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Was it really a valley of roses when white man first took possession of this picturesque and pleasurable land? Who were the pioneers that cleared the fields and made the roads and built the homes, churches and schools? Fortunate are we that some remembered and recorded and passed on to us so much of the early history which we ponder now. For a great deal of this early history, we are indebted to the History of Greene and Jersey Counties published in 1885 by the Continental Historical Company, Springfield, Illinois, in the preface of which they state:
“The importance of preserving in concise form the traditions of the past has never been questioned, nor the usefulness of local history been disputed. Believing that the counties of Jersey and Greene afforded most excellent material for a good county history, the Continental Historical Company placed in the field a full corps of experienced historians, prepared to spare no time or money in compiling a complete and reliable work. The manuscript of this history has been submitted to the committee chosen by your citizens for the purpose, who, after a critical examination of them have approved our work. We feel confident that we here present our patrons with a work that is as correct as is possible for humanity to make.”
On the General Committee of Jersey County, Mr. Thomas Wedding served as committee member for Rosedale Township.
This township embraces all of congressional township 7 north, range 13 west, except the west row of sections. Of the latter row, parts of sections 6, 7, and 18 are also embraced in the territory of Rosedale Township. It is bounded on the north by Richwoods, on the east by Otter Creek, on the south by Quarry, and on the west by the Illinois River. The township is well watered, having the Illinois River on the west, besides Otter Creek, Coon Creek, Fowler’s Lake, Long Lake, Deep Lake, Coon Lake, and Horse Shoe Lake. Otter Creek comes in from the east on the line between sections 1 and 12, and with many turns, flows in a generally westward direction, until its waters unite with those of an arm of the Illinois, on section 6. Coon Creek comes in from Quarry Township at the south line of section 35, and runs northwest, emptying into the Illinois on section 20. Coon Lake is situated on sections 7, 8, 17, and 18. It is the largest lake in the township. Fowler’s Lake is long and narrow, and lies in sections 20 and 29. It is connected with Long Lake, at the north end of the latter, which extends through the remainder of section 29, through all of 32, and projects slightly into Quarry Township, and from there is connected with the Illinois River by a narrow channel. Deep Lake lies right alongside the river, on sections 29 and 32, its foot being in Quarry. Horse Shoe Lake is almost entirely on sections 3 and 4. It is not, strictly speaking, a lake, being merely a projecting arm of Otter Creek, which lies in the shape of a coil, whence its name - - Horse Shoe - - is derived.
In the western portion of the township, at an average distance of about a mile and a quarter from the river, are the bluffs of the Illinois, which present quite a picturesque appearance.
Rosedale Township has considerable rough land, and certainly has no dearth of water-courses. There is also a large amount of timber, more or less heavily wooded. Notwithstanding these things, by far the largest portion of its soil has been compelled to succumb to the power of thrift and energetic labor, judiciously applied on its surface, so that there are a large number of as fine farms as can be found any place in the county. The inhabitants do not lack energy, and good use has generally been made of all the advantages afforded by nature. Jones’ Ferry affords facilities to the inhabitants for crossing the Illinois River. The Jersey county side is on the west line of section 20. Taken all in all, while the surface of the country is rather broken in this township, there are many compensating advantages, which all aid in producing the general prosperity of its people.
In 1868, a company commenced boring for oil on section 4, Rosedale Township. After the work had proceeded to the depth of 825 feet, the rope broke, causing them to lose all their tools, making it necessary to abandon the work. A good mineral spring was developed by the boring.
William Larue was most probably the pioneer settler in this township locating here as early as 1818. He made a clearing and erected a cabin on section 8, where he lived for many years. In 1837 or ’38, he sold out and removed to Greene County, where he subsequently died.
In 1819, Walter Cresswell located in this township, and the following year received the appointment of justice of the peace, the first in the county.
Among the earliest settlers of Rosedale Township was John Gillworth, who in 1820, built a cabin on the banks of Otter Creek, where it passes through the bluffs of the Illinois River. In 1830 he removed to what is now Ruyle Township, and subsequently to the county of Greene. During the days of the war he purchased property in Jerseyville, and returning to this county, resided in the county seat until 1871, when he died.
Elisha Fowler was one of the first settlers in Rosedale Township. He located on section 21, and was one of the first to make a clearing in the township. He settled here in 1820 or 1821.
Thomas, Samuel and William Cresswell made settlements here during the year 1820. Thomas settled upon the southeast quarter of section 9, which land he entered at the land office in May, 1829. Samuel settled on section 4.
John Gilbert and A. P. Scott, in 1824 or 1825, settled in the timber in Rosedale Township, where they lived for many years.
Silas Crain came to what is now Rosedale Township in about 1825. He was a Methodist minister, and held meetings around at different houses. He settled on section 4, where he lived for some 12 or 14 years, when he removed to Richwoods Township, where he subsequently died.
The year 1828 witnessed the advent into this county of John Stafford. On coming here he located in Rosedale Township.
Lewis and Amos Lynn and Enoch Spaulding made settlements in this township during the year 1828. The Lynns were first-class chairmakers, and often with the rudest machinery would turn out such substantial evidences of their handiwork, that it is said of them that they never made a chair that would wear out.
Early in the year 1829, several parties by the name of Ennis, made a settlement upon section 16, near a spring of water. The father and mother both died in 1833. They were Tennesseans.
William Starr, ________Perry, R. C. Bangle and Coe Edsall, were among the settlers of 1829, locating in this township.
John Dabbs made a settlement in 1831, on section 24, which he purchased of the government the year following. He was a resident here for years.
James Naron, probably one of the strongest men in this region of country, settled on section 17, in 1832. He afterward removed to Calhoun County, where he died.
Thomas Wedding located in Rosedale Township in 1835.
The first school in Rosedale Township was in 1833, in a little log cabin which stood on the northeast corner of section 21. It was taught by Moses E. Morrill, who had been a sea captain and was a very well informed man. Among the first scholars were Lloyd, John H. and Elizabeth A. Belt; two or three children of Levi Larrison, Wm. Ennis’ children, and children of Amos and Lewis Lynn. Morrill taught school six months there.
The second school was taught by Coe Edsall, in a shanty made of posts dug in the ground and boarded up, on section 32. This was during the summer of 1835.
The first school house in District No. 1 was built in 1856, by Richard Whiten, contractor. The last teacher in that building was Florence Houghtlin. A new school edifice was erected in this district in 1884, by N. F. Smith, Jr. John Gavin taught the first term of school in this house, being the winter term, 1884-5.
District No. 4 was a neat and substantial frame school house, built in 1883, by William Willis, contractor. Emma Leggate taught the first term in this house, in 1884. The building before used had burned down. It was constructed of logs, and was located in what is known as Good Hollow.
The first school house in No. 5, or Pleasant Cove District, was built in 1866. The people of the neighborhood turned out and raised the logs themselves, so that the expense was light. The name of the first teacher was Miller. Lowery Pattison, taught the last term in that building. In 1883, the present structure was erected, by John Powell, contractor. It is 24x28 feet in size, and cost $1,200. It is the best school house in the township.
