of frame buildings and 3 of tile and of these there was a store, hotel, church, ice cream parlor and a poolroom. The Lawler depot was also nearby. She and others had interesting stories on the early history of the area in the Equality Sesqui‑Centennial edition of our county newspapers on July 6, 1978. I have a faint memory of going by there and there must have been from 40 to 60 homes there then. Most were sold and removed in the early 1920s. Some were rebuilt as homes, others as additions or detached summer kitchens. My father and uncle, at a low cost, each built a red tile, 24 by 60 foot, chicken house from them.
Active in the management of the mine and store were the brothers, H. P. and James E. Turns. I was recently told, by a longtime resident of the area, that Pate, the eldest (by Guinea) had an unusual habit of using the word guinea a great deal and sometimes he would address his friends as Guinea and vice versa. It is easy to understand this evolving into Guinea's Town and than into Guineaville.
Of the other country stores and community centers, south and west of the Saline River, Kedron had a P.O. beginning about 1883 with the store operated within my memory by a Mr. Barnett. It has been closed for many years. Stores and Post Offices were often started together and supported each other. Leamington P.O. was started in the late 1870s, the store there was operated by Hubert Vinyard for some 40 years prior to the mid 1950s. The building had a lodge hall on the upper floor and stands across the road from the Old Brinkley now called the Leamington cemetery. Gibsonia took its name from the nearby Gibson family, had a P.O. by 1903 and a store operated by the Vaught Family. It was located a short distance south of Eagle Creek on State Route #1. This location may have caused it to last longer than some others. The building and a few homes are still there. Saline Mines P.O. in Section 26 was listed in the Johnson Atlas of the early 1860s. Robinett P.O. was started in 1856 and closed in 1860s and was on the Equality ‑ Ford's Ferry Road and near or in a country store, operated in 1870s by Samuel H. Brinkley near Christian Cemetery in south part of Section 29. Kedron was in the east central part of Section 8 and Leamington Section 22, both in Eagle Creek or T10, R8 while the others were in Bowlesville Township.
There were a few other short-lived Post Offices in Gallatin County and many other country stores. Free delivery in early 1900s by the rural mail carriers, working out of a P.O. with railway mail car service, ended the need for the rural Post Office, often located in a room of a home but more often in a niche of a country store. This was the first blow to the once close-knit rural communities. Others, as mentioned earlier, were the coming of the autos, better roads and labor saving farm machines which resulted in larger farms and elimination of rural schools by consolidation.
SCHOOLS AND SCHOLARS DURING THE EARLY DAYS OF GALLATIN COUNTY.
A few years back I obtained a copy of trustee record of 2 terms of school in 1845 and 1 in 1861 and another in 1870, all in T7 and R9 or 10. They gave names and attendance records of those enrolled, One of the 1845 terms must have been in a school a bit south of Cottonwood if centered among the families represented. The teacher R. C. Riley certified that all students resided within the township. The trustees were William Tay?l?, John Boyd and Paris Gholson. Most of the penmanship was tops. The school term was for 60 days and must have ended Sept. 26, 1845. The students ages were from 5 to 20 years and attendance ranged 16 to 58 days of the 60. Names were.
Asa Gholson, John Wasson Melissa G. Butts Rachel Barker
William " Peton Newman Margaret " Samuel Swan
Mary " Josiah " Henery " Michael Cisk
Sara " Sara A. Webb Lavina Hall Charles Wasson
Francis Mobley Nancy J. Hedges Daniel B. " Rebecca Webb
Alexander " Rebecca " James R. " John Taylor
George L. Boyd Sara Roland Eliash D. " Rachel Barker
The other 1845 term was listed as in Upper New Haven Twp., perhaps 3 mi. east of above. The trustees were Charles Vinson, Timothy O. Walton and Zimri Perkins, the teacher Levi Arnold, the term 1 year beginning Nov. 11, 1844, ending Aug. 12, 1845. Attendance from 2 to 130 days of 132 taught. Many of older boys evidently absent when needed at home. Names of students follow.
