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Upper Alton, Illinois, Newspaper Clippings

Madison County ILGenWeb Coordinator - Beverly Bauser





Source: Alton Telegraph, March 30, 1836
The subscribers would respectfully inform the public that they have recently opened a Livery Stable at the west end of Seminary on College Street in Upper Alton, where they will keep constantly on hand horses, saddles and carriages; horses will also be kept on reasonable terms, and they hope by a careful attention to the accommodation of the public to receive a share of its patronage. J. S. Nutter and J. L. Bingham. Upper Alton, March 18, 1836.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 9, 1836
Below we give the proceedings of a meeting of the Young Men of Upper Alton, held for the purpose of forming a Lyceum. In another place also will be seen a notice of the proceedings of the Young Men of Alton in relation to a similar object. These things speak well for the present and future welfare of the two towns. We cordially approbate this effort of the young men of Upper Alton, and trust they will enter upon the undertaking with that determination to persevere, which is certain to ensure success.

"Thursday Evening, October 20, 1836. Agreeably to a previous notice, the Young Men of Upper Alton convened at the Seminary Hall for the purpose of forming a Lyceum. Meeting was organized by the appointment of the Rev. Mr. Lovejoy, Chairman, and Mr. Zenas B. Newman, Clerk. After prayer by the Chairman, the business being stated by W. L. Sloss, Esq., the following persons, namely: W. L. Sloss, Esq., G. Smith Esq., J. C. Martyn, M. D., Mr. Richard Randle, and Z. B. Newman, were appointed to draft a Constitution. Voted to adjourn till Thursday evening next to this place, for the purpose of adopting the Constitution, and transacting such other business as may be requisite to secure the object of the Association. By order of the meeting, Zenas B. Newman, Clerk."


(From the "Western Pioneer," May 12)
Source: Alton Telegraph, May 17, 1837
"This is a proud day for Alton," would have been the declaration of one whose eyes were directed to the evidence of prosperity, merely, which was exhibited by the celebration in Upper Alton on Monday last. And there was enough to elicit the remark. For instance, if anyone had visited Alton in 1829, and had wandered over all the hills and ravines and valleys and plains that are now occupied by its various portions and suburbs, and numbered the people, he might have found some twenty families, it may be, of all descriptions. Previously to that time, indeed, Upper Alton had contained many more, but litigated titles had ___ and wasted it, and that it is believed our statement is nearly accurate. On Monday, May 8th, 1837, a portion of the children were collected together by invitation, and a procession is seen stretching along the street for a quarter of a mile, including between five and six hundred of our youthful population.

But our thoughts ran in a somewhat different channel. The feeling was, "What a happy day for Alton." The procession was formed, not for the purpose of training men to _____, nor to excite unholy ___tion or pride or vanity. It was to "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers;" and thus, not only avert the threatened cures, but bring down a rich and lasting blessing, according to the promise of God.

Agreeable to previous arrangement among the conductors of the several Sabbath schools in Upper Alton, Monday last was observed as a Sunday school celebration. Invitation had been given to the Sabbath schools of Alton to attend, as ____ practicable, though from the shortness of the notice and the difficulty of conveyance, it was found that few, besides teachers, could be present. The day was a delightful one. At half past nine the three schools met at their respective churches, and were brought together at the Methodist meeting house at a common __________. Here they were joined by members of the schools from Alton, of whom it was pleasant to see more than 160; only a small part of the whole indeed, but more than had been expected.

At ten o'clock, the signal was given by the bell of the Presbyterian church, and the schools were formed under their respective and appropriate banners, each school attended by its superintendent and teachers; the whole preceded by the President and Master of Ceremonies of the day, immediately after whom came the speakers of the day and other ministers, and then the Bible Class of Professor Leverett.

The procession was led, under the direction of Major Moore, Dr. Long and Mr. Sterns, who cheerfully acted as marshals of the day, through several streets to the Baptist church, where they listened with evident interest to several addresses, and united in singing several hymns, selected for the occasion. Although the house was crowded by children, leaving room for few who were not directly connected with the schools even to stand, yet good order prevailed, and the impression was most _____. It would be improper to omit entirely the order of the exercises in the house. After some remarks from the President of the day, Rev. John Hogan, delivered in his happiest manner, an appropriate prayer was offered by Rev. Mr. Rodgers, after which Professor Newman and Rev. Messrs. Howard and Spaulding each spoke with animation and effect. Rev. Mr. Ives excused himself on account of the length of the exercises.

After the final hymn, the procession was again formed and the whole company was marched a short distance, where under an awning a table had been spread with abundant but simple refreshments for the whole company. This part of the service was performed under the direction and by the hands of the ladies, with the assistance of several gentlemen who planted around the whole exterior of the hollow square a grove of dogwood, redbud and plum bushes, in full bloom. The scene was beautiful.

At the table, the cakes, the raisins &c. disappeared with no small rapidity, and several students of the college and others were kept actively employed in furnishing the simple, healthful beverage which God has supplied to quench the thirst, and no other was desired.

When the young guests had all been sufficiently regaled, the schools were conducted to the college square, where the President of the day, after a few well timed commendations, dismissed the whole to return to their houses, to think on the events of the day, to feel that their teachers loved them, and wished to see them happy, and to tell in future days of the first Sunday school celebration in Upper Alton. It may be added that the individuals who, in 1819, only two miles from the present scene, made the first little attempt at Sunday school instruction in Illinois, and he, who in 1820, made the second and more enlarged and successful effort in this place, were present and actors on this occasion, when five hundred and fifty scholars were collected together.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 16, 1838
Combined attraction! Menagerie and circus, under the direction of H. H. Woodward & Co. will be exhibited at Lebanon on Friday, May 10; at Belleville on Saturday, May 19; at Collinsville on Monday, May 21; at Edwardsville on Tuesday, May 22; at Upper Alton on Wednesday and Thursday, May 23 and 24; at Carlinville on Saturday, May 26; and at Carrollton on Monday, May 28. A military band accompanies the exhibition, which will announce their arrival by playing some of the most popular National Airs, &c. The proprietor have united their extensive menagerie and equestrian circus company for this season, and in offering this to the public for exhibition, are determined to give such a variety of entertainments as cannot fail to meet the approbation of all classes of the community. To effect this, they have engaged some of the most talented and celebrated equestrian and gymnastic performers, which together with their fine collection of living animals, will afford a very rich and rare treat to the Naturalists and lover of equestrian and gymnastic exercises. Among the animals are the following: A full grown female elephant; royal tiger; Arabian dromedary; spotted hyena; Brazilian tiger or Jaguar; three leopards in one cage; a pair of panthers; Asiatic lion; African zebra; Peruvian llama; and a variety of monkeys. Mr. Lewis, the Keeper, will enter the lion's and the leopards' cages at the hours of three and eight o'clock, p.m. The entertainments will commence with the animals; directly after which performance the equestrians will make their appearance, mounted on their fine and highly-trained stud of horses, and will introduce their wonderful feats of horsemanship with a grand entree. In the course of their performance, they will exhibit a variety of pleasing and laughable scenes, most celebrated in their profession. Admittance 50 cents; children under 10 years of age, half price.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 4, 1842
The publishers of this paper were, a few days since, presented with a handsome pitcher and cream pot, from the stone and ___, then ware manufactory in Upper Alton. Although made of common stone, they are very neat and smooth, and reflect great credit upon the skill and ingenuity of Mr. Crockston, a young Englishman, regularly brought up to the business, who has recently connected himself with Mr. James Harrison's old establishment, with a view to superintend this important branch of domestic manufactures. We understand that he will shortly be joined by his father and other connections now in England; upon whose arrival their present business will be extended so as to embrace the making of ware of all kinds, the finest included. Pipe-clay, of a superior quality, together with the different materials used in the manufacture of ware, are found in great abundance within a mile or two of this city, and we hope the time is not far distant when dinner and teapots, _____ enough to be placed on the table of any citizen of Illinois, will be manufactured in ____ neighborhood.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 4, 1848
We learn that a Banded Lynx, or American Tiger Cat, was shot some days since in the forks of the Wood River, three miles from Upper Alton, by Mr. Stephen Woolridge. It was a female of a light black color, slightly mingled with white, ears erect and tipped with a long pencil of black hair, and powerful claws. This animal was 16 inches high and measured three feet in length. Its remains are in the office of Dr. F. Humbert, Upper Alton.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 25, 1901
In 1838, the Illinois Conference, which then included the entire State, met in the Methodist Church in Upper Alton. At the same time, a camp meeting was held in a grove near a good spring of water, between Upper Alton and Middle Alton. On Sunday there were multitudes present. How many there were from Upper Town, and Middletown, and Sempletown, and Lower Town and Hunterstown - no man knows. And they were there from the American Bottoms, and from Edwardsville, and Liberty Prairie and Rattan's Prairie, and Smooth Prairie (there was no Bethalto or Fosterburg then), and from Brown's Prairie and Brighton, and from Scarritt's Prairie and the regions of Jersey county and Macoupin county, and roundabout. Steamboat men from the rivers were there. A steamboat load of people from St. Louis was there. Travelers, speculators, adventurers, besides the dozens of preachers were there. After dinner on Sunday, a half-dozen persons, men and women, began promenading. There was a space perhaps of twenty-five feet all around the seats and pulpit inside of the camp. The numbers of promenaders increased as they walked on until there were dozens, scores, a multitude walking, talking, laughing, and many of the men smoking. A horn blew for the congregation to assemble for worship, which many did. A second horn blew for services to begin, but the marchers marched on. Peter Cartwright read the hymn, then gave it out two lines at a time (hymn books were scarce on this continent sixty-three years ago), and it was sung. Prayer was offered and another hymn was sung, and Peter Cartwright rose to announce his text. The promenaders were still walking and laughing and smoking. They were having a good time, and were swinging round the circle as though they cared neither for the pulpit, the worshiping people, or the consequences. Mr. Cartwright stood and eyed them a moment and then suddenly he cried out: "Every man that hasn't a sore head will take his hat off." Instantly every head was uncovered and everybody was laughing. He next said: "Every gentleman," with emphasis on the word gentlemen, "will find a seat." Then the male dissolved. Hot haste was made to gain seats, and to escape the public eye. Ridicule and sarcasm were terrible weapons in the hands of Peter Cartwright, and he did not hesitate when they were needed to use them. In two minutes, he had everybody seated, announced his text and preached.

[NOTE: Peter Cartwright, the legendary backwoods preacher (1785-1872), was largely responsible for the rapid growth of Methodism in the Ohio River and Mississippi River valleys. He helped start the Second Great Awakening, personally baptizing twelve thousand converts. Opposed to slavery, Cartwright moved from Kentucky to Illinois, and was elected to the lower house of the Illinois General Assembly in 1828 and 1832. In 1846 Abraham Lincoln defeated Cartwright for a seat in the United States Congress. As a Methodist circuit rider, Cartwright rode circuits in Kentucky and Illinois, as well as Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio. His autobiography in 1856 made him nationally prominent.]


Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections, February 8, 1839
Notice: At the next regular meeting of the Upper Alton Lyceum, to be held on Tuesday evening, February 11, at the Seminary Hall, the following question, by order of the Society, will come up for debate: "Has Congress power to abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia, without the consent of the inhabitants thereof?" Gentlemen and ladies are respectfully invited to attend. M. H. Abbott, Sec. pro tem. Upper Alton, February 8, 1839.


Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Advertisement, 1840?
Attention!! Whigs! Democrats!! and Conservatives!!! All who want to put their horses in a good English grass pasture, can be accommodated by applying to the subscriber in Upper Alton; or to James Strong at the Buck Inn, near where the pasture is situated. There is first rate feed, and a stream of pure water running through the lot. N. B. - There has been nothing pastured on the lot this season; and the lot contains 40 acres. The fence is good - and great care will be taken to prevent escapes and accidents, but will not be responsible for either. Price per week, 37 cents; or $1.50 per month - payable when taken out. L. S. Wells.


Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections, April 17, 1840
Notice!! Taken from the subscriber on the night of April 16th at Nutter's Tavern, in Upper Alton, a calfskin pocket book, containing various notes and receipts, but no money, to wit: A receipt given by J. H. Randle, J. P., for notes left with him for collection; one given by Julius L. Barnsback, J. P., for the same purpose; one given by Thomas Rattan, J. P., for the same object; one on Lott, J. P., for the like purpose; and one on Isom Cranfield, J. P., for the same: all in favor of C. N. Henderson, except that of Cranfield, which is given in favor of the undersigned. Also, a note on Samuel Sanner for $128; one on John Irvine for 27 or $29; and one on C. N. Henderson, payable to William H. Hungerford, for $403.30; and various other small notes and other papers not recollected. The above-named Justices are hereby notified not to pay any money on their respective receipts; as also those persons whose notes are here mentioned, to disregard any holder of them until further orders, as they have never been assigned; and that they were feloniously taken from my possession. Any person finding said pocket book, who will leave the same, with the contents, in the hands of J. H. Randle, Esq. in Upper Alton, shall be suitably rewarded. William H. Hungerford, April 17, 1840.


Source: The Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, April 1841
Farmers - - - Look Here. Wool Carding! The undersigned wishes to inform the public in general, that he is now establishing himself in the above business, in the town of Upper Alton, And will, in a few weeks, be ready to manufacture wool into rolls. From his long experience, having his machines in complete order, clothed with a set of the best quality of Eastern Cards, together with his paying strict attention to the business, he hopes to merit and receive a liberal share of public patronage. He warrants all work entrusted to his care, to be done with neatness and dispatch, and equal to any in the western country, or no charge. Persons from a considerable distance, by staying over night, may depend on having their rolls home with them. The wool must be well washed, and picked clean of burs and trash, with one pound of clean grease with every seven pounds of wool. Being a stranger, and wishing to establish himself permanently, he solicits the farmers generally to call and see his work before going farther. His prices will be reasonable, and terms good. April, 1841. J. A. Montgomery.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 2, 1841
Sir, Believing that you feel deeply interested in the Temperance reformation now going on in our country, and more especially in the Altons and vicinity, I hope you will permit, through your columns, to present to the public some of the operations of the Washington Temperance Society in this place. It is a fact, sir, and I am happy to be able to make the statement, that there are but very few men in Upper Alton who have not subscribed their names to the pledge of said society, and are not strictly living up to the obligations under which they have brought themselves (I mean such as were not members of other Temperance societies); and what, sir, has been the result? Why, reason has resumed its throne in the mind; and men who were not long since entangled in the close-wrought meshes of intemperance, have become redeemed and disenthralled, and are walking erect in the dignity of their nature, testifying to all who behold them that man can and will be free. And more than this, the heart of the loving wife and tender mother is once more clinging with confidence around the regenerated affections of the husband and father; the domestic hearth has again become a delightsome place, where tender sympathies and affections have taken the place of the dark-growling murmur of the intoxicated husband, and the heart-broken sigh of the neglected and desponding wife; the transparent flash of the very significant mode of the striped pig, has ceased to present any charms to those men; the twelve o'clock flicker of the grocery lamp no longer sends forth its pale light in our streets; all is peace and harmony.

And this is not all, sir. These men are not content with the peace they thus enjoy; they are not willing to enjoy it alone; they are determined that their fellow men, who are so unfortunate as to be laboring under the same dreadful disease, shall have the same remedy applied, and that if anything they can do or say will be the means of reclaiming them, they are willing to undergo almost anything for that purpose. And, sir, these gentlemen, instead of being now found reveling round the grog shop at the late hour of twelve o'clock at night, are found sometimes fifteen or twenty miles from Alton, making some of the most impassioned and thrilling appeals to their fellow men, persuading them to refrain from that which is ruining them and beggaring their families. Nor is all this uncalled for. The Macedonian cry of "come over and help us," is pouring in upon them from almost every quarter; request after request is presented to them, and sir, you have never seen a more willing set of men to attend to such requests. They go around forming societies, and through their instrumentality are doing much good. Their last meeting was at Ompghent in this county. Seven delegates from the Upper Alton Washington Temperance Society attended by request. Mr. Frederick Hanchy was called to the chair, and Samuel L. Miller, Esq., appointed Secretary. After the delegates had severally addressed the meeting, some giving the plain and unvarnished narrative of their sufferings and infatuation under the influence of King Alcohol, others making the most solemn appeals to the better feelings of their fellow men, contrasting in vivid colors the difference between their present feelings while sober, and their past feelings while under the influence of intoxication, twenty-seven persons signed the pledge at this meeting. Thus, sir, they are drying up the channels of intemperance, happifying families and neighborhoods, treating every man with respect and kindness and doing good to all as they have opportunity. ~Signed, A Friend to Temperance, Upper Alton, September 15, 1841


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 16, 1842
At a meeting of the citizens of Upper Alton, holden at the brick schoolhouse in said town, on Wednesday evening, April 6, A. D. 1842, for the purpose of taking into consideration the unequal bearing of the administration of the Road law - as ordered by the County Commissioners of Madison County. Elias Hibbard, Esq., was called to the chair, and R. R. Randle, appointed Secretary. The objects of the meeting were then fully made known by Mr. Peter Merrill. On motion, it was voted that a committee of three be appointed by the Chair, to draft and report resolutions expressive of the sense of this meeting. Whereupon, the Chair appointed Peter Merrill, Josiah Little, and John A. Maxey, said committee. The committee, after due deliberation, reported the following:

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this meeting, the County Commissioners' Court, in the exercise of the discretion and power, which a just and wise law of the Legislature has given them, to assess a tax of ten cents on a hundred dollars on all the real and personal property of the county, in their neglect or refusal to tax the same, have disregarded the best interests of a large majority of the people in the county; inasmuch as a large proportion of the property that is benefited and enhanced in value by the labor done on the roads, is held by non-residents, and by residents over fifty years of age, who pay no tax in labor or money for the benefit of the same.

Resolved, That the order of the County Commissioners' Court of March last, which makes no distinction in its requisition of labor, between the poor man, who is destitute of property, and surrounded by a large family, dependent on the labor of his hands for their support, and the rich man, who is surrounded by property, luxury, and ease, is in its operation, oppressive to the poor and feeble, and is unjust and unwise.

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this meeting, each individual over the age of twenty-one and under the age of fifty years, without regard to property, should be required to perform one day's labor on the road, and that the other necessary expense to keep the roads in good repair should be assessed on property; and that the County Commissions' Court be requested to so alter their order at the June term, if practicable, as to comply with the above principle of taxation.

Resolved, That, as the right of suffrage was conferred upon freemen for the purpose of self-protection, we, therefore, pledge ourselves to support no man for office at the ensuing August election who will not give an unequivocal pledges that he will carry out, if elected, the principles of the foregoing resolutions.

Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the President and Secretary, and that the same be published in the Telegraph, and a copy delivered to the Clerk of the County Commissioners' Court of Madison County. Signed by Elias Hibbard, Chairman; R. R. Randle, Secretary.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 7, 1843
John Cooper of Upper Alton lost a corn crib, with a large amount of corn, by fire, on the evening of the 4th last. No insurance.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 21, 1844
Messrs. Editors: Would you confer an act of kindness on the public by calling the attention of the proper authorities, the Common Council, County Commissioners, or the corporation of Upper Alton, to a bridge on the line between Middletown and the last named place. It is really in an awful condition. The culvert, a few rods toward Upper Alton, being very fearful to look at, having a chasm about twelve feet deep, and nothing to prevent passers on from falling into it. Signed by X. Y.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 28, 1844
The subscriber respectfully informs the public that he will be ready by the 1st of October next, to slaughter beef and swine, by the 10th of November following - all done in the best manner and at the shortest notice possible, every day in the week, the Sabbath excepted. He will have in his employment steady and temperate hands, who have had much experience in the above business, and will neglect nothing in his power to give entire satisfaction to his customers. The establishment will be found in the graded road leading from Upper Alton to Middletown, near the subscriber's present residence. All he asks of the public is to give him a fair trial. Signed by Thomas Stanton.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 11, 1846
In the early part of October 1844, a person calling himself James Seixas came to this place, and remained in this town and vicinity about five months. He said his residence was in New York City, which he left early in the spring to travel for his health, and that he had spent the last three or four months in St. Louis, Missouri. His pretensions were unrivaled scholarship in the Hebrew language (acknowledged by the great Grsenius [sic] second only to himself), and unparalleled skill and patronage in teaching in it for 10 or 12 years - extensive knowledge also of Greek, Latin, French, German, &c - a vast fund of general information, obtained by extensive travels during the last two years in Europe, Asis, the United States, &c., an extensive acquaintance with the Literati of the Eastern and Middle States, Ohio, and some of the Southern States, especially with the clergy of several denominations, a professorship of Hebrew in the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, the possession of an estate in Brooklyn, New York worth $80,000 or more, and a large share in a mercantile house conducted by his two brothers in Pearl Street, New York City, eminent piety and membership in a Presbyterian Church in New York City, a deep concern for the promotion of religion and education, donations to several benevolent societies for several years, still continued, to the amount annually of $4,000, &c.

His real character, as developed while here and ascertained by the undersigned before and after he left, was a compound of eccentricity - extreme vanity of his knowledge of Hebrew and of his scarcely mere smattering of some other languages, a ready, ostentatious and ingenious use of his general information, impoliteness, censoriousness, bold and ingenious lying, base hypocrisy, artful deception, adroit and brazen-faced villainy and lewdness, and vile seduction, &c. He declared his age to be but 30 years, though it was probably 40 or more. His height is about 5 feet 8 inches, of large, muscular frame, very plainly clothed while here, excepting when he wore borrowed articles of dress. When he left this place, he wore a snuff-colored frock coat, nearly new, a fur cap, and some other articles not belonging to him.

After repeated efforts to gain the affections of young females, connected with promises of marriage, he finally succeeded in seducing a virtuous and unsuspecting young lady of 15 years of age, the circumstances and result of which are too painful to be made public. The subscribers consider it their duty, though at this late day, in order to guard the public against his wily impositions and deception, to expose thus publicly this lying and deceitful villain, imposter, and seducer, especially as he is said now to be in this region. Abundant facts to prove the foregoing charges may be obtained from the undersigned. Signed by Ebenezer Rodgers, Adiel Sherwood, Washington Leverett, Benjamin F. Long, H. A. Gardiner, Warren Leverett, and Isaac Long (of Woodburn). from Upper Alton.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 1, 1848
We took occasion, in one of our late numbers, to observe that the Upper Alton steam mill had been put in complete order, and was grinding daily from 250 to 300 bushels of wheat. Since then, we have procured a barrel of its flour, manufactured by the present leasees, Messrs. Hewit & Co., and can safely say that it equals the best brands in our market, which, it is well known, cannot be surpassed anywhere. Messrs. Lea, Brown & Co.’s new steam mill in Alton commenced grinding some days since, and works admirable, and although we have not yet tried its flour, we are persuaded it is not inferior to any manufactured in this or any other State.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 7, 1848
We had the gratification on Saturday afternoon of witnessing the raising of a Taylor pole in the public square of Upper Alton, by the indomitable and patriotic Whigs of that place. Although but few of the persons present on this interesting occasion had previously had any practical acquaintance with such matters, and some little delay consequently occurred before the object in view could be carried into full effect, yet energy and perseverance triumphed over every obstacle, and the pole was raised and secured in its proper position without the least accident. It is a beautiful ash, full ninety feet above the ground, and almost perfectly straight. The moment the ceremony was completed, and a large and handsome flag, denoting the perfect unity now prevailing among the Whigs, displayed its graceful and ample folds from the top, the loud and hearty cheers which burst from the lips of the crowd gave a full assurance that all is right in this quarter, and that the people of “Old Madison” will discharge their whole duty to the State and to the Union on the first Tuesday of November next.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 1, 1848
Upper Alton celebrated, on Tuesday last, the glorious triumph recently achieved by the American people over the office holders, in a manner equally creditable to themselves, and honorable to the great and victorious party to which they belong. They displayed their joy at the glorious result of the late election, of their unwavering confidence in the incorruptible honesty and disinterested patriotism of Zachary Taylor, the President elect, and his worthy second, Millard Fillmore. Among others, Shurtleff College, from its commanding position and great size, presented a magnificent spectacle. Every window in the vast edifice, as well as the belfry, was very tastefully illuminated, with the exception of one, which was left partially darkened out of respect to the feelings of an occupant of the room to which it belongs, who, happens to sympathize with one or the other branch of the defeated party. Among the private dwellings, in which was witnessed this evidence of the general gratification, was one belonging to a worthy gentleman, whose present misfortune it is to have voted against General Taylor at the late election, but whose estimable lady, being a good Whig, “assumed the responsibility” of lighting up the windows of that part of their residence over which she claims exclusive jurisdiction. We cannot resist the hope that, inasmuch as the better half of the excellent couple referred to already belongs to the true faith, the conversion of the other cannot be far distant.

Besides the general illumination, there was a beautiful display of fireworks, a large bonfire on the public square, and a number of splendid transparencies, one of which, erected in front of Captain Starks’ store, attracted much notice, as well on account of its fine proportions, as of its appropriate and significant inscription, which was in the following words: “General Zachary Taylor, President elect of the United States, and after the 4th of March next, Commander In Chief of the Army and Navy – to whom the combined forces under General Cass and the Arch Magician, with their 200,000 office holders, were compelled to surrender on the 7th of November, 1848, under the most painful circumstances, and amidst great noise and confusion.” The evening passed off to the unmingled satisfaction of all.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 28, 1849
The Methodist Congregation of Upper Alton are now engaged in building a beautiful brick church. The dimensions of the building are 40 x 50 feet, and it is to be completed in good style and surmounted by a tower. When finished, this will be a great benefit in the society erecting it, as well as an ornament to the town.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 27, 1850
The following letter, from a young man in California to his parents in Upper Alton, has been politely furnished us for publication. It will be read with interest by many of our subscribers:

Yuba River, California, July 7, 1850
Dear Parents:
“When I last wrote to you, it was from Morman Island, and I wrote in haste. Consequently, the letter was somewhat devoid of interest, but now I have more time, I will try to give you a good letter. I told you in my last that I would be able to make from 12 to 16 dollars per day, but my partner fell sick, and having to divide with him, I did not make quite so much. However, I worked on until the 7th of June, when we packed up and started for Sacramento, determined to get to the head of this river before we stopped. But when we went to purchase some new articles at Sacramento, my partner found out that I was no longer a partner, altered his mind, and went to San Francisco to go into the hospital, and on the morning of the 10th, I started for Marysville, which I reached on the same evening. I remained there all night, and found out that E. had gone up to the forks, so next morning I put my baggage onboard a wagon bound to Foster’s Bay, 40 miles on the road, for which I had to pay 12 cents per pound. It took us four days to make the trip. When I arrived there, I concluded to rest a couple of days, and next day after my arrival I took a stroll up the banks of the river, and found a crack in the rock, which I thought must have some gold in it.

