Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Philip Lewis, County Judge and the Square Dancers

Philip H Lewis, prominent Lawrence County attorney, announced his candidacy for the office of county judge in the Lawrence County News Jan 9, 1958. The paper said he was especially qualified for the office having served the county two terms as judge, 1934-38 and 1938-42 earning for himself the respect and confidence of the Bar Association and people of the county.

He has been a member of the bar since 1913 graduating from Northwestern University Law School, and has practiced law in Lawrence County since his return from military service in France in WWI. 

He was for many years a law partner of B. O. Sumner, and since the death of Mr. Sumner has practiced alone. 

Feb 11,1954  The above photo was published in the Lawrence county News but only we are only to partially read the names.  We are hoping you might recognize the other couples and tell us who they are. 
From L to R:  Mr and Mrs. Melvin Bach, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Lewis,  then we can't make out the next two couples' names, and the couple on the far right are Mr and Mrs. ? Shaw.  In the center is Hugh Livesay, Lawrence County farm advisor.

We thought you might like to see two postcards loaned to us by E Hesler.  The postmark can't be read other than Dec 2 and Dec 7 but both have one cent stamps.  The writing is illegible but hopefully the recipient was able to read them at the time.  

Work Day Lanterman History Village August 1

Won't you give us a hand?


The primary focus will be to remove the fence in preparation for the roofing to commence. All of you are welcome (not required) to help. If you know of any other volunteers that have offered to help, please pass this along. David Burgett plans on being there about 7:00am. Volunteers can come and go as they have time. ALSO please feel free to drop off your donations at that time...there appears to be a few of you who haven't sent in your checks yet.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dr Z D French

The Lawrence County News published an article about Dr. Z. D. French sometime in 1955. Writers apparently decided to comment.  (Dr. French was quite a character in his time, and you can find a lot written about him on this blog.)

1-12-1956 We have never seen a dead man come to life again as interestingly as has Dr. Z. D. French.  The comments of this column have brought out a lot of interest.
Sherman Z. Stewart writes as follows:  “According to the story as I always heard it his name was Zeba French. He had no middle name but his first wife was very affectionate and always called him Darling, so he added this as his middle name making it Zeba Darling French.  Where he got the name of Zeba, I do not know.”

Hamilton C Keller also wrote, concerning the doctor’s name.  Ham said, “The “Z” stood for Zebu, no doubt a contraction from Zebul found in Judges, Chapter9, and verse 30.”

So that is that.  The grand old man has served his time; reduced to aches and pain; we hardly think it kind of us to dig him up again.

LCN 1_5_1956 Mrs. Gertrude Brian of Sumner, the only living niece of Dr. French reported that his name was Zebidee D. French and that the D was just an initial.  Dr. French’ daughter, Mrs. Clyde Price, lives in Oklahoma.

Byron R. Lewis of Bridgeport has sent in quite a sketch on the French family, in which he says that the doctor was named Zebu D. French.  His historical sketch reports that Zebu French and Lydia Walcot French were born in Massachusetts leaving that state in 1815 for the west.  Chauncey French was born in Indiana and his wife, Jane Travis was born in Kentucky.  They came to Illinois and settled in Lukin Township, Lawrence County, and from there went to Dubuque, Iowa, where Zebu D. French was born on June 24, 1837, the only child born out of Lawrence County.  He practiced medicine for 22 years in Sumner, moving to Lawrenceville in 1891. He was married three times.  Dr. French served in the medical corps in the Civil War. 

(Ed Note: Maybe the moral of this story is:    if you have an unusual name, you probably should explain it to someone before you die, so this type of confusion doesn’t persist decades after your death.)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Corp US Army uniform with ADSEC and 1st Inf Patches

This is a uniform shirt worn by a Corporal in the  ADSEC unit of the   1st INF,  US ARMY.

