Friday, April 29, 2016

Channel Cat Tales: Early Tile Factory in PInkstaff


In researching the companion exhibits to be shown in conjunction with the Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit to be held in Lawrenceville Sept 3-Oct 15, 2016, the Historical Society design team needed to show how water has affected different aspects of local life.  One very significant way is how farmers irrigate or use drainage techniques to control water.

Drainage of wet soil to produce better growing conditions has a long history in Lawrence County.  First drainage ditches were used to drain the land.  Then terra cotta tiles were used. 


In 1886 David F Johnson from Ohio started a tile factory in Pinkstaff to supply the tiles.  His company, D. F. Johnson and Son advertised that they could manufacture 25,000 bricks per day; they sold them for $6-8 per thousand.  No information has been learned to date as to how many tiles were  made or the price per tile, but judging by the amount shown in an early photograph, this part of the business thrived.  The stock holders of the company were paid with tile. Being located next to the railroad in Pinkstaff, the business continued until 1918 when the labor force was depleted by WWI. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Obits in the Sumner Press

Obits published in the Sumner Press and summarized by researcher K Borden.

John Beard was born January 7, 1839 in Hancock County, Ohio.  He enlisted in the service of his country on April 25, 1861 in the Civil War, as a member of Co F of the 13th Ohio inf. He served three months and was mustered out on account of illness.  He was married December 24, 1861 to Amanda Shaw.  He died Monday 26? 1917 with burial  in the Antioch Cemetery.

Philo Bell was born in Wayne County, Ohio October 15, 1824 and died in Sumner May 20th, 1904.  When he was 15 years of age he came to Lawrence County with his parents and settled on a farm west of town.  He was married to Mary E Spencer March 22, 1849, and was a charter member of the Sumner Lodge No 249. In 1848 he cast his first vote for President, having voted for General Taylor, and was a staunch believer in the principles of the Republican Party.  

Charles R Brown, a painter and about 44 years of age living near White House church, painted the new church at Millerville, working all day Saturday, then went home, ate a hearty supper and went to bed apparently in the best of health.  About midnight he called his wife and complained of being ill.  In thirty minutes he was dead. Coroner Black was called about 5 am to hold an inquest; the verdict was paralysis of the heart. (The coroner was called about 5 am Sunday to hold the inquest. Funeral services were held Monday at 3:30 at White House Cemetery. The paper was published on Thursday September 2, 1915. )

Harry H Bolles, son of John and Alice Bolles, was born March 12, 1890 and died December 30, 1915 at the age of 24 years.  He received his elementary education at the Island school, where he later taught two successful terms and began his third before he got sick on November 5.  He was a graduate of the BTHS class of 1913. The burial took place at Whitehouse Cemetery.  

Isaac Bennett the youngest son of George and Nancy Bennett, was born December 9, 1874 in Lawrence County, Indiana and died Friday, December 16, 1910 at the sanitarium in Olney of typhoid fever.  He was married to Margaret Apple about 13 years before his death. He was buried at Sumner City Cemetery.

David M Brunson was a native of Lawrence County having been born September 22, 1845 south of Bridgeport and was 64 years of age when he died.  He was as soldier in the war of the rebellion being a member of the 91st Ill Vol and served three years.  Brunson was married three times- first to Belinda Payne with whom he had 8 children.  Upon her death, his second wife was Eliza Harvey and they had three children. After her death, he married Lizzie Porter. Burial was at the Billett Cemetery. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

LHS Driver Training Car 1950

The General Manager, V C Schrader and the Sales Manager, B B McCormick of the Hahn Garage, are shown presenting the keys to the driver training car to Mr Knott, the driver training instructor and Mr. Dollahan, the Principal of the Lawrenceville High School. Dec 6, 1950 from the Toma-Talk.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

First BTHS Orchestra--1916


Bridgeport High School's First Orchestra was formed in 1916. Some of those pictured above may not be students but may be from the M. E. Church. 
L to R:  Back Row  Pat Martin, Claud Fister, KRN Fleet McClellan,--Angesburger, Kimmell Hillis
Bottom Row: Gerald Goodman, Margarite McCaslin, Mrs Lowell July  (--) Merill King  (The original names are difficult to read on the back of the photo.)

