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Excerpts from the 1857 Oquawka Spectator
Dates of Oquawka Spectator abstracts.

June 26   |   August 7   |   October 2

June 26, 1857
FROM CALIFORNIA

We are indebted to HON. SAM DARNELL for the privilege of perusing a letter recently received by the family from his son, LEWIS, whok, it will be recollected, went out this spring, in company with several other young men.

We glean from this letter, the following items, which possess a local interest:

They performed their long journey of over 6,500 miles in a brief period, meet with no detention, and enjoying the best of health on the way.

LEWIS dates his letter at Marysville, May 15th. He was temporarily engaged as a clerk in a grain store, receiving $90 per month.

His brother, MILTON, is engaged in transporting goods to various points in the Mines.

"Doc" ARMSTRONG left the party at San Francisco and went across the Bay to Peltorma Valley.

RUFUS CALDWELL is at present working on a ranch.

"DOC" CALDWELL was near Col FINDLEY's making hay, May being the mowing season in California.

HEN. BRAINARD (?) was at Col. F's, but was intending to go to the mines with FELIX HARRIS. The latter is selling goods at French Creek, 70 miles North of Marysville.

HARVEY RITCHIE is at work near Col FINDLEY'S. CAL_ (?) and SAM DAVIS are there also. He speaks of our old friend GEO MUCK as being the "same old George". He saw JNO PENCE - he was doing well.

LEW seems to be in good spirits.

Barley is worth 3 per pound and new hay $25 per ton.

TRIP TO KANSAS - Our friend, Rev. M. HANSON, of this place, who has just returned from a trip through Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas, has had the kindness to give us full particulars of the trip, which will appear in our next.

BURGLARY - On Thursday of last week, while the family of Mr. B.C. JENKS, of this County, were absent from home, no one except a little boy being about, two men came up to the house and drew a pistol upon the lad, who fled. They then went into the house and stole a watch, and decamped. No trace of the villain.

LARCENCY AT MONMOUTH - We learn from Esq. MADDEN, of Monmouth, that one evening last week, a larcency was committed at the boarding house of Mr. Corson in that city; the proprietor lost some money and one of the boarders had $125 stolen.

LARCENCY - On Sunday evening last a carpet bag was stolen from the bar room of Mr. Harvey's boarding house in this place.

DISTRESSING ACCIDENT - On Saturday last a most lamentable casualty occurred near Pleasant Green in this County. Mr. JOSEPH CAMBPELL, a young man aged about 20 years, a son of Mr. JAMES CAMPBELL, was riding a colt from the field when it became fractious and ran away with him.

He fell off and somehow his foot became entangled in the harness and he was dragged some distance. When his brother came upon him, he was just breathing his last. A mark on the breast bearing the appearance of having been caused by a kick, was the only discernable wound. The colt, we understand had been worked for some days in the corn field, but had never been ridden.

FOUND DROWNED - Dr. HULBERT, our Coroner, held an inquest on a body found in the Mississippi River, about six miles below this place, on Saturday last. The Doctor has furnished us the following particulars: The deceased had on dark blue conttonade pants, two coats and two shirts; in the pocket was found a deck passenger ticket, for J. Steffort, to Davenport on trip 1 of the Conewago. Seven dollars and sixty cents in money, and two curious copper coins, were found upon the body. Verdict - that the deceased came to his death by drowning.

BIT OF A FIGHT - This morning, to vary the monotony of things, were treated to a street fight between Col. NOBLES, Superintendant of the Pacific Road Survey and Ex-Gov. GORMAN who still resides at this place. The combatants, after three or four blows had been struck, were separated by the bystanders, the Ex-Governor received rather the worst of the fight. It was lucky that neither of the parties had their pistols with them at the time, or there would have been some bloody work, as both both of them are fighting men.

Mr. James Agnew, of this city, the other day had his vest and an excellent lever watch eaten up by a cow. He was at work and had taken off his watch and laid them one side, and on going to get them he found that a cow had chewed up and swallowed both vest and watch - rather unpalitable meal if it was costly.

Joliet SignalIs not that cow an unprofitable investment for Mr. Agnew? Should he hereafterleave herwithout watching, when he leaves a lever watch unwatched; the cow, meanwhile, watching where he leaves it.

