Friday, July 25, 2014

RR Bridge and Water Tower

Lawrence County News September 17th 1975.  In the early part of the 20th century trains belonging to the Big Four Railroad Company crossed over the Embarras River via this trestle when entering and leaving Lawrenceville. The top view of the photo below, was taken from the north bank of the stream, looking south east. As can be seen, the main span of the railroad structure was supported by metal trusses anchored on stone supports on each side of the river. On the north and left, wooden pilings  held the tracks above the bottom land which was often flooded with backwaters. In the background are a water tower and old power plant that supplied electricity and filtered water for Central Illinois Public Service Company customers for a great number of years. 


In the lower picture, the water tower dominates the view of the railroad property toward the north. Located on the south side of the river, and adjacent to the old power plant, the water tower was a common stopping place for trains. Such towers were valuable and necessary railroad assets, for it was from them that the steam – driven locomotive engines obtained one of the two ingredients needed to create their power. Coal was the other ingredient needed for power – making, but it's special car usually held enough coal for longer trips then the evaporating water tank. The water tower passed from the Lawrenceville scene many years ago, and the old power plant was razed about 10 years ago after being inactive several years.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Drawing of Court House


Two envelopes were found this week that shows an early drawing of our court house. Benjamin Fisher was the Circuit clerk from 1892-1896 and Odin Hedden served two terms, the first being 1900-1904 and the second from 1908-1920.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Admits to Charge of Frequenting a House of Ill Fame 1897

Sumner Press
September 16, 1897

An Unsavory Mess in Which the Defendant Admits Everything

An unsavory mess was brought before the public Saturday morning in the trial of Henry Rosco, of this city, on the charge of frequenting a house of ill fame, that of  Mrs. Zack Glouser. Zach abandoned his family several months ago; in fact he was little help to them for some two years before he left.

The complaint was sworn out by Arch Bolding before John Barekman, Police Magistrate, S. C. Lewis, City Attorney, prosecuting and D. T. Clark defending. A change of venue was taken by the defense to B. F. Sumner, J. P.

Briefly stated, the evidence of the prosecution was that Rosco was seen to go into the Glouser house two or three times a day, remaining generally one half hour. When he came the blinds were put down, and that young children were sent out of the house, there being two grown daughters Zena and Lue. Mrs. Glouser in her testimony said that Rosco was the father of the unborn child of her daughter Zena. Rosco, who is a married man, in his testimony admitted this, and said he went to the house for the purpose of looking after the girl, who has since (Monday) given birth to a son. There was also much other testimony given which was not important.

After the pleading of the counsel, Squire Sumner assessed a fine of $25 and costs, the defendant to be committed to the calaboose until fines and costs were paid, or well secured. Late in the evening Rosco sold his dwelling to Mayor Ed C. Wilson.

The Glouser family have been aided by the Township for about a year past. They were informed some time ago by Supervisor Westall that they would receive no more help if they permitted Rosco to visit the house.


The latter came here from Vincennes, and is said to belong to a responsible family. We are informed he purports to  remove from here to Mt. Carmel. Mrs. Glouser is a native of Wabash County, and comes from a good family near Lancaster. Had her husband supported his family as he ought, it is very unlikely they would have fallen as they did.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Burglar Arrested For Stealing Pie 1897

Sumner Press
September 16, 1897

Court News

The trial of Ed Westall last week on a paternity charge by Miss Anna Angle resulted in a judgment against him for $550, which being unable to pay or secure, he was remanded to Sheriff Rodrick. Having been so indiscreet as to say he was going to escape, he remains in the 'inner court' for safekeeping.

Sheriff Rodrick now has six boarders.  Deputy Sheriff Thorn, learning that Harry Knight was arrested and in jail at Vincennes, dropped over Monday and invited him to return to the Lawrenceville jail, which he accepted. The authorities think this is the man they had been looking for, who was engaged in the burglary at Seed Brothers, at Bridgeport, a few months ago.

At last we've caught a burglar- a real live burglar right in the act of eating a piece of pie, as he came out of the kitchen of Lewis Gowin’s residence. Night watchman Peter Carr, being on the alert, gave chase, but he soon found the burglar had a good pair of legs. Although at the early hour of 2:30 Tuesday morning; a number of citizens were aroused. It must have been by the unusual sight or sound of a burglar pursuit. While nearing Attorney Seth Rowlands’ residence, the pursued one was suddenly confronted by a barrel of steel, and stopped, whereupon he was taken in charge by the night watchman, and tenderly taken to jail. Being caught in the act, he is a curiosity for Lawrenceville. It is not supposed that he feels very ‘pious’ after his early-morning meal.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Westall Paternity Case 1897

Sumner Press
September 2, 1897

She Wouldn't Have Him

Ed. D. Westall, formerly of Petty Township, has been wanted by the authorities for over a year back. Finally he was traced by the Sheriff to Mansfield, this state, and brought to Lawrenceville Thursday by Deputy Sheriff Thorn. The guest of Sheriff Rodrick but he would rather be joined in lawful wedlock than remain in his present position.


