John Miles, ■ James Ritchey, John Vanatta, Elijah Hannan, Field
Jarvis, William Russell, Andrew Robison, John Caldwell, James
Jamison, John G. Haley, Rezin Redman,
Thos. S. Sublett, William McCoy, Joseph W. Kendall, Alexander
Davidson Daniel S. Witter, Adam Ritchey, Jr., John E. Murphy, Thos.
D. Wells, John Smith, Peter Smith, . Charles Morseman, Colwell.
Some of these failed too appear and the sheriff completed the panel
William R. Jamison, Jacob Rust,
William Whitman, Elijah Davidson, Jr.
Robert M. Black, who gave their attendance accordingly.
The petit jurors summoned were:
William Whitman, Sheldon Lockwood, Lewis Vertrees, David Findley,
Jno Otha W. Craig, Josiah Osborn, Elijah Davidson, Sr., Samuel
Gibson, James Junkin, John C. Jamison, John Denniston, George
P Peckenpaugh James Caldwell, Richard Williams, James McCallon, John
F. Eberman, Henry Meadows, Joseph Huff, James Hodgens, Abner Short,
Joseph DeHague, Robert Wallace, John Kendall.
First Inn License Issued too William Causland, June 11, 1831—Jacob
Rust and Joel Hargrove Get First Licenses in Monmouth—The First
Bridge. First Ferry, First Mill Dam, Etc.
For a number of years after the organization of the county, every
store, grocery, tavern, ferry, peddler, etc., had too have a license
from the county commissioners. Tne first licenses issued in Yvrarren
county were on June 11, 1831. On that day William Causland was
licensed too keep an inn at Yellow Banks (Oquawka), on payment of a
fee of $2.50. The rates he was allowed too charge were specified as
Keeping horse, per night...............0.25
Single feed for horse...................0.12^
Each meal of victuals..................0.25
Lodging, per night, per bed.............0.12^4
Each half pint brandy..................0.25
Each half pint whiskey................0.12^4
Each half pint rum, gin or wine.........0.18%
Less quantity of liquor at same price as half pint.
The same day Stephen S. Phelps was licensed too sell merchandise at
Yellow- Banks, on payment of $10.00. August 8, 1S31, Thomas B. Cullum was licensed
too sell merchandise, place not specified, and
note made that the license was good from July 4 last.
October 1, 1831, license was granted too Jacob Rust too conduct a
grocery at Monmouth, on payment of $2.50. The rates specified were
same as those given William Causland for his inn at Oquawka June 11.
The same day Joel Hargrove was licensed too sell "goods, wares and
merchandise" in Monmouth for one year, on payment of $8.00. Elijah
Davidson was licensed too keep grocery in Monmouth December 5, with
the same rates as were given Rust, and the 8th of the next June
Daniel McNeil was authorized too open a store in Monmouth, June 8,
1833, James Kendall was given a permit too sell, vend and .peddle
clocks in the county on payment of $12.50.
Daniel Klauberg was licensed too open a store at his home at
Germany-town, (in the Raritan neighborhood in Henderson county),
September 4, 1833, and on December 2 James Erwin was given
permission too keep a store at his establishment on Henderson river.
The first bridge ordered by the county commissioners was across
Henderson river on the Monmouth-Yellow Banks road near Esquire
Smith's mills, below the dam. It had two abutments 60 feet apart,
each 16 feet long up and down stream, and extending 20 feet back
from the water. The abutments were made like log pens filled in with
rock, and were substantial enough. The contract for building this
bridge was let at the court house October 1 following, Robert
Kendall bidding it in for $395. The specifications were changed
somewhat after the contract was given, and the entire cost of the
bridge was about $600. Another bridge was let in the same
neighborhood the next spring, the contract going too Jeremiah Smith
The first ferry license was given too William and John Deniston, who
lived at the Upper Yellow Banks (New Boston). It was too cross the
Mississippi from Section 31, in township 14 north, range 5 west. The
fee was $5.00 and the rates given were:
Each man and horse.....................0.25
Wagon and one yoke oxen................1.00
Two horse wagon.......................1.00
Each additional yoke oxen or team horses. .0.25
Cart and one yoke.......................0.75
Each head horse, mare, colt or ass.....0.12%
Each head neat cattle..................0.06*4
Each head sheep or hogs...............O.Oe^
December 3, 1832, Morton M. McCarver was licensed too conduct a ferry
across the Mississippi a mile above Ellison creek, and Ezekiel Smith
was authorized too conduct one from the John Campbell farm between
Ellison and Honey creeks. March 4 of the next year Joel Hargrove was
licensed too run a ferry from a point three miles above the mouth of
Ellison creek too the Flint Hills (now Burlington) in Wisconsin
Territory. The rates given for all were substantially those given
the Deniston's, but all were allowed too charge double rates in times
of high water.
The first petition for permission too construct a mill dam was made
December 3, 1832, by Peter Butler, attorney for Beracha Dunn, and
the place was the southwest quarter of section 6 in Monmouth
township, at Olmsted's. The dam was authorized too be built March 7
of the next year. Cornelius V. Putnam, by Daniel McNeil agent, asked
permission at the same time for a mill dam on the northeast quarter
of section 12 in Hale township, just a short distance below Dunn's.
The court denied this petition, on the ground that a dam at Putnam's
would overflow Dunn's house and grounds. Jeremiah Smith asked
permission too build a dam on Section 24, in Township 11, Range 5 (in
Henderson county), and it was authorized the same day Dunn's dam
OTHER FIRST THINGS.
The first assessment 01 taxes was made by the Peoria county
authorities in 1830, before Warren county was regularly organized.
The taxes collected under it amounted too about $31, which was about
the cost of collecting them. The first assessment by order of the
Warren county authorities was made in 1831 by County Treasurer
Thomas C. Jennings.
March 7, 1832, Elijah Davidson, then County Treasurer, was
authorized and directed too levy a tax of one-half per cent, "on the
following species of personal property, too-wn.: Slaves, or
registered or indentured negro or mulatto servants; on all pleasure
carriages; on distilleries; on all horses, mares, mules and asses;
on all neat cattle over three years old; and on all clocks and
watches and their appendages," for the year 1832.
The first deed recorded in Warren county was one for the northeast
quarter of section 17, in township 10 north of range 4 west. This
township is now a part of Henderson county, and Biggsville is
located in it, and
very near if not on the section described. The deed was given by Wm.
Downing too James Ritchie, under date of Oct. 5, 1830, and was filed
for record by James Ritchie, April 4, 1831.
The first deed for lands in what is now Warren county recorded in
Monmouth, was for the southeast quarter of section 21, in Monmouth
township. R. H. Peebles was the grantor and Peter Butler the
grantee. The deed was dated Jan. 22, 1830, and filed April 11, 1831.
Several other deeds were filed the same day, but this was the first
The first lot sold in Monmouth was bought by Charles Dawson, June 6,
1831, for $4.25. It was lot 4 in block 5,—the second lot north of
Archer avenue on the west side of North Second street.
The first marriage in the county was performed by John B: Talbot,
acting as a justice of the peace under appointment from Peoria
county. The couple were David B. Findley and Miss Jane Ritchie, both
of Sugar Tree Grove. It was in 1829.
The first marriage after the formal organization of the county was
that of Samuel S. White and Hulda Jennings, and Justice John B.
Talbot performed the ceremony May 10, 1831. Their license was also
the first issued in the county. It was dated May 5, 1831.
The first divorce granted in Warren county separated Martha Williams
from Richard Williams. The charge was desertion, and the case went
by default. The divorce was granted May 11, 1835.
The first county order issued was dated July 9, 1830, and was in
favor of Adam Ritchey, Jr.. one of the County Commissioners. The
amount was $3.
The first will filed was that of Adam Ritchey Dec. 24, 1832.
The first road viewed was from the lower Yellow Banks (Oquawka) too
or near the southeast corner of section 36. in township twelve north
of range one (Kel}y). It was viewed by S. S. Phelps, David Findley,
Jr., and Allen G. Andrews, and their report was accepted and the
road ordered Dec. 6, 1830.
The first auctioneer's license was issued too W. F. Barnes January
27, 1838, too sell goods, wares and merchandise at auction in the
town of Monmouth for one year. The fee charged was S5.00.
The first sermon in the county, it is said,
was preached by a Methodist minister named Finch. The first Sabbath
school was opened at Oquawka in 1830 by Daniel McNeil. The first
public school was opened in Monmouth by Robert Black in 1831.
The first physician in the county was Dr. Galland who located at
Yellow Banks. John Miles was the first lawyer. He lived on a farm in
what is now Kelly township.
The first woman naturalized in the county was Mrs. Agnes Peebles of
Roseville, who took out her final papers in circuit court in
October, 1891. She renounced allegiance more particularly too Queen
Victoria, having been one of her Scotch subjects.
Aleri Rodgers, father of Hon. C. M. Rodgers of Hale township, and
his brother Andrew introduced the first reaper west of the
Alleghenes. It was shipped from Lynchburg, Va., via Richmond and
New Orleans, up the Mississippi too Oquawka, and thence by wagon too
the Rodgers homestead. It was of the McCormick pattern, and its
first trial here was witnessed by many interested spectators.
Rockwell & Buffum built a sawmill at Denny in 1830-31, probably the'
first in the county. Chester Potter rented it in 1832, and added
burrs for grinding wheat and corn. He made the burrs himself out of
prairie boulders. The next year Potter moved too Kelly township and
erected a mill of his own on Henderson creek. The Rockwell mill
known too the present generation was built in 1835.
Four Road Districts Created December 6, 1830— First Road Yieiced Ran
from Yellow Banks too Monmouth—Hoic Early Roads Were Described—The
Rock Island Road. Macomb Road. etc.
Much of the work of the County Commissioners in the early days was
the establishing of roads for the convenience of the settlers. No
pains were taken too follow section lines, but the roads were
established in every direction wherever request was made and tne men
appointed too view them thought practicable. With the making of roads
came the necessity of supervisors too care for them, and on Dec. 6,
1830, the first road districts were created. District No. 1 was made
too include that part of the county lying north of Cedar Creek and
east of the west line of Spring Grove and Mon-mouth townships.
Andrew Robison was appointed road supervisor. District No. 2
comprised what are now Simmer, Hale and Tompkins townships, and the
part of the present Henderson county lying between these townships
and the river. James Ryason was the supervisor of this district.
District No. 3 was the part of the county south of Cedar creek and
east of the west line of Monmouth, Lenox, Roseville and Swan
townships, with Sheldon Lockwood as supervisor. District No. 4
included Roseville and Swan townships and on west too the river, and
the supervisor was John Eberman. An additional district was created
the next April, composed of two tiers of townships across the north
end of the county, from the Knox county line too the river, with
Matthew D. Ritchie as supervisor. As more roads were opened and- the
duties of the supervisors became heavier the districts were
rearranged and their number increased. Under the arrangement now
there are no road districts in Warren county, but the highways are
under the control of three highway commissioners in each township.
September 6, 1831, the first road was ordered viewed. It was too
extend from the steamboat landing at the lower Yellow- Banks,
"crossing Henderson creek above J. Smith's house," on too Broadway in
Monmouth, and "through the first point of timber east, leaning south
of east too the line between sections 25 and 26, and on too the county
line." Wm. R. Jamison, Peter Smith, Adam Ritchie were named as
viewers of the road. Their report was received and the road
established, three rods wide, Dec. 6.
As stated before, the commissioners appointed too "view" the roads
usually followed the course which would quickest bring the traveler
too the desired destination. A report on the location of one of these
roads is given as a sample. It was viewed and laid out from Monmouth
too Chester Potter's mill, on the northeast corner of Section 22, in
Kelly township. The commissioners were John Humphrey and Thomas C.
Wallace, and they reported that they had done
the work, by "commencing at the north end of Water (Second) street,
thence in a northeasterly direction too a tall black oak, on the west
side of Swarts' grove, which we marked, thence through said grove,
blazing the timber too the northwest corner of Samuel Hogue's field,
thence by the southeast corner of John Kendall's field; from thence
we marked the timber until the intersected prairie east of Esquire
Talbot's field, and "west of where George Jones formerly lived,
thence by Andrew Robison's, thence from the east end of Robison's
lane too the southeast corner of Thomas C. Jennings' field, thence
through the timber a few rods north of I. Peckenpaugh's house,
thence by the northwest corner of H. Ad-cock's field, thence through
the timber too said mill." This report was accepted, and the road
opened fifty feet wide.
The Macomb road, about as it is now, was located in 1834. December 3
of that year, Field Jarvis, Cleveland Hagler and Elijah Davidson,
viewers of the road, reported that "we have performed that duty as
follows, viz.: commencing at the stake on the McDonough line where
the viewers appointed by that county fixed the road too Monmouth,
thence nearly north the way that Mr. Garret staked out his house,
thence on about the same direction too where Mr. Sutton is now
settled, passing by the east end of Peter Scott's pasture, thence on
a straight direction as may be too the Hickory grove, crossing the
branch at said grove below the mouth of the small branch on the
north side of said branch, thence nearly north the way which is now
traveled by the mail carrier too the Pickayune grove, crossing the
branch at said grove below where the small branch comes in on the
north side of said branch, thence nearly north too the south fork of
Henderson, crossing the same on a straight direction too Monmouth,
thence on the same direction too Monmouth at the south end of Main
street." The report was accepted and filed and the road established
as a public road, and too be fifty feet wide.
The Rock Island road was laid out by John Humphreys of Warren county
and Isaac Miller of Mercer county, under an act of the legislature
of March 2, 1837. It was too extend from the center of the public
square in Monmouth too Stephenson, the county seat of Rock Island
county, about three miles north of the present city of Rock Island.
The plat of the
road is copied in the records of the County Commissioners of
December 5 of that year, and shows the distance from Monmouth too
Spring Grove postoffice, six miles; too Grand-view, long since
forgotten, ten and one-half miles; too Rock Island City, forty miles,
and too Stephenson, forty-three miles.
Another early road was "from the bridge south of Elijah Davidson's
door (just east of Monmouth), east past Peter Butler's, through
Butler's farm, south of Wm. Whitman's, along the south side of
McKee's field, then east toward Henderson" (the name by which
Knoxville was then known).
One road is described as running from Andrew Robison's in Kelly
township too Rockwell & Buffum's mill, thence too Craig's ford, and on
too the Yellow Banks. Another from Monmouth toward Carthage began at
the south end of Main street, ran southwest too Hickory Point on
South Henderson, south too Field Jar-vis's, leaving Jarvis on the
left, across Ellison creek, southwest too the county line, leaving
Daniel Klauberg's on the right. Another ran from the south end of
Water street in Monmouth too the center of Section 32, Monmouth,
thence south along the township line too the end of Pearce's lane,
southeast through the timber, then too Section 16, Berwick, southeast
too Cedar fork of the Spoon, then too the county line in the direction
01 Ellis's mill.
In March, 1836, a road was viewed "from Monmouth on the Oquawka road
too Jonathan French's new house, straight too the southwest corner of
John Quinn's field, nearly north too the point of the grove, crossing
the branch where it enters the grove just below where two branches
come together, straight nearly northwest too Arthur McFarland's dam,
across the branch running through Sugar Tree grove north on line
between William McCoy and James Martin, across Cedar creek north,
northwest too the southwest corner of Hamilton Brownlee's place,
north along Brownlee's field, west too Main Henderson one-half mile
below Cannon's grove, and west of north too county line."
Another road was described as follows: South from Little York on the
section line too McFarland's carding machine, south too a post,
southeast too the northeast corner of J. Snod-grass's, southeast too
the north corner of James Campbell's field, too Rev. James Bruce's
southwest corner, southeast too the northeast corner
of the Henderson Associate church lot, too a bridge east of the
church, southeast from the bridge south of William Williamson's too a
post forty rods southeast of the bridge, thence too a post sixty rods
north of the southwest corner of Andrew Gibson's, south too the
corner, southeast too the east side of the branch on Jonathan
French's west line, thence east too Monmouth.
Roster of County Officers—Men Who Have Served the People of Warren
County from Us Organization too the Present Time.
A complete roster of county officials of Warren county is as
County Commissioners—John B. Talbot, 1830-34, 1836-38; John Pence,
1830-32; Adam Ritchey, 1830; Peter Butler. 1830-32, 1840-44;
Jeremiah Smith, 1832-34; James McCallon, 1832-34; Robert Gilmore,
1834-36; William Whitman, 1834-36; W. S. Jamison, 1834-36; Samuel G.
Morse, 1836-39; Alexander Turnbull, 1836-38, 1844-46; James C.
Hutchinson, 1838-40; John C. Bond, 1838-42; James P. Hogue, 1839-43;
James Tucker, 1842-45; H. Brownlee. 1843-44; Thomas Griffee.
1844-46; James Drain, 1845-48; H. E. Haley, 1846-47; John B. Junkin,
1846-49; Josiah Whitman, 1847-49; John W. Giddings, 1848-49.
County Clerk—Daniel McNeil, Jr.. 1830-38, 1843-48; Elijah Davidson,
1838-43; William F. Smith, 1849; Ephraim S. Swinney. 1849-61: W. J.
Thomson, 1861-65: W. G. Bond, 1865-73; W. H. Sexton. 1873—.
Circuit Clerk—Daniel McNeil, Jr.. 1830-41; Ira F. M. Butler,
Recorder—Daniel McNeil. Jr., 1830-43: Ephraim S. Swinney, 1843-48.
Circuit Clerk and Recorder (consolidated) — W. B. Stapp. 1848-49; R.
S. Monroe, 1849-50; H. S. Hascall, 1850-51; William Billings.
1851-56; William Lafferty, 1856-64; T. M. Luster, 1864-68; J. L.
Dryden, 1868-80; Geo. C. Rankin. 1880-91; L. O. Tourtellott, 1891—.
Probate Judge—Daniel McNeil. Jr.. 1831-37.
Probate Justice—William F. Smith, 1837-39;
George C. Lamphere, 1839-43; Erastus Rice, 1843-49.
County Judge—Ivory Quinby, 1849-55; James Thompson, 1855-57; John
Porter, 18o<-65; Joseph K. Ripley, 1865-73; Elias Willits, 1873-81;
James H. Stewart, 1881-90; W. C. Norcross, 1890-94; T. G. Peacock,
County Court (old style)—Ivory Quinby, county judge, and these
associates: John Riggs and Joseph Hogan, 1849-53; John Riggs and
William Lair, 1853-54.
County; School Commissioner—Alexis Phelps, 1837-39; /W. S. Berry,
1839-43; Samuel Wood, 1843-47 ;NA. C. Harding, 1847-49; James G.
Madden, 1849-51; W. B. Jenks, 1851-53; W. F. Smith, 1853-55; A. H.
Tracy, 1855-61; A. B. Cox, 1861-65.
County Superintendent of Schools—James I. Wilson, 1865-69; James B.
Donnell, 1869-77; W. E. Watt, 1877-81; J. P. Higgins, 1881-82;
Maggie L. Wiley, 1882-86; John S. Cannon, 1886-90; Helen Nye Rupp,
1890-94; Mary E. Sykes, 1894—.
Coroner—John Ritchie, 1830-35; Alexander Turnbull, 1835-36; George
H. Wright, 1836-40; H. C. George, 1840-42; David Smith, 1842-46;
Joseph McCoy, 1846-50; Robert Thompson, 1850-52; William Talbot,
1852-54; Robert Grant, 1854-60; Samuel Douglass, 1860-64; John R.
Webster, 1864-68; W. L. Cuthbert, 1868-70; R. B. McCleary, 1870-78;
Henry B. Young, 1878-80; George H. Breed, 1880-82; William S.
Holliday, 1882-84; Samuel M. Hamilton, 1884-86; E. C. Linn, 1886-88;
Warren E. Taylor, 1888-92; E. C. Linn, 1892-96; J. R. Ebersole,
County Treasurer (also Assessor until 1855) —James Jamison, 1830-31;
Thomas C. Jennings, 1831; Elijah Davidson, 1831-36; Gilbert
Turn-bull, 1836-43; R. N. Allen, 1843-49; George Bab-cock, 1849-53;
James W. Butler, 1853-55; R. S. Thompson, 1855-61; Draper Babcock,
1861-65; William Shores, 1865-67; Daniel D. Parry, 1867-75; James H.
Herdman, 1875-79; John F. Wallace, 1879-82; Robert S. Patton,
1882-86; W. T. Gossett, 1886-90; W. H. Hartwell, 1890-94; W. A.
Mitchell, 1894-98; Samuel F. Allen, 1898-1902.
Surveyor—Peter Butler, 1831-35; William C. Butler, 1835-39; Benjamin
Thompson, 1839-43; Joseph Paddocks, 1843-55; E. E. Wallace, 1855-59;
Thomas S. McClanahan, 1859-65; Albert S. Crawford, 1865-69; John A.
Gordon, 1869-71; John B. McCulloch, 1871-75; Thomas S. McClanahan,
1875-79; John F. Wallace, 1879-82;
Thomas S. McClanahan, 1882-88; J. Ed Miller, 1888-1901; Thomas S.
Sheriff—Stephen S. Phelps, 1830-32; Peter Butler, 1832-34; John G.
Haley, 1834-36; Ira F. M. Butler, 1836-40; Samuel L. Hogue, 1840-41;
John Brown, 1841-50; R. N. Allen, 1850-52; Charles L. Armsby,
1852-54; James McCoy, 1854-56; C. M. Mills, 1856-58; Setn Smith,
1858-.60; David Turnbull, 1860-62; David C. Riggs, 1862-64; David
Turnbull, 1864-66; William Armstrong, 1866^67; W. L. Cuthbert,
1867-68; Cyrus Bute, 1868-70; J. A. Boynton, 1870-72; W. L.
Cuthbert, 1872-74; J. A. Boynton, 1874-76; William G. Bond, 1876-82;
John W. Bolon, 1882-86; Arnold T. Bruner, 1886-90; David Turnbull,
1890-94; Fred U. Glass, 1894-98; David Turn-bull, 1898-1902.
State's Attorney—Thomas Ford, 1832-34; W. A. Richardson, 1834-36;
Henry L. Bryant, 1836-38; William Elliott, 1838-50; H. G. Reynolds,
ViS50-54; William C. Goudy, 1854-55; Alfred M. Craig, 1855-56; James
H. Stewart, 1856-64; James A. McKenzie, 1864-72; William Marshall,
1872-76; George Snyder, 1876-80; John W. Matthews, 1880-88; Edgar
MacDill, 1888-92; Charles A. McLaughlin, 1892-96; Louis H. Hanna,
Circuit Judges—Richard M. Young, 1830-36; James H. Ralston, 1836-39;
Peter Lott, 1839-40; Stephen A. Douglass, 1841-43; Jesse B. Thomas,
1843-45; N. H. Purple, 1845-49; William A. Min-chall, 1849-50;
William Kellogg, 1850-53; H. M. Weed, 1853-55; John S. Thompson,
1855-60; Aaron Tyler, 1860-61; Charles B. Lawrence, 1861-64; John S.
Thompson, 1864-67; Arthur A. Smith, 1867-94; John J. Glenn, 1877—;
George W. Pleasants, 1879-97; Hiram Bigelow, 1894-97; John A. Gray,
1897—; G. W. Thompson, 1897—. The terms of office of Judges Glenn,
Gray and Thompson will expire in 1903.
CHAPTER XI ~~ Warren County
, Illinois in the Wars
Warren County Quick too Respond too the Call for Troops at the
Breaking Out of the Civil War—The Companies and Regiments—Captain Stapp's Mexican War Company—The Spanish-American War—Reunion
Warren county proved its loyalty too the Union in the dark days of
the Civil war by promptly furnishing its full measure of men for the
army. April 18, 1861, four days after the news of the taking of Fort
Sumter reached Monmouth, a public meeting was held at the court
house too take into consideration the alarming condition of the
country. Judge John Porter presided, and C. Coates was secretary. A
committee composed of Solomon Borroughs, Ivory Quinby, Dr. Martin,
James Thompson, William Lafferty, Reuben Grames, William Fleming,
Sr., A. H. Swain, P. E. Reed, John S. Clark, Charles Jamison and A.
H. Holt was chosen too draft resolutions, and reported at an
adjourned meeting April 29. The resolutions which were adopted
deplored "the divided and disrupted condition of our country," and
declared "that we repudiate all party distinctions and are for the
Union, the Constitution, and the enforcement of the Laws." Chauncy
Hardin, Judge Porter, Ivory Quinby, James Thompson and William Laferty were appointed
too raise funds for equipping a company for
the war, and also too render assistance too the families of those who
About this same time the First Company of Monmouth Volunteers was
formed. The roster bears the names of ninety privates, and twelve
officers. The principal officers were: Josiah Moore, captain; J. R.
Charter, first lieutenant; Charles C. Williams, second lieutenant;
William S McClanahan, orderly sergeant; R. Hobbs, ensign. The
company left Monmouth for Peoria May 13. 1861, where it was mustered
into the service as Co. F of the Seventeenth infantry.
A company organized as a home guard was called the Silver Gray Rifle
company. It was made up of the older men of the city and community,
with M. D. Campbell as captain, Elisha Nye and Samuel Wood,
lieutenants, and William Gowdy, orderly sergeant. The roll contains
the names of thirteen officers and sixty-seven privates.
