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Edwardsville, Illinois, Newspaper Clippings

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser




Source: Alexandria, VA Gazette, September 8, 1819
A treaty was held at Edwardsville, State of Illinois, on September 6, between Colonel Choteau and Colonel Stevenson, Commissioners appointed on the part of the United States, and the civil and military chiefs of the Kickapoo tribe of Indians. It resulted in a purchase of that tract of country generally termed the Sangamo. The boundary commences at the mouth of the Illinois River, and runs eastwardly by the old purchase lines to the northwest corner of the second Kickapoo purchase; thence, north eastwardly by the old purchase lines, to the line dividing the Indiana and Illinois States; thence north to the Kankakee River; thence down that river to the Illinois; thence down the Illinois to the place of the beginning. This tract is estimated to contain upwards of ten million acres, a great quantity of which is first-rate land. Nearly three-hundred families had squatted on this land before the purchase, which was a strong inducement to the Indians to leave the country. They have obtained a tract of land extending from the river Osage to La Pomme, and south to the heads of White River. They will thus become the near neighbors of their old enemies, the Cherokees, with whom, until lately, they have been at war for more than 200 years.


Source: The Daily Evening Herald, June 13, 1835
The [Alton] Spectator adds, that the disease [cholera] prevails, more or less, in various parts of the State, in Edwardsville, in the American Bottom, and through the towns on the Illinois River, and St. Louis also has its full share.


Source: The Alton Telegraph, April 13, 1836
I will offer for sale on the twenty-sixth day of April next, on the premises, the following property to wit: one hundred acres of good land, about 40 acres under improvement with an apple orchard of 150 trees of superior fruit, with a highly cultivated garden, the mansion house is spacious, being about 50 feet front, two stories high, 6 rooms in front, situated near the town of Edwardsville in Madison County, Illinois, being the Into residence of James Mason, deceased. There are several outhouses, a good barn, a good well of water and ice house. Also, lots No. 183 and 185 in the town of Edwardsville, lying on Main Street, with a large two-story house. All of the above property is sold by the following order from the court of chancery of the March term. Paris Mason, Attorney, for Sarah Mason, Guardian. March 19, 1836.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 25, 1838
For the Telegraph - Mr. Editor: Unfortunately for the first time in my life, I am called upon, through the medium of the public prints, to defend my character as a citizen and honorable man. It is with reluctance I yield to the urgent necessity of coming forward to refute certain low-minded and ungentlemanly attacks upon my reputation, so dear to me and to those connected with me by the ties of relationship, and to every conscientiously honest and honorable man.

I am not called upon as a politician, but come voluntarily before the public as a honorable individual citizen, in defense of a reputation, heretofore unimpeached for honesty and probity in all my intercourse with men, from a foul and wanton slander, falsely and maliciously asserted, and as I understand, fabricated and put in circulation by an individual who lays claim to respectability; which circumstance, however false the report, is calculated to give it some semblance of truth. In order that the public, and all such as may be reached by those reports, may be enable to judge how unfairly I have been treated, it becomes necessary that I should state all the facts out of which the reports originated, together with the infamous charges alleged against me.

I understand from the most credible authority, and have repeatedly been informed, that Col. Buckmaster has charged me with fraudulently and dishonestly appropriating to my own use property belonging to a deceased prisoner under my charge while jailer of this county. It is of little consequence to me what statements go abroad among those who know me. I have no fears or apprehensions that my character can be prejudiced among that class of citizens who are acquainted with the author of such reports. But if they are circulated to effect selfish and ambitious purposes - if they are the outpourings of a base and malicious heart; and if they are the manifestations of feelings of revenge by a man whose motive too obviously is to cast from himself a charge of a similar or equally dishonest nature, by destroying the fair character of others to effect his own political ends; then I say his designs ought to be unmasked and laid open to the world.

In the fall of the year 1836, and while I had charge of the jail in this place [Edwardsville], a man by the name of Williams was arrested for theft, carried from Alton here, and placed under my charge in confinement. He was taken sick on the same night, which I think was Wednesday, and died on Saturday succeeding. I had no opportunity of an interview with him after he was taken sick before he died; but after his death was told by the other three prisoners in the same cell with him, that when he first was taken sick he expressed a fear that he should die, and repeatedly told them that when he should die he wished me to have him respectably buried, and after defraying that and all other expenses attending his sickness, he wished the balance, if any, to go to me. It was ascertained after his death that the whole amount of money he had in his possession was but $25, and no other property but his wearing apparel, much worn, worth not to exceed $12 in all. The amount I paid out of my own pocket for necessaries, and all things attending his sickness, including the burial, was to Dr. Stark $10 for medical attendance; Mr. Gibson for coffin $6; Isaac Prickett for burial clothes, &c., $8; and the services of others for digging grave and attendance in sickness $11.25; making in all $35.25, besides my own trouble and services, which I have never received anything for from the public fund. In the spring of 1837, Jacob Smith, while here attending court in the May term, informed me that the man who died at the jail in the fall had left property at his house consisting of a pair of saddlebags, a pistol and two coats - one a homespun coat, much worn, and the other a broadcloth coat, half worn. Smith then informed me that he had not been paid for his services as constable in arresting and taking the prisoner to jail, and proposed that as I had not been fully compensated for my services and expense, that he should take the saddlebags and pistol and send me the coats, which he accordingly did.

The above statements can all be corroborated by the persons alluded to. I have considered myself no more than reasonably compensated by what I received of money and property. And it may perhaps be still more satisfactory to the public to state that a brother of the deceased has since called on me, and after hearing the above facts stated, and adjusting my accounts with him, expressed himself fully satisfied that I had no more than been paid, and poorly paid, for my services and expense. This interview was witnessed by James Willson, the present jailer, and by him will be corroborated. These are all the facts connected with the charge, every iota of which I am ready and willing to prove when called upon to do so. These ignominious charges are degrading to the dignity of the man who uttered them, and wholly uncalled for from Col. Buckmaster. He has done me great injustice, inasmuch as he has shown that he has been actuated by a spirit of revenge, prompted by mistaken information that I was the author of a report calculated to blacken deeply his own honor, and tarnish his reputation for honesty. Signed Thomas R. Willson, Edwardsville, July 25th, 1838.


Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, April 3, 1840
The Madison County Harrison Convention to be held at Edwardsville, Monday, April 6, 1840. The Upper Alton, Monticello, and Alton Delegations will assemble on State Street, on Monday morning at six o'clock precisely; when a procession will be formed under the direction of George T. M. Davis, as Marshal of the day; and Joseph Gordon, William B. Little, Calvin Riley, John C. Young, and Henry C. Caswell, as Assistant Marshals. Marshal of the Day. Citizens on Horseback. Upper Alton Delegation. Ship - North Bend. Music. Monticello Delegation. Alton Delegation. Drays! Wagons. Carriages, and other vehicles. Citizens generally. Banners and other insignia will be arranged by the Marshal. By order of the committee. Alton, April 3, 1840.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 11, 1840
At the meeting of the Delegates from the several precincts of Madison county, which assembled at Edwardsville on the 22d of February last, it was voted that the business of the Convention be deferred till the first Monday in April, to which time that meeting was adjourned. In the meantime, measures were taken so to equalize the number of delegates from each precinct that all parts of the county should be fully and equitably represented, for the purpose of making choice of candidates for the various county officers to be elected in August next.

At a meeting of the citizens of Alton, held on the 31st ult., it was resolved that the citizens should escort the delegates to the Convention to be held at Edwardsville on the 6th of April. This resolution was communicated to Matthew Gillespie, Esq., of Edwardsville, on the first of April, and by him to several of the other precincts. Notwithstanding the time was very short for information to be disseminated through the county, that any except the delegates were expected to be in attendance, yet although the day was very unfavorable, it raining after nine o'clock a.m. incessantly, at least 700 of the bone and sinew of Old Madison were on the ground. Many estimated the number present at over one thousand! And such enthusiasm and determined zeal has never been witnessed in the county since many of these same men rallied in defense of their liberties and their homes. By this prompt answer to a call as sudden, they showed themselves to be minutemen now, as well as in former campaigns. But, to give a sketch of the whole proceedings of the day, we will commence with the early notes of preparation on the morning of the 6th, by the citizens of the two Altons and vicinity.

The following order of procession was issued on Saturday, the 4th, viz: The Upper Alton, Monticello [Godfrey], and Alton delegations will assemble on State Street on Monday morning at six o'clock precisely, when a procession will be formed under the direction of George T. M. Davis, as Marshal of the Day, and Joseph Gordon, William B. Little, Calvin Riley, John C. Young, and Henry C. Caswell as Assistant Marshals. Order: Marshal of the Day, citizens on horseback, Upper Alton Delegation, Ship - North Bend, Music, Monticello Delegation, Alton Delegation, drays, wagons, carriages, and other vehicles, citizens generally, banners and other insignia will be arranged by the Marshal. By order of the Committee.

In accordance with this order, at early dawn, horsemen, carriages, and all kinds of vehicles were seen moving towards State Street, the rendezvous for starting, and continued to assemble till about half past eight o'clock, when the Marshal made the following arrangement for the procession, viz: (1) Escort of twenty-six citizens on horseback, bearing banners - "Let the Government take care of itself," and "Let the People take care of Themselves." (2) Upper Alton Delegates with banner - "Upper Alton Delegation." (3) Ship "North Bend" and music. (4) Monticello Delegates with banner - "Monticello Delegation." (5) Office holder, bearing the banner - "To the Victors Belong the Spoils." (6) Four serfs with banners - "Perish Credit," "Perish Commerce," "Hard Money," and "Seven Pence a Day." (7) A standard bearer, with the motto - "This is the Way it Works." (8) Alton Delegates with their banner - "Alton Delegation" in front. In the centre of the delegation, the carriage containing the banner of the Fourth Ward. (9) Dray, with banner - "Our Wheels Want Greasing." (10) Bark Canoe (11) Citizens generally, with the banner - "One Currency for the Government - Another for the People."

Under this arrangement, the procession began to form down State and through Second Street [Broadway]. The ship "North Bend" moved forward in gallant style, decorated with banners, and bearing the identical flag that General Eaton planted upon the walls of Derno. On one side was the motto - "Freemen, Rally." On the other side, the motto - "Union for Union." On the stern, its name - "North Bend." The ship was well manned with officers and crew. At the helm was the venerable Thomas Nichols, an old soldier, and at the bows floated a banner with the motto _ "One Term." The whole drawn by eight elegant white horses, and managed by the skillful hand of Mr. J. L. Bingham.

The "Office Holder" was decked out in all the regalia of his station, and although he had not "followed in the footsteps" of the long line of illustrious log-treasurers, whose names are upon the railroad to immortality, yet he presented to the people, in his personal appearance, an excellent sample of one of the "victors" who had grown fat upon the "spoils."

The "Four Serfs" had mules and dresses in perfect keeping with the situation they represented. The admirable manner in which they acted their parts was a subject of merriment to many, but the startling truth that the Van Buren policy will, if carried out, reduce the great mass of the people to a condition not less abject, was a subject for serious consideration.

On the banner from the Fourth Ward was portrayed the Sub-Treasury in its various connections. It represented the interior of one of the Government buildings, proposed to be erected, presenting two pillars, in the foreground, upon the right and left. In the center of the room was a large iron chest, covered with strong bolts, upon the door of which was a huge padlock, and the inscription upon the front - "Sub-Treasury." In back of the iron chest stood Mr. Van Buren, the presiding genius of the place. Over his head were the words - "I follow in the footsteps" of "22 out of 27 foreign governments." Before the chest were the words - "Office Holders Rank of which the Executive is President, Director, Cashier, and Teller." Upon the right-hand pillar was the inscription, "$68.50 per day for the President, and 10 cents per day for the People." Upon the left-hand pillar was inscribed the declaration made by the Globe in 1834, in reference to the Sub-Treasury scheme, in these words - "It will subject the Treasury to be plundered by 100 hands, where one cannot now touch it." The painting was executed by Mr. C. G. Mauzy, and in a style highly creditable to his taste and skill as an artist.

The canon was drawn by four fine bay horses. In it was seated the worthy Mayor of the city of Alton, William G. Pinckard, Esq., and B. Clifford Jr., Chairman of the Whig Executive Committee, bearing a banner with the motto - "Old Tip." On one side were the words, "Our First Governor," and on the other, "We have proved him honest."

A barrel of the log cabin beverage, "Hard Cider," duly labeled, was espied in the procession, drawn by one horse in a homemade vehicle. The hospitable owner was supplied with the necessary utensils to impart his "old orchard" to such of his fellow travelers as might need.

As half past 8 o'clock, orders were given by the Marshal to "move forward." The music struck up "Hail to the Chief," the cannon roared its thunders - the streamer and flags were flying from the mast head of the ship - and the multitude of banners were waving in the breeze - all was life and animation. The procession passed on through Hunter's town and Upper Alton, amid the shouts and plaudits of those necessarily detained at home.

At Milton, the company were saluted by a delegation from the Loco-foco ranks, who had previously arrived and stationed themselves at the entrance of Wood River bridge, in the roof of which was suspended a red flannel petticoat, to which, as the company passed under, their attention was called, and as in duty bound, paid. It is with due deference suggested to our Loco-foco friends (who, by the way, are rather inclined to disregard the consequences of their measures) that when they next feel disposed to show their emblems, so to place them as to make the angle of vision such as not to endanger the necks of the spectators.

The company proceeded on through a cold rain, but with warm hearts, towards Edwardsville. About a mile this side of the town, they were met by a delegation of the citizens of that place, under the direction of J. T. Lusk, Esq., and escorted by them thro' the streets of Edwardsville to the place of meeting. This escort bore the following banners - "Democracy Without Corruption," "William H. Harrison, the American Cincinnatus," Old Madison - good for 500 majority," and "Harrison and Tyler - Retrenchment and Reform."

The reception at Edwardsville was warm and cheering, amid the roaring of cannon and the shouts of the people. The star-spangled banner was floating in the breeze, with the motto attached - "This is Tip's Petticoat."

[Next the meeting was held, with the following speakers: Mr. Hogan, Mr. Edwards, George T. M. Davis, Col. Alexander Botkin, Rev. Mr. Trabue (an old soldier in 1812-1813 under Gen. Harrison), Dr. J. Giles, Joseph Gillespie, Esq., and Mr. Ross (who fought under Harrison and revealed the story of the petticoat: "General Harrison said that if it should be the misfortune of the British commander to fall into our hands, her person should not be hurt; on the contrary he should be dressed up in a petticoat and delivered to the squaws, as being unworthy to associate with men.").

William Henry Harrison won the election, and became the ninth President of the United States. He took office March 4, 1841. However, he died on his 32nd day in office from complications from pneumonia. John Tyler became his successor.]


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 13, 1841
We confess we have been much surprised at the apathy which has been exhibited by the people of that rich and flourishing county, in relation to their public buildings at Edwardsville, the county seat. The courthouse and jail have long been a reproach, and we perceive that the Alton Telegraph has an excellent editorial article upon this subject, urging on immediate improvement. When we have had occasion to visit the beautiful village of Edwardsville, and noticed the many improvements which have been lately made by private citizens, the courthouse square has forcibly reminded us of the anecdote of the Illinois backwoodsman, who stood within the door of is roofless cabin diligently and complacently amusing himself with a fiddle, under the peltings of a severe storm. When the stranger, who happened to be passing by asked, "Why, my lazy fellow, do you stand there fiddling without a roof over your head?" "Oh, my good sir," he replied, "When it rains it is too wet to work upon it, and in dry weather I have no need of it." Those shabby, ill-contrived public buildings at Edwardsville cannot be changed while the court is in session, and when closed, the inconvenience is not realized. We trust that none of the inhabitants of this vicinity will have occasion to taste the fruits of any improvement of courthouses or jails, either in Madison or any other county. But we do hope that all may feel sufficient interest in the good town of Edwardsville to induce, if possible, some decided action in procuring this improvement. Signed by the Grafton Phoenix.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 19, 1842
It will be observed by a notice in another column that a "Temperance house," for the accommodation of travelers and the public in general, has been recently opened in the neighboring town of Edwardsville, the seat of justice for this county, by Mr. C. Roberts. Not having visited Edwardsville since the opening of this house, we are unable to speak of its accommodations from personal observation, but we learn from authentic sources that it well deserves the patronage of the friends of Temperance and good order. [NOTE: This hotel could be the Wabash Hotel, located at the corner of Union and Main Streets in Edwardsville. The Wabash was constructed in the 1840s.]


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 4, 1843
The grand jury of this county, during the present term of our circuit court, presented the jail and courthouse as a public nuisance. They also strenuously urged certain improvements in regard to the jail, which the public safety of the prisoners absolutely requires. We hope the Clerk of the Circuit Court will comply with our request, and furnish us with a copy of this presentment for publication. Every citizen of Madison should see and read it, and then determine whether they will longer permit one of the most “populous, enterprising, and wealthy counties in the state, such as 'Old Madison' is known to be, to rest longer under the well-merited imputation of having not only the meanest public buildings in the whole state, but such ones as jeopardize the health of all who are compelled to remain in them in discharge of their duty. His Honor, Judge Shields, upon the reception of the presentment from the Grand Jury, remarked that he was gratified they had brought the subject to the notice of the court, and through the court to the public; and that he sincerely hoped, for the credit of the county, it would have the effect of arousing the commissioners at the next term of their court, to take some prompt and efficient steps towards remedying the evils complained of in their presentment.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 11, 1843
The committee beg leave to state that they have discharged the duties assigned to them according to the best of their ability, and they would present the courthouse and the jail as a disgrace to so large and respectable a county as the county of Madison. But in the present embarrassed condition of the county in general, and the low estimate put upon our county orders, we are of the opinion that it is inexpedient to make any repairs upon the courthouse at present. But we would recommend that some considerable repairs should be done to the jail. In the first place, to take up the floor in the south cell, and in lieu thereof, to procure seasoned timber, not less than eight inches square, and after first filling up the hole through which the prisoners recently made their escape, with suitable stone prepared for that purpose, to joint said timbers and lay the floor with them. In the second place, to procure a flag rock, eight feet long, four feet wide, and not less than six inches thick, and sink said flag at least three feet in the ground at the end of the jail, in order to prevent the digging out as before. In the third place, to take off the ceiling from said cell, and joint the plank well and put the same back so as to make the joints tight and spike them securely. In the fourth place, to procure large pots of copper, or some other metal, with lids and handles, for the prisoners to use, which may be taken out by the keeper without danger or stench. And in the fifth place, to cut a door through the wall in the front room upstairs on the south side, and to erect a small piazza with a flight of steps to the ground, for the benefit of the keeper and his family, as in the present arrangement, we are of the opinion they are in danger both from the prisoners and from fire. And we would also recommend the walling up of the well dug upon the square by James Willson, and we are of the opinion that said Willson should be remunerated or reimbursed for the money which he has laid out in digging said well. We are satisfied that the prisoners are well kept. All of which is respectfully submitted. Signed by H. Arthur, Chairman, William G. Pinckard, William B. Penny, Moses G. Atwood, Foreman, William L. Harrison, Stephen Johnson, William Otwell, Jacob Kinder, John G. Jarvis, Matthew C. Garey, Isaac Renfro, William Kell, James Glenn, G. B. Woolbridge, Lewis J. Clawson, Charles Trumbull, Henry Morrison, and Edward Norton.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 25, 1845
Two men named William W. Pulliam and John Smith (alias John Anderson) were apprehended on Monday night at their lodgings, about 17 miles east of Edwardsville, by our active and vigilant Sheriff Andrew Miller, Esq., under the following circumstances. Sometime in the course of the day, having taken dinner at different houses in the vicinity of Edwardsville, and had their horses shod at a blacksmith's shop, they offered payment in every instance, even where the sum due amounted to a few cents only, in bills of the Northern Bank of Kentucky of the denomination of one dollar, under the pretense that they had no smaller money, while at the same time they took care to pocket the change. This course having become known, excited suspicion, and the bills, upon being compared with those known to be genuine, were at once discovered to be spurious. The Sheriff immediately set off in pursuit, accompanied by Messrs. John F. Gillham, Uzzell Suers, and C. C. Gillham, and came up with them at a late hour in the night, at the houses where they had put up, and took both of them into custody. They had both retired to rest, when Mr. Miller arrived and offered him no resistance. Nothing of a suspicious nature was found about Smith, except a large and sharp, but coarsely-made bowie knife, the blade of which is thickly covered with spots resembling blood. But as Pulliam was getting up, the Sheriff discovered under the bedclothes, and promptly secured $144 in bills precisely similar to those they had passed in the neighborhood of Edwardsville. Among their effects were a few dollars in silver, probably the proceeds of their operations during the day. They were immediately taken back to Edwardsville, and committed to the county jail to answer for the offense with which they stand charged, before our Circuit Court, which commences its fall session on Monday next.

These men are both young. Pulliam, with whom the money was found, was genteelly, and the other coarsely dressed. When putting up for the night or stopping to take refreshments or to transact their peculiar business, they did not appear together, probably to elude suspicion, and when taken, pretended to be unacquainted, but when on the road, they traveled in company. Pulliam rode a dark bay horse, six or seven years old, something over fifteen hands high, all four feet white, a star in his forehead inclining towards the left eye, some white spots on the near side of his back; and was provided with a good saddle, covered with a black sheepskin, and a bridle and martingale, nearly new. The other had a chestnut sorrel stallion, supposed to be nine or ten years old, about fifteen hands high, heavy made, both hind feet white, some white about the pastern joints, and a small star in the forehead; and had an old saddle, bridle, martingale, and halter. Both horses are low in flesh, and supposed to have been stolen. They are now in the possession of the Sheriff, who will detain them until severally claimed by their owners, or proved to belong to the prisoners.

The bills found in Pulliam's bed, as well as those passed by both the men, are all exactly alike, and very well executed. They bear the date of May 4, 1844, are payable at the Lexington Branch of the Northern Bank of Kentucky, to D. Boon or order, Letter C, with the name of M. T. Scott, Cashier, evidently engraved on the plate. The engraving is somewhat coarse, and the paper shorter than that of the genuine bills, as well as inferior in quality, but it requires a pretty close examination to detect the difference. In reply to the questions put to them by their landlords and others, the men stated that they had been on a visit to Nauvoo or the vicinity, and were on their way back to Kentucky. Much credit is certainly justly due to Sheriff Miller and his assistants for their capture.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 26, 1847
By request of your honorable body, I hereby submit to you the following statistics of the poor house of Madison County in Edwardsville, from its establishment, January 1, 1844, to the present time - a period of three years and two months. There have been admitted into said house, and received medical treatment, since its establishment, 23 of intermitting fever, 17 of bilious fever, 15 of chills and fever, 13 of primary or secondary syphilis, 8 of pneumonia, 6 of congestive fever, 0 of typhus fever, 4 of fever sores, 4 of diarrhea, 4 of dropsy, 4 of paralysis, 4 of rheumatism, 3 of neuralgia, 3 of dyspepsia, 3 of scrofula, 2 of convulsions, 2 of epithalamia, 2 of hypochondria, 1 of nasal hemorrhage, 1 of powder burn, and 1 of cancer of the stomach - in all 126. Of these, 83 were males and 43 females; 71 were Americans, 19 Germans, 14 Irish, 12 English, 5 Norwegians, 3 Africans, 1 Swiss, and 1 Italian.

In consequence of the inundation of the American Bottom in 1844-5, several families were compelled to resort to the poor house, which very much increased the number of the American paupers. Since January 1, 1846, there have been received into the poor house 23 foreigners and 17 Americans, which is about the usual average. Of the whole number of paupers above mentioned, 15 were under ten years of age; over ten and under twenty, 24; over twenty and under thirty, 26; over thirty and under forty, 19; over forty and under fifty, 25; over fifty and under sixty, 12; over sixty, 5.

There have been in the house fifteen deaths - 2 of pneumonia, 2 of congestive fever, 2 of dropsy, 2 of diarrhea, 2 of intermitting fever, 1 of syphilis, 1 of scrofula, 1 of cancer of stomach, 1 of paralysis, and 1 of convulsions. 105 have been discharged, and 6 are yet under medical treatment in the house. Most of those who died were received into the house in the last stage of their disease, some living only one or two days after their arrival, and little or no medical relief could be given them. since the March term of the County Court 1846, forty-three different persons have been supported in the poor house, some for a longer, and some a shorter length of time - making in all 2,496 days, nearly 7 on an average for the whole year. As far as I can ascertain, at least one half of the whole number of paupers received into the poor house have been brought to their dependence, directly or indirectly, by intoxicating drinks.

