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Fosterburg, Illinois, Newspaper Clippings

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser

 

EARLY HISTORY OF FOSTERBURG (also called "Smooth Prairie")     |     WOOD STATION NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS

 

HORSES STOLEN IN SMOOTH PRAIRIE
Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, April 14, 1853
Horse stolen from the stable of the subscriber in Smooth Prairie on last Thursday night, a good sized Bay horse, five years old, the left fore foot white with the mane lying on the left side, and a Bay mare, three years old, of good size, branded with the letter A on the left shoulder and left hip, and right hind foot white; also, a saddle and bridle and two rope halters were taken at the same time. A liberal reward will be given to any person who will return said horses to their owner as above, and apprehend the thief or thieves. Signed, John H. Smith.

 

TEMPERANCE CELEBRATION AT SMOOTH PRAIRIE
Source: Alton Weekly Courier, September 7, 1854
To George T. Brown, Esq., Editor: Dear Sir - Knowing that you, with the great body of the readers of your widely spread and valuable paper take a deep interest in the advancement of the Temperance cause, which is now considered the great and leading topic with the American people, I would inform you that the citizens of this part of old Madison are actively engaged in rolling on the Temperance ball. In proof of which I would give you a brief account of the temperance movement in this vicinity. A beautiful grove near the schoolhouse, belonging to Mrs. Eaton, having been previously selected and properly prepared, was the place of general rendezvous. And Sir, they came! They came not only from the counties of our own State, but also from the State of Missouri, and from her great metropolis. The invited guests were the Woodburn Division of the Sons of Temperance, the Sunday School of that place, and that of Mount Olive, and the community in general. They came, and continued to come till a multitude, clad in their respective badges and regalia, had assembled on the common near the schoolhouse, where they were formed into ranks by the proper officers of the day. From thence the procession, accompanied by an excellent band of music from Shipman, took up the line of march, which was continued for some time, when all were conducted to the cool and beautiful grove, to witness the presentation to the Woodburn Division of the Sons of Temperance and to the Smooth Prairie Temperance Alliance, of two beautiful banners which were made by the Order, and at the expense of Mr. W. Wilson of the city of St. Louis, now residing in this neighborhood, and erecting a splendid mansion to serve as a rural retreat during the summer season. I would further remark that one of the banners cost one hundred dollars, and is indeed a superb article; probably unrivaled in the state. The other one is also beautiful, and cost a trifle less than the first. After an appropriate prayer by the Rev. L. S. Williams, the one designed for the Sons was presented to them by Miss Hewitt of the city of St. Louis, who made a short address, heroic, energetic, patriotic, beautiful and chaste, which was happily responded to by a distinguished member of the Order. The other was presented by Mr. Bolton of St. Louis, and received by Mr. L. Olden, who severally made suitable addresses. The company was then conducted to four long tables to partake of the sumptuous repast, which had been prepared and tastefully arranged by the ladies of the neighborhood, and I must say that I have never seen it excelled on any similar occasion. Truly, both great and small, did ample justice to the subject then before them. After all had eaten and retired to the stand, the President, Mr. W. Wilson, introduced to the audience John A. Chesnut, Esq., of Carlinville, who spoke for the space of an hour to a deeply interested audience on the subject of a Prohibitory Law. Mr. Chesnut spoke as a philanthropist, a patriot and a Christian. His speech throughout was such as it is seldom our good fortune to hear. The address being concluded, several toasts were announced, and some choice songs were sung by the choir in attendance, headed by Mr. Carson, teacher of music. The balance of the time was spent in social conversation, hilarity and general good feeling. In conclusion, I would remark that no accident or disturbance whatever occurred during the day, but that peace, harmony and brotherly kindness appeared to be the ruling principle with all. You may calculate that the Temperance eat will receive from Smooth Prairie a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together. Signed by W.

 

OLIVER P. FOSTER OFFERS $200 REWARD
Source: Alton Weekly Courier, December 13, 1855
By the advertisement in this paper, it will be seen that Mr. Oliver P. Foster of Smooth Prairie, in this county, offers $200 reward for the detection of the robber and the recovery of the money taken from his house on the night of the 1st December, or he will pay $100 for either. We sincerely trust that Mr. Foster will be able to discover the wretch who thus suddenly deprived him of his hard earnings, and that he will not only recover his money, but teach the robber a lesson which will last him for a few years.

 

FOSTERBURG BALL
Source: The Daily Observer, Utica, New York, February 26, 1869
At a ball in Fosterburg, near Alton, Illinois, given a few nights since, five or six persons drank poisoned liquor, two of whom are reported this morning as having died.

FOSTERBURG BALL
Oxford, Indiana - Benton Tribune, February 26, 1869
A terrible tragedy occurred recently at Fosterburg, Illinois. A German woman named Sicken accidentally poisoned her husband, her child, and herself, by administering a preparation supposed to be an antidote for a love for liquor. The woman and man died in an hour in great agony, and the child lived until the next day.

