Tuesday, October 21, 2014

News of October 1898

October 12, 1898 Lawrence County News
The missionary entertainment at the First M. E. Church last Saturday evening was attended by a large audience. The offering amounted to nearly 3 dollars.  •  Elder and Mrs. Corter, Mr. and Mrs. J.K. Dickirson, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kirkwood, Mrs. Bertha Adams, Misses. Vie Warner and Maggie Jones were among those who will leave today for Chattanooga, Tennessee, to attend the general conference of the Christian church.  •  Erve Gosnell’s little son, George, who is attending school here, accidentally had the large bone of his right arm broken Tuesday. During the morning recess he, with other playmates, was playing Buffalo Bill show and one of the boys jerked George over backwards and he fell on his arm.  •    The grand jury adjourned sine die  yesterday morning, having been in session 6 days, and returned 23 indictments; stealing 1; forgery 1; robbery 1; carrying concealed weapons 2; assault to  kill 1; selling intoxicating liquors 4; fortifications 1 (one would think this might require two to be indicted...*) ) ; burglary 1; public nuisance 4; bribery 2; disturbing public meetings 2.  •  (Martin) Luther Cooper near Bridgeport and Miss (Hannah) Luella Kurkey were united in marriage in the home of the bride's mother in Sumner.

October 20, 1898 Lawrence County News
F. W. Tyler went to St. Louis Friday to see and hear Pres. McKinley.  •  The Lawrenceville Butter and Cheese factory is completed. All the machinery is in and ready to begin making butter and cheese.  •  Clyde Price and Charles Roberts, members of the 9th Illinois Regimental band, are home on furlough. Charles has a 30 day furlough and Clyde a 15 day one. They are both looking well. They said the Regiment is in pretty good shape but there have been 14 deaths since they went to Jacksonville. Clyde is a Sgt. of the band.  •  Judge Youngblood adjourned Circuit Court last Thursday morning. On Wednesday evening exercises were held in memory of the late William Robinson.  A number of addresses were made by attorneys, telling of his good qualities as a man and a lawyer.

October 27, 1898 Lawrence County News

The Rev. J. H. Taylor, pastor of the Second M. E. Church, has opened a barbershop over R. L. Fitch’s store.   •  Mrs. Martha Buchanan, widow of the late W.T. Buchanan of Denison died Sunday with paralysis. She was 63 years and a few months old.  •   James F. Snyder of Bond, a member of Company L, 159 Indiana Volunteers, died Thursday with typhoid fever and was buried Saturday in the Derr cemetery. Mr. Snyder was at home on a furlough when he died.  •  The Board of Supervisors met Tuesday, October 18 and fixed the salary of County officers as follows: County judge $600; County Clerk $1600; Sheriff $1500; treasurer $1000.  •  The East St. Louis B &  L Association organized a branch company here last Wednesday with H. W. Curry, president; Lew Buchanan, vice president; A. D. Sprinkle secretary; J. W. McCleave, Treas., and T. B. Huffman attorney.  •  J. N. Rosborough and sons, Charles H. and Watts, have formed a partnership for the purpose of writing insurance and selling real estate. J.N Rosborough, the senior member of the firm, has been in the insurance business for 16 years and is well and favorably known in Lawrence and adjoining counties.

* just wanted to see if anyone was really reading these articles.....

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oil King 1982

This photo and article was found in the Lawrence County News Oct 7, 1982. (The article makes it sound like these men are still working in the oil field....)  