Next morning, I took my pan and spoon, and got 32 pans of dirt out, which gave me 25 ¼ dollars, but I could find no other cracks, so started on the third day for the forks, my bundle carried on a mule for which I paid 25 cents per pound. It was noon when we started, and that night we slept in Oak Valley. Next day at twelve, we passed this place, and at four in the afternoon we arrived at the forks. This was the destination of every person coming to California, to reach the forks of the Yuba, but when I came to look around, I found that I had got into the wrong box, for every piece of land was claimed, and although I was in the richest part of all California, I could not get a particle of gold. However, I commenced looking for brother E. My first camp on the search was up the north fork, I went to the head of it, over a road impassable for a mountain goat, until the snow was 20 or 30 feet deep. Then I knew he was not above that. The next tramp was up the middle fork, but as it is short, I did not take my blankets, but returned the same night with the same success as before. Next I went up the south fork, 14 miles, when I was informed that he was not above that point, so I returned to my camp quite disappointed, for I supposed he had gone across to Deer Creek, But on Sunday, as I was cooking my breakfast, I happened to look down the hill towards the path, and who should I see but E. himself, trudging along, looking earnestly at me, but he did not recognize me, for my face has been innocent of a razor since I left Pan____, but I spoke and he came up, and in the evening I came with him down here, and saw John and Fuller Rodgers, who are in partnership with him. I stayed all night in their tent, and next morning saw Dibble, the clock man, from whom I purchased a claim in a mining company, together with a bank claim, for the sum of 350 dollars. Ellis went with me up after my goods, and at 4 o’clock I was an inmate of this tent, having Fuller Rodgers as my bedmate. Ellis is camped about a mile below; he and I are partners. He has claims in four different mining companies, and in one has two claims, that is, he, John, and Fuller Rodgers, and a man named Gwin, were in partnership, when I came here. Together they own four claims in as many dams. I purchased a claim in one of the same dams, and agreed with Ellis to divide our piles, so that he and I have interests in five claims in four different dams. With them each, one works in a separate dam, while Fuller and myself representing two claims work together. You may think that I paid a big price for my claim, but I did not, for Dibble had more than he was entitled to, and he was afraid someone would jump one of his claims. On the fourth of this month, one of the company sold half of his claim for the same amount that I paid for all of mine. We do not know how our dam will turn out. There is some gold on the top of the bar, but we have not yet got it drained. On the bank on the east side, the dirt pays 1 ounce to 30 buckets, on a level with the water, but gets richer as it goes down, the majority of the gold laying just upon the bedrock, but how far down the bedrock is, we do not yet know.

It is considered favorable when the rock is deep, and it is deep enough here. The company think they can make two ounces per day while at work in the race, for the bar is low, one of two feet under water, and has to be wing dammed in order to cut the race, it being cut, we turn the river in, and then work the bed of the river, reserving the haul for winter work. On two of the other dams, there is an equal division among the company, but in one, the boys have the second claim coming from the upper end, which is always the best claim, being out of the way of the dam, and holding a good deal of gold, for all the gold on the bars is drift gold, until you come to the bedrock, when you have the original deposit.

But enough of this. You want to know about the boys. Bob Green and George Carr are upon Deer Creek, John Quick and Hamp. Miller are on Weaver Creek, a branch of the American River. They are six miles from Sutter’s Mills. Vaughn is five miles up the south fork of this river. Old Mr. Carr, the gardener, is working a bank claim three miles above here. He has good prospects. Wagner is in Sacramento, and that is all that I know about the boys. Why they have not oftener written, I cannot conjecture, unless it is they do not like to pay two dollars, which is the price of carrying a letter from the post office, for you must know that we are 140 miles from the nearest post office, and the letters are carried by an express, which goes monthly, so that it will be at least a month before I can get a letter.

I suppose my friends think I am neglecting them, but they must remember that when a man is working with a pick axe and crowbar all the week, he is not very capable of handling so small an article as a pen holder, for there is no part of mining that is very light. A laborer on the railroad or canal has an easy job in comparison, for when his day’s work is done, he goes to his supper, but we have to cook our supper before we can enjoy it, and even on Sundays we are not perfectly to ourselves, for on that day, our week’s provisions are laid in, and they have to be packed about a mile, and while I am about it, I will give you a price current of such articles as compose a miner’s necessaries: dried apples per lb. $1; butter $2; cheese $2; flour 25 cents; ham 80; fresh beef, 35; beans 70; salt 60, pilot bread, 50; molasses per bottle, $2.25; and everything else in proportion, and last March they were $1.50 per pound higher still. The implements of miner’s use are about at the same rates.

The price is caused first by the highness of wages, and next by the difficulty of transportation, the country being extremely mountainous in some parts the snow lies upon the road until July, and then again it winds around the sides of the mountains amongst rocks that hang over the water, where a single misstep would hurl one hundreds of feet into the boiling current below, for you must know that this river has an average current of about 12 miles an hour, and as there are some places that are moderately slow, the balance must run very fast. In some places it falls as much as 300 feet to the mile, and it is in the slow places that the gold congregates. I will send you a specimen of the gold as it is found in the top of claims, but it grows coarser as you go down. When we got a fair specimen of our bedrock gold, I will send you another, you can compare it with the Mormon Island specimen and see the difference. It is not so pretty as the Mormon gold, but it has the advantage of being more plenty. Up in the forks is considered the richest part of the country. There has been as much as 1,000 dollars taken out of a single bucket of dirt. It generally turns out about five dollars to the bucket, but you have to go about 20 feet deep to get it, and requires to keep a pump going all the time. The ground is all claimed. Our claim may turn out equally well when we get down, but I do not expect it to pay better than a dollar to the bucket.”     Signed, William.


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, June 4, 1852
We are glad to see that Upper Alton is up and doing. From all we can learn the road labor has never been of that advantage which its normal amount would lead the public to expect. The gentlemen who have been appointed to act for the citizens in that matter are energetic and practical business men, and we hope soon to be able to announce that the building of Plank Roads leading to Upper Alton, is in successful progress. Would it not be well for our citizens to turn their attention to building a Plank Road from this city [Alton] to Upper Alton (who will be the first to move in the matter)?


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, July 2, 1852
The customary anniversary of "St. John" was observed yesterday by the Masonic Society of Upper Alton, and many members of the Order, as invited guests, from this city [Alton]. A procession was formed at the Masonic Hall, numbering over 150 persons, and preceded by a band of music, marched to the Methodist church to listen to an address by Rev. W. F. Boyakin of Carrollton. We wish we had more room to enlarge upon the Address, than we have at this time. It was a complete thing, throughout. Many strong points were made in it, that were new and novel; so much so that we made a minute of them, but time and space forbid their publication (Oh! this publishing a morning paper, when all our best copy comes in at sundown!). His illustrations and anecdotes were very interesting and entertaining, and the historical knowledge evinced by the Orator, in making so good a case for the order, as regards its origin, its great age, and its usefulness in the past, was most commendable. We have since learned that a move has been made, that this Address shall be printed. We hope, considering it as a fine literary and historical production, that the information is correct. After the Address, the procession formed, of members of the Order, ladies, and invited guests, and marched to an adjacent grove, where an elegant repast was in waiting. We are informed that over 300 persons sat down to the tables, and that everything passed off harmoniously and to the satisfaction of all.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 3, 1852
Two sons of Elder Edward Rodgers, two sons of Mr. J. M. Elwell, and a nephew of G. Smith, Esq., all of Upper Alton, returned home from California on Friday evening, to the great joy of their parents and relatives. We are much gratified to learn that the adventurous youths are in good health, and have been pretty successful, but we have not yet had the pleasure of seeing either of them.


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, October 14, 1853
We notice in Saturday's Telegraph an account of the Annual Hunt, of the sportsmen of Upper Alton, which took place last Thursday. Two parties were organized of twenty-five hunters each, and the defeated party was to give a barbecue and ball to the victors - one party commanded by Capt. Stocker, the other by Capt. Carr. Capt. Stocker's company was victorious, their game counting 730; while Capt. Carr's company only counted 536. It is proper to state, however, that several who were chosen on the latter side did not attend. The barbecue and ball took place last Friday, and went off in good style.


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, April 13, 1854
A horse and valuable quilted Spanish saddle were stolen from the stable of Dr. John James, of Upper Alton, on Thursday night. The villains take advantage of the absence of officers, who are attending Court, as they have a better chance to get the start. They are evidently masters of the art, as none but those hardened in crime could exercise so much apparent forethought. We say they, because other horses have recently been stolen from this vicinity, and the thieves have made good their escape. An organized gang is probably operating among us, and we would recommend organized efforts to detect them.


Source: Alton Weekly Courier, August 24, 1854
Several sudden deaths have occurred at Upper Alton within the past few days. We have reason to believe that some of the deaths were from cholera. The family of Robert Dunlap, Esq., has been deeply afflicted. First the wife and mother died; next a nephew residing in the family; next a child; and next a young lady who had a home with them. Another child was quite low yesterday, and the father has been seriously sick. Four deaths in one family, in less than a week, is a fearful mortality. Such times as these are a severe test of the friendship of relatives and neighbors, and those who shrink not from the calls of humanity under such circumstances may be counted as friends indeed.


Source: Syracuse, New York Daily Courier, December 1, 1857
The Alton, Ill., Democrat gives an account of an elopement at Upper Alton, which terminated rather seriously. A young man (name not given,) from northern Illinois, won the heart of a young lady by the name of Carter, in that city, against the will of her friends. She got into the buggy, and they were driving away to the nearest magistrate, when the father started in pursuit on horseback, and soon overtook the couple. The young lady jumped out. The father leveled a. shooting iron at the young man, who raised his foot and arm to shield his face. The contents of the gun or pistol passed through the foot into the wrist, and a part of the loading entered the right eye of the young man, below the pupil. A shot passed to the depth of a couple of inches and has not yet been removed. No legal steps have been taken in the matter, and the young man refuses to arrest the old gentleman.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 7, 1862
This morning, the horses of the Upper Alton Bus took fright and started from the Post Office, touring down Belle Street. The bus struck Dr. McCheancy’s buggy, which was standing at his office door, tearing it away from the horse which was hitched there, and carried it a few yards down the street, when one of the horses brought up on his back. No serious damage was done, except to the buggy and harness.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 12, 1862
Last night between two and three o’clock, the residence of F. Howl, in Upper Alton, was discovered to be on fire. The fire was supposed to have originated in the woodshed adjoining the residence, and must have been the work of an incendiary, as there was no fire in that part of the building. The house was a total loss, as was the principal part of the furniture. The piano, safe, and a few other articles being the only things saved. The flames spread so rapidly that Mr. Howl’s hired man came near smothering in the flames and only made his escape through a window. The house was worth about $3,000, the furniture &c. about 3,000. The furniture was insured for about $100, and the house for $2,000.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 23, 1865
We visited the premises of the oil well in Upper Alton yesterday, in company with Messrs. C. W. Dimmock, Alex Milne, John C. Simpson, A. N. Hill, J. A. Cooley, Dr. W. C. Pierce, Colonel J. N. Morgan, and Lieutenant P. White, of the company; Mr. W. A. Thompson of the Missouri Democrat; and W. T. Dowdall of the Alton Democrat.

Upon arriving at the well, we found the machinery hard to work. Two men were busily engaged – one in tending the drill and gradually lengthening the rope as the ponderous steel shaft penetrated the bowels of the earth, while the other did the firing, blacksmithing, and general superintendence of the work. The well is situated in a ravine in the northern suburbs of the town, about twenty feet from an old coal shaft. Some months ago, a substance was discovered upon the surface of the water in this shaft, and upon an analysis being made by Professor E. Marsh of Shurtleff College, he pronounced it petroleum. The Cahokia, Alton and St. Louis Petroleum and Mining Company immediately made arrangements to bore for oil. They have but just got fairly to work, and while we were there, by measurement, had reached the depth of 41 feet.

The character of the geological formation gone through so far, as kept by the foreman of the work, Mr. B. A. Gates, is as follows: 1st limestone, 6 inches; 2nd slate and fireclay, 4 feet; 3rd coal, 10 inches; 4th hard clay, 26 feet; 5th blue limestone, 6 feet.

The drill is worked by a huge walking beam, attached to an eight-horsepower steam engine. A two-inch cable, wound up on a large reel, is attached to the drill, which is lowered by pulleys at the top of the derrick to the depth attained. The cable is then attached to a screw some three feet long, at the end of the walking beam, drawn taut, and all is ready for work. The engine starts, lifts the drill about three feet, dropping it again immediately, and so goes at a rate of forty strokes a minute. The drill used cuts a hole four- and one-half inches in diameter. After drilling a certain length of time, the drill is taken out, and an instrument called a sand pump is inserted. At the lower end of the pump is a valve, which receives and retains the sand and water. This is repeatedly put into the well until the way is clear, when down goes the drill again. This course of drilling will be kept up until the regions of petroleum are reached, if they can be reached on that line. All connected with the enterprise are sanguine of success, and many of them have had experience in the early discoveries of oil wells in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia – some of the best of which were not so promising as this well now is.

The officers of the company are:
General J. T. Copeland, President
J. T. Rice, Vice-President
R. S. Cavandor, Secretary
D. C. Martin, Treasurer
Hon. George T. Brown, General Superintendent
J. A. Colley, General Agent
Levi Davis, Esq., Attorney

General J. T. Copeland, Hon. George T. Brown, D. C. Martin, R. S. Cavander, M. P. Breckinridge, J. T. Ride, J. A. Cooley, and A. N. Hill.

The property of the company consists of forty-two leasehold interests, none of them under twenty-five years, containing upwards of seven thousand acres, situated in Madison, Jersey, and Greene Counties, and lying on the Wood River [Creek], Coal Branch, Piasa Creek, and their tributaries, all near the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers; also, the St. Louis, Alton & Chicago Railroad, St. Louis, Alton & Terre Haute, Jacksonville, Alton & St. Louis Railroads. These lands have been carefully selected by A. N. Hill, Esq., who has had a large experience in selecting “oil” territory in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio, and are the first selected in this State. Since then, many persons of experience have been attracted to this vicinity, and it seems to be generally admitted by them that there are as good indications for oil as any undeveloped territory that has ever been examined.

The company sometime since employed that celebrated and widely-known geologist, Professor E. B. Andrews of Marietta College, Ohio, to survey their lands, and have received from him a very interesting and satisfactory report. The company feels highly encouraged by these reports, and all the indications around are favorable to the success of the enterprise.

Some two hours were spent in the inspection of the works, and the lateness of the hour precluded the idea of visiting the celebrated “blowing well,” of the same company, which it was at first the intention to do. Of this we will speak more fully hereafter. The party returned to the Alton House, where they partook of a most excellent dinner. The luxuries of the season were served up in the greatest profusions, and the souls of all were made glad by the sumptuous repast.

The observations of the day, and the indications of oil at the well, the old coal shaft, and in the creek – where the oil can be seen floating on the water, satisfied all present that the brightest prospects of success in the enterprise are almost sure to be realized. We cannot doubt the evidences which are plainly visible upon the premises. The genuine “smell” is perceptible, and we had our faith in the future developments of petroleum in Madison County much strengthened, and in fact, our doubts were almost dispelled in regard to the existence of Coal Oil in this vicinity. The gentlemen of the company deserve credit for being the first to embark in the enterprise of developing the wealth of our State and county, and we wish them the most abundant and profitable success. The attention of the public is already turning to this region as a coal oil locality, and it will not be a great while until we may expect to see other wells going down.

Mr. W. A. Thompson of the Missouri Democrat, who was present yesterday, says in his report of the prospects:

“Not many of our readers are aware that there is a great bore in the suburbs of Alton, our neighboring city, and that a large company is under organization having for its object the procurement of that fortune-making substance known as petroleum. But such is the fact. We have seen the pumps at work, and the great augur of oil has been lifted from the earth in our presence, proving beyond a doubt, if other facts were wanting, that the prospects for oil in Illinois are sufficiently flattering to induce the expenditure of money in searching for its resting place in the bowels of the land.”

In the county of Madison, some twelve miles from Alton on the Cahokia Creek, is situated what is called “the blowing or gas well.” Here, this company are sinking a shaft which has reached the depth of a little more than fifty feet. In this neighborhood there can be no doubt of the presence of oil, which is proven by the history of the locality. Some two years ago, a German named Brockman was digging a well on his place, and had penetrated to the depth of near ninety feet, determined to get water, if possible. One day, while one of his workmen was digging at the bottom of this well, his pick struck and penetrated a thin layer of slate, when a stream of gas rushed out and filled the well almost instantly, suffocating the man to death before he could give any sign of distress. The men above, observing the stench coming from the well, endeavored to approach near enough to succor the man at the bottom, but were driven away by the unbearable stench of the gas. After the lapse of a considerable time, the gas diminished sufficiently to induce one of the men to attempt the descent in a tub, but before he had reached halfway to the bottom, he gave a sign of distress and was hauled up insensible. Feeling it there duty to do all in their power to save the life of the person in the well, another man was induced to attempt the descent, but it resulted as the other, the second adventurer being drawn up in an insensible state. Finally, however, grappling hooks were let down and the body of the ill-fated man in the well was drawn up, life being entirely extinct. Then it was decided (in order to dispel the “foul air,” as these honest, but ignorant Germans termed the gas) to throw fire into the well, which was done. An immense jet of gas took fire and blazed out of the mouth of the well to the height of twenty or thirty feet. This was attended with a loud roaring sound, which was heard by persons hear half a mile away, continuing for more than a day, and shaking a brick house nearby like an earthquake. All the neighborhood became alarmed, and men gathered in and filled up the well, the gas continuing to escape after many feet of earth were thrown down. This narrative, in substance, comes to us from such variety of credible sources that we are constrained to endorse the statement.

After the purchase by the company of a lease of this ground, and the commencement of preparations for boring, a German lady, who lives in the house near the old well where the terrible scenes narrated were enacted, declared if they intended to open that dangerous pit again, she would take her children and leave the neighborhood. It was only through the most absolute guarantees of her personal safety that she was induced to remain. The shaft now being sunk is located at such a distance from the old well as to strike, if possible, the basin of oil, which, it is believed, was the origin of the gas that caused the trouble spoken of. This is in pursuance of the theory of Professor Andrews, who has furnished a drawing illustrative of the dip of the entire basin, which he believes is so shaped that, if properly tapped, will furnish a flow of oil without pumping, and also that, after exhausting a vast quantity of oil, another supply may be obtained by the application of pumps.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 28, 1865
We were shown specimens of petroleum, which were taken yesterday from the well of the Ohio and Mississippi Valley Petroleum and Mining Company, in Upper Alton. The well is now some sixty feet in depth, and the drill is passing through a vein of sandstone, which is thoroughly impregnated with the oil. The petroleum rises to the surface in quantities which are very encouraging to the company. The drill has already passed through about fourteen feet of the strats of this sandstone, which establishes the fact that the usual indications of petroleum are to be found in this vicinity. This, connected with the fact that good specimens of the real oil have been brought to the surface by each drawing of the sand pump, looks very favorable for the early striking of oil in paying quantities.

The company has thoroughly overhauled their machinery, and are now able to run the same at a great reduction of former expense. Everything under the management of Mr. Gates, an experienced workman, is progressing favorably and to the satisfaction of the company.

We are glad to see and hear of these evidences of the presence of petroleum in the bounds of the Prairie State, and shall not be surprised if we are able to chronicle in a short time, the fact that we have a flowing well in Alton. Success to the Ohio and Mississippi Valley Petroleum and Mining Company, say we.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 11, 1865
The incredulity of those who have doubted the existence of coal oil in this section of Illinois must now give way to the evidences of oil, as shown at the well known as the “Smith” well, near Upper Alton. The drill has penetrated 73 feet. After passing through 21 feet of sandstone, which was strongly impregnated with oil, and of which we made mention at the time, the drill struck a strata of fine white marble, which admits of a very beautiful polish. This marble strata proved to be some four feet in thickness. After passing through this, the drill struck into a soft, oily sandstone yesterday, and upon removing the drill this morning, the gas and odor was so strong as to make it very disagreeable working near the well. We have been shown portions of the sand rock, and the presence of petroleum is plainly perceptible. It is a well-established fact in boring for petroleum that where the sandstone is found, there is oil, and when, after passing through a strata of marble, sandstone of this variety is found, it is a sure indication that petroleum in paving quantities exists in that locality. Those of our readers who are at all skeptical in regard to the existence of pure petroleum at this well can easily satisfy themselves of the truth of the matter. The strongest indications of oil are to be seen, felt, and smelled at this well, and the company is justly jubilant over their bright prospects. The Superintendent of the boring, Mr. Gates, who has followed boring for oil for several years in Pennsylvania, and is a man of mature judgment and experience, has now the strongest faith in the prospect of striking oil in paying quantities. We are glad to chronicle the good fortune of the gentlemen composing the Ohio and Mississippi Petroleum and Mining Company, and they have our best wishes for a full realization of their brightest hopes. Hurrah for petroleum in Alton!


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 22, 1865
Our neighboring town of Upper Alton is awakening from her Rip Van Winkle sleep. Progress is the watchword. The “City Fathers” are putting down sidewalks on all the principal streets, new buildings are going up and old ones renovated. Numerous sales of real estate have been made within the last three months – more, probably, in that period than in the last five years. Enterprising citizens from St. Louis and elsewhere, tempted by the healthfulness of the position, its superior religious and educational advantages, and its good society, are seeking a home here. Not the least of the many inducements to a settlement here is the fact that none of those pests – liquor and beer saloons, so destructive to the morals of youth – are allowed to exist within one mile of the college building. Every nook and corner is filled, and twenty more good dwellings would find occupants in as many days, could they be procured.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 16, 1866
We cannot speak too highly of the accommodating spirit manifested by Mr. Hall, the new proprietor of this line. He has spared neither labor nor expense to get his busses in good running condition, and is always ready and willing to exert himself to the utmost to accommodate all those who travel between this city and Upper Alton. As an evidence of the statement, it is only necessary tor us to say that he made a trip from Upper Alton to this city after nine o’clock last night, through the heavy snowstorm, which was prevailing, for the purpose of accommodating such delegates of the Sabbath School Convention, as they could not remain in this place over night.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 30, 1866
On a recent visit to this neighboring town, we were very much gratified to notice the many evidences given on every hand of a substantial and healthful growth. We know of no town in the State more beautifully situated or with better natural advantages. Located upon high, rolling ground, it has every natural facility for beautiful streets, good drainage, and imposing sites for residences. Unlike our own city, its inhabitants are not obliged to dig through half a mile of clay bank when they desire to open a street, for which fact they should be duly grateful.

In proportion to the population, we know of no town which possesses so many tasteful and beautiful private residences, and we were, therefore, surprised at seeing that the number is being largely increased. Along some of the principal streets and in the suburbs, several large and substantial dwellings are in process of erection, and others were built during the summer. We also understood that several gentlemen of wealth and influence intend removing to this town, and that they will erect residences that will be both an ornament and credit to the place.

The town authorities have recently added much to the comfort and convenience of pedestrians by laying down plank walks on streets where none were ever laid before, and also by replacing the walks upon the principal streets with those of a more substantial character. Altogether, Upper Alton gives every indication of a rapid increase in population, and of widespread thrift and enterprise.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 30, 1867
The post office in Upper Alton has been removed from the old stand on Main Street, to the new building of Mr. Butler on College Avenue, opposite T. R. Murphy’s store. Mr. Butler, the new Postmaster, has taken charge of the office.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 27, 1867
A shooting affray occurred yesterday afternoon in Upper Alton, the particulars of which are as follows:
As a young son of Captain Hall was passing along the streets, when in front of Hewit’s store, he was accosted by a couple of men named Dorsett, brothers, who applied to him, without provocation, the most insulting and degrading epithets, and annoyed him in various ways. The boy went home and told his father what had occurred, and he went in search of the rowdies, in order to punish them for their insults. When they saw him coming, they retreated to the porch of Starkey’s Hotel, where the Captain followed and immediately attacked them. Both the rowdies drew revolvers and commenced firing at him, but he, all unarmed as he was, succeeded in disarming and putting ____ _____ one of them, while the other fled, and has not since been heard from. Some half a dozen shots were fired at Captain Hall, one of which took effect, inflicting a flesh wound in his leg. The action of Captain Hall in the matter is sustained by the citizens. Up to this morning, no arrests have been made – it seeming to be against the policy of the authorities of Upper Alton to interfere with the proceedings of rowdies and desperadoes.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 31, 1868
The great business fact of the past few days has been ice. One would think from the loads of ice seen upon our streets, that some persons would have their wishes gratified, not as the “old lady’s” were, by “snuff,” “more snuff,” “a little more snuff,” but by ice, more ice, a little more ice. We learn that Messrs. Draper, Hastings, and Burts have been filling their ice houses with a good quality of ice from the venerable Father of waters [Mississippi River], as well as from some of his tributaries. These gentlemen intend that it shall not be their fault if the citizens of Upper Alton do not “keep cool” next summer. May they enjoy it themselves, and reap a handsome profit from furnishing it to their neighbors on hot July days. In this fact, we see the march of civilization. The “wise man” pointed the sluggard to the ant that “Provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest.” But, behold! More industrious than the ant are here – men, that provide not only in summer for winter, but also in winter for summer. So much for living in this nineteenth century.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 3, 1868
A colored Baptist Church was formed yesterday at Upper Alton. The membership is made up of a colony of ten from the Baptist Church in Alton, and some twenty converts from Upper Alton. The church was organized at the Baptist house of worship, Rev. Dr. Pattison of Upper Alton, and Rev. Mr. Jameson of Alton, assisting in the exercises. A very large audience was present, and a collection was taken up to assist the new congregation in erecting a church building. At the close of the exercises, the congregation and an immense concourse of spectators repaired to the Wood River, where the twenty converts were baptized by immersion. The rite was administered by the Rev. Mr. Johnson of Alton, and the scene was in all respects very interesting.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 7, 1868
Yesterday morning, while the hands employed on the farm of Mr. Edward Rodgers near Upper Alton, were engaged in burning the stubble off the fields, the fire was unfortunately communicated to several stacks of hay, about seventy tons in all, and they were entirely destroyed, together with the protecting sheds and considerable fencing. The total loss is from $1,000 to $1,200.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 18, 1868
The framework of the new Baptist Church is partially erected, and presents a substantial appearance. The new edifice is situated on the corner opposite and directly west of the old church building. Its proportions are: total length, 120 feet; width, 50 feet; one story in height. It is designed to accommodate, including the galleries, at least one thousand persons. The cost of the building is estimated at twelve thousand dollars. We are glad to see this new enterprise well under way. The Baptist congregation of Upper Alton have long needed just such an edifice, their present building being far too small to accommodate their members.


