Friday, October 29, 2010

Indian Refinery New Product-1929

"The Indian Refinery Company. Lawrenceville, Il  has begun distribution of a new motor oil known as "WaXFree Havoline" made by an entirely new process invented by Dr. F.X. Govers, head of Indian research staff."  This was from an article in the Indian Refinery Company's newspaper, "The Indian Green-Lite Flash" published Aug 1, 1929. 

John L. Reed, father of Paul Reed, retired  Lawrenceville school teacher and principal, worked under Dr. Grovers and helped with the accidental discovery of the catalyst that separated the wax crystals from hot oil thus making it possible to avoid long and costly refrigeration. 

If anyone out there has any of these newspapers, or other memorabilia from the Indian Refinery, or even Texaco, the Museum would happily accept your donations to add to our growing collection. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Railroads in Lawrence County

The May 23, 1957 issue of the  Bridgeport Leader published as article written by Byron R. Lewis, which offers some insight into the train era in the county.  Excerpts from that article are copied below:

The Ohio and Mississippi Railroad ran a train from the Mississippi River to Vincennes,IN July 4, 1855, just two years after Bridgeport became a town. The popularity of train transportation is shown by the fact that by 1857, the stage lines between St.Louis and Vincennes ceased operation.

 In addition to the main railroad track,  there was a passing track reaching from Bridgeport almost to south of Lawrenceville.  The reason this site was chosen was that  the terrain was suitable and did not involve much grading for an additional roadbed. Allison Prairie on the other hand had required much trestle-work.

This passing or double trackage could provide for three trains (??), as well as allow for the locomotives to run up and down the road freely and inject water into their boiler.  In those early days there was no provision for taking on water at Bridgeport. However, in an emergency, water was taken from Indian Creek which had a five foot dam to provide water for the flour mills across the creek.

These passing tracks would also allow the trains to  take on cordwood for fuel.  Wood was used until after 1870 according to Mr. Lewis. On either side of the right of way, wood was corded and by the Kirkwood farm it was said the wood would be piled for half a mile.  The same was said of wood adjacent to Bridgeport,too.   

In those early days in the county, many farmers found a ready market for the wood cleared from their farm fields.  Dr. Thomas Kirkwood had provided an account book belonging to Mr. J.K. McCleave, farmer and contractor, for Mr. Lewis' review in the publishing of his article.   It appeared according to that account book that J.K. McCleve and Walter Gray were in partnership selling cordwood in 1867. A cord of wood then sold for $10.00, and they sold many cords to the Railroad.  It was piled in an orderly manner so that the train crew, as well as  some of the passengers, could  load the tender.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Train Wreck at Bridgeport--Civil War

Civil War News:   The NINETY-EIGHTH INFANTRY ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS was organized at Centralia, Ill., September 1862, by Colonel John J. Funkhouser, and mustered in September 3. September 8, 1862, the Regiment was ordered to Louisville, Ky. At Bridgeport, Ill., whilst in route, the train was thrown from the track, by a misplaced switch, and Captain O. L. Kelly and 7 men were killed, and 75 were wounded.

The above information was taken from the Illinois State Archives on-line data base of Illinois Civil War rosters and unit histories.

The Lawrence County Historical Society's next project is to create a database of Civil War soldiers  who enlisted from this county.  While the Illinois State Archives has men listed by county in each army unit , there has never been a complete county wide listing of residents who served.   Volunteers will be researching each of these soldiers from Lawrence County to  provide a genealogical sketch about each of  their lives.  Volunteers are needed to assist with this project. More on this later.......

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery and the O'Donnell Family

About three miles south of Bridgeport on the blacktop, then a mile west on CR600 lies the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery.   This editor has often wondered as she has driven past why it is so far away from the church in Bridgeport with the same name.  John Hamilton in an article in the Sumner Press on December 27,2001 answered my question.  The following is extracted from his article.

