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Jersey County Page     Jersey County History

Jersey County 50th Anniversary


Whereas, On August 5th, 1839, the County of Jersey was organized, and it has been decided by the citizens of said county to celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of that day by approprite ceremonies at Jerseyville,

There, I, Joseph M. Page, Mayor of said city, do hereby earnestly request all citizens of Jerseyville to decorate their residences and places of business on Mandy, August 5th, 1889, and close their stores from 10 o’clock A.M. to 12 M. that all may take parat in the parade.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand a caused the seal of the city of Jerseyville to be affixed this 1st day of August, 1889. J. M. Page, Mayor. (Attest) T. W. Butler, City Clerk.

The Celebration

As chronicled by the Jersey County Democrat, August 1, 1889.

It is not probably that a single person who was present at the birth of our county will be here to celebrate the next fiftieth anniversary, therefor everyone chould come out that day and have a grand jollification. Come and sping your yarns, tell about the times when the wolf and coyote sang you to sleep and the deer peered in at your cabin door. Tell about the fields of grain you cut with the sickle and the cradle, and the twenty miles you rode for a doctor when the first child was born.

Six hundred dollars worth of fireworks will be fired during the day and night.

This is distinctively a gathering of the old citizens, the men and women who made Jersey county what it is, and every citizen should have pride enough to turn out and help make the affair a success.

O. B. C. Band, sixteen pieces, Paul Leresche’s Band, twelve pieces, and Major Waterman’s Drum Corps, twenty members will enliven the day with music.

All the church bells will ring at six o’clock in the morning, twelve at noon, and six at night. The whistles on the electric light and water-works buildings will also add to the joyful noise.

Handsome badges have been prepared for the voters of 1839, and will be delivered to those entitled to them by Hon. J. S. Daniels, Secretary of the Old Settlers Society. They are for all who voted at he organization of the county, no matter where they now reside.

Badges prepared especially for this celebration will be given every member of the Old Settlers Societies in Greene, Jersey and sister counties who are present on that day. The design on the badge will remind you all of old times, when this county was a wilderness.

The finest exhibition of fireworks ever seen in this section of the state will be fired on the night of August 5th.

At five o’clock the fire department will have an exhibition drill and the new water-works be tested.

When Little Jersey attempts a thing you can always count on its being done right.

One of the happiest features of the day will be to see the hundred of old folks gather together talking about old time, and as the boys say “swapping lies.” Many of them will meet for the last time on earth.

All Assistant Marshals will report to Col. W. H. Fulkerson, Grand Marshal, at nine o’clock Monday morning if possible. If township assistant marshals accompany their township delegations they should halt just outside the city and the marshals report to the Grand Marshal for assignment of position.

Bring your baskets, you wives and babies and eat your dinners in the court house yard. Tables will be provided for you and your baskets can be checked at the court house free of charge.

Harvest is over, and every citizen able to get here, should come to Jerseyville, August 5th, to celebrate the birthday of the county.

One of the most entertaining features of the celebration next Monday will be the day fireworks. These are a new thing here, although they have been used at Coney Island seaside resort for a number of years. They consist of Japanese bombs fired in the air from a mortar to the height of 500 feet, when the bomb explodes and liberates fantastic figures, either of smoke or tissue paper, which float in the air for a long time if the wind is not high. In addition to these, there will be balloons, twenty feet in circumference, representing elephants, pigs and fishes. Part of these day fireworks will be set off when the procession starts in the morning.

One of the set pieces for the night fireworks, is the “Cross of Malta.” This commences with a Chinese hexagon wheel of silver spray, decorated with changing varigated colors, changing to a brilliant Maltese Cross of diamond lance work, interspersed with jerbs of radiant fires, intersected with jets of silver fires, richly ornamented with green, gold and crimson, terminating in a series of explosions. It will be 25 feet in diameter under fire. There are twelve of these “set pieces,” all different, besides a great number of Rockets, Mines Cornucopias, Harlequinades, Jeweled Streamers, Geysers, Prismatic Fountains, Aerolites, Floral Bombshells, Roman Candles, etc.

Vocal music by 40 children, under the leadership of Prof. Snyder, will be an entertaining feature. There will also be vocal music by adults.

Invitations have been sent to most of the old settlers. They are pretty and have for a trade mark a little Jersey calf, representing Little Jersey’s Birthday. The calf is now fifty years old, but is still in her prime.

The animal figure balloons will be an unique feature of the fireworks. Elephants, Pigs and Fishes will float in the air and please the old as well as the young.

Short speeches will be expected from every man present on Monday who voted in 1839, therefore they must be prepared.

Uncle Than Miner will deliver an address of about five minutes duration from his old two wheeled chaise. Mr. Miner was born in 1801 and came to this county in 1832.

According to present reports there will be at least 10,000 visitors in Jerseyville next Monday.

No stands of any description will be allowed in or around the court house square. The space will be reserved for speaking, and seating the great crowd that will be present.

When a man is fifty years old his children and grand children celebrate the event by gathering at the old homestead. Jersey county’s children will gather at Jerseyville, and with their elder sisters and brothers from Mother Greene, celebrate the birthday of the county in a style never before attempted.

The Bluff Line runs a special train from Alton for the fireworks. One fare and a third for the round trip on the C.&A., and one fare on the Bluff Line, will fill the city full of people.

The day fireworks will be shot off at the court house square, at 1 o’clock, and the night fireworks on Main street that all may have a chance to see.

“Mighty near” all of Greene county will be down next Monday to see how daughter Jersey has prospered. Judge Worchester of Whithall, sent us the names of twenty men living near there, who voted in 1839. Invitations have been sent to them, and we hope to see them all here Monday.

Jersey County Page     Jersey County History
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