The ADSEC patch represents the Advance Section, Communications Zone, European Theater of Operations, Army. It was created February 1944 and attached to the US First Army. It moved forward with the army and provided close support, particularly in the invasion of Normandy, D- Day. Besides bringing in supplies for the advancing armies, the men also rehabilitated railway rolling stock and provided transportation of gasoline. The units also included field hospitals, and operated blood banks.
The Big Red One patch stood for 1st Infantry Division.  Also called the Bloody First, their motto was No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great- Duty First!

The First took part in the combat amphibious assault of North Africa, and then invaded Sicily, afterwards  returning to England to later take part in the Normandy invasion at Omaha Beach.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pioneer Sketch: Ephram Turner

Written by Prior W. Sutherland for the Sumner Press 1886

Pioneer Sketches

Ephraim D.M. Turner, one of the earliest settlers of Lawrence County, was born in Murray County, Tennessee, near the town of Cornersville, January 28, 1814 and consequently has just completed his 72nd year. Moving from Tennessee to Allison Prairie, in company with his father's family, before he had yet completed his fourth year, and residing almost continuously here during the long a period of over 68 years, he is justly entitled to consideration as one of the oldest, if not the oldest, resident of the County.

Run your mind back, gentle reader, over 68 years of time and it brings you to a period in the history of this County very few living persons can say that they ever saw. At that time Lawrence was a part of Edwards County. Lawrenceville, Sumner, Bridgeport, St. Francisville, Russellville and other towns were not yet laid out. There were a few houses at the two last named places. The County contained some four or 500 inhabitants, and the great state of Illinois with it Chicago of half a million inhabitants, its vast network of railroads, it's other cities and towns, it's 3 million people, had not yet entered into the conception of man, but we digress.

Removing from Allison Prairie in a few years after coming to the state on what by the older settlers is yet called the D. Turner farm in the Franklin school District, Mr. Turner commenced life as a farmer and Hunter in the then wilderness section to which he had removed. How like that touch of Aladdin's lamp has been the change from forest and prairie to improved farms and comfortable homes! Here he made a good use of the educational advantages that the thinly settled state of the country admitted of in learning how to read and write in the old-fashioned schoolhouse then in vogue, of which the fireplace occupied one end of the room.

From here he volunteered and went in company with others under Capt. Adams – – and afterwards Capt. Barnes at Adams promotion – – to the famous Black Hawk War in 1832, participating in the marches and privations of the others and seeing also some of the actual fighting in the battle of Bad Axe. Returning from the campaign he in a few years married his first wife Ms. Martha Lanterman, in April 1835. From here he went to Wisconsin, where, if we mistake not, he resided five or six years, serving two years of the time as Sheriff of Iowa County. Returning to this County he has resided here ever since. Losing his first wife about 19 years ago he again married Mrs. Mary B Lukin, one of the family after which Lukin Township and prairie are named on Thanksgiving Day in the year 1870, with whom he is yet living.

With one of the early and active pioneers, such as Mr. Turner, this sketch writer can never be at a loss for material for adventure and incident, and amid the abundance of material he can only choose what appears to him to be the best in relating some of this during occurrences of those early times. Mr. Turner says that his father, Alexander, with four others, were captured and held during one night by the celebrated counterfeiter Neil or Cornelius Taylor. These five were Alexander Turner, George Kinkade, Jonathan Leach, Col. William Spencer, and William Campbell, the Captain, were the leading spirits of the regulators who had banded together for mutual protection against Taylor and his gang and consequently the alarm was quickly raised  by the regulators; they turned out in force and succeeded in rescuing their friends early in the morning after their capture, being joined by their captain, William Campbell and Jonathan Leach, who had made their escape the latter part of the night and lead them on to bloodless victory. The counterfeiters escaped but were eventually driven out of the country.