In 1855 Menomen O'Donnell and his wife Mary donated 10 acres of land near their farms south of Bridgeport.  St. Patrick's Church  was built on this property  from timbers hauled by oxcart from St. Francisville.  The land next to the church became a cemetery and there are at least three graves there dated in the 1860's.  Among many others are the family names of McBride, Kelly, Fitzpatrick, Murphy, O'Rourke, Diver, McKeown, Bryan, and O'Donnell.

In 1866 the parish name was changed to Immaculate Conception. Sometime in the 1870's the country church was abandoned and a new church was built in the city of Bridgeport.  That city church was replaced in 1900 by the building that remains on Church Street built at a cost of $3,500. The cemetery remained south of Bridgeport.

Captain Menomen O'Donnell and John Diver, Sr were the earliest Catholic settlers in the area. O'Donnell was just 18 when he stepped off the boat from Donegal, Ireland in 1843.  For 3 years he worked at odd jobs, moving always west from New York to Lawrence Co, Il.  He purchased land here and began a successful livestock trading business and slaughterhouse.  In 1853 he was able to bring his brother Charles from Ireland to join him.  Menomen was awarded the congressional Medal of Honor in the Civil War. The Economic Recession of 1873 forced his pork packing company into bankruptcy, but in 1879 after a move to Vincennes he opened a successful butcher shop and later became president of Knox Building and Loan Association.  He died in 1911 but instead of being buried in the pretty little country cemetery for which he had donated land, his body was interred in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Vincennes.

His brother Charles though stayed on the family farm south of Bridgeport, and shipped thousands of head of cattle and hogs to the livestock markets in East St. Louis, Il.  He married Mary Ann Monagnan in 1864 and they had 14 children.  He died in 1894 as a result of a runaway horse accident and is in buried at Immaculate Conception Cemetery.

 His widow stayed on the farm until 1907 and then moved to Vincennes, where she had an 11-room house built on Church Street.  This mansion was later purchased by the Duesterberg Funeral Home.  In 1908 the family farm near Bridgeport had 20 oil producing wells, and produced  between 1,200-1,500 barrels of "black gold" daily. 

Upon Mary Ann O'Donnell's death in 1914, funeral services were held at the Old Cathedral, after which her body was buried at Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery.  A newspaper clipping states: "More people attended the graveside service for Mrs. O'Donnell than for any other person in Knox or Lawrence counties.  Those who owned automobiles conveyed 256 (people) from Vincennes to Bridgeport for the last rites.  For those who did not have their own transportation, the family provided a special train from Vincennes to Bridgeport."  288 people took advantage of the rail transportation. Her obituary referred to her as the "wealthiest woman in the two counties."   

Monday, October 25, 2010

Instructions for blog use

Many of you have asked if there is a way to view the blog archives.  All you have to do is click on the month on the left side of the blog page, and then all the articles published  in that month will appear.  You can then click on them and review their content. If you are reading only the blog content from your email, then you NEED to click on the underlined web address to view the entire blog site.

Comments to individualized articles can be made by typing directly in the comment section.  Merely click on the word "comment" at the bottom of each article, and type your comments.  I encourage anyone with supplemental information or corrections to do this. 

Note to Historical Society Members:  Your quarterly newsletter is in the mail!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Meeting Monday Night October 25th 7:00

Don't forget to attend the Business meeting Monday night October 25th at 7:00.  The Cub Scouts will be there at 6:00pm to tour the Museum and hear a short presentation on the early schools in Lawrence County.  If you question the manners of today's youth, come early and see how well behaved these boys are. Last year the group was polite and interested and excited about our local history.  It was a pleasure to welcome them to our Museum, and I am looking forward to this year's group attending.   

Thursday, October 21, 2010

St Francisville Ferry

In a scrapbook donated to the Museum is a undated newspaper article describing the loss of the St. Francisville ferry--the Julie Ann.  (If any reader can furnish the year that the ferry left, the editor would much appreciate it.--1970?)
Monday June 22, at 5:00pm St. Francisville residents gathered on the Illinois side of the Wabash River to get a last glimpse of the Julie Ann as it made its way down the Wabash River to its new home in Dayton, Tenn.  The new owners, James Sinclair and Wilford Caraway accompanied by Sinclair's son, Berry, plan to make the 700 or so mile trip in seven to ten days.