There have been some complaints relative to diet in the poor house, and here I deem it due to the Superintendent to say, that I have found it very difficult to restrain patients in a convalescent state, from over eating, and thereby causing relapses. Many are not satisfied if they are not permitted to indulge freely in any article of food they desire. A bill of diet was made out two years ago, under the direction of the County Commissioners, and approved by them, and since sanctioned by the new Commissioners, and to which the Superintendent has strictly adhered, unless restricted by myself to patients under medical treatment, and as individuals are not permitted to remain at the house long after they have recovered their health, there is, of course, but a short time that anyone can be indulged in the free use of food with impunity, and I am confident that this is the whole ground of complaint, though intended for the gest good of the individuals.

I am, gentlemen, respectfully yours, John H. Weir
Physician to the Poor House, Edwardsville, March 1, 1847.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 11, 1846
On Saturday morning last, at an early hour, three men named Ford, Holly, and White, confined in one of the cells of the jail at Edwardsville in this county to await their trial at the next term of the Madison Circuit Court, made a desperate attempt to effect their escape, which was very near being successful. It seems that while the jailer, Mr. Yates, with two assistants, was engaged in cleaning out the cells, Ford suddenly knocked one of the latter down, and picking up a stick of wood, immediately struck at the head of the former. Mr. Yates parried the blow with his hand, which was pretty badly cut, and fired at his assailant from a revolving pistol, with which he happened to be provided, but Ford, contriving to throw up the barrel, remained uninjured. In the meantime, Holly sprang to the aid of Ford and attacked Yates, while White, their comrade, rushed towards the door. But instead of profiting by the opportunity thus afforded him for making his escape, he became alarmed and returned to the cell, where he hid himself under the bed.

The jailer's second assistant, a colored man and a cripple, took no part in the conflict, but ran off to give the alarm, leaving Mr. Yates to content alone with Ford and Holly, who dealt him some severe blows and prevented him from using his pistol with effect, but fortunately did him no serious injury. Finally, after a severe contest, they succeeded in reading the door and made off. Mr. Yates followed and fired at and wounded Holly, just as he left the jail, who fell, but immediately recovering himself, continued to run, as also did his companion. The jailer started in pursuit, and following Ford, who happened to be the hindmost, finally came up with him, knocked him down and secured him. By this time the alarm had been given, but Holly, being then out of sight, was not overtaken. He continued running for some time, till discovering that he was wounded, and gradually becoming exhausted, he stopped at Mr. Edmund Fruitt's, about five miles from Edwardsville, and surrendered himself. Upon being brought back and examined by a surgeon, it was discovered that the ball from Mr. Yates' pistol had taken effect in his back, below the shoulder blade, and, it is supposed, penetrated into the body, as it has not yet been extracted, and may cause his death. He is under arrest on the charge of stealing money from some person in this place a few months since. Ford, his accomplice, and the projector of the attempt, is an old offender, having recently completed a term of service in the Penitentiary. The jailer, Mr. Yates, deserves much credit for the gallantry and coolness he displayed in resisting alone the desperate efforts of these two ruffians, both of whom are much stouter men than himself. His first assistant, Mr. Hilliard, did not recover in season to take part in the struggle, but was able to close the door after Mr. Yates had started in pursuit of Ford and Holly, and thus prevented the other prisoners from effecting their escape.


[During the Mexican-American War]
Source: Alton Telegraph, June 6, 1846
We understand that a full company of volunteers has been raised in Edwardsville, and was organized on Tuesday last by the election of the following gentlemen as its officers: Messrs. Erastus Wheeler, Captain; George W. Prickett, First Lieutenant; and Joel Foster, Second Lieutenant. Captain Wheeler is an old and experienced officer, having served in the same capacity during the last war with Great Britain. A third company, we learn, is fast filling up in the eastern part of the county, and a fourth is in progress of enrollment in Alton. When these companies shall all be organized, which will probably be in the course of a few days, "Old Madison" will have furnished nearly 400 men, or about one out of every ten of her male population over twenty years of age, to aid in the defense of the country, and the vindication of the national honor. Will any county in the state exceed or even equal this?


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 27, 1851
The two prisoners who escaped from the jail at Edwardsville – Smith and Scanillan – on Thursday of last week, and for whose apprehension a reward was offered by the Shierff, were brought back to their old quarters on Saturday. They were taken near Silver Creek, about fifteen miles from Edwardsville – one on Friday night, and the other on Saturday morning – having evidently lost their way in their efforts to make good their escape.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 22, 1851
James L. Brockus Smith, who escaped from the Edwardsville jail some two months since, was subsequently recaptured, but succeeded in freeing himself from the “bonds that bound him,” a second time, on last Tuesday morning. A reward of $75 has been offered for his capture.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 12, 1851
In taking a stroll through Edwardsville the other day, we were much pleased at the many evidences of improvement which meet the eye upon every hand. During the season there have been a number of new dwellings erected, and others are now in process of completion. The construction of a plank sidewalk along the principal thoroughfare will add greatly to the comfort and convenience of pedestrians, and efforts should be made to secure its extension the entire length of the street. We were informed that houses are in great demand, thus giving good evidence that the population is gradually, though slowly, upon the increase, and the citizens anticipate a very considerable accession to business and population upon the completion of the plankroad to St. Louis.

We will venture one suggestion, while upon this subject, which if carried out would add greatly to the appearance and character of the town, and be calculated to leave a better impression upon the minds of strangers visiting it. Remove or burn down those unsightly old buildings which may be seen near the principal street, and look like so many relics of the last century; paint your meeting houses and schoolhouses anew, and restore the broken glass, &c.; pay a little more general attention to the planting of shade trees, and your town will soon present a handsome and inviting appearance.

One can hardly visit Alton now-a-days without noticing some new and important improvements. Hills are being leveled, valleys filled up, old buildings torn down and replaced with new ones, and everything indicates the prevalence of the go-ahead spirit. The merchants there are getting in extensive stocks of goods, and say they are determined to offer country merchants as good an assortment, at as low prices, as they can find anywhere. With the increased trade, which will flow in her lap upon the completion of the rail and plank roads, Alton will be upon the highway to metropolitan greatness.

We had occasion to visit Collinsville a few days since, and were gratified to see the progress already made to connect this delightful village with St. Louis by a plank road. The whole distance hence to Collinsville is ten miles, and we traveled over about six miles of the road completed. The whole cost of the road, when completed, is estimated at about $28,000 to $30,000. We understand that it lacks about $3,000 to fill up the stock, or the cost of a little over a mile. The citizens of Madison County have subscribed liberally to the stock, and it seems to us, independent of the question of its being a good paying stock, that it is manifestly to the interest of St. Louis to lend a helping hand to complete this road.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 3, 1852
We learn that all the prisoners confined in the Madison County jail made their escape yesterday, about 1 o’clock in the afternoon, by breaking the locks upon the inner doors, and when the keeper came to give them their dinner, they made a simultaneous rush through the outside door, and made off. Two of them were subsequently retaken, and the officers are in active pursuit of the rest. Those now at large are Samuel Diamond, Samuel Kennedy, George Cottrell, Martin Perrigan, and Patrick Kannon. A reward of $200 has been offered for their arrest, and a full description will be given in our issue of tomorrow.

Source: Alton Weekly Courier, December 3, 1852
Yesterday afternoon, seven prisoners, confined in the county jail at Edwardsville, escaped, being all that were there confined. Two prisoners of one cell tore their bedding into a rope, and by throwing the end, to which a book was attached, out of the hole for ventilation over the cell door, which caught and drew up the bar across the door, and then, by punching off the lock of the door, they got into the hall. Then using the bar of the door, they opened the other cells. The prisoners assembled in the hall, and when the jailor came in to feed them, they made a rush and escaped. Two of them were soon caught in the woods west of Edwardsville, but the remaining five are at large. We get these facts very late, and may not be exactly correct. Further particulars tomorrow. [The next day's paper was missing. The Madison County jail was a log cabin, located in the 1200 block of North Main Street in Edwardsville.]


Source: Syracuse, New York Daily Journal, December 15, 1852
All the prisoners in the Madison County jail, Illinois, seven in number, recently made their escape.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, April 6, 1853
The two fine grays of your friend Carmart, with a pleasant and comfortable coach, himself holding the reins, brought us to this ancient burgh in a few hours after we set sail from Alton – I call it setting sail – for really we crossed lakes, neither few in number, nor far between, in the course of our cruise – a sailor would perhaps have called them “Roadsteads, a nautical phrase which I will not now stop to explain. By way of illustration, however, I will just observe that the thousand and one mudholes on the Alton and Edwardsville Road offer no inducement to the inhabitants of this section to visit Alton. If a plank road was ever needed in any case, it surely is in these “diggings” – and why wouldn’t a good plank road between us and this venerable county seat be a good investment?

Passing through the Sandridge along the lake side over the fertile prairie, and under the brow of the bluffs which overlook as fine a landscape as the county can boast, as I have done for a number of years, I am struck with the apparent want of the spirit of improvement, visible along the whole route, and I can only account for it by supposing that it is owing to the want of facilities to get the products of the farms to market. It seems to me that our neighboring farmers in the region to which I allude are not aware of the superior advantages within their reach. The land lying idle around them would sell, if within seven miles of Cincinnati or Philadelphia, for a thousand dollars an acre. There seems to have been very little advance made by our “Bottom friends,” as they are called, for the last eighteen years – the same old fences, the same barnless homesteads, the same stake and cider breed of hogs, the same crooked and untrimmed apple trees, are yet to be seen, and seeming altogether out of keeping with the spirit of the age.

The county is about completing a new bridge across the Cahokia. It will be, and continue to be a good bridge for many years, and will reflect credit upon the architect. I shall perhaps be able to furnish you with more items respecting it before I leave. I do not notice an unusual number of people here yet, and but few members of the bar – Judge Underwood Has not arrived – the weather is cold and dreary – politics are suspended – the fat offices are filled with new men, no weddings, no masquerades or fandangos. Going and returning from California has got to be a common affair, and so we shall have dull time of it until our new Sheriff exclaims to all around, Oh yes! Oh yes!

P. S. Just as I close this, Judge Underwood makes his appearance, and I notice with him Lieut. Governor Kierner, Prosecuting Attorney Kinney, and other. Charley’s Oh Yes! Begins the excitement.     Signed, Yours in haste, R.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, April 5, 1853
This being the day appointed for the opening of the Spring term of the Madison Circuit Court, our town is filled with a large number of persons from different parts of the county. At the time of this writing, however, - two o’clock p.m. – our worthy Judge has not yet arrived, and the question arises, whether it is entirely “Democratic” to keep one hundred men waiting in consequence of the delay. This, I suppose, will be settled after the “Bourbon” controversy is decided. There seems to be a large amount of business before this court, it being understood that the civil cases number about 200, and there are nearly an equal number of grocery and criminal cases. It is thought that the grocery cases will be dismissed without prosecution, as was the case in the St. Clair Court.

It is to be hoped the grand jury will pay their respects to the delinquent road supervisors, of whoever may be to blame for the present miserable condition of the roads generally throughout the county. Common decency requires that something should be done. Edwardsville is going to take the lead in this matter of street improvements. Our election for town trustees takes place today, and after the new officers take hold, a tax is to be levied for the purpose of planking our principal street. A good and substantial covered bridge is now being erected over Cahokia Creek on the Alton road, and will be completed in a few weeks. The County Court is in session today.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, April 7, 1853
The first election of town trustees, under the charter obtained at the recent session of the Legislature, took place on Monday last, and resulted in the choice of Messrs. John T. Lusk, F. T. Krafpt(sp?), Friend S. Rutherford, O. Meeker, and N. Biculhauph. By the terms of this charter, the trustees are authorized to borrow the sum of $5,000, to be expended in improving the streets of the town, and to levy a tax for the payment of the same. It is proposed to plank the principal street, which will add much to the comfort and convenience of the citizens.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, May 11, 1853
I have no doubt every citizen of the county will admit that our county is worthy of a better courthouse. It is a well-known fact that our county debt is large, that we are paying from six to twelve percent interest on the county indebtedness, and that those who hold county indebtedness are wanting their money. I hold to the doctrine that a policy which will work well when applied to an individual’s domestic and financial affairs will also work well when applied to the finances and affairs of the public. But the inside of the old courthouse looks more like a carpenter shop than anything else, owing to the chips and shavings that a certain class of men cut off of the banisters and fixtures of the poor old house, and it is worthy of remark that I have never seen any person so destitute of good manners as to be cutting and whittling in this manner, except the lawyers. Signed J. O., Silver Creek, Madison County.


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, September 9, 1853
Edwardsville, August 31, 1853 - "Mr. Editor - After supper last evening, quite a commotion was excited by the discovery that a fine, young and high-spirited horse belonging to Gov. Koerner had disappeared from the hotel stable, and various conjectures were hazarded as to whether it had strayed, or was feloniously taken. All who had horses ran to the stable to see if their property was safe, when it was discovered that a venerable roadster belonging to the junior editor of the Telegraph was left in the stable, although it was known that the young man had departed for Alton an hour or so previous. Further inquiry elicited the fact that he had gone to the stable with the hostler, selected the horse himself, and was so occupied with his pleasant thoughts, that he did not discover he had exchanged an "old fogy," capable of three miles an hour, for one of the "Young America" stamp, capable of ten miles, without 'blowing.'

After a good deal of consultation as to what ought to be done under these alarming circumstances, it was finally determined to organize a self-constituted tribunal and try the young man; whereupon, Esq. Arthur of Six Mile, was unanimously elected judge, William H. Turner of Alton, clerk, L. B. Sidway of the same place, sheriff, and Martin T. Kurtz of Collinsville public prosecutor. The defendant not being present, the court appointed John H. Shipman, Esq., to defend him, and at once proceeded to examine witnesses. One witness thought he was excusable, on account of the large amount of money he had collected. Another thought his mind was entirely engrossed by the city election. Another thought he was cogitating how to save the present county court - but the majority of the witnesses thought he was in love with some young lady, and one intimated that he knew such to be the fact. After an elaborate argument in which the books, recent cases not reported, and personal experience were freely quoted, the jury retired, and after an anxious season of deliberation, returned into court the following verdict:

'We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of the latest case of absence of mind, but, on account of its being caused by love, we recommend him to the mercy of the Court.' The verdict was received with marked sensation, the young men particularly feeling very much relieved. One of them, D. Gillespie, Esq., paid a high tribute to the good sense displayed by the jury, in an exordium prompted by the excitement of the occasion. His Honor, Judge Arthur, then arose, and putting on that black beaver, honored as an emblem of judicial authority, and a constant terror to the evil-doers of the Bottom for the last fifty years, proceeded to pronounce upon the defendant - who had in the meantime been brought into Court - the extreme sentence of the law. The sentence was solemn and impressive, and delivered in the following words:

'Wretched young man! You have done the deed! - and now you see what you have come to. But for the merciful recommendation of the jury, there is no telling what I should have done. Have you nothing to say for yourself? what! - nothing! Listen then wretched youth while the sovereign people through me do speak. The judgment of this Court is that you be taken to the place from whence you came. That you are no judge of democratic horse-flesh. That you pay the expenses of this Court, amounting to a half bushel of peaches. That you marry the girl who has caused all this trouble, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul!'

The Rev. John Gibson of Troy, who was present and watched the proceedings with great interest, immediately stepped forward to the prisoner, and offered his services, remarking, by way of consolation, that he ought to be thankful that the Court had not condemned him to marry a woman with half a dozen children, in whose origin he had no agency."


Source: The Evening Chronicle, Syracuse, New York, July 26, 1854
A drove of sheep numbering eleven thousand head passed through Edwardsville, Illinois, on the 8th inst. They were from the state of Tennessee, and are to be wintered in Missouri, when they will be driven to Salt Lake.


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 3, 1854
We learn from J. Chapman, Esq., one of the County Judges, that the County Court has completed the purchase of the farm of Andrew Miller, Esq., near Edwardsville, for a County Farm for the poor. The price is $4,000, the place containing twenty acres, and the house being sufficiently large for all immediate purposes. It has lately been put in complete repair. We are glad the County Court has completed this purchase. It is much better than any attempt to build, and will be a saving of several thousand dollars to the county.


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 10, 1858
At a meeting of the members of this Company, held in Edwardsville on the 29th ult., an election of officers was held, with the following result: Joseph H. Sloss, Captain; J. G. Robinson, 1st Lieutenant; I. R. Dunnigan, 2d Lieutenant; Joseph Newsham, 3d Lieutenant; T. J. Newsham, Ensign; J. M. Brown, Orderly Sergeant; G. C. Lusk, 2d Sergeant; J. A. Dunnigan 3d Sergeant; Henry Putnam, 4th Sergeant; Henry Wilder, 1st Corporal; J. Bartlett, 2d Corporal; J. H. Gillham, 3d Corporal; Edward Friday, 4th Corporal. A change in uniform from the Jacket to the Frock coat was agreed upon. Captain Sloss presented the company with an invitation from the citizens of Edwardsville to join them in the celebration of the next Fourth of July in full dress uniform, which was unanimously accepted. Several persons were received as members of the Company.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 20, 1861
The seventh annual fair of the Madison County Agricultural Society, to be held at Edwardsville on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, October 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th, 1861. Open to competition from the whole state; $2,000 offered in premiums, and payable in money or plate. The fairgrounds comprise fifteen acres of beautiful woodland, situated one mile west of the court house. The grounds are well enclosed, and now well cleared out and seeded to bluegrass. Two wells and a deep pond will furnish abundance of water for man and beast. The stall for horses and cattle will be thoroughly cleaned and repaired, and the track put in the best of order. A fine hall for the ladies department will insure the good preservation and safety of all articles sent thither, and sheds will be properly fitted up for the accommodation of the industrial wealth of old Madison and her sister counties. Dining saloons and refreshment stands will be found on the grounds under the supervision and regulation of the officers of the fair, and in charge of persons who knew how to keep a hotel. Exhibitors will be funished with grain at cost, and with hay and straw gratis. Raised seats for the accommodation of ladies desiring to witness the exhibitions in the ring will be provided as usual, and good order preserved by an absence of strong drinks and the presence of an effective police. Admittance will be: Season ticket, $1,00; carriage, 50 cents; single admission, 25 cents; horse, 25 cents.

Cattle – William M. Lindley; horses – A. P. Mason; Sheep, swine and poultry – J. Dunnagan; farm products – William A. Willson and Charles Spillman; horticultural products – L. W. Lyons and G. C. Lusk; natural history – George W. Kinder; ladies’ department – John Miles, Theo Lydel and John H. Weir; mechanical department – J. R. Dunnagan.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 11, 1861
Having just returned from the County Fair at Edwardsville, I have thought that a brief sketch of what I saw there might be acceptable to your city readers, as but very few of them, owing I suppose to the unfavorable weather, were to be seen upon the ground.

After a ride of several hours on Wednesday through mud, I arrived in pretty good condition and found at the gates a keeper of remarkably pleasant countenance, who took my dollar and handed me a season ticket, in the most agreeable manner. He remarked that the prospect for a first-rate fair was rather dull, but he hoped that I would find something worthy of my attention upon the grounds before the fair was over. The suavity and general demeanor of the gate keeper I take pleasure in commending as worthy of imitation, and I hope that he and I may live to meet upon the same spot where the next annual exhibition of the fine things of Old Madison shall recur.

I may as well remark here that the interests of this County institution are supervised by men of the most active, obliging, and considerate character, and that at none of the many State and County Fairs attended by me have I met with others who seemed more adapted to the positions they occupied. The President Is evidently energetic. There was put a department that did not receive its due share of his personal attention, in fact, I often thought that he did a great many things which other Presidents have left to their subordinates to do, or not to do, they didn’t care which. I have not the pleasure of his intimate acquaintance with President Gilham, but I have no hesitation in expressing the wish that the Society may long enjoy the benefit of his administrative skills.

A hasty walk among the stalls, the most of which I noticed were capacious and comfortable, convinced me that many of them were occupied by horse and mare, and cow and pig flesh, which my county might be proud to possess. But a tap of the drum called my attention to the ring, and I soon became one of hundreds who were engaging with the most intense feelings of admiration upon five of the most magnificent horses I ever saw. There they stood, perfect pictures. The bright sunlight gleaming upon their arched necks, their wavy manes and brilliant coats of silky softness, gave a proud feature to the scene which is seldom surpassed. The names of these noble creatures will doubtless appear in the official report of the fair, and also on the count of their performances, but in the estimation of your correspondent, who is certainly entitled to his opinion, Hundley’s “Northern Chief,” and Nutter’s “Rising Sun,” of point of beauty and all that goes to make up the perfect horse, have no superiors. These splendid animals, after receiving the plaudits of the delighted spectators, gave way for the entrance of several fine three-year-olds, to this contest for the blue ribbon, a Morgan horse, bred by Mr. Sawyer of Monticello [Godfrey], whose celebrity for raising superior horses of this stock has been well earned and is widely known was an easy victor.

Stepping into the vegetable depository, I was surprised to find so few of the productions of farms upon the table. The specimens, however, were of the best quality. Heads of cabbage that a Dutchman would delight to contemplate, and potatoes that no Irishman would despise, were there. There was also one sample of beets, and one of sweet potatoes, that reflected much credit upon the producer, but of all the vegetables there, I noticed, the several varieties of purple plant and some five or six specimens of the pie plant seemed to attract the most attention. These enormous stalks of eggplant, I was told, were from the garden of Mr. T. J. Prickett of Edwardsville, and the eggplant, some of which were 24 by 26 inches, from that of Mr. J. R. Woods in the vicinity of Alton.

Entering the building expressly and admirably fitted up for the display of needlework, fruits, wines, cakes, flowers, etc., etc., I was pained to find the tables comparatively bare. The superintendents, however, assured me that as the entry books would be kept open till Thursday evening, I would find something worth looking at if I would call the next day, which I did, and here is what I saw –

Being about half a farmer myself, I felt desirous of examining those implements of husbandry in which the tiller of the soil is directly interested, and to make a note of such improvements as I might meet with. In plows, there was no competition, there being but one entry made of that article. Nor did I see any barrows, rakes or forks. There was a cider mill, turned by horse power, doing a mashing business among the apples. It had no competitor, and of course took a premium, and richly worthy it was too.

The show of fowls was meager, same of hogs. There was a fine specimen of the pure Suffolk, and one of the Chester white variety. These porkers were exhibited by Dr. Lytle of Troy, all amateur only, but who thus sets an example to the farmers of his vicinity, which they ought to initiate, and further let me remark that the large farmers, horticulturalists, florists, and gardeners of Madison County ought to blush when reminded of the indifference they manifest in relation to this annual festival. They should be ashamed of their lukewarmness toward an institution so useful as this will be.

There were some good cattle in the stalls, but not a tithe to what the County ought to send up. The Messrs. Barnstacks deserve great praise for the interest they give to the Fair, by sending in their livestock. That mammoth white bull of theirs never fails to distance all competitors – he is a majestic fellow, and quite a patriarch, judging to the numerous descendants from his loins.

Finding that no addition had been made to the collection of vegetables, I again entered the hall, and found it not only crowded with spectators, but with its walls and tables well covered with a vast variety of articles. Near the hour which I entered, stood a crowd of ladies discussing the workmanship and design of a beautiful quilt, made up entirely of waste scraps of mouselline dolaines. It is an elegant and substantial affair, and had a most comfortable look and feel. Miss Lyons of Bethalto is the architect of this fine piece of work.

Pressing my way through the dense crowd, I reached a structure specially lined for the display of bouquets, pot-flowers, paintings, wreaths, and floral design. In the wreaths and bouquets, there was a brilliant variety, and of course a spirited competition. I was glad to see it, being a great admirer of Florn’s sweet and lovely family. The skill and taste displayed in the forms and arrangement of the bouquets, and in the construction of the wreaths, speak well for the wives and daughters of our farmers.

Had I time and space to spare just now, I would take the liberty of making a remark or two in relation to the construction, uses, and indispensable constituents of a bouquet, but I must press on, and discuss the subject by saying that Miss Lyons, to this contest carried out the blue ribbon.