About the year 1840, Thomas Barnett started a grist mill on the north side of Otter Creek, on section 1. It stood a little over a mile down the creek from McDaniels’ mill, on land which now belongs to Henry Schaff. It was a stone mill when built, but had not been long constructed ere it was washed away by a rise in the creek. He then put up a frame mill. The mill had two run of buhrs, and did considerable grinding being a very good mill for that day. The mill has gone to decay, and no trace of it now remains. The millstones were afterwards used at Demphey’s distillery at Grafton.
The saw mill that is now known as Preble’s mill, was constructed by W. H. H. West. He afterwards sold it to Squires and Payran, who ran the mill a while then sold to James F. Seago and two others. The mill was burned down while in these hands, but was rebuilt. The property was afterward sold to Preble & Grandstaff, the firm consisting of James F. Seago and H. D. Preble. They continued the business about four years, when Preble purchased Grandstaff’s interests, and has since conducted the business himself. The mill has a capacity for sawing 6,000 feet of white oak lumber daily, with one saw. Three hands are employed in the work. A new boiler has been lately added, and the mill is capable of doing good work.
H. D. Preble was born in Preble County, Ohio, August 29, 1846. When about 11 years of age, he moved with his parents to Boone County, Mo. In the spring of 1862, he removed to Madison County, Ill., and seven years later, to Macoupin County, where he resided until 1878. He then removed to Greene County, and in 1879 came to Jersey County, and purchased a saw mill, which he has operated since that time. He is a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity.
A saw-mill was constructed on the banks of Otter Creek, on section 11, on land now belonging to Henry Belt. James Bryce was the proprietor, and his mill was erected in 1833. The mill is now gone, as well as all trace of its having been there. Bryce sold out, and went to Missouri, where he erected another mill.
Pleasant Cove grist mill was built in 1883, by T. K. Phipps. This mill is equipped with one corn buhr, and has a capacity for grinding 150 bushels of meal per day. It is run by a steam engine, which is used during the season, for running a threshing machine. Mr. Phipps threshes from 32,000 to 40,000 bushels of grain per year.
In the Union cemetery, the first burials occurred about the year 1835, being those of an aged couple named Ennis. James H. Wedding was buried there in Aug., 1837, and Nancy Wedding, in Aug., 1841.
Lillie Belle Ratliff, a little girl, was the first person buried in Meadow Branch cemetery. That was in 1871.
This village of the past was laid out in 1836, by Joseph Hawkins, who came from Tennessee, on the southwest quarter of section 4.
Silas Crain opened the first store, in the same year that the town was laid out. His stock consisted of an assortment of what is generally kept in a general merchandise store.
Aaron Ricketts started a grocery store immediately after the opening of Crain’s.
In 1837, the stock of both these stores were closed out, and their business discontinued.
Jacob Smith afterwards opened a general store, in which he did business for two or three years, when he, too, closed out.
Since Smith’s failure to make a store pay here, there has been no further attempt made to establish any business at Teneriffe, and at present there is not even a landmark to designate the spot where the town was laid out, and where these early mercantile attempts were made. The buildings have rotted away, and the town site is now used for farming purposes.
Rosedale Post Office
This is the only post office within the limits of Rosedale Township.
No town has ever been laid out here, but some trading is done at this point, while many of the inhabitants of this township receive their mail here. The cluster of buildings which mark the location, is situated on section 16.
The post office was established about 1870, James Donald Sinclair being the first post master. W. C. Gleason at present holds that position.
There is a general store at this point which was established by James Donald Sinclair, at the time of the location of the post office here. He ran the business about two years, and then sold to J. G. Reed. The latter remained but a short time, selling the business to W. C. Gleason, the present proprietor.
About the year 1875, Jesse Shoop started a small general store, which he operated a little over a year, when the stock was purchased by W. C. Gleason, who consolidated it with his own. Mr. Gleason carried a varied assortment of such goods as are usually handled in general merchandise.
William Cleveland Gleason was born in Gallia County, Ohio, May 17, 1825. His early life was spent with his parents in his native county, where he received a good education. When 17 years old he went to Lawrence County, Ohio, and there engaged in teaching school. He resided in that state until he was 25 years of age, then went to Virginia, where he followed teaching. He afterwards returned to Ohio, and taught two years, after which he came to Galena, Ill., where he engaged in the same occupation. From there he again returned to Ohio and taught school and ran a store and post office at Hamden, Vinton County. He went next to Iowa, and engaged in merchandising, and also kept post office one year, thence he went to Illinois, where he taught school, thence to Ohio again. He was married in that state in 1860, to Cassandra Thornton. His next move was to Clay County, Ill., where he followed farming, and from there he removed to Rosedale Township, Jersey County, which is now his home. Since that time he has spent two years in Kansas. On his return from that state he engaged in general merchandising at Rosedale, which he still continues, also keeps the post office. Jan 29, 1880, Mrs. Gleason died at the age of 38 years. Mr. Gleason is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and has taken the Royal Arch degree.
Shortly after the Rosedale post office was established, a blacksmith shop was opened, which is still in operation. William H. Newell is the present proprietor.
Those mentioned are the only business or trade interests that have ever been attempted at Rosedale.
James Donald Sinclair was born in the Highlands of Scotland, May 27, 1829. When 11 years of age, he went to sea, shipping at London as midshipman on board a barque called the “Derwent,” which was engaged in the Australian trade, that being the time when gold had been recently discovered in Australia. In 1847 while on a homeward voyage, the vessel encountered a terrific storm, and was driven to the far south, where their progress was obstructed by ice, and the days were so short that the sun was visible for only 25 minutes. After tedious voyage of 135 days, they arrived in London. Here he again shipped as chief officer on board a ship called the “Minerva,” bound for Riga, in Russia. On the passage home the vessel encountered severe storms, and was detained on the coast of Norway, for three month. After his return to London, he went to Edinburgh, Scotland, and attended school a short time, then went to Liverpool, and there shipped as seaman on board a Scotch ship called “St. Andrew,” bound for Canada. On the passage, the ship ran into the ice on the banks of Newfoundland, and was detained 21 days, during which, supplies running low, his allowance was reduced to one spoonful of boiled rice, and one of molasses, per day. When they finally reached Montreal, all hands deserted the ship, one-half of the crew going to Quebec, and the other half to the lakes. He shipped on board a lake schooner called the “Henry Clay,” and went to Cleveland, Ohio. Here he shipped as chief mate on board the same boat, of which two years later, he became captain, and sailed as such three years. He then went to Michigan, thence again to Cleveland, where he superintended the building of a barque called the “Ocean Wave.” This was in 1852-3. He was captain of that boat one year, after which he commanded different vessels until 1858, when he abandoned a sailor’s life, and for one year followed the business of ship chandler, then went into the shipping and commission business. In 1862, he enlisted in the navy and was ordered for duty on board the “Clara Dolson”, as executive officer. He was executive officer and captain of different gunboats, and run all the blockades on the Mississippi River, and gallant service until the close of the war. He then did business for a long time in the South, engaged in the cotton trade, and was captured by Jesse James, losing $25,000; then went to Chicago and followed the manufacture of tobacco, after which he commanded a steamboat on the Illinois River two years. He then purchased a steamboat and engaged in the southern trade. This boat was burned, in consequence of which he lost considerable money. He then came to Coon Creek, Jersey County, purchased an acre of woodland, upon which, after clearing it, he built a storehouse and a blacksmith shop. He kept the first post office in Rosedale. He was for a number of years in the store business, which he sold out to Gilbert Reed. He then returned to his native country, sailing from New York the 5th day of June, 1875. He spent about nine months in visiting the principal cities of Great Britain and points of interest in northern Europe. He returned to Rosedale, where he has since followed farming. Mr. Sinclair is the founder of the town of Rosedale, and has always been prominently identified with its interests. He taught writing school in Buffalo, N. Y., during the winter of 1849-50, having among his pupils two sons of President Fillmore. He has circumnavigated the globe three times, and has sailed as far south as the ice would permit, once being chased by a pirate ship off Cape Horn. Three glasses of water per day was his allowance for 135 days during one of these trips. He has saved 17 lives by swimming. He is a man of good education, and possessed of a great amount of general information. As a citizen he is esteemed by all.
