Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fistfight at Zion Church 1868

Date: May 23, 1868

A NICE FAMILY ROW—ALL THE PARTIES "LOYAL."—We have heard something of a pleasant little episode which occurred in our neighboring town of Lawrenceville , Ill., a few days ago.  It seems that a school election was ordered in the "Gillespie Settlement," in which the Methodist Church was badly "split up" and demoralized.  Rev. John Seed led one party, and Esq. Grant led the other.  Feeling ran pretty high, strong language was used on both sides, and the affair finally culminated in a general row, during which Mr. Alex Ryan was severely cut in the shoulder by a brother of Parson Seed—the Parson was himself pretty roughly handled, and several others were more or less damaged in their corporeal, if not spiritual functions.  It was an exclusive and an especial "family jar" in a peculiarly "loyal" Methodist household, and is calculated to bring much scandal upon the church.  "How sweet it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."  Let us pray!

Ed Note:  Rev John Seed was the Methodist Minister who baptized Elizabeth Reed in the Embarras River before she was hanged in 1845.  Researchers believe that the Methodist Church to which the reporter is referring is the Zion Methodist Episcopal Church because most of the Gillespie lands were to the north and west of the present Zion Church and Cemetery.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Old Central School History

Old Central To Be Demolished
School Board Awards Contract For Razing School Building Erected in 1892; Many Memories In Building’s Past

  The Old Central School building on South Twelfth Street will be torn down, the basement filled, and the spot on which it stood turned into playground.  The contract for razing the building was awarded to W. W. Prout of Vincennes, Tuesday morning, at a price of $2,800.  Prout is to have the salvage material, other than a few items that have been specified by the Board of Education.

  The contract states that he shall move all materials from the ground, fill the basement and cover with good dirt, and complete the contract by August 20.

  The building was left during the last school term because it housed the heating plant for New Central.  The board has now contracted with Lawrenceville Sales Company to install a gas-oil furnace in the basement of New Central.
 Removal of the building is necessary from a safety standpoint.  Already bricks and stones from the coping are falling, making it dangerous for children to be near it.
  Old Central was erected in 1892, and was at that time the only school building in the city.  It was used for both grades and high school purposes, and by the turn of the century was caring for about 300 pupils.
  It was an outstanding building in its time, considered a modern small city school building, and the plans were so good that the architect won first place at the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1892. 
   The high school department was in the south side of the upper story.  There was a large assembly room in which classes were also held, and a small recitation room for use when two teachers were holding classes.
  In the high school there was one regular teacher, and in addition, the superintendent of the whole school taught some classes.  The high school subjects included mathematics, thorough algebra, plane and solid geometry, English, Latin, and the sciences.  The school was not credited in the North Central Association, yet graduates often left the school to enter colleges, without difficulty.

   The grades, as is remembered, were first, second, third, and fourth in rooms alone, and fifth and sixth in one room, and seventh and eighth in another.  The teachers’ salaries were low, with $50 per month being among the top ones; and the superintendent drew about $900 per year.The athletic program was such as the boys and girls arranged themselves, and this included some baseball, foot and one-half, blackman, jumping, and running.  There were no contests between other schools.
   The whole burden of housing the pupils of Lawrenceville fell upon Old Central from the time of its building in 1892 until about 1908 when New Central was erected, and the Lawrenceville Township High School district was set up and a building erected.
  By 1908 the city had grown considerably, due to the discovery of oil and it became necessary to erect more school room for children of the city.
   J.O. Smith and Web Kinder, residents of Lawrenceville, have served as superintendents of the Lawrenceville school at the time when Old Central was the only building, and they with many, who received all of their secondary schooling in that building, will have a feeling of something lost from the past when they pass along Twelfth Street and do not see the old building that housed their school days.

Lawrence County News 6/20/1957

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lake Lawrence

More history about Lake Lawrence

Feb 27,1902 Published in The Sumner Press  but reported by the Vincennes Sun
The B& O SW Railroad company is harvesting the finest quality of ice ever seen here from their gravel pit just west of town and are storing the crop at Washington.  The pit is filled to the depth of 25 ft with water clear as crystal. (See earlier history of Lake Lawrence on this blog)

From the Lawrence County 175th Anniversary book:   Albert Crews, a prominent farmer, gave each of his children farm land.  Thinking that he did not give his daughter Minta, wife of Glenwood Earl Meskimen,  equal acreage, he also gave her a 50 acre lake.  There were few public swimming areas, so Earl and Minta erected a bath-house and dance pavilion on the lake.  The dance pavilion was the largest in the area.  They opened the summer resort  in 1920 and called it Lake Lawrence, because it was situated in Lawrence county  The summer resort attracted people from as far away as Indianapolis and Evansville.  In the early days of Lake Lawrence it was the scene of beauty pageants, and big name dance bands, including Jan Garber, Clyde McCoy, Kansas City Night Hawks and others.  In the early 1930’s, Minta leased lots around the shores of Lake Lawrence so that people could build summer homes there.   