Stepping across the hall, I found a crowd standing before a very rare piece of shell work. I would like to give your readers a minute description of this elegant and, I might say, useful article. It is of the monumental form, some four feet in height, four or six sides, overlaid with shells from the Mississippi River. Upon the sides are inserted Ambrotype likenesses of the several members of the family. It is the handwork of Mrs. Woods of Godfrey, who seems to always carry off premiums for shell work.

The geology of the County was represented by a small collection of specimens, among which I was surprised to find not a single variety of coal. In close proximity with these little rocks stood a jar of sunkes, well preserved in liquor. They attracted much attention, but having no card attached, I did not learn the names of their sunkeships, nor that of the exhibitor.

Edwardsville may well be proud of her harness makers, who had on exhibition some of the best made and most substantially, as well as beautifully finished double and single harness that I ever examined.

We came now to the fruit stalls, and the first thing that arrested the eye, arouses the appetite and sets the lips to moving is a grand display of four varieties of grapes. They were suspended upon the surface of a fan-shaped frame. I noticed that the Catawalta predominated, and being fully ripe, appeared to be almost transparent. On the upper edge of the frame were some fine clusters of the Isabella, while from the lower edges were suspended a fringe of two or three varieties of wild grapes. This showing of fruit is a good one, and I would commend it to the attention of our nurseries. For this chief attraction in the fruit departments, we are indebted to Mr. J. H. Woods of Godfrey, who, I learn, is but an amateur in the business. It is certainly to be regretted that more of our grape growers do not patronize the Fair by sending up samples of their grapes. Mr. Pettingill of Bunker Hill showed a remarkable delicious grape, which he entered under the name of “Monds Seedling.”

From the orchard of Flagg, Lyons, Barnsback, and others, there was a large and fine variety of apples, and most superb peaches and pears. Quinces of the most astonishing size were exhibited by some of these gentlemen. The samples of wines were not numerous.

I deem it proper to remark that I have mentioned the names of certain of the exhibitors simply because they have been long known as very liberal contributors. Several names of others would have been mentioned, but they escaped my recollection. In my judgement the fairgrounds have been happily selected, just near enough to the town to furnish in dry weather a very pleasant walk for either sex. The people of Edwardsville are kind, social and hospitable, and attend very generously to the needs of strangers. They are lamentably deficient in one thing, however, and that is their contributions. They should not allow the Hall of Fine Arts to have one naked spot upon its walls, while their parlors and drawing rooms abound with so many fine paintings, drawings, vases, and ornamental furniture as they do. Should this remark meet their notice, it is hoped that they will do better next year. Signed by Heath.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 1, 1862
We have been informed that two prisoners confined in the county jail at Edwardsville made their escape yesterday morning under the following circumstances. It appears that the outer door was left open, and that by some means, the prisoners managed to pry the inside door open and walked out. The jailer not being about the premises at the time. One of those was charged with horse stealing, and we did not learn the crime for which the other was confined.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 25, 1863
The unconditional Union men of Madison County, without regard to past political differences, are requested to meet in each precinct in primary convention on Saturday, the 25th of September, 1863, to appoint delegates to a County Convention, to be held in Edwardsville on the first Saturday of October, for the purpose of nominating candidates for the ensuing election in November. Each precinct will be entitled to one delegate, and to one additional for every one hundred votes or a fraction of the same above fifty, based on the vote cast at the election of 1860.

Signed by Levi Davis, H. C. Sweetser, A. P. Mason, C. F. Springer, G. W. Philips, Dr. C. W. Wickliffe, John Blatner, William J. Roseberry, Lewis Ricks, William M. Lindley, Henry Dorr, Jacob Busch, George S. Kinder, Joseph S. Cottrel, Julius A. Barnsback, James B. McMichael, T. M. Williams, Isaac Cox, Jesse Stanley, and John D. Dillon.

In accordance with the above call, the unconditional Union men of this vicinity will meet in Alton Precinct on Saturday evening at 7 o’clock at the Hall of the Hook and Ladder Company, for the purpose of selecting delegates to the above convention.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 8, 1866
We have received a copy of the Premium List and Regulations of the Madison County Agricultural Society, for the 12th annual exhibition, which is to be held at Edwardsville on September 4, 5, 6, and 7. The officers are Julius A. Barnsback, President, Troy; Everard Elliff, Vice-President, Highland; Edward M. West, Recording Secretary, Edwardsville; William J. Barnsback, Treasurer, Troy. The Board of Directors are Julius A. Barnsback, Troy; Everard Elliff, Highland; George S. Rice, Edwardsville; Jacob J. Kinder, Edwardsville; Thomas Judy, Edwardsville; William Emmert, Venice; and V. P. Richmond, Moro.

It is sincerely to be hoped, now that the war is over [Civil War], that the farmers and mechanics of Madison County will give more attention to these annual fairs than they have done for some year’s past. For while it is notoriously true that Madison contains some of the finest farms, and as skillful farmers as can be found in the State, that our county fair is much inferior to those of St. Clair, Macoupin, and Greene counties. This should not be the case, hereafter. We cannot help believing, however, that the officers of the Society have been much to blame for this state of things. They have been penny wise and pound foolish by trying to economize in the way of advertising, while their fair would come and be over, and not one third of the farmers would know anything about it. Nothing can succeed nowadays without a free use of printers’ ink.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 10, 1866
The 12th Annual Fair of the Madison County Agricultural Society will be held at the Fairgrounds, Edwardsville, September 4 – 7, 1866. Two thousand dollars will be offered in premiums. The grounds will be in the best condition, and the preparations for the reception of visitors will be complete. The citizens of the county owe it to themselves to give this enterprise a liberal support. It is to be hoped a full list of exhibitors will be furnished. In addition to the premiums above mentioned, the citizens of Edwardsville offer several liberal prizes. Let everybody be prepared to attend, and also, so far as possible, make such entries as will add to the attractions of the fair.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 21, 1866
The twelfth annual fair of the Madison County Agricultural and Mechanical Society terminated on Saturday last. The receipts were not so large as they would have been had the weather been pleasant. It rained every day during the week except Saturday. On Tuesday, in spite of the threatening rain, there were on the grounds at one time upwards of five thousand people – the largest number that has ever attended since the existence of the society. There was more to attract attention than heretofore in the way of amusements. A machine for separating sugar from molasses after granulation attracted great attention.

All the different departments were well represented, and as we said before, had the weather been clear and favorable, the fair would have been a success in a pecuniary view. As it was, the receipts will not in all probability defray the expenses. Every year some six or seven hundred dollars have been expended in repairs and in replacing material which has either been maliciously destroyed or stolen. The amount of plank used for covering sheds, etc., carried off every year, is enormous. This will all be obviated in the future, as the directors last Saturday leased the grounds at public auction. The grounds were let for one year to Robert Kinder of Edwardsville, for $325 – quite an item.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 20, 1867
We had occasion to visit this old and well-established town this week, and found its worthy inhabitants radiant over the fact that in a short time they will be brought within half an hour’s ride of the city of Alton by railroad. They expect the road will be fit and in running order by the first of November, but it is evident their desires make them over sanguine. There is no question, however, but it will be completed within the next four or five months.

There are evidences of considerable thrift in the place. Quite a number of very substantial buildings are being erected – the most prominent among which is the banking house of Messrs. West and Prickett. They have also one of the most imposing and best-arranged public schoolhouses in the county. It was erected at a cost of some thirty or forty thousand dollars, and is furnished in the most modern and improved style.

We also observed very extensive shops for the manufacture of agricultural implements in full blast, with a large number of hands employed. In fact, everything presented a very healthy and prosperous state of affairs.

But in a religious and moral point of view, the town is evidently very deficient. There are but three church organizations, and two of them are very weak and are just beginning to struggle into existence, and the strongest one of the three is very far from being as strong as it ought to be in a place of the size of Edwardsville. While on the other hand, we were informed there are eighteen places where intoxicating liquors are sold by the glass, and in addition to them, on every Sabbath day, the Fairgrounds are opened and hundreds resort there to drink, dance, race horses, and to indulge in almost every species of vice and dissipation.

We do not mention these facts with any intention of disparaging the place, but for the sake of urging the good people there to do something to remedy the evils complained of. If our county fairgrounds are to be used as places to pander to the vices of the low and vile, and to corrupt and ruin our youth by cultivating a taste among them for strong drink, gambling, Sabbath breaking, and other vicious habits, the sooner agricultural fairs cease and the grounds are vacated the better for all the parties concerned.

Forty years ago, Edwardsville was one of the most important places in the State, nearly all of the leading and influential politicians of the day resided there. But it has not kept pace with the growth and prosperity of other places, and had it not been for the fact that it was the county seat of one of the largest and most wealthy counties in the State, it would ere this have entirely died out, but now with a certain prospect of railroad facilities between it and Alton, and probably of another one running through there from the east to St. Louis, its prospects are now much brighter and more promising than it has been since that time. We sincerely hope that the sanguine expectations of her good citizens of its growth and prosperity may be realized to the fullest extent.

An old and worthy citizen of Edwardsville says, “No one could be more outraged by such use of said grounds than were many of the citizens of Edwardsville. The directors last year rented the grounds without restriction, and the result was as complained of in the article above. But on last Saturday, the stockholders met for the purpose of electing directors for the coming year, and the question of restriction on the Sabbath was called up, and the restriction was sustained by a very decisive and large majority of the stockholders. So, the fairgrounds will be used no more on the Sabbath.”


Old Madison Awake
Source: Alton Telegraph, August 28, 1868
The Republican mass meeting yesterday at Edwardsville was a grand demonstration of the attachment of the loyal people of Madison County to the principles of the Republican Party. The people of Edwardsville, and delegates from every precinct in the county, were present to the number of 2,000, all animated with the greatest zeal and enthusiasm.

The County Republican Convention was held in the morning at the court house, and in the afternoon the mass meeting was held at the fairgrounds. Individuals from the different precincts, for the most part, came independently, but the Upper Altonians came over in a long procession, proceeded by the Tanner’s Club in uniform, bearing flags, banners, and patriotic devices. Among them we noticed the following: “Grant and Peace, Blair and War;” “Palmer and Victory;” “We Had Rather be Lincoln’s Hirelings than Seymour’s Dupes;” “God, Grant, Victory;” “We Make No Common Cause With the Murderers of Andersonville and Libby;” etc. Other mottoes were also borne similar in character – one especially, elicited much approval – “Bullets for Traitors, Ballots for Grant, Brandy for Blair.” The Upper Alton Tanners were under the command of Captain Weeks, and the delegation under that of Major Frank Moore. The delegation which marched from Edwardsville to the grounds was marshaled by Major Newsham. It was preceded by the Highland Band and made a fine appearance.

At two o’clock, the meeting was called to order by Judge Joseph Gillespie, who introduced Major General John M. Palmer. The gallant General was welcomed with loud applause and a salvo of artillery. Our limits today will not warrant us in giving a synopsis of the Governor’s speech. It was, however, a masterly effort, occupying two hours in delivery, and covering the whole ground of the political controversy of the day. The condition the nation was left in by the war; the reconstruction policy; negro suffrage; finance; and the party platforms were discussed in the clear, logical convincing manner peculiar to the General. At the close of General Palmer’s remarks, Hon. A. W. Metcalf introduced Colonel I. H. Elliot to the audience, who made a short and brilliant speech.

In the evening the Republicans turned out a torchlight procession 300 strong, bearing colored lanterns and transparencies, and marched through the principal streets. At the close of the torchlight procession, another large mass meeting was held in the court house, which was addressed by Governor Koerner of Belleville and General Lippincott.

The demonstration as a whole was a grand success, and showed that the loyal men of Madison County are not yet inclined to surrender to Rebels the principles for whose maintenance they fought and bled.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 11, 1868
The Edwardsville Courier gives the names of the present inmates of the county jail as follows:

James St. Clair – robbery of the First National Bank of Alton, and the murder of Policeman Filley.
William Bell – murder of Hermann Wendell.
Michael Desmond – murder of William R. Henderson.
William Thompson – passing counterfeit money.
Andrew Bauer – murder of Xavier Buckhardt.
Henry K. Smith, Louis Foster, and Michael Grimm – robbery and larceny.
John Wright – larceny.
John Carlin – disturbing the peace.
Thomas Hoffman – horse thief.
Henry Hineman – debt.

This is the largest list of desperate characters ever confined in the jail, and calls upon the authorities to exercise the utmost vigilance in keeping them securely guarded.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 13, 1871
The county seat has been excited over a case of body snatching. On December 28, 1870, a man died at the County Poor House, and was buried. Shortly after, a box was shipped by express from Edwardsville, directed to Ann Arbor, Michigan. When the box arrived at Decatur, a foul odor was detected issuing from it, and suspicion being aroused, it was opened and found to contain the body of a man. Word was sent to Edwardsville, and an investigation disclosed the fact that the new-made grave of the pauper, mentioned above, had been robbed of the corpse. This explained the matter, and the body was returned to Edwardsville and reinterred. It is supposed that the body was stolen and shipped to Ann Arbor as a subject for dissection at the medical college.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 24, 1871
Today is the anniversary of the Edwardsville Turnverien, and it has been made the occasion for a grand masquerade ball tonight, at the Edwardsville Hotel, kept by Anton Weiner. A party of masked persons appeared upon the streets on horseback this afternoon, looking little less hideous than old Nick, to the great amusement of all the “little” boys, and some of the big ones.

“Musical Union” is the name of an association organized here a few weeks ago, having for its object the improvement of its members in vocal music. The officers are: G. M. Cole, President; Thomas J. Newsham, Secretary and Treasurer; W. R. Graves, Musical Director; and E. Phillips, Assistant Director. The meetings of the Society are held every Monday evening at the schoolhouse, and are becoming quite popular. Already its members number upwards of forty of our best singers, and we are pleased to say they are manifesting an interest in the matter that denotes success.

Arba Nelson, deceased, who subsequent to the making of what purports to be his last will and testament, was married, is said to have thereby annulled said will. Would it not be well for our lawmakers to amend or make our statutes more definite?

Our circuit court is still actively engaged in dispensing justice – the dispensation of that article, however, is not always appreciated. The town of Bethalto, for example, yesterday caused a nauseous dose of the article to be administered to one of its citizens for violating an ordinance in relation to gambling. William Richards and William Assman, both under indictment for robbery, were also put to the trouble of giving bail in the sum of five hundred dollars each for their appearance at the next term, to save them from going back to jail. James Purcell vouched for the appearance of Mr. Assman, and G. B. Burnett, A. L. Brown, and W. M. Whaling, for that of Mr. Richards. We understand, however, that the promises made by Mr. Richards to his bondsmen were violated this evening, and that a repetition thereof will send him back to jail. Billy claims not only to have made this town, but a large proportion of its citizens, and seems to be quite indignant about the treatment he is receiving at the hands of those who are under many obligations to him.

The watch and clock making establishment of William Huesser, jeweler & etc., has been removed from his old stand in lower town, to the house of Mr. Brinkman on Main Street, near the court house.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 31, 1871
Our town, although one of the oldest in the State, is looking as fresh and business is opening up as lively in it this Spring, as if it were a new town and had never known anything but prosperity. It is true our little railroad “continues in a state of discontinuance,” but that does not seem to deter our citizens from building new houses, repairing, fixing up and painting old ones, making new fences, building outhouses, etc. Our industrious citizens have their gardens made and plenty of “sass” coming on; and almost an endless variety of shrubbery has been planted in the door yards, gardens, &c., of many of our more tasteful citizens.

The new jail at this place is not yet occupied, except that part of it intended for a residence for the Sheriff, but sealed proposals are invited for making a cistern, smokehouse, water closet, sewer, &c., for the use of the new jail, and when said improvements are completed, we presume the prisoners will be transferred from the insecure, unhealthy, loathsome place known as the old jail, to the more secure and aristocratic new jail.

Henry Lammert, the constable of Six Mile Precinct, who was so unfortunate about a year ago as to have a prisoner whom he was bringing to jail taken from him and lynched, we are informed, has died. He was the same man, who in November last, imposed such hardships upon Mr. Otto Wolf of this place.

The old homestead, formerly occupied by the late Erastus Wheeler, situated on Vandalia Street, directly opposite the new Catholic Church in this place, is offered for sale at a low price, and on easy term. L. C. Keown is agent for the sale of said property.

We think, as does every taxpayer in this community, that the speeches made and time consumed by our Legislature in relation to the removal of our State Capital, is, to say the least of it, expensive nonsense.

The elevator in use by our grain buyers at the depot, on the Madison County Railroad in Edwardsville, is only temporary, and will give place to one of more formidable proportions, as soon as the necessary means are all subscribed, and the question of the operation of said railroad is settled.

The school exhibition given by the pupils of our public schools on Thursday and Friday evenings of last week, at the court house, for the benefit of the school library, was a grand success in every sense of the word. The weather was favorable, the admission fee was reasonable, the attendance was large, the management was good, and the pupils participating performed their parts well. The spectators are unanimous in saying they were well pleased with the entertainment. The receipts of the two evenings were $250.85, besides a bogus five-dollar bill, which some “shover of the queer” was mean enough to pass upon the ticket agent.

The celebration of the wooden wedding of Dr. Joseph Pogue and lady, of Edwardsville, took place at their residence on Commercial Street last evening. A large number of their many friends were present, and contributed towards making the occasion one which will long be remembered as an agreeable and pleasant affair.

Our mutual friends, S. O. Bonner and Robert Friday, have rented the large brick storehouse, formerly occupied by F. T. Krafft, and are going to keep a regular auction house, where they will sell any and everything consigned to them. Messrs. Bonner and Friday are experienced auctioneers, and we predict that their enterprise, the first of the kind in Edwardsville, will prove a success.

One of the men lodged in jail here a short time ago, for breaking open a freight car at Venice and stealing household goods therefrom, attempted to get out last night. He, by some means, procured some tin and pewter spoons, and had made considerable progress towards manufacturing a key with which to unlock the door of the jail, when his “ways that were dark, and tricks that were vain,” were discovered. He is in jail yet, but his exploits as indicated above show that he is no ordinary chap, and that if the authorities expect to retain him, his removal to the new jail should take place at once.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 12, 1871
Yesterday, about 100 Druids from St. Louis and other places, accompanied by a fine band of music, paid our town a visit for the purpose of participating with the Druids of this place, in celebrating their second anniversary. The members were dressed in uniform, and about 10 o’clock a.m., they formed into a procession on foot, and with several banners emblematical of their order, together with the band of music and the “stars and stripes” at the front, marched up Main Street to Vandalia Street, and thence to the fairgrounds, where they were joined by a goodly number of our citizens, and had a good time generally. The weather was somewhat rainy in the evening, but not so much so as to prevent the enjoyment of a ball given at the Edwardsville Hotel.

In consequence of the celebration by the Druids, the court was not in session yesterday, but is today. None of the criminal cases have been tried, and we understand will not be until next week. Captain Halbert, State’s Attorney, has gone home. Meanwhile, E. Phillips has been appointed pro tem, and will attend to the wants of the grand jury, prepare indictments, &c. The grand jury expects to complete its business tomorrow.

On Sunday, April 16, Mr. Charles Harward of Six Mile precinct had the misfortune of losing about $2,000 worth of property by fire. The property consisted of a corn crib and blacksmith shop, and their contents. The fire originated by a little boy, whom Mr. Harward is raising, attempting to steal a little fun by burning some corn stalks, which, as the result proved, were too near the building for safety, and but for the timely assistance of neighbors, his dwelling would have shared the same fate.

On Thursday last, a two-horse team took fright and ran from Webber and Reynold’s shop in upper town, to the residence of Mr. James Whitbread in lower town, a distance of about one mile. When the breakneck speed with which they went is considered, it is difficult to imagine how it could be that no damage to team, wagon, or other property on the route was committed.

We have eighteen licensed retail liquor dealers in this place who pay an annual tax of one hundred dollars each. The amount of capital invested in the business, including the value of real estate, used, is about $36,000.

The public school for colored children, taught in this district by Miss M. A. Johnson of Upper Alton, was closed last week by reason of the expiration of the term. This school was taught in the old building formerly occupied by our county and circuit clerks, and was pretty well attended.

The wife of James R. Brown, editor of the Intelligencer, is lying dangerously ill, as is also Miss Amy Day, formerly one of the teachers in our public school; also Charles West, only son of Rev. E. M. West of Edwardsville.

Our present police magistrate, Captain George C. Lusk, appears to administer the law without fear, favor, or affection. In an ordinary knock down, such as occurred last Saturday night between James Purcell and David Morrisy, he fines both parties. In a case of discharging firearms at a cat, he fines only one party, and in half the cases of the latter class, he does not impose any fine.

An accident occurred on Main Street this afternoon in front of W. R. Graves’ tin shop, which attracted a goodly number of spectators. It was the breaking of a spindle of the axle of a sulky, on which Mr. Clay H. Lynch was riding at the time. Luckily, he came down manfully, and got up gracefully without a bruise. 


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 19, 1871
The clean and tidy manner in which the courtroom is kept during this term of the circuit court is worthy of honorable mention, to say the least. Someone is responsible for thus attending to a matter that much of the time heretofore has been most shamefully neglected. That institution in the northwest corner of the Court House Square, which has recently been so neatly fitted up on the inside, however, in consequence of the aroma emitted therefrom, detracts from the praise that would otherwise be awarded to the county officials who have the courthouse and grands in charge. That old reaper in the southwest corner of the square will, in a few years more, become county property, and thereby be exempt from taxation. The patent gate on exhibition in the square, we presume, is deemed sufficiently ornamental to warrant the authorities in permitting it to remain there.  


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 21, 1871
For the past two weeks, there has been a rumor that a prize fight between John Condon, a coal miner, and Jack Luxton, would occur on the 18th, for $100 a side. Our worthy Magistrate, not favoring such amusement, read the law at them and forbade them to fight, whereupon they drew the prize – the money – but repaired to the northeast corner of the Fair Ground, just out of the corporation, “squared off,” and pitched into the pleasing amusement of smashing each other’s faces. After the seventh round, Condon, who came out second best, threw up the sponge. The parties then came back to town to finish their drink, but were immediately arrested and taken before Justice Lusk, and were bound over in the sum of $500 each, which overreached their pile. Luxton plainly told the Justice h would not go to prison. The Justice said he would, and appointed a posse to take him. Revolvers were drawn, but happily no blood was shed, and the scientific bruisers were finally persuaded to go to jail, where they will await their trial tomorrow. Some of the spectators of the fight were considerably frightened when they found out the law on such matters.  


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 11, 1871
The Board of Directors have used their best efforts and all the means in their control to make an attractive Fair. The grounds, buildings, and all arrangements are in perfect order. A very large new cistern, filled by water passing through a good filter, has been added. The services of a sprinkling wagon have been secured, that no inconvenience need be felt from dust. In addition to the features shown by the Premium List are a good band, the appearance of the greatest pedestrian known in the world (Weston), on the first afternoon of the Fair, and if sufficient encouragement is given, one or two other afternoons.

Two other great attractions are in process of being secured, due notice of which will be given. You will see that we mean success. Let us know by your appearance on our grounds that you wish our society well. Show us that you have an interest in Old Madison County Agricultural Institutions by trying the capacity of our Fair Grounds. They will hold full, and if more room should be wanted, we know how to make it. Citizens of Alton, there are always vacancies in Committees and Superintendences which we will gladly fill from your ranks if you will report yourselves on the grounds the second day of the Fair.

Come, friend, to our Fair, and let us demonstrate to you that we intend to work up our society to the highest possible good. Signed V. P. Richmond.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 29, 1871
We, in company with a few prominent gentlemen of Alton, paid a visit on Sunday last to the County Poor House, which has got to be quite an extensive institution, in fact much more so than a great many of our citizens will be inclined to believe, unless they do, as we did, visit it for themselves.

The buildings were quite extensive before, but the recent new addition makes them much more so. The new house is a two-story brick, containing some ten good rooms, two halls, several closets, &c., and is situated in front of, and annexed to the building formerly occupied by the family of the keeper. The new house is now used for that purpose, and with the exception of the residence in connection with our new jail, is decidedly the finest house in town. The arrangement of the rooms is such as to make it exceedingly well adapted for the purpose for which it is used. As for the old dwelling, although it may for a few years serve for some useful purpose in connection with the institution, we think its old and dilapidated condition should have warranted the County Court in removing it.

