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From History of Greene and Jersey Counties, Illinois, Springfield, IL: Continental Historical Co., 1885, pp. 433 – 457. There will be typographical errors.
Judge John G. Lofton and John D. Gillham came to what is now Jersey county, from Madison, bringing their families, in 1819.
Judge Lofton settled on section 31, on land which adjoins the present farm of Addison Greene. The vicinity soon took the name of Lofton’s prairie. Mr. Lofton, like many others of the early pioneers, was a native of South Carolina, and was a prominent figure among the old residents. He was married to a sister of John D. Gillham. Under John Quincy Adams’ administration, Mr. Lofton was appointed receiver of the land office at Lewiston, Fulton county, Ill. He went to that place and assumed the duties of his position, but tiring of it, resigned, after a year or two, and came home. He died about 1837, on section 32, in the township where he first settled. His wife also died there. He left three sons: Thomas G., Samuel A. and John G. Judge Lofton was a Baptist in religious belief, and in the early days meetings were often held in his house.
John D. Gillham, who came with the Loftons, was a native of South Carolina, and from that state removed to Kentucky. Then he moved to Illinois, locating in Madison county in 1800. He settled on section 28 in what is now Mississippi township. He and his brother Ezekiel were connected with the rangers in the days of the early settlement of this part of the state, and were more than once called on to assist in the defense of the settlement against the depredations of the Indians. John D. Gillham died at his home in the settlement in Oct. 1852. His wife also passed away at the same place. The history of this proud state has mostly been since the Gillham’s came to this county, and an idea of the lapse of time since then may be formed when it is said that another generation of this hardy family has lived and died since then, and the grandchildren are long since grown men and women, with families of their own. Fletcher Gillham, one of the grandsons, lives on the old homestead. Another, Wesley W., lives on the Youngblood place, on section 22, Elsah township. Charles, another grandson, formerly kept a store in Jerseyville.
Joseph White is credited with making a settlement in this township in 1819. He lived here for many years, but is now numbered with the dead.
Josiah Cummings came to Mississippi township in 1819, and made a settlement on section 11. He was a native of Connecticut, of Scotch parentage. His ancestors were among the pioneers of New England. Mr. Cummings witnessed the battle of Bennington, Vt., and was a soldier in General Wayne’s campaign against the Indians, having participated previously in the disastrous defect of the army of General Arthur St. Clair. He was among the very earliest settlers in the state of Illinois, and in this almost uninhabited wilderness he became acquainted with Mrs. Gilliss, whom he afterward married. They both died while residents of this county.
Thomas Cummings came to Jersey county in 1820, and after working for his father for a while in Mississippi township, purchased land here and settled. He was born in Monroe county, Ill., March 4, 1800, and was the eldest son of Josiah and Sabra Cummings. He spent considerable time in assisting to make government surveys, and served some time in the militia or ranger service. On Sept. 24, 1824 he was united in marriage with Mary Ann, daughter of John and Mary Carroll. Immediately after his marriage he purchased a farm on section 11, where he resided until Nov. 21, 1856, when he died. He came here with little capital, but by energy, industry, and business tact died possessed of a handsome property, owning over 2,700 acres.
John R. Black made a settlement in this township in 1820. He was quite prominent in early days and was elected and served as the first treasurer of Jersey county.
William Davidson was a settler of the year 1820 or 1821 in this township, and served as a petit juror in the circuit court, selected at the June term 1821.
Samuel J. Kincade and John Waddle made their appearance in this township about the year 1821, as we find them both serving as judges of an election for militia officers in that year. Both have long since passed to their last resting place.
Thomas McDow, one of the sturdy pioneers of this county, located in the township now known as Mississippi, in the spring of 1823 on section 32. He was a native of South Carolina, born Aug. 12, 1795, and was the son of John and Margaret McDow. In 1807, the elder Mr. McDow immigrated to Illinois and located in Madison county. After living there about a year, he moved to the Mississippi bottom, near St. Louis, where he resided until 1818, when he moved to Boone county, Mo., where he resided until 1824, when he came to this county and made a settlement on section 32, where he died in Oct. 1835. Thomas was married Feb. 25, 1819 to Mary L. Lofton, and in 1823 settled here as above mentioned. Here he resided until his death in 1874.
Charles G. McDow, deceased, was born in South Carolina, Oct. 11, 1797. He was married to Matilda Rice, who was born in Kentucky, March 20, 1805. They immigrated to Illinois in an early day, settling in what is now Mississippi township, Jersey county, Ill. Here Mr. McDow followed farming until his death on Feb. 26, 1860. His widow still survives him. They had a family of six children, four of whom are living: Martha, born July 13, 1826; Margaret A., born Aug. 26, 1828, now the wife of William Marshaw of Elsah township; Sarah A., born April 6, 1831, now the wife of Joseph Marshaw of Mississippi townsip; and John N., born Aug. 22, 1833. Mrs. McDow and her daughter Martha reside on section 31, where they own 90 acres of land. Mrs. McDow is a consistent member of the Baptist church, and although in her 81st year, is still energetic and in the enjoyment of good health. The deceased children of Mr. and Mrs. McDow are: Allen, born Feb. 17, 1837, died Aug. 15, 1871; and Mary Angeline, born Jan. 23, 1840, died Mar. 1, 1844.
John N. McDow, a descendant of one of our settlers, was born in Mississippi township, Jersey county, Ill. His life has been spent thus far on and near the same section where he now lives, being born at their house on section 31, and now living on section 32. His farm lies on three sections, 20 acres on section 30, 50 acres on section 31, and 20 acres on section 32. On Sept. 9, 1858, he was united in marriage with May E. Harris. They have a family of 10 children: Elzada Jane, Charles W., Anna A., Mattie M., Lou M., Robert A., Ruth C., Eugene L. and Irene (twins), and Homer.
James McDow was born in Jersey county, Ill., Oct. 11, 1844. He is another representative of that family of early settlers, and was born and raised on the place where he now lives, on section 32 in Mississippi township. He was united in marriage with Anna Summer on Oct. 17, 1866. She was born on Nov. 9, 1847. Seven children have been born to them: William L., born Aug 16, 1867; Purlia O., born Sept. 19, 1869; Oliver P., born Oct. 17, 1871; James W., born Aug. 21, 1873; Harry W., born June 4, 1877; Edith M., born Sept. 12, 1882; Lulu B., born June 7, 1885. Mr. McDow’s political views are democratic.
Jacob Cummings was among the pioneers of this township. He was a native of Madison county, Ill., from which place he immigrated to this township in the early part of 1820. He located on section 15, where he lived until his death in 1825.
Asher Chase came to this county in 1823, and liking the country, took up his residence here on a farm on that is known as the Lofton prairie. He lived there a few years, and moved to another location in the same township. He afterward left the county, and has not been heard of since.
William Gillham, father of John D., came in the fall of 1821 and took up his place of residence on section 29, on the farm now owned by Mahala Buckles. He was a native of South Carolina. His death occurred at the home of his son in the fall of 1825.
Mrs. Jane Gillham, with a family of children, settled on section 28, in the fall of 1823, where she resided until her death. She was a native of North Carolina.
William G. Waddle made a settlement in what is now Mississippi township during 1823. He was a native of South Carolina, but was brought to Edwardsville, Madison county, Ill. when but two years of age in 1803. William came to this county as above mentioned, and settled on section 33, where he lived some 20 years, when he removed to Jersey township. He died on April 11, 1871.
In the fall of 1823, a man by the name of John Findley came, locating on section 22, on the farm now owned by Hiram McCluskey. He came from North Carolina, but only remained about a year, when he sold the place to Henry Utt and moved away.
Joseph White, a blacksmith, came in the spring of 1824, settling on the northeast quarter of section 30, where he started a blacksmith ship, which was the first in the township and county, and which was operated at this point for over 40 years. He afterward moved to near the line of Jersey and Greene counties, near Kane, where he subsequently died.
In the fall of 1824 Orman Beeman settled on Sec. 30, where he afterward married a daughter of Joseph White. He was a native of South Carolina, and lived in Madison county for several years before coming here, and was a volunteer in the United States service against the aborigines. He lived here until his death.