James Perkins James A. Powell Mary S. Vinson Calvin Edwards
Virginia Perkins Drucilla Brake Jane ? Dobbs Ephraim Edwards
Mary Walton Charles Walton Sarah Dobbs Andrew Edwards
Amelia Walton John Walton Sally Gallaher Malinda Bellah
Mary F. Withro Jasper Bennett Eliza F. Gallaher Moses Bellah
Margaret Withro Henry Ellison Martha Baker ? Rubin Bellah
Charles A. Vinson John Perkins Lovina Vinson George M. Luther
Alfred Loftin Michiel Bell Stephen Loftin Elizabeth Luther
William Luther David Dobbs William Treat James A. Powell
Daniel Vinson Samuel Dobbs Frederick Seay Jefferson Powell
Robert Vinson Nellia Withro Peter Slater Ira Fulk
Allen Vinson Malinda Perkins Charley ? Dodde? Margaret Bellah
Elizabeth Treat Huldah Walton Allen Edwards
The 1861 term was taught at Oak Grove, Dist. #4, by Benjamin F. Boyd, there were 56 enrolled, July to Sept. 45 days taught, 3 to 44 days attendance. Ages of students 5 years to 19 years. Scholars names follow.
Harper, Martha M. Boyd, Rufus Johnson, Elizabeth Zenerman, ?ereal
Harper, Ednes ? E. Boyd, Edwin S. Johnson, Carrie Blazier, Moses
Glasscock, Mary Boyd, William Swan, Samuel Blazier, Eliza J.
Glasscock, Patsy A. Boyd, Archibald Joyner, William Sanders, Selah
Glasscock, Lucy Boyd, Agnes P. Joyner, Sarah Webb, Margaret
Glasscock, Susan Blazier, James Zenerman, Philip Glasscock, Nancy J.
Glasscock, Tempa Blazier, Margaret Vincent, Ellen McGhee, Milledge
Glasscock, Eli Beasley, James Lofton, Sarah J. Holt?, Soloman
Sanders, Judith Hedges, Louis Lofton, Margret Sanders, James W.
Sanders, Matilda Holt, Willam H. Hedges, Lora E. Boyd, Jhon?
Sanders, Sarah Webb, Paris McGhee, Robert Raglin, Perry
Sanders, Maria Webb, Luticia Johnson, Ellie Blazer, William
Sanders, Francis McGhee, Jemima Sanders, Andrew Holland, Richard
Sanders, William McGhee, Richard Glasscock, Elizabeth Holt, Julia
The 1871 term, also in Asbury, Auster Bryant teacher, trustees were G. B Baker and Zimri Perkins again, this time in different Twp. 39 scholars 26 males and 13 females, James M. Luther also a trustee.
FOUR EARLY SCHOOLS IN PRESENT DAY NORTH FORK TOWNSHIP.
An election of school trustees in T8 R8 was held on Dec. 9, 1837 and school districts were set up soon afterward. Four districts were laid out and Rev. John Crawford was chosen president and Rev. Benny Bruce as Secy./Treas. They purchased a record book which they used for 30 years and which is now owned by a Mr. Blackard of Omaha. Dist. #1 or the SE school was near Crawford, probably west of Rt. #1 on the acre occupied now by Bob & Jerry's Electronic Shop at west end of Ridgway spur. At least it was there in early 1870s when Elbert Lamb attended there and wrote about enjoying carrying water for the school from the spring. There was a rock ford on Crawford Creek about 100 feet west of Rt. #1 and springs nearby. In 1840 the board purchased a bucket for this school taught by Isaac N. Hannah. Another expense was $6 to William R. & Robert S. Crawford for work on school house. Trustees received $1 per meeting and teachers a certain unmentioned fee for each scholar. Following are names of those in Dist. #1 with those in home, under age of 20 shown along with school director. The following were beginning of 1841 term, head of household and number of those under 20 within household.
Benjamin Bruce 7 Samuel Simmons 6 William Kirk 2 James Glass 6
John Crawford 3 Eleanor Elder 4 Jacob L. Luke 3 James M. Elder 2
Isaac N. Hannah 8 Robert Crawford 3 Aulston Dillard 9 Mary Patillo 4
James Dickey dr. 7 Joseph Crawford 2 William Pratt 3 Mandy Winnick 1
William Davis 4 Marcus Randolph dr.3 Samuel Proctor 1
William Mathis dir. 5 Thomas J. Johnson 4 Samuel L. Reynolds 2
Dist. 2 the NE part of township The first 3 named are directors.