From the Quincy Whig
Source: Alton Telegraph, August 18, 1871
Alton is situated about twenty-five miles from St. Louis by either land or water. Taking the Chicago & Alton Railroad at East St. Louis, you accomplish the distance in an hour. The prosperous old times of the St. Louis & Alton packets have long since passed, and the railroads now monopolize nearly the entire travel between the two places. The city of Alton is properly divided into two towns – formerly known as Alton and Lower Alton, now as Alton and Upper Alton, the lower town being much the larger and more important. They are about two miles apart, and connected by a street railway. The State Penitentiary, for many years a noted institution, no longer exists here. Joliet coveted and received the prize, and Alton was glad. The gloomy walls of the old Penitentiary still stand, however, plainly seen from the river and other points. It is now used as a city prison.

The city of Alton is situated on a succession of bluffs, with valleys between, and he who would see the town must undergo many “ups and downs.” The business portion is solidly built, with brick or stone, there being a great abundance of the latter material here. Alton lime is quite a noted export. There are some fine business blocks, handsome residences, commodious churches and schoolhouses, and a number of mills and manufactories. Glass works have recently been established here.

The population of Alton proper is about 12,000, and of Upper Alton 2,500. The horse railroad furnishes a pleasant ride, passing in full view of the cemetery – a beautiful spot – also by the splendid residence of H. A. Homeyer, Mr. Cooley, and H. C. Cole, all in Upper Alton.

A noted educational institution, Shurtleff College, under the auspices of the Baptist denomination, is located at Upper Alton. This is one of the oldest colleges in the West. Its charter was obtained in 1835, and the present college building erected in 1842. The building is of brick, 120 by 44 feet, and four stories high, containing 64 rooms, embracing students’ rooms, cabinet, library reading room, chemical laboratory, society and recitation rooms. The college grounds embrace six or seven acres, beautifully shaded with trees. There is also a commodious chapel nearby, which well seats 200 or 300 persons. Attached to it are also recitation rooms and the preparatory department.

The foundation for a new building was laid several years ago, but the war and other causes hindered the work, and the building has gone no further. An effort is to be made this year to complete the endowment of the theological department, and the completion of the new building will then receive attention. There is no living man or woman who has done so much for Shurtleff College as Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Gove of Quincy.

The number of students in attendance during the past year has been 108, of which 16 are students for the ministry. There will hereafter be an academic course of three years open to both males and females. There are two literary societies, the “Sigma Phi,” and “Alpha Zeta,” each of which have commodious and elegantly furnished society rooms, each containing a cabinet of specimens and a library. Your correspondent attended the annual exhibition of the “Sigma Phi,” a few months ago. The exercises, consisting of essays, declamation, debate and music were highly creditable to the performers and the society.

A monthly college paper is published called the “Qui Vive,” which was a circulation of 1,500, and has acquired a good reputation for ability. The college library numbers 4,000 volumes, many of them rare works. The reading room contains the principal newspapers and periodicals, etc. The chemical laboratory is well supplied with apparatus, and the cabinet has a rich supply of specimens, geological and otherwise, from all parts of the world, including some interesting mementoes of the war. The various professors and teachers of Shurtleff are gentlemen of extensive learning and long experience.

Opposite the college, and but a few rods off is Rural Park Seminary for young ladies, formerly the residence of H. N. Kendall, Esq., who still owns the premises. It is a spot of surpassing beauty. The building, a large and handsome brick, is perfect in its arrangements, and the grounds, embracing 56 acres, are most tastefully laid out, abounding in vales and landscapes and delightful views. They are planted with rare shrubs, flowers and trees, among which are the larch, linden, Norway maple, etc. Mr. Kendall has spent money without stint on the premises, and there is not a spot in the State that can exceed, if equal it, in beauty. The mansion and grounds are valued at $25,000. The school is under the same auspices as the college, but not being so successful as was desired, it will be discontinued as a separate institution and combined with the college. The building will revert to Mr. Kendall, who will re-occupy it. Mr. Kendall is well known as the great cracker manufacturer, his establishment at Alton being one of the largest in the West, and his trade very extensive. He hints at establishing a branch agency for the sale of his celebrated crackers at Quincy. We hope he may, as the enterprise would beyond doubt be successful.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 3, 1871
Mr. Debow’s new residence on the line of the Horse Railway is a fine addition to our town. Someone should build on the opposite corner. The roof of the “Diamond” mansion on College Avenue has been raised and renewed lately. Quite an improvement.


Source: Alton Weekly Telegraph, February 9, 1872
The passenger train going to St. Louis, on the Rockford, Rock Island & St. Louis Railroad, which was due at Alton Junction [East Alton] at 6:10 Wednesday a.m., when about three-quarters of a mile below Upper Alton Station, collided with the freight train going north. The first two cars (the baggage car and the first coach) "telescoped," and then almost instantly took fire. The scene that ensued was most appalling. The unfortunate passengers were most of them caught between the car seats, and egress from the car was almost impossible. The flames enveloped the doomed cars almost instantly, and the terrified passengers were left to be slowly roasted alive. Up to 11 o'clock a.m., the charred, blackened and still smoldering remains of four victims of their fearful accident, had been recovered, and were lying on the snow awaiting the Coroner's inquest.

The names of the killed, as far as we know, are as follows: Joseph Tweesin [also reported as Tweissel] and Mrs. Reuben Rains [Susan Elizabeth Rains, aged 18]; the two other bodies which up to this time have been found have not been identified. The four passengers mentioned were all burned to death.

Wounded: Reuben Rains, badly cut on the head and body; Isaac Barnhardt, badly burned and head cut; August Maube, late of Rock Island, ankle broken; M. Cannon, leg broken; Frederick Bugle of St. Louis, badly burned; Mina Bugle of St. Louis, bruised; Franklin Groves, bruised; Karl Foss, severely bruised; Train Boy, severely injured; besides five others, slightly wounded, making altogether, four killed and thirteen wounded. The "working party" are still at work on the ruins, and more casualties may be reported.

The freight train was behind time and should have side-tracked at the Junction, but instead of doing so, it kept straight on, causing the most frightful accident that it has ever been our lot to report. The conductor of the freight train jumped off when the trains collided, and sought safety in flight. His name was Baker. We also heard that his engineer and fireman followed his example, this report, however, lacks confirmation. The whole responsibility of this terrible affair rests upon Baker's shoulders, as Mr. Fitzgerald, the conductor of the passenger train, was running his train on time and supposed that he would pass the freight at the Junction.

When the collision occurred, Mr. Raines, his wife, Susan, and child, were sitting together on one seat, the child between its parents. The force of the collision was such that the seats were jammed together, and these unfortunates were caught in the wreck. Mr. Raines finally succeeded in extricating himself, although terribly burned. Mr. Franklin Grover tried his utmost to rescue the unfortunate Mrs. Raines, and almost tore her clothes off in his efforts, but all in vain. Seeing that his exertions to save her would not be successful, he next tried to save the child, and succeeded in doing so, though at great personal risk. The train-boy was badly injured. We were unable to learn his name.

The baggage car and first coach of the passenger train were totally consumed, while the second coach and sleeping car were not materially injured. The forward freight cars were badly jammed, but can be repaired, the fire did not extend to the freight train. The engines were locked together, the engine of the passenger train, the William Green, was badly wrecked, the Astoria, the freight, was not seriously damaged further than losing her headlight and cow-catcher.

At the time of the accident, the passenger train was running about fifteen miles an hour. From appearances about the wreck, we should judge that the freight train was running at a still higher rate of speed. Everyone seems united in laying the entire blame of this terrible calamity on Mr. Baker, the conductor of the freight train, as his train was behind time, and furthermore a passenger train has always the right-of-way over every other train, and as the passenger train was on time, there seems to be no possible shadow of an excuse for him to shield himself, or to justify his case. Later reports say that the fireman of the freight engine remained at his post, as did also the engineer and fireman of the passenger engine. Hundreds of people are hourly visiting the wreck, most of them urged by curiosity, but some in search of friends. A large crowd stopped to gaze upon the poor buried, blackened and burning fragments of humanity which so lately had been thus violently hurled into eternity.

Following an investigation, it was determined that the accident occurred on the Rockford, Rock Island, and St. Louis Railroad between Upper Alton and East Alton. The southbound passenger train collided with the northbound freight, on the morning of February 7, 1872. Frederick Baker, conductor of the freight train, and Patrick Halpin, engineer, were found to be criminally negligent. The two men had fled to St. Louis to escape punishment. The railroad offered a reward of $500 for their apprehension. I could find no further information on Halpin or Baker.

Initially, four people lost their lives. Only two (Susan Elizabeth Raines and Joseph Tweisel) were recognizable. The wounded were taken to Brighton for medical assistance. The four deceased were taken to Alton for burial. Reuben Raines, the husband of Susan Raines, also died from his injuries, and is buried in the Alton City Cemetery.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 25, 1872
Business matters are looking up a little. Our new brick market house, lately put up by Mr. Nevlin, is completed and was opened to the public on Saturday last. It is really a fine market, excelling any meat market in Alton. A new mercantile establishment has also been opened on the corner of Merchant and Liberty Streets, by J. M. Finley. His stock will probably consist of groceries, boots and shoes. We have now nine stores in this place, eight of which keep groceries, and this in a town that should not have more than five.

Last evening about ten o’clock, the inhabitants of our town, living within half a mile of the college building, were startled by a bright light and a tremendous noise proceeding therefrom, but on investigation, it proved to be an illumination of the college building in honor of the advent of a new President, who made his appearance at the house of President Kendrick, at an early hour yesterday morning. The students gathered in front of the college, while the college string band and Glee Club discoursed several pieces of vocal and instrumental music from the belfry. A committee was dispatched to wait on the happy father, who very shortly made his appearance on the college grounds. He was met with music from the band, “Put me in my little bed,” and upon a call being made for a speech, he addressed them briefly, thanking them for their congratulations, and hoping they would follow the advice once given a certain lawyer, after a good example had been placed before him.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 9, 1873
This is the “merry, merry, merry month of May,” as the poets sing, but what poetry can be found in the last two or three days I fail to see. Well, it is probably well that we do not have the manufacturing of the weather, or we should cause more dissatisfaction than is now afforded; so hoping for a “better time coming,” we will proceed to say that our City Fathers have at last concluded that their lives and limbs were endangered as well as those of others by the miserable condition of some of our sidewalks, and have made an endeavor to patch up the same. It seems to us that it would be better to mend the old with a new one in the case of the walk along College Avenue, from the College east to the terminus. As the citizens voted at the election to build a calaboose, we shall look for that before long. It has long been needed here, and will, we hope, soon be built.

The glass in the windows of the Baptist Church, which were broken out sometime ago by a couple of enterprising lads in search of pleasure, was today replaced by D. Hoffman, glass stainer of St. Louis. As the glass in the church is all stained in colors, the bill for the parents of the boys to pay will be rather heavy.

The college authorities have lately erected on the college campus an extensive swing, which for two weeks previous to the attachment of the rope, resembled a first-class gallows. In its present completed condition, it presents a fine appearance when covered with young gentlemen disporting themselves much like Darwinian ancestors.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 11, 1873
The cornerstone of the new hall of B. F. Rodgers’ Lodge, A. Y. and F. M., was laid in Upper Alton on July 4, with imposing ceremonies. There was a large attendance of members of the order from Alton, Belleville, Jacksonville, Springfield, and other places. The cornerstone was laid by Grand Master B. F. Rodgers of Springfield. The music was furnished by the Alton Colored Band, J. H. Kelley, leader. The new building is to be erected on Main Street, on one of the finest sites in the town.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 11, 1873
Mr. H. N. Kendall sold yesterday to Mr. Luke Brennan of Alton, for cash, eighty acres of land on the edge of town, for $65 per acre. The papers conveying Mr. Kendall’s family residence and ten acres of ground adjoining to Shurtleff College, for the use of the female department of the college, were signed last week – possession to be given in August.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 30, 1874
Mr. Ed Rodgers (whose extensive farm and fine residence, east of Upper Alton, attracts the attention of passersby) often finds large numbers of Indian relics, especially arrowheads, upon his premises. A portion of the farm lying in the Wood river bottom is very fruitful of antiquities, and Mr. Rodgers there raises quite a crop of relics whenever he plows. The neighborhood of a large spring on the place seems to have been a favorite camping ground of the Indians. Mr. R.'s farm was also an early pioneer battleground, and the ruins of an old fort can still be seen on the brow of the hill, nearly opposite his residence.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 30, 1874
Major Frank Moore relates that in early times, his father, Captain Abel Moore, purchased what is now the Hon. Cyrus Edwards’ homestead farm, for a small pony, and afterwards sold it for $75. Land has advanced in value slightly since that period.

The beautiful grove of maple trees on the farm of George Cartwright, two miles east of Upper Alton, is a place of historic interest. It is a part of the original homestead of Captain Abel Moore, one of the most famous of the pioneers of Madison County. Here is was that Captain Moore and his wife, emigrating from North Carolina in search of a better country, first pitched their tent in 1804, and there remained during the rest of their lives. In all their wanderings, no fairer land, no richer soil, no grander forests had met their eyes than this same beautiful upland lying between the forks of the Wood River. In 1846, both were summoned across the dark river within a day of each other, and now their tomb is seen in the grove upon the exact spot where their first cabin was erected. The selection of this burial place was in accordance with the last request of Captain Moore. The tomb is built of brick, with a marble tombstone facing the West, upon which is this inscription: “Abel Moore, Died Feb. 10, 1846, Aged 62 years, 1 month, and 7 days.” “Mary, His wife, Died Feb. 9, 1846. Aged 60 years, 3 months and 12 days.”

A simple epitaph, revealing nothing of the privations, dangers, toils and hardships which they endured in their pioneer life, “breaking the pathway for future generations.” A few hundred yards from the tomb to the northwest, is another spot notable in the early history of this section and of painful interest to the Moore family. It is the place where the last massacre by Indians occurred in the county. All are familiar with the story of the killing of the four Reagan children and two of the children of Captain Moore, in the year 1814, the Captain at that time being absent from home serving in the war against England, never dreaming of the danger menacing his own household.

Four of the children of Captain and Mrs. Moore still survive – Mrs. N. Hamilton; Mrs. Williams; Major Frank Moore; and a sister living in California. The first three all reside in the immediate vicinity of the burial place of the pioneers, and Major Moore upon part of the original homestead farm. The county of Madison boasts no more honored or respected citizens than the descendants of Abel and Mary Moore.

It is now 70 years since the hardy pioneers first broke the solitude of that primeval forest, now covered with flourishing farms and stately dwellings – the homes of wealth and refinement. The wonderful changes that have transpired in that period read like a romance, and to none of the old settlers does more honor belong for the changes that have been wrought than to those whose tomb is seen today in that beautiful grove under the spreading branches of the sheltering maples.


Held on the Old Abel Moore Homestead
Source: Alton Telegraph, July 30, 1874
One of the most pleasant and successful picnics that ever occurred in this section was that given on last Saturday afternoon and evening by Wood River Grange No. 901. It had been originally designed to hold the picnic on the Fourth, but the members of the Grange felt that they would never be happy again if they missed the St. Louis fireworks, so the picnic was postponed. Although Wood River Grange is a youthful organization, the wealth, high standing, and personal influence of its members have already made it famous, as well as rendered it a social and agricultural power.

The grove where the picnic was held is one of the most beautiful and inviting spots in the county. It is on the farm of Mr. George Cartwright, about two miles east of Upper Alton, on the high table land between the forks of the Wood River. It is the Abel Moore homestead farm, one of the oldest “improvements” in the county, concerning which we shall speak in another article. The grove is a magnificent growth of gigantic elms and sugar maples, the latter predominating, covering an area of several acres. The majority of the trees in the grove are over 100 years old, as grand monarchs of the forest as can be found in the State. The grove is free from underbrush, and the ground thickly covered with grass. A more delightful place for a picnic could not be imagined. It had been conveniently fitted up for the occasion with tables, seats, benches, swings, etc., besides knight’s dancing platform.

Reaching the ground about 5 p.m., we found a large company already assembled and enjoying themselves in the time-honored style of picnic occasions. The old settlers gathered in groups, on that historic ground, and talked over the days of “long ago.” The girls and young ladies engaged in croquet with their admirers. The lady grangers, assisted by the Committee of Arrangements, began opening scores of covered baskets and spreading their contents on a long table. The children amused themselves in the swings, and, withal, the time passed merrily until the slanting sunset rays stole in among the tall trunks of the trees, when Mr. Shadrach B. Gillham, the Master of Ceremonies, summoned the picnickers to supper. The call was quickly answered, and surely never did city banquet equal in abundance, variety, or excellence, the delicacies and substantials under which the tables groaned. We recalled to mind Secretary Smith’s bloviation on the poverty of the down-trodden farmers of Illinois: “compelled to live in log huts and subsist on hog and hominy!” – and concluded that a man of his falsifying abilities would shine in Congress. We think all the guests will long remember that granger supper with a longing for its repetition too deep for utterance. Added to a host of other accomplishments, the ladies of Wood River Grange have certainly brought the culinary art to the height of perfection.

After supper the grove was brilliantly illuminated with scores of variegated Chinese lanterns, the rays from which struggled for mastery with the moonlight now streaming through the branches of the trees. The effect was beautiful and picturesque beyond description. The brilliantly colored light and the shimmering moonbeams falling upon the diversions of the gay company in that woodland retreat, made up a scene long to be remembered, and when the music sounded from Rutledge’s band and the merry dance began, the scene would have done credit to fairy land. Certainly, no city ballroom was ever graced with lovelier or more accomplished ladies than many of those who participated in these festivities.

When our reported left the grounds, all was passing “merry as marriage bell” to young and old participating in the enjoyment. It was a late hour when the grove was left to silence and solitude. The picnic was in all respects well managed and a credit to the generous hospitality of the grange. The officers of the grange and the Committee of Arrangements extended every courtesy and attention to their guests. Mr. S. B. Gillham is Master of the Grange; Hon. D. B. Gillham, Overseer; Mr. Joel Williams, Secretary; Mr. John C. Davidson, Lecturer; Mr. Irby Williams, Steward; Mr. John M. Cooper, Chaplain; and Mr. Ed Dooling, Gatekeeper. The ladies are honored with the following offices: Ceres, Mrs. N. Stanley; Pomona, Mrs. S. A. Badley; Flora, Miss Kate Delaplain; Lady Assistant Steward, Mrs. J. M. Cooper. Among the prominent farmers present, not mentioned above, were Colonel Andrew F. Rodgers, Mr. Edward Rodgers, Wirt Edwards, Major Frank Moore, and others equally well known. Alton and Upper Alton sent out a host of visitors, who enjoyed the occasion as highly as their granger cousins. What wonder if they went away humming the refrain: “I want to be granger, And with the grangers stand.”

Source: Alton Telegraph, July 30, 1874
The beautiful grove of maple trees on the farm of George Cartwright, two miles east of Upper Alton, is a place of historic interest. It is a part of the original homestead of Captain Abel Moore, one of the most famous of the pioneers of Madison County. Here it was that Captain Moore and his wife, immigrating from North Carolina in search of a better country, first pitched their tent in 1804, and there remained during the rest of their lives. In all their wanderings, no fairer land, no richer soil, no grander forests had met their eyes than this same beautiful upland lying between the forks of the Wood River. In 1846, both were summoned across the dark river, within a day of each other, and now their tomb is seen in the grove upon the exact spot where their first cabin was erected. The selection of this burial place was in accordance with the last request of Captain Moore. The tomb is built of brick, with a marble tombstone facing the west, upon which is this inscription: “Abel Moore, Died February 10th, 1846, Aged 62 years, 1 month and 7 days. Mary, His wife, Died February 9th, 1846, Aged 60 years, 3 months and 12 days.”

A simple epitaph, recalling nothing of the privations, dangers, toils and hardships which they endured in their pioneer life, “breaking the pathway for future generations.” A few hundred yards from the tomb, to the northwest, is another spot notable in the early history of this section and of painful interest to the Moore family. It is the place where the last massacre by Indians occurred in the county. All are familiar with the story of the killing of the four Reagan children and two of the children of Captain Moore, in the year 1814 – the Captain at that time being absent from home, serving in the war against England, never dreaming of the danger menacing his own household.

Four of the children of Captain and Mrs. Moore still survive, viz: Mrs. N. Hamilton, Mrs. Williams, Major Frank Moore, and a sister living in California. The first three all reside in the immediate vicinity of the burial place of the pioneers, and Major Moore upon part of the original homestead. The county of Madison boasts no more honored or respected citizens than the descendants of Abel and Mary Moore.

It is now 70 years since the hardy pioneers first broke the solitude of that primeval forest, now covered with flourishing farms and stately dwellings, the homes of wealth and refinement. The wonderful changes that have transpired in that period read like a romance, and to none of the old settlers does more honor belong for the changes that have been wrought than to those whose tomb is seen today in that beautiful grove under the spreading branches of the sheltering maples.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 18, 1875
As we sit around the fireside lamp, thankful for a comfortable home and roaring fire, our ears are, from time to time, greeted with the tintinnabulation that so musically wells from the sledges with their bells, silver bells, proving that the youth and beauty of Upper Alton are out on the snowy highway, enjoying the rare treat of a sleigh ride. Every little younker in town, who could muster a pair of rusty skates, has been out, as they express it, “skatin,” all over everywhere today, the icy crus forming a skating rink of extended proportions.

In consequence of the icy embargo laid upon business, everything in this suburb is very dull at present. The business men, however, hope for better times to come. But the farmers predict a short crop of fruit, and that the wheat is all winter killed. There are a number of families in town that are suffering for food and fuel during this severe weather. Our town council should attend to such cases. There is benevolence enough in our citizens to assist all the needy in our midst, were they brought to their notice.

Work on our new calaboose progresses. Messrs. McReynolds Bros. are making the iron work. The lot selected for its site is on the old common, nearly opposite Mr. F. Hewit’s residence.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 25, 1875
Upper Alton was enlivened on Friday by a grand snow balling battle between the students and the town boys, which was waged with great persistence, and caused considerable excitement. Several black eyes and other slight casualties resulted from the encounter, but there was no bad blood – both sides were as good-natured as they were determined. Each side claimed the victory, but the spectators consider it about “a draw.”


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 1, 1875
We have two grocery stores recently started in the north end of town (known as “Upper Tennessee” or “Salu”) by Oscar Reader and John Pair. Mr. A. Hildebrand proposes soon to open a general store a short distance out on the Jerseyville Road. Business here, though retarded by the late Spring, is reviving. Our merchants are laying in their Spring stocks of goods, and seem to be determined to keep at home the trade of Upper Alton people, by offering them every inducement of full stocks and low prices.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 19, 1875
August 18, 1875 – A movement is on foot in the shape of a petition circulated among our business men, to secure the establishment here of an office of the Western Union Telegraph Company. We have more than once advocated this matter, as such an institution would be of great benefit to us, and we feel confident that an office in Upper Alton would pay the company much better than many of their present stations. An office is offered them free of rent in the bookstore, and a capable operator can be secured who will look to commissions for his compensation. The business in this line already done here is not inconsiderable, and all agree that it would be greatly augmented, had we an office in this town.

Mr. William Hildebrand, having leased the old Clifford Hall building on the southeast corner of Liberty Street and College Avenue, is having the same thoroughly renovated and put in a condition to receive a new stock of goods.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 30, 1875
From Upper Alton, December 29, 1875 – On Saturday night, about ten o’clock, fire was discovered bursting through the roof of the station house at the Rockford Depot, and before assistance could be secured, the flames had made so great progress that it was impossible to save the building. The loss is probably from $500 to $600 on building and contents, the latter being mostly furniture and section supplies, as the agent had taken his tickets home with him less than an hour before the alarm was given. The agent, Mr. Keal, reports leaving everything secure about the stove, which he closed up for the night.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 11, 1877
About 8 o’clock yesterday morning, the residents of the southwest part of town were startled from their breakfast tables or their Sunday morning naps by the news that the residence of Mr. A. J. Conant was in flames. A crowd of men and boys soon gathered at the scene of the conflagration, when it was ascertained that the fire, having originated either in the kitchen flue or the conservatory furnace, was fast eating its way through the frame wall towards the main part of the house. By the thoughtfulness of Mr. N. C. Hatheway, the horse railway stable buckets were on hand, and with these a line was extemporized to the roof of the middle section of the building, and after a hot fight of half or three-quarters of an hour, the progress of the enemy was checked, and the weary neighbors were safe to leave the battlefield and seek their own homes.

While a dozen or more men were fighting the fire in the west wing, the eastern end of the house was pretty thoroughly demolished by a gang of demoralized youths, who carefully removed the doors, blinds, star rails, and precious articles of furniture, and tumbling trunks and sofas down the steps, succeeded in doing about as much damage at the one end as the fire at the other.

It is currently related of one well-known salesman in town, that he came down the stairs, three at a time, with an armful of bricks that he had caught from a grateless chimney, crying, “Hurry up boys, lots more up there!”

The entire west wing of the house, with the conservatory and its contents, is almost a total loss. Mr. Conant’s insurance will cover the damage to property, but we learn that he had no insurance on the plants and flowers, which he valued at a thousand dollars.

This incident points plainly to the need in every town of this size for a “bucket brigade” of at least a dozen men, who could be ralied on in case of a fire, and knowing what to do, and working systematically, could accomplish more than a small army of aimless, exalted persons, rushing hither and yon, with no correct ideas of what should or could be done.


Source: Alton Telegraph, February 15, 1877
The new depot at Upper Alton station, on the St. Louis, Rock Island & Chicago Railroad is now completed, and the agent has bidden farewell to the old one and occupies his new and more commodious quarters.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 4, 1877
Away down in the aristocratic portion of “Old Virginia” was born on March 31, 1806, Lewis Jefferson Clawson. To commemorate this event, several of his friends were invited to his mansion in Upper Alton on last Saturday evening. The evening was spent in social enjoyment until it was announced by his companion that supper was ready, and such a sight of good things and rich viands is not often permitted mortals to enjoy. The tables were laden with the choicest luxuries, many of them from the tropics, forming a repast dainty enough for the gods. After supper, the company was charmingly entertained with musical selections from Strauss, Thalberg, and Weber, by two young Masters from Belleville, nephews of Mr. Clawson, the older presiding at the piano, and the other mastering that instrument of all instruments, the violin. One solo on the piano, “Ben Bolt,” with variations, was very finely rendered. We have often heard “Ben Bolt,” and have imagined we could see the “Old Mill,” and “Sweet Alice with hair all so brown,” as we listened many years ago to that splendid production, but we must acknowledge that we have never, until this occasion, heard anything to compare with the masterly melody which the performer produced as his nimble fingers leaped from octave to octave, over the keys of one of Steinway’s best instruments. The company was largely indebted, also, for the evening’s entertainment to Mrs. Clawson, Mrs. Lahee, their daughter, and Miss Quick, their niece. The evening’s entertainment will long be remembered, and the many friends of the family will be happy to assist in celebrating many more such events in the future.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 19, 1877
By the demolition of Mrs. Reeding’s house in the block south of Dr. Lemen’s, an old landmark is removed. This was one of the oldest houses in town, having been used for a store some thirty years ago or more. Mrs. Reeding is making preparations to build again on the site of the old house.