Owner Isaac Caldwell named his steel-framed ferry after
granddaughter, Julie Ann Newman.
 He was shown here leveling the dock, a chore necesitated by high water.

     The ferry when in operation, crossed from a Knox County IN landing at the base of the Sixth St Road from Vincennes to St. Francisville on the Illinois side.  A ferry has been in operation at this site for at least 115 years. The first ferry at St. Francisville was established in 1805 or '06 by a Frenchman, Joseph Tougas.  This vessel carried tow carts and was poled across the river.  Its location on the westward trail make it one of the most famous ferries on the Wabash. 
    Today's ferryboat is powered by a diesel engine. The early ferries were   poled across the river and later ones were  pulled by teams which were kept on each side of the river. 
     The Julie Ann operated by Isaac Caldwell and named for his granddaughter, is of steel construction and was purchased from Pearl in 1965 by Caldwell and Bob Kohlhouse.  They made the 500 mile trip down the Illinois river and the Mississippi river and up the Ohio to the Wabash, taking two weeks.  They were greeted by a large crowd of spectators who were enjoying a Memorial Day celebration at the River Park. 
     Ike Caldwell has operated the ferry for the past 32 years  his brother, Clyde Caldwell. At the death of his brother, he bought the ferry from Mrs. Clyde Caldwell and Mrs. Pauline Gillespie.
      For the past few years he and his son Fred have operated the ferry constantly with only high water and freezing of the river stopping it.  In 1936 the river froze over 17 inches thick and cars were able to drive across the river on the ice. 

More information about the Ferry can be found in the Historical Society's Lawrence County Illinois 175th Anniversary book for sale at the Museum.  A limited amount of research by this editor seems to point to the fact that the Julie Ann continued to be in use at the Site of Blythe's Ferry, Dayton, Tenn as part of Tennessee Hwy 60 until it was replaced by a new 4 lane Bridge 1997. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photos of North Center/Glade School 1910-11

North Center School also known as Glade school was located near Centerville, about five miles east of Pinkstaff.  No deed has been located as its early origins, but it was annexed to Pinkstaff school district in 1953.  Three pictures of Glade students have been located.  You may view them by clicking on the Bridge photo located at the bottom left of this web page, which will open up the Museum's web albums.  Then by clicking on the word 'Photo' in the upper right part of that page, you will be able to view all the web albums, and you will find Glade school located there.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Someone killed Lucy"

 In March  1973 the Daily Record published a picture of Lucy and Oscar, pet white geese residing at the Nature Study Area on North 15th St.   A week later on March 26 the paper reported that someone had killed Lucy. 
     Lucy was found with a bleeding neck and wing and taken to Dr. James Allison, veterinarian who treated the wounds.  Unfortunately though,  Lucy died during the night.  One theory is that someone hit the goose with a blunt instrument; another is that she was shot.  Dr. Allison said that she suffered internal injuries and the chest and wing were very badly bruised. 
   The Daily Record offered to buy a new mate for Oscar, and the girls at the Suttle Equipment Corporation took up a collection of $5.00 to help with the purchase.  But before that could occur, Oscar himself was found dead in the little park to the east of Illinois State Hwy #1. 
       This time the headline in the paper was "Murder Most Fowl."  The article ended with the following:  "We say 'murder', but without a postmortem we can't say for sure.  Maybe Oscar died of a broken heart." 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Obituary of Philip H. Lewis 1973

Did you know that a local attorney was the mayor of a French village for six months following the Armistice of WWI?  Born November 19,1889 Philip H. Lewis, the son of Edwin M. and Anna Black Lewis was a life-long resident of Lawrence County. After graduating from LTHS, he attended U of I and received his  law degree from Northwestern University in 1913.

He first practiced law in Rockford for a short time before being called into duty with the National Guards in the Mexican Border War.  Immediately thereafter, he entered WWI as a second lieutenant, spent most of his service time overseas, and was discharged as a first lieutenant. It was there in France that he was appointed mayor of a French village. 