Nathaniel Carrico located in this township on coming to this county in 1831. The same fall he entered some land in what is now Otter Creek township, where he lived some time, but moved to Greene county afterwards, where he died.
John Ryan located in Mississippi township, about five miles southeast of Jerseyville, in the fall of 1825. He afterwards moved to Greene county, and from there to Ruyle township, where his sons, Henry and Richardson, now reside. He was a native of Chester county, Penn. He was married at Zanesville, O., soon after the close of the war of 1812-15. He died Jan. 27, 1865.
Francis Swan, a native of North Carolina, emigrated in 1809 from Kentucky, and settled in St. Clair county, Ill. He was one of the rangers and resided in that county until 1823, when he moved to Greene county, near Carrollton. In 1826 he came to Jersey county, locating in this township, which he made his residence until he died in 1850. He was married in 1809, and was the father of nine children, five of whom are living: James G., Mary, John P., Elizabeth, Sophronia.
A. Carson and J. J. Basey made settlements in this locality as early as 1826-27, but are long since gone to their grave. But little respecting these pioneers could be gathered, except the fact of their settlement.
Charles Dodson made a settlement on the Addison Greene place on section 31 in 1828. He married a daughter of Judge Lofton.
Rev. George Slaten came to this county and township in the fall of 1828, and settled on section 31. He was a native of North Carolina, but had moved from there to her sister state of South Carolina, where he was united in marriage with Lucinda (Brogden) Slaten in 1800. Soon after this they moved to Georgia, where they continued to reside until 1818, when they came to Illinois and located in St. Clair county. In 1822 they moved to the vicinity of Carrollton, Greene county, and after a residence of six years in that place, came to this county as above stated. Rev. George Slaten was an active and efficient minister of the M.E. church. He died Aug. 6, 1844, his wife surviving him until Jan. 23, 1866.
Bartholomew Chappell, a native of Devonshire, Eng., came to the United States in 1832, landing at New York, from there came to Ohio, and then to Upper Alton, remaining in each place but a short time, when he came to Jersey county, and located in this township. Here he resided for many years, until his death. His children occupy the homestead, and other land in the township.
Ephraim Chappell, on of the well-to-do residents of this township, was born in Devonshire, Eng., Feb. 8, 1827. He came to America in 1833, landing in New York. He came westward as far as Ohio, where he stayed only a few weeks. He moved to Alton, Ill. for a short time, and from there came to Mississippi township, Jersey county, where he located on a farm, and remained until 1857, when he went to Macoupin county, where he farmed 10 years. In 1867 he came back to Jersey county, and settled on the place now occupied by him. It contains 512 1/2 acres of land, all under cultivation except 50 acres in timber, a fine orchard, and pasture for his stock, who which he has 14 head of horses, 30 head of cattle, and a fine lot of stock hogs. He has three good barns worth $5,000, all in good repair, a wind pump in the stock yard, and everything necessary to make farm life comfortable. His dwelling is a story and a half frame house, 30 x 60, worth $1,500. Mr. Chappell was married to Nancy Buckles, June 16, 1857. Three children were born to this union: Ida O., wife of Richard Graham, living in this township; John F. and Lula, who died Aug. 15, 1865. His wife died Nov. 5, 1864. On January 24, 1869 he was again married to Rosanah Briggs. Two children were born to them: Rosanah G., died Aug. 30, 1872; and Cora, died Oct. 13, 1875. On May 18, 1872 he was married to Maggie H. Delby, and to this union were born three children: Effie, Ephraim and Octavia.
W. H. Chappell resides on a farm located on the north half of the northeast quarter of section 25, Mississippi township. He was born in Piasa township, Jersey county, Ill., Nov. 14, 1842, being a son of William Chappell, a native of England. His mother is also a native of that country. Both are now living in Piasa township. The subject of this sketch was married, Nov. 9, 1864, to E. A. Bell, daughter of Rev. D. R. and Jane (Morrow) Bell, the former a native of Tennessee, and the latter of North Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Bell are now living in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Mrs. Chappell was born Dec. 3, 1845. They have had nine children born to them, four of whom are now living: More E., George E., John E. and Clarence C. Five children died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Chappell are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. He is also a member of the I.O.O.F.
During the years 1832 and 1833, several more individuals made settlements within the limits of this township, prominent among whom were the following named: Francis G. Swan, Sally A. Reynolds, Richard H. McGill, Adam Waggoner, Joab White, William Davidson, Levi Smith and Moses Cockrell.
Joab White was a native of North Carolina.
F. G. Swan was born in the state of North Carolina, and came to Illinois in 1809, locating in St. Clair county. During the Indian troubles of 1812-15, he was a member of the rangers. He moved to Greene Co. in 1823, and later came to this county. He died in 1850.
Adam Waggoner was a native of Virginia, but when young was removed to Kentucky, form which state he came here. He is now dead.
Moses Cockrell was born in Scott county, O. in 1806 and came to this state in 1833, settling on section 28, where he lived until his death in April 1882.
Jacob Utt located in this township in 1833, and the following year entered his land. He was a Pennsylvanian, and like most people from that state, an excellent farmer. In 1857 he sold out and removed to the vicinity of Virden, Macoupin county, where he died in 1869.
A great many other settlers of the squatter type settled in this township before this time, but their stay was short and their names have entirely escaped the memory of the older settlers.
Other Prominent Citizens
Nelson Marion Lurton was born at Newbern, Jersey county, Jan. 9, 1830, and is today the oldest living resident born in Mississippi township. Being one of the children of an early settler, in his youth his school facilities were very limited, many of the teachers being but partially educated themselves, below those now holding second grade certificates. Notwithstanding these drawbacks however, many of the children of those days received very good education, some graduating at leading colleges, and afterwards filling many important positions. Nelson was given all the advantage that could be had at that early day, of which he availed himself to a great degree. In 1850, being seized with the prevailing “gold fever” he went to California, and while there cast his first vote, which was at that the first election for state officers in that state. Remaining in that part of the country for some time, he moved to the land of his nativity, by way of South America. On Jan. 13, 1853, he was united in marriage with Emma, daughter of James and Ama Sloman, a native of Devonshire, Eng., born March 4, 1833. By this union there has been five children: Henry Campbell, born Oct. 29, 1853; Magnolia Bell, born April 10, 1857, wife of John H. Darlington; M. Lu, born Dec. 27, 1860; Eva Minerva, born Feb 3, 1866; and Marion Nelson, born Dec. 29, 1871. On his marriage Mr. Lurton settled on a farm, which he broke out of the virgin soil, where he has lived ever since. He joined the Cumberland Presbyterian church in 1856, and was elected ruling elder and clerk on the organization of the church in his vicinity in 1857, and he has acted in that capacity ever since. Politically he has always been a democrat with liberal views. In 1882, he was elected a member of the board of supervisors, and served one year.
George H. VanHorne, a prominent farmer of this township, was born and raised here. The date of his birth is Nov. 20, 1848. He was married to Mary A. Jones, a native of New York on Oct. 6, 1875. She was the daughter of Alva and Amelia Jones. Only one child was born to them, Fanny A., born Aug. 21, 1876, died Aug. 15, 1877. Mrs. VanHorne died Jan. 25, 1877. On Nov. 15, 1881, he was again married to Mary I. Cummings. They have had two children: Sarah N., born Dec. 11, 1882, died November 18, 1883; Columbus C., born April 18, 1884. The residence is a two and a half story brick, 24 x 34, costing $3,000. The barn is a frame building, 36 x 40, costing $1,000. A wind pump is used in obtaining water. There are 193 acres of land in the farm, on which is a young apple orchard of 150 trees. The C. & A. R. R. runs through the place and there is a cemetery located on the farm. Mr. VanHorne seems to be much thought of in that township, as he has been elected to the office of town clerk four terms, and is now supervisor and also school director in district No. 1. He belongs to No. 659 of the I.O.O.F. of Delhi, and is also a member of Jerseyville encampment. Politically he is a democrat.
