Macoupin County IL - History of Brooklyn Macoupin County
©2001 Robert Shultz
Where Was Brooklyn, Macoupin County, and
When Was It Laid Out, and By Whom?
Transcribed by Robert L. Shultz
Retyped for this page by Mary Collins
(Thank you, Robert, for donating your transcription and thanks to Mary for retyping it for us.)
This article was found in the Carlinville Democrat, Carlinville, Il., dated 24 December 1930.
Not many of us know that there used to be a Brooklyn in Macoupin county. Just how many have ever heard of it, and how many know where it was located? The editor knows about Brooklyn, but he is not a bit smarter than any of the readers of this paper because he did not know about it until he did considerable searching of the records. And it all came about in this way:
Supervisor George W. Morrison, of Hilyard township, asked us if we would like to see something that was in the nature of a curiosity. We assured him we did. He showed us a tally list of election held at Brooklyn, in Brooklyn precinct of Macoupin county, state of Illinois, on Tuesday after the first Monday of November, A.D. 1849 . That election was held eighty-one years ago. Most of us were not taking as much interest in elections then as we are now. So we inspected and read that tally list with considerable interest. The printed part of it was very well done, the paper was of most superior quality and the writing of the clerk of that election equal to or superior in most cases to the writing we see nowadays on our tally lists. The ink must have been of very excellent quality because, instead of fading, it seemingly has become of deeper color with the passing of the years.
And we were interested in the offices to be filled and the names of the several candidates. There was only one candidate for county judge and he was John M. Palmer, who was the real founder of The Carlinville Democrat seven years later. There were 55 votes cast in that election district and Candidate Palmer received all of them. Then there were three county justices of the peace to be chosen. There were five candidates. There were two candidates for county clerk, but only one candidate, J. Whittaker, by name, for county surveyor. The two candidates for school commissioner ran a close race. Thomas P. Ross was the only candidate for county treasurer.
And then we observed that there were two justices of the peace for Brooklyn precinct to be elected. There were five men voted for. The two candidates for constable in that precinct had no opposition. There was even in that early day agitation for township organization. Proponents of the plan in Brooklyn seemed to be limited to one person because in the vote that day in November of 1849, upon the question of whether they should have township organization or not, there was one vote cast for it, and 41 against it. And that much for the tally list.
But where was Brooklyn? There is no such place in Macoupin county at this time. We studied the names of some of the candidates at the election and we concluded that Brooklyn was near Brighton or Bunker Hill. But it was neither. It was surprising how many people became interested in the puzzle. Finally we went to the county recorder s office and there it was solved. There we found a certificate made by Benjamin V. Stevenson, surveyor of Macoupin county, under date of April 16, 1846, wherein he certified that the town of Brooklyn is a part of the northeast quarter of section 19, in township 8, range 8; and he further certified that he surveyed and laid off into town lots the said town of Brooklyn for Bela White, George D. Randle and William Miller.
And then we read further that nearly all of the lots were fifty feet wide by one hundred and fifty feet deep and that the main, or Railroad street, was 100 feet wide, that Church street was 80 feet wide and that the alleys were 20 feet wide.
We observed that in the town of Brooklyn there were 16 blocks divided into 138 lots. The plat was very neatly made with much attention to detail. It had among its streets the following: Henry, Grafton, Church, Williams, Railroad, George, Oak and Alton. The whole record was attested by Tristam P. Hoxsey, who was the recorded for Macoupin county at that time.
The certificate as filed by Mr. Stevenson was signed by the three men at whose order he worked, and also by their wives. We were interested in the certificate made by the justice of peace, one John Wilson, before whom these six persons appeared and solemnly signed the document. Mr. Wilson, who took the acknowledgement, seems to have gone to considerable length to make the records show that the wives had willingly and voluntarily become parties to the transaction. For instance, Justice Wilson certified: Catherine Miller, Lucy M. Pettis Randle, and Julia Ann White, wives of the said Miller, Randle and White, being examined separately and apart from their husbands, did declare that they relinquish their right of dower to the streets and alleys of said town, freely and voluntarily without compulsion of their said husbands.
And that is the substance of the establishment of Brooklyn in Macoupin county, Illinois. And it was located a short distance northeast of Shipman.
That part of section 24 upon which Brooklyn was located, is now owned by Richard F. Lockyer, Mrs. Grace Henson and Frank E. Allen. Roy Lockyer farms the Lockyer land; Roy Davis resides on the Henson property and Mr. Allen operates his own property.
The owners of that part of section 19 upon which Brooklyn was located is owned by C.H. Davis and H.J. Schultz. Charles Jasper is the tenant on C. H. Davis' farm but that part of Mr. Schultz s which was a part of Brooklyn, is used as a pasture by Mr. Schultz.
And there were other towns, duly laid out and platted, in the long ago in Macoupin county which the present generation knows nothing of.
Who can tell us something about Bristol, Bayless, Clyde, Cummington, Centerville, Carlsburg, Fulton, Lincoln, New Hartford, Newberg, Oceola, Sparta and Steubenville:
Don't all speak at once.
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