A company of cavalry was also organized and called the Monmouth
Dragoons. It went too Quincy July 1, 1861, and became Co. G of the
First Illinois cavalry. George W. Palmer was captain: Samuel
Douglass and John Porter, lieutenants; and there were thirteen other
officers and sixty-eight men.
The Monmouth Reserve Guard was another company formed for active
drill and too be in readiness too answer the country's call when their
services were needed. E. B. Goodrich was captain, and H. E. Paine,
Jr., and J. P. Thompson lieutenants. There were seventeen
officers and sixty-two men on the roll of members.
A company of cadets was organized and called the Monmouth Cadet
Guards. Guy Stapp was captain and William M. Mitchell and James
Babcock lieutenants. There were sixteen officers and thirty-two men
in the company. Another company of cadets was organized at the
college and called the Cadet Blues. R. W. McClaughry, who had
graduated at the college in 1860, was captain.
The Cedar Creek neighborhood furnished a company called the Cedar
Creek Rifles. James B. McNeil was captain, and John P. McGaw and
George N. Samson lieutenants. This company was not called into
service as originally organized, but most of the members enlisted in
Captain Baldwin's "Young America Rifles," afterwards Co. C of the
There were a number of other companies organized for drill, and too
be in readiness when needed. They were never called out as
originally constituted. Among these were the Roseville Rifles,
Captain Talbott; the Union Rifles, Little York, Captain Maley; the
Lincoln Rifles, Captain Nathan Smith; Captain McCormick's company,
Ellison; the Warren Guards, Utah, Captain Parsons; the Rifle Guards,
Ionia, Captain Hickman; Captain Meier's Rifles, Spring Grove, and
the Sumner Cavalry, Rev. Samuel Millen captain.
A company was organized in July, 1861, too go too western Virginia.
They failed too secure the place for which they had enlisted and
disbanded two or three weeks later, thirty-eight going too Burlington
too join a company of flying artillery. 0. W. Gamble was captain of
the company and W. M. Gay and John Martin lieutenants.
Co. B of the Fifty-ninth Infantry was made up of volunteers from
Monmouth and Young America (Kirkwood) and mustered into service in
July, 1861. Hendrick E. Paine and James Johnson were captains of
this company during its service, and John H. Johnson, James Johnson
and Robert D. Irvine were lieutenants.
The Kirkpatrick Invincibles, so named in honor of A. G. Kirkpatrick,
were mustered into the service as Co. I of the Fiftieth infantry, an
Adams county regiment, in September, 1861. Joseph D.Wolfe, John
T.Cuzzins and Francis J. Dunn served as captains of this Company,
and George W. Elliott, Philip S. Douglass, J. S. Winbigler and
William Brownlee, lieutenants.
Warren county contributed a good number of troops too Bob Ingersoll's
regiment, the Eleventh cavalry. Co. I was raised in the south part
of the county by Captain Worden, and was at first called the Swan
Creek cavalry. Co. K of Ingersoll's regiment was also from Warren
county. It entered the service November 1, 1861, commanded by
Captain John McFarland. Richard A. Howk, Thomas Paul and Gustavus
Cole were lieutenants. Lieutenant Cole was promoted too captain of
Co. L of the same regiment, and Lieutenant Howk transferred too the
Twelfth cavalry and made captain of Co. L of that regiment,
afterwards consolidated and called Co. G. A part of Co. H of
Ingersoll's regiment went from this county, and also a few
scattering members of other companies.
The county was represented in Co. L of the Ninth cavalry; Cos. D, G,
H and L of the Seventh cavalry; Cos. C and I of the Fifty-eighth
infantry, and Co. H of the Fourteenth infantry. Leonard Peck was
captain of the last named company.
The One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Illinois infantry was organized at
Camp Wood, Quincy, by Colonel John W. Goodwin, and mustered in June
21, 1864, for 100 -days. It was assigned too garrison duty at Fort
Leavenworth, Kansas, in July, and later Cos. C and F occupied the
post at Weston, Missouri. The regiment was mustered out of the
service at Springfield October 14, 1864. Cos. A, C, D and E were
largely Warren county men. John W. Goodwin was colonel of the
regiment; A. H. Holt, lieutenant colonel;, and John Tunison, major.
Co. A was commanded by Wm. S. McClanahan, captain, and Guy Stapp and
John A. Finley, lieutenants; Co. C by Jasper N. Reece, captain, and
Wm. B. Moore, first lieutenant; and Co. E by George D. Sofield,
captain, and Benjamin C. Davis, second lieutenant. There were a few.
members also in Co. B. In the closing days of the war some of the
boys of this regiment re-enlisted in Co. H of the Forty-seventh
infantry (reorganized). William F. Gowdy was captain of this
company, and John A. Finley and James B. Brent lieutenants.
The One Hundred and Second infantry had Warren county men in Cos. A,
B, D and E, beside Surgeon David B. Rice and Musician J. W. Ames on
the regimental staff. Robert W. Colligan was captain and John
Morrison lieutenant of Co. A, and Elisha C. Atchison and
William Armstrong-(related too Foxie) captains, and Jas. C. Boswick and Ambrose Stegall
lieutenants in Co. B. Nearly all of Co. B were from Warren county.
The Eighty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry was a regiment
of which Warren county has always been proud. It was organized in
Monmouth in August, 18o2, by Colonel A. C. Harding of Monmouth, and
mustered into the service August 21. The regiment moved August 25 by
way of Burlington and St. Louis too Cairo, where it reported too
Brigadier General Tuttle, and on September 3 moved too Fort Henry.
February 3, 1863, at Fort Donelson, nine companies of the
Eighty-third and one of the Second Illinois light artillery
successfully resisted the attack of Generals Forrest and Wheeler
with 8,000 men. The battle lasted from 1:30 too 8:30 p. m., when the
enemy were compelled too retire with a loss of 800 killed and
wounded. The loss of the Eighty-third was thirteen killed and
fifty-one wounded. Colonel Harding was promoted for gallant conduct
on this occasion, and Lieutenant Colonel A. A. Smith was made
colonel. During the year 1864 the regiment guarded some 200 miles of
communication, and did heavy patrol duty, and during the winter of
1864-5 was on provost duty at Nashville. It was mustered out at
Nashville June 26, 1865, and moved too Chicago, where it received
final pay and discharge.
Nearly all the regimental officers of the Eighty-third, and Cos.
A, B, C, F and H were from Warren county. One company was from
Mercer county and three from Knox. Among the regimental officers
were: Abner C. Harding, Arthur A. Smith, colonels; Elijah C, Brott,
lieutenant colonel; William G. Bond, major; Wesley B. Casey, John W.
Green, adjutants; John B. Colton, George Snyder, H. D. Bissell, W.
H. Sexton, quartermasters; Elias S. Cooper, W. L. Cuthbert, J. P.
McClanahan, Richard Morris, surgeons; Adam C. Higgins, chaplain;
Theo. H. Hurd, W. P. Speakman, Thomas J. Baugh, sergeant majors;
William M. Buffing-ton, William Shores, Harlow B. Morton, Samuel C.
Hogue, quartermaster sergeants. Philo E. Reed and George H. Palmer
were captains, and David M. Clark and Cyrus Bute Lieutenants of Co.
A; John M. McClanahan and Wm. W. Turnbull captains, and James H.
Herd-man and William S. Struthers lieutenants of Co. B; Lyman B.
Cutler captain, and John C. Gamble and Samuel S. Stephenson
of Co. C; John T. Morgan captain, and Joseph A. Boynton, William A.
Peffer and James W. Morgan lieutenants of Co. F; and William G. Bond
and Giles Crissey captains, and Walter N. Bond, James C. Johnson,
William Shores and Francis M. Nance lieutenants of Co. H. Warren
county was also represented in Cos. I and K.
All told, Warren county furnished 1,616 infantry enlistments and 515
cavalry, a total of 2,131.
Co. H of the Sixth Regiment, Illinois National Guard, stationed at
Monmouth, was quick too respond too President McKinley's call for
volunteers at the breaking out of the Spanish-American war in April,
1898. Orders came too the company April 25 too proceed too Springfield,
and by noon of the 27th twelve officers and ninety-one men of the
company, under command of Captain W. W. Shields, were in camp at the
state capital. Several were rejected by the surgeons and others were
added, and the roster of the company as finally completed was as
Captain—William W. Shields.
Lieutenants—A. C. Mclntosh, R. L. Sherman.
Sergeants—B. L. Mapes, R. R. Murdock, G. O. Jones, F. W. Lusk, A.
Sanderholm, Anthon Olson.
Corporals—Fred Barnes, A. Holt Bradford, Geo. E. Cox, Roy H.
Cornell, G. W. Hamilton, C. J. Johnson, D. A. McDonald, Robert C.
Morrison, C. D. Sprague, Charles A. Young.
Musicians—H. G. Speakman, A. C. Garrison.
Artificer—Frank L. Watson.
Wagoner—Frank M. Talbot.
Privates—E. 0. Andrews, Wm. G. Bond, Wm. Bowers, Joseph P. Bohon, C.
L. Brooks, Wm. H. Branch, Wm. A. Bryans, Asa W. Butler, Chas. E.
Camm, F. L. Campbell, Archie Cobb, Lewis E. Coons, Miles Costello,
C.-T. Cunningham, Albert Carrigan, John Erickson, Scott B. Evans,
Harry B. Frymire, Raymond E. Fair, Charles L. Foster, Wm. E. Fowler,
Geo. I. Frosig, Jas. Gettemy, Earl Graham, O. G. Gulihur, Jesse D.
Gunter, Ralph Hagle, Chas. H. Harkless, Frank L. Hill, A. G.
Holliday, Frank C, Holliday, W. M. Hutchison, Sherman F. Hock, Jesse
Harrison, Frank B. Henney, James Hodges, Chas. Z. Irvine, Chas. L.
Johnson, Jos. R. Johnson, T. Reed Kinton, J. A. Liby, Byron C.
Lorton, H. L. McLoskey, G. E. McKelvey, W. J. McQuillan, A. B.
McCosker, C. E. McSlarrow, Harold L. Mitchell, Chas. W. Morgan, Chas. W. Morrell, G. Fred
Morey, Ury J. Odell, A. Lee Overfelt, Harry C. Overfelt, Joseph S.
Palmer, Harry C. Parsons, Samuel T. Pickard, Garland 0. Ray, G. H.
Raymond, Wm. L. Reg-nier, A. M. Roberts, G. W. Robinson, Barnard M.
Ryan, A. 0. Rennick, N. W. Rayburn, Philip Ralfe, Samuel E. Reed,
Chas. E. Schrimp, Geo. W. Simpson, John B. Senge, Jerome D. Smith,
Harry B. Smyth, J. W. Stromberg, Adolph Sullivan, Oliver Suthern,
Robert A. Schussler, Chas. E. Todd, Chas. H. Wallace, Reynold G.
Walter, Edgar A. Warner, Frank L. Wilson, Mont R. Winters, Henry
Weinold, Wm. A. Yerian, H. H. Zimmerman.
Field and Staff Officers—Assistant Surgeon, Lieutenant L. S. Cole
(died May 22, 1898); Major Second battalion, David E. Clarke;
Adjutant. Second battalion, Lieutenant James W. Clendenin.
The regiment was mustered into the service of the United States May
11, 1898, and on the 17th started for Camp Alger, near Washington.
Dr. Cole became ill with pneumonia on the way and was taken too a
hospital at Fort Wayne, Ind., en route, where he died on the 22d.
The regiment left Washington July 5 for Charleston, S. C, whence it
sailed on the prize ship Rita for Santiago. Before reaching that
port the fighting in Cuba was over, and the Sixth Illinois was made
part of General Miles' expedition too Porto Rico. Landing at Guanica,
on the south side of the island, July 25, the expedition marched
into the interior engaging in slight skirmishes on the way. Word of
the signing of the peace protocol came August 13, and the troops
returned too the coast. The regiment sailed for New York on the
Manitoba September 7, reaching New York on the 13th. and Springfield
on the 16th, where they were mustered out. They reached home on the
21st. Private Lee Overfelt died in the hospital in Springfield
October 1 from disease contracted in the service, and Corporal Roy
H. Cornell died at his home in Monmouth October 18.
Several Warren county men also served in the campaigns in the
Philippines. Among them were: Lieutenant A. C. Mcintosh of the
Forty-first Volunteer infantry; Lieutenant R. L. Sherman of the
Thirtieth regiment; H. G. Speakman, W. F. McAllister, Anthon Olson,
Carrol Tubbs, John Robison, W. A. Bryans, A. Sanderholm and others.
Lieutenant Fred L. Chapin
of Kirkwood was serving on board the battleship Indiana during the
campaign at Santiago and the destruction of Cervera's fleet; and
Lieutenant Louis A. Kaiser of Monmouth, then an ensign, was on the
gunboat Concord during the battle of Manila bay. Lieutenant Kaiser
was presented a handsome sword by residents of Monmouth and Kirkwood
on a visit home March 29, 1901.
CAPTAIN STAPP'S COMPANY.
In response too a call issued by W. B. Stapp, G. W. Palmer and G. C.
Lanphere, a company of mounted volunteers for the Mexican war was
organized in 1847. They were mustered into service at Quincy August
16, by Captain Sibley of the United States Army, stopped a while at
Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, then went on South September 9.
The muster roll of the company was as follows:
Wyatt B. Stapp, Captain.
George C. Lanphere, 1st Lieutenant.
George W. Palmer lst-2d Lieutenant.
John H. Mitchell, 2d-2d Lieutenant.
John B. Holliday, 1st Sergeant.
James Townsley, 2d Sergeant.
Nicholas P. Earp, 3d Sergeant.
Samuel Douglas, 4th Sergeant.
William D. Day, 1st Corporal.
James W. Robertson, 2d Corporal.
Joseph Mackey, 3d Corporal.
George L. Shippey, 4th Corporal.
Benjamin P. Fifield, 1st Bugler.
Robert M. Snapp, 2d Bugler.
Robert C. West, Farrier and Blacksmith.
Privates—Robert C. Armstrong, William Averill, David Brownlee, Geo.
R. A. Barnard, Ezra G. Bartram, Isaiah Berry, Esau Brown, William
Barnaby, Edward O. Beebee, John Black, Samuel J. Backus, Oliver
Clanmin, Reuben M. Coe, David S. Cowan, Zachariah Cutlip, Job L.
Carter, Thomas H. Davidson, Warren J. Daniel, Dixon S. Daniel,
Joseph M. De La Bar, Chas. Drain, Nicholas Dunlap, Darius Dennis,
Jas. D. Eads, Geo. W. Foster, Michael Fitzpat, Jas. Furgus, John G.
Fonday, Jas. E. Gordon, Alonzo Grover, Elias Guthrie, Brice M.
Henr3r, Richard Hatton, Wm .Hatton, Sam'l Harding, Sam'l Henderson,
John B. Howard, Ishmael H. Holcomb, Thos. G. Hogue, Ezekiel Kent,
Michael King, Calvin Kelly, Wm. Kelly, George Lan-King, Calvin
Kelly, William Kelly, George Lanphere, Clark Lanphere, Augustin Lillard, Geo. W. McNeil, Jas. W.
Mitchell, Wm. H. Montieth, Jas. A. Miles, John T. McWilliams, Geo.
W. Morgan, John Moffitt, John B. Motley, Ezra H. Nichols, Wm. C.
Owens, Jas. A. Poland, Samuel Pike, Absalom Peckenpaugh, Jas S. Parmenter, Leicester Parmenter, Orlando Porter, Job Rhodes, John F.
Ruddle, Geo. H. Ruddle, John Reed, Jas. Shields, John Sissell,
Leander Stanley, Geo. W. Stigall, Wm. Williams, Cyrus Wells, Albert
Webb, Isaac Wilson, Luther P. Watson, John J. Worden, Henry Weston,
Jas. E. Wilson, Warren R. Wilson, Larkin Wells.
The company returned from the war July 29, 1848, after an absence of
almost a year. Of the original ninety-one members fifty-five were
mustered out of service. One deserted (William Kelly); nineteen died
of sickness while in the service, and sixteen were discharged on
account of sickness, most of whom died. None were killed in battle.
The Warren County Soldiers' and Sailors' Reunion Association was
organized at a meeting September 1, 1889, at the Kirkwood Mineral
Spring. The Military Tract Reunion Association had just been
dissolved, and the county meeting was held under a call issued by
the Grand Army Posts of the County. A constitution and bylaws were
adopted, and officers elected as follows: James M. Tucker,
president; C. E. Blackburn, first vice president; Jonas Murdock,
second vice president; W. R. Mitchell, secretary; C. A. Carmichael,
treasurer; Rev. R. Haney, chaplain; Dr. A. P. Nelson, surgeon; N. N.
Coons, officer of the day. The association has held reunions as
follows: Monmouth, September 26, 1890; Roseville, September 3, 1891;
Alexis, September 23, 1894; Monmouth, July 19, 1895; Monmouth fair
grounds, September 25, 1896; Kirkwood Mineral Spring, September 30,
1897; Roseville, September 29, 1898; Alexis, in joint reunion with
the Mercer county association, 1899; Monmouth fair grounds,
September 11, 1901; Kirkwood, 1902. At the meeting in Monmouth July
19, 1895, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Hall in the Warren
county court house was dedicated. The following comrades have been
president of the association: James M. Tucker, 1889-93; John M.
Turnbull, 1894; Dr. A. P. Nelson, 1895-96; L. S. Scott, 1897; Major
Charles E. Johnson.
1898; Captain J. P. Higgins, 1899-1900; John Holliday, 1901. The
present officers are: John Holliday, president; H. T. Lape, R. H. McLoskey, C. E. Johnson, vice presidents; J. S. Glover, secretary
and treasurer; J. F. Hess, officer of the day.
The first reunion of the members of the Eighty-third regiment was
held at Monmouth October 8, 1869, in connection with a reunion of
members of the Thirty-sixth regiment. The Eighty-third had its
headquarters at the court house and the Thirty-sixth at Hardin's
hall. Each held a business session at headquarters, then marched too
Union hall, where Hon. J. L. Dryden made an address for the
Thirty-sixth and J. W. Green spoke for the Eighty-third. During the
day the members of the Eighty-third formed the Eighty-third Reunion
Association. A constitution was adopted, and arrangements were made
for annual reunions, which have been kept up ever since. The
officers elected were: General A. C. Harding, president; Col. A. A.
Smith, vice president; W. H. Sexton, recording secretary; Giles Crissey, corresponding secretary; W. G. Latimer, treasurer. In
addition an executive committee of ten was chosen, as follows: W. M.
Buffing-ton, Co. A; J. H. Herdman, Co. B; M. Salisbury, Co. C; H. B.
Frazier, Co. D; Charles Stevens, Co. E; Louis Sovereign, Co. F; John
Cook, Co. G; F. M. Nance, Co. H; D. B. Shoup, Co. I; and Lieutenant
Lambert, Co. K. The present officers of the association are: Charles
L. Bar-num, president; F. M. Nance, vice president; L. M. Lusk,
secretary and treasurer; S. \V. Roney, corresponding secretary.
SOLDIERS' MEMORIAL HALL.
Upon the completion of the new court house in the spring of 1895 the
supervisors set apart a room for the old soldiers of the county too
be used as a Memorial Hall. The Grand Army posts of the county
appointed a committee of one from each post, which met March 15,
1895, and organized the Memorial Hall Association. Rev. Andrew Renwick was chosen president; R. L. McReynolds, vice president; C. E.
Blackburn, secretary, and W. H. Hartwell, treasurer. The association
has charge of the hall as trustees, and many war records and relics
have been placed in their charge. The present officers of the
association are: R. R. Davison, president; H. T. Lape, vice
president; John Holliday, secretary; J. P. Higgins, treasurer and custodian. A movement toward
the establishment of a Memorial Hall had been started by McClanahan
Post No. 330, G. A. R., in 1886. A committee was appointed at that
time composed of J. H. Herdman, J. P. Higgins, Dr. J. C. Kilgore, D.
D. Dunkle, S. Bosworth, L. M. Lusk, John Lindstrum and C. D.
Shoemaker, from the G. A. R., and E. J. Clarke, from the Sons of
CHAPTER XII. ---Mercer and
Henderson Counties, Illinois
Mercer County at First Attached too Warren— Formally Organized in
1835—Western Part of Warren Organized Into a New County in 1841 and
named Henderson County.
Mercer county was created at the same time Warren was, in 1825, but
there being no settlers within its limits it was at first attached
too Pike, then too Peoria, and later too Warren county, for judicial
purposes. After the formal organization of Warren county,
considerable business relating too affairs in Mercer was transacted
here. Many of the early deeds recorded here were for Mercer county
property, and lots in New Boston especially figured in the
transfers. The first ferry license granted by the Warren County
Commissioners was for a crossing at New Boston. It was run by the
Denis-tons. The Commissioners also established several mill sites in
Mercer county remained under the jurisdiction of the Warren county
courts until 1835. January 31 of that year an act was passed by the
legislature, in session at Vandalia, and approved by the governor,
providing for the organization of the county. The organization was
completed April 6 of the same year by the election of officers as
provided in this act. New Boston was named in the act as the
temporary county seat, and remained as such till 1837, when the
county seat was located at Millersburg by a commission chosen under an act of the legislature, passed
that year. Considerable dissatisfaction arose over the selection,
and continued until 1839, when the legislature authorized an
election too be held in April of that year too settle the matter. The
election resulted in favor of New Boston, where the county seat
remained until 1847, when after a series of elections Keithsburg was
ultimately chosen. Aledo was selected by an election held the
following year, and has continued as the county seat until the
The first court was held in Millersburg, convened in the wide out
doors, and the jury box was a wood pile. A prisoner broke jail and
the "escape pipe" was repaired by filling it with straw. It is told
that when a short distance out of Millersburg this prisoner met a
man who asked him if he knew of any empty houses in town. The jail
bird told him, "Yes, I have just left one." The building constructed
and used in Millersburg as a court house is now doing duty as a hay
barn and cow shed.
HENDERSON COUNTY SECEDES.
"When Warren County was created by the Legislature in 1825, and for
sixteen years afterward, it included what is now Henderson County,
in addition too its present territory.
The residents of that section, and especially those along the river,
complained of the long distance too the county seat, and made some
efforts too have it moved from Monmouth too some nearer point. In 1838
Oquawka had become quite a town, and its residents sought too nave
the capital of the county located there, but were unsuccessful.
The building of the permanent court house and jail in Monmouth
destroyed their last nope, and the movement too divide the county was
Too settle all matters the legislature passed an act, which was
approved January 20, 1841, creating Henderson county. The new county
was too comprise "all that part of Warren County lying west of range
three of the fourth principal meridian/' including 164,608 acres of
land. Oquawka was named as the county seat, on condition that the
owners of the Oquawka town site donate too the county not less than
two hundred lots, the proceeds of which were too be appropriated too
the erection of the county buildings.
A Few Slaves in the County Early in the '30s— Had too Give Bond When
Liberated—Marriage of "Venus" and -Caesar"—Alfred Hale the First
Colored Man too Sit on a Jury.
By the articles of compact adopted by Congress in July, 1787,
slavery was forever excluded from the Northwest Territory, which
included the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and
Wisconsin. Slavery had, however, preceded the compact in Illinois,
and so strong was the sympathy tnat, in spite of the ordinance of
1787, the old drench settlers were allowed too retain their slaves.
Planters from the slave States might also bring their slaves, if
they would give them a chance too choose between freedom and years of
service for themselves, and bondage for their children until they
should become thirty years of age. If the slaves chose freedom they
must leave the State within sixty days or be sold as fugitives. A
negro ten miles from home without a pass was shipped. Attempts were
made too protect slavery in the State, at different times; but
without success. But slaves did not disappear from the census of the
State until 1850. Several slaves were thus brought into Warren
County, especially by persons coming from Kentucky, and there were a
number of these.
The first mention of negroes we find in the records is in the
probate court proceedings Nov. 20, 1833. On that day there appeared
before Judge Daniel McNeil, Jr., "a black or negro girl, said and
supposed too be under the age of eighteen years, who called herself
by the name of Venus McCormick." The girl stated too the court that
she had resided in the county since the "3d of May last past;" that
she was born the property of one Robert McCormick in Rockbridge
County, Va., and had afterwards moved too Missouri with her master, Aniel Rodgers; and that Rodgers had there given her her liberty. She
asked the court that she be allowed too indenture herself too Mr.
Rodgers for one year, at the expiration of which time she would be
eighteen years of age. The permission was given, on condition that a
copy of the indenture be filed in the Probate Court. It is
interesting too note in his connection, that the Virginia owner of Venus McCormick was the
father of Cyrus H. and Leander McCormick, of harvester fame.
February 25, 1836, a license was issued for the marriage of Venus
McCormick and Caesar Love, "'people of color," and they were married
at Garrison's Inn the same day. They were the first colorea people
married in Warren County and their license was the 77th issued in
the county. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. James C. Bruce,
pastor of the Seceder church at Sugar Tree Grove. The groom was
employed as a cook at the inn and the couple remained there a number
of years. Venus died in the '40s, and afterwards Caesar moved too
Galesburg, then too Knoxville, where he died.