FOSTERBURG BALL
Source: Bloomington Daily Leader, February 27, 1869
Alton, Illinois, February 25 – A horrible case of wholesale poisoning took place at Fosterburg, in Madison County, a night or two since. A ball was given by a hotel keeper named Schultze, and a large party invited. During the evening, some scoundrel unknown poisoned the liquor in use, and five or six persons were made very sick from the effects. Two of the victims, both young men, are reported dead this morning. An unusual number of shocking crimes have lately taken place in Fosterburg and vicinity.

FOSTERBURG BALL ENDS IN MURDER
In February 1869, a ball was held by a hotel keeper by the name of Schultze. A large party gathered to have fun and dance the night away. It was reported later, that “some scoundrel unknown” poisoned the liquor, and five or six persons became very sick from the effects. Two victims, it was reported, were reported dead. In another newspaper, it was reported that a German woman by the name of Mrs. Sicken (ironic last name) had poisoned the liquor in order that her husband would become sick from it and no longer have “a love for liquor.” However, the newspaper reported that the woman and husband both died in great agony, and their child died the next day.

In this particular case, I had to rely on newspaper from other cities, as the papers from the Alton Telegraph were missing during this time period (probably due to fire), so I don’t know how accurate the information was. I checked the 1865 census records for Foster Township, and I found a John T. and George Schultz, but didn’t find any family by the name of Sicken. They may have moved into Foster Township after the census was taken. In any case, it seems that someone had poisoned the liquor at the ball, and several people died. Was the woman really trying to make her husband sick enough that he would no longer drink? If so, why did she and her child drink and die? Was this a case of murder/suicide? We’ll never know.

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Telegraph, August 20, 1885
Our merchants are doing a large business in the way of buying country produce, which is sent to Alton once a week. Mr. John Roloff and family have been spending a week or so in Alton. The bridge contractors, Thos. Titchenal and Ollie Foster, have just completed a bridge in the western part of the township. Mr. John Uzzell of Bethalto was in the burg last week. Miss Jessie Waggoner of Godfrey is the guest of Miss Lillie Dillon. Miss Lydia Lobbig has returned from a visit at St. Louis, where she has been spending a week. Mr. J. S. Culp was in the burg last week on business. Mr. Charles Titchenal left for Springfield, Mo., last night. Mrs. S. Holt of Upper Alton paid her parents a visit last week. Mrs. M. Dillon returned to Springfield last week. A. L. Foster took a drive to "pie town" last Tuesday evening. Mr. J. J. Luft is back on the bench again. Rev. A. Vogle has gone to Racine, Wisconsin.

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Weekly Telegraph, June 24, 1886
Harvest is in full blast at present. Mr. John Haag's span of mules ran away yesterday with his binder; fortunately, the driver was not injured. As Louis states, "he does not know how he did manage to get clear." The binder was broken up badly. Say, John, is an assessment made on Sunday legal? Mrs. Hodge is making an improvement on her residence, in the way of a new porch. Miss Polly Kipper, of Christian County, is visiting at Mr. Chas. Graner's. Mrs. Hellie Holt of Upper Alton is visiting at O. P. Foster's. Mrs. C. Titchenal is visiting her parents this week. Miss Tillie Ost of Upper Alton visited home Sunday. Mr. E. Griable has the best shade trees in town. Wanna Frankford met with quite an accident yesterday, but is getting along all O.K.

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Weekly Telegraph, July 1, 1886
The rain of last Saturday did a great deal of damage to bridges in this township by washing them away. One near Samuel Williams' residence was washed away, one near Mr. Klinkey's and one near Mr. E. Doolings and one at Mr. Wm. Manns, also the filling at the bridge near Wm. Baker's. Thomas Titchenal left his tent and tools at the bridge near Mr. Gell's in Wood River Township where he had a force of men repairing the bridge. To Tom's surprise, Sunday morning he found that his "tepe" had floated down and was hanging in a tree; of course, Tom and Ollie had the right idea that the "tepe" was ripe, so they just picked it and returned to hunt for the tools which they found nearby. Among others who suffered from the high water, Mr. Thomas Dulanty, 27 acres of wheat washed away, and Mr. John Wortman had near 100 bushels carried off. Mr. John Krieg suffered a loss in the same way; also Mr. Wm. Baker. Misses Lydia and Rosa Lobbig are visiting in Alton at the present writing, the guests of Miss Emma Hummert. Mrs. E. Grieble made a business trip to St. Louis last week. Mr. John Roloff, of Upper Alton, has been plastering the saloon belonging to John Rammes. Mr. Henry Lobbig bought a fine horse from Mr. Kenecht for $145 and has been offered $250, but says he will not sell as he likes to drive as fine an animal as any person. John Heuis, Jr. is talking of leaving - he will go to Minnesota. John has a great many friends who are sorry to see him leave, but all wish him much success. Mr. John Graner will soon bring out his threshing outfit. As he is a first-class thresher any person having any threshing to do will do well in calling on him. We are glad to state that John Paul is able to be out on the street again. Mr. Charles Wortmann will leave for Springfield soon. Miss Nellie Holt, who has been visiting relatives at the burgh, returned to her home in Upper Alton yesterday. Mr. L. Falkenburgh, who has been on the sick list, is improving. The hour for the A. M. E. Sunday school has been changed from 2 o'clock p.m. to 9 o'clock a.m. Prof. E. B. Young is Superintendent. "Let everybody turn out and make it the leading Sunday school in town." Rev. A. Byer has returned from a visit to Indiana.