Deserving of Mention
Are the following gentlemen, most of them enterprising, intelligent men of the township.
John L. Reed was born in Adams County, Ohio, Jan. 18, 1832. His parents, George and Lourana Reed, emigrated from Virginia, in 1825. They had born to them six boys and three girls, of which three are now living. Energy, perseverance and integrity are leading traits of the Reed family, who are ever on the side of good order and morality. Generous and hospitable, their latch-string has ever been out from the days of the log cabin, to those of present noble residences, and they have been ready to feed the hungry, uphold the down-trodden and unfortunate. John L. was raised on a farm until 16 years old, when he was sent to Greenfield, Ohio, to a seminary, and after to Hanover College, Ind.; remained one year, then attended the Weslyan University, at Delaware, Ohio, one year. His father then bought for him one-half interest in a general merchandise store in Cynthiana, Pike County, Ohio, in partnership with his brother. They ran this two years, when he sold out to his brother, and bought a store in partnership with his brother, J. G., in Jasper, on the Ohio canal. He remained one year and sold out on account of sickness, and bought 400 acres of land on the Ohio River, below Portsmouth, which he greatly improved, and after holding it two years, sold. He now bought a store in Berlin, Ohio. He continued this 18 months, and up to this time had been very successful, and although very young had made considerable money. He bought an iron furnace, run it one year individually but he was unfortunate as to lose every dollar he had, and returned to Portsmouth. It was owing to the unprecedented depression of the iron market that the loss came. Older and more experience men fared likewise. He attended a commercial college in Portsmouth, and after taking a thorough course, he went to Jasper to keep books for an establishment there, and remained in this position until July, 1863, when the Morgan raid suddenly stopped the business. He says he very suddenly came to the conclusion that he could advance the interests of the firm, and more especially his own safety, by taking to the woods, and with all the money of the store over $2,000, (which he hid under a rock in the woods,) he retired in as good order as he thought his safety would warrant. The store was completely carried off, consequently his services were no longer necessary. He was then appointed clerk on a commission to take account of the loss of Pike County. Again he went into the mercantile and lumbar trade in Jasper, but soon sold out and came west, thinking a change would be beneficial. While in Iowa he put every dollar he could raise into land. After spending the summer he returned and accepted a situation as commercial agent. March 21, 1870, he was married to Urselie Sharp. Dec. 16, 1872, was born to them a child - - Louie. In Feb. 1874, after eight years service as traveler, he resigned, and with wife and child, came to his present place of residence and embarked in farming. The farm is situated one and one-half miles south of Rosedale, and contains 536 cares, 250 0f which is in cultivation, about 60 in pasture, and has a fine house, barn, granary, out-buildings, fruit, etc. On the last of Sept. 1874, their bright intelligent child died. June 21, 1875, Gussie was born. On March 29, 1885, death’s relentless cruel hand cast a gloom over parent and child and left them homeless, in a dreary world, without the influence and companionship of a mother and wife. She, with her little Louis, is on the peaceful side of the dark river, while he and Gussie are left to meet life’s cares, and heart-aches alone. After the death of his wife he sold his farm to parties in St. Louis, for $17,000, and now expects to take Gussie to Jerseyville, where she will have the advantages of good schools and society. When the county adopted township organization, he was elected the two first years, to represent his township in the county court, as supervisor, and again he was elected this present year to the same office, although this township is largely democratic.
David D. Gleason was born in Gallia County, Ohio, Nov. 8, 1820. He resided there until 20 years of age, receiving a good education. He began teaching, which he continued a number of terms in Ohio, then went to what is known as Kanawho Salt Works, W. Va., where he taught school two years, after which he returned to Ohio and remained a year, during which he followed teaching. In 1844 he went to the state of Mississippi, and a year later to West Virginia, where he again taught school, remaining there during the cholera epidemic in 1849. Nov. 9, 1850, he was married of Emma Downward, a native of Philadelphia. After marriage he resided in Virginia one year, then removed to Ohio, and spent three years in Scioto and Jackson counties, engaged in teaching. In the spring of 1857 he immigrated to Iowa, locating near Ottumwa, where he lived eight years, teaching school during the time. In 1865 he moved to Clay County, Ill., thence in 1866, to St. Louis. He was engaged in that city, as principal of Lowell school 10 years, then on account of failing health, resigned his position, and came to Jersey County, Ill., which has since been his residence. Since coming here he has followed teaching during the winter season only. Mr. and Mrs. Gleason have four children living: Alice, born in Virginia, Sept. 19, 1851, now married and living in St. Louis; Mary Ellen, born in Ohio, Sept. 23, 1853, now married and living in Texas; Ada Elizabeth, born in Iowa, April 19, 1861, and died March 31, 1862; Etta Florence, born in Iowa, Oct. 21, 1864, married and living in Texas, and Birdie Emma, born in St. Louis, Dec. 6, 1870. Mr. Gleason keeps an apiary and now has 70 stands of bees. He is a democrat politically, and has held the office of collector. He is at present school treasurer.
John P. Stafford, a son of Brook and Nancy (Parker) Stafford, a native of Grafton Jersey County, Ill., born in the year 1862. He was reared in his native town, enjoying the excellent privileges and obtaining his education at the peerless public schools of that romantic little burg. His father, being a man of means, spared no pains to fit him for life’s struggle. In the fall of the year 1881, feeling the truth of the injunction that “it is not well for man to dwell alone” he was united in marriage with Abigail Robinson, also a native of Jersey County. By this union there have been two interesting children, Mabel May and Lottie Amelia. Although a young man, Mr. Stafford manifests a considerable ability, and is bound to succeed in the affairs of this life, and to achieve prominence in the affairs of the county. Being industrious and economical, and blessed with a good wife, each year sees him further advanced on the road to wealth and honor.