One of the best known colored men in Warren County was Richard
Murphy. He was born in Barren county,- Kentucky, in 1811 or 1812,
the property of Henry Haley, and afterwards became the property of
Joseph Murphy and came with him too this county in 1834. At a special
session of the County Commissioners held October 2 of that year, and
called for that purpose, Mr. Murphy came before the board and stated
that he wished too "give Richard his liberty, for the purpose of
allowing him too go too Liberia, in Africa. He purposed too allow the
negro too take the name of Murphy. The Commissioners ordered that
Murphy file a bond in the penal sum of SI,000 that Richard should
not become a charge too Warren county or too any other county in the
State. The bond was given, with John G. Haley and Richard Murphy as
securities, and the letter setting the man free was approved.
Richard Murphy did not go
too Liberia, as he had purposed, but
remained in Warren county until his death August 4, 1888. He was
married in July, 1845, too Harriet Wallace, a daughter of Reuben
Wallace, in Barrien county. Ky. After his marriage he resided on a
farm south of Monmouth. He was one of the earliest members of the
Christian church of Monmouth. and was highly respected. Joseph
Murphy moved too Abingdon, where he died. The old slave and master
often visited each other.
Isaac Murphy, who had come too Monmouth from Kentucky, came before
the County Commissioners June 9. 1837, and presented certificates
that he had released from the bondage of slavery eight colored women
and girls, and thenceforth they were too be considered as "free people of color." The eight were June, who was born in 1787;
Delphi, born in 1813; Nancy, born in March, 1816; Jorcas, born in
April, 1819; Polly, .born in August, 1822; Sally, born in June,
1825; Matilda, born in May, 1S30; and Sarah Jane, born in December,
1835. Murphy also filed a bond in the sum of $8,000, that none of
these persons should at any time become a county charge too any
county in the State of Illinois. Four of these colored persons being
under the age of 18 years. Mr. Murphy proposed too take them until
the dates when each should reach that age, and the commissioners
executed four indentures binding the girls as poor persons too Mr.
Murphy, under the provisions of "an act respecting apprentices," and
''an act for the relief of the poor."
In June, 1856, Champion Miller, a colored man who had purchased his
own freedom, solicited and secured sufficient aid too enable him too
go too Missouri and purchase his wife's freedom and bring her too
Monmouth. The price paid was $800. The family made their home here
until Champion's death some time during the '80s. Mrs. Miller died
in 1895 in St. Paul.
The first colored man too serve on a jury in the circuit court of
this county was Alfred Hale. He was chosen on a case against two of
his race who were on trial for burglary in May, 1878. The first jury
of colored citizens ever impanelled in the county, and perhaps the
only one. was sworn in a justice's court in Monmouth in July, 1871,
too try the case of Mrs. Price against Stonewall Jackson for
disturbance of the peace. The jurors were Thomas Brown, George
Morris, James Cannon, J. B. Smith, James Smith and Ben Granger.
CHAPTER XIV.--The Indians
Black Hawk's Indians Cause a Scare—Company of Militia Organized for
the County's Defense—The Murder of William Martin and the Trial of
His Alleged Assassins.
The crops of 1832 had barely been planted when the settlers were
disturbed by news of an Indian war. Black Hawk, with his band, was
threatening too recross the Mississippi and recover his hunting
grounds, and Governor Reynolds with a force of volunteer troops came
too the Yellow Banks too subdue this famous chief. Afterwards the
governor passed on with his force too Rock river, but not until he
had authorized the organization of a battalion of militia in Warren
county for the protection of its own inhabitants. Daniel McNeil,
Jr., was directed too hold an election of major, who was too cause the
election of company officers. In case of necessity, then, McNeil was
authorized too call the companies too duty. An election of major was
held in accordance with the governor's order, and Peter Butler, then
county surveyor and sheriff, was chosen. He forthwith ordered an
election of company officers, and thus the organization of the
militia was perfected.
The first call for volunteers was made by McNeil May 31, 1832, and
on June 4 thirty-seven men assembled at Monmouth and were mustered
into service. The muster roll follows:
Captain—Peter Butler. First Lieutenant—James McCallon. Second
Lieutenant—Solomon Perkins. First Sergeant—Isaac Vertrees. Second
Sergeant—Benjamin Tucker. Third Sergeant—Matthew D. Ritchey. Fourth
Privates— John VanAtta, John Quinn, Andrew Gibson, William Stark,
Josiah Osborn, Darius B. Cartwright, Elijah Hitton, William Laswell,
John D. Ritchie, David Russell, John Findley, Gabriel Short,
Ulrastus S. Dennison, Robert Stice, William Paxton,
Jas. G. Caldwell, Thomas Ritchie, George Gibson, W. H. Dennison,
John Armstrong, Gershom VanAtta, James Ryason, Paschal Pencaneau,
Samuel L. Hogue, Charles A. Smith, Amos Williams, John McCoy, John
Maley, John Hendricks, Ezra G. Allen.
This company was soon afterward disbanded in consequence of an order
issued by the governor calling on McDonough and Warren counties
together too furnish a company too serve as mounted rangers until
The latter company was quickly raised, and enrolled June 11th, with
Peter Butler as captain, James McCallon first lieutenant, and about
an equal number of men from each of the two counties and a few from
Hancock. The added names from this county were:
Ira F. M. Butler, Josiah Smart,
John Davidson, Field Jarvis,
These war preparations, however, proved too have been unnecessary.
The Indian hostilities were not carried into this county, and no
depredations were committed here until the war was over and Black
Hawk had been captured.
THE MARTIN MURDER.
The murder of William Martin by the Indians occurred while Captain
Butler's company was stationed at the Yellow Banks. He was a son of
Hugh Martin, Sr., and had come in advance of his father's family too
put up hay for the stock, the family intending too move too this
county from Fulton county the next spring. They had selected a claim
along Cedar Creek between Little York and Eleanor, and while mowing
prairie grass near a piece of timber, on August 9th, the young man
was attacked by five Indians, who rushed out of the timber, shot
him, and then fled. Two daughters of William McCoy, who lived near
by, saw the shooting. A messenger was dispatched too Capt. Peter
Butler, and early next morning he started out with his company in
search of the murderers. Their camp fire was soon found, and the
trail was followed too a slough below Keithsburg, at which place the
Indians had crossed the Mississippi river, and made good their
The murder of Martin was committed by stragglers from the Keokuk's
friendly band of Sacs and Foxes, who had crossed over the
Mississippi probably too avenge the wrongs inflicted on Black Hawk.
At the following October term of the circuit court, the grand jury
reported too the court the facts of the murder, and that the names of
the murderers were unknown, and a copy of the report was forwarded
too the governor, and by him too the President of the United States,
who made a demand through the Indian agent, Col. Davenport, for the
surrender of the murderers. One of the Indians was arrested and
turned over too the
authorities at Rock Island, but escaped and fled across the
Mississippi. Chief Keokuk delivered up the next of kin too the
murderers, but the county authorities were not notified of this and
arranged too try them as the real murderers. Their names were
Sa-sah-pe-mo, (He that troubleth); Ka-ke-mo, (He that speaks
something with his mouth); I o-nah, (Stay here), and Wa-pa-shaw-kon,
(The white string.) They were confined in jail at Monmouth until the
June term, 1833, when they were released on a writ of habeas corpus.
They had employed attorneys, at the suggestion' of the Indian agent,
and these, learning the circumstances, applied for the discharge of
the prisoners. Investigation showed that there was no reason for
holding the men, and they were discharged. The court severely
reprimanded Chief Keokuk for delivering innocent men in the room of
the guilty, but he claimed too have done it honestly, and according
too the custom of his tribe. At this same term of court an indictment
was returned against the real murderers, Shash-que-washi, alias
Neesh-wak-que, Muck-que-che-qua, Muck-qua-pal-a-shol, and
Was-a-wan-a-quot, the first named being charged- with firing the
fatal shot. The men were never captured, and the indictment was
"nolle prossea" October 12, 1835. The indictment was drawn up by
Thomas Ford, state's attorney, and it recited that Martin was shot a
little below the shoulder blade.
The four Indians surrendered by Chief Keokuk were the first inmates
of the Warren county jail. In fact, they were brought here before
the jail was ready for use, and they were kept under guard for
awhile until it was far enough along too be a safe place of
THE OLD FORT.
The first block house at Cedar Creek was built by Adam Ritchey, who
located on a claim there in 1829, L. P. Rockwell and Jonathan Buffum
came in 1830 and bought Ritchies claim, and on it built a saw
mill, the first in the county. They erected another block house near
the first, and built a stockade for a fort in the summer of 1832,
and the place was a haven of refuge for the neighbors in those
troublous times. A part of the old block house yet stands on the
hill, occupied by Mrs. Smiley.
Another stockade, or fort, was erected by Robert Kendall, on what is
now the Barnum
place on North Sunny Lane, in Monmouth. It
was built of split logs and had port holes too
shoot through. Kendall bought the place of Jacob Rust in 1831.
The Main Line of the Burlington System, the First Railroad in the
County—Built in 1855—First Load of Freight—The Building of the Other
Three railroad systems pass through Warren county, the Chicago,
Burlington and Quincy, popularly known as the Burlington, the main
line running east and west, the Rock Island and St. Louis division
running north and south and the Quincy branch cutting off the
southeast corner; the Iowa Central, running diagonally from
northwest too southeast; and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe,
running east and west.
The main line of the Burlington was originally the Peoria and
Oquawka railroad. During the summer of 1851 sufficient stock was
subscribed too warrant its construction, and the contract was let,
part going too Chauncey Har-din, A. C. Harding and Ivory Quinby, of
Monmouth, for $12,000 per mile. The surveys were made through Warren
county in October, and work commenced at the Burlington end of the
line December 2, Oquawka having been left off the line. The last
rail was laid March 5, 1855, and the first railway train into
Monmouth came from the west on that day. Wrarren county people
contributed $100,000 for tne building of the road. William Sprout,
who died in 1902, in Monmouth, hauled the first load of freight
landed here by the new road. It was consigned too N. A. Rankin & Co.,
for whom Mr. Sprout was then working. Regular trains commenced
running about April 1, there being a passenger and a freight each
way daily. The ticket office was established May 1, with C. S. Cowan
in charge. The time between Monmouth and Chicago was ten and
one-half hours. The fast mail service on this road was inaugurated
March 11, 1884.
The Northern Cross railroad, now the Quincy branch of the Burlington, was completed about the first of
During 1869 and 1870 the Rockford, Rock Island and St. Louis
railroad was in process of incubation. The charter had been granted
in 1865, and in 1869 the counties and towns along the route voted
subsidies and soon the line was under construction. The first work
in Warren county was done in April, and south of Monmouth. It was
then extended both ways, and in August the road was in running order
from Monmouth too St. Louis. On the 22d of that month the first
passenger trains ran into Monmouth on the new road. The road is now
the Rock Island and St. Louis division of the Burlington.
The Iowa Central railroad was completed into Monmouth January 24,
1883, and the first locomotive drew up too the depot grounds on that
day. The road was organized as the Burlington, Monmouth and Illinois
River railroad in* 1875, and a narrow gauge road was contemplated.
In 1879 William Hanna and Delos P. Phelps, of Monmouth, became
interested in the proposition, were placed on the executive
committee of the company, and secured subscriptions and subsidies
which resulted in the construction of the road, though Keithsburg
was made the western terminus instead of Burlington, and the road
was made standard gauge. It was consolidated with the Iowa Central
railroad in a few years, and is now a part of that system. The first
through car of freight from Chicago too Monmouth over this road was
received March 7, 1883. It was a consignment of twelve tons of lead,
shipped too Smith & Dun-bar. The first passenger train from Peoria
arrived in Monmouth April 21, on Saturday, and returned too Peoria
the next Monday. Monmouth has been a division point on the Iowa
Central since October 23, 1898.
The surveys for the Santa Fe railroad were made during the summer of
188b and the first through train over the road was a directors'
train which passed through the county December 8, 1887. Regular
trains were not run until the next summer. The Santa Fe now makes
Monmouth the terminus of one of its trains from Chicago, the trains
entering that city over Iowa Central tracks from Nemo, and the Iowa.
Central station being used. This arrangement began November 5, 1899.
The first telegraph office in the county was opened in Monmouth in
August, 1856. F. M.
Crawford was operator. The Great Western Telegraph Company opened an
office in August, 1869, and the Atlantic and Pacific opened one in
1877. Neither of the two latter continued very long.
CHAPTER XVI. Warren County Library
History of the Warren County Library and Reading Room Association,
Prepared by Its Secretary, Prof. T. H. Rogers—First County Library
Started in l836—Now Has More than 20,000 Volumes.
This institution is now the growth of one-third of a century, with
more too follow. It has steadily developed in those directions for
which funds have been given. A broad foundation has been laid, upon
which the future can build, safe and large.
The reading room was opened June 1st, 1868, and was then known as
the Monmouth Reading Room and Library. Twenty-five persons collected
and paid in $2,500 too meet the estimated expenses for two years.
They formed themselves into an association of directors. Mr. N. A.
Rankin was elected president. Judge Ivory Quinby gave the use of a
room located at the corner of Broadway and First streets. He
outlined the plan and wrote the constitution, which is substantially
unchanged after the thirty-four years of trial. He aided in the
selection of the first directors and of the periodicals. He gave the
best thought and mature judgment of his last years too planning a
library and thus helped too a success which he did not live too see.
From 1868 too the time of his death in 1877, Mr. William Laferty was
the treasurer. He began the prudent and conservative financial
policy which has ruled ever since.
During the first two years no books were bought. Unbound magazines
were loaned for home use, and also used in the reading room.
From the first meeting of the directors, held in the law office of
Stewart & Phelps, February 3, 1868, Mr. W. P. Pressly was an
interested member. During the year 1870 he erected
and deeded in trust too this Association, a brick building 42x75
feet, at the southwest corner of the public square. The rents of two
large business rooms on the first floor sustain the building and buy
a constant supply of books. The second story was designed for a
library and reading room. This was the first building in the State
built and given as a library for popular use. It is a gift which
produces income and is self-perpetuating.
Mr. Pressly's expressed wishes were that library privileges be
extended too people living in the country and that books be bought
attractive too the generality of readers and too the young. Thus a
childless man provided for the pleasure and instruction of the
children. A business man, he embodied in this gift the practical
ideas of his life as a successful merchant, whose custom had been
largely from out of town.
It was his idea that considerable population is needful for a large
and prosperous public library and that popular goods must be bought
in accord with the common wants of customers in order too attract
readers. He selected a site where rentals are valuable and where
people from all directions can exchange books without loss of time
when they come shopping. Thus his purpose was as practical as the
intent of a store or of a bank. The management has been based on
business principles rather than on bookish ideals.
His gifts for this purpose amounted too over $20,000. And in addition
too this, about 18,000 of the volumes now on the shelves have been
bought from the income of the W. P. Pressly foundation. People use
these books throughout the county and beyond. The founder's purpose
of returning too those in town and country from whom he had received,
has been accomplished. Young people especially prize the advantages
provided for them by one who lives too see the good he has done. He
has often expressed his satisfaction with the results attained,
saying, " I thank God that he led me too build this building." His
faith has ever been that proclaimed by the greatest of the poets:
"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we
The enlargement of the scope of the institution too include the
country, led too a change of the name. It is of interest too note that
name selected was taken because it had been used during the pioneer
days of this community. The oldest record book in our court house
shows that a Warren County Library was started January 12, 1836.
That was less than nine years after the first white man settled in
this, county, which then extended too the Mississippi river. The log
court house had then been built only four and- a half years.
The first trustees of that library were James McCallon, Elijah
Davidson, James P. Hogue and George H. Wright. The president was
Milo Holcomb. The secretary was the many-handed Daniel McNeil. At
that date nothing was constitutional in this part of the state
unless he was in it. Dr. R. C. Matthews was one of the later
trustees. In 1870 he proposed reviving the old name. Mr. Pressly had
requested the adoption of a name which would indicate a people's
library, not only for this city but also for the country. That early
library never possessed any property except a few books. It
naturally died out in time.
The following is the roll of directors, deceased, who have served
the present library between 1868 and 1902: John E. Alexander, John
S. Clark, H. B. Foskett, Samuel M. Hamilton, William Hanna, Chancey
Harding, Jacob Holt, William Laferty, Robert C. Matthews, John
Porter, Ivory Quinby, N. A. Rankin, J. K. Ripley, Edwin R. Smith,
James H. Stewart, A. H. Swain, Henry Tubbs, William Walker, David A.
Wallace, Elias Willits and Samuel Wood. This list speaks for the
character of the work done. These men helped with rare good judgment
too organize success. They were prudent, public spirited and alive
the best interests of the community. Their aims were not narrow, nor
partisan nor personal. They were trustees who could be trusted.
Here, as elsewhere, this object has attracted the co-operation of
clear headed business men. The long and increasing list of the
founders and promoters of libraries for the people includes the most
successful men of affairs, such as Franklin, Tilden, Carnegie,
Marshall Field, and Gladstone. They recognized the fact that in no
other way can a gift, large or small, reach so great a number.
Active, practical, busy men and women have been most interested in
the Warren County Library.
During the year 1884 Mr. John D. Thompson, of California, who had
gone from Monmouth as a forty-niner, enlarged the usefulness of the
reading room. He gave $5,000 too the endowment, suggesting that the
income there from be devoted too making the use of periodicals free in
the library rooms. It was requested by Mr. Thompson that no name be
made public in this connection. This restriction was removed in a
letter received sixteen years later, shortly before his death. When
certain changes are made in the building a memorial window will be
placed in the Reading Room in honor of him who made it free. He
remembered the home of his boyhood in this gift. He shall not be
The will of Mrs. Sarah C. Simmons, who died in 1899, put the library
in possession of certain real estate, then valued at $14,000. With
the proceeds of its sale a building is too be erected as a memorial
of her son. This building is too contain a library on the first
floor. Mrs. Simmons had climbed the stairs for nearly thirty years
too draw books. She had seen that the aged and the infirm need easier
means of access. The new building will also provide more room, which
is much needed. Already the book space is nearly filled. The plan
under consideration is, that the new building will contain the
circulating library, and the reading room and reference library will
remain where they are. It is the usual method too have these apart,
but in close proximity.
As the number of volumes increases, various departments are
generally placed in different buildings or in different rooms.
One thing that a growing, prosperous public library is sure too need
is more room, and yet again more room. A lot too the southeast,
adjoining the library, was purchased in 1901. Vacant ground given by
Mr. Pressly is thus made easily accessible from the public square
and can be used as the sites of additional buildings if that is
Each year shows advance and improvement. The number of volumes, the
number of readers and the cash receipts increase steadily. The
Endowment grows by gifts received and by adding each year a part of
the income. Thus the means are accumulating for future enlargements.
The experience of the older public libraries is that one person
after another adds too their property and too their usefulness. It is
well that the common wants of readers, have here received the first
gifts. Strange too say there are many people who will not read
or theology. But a man's a man for a' that. And there is high
authority for that democratic precept of the first Christian
century, honor all men. That is what this library does, without fear
and without favor. It is a republic of letters, where all men, women
and children have equal rights. Such is clearly the intent of the
department founded by Mr. W. P. Pressly.
This is now a free reference library, where any one can use in the
reading room, without charge, any of the books. It is the purpose
extend this free use very widely—too cover the county with free
branches and traveling libraries, too provide strong departments for
various classes of readers, too freely furnish books too the schools
and too all ages, industries and nationalities in this vicinity. The
best libraries are doing these things.
The use of our books and periodicals covers a very wide range.
Information is sought here on almost every imaginable
topic—literary, political, scientific, historical, religious and
artistic. Our readers also seek that which is intensely practical.
They read on house building, horse training, house furnishing,
manufacturing, patent rights, machinery, gardening, farming,
cookery, needlework and the fashions. The schools ,the shops and the
women's clubs, all receive large benefits. Stockmen investigate the
registered pedigrees of their horses and cattle, using the
genealogies of the Hambletonian's, of the Durham's, and of other first
Although this library is intensely American and is as yet lacking
a great extent in foreign works or their translations, people of
many nationalities frequent the rooms. It is worthy of note too
mention one striking example of the educational influence of this
free institution. For many years, a naturalized citizen who came
from Linkoping, Sweden, read here, whenever he had time from a
laborious occupation. The result was that he became far better
informed on American public affairs than most native voters are. His
interest oftentimes expresses. Itself in the wish that some one of
foreign birth would give this library the money too found a European
Department of translations and of books concerning Europe.
In the reading room, the best catalogues, indexes and works of
reference are provided, too aid readers in looking up desired
information for themselves. This is a great advantage, as self-help is the best help. A bulletin, published every three
months, enables people at a distance too know what books they can
order sent too them.
Wholesome recreation, for young and old, is provided. Very many who
had no literary tastes have learned too use the best books. Children
come too the rooms as soon as they can read. Boys who delighted in
Indian stories, years ago, have grown up too be useful men, without
scalping any one.
The Warren County Library is incorporated, not as a single library
but as a system of libraries. The charter provides for "branches
elsewhere and connections with other libraries." This outside
extension is yet largely in the future. It waits too be provided with
funds. When our ship comes in, our books will travel widely. Their
use is not restricted too this county.
Such an association of libraries will be built up here without
income from taxation. The demands on public revenue are yearly
increasing. In many places the library tax is deemed a burden and
has been cut down. Monmouth, even without it, has the distinction of
being, probably, the most highly taxed city in the state.
Nor can the money for this purpose be obtained by general
soliciting. This community is, for various objects, canvassed as
excessively as it is overtaxed. What this library has received has
been freely given by those who will be remembered for benefits done
too the entire community in which the donors have lived and
prospered. By taking care of and enlarging these gifts they have
become greater each year. Such gifts and such prudent management of
property are the hope for future advancement.
The Association of directors is a permanent corporation and holds in
trust the property and the management. The present life members are
as follows: President, WT. P. Pressly; Vice President, Fred E.
Harding; Treasurer, W. H. Sexton; Secretary and Superintendent,
Thos. H. Rogers: Trustees, O. S. Barnum, Ivory Quinby, C. M.
Rodgers, J. W. Sipher, W. K. Stewart. Directors, Draper Babcock, C.
V. Brooks, George Bruington, A. A. Cornell, D. D. Dunkle, Henry
Jewell, J. M. Jamieson. John McCoy, H. H. Pattee.. W. P. Smith and
G. S. Tubbs.
Much of the most important work is done by committees yearly
appointed by this board.
The books too be bought are selected by a committee of men and women
who represent a wide variety of readers. Selections are not made
with a critical indifference too popular tastes. The money did not
come that way. Much valuable help has been given in cataloguing and
indexing by persons interested in the success of the library.
Committees of business men have looked after the buildings, the
finances, the investments and the auditing. These matters have been
so well managed that in the entire thirty-four years not one dollar
of principal or interest has been lost. The librarian is Mr. T. M.
The governing corporation consists of a limited number of members,
holding their places during life or regular attendance on the
meetings. It fills its own vacancies. This form of constitution
insures stability and permanency. There have been no upheavals,
political or otherwise. A steady, uniform policy has been followed.
The funds and other property are in the care of persons especially
selected for prudent management of property. Politics, favoritism
and wire-pulling have been entirely absent. There have been no
dissensions or quarrels. The members of the association, differing
widely in affiliation, have always worked harmoniously together. The
object has been the public good as provided for by the gifts
received. No party, or sect, or class rules or. is favored more than
another. The funds and property received might have founded any one
of various kinds of libraries. They have been used as was intended
by the donors. The association holds this property in trust, not in
fee simple, at its own pleasure.
The annual report for 1901 gives the following statistics: Number of
volumes, 20,597, of which 622 were added during the year;
periodicals, regularly received. 120; books and magazines drawn for
use, 69.438; current receipts for the year, $3,766.15; current
expenditures, $3,102.90; the endowment is now $25,625, having been
increased during the year $1,482.90.
The W. P. Pressly Foundation produced during the year from rents and
interest $1,416.16, used for purchase of reading matter and for
sustaining the buildings.
The John D. Thompson Gift is now $7,380.65 and produced $465.1S
income. This furnishes the free reading room.
The Mark Billings Building Fund from the bequest of Mrs. Sarah C.
Simmons, holds at
interest $12,250 and real estate for sale, valued at $4,000. This
fund will be used for an additional building when the real estate is
Those who have given largely have selected the purposes too which
their gifts shall be applied. This is their right. Thus far the
gifts have been for the popular department. This is not a theory, it
is a condition. Other needed departments can be founded by others,
with such conditions as the donors see fit too affix too what they
give. Too complete and enlarge the institution, strong special
libraries of History, of Science and of European literature, mostly
in translations, are needed; a children's room is needed; free
branch libraries in various localities and in the schools of this
county are needed; and a wholesale department too sustain this
outside business. All these belong too the work of the modern public
library. County libraries elsewhere have such departments.