"Lloyd Polk, 86 was named Bridgeport’s 1982 Oil Field Day King during the city’s celebration.  Polk was named king because he is the oldest working oil field employee in the Bridgeport area.  Polk’s court consisted of other oil field workers 80 years of age or older.  Front row from left: Polk; Orrie Jeffords, 83; Voil Lucas, 90; and Rex Laughlin Sr, 91. Back row from left: Henry Crewell, 83; Charles Cronin, 85; Charlie Boldrey, 81; George Richardson, 83; and Ellis Palmer, 80.  Although Palmer is not the oldest working oil field employee, he has 45 years of service in the field." 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cornelius Taylor - Conclusion

For the past week this blog has featured a serialized story about Cornelius Taylor.  Published first in the Robinson Daily News on Oct 1, 2008 the story is written about events that would lead one to believe they transpired in Crawford County.  But remember that land  north of the mouth of the Embarrass River including what would become Petty, Bond, Russell, and the northern parts of Lawrence and Allison townships was included in the boundaries of  Crawford County between 1816 and 1821. Then in 1821 this same land and the rest of the county which was then a part of Edwards County, was united to become the county of Lawrence.

According to early Lawrence County history (page 325 of the 175th anniversary of Lawrence County Il Commemorative Edition), as early as 1816 Cornelius Taylor kept a ferry across the Embarras just above the bridge at Lawrenceville. Technically he would have been ‘living’ in Crawford County, on the north side of the Embarras River.

He was also one of the first men to be granted a liquor license in 1821 in Lawrence County after the county was formed. But had he already been running a tavern on the north side of the Embarras under the jurisdiction of Crawford County?

One of the first deeds recorded in Lawrence county was Aug 14, 1821 in which Charles Wood and his wife Sarah sold some property to a Cornelius Taylor.  

The contract for the first jail in Lawrence County was let to Cornelius Taylor and Isaac Fail.  It was 17 ft square; 2 stories high; made of hewn logs with double walls -- the space between  being filled with rocks.  It cost $625.00 and was finished in March 1822. (This is the jail where Betsey Reed was held in 1845.)  

However early in in 1822 Taylor had left Lawrenceville and was in Gallatin Co,Il.  On March 16, 1822, he executed a power of attorney authorizing his friend Isaac Fail to sell his land in Illinois.   It was the first Power of Attorney to be recorded in this county.  The document was witnessed before Thomas C Browne, an Illinois Supreme Court judge  in Gallatin Co.

On March 30, 1822, a deed was recorded  from Cornelius Taylor by his POA, Isaac Fail selling part of the Dubois property back to Charles and Sarah Wood for $800.  So far these documents support the story written for the Robinson Paper and were probably used in the research for the article.  

The article indicates that Taylor was sued for unpaid debts in Crawford County in 1820, which would have had jurisdiction over Taylor if he were residing in what later became northern Lawrence County.   After Lawrence County was formed in 1821, the judgments were directed here.

By Nov 22, 1822 the Sheriff of Lawrence Co, Henry Dubois, was directed by the Circuit Court of Crawford County in Palestine to execute on property belonging to the estate of Cornelius Taylor, late of Lawrence County.  $154.23 ¼  was owed to Wilson Lagow by a judgment signed on Sept 3, 1820 with interest on a debt at the rate of 6% per annum, plus $21.15 ½  as cost of suit.

Also a March 11, 1819 judgment for $222.78 was held against Taylor’s estate by James B. McCall as well as $13.59 as costs.  There was another outstanding judgment against the Taylor estate held by John D. Hay for $215.32; $13.55 ½ was to be added for court costs. The sheriff was to deliver the money to satisfy all these judgments within 40 days.

The Lawrence county sheriff, Henry Dubois, seized 160 acres in Sec 29,160 acres in Sec 21, and 80 acres in Sec 20--all in T4 R11 (near the present Ambraw Sportsman Club, north of Lawrenceville ) on May 11, 1822 at Taylor’s dwelling house. James B. McCall, being the highest bidder, became the purchaser for $300.

The judgments executed on the property belonging to the “estate of Cornelius Taylor, late of Lawrence county,” almost sound as if Cornelius Taylor had died.  Did he fake his death to the court when in reality he just “skipped town?” Or is this terminology just to be interpreted as “real estate belonging to Cornelius Taylor who used to live in Lawrence County?”