In 1919 he opened a private law practice in Lawrenceville, and soon formed a partnership with Ben O. Sumner, known as Sumner and Lewis Law Firm which continued until Sumner's death.  Lewis then operated the law office alone until Samuel Taylor became his associate in 1967. 

An avid Democrat, Mr. Lewis served as State's Attorney from 1924 until 1930 and as County Judge two terms. He was also instrumental in the organization of the first Public Library in Lawrenceville.

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Lawrence County Physicians" by Dr. Tom Kirkwood

On March 14, 1973 books written by Dr. Tom Kirkwood,  A History of Lawrence County Physicians, were delivered to the Lawrence County Historical Society. President of the Society was Oran Calvert; the treasurer was John Zeilinger, and Clara (Turk) Waggoner was the co-chairman of the publications committee. 

It was the first printing of a history book for the county since 1910.  Since then, the Lawrence County Illinois 125th Anniversary Book has been published and is still available for sale through the society. 

Orders are now being taken for the sale of the next publication, Readin',Writin', and 'Rithmetic--Early Schools in Lawrence County." The pre-publication price is $37.50, with the cost after publication set at $42.00. 

Please Contact Mike Neal ( 618-943-3900) for an order form.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Allison Prairie Church of the Brethren

 According to the book published by the Lawrence County Historical Society , "Lawrence County, Il- 175th Anniversary, in April 1942 when the US War Department  decided they wanted  to purchase about 3000 acres of  land for George Field Air Base, the Allison Prairie Church of the Brethren church and parsonage stood on some of this ground.  The government  offered $3,765 for the property with the option  of buying back the buildings at a salvage price of $885 and moving the buildings off the land.  The Congregation accepted the offer and a location comprising four acres was secured one and one-half miles north of the old site.  The building were moved the first part of June.  The above photo shows the move in progress. 

For more history about the origins of this congregation, or other churches in the county, copies of the above book are available for sale ($60.00) at the Museum or at Mike Neal's office. (#721 12th St. L'ville,IL 62439 ) ( 618-943-3900)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Munn School in Chauncey

The town of Chauncey lies in the northwestern corner of the county. It was surveyed and platted by Peter Smith, County Surveyor at the direction of Wm H Brown, Wm Munns and Christian Loos, Proprietors (ie. developers) on Dec 22, 1854.

The school directors of District No. 1, T5N, R13W, purchased Lots No. 1 and 4, Block 2, situated in the Town of Chauncey for $10 from Samuel Loos on June 18, 1856. According to the Lawrence County history published in 1883, the first frame schoolhouse was built in 1856 (presumably on those lots.) John Wilgus taught at the first school. He may have taught classes earlier in a log building located on the Munn farm about one half mile east of town. The Lawrence County 175th Anniversary History book says that the Chauncey Class of the Methodist Protestant church was organized at the Munns Schoolhouse about 1847 indicating that there was indeed an earlier school.

The school soon became known as the Munns school presumably after the Munn family residing in the area. William Munn had been born in Ireland and migrated early to Lawrence county where he became a wealthy landowner. The 1860 census shows two teachers living in his household—Brice Munns age 20 and Jerom Bache also age 20.

On March 6,1872, Christian Loos and Isabell, his wife, sold Lot 2 & 3 in the Town of Chauncey for $30.00 to the Trustees of District #1. According to the County history, “the present two story, two room frame school building was put up in 1872 or ’73”. This may have been a misprint as later histories and photos of the building show the Munn School as a rather impressive two- story brick building.

In the 1880’s people from other districts would come to the Munn School in Chauncey to take higher mathematics and advanced studies under a teacher named Os Stoltz. The school property was enlarged in 1887 when Henry and Harriet Berkshire, sold the northern half of lots No 7 and 8 to the school trustees of T5N,R13W for $32.50 on November 26.