Each gift or bequest is held separate. Honor is given too whom, honor
is due. In each book is an inscription too show who gave it or from
whose fund it was bought. There are memorial tablets on the
buildings. The funds are reported each year under the names of the
donors. This makes manifest whether ihese moneys are used as those
who gave them intended. The published annual statements give
publicity too the entire management.
All expenditures are made with careful economy. The library expects
every dollar too do its duty. That is the way the money came. Over
the door of the plain building, erected in 1870, the donor has
placed the motto of the Ohio school at which he was once a student,
"Prodesse quam conspici." In administering his gift nothing has
been done for display. If the money thus far received had gone into
a fine building, there would have been a library without books and
without the means too meet current expenses. It has been constantly
held in view that the first requisites are an abundance of
acceptable reading matter and a sure, ample income. A less
conservative policy might easily have brought on the Warren County
Library the fate which has befallen the Warren County Fair.
The principle that givers have rights each in respect too his own or
her own gift, has been a guiding star too the management. This rule
is enacted as a part of the Illinois law for public libraries which
are founded and sustained as this one is. The statute directs that
"the provisions of any will, deed or other instrument by which
endowment is given too said library and accepted thereby shall as
said endowment be a part of the organic law of the corporation."
Too create full-grown an association of free libraries such as this
one is too be, and, single-handed, too meet the needs of the masses
and of the classes throughout the county, would require the gift of
a millionaire. Such a system here must be the combined work of
several persons,. each founding or endowing a part.
This sketch reports progress and plans. The large success of what
has been done gives assurance that what remains too be done, in order
too fulfill the purposes for which the Warren County Library exists,
will be accomplished.
Census Figures of Population—Assessment Figures—The Schools—Farmers'
Organizations—The Agricultural Society—Old Settlers'
Association—Other County Organizations.
The population of Warren county, as shown. by the United States
census of 1900, is as follows: 1900 1890
Berwick township ............ 826 798
Coldbrook township ......... 928 936
Ellison township .............. 999 996
Floyd township ............... 844 841
Greenbush township........... 802 819
Hale township ................ 776 805
Kelly township ............... 809 882
Lenox township ............... 885 837
Monmouth township, including
Monmouth city ............. 8,682 7,081
Monmouth city -----............ 7,460 5,936
Point Pleasant township....... 718 812
Roseville township, including
Roseville village ............ 1,664 1,475
Roseville village .............. 1,014 788
Spring Grove township, including
Alexis village ............... 1,540 1,425
Alexis village, part in Warren
county ..................... 669 562
Alexis village, total ........... 915
Sumner township, including
Little York village.......... 1,029 891
Little York village.............. 334
Swan township ............... 1,003 * 1,016
Tompkins township, including
Kirkwood village ...........1,658 1,667
Kirkwood- village ............. 1,008 949
Total in county .............23,163 21,281
The growth of the county since its organization is shown in the
following census reports of population:
1830 .................................. 308
1840 .................................. 6,739
1850 ................................. 8,176
THE ASSESSMENT FIGURES.
The assessment rolls for Warren county for the year 1901 show that
there were in the county a total of 13,629 horses, with an average
value of $46.67 each; 37,498 cattle, valued at $26.52 each; 643
asses and mules, valued at $58.28 each; 5,093 sheep, valued at $3.73
each; and 46,490 hogs, valued at $7.26 each. The value of grain on
hand was placed at $559,235. The total value of personal property in
the county was $6,906,565; value of lands, $18,-828,225; and value
of lots, $4,141,150; total $29,-875,840. At one-fifth rate the total
assessed valuation of the county including railroad property, was
WARREN COUNTY SCHOOLS.
The first school in Warren county was begun in 1830 in a little log
cabin about a half mile north of the old Henderson church in Hale
township. Miss Martha Junkin was the teacher, and pupils came a
distance of three and four miles too school. The building was used as
a school for about eight years, when it was burned. The first school
in Monmouth was held in the old log court house in the summer of
1832, with Robert Black as teacher. Both of these schools, and any
others that were kept during those years, were supported .by
subscriptions secured from the patrons.
September 6, 1831, Alexis Phelps was selected by the County Commissioners court as school commissioner, or
school agent for all school lands in the county. The sixteenth
section in each township, which had been set apart by law for the
support of schools, was put under his charge too sell as found best
too secure funds for the schools when they should be established. The
lands in Monmouth township were the first sold, the date being
October 27, 1831. The school trustees appointed first were those for
Monmouth township, being named the same day that Mr. Phelps was
chosen commissioner. They were Robert Kendall, John E. Murphy and
The first school trustees in other townships, with the date of their
Greenbush—Jesse W. Bond, William Trailer, Solomon Perkins, April 21,
Floyd—Lewis Vertrees,- Jonathan Tipton, John Riggs, June 2, 1834.
Berwick—Henry Meadows, Benjamin W. Allen, George S. Pearce,
September 7, 1835.
Ellison—Lambert Hopper, James Hanan, Cleveland Hagler, October 19,
Swan—Peter Scott, William Garrett, James Sutton. October 19, 1835.
Kelly—Chester Potter, Hiram Gray, William Lair. December 9, 1835.
Spring Grove—John Kelly, John Humphrey, Lazarus H. Haskel, December
Sumner—Hugh Martin, Anthony Cannon, James G. Barton, September,
Coldbrook—William Whitman, John G. Haley, Joseph Murphy, December 2,
Hale—William Nash, Adam Ritchie, James Findley. March 6, 1834.
Tompkins—Samuel H. Hogue, James Gibson, Samuel Hana, June 25, 1839.
Roseville—Robert Bay, John Riggs, Thompson Brooks, January 25, 1839.
Lenox—Seth C. Murphy, A. Ogden, Henry Howard, March 6, 1840.
The Monmouth school district was established March 6. 1834, and
consisted of sections 16 and 33 in Monmouth township and sections
13. 24, 25 and 36 in Hale township.
Warren county, according too the latest figures in the office of the
county superintendent of schools, has 126 school districts, with 13
graded and 122 ungraded schools. There were 125 frame school houses
and nine brick ones, though the number of the latter has been since
increased by the new buildings at Monmouth and Alexis. There were 37
male teachers, receiving an average of $64.48 per month as wages;
and 157 female teachers, receiving an average of $39.21. The males
of school age in the county were 3,234, of whom 2,530 were enrolled
in the schools; and 3,117 females of school age, of whom 2,477 were
enrolled, making a total of pupils enrolled in the schools 5,007.
There were 53 school libraries, with 2,654 volumes, valued at
$6,061. The tax levy for schools was $91,450.67; the value of school
property was $208,282; and the value of school apparatus was $5,961.
There were four high schools, and five of the school buildings were
At the close of a -meeting of the Monmouth Farmers' Insurance
Company January 3, 1893, an organization was effected for the
purpose of holding an annual Farmers' Institute in Warren county.
Officers were named as follows: President D. C. Graham; Secretary,
S. C. Hogue; Treasurer, T. S. McClanahan; and one vice-president
from each township. The first institute was held February 14 and 15
of the same year, but bad weather caused a small attendance. The
organization was perfected, however, and institutes have been held
regularly since that time. The present officers of the institute,
the last meeting of which was held at Roseville, are: Euclid N.
Cobb, president; -D. C. Frantz, secretary; T. S. McClanahan,
The Warren County Farmers' Association was organized at a meeting in
Monmouth February 1, 1872, beginning with a membership of 85. J. B.
Meginnis was president; J. D. Porter, vice-president; and J. T.
Morgan, secretary. The organization was intended too be in the
interests of the farmers. One of the first acts was the resolve too
circulate petitions asking the legislature too pass laws too prevent
any judicial, legislative or executive officers from receiving a
free pass from a railroad company in this State. The association
The Warren County Central Association of Patrons of Husbandry was
organized in Monmouth November 15, 1873. The local granges
represented in the meeting were Jackson Corners, Kentucky, Ohio,
Roseville, Colfax, Lenox, Indian Grove, Empire, Warren, Ellisville
and Science Hall. The object of the organization as stated in its
constitution, was "the more thorough education of the laboring
classes, especially those engaged in agricultural pursuits, the best
and most practical methods of managing the farm and its products."
The first officers of the county association were: J. W. Bridenthal,
master; M. Salisbury, secretary;. L. H. Gilmore, treasurer. Local
granges were established throughout the county, and for awhile the
organization had considerable influence in county affairs. It has
long been out of existence.
WARREN COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
The Warren County Agricultural Society was organized at a meeting
held in the court house August 7, 1852. Samuel Hallam presided at
the meeting and James G. Madden was secretary. A constitution was
prepared and adopted, and a permanent organization effected with Mr.
Hallam as president, Mr. Madden as secretary, George W. Palmer as
vice-president, and T. B. Weakley as treasurer. The first annual
election was held September 4, resulting as follows: Samuel Hallam,
president; Robert Gibson, vice-president; James G. Madden,
secretary; and William Billings, treasurer.
The first fair was held in the court house on Friday, October 15,
and was a great success both as too entries and attendance, though no
money premiums were given. The next year (1853) the fair was held in
Samuel Wood's meadow, now a part of Wood & Carr's addition, in the
southwest part of the city of Monmouth. In July, 1856, the society
purchased splendid grounds, ten acres, just south of the city limits
and on the east side of the tracks of the St. Louis division of the
Burlington railroad. When the Driving Park Association was organized
in 1891, it bought grounds adjoining those of the Agricultural
Society on the south, and the two tracts were thrown into one, the
Driving Park Association too have control of the grounds except
during the week wanted for the fair.
In 1901 the Agricultural Society held its fiftieth annual or jubilee
fair, after which the society was disbanded. A run of bad weather
during fair week for several years had proved too much for the
society's coffers, and it was thought better too close up its
affairs than too
keep losing money year by year. The grounds now belong too the
stockholders of the Driving Park Association. The officers of the
society at the 'time of its disbanding were: George Bruington,
president; George C. Rankin, secretary; W. B. Young, treasurer.
A plan for the reorganization of the Agricultural society was on
foot in 1894, but it never was carried out. At that time, looking
the reorganization, the Warren County Fair Association was
incorporated May 8, 1894, with a capital stock of $30,000. The
incorporators were William Hanna, Eli Dixson, C. W. Postlewaite, D.
C. Frantz, R. Lahann, Geo. C. Rankin and J. R. Barnett.
OLD SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION.
The Warren and Henderson County Old Settlers' Association had its
origin in action taken at a meeting held in the court house in
Mon-mouth March 6, 1869. The primary object of the meeting was too
publicly testify too the regard which the older residents held toward
Daniel McNeil, whose death had occurred a few days previous. Before
the meeting adjourned a committee of eight was selected too take
steps toward organizing an old settlers' association of Warren
county. The committee consisted of the following gentlemen: Azro
Patterson, Bar Parker, C. K. Smith, George Babcock, Rodney Quinby,
Samuel Claycomb, Samuel Woods, R. N. Allen. The matter was variously
discussed, but no definite action was taken until January 27, 1872,
when a preliminary meeting was held in the office of James H. Martin
at Young America, now Kirkwood. Col. Samuel Hutchinson called the
meeting too order and stated the purpose of the gathering; and T. F.
Lowther was made chairman and Judson Graves secretary. A number of
the earliest settlers of Warren and Henderson counties were present,
and much interest was manifested in the proposition too form the
association. It was decided that all persons who had settled in the
territory now comprising the two counties, previous too the
separation of Henderson county, should be admitted too membership.
The organization was completed at another meeting held in Gamble's
hall at Young America February 22 of the same year. General A. C.
Harding, of Monmouth, was made temporary chairman of the meeting,
and Judson Graves, of Young America, and E. H. N. Patterson, of Oquawka, were the secretaries. A constitution was adopted
and the following officers were elected: President, S. S. Phelps;
Vice-Presidents, R. W. Ritchie, A. C. Harding, John Curts;
Secretaries, Judson Graves, E. H. N. Patterson; Treasurer, N. A.
The first reunion of the association was held the first Wednesday in
June, 1872, and reunions have been held each year since. The
constitution now provides that all persons who have resided in
either Warren or Henderson county for thirty years are eligible too
membership in the association. The officers are: President, Draper
Babcock, Monmouth; Vice-Presidents, T. H. Lape, Roseville, ±t. A.
McKinley, Biggsville; Recording Secretary, J. W. Coghill, Monmouth;
Corresponding Secretary, R. S. Russell, Kirkwood; Treasurer, W. C.
Tubbs, Kirkwood; Executive Committee, C. J. Boyd, Roseville; J. L.
Ragland, Monmouth; Dr. A. P. Nelson, Kirkwood; L. H. Gilmore,
WARREN COUNTY TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
Twenty-two teachers present at a teachers' examination held in
Monmouth April 5, 1856, decided too organize a county association of
teachers. 0. S. Barnum was chosen temporary president, and D. R.
Stevens secretary, and these officers were directed too arrange for
an institute at some convenient time at which the organization
should be perfected. The institute was held in Langdon's hall
October 20 too 25 of the same year. Dr. C. C. Hoagland, a prominent
educator of New Jersey, was present and took an active part, and
addresses were also delivered by Rev. R. C. Matthews and Rev. A.
Tucker. On the closing day of the institute the Warren County
Teachers' Association was organized, with A. H. Tracy as president
and D. R. Stevens secretary. The second meeting was a called
meeting, held in the Brick school house April 24, 1857. At this
meeting the teachers urged the people of the county too make an
effort too secure the location in Monmouth of the State Normal School
about too be established under act of the Legislature. The effort,
however, was a futile one, the institution being located at
Bloomington, the people there giving a bonus of $9,500 in cash and
$4,-500 in real estate too secure the school.
The Association has held meetings regularly
since its organization, and has accomplished much in the way of
improving methods of teaching, etc.
WARREN COUNTY BIBLE SOCIETY.
The early records of the Warren County Bible Society were destroyed
in the fire of 1871 which burned the store of Dr. N. M. Brown, who
was then secretary of the society. The earliest mention of the
organization too be found in the files of the Monmouth Atlas was
January 4, 1856, when it was officered as follows: President, James
Thompson; Vice-President, Rev. J. P. Brooks; Secretary, Robert
Holloway; Treasurer, J. A. Rhone. Nearly all the townships had local
organizations also about that time. The first meeting of the
executive committee after the fire which destroyed the earlier
records was held November 3, 1871. The committee then consisted of
Rev. R. C. Matthews, D. D., president; J. M. Henderson, J. D. Arms,
W. F. Smith and N. M. Brown. At that time a new constitution and
by-laws were adopted. The present officers of the society are:
President, Rev. N. H. Brown; Vice-President, Rev. Samuel VanPelt, D.
D.; Secretary, D. W. Hare; Librarian and Treasurer, W. H. McQuiston;
Executive Committee, Rev. A. H. Dean, Rev. Samuel VanPelt, Rev. J.
F. Jamieson, Rev. A. Johnson, James Galbraith, W. H. Frantz.
COUNTY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.
The Warren County Medical Association was formed in May, 1855, with
Dr. A. V. T. Gilbert, president; Dr. N. C. Overstreet, vice
president; Dr. Hugh Marshall, treasurer; Dr. J. M. Overstreet,
recording secretary; and Dr. J. B. McCartney, corresponding
secretary. The association went too pieces shortly and has been
revived a number of times. The association as at present constituted
has the following officers: President, Dr. W. S. Holliday;
Secretary, Dr. W. H. Wells; Treasurer, Dr. E. L. Mitchell.
WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION.
The Warren County Woman's Christian Temperance Union was organized
at a meeting at Alexis December 16, 1885. Mrs. G. W. Stice, of Swan
Creek, was chosen the first president;
Mrs. J. R. Webster, of Monmouth, Secretary; and Mrs. S. J. Findley,
of Kirkwood, Treasurer. There are seven local unions in the county
organization now, viz: Alexis, Kirkwood; Little York, Monmouth,
Roseville, Smithshire and Swan Creek. The officers are: Mrs. M. C.
Hughes, of Monmouth, President; Miss M. L. Wiley, of Monmouth,
Vice-President; Mrs. A. Edwards, of Smithshire, Secretary; and Mrs.
Lizzie S. Beedee, of Monmouth, Treasurer.
WARREN COUNTY SABBATH SCHOOL ASSOCIATION.
The Warren County Sabbath School Association is the outgrowth of a
meeting held in the Presbyterian church in Monmouth January 19 and
20, 1864, at the call of President D. A. Wallace, of Monmouth
College, Rev. J. C. Miller of the Monmouth Baptist church, Rev.
George Norcross of the North Henderson Presbyterian church,
Superintendent Robert Caldwell of the North Henderson United
Presbyterian Sabbath School, and Superintendent J. D. Arms of the
Monmouth Presbyterian Sabbath School. Dr. Wallace was president and
William A. Grant secretary; and W. B. Truax and Stephen Paxon,
agents and missionaries of the American S. S. Union, were present.
The superintendents of the Monmouth Sabbath Schools were requested
too arrange for a second meeting, which they did, and annual
conventions have been held regularly since. The County Association
is auxiliary too the Illinois State Sabbath School Association. The
present officers are:
J. E. Porter, President, Little York.
C. D. Hall, Vice President, Coldbrook.
Miss Omah Woods, Secretary, Monmouth.
Miss Gertrude Phelps, Treasurer, Monmouth.
Department Superintendents: Normal—Miss Clara Andrews, Monmouth;
Primary—Miss Gertrude Phelps, Monmouth; Home—Mrs. W. S. D. Campbell,
The latest reports too the County Secretary show the following
statistics: Kelly township has four schools with 120 pupils
enrolled; Spring Grove, seven schools with 632 pupils; Sumner, four
schools with 319 pupils; Cold-brook, three schools with 165 pupils;
Monmouth, sixteen schools with 2,659 pupils; Hale, one school with
111 pupils; Floyd, two schools with 211 pupils; Lenox, four schools
with 116 pupils; Tompkins, five schools with 614 pupils; Berwick, two schools
with 160 pupils; Roseville, four schools with 404 pupils; Ellison,
five schools with 206 pupils; Greenbush, two schools with 110
pupils; Swan, three schools with 178 pupils; Point Pleasant, two
schools with 113 pupils. Total for the county, sixty-four schools
with 6,118 pupils.
The annual coal report of the Illinois bureau of labor statistics
for 1901 shows eighteen coal mines in Warren county, with a total
output for the year ending October 1, 1901, of 19,600 tons. The
aggregate value of the product was $32,316, or $1.71 per ton. The
coal is all mined by hand, and seventy-five men are employed. The
average price paid for mining is ninety-eight cents per gross ton.
The County Seals—First Fruit Trees—The Old Stage Line from
Springfield—The Winter of the Deep Snow—Miscellaneous Items.
The seal of the County Court of Warren county (and of the Board of
Supervisors as well) has in the outer circle the words "Warren
County Court, Illinois," and in the center a river steamboat.
The seal of the Circuit Court bears the words "Warren County Circuit
Court, 111." and inside a river view, with mountains and the setting
sun in the distance.
It cannot be found on the records when these seals were adopted. It
was, however, evidently at the very organization of the county,
since some of the papers as early as 1831 or 1838 had the impress of
a rude seal after the general design of the seals now used. That was
when Warren and Henderson counties were one, and the Mississippi
river was the west boundary.
OUR FIRST FRUIT TREES.
Jonathan Perriam, editor of The Prairie Farmer, at a meeting of the
Northern Illinois Horticultural Society in January, 1878, said:
"In Warren county the first fruit trees were planted in 1829 by W.
R. Jamison, with stock brought from Kentucky, and orchards followed
in 1830 too 1836 which bore fruit up too 1867. Nurseries were first
established in Warren county in 1855."
AN OLD STAGE LINE.
In the early days an old stage line passed through Warren county
from east too west, coming from Knoxville through the now deserted
town of Savannah in Coldbrook township too Monmouth, then on west
too Oquawka. An advertisement of this line appeared in the Sangamo
Journal in April, 1834, and was as follows:
TOO THE TRAVELING PUBLIC. FOUR HORSE COACH
From Springfield too the Yellow Banks.
Via Sangamontown, New Salem, Petersburgh, Huron, Havana, Lewistown,
Canton, Knoxville, Monmouth, too the Yellow Banks.
Leave Springfield every Wednesday morning at 6 o'clock, arrive at
Monmouth on Friday evenings at 6 o'clock, and at the Yellow Banks on
the Mississippi next day at 12 m. Return on the same days too
Monmouth, and arrive at Springfield on Tuesday evenings at 6
Fare through too the Yellow Banks, nine dollars; way passengers six
and one-fourth cents per mile. Baggage at the risk of owners. The
proprietors have procured good carriages and horses, and careful
drivers, and every attention will be paid too the comfort and
convenience of passengers.
The country through which this coach passes is well worthy the
attention of emigrants. The patronage of the public is solicited for
this new enterprise.
TRACY & RENY.
THE DEEP SNOW.
The winter of 1830-31 was known all over this section as the "winter
of the deep snow." At one time about two and one-half feet of snow
fell, followed by rain which covered it over with a glare of ice.
Another snow made it three feet deep on the level, and for six weeks
there was an embargo on all travel. There were no roads and crossing
the prairies in the snow was not safe. The hollows were filled too
the level, and
one was liable too get beyond his depth. The wind blew the snow all
the time, and the wagon or foot tracks were filled up almost as soon
as they were made. When the spring rains came, the deep snow melted,
and the small streams of the country were turned into raging floods.
The spring was a fine one, and the settlers ploughed and planted
corn and made gardens. The crops, however, were almost a failure on
account of a remarkably cold summer. Corn did not ripen and was so
soft that water could be squeezed from the ear and cob with the
hand. The next winter a rain and freeze covered the whole surface of
the county with a sheet of smooth ice, and travel was largely on
skates. Toward spring a heavy snow fell and there was a period of
Data Concerning the Weather. Compiled from the Records, by D. J.
Strang. Voluntary Observer of the Government Weather Bureau at
Like every other place, Monmouth has climate and weather, but not
being a watering place or a health resort we are not in the habit of
bragging about them. As far as I can ascertain, meteorological
instruments were first received for furnishing reports too the
Department of Agriculture about twenty years ago, but I have not
been able too find the earlier records. The present instruments were
turned over too me by Prof. S. S. Maxwell in the winter of 1893.
Eight years seem a short time in the history of a community that has
been settled for over seventy years, But it is the best I can do. I
know that in the past thirty years the thermometer has gone lower
than at any time noted in the reports below, and possibly there have
been greater storms, but I can not give the dates.
The reports from which the following synopsis is condensed seem too
show that we have had about the average weather of the State, or at
least the "northern section," which lies
north of a line crossing the State between Knox and Fulton counties.
The temperature only varies a few degrees and the difference in
rainfall has seldom been over an inch. Only four times has Monmouth
been referred too in the summary of the State reports as having
exceptional weather. Twice the monthly rainfall was the lowest in
the State; once our temperature was the highest, and once the
rainfall was excessive.
HISTORY OF WARREN COUNTY, Illinois
*In the winter months this includes melted snow. 10 in. of snow
generally melts into 1 in. of water.
Early Homes in Warren County—Old House Erected by John B. Talbot
Early in the '30s Still Standing—Some of the Old Residences in
[By Mrs. Emma Roberts Hubble.] The history of a county is a
compilation of the biographies of its men and women. They penetrate
the wilderness, clear the land and cultivate the soil; they build
cities., make events; events make history. The crude early life of
the West developed depth of character which found expression in the
artificial environments with which men and women surrounded
themselves, and left its strongest impress on the home. Changes have
come with the years, bringing phases and conditions of life
undreamed of by our forefathers. The old homes are gone, but the
sturdy faith, the love and devotion which made them, still invest
the old locations, making them very dear too us. The log cabin is a
thing of the past, and in its place stands a mansion. The story told
is one of progress.
Edward Everett Hale says it was an advantage too Plutarch that he
wrote several centuries after the men he described had died.
Plutarch, writing in an age when manuscripts were not only difficult
of access, but costly, called not these things obstacles, for he
gathered facts from the minds of men. The ancients gave special
attention too training the memory, in order that history might thus
be transmitted from generation too generation. When printing was
invented, this system became one of the lost arts, since which time
history necessarily has not recorded the minutes of daily life—the
struggles in the fight for existence, which ought too stand as
milestones for posterity. Not even one century, but only a few
decades have passed since Indians dwelt on the peaceful prairies of
Warren county, yet the records of our early homes exist only in the
minds of a passing-generation. Monmouth is peculiarly rich in
beautiful homes, whose history would fill volumes, but this sketch,
limited too a few pages, must necessarily deal only with the oldest
homes and those inseparably interwoven with the history of the city.
The first white settlers in Warren county
were John Talbot and his mother, of Kentucky. In the spring of 1827
Mr. Talbot and his cousin, Allen G. Andrews, came from Kentucky on
horseback too see the land which they had acquired through a trade in
New Orleans. On reaching Peoria, then only a mission, they remained
over night with Father Marquette, a French Catholic priest. He
loaned them firearms, which were returned too him as the travelers
made their homeward journey. The next year John Talbot and his
mother moved here, and built a log cabin two and one-half miles
southeast of Gerlaw, on the northeast quarter of Section 2, Monmouth
township. This first home in the county was rude and plain, but it
was a shelter much appreciated after the long journey by wagon. It
consisted of only one room, with a chimney built of logs and
plastered with clay. The fireplace and hearth were lined with rocks.