There were two Cornelius Taylors enumerated on the Crawford County census in 1818, along with other residents we now consider as living on property that would later become part of  Lawrence County.  In other words, the people didn’t move from Crawford to Lawrence-- the county boundaries just moved.     See http://genealogytrails.com/ill/crawford/1818census.  So have the researchers intertwined the two Cornelius Taylor’s lives into one great story? Would someone as notorious and with the reputation of Cornelius Taylor in this story be chosen to build the first jail in Lawrence County? It seems more likely that this Cornelius Taylor might have been  a guest of the sheriff here. So was it the other Cornelius Taylor?

And did all of these events actually happen in what was to become Lawrence County? A Cornelius Taylor was running the ferry across the Embarras River at the Shoals where Dubois had his mill and what would later become Lawrenceville as early as 1816. He also ran a tavern. Did the murder of McCall by the Indians (even though the case was tried in Palestine, which would have had jurisdiction over ‘northern Lawrence’) really occur in ‘our neck of the woods?”  A family of McCall’s settled some distance north of Lawrenceville, and the Tri-County History Of Edwards, Lawrence, and Wabash Counties published in 1883 describes McCall’s  death on page 74.  “A party of Delaware Indians from a camp on Brushy Fork, came to McCall’s cabin and demanded whisky.  He refused compliance with their demand, and they murdered him.  Kill Buck, a chief, Captain Thomas and Big Panther were suffered to go unpunished.”  This sounds like the same story. 

A Cornelius Taylor had his dwelling house (near the present Ambraw Sportsman Club, north of Lawrenceville) on May 11, 1822, but no doubt had settled there earlier.  We can link Cornelius Taylor to Lawrence County from 1816, until he leaves in March 1822.We think he is ours!  So Crawford County, we have thrown down the challenge….if you want to claim him, you need to prove it!   

But more importantly, was the Lawrence County Cornelius Taylor the same troublesome Cornelius Taylor that kept showing up in the Crawford County Court Records? And if he was, do we really WANT to claim him? Or was he a totally different person who just had the misfortune to have the same name?     

Lunch and Learn Program for November 5

Attention:  The location for the November Lunch and Learn Program has been CHANGED!

On November 5 at 11:30 the lunch and the program will be held on the lower floor  of the Lawrence County Public Library  located at  814 12th St  Lawrenceville, IL 62439.  The stairs are to the left immediately as you enter the building, and there is a small 'elevator' if you need help with the stairs.
This larger space will allow us to expand our reservation list so that if you have not made your reservations yet please call Nancy King at 618-945-9573.  The reservations allow us to know how much soup to order.  Even if you are not eating with us, and plan on bringing a lunch, we still want to set a place for you at a table.

The program is called Antique Roadshow--Junk in your Trunk.  For the appraisers to look at an item that you might want to bring, please call Nancy King in advance to discuss this aspect of the program.  Since we have limited time at this hour long lunch program we will need to know in advance what you might bring.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cornelius Taylor Part 4

The week we have been featuring a serialized story about Cornelius Taylor.  Published first in the Robinson Daily News on Oct 1, 2008 the story appears to be about events that transpired in Crawford County.  But remember that land  north of the mouth of the Embarrass River including what would become Petty, Bond, Russell, and the northern parts of Lawrence and Allison townships was included in the boundaries of  Crawford County between 1816 and 1821.   

Part 4:
“Lawrence County was split off from Crawford in 1821, which could explain why Taylor drops out of Crawford County court records about the same time. On the other hand, perhaps he was just keeping busy. The state had granted him the right to build a toll bridge over the Embarras and the new Lawrence County government had hired him to build its first jail for $625.

He never got the chance to finish the job, however. In early 1822, Taylor left the area following an incident involving counterfeiters operating in what is today Jasper County.