The situation, style, and architecture of the buildings, together with the topography of the grounds, render the premises occupied by the poor, unfortunate people of our county fully as attractive and pleasant as any in the county.

We did not count the inmates, but as near as we learned, there are about fifty-two persons in the institution, to wit: 25 males and 27 females, of whom 18 of the former, and 20 of the latter, are insane. We found them all in comfortable quarters, and from all indications visible to us, receiving such care and attention as their condition seemed to require. The premises in every department were remarkably clean and tidy, and if we are not mistaken, they could not be under the care and custody of better persons for the business than Colonel John F. Parker (the present keeper) and his estimable lady. But some say he is making too much money out of the business. Perhaps he is. Do the taxpayers, who have all the bills to foot, sufficiently consider such matters when they have a chance of doing so to advantage? If not, whose fault is it?


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 10, 1871
It is well known by our readers that a new jail has been erected in this county, at a cost of more than forty thousand dollars, under the plea that the old one was too insecure for the purpose of confining prisoners. This may be true, or it may not, but what is singular about the matter is the fact that, notwithstanding the new building has been completed and ready for occupancy for nearly a year, the prisoners are all, with the exception of La Mountain (who was permitted to escape a few nights since), and one other prisoner, still kept in the old jail where the jailer resides, just as he did before the new one was built. Why is this, if the old jail is, as was alleged, an unsafe place to confine prisoners! Why were forty thousand dollars spent for a new jail, if the old one is sufficiently strong to answer all the purposes of a prison? Is it the duty of the county to furnish a forty-thousand-dollar mansion for its Sheriff, free of rent, in addition to the comfortable quarters provided for the jailer?

The facts in the case appear to be about as follows, as we have been informed: Very soon after Sheriff Crawford assumed the duties of his office, he moved with his family into the new jail, where he has been living ever since. Not a prisoner has been confined there, to disturb his repose, until a short time since the two referred to above were taken there, and in a few days thereafter, La Mountain made his escape. But even while they were confined there, Sheriff Crawford did not tax himself or assume the responsibility of their safety. But on the contrary, their meals were furnished by Mr. Friday, the jailer of the old prison, while the keys of their cells were entrusted to an irresponsible man, hired to do chores about Mr. Crawford’s house and stable, who had no official position and had never been put under oath for the faithful performance of his duties, and it was through the culpable carelessness of this man that the consummate villain, La Mountain, was permitted to make his escape. In going into the prison at the close of the evening to lock up the cells, he left the outside door wide open while he entered the passage to close the cells, and with a carelessness and stupidity very marvelous, locked La Mountain’s cell, who had previously managed to get into the corridor between the main walls and the cells, and made his escape through the outside door when the turnkey first entered, and was not missed until next morning. Such stupidity and carelessness, under the circumstances, were never before equaled or surpassed in the history of prisons.

Take all these things together, and they constitute a very singular, very strange, and almost unaccountable state of affairs, well calculated to awaken the deepest interest in the minds of every taxpayer in the county. Is it true, after all the expenditure of money and skill in erecting the new jail, that the prisoners have to be kept in the old one? Why is this? Is the new prison a failure, and so defective as to be unfit for the purposes for which it was intended? We have heard it intimated that this is the case, that the sewerage is insufficient for the necessities of the institution, and that is given as the reason why it has not been occupied by the prisoners. If such is the case, the architect and the members of the county court, who authorized and superintended the erection of the jail, must be very censurable. But, admitting this to be the case, are the present county officers going to take no steps to remedy the defects, and permit all that has been expended to be lost? These are questions that the taxpayers of the county would be glad to have answered.

We have been informed that the want of sewerage complained of in regard to the new jail is not the fault of the architect or of the members of the old county court, but of the present county officials. It appears that the original plan made all necessary provision for proper sewerage, but that the members of the present county court refused to carry out the plan as originally made, and contemplated some new provision to answer that end, but finally left the building as it now is, without making any provision whatever for sewerage. All we aim at is to have the responsibility of this defect, which renders this new and costly jail almost worthless, rest upon the guilty parties.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 8, 1871
The furnaces with which our public schoolhouse is heated are not giving very good satisfaction during these cold days. In fact, some of the rooms were so cold yesterday, that the teachers found it necessary to dismiss school. The dismissal, however, will only be temporary, because our Directors are too wide awake to not be equal to the emergency. If need be, the stoves will be reinstated as heaters.

William Richards, who has attained some notoriety upon the criminal docket of our Circuit Court, is again at large. He is out on bail. Meanwhile, his wife has filed her bill for divorce. She alleges that he has been guilty of extreme and repeated cruelty to her, and that he has been guilty of habitual drunkenness for the space of two years last past, and also that he has neglected to support her and her children, as a husband should.

The cigar manufactory of Mr. F. Begeman of Edwardsville has been moved into his new store on Main Street, opposite the courthouse.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 22, 1871
The pauper expenses of Madison County, for the year ending with the present term of the County Court, amount to $19,589.07, exclusive of the amount expended in the new building and other improvements on the county farm.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 1, 1872
The Edwardsville Hotel on Main Street caught fire about three o’clock this morning, and it was only by the most strenuous exertions on the part of the citizens that the building was saved from destruction. The fire originated between the cellar and the first floor, and from all accounts, appears to have been the work of an incendiary. Had the fire once gained the mastery, it would have swept the greater part of the block. The loss is small and is covered by insurance.


History of the Edwardsville Fire Department
Source: Alton Telegraph, March 15, 1872
Our town of late seems to be in a fair way to become noted for its numerous fires. Only a short time ago the Edwardsville Hotel was seriously damaged by fire, and on Saturday night last at a late hour, a fire was discovered in the large new store recently erected by Mr. John S. Trares, druggist of this place, but luckily the discovery was made and only a small scorched place on the shelving was done. The workmen, painters, &c, had been at work in the building, which was not quite finished, the preceding day, and as the fire was in an oily sack which had been used by the painters, and left lying in a corner on the counter shelf, where, as there were no shutters or blinds to the windows, the first blaze or light could not well help being discovered. It is thought to have been caused by spontaneous combustion.

Last night about midnight, the two-story brick house on Main Street, owned by Ignatz Brendle, and occupied by him as a family residence and boot and shoe shop, was discovered to be on fire, and although a large number of our citizens were soon on hand, there being no organization for the suppression of fires, they could do nothing towards preventing the destruction of the building and contents, except to get out a small lot of old shoes and boots left there for mending, and a few articles of but little value from the front room occupied as the shoe shop, and a small lot of kitchen furniture from the back room. Nothing was saved from the upper story. Mr. Brendle and his family were away from home, and from all appearance, this fire, like that at the Edwardsville Hotel a short time since, and the fire at Mr. Balweg’s shoe store a few months ago, was the work of an incendiary.

Had it not been for the noble and indefatigable exertions of our citizens and the fact that the atmosphere was quiet at the time, the flames would have spread to, and destroyed the frame house, but four feet distant, owned and occupied by Mr. Joseph Schaer as a saloon and family residence. But with the use of ladders, quilts, carpets, buckets, a little whisky, and a great deal of hollowing, they were enabled to keep said house too damp for the fire. Yet so little faith was had in their being able to save the house, that all the furniture, liquors, &c., were removed. Not, however, without considerable damage from hasty handling.

A volunteer fire department in Edwardsville was formed in February 1874, with 33 charter members. The volunteers pulled a hand-operated pump to the site of a fire, and passed buckets and pumped water from cisterns or nearby ponds. In 1875, the city council authorized the purchase of a fire bell for $160, and that same year citizens donated $172 for the fire department’s first uniforms. In 1892, when the city built its first city hall at 400 N. Main Street, it put the fire engine house on the first floor, and city offices on the second floor, with the fire bell on top of the building. For 32 years, the men elected their own fire chief and two assistants. In 1906, the city purchased a combination hose, chemical wagon and ladder truck and a team of black horses that had been part of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair equipment. The city employed a driver. In June 1906, the city purchased a third fire horse, and placed an electric fire alarm in the belfry with the bell. In 1917, the first motorized fire truck was purchased. The old firewagon was sold to a junk dealer for $16.20. By 1940, the city had a paid fire department, but volunteers were still enrolled and expected for larger fires.

The original city hall and fire department building was razed in 1965, to make way for a new city hall building. A new firehouse was constructed next door. The water tower, shown in the photo, served from 1898 to 1964.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 26, 1872
Samuel L. Miller, a farmer residing in Omphghent Precinct in Madison County, has probably been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows longer than any other citizen of our county. A few days ago, we saw a commission of warrant issued by the Grand Lodge of the United States, on March 3, 1835, authorizing him to open a Lodge, and install their officers at St. Louis, Missouri.

Letters of Administration upon the estate of Samuel T. Mason, late of Highland, were issued by our Probate Court yesterday to Hale M. Thorp, who gave bond as such administrator in the sum of $12,000.

In consequence of the opening of a new street in the south part of town, it has become necessary to remove the remains of about forty paupers from their place of interment, the disinterment is now going on. The number by which each grave was known is being carefully preserved, and will be placed over the remains of the same corpse in its new burial place, which is but about fifty feet from its original location. It seems to have been a great oversight on the part of our county authorities who caused a graveyard to be made where a street was bound to be located and opened if the town ever grew to be a city, and “Breathes there a man of us, with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said, my ancestors never knew this would be a city?”

The contract for repainting the courthouse has been awarded to our industrious friend, John W. Gooch.

The old brick hotel, formerly known as the Edwardsville Hotel, has been rejuvenated and is being kept by a widow lady, who has changed its name to Wabash Hotel. The project for building a magnificent hotel here seems to wane. Mr. Kirkpatrick, however, its proposed proprietor, is still running the Union Hotel, and is meeting with success.

The Madison Restaurant, formerly kept by Murray Knight, is now being kept by our young friend, Lewis Moore. He has had the house repapered, painted, &c., and is keeping a nice place – in fact, the place to get good living is at the Madison Restaurant.

Mrs. Mary Barnsback, a pensioner of the War of 1812, in returning from town to her home, three miles south of here, about a week ago, was thrown from her buggy and had her arm broken, and since that occurrence has been confined to her bed with a fever, which it is feared may prove fatal. She is quite old, having been married in the year 1808.

Our merchants continue to ornament the streets in front of their stores with old paper boxes and waste paper, much to the discomfort of skittish horses. The Street Commissioner has put a veto on piling empty boxes on the street or sidewalk in front of the stores.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 10, 1872
A new street was recently opened at Edwardsville, through the Poor House Cemetery, and among the bodies reinterred was that of William Bell, who was hung for murder in 1869. The remains were found in a good state of preservation.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 31, 1872
The old jail continues to be used for prison purposes, and seems to answer every purpose quite well. When that ceases to be a fact, we presume the old jail, like Horace Greeley’s old white hat, will be thrown away and the new one, which has been on hand for several years, substituted for it. The new jail, however, as yet being in need of a sewer, is to that extent at least different from Horace Greeley’s new hat. Arrangements for putting in a sewer, and erecting a brick wall on the east side of the new jail, are now being made, and as soon as these improvements are completed, our prisoners will have the benefit of the new jail.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 6, 1872
The Edwardsville correspondent of the St. Louis Globe announces the following startling facts:

“The citizens of Edwardsville, who were at the Republican Convention last Friday, were astounded by a remark of one of the leading Democrats of this county. ‘The Republicans,’ said he, ‘are not fighting the Democrats, but the Ku-Klux. There is a Ku-Klux organization in this county, and I have got the money that will assist to beat them.’ This from Hon. William T. Brown, County Judge, and one of the main leaders of the Democrats, is significant. There is a reason to believe a Ku-Klux organization was inaugurated in the neighborhood of Venice, and has spread over the greater part of the county. The charge of the County Judge first led to the belief, which is being pretty well affirmed.”

We had heard this report some days since, but the circumstances had not at that time been sufficiently developed to justify us in making them public. But there is no man in the county more likely to be posted on such subjects than Judge William Tyler Brown, and if he made the declaration attributed to him in the above paragraph, there is no doubt about its truth.

It was asserted while the Democratic County Convention was in session, that it was through the recent working of that organization that most of the nominations of that Convention were made, and the well-laid schemes of some of the shrewdest members of the party were thwarted. But as the quarrel is one entirely among the so-called Democracy, we feel no particular desire to meddle with it, further than to give the particulars to the public as they are developed.

Republicans are waking up to the importance of earnest work this Fall, and have entered vigorously upon the campaign against the Madison County Ku-Klux Klan.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 11, 1872
A slight unpleasantness, resulting in Mrs. Small, proprietress of the Wabash Hotel, cowhiding a man by the name of Nevill, took place in the office of our Police Magistrate last Monday. Nevill, it seems, was a witness in a suit, wherein said hotel proprietress was concerned, and his testimony did not suit her, and the whipping she gave him was equally unsatisfactory to him. Hence, she had to make redress in the shape of a fine of fifteen dollars and costs. We are not advised as to whether the boys who seemed to enjoy the fray so well assisted in paying the fine or not.

On Monday night, Policeman Friday, in attempting to quell the noi8se that was being made by a drunken man by the name of Purcell, found it necessary for self-defense to punish him quite severely with his club, and it is hoped that the drunkenness and rowdyism that have prevailed here for the last two or three days will meet the attention of our officials, who will put a stop to it. It is believed that the liquor law is being violated here almost daily.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 15, 1872
The new jail is now the receptacle of all the prisoners here, Sheriff Crawford having removed them from the old jail on November 11. They are four in number, and Gropp, the murderer, is one of them.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 6, 1872
One of the prisoners in the new jail made good his escape therefrom last night. It seems that he had been furnished with one or two case knives, which were converted into saws, and with which he cut the bars of his cell door, also those of the corridor and one of the windows. One other prisoner about breakfast time this morning, having been, as seems to be the usual custom, let out of his cell into the inside corridor, found the holes convenient for his exit. It seems that the jailer had not discovered anything wrong until he was informed that one of the prisoners was seen leaving the back window of the jail. Pursuit was made, and that prisoner was soon returned to his cell, but the other prisoner who made his exit sometime in the night is not yet found. Quite a number of persons are in pursuit, and some hope is entertained of success. The missing prisoner’s name is Martin, and he was committed for horse stealing.

As is usual after such occurrences, the prison is condemned, pronounced worthless, not as good as the old dilapidated crib downtown called the old jail, &c. But no inconsiderable number of persons have a different opinion of the new jail, in fact, many persons are of the opinion that without assistance, escape from the new jail is simply impossible, and without criminality or carelessness on the part of the jailer, assistance could not be given.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 20, 1872
The contract for taking care of the poor house and inmates, for one year, on and after December 16, has been awarded to John J. Parker, the former contractor, at the same price and upon the same terms as for the preceding year. Dr. Armstrong in like manner has been continued as County Physician.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 16, 1873
A correspondent of the Springfield Journal, writing from Edwardsville, says:
“Edwardsville looks to be an ancient town, showing here and there many a relic of departed grandeur. Most of its houses are built on two long streets, which wind along the crest of two ridges. Between them runs a branch only crossed at rare intervals. Just north of the town appears for the first time the once famous Cahokia Creek. ‘Cahoke,’ it was first named to me, and afterwards I heard it called ‘Caho.’ Indian names suffer strange mutilations. There are quite a number of new buildings, and the town appears to be awakening. Along the road to St. Louis are seen traces of a plank or corduroy road, once the line of great local travel. Railroads change everything.”


Source: September 19, 1873
One of the wildest and most inexcusable excitements took place on Thursday in Edwardsville, which has occurred in the State for several years. The origin of the turbulence is not as yet satisfactorily ascertained. There are a dozen reports given, by those who were upon the fairground at the time, but no two of them agree upon any one essential particular in regard to it. We shall not, therefore, at this time give currency to any one of them, further than to state that it was caused by a rumor that the person of a small girl had been violated, or an attempt had been made to do so, when the cry was raised by some men under the influence of liquor to hang the wretch who was charged with the commission of the crime, when a wild tumult was raised, and Mr. S. S. Torrey of Alton was made the victim of the infuriated mob. The excited multitude rushed forward shouting and screaming at the top of their voices to hang him, hang him! Which no doubt would have been done at once, had it not been for the bravery and intrepidity of Sheriff Cooper, and a few noble men who stood by him in defense of the law and order. Mr. Cooper stood firm with his revolver in his hand, and warned the rioters that he would put a ball through the first man who dared to lay violent hands upon the accused. This held the mob at bay until the gates of the fairgrounds were thrown open, a carriage brought, and under a strong guard, Mr. Torrey was taken and placed in jail, out of the reach of danger. But the excitement increased under the influence of the extravagant reports which were kept in circulation, and the mob thirsting for blood, and “breathing out threatenings and slaughters,” it was found necessary to keep a guard around the jail all night. Among those who aided Sheriff Cooper in the defense of law were Dr. William A. Haskell, W. F. everts, Zephaniah B. Job, and George Dickson of Alton; Judge Joseph Gillespie, Messrs. William Cotter, Ed L. Friday, K. T. Barnett, Isaac Davis, and R. H. Kinder of Edwardsville, and Judge Gerke of Marine.

But admitting that the very worst crime charged was committed, and that there was no doubt but he was the guilty party, this would constitute no excuse for this threatened violence and violation of law. He was secure in the hands of the Sheriff, if proven guilty before the court would have suffered, and justly, the severest penalty of the law, but to have hung him without trial, and in violation of law, would have been murder, and murder of the most atrocious character. There is no apology or excuse for mob violence, and those who engage in it deserve not only to be punished as disturbers of the peace, but as aiders and abettors in the overthrow of all law and government, and thereby introducing anarchy and communism, with all their attendant atrocities and horrors.

While in Edwardsville yesterday, we conversed with Mr. Torrey and investigated the matter thoroughly, but it is manifestly improper to discuss the facts in the case until the examination takes place, which will probably be today. But this much we may say – that we are thoroughly convinced that Mr. Torrey was entirely unconscious of committing any impropriety, and innocent of any wrong intention. Still, he is surrounded by a peculiar chain of circumstances which may give him trouble. It is well established that during the afternoon, at least three little girls were offered money by some man or men, to go with them outside the fairgrounds. One girl, twelve years old, who was asked by a stranger to go out and show him where the new cemetery was, went out, thinking no wrong, and showed him the location. He insulted her, and she ran back, crying, to the fairgrounds, and told her friends, who immediately commenced a search for the offender. This incident became known to the crowd. About three quarters of an hour after a man came to the ring and informed Mr. D. B. Gillham that some man had enticed his little girl off the grounds. Mr. Gillham at once started in pursuit, a hue and cry was raised that the child had been carried off for base purposes, and a crowd started out of the grounds in search of the offender, who was also, in the minds of some, charged with the acts above named. A short distance from the grounds, Mr. Gillham’s little daughter caught sight of her father, and came running towards him smiling. This showed him that she was safe and unharmed, but the sudden revulsion from the terrible anxiety that oppressed him caused him to fall to the ground in a dead faint. The man who had gone out with the little girl was Mr. Torrey. The maddened crowd took for granted, without evidence, that some wrong had been attempted, and immediately took him prisoner. The wild scene which followed we have already detailed. Mr. Torrey’s statement is that he found the grounds hot and dusty, and went out with the little girl for a walk, without any thought of wrong, and we believe him. Of course, the question at once arises, who was the man that attempted to tamper with other little girls mentioned. He has not yet been identified by them. We believe the examination will show that Mr. Torrey was not that man. He denies any knowledge of having even spoken to any other girls. His family have the warm sympathy of our community in the terrible affair, as have also all others who have been caused trouble and anxiety thereby.

From Edwardsville, September 19, 1873
The Torrey matter, which with the aid of a lot of persons composed as we believe principally of gamblers, thieves, pickpockets, and drunkards, created so much excitement last week, still elicits a remark from some of our citizens once in a while, but no one worthy of being called a law-abiding man has any excuse to offer for the conduct of the rabble which came so near bringing an everlasting stigma upon our county, and no one now, however base his character, favors any interference with the legally constituted authorities in disposing of the case.

Examination of Mr. Torrey
Source: Alton Telegraph, September 19, 1873
The examination of Mr. Torrey took place on Saturday at Edwardsville, before Hon. E. M. West. The complainant was a Mr. White, whose little girl had been tampered with by some unknown person. The hour was late when the court assembled, and no testimony was taken except for the prosecution. Mr. Torrey gave bail in the sum of $500 for his future appearance. Mr. Burnett appeared for the defense, and Mr. Krome for the prosecution. Under the cross examination by Mr. Burnett, the marvelous stories and reports dwindled down to little or nothing. The White girl, when asked to identify the man who insulted her, thought Mr. Torrey was the man, but seemed very uncertain, while Mr. Torrey is positive, he never saw the girl before she confronted him in court. We believe the bottom will fall out of it entirely. The worst that can be made out of Mr. Torrey’s going out to walk with Mr. Gillham’s little daughter is that it was imprudent and liable to misconstruction. We are convinced Mr. Torrey was perfectly innocent of any wrong intention, and that he is being made to suffer for the act of some unknown party. The untarnished character which he has borne here for twenty years cannot be stained by charges resting on such a slender foundation as those made at Edwardsville.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 10, 1873
October 8, 1873 - Last Friday night we had one of the most violent rainstorms that has visited us for a long time. The water fell in perfect torrents for a while, and if it had continued at the same rate for even a half hour longer, the amount of damage which would have been occasioned thereby would have been very great. The dam at the Phillips Flouring Mill gave way, and let most of the water out of the pond, and it will cost a hundred dollars or more to repair it. A large portion of the southeastern wall of the new two-story addition to A. R. Wolf’s large hardware and agricultural implement store was thrown down by the water. It seems that the water found its way down the side of the wall, which was quite new, removed the lime and sand and caused the wall to fall in, and let the first floor, together with the agricultural implements stored thereon, down into the cellar. The opening in the wall was about 15 feet long, and extended to the second floor. The damage, however, amounting to about two hundred dollars, was confined to the wall and first floor, and Mr. Wolf, with that energy and promptness for which he is celebrated, early Saturday morning had a strong force at work removing the goods and rubbish, which was soon completed, and the brick masons were put immediately to work and did not cease from their labors until the building was secured from further damage.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 31, 1873
It is rumored again that Mr. Kirkpatrick, of the Union House, is making arrangements to begin the erection of a hotel on his lots opposite the post office in Edwardsville, but as winter is now so near at hand, little, if anything, can be done towards it, except it might be to get the material on the ground and put in the foundation before next spring.

The Benton House seems to be still in the front rank among our hotels, and is crowded with guests constantly, to its utmost capacity. So much for location, a real live, active, energetic and accommodating proprietor, and a determination on his part to allow no one to leave the house dissatisfied. Charlie sets a good table, keeps hot stoves, and everything else in proportion.


Dated November 12, 1873
Source: Alton Telegraph, November 14, 1873
The circuit court is still in session, but will probably conclude its labors for the term in about the last of this week. Thus far, four criminals have been awarded quarters in the Penitentiary. Of this number, we have Eagan of Alton, who was indicted for murder, goes up for thirty years. He seems to think it will puzzle the medical department of the prison to prolong his life until he has served out his term. James Eagan was indicted for the killing of George McMullen in May 1873. He struck McMullen in the head with a hatchet, laying bare the brain. The wounded man lingered several weeks before the wound proved fatal. McMullen was a single man. Eagan has a wife and children.

There are several other criminals in jail here who will probably help to swell the number of convicts, whom Sheriff Cooper will take to Joliet next week, to about ten. We also have it from good authority that B. E. Hoffmann, notwithstanding his recent reelection to the office of County Clerk by such an overwhelming majority, is going to leave his “magnificent new residence” on Grand Avenue in Edwardsville, and be escorted by Captain Cooper to the Illinois State Prison. But our word for it, he will not be kept there. Persons who get large Democratic majorities flourish better down this way, and he will soon be back again.

Our citizens are pleased with the prospect which we have for a splendid hotel. Mr. Kirkpatrick has a large number of hands and teams employed digging out the earth and removing it for the basement story and cellar of his new hotel. The brick for that part of the building are already on the ground, and with favorable weather, will soon be placed into the walls. The excavation will be completed this week.