Pleasant H. Walker 6 James H. Lewis 3 Isaac Freeman 8
Western M. Fowler 4 Samuel " 2 William Crawford 7
David B. Johnson 3 Bartlett R. Garrett 3 William Dickey 1
above are directors Jeremiah Brotten Mary Alexander 2
Sarah Deweese 3 or Broughton 6
Dist. #3 or N. West ¼ mostly west of North Fork and N. of White Oak Creeks
Turner Cook dir. 2 Ann Karnes 1 George McClain 2
Joel Cook 1 William Tate 5 Riley Bain 1
Asa Pistole 2 Samuel Elder 6 Jesse Bane 2
John Wood dir. 2 William Hargett dir.8 Benjamin Hudgens 8
James Hinson 1 Moses Fowler 1 John Fowler 1
Walter Karnes 1 William Fowler 4
Dist. #4 was South of White Oak and west of N. Fork Creeks. William McCormick 1840‑1936 attended this school, then located S. of road and E. of branch a short distance on first ridge. This on N. line of Section 28. From dau. Teresa.
Directors were A. G. Cloud, William Cane & Nicholas Purcell. Household heads below.
Peter Spears 1 Joseph Spears 3 Nicholas Parcell 6
Peter Gaston 2 Doctor Blalock 2 James Ransbottom 3 William Cane 5
William C. Cloud 6 John Manheart 1 Edward Byrnes 1 Moses W. Willis 1
Emaline Ladd 5 Nancy Bozarth 5 James Hales 3 completes 1841‑42
During my own grade school days we had a tin cup hanging on the pump or a drinking water bucket inside with a dipper. A few had their own folding accordion type aluminum cups. Like today there were many colds in bad weather.
Of the many samples of hand writing of the minutes by different secretaries in the old record book, those by Rev. Bruce were tops. Many years later he worked for the county office holders in various capacities. He and Rev. Crawford were active for 40 to 50 years in Cumberland Presbyterian church work in this area. They helped organize the church at Crawford in 1830 and Rev. Bruce's daughter Rachael b. 1819 d 1830 has oldest mkr in cemetery.
A FEW FIRSTS AND FACTS OF RIDGWAY AREA, PART OF WHICH WAS WRITTEN IN 1963 FOR THE VILLAGE PLANNING COMMITTEE.
This was the third move for this church. It had started in Gold Hill Twp. somewhere north or NE of New Shawneetown (see Goodspeeds 1887 History). Joseph M. Street, early county clerk and JP at Shawneetown, entered Section 24 in 1814 and resided on it near Westwood or Streets Graveyard as it was once known. James Dillard Sr. entered the SW ¼ of Section 14 about 2 miles NW of Streets also in 1814. Both resided on the Old Shawneetown to McLeansboro Road and both were said to have been active in the formation of this church. Dillard in 1819 moved to what is now Ridgway Township and entered the E ½ of the SW ¼ of Section 29 and built his home near the New Haven - Salt Spring cross county road. There were at least 2 or 3 other families living close by who were probably relatives. The church came about the same time or soon after to what was called Dillardstown. It and the old cemetery were located on the ridge near the west line of Dillard's land and about ¼ mile NW of what later became New Market.
When I went to school at New Market from 1912 to 20 there were 6 or 8 mkrs. besides several unmarked field or sandstones. After the grove was dozed out several years ago I located 4 stones, one was Nancy K. Wood (1858‑1862) dau. of ? & A. M. Wood, two were too weathered to read and the fourth was broken but Eliz ? dau of ? ? died in 1828 age 20 yrs. leaving husband and small children, could be deciphered. An Elizabeth Dillard in 1824 married John A. Baker.
As mentioned earlier this church was moved in 1830 to the Crawford Camp Ground and organized with the following trustees: James Dillard Sr. (md Rachel Boutwell dau of Stephen A. Rev. War vet), John N. Sherwood (md Sarah ? Kanady) Isaiah Pettigrew, John Murphy Sr., John Alexander, James Fleming (md Rachel Shelby on 3‑28‑1811 Randolph Co. Ill., she was mo. of William Davis of Crawford a JP) and Isaac N. Hannah. These complete the list of ruling elders of New Pleasant CP Church which made its last move to Ridgway in 1880. It is said to have been the first Cumberland Church in county but date is lost. The building completed in 1882 is still used as Ridgway Presbyterian Ch. and in good shape beautiful, especially inside. Gallatin was a part of Randolph until 1812.