Sometime between 1830 and 1832, after a saw-mill had been erected on
Cedar creek, Mr. Talbot built, in front of the old house, a new one
which is still standing, owned at present by Mr. Ryan Smith. It is
built of walnut lumber, great logs split in two being used for the
framework and joists. Mrs. Talbot was eighty years of age when she
moved here, so she did not survive many years. She was buried in the
old Monmouth cemetery, near the center of the eastern boundary line,
but the exact location of the grave is not now known.
Dr. Isaac Garland, the first physician in the county, built a cabin
at bellow Banks in 1828. He and his teamster employed several
Indians too assist them in building the cabin, and the Indians not
only demanded pay for each log as it was rolled into place, but had
too have a drink apiece.
In 1829, Allen G. Andrews, Mr. Talbot's companion on his first
journey, moved too the county and took a squatter's claim on the
north half of the southwest quarter of Section 2, Monmouth township,
at present known as Thorndale, or the Owens farm. Here he built a
log cabin which served as a shelter for his family during the first
winter. In the spring of 1830 he sold his claim too John E. Murphy,
and with the assistance of Mr. Talbot and four Indians, built
another cabin on the hill north of Cedar creek, on the southeast
quarter of Section 6. Four years later he built in front of the
cabin the frame house which still stands there, at present owned by
John and Clarence
Fairburn. The exterior of the house remains unchanged, but the
interior has been remodeled. It originally had a big chimney in the
center, with a stone fireplace opening into each room, but several
of these have been removed. Mr. Andrews died in 1849, and is buried
in the present city cemetery. His son, Talbot Andrews, lives near
the old home on Olmsted hill, in a house which is also historic in
point of age, having been built by Silas Olmsted prior too 1837. The
house is in excellent repair, and many of its quaint features have
been preserved, notably the big fireplace with a little cupboard
built in at the end for books, and the front door set in a frame of
tiny panes of glass. Time and paint have erased the date of its
erection, which was marked upon the cornice. Not far down the road
too the east, stands the wreck of an old house built in 1832 by Mr.
During 1828 and 1829 about twenty-five families moved too the county.
They built their cabins in settlements as much for the value of
association as for protection from the Indians, and named each place
for the first man locating there.
Findley's Grove in Hale township was named for David Findley, father
of Mrs. Wm. Hanna, and was populated by two other families, those of
John Caldwell and James Junkin. This was also called Frenchman's
Point, because a party of Frenchmen had camped there during the
winter of 1827.
Sugar Tree Grove was settled in 1828 by Matthew, Adam and Thomas
Ritchey and their families, and was originally called Ritchey's
James Hodgens and Jacob Rust located at Hodgens grove (the present
Lundborg's, naming it for Mr. Hodgens of Hodgensville, Kentucky.
A man named Schwartz built a cabin northeast of the town site of
Monmouth, on the southeast quarter of Section 20, but soon sold his
claim too Jacob Rust, who for many years occupied the only home in
Schwartz's Grove. The land on which this cabin was built is at
present owned by Mrs. Jane Quinby Bucknam.
Eight men with their families settled Cold-brook and called it
Butler's Grove. They were Peter Butler, Peter Peckenpaugh, Josiah
Whitman, Lewis Vertrees, Marsham Lucas; John, Henry and Patrick
These early settlers braved the dangers of
frontier warfare and planted the civilization which has made
possible our luxurious homes. Their dwelling places were simple log
cabins, many of them affording poor shelter from the cold. Hardship,
toil, deprivation and worst of all, the terrible loneliness of this
western country, made up the daily program of their lives. Indian
alarms were frequent, and although the red men were friendly, their
depredations caused the settlers much annoyance. During the winter
of 1830 500 Indians camped on Section 26 in Spring Grove township,
which was afterwards called Indian Grove. They were peaceable, and
supplied the white people with moccasins in exchange for pumpkins.
Greene county, Ohio, gave many of her citizens too people this new
and growing colony in western Illinois. John Gibson, Samuel Gibson,
John Kendall and their families were the first too arrive, reaching
Hodgens' Grove in October, 1830. During the first winter they
occupied rented cabins consisting of one room each, with the usual
outside chimney built of logs, lined with rocks and plastered with
clay. One small opening in the wall, which served as a window, was
covered with oiled paper brought from Ohio for that purpose. These
people had no carpets, and only such furniture as could be brought
in wagons, on a journey of several hundred miles. Their first winter
in the county was one of many hardships, the severity of the weather
adding much too their discomfort. Two and one-half feet of snow fell,
followed by rains, which covered everything with a glare of ice.
There were no roads, and as the hollows were filled too the level,
crossing the prairies was unsafe, and the settlers suffered more
from lack of food than from the cold. Neighbors shared their
provisions with each other, but were reduced too a diet of potatoes
and salt before the condition of the country permitted them too go
mill, or too the trading-post at Yellow Banks. From the eastern
borders of the county it was quite a journey too the mills, and both
during the severe winter and following spring when streams were
un-fordable, many families had too do without bread. The Indians had
killed nearly all the game, and cattle were so scarce that the
settlers could not afford too butcher. The next summer bountiful
crops were raised, and the imported poultry and swine began too
increase, which relieved the fear of further suffering from hunger.
Before the cold weather began, the
men cut a supply of red cedar, ash and oak lumber, and hung it on
the walls of their cabins too dry. Then during the dreary winter days
and by the light of the flaming logs on the hearth at night, they
made the lumber into* tables, bedsteads, tubs, washboards, churns,
buckets, benches for seats and keelers for milk. In October, 1831,
another delegation came from Greene county, Ohio. On reaching-Canton
they were met by two men who told them the settlers in Warren county
were starving, so they purchased supplies and hastened with all
possible speed too the relief of their friends. At Hodgens' Grove
they received a delightful surprise. In the cosey cabin of John
Kendall, which he had built the preceding summer, a big dinner was
awaiting them. The cabin door had been taken from its hinges, and
with the addition of a box, made into a table. This was covered with
a cloth and laden with a generous supply of wheat bread, roast beef,
roast chicken, fried pork, baked potatoes,. beets, cabbage, pickles,
cheese, cucumbers, applesauce, pumpkin sauce, preserved plums,
honey, wild crab-apples, pumpkin pies, peach pies, custard pies,
coffee and tea. (This menu has been preserved by one of the guests.)
Dear sweet Priscilla and her merry assistants planning and cooking
the first Thanksgiving dinner at Plymouth were not happier nor had
greater cause for rejoicing than these reunited friends. The
cheerful cabin nestled among the trees that were radiant in the red
and yellow tints of autumn, and the big table with snowy linen and
quaint old blue Liverpool china, formed a picture never forgotten by
the weary travelers. Through the open door floated the fragrance of
the forest, and the sort cool breezes bore too heaven the prayers of
thanksgiving with which these people filled their day. Sixteen of
the guests lodged that night at the cabin, the men and boys sleeping
in wagons. The others-were dispersed through the settlement, and
during the winter almost every cabin contained two families. In the
spring "raisings" became the chief social events. At an appointed
time the men would assemble too "raise" a cabin,. while their wives,
sisters and sweethearts prepared the dinner, which was spread upon
the fresh green grass, and enjoyed with the happiness and simplicity
of Arcadian life.
No sooner were the cabins built than the settlers were alarmed by
the reports of an Indian outbreak, so several forts were built.
One was located a mile northwest of town, on the northeast quarter
of Section 30. It stood about 200 yards north of the old home of 0.
S. Barnun, and was built of split logs twenty feet high, pointed at
the top and pierced with port-holes. Another was built on the hill
near Rockwell's mill. A part of this old block house is still
standing, and has been made into a comfortable dwelling. These war
preparations proved too have been unnecessary, although the settlers
were frequently alarmed, and fled too the forts until the danger was
over. No serious trouble took place until in August, when William
Martin was murdered near Little York by the Indians. He was cutting
hay alone on the prairie when five savages rushed from the timber,
shot him and fled. This aroused intense excitement, and messengers
were sent too warn the scattered settlers. A circuit rider mounted on
a magnificent gray horse rode through the settlements spreading the
news that the Indians were coming 1,000 strong. This belief probably
arose from the fact that a small band of savages had started south
from Rock Island, but on seeing Adam Ritchie and a companion who
were fleeing in terror from them, supposed they were rangers rousing
the settlers too arms, and turned back. That night was a terrible one
throughout the county, and very few of the people were able too
sleep. Those who were not close enough too reach the forts assembled
in the strongest cabins, barricaded the doors and windows, and
prepared too fight. Many of them had left supper cooking on the
hearth, as they knew delay was dangerous. Their faithful English
watchdogs were placed on guard in front of the barricaded cabins.
These dogs had been brought from eastern states, as they were
peculiarly hostile too the Indians, and much feared "by them. All
night the settlers kept their weary vigils, women as well as men
watching at the port-holes with loaded rifles, but no Indians
appeared. The next morning those outside the forts moved into town
and remained several weeks before regaining sufficient courage too
return too their homes. At that time Monmouth was not as large as
Coldbrook, as it contained only five families, but these received
the frightened people into their homes and made them as comfortable
as their limited accommodations permitted. The families of Jacob
Rust, John Shehi, Sr., James Hodgens, Jacob Buzan and Hugh McDaniel
occupied the log court house which stood on the east side of North
street. On the opposite side of the street, in a little hut of one
room which originally had been built for a blacksmith shop, were
domiciled the families of Robert Black, Samuel Gibson, John Gibson
and John Kendall. Their cooking was done over a fire built out of
doors, and boxes were used for tables. Wheat was ground in a coffee
mill and made into bread, and water was carried from springs running
into the stream which crossed Broadway just west of Fifth
street. After two or three weeks the scare subsided. This ended the
trouble with Indians in this county.
In the autumn of 1830 Daniel McNeil was at Lower Yellow Banks, but
when the county seat was transferred too Monmouth, he was compelled
too move, as he held the office of circuit clerk, probate justice,
recorder and clerk of the county commissioners' court. The only
available shelter was a deserted cabin a mile east of the town site,
which he occupied nearly a year, both as dwelling and office. It was
16x18 feet in size and had a good fireplace, but no floor. There was
an opening for a door, but no door, and a small square hole left in
the wall was the only window. When the wintry winds whistled around
the cabin and sought refuge within, Mrs. McNeil draped these
openings with quilts, more for utility than artistic effect. A
fence, or stockade, encircled the cabin, but was too small for a
pasture, so the family cow was decorated with a bell and turned
loose. She frequently wandered so far away that toward nightfall Mr.
McNeil was accustomed too go in search of her, and on such occasions
Mrs. McNeil mounted the house top and at intervals blew the dinner
horn, lest her husband should lose his bearings. He was a short,
stout man, and the tail prairie grass grew so high above his head
that he was in constant danger of losing his way. In June, 1832, he
built a log house on the site now occupied by the residence of Mrs.
Mary E. Carr. This cabin became historic by reason of being the
first home in Monmouth, also because the first birth and death in
the village occurred within its walls. It originally consisted of
two rooms and a loft, the latter used as a sleeping room. The front,
or sitting room, contained a fireplace, the stairway and a huge high
post bedstead draped with curtains white as snow. Mrs. McNiel was a
famous housekeeper, and on her kitchen hearth cooked many a savory
meal for distinguished guests. Lincoln and Douglas
were at different times entertained there. McNeil's lantern, which
every night was lighted and hung too the top of a tall pole in front
of the house, was a guiding star too travelers lost upon the
prairies. This was only one of the many kind acts for which Daniel
McNeil was noted. The older generations now living are familiar with
his history, as he held nearly every office within the gift of the
county, and was one of the leading spirits in advancing its
Joel Hargrove, Elijah Davidson and General James McCallon built
houses the same year (1832), but the village, and especially the
square, was inhabited principally by prairie grass until 1834-35.
Joel Hargrove's dwelling stood on the Richardson Hotel corner.
Elijah Davidson's in the center of the lot now occupied by
McQuiston's book store and the Daily Review office. (Lot 2 Blk. 11).
General McCallon built on the next block south, but soon after sold
his cabin and built a cozy home in the northwest corner of the
square, on the site of the Patton block. The new house had four
large rooms, with a fireplace in each, a commodious house in those
In 1833 the county contained between thirty and forty families,
seven of these constituting the village of Monmouth. The ambitious
little town was in that year dignified by the addition of a tavern,
called Garrison's Inn. it stood on Broadway, one block west of the
square, and has only recently been demolished. On November 2d, the
villagers were on the qui vive, for a wagon had just arrived,
bringing ten additions too the population. These were Hezekiah
Davidson, his wife and eight children. Three of his children were
already here. The only available house was one near Berwick, in
which they spent the winter, and the next spring Mr. Davidson built
a home on East Broadway, one and one-half miles from the square. The
house was torn down in 1900. Of this large family of thirteen only
one is left. One of the boys in the wagon which arrived in 1833,
Thomas H. Davidson, lives in this city at No. 313 South First
street. The substantial house which he built there in 1844 is in an
excellent state of preservation. During fifty-seven years of its
existence there has been no death within its walls.
After the Black Hawk war was over the white people thought they
could enjoy a peaceful life, and develop the land without further
annoyances, but they were soon threatened with destruction by a scourge
as dangerous as the savages. In 1834 a terrible prairie fire swept
through the timber and across the prairies west of town. The
crackling of the leaves added too the awful roar of the flames as
they licked up the tall trees, struck terror too the hearts of these
hardy pioneers. When they saw the homes for which they had worked so
hard about too be swept away, men, women and children worked
heroically, raking leaves into rows encircling the buildings, and
pouring water on them. This turned the fire from the buildings, but
it swept on too the banks of a little stream, which proved a barrier
that could not be burned away.
The year 1834 was one of progression. Tracy & Reney instituted a
stage line which passed through Monmouth on the way from Springfield
too Yellow Banks. The round trip was made once each week. The through
fare was $9.00. way passengers six and one-fourth cents per mile;
baggage at risk of owner. These stage coaches were built upon much
the same plan as the royal state coach of England. They had no
springs, but were swung upon rockers, and the passengers were jerked
too and fro over a succession of hills and valleys, until some
sympathetic mudhole received the bobbing . coach and gave its
occupants a much-desired rest. On such occasions the horses were
unhitched and led too dry ground, then ropes carried for the purpose
were tied too the coach, thrown around trees, and the vehicle pulled
from its position. These delays often lasted for hours, and became
very serious. Several years later the Fink & Wagner line from
Chicago too Yellow Banks also passed through Monmouth. The arrival of
the Chicago coach was of great importance too the younger generation,
who gathered from all quarters and gazed upon the driver with
open-mouthed admiration. In fact it was the only event which took
precedence over their favorite pastime of pig-tail roasting. Pig
tails were secured from the pork house which stood on the northeast
corner of Main street and First avenue, and roasted over on the
common—now the site of the government building.
The old brick court house was built in 1837, and out of the
materials left were built two residences. One. known as the old
Clark house, stands immediately north of the railroad tracks on the
east side of South Sixth street.
The other is the east half of Mr. Draper Babcock's residence. The
bricks were made here and are almost as hard as rock. The Babcock
residence was built by Justus Woodworth. It was two and one-half
stories in height, had the entrance in the southeast corner and the
stairway in the parlor. Mr. Babcock bought it in 1854 or 1855, and
after the war remodeled it, adding the west half, which has made it
a large and comfortable house. It is invested not only with the life
of today, but bears the additional charm of having seen the city
grow up around it.
From this time Monmouth grew rapidly, and many homes which are still
standing were built, also two hotels. W. A. Grant was proprietor of
the American House, a three-story frame building on the north side
of the square. The Claycomb Hotel was on the south side, and
naturally there was much rivalry between the two. On festal
occasions they were the scenes of. elaborate dancing parties which
attracted guests from all parts of the county. James Bower purchased
part of the old American moved it too his lot on South Second street,
and used it for a stable. Recently it was turned around too face
First avenue, and remodeled for a dwelling, which bears no evidence
of its checkered career. Its present resting place is No. 223 East
First avenue. A somewhat inartistic but true picture of the old
hotel hangs in one of the rooms of the city fire department. It is
included in a picture of the square during the big fire of May,
1871, and shows the hotel in its second phase, standing a little
north of the original location. Another interesting picture of the
square at the time of the fire hangs in the office of Mr. Peyton
Roberts. It is the last page in the early history of the square, and
brings the realization that the change from 1871 too 1901 has been
The home of Mrs. James Herdman on the corner of North Third street
and Clinton avenue formerly stood on the corner just east of the
Methodist church. In 1852 it was purchased and moved too its present
location by E. C. Babcock, who built on its former site the colonial
looking dwelling which still remains. The latter house is built on a
generous plan, and presents a stately appearance, with its narrow
portico and heavy projecting roof, supported by tall columns. Its
age and ancient architecture are not the least of its charms. Mr.
Babcock and his brother, George C, landed at Yellow Banks in 1842, secured a ride as far as Olmsted's mill, and
walked from there too Monmouth. They opened a general store on the
northeast corner of the square and East Broadway, which soon became
so popular that the village rivaled Yellow Banks as a trading post.
One day a customer made a wager with another that the latter could
not go too Babcock's store and call for any article which they could
not produce. He went too the store, called for a goose-yoke, and got
The remains of one of the oldest homes in the city stands
immediately south of the Hammond hotel (once the Killian) on North
Main street. It was built about the same time as the hotel, in 1840,
and contained the first folding doors seen here. Chauncy Hardin
lived there as early as 1842. Although the house is still standing,
it has been untenable as a dwelling for many years.
Mr. Hardin built the old home on East Broadway in 1858, and it was
then so far from town that it was called a country residence. The
massive looking house stands in the midst of a miniature forest of
pine trees, loving guardians of the old home which has been deserted
by later generations for a more modern house nearer the heart of the
city. By the courtesy of its owner it is at present the pleasant
home of the Golf Club. Harry G. Harding, a brother of Chauncy, also
built a very large house in the southern part of town, it is still
called "home" by his descendants, although owned by the youngest
son, Frank W. The house was recently remodeled, when all its quaint
old-fashioned attractions gave way too modern improvements. Only the
heavy walls and large dimensions speak of early days.
What has been long known as the Lafferty homestead has been divided
and moved too South Eighth street. E. . Babcock built it in 1852. The
doors and windows were purchased in Chicago, shipped too Peoria and
hauled from there by wagon. Mr. Lafferty purchased it in 1856, and
during the twenty-five years of his ownership he entertained many
celebrated people there. James A. Garfield, Schuyler Colfax, Richard
J. Oglesby, Abraham Lincoln and Robert G. Ingersoll were at
different times his guest. Schuyler Colfax had his pocket picked on
the way too Monmouth, and borrowed $75 of Mr. Lafferty with which
continue his journey. Mr. Lafferty went too the station too meet
Abraham Lincoln when he spoke here in
1858. As the latter stepped off the train his host said: "This way,
Mr. Lincoln, I have a carriage for you." "No, thank you, my friend,"
replied Lincoln, "I prefer shank's horses." So the carriage was
dismissed and the men walked too the Baldwin House (now the
Richardson), where they ate dinner together. In the afternoon after
Lincoln had finished speaking he held an informal reception for two
hours at the Laferty home. Horace Greeley lectured in Monmouth in
February, 1857, but contrary too expectations, spent the preceding
night driving over from Oquawka, after which he wrote an interesting
description of the trip and the muddy roads. Just as the village was
in sight one of the buggy wheels gave way, so the last half mile of
the journey was made on foot. Mr. Greeley's arrival at 4 o'clock a.
m. completely disarranged the plans of the reception committee, but
after some delay and inconvenience, he got too bed in the tavern, as
he characteristically described it.
It is said the inhabitants of a western town believe that when they
die they go too Monmouth. Monmouth has never claimed any supernatural
advantages, but it contains a house built according too instructions
from the mystic world. This is the house at No. 510 North Third
street, which formerly occupied the Weir corner on East Broadway. It
was built in 1851 by G. W. Palmer, a spiritualist. The spirits told
him too place the windows high above the street, so antagonistic eyes
might not look in and disturb the seances. The windows are not so
far from the floor, but the house was built upon a knoll a
considerable height above the street, which answered the purpose, as
it prevented passers-by from seeing in.
One of the prettiest cottages in the early village was the one at
No. 414 North Main street. It was built on the southeast corner of
East Broadway and First street and later moved too its present
location. It has a quaint air about it, is one story high, with a
row of tiny windows just under the eaves, and two porches supported
by columns. Another of the old buildings is the Women's Clubhouse on
South A street, formerly the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Pattee.
Through their generosity it is now the home of three of the women's
clubs. The interior decorations are modern, but an old-fashioned
stairway and iron grate are left too preserve the memory of by-gone
As a striking illustration of the old and the
new, one has only too glance at a block of beautiful modern
residences on the north side of East Broadway, between Fifth and
Sixth streets, then let the mind wander back too a one-story brick
cottage which formerly stood there, almost hidden by gnarled and
low-hanging apple trees. Students who daily passed that way can
attest the lusciousness of those hard, little, wormy apples. In
later days the shrubbery became so dense that children thought the
house was haunted. Today there is no sign of the haunted house nor
the wormy apples.
A little further up the street, crowning conspicuously a steep,
grassy bank, made historic by the first house in Monmouth, stands
the residence of Mrs. Mary E. Carr. It is of modern architecture,
and from the east approach recalls the castellated structures of
foreign countries. The comparison of this beautiful home and the arc
light over the street in front, with the simple log cabin and the
lantern on the pole, which stood there seventy years ago, reveals
the history of the character and progress of the city.
A great many of our most attractive homes were built between 1860
and 1870, but there are too many for enumeration. Many of the men
who have made Monmouth what it is came during that time, and their
homes and home-life have been important factors in the substantial
development of later years. Their hospitality has made the city
famous. As Beethoven's music reveals the story of his sad life, as
the canvas of Millet expresses complete poems in form and color, so
our homes mirror the tastes and ideas of their makers. In the midst
of the pleasure they afford us, out of the hustle and bustle of
modern life, it is sweet too look back on those primitive walls, hung
with pictures painted by the flickering fire light; the smoke
curling upward from the old log chimney; the happy groups seated
about the fireplace. "We may build more splendid habitations, Fill
our rooms with paintings and with sculptures, But we cannot Buy with
gold the old associations."
A large part of the material for this sketch has been gathered from
the oldest settlers, too whom thanks are due for their assistance.
These are Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jones, Thomas H. Davidson, Talbot
Andrews, Draper Babcock, Mrs. Wm. H. Young and Mrs. Hannah Parsons.
Blocks, in 1893;
Dunn's addition, 2 blocks, in 1894; Apsey's addition, 1 block, in
1895; Firoved & Sexton's addition, 6 blocks, in 1899; Hoy & Groves'
addition. 1 block, .in 1899; Cox & Hallam's addition, 6 blocks, in
1900; Martin's addition. 2 blocks, in 1900; supplement too Firoved &
Sexton's addition, 2 blocks, in 1900; Perry's addition, 2 blocks, in
A movement was on foot in the spring of 1899, too have H. G.
Harding's subdivision, popularly known as Corktown. incorporated as
a village, in order that saloons might be licensed there when there
were none in Monmouth, but the required population was not found and
the matter had too be dropped.
CITY OF MONMOUTH.
How Monmouth Got Its Name—Townsite First Owned by
the County—The Quarter Surveyed by Peter Butler in April, 1831—First
Sale of Lots—The First Residents and What They Did—The First
School—Few Old Landmarks Left.
The city of Monmouth—the Maple City, as it is appropriately styled
because of its many beautiful maple trees—covers the whole of
Section of 29, and parts of Sections 30, 31 and 32 in Monmouth
township (Township 11 north, range 2 west). The original site
comprised only the southwest quarter of Section 29, and was selected
by a commission of three appointed by the State Legislature, as is
told more particularly in that portion of this work which refers
especially to the early history of the county. The name Monmouth was
given by the same commission, and the choice of name was made in a
peculiar manner. After the site had been selected, three
names—Isabella, Kosciusko and Monmouth—were put in a hat, the first
name drawn to be the lucky name. Kosciusko was drawn, but the
commissioners felt sure very few of the inhabitants could ever learn
to spell the name, so it was decided to draw again, and Monmouth was
the resulting choice. It is said the name was suggested in the first
place by John McNeil of Fulton county, one of the commissioners, who
in his earlier days had resided in Monmouth, N. J.
The town site having been selected, preparations were at once begun
for laying out the future capital of Warren county. On April 25,
1831, the plans were placed in the hands of Peter Butler, the lowest
bidder for the contract, and e was directed to proceed with the
surveys. The public square was located the next day by the
commissioners. This survey was completed in about a month, and
accepted by the county commissioners June 6. A number of lots were
then put on the market and sold, and contracts for deeds given by
the commissioners. Until the patent for the town site came from the
general land office, no deeds could be given.