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Church of the Brethren Book

How are Marilyn Monroe, Willie Nelson and Winston Churchill associated with Lawrence County?  Find out at the program Monday Night  7:00 at the Museum!  You don’t want to miss this one!

Our researchers have found an on-line book about the history of the Church of the Brethren in Southern Illinois (Church of the Brethren in Southern Illinois by Minnie Buckingham, published 1950.)   It includes background on the religion, histories of several congregations, including The Allison Church of the Brethren on page 62 and a couple biographies that pertain to Lawrence County--Durward Hays (page 228) and J H Jellison on page 238.  

We are also offering a special price on a genealogy Book that we have in stock. This genealogy, titled The Catt Family, details the descendants of Michael Katz, Jr., (born c 1720) and his wife Anna Maria Mohr (born c 1722) including the related families of Alexander, Anderson, Atkinson, Ballard, Barekman, Barlow, Beckes, Bedell, Black, Blessinger, Butler, Cardinal, Carpenter, Cathey, Caton, Chesser, Clemens, Cott, Courtright, Crane, Crow, Decker, Devore, Early, Enott, Fear, Fettinger, Fithian, Frederick, Glass, Glascock, Goodman, Gray, Greentree, Hayes, Hardison, Johnson, Kimmons, Koontz, Knight, Lindy, McAtee, McCormick, McKew, McKnight, Mason, Maurer, Martin, Mays, Messel, Minor, Moore, Myers, Morgan, Neff, O'Brien, Pea, Pollard, Purcell, Robb, Roderick, Sappenfield, Scribner, Selby, Short, Simpson, Smith, Stewart, Stillwell, Sullivan, Thomas, Traylor, Walker, Waltz, Westfall, Williams, Willis, Wheeler, Woodry, Wyatt, and many many more who lived mainly in Columbiana County, Ohio; Gibson, Hancock, Henry, Knox, and Pike Counties, Indiana; Clay, Jasper, Lawrence and White Counties, Illinois; and Cole and Saline Counties, Missouri. Written by Dr. W. Cary Anderson, Indexed by Irene (Catt) Black. Published in 1989 by Dr. Anderson.   For a limited time only $25.00 new (was $45) Order from the website or stop by the Black Library 2-4 on Tuesday and Thursdays.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sheriff LaHue, Dr Patton, and Dr Morgan Part 2

Even the newly elected Sheriff of Knox county, was arrested by Capt. Parker. J.C. LaHue was the Sheriff of Knox Co, Indiana, from 1864 to 1868. The following is published in two parts because it is an excellent example of how two newspapers with different political views reported the same event.  

Part 2
The same day that the SUN was complaining about Sheriff La Hue being arbitrarily deprived of his freedom, the WEEKLY VINCENNES GAZETTE,  NOT a southern sympathizing newspaper and with opposing political views,  ran an editorial about the arrest of Sheriff La Hue and Dr.  Patton.

