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Edwardsville, Illinois, Newspaper Clippings

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser

 

EARLY HISTORY OF EDWARDSVILLE

 

TREATY HELD AT EDWARDSVILLE WITH KICKAPOO TRIBE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE - CHOLERA PREVAILS
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE - SALE OF REAL ESTATE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE JAILER DEFENDS HIS REPUTATION
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.

 

MADISON COUNTY HARRISON CONVENTION TO BE HELD
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.

 

HARRISON CONVENTION OF MADISON COUNTY AT EDWARDSVILLE
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.]

 

CONDITIONS OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS IN EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

NEW TEMPERANCE HOTEL IN EDWARDSVILLE
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.]

 

JAIL AND COURTHOUSE DEEMED A PUBLIC NUISANCE
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.

 

MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT - REPORT OF THE GRAND JURY ON THE COUNTY JAIL
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.

 

ARREST OF COUNTERFEITERS
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.

 

REPORT OF THE COUNTY POOR HOUSE IN EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

ATTEMPTED ESCAPE FROM EDWARDSVILLE JAIL
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.

 

VOLUNTEER COMPANY RAISED IN EDWARDSVILLE
[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?

 

PRISONERS RETURNED TO EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

PRISON RECAPTURED, ONLY TO ESCAPE AGAIN
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.

 

IMPROVEMENTS IN EDWARDSVILLE, ALTON AND COLLINSVILLE
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.

 

PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM COUNTY JAIL
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.

EDWARDSVILLE - PRISONER ESCAPE
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.]

 

MADISON COUNTY JAIL ESCAPE
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.

 

CORRESPONDENCE FROM EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

CORRESPONDENCE FROM EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE – FIRST ELECTION OF TOWN TRUSTEES
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.

 

NEW COURTHOUSE NEEDED IN EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

LOVESTRUCK YOUNG MAN PICKS THE WRONG HORSE!
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."

 

THOUSANDS OF SHEEP PASS THROUGH EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

MADISON COUNTY POOR FARM
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.

 

MADISON GUARDS HOLD OFFICER ELECTION
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.

 

SEVENTH ANNUAL FAIR OF THE MADISON COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY
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.

Superintendents:
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.

 

MADISON COUNTY FAIR IN EDWARDSVILLE
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 –

Thursday
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.

 

PRISON ESCAPE AT COUNTY JAIL IN EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

UNION CONVENTION TO BE HELD IN EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

MADISON COUNTY FAIR – 1866
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.

 

TWELFTH ANNUAL MADISON COUNTY FAIR
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.

 

TWELFTH ANNUAL MADISON COUNTY 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.

 

A VISIT TO EDWARDSVILLE – 1867
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.”

 

GRAND DEMONSTRATION AT EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

INMATES OF THE MADISON COUNTY JAIL
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.

 

BODY SNATCHING AT COUNTY POOR HOUSE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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. 

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.  

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.  

 

1871 MADISON COUNTY FAIR
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.

 

COUNTY POOR HOUSE IN EDWARDSVILLE
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?

 

NEW COUNTY JAIL AND SHERIFF CRAWFORD
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.

LATER:
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

PAUPER EXPENSES FOR MADISON COUNTY
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE HOTEL DAMAGED BY FIRE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE’S NUMEROUS FIRES
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.

At a meeting of our town trustees held on March 6, it was decided that a new sidewalk should be built on the north side of St. Louis Street, extending from near the courthouse to Judge David Gillespie’s residence, and that the old material in the present sidewalk be taken up and put down on the streets needing it most in the southwest part of town. This is a good move, and should have been made long ago, provided the finances of the town were adequate to the occasion.

The Empire House, for several years past occupied by Mr. Henry Albrecht, has been leased by Mr. Fred Mumme, proprietor of the Star Saloon, and is to be repaired, refitted, and furnished for a hotel. Mr. Murray Knight, late proprietor of Madison Restaurant, is retained to preside in the kitchen.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

NEW STREET THROUGH POOR HOUSE CEMETERY
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.

 

OLD JAIL IN EDWARDSVILLE STILL IN USE
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.

 

KU-KLUX KLAN IN MADISON COUNTY?
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE JAIL
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.

 

PRISONER ESCAPES FROM NEW JAIL IN EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE POOR HOUSE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE
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.”

 

MOB VIOLENCE AT THE MADISON COUNTY FAIR IN EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

J. A. PRICKETT FLOUR MILL IN EDWARDSVILLE DESTROYED BY FIRE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

COUNTY POOR HOUSE IN EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE NEWS
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.

 

NEWS FROM EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

THE HERO OF SMITH’S LAKE – WILLIAM H. COTTER
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.

NOTES:
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.

 

NEWS FROM EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

NEWS FROM EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

NEWS FROM EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

NEWS FROM EDWARDSVILLE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE CHILD KIDNAPPED
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.

 

KOHLER BROTHERS MILL BURNS
Source: Canton, New York St. Lawrence Plain Dealer, 1887-1890
The Kohler Brothers mill and several other buildings were destroyed by fire at Edwardsville, Illinois.