Thanks to Dan and Holly S for research and dating this photo.    

Monday, April 25, 2016

Congratulations! 2015 State Historical Society Winners!

The following Lawrence County Society members were recognized for their accomplishments by the Illinois State Historical Society April 23, 2016 at their Annual Award Meeting and Dinner in Springfield, IL. There were 35 nominations in several different categories from across the state, but Lawrence County exceeded all other counties by bringing home 4 awards.  This is the second year that the Society has been acknowledged for submitting award- winning projects.

Nancy King, Kaye Fisher, Flossie Price, Irene Jackman and Todd Gray, the Committee for the Conservation and Collection of Military Uniforms, brought home an Award of Merit.  Rose Robeson and Noble Brown,the Committee for the Centerville Cemetery Project, brought home an Award of Excellence. Larry Curry, Carl Curry and John King, the Committee for the Black History Project, brought home an Award of Superior. Donna Burton, Nancy King and Ellen White, brought home an Award of Excellence for the book, Weddings through the Ages. 

L to R:  Donna Burton, Irene Jackman, Nancy King, Kaye Fisher, Carl Curry, Rose Robeson, Noble Brown, John King, and Carl Curry. 

We are doing award winning things....come join us!

History Detectives: Aikin Seed Corn Detasselers

    Please help us identify our corn detasselers.  These young men worked for Akin Seed Company but we don't know the exact years.  Some have names assigned to them; please tell us if we are correct or if we have mislabeled someone.  
     (Also if you know the year of a particular photo that would be helpful, also.)  Feel free to come in to the Museum some Monday and see them enlarged, although you can click on these small photos and see them on your screen.  If you would like to check them with yearbook photos to be sure we can help you with that also.    
     We understand these photos, once identified, will hang on the Agri-Gold Company office walls north of St. Francisville so let's give these young men credit for working a hard job under the hot summer sun and get them identified.   









Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday Updates

Don't forget the  monthly program Monday Night...Larry Reynolds will be the featured speaker and discuss his latest book, Drums Along the Wabash.   

After we posted that we had several teachers' ledgers from the one room schools, Kay G asked if we could look in the Brick school ledgers and see if her grandfather was listed. Because we knew the school and with 5 years of when he had attended school, Kaye F was able to locate him.  The ledger listed several of her relatives including her grandfather, Clifford Crews. The teacher commented one year that he had "a good brain".  We have sent copies to Kay to add to her genealogy. 

(Before all of you genealogists start sending me names,  you must know the name of the school and the years that your relative attended.BUT if you send a large enough check.....we will do the needle in the haystack trick and look through every book, but the check better be pretty LARGE!) 

D Dasch  sent a request: 
"Recently I was going through some old pictures, and came across" these two.  The first one, "I think that may be someone in the Prout family.  Wilson Prout married my grandmother (12 Dec 1963).  The attached picture was in my grandmother's effects.  Aside from that info that is all I know; maybe there is someone out there that may be able to identify this person."
The second photo was also in the group.


The gentleman above is one of our volunteers.  We found this article about him when he was a senior at Lawrenceville High School in the 1952 Toma-Talk.  Before we share his name, (if you don't recognize him from the photo)  we will share what the interviewer said about  this senior personality. 
" He was born 3 miles west of PInkstaff, and has moved moved 5 times since he was born.  Once with his grandfather, once east of PInkstaff, and then for a year he lived in Lawrenceville.  He attended third grade at Old Central that year but then moved back to Pinkstaff.   He is about 5'11" with black way hair and brown eyes. His favorite subject is shop.  He is working at Humphrey's Locker plant where he is a butcher, but plans to be an auto mechanic after graduation.  His favorite past time is motorcycles.  He had a yellow Harley '125' which he recently traded for a larger one, and spends most of his time working on it or just riding around.  He also likes to run around with "Slug" Anderson, Lloyd Shelton and others of the 'gang'. They kick up a little dust on Saturday nights."  Have you guessed who this is?"  One of our best volunteers....Carl Curry.