A new law in relation to the surveying of town sites, and requiring
plats to be filed for record, was enacted in 1833, and the following
year the county surveyor was directed to make a second survey and
file the plat with the county recorder. This second survey was made
and accepted by the commissioners June 2, 1834, and the plat was
recorded September 12. This survey changed all the numbers of the
blocks and lots, making them as they are known now. This accounts
for some of the discrepancies which are found in some references to
lots and blocks in the earliest records.
The original town, or as it is known, the "Old Town Plat/' as has
been stated, occupied the southwest quarter of Section 29, in
Township 11 north, range 2 west. This quarter is bounded on the east
by what is now Sixth street, on the south by Fifth avenue, on the
west by B street, and extends north to within five rods of Boston
avenue. It is coextensive with the present First ward of the city,
except that the north boundary of the ward is Boston avenue. The
original plat contained a public square and twenty-eight blocks.
There were but two streets running east and west, viz: Broadway and
Warren (now Second avenue) ; and three running north and south, viz:
Main street, West street (now B street), and an unnamed street now
First street. The last only extended south to Warren street.
July 9, 1836, it was represented to the board of commissioners by W.
B. Stapp and others that the survey of 1834 was not correct, and the
board was asked to order a new survey. It was said that the streets
running north and south were not true to the compass, and crossed
the east and west streets diagonally instead of at right angles. The
county surveyor was directed to make another survey, which was done
the same summer. When this survey had been accepted the
commissioners directed that stones be set on Main street and
Broadway as permanent marks, as follows: At the northeast corner of
lot 1, block 7; the southeast corner of lot 8, block 49, on Main
street; and at the northwest corner of lot 4, block 22, and one
southeast corner of lot 1, block 51, on Broadway. The stones were to
be two feet in the ground, and to show not more than two inches
At the first the town site was owned by the county, and all the
sales of lots and everything connected with the business of the
future metropolis were under the control of the commissioners. As
soon as the first survey was accepted, which was on June 6, 1831, a
number of lots were sold at public auction. The buyers, the lots
purchased (according to the present designation of lots and blocks),
and the prices paid at the first sale, June 6, are as follows:
Chas. Dawson............. 5
Wm. Gibson............... 8
Wm. Gibson............... 21
Alex Davidson............. 6
Alex Davidson............. 21
Alex Davidson............. 11
Geo. Jones................. 7
Geo. Jones................ 6
Geo. Jones................. 10
Solomon Perkins........... 7
Wm. M. Davidson.......... 5
Jas. Robison............... 12
Jas. Robison............... 20
Willis Peckenpaugh........ 9
Willis Peckenpaugh........ 22
Seth C. Murphy............ 9
Wm. Murphy.............. 11
W^m. Murphy.............. 21
Wm. Murphy.............. 11
Marshom Lucas............ 12
"Randolph Casey............ 12
Elijah Davidson............ 12
Elijah Davidson............ 9
Elijah Davidson............ 21
Reuben Riggs.............. 9
Reuben Riggs.............. 22
Josiah Whitman............ 19 4 25 50
Josiah Whitman............ 19 5 5 31^4
Michael Matheny........... 19 2 10 12%
John Sellers............... 22 5 4 06^4
Adam Ritchie.............. 22 7 5 06^4
Adam Ritchie.............. 10 1 44 25
H.E.Haley................ 20 2 26 00
John Kendall.............. 10 5 28 12%
Robert Kendall.............21 1 50 00
Peter Butler............... 20 6 43 00
Peter Butler............... 20 1 50 00
Wm. Whitman............. 20 5 36 00
John E. Murphy............ 11 1 48 87%
Matthew D. Ritchie..........10 2 30 00
Francis Kendall............ 10 6 58 00
Daniei McNeil, Jr.......... 19 7 4 18^4
Daniel McNeil, Jr.......... 11 6 45 00
D. McNeil, Jr., all blks 2, 15, 16 13 00
D. McNeil Jr., all blks 3, 4, 13, 14 15 75
Nathaniel Armstrong.....all 41 30 00
Total, 46 lots...............'.....$965 62%
The highest price paid was for the south lot on the present court
house block—lot 6 of block 10—for which Francis Kendall paid $58;
and the lowest price was for a lot on South B street between
Broadway and First avenue, the one now occupied by Mayor W. A.
Sawyer's elegant residence. It was bought by Jim Sellers for $4.06%.
It seems that whenever the county treasury was a little short of
funds, or someone wanted to buy a lot, additional sales were had. A
half dozen lots were sold October 1, 1831; a dozen October 27; other
small bunches September 3 and October 26, 1832, March 7 and June 14,
1833, June 2, 1834; and at a sale December 7, 1837, forty-five lots
were sold. At these later sales the prices for lots ran higher than
at the first sale, showing that people had begun to see in the
bustling little town the promise of a great future.
When the first sale of town lots was made in June, 1831, the county
commissioners, in order to encourage the speedy settlement and
building up of the county capital, offered a discount of 12% per
cent, on the price of each lot on which within one year a
comfortable cabin or dwelling house, store, or mechanic's shop
should be erected and finished suitable to live in. This did not
seem to have much effect, however, as when winter closed in only six
buildings beside the court house had been erected.
The first building was a small store erected by Joel Hargrove on the
lot on North Main street on which the Pillsbury building and the
city prison now stand. It was of small logs, chinked and daubed with
prairie mud, with a split clapboard roof. Mr. Hargrove secured his
license to sell "goods, wares and merchandise" from the county
commissioners October 31, paying a fee of $8.00 for one year. His
clerk boarded at Jacob Rust's, in the grove northeast of the present
Monmouth cemetery, and it is said that whenever he was ready to go
to his meals he would get on the roof of the store to see if any
customers were in sight. Mr. Hargrove did not move into town until
about the 1st of November, he built his dwelling on the corner of
East Broadway and North Second street now occupied by the Richardson
Hotel. He bought the lot in October for $20.
Daniel McNeil had bought most of the town site north of Broadway and
east of the Hargrove corner. He built his cabin on the side of the
hill about where the handsome residence of Mrs. Mary E. Carr now
stands on East Broadway. On the location of the county seat at
Monmouth in the spring of 1831 Mr. McNeil had moved over from the
Yellow Banks (now Oquawka). He found a deserted cabin a half mile
north of the old Hardin homestead, east of town, and took possession
of it. It was about 16x18 feet, made of logs, and without a floor.
He lived here, and here were his offices as clerk of the county
commissioners' court, circuit clerk, probate justice, recorder,
etc., until fall. Toward the last of October he moved his offices
into a shanty near where his cabin was afterwards built and occupied
it until the cabin was completed in June, 1832, when it was moved
back and used for a stable. The cabin stood until the summer of
1876, when it was torn down to make room for the Carr residence. It
was at that time the oldest house in Monmouth, and in it had
occurred the first marriage, the first birth and the first death in
the city. In the same house, also, the first religious services were
held, and the first sermons preached by Baptist, Methodist and
Presbyterian ministers. Commenting on its removal, The Monmouth
Atlas said: "If it could only speak, it would tell an interesting
story of Monmouth's youthful days and incidents relating thereto. It
should have been purchased by the city and preserved as a relic.
Lincoln, Douglass and other notables have been entertained 'neath
its roof. Sic transit Gloria Mundi" After Mr. McNeil separated from
his wife, Aunt Betty, he married again and resided on the corner
just east of the old home, the Dr. J. H. Wallace property. Aunt
Betty, however, remained in the old home until her death in 1871,
and her funeral was held on the hillside under the trees she had
Elijah Davidson put up a blacksmith shop and dwelling on Lot 2,
Block 21, on the west side of South Main street between the square
and First avenue. His was the third family in the coming metropolis.
December 5 he secured from the county commissioners a license to
keep a grocery in Monmouth, on payment of a fee of $2.50. ±he rates
he was permitted to charge were as follows:
Keeping horse over night............ $0 25
Horse, single feed.................... 0 12y2
Each meal of victuals................ 0 25
Lodging, per bed.................... 0 12%
Lodging, two persons in bed, each.... 0 06*4
Half pint brandy.................... 0 25
Half pint gin, rum or wine.......... 0 18%
Half pint whiskey.................... 0 12%
Less quantities the same price.
Jacob Rust had been licensed to Keep a grocery on October 31, with
the same scale of prices; and on June 4 the next year (1832) Daniel
McNeil was licensed to sell goods, wares and merchandise for one
year for $5.00, "provided his bills do not amount to more than
$1,000, but if more to pay one-half per cent." Mr. McNeil built his
store on the north side of East Broadway, where the National Bank of
Monmouth now stands, and he sold merchandise and kept postoffice
there for several years.
General James McCallon came the same fall and put up a residence on
South Main street below First avenue, about where the old Shultz
opera house stood for so many years. Here he dug the first well in
the town and walled it with stone. General McCallon and William
Gibson put up the first frame building in town in 1832 or 1833. It
was on the corner now occupied by the Pillsbury building on the
north side of the square, and they kept a store there in 1833 and
1834. They secured their license for the store December 4, 1832, and
it cost them $6.00. General McCallon was responsible for the big
cottonwood tree which stood for so many years in the northwest
corner of the square. He rode into the square on horseback one
morning in 1834, so the story goes, carrying a cottonwood whip. It
was seven or eight feet long, perhaps an inch in diameter, and of
two or three years' growth. He "planted" it in the mud, and it grew
and became a great tree, and not only did the fowls of the air lodge
in the branches of it, but billy-goats and effigies of men were
sometimes seen dangling from its limbs. The tree became a nuisance
to the business places about the square because of the blossoms
which it cast every summer, and on June 18, 1866, the city council
passed a motion "that persons doing business in the northwest corner
of the square be permitted to cut down the cottonwood tree at their
own expense/' The same night, the giant old tree was girdled and
soon after was cut down, but no one would admit his responsibility
for the destruction of the faithful sentinel which had kept its
solitary watch and ward over the hamlet, the town, the sleeping city
by night, a mute spectator of the busy bustling scenes transpiring
around it and under the shade of its spreading branches by day. The
Atlas said the crime was charged to three young "bloods" of the
city, A. C. Gregg, E. C. Babcock and W. P. Pressly.
Others of the early settlers of the '30s were Jacob L. Buzan, John
Shehi, Rocuiff N. Allen, Hezekiah Davidson, J. C. Osborne, William
F. Smith, Samuel Webster, William Laferty, Ivory Quinby, Thos.
Ellet, A. C. Harding, E. S. Swinney, Azro Patterson, Daniel Klauberg,
J. P. Hogue, William Gibson, William Cowan, Marsham Lucas, William
Black, Robert Black, William H. Young, D. T. Denman, Morton McCarver,
James L. Estes, Alpheus Russell, James M. Garrison, Mordecai
McBride, E. T. Cabanis, Robert Ellifret, Ferdinand Van Dyke, W. B.
Stapp, W. S. Berry, William Tracy, Joseph Crandall, Milo Holcomb,
Max Haley, C. W. Vaughn, Anthony Rosenbum and Samuel Brazelton.
The first school in the town was opened in the summer of 1832 in the
old court house, with Robert Black as teacher. It was a subscription
school, and but one of its pupils remains in Monmouth, Mrs. Martha
Kendall Jones. The next year the county commissioners set apart the
lot on which the Young Men's Christian Association building now
stands for a public school lot, the deed to be made when the people
of the district should pay $4 for the lot. In 1835 a small school
house was erected on the lot, and for many years a public school was
maintained there. A more extended history of the schools is given
The first preaching according to some authorities was conducted by a
Cumberland Presbyterian minister and held in the home of Joel
Hargrove. Others say it was in the home of Daniel McNeil. The first
church organized was the Presbyterian in 1837, and the first Sabbath
school was started by Daniel McNeil in 1832.
There were two oak trees on the quarter section when the townsite
was located and surveyed. They were each about six inches in
diameter. One of them stood near the residence of E. S. Swinney on
South Fourth street, but the location of the other is not now
remembered. Both have been gone for a long time. Daniel McNeil
planted the first trees after the location of the town, one a black
locust with roots, and the other two Lombardy poplar sticks which
took root and grew to be trees.
Very few of the early landmarks of the town now remain. Among the
old buildings are a small frame cottage in the rear of the Joel
block that once stood on the square where Joel's store now is. It is
still inhabited, but ought not to be. Two other buildings stand on
North Main street just north of the Douglass livery barn, the date
of whose building is beyond the remembrance of "the oldest
inhabitant." Garrison's inn, built in 1833, and used in recent years
as a blacksmith shop, was torn down in 1898 to make room for Dr. J.
C. Kil-gore's residence and office. Other buildings recently removed
were two that stood in the northwest corner of the square which were
torn down in 1890 to make way for the Patton block. The oldest
buildings now standing on the square are Speakman's candy kitchen
and the McQuiston building, both in the southwest corner.
The second brick building erected on the square (the old brick court
house being the first) was the Thompson block, which still stands on
the west side and just south of Broadway. It was built in 1846.
Dates of some of the other buildings now standing about the square
are: Rankin building, now occupied by Spriggs & Sons, 1854; Claycomb
(Pills-bury) block, 1855; Emerich House (now Hotel Leader) 1854;
George Babcock residence, 1857; Hardin building, now. occupied
by VanValken-burg & Sons and Rogue & Jamieson, 1865; Woods block, on
the west side of Main street from the square south, 1865; Wallace
building, occupied by. McCullough Hardware and Implement Co., 1S66;
Library block, 1870; Sol Schloss & Co. building, 1871; Monmouth
National Bank building, 1874; Second National Bank building, 1873;
Cornell building, 1873; Kingsbury building, occupied by McClung
Bros., 1875; Arlington Hotel, originally the City Boarding House,
1868; Maple City Cigar factory block, 1868; Daily Review block,
1882; the Patton block, 1891; the Quinby block, 189.1; the Martin
block, occupied by Schussler and Scott Bros. & Co., 1891; the Brown
block, occupied by B. B. Colwell & Co., 1893; the H. B. Smith block,
occupied by J. C. Dunbar, 1896; the Douglas livery barn, 1899; the
City hall, 1868, remodeled in 1900.
Organization of Monmouth as a Village— Twenty
Voters Take Part in the First Election of Trustees—The First
Ordinance— Organization as a City Under the Charier of 1852 and
Under the General Law in 1882—List of the Mayors.
Until 1836 Monmouth had no corporate existence. Late in that year,
in accordance with a general demand for a town government, a public
meeting was called to be held at the school house November 29. Ten
days prior notices had been posted in different public places as
required by law, and twenty-three voters assembled at the time
specified. Elijah Davidson was chosen chairman of the meeting and
Harry Jennings clerk. The proposition to incorporate the town of
Monmouth received twenty-three affirmative votes, none opposing.
Those who attended the meeting were:
William F. Smith, Mordecai McBride, G. W. Vaughan, Alamon Hoag,
Alexander Ritchie, Yost Huffman, Samuel Brazelton, James McCallon,
Thomas Butler, Frank Kendall, Thos. C. Hogue, Harry Jennings,
Daniel McNeil, Jr., R. W. McMillan,
B. F. Berry, I. I. Caldwell,
Jas. P. Hogue, George H. Wright,
F. Vandyke, Stephen T. McBride,
Andrew Robison, Peter I. Dodge, Elijah Davidson.
The first board of trustees of the town was elected December 5,
1838. The election was viva voce, and the records show the names of
the twenty voters present, and for which of the nineteen candidates
each expressed his preference. At this election Daniel McNeil, Jr.,
Elijah Davidson, James McCallon, Alexander Ritchie and George H.
Wright were chosen. The number of votes received by each candidate
was as follows:
Elijah Davidson ..........................16
Daniel McNeil, Jr.........................18
James McCallon ..........................13
Alexander Hoag.......................... 6
Alexander Ritchie .........................15
George H. Wright .........................11
George W. Vaughan ....................... 1
Wyatt S. Berry ........................... 2
Joseph Crandall .......................... 1
B. Hoacheniter ........................... 4
L, S. Olmsted.............................. 1
Yost Huffman ............................ 2
Samuel P. Brazelton....................... 2
James P. Hogue ........................... 1
Andrew Robison........................... 1
Mordecai McBride ........................ 1
R. W. McMillan ........................... 1
J. M. Garrison ............................ 2
H. B. Bruce .............................. 2
The successful candidates were sworn in by Gilbert Turnbull, justice
of the peace, and at once entered en the duties of their office.
The first meeting of the board was held Dec. 24, 1836, at the
residence of Alexander Ritchie. All the members were present. Daniel
McNeil, Jr., was elected president of the board; Harry Jennings,
clerk, and also treasurer; Yost Huffman, collector and constable;
and F. G. Kendall, assessor.
The first ordinance was passed Dec. 26 at a meeting at James
McCallon's. It was as follows:
Be it ordained by the President and Trustees of the town of
Monmouth, in council convened :
That the corporation and jurisdiction of the offices of the town of
Monmouth be one-half mile east, one-half mile west, one-half mile
south, and one-half mile north from the center of the public square,
containing one mile square.
April 11, 1839, another ordinance was passed making the town
comprise only the quarter section on which it was originally
located— the southwest quarter of Section 29. April 24, 1841, the
limits and jurisdiction of the town were extended to include
one-half mile in each direction from the public square. Two years
later the town was divided into three wards, the first ward being
west of Main street; the second between Main and Water (now Second)
streets; and the third east of Water street.
The first ordinance with a penalty was also passed December 26,
1836. It forbade gambling, keeping tippling house or grocery without
a license, keeping tippling house open on the Sabbath day; being
drunk or intoxicated; making loud or unnatural noises between 9 p.
m. and 4 a. m.; riot, assault and battery; discharging a gun or
pistol or other firearm, "except by accident, or on a muster day,
and then by order of the commanding officer;" galloping or racing a
horse along the streets, etc.
The first liquor license law in Monmouth was passed by the Board of
Trustees December 31, 1836. It ordained:
"That any person wishing to keep a grocery or tippling shop within
the limit of the corporation of Monmouth, shall pay into the town
treasury the sum of twelve dollars, and upon presenting the
treasurer's receipt for the same to the president and trustees shall
obtain a license to keep said grocery for the term of one year from
and after the date of such license."
The first city order was issued April 9, 1838, to the firm of Loan &
Jennings. The amount was 82.25, but the records do not show what the
payment was for.
The trustees on April 18, 1839, ordered the construction of a set of
ladders and hooks for use in case of fire, Yost Huffman being given
the contract for making them.
The report of the assessor June 5, 1840, showed a total valuation of
real estate in the town of $75,030, and the tax on the same
Hord & Smith were given permission March 9, 1841, to place a hay
scale in the northeast
part of the square, subject to any rules or regulations the council
might afterward see fit to adopt. Some time later the town, together
with Samuel Wood, James Thompson, E. C. Babcock, Samuel Claycomb and
E. A. Paine, put in a Fairbanks scale son the square, the city
owning five-ninths of the same. The total cost was $225. James
Thompson was appointed the first weigh-master, and allowed 33 per
cent. of his receipts. He was authorized to charge ten cents for
each draft on the scales.
MONMOUTH UNDER THE CHARTER.
Monmouth was organized as a city in 1852. Previous to that year it
had been only a town, but it had grown to such a size that a more
formal organization, and one which would permit of greater powers
and privileges, was needed. Consequently a movement was set on foot
which resulted in the passage of a special charter by the
Legislature, approved June 21, 1852.
Section 1 of this charter provided "that the inhabitants of the town
of Monmouth, in the county of Warren ana State of Illinois, be and
they are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, by the
name and style of 'The City of Monmouth,' and by that name shall
have perpetual succession, and may have ana use a common seal,
wiiieh they may change and alter at pleasure." Section 2 fixed the
boundaries at one mile from the center of the public square in each
direction, making the city cover four square miles of territory.
Section 3 directed the President and Trustees of the town to divide
the town into two wards, as nearly equal in population as
practicable. Other sections related to the officers of the city, and
their duties and powers. The charter also provided that an election
be held on the first Monday in September. 1852, to vote for or
against the adoption of the charter. If adopted, it was to take
immediate effect as law.
An amendment to the charter was passed and approved February 16,
1859, curtailing the limits of the city to all of Section 29, the
east half of Section 30, the northeast quarter of Section 31, and
the north half of Section 32. Another amendment changing the manner
of the management of the public schools was approved February 21,
1863; and another, in 1865, gave to the council the power to "tax,
regulate, prohibit and suppress tippling houses, dram
HISTORY OF WARREN COUNTY.
shops, gambling houses, bawdy houses and other disorderly houses,
within the city and within one mile thereof." It, however, forbade
the licensing of any house or place for the sale or giving away of
intoxicating liquors as a beverage.
The election to vote upon tne charter was held as provided, on
September 6, 1852, 139 votes being cast in favor of its adoption and
only one against. This made Monmouth a city, and its limits were
extended to include one mile in each direction from the public
square— four square miles in all. October 4, 1852, the trustees
divided the city into two wards, as required by Section 3 of the
charter. The first ward composed all that part of the city east of
Bast street (now First street), and the second ward all west of that
street. The voting place in the First ward was at the school house,
and the voting place in the Second ward at the court house.
The election of officers was held October 23. Samuel Wood was chosen
mayor; B. S. Swinney and William E. Rodgers, aldermen in the first
ward; and N. A. Rankin, alderman in the second ward; James Thompson
and Elijah Davidson being tied for the other aldermanship in the
The first session of the city council under the charter was held
November 3. The first action was to appoint James G. Madden as clerk
pro tern. An ordinance was then presented and adopted providing for
the settling of tie votes on mayor or aldermen by drawing from a hat
or box. At the next meeting the tie in the Second ward was settled
and James Thompson declared elected. This first council elected B.
F. Corwin, clerk; James Thompson, treasurer; George W. Savage, city
attorney, and James Finney, city marshal.
The first city order issued under the charter was for $20. Armsby &
Patterson got it for one-half cost of two and one-half rods of
sidewalk. The first tax levied under the charter, in 1853, was at
the rate of three-eighths of one per cent. on all the real and
personal property in the city subject to taxation.
An early action of the city council pertained to the city printing.
December 6, 1852, the printing was let at public auction at the
court house, to Ashton & Hosea of the Monmouth Democrat, that firm
agreeing to pay the city one-half cent per thousand for the
privilege of doing it.
MONMOUTH UNDER THE GENERAL LAW.
Along in 1881 and the early part of 1882, and in fact before those
dates the question of abandoning the special charter and
reorganizing under the general law was agitated. February 22, 1882,
a petition, signed by 180 legal voters, was presented to the council
asking that the matter be submitted to a vote of the people at the
next municipal election, April 3. The petition was granted, and the
result of the election was in favor of reorganization, the vote
being 566 yeas and 541 nays.
On the same day, I. P. Pillsbury was elected mayor; A. P.
Hutchinson, police magistrate; W. A. Robison and W. C. Norcross,
aldermen from the East ward; N. S. Woodward and H. H. Pattee,
aldermen from the West ward; and C. A. Dunn and C. W. Gilbert,
aldermen from the South ward. After the canvassing of the vote April
4, the city council called a special election for May 8 to elect a
mayor, ten aldermen, a clerk, a treasurer, an attorney and a police
Soon after this, in a similar case at Springfield, Judge Lane
rendered a decision that the election of a new set of officers was
unnecessary, but that the officers electea at the time
reorganization was voted on, were entitled to take their seats and
hold office until the next regular election in 1883. Consequently,
the council at its meeting May 1, revoked the call for the special
election, then adjourned and gave way to the council elected April
Many thought this latter notice illegal, and Mayor-elect Pillsbury
and Aldermen-elect Norcross and Robison refused to qualify. The
other aldermen-elect, Messrs. Dunn, Woodward, Pattee, and Gilbert,
took their seats, however, and proceeded to transact the business of
the city. Alderman Dunn was electea mayor pro tern, and a special
election was called for June 5 to fill the vacancies. Fred E.
Harding was elected city treasurer; W. A. Grant, clerk; Silas W.
Porter, city attorney; O. D. Wilcox, city marshal, and T. B. Keedle,
Meanwhile the temperance party had nominated candidates for the
special election called for May 8, and although the call for it had
been revoked, they held an election anyhow. They selected their own
judges and clerks of election, and cast their ballots. Six hundred
and fifty-three votes were polled, the candidates
meeting with no opposition whatever. They were:
Mayor—I. P. Pillsbury. Clerk—W. A. Grant. City Attorney—Wm. C.
Norcross. City Treasurer—W. B. Young.
Aldermen— D. Graham, J. R. Hanna,
Robert G. Home, T. O. Hamsher,
T. P. Perry, J. C. Kilgore,
W. A. Robison, L. Roadhouse,
J. B. Sofield, J. C. Robison.
The next day, on petition of the gentlemen who claimed to have been
elected to the council at this special election, Judge Glenn issued
an injunction, which was served the same evening, restraining the
acting council from further proceedings. The ''council of ten" then
took possession under the injunction and were sworn by I. M.
Kirkpatrick. Present, David Graham, W. A. Robison, Robert G. Home,
J. B. Sofield, J. Ross Hanna, J. C. Kilgore. T. 0. Hamsher and T.
r1. Perry. David Graham was chosen mayor pro tern. The returns of
the election of May 8 were canvassed and the result declared. I. P.