"Nettlesome counterfeiters, whose sideline was horse-thievery, infested Jasper County," James E. Davis wrote in "Frontier Illinois" (1998). "Victims followed the trail of Cornelius Taylor, a ferry operator in Lawrence County who made wagon trips to St. Louis, after which bogus coins and paper money circulated."

According to an older text, "Counties of Cumberland, Jasper and Richland, Illinois" (1884), observing Taylor's activities led suspicious area residents to a man named Acre Williams. Williams, who lived in a cabin northwest of modern-day Newton, agreed to tell all he knew "after being hung up by the neck two or three times until nearly dead..."

Williams named names but the suspects scattered. He also led vigilantes who called themselves "Regulators" to the molds, dies and other materials used in counterfeiting silver and paper money. These were taken to Lawrenceville and destroyed.

Taylor, meanwhile, headed south, pausing long enough in Gallatin County to legally arrange for his friend and brother-in-law, Isaac Fail, to have power of attorney over his affairs in Lawrence County. Fail completed construction of the Lawrence jail.

Taylor then traveled to Kentucky, "possibly to be with his mother's people," Pittsburgh historian, Edgar R. Taylor Jr., said in talking about his great-great grandfather.

He apparently stayed in Kentucky for a while after being joined by his wife, Mary Fail Taylor, and their children. The marriage broke up, however, and Mrs. Taylor and children returned to Lawrence County. She eventually died there.

While in Kentucky, Taylor may have been among those who settled in the Jackson Purchase, a section of western Kentucky bought from the Chickasaws by President Andrew Jackson in 1818. Volusia County, Fla., historian Lani Friend has a map that shows a settlement named "Industry" and she wonders if Taylor had a part in trying to establish it.

Eventually, Taylor made his way to Florida and a new life.”

You might want to read about Taylor’s adventures in Florida and how he died trying to get to the California Gold Rush.  Several sites on the internet have the story but it is perhaps best told on the Volusia County, Florida site.

Tomorrow: The conclusion of Cornelius Taylor and his Connection with Lawrence County. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cornelius Taylor Part 3

For the rest of the week this blog will feature a serialized story about Cornelius Taylor.  Published first in the Robinson Daily News on Oct 1, 2008 the story at first, appears to be about events that transpired in Crawford County. But remember that land  north of the mouth of the Embarrass River including what would become Petty, Bond, Russell, and the northern parts of Lawrence and Allison townships was included in the boundaries of  Crawford County between 1816 and 1821. 

“Part 3: Big Man, Big Troubles

"This rude state of society brought to the surface some of the roughest characters of the frontier," Perrin wrote, in the "History of Crawford and Clark Counties, Illinois" (1883).
 "For instance, at a single term of the circuit court, we find that one Cornelius Taylor was indicted for larceny, for assault and battery, for rape, etc., etc.

"He was a bad man and a detriment to the prosperity and welfare of the community," Perrin continued. "With an utter disregard for law and order, he preyed upon others, and there are those who knew him still living to bear witness to his numerous shortcomings. There were many charges against him, which were doubtless true, among which were horse-stealing, hog-stealing, and even darker crimes were hinted at in connection with him."

"If you are looking at the court records, you are not going to find much good about Cornelius, as he was continually at odds with his neighbors," Pittsburgh historian, Edgar R. Taylor Jr., said in talking about his  great-great grandfather.  "He was a very big man for his times and had his way more often than not. I believe, too, that his mother was a Native American and how her people had been treated reflected in his actions.

"Apparently, in his early years on the frontier he was well accepted, but his rough attitude soon got him 'crosswise' with his neighbors and he became the object of a bad reputation," Edgar added. "Some of what was written I feel was not true. Cornelius was a 'doer' and I suspect there was some envy felt by his neighbors."

Taylor first appears in local court records before Illinois was officially a state. He was indicted by Crawford's first grand jury for "bringing home a hog without the ears."