The first Methodist Church was started about ½ mile north of Dillardstown in 1841 by Rev. Josiah E. Jackson, on a branch of the New Haven road going to Crawford via North St. in present day Ridgway. I have heard the building was of logs and served also as a school, probably prior to the church and until the Hopewell or Jackson Cemetery Church and school was started.
Ridgway's first school was built in 1880 on Lots 5 & 6 of Block 4 and was called the White School to distinguish it from the brick school built about 15 years later on Lots 8, 9 & 10 of Block 1 Valter Addition. The latter was struck by lightning and burned in June 1915 and the first building of our present school was started soon afterward. Elbert Lamb wrote that in the mid 1870s the west part of Ridgway went to Willis and the east to Jackson.
I have heard that the first Jackson school was supported by some type of subscription fee and it was succeeded by the Dillard public school in 1852. It was on an acre donated by James Jr. and wife Elizabeth Dillard and located in the NW corner of NE ¼ of SW ¼ of Section 29 and across the highway from the home of James W. and Erma Karber. The bounds of this acre were marked until 1950s by a large walnut and oak tree besides smaller trees. The frame building stood until about 1912 or 15 and used for farm storage most of its life. The building was shared with a church congregation for a while which continued there for a time after the school moved 5/8 mile southeast to Lots 1 & 2 of block 12 in New Market where its successor was built in 1866. After this the Jackson public school was started. For more on New Market see Vol. one.
Ridgway's first industry was a sawmill operating at the south end of Division now Murphy St. in 1866. The operators, two young men named James A. and John W. (Jack) Hammersley. The first store was Hammersley's General Store, opened in 1867, two blocks north of the sawmill on what became Main Street.
A FEW FIRSTS AND FEATURES OF RIDGWAY AREA, CONTINUED.
The wife of John W. was Sarah Catherine (1850‑85), dau. of Joseph and Eliza Smith, partners in a New Market store 1858 to early 1860s. The wife of James A. was Albina A. Harrington (1844‑76), dau. of Miro, formerly a riverboat trader and later an area farmer. With business backgrounds both wives may have operated the store but Albina made the deed in 1871 selling the store to William Dickey who operated it until 1886. Perhaps a sawmill was more profitable in Ridgway.
Ridgway's first newspaper, The Central Star, was started in 1886 by W. W. Davidson. The first issue of present Ridgway News came in 1894 as Ridgway Headlight. In a column on progress the editor wrote in 1913, that 20 years ago you seldom saw a buggy with a top (among the wagons) in a funeral procession and now in 1913 you seldom see a wagon in the processions.
Sept. 24, 1908: The first brick produced at new kiln west of Ridgway. 1902, first auto seen on Ridgway Streets. It was driven by H'y Schnur of Mt. V Dec. 1915 Ridgway calaboose and town hall completed. (Both used until few years ago.) Saline Electric Co. put up $500 deposit guaranteeing electric service for Ridgway by July 1, 1916. Power to be supplied by Big Muddy Electric Plant. Many places started wiring for service. Speck Bldg. rented by Electric Wiring Co.
June 14, 1924, first Ridgway Service Station opened by Sinclair Oil Co. on corner of Main and Crawford St. (Present Union 76 Station corner operated by Rider.)
1928, The second service station opened 1 block east by Standard 0il Co. Sept. 20, 1930 The DX Station, which we rented, opened. Gasoline price at the time $.19, dealer margin $.045 of which we paid $.025 plus $15 per month rent. We filled our tanks 2 weeks before our opening date, meanwhile the price fell from $.19 to $.15 which was below our cost, and Miners' Station almost went broke. We were there on NE corner of Block 2 for 4 years and 1 block north for the next 31. We patched tires for years at $.25 each and sold many other things besides Diamond DX petroleum products. If there was a demand, we tried to fill it whether hybrid seed corn or double palm husking gloves.