Accordingly, he secured a license to marry Miss Anna Angle, who had a year and a half previous sworn out a warrant for his arrest, charging him with being the father of her child. Accompanied by the Deputy Sheriff, he repaired to her house in Petty Township, Friday, but his fond hopes of a reconciliation fell a little short of fulfillment as Miss Angle, who was unaware of his whereabouts, refused to forgive all the past just at once, and the would be groom patiently returned to Lawrenceville with his escort.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Artifacts from Chauncey



The two plates above were purchased at an auction and then donated to the Museum.

WE need researchers to help us find out more about them....so far we know:
Earl Trueblood was born in Lawrence Co in 1897.  His mother was Laura Petty.  His full name was John Dee Earl Trueblood.

A reader believes that a part of the Chauncey Post Office that  was in the Poland and Albert store may be in the museum in Newton.  Florence and Ausby Green ran the telephone exchange board there.

Anyone who has any information about these businesses or others please let us know.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The History of Chauncey Part 4

Part 4 History of Chauncey Conclusion

Another unforgettable character in Chauncey's history was Alex Britton, who operated the business now owned by Willard Albert. (1954) Mr. Britton was a progressive citizen who campaigned for a new frame school building to replace the, now decrepit, brick one. He built the tall stone house near his store and installed in it and the store the first electric lights seen in Chauncey, a “Delco” powered by a noisy gasoline motor. He ran wires to the Christian Church too, and the congregation enjoyed night services much more, because they could read the hymn books so well. Mr. Britton caused hysteria in all the gentle buggy horses along the dusty summer roads with the noise and speed of the first automobile in these parts, an International red with lots of brass trim and no doors and not much windshield or fenders. He built an insulated ‘icehouse’ and hired men to cut ice from Harris’ pond and stored it between layers of sawdust to preserve it for cooling summer drinks and for making ice cream.

Chauncey story is not complete without the mention of  ‘Uncle Jim’ Mushrush’s apple butter and cider making plant. The long open shed stood in a big lot about 1/2 miles north.   A patient horse went round and round drawing a long pole connected to the press, and thus furnished power for squeezing the juice from the apples for cider, and at another season to press the stalks of sorghum cane. This juice was cooked in long pans over a brick furnace. Uncle Jim stirred the thickening juice slowly and carefully all day long until at last the greenish liquid became golden brown molasses.

On Decoration Day both the Chauncey and Wagner cemeteries are dotted with small flags which mark the graves of the men who fought in the wars of their country. Most of the graves are of Civil War veterans who served their country and returned to their community to live out useful and contented lives. The residents of the area are no less proud of the men who served in other conflicts.

Chauncey’s peak of growth was reached in the period which ended with improved roads and faster transportation. The stores now (1954)  are largely stocked with groceries and farm supplies. The blacksmith shop has been replaced with a modern service station. The membership of the Christian church died or moved away, and the building was dismantled. The Methodist denominations united. In 1927 the Church of God erected a lovely building and purchased a parsonage for their minister. The mail route was combined with Sumner routes, and in 1953 Chauncey's post office was discontinued.

The story of our little hamlet has been neither thrilling nor unique. In 100 years just a steady change from wilderness to a homey corner of America with churches, stores and a school serving farm families along good roads. Perhaps 90% of these families can trace their lineage to one or more of the first settlers of the vicinity. Later comers have only added to the honor and well-being of Chauncey. None of Chauncey's fold ever reached the ‘Hall of Fame’ or is listed in ‘Who's Who’ although many have gone away and been successful as doctors, lawyers, teachers and ministers. No one is pictured in a Rogues Gallery or is among the ‘10 Most Wanted.’ Chauncey is just a group of good, quiet, industrious, God – fearing people, the kind of people upon whose lives and ideals the fate of America depends. May we of the present generation always be as concerned with churches, education and community betterment as were the founding families who wrestled our little crossroads, Chauncey, from the wilderness!


 Compiled by Gertrude Phillips and published in 1954….furnished by Flossie Price