John Buckles, a prosperous and thriving farmer of this township, was born in Scioto county, Ohio, on April 6, 1833. In 1835 he came with his parents, John and Nancy (Clark) Buckles, to Mississippi township, Jersey county, Ill. On Oct. 27, 1859(?), he was united in marriage to Mahala Chappell, daughter of Bart and Grace Chappell. By this union there were six children: Effie L., born Aug. 9, 1860, married Rev. W. C. Logan, and lives in Alton; Mary Grace, born on Nov. 8, 1862, is the wife of Edward E. Reed, and lives in Burdenville, Kan.; James T., born Oct. 30, 1864; Charles W., born May 3, 1868(?); John E., born Dec. 10, 1870; Richard R., born April 6, 1873. He has 160 acres of land, located as follows: on the northwest Quarter of the southwest quarter of section 29, the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter and the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 28, in this township. His residence is a frame building, two stories high, the main part 28 x 40, the L 16 x 18, costing $4,000. He has two barns, one 50 x 32, costing $800, the other 30 x 40 feet, costing $500; a buggy-house and shop, worth $400, and a smoke-house and milk-house worth $200. There is a good apple orchard, with a variety of other fruit, such as pears, plums and cherries. The farm and its surroundings show that much care and attention has been devoted by Mr. Buckles to its improvement. He and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. He belongs to Otterville Lodge No. 563, A. F. & A. M., and to the Royal Arch Chapter at Jerseyville.
Rice T. Jones is a native of England, having been born in Picadilly, Queen’s Square, London, on St. Thomas day, Nov. 21, 1835. In 1860 he came to America and came as far west as Brighton, Macoupin county, Ill., where he worked by the month for five years. In 1865 he moved to Jersey county, where he bought 80 acres on section 11, and 20 acres on section 23, both in Mississippi township. He lived on the 80 for 10 years, and then bought 80 more on section 11, and 10 on section 12. On his farm is a two-story frame dwelling, about 18 x 40, costing $3,000; a good granary; sheds for buggy wagon and farming implements, a stable and corn cribs. There are three wells of good water on the place, and this with such improvements as we have described make it a very desirable farm. Mr. Jones was married to Emeline Handsaker on April 26, 1863. She is the daughter of William and Mary A. (Spears) Handsaker, and was born Jan. 29, 1845. Her parents are of English origin, and his are natives of Southern Wales. There are four children: John W., born Feb. 6, 1864, died in infancy; Lue A., born Feb. 6, 1865; George E., born May 17, 1867; and Harry A., born Jan. 31, 1874. Mr. Jones held office of supervisor one year. Most of his time is taken up in the care and improvement of his land, and by his industry and perseverance, he now has a well improved farm.
Lewis Randolph was born in Bernards township, Somerset county, N.J. on Dec. 13, 1808. He was the second son of Peter and Harriet Randolph. Mr. Randolph was a blacksmith by trade, making it his business in a country place, having a small farm where he resided, and which he managed, in connection with his trade, doing country blacksmithing, and making augurs until that business failed. Lewis worked on the farm or in the shop as his help was mostly needed, until the spring of 1828, when on May 24th, he was married to Mary Ann Compton, daughter of Moore and Mary (Anderson) Compton, and who was born March 28, 1810. In the spring of 1829, he moved on a farm bought by his father, where he resided until 1837, living as one unbroken family, but always having a desire to see the far west. Fully making up his mind, about the first of Sept., to go west, sold the farm, and on Oct. 10th, 1837, with his wife and three children, and Miss Eliza Jane Compton, sister of his wife, and now Mrs. J. K. Stelle, living near Jerseyville, also Bryant Cross, Jacob K. Stelle, Isaac Goltra, now Dr. Goltra of Springfield,Ill., Stephen Sutton and James T. Harris, started on the long journey, traveling in wagons. Having good roads and fine weather, their new mode of living seemed pleasant, as they always camped out wherever night overtook them, until they had performed the largest part of their journey. But in passing through a part of Ohio, Indiana and the eastern part of Illinois, they had to travel over a new-cut road, stumps, in the timber and mud on the prairies. They took it patiently, as they were doing as well as others, they being pretty thickly scattered along the route, going both ways to and from the country. On November 21 they landed in Jacksonville, on a most disagreeable and rainy day, perfectly satisfied to unload and go to housekeeping for a while, and also giving themselves a chance of finding a place to make a home. Mr. Randolph selected the place where he now resides, on the part of the 13th section of township 7, range 11, then a part of Greene county; but by an act of the legislature in 1839, it was divided and the southern part was called Jersey county. Here he arrived on April 21, 1838, after three day’s travel from Jacksonville, on the state road leading from Jacksonville to St. Louis. His family increased to eight children, seven of whom lived to be men and women. One died in infancy. Elmira, born July 1, 1829, became the wife of John Williams in the fall of 1847, and died July 5, 1852, leaving two sons, Joel C. and Lewis R. Williams, now living in Nebraska; Abel S., born Aug. 5, 1831, married Minerva Edwards June 9, 1869, has one son and now lives in Montgomery county, Ill.; Moore C. Randolph, born Dec. 9, 1834, married Eleanor McDow April 7, 1858, and died July 4, 1858; Harriet, born Feb. 3, 1842, married S. T. Moore, May 16, 1861, have five children, two girls and three boys: Josie, Edward, Frank, Nellie and Lewis R., living at Brighton; Ruth W., born Nov. 9, 1844, unmarried; Catherine A., born Sept. 19, 1847, married Jan. 19, 1871, to James H. Clapp, have two daughters, Carrie and Hattie, living at Blue Springs, Neb.; Peter J. Randolph, born Feb. 11, 1850, married Oct. 21, 1872 to Clara Gelder, living at Morrisonville, Christian county, Ill. Mr. Randolph has held the office of school treasurer, in that township, two terms; has been a director in the Farmer’s Insurance Company since its organization, and has also been a trustee in the Baptist church of Jerseyville for the past 20 years.
Thomas C. Carrico, deceased, was born within the present limits of Jersey county, Ill., Dec. 21, 1825. Aug. 19, 1847, he was married by Rev. B. Stafford to Mary Beeman, daughter of Omer and Talitha (White) Beeman, the former a native of Connecticut, and the latter of South Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Carrico had five children born to them: Leander C., born Oct. 10, 1848, now living at Elsah; Francis J., born June 15, 1850, and died Aug. 15, 1851; Amy T., born Aug. 8, 1852, now the wife of Sylvester Hamilton of Otterville; Mary J., born April 14, 1854, now the widow of Joseph Rutherford, living in the Indian Nation; and Luther M., born March 11, 1857, and died on the 23rd day of the same month. Mr. Carrico enlisted Aug. 15, 1862 in Company G., 122nd Ill. Inf., commanded by Capt. Cowen, and was taken sick and died in the hospital at Corinth, Miss., March 14, 1863. He was much esteemed in the community where he lived. He was a republican in politics, an earnest advocate of the cause of temperance, and a consistent christian, holding connection with the Baptist church at Virden, Ill.
Jan. 15, 1871, Mrs. Carrico was married to Daniel Bettis, who was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, April 27, 1829. Mr. Bettis had been previously married to Martha Vanausdall, June 10, 1853, and by his first marriage had five children: Margaret P., born July 4, 1854, now the wife of John Barnard of Peoria, Ill.; Rachel M., born July 3, 1856, and died in 1857; Amelia A., born July 30, 1858, now the wife of Henry Rothwilder of Carlinville, Ill.; Martha A., born Dec. 5, 1860, wife of M. Miller of Jerseyville, Ill.; and Daniel W., born Oct. 20, 1862, now living in Winchester, Ill. Mr. Bettis enlisted in the 130th Ill. Inf., serving in that regiment until it was consolidated with the 77th regiment. He continued in the service until Aug. 22, 1865, when he was mustered out at Camp Butler, near Springfield, Ill. He participated in all the engagements of his regiment, never receiving even a scratch. Mr. and Mrs. Bettis own 80 acres of land on section 19, Mississippi township, also 120 acres in Cherokee county, Kan., and a residence and two acres of land in the village of Otterville. Mr. Bettis is a member of the G.A.R., and a staunch friend of the temperance cause. He is in politics a republican.