Thomas K. Phipps came to this county in 1848, and purchased then forty acres of land in the western portion of the county. Three years later he sold this land and bought another 40, to which, in 1855, he added 120 acres. In 1857 bought 200 acres more, and divided his estate among his children, reserving 200 acres for himself. Mr. Phipps cleared nearly all of his land, which was covered with bushes and small timber. He has been an enterprising and successful farmer. In 1878 he rented his farm to one of his sons and moved to Rosedale, where he built a dwelling house and also a store building, and engaged in merchandising, purchasing a general stock of goods, to the value of about one thousand dollars. He continued in business there four years, then on account of the death of his son, who was accidentally killed, he returned to his farm where he now lives. He built a store room near his residence, and now sells general merchandise. Thomas K Phipps was born in Virginia, Dec. 17, 1819. He remained in that state until 17 years old, then came west, and visited Kansas, Missouri and Iowa, after which he went south to Louisiana and Mississippi. He was married in the latter state to Martha Ruy, who was born May 9, 1829. In 1847 he removed to Illinois, and three years later, to this county. Mr. and Mrs. Phipps have had four children - - Lewis, born June 1, 1855, died Feb. 2, 1882; John born May 23, 1857; Mary L., born in 1859, and died in infancy, and Isabel, born Feb. 10, 1861, now married to Leonard Ratcliff. Mr. Phipps is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and a republican politically. He has held all of the township offices, including justice of the peace, and is one of the leading citizens of Rosedale Township.
T. S. Highfill, a prosperous farmer of Rosedale Township, was born in Harrison County, Ind., Sept. 8, 1828. When 18 years old he left his native county and went to Alton, Ill., and remained 12 years. He was married there in February, 1855, to Fanny Kipps. In 1858 he removed to Jersey County and purchased 120 acres of land in Rosedale Township. To this he has since added 80 acres, making 200 acres, upon which he now lives. His wife died in 1864. He was again married July 21, 1867, to Mrs. Amanda C. Sweet. By his first marriage Mr. Highfall had six children - - Alfred B., born Dec. 21, 1855, died March 16, 1878; Thomas B., born June 1857; Kate Bell, born Dec. 26, 1858; Lyman H., born Nov. 28, 1860, and died March 9, 1861; Edward M., born Feb. 2, 1862, and Fannie, born March 22, 1864. By the second marriage there were seven children - - James M., born Sept 12, 1868; Mary Ann, born March 3, 1870; Charles B., born Oct. 8, 1872; Harry C., born June 12, 1874; John W., born July 12, 1876; Hattie A. born May 22, 1877, and died August 5, of the same year; and Clara B., born Oct. 25, 1882. Mr. Highfall has been justice of the peace eight years. He is a member of the Methodist church and also of the Masonic fraternity. He is, politically, a democrat.
William Davis came to Jersey County in 1853. He was born in Coles County, Ill., in 1843, and is a son of Barney and Sallie (Brazee) Davis. They settled in Otter Creek Township in 1853, where William remained until 1862. He then enlisted in the 97th Ill. Inf., and served three years. He was a gallant soldier, participating in many battles, among which were those of Vicksburg, Champion Hills, Black River Bridge, second battle of Vicksburg, Jackson, Fort Blakely and others. He was under General Grant in all the campaigns of the western Mississippi department, and under General Banks in those of the last 12 months. He was mustered out of service July 29, 1865. Mr. Davis was married in 1867, to Mary E. Myers, a native of Missouri. Nine children have been born to them - - William, Perry B. (deceased,) Charles, Franklin, Laura Nevada, Luther F. (deceased,) Viola Eliza, Mary A., and Olivia Florence.
William Larabee, of Rosedale Township, was born in Ulster County, N. Y., March 13, 1836. When he was six years old, his father removed with his family to Ohio, and two years later, to Pilot Knob, Mo. He lived there also two years, after which he went to Monroe County, Ill., and in 1855 came to Jersey County and settled at Newbern. William remained here until 1861, when he enlisted and served three years in the army, returning home in 1865. He was married in Newbern in 1867, to Mary E. Lamb. After marriage he remained here four years, then moved to Kansas, where he resided two and a half years. At the expiration of that time he returned to Jersey County, and lived at Newbern two years, then removed to Rosedale, where he has since lived, purchasing at that time 40 acres of land on section 23. Mr. and Mrs. Larabee have two children - - a son, born Dec. 19, 1867, and a daughter, born Sept. 2, 1869. Mr. Larabee has been school director three years.
William Johnson is a son of Thomas Johnson, and was born in Madison County, Ill., in 1821. When he was fourteen years of age, his father settled in Jersey, then known as Greene County, where he entered eighty acres on Coon Creek. William afterward entered eighty acres, forty at one time and forty at another, making, with the tract entered by his father, one hundred and sixty acres. He has about twenty-five acres under cultivation and the remained in pasture and timber land. Mr. Johnson was married in Aug., 1846, to Nancy Elizabeth Mise, who was born April 13, 1830. They have seven children living and two dead. Those living are Thomas, born May 18, 1848; Luvinia, born Nov. 14, 1851; Martha Ann, born April 27, 1856; Larkin M., born July 17, 1859; William Allen, born Oct. 30, 1866; Luther Melvin, born Sept. 16, 1868; and Mary Elizabeth, born June 16, 1870. Mr. Johnson is politically a republican.
D. M. Highfill, son of Thomas Highfill, was born in Harrison County, Ind., Feb. 18, 1822. When he was 12 years old his father died, and three years later, his mother Mrs. Nancy Highfill, also died. He remained in Harrison County until 1864. March 31, of that year he was married to Mary Jane Chappell, who was born Oct. 18, 1826. After his marriage he removed to Alton, Ill., where he worked at the cooper’s trade. He came from Alton to Rosedale Township, Jersey County, and bought 40 acres of land, to which he has since added until he owns at the present time, 160 acres. His farm is a good one and well improved. He has made all of the improvements, clearing the land, building, etc. He carries on general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Highfall have had three children - - George Thomas, born Aug. 13, 1848; Francis, born Nov. 12, 1850; and Sarah Cornelia is the wife of James Adkinson of Jerseyville. Mr. Highfill has been justice of the peace 16 years, and for several years past has held the office of township assessor. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
James E. Suddeth, son of Henry and Panelia Suddeth, was born in Henry County, Ky., June 26, 1824. When James was two years of age his father died, leaving a wife and three sons - - Henry, William and James. The subject of this sketch resided with his mother until his marriage to Amanda Dawkins, who was born in February, 1832. After his marriage he removed to Lincoln County, Mo., and there followed the trade of wagon-making ten years. In 1846 he enlisted in the Mexican War, in a cavalry regiment commanded by Colonel Marshall. He took part in the battle of Buena Vista, after which Marshall’s men were discharged. He then volunteered under Gen. John S. Williams, and participated in engagements at Cerro Gordo and the City of Mexico. At the breaking out of the Rebellion he enlisted in the 2nd Missouri Reg., and served four years. He took part in the battles of Farmington and Iuka, in Mississippi; Drywood, Wilson’s Creek, Elkhorn and Lexington, in Missouri, battles of the Wilderness, Petersburg and Richmond, where he witnessed the surrender of Lee. Mr. and Mrs. Suddeth have eight children. He owns 30 acres of land, which is mostly tillable. He is, in politics, a democrat.