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, August 4, 1887
Hurrah for our daily mail. As Mr. Sam Williams was leaving with his traction engine and separator from Mr. Weaver's last Thursday, a spark from the engine set fire to Mr. D. H. Warner's meadow, and the fire spread over the dry stubble at such rapid rate that the men could not check it until it had burned several shocks of oats and part of the fence of J. D. Dillon, and part of Mr. Warner's hedge. The moonlight hop given in Foster's grove was a very enjoyable affair; good order was maintained. Quite a large number were present from Alton and Upper Alton. They will give another "hop" in the grove sometime in the near future. Mr. Tom Titchenal has been fixing the break in his mill pond and will start the mill as soon as it rains. "You never run the engine unless you have the steam." Rev. S. P. Dillon of Litchfield, Neb., is visiting at his uncle's, J. D. Dillon. Theo Foster of Harvel, Illinois, spent a few days at his old home. Theo is one of the boys and is always welcomed back to the burg. Miss Florence Robinson of Gillespie, Ill., who has been visiting friends at the burg, returned to her home last Thursday. Mr. E. Jinkinson and family of Dorchester spent a few days with relatives and friends at the burg last week. Deputy Sheriff Crowe was in town last week on official business. Mrs. R. V. Jinkinson spent last week with relatives at Bethalto. Mrs. J. Vannatta of Dorchester is visiting relatives at the burg this week. The trustees of the Fosterburg Cemetery have had the weeds and grass mown, which makes quite an improvement in the looks. The sidewalk leading from Rev. Vogel's to the Baptist church needs fixing very badly. Another grand moonlight hop in the grove next week. Our mail carrier has a new horse now, and of course, the mail will be on time hereafter. -Spavin.

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Telegraph, September 14, 1887
The old mill started up last week. They are sawing out bridge lumber as there are several bridges in this township which are in need of repairs. No doubt but what our bridge contractors will have lots of work this fall. Mr. F. Petters and brother, Samuel, will leave for Chicago next Thursday where they are going to spend the winter. They have many friends here, who wish them much success. Mr. C. C. Brown, who has been dangerously sick for the past two weeks, is, we are glad to say, so much improved as to be able to be out on the streets again. Mrs. S. Titchenal, we are sorry to say, is very sick, but is improving. Miss Rosa Lobbig spent last week with friends in Alton. Mrs. John Dillon is visiting her son at Springfield at the present writing. Mr. Mose Thompson and family will start for Kansas about the 20th of this month. Mr. T. has purchased a farm there and will make it his future home. Miss Lillie Steizel, of North Alton, is the guest of Miss Linda Newhaus. L. Pfister has improved his store by putting up a new porch. Mr. Geo. Norris has the agency for Wm. Flynn's marble works. If there are any persons wishing anything in that line it would be well to give him a call. Mr. Theo. Hossner, of Jerseyville, was in our town last week. The coal miners are not having very good work now, as so very little coal is used since the threshing season is over.

 

A LOOK AT SMOOTH PRAIRIE (or FOSTERBURG) IN 1837
Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, June 3, 1889
Fifty-two years ago, the traveled road from Alton to Springfield, Illinois passed through Upper Alton and on the Edwardsville Road, east past the Cyrus Edwards farm until it reached an ox tread mill on the left of the road, on the farm, and belong to Mr. Abel Moore. Here the travel took the Hillsboro Road, passing round east of the Moore farm, through the woods on by the Roads farm, and past the Wood River schoolhouse. A few rods beyond the schoolhouse it left the Hillsboro road, and bore northwest and joined the present Springfield road at the farm of John Deck. Mr. Deck, about that time or a little before, sold his farm to Hon. Robert Smith of Alton, traveled several hundred miles, returned, bought back his farm paying one hundred dollars more than he sold it for, and also consenting that the Springfield and Alton road should run diagonally southwest across his farm back of his house. This road, from Decks to the Edwardsville road at the bridge, was established, but in such a bad state that the travel mostly went as here described. Mr. Deck's brother-in-law, Mr. Sherfey, lived on the farm east of his. Mr. Brooks, a soldier of 1812, lived on the next farm north, on the west side of the road and opposite to him lived Mr. John Young, who had at that time a number of grown sons. One was John C. Young, who late was Justice of the Peace and a preacher.

A mile further on lived Mr. Olford. This was about six miles from Upper Alton. Two miles further, without a house or farm, Smooth Prairie was reached; eight miles from Upper Alton, ten miles from the city of Alton. The first farm here was that of Mr. Martin Chandler, a Carolinian. Mr. Chandler was buried March 31, 1843. The ground was still frozen that day as solid as mid-winter. Either that day or the next, April 1, 1843, a steamboat came from St. Louis to break the ice out of the Alton harbor. April 2, 1843, was Sunday, and it snowed all the day long. The town of Fosterburg stands on the Chandler land. A body of timber extended along on the west side of the road and of the Chandler farm, and the next farm to the (then) new brick schoolhouse, which stood nearly in the center of the Smooth Prairie. The farm north of the Chandler farm belonged to Mr. John I. Ellet, a brother of General Ellett. It was occupied 52 years ago by Mr. Abraham Isaacs, who has lived near Gillespie, Illinois fifty years, and is still living.

