Black Town News (Letters) - 13 Dec 1998 - Macoupin County Illinois
©1998 Glenn E. Sheets

Blacktown was was a temporary group of buildings and tents constructed and located underneath the rail road tressle north of Staunton during its building in the summer of 1913, visible from Rt. 4. It sat next to Cahokia Creek. The duration of its existance I currently do not know.

Black Town News was not a newspaper. These were letters to my grandmother Edna Schmutzler, who at the time was staying in St. Louis. These were written by Nettie Fleming, Edna's sister under the psuedonymn of Jim Crow.

These are all I have in my possesion, if at some point in time I do come across more of them I will send them in, but as far as I know these are all that have survived. Hope these interest someone and they find them an interesting slice of time.

I have typed this as it was spelled originally.

Black town News
Monday June 30 - 1913
Jim Crow (editor)
Milton Schmutzler (reporter)

Mr. Jacob Ramseier and Carl Schmutzler visited in Black town early Sunday morning. Mr. Pete Ramseier and Jack Gindell and Fritz Ramseier also visited Black town yesterday afternoon.

Mrs. Walter Stiff and Esther Smith of Staunton and Mrs. Pete Ramseier and daughter Miss Emma and son Mr. Fritz also visited at Blacktown yesterday evening.

Mr. Rhiney Beyreuther and Chris Fischer stopped at the residence of Otto Schmutzler for dinner Sunday and also visited Blacktown for a few minutes.

Mr. Will Flemming and Jim Crow also took a little drive thru Blacktown sunday evening. Miss Ella Ruther the Black town photographer was taking pictures in different parts of the town Sunday. We sincerely hope she will have success.

Mr. Frank Hermanns one our esteemed neighbors is also working at the camp hawling wire. He works from 6 to 6 and gets $6.

There are still houses an tents going up everyday. The town is also growing blacker as all the houses are black. The water hauler gets water everyday for the kitchen at Otto Schmutzlers residence as the water is very refreshing.

They also have a dinner bell, it is described as follows by Milton Schmutzler the little dairy man. It is a piece of steel hung on a post by a piece of wire and then they hit it with another piece of steel and that is the dinner bell.

They have to men cooks at Blacktown, one gets $125 a month, the other $80 a month.

Mr. and Mrs. McCullen visited in Staunton Saturday evening and the little dairy man had to bring the milk back again. It was very hard for him to do so.

Mr. and Mrs. Rozier, the boss worth a million, is located across the road from Ch. Schmutzler they have a handsome daughter age 17 years. Mr. Frank Hermanns, Walter Dingerson and Carl Schmutzler wanted to see the daughter of Mr. Rozier and were driven away with a chunk of wood.

The steam shovel has arrived, but is not in running order yet. Stump blasting is one of the main works of today.

The track is already laid past the residence of Mrs. Adler. They will soon have the electric lights in running order and then they will work night and day. The timber is all being chopped down and hauled away. There will be an overhead crossing between the residence of Ch. Schmutzler and Mrs. Adler.

Mr. Ch. Schmutzler has two roomers, one whose name is Mr. Canary. They pay him $8 per month. Mr. Rozier also has his automobile in the barn of Ch. Schmutzler for which he recieves $2 per month.

Mr. O. C. Schmutzler visited in Blacktown from 1 to 2 monday attending to some business. Mrs. Ida Ruther washes for some of the Black town people. I suppose she will find herself a man before the railroad is completed.

The trussle they are building across the Ruther bottom is about half completed, it is 64 feet high. Miss Ruther the photographer has taken the pictures. Mr. Martin Schmutzler visited at Blacktown Tuesday afternoon his report was that they were doing good work.

Next issue will be out sometime later, Jim Crow

Black Town News
July 7 - 1913
Jim Crow editor
Milton Schmutzler reporter

Black town had a very nice rest as work was delayed on account of the fourth.

The cook of the Black town camp visited in Staunton Saturday evening. Mr. Will Stillie of Staunton visited in Black town last Friday. He has also taken some pictures. We hope he will have good results.

Mr. Pete Ramseier of the east flat visited in Blacktown Saturday afternoon. Mr. Otto Schmutzler visited in Black town Sunday morning, he also delivered berries, but it happened he delivered them to the wrong people but he recieved the money, but after awhile the little dairy man Milton Schmutzler had to deliver them to the right party they being Mrs. Rozier.

Mr. Carl Schmutzler visited Mr. Rozier of Black town Saturday evening, if he visited Mr. Rozier or his daughter is hard to say, but we hope to find out in the near future.

Miss Ella Ruther the Black town photographer is now out of town visiting at her aunt Mrs Emma Dingerson. Mr. Herbert Dingerson also visited Black town Sunday morning. Mr. Will Struck, Jake Bub and Chas. Baker visited Black town sunday morning.

The trussle across the Ruther bottom will soon be completed. The steam shovel is doing slow work, it has been broken down.

Most of the Black town people spent their fourth of July at Staunton. Black town also has a talking machine and one of the boys is a very good harp player. The road between the homes of Mrs. Adler and Chas. Schmutzler is being changed. Mr. Milton Schmutzler the little dairy man makes his trips to Black town as usual sometimes he is accompanied by his little sister Stella.

Mr. Frank Hermanns made ten dollars on last Saturday. He is a very competent work man. Mr. Frank Hermanns, Mrs. Ida Ruther and daughter Bertha of Black town visited in Mt. Olive the Fourth of July.