During the teens, 1920s and 1930s, but less so as train passengers decreased, many met the passenger trains especially those southbound. Some for incoming or departing friends or relatives and others such as the newspaper delivery boy or man seeking his bundle or the hotel or livery stable keeper seeking a customer. I admit to a thrill when standing near those old steam engines as they pulled in however many were curious and followed the crowd to see who arrived or departed. For many years Sherman Lamb worked for the PO by picking up and delivering bags of mail to the train. A distant train whistle or seeing him and his pushcart was a signal to many of those idle or nearby to start for the depot. I have occasionally seen men running if the whistle indicated that they had to hurry. Some said it was something to do.
Ridgway's waterworks were completed in 1939 I well remember. We built our present home with all fixtures, inlets and outlets complete in 1938, with the assurance that the waterworks would soon be completed. We pumped our water from a pitcher mouth pump in our basement, heated it in the kitchen and felt very fortunate to have an outlet for our waste water and a real bathtub for baths instead of a washtub. Ridgway's sewer system was completed about 10 years later.
New Market was platted into 120 lots in 1854, around the present crossroads between Sections 29 and 32, by James Dillard Jr. and Washington Sherwood. By 1860 it had over 100 people and continued to grow until 1867 when it lost its try for the coming rail line to the above mentioned Hammersley Store and sawmill area, which became Ridgway. The town was named for Thomas S. Ridgway who was named president of the line in 1867 and finished the road in a little over 3 years. The railroad was built to Beardstown, a distance of 228 miles from Shawneetown. Thomas C. (1819‑84) and wife Nancy Kimbro (1816‑96) lived in west Ridgway on site of present Mitchell home and also owned 40 acres on which store and sawmill stood, in 1871 they had this 40 surveyed and platted into 17 blocks. This is listed on village plat book as the original survey.
NEW MARKETS DECLINE AS RIDGWAY CAME INTO BEING.
One of the many interesting things told by Elbert Lamb in his story (People I Have Smiled With) was that New Market was usually quiet except on Saturday, when most women stayed away and many men came to the place to drink and see or enter into the excitement which was the bare and usually fair, fist fights which were also sometimes friendly. Sometimes they were between two and sometimes groups would find excuses to take sides and join in. Stores often sold liquor those days and it being cheap they sometimes gave their customers liberal helpings. Elbert's father, Scipio, had to get something there about 1870 and paid no attention to the fighting but 4 year old Elbert was deeply impressed. I have 3 account books of the Ira Philhour ‑ Joseph Smith store at New Market and they drew customers from a large area in 1858 to 1860.
Ridgway's second store was a saloon & store combination operated by Charles Evans. Eb wrote that these fights were soon taking place on Short St. (now Crawford) south of Main St., older now he described them and named some of the participants. As Ridgway grew up among the stumps and New Market faded, it is no wonder that they sometimes jealously referred to it as Stumptown.
In 1885 there were 316 residents in Ridgway and within its borders there were 3 doctors, a shoemaker, 2 blacksmith shops and a hotel. There were 2 churches, The Presbyterian and the Roman Catholic (with a parochial school), the public school had 2 teachers and 135 students. (Goodspeeds History)
The Gallatin Gazeteer in the Sept. 29, 1871 issue gave a report on Ridgway which I quote, “Ridgway is one of the most desirable towns on the S & I.S.E. Railroad. The county is undulating, the soil rich and the climate uniform, and is one of the best wheat growing regions in Southern Illinois. The town is well watered, having one spring sufficient to move any machinery, it is a desirable site for a mill not surpassed anywhere.” I have been told that John F. Gott in 1874 bought the New Market Mill from Abraham Zuck and in 1875 moved and rebuilt it in Ridgway. He used this spring water to generate steam. His catch basin is long gone, other springs and seeps in north Ridgway have been tiled and drained within last three years. The mill stood until 1898. I am indebted to W. F. Bruce of Dallas Tex. for a picture of this mill, owned by his father Robert A. from 1893 to 97. He sold to T. A. McDaniel and the Trusty Bros. W. C. and J. T. of Eldorado. They tore down and rebuilt all except the engine house. The new mill or the one that I remember was sold in 1900 to Fred Schnur and had several owners before being razed about 1930.