The next farm on the west, on the southeast corner of which stood the schoolhouse, where there is now a garden, belonged to Mr. Mark Crowder, a Kentuckian. His wife's given name was Rose. They raised fifteen children to manhood and womanhood. The names of the daughters were Sarah, Betsy, Ellen, Caroline, Appeline, Rose Ann, Eliza, Mary (eight). The sons were: Thomas, William, James, Mark, John, Luther, Alexander (seven).

Opposite the north end of Mr. Crowder's farm, the Springfield road swung round to the east, and then northeast to Woodburn, passing through the farm of Mr. Oliver Foster, a New Englander. This family raised ten children to manhood and womanhood. Yet, Southern Illinois had the reputation of being an unhealthy country. Fifty-two years ago, when Mr. Crowder's fifteenth child was about two years of age, Mr. Crowder said he had never had a doctor in his house! Mr. Foster kept entertainment. The next farm east, near to the fork of Wood river (a creek), known as Blackburn fork, lived Mr. Ross Houck, who at that time kept a store.

Oliver Foster Jr. married that spring, and settled on the creek north of Mr. Houck's. Mr. Foster afterwards bought the Chandler farm, where he and his wife still live, and after whom Fosterburg takes its name.

Beyond the creek from Mr. Houck's, northeast on the road, lived Mr. Aaron Hussong, son-in-law of Oliver Foster Sr. On the creek mentioned, going south from Hussong's, were the Drennans, Esquire Hart, Michael Gore (father of Hon. David Gore, now of Carlinville, Ill.), two Hunt families, William Dillon, John Dillon and their father, and Captain Little. These had bottom farms extending along the creek some three miles. However, Mr. John Dillon was engaged in blacksmithing, and his father built a water sawmill. William Dillon was a cooper, John Dillon built later on, the Springfield road.

Southwest of the Smooth Prairie schoolhouse, on the west fork of Wood river, about two miles distant, lived John Vanatta, an Ohioan. Halfway between him and the schoolhouse, lived Mr. Richard Jinkenson, a Yorkshire Englishman. Between him and the schoolhouse lived Mr. Thomas Eaton, a Pennsylvanian. Some two miles northwest from the schoolhouse, on the creek, lived Mr. James Miller. Of all the persons named in this paper (excepting Mr. Crowder's children, several of whom still live), Oliver Foster Jr., John Dillon and Abraham Isaacs are the only persons living.

There were at that period six families living in Smooth Prairie, and including those on each creek, there were about twenty families all told. The county between and all round them was in a state of nature and beautiful. These families were honest, quiet, plain, thrifty, peaceable, and kind people. They had the best country schoolhouse in Madison County. Occasionally, 52 years ago, a howling of wolves could be heard. Deer were frequently killed, prairie chickens abounded, as did wild geese, ducks, and cranes in the spring time.

Signed, "From Memory"

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Telegraph, February 16, 1893
There was quite a number of stock hurt in this township during the time that Mother Earth was covered with ice. We hear of several horses over in the west part of the township that fell and were so badly injured that they had to be killed. Also, some cattle, over in the east part that fell and had to be killed. It is surprising how much coal is hauled from here to your city [Alton]. The teams from Alton come out to our coal mines almost every day and there have been several teams from here that have hauled coal to your city every day. This winter has been splendid for the miners. Good roads and cold weather cause the miners to smile. They have had all the work they could do and then could not get out coal fast enough. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Thompson who have had the scarlet fever for a couple of weeks are almost fully recovered. The school in the primary room will close in two weeks, or the first of March. The attendance in room No. 1 has not been very large. Prof. Churchill informs us that the average in his room during the past month has been only five, the scarlet fever causing many to stay away. Mr. T. C. Dillon, who was so badly burned at the Wann disaster is improving as fast as could be expected. His face is almost well, but it will be a long time before his hands are well again. Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Hunt and Miss Mollie Rinker have gone to Minnesota, where they will make their future home. Their many friends here wish them much success in their far northern home.

