Thursday, March 5, 2015

Humor in the 1860's

Publication: WEEKLY VINCENNES GAZETTE
Date: August 29, 1863


—"The Southern Confederacy at present is in a bad fix, and reminds us of the story told a number of years ago by a traveler who had been out West. In passing from Vincennes to Lawrenceville, whilst crossing Allison Prairie , the writer says he came to a swamp, which the natives in that region had christened Purgatory. In company with a guide he proceeded to cross this dangerous part, of the road, and when about half way over he saw a hat floating upon the surface of the water, and on reaching out to pick it up, discovered a man's head under it. He remarked to the gentleman that he appeared to be in a bad fix. "Yes," replied the stranger, "but not in half as bad a fix as my mule, which is just under me."

In a few more days the Confederacy will be in the same fix of the mule—every day she is sinking deeper and deeper into an unfathomless purgatory from which the strong arm of insurrection will never be able to raise her."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Accidental Shooting

True Republican April 2, 1890 

A 13 year-old-son- of County Clerk Fish, of Lawrenceville, while driving some cattle on the outskirts of the towns a few days ago was accidentally shot by a companion who was shooting at game.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Church News 1930

Church News

Lawrence County News April 24, 1930 Rev. Humphrey William Owen is installed as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Lawrenceville. Rev. L. Hadaway of the First Christian church brought greetings from the Lawrenceville Ministerial Association. Rev. R. C. Patterson, pastor of the Bridgeport Presbyterian Church presided. Rev. Owen is the eighth minister to serve the Lawrenceville congregation (Presbyterian?) since the present church was organized. The ministers in the order named being Rev. Kenneth Brown, Rev. J. S. Pomeroy, Rev. Wilson Stitt, Rev. D. L. Beck, Rev. R. R. Marquis, Rev. Walter Baker and Rev. C. P. Blekking.

Check out the photos of the county churches we have posted on the website www.lawrencelore.org under photo collections. If we don't have a photograph of your church, please send us one to add to the collection.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lost the Prisoner

True Republican Aug 27,1892

Lost the Prisoner

Sheriff Cochran started from Lawrenceville with Fred Lewis for the penitentiary at Chester.  The sheriff's wife accompanied him. When the train stopped the sheriff helped the prisoner, who was handcuffed, up the steps to the platform of the car. He then helped his wife to the same position. The prisoner, seeing the woman between himself and the sheriff, jumped off on the opposite side and disappeared.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindess

  Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness:    Our volunteers often provide research for other genealogists who need “boots on the ground in Lawrence County”  but because of time and travel costs are unable to come here themselves.  The Society was unexpectedly surprised when they received a packet of obits from Orange County California with the enclosed note.

Dear Genealogists:   Knowing what a valuable tool obituaries can be for genealogist, I have been clipping obituaries from the Los Angeles Times and the Orange county register.  As I clip them I sort them by counties and send them to the genealogical society that has a connection with the person in the obituaries.  I am enclosing the ones I have collected for your county and hope that they will be of some use to your members.  E.E.B. member of the Orange County CA Genealogical Society of California

The editor of the Lawrenceville Republican stated on Thursday January 15, 1903:  "Now we have zero weather and it is very nice after one gets accustomed to it...."   You think?  

And about the photo of the Lawrenceville Jail published a few weeks ago... C. S. Bedford wrote that her mom, Ruth Gray Stevens,  had lived in the jail when her dad (Claude Gray) was sheriff. We are not sure when that was but we do know her dad was Bridgeport night policeman in 1933.   She said she used to have to walk thru the cell area to exit the building. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

News Involving Children in the 1850's

Publication: THE VINCENNES WEEKLY WESTERN SUN
Date: March 14, 1857
CHILD KILLED—The American Banner says that a child of Mr. Jas. C. Stover, aged five years, was run over and killed last week, about three miles east of Lawrenceville , Ill ., by a train on the O. and M. R. R.

Publication: THE WEEKLY VINCENNES WESTERN SUN
Date: January 2, 1858
MURDEROUS ASSAULT.—A man named Thomas Brotherton, living in Allison Prairie , Ills., was very badly beaten by four or five men on Friday night, and his recovery is extremely doubtful. Brotherton and his wife separated some time ago, and this assault is said to have been made by some of her friends growing out of an effort to get possession of a child which Brotherton retains, and to recover which suit was brought by the wife in one of our courts a few days since. No arrests have been made.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cleveland School and E C Cunningham

This weather makes one want to sit in a chair near the fire and read a good book. Have you read the Society’s book, Readin, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic, Early Schools in Lawrence County, Il? It is still only $42.50 and can be purchased on the website, at the museum or at the genealogical library.   With over 250 photographs, it tells the story of the early country schools.

Cleveland School #47 was located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Sand Barrens Lane 200N and Hopewell Road 20E.  One of the county’s earliest schools, Jordan and Mary Pickering sold the property where the first school stood for five dollars on Oct 19, 1849.  Thirty five years later in 1884, James and Permelia Corrie sold ½ acre for 30 dollars north of this old school closer to Ruark for a newer school to be built.   The school was probably named after President Cleveland who served 1885-1889 and 1903-1897. 

E Coen Cunningham taught 51 students during the 1909 term and 40 students during the 1920 term. In 1923 Raymond Couch was hired to teach the student body which then had dropped to 20 students. The doors were closed at the end of the 1947 term and the building itself moved and added to the White Hall school building to become Lukin Consolidated School District #2. 

In 2002 Bill Hudspeth wrote a letter describing the school in the ‘30’s. He said we would have trouble find photographs of the school at that time because film was expensive, costing a quarter a roll and with developing and printing adding another 25-30 cents,  people just didn’t have big money like that then.   

Bill:  “When the depression caused many of the businesses in Bridgeport to go broke, my father took the job of running the store at Ruark. Mot many will remember Ruark by that name.  It had the nickname of Petersburg and a lot of times was called Hopewell, after the church that was there. 

The children (in that area) attended Cleveland School, a half mile north of the store.  Most of the time there were about 20 students.  I was there just two years ’32 and ’33.  I took the sixth grade, and then because I would have been the only one in the seventh, I skipped on to the eighth grade. During that time E C Cunningham was the County Superintendent of Schools, and one of the most memorable in Lawrence County history.  He visited every school in the county (76 of them) it seemed to me at least twice a year.  He was, which was rather rare then, a fitness advocate, and he had a standing offer of a silver dollar which was two days pay for some jobs, for any boy who could walk across his schoolyard on his hands. Mr. Cunningham could do it. I watched.

He was also a master story teller.  I remember best his story about the young teacher who took a school which was haunted by the ghost of a girl who had died while a student there. Her ghost came back wanting her doll and her book.

Mr. Cunningham personally filled out the certificates for perfect attendance and spelling. I got some for spelling, but none for attendance. He used India ink, and beautiful shade writing. Those certificates were works of art.


Cleveland has been gone for several years now.  The last time I was there, the road had been widened, and the exact spot where the school had been was, I believe, under the road.”