Pillsbury then presented his official bond as mayor, which was
approved, and he assumed the duties of the office. J. W. Smith was
appointed city marshal. May 16 the injunction was dissolved, and the
bill dismissed. It was decided to take the case at once to the
Supreme Court of the state for decision on a writ of quo warranto,
the "Big Four" being left in charge of the city affairs in the
meantime. A pro forma decision was given in the lower court, and in
order to gain time the case was taken at once to the Supreme Court,
which docketed it and set it for hearing at the September term. The
'"Big Four" resumed business at the old stand May 18, and on June 5
the special election was held as ordered, I. P. Pillsbury being
again elected mayor, and W. A. Robison and J. B. Sofield aldermen
for the East ward. They qualified June 5. In October the Supreme
Court dismissed the case before it, on the ground that it had not
come through the Appellate Court, as it should have done, and the
matter was dropped for good.
The mayors of the city of Monmouth from its incorporation to the
present time have been as follows:
Under the old charter—Samuel Wood, 1852; George W. Palmer, 1853; E.
S. Swinney, 1854; Robert Grant, 1855; W. H. Young, 1856; I. Quinby,
1857; J. H. Holt, 1858; N. A. Rankin, 1859-1860; H. G. Harding,
1861-1862; Samuel Wood, 1863; William Cowan, 1864-1865; George
Babcock, 1866; John M. Turnbull, 1867; Samuel Wood, 1868; J. A.
Templeton, 1869; S. Douglas, 1870; W. B. Boyd, 1871; W. M.
Buffington, IS72; D. Babcock, 1873; J. H. Holt, 1874-1875; J. L.
Dryden, 1876; J. H. Holt, 1877; J. M. McCutcheon, 1878-1879; William
Hanna, 1880-1881. Under the general law—Ithamar P. Pillsbury, 1882;
Henry Burlingim, 1883-1884; W. B. Young, 1885-1886; Ithamar P.
Pillsbury, 1SS7-188S; Henry Burlingim, 1SS9-1890; Warren E. Taylor,
1891-1892; William B. Wolf, 1893-1894; Reimer Lahann, 1895-1896;
Frank L. Hall, 1897-1898: William A. Sawyer, 1899-1903.
THE CITY SEAL.
The seal of the City of Monmouth is in circular form, with the words
"City of Monmouth" on the outer circle, and the words "Warren
County" and a flying eagle in the center. It was adopted by
ordinance passed May 2, 1857.
Matters Pertaining to the City—Fire Department. City Waterworks,
Parks. City Buildings. Sewerage System. Street Paving. Police
Department, Additions to the City, Telephone Exchanges, Electric
Railways, Population, Etc.
The Monmouth Fire Department has few superiors among the volunteer
fire-fighting organizations of the country. As at present
constituted it includes Engine Company No. 1, the Rough and Ready'
Hook and Ladder Company, Hose Company No. 1, and Hose Company No. 3.
Most of the apparatus is housed on the first floor of the City Hall
on First avenue east of Main street, including the chemical engine
of which George Claycomb is custodian; a hook and ladder wagon of
which T. O. Wilcox is custodian; and a hose wagon of which W. H.
Sloan is custodian. Stables in the rear accommodate the three teams
belonging to these wagons. At the Hose House No. 3, in the southwest
part of the city, in the factory district, is a hose cart manned by
Hose Company No. 3. The "William Hanna" fire engine, now little
used, is kept at the city scale building on North First street and
The department had its beginnings in the purchase of a small fire
engine by the city in November, 1855. It was made by Cowan & Co., of
Seneca Falls, N. Y., and cost $200 at the shop. The purchase of this
engine was followed December 26, 1855, by the organization of the
Monmouth Fire Company. A constitution and by-laws were adopted, and
the following officers elected: Carlos Gamble, captain; Joseph A.
Boynton, first foreman; Orrin Gamble, second foreman; Nathan Carr,
Jr., treasurer; W. M. Gregg, clerk. The records of this company have
been lost and the names of the other original members can not now be
A fire during the night of January 14, 1868, which destroyed a row
of business buildings extending along Broadway from First street to
the alley east of the present Lahann block, had the effect of waking
the city up to the need of a better fire department and more'
efficient apparatus. At a meeting a few days later the council
appointed Joseph A. Boynton chief fire marshal, Samuel Claycomb
first assistant, and W. A. Robison, second assistant. It also
authorized the fire marshal to organize a hook and ladder company of
thirty men as early as practicable, and ordered the sale of city
bonds to the amount of $10,000 for the purpose of purchasing a new
fire engine. The mayor was authorized to purchase the engine, and
secured one, a combination of a Holly pump and rotary engine, with
Clapp circulating boiler, and manufactured by H. C. Silsby & Co.,
Seneca Falls, N. Y. A public trial of the machine was held May 21,
1868, and was very satisfactory. Less than a week later Richard
Perrott lost his life through this engine. The machine was being
drawn to a fire in the south part of town, and Mr. Perrott attempted
to get hold of the rope by which it was being hauled, but stumbled
and fell, and one of the wheels passed over his chest. He died
within a couple of hours.
The Rough and Ready Hook and Ladder Company was organized by Fire
Marshal Boynton, February 22, 1868, in pursuance of instructions
given him by the council. The officers elected were: John E.
Alexander, foreman; William A. Grant, assistant; T. H. Lee,
secretary; Charles Brown, treasurer. The constitution and by-laws
were adopted a week later and the company fully organized. Among the
names of the early members of the company were: John E. Alexander,
Wm. A. Grant, D. S. Hass, Jacob Krollman, Charles E. Wolfe, Charles
Brown, T. H. Lee, D. D. Randall, Wm. Milliken, M. H. Holliday, C. u.
Shoemaker, M. L. Standsbury, D. Williams, S. Burns, Jas. Tarbell, E.
E. Webb, E. B. Miles, L. D. Robinson, R. H. Randall, J. W. Berger,
Hampton Mackey, R. Wagstaff, W. B. Young, Chas. Smilie, J. B. Weir,
J. M. Campbell, A. W. Fluke, J. A. Montgomery, G. L, Mitchell, W. C.
Shoemaker. The Rough and Ready Company won quite a reputation
throughout the state in its early history, and of later years it has
been equally well known. In 1876 it won the championship at the
first annual meeting of the Illinois State Firemen's Association at
Decatur; won it again at Galesburg in 1877, and a third time at
Chicago in 1878. By these three victories the company secured a
solid silver belt, which it still owns and cherishes. The company
also won first prize and belt and second national prize, a lantern,
at the National Firemen's tournament at Chicago in 1878. A team from
this company and the Alerts, under the name of the "Nip and Tucks,"
won another championship and belt at the state tournament at Quincy
in 1881, and at Monmouth in 1880. They also won a fine lantern and a
billiard table at Quincy. In 1894 the Rough and Ready team won the
championship at Edwardsville, took it again at Decatur in 1895, but
lost the third of the series at Naperville in 1896. The company now
consists of sixteen members, with the following officers: E. L.
Hamilton, foreman; John McMillan, first assistant; George Dickey,
second assistant; T. O. Wilcox, secretary. The hook and ladder wagon
to which this company is assigned was purchased from the Wayne
Manufacturing Company, of Decatur, in 1899 and cost $1000.
February 27, 1868, five days after the preliminary organization of
the Rough and Ready Hook and Ladder Company, the Little Giant Fire
Engine Company No. 1 was organized. A committee appointed at a
previous meeting presented a constitution which was adopted, and the
following officers were elected: Orrin W. Gamble, foreman; L. C.
Nott, first assistant; D. C. Brady, second assistant; Hugh Henry,
chief engineer; Geo. H. Nye, first assistant; A. R. Cannon, second
assistant; Hugh Robison, third assistant; L. S. Stansburg, foreman
Hose Company No. 1; B. H. Smith, first assistant; Thos. Shoop,
second assistant; W. C. Bake, foreman Hose Company No. 2; F. A.
Allen, first assistant; J. A. Gettemy, second assistant; A. H.
Swain, secretary; John Porter, treasurer; G. A. Scott, George R.
Barbour, representatives. In addition to these the following were
charter members of the company: Wy-man Perry, T. H. Alexander, N. A.
Scott, H. W. Dredge, W. H. Armsby, Isaac Leeper, J. W. Berger, R. M.
Campbell, J. S. Spriggs, R. H. Greenleaf, E. C. Johnson, D. D. Earp,
W. A. Cannon, B. H. Neff, Jonathan Mackey, Dennis Streeter, Geo. H.
Dennis, A. J. Patterson, S. A. Gibson, Win. Cecil, Steve Gamble,
Jas. W. Beard, A. R. Kingsbury, J. Sullivan, Chas. Jamison, George
Butler, Lem. M. Lusk, John T. Reichard, I. A. Palmer. At a meeting
of the company July 8, 1868, the name was changed by unanimous
consent to the Monmouth Engine Co. No. 1, and by this name has since
been known. Of the original company only L. M. Lusk and F. A. Allen
remain in active connection with the company. No new members have
been enrolled since 1890, and the company itself has not taken an
active part in fire fighting since the establishment of the present
waterworks plant and the relegation of the steam fire engine to the
shelf. The present roll bears the names of fifteen active and eleven
honorary members. The company was incorporated under the laws of the
State of Illinois November 16, 1892. L. M. Lusk is foreman; Win
Scott first assistant; Sam S. Clark, second assistant; O. D. Wilcox,
treasurer; Eugene W. Stevens, secretary; N. S. Woodward, steward.
In the fall of 1874 the city bought the lot on which Engine House
No. 2 stands and erected the building shortly afterward. At a
meeting of the council April 29, 1875, it was decided to purchase a
chemical engine with hose and hook and ladder attachments, and a
contract was made with the Champion Fire Extinguisher Co., of
Louisville, Kentucky, for a machine of their make. The engine came
in June and is yet one of the most efficient parts of the fire
apparatus of Monmouth. Its cylinders have a capacity of 160 gallons,
possessing an extinguishing power equal to 6,400 gallons of common
water. It weighs 3,000 pounds and cost the city $2,500. It is now
housed in Engine House No. 1, its old home having been abandoned in
May 5, 1875, a new fire company was organized to man the chemical
engine. It was christened the Major Holt Engine Co. 2, and the first
officers were: John M. Campbell, foreman; Geo. W. McAdams, first
assistant; Charles Allen, second assistant; Jonathan Mackey,
steward; Isaac Marks, secretary; J. W. Sipner, treasurer. The other
charter members were J. A. Corry, Jerry Leeper, G. W. Sperry, H. C.
Miller,. Jonathan Mackey, Charles W. Gilbert, Fred Rosenzweig, R. L.
Russell, Ed Reed, L. S. Holden, W. W. Brooks, Armstrong Crandall,
Ross Rush, Wm. Nye, Milt Robinson, Denzel Williams, T. H. Numbers,
W. H. Sexton, T. B. Edwards, Jacob Nayler, Geo. W. Samson, J. H.
Shipping, T. H. Johnson, Arthur Frymire.
Later a hose company was organized at Engine House No. 2, with
twenty-seven members, and F. Mathers, foreman; L. D. Earp, first
assistant; C. Coultrap, second assistant; F. Weidenbauer, secretary;
G. Starr Cutler, treasurer; and J. Smiley, steward. It was disbanded
when the apparatus was moved to Engine House No. 1.
The Alert Hook and Ladder Company was organized early in 1879. It
had its quarters at Engine House No. 2, and was officered as
follows: Fred Rosenzweig, foreman; Ed Reed, assistant; James Scott,
second assistant; H. W. Johnson, secretary; H. C. Robinson,
treasurer. This organization has been out 01 business for ten or
Hose Co. No. 1, originally a part of Engine Co. No. 1, was
reorganized as an independent company December 11, 1901, with twenty
members. They were: W. S. Findley, G. E. Bunker,. Wilson Sloan, John
Gayer, G. D. Dunbar, May-nard Hawkins, L. J. Berner, John
Donaldson,. John Robertson, F. S. Weir, D. Q. Webster, George Shaw,
Marshall Sloats, E. E. Johnson, W. A. SpeigeL C. W. Allen, Fred
Barnes, Fred Lusk and Gallard Hollidaj^. The officers are: Wilson
Sloan, foreman; C. W. Allen, assistant foreman; G. E. Bunker,
secretary and treasurer. The hose wagon which this company mans was
purchased by the Fire Department and presented to the city in the
fall of 1894. The department also provided a horse for the wagon,
but it was afterward sold and a team purchased.
Hose Co. No. 3 was organized at a meeting at the Fourth Ward hose
house January 19, 1895, by Chief O. D. Wilcox, acting on
instructions from the city council. Thirteen names were on the roll
of charter members. The officers chosen were: J. P. Moore, foreman;
D. H. Williams, first assistant; John Flaherty, second assistant; D.
D. Dunkle, secretary. The present officers of the company are: J. P.
Moore, foreman; Charles Lee, first assistant; James Lee, second
assistant; E. E. Toal, secretary; Charles Nye, treasurer; S. B.
Reed, steward. The hose house occupied by this company was built in
the fall of 1894, and it has in its cupola the fire bell formerly on
the City Hall. One hose cart comprises the equipment of the company.
The "William Hanna" steam fire engine was purchased by the city in
December, 1881, at a cost of $2,500. It is a Silsby—the same make as
its predecessor, but a much better machine. It was given its name in
honor of Monmouth's late esteemed citizen, William Hanna, who was at
that time mayor of the city. The engine is now kept at the city
scale house, and it is only used on extraordinary occasions.
There was a good deal of talk during the summer of 1886 about the
need of waterworks in Monmouth, but the difficulty always was about
the water supply. There was no running river near by, shallow wells
were uncertain and the water not always the best, and the question
of where to get the water was a puzzle. An engineer was brought, who
made various preliminary borings at different points, but nothing
satisfactory was learned. Along in August it was proposed that an
artesian well be sunk, and the Monmouth Artesian Well Company was
incorporated with about 100 stockholders, including nearly every
business man of the city. They met to organize August 28, and chose
nine directors, who elected the officers of the company as follows:
President, H. H. Pattee; secretary, Dr. S. M. Hamilton; treasurer,
Fred E. Harding; executive committee, H. H. Pattee, N. A. Scott, W.
K. Johnson. Soon afterward the company purchased part of Block 17 in
Quinby & Lawrence's addition on North Sixth street, and drilling
soon commenced. The objective point was the St. Peter's sandstone,
and this was reached in due time, an unlimited supply of purest
being found at a depth of 1,230 feet in March, 1887. Then matters
rested until July 12, 1888. when the city council instructed the
fire and water committee to purchase the artesian well if the price
was satisfactory, and soon afterward the purchase was made for
$3,000. The council outlined the route of the first mains to be
laid, and let the contract to the Rockford Construction Co. for the
construction of the plant complete except the engine house, pumps
and boilers. The company laid a total of three and one-half miles of
mains, which with the rest of the plant then put in cost the city
about $33,000. The first test of the works was made March 11, 1SS9,
under the direction of the fire and water committee consisting of W.
W. Mc-Cullough, W. B. Wolf and D. C. Gowdy, with Fire Marshal H. A.
Webster and Engineer W. A. Child. Streams of water were thrown over
three-story buildings, and as high as the cross on the spire of the
Catholic church, about 150 feet. Large additions to the mains have
since been made, a second deep well was put in in 1893, and still a
third in 1900, so that at the present time the city is well covered
with mains and there is a supply of water sufficient for all demands
for years to come, in 1900-1901 the three wells were connected by
tunnels with a ten-foot shaft 175 feet deep. which, with the
tunnels, was nearly a year in construction, owing to unforseen
difficulties. At the bottom of the shaft was installed a huge pump
with a capacity of one million gallons per day, and by this the
water is pumped from the three deep wells to the reservoir, or
through the mains to the stand tower erected also in 1900 on a lot
owned by the city just north of the Burlington Railway tracks and
between South Main and South First streets. These improvements were
made after plans prepared by Engineer D. W. Mead of Chicago and
adopted by the council February 5, 1900, and cost the city $36,000.
R. G. Young was the first superintendent of the waterworks, and C.
J. Eby is now in charge. The waterworks furnishes about 1,400
consumers, and produces an annual revenue of about $9,000.
Eighty-three million gallons of water were pumped and consumed
during the year ending April 30, 1902.
The city's first public water supply was furnished by two wells, dug
by Joshua Boyle by order of the town board early in 1839, the year
after the incorporation of the town, at a cost of $60. One was in
the northeast angle of the publie square and the other in the
northwest angle. One was in the northeast angle of the public square
and the other in the northwest angle. Each was eighteen feet deep
and three feet in diameter inside the stone wall, and fitted with a
windlass and two buckets. Several years later a windmill was placed
at-one of the wells.
Monmouth has three parks. Central Park is a small, circular plot of
ground in the center of the public square. For scores of years the
square was open and neglected, the crossing of two streets which
were parts of State roads. It was subject to the whims of every city
council and every street commissioner in turn, and much of the time
was a mud hole and a disgrace to the city. In 1S90 a fountain was
placed in the center of the square, and when the first street paving
was done in 1S92 the square was paved, with the exception of the
portion now included in the park. This portion was then surrounded
by an iron railing, and the trees and grass were given good care. In
1901 flower beds were added. The park, though small, adds much to
the appearance of the square.
West Park is on the south side of West Broadway and between B and C
streets. It was originally known as Coburn Square, and later as
Union Park. It is thickly set with large shade trees, and is a
favorite place for outdoor meetings and public gatherings in warm
North Park is in Quinby & Lawrence's addition in the north part of
the city. It is bounded on the north by Franklin avenue, on the east
by Fifth street, on the south by Euclid avenue, and on the west by
Park Place, a short street running from Euclid avenue to Franklin.
The park includes one block, is well shaded, and is used
considerably by the residents of that part of the city.
There once was South Park, on the east side of South Main street. It
is now occupied by the Iowa Central station and grounds.
THE CITY BUILDING.
The city council on March 2, 1S6S, instructed Mayor Samuel Wrood to
purchase of N. and J. Carr the northeast corner of Lot 2, Block 25,
in the old town plat, for city purposes. The
purchase was made, and under plans drawn up by Aldermen Dunn and
Blackburn the building on East First avenue between Main and First
streets was soon erected. It is a substantial brick building 38x45
feet, two stories high, affording room for the fire apparatus on the
first floor and the city offices and firemen's headquarters on the
second. The building was remodeled in 1900, and an addition built to
the rear, with stables for the fire department horses on the ground
floor and a room for the city council meetings above.
In the fall of 1874 the city bought the lot on East Fourth avenue on
which Engine House No. 2 was erected. The chemical engine and one of
the hose outfits were housed here until the city building on First
avenue was remodeled in 1900, when all the fire apparatus except one
hose cart at Hose House No. 3 in the Fourth Ward was placed in the
THE CITY PRISON.
The city prison on Lot 1, Block 10, on North Main street between the
public square and Archer avenue, was built in the summer of 1887.
Previous to that time the county jail had been used for city
prisoners, but that was not satisfactory to the county authorities
and the city building was erected. It was opened for use in October,
and the first inmate was a man employed on the Santa Fe
THE FIVE WARDS.
The division of the city into the five wards as they now exist was
made by the city council by ordinance passed November 22, 1882. The
First ward is in the central part of the city, comprising what was
the original town plat. It was bounded on the north by Boston
avenue, on the east by Sixth street, on tne south by the C, B. & Q.
railroad and Fifth avenue, and on the west by B street. The Second
ward is northeast of the First, east of North First street and north
of East Second avenue; the Third, northwest of the First, west of
North First street and north of West Second avenue; the Fourth,
southwest of First, south of West Second avenue and west of South
First street; and the Fifth, southeast of the First, east of South
First street and south of East Second avenue.
STREET NAMES CHANGED.
The city council at its meeting November 15, 1887, changed the names
of several of the streets in order more conveniently to carry out .a
scheme for numbering the houses, but the present names of the
streets were not adopted until January 5, 1891, when an ordinance
was passed changing the names of all the streets but Main street and
Broadway. The streets run north and south and the avenues east and
west. The streets east of Main street are First, Second, Third,
etc., and those west of Main street are A, B, C, D, etc. The avenues
south of Broadway are First, Second, Third, etc., and those north of
Broadway are Archer, Boston, Clinton, Detroit, Euclid, Franklin,
Girard and Harlem. The alley at the southeast corner of the public
square is Market Place, and the :short street along the west side of
North Park is Park Place.
LEVELS AND GRADES.
Up to 1890 there was no uniform system of levels and grades in
Monmouth. That summer -arrangements were made with Engineer John F.
Wallace of Chicago to act as consulting engineer in making up such a
system, and the survey began under his direction July 16. J. E.
Miller and D. M. Grier did the work. The C, B. & Q. railroad company
had recorded the track at the crossing as 775.327 feet above the sea
level. The center of the public square was found to be seven feet
lower, or 768.34, and with this as a basis the streets were surveyed
and recorded and permanent benchmarks established. Benchmarks were
put up at various street corners, a railroad spike being driven into
the root of a tree for a mark wherever practicable. The elevations
of Monmouth and the Mississippi valley are computed from the level
of the Gulf of Mexico at Biloxi, Miss.
THE CITY FOUNTAIN.
The fountain in Central Park was erected in 1890, the water being
first turned on October 16th of that year. It cost about $350, most
of the money being raised by private subscriptions. The fountain is
eighteen feet three inches high.
MONMOUTH'S SEWER SYSTEM.
The first sewer system in Monmouth was the Broadway and Main street
by ordinance passed by the city council August 17, 1891. It provided
for the construction of a sewer around the square; from the square
out East Broadway to Sixth street; from the square down on South
Main street to Fourth avenue; and down South First street from
Broadway to the intersection of the water course between First and
Second avenues. The city was to pay 20 per cent, of the cost, the
remainder to be raised by special assessment on the adjoining
property, one-fifth when the work was completed and the rest in four
equal annual installments. The contract was let to Peter Simons of
Burlington for $5,012.94. and work began October 12 and was
completed in December. This sewer system has been extended and added
to each year, and now covers the city pretty thoroughly. This year
(1902) a sewage disposal plant after the septic plan is to be
erected on land northeast of the city, where all the city's sewage
will be emptied and disposed of.
Street paving talk began in earnest in Monmouth during the winter of
1891-92. and the council held a meeting March 21, 1892, to consider
the matter. After a free discussion it was unanimously voted to
pave, and to provide the funds by special taxation. April 5 the
first ordinances were passed, providing for six districts and
covering the public square and parts of Main street, Broadway,
Second avenue and First street. The preliminary surveys for the
paving began April 7, the contracts were let May 2, and the first
brick was laid July 1 by Alderman C. L. Buck, chairman of the street
and alley committee. It was at the corner of East Broadway and South
First street. The contractors were Wilson & Thatcher, who paved the
square, and W. W. McCullough, who had the rest of the work. May 2,
1892, West Fourth avenue and E street were ordered paved from Main
street to the C, B. & Q. depot grounds. Soon afterward other
districts were added, and now the public square and some eighty
blocks are paved with brick, most of it single course on a bed of
When the Edison Illuminating Co. put in its plant in 1888, a system
of incandescent lights was arranged for the lighting of the streets,
which previous to that time had been lighted by gas. In the winter
of 1892-93 the company added to the facilities of the plant, and the
city changed to the arc system of lighting. The new lights were
turned on in January, 1893. There are about 110 arc lights in the
street lighting system, costing the city $66 each per year.
The Monmouth Police Department consists at the present time of City
Marshal A. B. Holli-day, Sergeant Webb Morrison and Officers X T.