William J. Carroll was born in Gallatin County, Ill., on the 29th day of July in the year 1846. His parents were George and Hester Ann (Lane) Carroll, natives of Virginia. His father died in the year 1848, his mother following shortly afterward, thus leaving William an orphan when only two years old. He was then taken by his grandmother, to raise, and he remained with her until he was 21 years of age. They lived in the village of Fieldon then, and most of his time was spent in going to school. On the 29th day of Jan., in the year 1869, he was married to Emily J. Orm, widow of John M. Orm. Six children were born to this union, four of whom are now living. They are William C., Hester Rebecca, Alvira J., and Mary Ann Lucy.
William Grandstaff, one of the prominent agriculturalists of Rosedale Township, is a native of the state of Missouri, having been born there on the 20th day of Oct., 1835. He is a son of Alexander Grandstaff, with whom he lived up to the time of his death, which occurred June 15, 1851. In the year 1860, William was united in marriage, in St. Louis, with Clemmency J. Preble. He removed to Alton, Ill., 1860, where he remained until after the close of the war. While there, he served as a guard for one year. In 1867, he removed to Macoupin County, and in 1878, to Greene County. He remained in the latter until 1880, when he came to his present quarters, in Jersey County, and bought 200 acres of timber land on section 13, which was mostly white oak. At one time he owned a half interest in a saw-mill, which he afterwards sold to his partner, Mr. Preble, who still continues to run the same. After disposing of his interest in the mill, Mr. Grandstaff turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, which he still continues. He is a member in good standing of the I. O. O. F.
Andrew Jackson Thompson was born in Lawrence County, Ind., Feb. 3, 1842. At the age of two years he went with his parents to Madison County, Ill., where his early life was spent. On attaining his majority, he went to work as a farm laborer in Madison County. In 1867 he was married to Elizabeth Smith, and by this union has had seven children, six of whom are living - - Prior Brooker, born Dec. 28, 1868; William Henry, born Oct. 30, 1871; Joseph Park, born March 17, 1874; Grant, born Sept. 12, 1877; Daisy, born Feb. 26, 1881, and Della, born June 22, 1885. Their eldest child, Marietta, was born Nov. 10, 1867, and died Feb. 7, 1868. Mr. Thompson owns a farm comprising 180 acres, the greater portion of which is bottom land. He raises principally corn and wheat, and is a successful farmer. For the past two years he has held the office of town supervisor. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M.
John Arbogast is a native of Alsace, Germany, born April 22, 1828. When he was 12 years of age, his father immigrated with his family to America, and settled in Tuscarawas County, O. John remained there until Feb., 1858, when he went to northern Illinois. Seven months later he came to Jersey County and bought 120 acres on Sec. 24, Rosedale Township, where he has since lived. His farm now comprises 200 acres of valuable and well improved land. Mr. Arbogast was married June 15, 1853, to Elizabeth Baungartner, who was born Oct. 8, 1836. Sixteen children have been born to them, of whom 13 are now living - - Christian, born Oct. 10, 1856, now living in Dakota; Sueza, born Sept. 15, 1857; Rosa, born March 17, 1858; Jacob, born May 27, 1859, and died Oct. 10, 1864; Margaret, born May 22, 1866; Louise, born Aug. 23, 1867; Caroline, born Sept. 7, 1869; Lizzie, born June 14, 1871; Henry, born Oct. 4, 1873; Fritz, born Oct. 4, 1875; Lucinda, born Feb 23, 1877; Charlie, born July 5, 1879; Ella, born Feb 13, 1882; and Eddie, born March 9, 1884. Mr. and Mrs. Arbogast are members of the Lutheran church. He belongs to the I. O. O. F. Lodge, No. 449, of Grafton, and is a democrat.
Henry Leander Legate, deceased, was born in Henderson County, Ky., Jan. 27, 1818. When he was quite small his parents moved to Stoddard County, Mo., thence to Cape Girardo County, from whence they moved to Jackson County, Ill. Henry lived in that county till 1844, when the floods washed away the farm and house where he lived. He was married in that year to Mary Ann Skidmore, who was born Aug. 7, 1828. He then removed to Reynolds County, Mo., where he remained a resident till 1863. In that year he moved to Madison County, Ill., and was there employed as manager of a coal yard, loading boats and selling coal, employing a number of men. He continued in that business three years, then came to Jersey County and purchased a farm of 400 acres, which is now known as the “Legate Farm.” He resided here engaged in farming until the time of his death, which occurred Feb. 14, 1881. He left a widow and nine children to mourn his loss. In 1845 both he and his wife made public profession of religion, since which time they lived devoted Christian lives. He endeavored to bring up his family in the fear of God, teaching them to make the Golden Rule their guide through life. His loss was deeply felt, not only by his family, but throughout the community where he lived. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Legate are - - Edmund Kirby, born Sept. 12, 1846; Marshall Boles, born March 10, 1849; Nancy, born Feb. 27, 1851; James Franklin, deceased, born Feb. 15, 1853; Samuel, born April 11, 1855; Elijah Burchard, born July 13, 1858; Mary Evaline, deceased, born Jan 14, 1860; Emily Ann, born Oct. 30, 1862; William Henry, born Nov. 18, 1865; George, born July 3, 1868; and Joseph Benjamin, born June 18, 1870. James Franklin was killed by a runaway team, May 20, 1870; Mary Evaline died June 26, 1866. The oldest son, Edmund Kirby, resides in Nebraska; the remainder of the family in Jersey County, Ill. The widow of Henry L. Legate survives him, and is now residing in Jerseyville.
Marshall Boles Legate was born in Reynolds County, Mo., and was eight years of age when his parents moved to Madison County, Ill. He came with the family to Jersey County in 1865. He was married in October, 1873, to Lizzie D. Holmes, of Woodford County, Ill. He owns a farm containing 120 acres, located on section 36, of this township. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., Winchester Lodge No 70, and is a republican in politics.