A burglary was perpetrated a night or two ago at Mrs. Dickson Reed’s. The burglars administered chloroform to the Messrs. Dickson, and proceeded at their leisure to explore bureau, etc. They secured about $10 in money, Mark’s watch, and a quantity of provision. No clue is had to the burglars.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 17, 1877
H. C. Hart Jr., a St. Louis lawyer, has bought the Kendall Institute property in Upper Alton, and is in town today arranging, we learn, to open it out for summer boarders. We have no doubt such a desirable retreat as this will be well patronized.


Source: Alton Telegraph, Thursday, November 8, 1877
The report of principals of Upper Alton public schools, for the month ending October 31, makes a good showing. The enrollment, Oct. 1, was 245. Number now belonging, 290. Average daily attendance for past month, 225 - a marked increase over September. The college literary societies are doing good work this year. Last evening an excellent programme was presented by the Alpha Zeta Society. The hall of the Sigma Phi Society is undergoing repairs, and no literary meeting was held by them last night. Mr. Das. R. Kendall was, last night, elected President of the latter society, and Mr. Amos Marshall, Vice President. Mr. Mark Dickson, agent for C. B. & Q. railroad, at this place, on Wednesday evening was married to Miss Mamie, daughter of Oliver B. Ground of Madison Mills, Bozzatown. Welcome Mark!


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 21, 1878
A man from North Alton named Motley, yesterday boarded Conductor Maxey's car at Bozzatown, and being considerably the worse for whisky, he caused serious annoyance to the passengers by repeated and disgusting profanity. The gentle words of the conductor availing nothing, he spoke with more authority and, in the event of a repetition of the insult to the ladies present, announced that he would have to abate the nuisance by putting Mr. Motley off the car. The only effect of his words being a renewed and more offensive flow of oaths, the obstreperous passenger found himself landed without the car. This aroused the belligerent spirit of the man and he commenced a target practice on the conductor with McAdam stones. As this proceeding was endangering the lives of his passengers, Mr. Maxey promptly gathered a piece of chain, hanging on the platform, and "went for" the man, inflicting several serious wounds, but effectually silencing him. The car passed on, the man crawled into a passing wagon and went to Upper Alton where his wounds were dressed by Dr. Yerkes and medicine (purchased by Maxey) was administered and he was sent home. The universally testimony of the passengers was to the effect that the action of the conductor was perfectly justifiable since he was really dealing, not with the man, but with the demons that had possession of him. Orville Y. Lowe was also victimized last evening by whisky. He came up from Alton perfectly crazy with liquor, and ere the delirium had passed off, he visited the Fisharty house and caused serious damage by breaking windows and sash, even shooting through the windows with his revolver. A warrant was sworn out against him, but the young man had left town. It is an especially sad affair as the youth is not habitually intemperate.


Upper Alton
Source: Alton Telegraph, May 1, 1879
A defective flue caused a serious conflagration about 11 o’clock Wednesday, April 23, at the residence of Mr. G. C. Hulbert and Mr. H. N. Kendall, on “Piety Lane,” east of Shurtleff College. The fire caught during the absence of both gentlemen from the kitchen flue, and when discovered, had made considerable headway. The efforts of Mrs. Hulbert and her son, a boy of about fifteen, proving insufficient to check the flames, Mrs. Kendall, though in feeble health, started for the college, the nearest place where any men could be found. The students rallied at her story and rushed to the scene. But a strong south wind had given such an impulse to the flames, that it was useless to attempt to stop them with any means at their command, so the boys applied themselves with considerable success to the saving of portable property. The bulk of the furniture belonging to both families was saved, but their clothing, books, dishes and kitchen utensils, carpets, etc., are a total loss, without insurance. Among the salvage is a parlor grand piano, which hardly received a scratch during its hurried exit from the burning house.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 18, 1879
Wyman Institute opened on September 10 with a fair attendance for the first day of a new school. The building has been elegantly refitted and furnished, and is most conveniently arranged for the comfort of its inmates. Professor Wyman has consented to receive this year a limited number of day scholars, or will furnish board during the school week and permit the pupils to spend Saturday and Sunday at home.


Source: Alton Telegraph, April 29, 1880
Methodist Episcopal Church
The Upper Alton Methodist Episcopal Church dates back to 1817, the year the original Upper Alton was laid out. The class then formed and constituting the nucleus of the church, was composed of six members: Ebenezer and Mrs. Mary Hodges, Jonathan and Mrs. Delilah Brown, Oliver Brown and John Seely – all prominent actors in the early history of Upper Alton. Their first place of public worship was a log cabin, then the property of Father Hodges, and standing on the site of the stone house erected in 1836 by the Baptist Church. In 1835, the church built the first house of public worship in Upper Alton, a frame structure now the family residence of Mr. S. B. Congdon. In 1849, they erected their brick sanctuary, in which they still worship. The first pastor of this church was Rev. Samuel H. Thompson, who officiated from 1818 to 1820.

Presbyterian Church
The Presbyterian Church was organized January 8, 1837, by Revs. F. W. Graves, Thaddeus B. Hurlbut, and Thomas Lippincott. The number of constituent members, including eighteen from the Alton Presbyterian Church, was twenty-four, embracing some of the town’s most sterling and enterprising citizens. June 2 of the same year, an organic union was consummated, by which the Congregationalists, who worshipped with the church, twenty in number, were added to its membership. At the end of the year, the entire number was fifty-eight.

In 1838, a stone edifice for worship was finished on the lot now occupied by their present frame house. On October 10, 1858, the former was totally destroyed by fire, and in 1865 the latter was completed and dedicated. Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy ministered to the spiritual needs of this church, some ten months from its origin, and in November 1837, Rev. Charles G. Selleck was installed its first regular pastor. His successors include Revs. Hubbel Loomis, H. B. Whittaker, Lemuel Foster, T. B. Hurlbut, William Barnes, W. R. Adams, L. L. Root, R. Rudd, and S. B. Taggard, now filling the office. A few years ago, thirteen of the Congregational members withdrew, and most, or all of them united with the church of their own communion at Alton. The present membership, including some non-residents, is about sixty-five.

Baptist Church
The Baptist Church, whose Jubilee we this day commemorate, was organized by Rev. John Mason Peck, April 25, 1830, under the name of the “Alton Baptist Church.” Alton was then the name of the post office here, and the one near the river was called Lower Alton. In 1835, the post offices and consequently the towns and churches received their present names. Previous to 1830, a small Baptist Church at Edwardsville was the only one in the vicinity, or within a circumference of many miles. The number of constituent members of this church was eight, viz. Ephraim Marsh, don Alonzo Spaulding, Winston Cheathem, Henry Evans, James D. W. Marsh, Mrs. Julia A. Spaulding, Mrs. Frances Marsh, and Rachel Garrett. The only one of these now living is Deacon Spaulding of the Alton City Baptist Church. The ninth and tenth in the record of names are George Smith and Mrs. Sarah Smith, received by baptism June 2, 1830. Sister Smith Is still with us. The next now living, who holds membership with us is Mrs. Elizabeth Miller, baptized August 1, 1831. The next two (numbers 38 and 39) are Mrs. Sophia Edwards and Mrs. Caroline Newman, received by letter September 22, 1832. The next (number 73) is Mrs. Pamelia Rodgers, received by letter March 22, 1835. Several others who became members during the first five years are still living – Zephaniah Lowe, William Hayden, Rev. Samuel Baker, and perhaps more, but the five sisters named above are all that now remain members with us.

In February 1833, the number of members had become 40, of whom nine were dismissed “to united with others in constituting a Baptist Church at Lower Alton.” March 1834, four were dismissed to aid in forming a church “on the Piasa, or Brown’s Prairie,” called the Brighton Church. In March 1837, the roll numbered 129 members, and twelve were dismissed to form a church “in the Wood River Settlement,” named the “Bethel Church,” now the Bethalto Church. In May 1864, a branch of this church was instituted at Gibraltar, near the mouth of the Wood River, a preaching station of several theological students of the college, and in June 1867, of the ____ [unreadable] members then on record, 41 were dismissed to constitute an independent church, and first named the Gibraltar, later the Milton Church.

Places of Public Worship
The public meetings of the Upper Alton church, for a little over two years from its origin, were held in a log cabin near the late residence of our sister, Frances Marsh, and for three or four years generally in “the old brick schoolhouse,” also, in “the meeting room in Lower Alton,” and occasionally at private dwellings in the Wood River Settlement. Through the year 1836, the regular place of worship was in the “Academic Hall,” now the College Chapel.

In January 1836, it was resolved that we build a meeting house of stone, 45x60 feet, with a basement to be used as a chapel and for such other purposes as the church may deem desirable. This basement became the property of Shurtleff College, but was never finished, nor used for educational purposes. The necessary measures called for by the resolution were adopted, and subscriptions were secured by the personal efforts of the pastor, Rev. Ebenezer Rodgers, from members of the different religious communions and other citizens of the Altons and vicinity. Material aid was also forwarded through Rev. Professor Lewis Colby from several Baptist brethren and sisters in Boston, Massachusetts and vicinity.

In January 1837, the house was dedicated to the Triune God, and the gracious Divine presence invoked upon the then assembled and all future worshippers. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Ebenezer Rodgers, and the prayer offered by one who has not yet ceased to be a member of the church.

The cost of the house far exceeded the estimate made, and the amount of subscriptions obtained and in consequence of the financial stringency of the following years, the collections fell considerably short of the amount subscribed. Hence, although the additions to its membership during the year following the occupancy of the new sanctuary exceeded those of any year before or since, the church became involved in a debt, which caused it painful struggles for a series of years, but from which it was finally delivered by the generous donations of some of its more able members and the skillful financiering of Deacon George Smith. The stone house was occupied by the church 32 years, but owing to certain defects in its construction, heavy winds had prostrated its steeple, and by spreading the walls, rendered them unsafe, and various repairs had been made up to January 1867, when the audience room being no longer capable of accommodating the enlarged and increasing Sabbath congregations, it was determined to remodel and enlarge the building. In January 1868, the church voted to build a new meeting house to contain 800 sittings, to cost not less than $12,000. The location was an open question until the following May, when a Building Committee was appointed with instructions to erect upon such a lot as the Trustees may provide, a house of worship of or near the dimensions 50x80 feet, with a chapel in the rear of fitting proportions, all in the Norman style of architecture, and at the cost of rhouse and lot, of not over $12,000. The house being completed, was dedicated to the service of the Triune Jehovah on May 30, 1869. Pastor N. M. Wood preached the dedicatory sermon, and Rev. R. E. Pattison offered the prayer. This is the house we gather in today (1880).


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 24, 1880
About a year ago, the property of the late H. N. Kendall, Esq., became the property of Professor E. Wyman of St. Louis, who has fitted up the place for occupancy as a family school for boys. The natural beauty of the grounds and the improvements made by the late owner have furnished the basis for still larger improvements by Mr. Wyman, and today these ten acres of ground, with the buildings thereupon, are perfect in their possession of every appointment of a family school, such as Professor Wyman has founded.

Yesterday, June 16, was the closing day of the first year of this new enterprise, which began one year since with three boys in attendance, but which reached during the year the number of sixteen – the limit proposed for membership being twenty-four. A number of invited guests, chiefly from St. Louis and Alton, were present during the morning session of the school. The exercises consisted simply of the ordinary recitations in various studies and admirably set before the visitors both the excellent work which the pupils have become accustomed to, and also the admirable methods of instruction for which Professor Wyman is so justly celebrated.

At three o’clock, the company repaired to the lawn, where they found a large gathering of Upper Alton people who had assembled to witness the gymnastic drill of the school. Two hours passed quickly, while the boys, under the lead of their gymnastic professor, went through with their varied and beautiful evolutions and exercises. They displayed great proficiency, showing the careful training to which they had been subjected. The exercises closed with a display of horsemanship by the school, and it was difficult to decide which of the boys was the best rider.

Upper Alton is surely favored in having such an institution established among its beautiful hills. With Shurtleff College steadily advancing in influence and power, and with this new family school by Professor Wyman, established under such favorable auspices, this quiet town, equally suburban to Alton and St. Louis, bids fair to become at the same time an educational center of no mean importance, and a most desirable place of residence for refined and intelligent people.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 2, 1880
Quite a disastrous conflagration occurred Thursday night, on the place owned by Mr. J. E. Coppinger in the eastern suburbs of Upper Alton, near the Rockford & Rock Island Railroad depot, by which a large stable and carriage house, with the contents, were burned. Mr. Michael Quinn, the tenant on the place, was through the stable at 9 o’clock, and found everything secure. An hour afterwards, he was aroused by his wife who exclaimed that the horses and mules were burning. Mr. Quinn immediately rushed to the rescue, but found the stable enveloped in flames to such an extent, that it was impossible to save the animals, and three mules and two horses were consumed, together with a new wagon, a top buggy, four sets of double harness, three sets of single harness, a fauning mill, eight hundred bushels of corn, 50 or 60 sacks of wheat, and other articles. Some of the fences and outhouses were also destroyed, and the spread of the flames to the dwelling house and an adjoining granary was only prevented by the determine efforts of Mr. Quinn, and those who came to his assistance.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 7, 1880
Messrs. McReynolds Bros. have torn down the old building on their lot on the corner of College Avenue and Liberty [Washington Ave., north of College] Street, and will put up a new and substantial building to be used by them as a wagon shop.

Passersby near Shurtleff College late Thursday might have thought a cyclone had touched in that neighborhood from the disordered appearance of the sidewalk and fence for some distance. Some lawless persons have torn up a number of sections of the walk, and committed further depredations on the new fence across the front of the college campus. Such work is unworthy the name of sport, and if the offenders are detected, we hope they will be properly dealt with.


Total Destruction of the Hovey Block
Source: Alton Telegraph, October 14, 1880
About eleven o’clock last evening (Wednesday), some young ladies on the corner of Main Street and College Avenue discovered an unusual light in the grocery store of Mr. J. H. Enlow, on the southeast corner of the same streets, and hailed Messrs. E. A. Benbow and H. T. Burnap, who were passing in a buggy. The gentlemen named made a hasty investigation, and found the flames already in possession of the first story, and hastened to give the alarm to the neighborhood. Their shouts and the ringing of the Presbyterian Church bell brought a number of men, who succeeded in saving the stock of W. R. Ray in the next rooms, and the household goods of Mr. Malsom, who with his family, occupied the east end of the block. The building was a two-story brick occupied by the following parties: J. H. Enlow, grocer; George Nevlin, butcher; W. R. Ray, tin store and shop; M. and C. Malsom, residence. The house was owned by Mrs. J. L. Johnson, part of it was built in 1833, the rest has been added since, and the whole remodeled some years ago by the late Mr. J. B. Hovey.

Mr. Enlow saved his books and whatever of value was in his safe. By careful watching, none of the surrounding dwellings suffered from flying cinders, although fears were at one time entertained of Mr. Clawson’s residence adjoining the burned block on the east. Dr. Burnap’s tile roof saved his elegant house from catching from the burning fragments which poured over it in an almost constant stream.

The origin of the fire is a mystery, but was probably incendiary, or the result of carelessness on the part of would-be burglars, as some suspicious movements inside the building were seen soon after the departure of Mr. Enlow for home by the Misses Branch mentioned above.


Source: Alton Telegraph, November 25, 1880
The two small frame buildings on College Avenue, just west of Leverett’s Bookstore, were entirely destroyed by fire on the night of November 18. The origin of the fire appears to have been in the smaller building, which was occupied by Mr. Louis Axtheim as a barbershop. The building adjoining it on the west was used by Mrs. Matilda Johnson as a confectionery store. Both were completely destroyed. The brick building in the upper story, of which the Masonic, Odd Fellows, Workmen’s, and Knights of Honor Lodges have their meetings (the lower story containing the bookstore), suffered somewhat from both fire and water. The window frames on the west will need replacing, and a part of the awning in front was burned or torn down. Some other small damages will make the total loss to the brick building about $100.

The two frame buildings were old and of little value, perhaps $500 for both. They belonged to Mr. J. W. Clifford, who had no insurance. The upper part of the store building belongs to the Masonic Lodge, and the lower part to Mr. Joseph Burton.

The bookstore folks desire us to express their hearty thanks to the strong and willing friends who labored to save goods and other property, and to replace them after the danger was past.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 30, 1880
Mrs. J. L. Johnson will replace the dwelling on the northwest corner of Main Street and College Avenue with a substantial store building with two or three rooms. She may also put up a dwelling house on the site of the block destroyed by fire lately. J. W. Clifford is talking of building a row of one-story brick storerooms on his lots on the south side of College Avenue.  An effort is underway to continue and complete the new College building, so long an eyesore to passersby of the campus.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 13, 1881
Many of the old residents are talking of the cold weather this neighborhood has been visited with in years past. The lowest temperature reached this season in Upper Alton was 22 degrees below zero. It was 13 degrees below zero on Monday morning in the north end of town.

For several days the youngsters have had their rights to the sport of coasting [sledding] by their elders. Saturday afternoon, the hill back of the Laclede Hotel was covered all day with people of all ages, from the boy of six to the venerable president of the Town Council. One medical citizen has hardly given himself time to eat for several days, for fear the runners of his new sled would grow rusty, while a legal friend has snatched many a moment between the calls of clients to bestride his restless sled and join the merry throng.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 27, 1881
We visited this institution about the time of its opening, a little more than a year ago, and as our readers may remember, were greatly interested in the preparations made and the plans projected by its enterprising proprietor. We have just made another visit to it, and are astonished at the rapid culmination of those plans. Only a master hand could, in so short a time, have achieved so marked a success. The Wyman Institute is already a “model family school,” for we doubt whether in the character, variety and completeness of its provisions, its methods of instruction, or the efficiency of its government, it has its equal anywhere. The establishment is one of excellent general influence in our educational community, while the special work it is doing for its inmates must be of incalculable value to them. They are, after all, its best recommendation to the public. Their bright, intelligent faces, their exemplary deportment, and manly bearing are matters of frequent favorable comment among our citizens. We congratulate Professor Wyman on his splendid success, and his patrons, the majority of whom are our St. Louis neighbors, on the benefit they are deriving from that success, and trust the liberality of their patronage will keep pace, as it seems likely to do, with the excellence of his management.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 10, 1881
The frame building in the north part of Upper Alton, occupied as a hall by the colored lodges of Masons and Odd Fellows, was entirely destroyed by fire early yesterday morning. It is supposed that the fire was left in an insecure shape after a festival held on Saturday evening. The building and contents are a total loss, nothing being saved but two wooden benches. There was some insurance on the building, but none of lodge property, so far as we have learned.


Source: Alton Telegraph, May 5, 1881
Work has been fairly begun upon Johnson’s new building on the corner of Main Street and College Avenue. The contract for the woodwork has been let to O. R. Stelle & Son, who will push it forward to completion at an early date.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 23, 1881
A company of several hundred persons assembled on the pleasant lawn at Wyman Institute, Upper Alton, on June 15, to witness an exhibition of some of the modes of physical culture practiced at that place. The gymnastic exercises were under the direction of the teacher, Professor O. Assmann of Alton, and were characterized by rare excellence and elegance. The boys, who are fine physical specimens, took their places on the lawn at the roll of the drum. They were clothed in a neat uniform of dark blue, with white stripe down the pants, red belt around the waist, and spotted necktie. Horizontal and parallel bars, circular swings, turning poles, the “horse,” ladders, Indian clubs, and other appurtenances were used, the performances consisting of swinging, jumping, turning summersaults, etc., being worthy of professional gymnasts. A number of military evolutions were gone through, showing aptness in the scholars and great skill in the teacher. The students sang “America” in fine style, with accompaniment by the band. Horseback riding was also indulged in, boys riding around the track singly and by twos and fours, the gaits being a walk, gallop, and a run, the changes being made in accordance with signals on the cornet. One lad on a black pony created great amusement. The boys proved themselves excellent riders, managing their spirited steeds so well that horses and riders resembled the fabled centaurs of old. The exercises throughout were such as serve to strengthen the muscles and develop the form. The young gentlemen acquitted themselves in such a way as to delight the large, cultured audience in attendance, and were often rewarded with bursts of applause.

At the close of the exhibition, Professor Wyman made a few remarks thanking those present for their kindness in attending. Before the students were dismissed for the day, they went through a few military evolutions, drew up in a line when one of their number called for “Three cheers for Professor Wyman!” “Three cheers for the Associate Teachers!” and “Three cheers for General Assmann!” The cheers were given with a will, and the members of the school were dismissed for the term. The interest of the occasion was greatly heightened by splendid music by Professor Gossrau’s band.

The shady grounds, the winding gravel walks, the shaven lawns, the flowers, evergreens, and shrubbery surrounding Wyman Institute made an appearance to attract and please the eye of the most exacting critic. A number of American flags were displayed about the grounds, ice water was plentiful, and nothing was omitted that would tend to the comfort, amusement, and pleasure of the guests of the institute. Professor Wyman is to be congratulated not only on the great success of the exhibition yesterday, but on the well-deserved popularity that his splendid school has, in so short a time, acquired. In addition to many prominent citizens of the Altons and other places, were the following ladies and gentlemen from St. Louis: Mrs. Dausman, Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Pate, Miss Nellie Hazeltine, Dr. McKellops, Captain Scudder, Mr. Brown of Dodd, Brown & Co., Mr. Hall, and others.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 7, 1881
The two new stores on the corner of Main Street and College Avenue are nearly up, and will improve the appearance of that corner greatly. The remodeling of the Hurlbut house is almost completed. Work has begun on the extension of the schoolroom on the south end of Shurtleff College chapel building.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 4, 1881
The new stores now being constructed by Mr. J. L. Johnson on the northwest corner of College Avenue and Main Street are being rapidly pushed to completion. The buildings are 24x50, of brick, with corrugated iron roof. The corner store will have a hall about 24x36 above. The other building is one story. The latter will be occupied by Mahlon Malson with a stock of groceries, and the corner will be rented by John Leverett, who will remove the stock of books and stationery and gents’ furnishing goods from his present stand, as soon as the new building is ready for occupancy.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 11, 1881
A Public Library Association has been organized in Upper Alton, with the following officers: President, Mrs. Dr. Lemen; Vice-President, Albert H. Hastings; Secretary, Mrs. T. M. Boyle; Treasurer, C. W. Leverett. Committees to solicit subscriptions and purchase books have been appointed. Space for the library has been secured at Leverett’s Bookstore.


Source: Alton Telegraph, October 13, 1881
Several improvements, in the way of new pavements, crossings, etc., along the business streets, are contemplated by the Council. We would suggest the desirability of a lamp post at the corner of College Avenue and Liberty Street, and at the intersection of the former street with Main.

The recent erection of several miles of poles, each way from Upper Alton, by the Mutual Union Telegraph Company, gives promise of an office here, which shall prove less of a nuisance to all concerned, whether operator or patron, than the present Western Union office at the C. B. & Q. depot.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, June 26, 1882
The bids for building the new college building were opened Saturday. The stone work was let by itself, and the remainder of the work together. Work will begin very soon on the new building, and it is expected to be under cover before winter. The contracts cover everything except seating the chapel and heating the building. The new iron bridge over the west fork of the Wood River is up and passable for teams, though not entirely completed.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, August 3, 1882
We were shown this morning the “Journal of the Upper Alton Lyceum,” the original records of this society, which was formed in 1836, at a meeting at which Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy was President, and Z. B. Newman, Secretary. It embraced among its members many respected citizens who have passed away, and a few who are still living here or elsewhere.   The tin shop lately kept by E. E. Betts in the Clifford building is closed. Upper Alton is now without a tin shop or stove store.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, August 29, 1882
The five tenement houses erected by Mr. S. S. Hobart for Mr. William E. Smith are so nearly completed that they will be ready for occupancy tomorrow evening. These houses are situated on the west side of the Upper Alton street railway line, a few hundred yards north of Bozzatown, in a very pleasant, healthful location, with a fine view, including the river, in almost every direction. The buildings are two stories high with flat, gravel roofs, five rooms in each, being ten rooms to each double tenement, good cellars, nice yards in front surrounded with picket fence, board enclosure to the rear, large cisterns, and the necessary coal sheds and other outbuildings, all well arranged for comfort and convenience, and so separated that the rights of the various tenants will not clash. Mayor Pfeiffenberger was the architect, and to him, as well as to the contractors and various builders, great credit is due for the fine arrangements, and the promptness and efficient manner in which the work has been done.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, October 11, 1882
Dr. Yerkes and family have taken up their abode in their new residence, which is nearly completed. Telephone 88 will raise the doctor, day or night. The new house was planned by J. B. Legg of St. Louis, and built by J. S. Elwell of Upper Alton, and combines elegance with comfort in an unusual degree. It is fitted throughout with gas pipes, has bathroom on the second floor, and stationary wash basin off the lower hall. Both front and side doors are connected by speaking tube with the Doctor’s sleeping room, and by a simple arrangement, the telephone box can be disconnected downstairs and attached to a wire running into the same apartment, thus making it possible for the Doctor to prescribe for the ailments of the outer world without the necessity for a hasty toilet.

A new nights ago, Mr. John T. Brown, who lives east of town, was awakened by some slight noise to find a pole in close proximity to his bed. The upper end of the pole bore a bunch of rags, soaked in chloroform, while the lower end was manipulated by some unknown individual, who took to his heels upon finding his anesthetic did not produce its desired effect.