SHIPPING - Some heavy shipments have been made here within the past week.


August 7, 1857

DEATH OF COMMODORE NEWTON - Our community will not soon recover from the shock which it received yesterday afternoon by the sudden death of Commodore John T. Newton, whose courtesey, accomplishments, bravery and gallant bearing in the most trying situations have added so much to the American navy. He was a member of one of the naval Courts of Inquiry now sitting in this city, and at the time of its adjournment, at noon yesterday appeared to be in great enjoyment of his customary vigourous health. On leaving the residence of Charles Winder, Esq and in a few minutes after entering the house of that gentleman was attacked with apoplexy - surviving the attack only two hours. Commodore Newton entered the navy in 1809 and at the time of his death was about 65 years old. - Wash. Union 29th

FROM CALIFORNIA - We had the pleasure of taking by the hand, the other day, an old friend of ours, who crossed the Plains with me in 1850 - (that's a long time ago, yet it seems as but yesterday.) - Mr. ALEX McFARLAND. He has returned to abide with us, we trust, having left California after a long residence there. we know of no one whom we can welcome more heartily than our old fried "Alick".

October 2, 1857

MARRIED - On Saturday evening, the 19th Sept, at the home of Wm. Weigand, in Oquawka, by the Rev. H. Hanson, Mr. AUGUSTINE HENNIE to Miss MARY WEIGAND

ROCK ISLAND BRIDGE - The Jury in the case of the "Owners of the Steamer Eddie Afton, vs. the Rock Island Bridge Co" which has been on trial for the last three weeks in the District Court of the United States, at Chicago, Judge McLean presiding, were discharged last week without having arrived at a verdict. The Jury stood four for the Plantiffs and eight for the Defendants, and were unable to agree upon a verdict.

A GOOD SHOT - A few days ago, a young man residing this place, Mr. B. F. Payne, while out gunning, discovered two large otters, on the edge of a drift and, blazing away, killed them both at one shot. This must be considered a crack shot, when it is menioned that the otter is a very sly creature and cannot be killed except with skillful trapping.

HANDSOMELY DONE - We learn from Mr. Cummings, that, at the dedication Dinner at the Olena, M.E. Church last Saturday, the sum of $533 was raised by subscription and otherwise, an amount considerably exceeding the indebtedness of the Church

TERRIBLE BUTCHERY IN INDIANA - The Evansville Journal has the particulars of a terrible affair that happened near that place. It says:

On Thursday evening at Francisco, a village on the canal in Gibson county, about 16 miles from this city, a party of young persons were assembled to practice in singing. A crowd of rowdies soon gathered about the house, and began to make a disturbance to annoy or break up the singing party. The young men in the house - among whom were two sons of Mr. Perkins, the owner of a large flouring mill in the village - with their brother-in-law, a Mr. Cross, came to the door either to drive away the disturbers or persuade them to be quiet. A fight ensued, in which one of the young Perkins was stabbed between the shoulders and had his throat cut, and though living when the messenger left, he was not expected to survive. Young Cross had his tongue cut out by the murderous savages.

SALE OF THE OLD PENITENTIARY - The old Penitentiary property at Alton, consisting of about three acres, together with the buildings was sold at public sale on Wednesday last. L.P. Sanger and S.K. Karsey are the purchasers at $60,000, they taking the establishment in part payment for their contract on the new Penitentiary at Joliet. They do not take possession until the convicts are transferred to the new prison.

DEATH - General George Rust died in Baltimore on Friday last, in the seventieth year of his age. During the war of 1812, he was one of the volunteer defenders of Baltimore and won much credit for his gallantry on that occasion. During the administration of Ge. Jackson he was superintendant of the government armory at Harper's Ferry.

SIX years ago a young couple were married over in York State, but after awhile owing to the misfortunes of the husband, he became much involved in debt, and the lady returned to her parents while he went off to California. In the course of time, the lady became tired of widowhood, particularly as she was courted by a young man of means, so applied for and obtained a divorce from her absent lord. Just on the eve of the marriage the husband returned, covered with jewelry and his trunk heavy with gold. The lady in consideration of his money welcomed her old companion, and the wedding feast prepared for her contemplated marriage served just as well for her re-marriage to her first husband. Who says love is a jewel without price.



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Copyright 2006 by Connie Lovitt Bates


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