E. B. Legate, son of Henry Legate, was born in Reynolds County, Mo. He came with his father’s family to Illinois, and settled in Madison County in 1863, he being then four years of age. He came to Jersey County three years later and was here reared upon a farm. He taught school three terms in Meadow Branch district. He held the office of assessor during the year 1883, and is now engaged in farming with his brother, M. B. Legate, in Rosedale Township. He is a republican politically. The Legate brothers are highly esteemed in their township and throughout the county, and are justly deserving of the reputation which they enjoy, of being upright, honest Christian gentlemen.
William Nevlin was born in Germany, June 15, 1834. At the age of 10 years he came to America with his parents, Nicholas and Mary A. Nevlin, who were also natives of Germany. Landing at New Orleans, they proceeded thence to St. Louis, where in 1848, the parents both died with cholera. William remained in that city until the fall of 1851, when he came to Jersey County and located on Macoupin Island. In 1865 he purchased 300 acres of land on the Illinois River bottom, and lived upon the same three years, after which he engaged in a general merchandise business, which he continued about eight years. He then purchased 40 acres of land on section 8, Rosedale Township, where he has since resided. He now owns 340 acres of land, also a ferry across the Illinois River, known as Nevlin’s Ferry, also a warehouse for the reception of freight. In October, 1860, Mr. Nevlin was married to Millia Bacon, daughter of John and Elizabeth Bacon. Eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Nevlin, four of whom are living - - John, Sarah, Hattie and Charlie. Mr. Nevlin has been running the ferry about five years. He is a gentleman of intelligence and enterprise, and a successful businessman.
William Sherman Brown was born in the town of Marion, Wayne County, Ill., March 16, 1822. He lived in his native county until 16 years of age, then removed with his father, John Brown, to Coles County. In 1843 they moved to Hancock County, and one year later to DePage County. He was married in Kane County, in 1847, to Amanda Durand. In 1854 he removed to Jersey County, and settled in Grafton, from whence he moved to his present location in Rosedale Township. He is engaged in raising grain and stock and carries on general farming. Mr. and Mrs. Brown have four children living - - Spaulding E. Laura F., William M. and Mary H. He is a member of the Baptist church, and has had the office of road commissioner, but is no seeker of office.
George W. Ratcliff, the owner of a large farm in Rosedale Township, is a son of James L. and Mary A. (Howard) Ratcliff. He was born in Virginia in 1832, and brought up on a farm, where he remained until 22 years of age. He then went to Alton, Ill., and there learned the trade of cigar making. He resided in that city until 1871, at which time he came to Jersey County and purchased a farm of 181 acres, located in Rosedale Township. Mr. Ratcliff was married June 16, 1858, to Serena A. Smith, who was born in Ohio. They are the parents of seven children - - Leonard R., living at Rosedale; George W., Susan, Lewis J., Elvira, Edward and Charles, living with their father. Mrs. Ratcliff died March 21, 1882, and is buried in Meadow Branch cemetery. Mr. Ratcliff’s farm comprises 230 acres of land in a good state of cultivation. During the war of the Rebellion he served 10 months in the 144th Ill. Inf., as a drummer. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. Lodge of Grafton. James L. Ratcliff died in Alton in 1883, and his wife Mary A., in St. Louis, in 1881.
William G. Thompson, one of the leading farmers of Rosedale Township, is a native of Tennessee, born May 14, 1819. He remained with his parents in Tennessee until 1836, then removed with them to Indiana, where he lived seven years, then in 1842, came to Rosedale Township and worked out as a farm hand until 1847. In that year he bought 37 acres of land and went to work for himself. In 1849 he purchased 200 acres more, and has continued to add to his farm until he now owns 1,300 acres, most of which is bottom land. He has 700 acres under good cultivation, and raises large quantities of grain and stock. He was united in marriage in 1849, with Nancy Ann Smith, who died in 1851. He was married again Aug. 24, 1854, to Mary Ann McCauley. She died Jan. 14, 1874. April 9, 1875 Mr. Thompson was married to Lela Ann Duncan. He has 10 children, four sons and six daughters. He has held the offices of school trustee and director for several years, although he has never sought office. He is a Free Mason, and with his wife, a member of the M. E. Church.
Isom Matthews was born in Boone County, Mo., July 28, 1825. When he was five years of age his father removed to Calhoun County, Ill., where the subject of this sketch resided until 1837. Since that time he has been, a portion of the time, a resident of Rosedale Township, Jersey County. He owned 365 acres of land in Calhoun County, which he sold in 1861, at which date he owned 80 acres here. In early life he ran upon the river nine years, first as a cabin boy, on a board a steamboat, and afterwards as cook. In 1851, about a year after he left the river, he was married to Mary Ann Smith, who was born Nov. 1, 1822. Mr. Matthews’ farm is in a high state of cultivation. He is the owner of the oldest ferry on the Illinois River, known as Jones’ Ferry, which is in the best running condition of any ferry on that river. He owns, also, a large warehouse, 22x42 feet in dimensions, and two stories high, the upper story being used for a granary, and having a capacity for 7,000 bushels of wheat. Mr. Matthews was for a number of years, a member of the board of supervisors, and has been school director one year. Mr. and Mrs. Mathews are the parents of 10 children - - Luther, William Henry, George, Thomas Levi, Mary, Ann, Laura, Nancy, Alice and Katie.
75 Years of Methodism in Rosedale Township, 1902-1977
The first church organization in Rosedale began with a small group of people congregating in the homes; this was known as the Christian Church. A log building was later built in 1833 to be used as a church and as a school. This was located in the same area of our present town hall. The Christian Church was discontinued and the Baptist denomination held services there for a number of years. In the fall of 1898, a religious organization of Methodists asked to use the building for a revival meeting. This meeting proved to be so successful that they decided to form a Methodist Church. The first trustees were William Larrabee, William Brown, and James Wedding.
Having a vision and a desire for a church of their own, Mrs. Mary Crull Wedding, the wife of the late Thomas Wedding, and her daughters Effie, Flora, and Anna decided to give a deed for seven and one tenth acres of land. Seven acres of this land was already used for the Rosedale Cemetery. The remaining one tenth was to be used for a new Methodist Church. The description of the land was as follows: Situated in the Southwest quarter of the Southeast quarter of Section Number Sixteen (16) in Rosedale Township Number Seven (7) North, Range Thirteen (13) West of the Third Principal Meridian. They gave land for the specific purpose of the ministry and membership of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The deed was recorded October 17, 1900.
Immediately after the gift of the new land, the congregation, which consisted mostly of nine pioneer families who lived in the surrounding area, began to plan for the building of the new church. Logs were donated by F. W. Hoyt and Joshua Dabbs. The men cut the logs and hauled them on the running gears of wagons drawn by horses to the Groppel Sawmill. Mr. Herman Groppel and sons donated their time and the use of their mill. The logs were sawed into lumber for the use of the frame work of the church. The women, with the knowledge that a cold sandwich would not be enough for hard working men, started to plan for hot meals. They had two hogs and one steer butchered and processed by the old-fashioned methods. They also took donation of flour, sugar and lard by the tea cup full. Mrs. Mary Wedding not only donated land, but she also gave the use of her home for the preparation of the meals for the workers. The other ladies took turns in helping them.