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Telegraph, February 8, 1894
There was a rag tacking at Mrs. Luft's one evening last week. Some of the boys made a record. A party of young ladies hied themselves off to a hillside and took a slide, but would prefer not to have their mishaps recorded. There was a party at Harry Clayton's south of town Thursday evening last week. Dancing was the principal feature of amusement. Harry Ashlock, of Alton, is visiting his grandfather, Capt. Ashlock, at present writing. Miss Tillie Ost is visiting with her sister in St. Louis. Miss Sarah Thompson, instructor at the Hines school, spent Saturday and Sunday with Mrs. E. K. Pruitt, of Dorsey. John Schafer came up from St. Louis to visit his parents on Sunday. William Kramer, of Brighton, manufacturer of the Blue Label cigar, was at the burg one day last week on business. Theodore Hossner "formerly connected with the Jerseyville nursery and as salesman stands in first rank" is at the burg interviewing old acquaintances. Albert Haag, of this place, a very worthy gentleman is his successor. Mrs. R. V. Jinkenson is spending a few days with her son, John, at Bethalto. Amos Challengeworth's little boy, Harvey, has been quite sick. Am sorry to state that Mrs. Wm. Baker's condition is no better. Her condition is serious. John Dingerson has returned from a visit with his uncle at Mt. Olive. I am requested to announce that on Feb. 18th there will be a meeting at the English M. E. church at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. also. State Lecturer Alex. Kearly and others will be present. All farmers and especially the ladies are invited, for they are eligible to membership as well as men. The tax collector wants to see you. He will be at the Buckstrop school house Feb. 17 and at the Ingersoll school on the 24th. At any other time than the above named, he can be found at his store. The regular quarterly meeting of the Fosterburg Horse Thief Detective Society meets at the hall on next Saturday evening, Feb. 10th. All members are requested to be present as there is very important business left over from last meeting. The organization is in good condition, consisting of about sixty members. Zero weather has put new life into our coal industry. Wm. Challengsworth has quite a force of men at work in his pit this winter. Thos. Titchenal reports an air shaft in the shape of a land slide. The coal at each mine is of superior quality always to be had at very reasonable figures. It you will try it you will buy it and have no other.

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Telegraph, December 31, 1896
Mr. Addison McKnight is now in Alton where he has a situation. We hear that several of our citizens will go to Springfield to the inauguration of the State officers, Jan. 11. Mr. W. E. Dodd, who returned from Iowa a few weeks ago, is talking of starting a weekly newspaper in our town. It will be a non-partisan paper and be independent of any political party - devoted to the general news of the day. Mr. Dodd will make his paper a farm journal and subscription price on $1 per year. We hope that all our citizens will aid the enterprise all they can, and let the subscription list have most, if not all their names thereon, for if the citizens do not lend their help in some way or other, it is very evident that Mr. Dodd cannot start a paper here. Although our town is quite small, we have a splendid location for a wide-awake newspaper, and such a paper cannot do otherwise than help the town. When the subscription list is circulated, let all sign for the paper, and then subscribe for some friend, thereby helping the paper and at the same time help our town. The dance given by the Fosterburg Social Club Christmas eve was a most enjoyable affair, it being the first of the season. There was quite a large attendance, there being about forty couples present. The music was furnished by Bunker Hill talent; and at twelve o'clock, Mrs. Pfaff furnished a splendid supper for the merry-makers. It was the small wee hours of morning when the last of them left the hall. We understand the club will give a ball every two weeks at Pfisters Hall. There will be a call meeting of the Fosterburg G. A. R. Post on Wednesday 6th, 1897, for the purpose of making arrangements for the instigation of the newly-elected officers. It is requested that all members of the Post be present. Mr. Wm. Meeters spent Christmas with friends in St. Louis. No doubt but what William saw the sights in city, at the other end of the bridge. Miss Cassie Titchenal, who has been in poor health for two or three months, is much improved. Messrs. C. Osh and Frank Mason visited relatives in St. Louis. The Fosterburg National Band are coming to the front, and are keeping up the practice twice a week. The new blacksmith shop of John Ost's is nearly under roof, and it will be one of the best construct shops in town. The old historical shop, corner Wain and Seminary ave., has been torn down, and that corner looks very much as though a cyclone had visited it. Deputy Sheriff John Dillon spent Christmas with friends at the Burg, returning to Edwardsville Sunday evening. Mrs. E. Burger and children, of Alton, are spending the holidays with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. V. Pfaff. Mr. August Faderly and wife, of Alton, drove out last Sunday and spent the day with relatives. The coal miners have been having steady work all fall and winter, the roads having been in such fine condition that those who have had any hauling to do have had no reason to complain. We hear that there will be a supper given in the near future for the purpose of raising money for the sidewalk fund. The three Sunday schools had Christmas trees last Christmas eve, and it is useless to say the hearts of the little ones were made glad. F. C. Dillon has been spending the past week visiting relatives and friends in Springfield, Ill. Prof. J. U. Uzzell and family of Bethalto, are visiting relatives here, west of town. The Prof. has many friends who will be glad to know that he is in our midst again. Miss Lizzie Whitlow of Jerseyville is the guest of the Misses Thompson during the holidays. We hear the farmers say that dry, freezing weather we have been having is very hard on the growing wheat and the prospect for a good yield next year is not as good as it was four weeks ago, yet some say that the roots of the wheat have not been injured by the freeze. The Fosterburg school is having no vacation this year. It is not often that we have school here during the holidays. Our doctors report that there is but few cases of sickness in this section.