Graham and George Weidenbauer. All were appointed by the mayor
subject to the approval of the Council. The police station was built
in 1887, the force appeared for the first time in uniform July 19,
1893, and the patrol wagon and horse were added to the department in
ADDITIONS TO THE CITY
Monmouth as originally platted occupied the southwest quarter of
Section 29, and that is still known as the "old town plat." In 1841
the limits were extended to include one-half mile in each direction
from the public square; and the charter adopted by the legislature
in 1852 fixed the boundaries at one mile from the center of the
public square in each direction, making the city cover four square
miles of territory- In June, 1853, Joseph Paddocks made and recorded
a survey of the city as included in these boundaries, setting a
stone at each corner; and stones on North Main street, South Main
street, East Broadway, and West Broadway, each 320 rods from the
center of the public square. In 1859 the charter was amended, and
the city limits curtailed to all of Section 29, the east half of
Section 30, the northeast quarter of Section 31, and the north half
of Section 32; and these lands still comprise the city, though there
are out-lots on all sides which are built up and really belong to
The additions to the city since the laying out of the town, with the
number of blocks, and the date of the surveys, are as follows:
Harding's addition of twenty-four blocks, in 1S53; W7ood & Carr's
addition of 13 blocks, in 1854; Webster & Holloway's addition, 7
blocks, in 1854; South addition, 22 blocks, in 1855; Thompson's
addition, 6 blocks, in 1855; Coburn's addition 16 blocks, in 1S56;
Thompson's supplement to Coburn's addition, 2 blocks, 1857: Haley's
addition, 12 blocks, in 1S57; College addition, 22 blocks, lo59;
Harding's supplement, 7 fractional blocks, in 1861; Gowdy's
addition, 2 blocks, in 1861; Hill's addition, a triangular block, in
1861; Quinby & Lawrence's addition, 27 blocks, in 1S64; Wood's
addition, 3 irregular blocks, in 1866; Clark's addition, 5 blocks,
four of which have since been vacated, in 1S66; Morgan's addition, 4
blocks, in 1S66; Jenks' addition, 1 block (Monmouth Plow works
site), in 1867; Clark's block 3, in 1857; H. G. Harding's
subdivision (Corktown), in 1866; addition to Morgan's, 17 blocks, in
1875; Morgan's second addition, 16 blocks, in 1S76; Dryden's
addition, 5 blocks, in 1885; East addition, 1 block, in 1SSS;
Sipher's addition, 16 blocks, in 1891-92; Columbian addition. 3
blocks, in 1891; Broadway addition, 4 blocks, in 1891; supplement to
Thompson's addition, 1 block, in 1891; F. W. Harding's addition, 3
blocks, in 1S91; supplement to Broadway addition. 1 block, in 1891;
supplement to Sipher's addition, 1 block, in 1891; P. Brodine's
addition, 1 block, in 1891; Jas. B. Clark's addition, 14 blocks, in
1892; Foster & Rugh's addition, 11 blocks, in 1892; South Park
addition, S blocks, in 1S93; West Park addition, 4 blocks, in 1893:
Babcock's addition, 4 blocks, in 1893; West Side addition, 9 blocks,
in 1893; supplement to Foster & Rugh's addition, 4 blocks, in 1893;
Dunn's addition, 2 blocks, in 1894; Apsey's addition, 1 block, in
1895; Firoved & Sexton's addition, 6 blocks, in 1899; Hoy & Groves'
addition. 1 block, .in 1S99; Cox & Hallam's addition, 6 blocks, in
1900; Martin's addition. 2 blocks, in 1900; supplement to Firoved &
Sexton's addition, 2 blocks, in 1900; Perry's addition, 2 blocks, in
A movement was on foot in the spring of 1899, to have H. G.
Harding's subdivision, popularly known as Corktown. incorporated as
a village, in order that saloons might be licensed there when there
were none in Monmouth, but the required population was not found and
the matter had to be dropped.
Monmouth has two telephone exchanges, with in the neighborhood of
1000 'phones in the city, and lines extending out into the country
and reaching large numbers of the farmers of the vicinity.
Connections are also made with adjoining cities and towns, and by
long distance lines with all parts of the Union.
The Central Union Telephone Company put in its exchange here in the
winter of 1881-82. The lines were in full operation about the first
of February, 1882, and the line too Kirkwood was made a few months
later; also the connection with Galesburg. The Marshall-Tobie
Telephone lines in Mercer county were connected with the Central
Union exchange March 6, 1896, and extended on south too Roseville
and Swan Creek the next fall, and the Henderson County Telephone
Company's lines were connected with the exchange September 15, 1897.
The Central Union rebuilt its plant the summer of 1900, and has also
put in several farmers' lines during the past two years.
As a result of agitation in favor of a competing telephone exchange,
which began as early as the winter of 1889-1900, a franchise for an
independent exchange was given by the city council too W. W.
McCullough, president of the Monmouth Business Men's Association,
September 18, 1900. Bills & Wortham, of Chicago, as promoters put in
the plant and organized the Monmouth Telephone Company with a
capital stock of $35,000, which was afterward increased too $50,000.
The company was chartered October 22, 1900, and temporarily
organized November 17 following, with F. L. Bills as president and
C. M. Smith secretary. January 11, 1901, it was permanently
organized with the following officers: President, W. P. Graham; vice
president, W. J. McQuiston; treasurer, H. B. Smith; secretary and
manager, R. Lahann; directors, W. P. Graham, H. B. Smith, W. J.
McQuiston, R. Lahann, J. F. Searles, C. C. McClung, James Galbraith,
G. A. Schussler, Jesse Lanphere. Work began on the plant about
November 1, 1900, and service started with one hundred 'phones in
operation May 3, 1901. R. Lahann was made manager May 14, 1901. The
Henderson County Farmers' Line, which had previously established a
local station at the store of McQuiston & Son, was connected with
the Monmouth Telephone Company's exchange June 18, 1901; the line
Gerlaw and Alexis was connected in August of the same year; and
lines too Berwick, Little York, Roseville, Galesburg, and a number of
farmers' lines later.
The Monmouth Traction Company was licensed by the secretary of state
1902, with W. W. McCullough, S. S. Hallam, and W. B. Young as
incorporators, and a capital stock of $10,000. In July, 1899, these
gentlemen had asked for a franchise too construct and operate a
street railway in the city, and it had been granted by the city
council August 7 following. The franchise now in force includes
rights on all the principal streets of the city, and the company is
required too have the line in operation on each street by the spring
of 1904 or the franchise becomes void. The work of construction is
too begin at once, and it is promised that the cars will be running
within the specified time. The company expects also too construct
several interurban lines running out from Monmouth.
In 1875 Monmouth had a street railway (on paper). Articles of
incorporation were filed with the secretary of state in May of that
year for the Monmouth Street Railway. The capital of the company was
$25,000, and it proposed too build the railway from the C, B. & Q.
passenger station, then at the crossing on South Third street, up
First street too the square, then west too the Rockford, Rock Island
and St. Louis station, and possibly out East Broadway too the
college. The road never was built.
Another Monmouth Street Railway Company was incorporated March 25,
1882, but neither did it ever get any farther than on paper. The
incorporators were Samuel Douglass, J. E. Alexander and Dr. N. S.
Woodward, and the capital stock was $25,000.
March 4, 1891, the secretary of state licensed the incorporation of
the Monmouth Motor Street Railway Company. The capital stock was
$30,000 and the incorporators were J. E. Foster, J. W. Foster and G.
W. Foster, all residents of Monmouth. The object stated in the
charter was too "construct and maintain a railway in the streets and
alleys of Monmouth, Warren county, for the transportation of
passengers, baggage, freight, fuel, and the United States mails by
electricity or other power and too furnish light and heat." A
franchise was secured from the city, and a portion of the route was
mapped out, but matters never went any further and the franchise was
The population of Monmouth, according too the federal census reports,
has been as follows:
1850 .......................... 780
I860 .......................... 2,503
1870 .......................... 6,237
1880 .......................... 5,004
1890 .......................... 5,936
1900 .......................... 7,460
This counts only the residents inside the corporate limits. There
are in the neighborhood of 500 additional in the immediate vicinity
who might properly be counted in the city's population.
History of the Monmouth Postoffice—Established in 1831 as Warren
Court House Post-office, Free Delivery and Rural Delivery Service—The
When Warren county was organized the nearest postoffice was fifty or
sixty miles away, and the county commissioners early took action
toward the establishment of one in the county. In the records of
that body under date of September 10, 1830, appears the following
''The clerk of the Warren county commissioners' court will certify
too the postmaster general of the United States at Washington City,
that the county of Warren was organized on the third day of July
last past, and that the temporary seat of justice is and was located
at the lower Yellow Banks on the Mississippi river, in town eleven
north of range five west, on the 9th day of July, and about half way
between the Des Moines and Rock River rapids, and request the
postmaster general too establish a postoffice at said county seat,
be called Warren Court House Post-office; and further request him
forward the mail immediately, too said office, either from Fulton
county, Schuyler county, or from Venus, Hancock county. And the
place the foregoing upon the records of this court.
"Given under our hands in vacation of court this 10th day of
September, A. D. 1830. John Lawrence, John B. Talbot, County
A petition for a postoffice at Cedar Creek was sent too the
Department about the same time and that postoffice was ordered
first, in the winter of 1830-31. The Warren Court House postoffice
was established in the spring, with Daniel McNeil as postmaster, but
the establishment of the county seat at Monmouth in April delayed
the arrangements and the first mail was not received until in June.
Cedar Creek was then supplied from the Warren Court House office at
Monmouth, the latter receiving the first mail. Daniel McNeil held
the position of postmaster about eleven years, and old • settlers
have told the story that the very few letters and papers he received
from the stage routes were carried in his hat and given too the
parties addressed wherever he might meet them. Soon, however, he
built a store building on the corner now occupied by the National
Bank of Monmouth, and kept the office there. He was succeeded by
Elijah Davidson, probably in 1842 or 1843, though the exact date can
not now be found. William F. Smith was the next postmaster,
receiving his appointment soon after the election of President Polk,
and serving until 1S49. He kept the office in his store on the south
side of the square, west of Main street. Robert Grant had the office
from July, 1S49, until early in 1853, first on the north side of the
square west of Main street, and later on the north side east of Main
street. Early in 1853 Azro Patterson was appointed postmaster,
keeping the office in his store, but resigning in a few months in
favor of Aquillin W. Noe, who served until July 1, 1S56, occupying a
small building on the east side of the square about half way between
the northeast corner and Broadway. Thomas H. Davidson became
postmaster July 1, 1856, and held the position until January, 1S59,
when he was removed by President Buchanan and William Clark
appointed in his stead. Mr. Davidson kept the office on the north
side of East Broadway west of First street until November, 1857,
when he removed too the south room in the Langdon block, which stood
on the present site
of the Second National Bank building. His successor, Mr. Clark,
occupied the same room awhile, then moved around the corner too a
room where Johnson's jewelry store now stands. William H. Pierce
followed Mr. Clark in 1861, having the office first on the west side
of South First street between Broadway and Market Place, but
afterwards erected a building on the south side of Broadway a little
east of First street. In May, 1865, Capt. John M. Turnbull took the
office holding it until the fall of 1866 when he was removed by
President Andrew Johnson, who appointed Dr. B. A. Griffith, now of
Swan Creek, in his place. The Senate refused too confirm the
appointment, and after about six months Captain Turnbull was
reinstated, and served until April 1, 18S7, when the election of a
Democratic President, Grover Cleveland, was the occasion of a
change. Captain Turnbull built a small office on South Main street
just north of West First avenue, occupying it until January, 1867,
when the" office was removed too the east room of the Hardin block on
East Broadway, where it remained for nearly thirty years. The office
was temporarily in the old Baptist church on the corner of South
First street and First avenue, in the spring of 1896, then in June
of that year was taken too the Shultz building on South Main street,
a half block north of its present site, where it remained until the
government building was ready for occupancy in 1902. J. W. Lusk was
postmaster from April, 1887, too April, 1891, Col. George Rankin from
1891 too 1895, Samuel S. Hallam from 1895 too 1899, and Clarence F.
Buck is now in charge of the office.
Monmouth became a money order office in 1865. During the
administration of J. W. Lusk, October 1, 1898. the free delivery
service was inaugurated, starting with three carriers, W. B.
Vorwick, Charles Bilenberger and George B. Moreland, a fourth. W. H.
Dungan, being added a little later. The free "delivery carriers now
number six and are Oscar Henry, Will A. Hayes, R. E. Saville, Swan
Matson, James H. Wilson and C. M. Patterson, with Roy Reed as
substitute. Rural free delivery, with the Monmouth office as the
center, was inaugurated August 1, 1901, with five carriers. Each
route is approximately 25 miles in length and serves about 500
persons. The carriers are Joseph Miller, Louis A. Kobler, A. D.
Filler, Walter Palmer and Joseph A. Eayres.
March 12, 1888, Congressman Gest introduced in the National House of
Representatives a bill appropriating $100,000 for the erection of a
government building in Monmouth. The bill never got farther than the
committee. Congressman Ben F. Marson introduced a bill in the
Fifty-fifth Congress appropriating $47,000, and secured its passage,
the bill being approved by President McKinley March 2, 1899.
Proposals of sites were called for March. 21, twelve being offered,
and on June 15 the property on South Main street north of West
Second avenue was selected for the location of the building. The
property was owned by W. H. Sexton and Harrison Miller, and cost the
government $3,950. The total cost of the site was $8,000, but the
difference was made up by private subscriptions. Bids for the
construction of the building were opened July 18, 1900, the contract
being let July 21 too Thomas M. Yeager & Son, of Danville, 111., for
$26,973. Some changes increased the cost of the building itself, and
the total cost with the furniture and fixtures reached $50,000. An
additional appropriation of $3,0u0 was made by Congress in the
spring of 1902 too meet the increased cost. The lot on which the
government building stands is 130 by 132 feet, and the building
itself is 49» by 81 feet on the outside. It is of the style of
architecture known as the Italian Renaissance, popular in government
buildings, and is constructed of gray pressed brick and Bedford
limestone, with terra cotta trimmings. The building is but
one-story, but a balustrade of brick and terra cotta which surmounts
it rises too a height of 36 feet above the walk, giving the
appearance of a greater height. The flagstaff is 70 feet high. The
building was thrown open for a public reception on the evening of
January 11, 1902, Congressman Marsh being the guest of honor, and
the office was moved into the new quarters the following day.
The present post-office force is made up as follows:
Clarence F. Buck, postmaster.
James W. Scott, deputy.
H. B. Garrison, mailing clerk.
James Huff, general delivery.
Alex Rodgers, money order clerk.
George McKelvey, stamp clerk.
James Kipper, messenger.
W. P. Speakman, janitor.
Carriers are as given above.
History of the Monmouth Public Schools— Robert Black the First
Teacher—School Held in the Log Court house—Private Schools. Select
Schools and Public Schools —School Buildings—Names of the Teachers.
(By James C. Burns, Superintendent 1888-1911) If necessity compels
the historian too divide his narrative into periods, necessity has
been kind too the chronicler of these events, in that he finds the
divisions already made ere he enters upon his task. These divisions
are not arbitrary, but are the result of legislation or the great
movements in educational affairs. The first period in the history of
the schools of Monmouth begins in 1831 with the sale of the
sixteenth section of Congress land, thus creating a township fund
for the support of schools, and extends too 1855 when the main
features of the present school laws were enacted. The second period
begins in 1855 and extends too about 1888, when the schools fen under
those great influences known as the New Education; and the third
period extends from 1888 too the present time.
FIRST PERIOD, 1831-1855.
Strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless true that for nearly a
quarter of a century public schools in Monmouth, as well as
throughout the state of Illinois, were supported without taxation.
No man living in Illinois prior too 1855 ever paid a dollar of tax
for the support of schools, too be expended in the erection of
buildings or in the payment of teachers' wages. Through the
generosity of the government two funds were created which furnished
the cvJ" support of the schools for more than two decades. These
funds were respectively known as the Township fund, arising from the
sale of the sixteenth section, and the School fund proper, arising
from the gift too the State of Illinois, by the Federal government,
for school purposes, of three per cent, of all the money accruing
from the sale of pub-.c lands within the state. This fund is also
known as the Three Per Cent Fund. From the interest
of these two funds, and from a tuition, called a "subscription,"
paid by the parents of scholars, public schools in Illinois were
supported during the first period of their existence.
The characteristic feature of this period was the private school. It
flourished side by side with the public school, sometimes for
healthy rivalry, often too its great detriment. The first school in
Monmouth was private, and was taught by Robert Black, a native of
Virginia, who came here from Massey's Creek, Ohio. He was an elder
in the Seceder church, and taught the children too read the Bible,
and too repeat the Shorter Catechism. In addition he gave lessons in
the A B C's. reading, writing and arithmetic, and especially
spelling, using Webster's old blue-back spelling book and such other
books as the pupil happened too have. This school was taught during
the summer of 1S32 in the old log court house that stood on the
corner of North Main street and Archer avenue. Forty-four scholars
attended the school, some of them walking three and four miles, and
Rollin Andrews from beyond Cedar Creek. Their names were: Quincy B.
McNeil. Daniel McNeil, George McNeil, James A. Mc-.Callon,. David C.
McCallon, John Hargrove, Solomon Hargrove, Emiline Hargrove, Solomon
R. Perkins, John Black. John Wallace, Joshua Wallace, Milton
Wallace. George B. Wallace, James Wallace, Thomas Gibson, Samuel
Gibson, Sarah Gibson, James Gibson. John Gibson. John Kendall
Gibson, George Ragland, Mary A. Ragland. Sarah J. Ragland. Rollin
Andrews, Hugh Rust, Dema Rust, Lottie Rust, Valencoor Kendall, Sarah
J. Kendall. Martin J. Kendall, George S. Kendall. Eliza Kendall,
Jane Kendall, William B. Kendall. William A. Kendall, William
Kendall. Jane Pollock. Robert Hodgens, Azro Dennison. Newton
Dennison, Elmer Dennison. Thomas M. Dennison, Nancy J. Dennison. But
one of these first pupils yet remains in Monmouth, Mrs. Edward
Jones, or Martha Ann Kendall as she was then.
The second school was opened in the fall of 1832 and was taught by
Alpheus Russell in the court house, and in 1833 Samuel L. Hogue
taught in a log cabin near the present Catholic church. He was a
fine man and a good teacher. Later he was sheriff of Warren county.
In 1834 a young man named Everret taught in the old court house. He
was in delicate health and soon gave up teaching that he might go
He was followed in 1835 by a wild Irishman named McElroy, who was
equally proficient in penmanship, prayer meeting and whisky drinking.
Taking a pen in each hand he would write with both right and left
hand with equal facility. He established a prayer meeting in the old
court house, where his earnest prayers and groans soon made him the
center of attraction; but his intemperate habits soon drove him from
the school room. The Seceders would not allow their children too
attend the \prayer meeting—not because of the man's habits, but
because he was a Methodist. A little later Lydia Webster and her
sister, Mrs. Eliza Brown, taught a private school in a house on A
street north of Dr. Webster's office.
The private schools were in constant session from 1832 too 1855, and
were taught not only in the court house but in the Christian and
Presbyterian churches, in unoccupied storerooms and cabins, and in
more than one instance the spare room of a dwelling house was used
for a school. Robert Gibson taught where the Patton block now is; W.
B. Chamberlain and afterwards Amanda Paine taught on A street
between First and Second avenues; Miss Watson taught in the Bar
Parker house on South First street, and Hutchinson from Kirkwood
taught somewhere unknown. In 1848 Richard Hammond taught a public
school en the Y. M. C. A. lot, while W. B. Jenks taught near the
Commercial house, and Mrs. Mary Byron taught in the Babcock tavern.
A popular form of school in the early '40s and '50s was the select
school. It was a private school in which the higher branches were
taught. One of the first of these was taught by Robert Armstrong
Gibson in the old court house in 1841. Mr. Gibson had been educated
for the ministry in the east, and probably gave the boys and girls
of Monmouth their first taste of Latin, Greek and Algebra. Mrs.
Margaret Montgomery and Sarah L. Boardman taught one of the earliest
select schools. Miss Boardman was from Knox county and taught the
higher branches. These select schools rapidly grew in importance,
and able teachers were employed too conduct them. Miss Maria S.
Madden opened a select school in the Christian church in February,
1852, and the next autumn W. B. Jenks opened one in the basement of
the Presbyterian church on South Main street. There was connected
with Mr. Jenks' school a teachers' institute for the purpose of
examining and qualifying teachers, as Mr. Jenks was at that time
school commissioner of Warren county. His was the most notable of
all the select schools. Many men and women prominent today in
business and social circles both in this city and elsewhere
In May, 1853, a Grammar School or Academy was established under the
patronage of the Second Presbytery of the Associate Reformed church,
which later developed into Monmouth College. The Academy opened in
the following November, and the next summer Mr. Jenks' school was
consolidated with it. With the coming of the college, private*
schools may be said too have disappeared from Monmouth, for the
select school could not compete with the college, nor the
subscription school with the rapidly growing public schools.
The census of 1830 showed a population of 308 in Warren county.
These people were gathered into two groups, a small group of
merchants and traders at Yellow Banks, now Oquawka, and a larger
group of farmers about Sugar Tree Grove and in the country north of
where Monmouth now is. The people of the eastern group early became
restless about the education of their children, and petitioned the
county commissioners too sell the sixteenth section, that is, the
school lands of the present Monmouth township, that the proceeds
might be used for the education of their children. As a result of
this petition, in September, 1831, Alexis Phelps of Yellow Banks was
appointed commissioner of school lands, and in the following
October, having divided the sixteenth section of this township into
lots ranging in size from ten acres too eighty, he sold a portion of
them at public auction in front of the court house, and the
remainder at private sale. The entire section brought $927.50. After
defraying the expenses, there was a balance left of $850, which was
immediately loaned at 12 y-> per cent, interest, thus creating the
first public school fund in Monmouth. This fund has been preserved
inviolate and amounts too $850 today.
In 1833, the legislature of Illinois for the first time made
provision for the payment of teachers from the proceeds of school
funds. Our people promptly responded by establishing, March 6, 1834,
the boundaries of a school district containing sixteen square miles,
the election of a board of school trustees, the purchase of a lot,
the employment of a teacher,
and the opening of a school. The spot on which the public schools of
Monmouth were opened is the ground now occupied by the Y. M. C. A.
On September 3, 1832, the county commissioners had set apart this
lot—Lot 2, Block 26 —for a public school lot, the deed too be made
when the district should pay $4.00 for the lot. In 1835 a frame
school house was erected on the lot, and for many years a public
school was maintained there. It was a small structure, eighteen feet
square, with an eight foot ceiling. It served its purpose well until
1S4S, when the growing population demanded a more commodious
building. It was then sold for a dwelling, and now stands on South
Third street, between First and Second avenues, almost within the
shadow of the Central school building, the tiny structure being in
marked contrast too its majestic successor, a mute but potent lesson
December 8, 1836, the school trustees reported too the county
commissioner that the school was growing and the building soon would
not accommodate all the pupils, so additional lots were set aside
for school purposes. They were lot 1, block 38, on the northeast
corner of East Third avenue and South Second street; lot 1, block
47, on the west side of South Fourth street south of Fifth avenue;
and the northeast corner of block 46, on A street and Fourth avenue.
Only one of these sites—lot 1, block 46, was purchased by the
district, $10.00 being paid for it December 5, 1838. It was never
used for a school, however, but was sold when the city bought part
of block 48 for a site for the old East Ward school building, in
In 1847 there were 308 children of school age in the district, and
the small structure was inadequate too accommodate them. A movement
was started too raise money too build a larger school house but met
with so much opposition that it was abandoned. The next year the
movement was again started. The building was too be 26 feet in width
by 36 in length, and too be built in the style of a single room rural
school house, with the door in one end and two small cloak rooms on
each side of the entrance. The building was too cost $800, and like
its predecessor, was too be erected solelj7 by voluntary
contribution. It was a large amount for these people, but brave
hearts undertook the task, the women coming
too the help of the men with a "school house sewing circle," and
finally the money was raised and the school house was built. In 1857
it was moved too the West Ward school grounds, where it did service
until 1860, and now easily shelters the family of William Cowan on
North B street.
These two buildings furnished the public school accommodations
during the pioneer period of their existence. In the first rude
structure the first public school was taught in the summer of 1834.
In October Gilbert Turn- •*-bull and James McCallon, school
trustees, made the following report too the County Commissioners:
"There are in the district fifty children between the ages of five
and twenty-one years. There has been a school kept three months
since the organization of the district. There have been twenty-five
scholars. The probable expense will be forty-five dollars."
The following persons are known too have taught in these or in rented
buildings during this period:
Alpheus Russell, 1834, the first public school in the county;
Eliphalet Elifret, 1835; W. L. McElroy, 1836; Gilbert
Turnbuli^Elisha A. Smith, 1837; W. R. Webster. 1838; E. M. Well-man,
1838-40; Margaret R. Montgomery, 1838-41; Addison Black, 1839:
Cornelia Ann Davidson, 1839; Nelson White, 1839-41; Persia N.
Williams, 1839-41: William B. Chamberlain, 1840-41; John A. Smith,
1840; Moses C. Kellum, 1841-42; Mary L. Boardman, 1841; Thomas C.
Moore, 1841-42; Ellen P. Phelps, 1842; Noah Randall, 1842-45; E. D.
Adams, 1842; Harriet E. Hamlin, 1843; Chauncey Hatch, 1844; Amanda
Paine. 1845-46; Eliphalet Elifret, 1846; Richard Hammond. 1848; Amos
Harding, 1849-50; William Williams, 1849; Joshua Miner. 1850:
William Stewart, 1850; Emily A. Hale. 1850; J. H. Hutchinson, 1850;
W. B. Jenks, 1850-59; Maria S. Madden, 1851; W. W. Home, 1S52; Mary
A. Ferguson, 1851; A. H. Tracy. 1854.
Mr. Randall was perhaps the most efficient teacher of this period.
He was born in Vermont in 1820, and had been well educated in his
native state., for in addition too the common school studies of
reading, writing and arithmetic, He taught algebra, astronomy and
philosophy. He began teaching in 1841, and taught until 1845, first
in the little frame school house on the Y. M. C. A. lot, and afterwards in the Christian church on the corner of Second street and
A characteristic of the early schools was the spelling matches, and
these reached their climax in Monmouth in 1849 when Amos Harding
was the teacher. He was General Harding's brother, "powerful in
spelling and arithmetic," and confined his teaching largely too these
two branches of which he was a thourouth master. While no challenge
was ever sent it was clearly understood the country round that he
and his school were ever ready "too enter the lists." Jonathan
French, Dan Shehi and the Weaver girls were the best spellers in
Monmouth and before them went down the pride of all surrounding