New street crossings have been put down over Purcell and Second Streets, west of the courthouse. A similar crossing should be made over Main Street opposite the Benton House. The work of grading Union Street, in front of Captain Lohmire’s residence is progressing finely. The contractor thinks he will soon have the job completed. Several of our citizens have proved their generosity by contributing to Mr. Grosch towards repairing the loss which he sustained recently by the burning of his ice houses. Benton, Bickelhaupt, and Friday are vying with each other in the oyster business.
M. B. Sherman has bought out the interest of R. F. Tunnel in the grain and produce business. C. L. Cook has added a frame kitchen and dining room to his brick dwelling on St. Louis Street. A. P. Wolf’s Hardware Store has become the center of attraction in his line. Persons in want of hardware, wagons, and farming implements have learned better than to go to St. Louis for them. L. C. Keown, Real Estate and Insurance Agent, is now occupying his new office on St. Louis Street, south of the courthouse. The proprietor of the Benton House has a supply of turkeys expressly for Thanksgiving Day.

The following list includes the names of all persons elected on November 4 as Justices of the Peace:

Alhambra – Edward Jagerman and Michael Size.
Alton – George H. Weigler, Edmond Noonan, Philander Pickard, Thomas Middleton, and Jonathan Quarton.
Bethalto – William L. Piggott, Samuel P. Irwin, and William M. T. Springer.
Collinsville – William E. Miller, Charles W. Krome, and Edward Wilborn.
Edwardsville – William A. Mize, Samuel B. Smith, Joseph Chapman, Fritz Heyde, and Irwin B. Randle.
Fosterburg – Richard Jinkinson and Corydon C. Brown.
Greenwood [North Alton] – James C. Tibbitt and George F. Long.
Highland – Charles Boeschenstein, Frederick Kunz, Jacob Kurtz, Robert Hagenauer, Marquis D. Moore, and Amos Atkins.
Marine – John L. Ferguson and John Ellison.
Monticello [Godfrey] – J. B. Turner and James Squire.
New Douglas – Abram Allen and Martin Jones.
Omphghent – Diedrick C. Scheer and Michael Kyle.
Saline – Elliott W. Mudge and Samuel Brown.
Silver Creek – James Olive and Elijah Lane.
St. Jacob – John Hanni and George W. Searcy.
Troy – Frank L. Hampton and Frank Heddergott.
Upper Alton – Benjamin F. Culp, Daniel W. Collet, and Amos E. Benbow.
Venice – Henry Robinson and Samuel Squire.
Worden – Nelson Cornelius and George H. Engelmann.

The following are the names of persons elected as Constables:
Alhambra – Kildroy P. Aldrich and Louis Beckmann.
Alton – William Young, Isham Hardy, Aaron Challacombe, Anton Sauvage, and Philip Rieley.
Bethalto – Francis M. Randle, Charles Beardsley, and J. Crosby.
Collinsville – William Neslage, J. T. Brighton, and Stephen W. Gaskill.
Edwardsville – John Hobson, John T. Fahnestock, William B. Johnson, Adolph Klingel, John Bonner.
Fosterburg – Newton Fletcher and John N. Ashlock.
Greenwood [North Alton] – Ferdinand Vollbracht and John B. Clifford.
Highland – Jacob Steiner, Frederick Glegre, Henry Patts, and Rudvel Kaufmann.
Madison – William Harshaw and James Cudy.
Marine – Ephraim M. Eaton and Philip Volk.
Monticello [Godfrey] – Sanford Wideman and Frank Boyd.
New Douglas – returns did not show who were elected.
Omphghent – Joseph Siegel and Peter Hanshey.
Saline – George Holz and Jacob Widerman.
Silver Creek – William J. Bennett and Andrew Lovejoy.
St. Jacob – William Black and Nicholas Aemisegger.
Troy – Robert Williamson and John L. Purviance.
Upper Alton – Irwin B. Randle Jr., Henry B. Rundle, and W. B. Wells.
Venice – S. Grove and John Braden.
Worden – Charles F. W. Bormann and Francis Snell.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 28, 1873
The splendid steam flouring mill in Edwardsville, owned by J. A. Prickett, was discovered to be on fire about two o’clock last night, and the alarm was promptly given, but the devouring element had got so much headway, even before it was discovered, that upon the arrival of the alarmed and excited multitude, the people seemed to be unanimous in their opinion that any effort toward saving the mill would be in vain. The fire was first discovered in the third story of the mill at the extreme northern end, and was already appearing through the roof and windows. A pretty strong breeze from the west was fanning the fire on in its work of destruction. There was said to have been about twelve or fifteen hundred bushels of wheat, and about one hundred and fifty barrels of flour in the mill at the time. A vigorous effort was made to save some of the flour, and with that object in view, the door next to that part of the mill, where the flour was known to be, was burst open, and although the fire had not yet reached that locality, the smoke was so dense that the work was abandoned when only twelve barrels of flour had been taken out.

A frame warehouse, standing about forty feet northwest of the mill, connected with it, about twenty feet above the ground, by a conveyor, and used for storing bran and empty barrels, was broken open about the same time and was found to be filled with smoke, which had entered it through the conveyor, but by taking it by turns, the crowd, which had assembled, succeeded in removing the barrels stored therein, as the warehouse stood to windward of the mill, however, but little effort was required to save it from taking fire, yet it got almost not enough to ignite.

Comparatively little business, since the panic, in money matters set in had been done in the mill until the past few days. It had been running yesterday, and wheat was coming in at a pretty fair rate, and two railroad freight cars had just been placed on the switch near the mill for the purpose of being loaded with flour. They were only saved from being burned by being pushed away by hand, and for considerable time during the conflagration, our citizens were terribly alarmed, and justly so too, lest the great cloud of flying embers, conveyed eastward for several hundred yars, and falling in torrents on the principal business houses in the city, would set some of them on fire. Fortunately, however, although two or three small frame buildings were ignited, the efforts to prevent a catastrophe, which would have been terrible almost beyond contemplation, proved availing, and all our business houses, dwellings, etc., yet stand to abide their time awhile longer at least.

Although our citizens have met with such calamities as this before, yet our people have more than once seen the dire necessity which exists here for some organization and appliances for the extinguishment of fires, and it is anxiously hoped that we may soon be able to report that Edwardsville is supplied with the means of protecting the property of its citizens.

The day before having been Thanksgiving, some of our churches had been open for divine service. But when the alarm of fire was given, much time elapsed before ingress could be had to some of them for the purpose of ringing the bell. Too much credit, however, cannot be given to Mr. Vaughn, night watchman in the employ of business men near the courthouse, for his herculean efforts at arousing our citizens from their slumbers. Mayor Krome and the members of the City Council are also worthy of mention for their coolness and energetic efforts directing the many willing hands how to save other property from taking fire.

This mill was of brick, in good repair, and worth at least forty thousand dollars, and for several months during the past year, had done business amounting to more than that sum per month. Mr. Joe H. Jones had formerly owned a one-third interest in the mill, but some five or six months ago, he sold out to Mr. Prickett, owner of the other two-thirds.

The destruction of this property, the best mill in the city, and one of the best in the county, Is a severe loss not only to its owner, but to the whole community, and especially so to the employees, most of whom are poor men, having families dependent upon them for support. There was insurance on the mill, in the amount of $20,000.

It is not known how the fire originated, but as it took place so late in the night, long after the mill had stopped running, and at the end farthest from the engine room, and also some distance from the stove in the office, which was the last part of the whole concern to take fire, it is thought to have been the work of an incendiary. The tall brick flue or stack, and a portion of the walls are standing in good order. The boiler and engine, upon which there was no insurance, does not appear to be damaged much. Otherwise, the loss is nearly total.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 5, 1873
November 26, 1873 - The bricklayers are busy at work on our new hotel, and in a few days more, the basement walls will be completed. If anyone doubts that the building is going to be large and substantial, let him take a look at the massive walls constituting the foundation.

John Hilliger, who for some time past has been catering for the public as the landlord of the Wabash Hotel, in lower town, finds that owing to his infirmity caused from rheumatism, he is unable to attend to the arduous duties that devolve upon a hotelkeeper, and he is going to give up the house and remove his family into the second story of the frame building on Purcell Street, formerly occupied by Lorenz Kuous as a wine saloon, and occupy the first story with his saloon.

The Benton House in Edwardsville, which has become so thoroughly popular all over the county as one of our most necessary institutions, has not suffered any depreciation in its reputation during the past month, but on the contrary, “Charlie” is up with the times and keeps his house at the head of the lives.


EDWARDSVILLE NEWS - Dated January 7, 1874
Source: Alton Telegraph, January 9, 1874
The project of getting up a public library seems to have fallen through. The public schools, both of the city and township, were all opened again last Monday. There appears to be a large number of colored children residing in the west part of this township who are desirous of attending the public schools in their respective districts, but are not granted the privilege of doing so. They seem to be quite modest about claiming their rights, and until they learn how to assert them more boldly, they will continue to remain without the benefits of our public-school system, which is intended for all of proper age.

Those of our citizens who have ice houses, and believe they are necessary institutions, begin to look forward somewhat anxiously for a cold snap, sufficiently intense and durable to make ice to fill them. Mr. C. Grosch, who had the misfortune to have his ice houses burned up a few months ago, has replaced them with one much large, and is only waiting for an opportunity to fill it.

On New Year’s night, the house of G. M. Cole, Master in Chancery in this city, was made the scene of the party of the season. The guests, which were quite numerous, were principally masked, and many of the costumes worn, especially by the ladies, were exceedingly beautiful, and were such as to make the disguise of the wearers complete. We will name a few of the happy participants and the characters they represented: A. L. Brown, Domino; C. Happy, country school boy; J. A. Mathews, Prussian Hussar; W. P. Bradshaw, Sailor Boy; Jule Prickett, Apple Woman; F. Scheffer, Uncle Sam; Doctor Wharff, Hussar; Frank Burnett, Hussar; J. G. Barnsback, Knight Templar; Doctor Pogue, Dandy; Joe Jones, Captain Jack; Val Jones, the Old Man; Mrs. Cole, Country Cousin; G. B. Crane, Hussar; J. H. Head, Pluto; James Dale, Country Cousin; Minnie Prickett, Lady of the Olden Time; Mrs. Pogue, Nun; Tilla Snowden, Indian Maid; Nora West, Flower Girl; Mrs. Trares, Nun. Other characters were represented by Fannie Wheeler, Mrs. Armstrong, Mrs. Crane, J. S. Trares, Fannie Berry, H. V. Worley, Jennie Berry, Mrs. Benedict, and others. The finest masque lady present, if “Jenkins” is not mistaken, was Miss Fannie Berry. Owing to the fact that the evening was quite warm, the masques were thrown off about eleven o’clock, and everyone then appeared in proper form. The music was furnished by Swartz’s band.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 13, 1874
The new method of keeping and caring for the paupers in the County Poor House was inaugurated today, Colonel J. J. Parker, the former keeper, having turned the whole concern over to Doctor John Hobson, the newly appointed Superintendent of the County Farm, as that office is now called, but it will require some time to fully test the new plan and learn whether it is better in every respect than the old one. Colonel J. J. Parker has removed into the house formerly occupied by Doctor Sabin.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 27, 1874
Carl Leuckel, one of our oldest furniture manufacturers and dealers, has bought a lot fronting twenty-five feet on Main Street, opposite the courthouse in this city, and extending back three hundred feet of Ansel L. Brown, for the sum of $2,000, and is going to erect thereon a two-story brick house, 20x60 feet, to be used by his son as a furniture store.

The large frame building south of the Edwardsville railroad depot, formerly used as a cooper shop, has been purchased by Mike Desmond, Esq., and removed to the lot opposite the Union Hotel, where he proposes to establish himself as a general blacksmith.

The two-story brick house, west side of the courthouse square, erected several years ago by the late Friend S. Rutherford, has been newly fitted up, painted, etc., and is now occupied by Edward Phillips, lumber dealer, as a family residence.

The large new hardware store, just opened by our young friends Ben French and Billy Stice, is quite an acquisition to our city. They have in addition to everything usually kept in well-regulated hardware stores, all kinds of agricultural implements, stoves, tin ware, wooden ware, willow ware, rope, etc.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 9, 1874
The Benton House has been closed under a chattel mortgage. The furniture is to be sold on July 18. Charlie, although nursing a hand with a bullet hole through it, seems to be as wide awake as ever, and determined to enjoy life as long as he sees other people living. The closing of the Benton House virtually gives the Union House a monopoly of the hotel business in Edwardsville. But this state of affairs is not expected to continue very long. Mr. Kirkpatrick, however, is not the man that would take advantage of his patrons, even though he should continue to be the proprietor of the only hotel in the city. He takes pleasure in looking after the interest and comfort of his guests, and gives them value received for their money.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 6, 1874
Mr. James West, who had been seriously hurt by being thrown from his wagon, is still at the residence of Doctor Evans in a very precarious condition. Bernard Durer, ex-city clerk, who was hurt last Thursday by being run over by a two-horse wagon loaded with coal cinders, had to be carried home, and is still confined to his bed on account of the injury received, but it is thought he will be himself again as soon as he gets well of his bruises. F. Heisterbaum, who was fishing on the same day near the Red Banks on Cahokia Creek, north of here, was gored to the depth of three or four inches in the left breast near the shoulder, by a vicious cow. He is pretty badly hurt, but with proper care and treatment will recover.

Job’s is said to be the name of a post office between Alton Junction [East Alton] and Long Lake, but our Postmaster and the public here are at a loss to know its exact location or the name of the Postmaster there. Will someone give the desired information?

Robert H. Kinder and family left Edwardsville last Thursday morning in search of pure air and better health among the mountains of Colorado. Denver is their destination point, and they expect to be gone until the summer weather is over. Mr. R. F. Tunnell and his sister will act as host and hostess at Mr. Kinder’s residence during the absence of his family.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 13, 1874
From Edwardsville – Last Wednesday, six boys of Edwardsville, ranging in age from seven to twelve years, were arraigned before Judge Randle, acting chief of our police court, for getting into and destroying and carrying away a part of the fruits of a melon patch, just outside the city limits. Two of the boys, on account of their tender age, were discharged. Another was dealt with in like manner because of the insufficiency of the testimony to establish his guilt. Two of the others plead guilty, and the sixth was proven so. The law was read and explained to them by the court, and they were informed that it would be necessary for them to give bail in the sum of twenty dollars each for their appearance at the term of the county court, or go to jail until that time. This brought tears to the eyes of some of the accused, but they were finally relieved of their unpleasant feelings by their friends going their bail. This was not the first offense of the kind named, which the rude boys (and some of them nearly old enough to be men) of this city have committed, but we believe this is the first instance of the kind where an arrest has been made.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 10, 1874
Mr. John Keller, formerly of the firm of A. P. Wolf & Co., hardware dealers in Edwardsville, has sold his residence, a snug one-story frame house on Fillmore Street, to Mr. Charles Sebastian, one of the pioneer farmers of the American Bottom, for the sum of $1500. Very cheap.

“The poor we have with us always,” and “charity begins at home” are common, but true sayings, all of which seems to be emphatically impressed upon the minds of our citizens at this time, as is evinced by the fact that procuring aid at this place for the Kansas and Nebraska grasshopper sufferers seems to be an uphill business. Several meetings have been advertised here with a view to procuring aid for the sufferers, but very few people attended them, and but little as yet has been accomplished.

F. W. Stolze & Son, formerly of Bethalto, have recently erected a building to be occupied and used by them as a planing mill in connection with their lumberyard, located opposite the new Catholic Church. They will soon be ready to serve customers at their planing mill, and they now have on hand a good stock of dry pine lumber, lathe, shingles, doors, sash, blinds, etc.

The work on the St. James Hotel, and Mayor Krome’s and J. R. Brown’s new dwellings is progressing quite favorably towards completion.

New brick flues have been built in the Union House, and Mr. Kirkpatrick goes right along with his hotel keeping, money making, and hotel building just as though he was created expressly for that business.


Of Edwardsville
Source: Alton Telegraph, April 1, 1875
Last Sunday, March 21, two children of S. T. Kendall - a son, O. T. Kendall, ten years of age, and a daughter, Effie, aged twelve years - while playing upon the ice on Smith’s Lake, on the Alton and Edwardsville Road, near the residence of Mr. Kendall, saw a wild duck which had been crippled so that it was unable to fly. The children endeavored to catch it, and it led them towards the center of the lake. When about one hundred and fifty yards from the shore, the ice gave way, and the children sank in the water up to their necks. After repeated attempts to crawl out upon the ice they succeeded, but it cracked all around them, and they were afraid to move.

Some of the neighbors discovered the perilous situation of the children, and an attempt was made to rescue them. There appeared to be no way to save them except by wading through the water, which was from four to five feet deep, covered with ice and snow. Several attempts were made in this way, but the task was found to be beyond the power of human endurance, and all who attempted it were taken with cramps while still a long distance from the shivering children, and had to return to the shore. It was then discovered that by crawling along the top rail of a fence, which runs through the lake, a person could get within forty yards of the children. Mr. William H. Cotter and John Eaton made the attempt, and when they reached the nearest point to them, Mr. Eaton told Cotter that as he was the youngest, he would wade out to them. He made but little progress, however, before he was seized with cramps and had to turn back. While this was going on, four men, one of whom was Mr. Kendall, were working their way through the water and ice from another direction, but had to give it up, and reached the shore nearly stupefied with cold.

At this juncture, Mr. Cotter threw off his coat and said he would save the children. Suiting the action to the word, he persistently forced his way through the ice and snow which had baffled all former attempts, reached the almost perishing children, and carried them to the fence on his shoulder, one at a time. The gratitude which the parents of the children and the neighbors feel toward Mr. Cotter, for his brave act in rescuing the children from their dangerous situation after the repeated failures of younger men, cannot be expressed in words, but will long be treasured in their hearts.

William H. Cotter was born in Greene County, Indiana, on October 24, 1821, to Abner and Sarah (Kendall) Cotter. When Abner Cotter died in 1827, Mrs. Cotter brought her six children to Illinois, arriving in Edwardsville on October 11, 1827. She remarried to Zadok Newman in 1829, and in 1840 the family moved to Missouri. William Cotter returned from Missouri to Madison County, Illinois, in 1842, and went to work farming. By 1846, he purchased a tract of 80 acres. In 1853, he purchased another farm at Ridge Prairie, and lived there until 1866, when he purchased a farm west of Edwardsville. In the Spring of 1882, he moved to Edwardsville. William had married twice. His first wife, Eliza Harrison, died in 1846. In 1849, he married Mary A. Kimball, and they were blessed with ten children.

William Cotter died in Edwardsville in March 1898, at the age of 76. He is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Edwardsville. His obituary recalled his bravery in 1875, when he saved Effie (the Mrs. Alvin Morefield) and O. T. Kendall from their death of the icy lake near their home. The parents and the two children, now grown, had never forgotten his selflessness, in risking his life to save theirs.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 15, 1875
The grand ball that “was in have been” at the St. James Hotel in Edwardsville, on Wednesday night, April 7, has been, and was one of the most pleasant and agreeable entertainments ever given in this city. The house with its large, commodious, well furnished, and brilliantly illuminated rooms, the gentlemanly landlord, and his “better half,” the fine music, the elegant dancing, the sumptuous supper, the well-behaved gentlemen, the beautiful and exquisitely dressed ladies, each and all contributed to make it what it really was – the ball of the season. In a financial point of view, however, the success was not quite complete, notwithstanding which a single word of complaint on the part of anyone has not been uttered. The ball at the Wabash Hotel the same night was also well attended and pronounced a pleasant affair by those who were there.

About one o’clock in the morning last Thursday, our citizens were startled by an alarm of fire. The cause was soon ascertained to be located in a small frame stable behind Wolf’s Hardware on Main Street. A large number of our citizens were promptly on hand, but owing to the combustible character of the stable in question, the fire, almost from the moment of its discovery, enveloped the stable in flames and before the door could be opened and the horses in the stable (four in number) could be removed, the fire had burned the hair off them and literally cooked the poor beasts alive.

The fire almost simultaneously spread to another one-story frame stable, situated three feet south from the one first mentioned, and it too was quickly consumed, together with a saddle belonging to Dr. Kern, and a crate of glass and queens ware belonging to C. E. Clark & Co., merchants of this city. The fire company, with their engine and apparatus, arrived in time to prevent the fire from destroying the frame warehouse of A. P. Wolf, and the frame carpenter shop of Charles Pauly, although both these buildings were on fire, and the agricultural implements stored in said warehouse were removed when the engine arrived. There seemed to be some delay about the arrival of the fire engine, which we have learned was occasioned by the absence from the city of some of the members of the fire company. Suffice it to say, however, that the efficient manner in which the fire was prevented from spreading immediately on the arrival of the engine, fully compensated for any seeming delay in its arrival.

Two of the horses burned to death belonged to Mr. Beli, a poor, crippled man, who feels their loss greatly, although they were not very valuable. The other two horses belonged to a young man by the name of Walker, who was here on a visit. The stable was old and of little value, and belonged to W. R. Prickett. The other stable belonged to C. E. Clark. The total loss by the fire is estimated at seven hundred dollars.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 12, 1875
From Edwardsville, August 3, 1875 - The highest water ever known to the oldest inhabitant of this region was that witnessed by our citizens last Sunday [August 1, 1875]. Old Cahokia was on the rampage in a manner that was startling to the beholder, and the damage done by the water is immense. The Wabash Railroad track was torn up for the distance of two hundred feet and upwards, and a large portion of the fill across Cahokia bottom washed away. The track was covered with water for the distance of three or four miles, beginning near the depot here and extending eastward, and we learn there is a large break in the track some three miles from here. A large force of hands are at work repairing the damage, but it will probably require one or two days yet before trains can run by this place.

The Edwardsville Railroad has also been seriously damaged. The track and earth work was broken in several places, but with the force which Captain Robinson now has at work upon it, only a short time will elapse until trains will be running again.

Our citizens now begin to realize anew what it is to be without railroad facilities. We have received no mails for several days. Postmaster Coventry, however, awaked to the importance of his duty in such an emergency this morning, and left for St. Louis with the mails by the way of Troy and the Vandalia line, and we are expecting a mail on his return.

The rains which fell here last week were the heaviest of the season, if not for years, and cisterns, wells, cellars, and streams were all flooded at a desperate rate. The larger bridges in this vicinity still stand, but many small ones have been swept away. Cahokia Creek is still out of its banks, although it has fallen six or eight feet. Nearly every man, woman, and child residing here paid a visit to the scene of the mighty waters near the Wabash Depot on Sunday last.

A saloon keeper who recently located in a new house on the road leading to Alton, near the Wabash Depot, had to vacate his house, the water being about three feet over the floor. He removed a keg of beer to the platform near the depot, from which he supplied those who were dry.

The farmers in this vicinity have suffered heavy losses by their corn being washed up or flooded with water, and by their wheat in the shock on low land being washed away. Even that in the stack or in the shock on the uplands is seriously damaged. A general advance in prices of bread stuffs is now looked for. Flour has advanced already. More than one person came near being drowned here while showing that they could drive into deep water. They are wiser now.

Christian Ott, a farmer who lived on the farm of Metcalf & Keown, a half mile north of the bridge over Silver Creek on the Troy and Marine Road, rode into the water one day last week to drive some cows, and both he and his horse were drowned.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 2, 1875
A large number of cases were disposed of at this term, but there are still many others on the docket which go over to next term. Among the latter is the case of William R. Griggsby, indicted at this term for killing John J. Scott. In the matter of Mrs. John S. Wheeler, bill for divorce and alimony, we understand the case goes from here to your city court, upon a change of venue prayed for by her.

At the term of the circuit court just closed, fourteen convicts were sentenced to the State prison at Joliet: James M. Campbell, four years for killing Harrison Stallings; Henry Mag, seven years for stealing a horse from Andrew Chitty at Alton Junction. The punishment for stealing a horse seems to be nearly twice as great as it is for killing a man, in fact, we know several cases of the latter kind wherein the defendants came clear. Henry Wilson, three years for stealing a mule from Robert Suppiger at Highland. You see, it is deemed to be nearly as bad to steal a mule as to kill a man. John Franklin, one year for stealing one gold watch and one silver watch from Valentine Bauer at Edwardsville; William Jones, one year for stealing some buggy harness from William F. Everis at Alton; James Johnson, three years for stealing a horse from Cyrus L. Cook at Edwardsville; Lorenz Federer, three years for stealing two horses from Jaques Picron near Highland; Joseph St. Clair, one year for stealing a lot of dry goods from William O. Brooks; Edward Conners, one year for stealing a suit of clothes from John Strarness; Washington Forshea, Marcus Forshea, and William Malony, for stealing merchandise from the cars of the I. & St. Louis Railroad Co., one year each; David Carter, one year for stealing goods from a railroad car at the Alton Junction; Daniel Mulligan, one year for stealing a lot of clothing from Robert R. Bowell.