Mr. Turner relates how the women of those early times spun, wove and colored domestic, gingham, linsey woolsey, linen, jeans, etc. it being an ambition to excel  each other in their manufacture, those who were best being honored as the queens and belles of the day.
In June about the year 1825, occurred one of the most remarkable hunting expeditions that it was ever his fortune to witness. The inhabitants of the County turned out almost en masse and forming on the line of the state road made a circling drive to capture all the wolves possible by driving into what was called the “Half Moon Rough” on Bonpas. They succeeded in capturing 14 wolves and two bears; east of his old farm was also captured one of the largest panthers it was ever his privilege to see, as well as being one of the last. It measured 11 feet from tip of nose to tip of tail. Mr. Turner though not excelling as a hunter, thinks he has killed as many as 40 deer at different times at the (salt) lick on his old farm, and tells that there was none of the present growth of young timber here at the early day in which he became acquainted with the country, except the large trees. A person could see in any direction south, east or west of Sumner as far as the eye could reach as timber was concerned.

Apropos of the money of that early day he says he made one trip to Wisconsin with horses which he bought with money on the Bank of Illinois at Shawneetown, in which on account of the system of bank failures in those days, he more than trebled his investment.

Mr. Turner's religious views are those of the Disciples or Christian Church.   He being prominent in the church, occupying the elder’s office, was well acquainted with the pioneer ministers such as Lorenzo Dow, William Kinkade, and others, and speaks in glowing terms of the celebrated Morris Trimble, one of the first of the Disciples. He became a member of the church at the early age of 15 years; is at this writing, living with his daughter who is the wife of one of Christy Township's well-known citizens, Mr. W.W. Day, but we believe intends to return to his own residence in Bridgeport early in this spring. P.W.S. 

(E. Turner is buried at Springhill Cemetery; his death occurred Jan 28, 1899.) 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Editor of Road and Track Magazine

Did you know that a former Editor of Road and Track magazine graduated from LTHS in 1940? 

James T Crow (1922-1988) was born in Vincennes and grew up in Lawrenceville. During WWII Jim served in the Army in Europe. He was one of the thousands of veterans who completed his college education after the hostilities ended, graduating from the University of Wisconsin. 

Like others, Jim eventually migrated to California and ended up in the aerospace industry working for Lockheed Corp., before becoming enthralled with sports cars.  He joined the Road and Track editorial staff in 1963 and became Editor in Feb 1966.  During his tenure as Editor, Jim added many new dimensions to R&T’s editorial package, including the “Owner Survey” reports, multi-car comparison tests, and the features “Years Ago,” “About the Sport” and “Ampersand.” He also conceived the R&T Buyer’s Guide as an adjunct to the long-standing Road Test Annual publication. 

In 1972 Jim’s new interest in off-pavement vehicles led him to found the magazine Pickup, Van & 4-Wheel Drive.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bird Station News 1884

Robinson Constitution Researched by David Foote 

July 4, 1884-Birds
Hayes' Negro Minstrel Troupe gave an exhibition here Saturday and Monday nights. The next thing strikes our town will be a circus.

July 16, 1884  ( Ed Note: Don't read this one if you get queasy!)
Last Thursday Wm Richardson, a farmer living near Lawrenceville, attempting to draw some straw out of a binder without stopping the horses. The needle descended just at that moment and passed through the middle finger of the right hand, carried the twine with it. This carried his arm around the shaft, breaking and crushing both bones and seriously straining his shoulder. (I told you not to read it.)

July 23, 1884-Birds
Our town will have a new store about the middle of August--the Klingler Bros, so we learn.

August 6, 1884
The old settlers of Lawrence county will hold a picnic at Walnut Grove on the 14th inst.
A "gay and festive" J.P. of Lawrence county, has been sued by a buxom young Paris widow, for $10,000 damage done by his failure to keep a matrimonial pledge.

August 13, 1884-Birds
There was a Blaine & Logan rally at Bond last week. T.C. Cook and J. W. Abshire were the principal speakers.
The colored picnic in Bond last Saturday was a very tame affair.
Rev Cox, of Hutsonville, preached in the mill to a large congregation Sunday night.

August 27, 1884-from Birds
B. Emmons, another Crawford Co. man has become a resident of Birds.
Sam Rush has added cigars, candy and watermelons to his hotel and is doing a flourishing business.The new store is now paying 12 1/2 cents for eggs.