Deacon Jacob K. Stelle was a native of Somerset county, N.J., and was born on Sept. 2, 1816. His father was a native of Middlesex county, N.J. His ancestral descent is French and Scotch. Mr. Stelle was united in marriage with Anna Kirkpatrick, and they had a family of five children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the second. Mr. Stelle’s occupation was that of a farmer. In April 1850, while on a visit to his son Jacob in Jersey county, he was taken sick, and four days after his arrival, died, and was buried in Van Horn burying ground near Delhi. His widow survived him until 1870. Jacob K. Stelle received his early education in the schools of his native state, working on his father’s farm, and attending school alternately, until the age of 14, when he went to Morristown and became a clerk in a dry goods store, in which capacity he remained five years, at the end of which time he became a partner of his former employer, Wm. M. Lindsley. He continued with him until Oct. 10, 1837, when with a party of 11 others, he left New Jersey with wagon and teams, his destination being Illinois. They arrived at Jacksonville, Nov. 21. After looking over different portions of the state, Mr. Stelle located on a farm in what is now Jersey county in February 1838. The land was in township 7, range 11, and had never been improved. Being unused to pioneer life, the labor and hardships were more than he could at first endure, but he finally became accustomed to it and during the second year after his arrival raised a crop. He was married Nov. 15, 1838 to Eliza Jane Compton, formerly of New Jersey, and one of the party who accompanied them on their trip. His parents were Moore and Mary Compton. Mr. and Mrs. Stelle were married in a log house then occupied by his brother-in-law. A family of six children were born to them, four of whom are yet living. Mr. Stelle had but a small capital when he came here, carrying on the farm with only one ox; but with energy and perseverance he was enabled to acquire enough to be considered among the wealthy farmers of this county. In 1870 he retired from farm life and moved to his suburban residence south of Jerseyville. In 1841 he became a member of the Baptist church in Jerseyville, his wife having joined the same denomination in New Jersey. In 1848 Mr. Steele [sic?] was elected deacon of the church in Jerseyville, which responsible position he held until his death. He was also treasurer of the Carrollton Baptist Association for eight years. All of his children are members of the same church. He labored for many years to sustain a Sabbath school at Delhi, and after moving near town, taught a bible class in Jerseyville as long as his health permitted. From his earliest connection with the church his piety was of the purest type. He was always earnest, consistent, devoted and spiritual. His judgements were clear, discriminating and reliable. His support of the church adnits pastor uniform an unwavering. His friendships were reserved, but confiding and true. His benevolence was large, active and scriptural. His kindness to the poor and the unfortunate was ever attested by earnest efforts to alleviate. His business capacity was superior, his integrity unimpeachable, his moral life above suspicion, his domestic life characterized by love and kindness, sympathy and hospitality. He was a self-made man, highly respected by his fellow-citizens, and among the most prominent men of Jersey county. More than 40 years ago, the disease of which he died, first manifested itself, though a strong constitution, aided by the best medical skill that could be procured, enabled him to impede its progress so many years, yet he had been a great sufferer. But he bore it all with such fortitude and patience, that during all those years his most intimate friends scarcely realized the severity and extent of his suffering. In the latter part of Aug. 1877 he became entirely blind, but as the light of this world faded away, that of the other and better world became clearer. About 8 o’clock P.M., March 7, 1878, he quietly departed at the age of 61 years, 6 months and 5 days. “Mark the perfect man.”
Moore C. Stelle, a prominent and enterprising farmer of Mississippi township, was born on the place that he now lives on. His farm consists of 200 acres on section 13, with all the best improvements that could be desired. The dwelling is a fine two story building, worth about $6,000. There are two large barns, one 30 x 50, worth $2,000, the other 20 x 30, worth $1,500, also a cow shed which cost $1,000, a good set of scales, two wind pumps, a wagon house, corn cribs, with shed attached for storing all the farm implements, and a good ice house. There are two orchards containing 100 bearing trees, the other a peach orchard of 50 trees. The residence is surrounded with fine grounds, making it a beautiful location. Moore C. was married to Elizabeth S. Clapp, daughter of Leonidas and Jane (Chamberlain) Clapp. Her father was a native of Washington county, N.Y., born Jan. 16, 1812, and he was married Oct. 28, 1841, to Jane Chamberlain, and to them eight children were born. He came west with his family in 1856, settling near Iowa City, Ia., where he resided until 1861, when he moved to Jersey county, Ill. In April 1880, he moved to Blue Springs, Neb., where he lived a respected citizen until his death, April 4, 1882, which was caused by typhoid pneumonia. Mr. Stelle has three children living and four dead: Ellsworth, born Aug. 8, 1867, died Nov. 16, 1867; Harry J., born Sept. 4, 1869, died Feb. 13, 1884; Frank E., born Aug. 5, 1871; Jennie M., born March 20, 1873; and Roy M., born Nov. 26, 1876. Two died in infancy. Mrs. Stelle was born in Washington county, N.Y., April 21, 1844. They are both members of the Baptist church of Jerseyville. He holds the office of school treasurer in this township.
Samuel Darlington was born in Scioto county, O., on Aug. 14, 1827. In 1840 he came with his parents to Illinois, then locating on section 21(?), in Mississippi township, Jersey county, which place he himself now occupies. His parents were Abishra and Eva (Cramer) Darlington. His father was born in Pennsylvania in 1785, and died at his home in this township in 1851. His mother was also born in Pennsylvania in 1790, and died at her home in 1849. They are both buried here, on the home place, side by side. Samuel Darlington was married to Mary Cox, Sept. 12, 1850. She is the daughter of Jacob B. and Cynthia (Turner) Cox. Six children have been born to them: William A., born Aug. 21, 1851; Sarah Jane, born Dec. 19, 1854, is the wife of Charles Kelly, and lives in Jerseyville; Olivia, born May 5, 1856, is the wife of Eugene Brooks, and lives in Jersey township; Julia A., born Sept. 12, 1857; Magnolia, born Aug. 2, 1860, is the wife of Robert Green, and lives in Kane, Greene county, Ill.; Nettie, born Dec. 20, 1867. Mr. Darlington is well fixed, having a two-story residence worth $3,000, the main part 18 x 38, with an L 18 x 31; a barn 26 x 40, costing $600, besides all the necessary outbuildings that are generally found on a first class farm. He is a member of the I.O.O.F. No. 456 of Otterville, and also of the camp No. 53 at Jerseyville. His political views are republican.
John H. Darlington was born on Oct. 5, 1853 in Jersey county, in the same house in which he now lives. He was married on April 25, 1880 to Magnolia B. Lurton, born on Aril 10, 1857. She is the daughter of N. M. and Emma (Sloman) Lurton. They have only one child, Herschel L., born Nov. 22, 1884. Mr. Darlington’s father was born in Scioto county, O. on Dec. 18, 1817. His mother is a native of Illinois, and her mother in England. The farm is located on section 16 of this township. On it is a frame house 18 x 36 with an L 18 x 22, costing $1,000; a barn, double cribs, granary and buggy sheds, costing about $1,000. There is a good orchard, and everything around denotes prosperity. In politics he is a republican.
William Davison, an enterprising farmer of this township, was born in Monmouth county, N.J. on Jan. 18, 1822. In 1840 he went to Monroe county, N.Y., staying until 1854. He then went to Michigan, where he remained until the spring of 1857, when he moved to Jersey county, Ill., on the place now occupied by him. He owns 150 acres of land on section 10, 20 acres of timber on section 22, and 10 acres on section 16. His farm is well improved and provided with good accommodations. The residence cost $3,000, and is a two-story frame building, 24 x 34, with an L. 16 x 20. He has a large barn 36 x 46, costing $1,350, a granary 24 x 26, costing $400, and a good wind pump. There are 350 rods of hedge fence on the land, and a young apple orchard of 130 trees. All these improvements tend to show that Mr. Davison is a man who devotes his time successfully to the occupation he has chosen. He was married to Emeline Potter on Oct 2, 1845. She is the daughter of Lewis and Nancy (Bliss) Potter. They have three children: Lewis, born on Feb. 16, 1846, now married to Elizabeth Ely, and living in this township; James, born June 26, 1848, married to Mary Lowe; and Clarence born on April 13, 1850, married to Letitia Ely. All the children live in this township. Mr. Davison is a member of the Methodist church.