The last installment of said convicts were sent off yesterday morning, and we presume are now about ready to follow a legitimate occupation for the benefit of the State. A few prisoners are still in jail here, all of whom, except one, have had their trials and are boarding at the expense of the county, to-wit: Thomas Howard, two weeks for larceny; Francis Green was in twenty-four hours for larceny; Charles Palmer, three months for larceny. He will be out, and as pale as a white rose, but imbued with a more unpleasant odor about St. Valentine’s Day. Henry Willis, when he has pined in jail seven long days for larceny, will come forth and breathe the pure free air.

Simon Bradley, a colored man residing here, while out hunting last Saturday got shot in the thigh and hip by the accidental discharge of a shotgun in the hands of a comrade. He was brought home in a wagon, and his wound attended to by Dr. Pogue. The wound, though very painful, is not thought to be dangerous.

The hall over Kinder’s livery stable is being enlarged by the removal of the brick partition wall. This change was found to be necessary from the fact that the fun-loving people of this community are so numerous, that the former dimensions of the hall will not contain them.


Source: Alton Weekly Telegraph, January 27, 1876
The great quantity of snow and sleet accumulated on the slate roof of the court house, becoming detached, began its descent one day last week, but was partially arrested in its course by the chimneys. The false chimneys, however, were insufficient for that purpose, and one of them was carried down with the snow and ice, making a startling crash as it fell.

That part of our new jail, intended for a residence for the Sheriff, is now occupied by the family of Sheriff Crawford, who moved into it one day last week. The prisoners have not yet been removed from the old jail.

The Madison County Railroad is to be sold under a deed of trust, at Edwardsville, on February 27.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 22, 1877
From Edwardsville - The old red house on St. Clair Street, in Upper Edwardsville, formerly owned by Doctor Gates, was wholly consumed by fire at 10 o’clock last Wednesday morning. The fire company was prompt to respond to the alarm, but owing to the distance from the engine house to the fire, and the scarcity of water, they were only able to save the adjoining building, and let the other burn down. Their efforts were meritorious, as were also those of George Cobine, who with his team assisted the fire company in getting their apparatus to the fire. The omission of some others to render aid was censurable to say the least of it. The building was of little value, and was owned by Louis Hartung, and occupied by two families, all of whom happened to be absent at the time. Most, if not all, their household goods were saved.

Mr. William S. Smith has purchased Mr. Temple’s Marble Works in this city. He has also retained as foreman Mr. N. S. Whitney, whose workmanship is rarely equaled and never excelled.

That notorious character, John Smith, whose name figures so often in the police courts, and John Thompson, both of whom have been in jail here for some time, charged with stealing some tools from John Burkhardt, were brought out and taken before Judge Dale of the county court, where they were arraigned by Prosecuting Attorney C. L. Cook. It appearing that the value of the property stolen was less than fifteen dollars, they plead guilty, and the Judge, in a firm but patronizing sort of way, gave them thirty days each in the county jail.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 4, 1877
From Edwardsville – On Wednesday afternoon, a scene occurred in the Circuit Court in Edwardsville, which was an uncommon affair. It Is rarely that an out-and-out fisticuff takes place between opposing counsel practicing at the Madison County bar. Yesterday, however, was an exception. A case was in process of trial, in which Charles P. Wise of Alton was acting for the plaintiff, and George B. Burnett for the defense. It was about a sewing machine. In his argument, Mr. Burnett made a statement which Mr. Wise took exceptions to. The particulars from eye witnesses state:

Wise – “If you state that, Mr. Burnett, you state that which is not so.”
Burnett – “And you state that which is not so.”

As soon as the words were out of Mr. Burnett’s mouth, Mr. Wise let him have one over the left peeper. Burnett then caromed on Wise’s cranium. Some rapid passes followed on both sides, which fell short. Tables and chairs were upset, and in the struggle, the combatants encroached upon the desk of David Gillespie. David pushed the pugilists over to an open space in the aisle, remarking at the same time, “Go it, boys, may the best man win.” The Judge looked on in awful solemnity. Deputy Sheriffs interfered at this point, and parted the combatants. Mr. Burnett, apparently cool, resumed his argument to the jury. “Gentlemen,” said he holding up a bunch of papers, “see how he has torn my instructions,” while a little ruby could be seen trickling down his left temple. The audience considered the fight a draw. As soon as all was quiet, Judge Snyder said, “Gentlemen, I find you $25 each.”


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 21, 1877
The grounds and buildings of the Madison County Agricultural and Mechanical Association were sold by G. M. Cole, Master in Chancery, under a decree of foreclosure, for $2,873.62. The grounds embrace fifteen acres, one-third of which is inside the city limits. E. M. West is the purchaser.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 5, 1877
William Kirkpatrick, a young man about 18 years of age, son of the proprietor of the St. James Hotel in Edwardsville, fell from a turning pole on which he was taking gymnastic exercise, and broke one of his legs above the knee. Doctors Weir and Sabin set the broken bone, and he is getting along all right, but he will harvest none this season, or take any exercise on the turning pole until the dog days are over.

A little four-year-old boy, son of Fritz Lange, a farmer living about four miles west of this place, followed his father to the harvest field last Friday, and before the driver was aware of his presence, took a position in the wheat, before the reaper, and was struck on the legs and severely cut by the sickle. The little fellow was brought to the office of Doctor Pogue, and his wounds attended to without delay. The bone of one leg was injured, but not broken.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 18, 1878
The new addition to the buildings on the county farm, erected by Mr. C. H. Spillman, is quite a respectable improvement, and adds very much to the conveniences of the establishment. Seventy-five paupers inhabited that institution last Sunday, notwithstanding the fact that the weather on the outside world is so fine. The county farm, under Dr. Hobson’s management, with the assistance of some of the abler paupers, is in a good state of cultivation, and a great portion, if not all, the garden products needed will be raised on the farm this season.


Will Serve Out Sentence
Source: Alton Telegraph, August 29, 1878
Sheriff Cooper received news about two months ago that a man answering to the description of Napoleon LaMountain, who escaped from Edwardsville jail in October 1871, was serving out a term in the Jackson, Michigan penitentiary, and that his term would expire on August 26. LaMountain, at the time he escaped from the Madison County Jail, had just been sentenced to 8 years in the Joliet Penitentiary for having, with three other men, robbed a railroad car on the Chicago & Alton Railroad near Venice, of a lot of household goods belonging to Mr. S. A. Miller, who now resides in Alton. LaMountain managed to make his way out of the old county jail with the aid of a knife, furnished him by a lady. After getting out, he went to Indianapolis, and rode part of the way but two seats behind Hon. S. A Buckmaster, whom he immediately recognized as Warden at Joliet, when he served a previous term there. After becoming satisfied that the man in the Jackson penitentiary was LaMountain, Sheriff Cooper started for that place, and arrived there last Saturday morning. After talking to officials, and delivering his credentials, he found that his man would soon be released, and that for three years he had behaved in a very becoming manner, and had won the sympathies of those in authority over him. When LaMountain found that he was wanted for the crime committed in this county, he became desperate, and tried to escape. He first tried some of the doors near the office of the prison, and with a savage looking dirk knife in his hand, tried to intimidate the officer. Sheriff Cooper finally drew a revolver and cocked it, but was defied by the desperate man, who said that the prison authorities at Jackson had deceived him, having promised to let him go. After many threats, LeMountain managed to gain the street and sped away, knife in hand, like a hunted deer, with Sheriff Cooper and the Sheriff of Jackson in close pursuit. The officers feared to fire, as there were some questions involved that rendered the proceedings, in a legal point of view, somewhat irregular.

At last, Sheriff Cooper, fearing his man would get away, fired a shot, which was immediately followed by one from the other pursuer. The criminal then halted, turned around, and said he would surrender. Colonel Cooper told him to drop his knife, which he still held in a menacing manner. This he swore he would not do, but finally returned to the office of the prison, threw down the knife and shook hands with Sheriff Cooper. He stated that Colonel Cooper had always “treated him like a white man,” but could not say as much for some other Madison County officials. He was taken to Joliet penitentiary to serve out the term for which he was originally sentenced. He got a view of the original sentence, and as it was worded eight years from date – 1871 – he claimed that his time would be out in about eleven months. The matter has been referred to the Attorney General. Sheriff Cooper arrived home this morning, well pleased that his delicate task was accomplished.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 27, 1879
A short time before dark last Sunday evening, Jailer Friday, on going into the jail, was pounced upon by six of the inmates, who had succeeded in getting into the outer corridor, and prevented him from closing the door after him until the aforesaid six worthies had bade their exit, and turned the backs of their hands and the soles of their feet towards their late boarding and lodging place, and were proceeding to widen the space between the jail and their valuable carcasses, when their departure was discovered, alarm given, and pursuit made. In less than half an hour, the last one of them was captured and returned to the lockup, where they now bemoan their fate sadder, if not wiser men. Too much credit cannot be given to a large number of our citizens, who so energetically pursued and were mainly instrumental in capturing the prisoners. Had the escape been made an hour later, however, the darkness of the night would have greatly lessened the chances of capture, if it had not defeated it entirely, but daylight and the alacrity with which Edwardsville people step to the front to suppress wrong or arrest evil doers is too much for ordinary “jail birds” to overcome, and they may as well bide their time in patience.

The jailer entered the jail to serve supper to the prisoners, and was knocked down by Rett, alias Dutchy, and after a desperate fight, was rendered insensible. While the jailer was in this condition, the prisoners escaped, five passing out through the kitchen, and one through the front door. Those who broke jail were John W. Clark of Alton, charged with murder; William Ryan of Alton, rape; Charley and Harry Meyer of St. Louis, burglary committed at Marine, and George Rett, alias Dutchy, of St. Louis on the same charge. In a short time, 200 persons were in pursuit of the fugitives, and in three quarters of an hour they were all recaptured and again confined. It will be remembered that Clark was the man who shot Archy Ford in cold blood near Bozzatown, early last summer.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 6, 1879
The Grand Jury reported to the court that the jail is clean and no complaint from prisoners about their treatment. The jury recommends the erection of iron bars or grating in the hall next to the entrance to the jail, as a safeguard against the escape of prisoners when food is taken to them. Also, the erection of an elevated footway in the outer corridor to enable the jailer to see that the upper cells are properly closed. That sewerage, for the use of the inmates, should be provided. That the gutters need repairing and the outside woodwork needs painting.

The report of the poor farm is that it is clean and well managed, and no complaints as to food or otherwise. The water closets for the use of the inmates should be replaced with new ones located farther from the buildings, and where there is good natural drainage. The woodwork of the building is much in need of paint. There should be additional rooms provided for inmates who are dangerously sick.

The report of the court house is that “the privy attached to this institution is a public nuisance and a disgrace to decency.”


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 26, 1880
It is said by those who should know, that on no day was there ever a greater quantity of wheat brought to this place than is being brought here today. Our streets have been full since early this morning with teams bringing in wheat. The new mill is running in full blast, and our other grain dealers are crowded with business. The number of barrels used by our new mill gives employment to a large number of coopers, notwithstanding the material for barrels is bought ready to be set up. Sherman & Lynch find it necessary to keep their steam corn sheller running almost constantly in order that they may ship and make room for the corn as fast as it comes in.

We notice almost daily fresh arrivals of merchandise, lumber, etc. Messrs. Wolf Bros. are in receipt of large framing timbers for use at their coal mine, where they will soon have a steam engine and other improvements favorable for the transaction of business in their line. For the present, while the good roads last and until the railroad is extended to the mines, they are hauling coal on wagons and transferring it to the cars for shipment.

The improvements in the way of painting, etc., on the court house, will soon be finished, and if we are not mistaken, the work is being done in a manner highly creditable to the contractor. The removal of the old fence, which disgraces the court house square, is now in order.

Source: Alton Telegraph, February 29, 1880
The new coal mine here, just south of the city limits, under the auspices and proprietorship of the Wolf Bros., is in a prosperous condition, and as soon as the railroad is extended to the mine, the number of employees and the amount of business will be largely increased. The work of extending the railroad will be commenced early in next month.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 1, 1880
The old home place of the late Colonel Thomas Judy, near the foot of the bluff on the old Edwardsville and St. Louis plank road, containing about 360 acres of land, was sold last Saturday at auction for the sum of $28,400. Christian P. Smith and Benjamin R. Burroughs were the purchasers.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 5, 1880
Last Friday night about 9 o’clock, Constable Daniels of Edwardsville, returning from New Douglas, at the residence of John R. Vanhooser on Silver Creek, met Charles A. Wardle, a farmer who resides near there, and who was also on his way home. Daniels and Wardle engaged in friendly conversation, which was interspersed with jokes and cunning remarks hurled at each other. The want of something to drink during the afternoon did not render their remarks destitute of point or sarcasm, however much it may have contributed towards causing them to feel more willing to give a joke than to take one. In conclusion, a pistol in the hands of one and a knife in the hands of the other were simultaneously used to give emphasis to words that were construed to be unfriendly, whereupon it was immediately necessary for Wardle to have his head repaired and for Daniels to have his abdomen darned by a surgeon. The fracas, although it did not result fatally, was an ugly affair, and one which the participants will not soon forget.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 2, 1880
From Edwardsville, Ill., Aug. 29 - The mysterious disappearance yesterday morning of Joseph P. Seip, the eight-year-old son of Nicholas Seip, one of Edwardsville's prominent German citizens, still continues to be the main subject of conversation. The only theory advanced by parties working on the case is that he was kidnapped by a band of movers who were camped on the roadside, about midway between here and his home.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 18, 1880
At the poor house, inmates were found in a very comfortable condition, the premises clean and in very good order, and no complaint as to manner of keeping or treatment of inmates.

The jail was found clean and well kept throughout, without complaint on the part of the prisoners as to care, attention, and food. But we do find a universal complaint among the people regarding escape of prisoners, there having been at least nine escapes since the session of the last grand jury, an unusual number for that space of time, and demands immediate attention from the proper authorities. The entrance to the jail is not safe, and the windows need additional security. In the last eight years, nineteen escapes have occurred from the jail, of which 15 were recaptured, leaving four yet out, whose names are: James Ryan, on charge of burglary; Andrew Sullivan, on charge of burglary; William Ryan, on charge of burglary; and William Clayton, on charge of arson. There is no record or description of any escaped prisoners. This we regard as a very great error, and we particularly call the attention of the proper authorities to this fact. The following is a list of the names of prisoners who have escaped from the new jail, since it has been occupied as such:

October 1871, Napoleon LaMountain, escaped from R. W. Crawford by cutting a bar with a case knife, getting into the hall and going out at door, was recaptured and is now doing time at Joliet.

December 1872, two, whose names are now known, escaped from R. W. Crawford by cutting out of cell, corridor, and window; one recaptured.

December 1873, William Clayton and William Wilson escaped by getting into hall and running by jailor when hall door was opened. Neither recaptured.

February 1879, Harry Meyer, Charles Meyer, John Clark, Walter Pearce, William Ryan, and George Rhett escaped by breaking their iron bedsteads, getting levers to pry bars aside and getting into the hall, overpowering the jailer, and escaping. All recaptured.

July 1879, Harry Meyer, Dan Mulligan, and William Ryley escaped by making wrench out of bed slat, unscrewing bolts of plates in ceiling of the jail, and digging through the wall, letting themselves dow by rope made of blankets. All recaptured.

George Reed escaped through register got into cellar, then through window. Still at large.

October 1879, Harry Meyer escaped in St. Louis. Not recaptured.

October 1880, James Ryan and A. Sullivan escaped by getting into the hall without knowledge of the jailer, and when the hall door was opened, got away. Not recaptured. James Ryan, William Callahan, Joseph Lopers, Frank Jones, Peter Hoppes, B. Dennison, and William Ryan escaped by cutting bars in corridor and window with a case knife. All recaptured except William Ryan.

We would recommend that the county board furnish some peculiar clothing or mark on clothing of prisoners, in order that in case of escape, such prisoners may be readily recognized.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 2, 1880
WE are informed that a project is on foot to unite into one road what are here called the Springfield Road and the Alton Road, leading out of this city, and have but one bridge over Cahokia Creek, where two are now required, and both of which said bridges are greatly in need of being rebuilt. The proposed new route is to locate a road north from the old distillery to the creek, and make a bridge there, and from that point the Springfield and the Alton Road are to take their respective departures on the most eligible and direct route, until the present line of the old road on the respective routes is reached.

It is claimed for this charge that it will afford the citizens of Fort Russell, etc., a better route to this city and also to the depot, at what is called Edwardsville Junction in lowertown on the Wabash Railroad. Also that instead of crossing the railroad at the crossing now used, and at which great danger is constantly incurred, there would be but one crossing, and that at a point where there is a deep cut and a bridge over the railroad, thus entirely obviating the danger referred to, and also saving the expense of building and maintaining one bridge over Cahokia Creek, besides lessening the length of road to be kept up.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 10, 1881
Colonel J. T. Cooper has quite a museum of curious tools and implements taken from prisoners at the Edwardsville jail during the years that he was Sheriff of Madison County. Among them are saws made from shear and scissor blades, from case knives, and other similar articles; also skeleton keys, files and finely tempered steel saws. Among them is a case knife formed into a saw with which Napoleon LaMountain made his escape from Edwardsville jail. The knife was furnished LaMountain while in court by a lady, to give him an opportunity to cut a watermelon. He forgot (?) to return the knife, fabricated a saw from it, and made his escape, being afterwards recaptured in Michigan.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 3, 1881
From Edwardsville, March 1 - The fire department of Edwardsville was called out about two o’clock this morning, the occasion being that the coal and wood house, belonging to H. C. Gerke’s premises, east of the city park, was discovered to be on fire. The boys responded promptly and were there in good time with their machine, but not in time to prevent the small building in which the fire originated from being a total loss. The premises were unoccupied, except by a hired man who slept in the dwelling house, and the origin of the fire is left as a matter of conjecture.

The C. C. Wolf farm, consisting of 70 acres, situated on the Troy Road, one mile south of Edwardsville, has been sold to William Hull and William Kinder. The former takes the 50 acres including the house and barn on the east side of the road, and the latter the twenty acres on the west side of the road. The price paid was one hundred dollars per acre, and does not include the coal under said land, which Mr. Wolf reserves.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 24, 1881
Carpenter has grown to be quite a good-sized village, and commands considerable trade. Frank Clark, the genial and clever postmaster, merchant, railroad and express agent, was there from the start, and is there still. He is doing a prosperous business.

Hamel, three miles east of Carpenter, since the burning of Gardner’s Store, does less business than it did, but Wolf’s Store still flourishes there and is well filled with goods, and is the headquarters for a large and prosperous community of farmers.

Greencastle, six miles further east, flourishes equally well with other country towns. The Alhambra post office is in this village, and is kept by Mr. Ruedy, who also keeps a store well filled with general merchandise suited to the wants of country people, and is doing a safe and prosperous business.

Alhambra is three-fourths of a mile east of Greencastle, and within about one mile of the line of the proposed narrow gauge railroad. A good, two-story building accommodates the schools of that district, which are presided over by J. Y. Pearce as principal. Two stores, several shops, a hotel, and numerous neat dwelling houses occupied by hospitable people constitute its principal attractions. A daily hack line connects the aforesaid villages with each other, and the balance of the world.

About the only case thus far that has attracted any considerable attention is that of the People vs William L. Rhoads, under an indictment found at last term for abducting an unmarried female (a young lady of Upper Alton) for the propose of concubinage. The greater part of the forenoon today was taken up in getting a jury, and the case is being tried this afternoon. State’s Attorney Yager, assisted by C. L. Cook, conducts the prosecution, and the defendant is represented by C. Happy and G. B. Burnett. If all that has been said by the people and in the papers, both here and elsewhere, about this defendant is true, he is a very bad man, and should have been severely dealt with before now.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 7, 1881
John S. Wheeler has bought seventy acres of timber land, one mile north of the city limits, the same on which Fort Russell stood, and has men at work clearing it, ready for the plow, making railroad ties, coal props, cord wood, etc.

William Daech, our worthy and efficient Circuit Clerk, has bought himself a nice home. It consists of the house and five acres of land attached in lower town, known as the Orren Moeker homestead. The price paid was eighteen hundred dollars.

Frank Stenzel, our enterprising fellow citizen, proprietor of the two-story brick saloon and restaurant opposite the south corner of the court house square, has bought the property adjoining on the east, known as the court house exchange, and also the frame house and lot adjoining him on the west, and we understand he is going to remove a portion of the buildings thereon, and build a hotel.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 12, 1881
We understand that William Eaves of Marine has bought what is known as the Aldrich farm, containing about 260 acres, and situated on the proposed line of the narrow gauge railroad, about two miles southwest of Greencastle.

Matthias B. Pearce of Olive Township has bought the old homestead of James Pearce, deceased, consisting of about 260 acres, situated about seven miles south of Staunton, and at one time known as Toluca.

Joseph T. Kingston, residing at the county line, five miles east of Alhambra, has sold his farm, consisting of 160 acres, to Michael H. and Richard A. Malloy.

About twenty colored persons, members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, were baptized in Calho Creek, at the bridge on the Springfield Road north of Edwardsville, at noon last Sunday. Rev. Mr. Lee was the officiating minister. The occasion attracted a large number of spectators, besides the members of the church.

Henry Bickelhaupt has removed his drugstore from his old stand, one door north of the post office, into the more eligible and commodious storeroom two doors south of the post office.

James F. Jaggers, proprietor of the Edwardsville Basket Factory, has removed his family and factory from St. Louis Street to the premises recently vacated by Circuit Clerk Daech on Fillmore Street.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 9, 1881
Our friends in St. Clair County are claiming that the first Protestant Church in Illinois was built at Shiloh in that county, in 1806. This, I think, is a mistake. Mr. E. M. West furnishes me with the following notes: “There was a Methodist Church called Bethel, built in 1805 on Thomas Good’s land, two miles and a half south of Edwardsville, which was the first Protestant Church of which there is any record built in Illinois Territory. The second session of the Illinois Conference was held there in October 1817. Bishop Robert presided, and there were fourteen preachers in attendance. During the sitting of the conference, the Fall rains set in, and the church not being comfortable, old Father Wright, the father of John Wesley Wright, late of this county, invited the conference to hold its meetings at his house nearby. The invitation was accepted, and at dinner time, every member of the conference sat down at father Wright’s table. That year, the married preachers received $83.60, and the unmarried preachers $41.80 quarterly. There has been a Methodist society in that settlement from the building of that first church to this time, and a neat brick church called “Centre Grove” now stands within a mile and a half of where the old church was.”

The work of putting in stone curbing, guttering, and iron hitching posts around the south and west sides of the court house square, contracted for some time ago, is being vigorously prosecuted. C. H. Spilman, architect, civil engineer, etc., has charge of the work. He is also superintending the building of the large and commodious warehouse of the new mill.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 14, 1881
The old fence that disgraces the court house square is to be sold at auction and removed. The iron hitching posts contracted for sometime ago, and so much needed around the square, have not been placed in position yet.

Frank Stenzel has not yet commenced building his new hotel, but we are told Mr. Pfeiffenberger of Alton is preparing plans and specifications.


Alton Telegraph, July 28, 1881
The old fence around the court house square was auctioned off yesterday, and bought by John A. Prickett for the sum of $25, and is to be removed on or before the 10th, at which time the iron hitching posts are to be here and put in proper position around the square. The want of hitching posts is seriously felt by people residing in the vicinity of the court house, who are trying to preserve the shade trees growing in front of their premises. The same want, we presume, is also felt by some people from the country, who are in the habit of coming here and hitching their horses on the streets, and leaving them to stand in the sun tormented by flies and without food or drink from one to ten hours, and sometimes longer.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 11, 1881
Victor Senn, our court house janitor, has removed the old worn out carpet from the Circit Court room in the court house, and it is to be replaced by a new one. J. H. Barnsback, Supervisor from Jarvis and Chairman of the committee on public buildings, is our authority for saying that the iron hitching posts, to be placed around the square, are going to be here and placed in position on August 10.