Construction began in January, 1901, under the supervision of Mr. Rudolph Walkoff, who was employed to supervise and build the church. He was assisted with volunteer labor from the men of the following pioneer families: James Wedding and sons, Charles Crull and sons, Robert Ridenour and sons, Andrew Thompson and sons, John Schlansker and son, Luther Johnson and sons, Joshua Dabbs and sons, George Shaw, and Henry Gerson. As soon as Mr. Walkoff became employed by the church, he immediately began making the pews and the pulpit. These were sturdily constructed and are still being used today. The church was completed in 1902, and was dedicated on September 2 of the same year.
The church has gone through many changes over the past seventy-five years. For example, for approximately the first twenty-five years, the floor of the church was of white oak. The ladies of the church worked many hard hours scrubbing the floor with lye water to keep it clean. A rubber runner extended from the entrance of the church to the alter. About thirty years later, a pine floor was laid over the original one. This was kept painted for several years. The paint was sanded off and varnish was used until the present carpeting was installed. The rubber runner was eventually replaced with a carpet runner and at this time the alter was carpeted also. This was then replaced with the wall-to-wall carpeting which is now covering the floor. The walls were plastered and papering in the beginning. Many years later, it was decided to rent a steamer and remove the paper. Much to the workers’ surprise, they found five layers of paper. The original layer was of red roses. Ever since that time, the church has been kept painted.
The church was first heated by a round oak stove, which was located in the center of the sanctuary. It burned wood and coal and sometimes a combination of both. The wood was always stacked outside in nest cords on the left hand side of the steps. In later years, the church board decided to replace the old stove with an oil heater. Many services took place with the congregation seated around the stove, while the minister stood nearby to deliver his message. Still, the cold was almost unbearable. Having a desire for a warmer church, it was decided to lower the ceiling and insulate it, and also purchase two gas furnaces. These are still being used.
The first lighting system was kerosene lamps with reflectors attached to the window facings by brackets on each side of the church. Next, Coleman lanterns were hung by iron rods from the ceiling. These were lighted by using a step ladder. The same rods were used when the lighting was changed to gas. Then, when electricity came to Rosedale, the church changed to fluorescent lights. These were a gift from the Masonic Lodge of Grafton.
The first musical instrument was an old-fashioned organ. This was pumped with the feet, while at the same time the hands were playing the music. Since then, there has been three pianos. The present one was purchased new as a gift from the Young People, along with donations from other members of the church.
Other improvements on the outside of the church have consisted of aluminum siding, a porch roof, and a new belfry. The bell in the tower has two clappers, one for tolling and the other for regular ringing. Before the use of the telephone came into the community, the bell was tolled to inform the residents of a death. When the funeral procession rounded the bend at the foot of Dug Hill, the bell tolled one clap for each year of the deceased. The regular ringing of the bell has always been used for church services. When the new belfry was being installed, the builder thought that it just would not be complete without a cross. So, he built a beautiful wooden cross for the inspiration of the people of the church and also for those who travel the road in the valley.
When the schools of Jersey County were consolidated, the small one-room schools in the county were closed and sold. The church had two reasons for wanting to purchase Rosedale School. First, a resident from the community wanted to purchase it to be used for a tavern, and the church was strongly opposed to this idea. Second, many of the rural churches were being closed for the lack of interest, and financial difficulties. Thinking of the future, the members thought it would be a good idea to purchase this building so that if the church was closed, there would still be a place to worship. The building was auctioned off on June 13, 1957. There were only two bidders; the church and the man interested in making it a tavern. The highest bid came from the church in the amount of $943.00. Many uses were found for this building - - Sunday School classes, recreation, various money-making projects, weeding receptions, crafts, sewing circles, Bible school, showers, family reunions, and in some cases it was used for church services when the heating was not working in the church. The cloak room and library were removed and a kitchen was installed. Linoleum was put on the floor, a large restaurant stove was purchased and a double drain sink also. The ladies of the church had a kitchen shower in order to equip the kitchen with utensils and linen.
Having a desire to discontinue serving the picnic outside, it was decided to build a dining room extending from the basement of the present building. Mr. Rose of Hardin was employed in the first week of August, 1969, to supervise the project. The men of the community and church volunteered labor and the ladies furnished the meals. By the determination and hard work of the people, they were able to serve the (annual) picnic in the new building. In the past year, electric heaters were installed, the ceiling was insulated and finished, the walls were painted, and the cabinets were refinished.
Through the generations, each congregation has worked very hard to meet the spiritual and financial requirements of the church. By loving God and knowing that He loves us, it has helped us to cross the valleys and climb the mountains.
Rosedale is a Charge church. It has been on three different charges - - Grafton, Kane, and Hamburg. The first pastor was Reverend Pollock who came from the Grafton Charge. He usually rode horseback or walked and stayed one or two nights in a home of a member. Church services were held once a month unless it was a Revival. A Revival usually lasted three to four weeks. Later, services were held twice each month. During the past fourteen years, we have been fortunate to have church services following the Sunday School hour each Sunday, plus a Sunday evening service. In the beginning, there were four Sunday School classes. Now the number has grown to seven.
The church has had forty-two dedicated ministers, and eighteen superintendents. Each has contributed his time, efforts, prayers, and God’s guidance in making Rosedale Church what it is today.
The congregations down through the years have had many money-making projects. These have included shucking shock corn, cutting and selling wood, rummage and antique sales, selling vanilla, serving lunch at farm sales, various types of suppers, and serving meals for the fox hunters. The Adult Bible class served meals at the Shaar Emith Temple’s Jewish groups at Camp Ouatoga in Pere Marquette Park. The proceeds from this event were used for the purchase and installation of three furnaces - - two in the church and one in the Educational Building. A number of years ago, the ladies of the church annually made apple and pumpkin butter. Some of this was sent to the orphanage in Mount Vernon - - the remainder was sold.
The biggest project of all has been the annual Labor Day Picnic. In the beginning, it was held on the lawn of what is now the educational building. The Town Hall was used twice for the cooking and the picnic was served in the grove of trees behind the building. Fish and chicken were fried in home-made wire baskets in iron kettles. A brick fireplace was later built. The top consisted of old cook stoves. This was a great improvement. These picnics were back in the good old days when the ladies had to bring their own cooking utensils, dishes, and silverware. The water for the first picnics was hauled in tanks which were used to haul water to threshing machines. These tanks were pulled with horses. This method was replaced with water tanks in trucks. Later, water had to be carried from a nearby spring. Then the spring was dug larger and was encased with concrete walls and steps. After the Educational Building was bought, the cistern was filled when necessary with water from a pumphouse in Pere Marquette Park. The Rural Water system is used today. Our picnics are better equipped than ever before. When the dining room was built, the kitchen was moved downstairs. There is a gas fryer for the fish and electric fryers for the chicken. It has become an annual event on Labor Day not only for the people of the church but for the community.