Presumably, a person possessing an earless hog had stolen it and had cut off its ears to remove its true owner's identifying marks. Hog theft was a serious offense in those days and the penalties could be severe. Depending on a defendant's criminal record - and his social status - he might be fined or whipped and he might even get his own ears ripped off.

Taylor beat the rap, but wasn't always so lucky. In 1819, he was ordered to pay Archibald Baird $60 plus costs after being found guilty of assault and battery on Baird. Later, he was sued by at least three area residents over unpaid debts. Two won their cases. Wilson Lagow collected $154.23 from Taylor, while John D. Hay was awarded $215. On the other hand, a charge that he did unlawfully sell alcohol to Indians was quashed because of a lack of a prosecutor.

Also that year, Taylor was accused of rape. The records of the case, stored in a red envelope, still exist in the basement of the Crawford County Courthouse. An entry of nolle prosequi was entered in the case and Taylor successfully sued the woman for his court costs.”

(To be continued tomorrow.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cornelius Taylor Part 2

For the rest of the week this blog will continue this serialized story about Cornelius Taylor.  Published first in the Robinson Daily News on Oct 1, 2008 the story may, at first, appear to be about events that transpired in Crawford County. But remember that land  North of the mouth of the Embarrass River including what would become Petty, Bond, Russell, and the northern parts of Lawrence and Allison townships was included in the boundaries of  Crawford County between 1816 and 1821

“Part 2: Quest for Fire-Water

In 1819, about a year before the construction of the county's first real courthouse, three Delaware Indians - William Kilbuck, Captain Thomas and Big Panther - were accused of killing a surveyor named Thomas McCall after Taylor refused to sell them alcohol.

McCall was a surveyor and "had been in the habit of sometimes trading with the Indians, and it is said, used to occasionally give them an order to Taylor for whisky," W.H. Perrin wrote in his book, "History of Crawford and Clark Counties, Illinois" (1883). Perrin explained Taylor had been forbidden to let the Indians have whisky without a written order from the proper authority.

"The Indians named in the indictment went to McCall and begged him for 'fire-water,' and finally to rid himself of their importunities wrote something on a piece of paper which he handed them, and which they supposed was the necessary order. They went to Taylor with it, who read it aloud to them. It was an order - but an order  NOT to let them have the whisky. The Indians were so incensed that, to gratify their revenge, they murdered McCall."

The three defendants were found guilty in a jury trial July 9, 1819, but the conviction was thrown out and a new trial was to begin immediately. Captain Thomas and Big Panther, however, were granted continuances.

Kilbuck, according to Judge J.C. Allen in the March 26, 1909, Hutsonville Herald, claimed to be a chief and sought to be tried separately. He was promptly tried, again found guilty and ordered to be hanged five days later.

Kilbuck escaped before the sentence could be carried out and it is unclear if he was ever found. "The Bench and Bar of Illinois - Historical and Reminiscent" (1890), hints that the defendant may have been allowed to escape. "There lingers in the county a tradition that there were boodlers even in that early day," according to the book. "Boodle," according to "Roget's Thesaurus," was slang for a bribe.

Judge Allen was somewhat kinder in his assessment. "There being no jail, perhaps the guards 'slept upon the watch,'" he wrote almost 90 years later. Perhaps not-so-coincidentally, the county commissioners ordered the construction of a jail within a week.

In a 1997 Daily News article, G. Kent Phillips pointed out no record exists of public outcry over the escape or of a search for Kilbuck. "It may be assumed that authorities were afraid that if a posse was organized and Kilbuck was found, that a public hanging would bring down Indian reprisals on the community," he wrote.

As for Kilbuck's fellow suspects, "nolle prosequi" was entered in their cases by the prosecuting attorney. An entry of nolle prosequi, Latin for "we shall no longer prosecute," is a declaration that the prosecutor or plaintiff would proceed no further with a case. None of the Indians are mentioned again in court files of the day.

Taylor, on the other hand, pops up often in early records (of Crawford County.)”

(To be continued tomorrow.)