Charles Keown and Edward Crane of Edwardsville are expert sign painters, and have ornamented the fences, gates, and barns on the various roads leading to this place with the advertisements of our more enterprising merchants.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 15, 1881
A fearful accident occurred on the Wabash Road, this side of Carpenter, this morning, by which the engineer, Mr. John Bartholomew, on the westbound Decatur train due here at ten o’clock, was seriously, if not fatally scalded, and the fireman slightly injured. It seems that some part of the engine broke and forced a hole into the side of the boiler, and let the water and steam escape, which in turn was thrown forward by the driving wheels into the cab and onto the engineer and fireman, both of whom jumped or were thrown off the engine, while the train under full headway proceeded on its journey until it stopped of its own accord. The Conductor, Mr. Morgan, promptly discovered the condition of affairs, and dispatched men back to look after the missing fireman and engineer, while he came on foot with all possible haste to Edwardsville Junction to report the disaster and procure medical aid. The services of the plug train, which was at the depot, were brought into requisition, and conveyed aid to the disabled train and brought it and the injured fireman and engineer to Edwardsville. The engineer is being attended to by Dr. Pogue, and it is thought that his injuries, although very severe, are not necessarily fatal. The firemen’s injury was not so great, but that he was able to be taken to St. Louis. No other persons were injured, and the train, after about an hour’s delay, was taken on to St. Louis drawn by the plug engine.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 29, 1881
Dr. Louis F. Sheppard, the founder of Alhambra, who by the way, is somewhat advanced in years and begins to look quite old, has married a comparatively young wife a short time ago. He lives in Centralia, but has not given up his penchant for trading and building houses. He has two small new houses now in course of completion, doing a large portion of the work himself, but he says they will be his last.

It has been written recently that one of our numerous saloon keepers was heard to say “the saloon keepers run this city,” and judging from the annoyance occasioned by drunken vagabonds making encroachments upon private property in the vicinity of the court house, almost nightly of late, his statement may contain some of the elements of truth.

Dr. J. W. Enos now occupies the brick office, one door south of the St. James Hotel, and sports a new sign which is the work of a native artist. The St. James Hotel is being fitted up with a brick pavement in front.

The circuit courtroom in the court house is decorated with a new carpet, but those hitching posts have not been put in position yet.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 20, 1881
Work on the Narrow Gauge Railroad in this county is suspended. Just why the suspension has occurred, or how long it is to continue is not made public. Rumor says those in charge of the work between Neoga and Ramsey have not made that progress which their contracts require, and that by reason thereof, some difficulty in obtaining the necessary funds to prosecute the work on this end of the line is experienced by the company.

There are sixteen prisoners in jail, and thirty-three divorce cases on the docket.

Mrs. Keyes, aged about 90 years, mother-in-law of Hon. J. Gillespie of Edwardsville, in descending a stairway in his residence one day last week, fell and broke one of her thighs, a very serous accident for one so much advanced in years.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 17, 1881
The work of laying the new sidewalk around the courthouse square is now going on, the southeast side is finished. The hitching posts, however, remain invisible, and as there seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of some people about the matter, it perhaps would be well for them to read the contract in relation thereto, on file in the County Clerk’s office. That contract is not vague and indefinite in its provisions as some people seem to think it is.

Al alarm of fire startled our citizens this morning. The roof of the one-story building opposite the courthouse, occupied by R. Young as a dwelling and sewing machine store, was on fire, but it was extinguished with a few buckets of water before the fire engine was brought out.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, January 18, 1882
Mr. James T. Tartt is now sole proprietor of the Tartt & Springer Hardware establishment, having bought his partner’s interest therein. He has just arrived home from the Osborne Self-Binder headquarters at Auburn, New York, where he has been spending a few days combining business with pleasure.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, February 8, 1882
Ignatz Brendle, a hard-working shoemaker who has his shop and residence near H. Sachse’s saloon on Main Street in Edwardsville, was the victim of a most dastardly and brutal assault last Thursday, just as he emerged from said saloon. It has not been proven in court who committed the assault, but the unfortunate victim alleges that it was Hermann Leuckel, who is a son of Mr. Karl Leuckel, about twenty-two years of age. The injury seems to have been inflicted with some heavy, soft or yielding substance or device, which was capable of doing most damaging and remarkable execution without disclosing its name or nature, as it left no cut or abrasion of the skin on the face, where the victim was struck, yet so terrible was the effect, that the nasal bone and superior maxillary were broken and severed from the skull, and the flesh attached seemed to have been converted into a pulpy mass. The victim, more dead than alive, was carried to his residence and surgical aid summoned in a few minutes after the desperate assault was made. Even yet, fears are entertained that the injuries may prove fatal. Young Leuckel has been arrested and placed under a bond of five hundred dollars until February 14, at which time he is to have a hearing before Justice Chapman.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, February 16, 1882
The Dancing Club met last Friday evening at the “Mansion on the Hill,” occupied by the Misses Whitbread and their parents. The attendance was quite large, and the young folks enjoyed themselves splendidly, and express great satisfaction with the manner in which Professor Story and his very able assistants, who furnished the music, acquitted themselves.

The grandest event of the season was the masquerade and ball, given last Saturday evening by the lads and lasses composing the Juvenile Dancing Club, at the residence of Miss Mamie Armstrong, on the corner of Clay and High Streets. A great variety of characters was represented, and the youngsters acquitted themselves in what to them seemed a happy manner, and greatly to the edification of their elders, who as spectators, were there in great numbers.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, March 9, 1882
The old firm of G. B. Crane & Co., composed of George B. Crane and Abel O. French, who since 1864 have been proprietors of the mammoth mercantile establishment under that name in Edwardsville, and have done an immense and prosperous business, dissolved by mutual consent on February 23. Mr. A. O. French, the senior member of said firm, has retired, and the proprietorship and whole management of the business is now devolved upon Mr. George B. Crane, in whose name the business will hereafter be conducted at the old stand. Mr. French, however, is a silent partner in said business to the extent of $20,000, and in the meantime has purchased the vacant lot on Purcell Street, and is going to erect thereon immediately a large, two-story brick building, which from basement floor to roof, is to be fitting up in the best style possible, and be occupied by him with fancy goods, including millinery and dress making. The millinery and dress making department will be in the immediate charge and under the exclusive management and control of Mrs. French, whose well-known taste and business qualifications, together with valuable acquirements obtained by her through large practical experience, fit her in an eminent manner for such a position.

That handsome cottage residence built by J. S. Trares, and the neat office in front owned by Mr. A. O. French, and occupied by Dr. T. B. Spaulding, on Main Street in Edwardsville, were sold last week to Mr. August Fischer, our downtown saddler and harness maker. Mr. Fisher is an industrious, enterprising man, and contemplates enlarging his business and removing uptown.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, April 26, 1882
The contract for building Mr. A. O. French’s fine new store building has been awarded to Mr. John Keller, and the work is to be pushed through to an early completion. The excavation for the basement is nearly completed. The grade in the courthouse square is being raised and improved with the dirt taken from the excavation of French’s property. A few of the light, sickly-looking iron posts, and the greater part of the chain around the square still retain their original position.

The forthcoming history of Madison County will show that there were nine bids for building a jail, received by the County Commissioners in 1821, ranging in amounts from one hundred dollars by Ninian Edwards, to five thousand by Jeptha Lawkin. The contract was let and the jail built by Walter J. Seely for two thousand, eight hundred dollars. Said jail was one of the two buildings sold by our Board of Education on April 15, for fifty-five collars.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, March 30, 1882
William Freudenau of Troy, one of the most thorough and energetic business men in the southern part of the county, was indicted last week for forgery and bail fixed at $800. He was arrested and the bail given. If he is guilty as charged, he should be severely punished, because a man of his intelligence always knows better than to commit such deeds, and further, he enjoyed, only a short time ago, the respect and confidence of his political friends to such an extent that they gave him the nomination for a high office. He should be punished if he has brought discredit upon his friends.

The old Madison Restaurant building near the depot has been leased by the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, and is being painted and fitted up as a warehouse and headquarters for the sale of those well-known machines in the county. Pratt, McNulty & Clark are conspicuous names connected with it.

A. Schulz & Co., agents at this place for the Piano Harvester, have leased the large building formerly known as the Union House livery stable for a warehouse for their machinery.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, July 19, 1882
We have had no rain here for several days, and as our street sprinkler suspended operations on July 1, the dust has full sway, and is nearly intolerable. So great a nuisance, in fact, has the dust become, that our business men have induced Mr. Sperry to consent to take the contract and sprinkle that region in the vicinity of the courthouse and principal stores and business houses, on condition that his compensation is made adequate to the service rendered.

The telephone wires have reached this place, and the rooms over Hoehn’s grocery store have been engaged for the central office exchange, but it has not been opened yet. The wires have not been put up yet over the poles of the Board of Trade Telephone Company of Chicago, through this city, but it is currently rumored that they will be up and the line (including an office in this city) open for business in 30 days.

The work of the Narrow Gauge railroad has been progressing quite rapidly during the last two or three weeks. The small gaps of grading not finished last fall have been finished, and the damage by rains to last summer’s grading has been repaired, and the road bed, including the bridges and all, is ready for the cross ties.

The disregard of saloon men to the law regulating the sale of intoxicating liquors is doing much towards creating a sentiment in this region in favor of total prohibition. A proper observance on their part of the law relating to the traffic would have vouchsafed to them for many years to come a continuous enjoyment of their boasted so-called “liberties.” But their apparent determination to control legislation in their favor, and ignore as a dead letter laws on the subject which are enacted for the welfare of the masses, seems to have set people to thinking very much after the style of thought that was produced before the war by the pro-slavery people, and if the liquor business of our country is finally consigned to the same tomb in which African slavery in the United States sleeps its last sleep, it will be accomplished in a large measure by the defiant and indiscreet conduct of the anti-prohibitionists themselves.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, December 1, 1882
Track laying on the Narrow Gauge Railroad has reached a point only three miles east of Edwardsville, and by Sunday next, the iron horse on that great thoroughfare will be here.

It is alleged that McKee’s station is already a thing of the past, and that negotiations towards a new location for the first station east of here are pending. No depot or side track will be located in Edwardsville, but these are rumors only, given for what they are worth.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, December 13, 1882
The ice on Wolf’s reservoir during the past week attracted hundreds of skaters, and the supply of skates on sale here has been exhausted two or three times. The reservoir covers several acres, and the ice is free from snow and as smooth as glass over the whole concern. It is not quite thick enough to harvest for next year’s lemonade season, or the fun of the skaters would be spoiled in short order.

The track layers on the Narrow Gauge Railroad have passed through Edwardsville, and are now “spiking” away two miles south of here on their way to St. Louis. A side track upwards of a thousand feet long has been put in here. The switch to Wolf’s coal mine is also put in. Mr. J. T. Daugherty, Assistant Superintendent of the Moore Railway Construction Company of Chicago, is here in charge of the work, and has opened an office over Bernius’ Bakery on Main Street. With favorable weather, the track will be laid to East St. Louis by Christmas.

The Wabash Company are about putting their road from here to the Edwardsville Crossing [Hartford] in operation again, and we would be pleased to have them extend their road to Alton.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, December 20, 1882
The rumor that some of our churches are to be closed on Christmas Eve, and during the holidays be devoted to theatrical entertainments, is a libel upon this church-going community, not saying anything about the over-paid ministry.

The construction train on the Narrow Gauge Railroad makes two trips a day from here to Ramsey. The west end of the track is now at Cahokia Creek, eight miles southwest of here, and the work is progressing favorably. Our police have little or comparatively no trouble by reason of the numerous railroad hands who make this their headquarters.


Engineer and Conductor Killed
Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, December 26, 1882
A terrible collision took place Saturday night on the Wabash Railroad near Edwardsville, between the passenger train from St. Louis and a southbound engine and caboose, resulting in the death of engineer George Silsbee, and Conductor Henry Dresser, and the serious injury of Henry J. Hyde and Ed Bramble, postal clerks. It appears that the express had orders to meet the engine and caboose at Carson, while the engine and caboose had orders to meet the express at Carpenter, and so ran by Carson, through Edwardsville, towards Carpenter. Just beyond Carpenter, the two trains me, both running at the rate of thirty miles an hour, and the collision was terrific. The two engines smashed into each other, and with the cars were thrown from the track. It is said that the cause of the accident was that the telegraph operator, in writing the order for the running of engine and caboose, made a mistake in writing Carpenter for Carson as the place of meeting of the two trains.

Conductor Dresser was formerly proprietor of the Union Depot Hotel in Alton, and had many friends in Alton who regret his untimely end. His family resides in Decatur.

Mr. Henry J. Hyde was for many years a resident of Godfrey, and is well known to our citizens. His collar bone is broken, and he received other injuries. We trust he will soon recover.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 18, 1883
The track layers on the Narrow Gauge finished their work last Saturday, and were paid off at the contractor’s office yesterday. The big “drunks” that followed were of the broad gauge order, but no arrests were made.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 1, 1883
Mrs. M. Brown, widow of the late James R. Brown, has sold the printing presses, material, paper, and good will of the Edwardsville Intelligencer to Mr. Charles Boeschenstein Jr., proprietor of the Highland Herald. Mr. Boeschenstein is a young man of good habits, pleasing address, and Democrat politics, and were it not for the fact that he “don’t drink,” his success could be assured, but a Democrat newspaper man, or politician of temperate habits, in this city, will be a lonely creature. However, Edwardsville society may turn him from the even tenor of his ways – hope not though, and that he will not have any cause to regret embarking in business here. Be firm, Charlie, and you will merit that success, which I hope you will attain.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 15, 1883
From Edwardsville – The Murray family under consideration is the Scotch Murray family. They came to this county, fresh from the Highlands, and settled near Edwardsville. At an early day, they started a nursery and cultivated trees and fruits and flowers. While yet a little boy, I knew the family, visited their nursery, conversed with Mr. Murray, and enjoyed in curiosity and wonder his broad Scotch brogue. He died. Mrs. Murray closed the estate and came to Edwardsville with her three boys, Charles, John, and Hugh. These boys and myself were playmates and schoolmates, and though good friends generally, were like boys of later date, and occasionally had a difficulty. I carry a scar on my head today, caused by a bone thrown by Charley Murray, when we were children. Perhaps I was the faulty party, but in manhood we have always been solid friends.

John, the second son, was a shrewd business man, but was delicate. He visited Scotland with his mother for his health and died.

Hugh Campbell Murray, the youngest son, was a first-class brilliant – was the genius of Shurtleff College for years. He wrote half or two-thirds of all the compositions, essays, theses, and speeches rendered on commencement days, at rates from twenty-five cents to ten dollars, according to quality. Hugh and I, on our way to California, met in New Orleans February 1849, and parted company February 12. We traveled different routes – he by way of Panama, and I through the Straits of Magellan. It seems that his vessel was slow, or that he was impatient, for he abandoned it at San Diego and walked several hundred miles to San Francisco. He beat the ship. I arrived at San Francisco early in November, and Hugh was the first acquaintance I met. He told me that he had been in San Francisco three days. That same Fall he was elected Superior Judge of San Francisco. He was afterward a judge of the Supreme Court, and died, comparatively at an early age, Chief Justice of the State of California. He was a little wild, but was brilliant. He was faithful to his known friends, to his high sense of honor, and to his duties, both as a gentleman and as a jurist.

Charles, the oldest son was grand in stature, appearance, principle, and sentiment. He was the beau ideal of the ladies, popular with the people, and filled several offices of honor and profit in the county. He died an old bachelor, having devoted his entire life to his honored and aged mother.

Mrs. Murray descended from a high Scotch family, married young, came to America, and settled in the “far West.” At a ripe old age, she survives her husband and all her children, and can justly feel proud of her deceased sons and their records. Written by George C. Lusk, February 21, 1883.

Mrs. Mary C. Murray died two days after the above was written. She was buried in the Alton City Cemetery. Judge Hugh Murray died in Sacramento, California, September 18, 1857, at the age of 32 years. Charles Murray, devoted to his mother, died February 17, 1883, and is buried in the Alton City Cemetery. John Murray may have been buried in Scotland. It is unknown where the father is buried.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 9, 1883
The committee on public buildings, not Sheriff Hotz and County Clerk Bayle, are entitled to credit for the tidy and orderly appearance of the courthouse yard. The iron benches have been permanently located on either margin of the paved walk leading to the front of the courthouse. A barbed wire keeps the blackguards off the well-kept lawn, and the swarms of idlers who, a few weeks ago, monopolized the enjoyments intended for the hard-fisted yeomanry, who pay the taxes, are seen there no more. A neat iron fence around the square is about all that is now lacking to make the place the pride of every officer, taxpayer, and inhabitant of the county.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 16, 1883
Captain J. T. Fahnestock, by reason of his intention to move from the State, has resigned the office of Captain of Co. F, Illinois National Guards, and his resignation has been accepted. Twenty-eight members of the company have been mustered out by reason of expiration of term of service. Some of them will re-enlist, and new members to fill up the company are being recruited. A meeting of the company in Armory Hall will be held on August 20, at which time an election will be held to fill the vacancy made. Lieutenants Thomas W. Springer and Thomas E. Fruit, and also Captain Joseph G. Robinson are each favorably mentioned for the office.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 6, 1883
Jule G. Barnsback, who has removed his stock of merchandise to New Douglas and taken up his family residence there, came down yesterday and spent a few hours with his friends here, and went to St. Louis this morning.

Judy’s race course is but a short distance from McKee’s Station on the Narrow Gauge Railroad, and sporting men of that region, and several from this city, attended the trotting matinee there last Saturday, and had lots of fun.

Captain Thomas E. Fruit, in command of Company F, Illinois National Guard, left for Springfield last Thursday, and return this morning. The weather-beaten, sun-burned heroes looked very much like old veterans as they marched from the depot to their Armory.


Patrick McCambridge Sr. Shot and Killed
Source: Alton Telegraph, September 27, 1883
From Edwardsville, September 25 – Old man McCambridge, a coal miner about 70 years of age, was shot and killed about eleven o’clock last night on the sidewalk near the Wabash Hotel in lower town in Edwardsville. The house is kept by Fritz and Henry Roethig, and as has been their custom, they had advertised that a ball would be given there last night. Quite a considerable number of men and boys, but few, if any, ladies put in an appearance. During the evening, some dispute arose between some of the patrons of the bar and the barkeeper, as to who should pay for the drinks, resulting in the proprietors closing the doors. The disaffected patrons, after receiving a few persuaders with a club, and giving the house a parting salute with brickbats, retreated up town. Among them were Patrick and Henry McCambridge, sons of Patrick McCambridge Sr. (the deceased), John Buncher, Barney Perkins, Patrick McMahon, William Schramek, and George Sipe.

The McCambridge boys, and one or two more of their party, after arriving at home, concluded to return to the hotel, and soon after were followed by the old man McCambridge, who got out of bed, accompanied by George Shaffer, also a coal miner, to try to prevent the boys from having any further trouble. Soon after arriving at the hotel, it seems the old man succeeded in getting the boys started towards home, but before they had got out of pistol range of the hotel, several shots were fired, one or two from the porch of the hotel, one or two from some person in the cross street nearby, and two or three from some on the sidewalk. One shot took effect in the body of old man McCambridge, who expired in a few minutes. The proprietors of the hotel are both in jail, charged with the bloody deed, having waived examination until after the Coroner’s inquest, which is being held by Coroner Youree this afternoon.

Patrick McMahan, George Seip, Barney Perkins, Patrick McCambridge Jr., Daniel McCambridge, and John Buncher were indicted with assault with intent to kill, for the riot and melee at the Wabash Hotel, where one of the proprietors (Roethig) was wounded, and Patrick McCambridge Sr. was killed. They were fined $50 each, and granted suspension of execution for good behavior, except in the case of George Seip, whose father was one of Edwardsville’s wealthy citizens, and who paid the fine and costs. The owners of the hotel were not held responsible for the death of McCambridge Sr.

Patrick McCambridge Jr. became Deputy Sheriff in Edwardsville in 1891, and was then elected Chief of Police in Madison, Illinois. Patrick Jr. died on February 25, 1933.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 18, 1883
The October term of the Circuit Court will convene here today. The hotels, boarding houses, oyster shops, whiskey mills, etc., are all ready for the fray. Lawyers, especially the newly fledged ones, seem to have their weather eye open in the interest of somebody, as to who that somebody is their actions will probably tell plainer than any word of ours.

The jail contains nearly a score of prisoners, charged with various grades of crime, but much the larger number of law breakers are at large, plying their nefarious trades and avocations, if not boldly and above-board, without let or hinderance. The Grand Jury will be sworn and instructed to diligently look after evil doers, but it is safe to say many of them will not be disturbed, notably those violating the law relating to dram shops and gambling. Our executive officers, police and detectives are possessed of more than an average degree of cunning, but when, where, and how to detect and arrest the miscreant law breakers, and procure evidence that will ensure their conviction and punishment, seems to be beyond their ken.

Observations made last week on a trip through this and Chouteau Township to Comstock on the I. & St. Louis Railroad, enable us to say that if quail, rabbits, and other game, so plentiful of yore, existed now as it did then, a trapper or hunter might reasonably expect to fill his gamebag in a short time, without going out of the dooryard or roadway, in front of the residences of some wealthy farmers. The weeds, brush, briers, and brambles allowed to exist there are sufficient to afford hiding places for such game. The beautiful, well-kept lawn in front of R. C. Gillham’s handsome farm residence, however, would be a sorry place for a rabbit or other game.

A. J. Poag will feast on strawberries and ice cream next season, provided the ice and cream crop is not a failure. His strawberry plants are looking well. The fruit farm of Hon. A. W. Metcalf, situated a half mile east of Comstock, however, takes the cake, and a persimmon to boot. The quantity of crab apples grown there is enormous.

The schoolhouse and playground, and the stately oaks of the Wanda school form a picture too beautiful to pass without notice. The school there is in a flourishing condition, and is presided over by Prof. Sylvester Smith, who may be denominated a veteran as well as a model teacher.

Walnuts are plentiful along the road near Wanda. Nutting parties, which are quite numerous of late, are advised to make a note of this. William M. Fahnestock is erecting a handsome two-story residence on his farm near Wanda. It is a frame structure, and is nearing completion.

V. P. Richmond, Esq., of Fort Russell, visits our city quite often. It is alleged that the best butter this market affords is brought in by him, but we are reminded that Supervisor Lanterman is hard to excel in that line.

Mr. Joint, the gentlemanly agent at this place for the “Little Giant” (Narrow Gauge Railroad) has, at his own expense, placed a new desk in the office, which adds greatly to the convenience of the place. The “White House” is the name of the elegant new mansion recently erected and occupied by County Clerk Bayle, on the southeast corner of the City Park. White houses are a rarity, while those of various tints and shades of color are common.

Ex-Sheriff John T. Fahnestock, late Captain of Company F, Illinois National Guards of Edwardsville, was watched with great solicitude by his parents, later on he was watched by “the enemy” on the field of battle, also by her whom he is now pleased to call “wife.” Later still, he was watched by his fellow citizen, who by their votes placed him in the high office of Sheriff, but it remained for his late comrades and friends in Company F to watch (and chain him too) in a manner different from any of the previous watchful events. Last Friday night, in Armory Hall, at company drill, he happening to be present, he was made the recipient of a splendid gold watch and chain, as a slight token of the high esteem in which he is held by his comrades. The watch was appropriately engraved with his name and that of the company, and enclosed in a beautiful morocco case. He has resigned the captaincy, and ceased to be a member of said company, due to his expected early removal from the State.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 11, 1884
A gentleman of Alton gives an amusing account of a trip he made to Edwardsville some time ago, illustrating the swiftness(?) with which trains move on the Madison County Railway. He left Alton for the “hub” one Monday morning, and had a long time for the usual rest and reflection at Edwardsville Crossing [near present-day Hartford] before the dinky train pulled out. On arriving at Salem, an ox team attached to a wagon had the right of way, and it was necessary to stop while they were driven leisurely across the track. The train then ran at a great rate for a few miles, when it was heard by those on the car, “Get along, Bright, gee up January,” in sonorous tones, and the passengers on the car looking out, saw the same ox team just far enough ahead of the engine to be again entitled to the “right of way,” rendering another stop necessary, while the patient cattle plodded over the railway. This gave the engineer time to light his pipe and take an observation, after which the procession continued its journey. Luckily, it was only necessary to check up once more to allow the oxen to cross the track, and the train arrived at Edwardsville before the end of the week. The “judges” decided to give the premium to the oxen, they having made the best time, considering that the winding wagon road the animals traveled caused them to traverse a greater distance than did the train.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 18, 1884
The Prohibitionists held their primary meeting last Saturday evening, and selected thirteen delegates, viz: John G. Irwin, Cyrus Happy, Charles Sebastia, Thomas V. Whiteside, L. C. Keown, George Richmond, J. W. Enos, Thomas J. Newsham, John H. Glass, J. G. Reynolds, N. S. Whitney, Albert A. Corneau, and John Adkins. They will represent this township in their County Convention, to be held in the courthouse in Edwardsville on September 18. Alternates were also selected.