Mr. John H. Smith of Upper Alton
Source: Alton Telegraph, March 1, 1883
Mr. John H. Smith of Upper Alton, for 53 years a resident of Alton, was a soldier in the famous Black Hawk War, a war in which Abraham Lincoln said that he “fought, bled, and came away.” Mr. Smith’s experience was something similar. He was one of the few examples on record of men who were wounded in that conflict. He was on picket duty in the vicinity of Rock Island at the time of the occurrence. An Indian warrior in ambush fired at him, inflicting a wound in the leg that caused Mr. Smith to fall. The savage then rushed forward with uplifted tomahawk to complete the work of death, but his white opponent was too quick for him, and the red man was met, almost in reach of his helpless foe, by a bullet that ended his career. As Mr. Smith fired, the Indian threw up his hands, tottered, and fell to the earth a corpse. The warrior’s gun, tomahawk, scalping knife, and other weapons were seized as legitimate spoils of war. The captured gun was afterwards presented by Mr. Smith to Royal Weller, and was used by him in defending Godfrey & Gilman’s warehouse against the mob the night Lovejoy was killed, and was lost on that occasion. We think that the few survivors of the Black Hawk War are entitled to pensions, the hero of this sketch being especially deserving.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 14, 1883
The lawn exhibition at Wyman Institute Tuesday, to exemplify the methods of physical culture at that school, was attended by a large company of ladies and gentlemen from Alton, St. Louis, Jerseyville, and other places, in spite of the elements which seemed to conspire against the exhibition. The rain poured steadily from one o’clock until the middle of the afternoon, thus preventing any outdoor work. In the meantime, the company occupied the parlors, halls, drawing rooms, and verandas of the spacious edifice, also the gymnasium. The students whiled away the time with songs, and Mr. Frank Wyman greatly interested the company with a few popular melodies whistled in the most artistic manner, with organ obligato. Professor Gossrau’s full band were stationed in the gymnasium, and occasionally delighted their hearers with musical selections, finely rendered.

The grounds were in splendid order. The closely shaven undulating lawns, diversified with little valleys, miniature lakes, rustic bridges, clumps of flowers, graveled walks, evergreen trees, and shrubs, with an occasional monarch of the forest, statuary being placed here and there made a vision of beauty, one that might be likened to a nobleman’s seat in “Merrie England.” The highest degree of taste is manifested in the arrangement of everything about the place, showing that the eye of a true artist actuated the moving spirit in the matter.

At 3:30 o’clock, the welcome cry was heard that the clouds were breaking away. The rain ceased, the bell rang, and the boys “sprang to arms,” their eagerness intensified by the long-enforced quietude. The students, 38 in number, were formed on the gravelly plateau just north of the gymnasium. It afforded a favorable place for their evolutions in spite of the moisture that prevailed, and under the command of their teacher, Professor Assmann, went through a series of evolutions that were viewed with wonder and delight by the spectators. The boys had an attractive uniform of white shirt, dark blue pants, blue necktie, and scarlet hose. Whether marching singly, by twos, by fours, sections, platoons, or columns, they never failed, and although at times the movements seemed inextricably complex, such was the mathematical precision with which they were performed, that the swiftly shifting lines invariably came out in true order. Next the lads filed into the gymnasium, and each appeared with two ponderous Indian clubs, and handled them with a readiness that showed not only their skill, but gave evidence of the well-developed state of their muscles. After they relinquished the clubs, they gave a fine exhibition with wands, handled something like muskets. This exercise showed that the participants were prepared with the proper implements to make first class soldiers. At the close of this exercise, the parade was dismissed for a time, giving the young athletes a short season for rest. The long roll, beaten by Major Elble, gave the signal for the re-assembly at the marquee on the grounds east of the gymnasium. Thence, the class marched in a long line to the parade ground, attended by the band, the red, white and blue uniforms making a beautiful contrast with the rich green of the lawn. On account of the muddy state of the grounds, the equestrian exhibition was necessarily omitted. Fourteen fine steeds and their riders, all splendid horsemen, were in readiness, and the omission of this feature was quite a disappointment. To compensate to some extent, however, a bicycle drill took place with ten participants, under the command of Mr. Fred W. Billings of St. Louis. This was succeeded by a tournament, a ring being suspended over the track at one point, to be carried off on the point of the “lances” of the gallant knights as they rushed along at full speed, being stimulated by the bright eyes of the fair ones who watched the proceedings.

The students seemed to be unwearied by their long continued exertions, and concluded the exercises by some superb exhibitions on the turning poles in the gymnasium, all showing that they have about reached the acme of physical culture, in addition to the excellent mental training afforded by the able corps of instructors, the complete list being as follows: Edward Wyman, LL.D., Principal and Proprietor; Professor George B. Dodge, A. M., Associate Classical Department; Professor L. M. Castle, A. M., Associate Commercial Department; Fred Starr, A. B., Resident Assistant; E. W. Schmidt, Teacher of German; Madame J. Thompson, French; Professor Joseph Floss, Music; Professor O. Assmann, Gymnastics.

The exhibition as far as it could be given was a grand success, and gave evidence of the treat in store, had the elements proved propitious. We should have stated that Professor Wyman’s commodious hack was at the street cars in readiness to convey visitors comfortably in state to the Institute.

Previous to the lawn exhibition, Professor Wyman, in the forenoon, gave a sketch of the methods of mental culture, the branches taught, the standing of the students, and many other matters of interest, especially to those having sons connected with the school. The members of the faculty also gave accounts of the advancement made in the various departments and the encouraging progress made. As an evidence of the effect of the wonderful skill and proficiency shown by the students, not equaled, doubtless, by any institution in the country, a gentleman from St. Louis said he would be glad of the opportunity to exhibit the class through the country, to show the feats they can perform.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 26, 1883
A new building for the better accommodation of the students of Wyman Institute is in process of construction. It is designed for a school room, and will be both pleasant and commodious. If we may judge the excellent taste and sound judgment of Professor Wyman from the evidences in the past, we may safely predict a structure at once most convenient and tasteful. The visitor is again impressed with the conviction that the celebrated Founder and Principal of this school is determined to forego no convenience, to neglect no advantage, which may make the life of its inmates both happy and profitable. We compliment the students on the added comforts awaiting them on their return in September.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, September 13, 1883
F. L. Vogelpohl, baker and confectioner, Upper Alton, Illinois, has removed to P. Robertson's new building, where he will have an opportunity to establish a more superb business in plain and fancy productions. He will also introduce his New Process Bread, which will be found more palatable, nutritious and healthy than any before the public. Also, his New Process Dry Hop Yeast, kept dry, will keep in the hottest and coldest climate; always reliable and not subject to change. Superior to any yet before the public. A full display of plain and fancy crackers, candies, &c, ice cream and refreshments, fancy cakes in great variety. He also thanks the public for past patronage, and hopes for future favors. All orders will be promptly attended to.


Source: Alton Telegraph, December 6, 1883
A little after midnight Friday night, the building on Manning Street, occupied by Charles E. Krell and wife as a residence and cigar manufactory, was discovered to be on fire, and in spite of the exertions of neighbors and the help attainable at that hour, the building was entirely consumed, together with a large amount of raw stock and cigars. The origin of the fire is unknown, the entire rear part of the house being on fire when discovered. The building belonged to Mrs. J. B. Reilly, and was a story and a half brick cottage. Mr. H. A. Morgan’s residence, adjoining, and the car stables opposite, were threatened, but through hard work on the part of volunteer firemen, were saved. Mr. Krell’s goods were insured for $1,800.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 21, 1884
Captain H. W. Brolaski of Upper Alton, commander of the Anchor Line Packet, Arkansas City, has had a landing named for him. Brolaski Landing is 125 miles above Memphis on the Arkansas side, and was formerly called Hickman’s Landing. A town will soon be founded at this point.


Source: Alton Telegraph, March 26, 1885
About three o’clock yesterday afternoon, the residence of Rev. Dr. Justus Bulkley on Leverett Avenue was discovered to be on fire. The origin of the fire is unknown, but it was first discovered in the sheeting of the roof, over the third story, which is plastered on the rafters. It was very difficult to fight the fire, which spread rapidly, and seemed destined to demolish the house, but ready workers were soon on the roof and nearly a hundred buckets from the college and neighboring residences were brought into use passing up water, and after a hard half hour’s fight, the house was saved. Meanwhile, everything portable was moved out of the house. A score of young ladies from the college lending their assistance to the work of salvage. As soon as it was seen that the fire was out, the same willing hands carried back the furniture, which had suffered but little from its hasty handling. Nothing but hard work well-directed, and plenty of water saved this handsome dwelling from destruction. As it is, the house will not be habitable for some days, and the family of fourteen persons is distributed among the neighbors.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 11, 1885
Judging from the throngs of Alton people that annually visit this institution, it cannot be unknown to many that there has grown up in Upper Alton during the last few years a boys’ school, which for excellence of work, completeness of appointments, and beauty of surroundings, is second to no similar school in this country. This enterprise has been built up to its present proportions through the individual and untiring efforts of Professor E. Wyman, LLD. While he has been ably supported by a corps of excellent teachers, the planning has been altogether his, and this model school stands as the crowning success of a life of educational work reaching back for more than a generation. Dr. Wyman has numbered among his pupils many who are now prominent businessmen of St. Louis, whose sons (and even grandsons) he is now leading along the same paths that gave direction to their fathers’ successful lives.

Tuesday closed the scholastic year of 1884-5, and the afternoon was given up to a lawn exhibition, which presented the several methods of physical culture in which the pupils receive regular and systematic training, embracing calisthenics, military drill, Indian club exercises, fancy parade, gymnastics, skirmish drill, foot racing, vaulting, equestrian exercises, bicycle drill, and tournament. The performances were of such a superior character as to very nearly approach perfection in all the departments. The spectators were loud in their praise of the perfection of the performances, and of the ability of the famous educator whose skill in training both mind and body is surpassed by none.

The music, which interspersed the exercises and also guided the movements of the boys, was furnished by the St. Louis Grand Orchestra. A special train chartered for the occasion by Professor Wyman brought about 500 people from St. Louis, landing them on the grounds of the institute. Among the visitors from St. Louis were: Colonel A. A. Talmage, Rev. George C. Adams, Rev. George E. Martin, Dr. I. N. Love, Major L. L. Butler, Messrs. James Carpenter, W. F. Niedringhaus, F. G. Niedringhaus, James Richardson, C. O. Dutcher, S. C. Edgar, Joseph Specht, Julius Pitzman, C. L. Buchman, O. F. Garrison, and others.


Source: Alton Telegraph, August 5, 1886
The east room at schoolhouse No. 3 and 4 has been torn off. The material will be used at the new building, and the part of the old schoolhouse left standing will probably be converted to the use of the janitor.


Who Arrived Before 1831-2
Source: Alton Telegraph, April 15, 1887
Major Franklin Moore and Mr. Zephaniah Lowe have been making a list of the names and post office address of all persons who became residents of Upper Alton and vicinity before the “winter of the deep snow,” 1831-2, and are still living hereabouts. All who came here subsequently to that year the Major calls “carpet baggers.”

Zephaniah Lowe
Mrs. E. M. Miller
Mrs. P. Wells
Jesse Wright
William R. Wright
James H. McReynolds
John McReynolds
M. A. Lowe
R. E. Lowe
W. C. Lowe
D. W. Collett
D. B. Gillham
Mrs. Mary LaMothe
Franklin Moore
Mrs. Lydia Moore Williams
Perry Short
Mrs. Nancy Deck
Mrs. P. Garrett
Mrs. Eliza Tinsdall
William Hill
Mrs. Sally Woods
Mrs. Dr. Stanton

Thomas Stanton
L. B. Sidway
William Austin

Olive P. Foster

Jacob Preuitt
James Preuitt

Wiley Preuitt


East of Upper Alton
Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, June 6, 1887
The Horticultural Society probably never had a more pleasant meeting than that held last Saturday at the country seat of Mr. Edward Rodgers, east of Upper Alton. The day was delightful, with a balmy atmosphere redolent of the perfumes of June. Besides the members of the Society, many availed themselves of the opportunity to attend who are more interested in the results of horticulture than in the details of the science. The meeting was held out of doors under the spreading trees, with President Browne in the chair and Secretary Riehl at his desk, and a large contingent of veteran and successful co-workers gathered about them.

A lovelier spot than the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers can hardly be imagined. A beautiful lawn, level and smooth as a floor, lies between the house and the road. This Is protected on the northwest by a magnificent arborvitae hedge, closely clipped. Ornamental shrubs and trees add to the attractions, while winding walks lead about the grounds under grand old trees, and amid the evergreen cedars and pines. In the midst stands the spacious residence, of fine architectural proportions, and a model of comfort and convenience. Within the luxurious and artistic appointments bespeak the rare taste and skill of the hostess. Altogether, the house and grounds fitly supplement each other, forming an ideal home, and both won unstinted tributes of admiration from the guests.

The large company was generously and elegantly entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers. The dinner was a wonderful culinary success, and in abundance and daintiness of viands could not have been surpassed. After dinner, the committees inspected the display of fruits and flowers and awarded premiums. The entries of strawberries and cherries were few in number and of poorer quality than last year, but the display of flowers was gorgeous, and creditable to the ladies. After the afternoon session, many of the guests gathered in the drawing room, where Miss Pearl Hewit, sister of the hostess [Ella (Hewit) Rodgers], entertained them with home vocal gems, which won admiring applause. As a vocalist, Miss Hewit possesses such rich gifts that many roseate predictions are made as to her future. After the music, Miss Yerkes favored the company with some recitations, which were rendered with an elocutionary and dramatic completeness that delighted the auditors.

As the guests dispersed and drove by the broad and fertile acres belonging to the host on either side of the road, and noted the evidences of prosperity on every hand, they could but admire the wise industry and well-directed skill that had brought about such results. Mr. Rodgers is certainly one of the finest types of the successful farmer Madison County has ever produced, and the surroundings and appointments of his attractive home shows a union of culture and taste with technical knowledge that enables him after winning success to enjoy its fruits.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, November 14, 1887
Professor Wyman is pushing work on the block opposite his institute, and will soon have the grading and sodding done and trees set out. It will be a delightful spot, and here we would remark that if others of our citizens, more dependent upon the locality than he, were as free as Professor Wyman to beautify their premises in proportion to their means, we should soon see a marked improvement in the appearance of our village. It is not necessary to have a half block in order to make a pretty place. A lot of a hundred feet frontage can be so kept up as to attract attention and furnish pleasure to its occupants and assist in the general appearances of thrift, which constitutes a “nice town.”

Among other much-needed street work we note the putting in of a new sidewalk along the south front of the college campus. The material used is limestone screenings from the Alton Crusher. Now a few street lamps should be provided for, that our people may become accustomed to that sort of thing before we have the electric light.


Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, October 19, 1888
About 7:30 o'clock last evening, the Alton marching companies gathered at headquarters and started on the march to Upper Alton to attend the Republican rally. The famous Pioneer Club led the way under Captain Glen and Lieutenants Magonigal and Linsig. Next came the stalwart Glass Workers' Protective Club, Captain Galbally and Lieutenant Synar; and the Glass Workers Colored Club, Captain Charles Bell. Then the Alton Flambeau Club, Captain Tarbet; next the Harrison and Morton Cadets, Captain Herb; Alton Colored Club, Captain Townsend.

In all, 300 strong, headed by the Standard Band, Captain Herb was Marshal of the Alton delegation. The Alton boys made a magnificent display as they marched down Second Street [Broadway] and on to Upper Alton. Their delegation was four or five times as large as the one the Democrats sent to Upper Alton at their last rally.

The Alton companies were met by the other delegations near the residence of Mr. Labee and all united in one grand procession. The line of march in Upper Alton was as previously published excepting a deflection from the corner of Main and Edwards Street to Manning, and thence to College Avenue. The illuminations along the route were an index of the sympathy of the citizens with the cause represented, while the troops were cheered on by the flutter of flags and kerchiefs from old and young as they passed along the brilliant streets. Among the houses illuminated were the residences of the following persons: J. C. Cox, J. A. Bradley, Mrs. F. Hewitt, L. Ehrler, H. A. Morgan, S. F. Bell, Dr. E. C. Lemen (office), Mrs. Dr. Yerkes (house), G. W. Dudley, I. H. Streeper, A. R. Howard, W. W. Bell, J. Synar, E. H. Labee, A. E. Mills, F. Schwartsbeck, C. Simon, Mr. Burnside Sr., W. E. Bell, J. VanFossen, W. C. Lowe, H. W. Harting, Mrs. C. Rodemeyer (one half the house), E. G. Webster & Co. (store), A. H. Hastings (store), Israel H. Streeper (store), John Leverett (store), H. T. Burnap, J. L. Johnson, L. J. Clawson, J. R. Kirkpatrick, J. H. Weeks, J. C. C. Clarke, Mrs. W. S. Judy, E. Marsh, O. L. Castle, G. B. Dodge, Dr. H. Judd, W. E. Gray, D. A. Wilkerson, Dr. E. C. James, J. M. Owen, G. M. Levis.

Dr. Burnap was Grand Marshal; Aides – Major Frank Moore, A. H. Hastings, S. F. Bell, F. Sargent and George R. Johnson.

A careful count at the College corner placed the number of torches at 575. A large number had dropped out to accompany their families to the stand, so that 700 is a very moderate estimate of the number of torches that were carried in honor of the occasion, while the musicians and those riding on horseback and in wagons would swell the procession to 700. A wagon load of young ladies from North Alton, one from Upper Alton and one of damsels from Salu, vied with each other in singing and added greatly to the interest of the occasion.

Delegations were present from North Alton, Godfrey, Fosterburg, Bethalto and Emerald [East Alton], besides the Alton clubs, also the Woodburn Drum Corps. Miss Pearl Hewit made the presentation speech on the $50 silk company flag which the ladies of Upper Alton gave the Upper Alton Club, and Israel H. Streeper responded.

The stand where the speaking took place, and around which the marching companies clustered with flaming torches, was elaborately decorated with flags and bunting. On the stand were: Captain Worden, Mr. Israel H. Streeper, Dr. Lemen, Hon. J. M. Pearson of Godfrey, Captain Butler of Alton, Mr. A. D. Metcalfe of Edwardsville, and other prominent Republicans. Captain David R. Sparks, the speaker of the evening, was introduced and delivered one of the best speeches of his life. It was a splendid effort and was received with warm manifestations of favor. The Captain spoke for an hour and would have continued longer, but a storm was threatening and he brought his remarks to a close. The audience present was a magnificent one, numbering from 2,500 to 3,000. The meeting was a grand gathering, surpassing any political gathering ever held in our neighboring town. The Republicans of Upper Alton should be proud of their success. The Alton companies were much admired for their fine marching, showy uniforms and splendid appearance.

This Republican rally was for the 1888 presidential election, in which Republican Benjamin Harrison (former Senator from Indiana) ran against incumbent Democrat President Grover Cleveland. While Cleveland had more popular votes, Harrison had more electoral votes and won the election. Tariffs were the principal issue in the election – Cleveland proposed a dramatic reduction in tariffs, arguing that high tariffs were unfair to consumers, while Harrison took the side of industrialists and factory workers who wanted to keep tariffs high on foreign imports. Also, Cleveland opposed Civil War pensions, making enemies among veterans, and lost the election.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 15, 1893
While Dr. E. C. James and wife and two children of Upper Alton, accompanied by Mr. Theo Sims, were driving in a carriage to attend a meeting of the Alton Horticultural society Saturday at Godfrey, when going down a hill the breeching on the horse gave way and allowed the carriage to run onto him. The animal began kicking and knocked the dashboard out. Dr. James was thrown out and was seriously hurt, although it is not thought fatally. The two children were also hurt, but less seriously than their father. Neither Mrs. James nor Mr. Sims were hurt. Dr. James was resting as comfortably as could be expected this afternoon.


Cartwright Homestead Destroyed by Fire
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 16, 1895
About 9:30 o’clock last night, the two-story, 10-room brick dwelling house, the property of Mr. George Cartwright of Upper Alton, was totally destroyed by fire, together with a portion of its contents. The house is occupied by the families of Mr. Cartwright and that of his son, Mr. John Cartwright.

The fire originated in a summer kitchen adjoining the house, but from what cause could not be learned. It spread with rapidity, and as there was no way of fighting it, the flames soon enveloped it from the garret to the ground. A determined effort was made to save the contents, and a large portion was removed. It lighted up the vicinity, and considerable aid was rendered from outsiders. The loss is not known, but will probably be in the neighborhood of $3,000.

This home is historical as being the site of the Moore homestead, where the famous Indian massacre occurred, known as the Wood River Massacre, in which a number of pioneers lost their lives at the hands of the Indians.

Alton Evening Telegraph, January 17, 1895
The origin of the fire which destroyed the Cartwright homestead near Upper Alton is traced to a stove in the room of an adjoining building, occupied by a farmhand who was away from home when the fire broke out. The entire building was destroyed, together with a considerable amount of household goods on the upper floor. Mr. John Cartwright will rebuild.

The Cartwright home, located east of Upper Alton, was destroyed by fire on January 15, 1895. At that time, some of the children of George Cartwright were living in the home. The fire was traced to a stove in an adjoining building, occupied by a farmhand. The entire home was destroyed, along with some of their furniture, but no one was injured. The original home was a two-story, 10-room brick house, and was located on the former Abel Moore homestead. Seven members of the Moore and Reagan family were killed by Indians in the 1814 Wood River Massacre. The Cartwright home was rebuilt, and the entire homestead sold in 1913 to the State of Illinois, for the purpose of building the Alton State Hospital. The State continued to use the Cartwright home for hospital purposes. In January 1921, the second Cartwright house caught fire. A patient saw the roof was on fire, and ran into the house and called the main office to notify them. A fire hose was obtained, and the Alton Fire Department was called. The roof was burned completely off, and the lower part of the house was soaked with water. The home was repaired, and still stood in 1933. It has since been razed.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 21, 1895
Upper Alton was thrown into a state of excitement last night, unusual to that quiet town. Charlie Nevlin, the well-known horseman, was fatally shot, and "Dode" Dailey had two fingers mangled by the pistol of John Nixon, a glassworker residing in that town. About 7 o'clock Nixon came downtown, it is stated, with the intention of resenting an insult offered his sister by Burt Nevlin. They met in Burton's store, and a bitter fight followed. They were separated, and Charlie Nevlin and "Dode" Dailey followed Nixon to the post office. The fight was renewed, and Nixon fired three shots into the crowd of aggressors. The first ball flew wild, the second broke two fingers of Dailey's hand, and the third struck Charles Nevlin in the left breast in the region of the heart. Nevlin uttered a cry and rushed to Barnard's drugstore, where he was stripped, and the bullet hole showed the wound to be dangerously near the cavity of the heart. Nevlin was removed to his home, and Dr. Lemen was summoned. The ball entered just above the heart and to probe for it meant death. It is possible that its course changed sufficiently to lodge the bullet in a harmless spot, but the chances are slim for his recovery. Dailey's fingers were dressed and the crowd dispersed. Nixon came to this city [Alton] and gave himself up. To a Telegraph reporter last night he refused to make any statement, saying: "I have no statement to make." Nevlin was a quiet man when sober, but when fired by liquor was extremely aggressive. His family is grief-stricken and fear that he cannot recover. Nixon is known to be high-tempered and has been in numerous troubles. From the facts gleaned, however, the sympathy seems to be entirely with him, owing to the number of men that attacked him. He was struck in the face with rocks and had his head and face bandaged last night so that he could scarcely talk. The trouble has been brewing for some time. Threats passed, and Nevlin and Nixon were bitter enemies. Nixon was placed under $500 bonds to await developments before his trial. The preliminary hearing has been set for next Monday. At last reports, Charlie Nevlin was resting fairly well, with the chances against his recovery.

Charlie Nevlin did survive his wounds, and refused to prosecute John Nixon. In April 1895 the case was dismissed. Nevlin was a native of Upper Alton, and a member of one of the pioneer families of Upper Alton. His father, Nick Nevlin, was a butcher who had a “stall” in the old Union Market on Market Street in downtown Alton. Charlie Nevlin worked with livestock and the butcher business all of his life. He died July 25, 1936 from heart problems at the age of 75. He still carried the bullet in his body from being shot by John Nixon.

John Nixon died in July 1947 at the age of 79. He worked for the Illinois Glass Company and was the former night captain of police under the Mayor Beall administration.


Source: Alton Telegraph, September 2, 1897
Lincoln School, the two-room frame schoolhouse in Salu Addition, where Upper Alton colored school children are educated, took fire at 3 o’clock a.m. Tuesday. Before any material assistance could be had by the person who discovered the flames, the building was a heap of ashes and charred wood. The origin of the fire is unknown, but there are hints that it is incendiary, and some people go so far as to say they know who set fire to the building. The main building was of frame, and had been used for some time as a colored school, but to it an addition of one room was being made and was almost completed. The village school board set about that morning to engage rooms for school purposes, to be used until a new building can take the place of the old one. The burned building was insured for $500.

Later – William Pear, a fifteen-year-old colored lad, was arrested in Upper Alton Tuesday on a warrant charging him with the crime of arson, and being the incendiary who set fire to the colored schoolhouse that was destroyed Monday night. He has not yet been given his preliminary hearing. [The children met in the Upper Alton A. M. E. Church for their education, while a new, two-story, brick schoolhouse was being constructed. Number of students at that time was twenty-five.]


Source: The New York Times, December 1, 1897
No word has been received from W. L. Gillham, the missing Postmaster of Upper Alton. The United States authorities today took possession of the Post Office through his bondsmen, who have instructions to withhold the books from him should he return. Members of his family express the utmost confidence that Gillham's affairs, both in the office and in his private business, will be found perfectly straight. They profess to have little fear lest he will return and explain, but the fact that he has sent no word since the matter has been published broadcast, where it must have met his eyes, if alive, is in itself alarming. There are rumors abroad that tend to reflect upon his character and temperament, but these are so utterly at variance with his previous life and habits that they are given no credence, and the theory of foul play seems the most tenable.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 27, 1897
Jefferson Parks of Springfield is dangerously wounded by George Mack Clayton. The trouble began over a woman, formerly the wife of Clayton but who later left him and clave unto Parks. It seems that the then Mrs. Clayton became enamored of Parks, and at the last term of the City Court obtained a divorce from her husband. Later on she married Parks, and from that time on the feeling between the successful and rejected husbands was anything but cordial. Mr. and Mrs. Parks went to Springfield to live and came down to eat Christmas dinner with Mr. Samuel Nichols, Mrs. Parks' father. After eating dinner, Mrs. Parks bethought herself of certain household goods that she had when she left her first husband, and she sent her present husband after them. When Clayton saw Parks, he began to revile his successor, and then, 'tis said, the successor threatened to use a knife. Clayton pulled his revolver and began a fusilade which lasted as long as cartridges lasted. Then Clayton went into the house to reload his weapon, and Parks, who had been hit by the two bullets, started to walk away. He had gone but a short distance when he fell unconscious and was picked up by passersby. Dr. Yerkes was summoned and the wounded man taken to the Nichols home, where he still lies in a dangerous condition.