Joseph Marshaw was born in 1825, on a place that is now a portion of the city of St. Louis. He is a son of Joseph Marshaw, St., who is a native of France. Joseph, Jr. was raised on a farm, which occupation he has since followed. In 1837 he came to Jersey county and settled at Otterville. He was married in 1849 to Sarah A. McDow, a native of this county. They have five children: Madra Jane, wife of James M. Harris, of this township; Louie Angeline, wife of Arthur McGee, living in Kansas; Florence Matilda, Married to Franklin W. Bently, and living in Cass county, Ill.; Addie and Joseph Edmond, at home. He owns a farm of 177 acres on section 29, in township 7, and on which he lives comfortably. He is a member of the I.O.O.F.
Andrew J. Everts is among the prosperous farmers of this township. He was born in Madison county, N.Y. on May 21, 1843. He moved west to Audrain county, Mo. in 1865, and remained there six years. He then went to New York on a visit, stayed there and in Michigan until 1872, when he went back to Missouri and remained there that winter. In 1873 he came to English township, Jersey county, Ill., stayed there 16 months, moved to Mississippi township on section 11, and lived there six years. In the spring of 1881 he moved to the farm now occupied by him on the west half of section 15. He was married to Celia Day in Jan. 1868. She was born in Lenawee county, Mich. They had one child born to them, Cora M., born Dec. 22, 1868. His wife died in Oct. 1870, and was buried in Audrain county, Mo. On Jan. 28, 1875, he was again married to Mrs. Emma L. Hartwell, born May 20, 1849. Three children were born to them: Walter W., born Nov. 3, 1875, died Sept. 25, 1877; Eugene A., born Dec. 29, 1877; Hugh O., born Nov. 2, 1879. Mrs. Everts has, besides these, two children by her first husband. They are: Hattie A., born Jan. 3, 1870; Florence R., born Jan. 3, 1872. Mr. Everts has 320 acres of good farm land, on which he has a two-story frame residence, the main part 18 x 40, the L 24 x 36, and costing $3,000. There is also a good frame barn 40 x 60, worth $800, with granaries and corn cribs worth $300. He is a member of the K. of H., and of the G.A.R. He is a thriving, industrious farmer, and has prospered by so being.
James R. Slaten resides on the southwest quarter of section 31, Mississippi township, where he owns a valuable farm of 80 acres, finely improved in every manner. He owns, also, 60 acres of land in Elsah township, which is partly improved. Mr. Slaten was born in Greene county, Ill., Aug. 10, 1822, and his entire life has been spent in this portion of the state. He was married March 21, 1844 to Elizabeth West, who was born in Madison county, Ky., Sept. 15, 1822. She died in Jersey county, March 21, 1879, and was buried in the Salem cemetery, Otter Creek township. They had two children, Mary Jane, born Dec. 24, 1846, wife of Sylvester Whitcomb; and Lee C., born Feb. 5, 1859, and died Sept. 5, 1860. Mr. Slaten’s daughter resides with him at present, her husband being in Idaho Territory. Mr. Slaten is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. His late wife was also a member of that church. He belongs to the Grafton lodge of A. F. & A. M. and is politically a republican.
John E. Love was born on March 27, 1852 in the state of Virginia. He is a son of J. D. and Anna Love. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born on April 4, 1804. He died on Feb 12, 1878, and was buried by the side of his brother, Joseph, on the farm of William Love, in Calhoun county, Ill. The place is called Love’s grave yard. John’s mother was born in the state of Delaware in 1829. They moved west from Virginia in 1860, settling in Calhoun county, Ill. They stayed in that neighborhood about six years, and then came to Jersey county, Mississippi township, where J. E. has since lived with his mother. He is the fifth child of a family of nine, six of whom are yet living. He is a member of the M.E. church. His political views are democratic.
George W. McCann was born Sept. 30, 1863 at Otterville, Jersey county, Ill. In 1876, when only 13 years old, he made a trip to Texas, where he helped his father raise a crop. He cam back to this county the next fall, and while he stayed here he worked for Zim Rollins. In June of the next year he returned to Texas, and remained there a few months, working in a bakery. He then came back to Illinois, where he worked for John Dougherty about four years. He then took a trip to Kansas, where he remained about two months, looking around the country, when he came back and was married. His marriage took place Oct. 24, 1883 to Minnie Menard. She was reared by William Donnegan.
Frederick Hartman was born in Saxony, Germany on Nov. 2, 1827. He left his native place in 1850 and immigrated to America. He landed in New Jersey, where he lived four years, and then came to Jersey county, Ill., settling on the Cummings farm. He remained on that place three years, then went on section 22, living there nine years, and then came to section 9, where he now lives. He has his land well improved, and on it are good frame buildings, a good house and barn, insured at $2,000, and all in good repair. He was united in marriage with Emeline Frond in 1852. She was born in 1824. Three children were born to them: Annie, who died at the age of 11 years; Frank, born in 1854, married Lena Hamilton, and lives in California; Mary, born in 1858, is the wife of John Fall, and lives in Jersey county. Mr. Hartman and wife are members of the Lutheran church. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M.
Elihu Conn was born in Williamson county, Ill. on March 17, 1826. When a boy he went to St. Clair county, Ill., where he remained 18 years. He then went to St. Louis, but only stayed part of a year there, and came to Jersey county, Ill. in Nov. 1852. In the spring of 1855 he moved to Montgomery county, and after living there about four years he moved back to Jersey county. He settled in the Illinois bottoms, which place he kept until 1865. In 1862 he enlisted in Co. K., 99th Ill., under Capt. Benjamin Slaten. He served three years and a few days, and was then mustered out at Galveston, Tex. He came back and again went to farming on the Illinois bottoms. He was united in marriage with May G. McBride on Aug. 15, 1851. She was born on July 1, 1835. They have been the parents of 10 children, six of whom are living: Joseph, born on Oct. 10, 1854; Julia A., born June 28, 1857; John, born June 22, 1865; Mary B., born May 17, 1867; James W., born Feb. 22, 1871; Emily, born May 13, 1873. Mr. Conn is of Irish descent. In politics he is a republican. He is now farming on the northeast quarter of section 15.Ira M. West, a worthy resident of Mississippi township, was born in St. Clair county, Ill. Oct. 13, 1824. In 1839 he came to Jersey county, and since that date his home has been in this county. Part of that time he has lived in the city of Jerseyville, where he kept a restaurant and confectionery for a few months; but the business proved to be too confining for him and he was obliged to give it up and go out on his farm. He much prefers farm life, as it is more beneficial to his health. He moved from town in April 1884. He was married to Sarah Jane Sandridge on Dec. 5, 1845. She was the daughter of Roland and Louisa (Williamson) Sandridge, and was born Oct. 14, 1822. Her parents were natives of Virginia. Mr. West’s parents were from Kentucky. He has held various offices since 1849. In that year he was elected constable in Otter Creek township for one term, then in Jerseyville for two terms, then was justice of the peace for one term, and deputy sheriff continuously for a number of years. He is now holding the office of justice of the peace. The farm looks well, and shows him to be a man who understands taking care of one. Besides this he has property worth $4,000 in Jerseyville, consisting of four lots and a fine residence.
George W. Spangle was born in Mississippi township, Jersey county, Ill. on July 1, 1854. He was married to Alzada J. McDow, daughter of John N. and Mary (Harris) McDow. She was born in 1860. One child has been born to this union, Jessie E., born on Oct. 29, 1883. He is now living on J. K. Cadwallader’s farm on section 17, in this township. Mr. Spangle is quite a young farmer, but is energetic and persevering, and is well liked by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance.
C. H. Vorhees, a prominent stock-dealer in this township, was born in Jersey county, Ill. on Oct. 11, 1839. He was united in marriage with Elizabeth Gaston, daughter of Joseph and Catherine Gaston, born Oct 23, 1844. He is a member of the K. of H. He owns 120 acres of land on section 5, Mississippi township. The farm is known by the name of Pleasant Hill. He has a good frame dwelling, and barns, cribs and other outbuildings, all in good repair. Most of his time is spent in trading stock, especially horses and cattle. He is the owner of Bell Brown, the trotting mare of Jersey county; of Zero P., a trotting stallion by old Ben Patchen (the sire of Francis Alexander, record 2:19), and of a two-year-old stallion by Corbin’s Bashaw of Quincy, record 2:26, dam Belle Brown, record 2:30. Bell Brown has a colt by Harry Golddust, record 2:30. Mr. Vorhees has quite a number of horses, carriage teams and colts for sale. He also feeds, raises and sells cattle.