There was a large number of prominent sporting men in attendance at the races on Judy’s track, four miles east of here last Saturday. Robert Holliday succeeded in winning the greater number of prizes. Among the candidates for office, who did the agreeable on the race grounds, were W. W. Pearce, George F. McNulty, and Allan Metcalf. William Friday furnished refreshments, wet and dry.

The improvements made by G. B. Crane to his mammoth store are admired by everybody, and we have to say the same in relation to St. John M. E. Church and St. James Opera House.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 19, 1885
Every place in Southern Illinois claims to be growing in population. We claim that Edwardsville is no exception to the rule, and as proof of it, we will state that when our large school building was erected, no use was made of the third story, but now it is occupied, and a small building in the vicinity is also used for school purposes. The enrollment for January shows that 538 pupils are in attendance. Besides the public schools, our Catholic friends have a large number of pupils attending their church school.

The firm of Henry Eberle & Co., furniture dealers, was dissolved last Wednesday, Mr. Mathias Roa retiring. Mr. Roa sold his interest in said firm to Mr. Herman Ritter. The name of the firm will not change.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 26, 1885
We do not know what a day may bring forth. That’s what Mr. W. D. Kirkpatrick found out last Thursday, when he was presented by Mr. Harry E. Taylor with a letter, informing him that Mr. Taylor was authorized to take charge of the Wabash Depot in Edwardsville. Mr. Kirkpatrick was an accommodating official, against whom we have never heard one word of complaint. Mr. Taylor had previously had charge of the Wabash agency in this city for several years.

Last Friday, a boy in the public school was whipped for drawing a knife on a teacher. The day following, five or six boys, from twelve to fifteen years of age, got a pail, bought a lot of beer, two or three times, and got drunk, “so the story goes.” But the worst part remains to be told. They went to the home of one of the young lads, whose mother was away at the time, and one of the boys pulled out his revolver (several had these weapons) and accidentally shot it off. The ball went through the sleeve of one of the party, barely grazing the arm. This sobered all the boys, and we hope it will cause them to keep that way for some time to come. No names this time, but if the shot had proved serious, it would have been otherwise.

The postmaster here had the pleasure of stamping about 600 valentines last Saturday. From rumors, we should judge that quite a number of buildings will be erected here during the coming spring and summer. We have heard mention of a mill with a capacity of 150 barrels per day; also, of several store buildings, residences, &c.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 9, 1885
No matter how old fogy a town may be, there are always a few men in it who have faith in it, and do all they can to improve and beautify it. Edwardsville has a few men of this stamp; men who show their faith by their works; men who have a good word for every enterprise which has merit in it. Such a man is John S. Trares. He has done a great deal for our city. The beautiful St. James Opera House is a standing monument to his liberality. He still believes that more store buildings are necessary, and will proceed at once to erect three new stores adjoining the Opera House block. This means more business, because it will have a tendency to lower rents, and low rents will enable men of small means to commence business, with some assurance of success. There should be more places to buy certain kinds of goods, such as a shoe store, crockery, and notion store.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 23, 1885
The treasurer’s office in the courthouse in Edwardsville was the scene of a very sensational combat, on account of the prominence of the parties involved. On July 21, Hon. B. R. Burroughs of Edwardsville, while in the hall of the courthouse, was accosted by Judge J. Irwin, and requested to step into the treasurer’s office a few minutes, on business connected with an estate of which B. R. Hite, county treasurer, is executor. Burroughs represents some of the heirs as an attorney. On getting into the office, after a few words had passed, from which it could be seen that both parties would not yield their point, Burroughs struck at Hite while he was in his chair at his desk, striking him in the face. Hite attempted to rise, stumbled over the chair, and Burroughs continued to rain blows upon him. After regaining his feet, Hite struck Burroughs in the face, when the friends interfered and stopped the fracas.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, July 28, 1887
Stubbs Bros. have purchased the livery stable building they occupy on Main Street from William Berry.

Major W. R. Prickett, after painting his business block on Purcell Street, opposite the courthouse, has turned his attention to his residence property, and is greatly improving the looks of the same.

Charles Hack, grocer, and Aug. S. Heisel, harness maker, will occupy the first floor of McCorkle’s new building opposite the courthouse. They have notices on the buildings to that effect, at least. We also hear it rumored that Dr. Corbett, dentist, will occupy the second story of one building, and that Mr. Heisel will live in the second story of the other, and also have the rooms in the rear of his workshop.


NEWS FROM EDWARDSVILLE/Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, September 8, 1887
If the patrons of the Wabash Railroad, who live in Edwardsville, and desire shelter from the wind, rain, heat and cold while waiting for the arrival or departure of trains, when there possibly may be half a dozen people in the 6x9 affair of a depot ahead of them, they will have to lodge complaint with the State Railroad Commissioners, or put up the “dust” to build one. The latter plan would suit the company better. The poor, old Wabash has “pulled” Edwardsville for so much money in years passed, that it has given the managers cheek enough for them to ask “assistance” in building a depot. The State can compel the company to provide suitable quarters, and we hope it will be done.


Streets, Businesses and Hotels Lighted with Electricity
Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, September 22, 1887
For the past few evening, the streets and some of the business houses and hotels have been lighted by electricity. This is being done free for thirty days. The lights are giving satisfaction, although some of the arrangements have been defective one or two evenings. Even the old croakers seem to be satisfied. We believe that if it is left to a vote of the people, that the votes will decide in favor of lighting the streets.

Armory Hall building is being converted into stores. The courthouse square is becoming more and more the favorite place for stores. In addition to its other business, Purcell Street has a first-class bakery – the firm of Uhl Bros.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 24, 1885
Thirteen prisoners now occupy cells in the county jail.

The old frame house on Second Street, adjoining the McCorkle property, is being torn down. This place has been an eyesore to the residents of that part of town for the last five or ten years. We understand that Mr. Ferd Tunnell, the owner of the lot, will erect a neat brick cottage thereon next spring.


“Let There be Light”
Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, October 20, 1887
Let there be light, and plenty of it. Well, we are going to have it to the extent of 14 arc lights, of 2,000 candlepower each, in different parts of the city. The contract was signed, and the ordinances passed last Saturday night. This is another step forward. The council moved slowly in the matter, but we believe they were right.

We are going to have a new depot, and the Wabash Railway is going to build near the courthouse. Now if the powers who have control will put the track to Edwardsville Crossing in safe condition, there will never be any discussion over who was to blame if there should be a serious accident.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, November 8, 1887
The Kienlien house at Edwardsville, occupied as a saloon and butcher shop on first floor, and as a residence on second floor, was destroyed by fire yesterday with its contents. The furniture and fixtures in the saloon building of T. Stockburger was damaged considerably.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, November 17, 1887
The German M. E. Church will erect a house of worship next Spring, that will be superior to any church building in the city. St. Mary’s Catholic Church have commenced the stone foundation for their new building. The A. M. E. Church has commenced building a parsonage on their church lot in the third ward.

Two saloon keepers were arrested lately for violating the ordinances by keeping open after eleven o’clock. Served them right. They are no better than other citizens who have to obey all the laws. We hope our city authorities will enforce the Sunday law a little better.


Source: The New York Times, October 1, 1897
While the miners employed in the Madison Coal Company's shafts at Edwardsville, Illinois, were going to work today, they were attacked by a mob of strikers, who were influenced by thirty or more women sympathizers. The strikers threw stones and cayenne pepper and beat their opponents with clubs, but no shots were fired, and nobody was killed. One miner, however, had his skull crushed and numerous others were cut and bruised. A clerk of the Madison Coal Company was blinded by pepper. The strikers far outnumbered the workers, who were guarded by a force of Deputy Sheriffs on their way to the mine. T. W. McCune, a Deputy Sheriff in the escorting posse, was disarmed and dragged to one side, where a crowd of irate strikers beat him with their fists and clubs until he was almost unconscious. Though heavily armed, the Sheriff's officers took their drubbing without making any attempt to use their guns. They were outnumbered ten to one, but they fought with their fists. Had a shot been fired, the consequences would have been fearful, as the strikers were frenzied. The miners, who fought as best they could with their tin dinner pails, were finally allowed to go to work. After the attack the strikers and the women formed in line and marched through the streets of Edwardsville, shouting and singing. No arrests were made. The riot resulted from a partially successful effort to work the Madison Mines. The delegation from Glen Carbon brought thirty women with them, and these were the leaders in the riot. It is rumored that more strikers will reach here during the night to help intimidate the non-union men. Superintendent Glass of the mines said today that the force of deputies would be increased tomorrow to a number sufficient to protect the miners, and that the workers would be escorted to the mines in safety.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 7, 1900
The Madison County Circuit Court was the scene of a sensational knockout fight this morning between Judge A. W. Hope and Ansel Brown of the Edwardsville Democrat. The case of Henry Brueggeman vs. the Mayor and the City Council of Alton was being tried when the fight occurred, a short recess having been taken to allow time for the bailiff to go out of court for a prisoner. The court had just decided that the answer of the city to the allegations of the plaintiffs in the case were good, holding that the exception of the plaintiffs to the answer were not good. Judge Hope took part in the conduct of the city's side of the case to assist the Corporation Counselor, saying that he was personally interested in the case and desired to take part. Brown was talking to the court stenographer, and Judge Hartzell had left the courtroom for a few minutes until the witness summoned could be brought into court. While Brown was talking to the stenographer, Ed Scheer, Judge Hope crossed the courtroom and struck the editor a stinging blow in the face that knocked Brown down. He jumped to his feet quickly and was after his assailant, but was unequal to the task of defending himself against the rain of blows of the Judge. Brown went down again and Judge Hope was on top, raining blows on the face and head of his victim. Dick Mudge, secretary for Judge Burroughs, attempted to separate the two men and received a blow in the face that was aimed by Judge Hope at Brown. Bystanders interfered and the two men were separated before either could inflict severe bodily injury to the other.

The feeling between the two men has been very bitter several years, they being representatives of the opposing factions of the Democratic party in this county. Brown has been the sharpest critic the Judge has had in his political career, and the bitterest invective has been hurled at the Judge through the columns of the Democrat. Brown has interested himself to a remarkable degree in the fight on the Alton City court, and by his attacks on it has stirred up the bitterest feeling toward himself in the friends of the Alton Court. It was Brown who took out an injunction to restrain the county board paying the grand jury and petit jury warrants, and he has at all times been a most active partisan in opposing anything that pertained to Judge Hope. The story told by Judge Hope regarding the fight is that it was provoked by Brown whom he said was talking about him to Ed Scheer. Brown denies that he was saying anything about the Judge, notwithstanding what he might have thought. The fight caused great excitement in the courtroom. The injunction case was laid over until another suit had been disposed of, and it was thought it would come up this afternoon and would be tried on its merits.

Judge Alexander W. Hope was a judge of the Alton City Court for twelve years. At age 27, he was the youngest man elected Mayor of Alton, serving from 1875 to 1878. He was the son of Dr. Thomas M. Hope of Alton, who was also a controversial man. Dr. Hope was in a duel during the Mexican American War, when he disagreed with Dr. E. B. Price over an appointment. They met on the “field of battle,” and Dr. Price was wounded in the abdomen. The doctor, an prominent Democrat, was elected Mayor of Alton in 1852.

During his career, Judge Hope was engaged in constant disagreement with opposing factions over the methods of appointing grand juries. At least three prominent persons were called into his court and fined for contempt for interfering with the will of the judge, and litigation was carried to the Supreme Court in relating matters. The judge had a powerful mind, and devoted all his time to the law. He was an eloquent speech maker, and a fiery, impassioned oratory. He was considered a great man by his friends, but feared by his enemies. He was a powerful influence in the Democrat Party. In 1908, Dr. Pfeiffenberger of Alton struck Judge Hope in the face for language he claimed the Judge had used concerning Pfeiffenberger’s father, architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger. They were separated by Policeman James Lewis, and neither were arrested. Judge Hope died in August of 1922 at the age of 74, and was buried in the Alton City Cemetery. Previous to his death, his poodle dog, Wooly, died in 1910, and the Judge had him buried in the Alton City Cemetery in a white casket. The community was outraged by the burial of the dog in the cemetery, and the dog was disinterred and buried elsewhere.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 31, 1901
The prisoners confined in the county jail, including five murderers, made a desperate effort to escape Friday night. They had previously demolished their iron beds and supplied themselves with the heavy pieces of iron, intending to knock the jailer in the head when he opened the door to lock them up, and make a rush for liberty. The cells are locked from the outside by levers, there being only one door leading to the jail proper. The prisoners in the upper tier of cells had been locked, when the jailer's young son happened to notice one of the prisoners standing by the door with a bar of iron in his hand, looking through a small hole. Assistance was summoned, but it required several hours to get at the prisoners. The iron railing at the side windows was finally cut away and men stationed at each with rifles, when the door was opened and the officers and others, with drawn revolvers, rushed in an secured the prisoners. The electric light wires had been cut by them previously, and the jail was in total darkness. Much excitement was occasioned by the attempt to escape, and the jail was surrounded by hundreds of men. The attempt to escape was led by Johnston, the murderer of James Ryburn, and the plot was overheard by Miss Catherine Hotz, the jailer's daughter, who informed her father.


Source: Utica, New York Herald Dispatch, March 18, 1903
Dr. A. B. McKee, a leading physician of Madison County, and his twin brother, Charles, committed suicide together in in the stable of Dr. McKee's residence in Edwardsville. The two brothers were found side by side yesterday. It is not known at what time Dr. McKee and his brother took the poison, but the general impression is that they went into the stable during the night. Going to one of the stalls they reclined upon a bed of straw -and then, swallowed the poison. The double suicide has created a profound sensation here, coming as It does on the heels of another sensation in which Dr. McKee was the central figure. Dr. McKee was to have appeared in court next Saturday to answer a charge preferred by Miss Emma Rowekamp, a servant employed in the residence of Charles Otter, of Edwardsville. Dr. McKee and his brother were close companions. One theory advanced is that Dr. McKee told his brother that he intended to kill himself, and that rather than be separated Charles also agreed to join him. Dr. McKee was thirty-eight years old. He leaves a widow and one child. He enjoyed a large practice. Charles McKee. his brother, was formerly a traveling salesman, but lately had been helping his brother as an office assistant. He seemed to feel the disgrace of his brother's arrest almost as much as if he were the accused party. Mrs. McKee is prostrated over the tragedy.


Leland Hotel, Edwardsville
Source: The New York Times, New York, March 7, 1905
St. Louis, Missouri, March 6. -- Miss Victory Bateman, an actress, narrowly escaped burning to death in a fire at the Leland Hotel in Edwardsville, Ill., today. It is said to-night she is in a precarious condition. Miss Bateman was visiting friends in the "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" company which is under the management of Oscar Dane and played in Edwardsville tonight. Miss Bateman was with Mr. Dane in a stock company of which the latter was manager and intended to watch the rehearsal at the Tuxhorn Opera House this afternoon. She had gone to her room to take a nap after dinner and about 3 o'clock a member of the company, who had gone to the third floor to summon her saw smoke coming from beneath the door. The proprietor broke in the door. A cloud of smoke and flame surged into the hall. The proprietor crawled in on hands and knees and encountered the form of the unconscious woman lying on the floor. She was dragged out and medical attention was given her.

Victory Bateman (April 6, 1865 - March 2, 1926) was an American silent film actress. Her father, Thomas Creese, and her mother, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Creese, were both actors. She was born nine days before Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and was named Victory because of the North's win over the Confederate South, ending the Civil War.

The Leland Hotel, located at the southwest corner of St. Louis and N. Main Streets, was formerly the Hoffman House. The hotel included the Leland Café and the Leland barbershop. This hotel was popular with court visitors and other travelers. The hotel was razed in 1923, to make way for the Edwardsville National Bank. The portion of the building that contained the barbershop remained, however, for another half century. The final remains were torn down in November 1973.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 15, 1905
A disgusting state of affairs, one that merits strongest condemnation, is reported from Edwardsville and citizens of the county seat telegraphed Friday evening to the State board of Health asking that immediate steps be taken by that body to put a stop to the matter complained of. The county board of supervisors some time ago, it appears, gave a right of the way through the cemetery at the poor farm to a railway company or coal company, wishing to construct tracks to a coal mine through that territory. The graders, according to reports, have been unearthing bodies by the scores with their steam shovels, and Charles Buenger, who owns and lives on a farm adjoining the poor farm, says that dozens of dogs from all parts of the county gather nightly and feast on human flesh and pick the bones. Friday after dinner it is said a man was scooped out of the grave with all of his clothing intact, and the body in a fair state of preservation. At first, according to Mr. Buenger, the graders would re-inter a body when it was exhumed by the steam shovel, but soon quit the practice and just tossed the remains of human anywhere on the right of way to be disposed of by dogs and the elements.


Source: Troy Weekly Call, June 30, 1906
The Edwardsville new Carnegie library was formally dedicated and thrown open to the public Thursday. The dedication was featured by several addresses, music, and the serving of refreshments on the lawn. Miss Sarah Coventry is the librarian.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 30, 1907
An Edwardsville press dispatch says: "Three men were frustrated in an attempt to steal bodies from potter's field, Edwardsville, early Sunday morning by Mrs. Otto Wolf and Mrs. Langwisch. The couple saw the robbers' lanterns in the graveyard and heard the men's subdued conversation. At their approach the body snatchers fled. Three men engaged a livery rig earlier in the night from an Edwardsville livery. One man wore a gray coat and pearl colored hat, and the others were dressed in black. The men seen on the Poor Farm answered the general description. When they were discovered they fled to their buggy, leaving two old spades behind. The earth had been freshly turned in several spots, and there is no doubt of the men's mission. The grave robbers seemed quite nervous, and their horse was flocked with foam when they reached the livery to return the horse and buggy. The police are trying to learn the identity of the men."


Source: Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, IL, January 13, 1909
The first train from Alton this morning over the Wabash-Terminal had a disastrous wreck just west of town. The train consisted of two cars, the first a combination baggage and smoker and the second a passenger coach, pulled by engine 405. At 7 o'clock this morning the train was speeding for the Junction to make the early morning connection from Chicago. It whirled around the curve at the intersection of the Alton road near the place of Martin Drda, and crashed into four cars of coal. The front end of the engine was smashed, and the first coach [ineligible] in the air and reared across the tender of the locomotive. The first coal car was crushed by the impact and the others were driven a hundred yards down the track. How the cars came there is a mystery, but it is supposed that they escaped from the yards south of town. It was said at the Litchfield & Madison office this morning that one of the yard crews had probably been switching there last night, but the office force did not know whether any coal was left for transfer. At any rate the runaways traveled over the "High Line" past Woodlawn, out across the Wabash main line and then across Cahokia creek to the Alton road, where they came to rest. Today's wreck lies directly across the wagon road. Engineer Andy Herrick, who was on the 405, was painfully hurt, but according to reports received here none of the other members of the crew were hurt, nor were the passengers more than bruised. Inquiry at the main office of the Terminal in Alton failed to develop the fact that they even knew there was a wreck. There was only one chance of saving the train and it came too late. Martin Drda, who lives in the neighborhood, went out of the house and saw the coal cars just a moment before the passenger struck. He heard the latter coming, but before he could get to the place the crash came. Ben Bernius, carrier on Route Six, found the road blocked by the wreck, so he drove back to the junction and brought the accumulation of mail up town to the post office. Express matter remained at the Junction until noon, when it was secured by means of sleighs.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 17, 1914
With the presence of representatives of the Supreme Court of Illinois, and of all the lesser courts, the Mayors and other officials of Madison County municipalities, and past and present officials of the county, the cornerstone of the new courthouse at Edwardsville was formally laid this afternoon. The 2,600-pound block of Georgia marble, hollowed out for the reception of its copper container, arrived yesterday, and had been swung above its appointed place at the northeast corner of the building. Fred Tegtmeyer, the last survivor of the men who worked on the old courthouse fifty-seven years ago, took part in the ceremonies, and his photograph was placed in the stone. A parade at 2 o'clock and a chorus by seventy-five male voices took place in the afternoon. Chief Justice William M. Farmer of the Supreme Court made the principal address and will lay the stone.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 18, 1922
Three men were killed this morning when a McKinley line train struck a Ford sedan, three miles west of Edwardsville, at the Center Grove crossing, near the home of Frank McCormick. The victims were Thomas Naylor, aged 70; John Peterman, aged 60; George Naylor, aged 22. All were on their way to work in the coal mines from their homes, and had taken the St. Louis road as a short cut to their place of employment. They had the Ford sedan closed up and evidently did not hear the warning blast blown by the interurban motorman as he approached the crossing. The train, consisting of a combination motor and chair car and two sleepers, hit the automobile carrying the three men squarely in the center and dragged it 300 feet. The two old men were instantly killed. The young man lived about one hour. All died from skull fractures and internal injuries.


Source: Edwardsville Intelligencer, June 8, 1926
The flour mill of the Blake Milling Company in Edwardsville caught fire at 12 noon on June 8, 1926. Within a few minutes, the entire plant, with the exception of the warehouses, was a mass of flames. After about thirty minutes, the destruction was complete.

The fire started in the first roll on the first floor. Miller Dale Flynn and two other men were standing outside the door, when an explosion occurred, and a flash of flame shot through the first floor. They attempted to enter the mill, but the fire spread so rapidly they couldn’t get to the second floor. The highly inflammable dust flared like gas. Head miller E. C. Keitner made an effort to get to the upper floors, but the fire had spread too fast.

The Edwardsville fire department responded quickly, but when they arrived the entire mill was in flames. The office of the mill was in a detached building on the west side of the grounds, and was not affected by the fire. The steel tank, with a capacity of 59,000 bushels of grain, was also not affected. The warehouse on the north side of High Street, and the one of the south side of the mill, were saved by efforts of the firemen.

A high wind from the West carried burning fragments across the central part of town. The awning on the Tri-City Grocery caught fire, and the St. James Hotel was ignited. Three other business houses along Main Street were fired by burning embers, but the blazes were quickly put out without any damage.

Mayor Frank L. Nash and two hundred citizens worked to combat the blaze. Mill trucks were backed up to the warehouse and were loaded with sacks of flour, and these were taken away. Twelve workers of the Edwardsville Intelligencer worked in the warehouse to help salvage some of the mill property. Mrs. Hazel Spienenweber was the only woman who worked at the fire, and she worked as hard as any man. Her father was a member of the volunteer fire department. She carried sacks of flour from the warehouse for nearly an hour.

Word was sent to Collinsville, and their No. 1 pumper was rushed to Edwardsville. They traveled the twelve miles in fifteen minutes, and stationed their truck at the corner of Purcell and Second Streets.

The Blake Milling Company was incorporated in April 1914. The directors at the time of the fire were E. E. Dawson, Charles R. Decker, E. J. Zirnheld, and F. T. Jacobi. The mill had a daily output of 600 barrels, and furnished a livelihood for thirty families.

While the fire was burning, a TC-7 – the big dirigible from Scott Air Field - had been maneuvering over Edwardsville. The aviators drove the airship around the fire a number of times to witness the spectacle.

The Blake Milling Company was located between N. 2nd, W. High, and Clay Streets in Edwardsville. This location was previously the Farmers’ Milling Company, Hunters Bros Milling, and Edwardsville Milling. The warehouse, located at 207 W. High Street, still stands, and houses the Doll Corner and Antique Gallery. The former mill is now a parking lot.


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