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Telegraph, June 24, 1897
Wheat harvest will be on hand next week. Clover harvest has failed to bring the usual and much needed rains. A few more days will put an end to the harvesting of this crop, which has been quite a large one. Mrs. Lydia Meisenheimer was very sick on Tuesday evening and found the services of Dr. Hall necessary. Mr. A. L. Foster spent Sunday in Kirkwood, Mo. Mr. H. G. Bassett draws the lines over one of the best driving horses in the township. Miss Minnie Seiler came up from St. Louis and made a short visit at the residence of Mr. August Seiler. Mrs. Peter Schan and family left Wednesday to join Mr. Schan in Iowa. Geo. Deckert, traveling salesman for the Liggett & Meyers' Tobacco Company of St. Louis, was around Monday looking after the wants of his customers. The Grangers at their festival on the evening of the 12th, cleared $20, which was quite satisfactory. Rev. Hussey, State Missionary of Upper Alton, occupied the pulpit at the Baptist church Sunday morning and preached to quite a large audience. Mr. E. Griebel has been seriously afflicted with throat trouble the past week. Under the treatment of Dr. Moore he has improved in a manner that is pleasing to his many friends. Mr. Samuel Peters has been on the retired list for a few days on account of sickness. Mr. Amos Brueggeman and wife, of East St. Louis, are visiting with relatives. The ladies of the Baptist church will give an ice cream festival on the church lawn on Tuesday evening, 29th. Everybody is invited to attend and enjoy the evening. Besides refreshments, there will be plenty of music.

 

FOSTERBURG NEWS
Source: Alton Telegraph, January 25, 1900
Spring weather in January seems somewhat out of place, and zero weather to any extent in the future will certainly do much damage to wheat should there be no snow as a protection. A continuance of the present warm weather will make an end of the fruit crop for next year. Mrs. Mollie Handlon, of Alton, spent Sunday with friends. Stella Wood, of Alton, is home at present writing. Mrs. Gus Dodelins and sister, Julia, of Centralia, are guests of Miss Lila Newhaus. Wm. Herman, our collector, has filled out his bond of $11,500 with security as follows: Isaac Shurfey, C. F. Lobbig, J. S. Culp and Frances Herman. He went to Edwardsville on Wednesday and did business with County Clerk Riniker. Joseph Heines has found employment at East Alton and is thinking of moving his family to that town. Frank Vanatta and Robert Allen, of Gillespie, are visiting relatives at the Burg. John Culp, Jr., had his hay press at work Monday baling hay for Mrs. C. C. Brown. N. T. Wood's daughter, Nettie, is quite sick. Thos. Whyres returned two patients that had escaped from Dr. Smith's sanitarium at Godfrey one day last week. Lawrence Segrist's child died at Godfrey and was buried Sunday. Rev. Morey conducted services at the Wood River church. John Roloff and John Burns, the two Johns, put in part of one evening last week searching in the school house. Well, for John Jacob Luft, it was rather a hilarious search, full of fun and nothing serious. Making no find, they proceeded to kick in one side of the curb and otherwise disfigure the same to their own amusement.

 

FOSTERBURG - AMERICAN M. E. CHURCH BUILDING SOLD
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 26, 1901
The American M. E. church building that has stood idle for a long time, was sold by Mrs. R. V. Jinkinson (the owner) last Saturday to John Barrow of Upper Alton, for the sum of $200. The building was erected about seventeen years ago [Abt. 1884], and for a time there was quite a large congregation, but the members are nearly all gone from here, and in March 1900 the church was sold by conference. Mrs. Jenkinson being the purchaser. Mr. Barrow will tear the building down and use the lumber to build a barn on his lots in Upper Alton.

 

FOSTERBURG NEEDS A RESCUE PARTY AT ONCE - SEND TOBACCO OR THEY DIE
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 5, 1906
Fosterburg is in distress, for the want of tobacco to chew and smoke. A Macedonian cry came into Alton today from our neighbors in Fosterburg that is full of the saddest import. The supply of tobacco has run short in the village, and unless there is relief or the roads dry up or some hardy burger comes in and carries out a supply, the residents of that mud-bound village will have to swear off the habit of chewing and smoking "Scrap." Since the roads became so deep there has been practically no means of getting anything out to Fosterburg. The farmers could not come to town and replenish their stocks so they fell back on the two little stores at Fosterburg conducted by Valentine Pfaff and C. F. Lobbig. These stores were not stocked with the expectation of having to supply the country with oil, gasoline, tobacco and flour and bread for any long period, and the shut-in people at Fosterburg have just about exhausted the supply. The supply of "scrap" tobacco was clear out today. There was not a drop of oil for sale in Fosterburg, and the people who did not have candles were in darkness, the electric light plant not being in operation. As Fosterburg has no steam railway or electric line or any other road that would carry provisions, the people there are suffering. The wagon roads are said to be over three feet in depth all the way from Fosterburg to Alton, and one cannot get through with a wagon. One grocer got in a supply of sugar last week or he would have been short on that. The stores at Fosterburg have been almost sold out for several days and the distress of mind among the male population is painful. One man who came in today carried out a small lot of tobacco with him, but as he had to walk, he could do but little toward supplying the needs of the community.