Sept 3, 1884-from Birds
O.G. Bristow has sold his interest in the drug store to Ed Pinkstaff.
Rev. McCormick preached his farewell sermon at St. Paul Sunday eve.
Dr. Garrard, Master of Chancery, in Lawrence County, through this paper, advertises some very valuable real estate for sale.

Sept 10, 1884
Dr. E.J. Jenner, of Lawrenceville, formerly of Flat Rock, was in town last week, having a suit in court.
Chas. Vanarsdel, the fruit tree man of Bridgeport, was in town several days last week.

Sept 24, 1884
C.J. Robinson, of Lawrenceville, who has been confined to his house with a paralytic stroke the past few months, is visiting his sister, Mrs. Wm Catterson, near Palestine.
Wm Catterson attended the democratic rally at Lawrenceville last Thursday night. He informs us there was a very large turn-out of the democracy and a grand torch light procession, participated in by six hundred democrats from Vincennes. H.C. Bell, of Marshall, delivered one of his masterly speeches. The Lawrence county democracy are wide-awake.
Dr. McGowen has again changed locations. He has purchased the interests of Dr. Ford, at Russellville.

OCT 8, 1884
K.P. Snyder, States Attorney of Lawrence County was in town last Thursday.
Ed Alexander, the (railroad) section boss at this place for some time past, has been transferred to the Bird Station section and moved to Birds some days ago.
Samuel Whiteside, of Lawrence County, a stock dealer, called on Thursday. He now has a large bunch of cattle on hand.

Oct 23, 1884
John C. Reynolds, from near Jog Off (?), has moved to Bird Station and engaged in blacksmithing.

Oct 29, 1884-from Birds
About five hundred people attended the S.S.(Sunday School) convention here last week.
Rev. John L. Cox will preach Mrs. Sarah Rich's funeral here next Sunday at 10 o'clock.
John Fuller, the good democrat, and Bro. R.A. Hayhurst of Flat Rock, are invoicing the Hardware store at this place.
Our (railroad) section crew, like their new boss, Mr. Alexander, better than they did Uncle Toney.
Mr. J.H. Longenecker, one of our enterprising farmers, is building a new house.

Nov 5, 1884
P.G. Bradberry advertised a democratic meeting at Russellville on Thursday.

Nov 19, 1884
Governor Robinson talked to the people at Bird Station on Thursday last.
A freight train on the Wabash road was thrown from the track a few days ago near Bird Station by running over a horse. The horse is said to have been cut into mincemeat but not much damage to the train.

Nov 26, 1884-Birds
Our village will shortly have two butcher shops.
John W. Warner raised the largest barn in this community last week.
A daughter of Silas White died last Friday. There is considerable sickness in this vicinity.

Dec 3, 1884
Dr. Dale has removed from Oblong to Sumner to take charge of a drug store. We are sorry to lose the doctor as he was a good physician, a good citizen and a good democrat.
John Martin of Birds, a genial pedagogue, was visiting here (Flat Rock) Sunday.
Our town of Birds has experienced quite a boom in the building this fall and now machinery has been contracted for the new mill there. It will be a roller mill of 60 barrels capacity.

Dec 31, 1884
Rev. Massey and his wife, of Sumner, have been visiting in this place the past week. Former residents of Crawford county with their present residences who are subscribers to the Constitution:
Robert Mitchell-Pinkstaff, Dr. D.W. Dale-Sumner, Fannie Shipman-Pinkstaff

Dec 31, From Paris Gazette

Died in this city Sunday night at about nine o'clock, Mrs. Lidia A Tobey age 43 years, 7 months and 15 days. The subject of this memoir was born in Lawrence County, Illinois. May 6, 1841 and came to this city about twelve years ago. She was married to Sewell A. Tobey, May 8th, 1859 in Crawford County, Illinois. She was the mother of ten children, only three of whom are living. She united with the Baptist church about 9 years ago. She has been an invalid for the past three years and borne her illness with Christian fortitude.