Horatio N. Ford was born in Delaware county, Penn., Jan. 17, 1845. His parents were Horatio N. and Martha L. Ford, both natives of Pennsylvania. He came to Illinois with his parents in 1846, they locating in Macoupin county, and he remained there until 1872. He went from there to Godfrey, Madison county and stayed there until March 1877, when he came to Delhi, Jersey county, staying there until Oct. 1884. He moved from there to McCluskey, Jersey county, where he has lived up to the present writing. On Oct. 9, 1867 he was married to Frances E. Wyncoop, born Jan. 23, 1842. Her parents were John and Rolando Wyncoop, he of Virginia, and she of Illinois. Mrs. Ford died Jan. 17, 1877, at Godfrey, and was buried at Brighton. Two children were born to them: Harvey L., born Aug. 21, 1868; Geo. N., born Jan. 1, 1877, died March 16, 1877. On Nov. 4, 1880, Mr. Ford was again married to Jennie E. Scott, born Oct. 21, 1852. Her parents were Charles W. and Catharine J. (Kendall) Scott. Her father was from Virginia, her mother from St. Charles county, Mo. Mr. and Mrs. Ford are members of the M.E. church. He belongs to the Knights of Honor No. 1129 of Delhi. He is postmaster, notary public and merchant at McCluskey and is doing a good business.
John J. Lamb, deceased, was born in Adams county, Miss., March 1, 1830. He moved to Illinois with his parents in 1835. Dec. 25, 1855 he was united in marriage with Ann F. McDow, daughter of John and Maria (Wagoner) McDow. They were the parents of five children, three of whom are living: Laura E., born Nov. 11, 1858; Albert C., born March 5, 1861; and Walter E., born Jan. 29, 1873. Eva M. was born April 12, 1857, and died Oct. 18, 1858, and one son died in infancy. John J. Lamb died Oct. 11, 1876, and was buried in the Union church cemetery, which is located on section 17, Mississippi township. Mrs. Lamb owns a good farm, comprising 187 acres on section 17, where she resides, and 47 acres on the northeast quarter of section 16. Her commodious residence was erected in 1879, at a cost of $3,000. Her barn and other buildings are substantial and convenient. Mrs. Lamb is a member of the Baptist church. Her deceased husband was also connected with that denomination. He was a man of intelligence and enterprise, and on account of his many sterling qualities was esteemed and honored throughout the community.
Addison Greene settled at Jersey Landing, Jersey county, Ill., about 1847. Five years later he moved to Mississippi township, where he has ever since resided. He was born in Jefferson county, N.Y., June 21, 1819. In 1834 he went to Missouri, where he remained three years, then returned east to Ohio, his parents having moved to that state. Eighteen months later he came to Illinois, locating in Madison county. He resided there about 15 months, then went to Missouri, and five months later to Quincy, Ill., remaining there from Feb. 1839 until Nov. 1844. At the latter date he returned to Madison county, where he lived three years, coming then to this county. April 15, 1839, he was married in Scott county, Ill. to Amanda Hoit, daughter of Benjamin and Dorothy (Walker) Hoit. Mr. Greene’s marriage license was the first one issued in that county. They had a family of 12 children: Henrietta, born July 3, 1840, married to James Chaplin, and died in Feb. 1871; John P., born Aug. 23, 1841, and died in June 1845; Amanda, born in 1843 and died in 1845; Rufus A., born in March 1845 and died on Oct. of the same year; Rhoda A., born in Dec. 1846, married to John Sanders, and died in Oct. 1871; Albert, born March 23, 1848, and died in May 1872; Addison, born in Dec. 1850, and died in 1874; Ella, born in 1852, and died in 1856; Joan, born April 20, 1854, now the wife of B. A. McCauly, of Kansas; Nathaniel, born Jan. 22, 1857, living in Mississippi township; Nancy Z., born May 20, 1861, now the wife of John W. Morrill, of Kansas; and Frederick F., born in 1863, and died in infancy. Mr. Greene has a farm of 300 acres, all of which is on section 31, except 80 acres on section 30. He has made substantial and comfortable improvements, and is an enterprising farmer. Mr. Greene was elected supervisor of Mississippi township at its organization, and served two years. He is politically a democrat.
Nathaniel Greene, son of Addison Greene, resides on section 31, Mississippi township. He was born on the same section, Jan. 20, 1857, and here grew to manhood. His childhood was spent in working on the farm and attending the district school. In 1872 he entered Monticello Seminary, in Lewis county, Mo., and remained a student at that institution nine months, after which he attended four months at Blackburn University in Macoupin county, Ill. In 1876 he took a trip to Pennsylvania, visiting the Centennial exposition, at Philadelphia, and also the oil regions. On his return home he worked on the farm with his father until 1878, when he again visited Pennsylvania, where he was married, in Dec. of that year, to Belle Kilgore, who was a native of Mineral township, Venango Co., Penn., who was born March 3, 1857. She is the daughter of James and Nancy (Kennear) Kilgore. He returned home in Feb. 1879, and during the next four years followed farming on his father’s place, and also canvassed Jersey and Calhoun counties for the sale of agricultural implements, being employed by Drury & Weed of Alton. In Nov. 1882 he went to Elsah, and opened a store of groceries, provisions and hardware. He continued in this business until August 1883. In the fall of that year he went south with a party of surveyors, and remained two months, surveying on the Mississippi river from Vicksburg to Natches. He then returned hom. In Aug. 1884 he went to Cloud county, Kansas, and there engaged in the manufacture of the Norris patent fence, which he continued three months, then returned to the farm, where he has since remained. He has held the office of school director two terms, and is at present time president of the board of school trustees of Mississippi township. He is a member of the Grafton lodge No. 341, of the A. F. & A. M., also a charter member of Black Cross lodge No. 106, of the K. of P. of Elsah. He is politically a democrat. Mr. and Mrs. Greene have two children: Ruth, born Feb. 12, 1881; and Addison, born June 5, 1884.
James M. Harris, who resides on section 30 of Mississippi township, was born in Robertson county, Tenn., Dec. 12, 1850. When he was eight years old he moved with his parents to Mississippi township, Jersey county, Ill. At the age of 18 years he left home and went to work for N. M. Lurton, with whom he remained three years. Dec. 14, 1872 he was married to Dora Jane Marshaw, a native of Otterville, Jersey county, born Dec. 31, 1851. She is a daughter of Joseph and Sarah A. (McDow) Marshaw, the former of French descent, the latter a native of Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Harris have three children: Charles W., born July 16, 1873; Flora, born April 6, 1878; and Thomas, born Sept. 15, 1882. Mr. Harris’ parents were natives of Tennessee, and are now deceased. Mr. Harris is politically a republican.
George F. Scribner, a farmer of Mississippi township, was born in Wyoming, N.Y., Nov. 23, 1840. He grew to manhood in his native state, and Aug. 12, 1862, enlisted in Co. D., of the 130th N.Y. Inf., under command of Captain Knapp, and served until Oct. 5, 1865, when he was mustered out at Albany, N.Y. He participated in many engagements and skirmishes, serving a portion of the time in the 1st N.Y. Dragoons, commanded by Colonel Gibbs. He was a gallant soldier, and always at his post. He was married, Nov. 15, 1868, to Adelia A. Washburn, daughter of Madison and Ursula (Barrows) Washburn. She was born Jan. 16, 1842. Mr. and Mrs. Scribner have had five children, four of whom are living: Clarence M., born Feb. 3, 1873; Ella M., born July 10, 1875; Lula V., born Sept. 6, 1877, died Dec. 10, of the same year; George F., born July 21, 1880; and Truman A., born Oct. 28, 1882. Mr. Scribner owns a farm of 120 acres on section 9, Mississippi township, where he resides; also 20 acres on the northwest quarter of section 16, 40 acres on section 17, and 160 acres in Johnson county, Neb. His residence is a commodious and comfortable structure, erected at a cost of $2,700, and is barn and other farm buildings of equally good description. He is a member of Jerseyville lodge No. 53, I.O.O.F., and politically is a republican.
