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Edwardsville, Illinois, Newspaper Clippings

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser




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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


Source: Edwardsville Intelligencer, October 27, 1870
Daniel B. Gillham - This gentleman, who was nominated by the late Democratic convention for representative to the General Assembly, was born in this county in 1826, and is consequently 44 years of age - the prime of manhood. His father came from South Carolina to Madison County in 1802, and devoted the whole of his life to the pursuit of agriculture, from which he amassed a considerable fortune. The subject of this notice received a fair education and by perseverance and industry has risen to prominent notoriety as a successful agriculturalist and horticulturalist. He has been a member of the State Board of Agriculture for the last four years, and was re-elected by acclamation, at the last meeting, to serve two years longer. Mr. Gillham is just the man to send to Springfield the coming winter, and the party did wisely in nominating him. Always a Democrat, always working for the good of the agricultural community, he is just the man for the place. Col. C. F. Rodgers and Theodor Miller are equally worthy of the support of the Democratic party.


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


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


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.


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


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 7, 1900
The Madison County Circuit Court was the scene of a sensational knockout fight this morning between Judge A. W. Hope and Ansel Brown of the Edwardsville Democrat. The case of Henry Brueggeman vs. the Mayor and the City Council of Alton was being tried when the fight occurred, a short recess having been taken to allow time for the bailiff to go out of court for a prisoner. The court had just decided that the answer of the city to the allegations of the plaintiffs in the case were good, holding that the exception of the plaintiffs to the answer were not good. Judge Hope took part in the conduct of the city's side of the case to assist the Corporation Counselor, saying that he was personally interested in the case and desired to take part. Brown was talking to the court stenographer and Judge Hartzell had left the courtroom for a few minutes, until the witness summoned could be brought into court. While Brown was talking to the stenographer, Ed Scheer, Judge Hope crossed the courtroom and struck the editor a stinging blow in the face that knocked Brown down. He jumped to his feet quickly and was after his assailant, but was unequal to the task of defending himself against the rain of blows of the Judge. Brown went down again and Judge Hope was on top, raining blows on the face and head of his victim. Dick Mudge, secretary for Judge Burroughs, attempted to separate the two men and received a blow in the face that was aimed by Judge Hope at Brown. Bystanders interfered and the two men were separated before either could inflict severe bodily injury to the other. The feeling between the two men has been very bitter several years, they being representatives of the opposing factions of the Democratic party in this county. Brown has been the sharpest critic the Judge has had in his political career, and the bitterest invective has been hurled at the Judge through the columns of the Democrat. Brown has interested himself to a remarkable degree in the fight on the Alton City court, and by his attacks on it has stirred up the bitterest feeling toward himself in the friends of the Alton Court. It was Brown who took out an injunction to restrain the county board paying the grand jury and petit jury warrants, and he has at all times been a most active partisan in opposing anything that pertained to Judge Hope. The story told by Judge Hope regarding the fight is that it was provoked by Brown whom he said was talking about him to Ed Scheer. Brown denies that he was saying anything about the Judge, notwithstanding what he might have thought. The fight caused great excitement in the courtroom. The injunction case was laid over until another suit had been disposed of, and it was thought it would come up this afternoon and would be tried on its merits.


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


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


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.]


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


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


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


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


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


Source: Edwardsville Intelligencer, June 8, 1926

The flour mill of the Blake Milling Company 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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