A photo taken in 1898 shows 38 pupils in the primary room and 42 students in the advanced room. The Sumner Press reported on April 3, 1900, that the school had been under the management of Prof. E. H. McKeltresh, principal and Edna Carlisle assistant. It “closed on Friday after an unusually pleasant 6 month’s term. A program was given to a large number of visitors.” On April 15 , 1903, Asa Mushrush and Martha J, his wife, gave a quit claim deed to Trustees of Schools for the counties of Lawrence and Crawford for Lot 6 Block 2 in Chauncey. When the old brick building was torn down, classes were held in the church building just west of the school ground for a year while the new building was being built in 1912.

This is an excerpt from the new book---Readin',Writin', and 'Rithmethic--Early Schools of Lawrence County-- which is being published.  Watch for future notices as to when and where it can be purchased.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

St Francisville Bicentennial

St Francisville will be celebrating their Bicentennial Celebration in the Summer of 2012.  They have begun organizing committees now.  An informational meeting will be held on Thursday October 14 at 6:00 pm at the St. Francisville Christian Church 720 Main Street.  A video presentation will be shown regarding the heritage of the city, and all interesting are asked to attend. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Beginning Genealogy Class

Where:  Tuesday Night October 12 6:30 pm Lawrenceville Public Library
What:  Beginning Genealogy Class taught by members of the Lawrence County Historical Society, led by Donna Burton

Participants will be taught how to get started and chart what family information is already known.  Basic research  skills will be discussed as well as local sources and Internet sites.  John King will discuss information which can be learned from the Census records. Marriage records and different types of death records will also be analyzed. 

Please come even if you are not a beginner and bring your laptop for use with the  library's WIFI connection.  Others members of the Society will be in attendance to help you with "those brick walls." 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Golden Age Club photos

Can anyone identify any of the people in these photos, as well as provide a date.  Roscoe Cunningham is the man on the far left in the photo of the group in front of the Hotel building, and he is the second man from the far left in the photo of the group in front of the courthouse.  Effie Schucker is the tall woman in the back row under the "r" in the word  'Arrow' on the bus in that same picture. 

You may enlarge the photo by clicking on it.  Post your identification in the Comment section please.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bridgeport Real Estate 1940

April 4, 1940 (newspaper clipping, newspaper not identified) 
"Ralph Gillespie will move into the L. Becker house on U.S. Highway 50 now being vacated by Russell Abel.
Abel Brothers purchased the Mrs. Dan Mills property on Seed street and Russell Abel is moving into it.
Arthur Roney has purchased the house where he has lived for several months on Washington St from Vird French.  Work has been started on a new house north of the Roney home by  Mr. French where he is constructing a four room cottage with basement for rent.
J.R. Middagh has purchased the L.A. Clark home, west of Judy on US Highway 50 now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. George Reglin, formerly Margaret Middagh.
Dr. J.J. Griffith has purchased the property on Main Street owned by W. B Gray and occupied by Roy R. Rucker for the past several years. Alterations are planned as soon as possession is granted.
The Wendell Schrader (Gorden) home on Lanterman Street has been purchased by Mr. and Mrs Roy R. Rucker as their home.  It is now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Anson Sparks.
L.S. Cloud has a basement dug on Olive street for the erection of his new home.
Mr. and Mrs. Ward Housel have started construction on their new property on US Highway 50 to house the Bridgeport Poultry Farm and Hatchery when completed.  Mrs Housel is in charge of the hatchery which is enjoying another successful season in the Lewis bank building down town. 
The Pilgrim Holiness church on North Ash has acquired a lot at the corner of Seed and Gillespie where work has been started on the making of blocks for a basement for the newly planned church edifice."