The oldest Ridgway newspaper I have seen is the March 20, 1889 issue of the Ridgway Weekly Times, editor W. B. Farber. The copy I have list the following advertisers: J. O. Brooks & Co., Dry goods Etc. - J. W. E. Hall, painter, decorator & paper hanger - T. J. Vize groceries, tinware & glassware ‑ Bowles & Barter groceries, hardware & harness and farm implements brands named – William Moore agent for the old reliable reaper ‑ Finis E. Bozarth MD, moving from Elba to Ridgway ‑ Sam A. Teer boarding house & restaurant, meals all hours $.20 ‑ W. S. Phillips Atty. at law ‑ ? M. Benham the Jeweler ‑ Misenhimers tonsorial parlor ‑ Warren W. Swager boots & shoes, shop opposite Edgar Mills ‑ Dr. G. W. Combs ‑ Scheller & Lintzenich carpenters & builders ‑ Rothmund & Lamb blacksmiths - Martin Esser harness, whips, blankets & robes ‑ Lamb & Kimbro a 6 ft. walnut table $4 – James Ransbottom shipping a carload of wagon hubs ‑ Lamb & Kimbro advertised coffins & caskets as well as furniture ‑ Rogers Bros. barber shop. Elbert Lamb wrote that his father Scipio A. (1811‑88) after setting up shop in Ridgway turned the blacksmith part over to Nathan Lamb who had a shop on W. Main and near railroad, back of old Harrelson store, in later years.
Some of the early activities in furthering religion and education in this area by Revs. John Crawford (1804‑76) and Josiah E. Jackson (1808‑82) were related in Vol. 1 of Gallatin County and its cemeteries. Rev. J. A. Renswan came later but also did much in these fields. He was born in 1845 and came to Ridgway in 1879, where he served as pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church for many years and earned the respect of many of all faiths.
A HISTORY OF RIDGWAY PREPARED FOR VILLAGE PLANNING COMMITTEE IN 1963. Cont.
Another who was important in the farm and business picture was Virgin W. Smith born 1842 the stepson of Joseph and son of Eliza who had the store at New Market. V. W. or Uncle Peck as he was called, was a good businessman and an asset to the community. He owned a large black land farm, about 3 miles east of Ridgway, which was called Pecktown. I have one of his old account books, much like a diary, in which he listed items of income and from whom and what for. He also listed all expenses from personal items of a few cents to larger amounts spent on the farms. They included names of farmhands, the dates they worked and at what as well as days not worked and why along with rate per day. He furnished work for 1 or 2 full time men besides others at odd times who were not busy at home. These jobs included hewing ties for the railroad, clearing land and harvesting. The period was from mid 1860s to 1910. He also hired a crew and did riverboat freight hauling for a time. These jobs helped many families when money was scarce. He died in 1931, the last area war vet.
Isaac Smith (1825‑02), relation unknown but from same area in or near Clermont County Ohio, came to this county about 1856 and operated the old log hotel for a while at New Market, then sold or traded it for a farm. In 1870 he started a tile and brickyard at his farm north of Ridgway. For many years bricks from his kilns went into many of our buildings and his tile drained much of our good land which produces such bountiful crops. He also served as county commissioner for many years. He and his wife Rachel Foster Smith reared a very large family and left each a good-sized farm.
As to those who have made an impact upon Ridgway's more recent history, I must mention Professor James F. Karber. He started his teaching career near his native Karber's Ridge, then 2 years at the Equality High School and came to Ridgway to head the public schools in 1919. When he and his wife Myrtle, also a fine teacher arrived, the school was housed in the recently constructed two stories and basement building which was about 80 ft. square and stood on the top of the hill. At that time the grade school occupied the first floor and the high school, a 2-year school without state accreditation, used most of the remaining space. After receiving the backing of some of the forward looking citizens of the community and overcoming many obstacles, he was soon heading a 12 grade school system, fully accredited by the state and second to none in the area.
His talks and lectures to the students and teachers, assembled in the study hall, were an inspiration to do better and solved most discipline problems. The others were solved as they came up or by a closed session in his office. As a student I was impressed by his interest in each of us and by his knowledge of happenings on the hill. An old barber friend, Charles Bruce, often told me; I learn because I am a close observer, J. F. Karber also filled that bill. Later as a board member I realized that with this and the full cooperation of the teachers, trouble was headed off before it started in most cases. His advice was sought not only by his students but by administrators from all over Illinois, many of whom attended his classes at the Univ. of Ill. where he taught school law during the summer term. His labor for good was not confined to the school, he was active in the church and taught the men’s class, at the Methodist Church, for many years. He died at the age of 59 on April 17, 1951, a few days after having suffered a heart attack. He gave much to our community during his 32 years here and asked little except the best from us. He always seemed to enjoy his flower and vegetable garden as well as teaching a few courses. He taught our geometry class during my sophomore year which was also my final year in high school.