 

HISTORY OF THE FOSTERBURG POST OFFICE
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 14, 1906
The Fosterburg post office, unless someone applies for it, will be discontinued within a few days. Postmaster C. F. Lobbig has tendered his resignation. The office was established there in 1858, and Mr. Lobbig was the first postmaster and has served continuously with the exception of the two terms under Cleveland. Forty years’ service as postmaster is not surpassed by many. From the beginning, for a number of years, our mail came from Alton once a week when it was changed to Dorsey and was carried by O. P. Foster, tri-weekly. After Foster's term as carrier, it was changed to a daily mail and carried by Fred Peters. C. R. Besser succeeded Peters, and C. R. Besser was succeeded by Ferdinand Rammes about two and a half years ago. The route to Dorsey gave the best of satisfaction, and a rural route from Bethalto was established which brought the Fosterburg mail. The county system of rural delivery makes the post office unprofitable to the holder.

 

SALOONS WON'T BE TOLERATED IN FOSTER TOWNSHIP
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 3, 1906
According to residents of Foster township in Alton Monday, they intend to make it so hot for conductors of saloons in that township in future that there will be neither pleasure nor profit in the business. A saloon has been in operation in Fosterburg since the death of T. Challengsworth, but no license is paid, and yesterday, it is said, steps were taken to have the proprietor arrested every day that he keeps the place open after notice has been served on him, and a time limit given. The saloon, it is said, is directly across the street from a church and is run wide open Sunday and every day, although no license to conduct the place was ever given the proprietor by the county or any other authorities. The saloon must go or the conductor will be arrested and fined daily. Another resident says the proprietor of the place refused to contribute anything towards picnics, etc., and this adds to the determination to put him out of business or cause him to engage in it legitimately.

 

FOSTERBURG WITHOUT A FOSTER FOR THE FIRST TIME
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 9, 1906
The last of the Fosters has left Fosterburg, and today that township had to be without a member of the Foster family for the first time since 1825. In eighty-one years, there has always been someone of the Foster family there, since Oliver Foster settled at Fosterburg in 1825. He gave the name to the township and raised a family of children, who in turn had their duty in the line of populating the sparsely settled territory of Madison county. The families moved away, however, and as the little ___ks grew their pin feathers, they ____ the parental roof and as a rule they drifted away from Fosterburg. Decatur Foster was the last of his tribe, and he has left that place to move away permanently. The passing of Decatur Foster from the list of citizens of Fosterburg caused only ____ comment, and few realized that his departure Fosterburg township is losing the last of the family of its old namesake of the place.

 

OLD REVOLVER DUG UP ON THE FORMER PROPERTY OF O. P. FOSTER, FOUNDER OF FOSTERBURG
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 28, 1907
While moving the old barn on the former home of O. P. Foster, the founder of Fosterburg, the other day workmen found near one of the corner stones a ball and cap six-shooter of the old style Remington make. Taylor Foster, who moved the building, says the handle of the revolver had rotted away and the steel had rusted considerably. The barn was built in 1858, Mr. Foster says, and it is supposed the revolver has rested near the corner stone since. The revolver is now in possession of Tom Jones, the new owner of the Foster barn.

 

FOSTERBURG - "RIVER OF FIRE"
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 24, 1912
"That fellow will never set the river on fire," is an old saying frequently heard in this world, but it cannot be said truthfully of Phil Kennedy, the well-known Foster township dairyman and farmer and Charles Ducommon, another prominent farmer who lives close to Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Ducommon met a Telegraph reporter this morning and told of how the water in the west fork of Wood river is covered with oil, or gas or grease of some kind, and he said that the boys who have been going in swimming in the river that runs through the Kennedy farm have been in the habit of lighting matches and with them set the river on fire. The gas or oil on the top of the water ignites readily, he says, and blazes merrily for some time, the flames mounting to a height of six or eight inches. Conditions are similar in the water further up on the Ducommon farm and in other places. Later, a Telegraph reporter met Mr. Kennedy, and asked him about the matter and he hemmed and hawed quite a bit before finally admitting that all Mr. Ducommon had said is true. He went further and said that boys last winter could indulge in a warm bath in Wood river very readily by setting fire to the oil floating on top, thus heating up the waters below. Taking good hot refreshing baths in the dead of winter in the open air and in running water, is something new under the sun and adds one more achievement to the long list of things accomplished by Foster township. It is the belief of very many Foster township farmers that oil or gas, or both, can be found in paying quantities under the surface of the earth in that section, but they hesitate about spending the money necessary to do the prospecting. Mr. Ducommon brought in a lot of fried chicken today, which he was taking to Tolle's grove where an all-day picnic is being given by the Foster Hard Roads Association. Other farmers and their wives will bring in more fried chicken and homemade pies and cakes this afternoon for the delectation of guests of the picnic this evening.