Anyone with memories about these properties (or photos) is welcome to comment.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bridgeport Lions Club

An undated Newspaper clipping ( publisher also unknown) states that "the charter for the Bridgeport Lions Club was officially received Monday evening from District Governor R.A. Gulley as a climax to an enjoyable and impressive evening of fun, eats, and educational enlightenment by the first president Roy R. Rucker."  Another clipping informs the readers that "Marvin Wetterow,  chairman of the finance committee of the Lions Club of Bridgeport, is also serving as chairman of the ticket committee for the sale of tickets for the film, "Bridgeport on Parade," to be presented at the Capitol Theatre on Friday only, April 26th with a matinee and evening showing of six full performances."  Other members named are Frank Perryman, Rev. E.C Zetsche, Lawrence Middagh, J.T. Chattilon, Johnny Cook, Ola E. Fee, Hurley Gould, Ralph Irwin, Arthur Roney, H.A. Booth, John Ritchie, Grant Gray, M.O. Browne, Harry Welliver, Glen Fiscus, Anson Sparks, Charles Williams, H.S. Chipman, Howard DeLap, James Fenoglio, E.B. Henderson, Walter Irwin, and Roy W. Watts.
These clippings were found in the book described earlier on this blog.  By other dates in the book, it would seem that these events occurred in the 1930's or 40's.  If anyone has any information please contact the Historical Society. Wouldn't a  copy of the film be interesting to watch?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dr. E.J Fahnestock of Bridgeport, Il

Edward J. Fahnestock is the only son of Rev. and Mrs. W.J. Fahnestock who was for four years, the pastor of the local Methodist Church.  Dr. Fahnestock attended and graduated from the Bridgeport Township High School from 1920-1924. While a student there, he was the editor of the Portonian for 2 years, a member of the Zetetic Club and lettered in track.  His wife Helen is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Lucas south of Bridgeport. 

Dr Fahnestock graduated from Northwestern University at Chicago in 1931 with honors, and then served 18 months internship in Wesley Memorial Hospital at Chicago before opening a practice at Carmi.  According to an undated  clipping found in a book donated to the Museum, he, his wife and their 14 month old son, John Edward, moved back to Bridgeport and built a home and office. The description of the house and office may be of some interest to local residents who may have been treated there.

" Dr. Fahnestock has designed his office with utmost care in separating his living quarters from the contacts with his clientele.  The office consists of three rooms on the north side of the house with a separate entrance.  The waiting room is furnished with comfortable resting chairs, and is soothing with its solid pure white plaster walls and the contrasting dark oak wood work.  The middle room is the operating and consultation office.  A drug room connects the operating room where he will carry the regular preparations.  The rear room will be used for convalescences.  This room will be furnished as a regular hospital room and in case of an emergency can be used as such, however, the idea being to make minor operations in the morning and by evening the patient will be able to be removed to his home.

The office is equipped with a wash basis and toilet as well as all the necessary operating instruments for minor operations and in addition Dr. Fahnestock has the Diathermy and Cautery machine for giving electrical treatments.

The entire house is divided into nine rooms with three being devoted to the office and the other six for the home.  The two (office and home) are separated by a sound proof wall of celeotex and even a double door divides the two.  The home is also finished in dark oak wood work while the walls are a pure sparkling white.  There are four rooms and toilet down stairs with two rooms and bath on the second floor.  A two-thirds basement is under the house with a hot air furnace and plenty of hot water.

Dr Fahnestock will open his office this week and hopes to have an office girl there at all times to answer calls."   

Monday, October 4, 2010

First Draftee of Lawrence County

"When Secretary of War Stimson drew the first capsule from the famed "goldfish bowl" in Washington yesterday, he made Albert J. Lewis of Bridgeport the No. 1 draftee of Lawrence county.  Lewis held the local number '158', and will be first to come under the cold stare of the draft board.  He is 35 years of age, is the father of twin sons, Floyd and Lloyd.  He is custodian of the Moose Hall in Bridgeport and lives at 638 Madison Street in the city. 'Yes, I'd like to go', said Lewis when interviewed regarding his reaction at being first man designated in this county."

Even before Pearl Harbor,the Roosevelt Administration instituted national conscription (also called compulsory military service or the draft) requiring registration of all men between twenty-one and forty-five,  for one year's service by a national lottery. This occurred in 1940.

The above clipping has a handwritten date of  '1940' but no publisher is given. It  was found in the  book of clippings donated to the Museum.