When our church was first founded, the children and youth always anticipated the study of the Bible for two weeks in the summer, and also Children’s Day in June. These were always religious programs. Our present Vacation Bible School began in 1969. There are various types of Bible study, crafts, and music for the different ages. Each generation of children has experienced Christmas programs with the appearance of Santa Claus.
The first youth group was known as the Epworth League. Their meetings were mostly held at the church with the exception of the summer months. When the weather permitted, they enjoyed going to Tucker’s Knob at Pere Marquette Park for a Sunset Service. The youth at this time mostly had bake sales and various suppers for money-making projects.
The next generation of youth not only had suppers and bake sales, but also sold note paper with a picture of the church on the front, and at one time the girls made donuts and sweet rolls while the boys took orders and delivered them throughout the community and neighboring towns. They also painted the church and town hall to help get enough money to go camping in the Ozarks. The congregation, realizing that the youth had insufficient funds for a week’s vacation, made up the difference and helped them out in whatever way they could.
The most recent youth group’s activities have included, in addition to some of the past activities and money-making projects, a Youth Sunday, in which they take over the morning worship service. This is very inspirational and enjoyed thoroughly by the members of the church. The youth are the proud foster parents of Leileen VaVages. She is an Indian from Maricopa, Arizona. They have sponsored her for three years through the Christian Children’s Fund. They donate $15 per month for her welfare. Some of this group’s money-making projects have included a bike-a-thon, rock-a-thon, slave auction, selling candy, a car wash, and maintaining a soda machine.
The youth have always sponsored the sweet shop at the Annual Labor Day Picnic.
The first time the youth went on a retreat was in 1943 to McKendree College in Lebanon, Ill. Now since then, various groups have gone to Postal House, also in Lebanon, and the Jacksonville 4-H Camp in Jacksonville, Ill. The youth have also been a part of two camps - - Little Grassy, near Carbondale, Ill., and the Epworth Youth Institute at Louisville, Ill.
Rosedale Church has been thoroughly blessed with a good choir and good musicians to accompany it. They have not only sung for the church, but also for the following churches: Grafton Methodist and Catholic churches, Godfrey, Brighton, Fieldon, Bunker Hill, Wood River, Jerseyville, Nameoki in Granite City, Bethel, and WJBM, the local radio station.
Memorials in our church have been given in memory of various people. These include the lighted cross in memory of Floy Crull Schallenberg, the Bible in memory of Mary Stafford, the altar chair in memory of Harry and Grace Edwards, the picture “Sallman’s Head of Christ” in memory of James R. Warford, Sr. Lillies have been given each Easter and poinsettias each Christmas in memory of Plowman L. Crull and John Hinrichsen, father of Helen Spencer. Our hymnals were given by members of the church in memory of loved ones.
A resident of the community desired to leave part of his estate in the amount of $16,465 to the church, which amount has now grown to $21,320. The remainder of the estate went to the Rosedale Cemetery. A copy of his will is as follows:
“I, Mark Matthews, of Fieldon, Jersey County, Illinois, being of sound mind and memory and under no constraint whatever, do make, publish, and declare this, and this only, to be my last Will and Testament.
I hereby revoke any and all Wills and Codicils heretofore made by me.
I hereby nominate and appoint Laverne Crull, Grafton, Ill., as Executor of this my Last Will and Testament, and the giving of bond is hereby expressly waived.
In the event Laverne Crull should predecease me in death or we should both die at the same time, then I nominate and appoint Mrs. Violet Crull, Grafton, Ill., as Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament, and the giving of bond is hereby expressly waived.
I hereby direct the Executor or Executrix of my estate, as the case may be to pay all just debts, funeral expenses, expenses of last illness, cost of administration of my estate, and the cost of a monument or marker at my grave, as soon after my death as may be practicable.
All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, of whatsoever nature and wheresoever situated, real, personal or mixed, of which I die seized and possessed, I give, devise and bequeath unto Laverne Crull, and his mother, Violet Crull, Grafton, Ill., to have for the Rosedale Methodist Church and Cemetery at Rosedale, Ill.”
The early missionary work of our church was mostly in our community and neighboring communities. Whenever a call for help came to assist, read the Bible, or have prayer in homes where severe illness or death had occurred, different members responded. When the first flu epidemic hit, many homes were quarantined. The men furnished replacement horses to the weary doctors. The ladies prepared large kettles of soup, and portions were sent to the stricken families. Our congregation has always helped in catastrophes such as floods and loss of homes by fire. Contributions of food and money were given to help the flood victims of Grafton. Four ladies also worked in the canned goods department. Money, showers, and if necessary, a place to live have been given to victims of fire. Each Christmas our church has provided the needy and shut-ins with fruit baskets and poinsettias. Missions have been paid through our Conference Claimants and special offerings have been used for Red Bird Mission, Lessie Bates, Davis House, United Methodist Committee on Relief and Karen Stokes.
Three live nativity scenes have been presented. The first two were by the youth and the last one by adult characters. The first scene was near the church in the parking area. The other two were in yards of homes along Route 100 near Rosedale. A chief event of the second scene was when the sheep ran away. Motorists on the highway could not believe they were seeing Angels in white robes and Joseph in blue attire, chasing a sheep.
The men of our church are a part of the Sub-District Men’s meetings. They also have a Sunday morning breakfast at seven o’clock once each month. One man, acting as chef, prepares the meal. They have received comments from the ladies as to their cooking ability. So they decided to prepare and serve a meal to the women. A delicious meal served in a candlelight setting turned out to be an exquisite banquet, fellows. Perhaps that was what the ladies were trying to promote!
Many and various baptisms have been held in our church. Two were immersed in the creek near the sanctuary. The last baptizing was in the Illinois River. Eleven people were immersed at that time. It was shared with six people from Grafton.
Cupid has had a part in the history of our church, too. The first wedding was in April of 1947. Since then, a total of twelve couples have received the vows of Holy Matrimony in our church.
Rev. Robert Patterson came to be our Pastor in June, 1976. He and his lovely wife, Jean, are the parents of three sons. Steve, the youngest son, remains at home. He is a talented young musician and helps his father with the music of the churches. Jean, a devoted Christian, is able to assist in any work. She is presently teaching a Sunday School class in our church. Rev. Patterson works very hard. Under his devout leadership, the congregation is growing spiritually and in number.
We believe that our church is more that a building, pews and pulpit. We believe that our church is more than people. We believe in the living presence of Christ in our lives, in our church and in our world. It is our purpose to help others to make a commitment of their lives to this purpose.
The preceding pages of this book are consecrated to those who began this work so many years ago and to those living today who have dedicated themselves to carry on this purpose. We hope that through God’s love and presence in our lives, many will be helped to carry on this work in the future.
“Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a Crown of Life.” - - Rev. 2:10.
Contributed by Marty Crull and his volunteers.