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New Douglas, Illinois, Newspaper Clippings

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser

 

EARLY HISTORY OF NEW DOUGLAS

 

WESLEY REAVES DRY GOODS ROBBED
Source: Alton Weekly Telegraph, September 17, 1874
Edwardsville News - Last Thursday night the store of Wesley Reaves in New Douglas was entered by burglars, and about five or six hundred dollars’ worth of goods stolen. An entrance was effected by boring augur holes through the back door and removing the bolt with which it was fastened. Suspicion at once rested upon a man who had arrived in town late in the evening previous, and who had departed during the night. He was traveling in a one-horse buggy, and owing to some peculiarity in the shoes with which his horse was shod, but little difficulty was experienced in tracking him. He returned through Alhambra, where it was ascertained he had taken dinner the day before, and thence by Hamel's corner to Balser Heinemann's, a saloon and tavern on the Hillsboro Road, two miles from this city [Edwardsville]. It was previously discovered that he had left the road in a circuitous manner in Silver Creek timber, and packed and tied up such of the goods as suited him best, and destroyed a quantity of others by burning them, a few remnants of which partially burned, and some paper boxes with Mr. Reaves' mark upon them being found there. He was arrested at Heinemann's by Charles Borman, constable, living at Hamel, and taken back to New Douglas before Martin Jones, a Justice of the Peace, who upon hearing the testimony, committed him to the county jail in default of seven hundred dollars bail. He gave his name as R. R. Johnston, and had a good horse and buggy and a small carpet sack containing several dozen patent glass cutters, which he had been peddling, using in payment of traveling expenses, &c., and also a revolver. The goods recovered from him and identified by Mr. Reaves were valued at about four hundred dollars, and are sufficient to send him up, but as his bail is small, he may have friends able to assist him. He says his mother lives at Rocksprings, St. Louis County, Missouri. The horse and buggy have been attached by Mr. Reaves with a view of partial compensation for expenses and unrecovered goods.

NOTES:
Tobias Reaves, a native of North Carolina, came to Madison County in 1828, and bought property from a man named Ringo. The Methodists held their early meeting in the Reaves home. He died at his son’s (Wesley Reaves) home in New Douglas, in October 1876, and is buried in the Reaves Burial Ground in Alhambra, Illinois. Tobias’ wife, Nancy Monroe Reaves (December 17-1791 – August 21, 1861), died preceded him. By 1882, Wesley Reaves was the only one of the family residing in the county.

Other children of Tobias and Nancy Reaves include: Thomas Reaves (1818-1835); Wiley Green Reaves (1822-1863); Martha Ann Reaves Cornelison (1822-1901); Randall Reaves (1823-?); Louisa Jane Reaves Hammer (1830-1895); Nancy E. Reaves (1833-1838); and Tobias Reaves Jr. (1839-?).

Wesley Reaves opened a dry goods store and hotel in New Douglas. He died in 1903 while visiting his son in Kansas City, at the age of 76, leaving a widow and nine children.

 

A VISIT TO NEW DOUGLAS
Source: Alton Telegraph, May 10, 1883
From Edwardsville – Your correspondent availed himself of the opportunity afforded by a special train over the Narrow Gauge Railroad last Sunday, and visited the thriving and prosperous village of New Douglas. It was not a day for business, although it was clear and beautiful, but we met several of the prominent citizens of that place, among whom were Wesley Reaves, the veteran hotel keeper of the village; Abram Allen, ex-Supervisor and proprietor of one of the new additions to the village, who occupies an elegant two-story brick house opposite the park; Supervisor Long and his late opponent for the office, Mr. Thomas Reaves; also, Mr. Foster, an old resident; Dr. Dusenbury; Mr. Prenger, the proprietor of the fine new mill; and many others. From conversation with some of these gentlemen, and from what was visible to the eye, we learned that real estate was on a “boom” there. Prices for eligible lots in the south part of town, towards the railroad, rule high.

We failed to see Mr. Brewer, publisher of the New Douglas News, but were fortunate in meeting his right bower, Charlie Kienlein, formerly of the Intelligencer office in Edwardsville, who does the principal part of the press work. Mr. Ed Crane, another Edwardsville artist, is also there, helping to beautify New Douglas, in the capacity of a house and sign painter.

 

BURGLARY AT NEW DOUGLAS
Source: Alton Telegraph, February 1, 1900
Tuesday night Olive's store at New Douglas was burglarized. This morning two men entered Edwardsville and raised a disturbance, and when City Marshal Barnsback attempted to arrest them, they whipped out two brand new Colt's revolvers and struck the marshal on the head. They then started in the direction of Glen Carbon. At that place they were headed off by a crowd of people. One succeeded in getting away. The other was captured by Night Policeman Moriarty, and he placed the prisoner in the keeping of a man named Webber. While Webber was holding the desperado, a blast of wind blew the policeman's hat off, and in an effort to catch his hat, his hold was loosened on the prisoner, when the latter suddenly pulled a Colt's revolver from his pocket and brandished it in the faces of the men surrounding him, and made a dash for liberty, escaping from his captors. Chase was immediately given. The country was being scoured in all directions for the men. It is believed that these two desperados were the men who burglarized Olive's store at New Douglas, and that the weapons were taken from the store. They were too heavily armed for their captors to hold. At the time City Marshal Barnsback arrested the two men in that town, he had not heard of the burglary at New Douglas, but made the arrest for a disturbance in the county seat.

 

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