 

FOSTERBURG - CUPID BREAKS UP BAND
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 6, 1916
Dan Cupid proved too strong for the promoters of the Fosterburg band. After fighting for years to keep the band together, Charles Harrison and Phil Paul have given up the effort, and the Fosterburg band will be formally disbanded following a big banquet of all of the old members which is to be held on Saturday evening, March 18. An effort has always been made to keep the membership of the band up to the fifteen mark. Recently it was cut to ten members. Finally, Phil Paul, the leader, was unable to get any clarinet player or anyone to take charge of the bass drum. Many of the young men in Fosterburg were married and their wives refused to remain at home alone while they attend rehearsals. A number of the other band members were coming to the city to obtain work and they dropped out of the band. Among those who have been married lately and have dropped out of the band are Emil Voumard, Herb Paul and Phil Paul. Then Joe Auer and Nelson Challengsworth left the town to go to work in the city. Several others are planning to leave the town and it was finally decided that as the membership could be raised to over ten members that it would be the best for everyone if the band would disband. The record of the band is remarkable. It was organized twenty-four years ago and during all of that time there was never any strife, which is so common in other bands. Fosterburg is very small, and for that reason most of the players lived on the farm and many of them had to come considerable distance to practice. For a time, the practices were held twice each week, but recently they have been cut to a single practice per week. There are three charter members of the band at the present time: Charles Harrison, Phil Paul, and John L. Culp. Paul has been the director of the band for a great many years. The band was very well known in this vicinity. The members had played at almost every town within twenty-five miles of their home, and had won considerable comment by their ability at picnics held in the neighborhood of Fosterburg. The band is in very good financial condition, there being over $200 in the treasury at the present time. Many of the members of the band own instruments valued at over one hundred dollars, and all of these will be put away on the shelf.

 

FOSTERBURG HARD ROAD ASSOCIATION FORMED
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 9, 1917
At a meeting of the residents of Fosterburg township and the vicinity last evening a hard road association was formed. The following officers were elected: Walter Thompson, president; Ed Gvillo, secretary; Ben Hermann, treasurer; Committee, Frank Scheurer, Frank Schaum, Ben Budde, Herb Gvillo, Dr. W. A. Day. They will push the hard roads in that township and towards Alton. The plans for the present are to raise money for the construction of better roads and to oil the roads between Alton and Fosterburg.

 

ALOYSIUS DRUMLEVE INJURED WHILE HELPING FATHER ON FARM NEAR FOSTERBURG
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 22, 1921
Aloysius Drumleve, eleven-year-old son of Philip Drumleve, was operated on for gangrene poisoning at St. Joseph's Hospital yesterday afternoon as a result of being dangerously mangled by a binder with which the boy's father was cutting wheat on his farm near Fosterburg. The older Drumleve said his son accompanied him on the rounds of the wheat field, and started to help when the harness of one of the horses became unfastened. The boy re-hitched the horse, he continued, and moved aside, thinking he was out of the path of the mower. His father also thought the boy was out of the way and started his team. The youngster, however, had not moved far enough aside, and was struck down by the sickle, the teeth of which clutched his left leg just above the ankle. Quickly stopping his team, the father jumped to extricate his son, whose leg had been badly cut by the mower, all the blood passages being severed. Despite medical attention, gangrene set in, and an operation was deemed necessary. The boys' leg was amputated just below the knee, and this morning he was pronounced somewhat relieved.

 

FIRE DESTROYS LARGE BARN ON FOSTER ROAD
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 16, 1921
Fire destroyed a barn on the place of Harry Maggos on the Fosterburg road beyond the State Hospital, about midnight last night. In the barn were burned five horses, nine cattle, about 30 tons of hay and a number of pieces of farm machinery. The barn was about 50 feet long and 45 feet wide. On one side was a machinery shed under which the machinery was stored. Near the barn and close enough for it to have been damaged but for a favorable air current that carried the flames away from it was a new Moon automobile valued at $2,800. It escaped with no damage to speak of. Sotir Durato of East End Place said that one of the horses destroyed belonged to him, and that he was keeping it on the place. Durato said that the owner of the place was in St. Louis where he went to undergo treatment for an injury he sustained while at work on the place. Two hired men were left there to look after the property and beside was another man who owned the Moon car, and was spending the night there. The cause of the fire is unknown, according to Durato. When the fire was discovered, neighbors went there to do what they could, but the inflammable contents of the barn made it impossible for anything to be done toward saving any of the property that was burning. J. A. Giberson said today that his agency carried $1,000 on the barn in favor of Miss Annie Spurgeon, who owns the farm, and rents to Maggos. He also had $3,000 on the contents of the barn which covered also the horses and some of the hay, and he also had a special policy on the five horses and $300 on a stack of hay near the barn. The total is over $5,000 the one agency had involved in the fire, and it is assumed the loss is total.

 

WOOD STATION NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS

 

WOOD STATION, ILLINOIS TRAIN WRECK
Engineer Frees Himself. Held Under Wreck with Leg Crushed
Source: Cook County Herald, Arlington Heights, Illinois, January 12, 1906
Pinioned under wreckage resulting from the collision of two Burlington freight trains near Wood Station, Illinois, which was made more complete by the explosion of an engine boiler and a car load of powder, Engineer Grover Hinderer of Beardstown, Ill., with his leg crushed and held fast, sawed desperately for forty five minutes and finally freed himself and was pulled out. He was taken to the hospital at Alton and it is believed will recover. Fireman W. A. Anderson was seriously injured, but will probably live. Brakemen Mason, Franks, and George Anderson were imprisoned in the debris and at first were believed to be dead, but finally were rescued not seriously injured. Rescuers were unable to release him Engineer Hinderer and finally passed him a saw, cheering him until her released himself.

 

 

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