Date: January 7, 1865
The recent arrests by the military of some of our citizens, has produced no little sensation in certain quarters, and with a particular class of politicians. This is not strange. Nor is it wonderful to find that the arrests are attributed to a vindictive, policy of the Administration towards the Democratic  party. The same accusation was made when Dodd, Bowles & Co., were first arrested. If it were true that these arrests are the fruits of a malignant party spirit, the exercise of power would be very foolishly used in making arrests of persons who can exert no greater political influence than do those who have lately become the victims of alleged arbitrary power. It is apparent to every sane man that if the government was actuated by a spirit of revenge for more opposition of opinion, it would aim its blows at those who can exert some influence upon the public mind in political matters. The arrest of Dr. Patton and Sheriff LaHue can add nothing to the strength of the Administration and afford no gratification to partisan hate. They are politically too little known and too insignificant. We must look in another direction for the probable treasons of their incarceration. It is possible that men of very small political standing may commit treason by giving aid and comfort to the enemy, or may participate in a conspiracy against the government. We know not the reasons which caused the arrest of those men, but we feel sure that it is for no light or trivial cause. It is well known that the arrest of Dr. Morgan of Russellville, would have been made if he had, not eluded those charged with his arrest. The military searched his premises and found as we are told some six thousand rounds of fixed ammunition. Does anyone doubt the purpose the Dr. had in view when he prepared this magazine? It is well known that he was identified with the leading spirits of that infamous organization having for its object the overthrow of the government, and that he controlled those military companies which spent so much time in drilling in his locality. Intimately connected with him was a Dr. Jackman, whom the military arrested at the store of Dr. Patton where he was concealed at the time of his arrest. Dr. Morgan and Jackman were plotting treason beyond all doubt, and when the soldiers came into the neighborhood they fled, Morgan to parts unknown, and Jackman took refuge with Dr. Patton, and it is but natural to infer that Dr. P. was cognizant of their hellish purpose when he gave protection to Dr. Jackman. After the arrest of the latter he was released from the custody of Mr. LaHue , the sheriff, under circumstances well calculated to produce the conviction that it was done with LaHue' s connivance. His antecedents undoubtably justify the suspicion. But it is not likely that his arrest was made upon mere suspicion, and we shall not at all be surprised if his complicity with the great conspiracy was fully established, and his arrest justified in the minds of all candid persons.

(Ed note: Dr. David H. Morgan of Russell Twp, Lawrence Co, Illinois was an accused Copperhead and was arrested by Capt Parker for being a traitor, having just been elected our State Representative in Springfield. The Tri-County History of 1883, pg 114, states that D. H. Morgan of Lawrence Co was elected State Representative twice, serving from 1864 to 1866 and again from 1868 to 1870.  Both the 1860 and 1870 census’ have D. H Morgan, age 53 and 63 respectively, living in Russell Twp and being both a farmer and a physician from New York.) 

Publication: THE WEEKLY VINCENNES WESTERN SUN (pro- South political views)
Date: January 28, 1865
TUESDAY EVENING JAN. 24, 1865.       Sheriff LaHue .
By a recent letter from this gentleman, we learn that he is still confined in a filthy prison at Cairo—for what reason or upon what charge is not known. This treatment is a burning shame and disgrace. It has indeed come to a pretty pass, when citizens can thus be dragged from their homes and thrown into prisons, there to languish and suffer until it pleases someone to inform them of their offense. It must be very consoling to some of our so-called "loyal" and "patriotic" citizens to reflect that they can thus wreak their malice or vengeance upon men far above them in every commendable quality! We envy not the feelings of those who can thus find gratification in the infliction of suffering upon their fellow-citizens and pain and anguish upon wives and children.
Are not the civil and military authorities of our State grossly culpable in not requiring that Mr. LaHue be delivered over to them, and, if accused of any crime or offense, that he may have a fair hearing. If opportunity be given, we have not the least doubt he will fully establish his innocence.
Since the above was written, Mr. LaHue has arrived at home, having been released, as we learn, through the influence of Hon. Wm E. Niblack and other friends. He was probably required to go through the formality of giving bond, but we are satisfied this will be the last of the affair, so far as any future action against him is concerned.

Publication: WEEKLY VINCENNES GAZETTE       (Not a southern sympathizing newspaper)
Date: January 28, 1865
—Sheriff LaHue has been released from military custody and has arrived at home.

Monday Nite Meeting 
7:00 pm at the Museum on the Square   
Bordens We Have Known

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sheriff LaHue, Dr Patton, and Dr Morgan

Capt. Parker and his men, stationed near Flat Rock during the Civil War, apprehended deserters, absentee conscripts, and rebel sympathizers apparently on both sides of the Wabash River, not just in
Lawrence & Crawford  Counties in Illinois.

Publication: WEEKLY VINCENNES GAZETTE   (Ed: Not a southern sympathizing newspaper)
Date: December 24, 1864
—On last Tuesday some forty of Capt . Parker' s men were over here, under the command of their senior officer They are a fine specimen of Wisconsin boys. Whilst in the city their conduct was that of good and well- disciplined soldiers.  The Captain's men are always welcome on this side of the Wabash.

Date: December 24, 1864
—On Thursday last Captain Parker arrested eight deserters, sympathizers and conscripts in Sullivan county.

Even the newly elected Sheriff of Knox county, was arrested by Capt. Parker. J.C. LaHue was the Sheriff of Knox Co, Indiana, from 1864 to 1868. The following is published in two parts because it is an excellent example of how two newspapers with different political views reported the same event.