Source: Alton Telegraph, December 30, 1897
Jefferson Parks, the victim of the shooting, is getting along nicely at the Nichols home in Upper Alton. Parks, it seems, was not so badly hurt as was first supposed. One of the bullets that struck him did not penetrate the skin, and raised only a blister on his shoulder. The other bullet entered his abdomen, but did not perforate the intestines. He is in a fair way to recover, as his injuries are not necessarily dangerous. There will be no prosecution of Clayton by Parks, as he is satisfied that the causes of provocation were about even.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 14, 1899
The Alton Railway and Illuminating Company today started up the incandescent light system in Upper Alton, after meeting with a mishap on January 1, the date when it was first planned to start the system. The lights were tested today, and they worked to perfection. They will be lighted tonight, and it is calculated that the entire system - 60 lights - will work perfectly. This light will be better, it is thought, than the arc system, for the reason that they will not be shaded by trees.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 17, 1899
James Logsden, a saloonkeeper who has a saloon near the C. B. & Q. station east of Upper Alton, was arrested on a warrant sworn out by Col. A. M. Jackson of Western Military Academy, charging him with selling liquor to minors. The case was originally set for trial next Monday, but through a mistake as to the date, the plaintiff and defendant with their lawyers and witnesses appeared at the council room this morning. The case was dismissed at plaintiff's cost until Monday.


Source: Alton Telegraph, January 4, 1900
What might have been a very serious runaway occurred near the C. B. & Q. station in Upper Alton New Year’s Day afternoon. A horse attached to the milk wagon of William Roberts started to run away on the road leading to the depot, and became so wild the boys who were in the wagon, a son of S. H. Culp and a nephew of Mr. Roberts, Alvin Deen, could not control it. The horse dashed down the road and the Deen boy jumped from the wagon, but the door slammed shut after him, penning the Culp boy in. The Culp boy was badly cut about the forehead and was severely bruised. His father, S. H. Culp, was standing near when the runaway occurred, and saw his son thrown out when the final crash came, but did not know it was his son. The horse freed itself from the wagon, and running to the riverbank frantically leaped into the Wood river, fifteen feet below. The river was covered with ice and the horse broke through, sinking in the freezing water until only his nose was above the surface. The animal with almost human instinct kept its nose above the water until ropes were procured and fastened about its body. Then the shivering creature was dragged from the water.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 20, 1900
The town council held their meeting last evening. They passed two grading ordinances, the paving ordinance and curfew ordinance. At a recent meeting the curfew ordinance was amended so that the bell on the village hall might be rung for the curfew, but trial showed that the bell was not satisfactory for the curfew, so they amended the ordinance again and now the school bell will be rung at the curfew hour as heretofore.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 7, 1900
An old oaken barrel was found yesterday, buried six feet in the ground where the excavation is being done for the Upper Alton paving on Manning street. In the barrel were papers, the writing on which had become illegible, and the nature of the documents is not known. The barrel shown indications of having been buried a long time, and it is probable it was placed there long before the days of the street railway.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 24, 1901
Flames were seen issuing from the barn of Aaron Alred in Upper Alton about 10:30 Monday night, and although a big crowd of people collected immediately, the barn was completely destroyed together with all contents, including two horses, one valued at $300, the other at $50. The winter's feed, hay, corn, bran, etc., went also, as did some harness, a road wagon, and other things which run the amount of the loss up to about $500. There was no insurance. The work is thought to have been that of an enemy of Mr. Alred. About two weeks ago someone, through a crack of the barn, shot the mare, but did not inflict a serious injury. The perpetrator was never discovered, although strong suspicions are entertained concerning his identity. somebody set fire to the barn last night. No one up there appears to have any other theory, and a determined effort will be made to run the fiend down, who in order to "get even" with Mr. Alred, caused animals to suffer the awful agonies of a death by fire. Mr. Alred lives in the old Hasting's place.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 3, 1901
The Laclede Hotel, which for many years was conducted by Mrs. M. A. Bridges in Upper Alton, and became famed for providing a good table, was reopened today by Mrs. Bridges after a severance from hotel duties for over two years, during which time Pie Town has been without a hotel.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 12, 1901
Upper Alton News - Charles Wade will open a stone quarry at Rock Spring Park, where stone will be obtained to be crushed into macadam for the Upper Alton street paving. Mr. Wade has secured the contract for furnishing 600 squares of macadam, and will move his crusher to Rock Spring Park where it will be set up to crush the stone. The macadam will be hauled in wagons to College avenue, where it will be used as a bed for the paving.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 10, 1901
Twelve or fourteen years ago, one cold winter morning, a ten-year-old boy was found in a straw stack near Upper Alton, nearly frozen and half starved. He said he didn't know to whom he belonged, that he was always an outcast and that he had no relatives. He was taken in charge by a woman named Woods, and he worked on her farm several months when he disappeared. Last Wednesday, a fine looking, well dressed, prosperous looking gentleman appeared in Upper Alton and announced that he was "Ceon" Woods, the boy who was found in the straw stack. He had gone west and had prospered, until now he is able to reward everyone who was kind to him in the time of need. That is the reason he came back.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 15, 1902
Much interest is being taken in the new Upper Alton brass band that was organized last fall, but never did much in a progressive way until this summer, and now the boys are making up for all the time they have lost in the past. When the band was organized, about thirty boys and young men were taken in as members, and all were much interested and very enthusiastic, but by the time the boys got their instruments and began taking lessons, there were about eight or ten members that stuck to the organization. The remaining boys made good headway during the winter and now are able to play together. The boys about town all want to join now, but the membership will be held down to about twenty, which number they now have and are progressing rapidly. The town council has given the band the free use of the village hall two nights a week, and the boys will practice there on Monday and Friday evenings. Last night when the band boys arrived at the hall for rehearsal, there were about two or three hundred interested spectators gathered around the village building. The business men are going to give the boys a new bass drum and will do everything possible to help make a success of the organization.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 4, 1902
A car load of whisky was spilled on the ground in a wreck back of the Western Military Academy last evening. Train No. 84, loaded with stock, ran into train No. 80, loaded with general merchandise, while the train was stalled on the grade and was trying to make another start. The second train came up behind the first one and crashed into the rear end, the engineer being unable to see the train ahead on account of the drizzling rain and fog. The caboose of the forward train was thrown from the track, and the trainmen inside had wonderful escapes. A car ahead of the caboose was loaded with expensive whisky. The barrels were thrown out of the car and many were broken open. The ground was saturated with liquor, and the fumes were intoxicating to the men who were clearing the wreck. The Western Military boys obtained permission to view the wreck, and they went over to the place, but when Maj. Lowe discovered the nature of the contents of the car, he quickly lined the boys up and marched them away. The Upper Alton people soon learned of the accident, and many carrying buckets went to the wreck to "save" some of the whisky. It is said enough was saved to last the town for some time to come. Afterwards someone touched a match to the whisky and alcohol spilled on the ground, and it burned fiercely. A large part of the contents of the car was lost to the railroad company.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 14, 1903
A bad wreck with only one fatality occurred on the C. B. & Q. tracks two miles north of the Upper Alton station on a steep grade there. Engineer Frank Horn was instantly killed while trying to jump through his cab window. His fireman was not even scratched. The entire train left the track at a broken rail and leaped down an embankment ten feet high. The engine turned over on its side after running a quarter of a mile on the ties, dragging the mail, baggage, express and day coaches down the embankment with it. The chair car was tottering on the verge of the bank and the sleeper was just a little way off the rails. The day coach, containing about 25 passengers, was dragged from its trucks, thrown out in a cornfield and landed right side up. The passengers stayed in the coach until the relief train was sent and strangely enough, not a single passenger was injured. Among those in the car were Harry Bray, a traveling man, and Ed Thornton of Alton, both well known in this city. The fireman says that the last thing the engineer did was to set the airbrakes to stop the train, and he saw him try to leap through the window of the cab. Just then the engine turned down the embankment on the engineer's side and crushed Horn. The fireman escaped without an injury. The mail clerk's car was overturned, almost upside down, when the wreck occurred. G. L. Mitchell of Rock Island, and E. W. Ebey of Winchester, were the two mail clerks. They chopped their way out of the car with axes and were only slightly bruised, although their position was a bad one. Conductor Pollard was slightly bruised, and his brother, the baggage man, Amos Pollard, was also slightly hurt. The mail car stove was overturned and fire started in the car. Passengers carried snow and threw it on the fire, extinguishing it. The wrecked train was the one that formerly went through Alton to St. Louis at 4:10 p.m. The accident occurred about 4:30 p.m., just before the train reached a steep grade and a sharp curve. The wonder is that many of the passengers were not killed, and that the wreck was not more serious. The body of the engineer was taken from under his engine, No. 1163, at 2:30 o'clock Wednesday morning. The body was cared for by Deputy Coroner Streeper, who held an inquest and a verdict of death from the accidental overturning of engine No. 1163 was found. Horn's body was crushed in a horrible manner, and it is said there was not a whole bone in it. He was 55 years old and leaves a wife and one son. The body will be sent to Beardstown this evening for burial. The track has been cleared but the overturned engine and cars have not been picked up.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 25, 1904
As evidence of the rapid growth of the Altons, attention is called to the many additions, divisions and subdivisions being opened up in Alton, North Alton and Upper Alton, and the fact that the lots in these additions sell rapidly and sell to actual home builders should be conclusive proof that the Altons are "spreading themselves" greatly. Milton Heights addition to Upper Alton is the latest, and consists of 32 acres of land formerly owned by the late James Rixon, and which was purchased yesterday by W. W. Lowe, who has made several additions to Upper Alton already and has disposed of almost every lot in all of them. The tract is just southeast of Upper Alton and adjoins the Loehr & Lowe subdivision on the east. The location is high and healthful and commands a splendid view, river scenery, and of the surrounding country. Mr. Lowe set men to work Thursday clearing the land of all undergrowth, etc., and will have it surveyed and platted at once, and the lots will be ready for purchasers early in April.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 27, 1904
One of Upper Alton's oldest landmarks was removed when the old locust tree at the corner of Locust street and College avenue was cut down this week. The tree was a very large one and has been there for almost one hundred years, according to the oldest residents. This old tree gave the name to the street many years ago. The new brick sidewalks to be laid on that street made it necessary to remove the old landmark.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 1, 1904
Contractor A. Kleinschnitger has a force of men engaged excavating for the foundation of a building to be put up for William Stork on Manning street, Upper Alton, and these men Friday evening were startled badly when their spades uncovered the jawbones and grinning, ghastly-looking teeth of a human. Other bones were found, but the above were the only ones very well preserved, and it is thought the skeleton was that of a woman because the teeth were small and the jawbones smaller than is usual with a man. "The oldest inhabitant" does not remember of anyone ever being buried there, publicly, and is certain the place was never the site of a cemetery. Speculation is all there is concerning the identity of the remains, and speculation of that kind is not better than speculation generally is in other matters.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 17, 1904
The Upper Alton Band has almost become an Alton organization now. When the band was organized it was composed of Upper Alton boys only. Now the band has a new name (the Colonial Military) and there is nothing in the name that would make it give the impression that the organization was an Upper Alton institution. The band has an Alton leader, also several players, and has arranged for a rehearsal hall in Alton, which the band will begin using next week. The boys say that they were not given as much encouragement by Upper Alton business men and people generally as they might have been.


Car Load of Powder Explodes; Engineer Dies from Injuries
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 5, 1906
Two freight trains on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, No. 13 and second section of No. 80, came in head-on collision one mile and a half north of Wood Station, near Upper Alton, this morning at 8 o'clock. Fifteen cars of merchandise and two monster locomotives were demolished and immense damage was done to the two trains. The injured are: Engineer Gove. Hinderer of No. 13 of Beardstown, left finger fractured, dislocated shoulder and bad burns about the face; head brakeman, George Anderson of Beardstown, perhaps fatally hurt, left ankle broken, bad burns about the face and internal injuries; and fireman W. A. Anderson, a brother of the head brakeman, on No. 13, suffered only slight injuries to his chest. Engineer John Mason and Fireman Lee Franks, both of No. 80 and living at Beardstown, jumped and suffered only slight injuries. They were not brought to St. Joseph's Hospital with the two Andersons and Hinderer.

An incident of the wreck was the blowing up of a car of powder in No. 13 when the collision occurred. The report was terrific, and when the powder went up it blew the car to fragments, sending pieces high in the air and they came down in a rain, which threatened to kill the trainmen who had escaped from the wreck and were hurrying to help their less fortunate comrades. There were 400 kegs of powder in the car shipped from East Alton to Beardstown.

The wreck was due to a misunderstanding of orders. Engineer Hinderer had orders to meet the second section of No. 80 at Wood Station. He told the Telegraph today that he saw a train on the siding at Wood Station, and thinking it was the train he was to meet, he went on. It turned out the train he passed was an extra train. About one mile and a half out of Wood Station, No. 13 met the second section of No. 80. Both trains were running about 30 miles an hour when the impact occurred. The two trains were heavy ones and were being drawn by mogul engines. When the locomotives touched each other, they reared in air and fell backward. They were demolished and reduced to heaps of scrap iron. The engineer and fireman on No. 80 jumped and saved themselves, getting out on the side of the train that was safest. Engineer Hinderer and Brakeman Anderson leaped toward the side where the wreckage piled and were buried under the wrecks of their engine and the cars. Fireman Anderson, brother of the brakeman, was more fortunate, getting out on the safe side. Engineer Hinderer was able to talk at the hospital, after his injuries were dressed by Drs. Pence and Bowman. He told the Telegraph the details of the wreck, which are thrilling enough. When he recovered from the shock of the collision and the roar of the powder explosion, he found himself buried under the wreckage of the cars. Some heavy car timbers were underneath his shoulders and a pair of truck beams were across his stomach, wedging him in. Some heavy truss rods were across his legs and he was held a secure prisoner. With his thigh bone broken and his shoulder dislocated, he struggled with frenzy to release himself. The other men came to his assistance with axes and saws and tried to get him out, but could make but little progress. He called to the men to give him a saw, and with the saw he cut one of the heavy timbers which was holding him prisoner, and in the meantime the men were plying axes and saws to make an opening so he could be taken out. When the engine tumbled over, Hinderer says, he was just at the gang-way of the cab, and the hot coals from the firebox fell out of the fire door and tumbled in his face. He could not move his head and was slowly cooked about the face. His burns are frightful. He is burned about the body and face. "If that explosion of powder had set fire to the train," he said, "we would have burned to death in the wreck." Fortunately, the explosion did no further harm than destroy the cars and blow big chunks of wood and iron dangerously close to the trainmen.

Brakeman George Anderson was pinned down with a flat-car bumper on his side and firmly fastened under a mass of wrecked car beams. He was lying a car length away from Hinderer, and was rescued after considerable labor. He received many burns about the face from steam and hot coals. Fireman Anderson, who was only slightly hurt, gave a good description of the wreck. Fifteen cars were piled up, he said, about five of them being part of train No. 13, and the remaining ten being from train No. 80. The cars which were demolished on No. 13 were loaded with merchandise. There was one car of sewer pipe, three carloads of muslin, and one filled with iron nut-locks and bolts. The contents of the cars were scattered over the country for a long distance, and muslin was being blown around freely.

When the trains came together there was a terrific shock and everybody jumped. The two big engines reduced each other to scrap iron and then began blowing out scalding water and steam, and strewing fire around. Fortunately, none of the coals set fire to the wreckage, and the powder explosion was almost harmless. When the powder went off, several cars near the powder car were blown to fragments and their contents were sent up in the air with great force. Fireman Anderson said it seemed that the downpour of fragments lasted a half hour, whereas it could have lasted less than a minute. It kept him dodging big chunks of metal and wood and pieces of the contents of the cars, to save his life. He accompanied his brother to St. Joseph's hospital and attended at his bedside in the ward room, watching as the brother gave signs of needing any attention. The injured Anderson is 23 years old and married. The injured engineer is 30 years of age and has a wife and child at Beardstown. Dr. Pence said that George Anderson would probably die, as he gave symptoms of very serious internal injuries. The cars which were demolished were piled high in places and strewn around in others. The cost of the wreck is enormous, as a vast amount of property was destroyed. The work of clearing the wreck will require several days. The wrecked locomotives present the worst obstruction on the track, as they are in such a condition they can't be moved only in sections. The two men were in a bad condition at the hospital at noon. Anderson, the injured brakeman, was very ill from his internal injuries. Hinderer was suffering much pain from his hurts, but his condition was better than that of the brakeman.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 6, 1906
George Anderson, the head brakeman on the wrecked C. B. & Q. train No. 13, died at St. Joseph's Hospital last night from internal injuries he suffered in the wreck. The immediate cause of Anderson's death was abdominal injuries caused by him being caught between the bumpers of two of the wrecked freight cars. He suffered intense pain from the abdominal injuries and the attending surgeons could give no hope of his recovery from the beginning. Fireman W. A. Anderson, his brother, who escaped with slight injury, stayed with his brother's bedside until the end came. The body was turned over to H. J. Klunk and will be shipped to Beardstown tonight for burial.

Wood Station was located on Woods Station Road in Foster Township, about a quarter mile north of 255, on property formerly owned by Joshua Wood, who died in 1865. The Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad was constructed through this area in about 1871.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 18, 1906
The large Crawford amusement hall will be opened up a week from tonight by a chicken pie supper and festival to be held there by the ladies of the Upper Alton M. E. church. A mixed program will be rendered. This will be the first social function held in the new amusement hall, which will be completed and ready for occupation the first of next week.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 28, 1906
Go into the roller skate egg-race at the Crawford hall in Upper Alton tonight. Those who enter for the race will each carry an egg in a spoon. Come and see the fun, and get into the race.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 1, 1909
Tomorrow evening will be the grand opening of the Crawford Hall for dancing and everything is being arranged to make the opening night a great success. The interior of the hall has received a thorough cleaning out and is being beautifully decorated today. Skating has been discontinued for the summer, and the furnishings of the building have been rearranged so as to accommodate an immense crowd of dancers. Music will be furnished by an orchestra of three pieces. One thousand invitations were issued to the opening event, and a big attendance is expected. Dancing will be continued through the summer in the new hall on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 30, 1910
Just like it is the custom in the country to have a barn dance in a new barn before any of the stock or implements have marred the floors, has the Crawford hall in Upper Alton been worked before it's being changed into a livery stable. Parties that would never have been given were pulled off just to have one in this hall before it was wrecked. Speakings, pictures, basketball games, twenty or thirty farewell roller-skating events, and several oyster and church suppers have made the hall the most popular spot in Upper Alton the past month. Everyone was clamoring for it to give some sort of a farewell, and had Patti and Sarah Bernhardt heard of the hall, Upper Alton would have heard them at ten cents a ticket just as sure as these two celebrities love American farewells. Coroner Streeper, however, has decided that he will not encroach on Manager Sauvage in the amusement business, and that he is not a show man but an undertaker. Thus, the repairs have been started and where hilarity and laughter have ruled, the most quiet of all work will be carried on hereafter.

[NOTES: Crawford Hall was located on Washington Avenue in Upper Alton, in the 1600 block. Coroner Streeper opened his funeral home on the property when the hall was razed.]


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 19, 1906
Upper Altonians last night were taken back to the old days when that village was known far and wide as Pietown, by the pie-eating feats performed by scores of small boys and girls and grown up men and women. There were hundreds of pies of all kinds and all full size, and it was a comical sight to witness a very small boy tackling a very large pie and turn it around and around wondering where to sink his teeth in first to get the most lusciousness quickly. The pies were furnished by Crawford Bros. free of cost, and lemonade in large quantities was provided also.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 5, 1908
An Upper Alton correspondent to the Telegraph voices the sentiment of a large number of the Upper Alton people in expressing a note of dissatisfaction with the frequent use of the term "Pietown" by an Alton newspaper in referring to the village of Upper Alton. "Pietown" was the term used years ago when Upper Alton had little else to recommend it to the public than the ability of the ladies of the town to make good pies. They demonstrated their ability on more than one occasion, winning the hearts of men and making marriages possible in a community where pretty girls were having a hard time in offering attractions for young men to visit, wading through deep streets and long, dark highways. Today, however, Upper Alton has achieved a position in the world as a village unsurpassed for physical beauty as well as for other attractions as a residence place, and it is with the earnest desire that the one-time tribute to the culinary ability of the ladies be laid aside and a more dignified appellation be used, that the protest is sent to the Telegraph in order that the widest publicity may be given it. Upper Alton is deserving of more consideration than to be referred to slightingly as "pietown," and any person who has any sympathy with the village in its aspirations to enhance its natural beauty and make it more dignified as well as more pleasant as a home, will join with the plea that the people who continue calling Upper Alton "Pietown" cease it at once.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 7, 1910
Probably the oldest frame building in Upper Alton was destroyed by fire Saturday night at the southeast corner of College and Washington Avenue. According to old men who have lived in the village since they were young boys, the building was erected sometime about 1833. It was originally built near Shurtleff College, according to M. A. Lowe, and moved from there to its present location. This would make it about 75 years on one site. It was used for fifty years as a hardware and tin store.

The fire started in the Streeper Bros. place. It was discovered by some Upper Alton boys who had been attending the skating rink, and after the closing of the rink had taken a lunch at the Stalder Bakery on Washington Avenue. They were starting home, and on going around the corner at the Streeper store, discovered the interior ablaze. They ran to the Henry stable for help, and the hose cart was hurried from the village hall to the place where the fire was raging. The Streeper building, being a frame structure, burned so rapidly that nothing could be done to save it, and the entire building burned without anyone entering it.

The fire spread into the adjoining building occupied by Frank Sargent as an office, and later into the building on the other side occupied by Enos Johnson's bank and insurance office. These three buildings, all belonging to Edward J. McPhillips, were destroyed in a very short time. The fire spread to the double two-story brick building, also belonging to Mr. McPhillips, and occupied by John Leverett, L. M. Taggart, The Star Telephone & Telegraph Company, and B. C. Dailey. This building was saved, but all the tenants suffered some loss by fire and water, the telephone company being the heaviest loser. On the three buildings totally destroyed, Mr. McPhillips had $2000 insurance besides $50 plate glass insurance on the Streeper front. He estimates the value of the three buildings at $6000. The damage done the double brick building is covered by insurance.

The fire started a few minutes before 11 o'clock when scarcely anyone was on the streets, but within a half hour a crowd of six or seven hundred people were watching and fighting the fire. Hose house No. 3 in Alton responded to a call for help, and upon the arrival of the department a hose was attached at the corner of Main Street and College Avenue, and more water pressure was telephoned for. The pressure at the beginning of the fire was very poor, but when the extra force came it was more than sufficient. When the North side of the building fell over into the street, the Upper Alton hose was burned in two. Then it was so hot at the plug no one could shut the plug off, but finally Frank Loehr braved the heat and turned off the water. He had one of his ears severely burned. When it became evident that the three buildings would be destroyed, the attention of the fire fighters was turned toward saving the adjoining property. The hardest fight was made in saving the double brick building adjoining the fire on the east side. The second floor of the building on the side next to the fire is occupied by the Farmers Telephone Company, and two of the rooms were burning rapidly on the inside. Miss Marian Sweatenham, the night operator, stayed at the switchboard until the fire got into the building, when she hurried down the stairway into the street and did not go back again. The heat made it very difficult to fight the fire in this. The telephone company was badly damaged, but the fire was kept from spreading to the front room where the switchboard is, and the board was uninjured.

B. C. Dailey, who runs a grocery store in this same building and lives on the second floor over the store, had no insurance, and his household goods nor grocery stock, and for a time he was threatened. The back porch and doors were burned but the fire was kept from damaging his place further. While the _____ building was burning a large consignment of shotgun shells and rifle cartridges which had recently been received started to explode. The shells flew in every direction, and the crowd of spectators scattered. The noise made by the shells was like a Fourth of July celebration, and some of the shells went a block away from the fire. The rifle cartridges numbered five thousand, and they kept up a noise for a half hour. Soon after the fire started, the gasoline tank which fed the lights in the Streeper store blew up and the report shook the entire town.

Sunday was a quiet day in Upper Alton as far as telephone conversation was concerned. Both the telephone companies doing business in the town were heavy losers. The big Kinloch cable at the corner of Washington and College Avenues was burned a distance of several hundred feet, and the pole at the corner on which was a cut-off box, was also burned. The fire at the Star Telephone central office burned all the cables going into the exchange. Men worked hard all day Sunday, but telephone service was not resumed until today.

How the fire started or just where it started will never be known. When it was discovered the flames were running up between the Streeper and Sargent buildings, consequently it is supposed the fire commenced in the wall between the places. Both places had a stove at that wall, and both stoves were operated by the same flue. Streeper Brothers recently took an invoice of their stock, and they estimate the value of it at the time the fire commenced at $8500. They have $6500 insurance. Enos Johnson's loss was in office fixtures which was covered by insurance. On account of the banking business, he carried a large amount of money in the safe, which was not injured. The safe was opened Sunday afternoon and the money was taken out and removed to the vault at the First Trust & Savings Bank in Alton. There was said to be about ten thousand dollars in the safe. In the offices of Frank Sargent, John Leverett and Luther Taggart, there was no insurance. The loss by the Star Telephone Company is about a thousand dollars and is covered by insurance. The plate glass fronts in the drug stores of Barnard & Kerr and The Clark Drug Company were broken out by the heat from the burning buildings across the street. The Valentine Reininger house was saved by a hard fight, although it caught fire several times. The buildings of C. W. Leverett and W. C. Stork were also slightly damaged by the heat, but being brick structures they were saved. All these losses are covered by insurance. In the office of Frank Sargent, which is used as a polling place in Wood River township, all the election booths, tables and other elections supplies were burned up. E. J. McPhillips informed the Telegraph that he would erect a modern two-story brick building within the next few months to take the place of the Streeper building.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 5, 1910
The old fence in front of the Laclede Hotel property on Washington avenue, Upper Alton "resting place," collapsed last evening under the weight of a crowd of "resters" who were leaning against the fence, and when the crash came it was so sudden that all the crowd fell backwards with the fence. The fence has served as a leaning post for the loafers in Upper Alton many years, and there always has been plenty of loafers. B. C. Dailey, who conducted business in the Laclede hotel many years ago, says the old fence must have been built almost fifty years ago [1860]. It was well put up and was made of the best material and certainly lasted as long as it was intended to do. The collapse of the fence was a very amusing event. The fence did not stand up straight, but leaned in from the street a little, and from one end to the other it was lined up with loafers who were leaning on the fence and talking about the V. I. A. trip around the world, and the "airships" that were to be connected with the trip. Suddenly, someone shouted "there goes the airship," and pointed into the air. Everybody looked up, and as they did the fence collapsed, letting the whole crowd fall back into the hotel yard. Everybody had a fall, and although more than fifty young men were in the crowd, no one was hurt.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 30, 1910
Just like it is the custom in the country to have a barn dance in a new barn before any of the stock or implements have marred the floors, has the Crawford hall in Upper Alton been worked before it's being changed into a livery stable. Parties that would never have been given were pulled off just to have one in this hall before it was wrecked. Speakings, pictures, basketball games, twenty or thirty farewell roller-skating events, and several oyster and church suppers have made the hall the most popular spot in Upper Alton the past month. Everyone was clamoring for it to give some sort of a farewell, and had Patti and Sarah Bernhardt heard of the hall Upper Alton would have heard them at ten cents a ticket just as sure as these two celebrities love American farewells. Coroner Streeper however, has decided that he will not encroach on Manager Sauvage in the amusement business, and that he is not a showman but an undertaker. Thus, the repairs have been started and where hilarity and laughter have ruled the most quiet of all, work will be carried on, hereafter dancing fever and is arranging before wrecking the hall an old time dance to be given in the near future in his hall in Upper Alton. The dance is to be one of the kind they used to have in the olden days. The music will be furnished by some of the oldest musicians in this vicinity, and nothing but the old-time dances will be danced. Such a party ought to be a drawing card to all the elderly people of the city, as well as the younger, as it would furnish no end of fun for everyone. The dance will be arranged in a short time.



Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 1, 1910
The old house at the corner of College and Worden avenues in Upper Alton owned by Mrs. A. A. Kendrick is torn down. Work was started wrecking the old building yesterday, and today the work was completed and the building now is a pile of kindling wood. Many years ago the house was purchased by Rev. Dr. A. A. Kendrick, former president of Shurtleff College. Dr. Kendrick's family never lived in the house, but he rented it, and during the past fifty years many families have made it their place of abode. Mrs. Kendrick gave the old building the name of "Queen Ann," probably because she thought it was built in the time of the queen. The house is said to be at least one hundred years old, but it is not known exactly when it was built. Several of the old residents of Upper Alton were talking the matter over this morning, and several of them can remember when it was a log cabin and was the only house along the road. Col. A. F. Rodgers' memory runs back probably farther and more distinctly than any person living in Upper Alton, and he says the house was an old one 75 years ago. In after years, the house was weather boarded, but the old logs were still there until they were removed today. The house was not a very large one, although it had nine rooms in it, some of which were quite small. The old building gave shelter to those on the inside many cold nights, but it served its time and will no longer be one of Upper Alton's landmarks. Mrs. Kendrick will not build on the site at present.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 5, 1910
Captain William R. Wright, the veteran of the Mexican and Civil Wars, has given his account of what he remembers about the old house torn down last week at the corner of Worden and College Avenues. The property belongs to Mrs. Kendrick, and the house was called "Queen Ann." Captain Wright thinks the house was built about 1820. He says it originally stood near the corner of College Avenue and Seminary Street, about where the Baptist church stands, and that it was the original Shurtleff College boarding house. All that neighborhood was Shurtleff College property at that time, and the house was built of logs. Captain Wright says when he was a small boy, the house was moved down College Avenue to the location it kept until last week. He says there is no doubt but that it was the oldest house in Upper Alton.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 12, 1920
The house at the corner of College and Worden Avenues, known for many years as "Queen Elizabeth," was badly damaged by fire Sunday morning about 10 o'clock. The property was one of the Kendrick places, and was named many years ago as "Queen Elizabeth," by the late Mrs. A. A. Kendrick who owned the property. The house that formerly adjoined this one on the east had been named "Queen Ann," and both houses were used for tenement places by Mrs. Kendrick. The entire neighborhood knew the houses by name, and when a prospective tenant applied to Mrs. Kendrick to lease a place, the two places were always distinguished from each other by name. Some years ago "Queen Ann" became so old and the house was in such a bad condition, that the owners of the Kendrick estate had it torn down and the lot cleared up.

Sunday morning when the Sunday schools were in session "Queen Elizabeth" was discovered to be on fire. The fire had started around a flue on the east side of the house, and the fire had extended almost the entire length of the long structure underneath the roof before it was discovered. Mrs. Schafer, a widow, was occupying the place, and neighbors quickly carried all her belongings out into the street. The fire department did some good work, and it took a fight of over an hour by two companies to get the fire under control. Mrs. Schafer is a daughter of Mrs. Sam Winters, who resides in the C. & A. station house across the street, and she went to the Winters place when her home was destroyed.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 24, 1926
John Maul, a glassworks office worker, began work on building his new home at the corner of College and Worden Avenues, where the Queen Ann formerly stood. The Queen Ann and Queen Elizabeth were the names of two very old buildings that formerly occupied that corner. Both were owned by Mrs. A. A. Kendrick, and she named both houses.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 14, 1911
The Upper Alton village board passed, and Mayor Crawford approved, an ordinance which forbids the licensing of saloons in the territory of the village of Upper Alton. The ordinance was adopted at a special meeting last night to prevent the starting of any saloons in that territory as a protection to Shurtleff College and the Western Military Academy. The ordinance will make no change from existing conditions, but was passed for the purpose of setting at rest any feeling of alarm on the part of the educational institutions established in the village....The point that worried the college people was that their charter forbidding saloons within a mile, provides that the charter shall not interfere with the city of Alton licensing saloons in the city of Alton, even if within a mile of the college. The effect this provise would have in event of annexation was the cause of considerable discussion. However, the Supreme Court decisions have held that when a village is annexed to another, and at the time has a prohibitory ordinance in effect, licensing of saloons will be prohibited in the territory annexed. With this ordinance in effect, it is said, there will be much better chance of annexation carrying.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 10, 1911
The annexation of Upper Alton was in full effect Thursday evening (March 9). Mayor Beall sent a police officer to Upper Alton to begin looking after police duties there, and Friday a day officer was sent there. It is planned to give Upper Alton a day and night policeman. In addition, Mayor Beall told the crew at Eliot hose house to begin looking after any fires that might occur in Upper Alton. Later, when the motor trucks are received, this will be much easier.

The committee representing the Alton Board of Education went to Upper Alton Thursday night to hold a meeting with the Upper Alton Board of Education. They requested the Upper Alton members to continue discharging the duties of their offices until the close of the present school year, and thereafter the care of the Upper Alton schools will devolve on the board of the united corporations. The Alton committee received a partial report of the financial condition of the Upper Alton school, and will ask for a fuller report later. The situation was discussed with regard to the remainder of the District 99, which will be cut off from Alton unless the people decided to ask to be annexed to Alton. It was also discussed as to the future of the Upper Alton high school. The committee from the Alton board informed the Upper Alton board it would be probable the Upper Alton High school [located at Horace Mann School at Edwards and Seminary Street] would be discontinued in part to reduce the expense, as there is room in the Alton school. The plan suggested is to leave the first year or two in the Upper Alton school and have the remaining years at the Alton School.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 6, 1912
Upper Alton will now have an all-night street illuminating service. As the result of a conference between Supt. Macy of the Alton Gas & Electric Co., last night, with the Mayor and Finance committee of the city council, it was agreed that beginning Friday night, the all-night street lighting service would be started. The Upper Alton streets have been lighted with Tungsten incandescent lights. There are 73 the city pays for, and thirty the company gives free of charge. Heretofore, the rate has been $15 a year, and hereafter the rate will be $17.50 a year for each lamp. The Upper Alton contract has four years to run. Mr. Macy told the mayor that if he gets the Alton contract in 1913, he may be in a position to give better light than now for the same money.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 20, 1912
The house on Washington Avenue in Upper Alton, two blocks north of College Avenue, known as the Taggart Homestead, is said to be the oldest house in Upper Alton, and in fact is one of the oldest buildings in Alton. The exact age of this old house is not known, but it is evident it is almost 100 years old. The house is standing vacant at the present time for the first time in many years, and the owners are contemplating either wrecking it or completely remodeling and converting it into a modern house. The late Samuel B. Taggart bought the property from the Maxey heirs about forty years ago [1872], and the house was claimed at that time to be sixty years old. It was built by Bennet Maxey, an old Methodist minister, and the material used in it was cut from oak trees which stood on the surrounding ground. Every piece of wood in the house is oak, and was cut and worked up by hand. The joists are oak timbers twelve inches square, and are as good today as when they were first cut. The lath under the plaster were split out of oak, and the weather boarding is of the same variety. This house has furnished a home for many families in years gone by, and there are a number of old residents of the town who claim to have been born in it. The late I. H. Streeper occupied a part of the house with the Maxeys at one time, and the older children of his family were born in it. Luther Taggart was the last person born in the old house, and he lived in it with his parents twenty-seven years when the family vacated it. Since that, the house was occupied by tenants until recently, when it was vacated, and will not be occupied any more but will be either torn down or rebuilt. A fact known to few residents of Alton is that this old building once housed a saloon. In the early days before Shurtleff College had a state charter prohibiting saloons within a mile of the college buildings, the grandsons of Bennet Maxey conducted a saloon in the front of the house, where travelers stopped for rest and drink. The saloon was widely known, as there were many people in those days who traveled over land, and this saloon was a favorite stopping place with them. A white pine sign board, which was used as the sign for the saloon, is still in the possession of the Taggart family and is kept as a curiosity. The sign advertises "wine and beer." When this house was built, according to Judge C. W. Leverett, the tract of ground that belonged with it consisted of 255 acres. Ebenezer Hodges was the first owner, and there were several lawsuits and rows later on about the ownership, Judge Leverett says. Finally, the section of land was divided, and after passing through the hands of several persons, Bennet Maxey became the owner and he laid out Maxey's addition as it now is. His grandson, Thomas Maxey, was the last owner before the property was purchased by S. B. Taggart. When this old house is dismantled, as doubtless it will be in the coming year, one of the oldest landmarks in Upper Alton will disappear.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 3, 1912
One of the prettiest features of Rock Spring park, the little spring that gave the park its name, has been done away with. The natural fountain which bubbled forth from a cleft in the rock no longer pours water into the two little basins that are said to have been carved in the solid rock by the Indians. There were two little bowls into which the water ran, and it was possible to scoop up a cup full of water at a time. A few years ago the stream of water broke through in another place and poured forth in two channels thereafter. The park commissioners have had a hole cut in the rock farther upstream, about six feet, and in this have inserted a sewer pipe, well cemented in. The sewer tile drains all the water that formerly bubbled out of the old-time spring, the work being completed last night. Now, while the beautiful little spring has been wiped out of existence, the water that once came forth into the two little stone basins pours out of the mouth of the tile pipe, and anyone wanted a bucket of water can get it by holding a bucket under the end of the pipe. There will be many who will regret that the old-time spring has been changed, wiped out of existence. It was a pretty feature of the park, and one that was very attractive.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 10, 1913
Upper Alton is to become a part of Alton Township, as the result of the action of the County Board of Supervisors today, and the township unification plan is advanced one step further. The action of the county board, coming straight on the heels of the receiving of additional support as the result of the local option issue being raised in the township, caused considerable comment among the Upper Alton people. Supervisor George Penning declared himself as being positive that the matter would be contested in the courts. The original petition to the county board for the withdrawal of Upper Alton from Wood River Township into Alton Township was started for the purpose of boosting a good roads project. The people of Upper Alton defeated a bond issue proposition for good roads in the township, and it was desired to get them out of the township so they cannot vote again on the bond issue. The vote was taken and it stood 18 for, and 11 against, five not voting. This action will remove Upper Alton from Wood River Township, and may even invalidate the local option petition.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 24, 1913
W. A. Clark, the druggist, did not know when he started work yesterday to tear a hole in the brick wall that separates his drug store from the Ouatoga Theater, that he was going to produce another Alton nature fake. The Clark Building is the oldest business building in Upper Alton. Mr. Clark is making an entrance to his theater building from the interior of his drug store, and yesterday he set to work to tear a hole in the brick wall so the door could be put in. The wall was built with old-time, hand-made brick, and from the wall a brick was taken that has a perfect footprint of a wolf upon it. According to Sam Lowe, the building was put up in 1842. It is supposed that when the brick was manufactured in some of the old time brickyards that used to be in Upper Alton, a wolf came along and stepped upon this brick before it had been burned in the kiln, and was soft so that the wolf left his track upon it. Henry Fors, the Washington avenue butcher, was greatly excited over the find and he immediately asked Mr. Clark to give him the brick. He took it to his meat market and has it in his safe.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 6, 1914
The last trace of Upper Alton being in Wood River Township vanished today, when the old township safe, known for the last thirty years as the safe that locked with a "key and a nail" was moved from town. The safe was purchased by Wood River Township more than thirty years ago, shortly after Madison County organized into townships. For a number of years, it has stood in the Leverett real estate office on College Avenue, and it was moved today from that building and was hauled to East Alton where the Wood River Township officials will again make use of it. The safe that locked with the key and a nail was purchased about 1880 by S. B. Gillham, who was supervisor at that time, and John Leverett, who was town clerk. Those men bought the safe from Squire D. W. Collett, an old Upper Alton resident. It was an old-time piece of furniture at that time, and its age is not known. The old safe was used to protect documents from fire as it was not burglar proof. For many years it stood in the old Upper Alton village hall, but about ten years ago was moved over to the Leverett office where it remained until today.....The separation of the old safe that locks with the key and nail from Upper Alton today marks the passing of the last remnant of Wood River township from Upper Alton, and now that part of the city of Alton which used to be in Wood River township is a part of Alton township, and has forgotten that it ever was under the same jurisdiction as Bethalto, Wood River, East Alton and the other little places on the other side of the 6 miles square tract of land known as a township.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 20, 1917
What could be worse than being tied down to one girl? Even though she be the finest girl in the world, if she can tell you just what to do and when to do it, your life is not worth living. This is the view of the situation taken by a number of Upper Alton boys who have organized the Loyal Order of Independence. The order is not organized to stand up and fight for their country or anything like that. They have merely agreed that they will assert their independence as far as women are concerned and will not allow them to have the upper hand for a little while, at least. They hold it is no crime to go with a girl. If they continue to go with the same girl too many times in succession, they will be warned by the officers of the club that they are losing their independence. If they still persist, they will be fined by the club. The rules are strict and must be obeyed to the letter. But the members of the club are not woman haters. Quite to the contrary. They have arranged a series of dancing parties to be given during the winter months. The first will be given on next Tuesday evening at the Ouatoga Hall in Upper Alton for the members of the club and their friends. It promises to be a big success. Several other dancing parties and social times are to be given by the club during the winter months. The officers and the members of the Loyal Order of Independence are: Ted Ohnsorg, president; I. Streeper, vice-president; Arthur Zoll, secretary; Charles Whiteman, treasurer; members: Joe Clyne** Keith Day, Frederick Simms, Milton Casella, Ross Milford, Ray Elder and Paul Temple.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 3, 1917
Peter George, a Bulgarian farmer residing north of Upper Alton, is doing a big business making Bulgarian cheese, and he wants to enlarge his business. Mr. George is a very able business man and he is an expert in making this cheese that is a great favorite with the Bulgarians who are in this country and Canada. The European war has made it impossible for the Bulgarians to get the cheese to this country, and what little is made by them in this country is in great demand. A year ago, this winter, Peter George bought a small farm north of Upper Alton. He came to Alton from Granite City where he is an important man among the Bulgarians. Recently he inserted a little advertisement in a small weekly Bulgarian paper in that City and in the next mail that came to Alton after the paper was issued, came a big pile of letters for Peter George. Each letter contained an order for cheese and each order was accompanied by cash. Now Peter George has rented a big farm in addition to the small one he owns and will engage in dairy farming in order to produce the milk necessary in making the cheese. He is buying all the milk produced on the farms near him, and is paying the farmers 20 cents per gallon for it. He wants 200 gallons of milk a day, but so far he has been unable to secure anything like that quantity. Mr. George sent a man to Brighton this week to make milk contracts for shipping to Alton, but none could be secured. The Bulgarian cheese maker is going to purchase a herd of cows of his own at once. some of the orders that Mr. George received as the result of his advertisement in the Bulgarian paper came from Canada. He says he can make 25 cents out of every gallon of milk he can buy in the manufacture of Bulgarian cheese.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 1, 1919
The old residence building at the corner of Salu and Humbert Streets - the Wiest homestead - has been removed, and in its taking away, one of the oldest landmarks in that section of Upper Alton is gone. The property is owned by Samuel Spurgeon, who resides just south of the old homestead on Humbert Street. Mrs. Spurgeon was a member of the Wiest family. The house stood very near to the corner, the street lines of both Humbert and Salu streets running close to the house. At one time this house was one of very few that stood in the north section of Upper Alton, and as Salu addition was laid out and some houses built in it before the lower part of Upper Alton was ever a town, the Wiest place was no doubt one of the oldest houses in Upper Alton. For a number of years, the house had not been occupied. Mr. Spurgeon started a couple of weeks ago to wreck the old building and to clean up the corner. While the removal of the house takes away an old landmark, it makes a great improvement not only to the corner but to the others in general. Just what Mr. Spurgeon's plans are for improving the corner further is not known, but he evidently has some plan in mind which he will carry out later on.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 20, 1919
From 150 to 200 pounds of cream cheese are made every day in the year by Bulgarians, on the Theodore Simms farm, two miles north of Upper Alton, and the men operating the cheese factory intend doubling that amount as soon as possible, as they are not able to anywhere near supply the demand for the product. They have about 30 milk cows and are hunting more. They also buy some milk, and intend arranging for larger quantities from farmers. Not a drop of milk or cream is used in making butter, all of it going into cheese. This cheese, those who have eaten some of it say, is very palatable, and extremely nourishing. All is sold to foreigners living in Alton, and it is the intention of Mike Satierou, the chief of the company making the cheese, to develop the place into a large cheese producer like some of the places around Highland. There are three men - partners in the enterprise - and all are bachelors. In addition to the cheese making activities, the men are raising poultry, pigs and vegetables, and are said to be prospering in fine shape.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 6, 1920
The wounding of two girls Saturday evening about 10 o'clock in Rock Spring Park caused a mystery which has engaged the attention of Chief of Police Fitzgerald, with no satisfactory solution. The girls, Opal Whittico and Helen Shields, both employed at the Western Cartridge Company plant and living at the Dolly Madison Hotel, went to the park Saturday evening in a motorcycle and side car with Lawrence Porter and Charles Clark. Left alone for about twenty minutes by the two young men who rode to Upper Alton to buy some refreshments, the girls claim to have met a negro man who spoke to them, asked them if they were not afraid to be alone in the park so late, and later followed them. They believed he shot them. The Whittico girl was shot in the breast, the bullet coming out her back. The Shields girl was shot in the left hand, shattering a bone there. The Whittico girl's wound was said by the attending surgeons to be very serious and she would die. Sunday afternoon Miss Shields was taken to Rock Spring park, and there she went over the ground with Chief of Police Fitzgerald, Mayor Sauvage and two park watchmen, J. H. Dailey and Fred C. Fahrig. Miss Shields said that when the two couples went to the park Saturday evening they sat together, and it was proposed by the boys that they go to Upper Alton for some refreshments. The girls insisted that the boys ride on to Upper Alton and bring back the refreshments. The young men departed in their machine. Just as the sound of the departing motorcycle indicated the young men had passed out of the park, the girls were approached by a man they described as a negro. Miss Shields said that the negro inquired if they were not afraid to be out in the park alone, and he smiled at them. He passed on a short distance, and the girls moved nearer to the pavilion on the top of the hill. They went over to a gate west of the pavilion and stood there ten minutes, they said, when they noticed the man standing nearby with his arms folded and looking at them. The girls turned to run and took a course toward the pavilion, when four shots were fired behind them. The first bullet to take effect was in the hand of Miss Shields, and the second one hit Miss Whittico. Just how the bullet could have struck Miss Whittico in the front when she was running away could not be explained, as the girls did not recall having stopped in their flight to turn around. Miss Shields says that she and Miss Whittico ran down the hill and across a valley and up another hill and arrived at the Rock Spring country club. There they were given help. Both girls fell from exhaustion from loss of blood when they reached the country club. A dancing party was in progress there, and the arrival of the bloodstained, wounded girls caused much excitement. The police department was notified and an effort was made to look into the story told by the two girls. Their stories agreed in all details. They firmly believed that the man they described as a negro was the one who shot them. They could attribute no motive for the shooting. during the investigation of the ground where the shooting occurred it was evident that there was some confusion in the story told by the girls as to where they had gone, what direction they had run and where the person who did the shooting could have been standing. Blood spots on the ground, on benches and on trees indicated that the girls had take a course different from what was pointed out by Miss Shields. J. H. Dailey, watchman at the park, said that he heard many shots being fired from passing automobiles on the eve of Fourth of July, and he was of the opinion that someone might have accidentally wounded the two girls. Fred Fahrig corroborated his statement of shooting. He said that he had seen a dark complected man hanging around the park during Saturday afternoon, and the man acted very queer. It was said that this man was not a negro, but might have been mistaken for one. However his description did not tally close with that of the man the girls reported having seen. The two young men who were at the park with the girls said they had left the girls alone only when the girls had insisted on it. It was denied that they left any revolver with the girls or that the girls had a revolver. The two young men said that they returned to the park after the shooting and met Fred Fahrig, who, attracted by the discharge of arms, had gone over to investigate. The girls were not around, having gone to the country club. The two young men asked Fahrig if he had seen any girls, and Fahrig said he had not but had heard girls crying for help and had gone to help them, but could not find them. The spot where the girls were shot was indicated by a hat belonging to one of them, which was dropped. Both girls had fallen to the ground after being shot, and one lost her hat, but the other kept hers. It was the location of the hat, coupled with the girls' story of their movements, that caused some confusion, together with the fact that one was shot in the breast, the bullet passing straight through her body and coming out her back. The two girls came here from Gillespie last April to take jobs at the cartridge plant. Their families live at Gillespie and were called to Alton when the girls were injured. The attending surgeons found Monday that Miss Whittico was in a bad way. She took a turn for the worse, developed bad heart conditions, and it was concluded that she would not be able to pull through. She was living this morning, but it was the opinion of one surgeon that she would not last through the day. Assistant States Attorney Gilson Brown and Chief of Police Fitzgerald went to the hospital this afternoon with the intention of taking a statement from Miss Whittico.

Mystery Still Shrouds Park Shooting Case
Alton Evening Telegraph, July 7, 1920
Uncertainty still beclouds the shooting of the two girls who were wounded Saturday night at Rock Spring Park. Thinking that Miss Opal Whittico was about to die, Assistant States Attorney Brown and Chief of Police Fitzgerald went to the hospital yesterday afternoon to get a dying statement, but neither told the girl that she was in a dying condition, and it was perhaps fortunate. Though she had every indication of being close to death, she rallied afterward, her pulse and respiration showed great improvement. She is suffering from pneumonia from the bullet traversing her lungs. Miss Whittico made no change in her story, except admitting that the two girls might have moved about a bit after the shooting, more than they said at first, and might have sat down on a bench and touched other benches. Dr. Mather Pfeiffenberger said today that on making a re-examination of Miss Whittico today, the first one since he dressed her wounds at the time of the shooting, he became convinced it was impossible to say whether the bullet entered from the back or the front. The bullet hole in the breast is 2 inches higher than in the back. The holes are the same size, front and back, and Dr. Pfeiffenberger showed the wounds to Dr. Shaff, who declared that in his opinion there was no way to form a correct conclusion in that case which way the bullet entered. Dr. Pfeiffenberger expressed the opinion that the bullet might have been fired by a Fourth of July celebrant, and as the girls said that one was running in front of the other, the same bullet might have struck both of them. Assistant States Attorney Brown said that he was puzzled over the story, but he had been going on the first statements of the doctors that the wounds were from the front, and had not heard the later statement that re-inspection could not establish in what direction the bullet traveled.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 2, 1921
George Y. Henry of East Alton has contracted with the city of Alton to grade the dirt streets of 25 blocks in Upper Alton for the sum of $270, and will begin work on the job at once. Henry has agreed to smooth out the surfaces of the streets and grade them to the proper angles for drainage, and will guarantee them to be satisfactory. The funds to pay for this work will come from the ward funds, and after the grading is completed, it is proposed to oil the streets. Money for this purpose is to be raised among the property owners of the streets improved, and is already partially arranged for on Evergreen and Burton streets. Harold Curdie, who has purchased the road equipment of Stafford and Miller, has offered the city the use of a steam roller to pack down the street in this work. Curdie has a contract for paving in Vermillion, Ill., and says that if the city can use his roller right away, it will be at their service free of charge.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 17, 1921
A party of gypsy women went through Upper Alton, entering business places and grabbing up everything they could lay hands on and absconding - except in places where they were forcibly restrained. Mrs. W. F. Lindley made them drop the articles they picked up at the Lindley store; they were forcibly ejected from the Megowen & Kelly store; at Bernard & Williamson Drug Store they were compelled to desist. One woman grabbed a handkerchief from the pocket of Frank Loehr at the McKee store, and Loehr simply reached out, seized the woman and took the handkerchief away from her. He replaced it in his pocket, and a few minutes later discovered that the woman had picked his pocket of $30 while he was recovering his handkerchief.


Includes Ouatoga Theater and Kerr Drugstore
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 21, 1921
The William A. Clark corner in Upper Alton [southwest corner of College and Washington Avenues] has been sold for twenty-five thousand dollars, according to announcement made today by the Hall Realty Company, who have handled the deal. The name of the purchaser is not announced, but it is reported that Frank N. Hussey is the buyer. The deal is one of the largest made in Upper Alton real estate in a long time. It involves the entire Clark corner, which includes the Ouatoga Theater, Ouatoga Hall, Clark residence, and the Kerr drugstore. The Ouatoga Hall is to be abandoned as far as hall purposes are concerned, and the space will be used for light manufacture, according to the announcement of the Hall Realty Co.

The Clark residence, which was a part of the old Laclede Hotel, will be remodeled and converted into office rooms. The theater will be improved and made a first-class picture house. The Kerr drugstore will continue to occupy the corner, S. B. Kerr holding a lease on that part of the building. The Hall Realty Co. announces several other transactions wherein two or three pieces of real estate in Alton and St. Louis and sold for W. A. Clark to Frank N. Hussey. The Hall firm is to handle the Upper Alton real estate sold by Clark for the purchaser.

The southwest corner of College and Washington Avenues in Upper Alton originally belonged to Ezra Webster, who operated a general store there. He sold out to Kittinger, who continued operating the store. William A. Clark bought the property and established a drugstore. He constructed the Ouatoga Theater and Hall just to the south of the corner. In 1914, he rented the property to the S. B. Kerr Drugstore, who operated there until 1935, when the Kerr Drugstore moved to 2512 College Avenue. After 1935, the corner property was owned by various businesses, including Helen Kay Beauty Shop, Thies Dry Goods, and Fashion Lane (opened in 1959). The building was torn down in 1997 to make way for Walgreens.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 20, 1921
A corps of special and regular officers, headed by Constable Arthur Watkins of Upper Alton, made a raid of great importance on a still that was being operated on the farm of J. P. Lorch, north of Upper Alton. The officers found a still going full blast, and three men who were conducting it fled when the raiding party arrived on the scene. The still was hot, and it was necessary to wait three hours while the outfit cooled off enough for the raiding party to dismantle it and load it on a truck to bring it to town. The outfit filled the truck and it occupied about one fourth of the room in the outer part of the police station. It was viewed by many hundreds of men today. Chief of Police Lind said that he does not know what to do with it, as he is beginning to be cramped for storage room for the outfits which have been brought in.