The first child born in Mississippi township was a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Ezekiel Gillham.
The first ground plowed was by John D. Gillham in 1819. He also raised the first wheat and corn.
The first marriage in the township was that of William Gillham and Martha Munsey in 1826 or 1827.
The first store was opened by John W. Slaten and Isaac N. Piggott, about a quarter of a mile south of Newbern, on section 32, in 1836.
The first school in this township was taught by Turner R. Lurton in 1819. The first school house was built in 1819.
The first sermon was preached by Rev. Jacob Lurton, at the house of John D. Gillham in 1820.
The first brick house in what is now Mississippi township was erected by J. D. Gillham in 1828 on section 28. It was also the second brick house in the county, that of Major Patterson, erected the year before in Jersey township, and blown down in 1830, being the first.
The first justices of the peace in Mississippi township were Thomas McDow and Joseph J. Basey.
Turner R. Lurton taught the first school in Mississippi township in 1819, at a log cabin built for that purpose, on the farm of John D. Gillham on section 28. Describing the location of that first school house from present landmarks, it was situated on the north side of the public road, about a quarter of a mile due east from East Newbern. This school was taught by Turner Lurton, during two winters, 1819-20 and 1820-21. The next term was taught by a man named Davis, in the same building. There were in attendance at this term about 14 scholars. The following names of some of these are furnished by one of them, who still survives: Abijah and Farrow Davis, Allen and Marcus Gillham, Matilda and Albert Bartus Lofton, Jordan Gillham and Charles Carroll. Davis, the teacher, was a married man with a large family. The cabin in which this school was held has long since been torn down or rotted away, and only one of the early scholars mention, Charles Carroll, is yet living.
The first school house was built in 1819, as we are credibly informed, but now the township is studded with places of learning, and the facilities of acquiring an education are within the reach of all.
School district No. 1, called Black Jack district, has a school house on the northwest corner of the southeast quarter of section 11, which was erected in 1840. It is a frame house, built in the old style, 18 x 24 feet in ground area, and showing considerably the lapse of years. The first directors were Thomas Cummings, Joseph Crabb and J. R. Black. The pioneer teacher, James VanHorne, was well known throughout this county. The directors in 1885 are: C. C. Cummings, Mathew Walsh and G. H. VanHorne.
District No. 2 has a neat school house 32 x 22 feet in size, erected in 1878, at a cost of $630, on section 9. The pioneer teacher in the building was Enos Johnston. The first directors were J. B. Voorhees, Sanford Ross and John J. Lamb; the present, George Voorhees, Ninnian Beaty and S. Ross. The averabe attendance is about 25.
The present school building in district No. 3 was erected in 1871, at a cost of $900. In size it is 24 x 30 feet. Nettie Gaskill taught the first term of school in this house. The present teacher is Mrs. Owen. The directors are Ephraim Chappell, Joseph Marshaw and John Fitzgibbons.
District No. 5 is in the village of East Newbern, and the school house is known by the name of Round Prairie. It was erected in 1855, and is a neat frame structure, 18 x 36 feet in dimension, built at a cost of $800. The first directors were Robert Dymond, Robert Gardner and L. Hempfield. The present board of directors is composed of the following gentlemen: C. Cook, George House and William Rintone. Lucy White is the present teacher, and there is a general attendance of 40.
District No. 6 has a school house erected on section 6, which was built in 1867, when William Hurd, William Linnen and A. C. Fitzgerald were directors. The first teacher was Mary Hurd. The building is octagonal in shape, each side being 10 feet in length, the roof running to a peak in the center. A. C. Fitzgerald, James Wall and William Hildred are the present directors, and Lillie Hassett the present teacher. There is a general attendance of 23.
District No. 7, in the old town of Newbern, has a school house which was erected in 1857 on section 29, but subsequently was moved to its present location. The first directors were Henry Travis and William Argo. The present board consists of Joseph Knight, Henry Gill and James Palmer. The present teacher is Nazaretta Slaten. Previous to this there were two other frame buildings, besides log cabins, which were used for educational purposes, all of which have outlived their usefulness and have been torn down or left to decay.
School district No. 9, known as White school house, is situated on the northeast corner of section 1. The first building here was built about the year 1856, but this was destroyed by fire in April 1866. It was a small frame building which cost about $700, and was a total loss when it burned, as there was no insurance. On the site of the old one, in 1866, the present building was erected at a cost of $1,200. It is 18 x 26 feet in size, and is a neat, frame structure. The first directors in this district were Mathew Stanley, Hugh N. Cross and Joseph Pennyfield, and the first teacher Lucy Hoyt. The present teacher is Julia Howell, and the directors Mathew Stanley, Oliver Terrell and Silas Bates. The average attendance is 20 now.
District No. 10 has a school house known by the name of Irene, located on section 21, which was erected during the year 1873. This building was first built a half mile west of its present location, on section 21, from where it was moved in 1876 to its site of today. The first directors of the district were Joseph Chambers, Moses Cockrell and Jacob Loker. Irene Ferguson was the first teacher here, and after her the school house is named. The present directors are William Darlington, Hiram McCluskey and Richard Chappell. Edward Shaffer is the present pedagogue.
This village was laid out by Jacob Lurton on section 32 in 1832. A post office was established by removal from Eminence. Jacob Lurton was made postmaster, and served as such 14 years. The first store was built by David L. Mott, who put in a large general stock, which he operated a number of years, or until his death, when John Mott succeeded his uncle, and was afterward succeeded by John D. Mott. John H. McDow was the next proprietor, and afterward moved the store to Dow. J. J. Briggs also opened a store here, which he operated during the war, and was succeeded by Marcus Gillham. He afterward sold it to Dodson & Co. A blacksmith shop was started by William Collapp, the first in the place, which he operated two or three years, when he was succeeded by George Spencer, a farmer of Fidelity township. It is now operated by Henry Gill.
The Newbern cemetery is situated on the northeast quarter of section 32, and contains one acre of ground, deeded to the township by Jacob Lurton and A. Lofton. It was laid out at an early day as a private burying ground, but has since become a public one. Judge John Lofton was the first person interred therein.
Newbern Horsethief Detective Society
This society was organized by the West Union order, at Newbern, March 21, 1864. The first officers of the society were: Addison Greene, president; Geo. W. Slaten, secretary; and Jasper Terry, door-keeper. The society at present is in a flourishing condition, and has a membership of about 20. The present officers are: George W. Slaten, president; Nelson M. Lurton, secretary; and J. C. Lurton, treasurer.
This village was laid out by Hiram McCluskey and Mary McCluskey, his wife, under the name of the village of Howe, on June 30, 1883. The survey was made by Daniel J. Murphy, the county surveyor, and the plat recorded July 21, 1883. It is located on Sec. 16, T7, R11. At that time a store building was put up and a stock of general merchandise placed therein by H. McCluskey & Co. This they continued to operate until Oct. 1, 1884, when McCluskey purchased the interest of his partner, and ever since the business has been operated by McCluskey & Ford, the latter gentleman acquiring an interest therein. They carry a stock of about $1,200.
There is also a blacksmith shop, presided over by William M. Grether, from which the ruddy glow from burning coal gleams out brightly during the long days, and the cheery ring of steel on iron enlivens the still air. This shop was erected by L. F. Linkogle, who occupied it about six months, when it reverted to H. McCluskey, who held it until Aug. 1884, when it was purchased by the present proprietor, W. M. Grether. He does horse-shoeing and general repair work, and has a good business.
William M. Grether was born in St. Charles county, Mo. Sept. 22, 1840. His father died in 1841. One year after that his mother married again. William remained at home until he was 14 years of age, when he left and joined his brother John, in Franklin county, Mo., where he remained five years. He then came to Grafton, Ill., and from there proceeded to Otterville, where be began the trade of blacksmithing, under his brother-in-law, John Linkogle. He served two years under him, when the war broke out, and in 1861 he enlisted in Co. C., 61st Ill. Inf. He was wounded at the battle of Shiloh, in the right foot and ankle, which leaves him a cripple for life. When he recovered sufficiently to be able to work, he returned to Franklin county, Mo., where, in company with his brother John, he engaged in the blacksmithing business. He remained here two years, when he disposed of his interest to his brother, moving to St. Louis county, where he established a shop. He was married to E. A. Longworth, Sept. 21, 1866. He then came to Grafton, Ill., where he and his brother, M. Grether, formed a partnership, and engaged in the tin and hardware business. Three children have been born to them: the first died in infancy; F. M. C., born July 22, 1871; Eva M., born March 14, 1874. Mr. Grether is still working at his trade, having a shop at McCluskey. He is a member of the M.E. church, and affiliates with the democratic party.