The gun club came out to the home of Otto C. Schmutzler whose residence is about one fourth mile east of Black town to shoot and then they also visited in Blacktown. The party is composed of Mr. Carl Kaesaman and little son. Mr. Chris Fischer and Mr. Ed Miller all of Staunton.

The Black town news editor, Jim Crow spent the Fourth of July in Mt. Olive although it was a little late it was very enjoyable. The Black town News reporter visited in Staunton Thursday bringing fire works for the fourth. His fireworks turned out very good.

Mr. Charles Schmutzler of Black town has the Rhuematism and can hardly walk, but he is visiting in Staunton since yesterday. It has been very hot for the men to work at Black town as the last few days have been very warm.

Next issue follows, I don't know when. Jim Crow

Black Town News
July 14 - 1913
Jim Crow (editor)
Milton Schmutzler (reporter)

On account of the scarcity of room in the last weeks issue we will now make known that Mr. and Mrs. Otto Schmutzler and daughter Stella and son Milton (reporter) and Mr. and Mrs. George Schmutzler and little daughter Virginia visited Black town last sunday evening. Mr. Frank Hermanns visited in Black town thusday evening.

Mrs. Ida Ruther and daughters Bertha and Ella of Blacktown visited Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schuester and family Thursday evening. Excuse blotches as the Black town News editor is very tired from her trip to St. Louis arriving Staunton at 11:10 last night and she has been pelling berries today and the special feature of the day was a motorcycle coming up the hill about 10:30 this morning.

The following visited Black town Thursday evening; Mr. and Mrs. Otto Schmutzler and the whole family, Misses Tillie Weisenborn and Alma Stiegemeier and Freda Beyreuther and Messrs. Will Stillie, Albert Furtwengler, Adolph Stillie, Will Flemming and Pete Ramseier. All report a grand expedition. Several of the party visiting Black town on Thursday evening, were very daring explorers, the party being Miss Alma Stiegemeier, Albert Furtwengler and Will Flemming. The trussle that is being erected is 65 feet high and the parties mentioned walked across it. This was a very daring fete and we honor Miss Alma for her bravery.

The pile driver is now at work, the steam shovel also is at work. Tonight (Monday) is the first night they went to work and they are now at work hauling dirt to fill up the dirt.

Mr. Jacob Ramseier and Carl Schmutzler and Otto Schmutzler are visiting in Black town this evening.

As Miss Freda Reyreuther was walking thru Black town Thursday evening she did not know a pair of shoes with a hat on them from a little black dog. Love is blind.

Mr. Otto Schmutzler is in Black town so much that we think he will soon move his trunk and bed up there but we hope he will stay home more in the future.

Next issue will follow. Jim Crow

Black Town News
July 20 - 1913
Jim Crow (editor)
Milton Schmutzler (reporter)

On account of Jim Crow the editor having the dress maker tomorrow and Milton Schmutzler the reporter having to kill mice under the wheat shocks at the eighty, the paper will be edited a day earlier, it being a Sunday instead of Monday.

Black town is still flurishing under the same condition. On last Wednesday Misses Sophia Ramseier, Alma and Tina Fischer visited in Black town. Miss Tina Fischer also took some pictures, we suppose of some of their favorite men up there as flirting is their occupation.

Mr. Pete Ramseier and Carl Schmutzler visited in Black town Tuesday evening. Karl Schmutzler and Milton Schmutzler (reporter) visited in Blacktown Thursday evening, they also visited with Mrs. Ida Ruther, she had ice cream, but Mr. Carl and Milton were stung as they did not recieve any. We hope the next time they will not ask people and then sting them. The reporter says it tasted like nothing. We guess it did.

Otto Schmutzler sold three gallons of buttermilk at Black town for ten cents, he is making money at that. We hope the next time they will at least pay him enough to buy his wife a ice cream sundae too.

Mr. Leverinz and son Herbert and Mr. Chas. Franz Sr. are visiting at Blacktown today. They are all three well known men of Staunton and came out on the 11:35 car. We suppose they will stand the heat as it is not so bad as it has been.

The following visited in Blacktown Thursday evening. Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hermanns and son Frank and intended daughter-in-law Bertha Ruther. Mr. Schuster and son Theodore and intended daughter-in-law Ella Ruther and intended wife Ida Ruther. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schuster and family, Mr. and Mrs. Hoffmeister and family and Mr. and Mrs. Pete Ramseier. After their trip to Black town they had some ice cream at the residence of Mr. Chas. Schmutzler, they all reported a very good time.

On last Friday night the following visited at Black town; Mr. and Mrs. Otto C. Schmutzler and daughters Stella and Jim Crow and sons Carl and Milton. Mr. Pete Ramseier and Frank Hermanns and Herbert Dingerson and Mrs. Ida Ruther and daughters Bertha and Ella and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hermanns and Mrs. Hermanns cousin of Peru. They all arrived home about 10:30 reporting an enjoyable trip although it was very dusty they hope to take another trip in the near future.

On thursday evening Mr. and Mrs. George Dingerson and family also visited Black town.

Work was delayed Sat. morning for awhile on account of rain. Mr. Chas. Schmutzler is at Black town every day, we think he knows where everything goes and comes from. We are thinking of getting him as reporter, but on account of his age we will not ask him.

Mr. Will Flemming visited in Black town Wednesday afternoon on his motorcycle he reports good work.

Next issue will follow, Jim Crow

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