One who made his mark upon this community, though in a different way, was the late John A. Schmitt (1871‑1948). He was originally called Belleville John and later Popcorn John to distinguish him from John B. Schmitt farmer and carpenter and also of this area. He started growing a small amount of popcorn to add to the variety of produce which he grew and sold from his truck as a sideline in this and neighboring towns each fall. In 1934 he expanded
A HISTORY OF RIDGWAY, PREPARED FOR VILLAGE PLANNING COMM. IN 1963. Continued.
his popcorn operation and started growing the crop for Prunty Seed Co. of St. Louis. With the profits from the first crop he paid off a good-sized loan.
A profitable farm crop made news those days so it received a great deal of publicity including a write up and pictures in Prairie Farmer, a widely circulated farm paper. Other farmers became interested, many tried a few acres at first with caution and were soon growing large crops. Schmitt bought and shipped their crop too.
At this time popcorn was scooped into large bags which were sewed by hand before shipping. Soon he and his sons Leo (since deceased) and Raphael, who operated the business since their father’s death, had their own storage bins and buying station in the south part of Ridgway equipped to handle the ever-increasing crop in bulk. As our land seemed to be adapted to growing superior popcorn which brought a good price, more farmers began growing the crop and more buyers came until a few years ago Ridgway became known as the Popcorn Capitol of the World.
Each fall now (since 1958) the second Saturday in September is designated as Popcorn Day. The crowning of the Queen along with the Popcorn Ball is held the evening before when Ridgway takes on a holiday atmosphere which increases the next day as thousands gather to meet old friends and enjoy the fresh popped popcorn which is free to all comers. Rides, a kiddie parade, then a giant parade which includes many area school bands, horse shows, music and street dances are among other things that entertain until near midnight.
Though lesser demand and lower prices have caused a decline in the number of growers and buyers, Schmitt and Blevins Popcorn Co. are still here and the popcorn business is still a sizable operation. The latter which came here in the 1940s is still expanding and our largest employer with about 40 regular employees and many more during the harvest and peak season.
In 1939 Ridgway's water system was installed. A well was drilled to a depth of 75 feet where a bountiful supply of good water was located, ample not only for our own needs but sufficient to share with others, who haul from here each day during dry seasons. The sewer system serves much of the town.
In addition to the churches mentioned earlier and which are still active, the New Market M.E. Church in 1890 decided to follow most of its members to Ridgway, where a new church was completed in 1893. (This church was destroyed by a storm about 1905 and present one completed in 1906) The Baptist church was also built in early 1890s in Block 2 of Peeples Addition though facing west or next street. They built a new church in a new location in 1941. Both churches have annexes for social or educational purposes and resident pastor. After starting with a brush arbor meeting place, the Church of God have had their own church for many years.
We still have a freight train on week days but the passenger trains which once could create so much excitement are now gone. We lost one bank in 1932 but the other is going strong. We have 2 large grain buying elevators, 3 implement and tractor dealers, a Chevrolet dealer, a hardware store, a TV and appliance store, 2 food stores and various other stores and repair shops. Jones Farm Store started business about 1946, in an old landmark that had out lived its usefulness, The John Vickery & Sons Blacksmith Shop. Grinding feed at first, then selling seed and feed, they grew. After several acquisitions and enlargements, it now consists of a large seed cleaning business and a farm and ranch supply store that draw customers from all over the Tri‑State area. O. F. Bond and Sons, starting near the same period with a sawmill, now have a wood products business along with their mill. They started a bit earlier than Jones (Warren, Paul and Pop) and both rank behind Blevins but furnish many jobs. So as some say, good roads may take some business out of our area but they also bring some business into it. Ridgway, if not the same town, is serving the primary purpose of the town planned for North Gold Hill Twp. in 1847 by Washington Sherwood, then started at the New Market Crossroads in 1854, then bypassed by the new railroad line.