Date: December 31, 1864
ARRESTS.—Captain Parker, with a squad of soldiers, arrested, on Thursday evening last, Doctor Patton and James LaHue , Sheriff of Knox county, and carried them off to Springfield, Ills. The cause of their arrest will be made known in due time.

THE VINCENNES WEEKLY WESTERN SUN, a pro- South paper, ran an article a year later on the anniversary of this event.
“Dr. Patton of this city, and Sheriff LaHue were arrested by a fellow named Parker, acting as captain of a squad of Federal soldiers and taken to Olney, at the instigation of certain "loyalists" here!  Don't they felicitate themselves upon the achievement?”

Date: January 7, 1865
DR. PATTON AND SHERIFF LAHUE.—Nothing further has been developed in the cases of these two gentlemen, whose arrest we noticed last week. Dr. P. is confined to a sick bed at Olney, and Sheriff LaHue , we understand, has been taken to Cairo, to answer to any charges that may be brought against him. The Provost Marshal at Olney, we learn, claims to have no knowledge of or the reasons for the arrests, and declines to take any action. The victims will probably have to remain in confinement until some "patriot" sees fit to enlighten them as to why they are thus arbitrarily deprived of their liberty, and rights as citizens. Vive la American freedom!

(Continued tomorrow)
Monday Nite Meeting 
7:00 pm at the Museum on the Square   
Bordens We Have Known

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Capt. Parker sent to Lawrence County to Arrest Copperheads

Rick Kelsheimer mentioned in his book, South Union, that there was a troop of Union soldiers stationed near Flat Rock to keep the peace caused by the Copperheads in this part of the country.  There is no doubt from the research J. King has being doing, that Lawrence County was in conflict.

Publication: WEEKLY VINCENNES GAZETTE         ( Ed: Not a southern sympathizer newspaper)
Date: December 17, 1864
PERSONAL.—Captain Parker, who is in command of a company of Wisconsin soldiers, across the river called on us on Tuesday last. The captain is much of a gentleman and is a fine and brave officer. He has been doing provost duty for the last few weeks in the counties of Lawrence and Crawford, Illinois, and during that time has brought to grief quite a number of deserters, absentee conscripts and rebel sympathizers, some of the latter fleeing from their homes against the day of wrath, who are still secreted in the woods, not feeling it safe to return while the vicinity is infested with Captain Parker and his men. "Go for 'em" Captain, say we.

Date: December 17, 1864
A SKEDADDLE.—On Friday last, some half dozen Sons of Liberty took up a position in the vicinity of Lagow's Farm, Lawrence county. Ills., with the determination of chastising anyone who ventured on the premises dressed in the Federal uniform.— Captain Parker, hearing of the threats made by these butternuts took a small squad of his men and started on a reconnaissance, in order to ascertain the ground and the extent of their fortifications; but on the approach and the sight of the boys in blue, the whole party skedaddled for the woods, leaving as a trophy one of their caps with a butternut emblem attached thereto. The captain fired some six shots at the party, but they were too far out of the reach of a pistol to inflict any injury on them.

The Jasper Weekly Courier" of Jasper, IN - 17 Dec 1864, pg 3. Arrest and Rescue
On Saturday last, a squad of soldiers, belonging to a company which has been quartered upon the people of Lawrence and Crawford counties, Ill, for a week or two (for what reason is only known to the initiated) arrested in this city and incarcerated in jail a Dr. Jackman, charged with disloyalty, recruiting for the rebels, being a Son of Liberty, &c, who resided in Allison Prairie for several months and who as far as we have heard, maintained a good reputation with all his acquaintances. 
On Tuesday night, about 11 o’clock, someone knocked at the door of Sheriff LaHue, at his residence connected with the jail, and as soon as the door was opened a party of seven men, masked and otherwise disguised, rushed upon the officer, took from him the keys and after having rescued Jackman, forced the Sheriff into the jail hall, and turned the key upon him.   Before he was released, Jackman and his friends were out of sight, and nothing has since been heard of them.

(Ed Notes: The researchers are still trying to determine how Capt. Parker had the liberty to cross the Wabash into Knox Co, Indiana which was certainly in another Provost Marshall District, not the one for the 11th Congressional District of Illinois    There is also some confusion about whether the paper misprinted the name of Dr Jackman, or whether they meant Dr Jackson who bought the Dubois Hill property from the Heirs of Touissant Dubois and later sold to the Robeson’s. There is more to follow this week about Sheriff LaHue and Wm Lagow.) 
Monday Nite Meeting 
7:00 pm at the Museum on the Square   
Bordens We Have Known