 

EDWARDSVILLE CROSSING TRAIN WRECK –
TWO MEN KILLED AND ONE WOUNDED
Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, August 2, 1892
Last night about 9 o'clock the Cincinnati Night Express on the Big Four, going east, met with an accident at Edwardsville Crossing that was most disastrous in its results. At the time mentioned, the train, which runs at a very high rate of speed, ran through an open switch at the Crossing, causing the death of the engineer and fireman, and the probably fatal injury of a tramp who was riding on the front of the mail car. His name is Samuel Cosgrove of Newport, Kentucky. When the engine ran onto the switch, it plunged into a string of freight cars, smashing them and the engine badly. The engine then veered to the west and crossed another sidetrack, pulling it up and dragging it to one side, torn and distorted. A telegraph pole was in the way, and this went off like it was a straw. On the engine went, until it struck the ditch on the right of the C. & A. track. Here it overturned, and was rendered a mass of old iron. Wheels were distributed around in all directions. The trucks of freight cars were knocked out. The cab was rendered into kindling. No one could have recognized that the boiler and the heap of ruins was once a model locomotive. The mail car, dismantled and stone in, was tilted in the air across the main track of the Big Four. The baggage car was thrown in almost the same position across the Alton track. In this car was a valuable horse belonging to F. D. Comstock. When the crash came, none of the occupants of these cars were hurt, strange as it may seem, and when the cars stopped, the horse walked out as if accustomed to such performances. The baggage car was stove up, but was not so badly injured as the other cars. None of the passengers were hurt. The engineer and fireman were buried under the wreck of the engine, but they were dead before the monster came on them. As the engine started to plunge, Engineer Edward Hoffman, who was in charge of the train, was struck on the left side of the head and then badly scalded, resulting in his death. Fireman W. A. Barrett was also instantly killed, having one side of his head completely torn off. Both bodies were brought to this city, and prepared for burial by Undertaker Howell, and were this morning shipped to Mattoon, the homes of the deceased. Engineer Hoffman is about 44 or 45 years of age, and has a family living in Mattoon. He was a member of the Masonic order, being a Knight Templar. The fireman, Bartlett, was a young man, only 23 years of age. It is supposed that the switch was left open by a freight train which had preceded the wrecked train. The tramp, who had both limbs badly crushed and was otherwise injured, was brought here and placed in St. Joseph's Hospital. He is so badly hurt that there is but little hope of his recovery. The wreck, which consisted of the engine and mail car of the passenger train and the box cars into which the train ran, was scattered over both the Big Four and C. & A. tracks, delaying the Chicago and Kansas City mail trains of the latter road several hours. Work on the wreckage began at once and continued all night and a good portion of today.

 

MINERS ATTACKED BY STRIKERS AT MADISON COAL COMPANY
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.

 

JUDGE TREATS REPORTER TO THRASHING
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE - PRISONERS MAKE DESPERATE EFFORT TO ESCAPE
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.

 

DOCTOR AND TWIN BROTHER COMMIT SUICIDE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE LELAND HOTEL FIRE
Source: The New York Times, New York, March 7, 1905
Victory Bateman Burned in Hotel. Actress Nearly Lost Her Life in Hotel Fire. condition Serious.
St. Louis, Mo., 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.

Source: Syracuse Herald, New York, March 7, 1905
Victory Bateman, the well-known actress, has been seriously burned by an unexplained fire in her room at the Leland Hotel at Edwardsville, Illinois. She had complained of not feeling well and had retired to her room. A messenger who later opened the door found the bedclothes on fire and gave the alarm. The landlord and others succeeded to rescuing Miss Bateman with difficulty, but not before she had been seriously burned about the legs. She had inhaled a great deal of smoke and did not recover consciousness for some time.

Source: Boston Daily Globe, March 7, 1905
From Edwardsville, Illinois, March 7 - Victory Bateman, the well-known actress, has been seriously burned by an unexplained fire at her room at the Leland Hotel here. During the day she had complained of not feeling well and had retired to her room. A messenger who opened the door found the bedclothes on fire and gave the alarm. Mr. Clark, the landlord, and others, rushed to the room and succeeded in rescuing the woman with difficulty, but not before she had been burned about the lower limbs. Miss Bateman had been lying in bed with her clothes on, and the bottom of her skirts were burned in several places. She evidently had felt the fire burning her limbs and she had attempted to escape, as she was found lying unconscious on the floor a short distance from the bed. A physician found that Miss Bateman was burned about the legs from foot to knee, and her hands were scarred. She had inhaled a great deal of smoke, and did not recover consciousness for some time.

[NOTE: Victory Bateman (April 6, 1865, Philadelphia - March 2, 1926, Los Angeles) 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, but was named Victory because of the North's eventual win over the Confederate South, finishing the Civil War.]

 

DEPLORABLE DESECRATION OF GRAVES AT POOR FARM
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE LIBRARY FORMALLY OPENED
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.

 

GRAVE ROBBERS DRIVEN AWAY BY WOMEN
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."

 

EDWARDSVILLE, ILLINOIS TRAIN WRECK
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.

 

CORNERSTONE LAID FOR NEW COURTHOUSE
INCLUDES PICTURE OF LAST SURVIVOR OF MEN WHO WORKED ON OLD COURTHOUSE
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.

 

EDWARDSVILLE - THREE MEN KILLED BY TRAIN
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.

 

BLAKE MILLING COMPANY DESTROYED BY FIRE
Source: Edwardsville Intelligencer, June 8, 1926

The flour mill of the Blake Milling Company 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.

 

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