Charles W. Scott was born in Halifax county, Va. on Oct. 19, 1828. He is the son of Jonathan and Frances (Stanfield) Scott. They were both born in Halifax county, Va., he on Oct 6, 1794, and she on Oct. 8, 1802. They were married on her birthday in 1822. He died in Florida, Monroe county, Mo. in 1841. She died at the same place on Jan. 28, 1846. When Charles W. Scott was seven years old, he came with his parents to Monroe county, Mo., and lived there until 1864, when he came to Delhi, Jersey county, Ill. He lived there until Oct. 8, 1884, when he came to the village of McCluskey, and located on section 16, where he now follows the occupation of farming. He was married to C. J. Kendall in 1851. She was born April 11, 1837. Her father, S. T. Kendall, was a major and served in the Black Hawk war. He was also a member of the house of representatives in the Illinois legislature. Her mother is a native of Missouri, and is the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Sumner, of English origin. Mr. and Mrs. Scott have two children: Eliza J., born in Audrain county, Mo., Oct. 21, 1852, now the wife of H. N. Ford, living in the village of McCluskey; Lena R., born March 2, 1870, at Delhi, and lives with her parents. Mr. Scott is a member of the Methodist church, and his wife a member of the Baptist church.
The village of McCluskey has a population now of about 30 souls, and contains the store of McCluskey & Ford, the blacksmith shop of W. M. Grether, and seven dwelling houses. The post office is located in the store of McCluskey & Ford, Horatio N. Ford being postmaster. Samuel Darlington was the first to handle mail at this point.
This village is situated at the corner of sections 27, 28, 33 and 34, part lying in each section. The place was formerly known as Chamber’s Corner, after one of the first settlers at this locality. It was laid out as a town by J. T. Gillham, Marcus Gillham, John Chambers, Jr., and E. Briggs, and platted on Sept. 26, 1866, and the plat filed for record with the clerk of court Jan. 10, 1867, although there was a store, mill and other buildings here prior to this.
The mill was built by E. Briggs about 1859, and was a fine one. It continued operation nearly all the time until 1878, when the machinery was taken out and moved to Elsah, or Jersey Landing, since which time the building has stood unoccupied and silent.
A general store was started here by Wilson & Whipple, about the year 1860, and was run by them about one year, when it became the property of Gillham Bros., who were succeeded by Gillham & Giberson, and finally into the hands of Robert Dymond, the present proprietor. He carries a stock of about $1,200, and is doing a nice, comfortable business.
Robert Dymond was born on Jan. 30, 1823 in Devonshire, England. He came to America in 1849, landing in Genesee county, N.Y., where he stayed 18 months. He came to Alton, Ill. in 1852, stayed there two years, and then came to Jersey county. Here he bought 120 acres of land on section 35, on which he lived. He afterward bought another 80 acres in the same township, and farmed it for 24 years. He then moved to East Newbern and bought 18 3/4 acres on the northwest quarter of section 27, in Mississippi township. He also keeps a store in which he handles general merchandise, and is postmaster at this palce, which position he has held for seven years. He was married to Mary Cook, a native of Devonshire, England. She was born May 8, 1824. There were five children born to them: Thomas, the first child, died, and the second child was named after him; William J., deceased; John E. and Lucy. Robert and his wife are both members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, of this township, of which he is one of the trustees. He is succeeding well as a merchant.
A store was operated here at one time by Dr. James A. Briggs.
The postoffice was established at this point in 1862, with John Doyle as postmaster. It was then called Newbern, but later was changed to East Newbern. Roberty Dymond is the present postmaster.
The blacksmith shop is now operated by David Tonkinson, who has a good business, as he is known as a skillful workman.
David T. Tonkinson was born in Clark county, O., Sept. 15, 1826. His youth was spent in this place. He went from there to Burlington, Ia. in 1844, where he remained for two years, working part of the time in a blacksmith shop. He left there and went to St. Louis and went with Lieut. Newton, Co. C., 2nd Dragoons, to Mexico, and was in the service about eight months. He came back to St. Louis, staying there about 16 months, during which time he worked in a foundry and machine shop. From St. Louis he came to Jersey Landing, now called Elsah, in Elsah township, in 1849, where he stayed until 1883, when he moved to East Newbern where he now resides. He was married to Susan M. Davis, a daughter of John and Sarah Davis, on Aug. 8, 1854. She was born May 9, 1834. To them, nine children were born: William W., born Feb. 5, 1857; Sarah A., born Nov. 28, 1858; George W., born Jan. 29, 1861; Mary A., born May 15, 1864, died June 22, 1864; John H., born Oct. 26, 1865; Charles F., born march 23, 1868, died Aug. 6, 1885; Robert W., born July 22, 1870, died July 2, 1871; Ida L., born Aug. 18, 1872; and Julia M., born May 3, 1875. He served in Co. C, 154th Ill. Inf., about eight months during the Rebellion. He has held the office of justice of the peace three different times. He has three lots in the village, on which is located his dwelling, a comfortable frame building, and also his shop, in which he carries on blacksmithing. His wife is a member of the I.O.O.F. No. 269 of Elsah.
The village is but small as yet, containing but the one store, blacksmith shop, and seven dwelling, and the M.E. church.
Philip Seibold is a native of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, where he was born Dec. 12, 1835. He resided in Germany until 1865, and then immigrated to America, landing at Castle Garden, in New York city. He proceeded west immediately, stopping at Alton, Ill., where he remained two months, and for four years following, worked at blacksmithing in a number of different places in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri. In 1869 he came to Jersey county, locating on section 37, Mississippi township, where he purchased 35 acres of land, on which he now lives. He has good and comfortable improvements, and raises fruit quite extensively. He has 250 grape vines, some pear, and other fruit trees,a nd also small fruit. Mr. Seibold was married Nov. 14, 1869, to Elizabeth Barker, who was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Feb. 4, 1839. They have one child, Annie C., born Nov. 14, 1878. Mr. and Mrs. Seibold are members of the Lutheran church.
The village of Dow is a small station on the W., St. L. & P. railroad, and was laid out by John H. McDow and Medora McDow, his wife, June 30, 1883. The survey was made by Daniel J. Murphy, the county surveyor, and the plat was filed for record Oct. 18, 1883. It is located on section 32.
John McDow had formerly been engaged in the mercantile trade in Newbern, or West Newbern, but on his creating the new town, he removed his store building to the latter. He carries a neat stock of general merchandise, that will invoice about $1,200, and is doing a nice business, as he is well liked by the people of this vicinity. The postoffice was also removed with the store, but still retains its original name of Newbern, and the station is more familiarly known as Newbern than by its right name of Dow.
John H. McDow, a merchant in the village of Dow, was born on Sept. 7, 1847, in the same place that he now lives on section 32, in Mississippi township, Jersey county, Ill. He owns 140 acres on this section, besides keeping a store, in which he carries a stock of general merchandise. He was united in marriage with Medora A. Burley on Feb. 5, 1873. She is the daughter of Martha (Lacy) Burley, and was born on March 29, 1854. Five children were born to them: Tell, born Oct 18, 1873; Claude N., born Oct 23, 1877; Alice M., born May 18, 1880, died March 29, 1882; Arthur H., born Oct. 28, 1882; and Ross O., born Sept. 7, 1884. John H. is a member of the A. F. & A. M., both lodge and chapter,and of the arch and encampment of the I.O.O.F. at Grafton.
There is also located at this point a general repair shop, operated by N. N. Chase & Son, where work both in iron and wood is done.
The village, which is yet in its infancy, contains but five dwelling houses and about 25 inhabitants. The post office was established on the laying out of the town, or shortly afterwards, with J. H. McDow as postmaster, who continues to manipulate the mail satisfactorily.