The raid was made just after the plant had been put in full operation. It evidently had been moved from some other place. While the copper equipment had the appearance of having been used much before, the concrete vat in the cellar of the Lorch home, which was big enough to hold about 10,000 gallons of mash, was brand new. When a raiding party visited the place last week, they said that the outfit was not there, but the vat was in the cellar. Considerable work had been done to get ready for the starting of distilling white mule. The officers stated the vat was full of raisin mash. The vat being in the cellar of the house was connected by a big rubber hose buried in the ground, which extended 100 feet to the horse barn, where the still was being operated. The mash was pumped through the rubber hose to the still in the barn. The men operating the still had set their furnace between two mangers where there was an abundance of straw and hay, and the wonder was expressed that they had not set afire to the barn when they built the hot fire they had going. Mrs. Lorch called at police headquarters this morning and she said that some time ago she rented the cellar and the barn to a man, but she could not tell who he is. Her husband, she said, is very sick at the home in the cellar of which the mash vat was built. He knew nothing of the affair, she said.

The members of the raiding party, besides Constable Watkins, were Officers McReynolds, Rotsch, McFetridge, Dempsey, and Deputy Sheriff Joe Dailey. They said that the men on the job made no fight at all, but fled in a hurry when the raiding party came up. There was no chance to catch any of them, the raiders said. The indications were that the gang had set up this big still as a means of getting a big supply of whisky to supply a gang of bootleggers in Alton. The raid last week, when a small still was found, was really directed against the big one on the Lorch place, but it was necessary to delay making a raid there because of the unreadiness of the plant to manufacture booze at that time. One of the interesting features of this plant was that it seemed to be one that could be operated without the use of water for cooling the coils. The raiders said that they found no water in the outfit and no connections from which water could be brought. Part of the still was in the loft of the barn, and part of it was on the main floor. There was a complicated system of big copper vessels and pipes and pumps through which the mash was pumped to put it through the various processes. Altogether the outfit was perhaps the most expensive one that has been found so far. The raw material which would be needed to supply the still would necessarily be large amounts. Constable A. C. Watkins said today that he led the raid in compliance with orders from Sheriff George Little, taking with him deputy sheriff Joseph Dailey and the police officers, all of them specially deputized.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 21, 1921
Many hundreds of people had viewed the big white mule still which was stored in the police station all day yesterday. No find ever made by the authorities in the history of the city had ever aroused so much interest as this still. All day the throngs were coming and going, and it was suggested it would be a good plan to finance the city hall product to charge admission to view the captured still. No attempt was made to keep count of the visitors, but it is estimated that more than a thousand saw it during the day. All day today they were still dropping in to view it, but the still had been moved. It was taken downstairs and put under lock and key where it would be safe from hands of those4 who had no business with it. When the authorities are through with the still, they may have it broken up and sold for junk. Though several persons suspected of having knowledge of the persons who were mixed up in the operating of the still have been questioned, no arrest has been made, and it is doubtful that enough proof has yet been secured to warrant an arrest being made. The identity of the three men working in the place where the raid was made has not been established. The great tank of mash in the home of Mr. and Mrs. John P. Lorch was still fermenting, and it has become a problem for the inmates of the house to dispose of it. Indications are that the mash will soon become so offensive that it will make the house uninhabitable. As stated yesterday, the pump and the pipe through which the mash could be drained were taken out by the raiders, working under the direction of Sheriff Little of Madison County.

Hundreds of people went to the police station to view the still the police had confiscated. A joke was made that they should charge admission, which would have provided money to finance the city hall. The police made plans to dismantle the still and sell it for junk. The vat in the Lorch house was drained, under the direction of Sheriff Little. No arrests were made.

The John Lorch farm (formerly the Rosenberger farm) was located north of Upper Alton, about where Bowl Haven now sits. In 1922, because of failing health, he and his wife moved from the farm into Upper Alton. He had previously worked at the Western Cartridge Company in East Alton. He was the son of John P. Lorch Sr., who ran a small store at the corner of Washington Avenue and Amelia Street in Upper Alton. John Jr. died not long after this event.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 12, 1922
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mooney at Main and Judson street was destroyed by fire this morning at 10 o'clock. The fire is thought to have been started by a defective flue. Firemen responded to the call, but were hindered in their work by water plugs, at the corner of Main and Judson and at Washington and Judson, being frozen. Mr. Mooney, who works night for the Illinois Terminal, was asleep when the fire broke out. He was aroused and with the help of neighbors carried out the furniture. The loss to the home is estimated at $4,000. The building is a six room, one story house and was built by the late Frank Eberlein and was occupied by the Eberlein family as a residence for a number of years. Mrs. Margaret Cook, widow of Dr. E. A. Cook, and her son, Edgar, occupied part of the house. The J. A. Holmes home, next to the Mooney house, was blistered and scorched by the heat, but water from a small garden hose prevented the house from catching on fire.


Scant Clothing and Shimmy Not Allowed in Dance Hall!
All of Flapperdom on Trial!
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 20, 1922
Resisting an officer and assault and battery on the officer were the charges preferred by Mrs. Clara Lowe, Police Matron, against Margaret Carter and Mrs. Bessie Garber, sisters, as the result of a row in Sweetin's Hall in Upper Alton Saturday night. It all came from an attempt on the part of Mrs. Lowe to exclude the two women from the dance hall. The Police Matron objected to the style of dress worn by Mrs. Garber. "If she had sneezed, she would have had next to nothing on," was the way Mrs. Lowe saw it, and she said that the scantiness of it as not too bad as the frailty of it.

Mrs. Lowe said that she had once before told the girls to keep away from the dance hall and they came back Saturday night. It had been a strenuous evening with Mrs. Lowe. She was striving as dancing censor, to suppress the shimmy and other dances she had proscribed, and right there was Mrs. Garber, garbed in a dress which Mrs. Lowe said was shocking to her. She ordered her out of the hall. Mrs. Garber retired to the dressing room, put on a black dress and came back. Mrs. Lowe still insisted on her leaving. Then Maggie Carter came into it, according to Mrs. Lowe, and attempted to obstruct the ejection of Mrs. Garber, her sister. One of the women challenged Mrs. Lowe's physical ability to eject anyone from the hall and the doughty Police Matron never took a dare. She went to it and so did the sisters. When the melee was broken up by police officers, Mrs. Lowe's glasses were smashed, her hat knocked off, her hair had been pulled and she had been slapped in the face, but she was full of fight and seemed mistress of the situation. She said that some of the men interested themselves in behalf of Mrs. Garber, and the row became general by the time the policemen - Jeffers, Morrow and Moran - came to her aid. The men were not locked up.

For the part the two women had in pulling the hair, knocking off the hat and breaking the glasses of the plucky Police Matron, Mrs. Lowe had them booked for trial in the police court. Following the fight, Mrs. Lowe reiterated her purpose of stopping women going to public dance halls with too little dress and when using dances with too little modesty in them. The two accused women took a change of venue to Justice Lessner's court, and there they were granted a continuance to Thursday. They indicated their intention of fighting the case and will get a large number of witnesses.

The case against Bessie Garber and Margaret Carter came before Justice Lessner, who had to move the proceedings to a large venue because of the large crowd (about 300) who assembled to watch the proceedings. At least ninety volunteered to testify for the defendants, and a collection was taken up to pay the attorney (who received $25 for his services). It seemed all of “flapperdom” was on trial. The question that was raised was “can the police regulate clothes and dances?” Dances such as the shimmy, camel walk, “Chicagoing,” and cheek-to-cheek dances were forbidden by the conservative Police Matron Clara Lowe. She was back up by Upper Alton Mayor Crawford. Accordingly, any dance hall breaking the rules would be subject to lose their license. A jury was selected, and Justice Lessner cautioned the spectators that they must be silent. The two defendants, Bessie Garber and Margaret Carter, arrived in court dressed as they had been at the dance hall. People stood in the windows, on chairs, and benches to get a view of the court scene. Witnesses testified, and it became evident that it was necessary to continue to case to the next Monday.

On the following Monday, March 27, 1922, the case was taken up once again. The list of witnesses was cut, as the defense wanted to get through the trial without another delay. In the closing argument for the defense, Attorney W. P. Boynton quoted a poem, “On with the dance, let joy be unconfined. No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet. To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.” The jury decision came down – they took the side of the defense, which claimed the girls had acted in self-defense, and that they had done nothing worthy of causing them to be excluded from the dance hall. Applause and shouts broke out in the room. Justice Lessner attributed the “adverse” decision of the jury to the fact that the witnesses for the city “fell down.” One prosecution witness refused to answer, another said she shut her eyes during the row, and another said he didn’t see a thing. The dance hall, which had been closed, was allowed to open again. Police Matron Clara (Scovel) Lowe was born in Alton on May 31, 1875. She was the daughter of James F. and Charlotte Scovel. She married Norman S. Lowe. Mrs. Lowe served as the Upper Alton Police Matron under Mayor Crawford. In the later years of her life, she devoted her time to the care of her invalid husband. She was the mother of one child, who died in infancy. Clara died on October 3, 1948, and is buried in the Upper Alton Oakwood Cemetery.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 20, 1922
A. S. Burt of Pana [Illinois] is the new owner of the Stork Laundry on College Avenue, since the closing of a deal Saturday night, whereby he bought the property from John Stork, the owner of the laundry and the man who established the business. In turn, Mr. Stork took over a fine farm of 300 acres on Missouri Point near St. Charles, which was a part of the consideration. The plant was valued at $30,000. Mr. Burt is a laundry man and is operating a plant at Pana. He has had many years’ experience in the business, and it is said he intends to make improvements on the Alton plant that he has purchased. John Stork said today that the new owner will take charge on December 4.

Burt first tried to buy the Stork Laundry about a year ago. At that time Mr. Stork did not care to sell and no deal was made. In the last three months the new owner called at the plant several times with a view toward buying. The deal was finally closed Saturday night. As soon as the deal was closed, Mr. Stork purchased from Jake Thompson, the latter's farm north of Bethalto, consisting of 112 acres. Mr. Stork opened a coal mine on the Thompson place last summer, and has been mining his coal for the laundry. He had a coal lease on the land, and after he sold the laundry, he decided to purchase the farm outright. Mr. Thompson will have a sale at the farm next Thursday and will move to Alton to a house on Fourth Street. As soon as the sale is over and the Thompson family leave the farm, Mr. Stork will move to the farm. He and his son, Alein, will devote their entire attention to the developing of their coal mine. They will rent out the farm land. It is the intention to put in a modern equipment at the coal mine and to mine coal on a large scale.

The sale of the Stork Laundry is quite an important event in Upper Alton real estate and business affairs. Mr. Stork established the laundry about fifteen years ago [1910], buying out a small concern of the kind at Bunker Hill and moving the machinery to Alton. He made improvements every year, and on two occasions he experienced laundry fires that crippled the plant very badly. In spite of these difficulties, Mr. Stork continued to make improvements until he has one of the best plants in the country now, with fireproof buildings and a big business. He has been a very hard worker, and the success of his business is due largely to his untiring efforts. The Western Military Academy has always been one of the largest patrons of the Stork Laundry since the plant was started.

John Stork and his brother, William C. Stork, came to Alton from Pennsylvania in about 1893. They had both learned the trade of tailoring, and they established a tailor shop in Upper Alton under the name of Stork Brothers. After several years, the brothers dissolved their partnership, and each conducted a shop of their own. John Stork started his own tailoring business in the old Rising building on the south side of College Avenue. He later expanded to include the laundry business, and from that grew the Stork Laundry, which was opened the day after Thanksgiving in 1910. It was the first steam laundry in Upper Alton, and was located at 2517 College Avenue. The stork was John’s trademark, and it was placed on shirt boxes and wagons. After a fire damaged his building in 1919, he erected a modern building and reopened. John Stork also owned a farm at Coulterville, Illinois, and operated it as a sideline. Later he conducted the Lincoln Hotel [formerly the Franklin Hotel] on State Street in Alton. Both his wife and son, Alein Stork, died at the hotel. In 1922, the Stork Laundry was sold to A. S. Burt, and John took up farming and coal mining. John Stork died in 1938.

The Stork’s Cleaners and Furriers was founded by William C. Stork (John’s brother) at 1655 Washington Avenue in Upper Alton. William later turned over the cleaners to his sons, Bill and Joe. In about 1958, Bill and Joe parted ways, and Joe opened Joe Stork Cleaners on Godfrey Road, which was in operation until 1999, when the property was sold to CVS Pharmacy.


FORKEYVILLE NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS: [Forkeyville is located east of Upper Alton, and the intersection of Fosterburg Road and Rt. 140.]


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 12, 1895
Charles Isenberg, late proprietor of the saloon at "Forkeyville," will move to Bethalto soon and start a butcher shop.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 26, 1904
C. A. Wildi, who conducts a saloon at Forkeyville, east of Upper Alton, was arrested on a capias [warrant] issued from the county court on information filed in court July 21, that Wildi was conducting a saloon without a license. All the illicit saloon keepers in the county have been similarly dealt with and their cases are set for hearing before Judge Hillskotter, August 2. The saloon keepers will be fined on a plea of guilty, will pay their fines and costs and escape with a very light penalty. The saloon keepers in the county throughout Madison find it much cheaper to pay a fine biennially or even annually than it is to take out the county license. This is an evil the county board has been trying to correct, but so far without any success whatever. The state's attorney should see to it the fines of these saloon keepers are made commensurate with the amount of the license fee.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 19, 1906
This morning C. A. Wildi, the operator of the "Forkeyville" saloon, agreed to quit business and close up the place. Charges were preferred against Mr. Wildi by Rev. C. C. Hall and Prof. H. C. Tilton, and he was indicted for selling liquor without a license. Upon agreeing to quit business, the gentlemen who preferred the charges had the indictment quashed. Warrants were sworn out by the same persons against the proprietors of the Fritz saloon and the O'Leary and Purvis saloon at Yager Park, and these men were given a hearing this afternoon in Justice W. C. Elder's court in Upper Alton.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 12, 1906
The residence of Peter Edsall, opposite the "Forkeyville Saloon," east of Upper Alton, was destroyed by fire about 3 o'clock this morning. Mr. and Mrs. Edsall lived in the house, which was a two-story structure, alone. They were wakened this morning by smoke in the house and upon investigation found that the kitchen was on fire and that almost everything in it was burned up. Mr. Edsall immediately began to remove the furniture from the other room upon seeing that the house was doomed. He succeeded in saving most of it, but valuable papers were destroyed. Nothing was saved from the kitchen. He attributes the fire to a wall lamp which was left burning in the kitchen. The house was owned by C. A. Wildi of Upper Alton, and was insured. Mr. Edsall had no insurance on his household goods.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 10, 1910
The property at the forks of the road east of Upper Alton, known as "Forkeyville," has been sold to the Birch Brothers of Upper Alton. The Birches intend to start a poultry farm on the place, and will take charge of it immediately. Mart Smith has been living in the property for some time, and he moved out today, coming to Upper Alton to a cottage on Park Avenue.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 25, 1913
The prospects of starting the insane hospital work has stirred up much activity in Upper Alton real estate, and also in the vicinity. Yesterday the old building occupied for years as a saloon of "Forkyville" was sold to Barr Dailey by C. A. Wildi for $2,000.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 28, 1913
William Dailey, who recently bought the triangle property at the forks of the road east of Upper Alton, sent some men out there this morning to start work. The first job to be done is some wrecking in the old house, where the Forkyville saloon was formerly kept. William Oswald has taken the contract for the wrecking to be done on the interior of the building, and he was at work there today. Mr. Dailey will improve the property and start a saloon there. He kept a saloon in the place before starting one in the East End.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 7, 1913
The fears that there would be a saloon started in the territory formerly comprising the old village of Upper Alton, or even in the out building known as Forkyville, have been dashed, by the statements of the authorities. State's Attorney J. M. Bandy has authorized the public statement that he will not, under any circumstances, allow an illicit saloon to be conducted in the Forkeyville saloon building recently bought by Barr Dailey for that purpose. Mayor Faulstich is quoted as saying that Dailey cannot start a saloon within the limits of the old village of Upper Alton. A building was recently purchased in the north end of the old village, over a mile from Shurtleff College, in which it was planned to start a saloon. The mayor declares he will issue no license, as long as he is mayor, to any person for a saloon in what was Upper Alton territory. Thus, two buildings have been acquired for the purposes of starting saloons and neither can be used for the business.


Source: Alton Telegraph, June 19, 1913
Will Dailey has sold his saloon in the East End to his bartender, Ed Young, and Mr. Dailey plans to re-open the "Forkeyville" resort in big style. Some time ago the State'a Attorney, J. M. Bandy, gave his word that the "Forkeyville" saloon would not be opened. It is within a mile of the city limits of Alton and no license for the place can be granted. Barr Dailey, father of Will Dailey, told a Telegraph reported today that his son would start at once fixing up the Forkyville place he recently bought. He will do some more building, erect a dance pavilion, have a merry-go-round, and will sell beer and other liquors there. It is said that the Forkyville saloon cannot be closed unless the Yager Park saloons are closed, they, too, being within a mile of the limits of Alton. Dailey plans to build a concrete dike around the place from Wood River's floods. It is very probable that the attempt to open the saloon will be resisted by persons interested, as the Western Military Academy is strongly opposed to any saloon at "Forkyville," and there are others who are opposed, too.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 17, 1914
William H. Dailey purchased the property at the forks of the road known as "Forkeyville." Since purchasing this real estate, Mr. Daily has greatly improved it. All the old out-buildings have been torn down and some new and up-to-date buildings have been put up in their place. The main building itself has been put up in their place, and Mr. Dailey and family are living in it. He is also building a new house across the road on some of the ground that originally belonged to this piece of property.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 23, 1914
Once more the building at the forks of the road will be a business house, but the business to be conducted there in the very near future will be entirely different from the kind of business "Forkeyville" got its reputation from. Dry goods will be handled there instead of wet goods. William Dailey, the new owner of the famous Forkeyville property, is getting ready to open a general store there, and he will handle a complete line of groceries, dry goods and general produce. Contractor O. M. Elder is at work in Mr. Dailey's building putting in the shelves in the storeroom and otherwise getting the place ready to accommodate the new business line that will soon be opened there. This store will be a great convenience to the residents of the country east of Upper Alton, which is rapidly building up. When the state decided upon this location for the insane hospital and finally purchased the site east of Upper Alton, Mr. Dailey at once recognized the fact that Forkeyville would be a valuable location for business purposes, being located between Upper Alton and the hospital site, and he bought the place, improved it and is living there.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 13, 1919
Daniel Hartnett Jr. will operate a grocery store in the building at the forks of the roads just east of Upper Alton, which was for many years a saloon, and which was known as Forkeyville. Mr. Hartnett Sr. has purchased the property from William H. Dailey, and he will turn it over to his son who will conduct the business. This piece of property has had a history owing to the saloon which was run in it at many different times in years gone by. Henry Vahle leased the property some years ago from Mr. Dailey, and the latter continued the business in their property that Mr. Dailey had started. Since the Alton State Hospital has been in operation, this location has become quite a good business spot, and Mr. Vahle has been doing well. When he vacates the building, Mr. Hartnett will take charge and will continue in that line. Mr. Vahle owns a couple of lots on the south side of the road on the "Q" hill, and he will at once commence to build a residence and a business building upon these lots. When he leaves the "Forkeyville" location, he will conduct the same line of business in his new property that he is about to commence. College avenue between Upper Alton and the State Hospital is becoming a real business way judging from the new stores that are to be started upon it.


William H. Dailey
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 20, 1921
William H. Dailey dropped dead this morning about 12:45 o'clock in his home about five minutes after coming in from his place of business and locking the door. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Barzilla C. Dailey, were asleep upstairs and they heard him enter the house at the usual time when he closed his place of business. Only a few minutes after he locked the door, they heard him fall to the floor. Mr. Dailey hurried to the light switch and turned on the lights and ran downstairs, finding the son lying on the floor in a corner between the wall and the bed where he had fallen head first. The aged father was satisfied that his son was dying and he ran out into the street calling for help. The entire neighborhood was aroused. The Dailey home is located on Merchant street, just off of Washington, in the rear of the College Avenue business houses. B. C. Dailey, the father who is about 78 years old, ran all the way from his home to the residence of Dr. L. L. Yerkes in an effort to get help for his son when he was dying. Dr. Yerkes got out as quickly as possible and hurried to the Dailey home. He said that death had been instantaneous when Mr. Dailey fell to the floor. A slight mark over one of his eyes gave evidence of the fact that he had struck his face on a window sill as he fell forward. Will Dailey was one of the best-known men in the city of Alton and he was widely known outside of the city. He was 51 years old and was born and reared in Upper Alton. All his life was spent here with the exception of a few years he was in the West. During his boyhood days his father was engaged in street car work for the company that operated the horse car line in Alton for many years. With his brothers and father, he worked for the company and was well known as a street car driver. Later he did the same kind of work for several years in Omaha. For the last twenty years he had been in business either in Alton or on the outskirts. He owned the famous "Forkeyville" property at the forks of the road east of Upper Alton for several years, and he was the first man to convert the business of that place from a rural saloon to a merchandise store. After establishing the merchandise business there where a saloon had caused much trouble to educational institutions in Upper Alton for many years, he sold the property and engaged in business in Upper Alton. He bought the property at the corner of College and Washington avenues from D. M. Kittinger and last year he put up a fine new business building on a part of the ground. He had been planning many other improvements for this valuable piece of real estate which he would not doubt have brought about had his life been spared. Mr. Dailey was a man whose appearance would indicate perfect health. He was never ill to any extent, and he weighed about 240 pounds. Yesterday all day he had complained of indigestion. We went home at noon yesterday for his usual meal, but his family say he ate very little. He again complained of indigestion and requested his aged mother to give him a small quantity of baking soda, which was an old remedy of the family. In the evening he still complained of pain, but he did not think his case at all serious. He was in his usual jovial mood all evening while in charge of his pool hall on Washington avenue, and he played billiards all evening with some young men. He closed his place of business about the usual time and remained outside for some little time, talking to some boys before he went home. When the word became circulated in Upper Alton that he was dead, it was a surprise that was really hard to believe. Mr. Dailey leaves besides his aged parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. C. Dailey, a little daughter whom he and his deceased wife adopted when a baby. He also leaves one sister, Mrs. Rose Williams, of Upper Alton, and one brother, Charles Dailey of Los Angeles, Cal. The late J. A. Dailey, whose tragic death occurred some years ago while he was assessor of Wood River township, was the third brother of the family. The death of Will Dailey in the prime of life is a sad blow to his aged parents. The sympathy of the community is with the bereaved father and mother. While 51 years of age, in years he would have been considered a person past middle age, but to those who knew him well he was more of a boy than a man who had lived a half century. He was a man who never got old, and the chances are he never would have if he had lived many more years.

[NOTE: In 1929 the State decided to build a new bridge over the Wood River at Forkeyville on what was then Route 160. During its construction, due to faulty workmanship, the bridge collapsed and fell into the river. The superintendent of the company was fired, and construction continued. Later, in June of 1929, the bridge, more than two thirds completed, fell in the river again. Blame was placed on heavy rains and flooding which swept out the supporting piling.]




Source: Alton Telegraph, May 30, 1862
A party of ladies, seven or eight in number, accompanied by a gentleman, were out riding on horseback on Saturday evening, and when in the vicinity of Milton bridge, Miss Sidway’s horse became unmanageable from some cause or other, and she was thrown from her saddle and severely bruised, besides having some of her ribs fractured. By the prompt assistance rendered by the young gentleman who was in company with them, she was placed in a carriage and brought home. We understand she is doing well and will soon recover.


Source: Alton Telegraph, July 11, 1873
“Last week a Miss Catharine Rutherford, aged about twelve years, committed to memory and recited to me 1,050 verses in the New Testament, all of which she performed with the greatest ease. The following will show the proficiency that she has made since the commencement of the school, viz: The first week she recited 18 verses, the second 30, the third 70, the fourth 55, the fifth 83, the sixth 139, the seventh 300, and the eighth 1,059. Signed Enoch Long, Instructor, July 31, 1820.”

The Alton in the above item refers to Upper Alton, which at that time was known by that name, while there was no town at this place. Of Miss Catharine Rutherford, we know nothing. It is to be presumed, however, from her precocity and the overtaxing of her brain, that she has long since passed away.

The instructor, Mr. Enoch Long, will be remembered by all of the first settlers of Alton, is still alive and in the enjoyment of good health. He is at present residing in the vicinity of Galena. The school referred to was organized first at Milton, a small place at that time about a mile from Upper Alton, in 1818, and was afterwards removed to that place, and is generally believed to have been the first Sabbath School organized in Illinois. [Enoch Long died in July 1881.]


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 9, 1904
There are very few Illinoisians now living who remember the booms enjoyed by certain points in this vicinity 75 years ago and longer. To look at those sites now no one would suspect that they had been the scenes of striving humanity to suddenly become rich. But such is the fact. Go to the former site of the little town of Milton, a few miles east of Alton, and no one could imagine that spot the place where the busy hum of industry, manufacturing and merchandising had its home. An epidemic of fever put an end to the prospects of that town, and the hopes of its projectors to be a great city. The inhabitants, or most of them, were laid away on the top of the hill now known as the Milton Cemetery, and the balance fled to other places, and Milton with its deserted houses became a memory only.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 6, 1905
There are now thirteen dwellings in course of construction in Milton Heights, which lies just east of Upper Alton. Mr. E. A. Burris is building 7, Charles Huskinson 2, William Draper 1, John Wickenhauser 1, and W. H. Gibbs 1.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 5, 1905
Highway Commissioner George T. Henry was in Alton Wednesday and stated that the board of highway commissions of Wood River Township have found it necessary to tear up the wagon bridge across Wood river on the Milton road, and that for three days, July 17, 18 and 19, no vehicles will be able or allowed to cross. Mr. Henry says the wooden joists placed in the structure when the steel bridge was built there have rotted, and that bridge, while not absolutely dangerous, is liable to become so at any time, and the substitution of steel joists for the wooden ones makes it necessary to tear up the entire bridge.


Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 24, 1912
The residents of Milton Heights, adjoining Upper Alton, are arranging to have their territory incorporated in the spring election. Milton Heights is located southeast of Upper Alton and northeast of Yaeger Park. Several years ago, attempts were made to incorporate Yaeger Park and Milton Heights and Federal, but the incorporation fell through because too much territory was taken in the proposed corporation. The name of the village was to be South Alton. It will now be Milton Heights. Yaeger Park will not join Milton Heights this time, and the mistake of too much territory being taken in will not be repeated.


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