History: Personal Recollections of Carlinville - 1 Jan 1998 - Macoupin County Illinois
©1997 Mary Ann Stewart Kaylor



Personal Recollections of the Early Settlement of Carlinville, Illinois (by Mrs. M.B.W.)

Carlinville Democrat, February 7, 1878

contributed by Mary Ann Stewart Kaylor

(Note: All information and spelling were copied exactly as found, although in a few instances the words were very faint.)

A great many persons, since the organization of the "Old Settlers' Society," have essayed, orally and otherwise, to furnish sketchs of the early settlement of this county,and Carlinville. Many of these narratives have been very interesting, especially to the older residents. The writer of this sketch, known to have been among the first to cast their lot in this "border of civilazation: has often been importuned to add her mite to "early recollections" of this effort. Many incidents worthy of being chronicled have passed away, but it is hoped that the following may aid in filling up the gaps left by preceding historians:

It was in the summer of 1831 that STITH M. OTWELL, who was in charge of Lebanon circuit, Madison Co., Ill., was informed by his presiding elder, Rev. PETER CARTWRIGHT, that in the tract of country called "Macoupin" there had been a town laid out called Carlinville. Although the counties surrounding Macooupin were in flourishing condition, this tract of land, owing to its "lowness," had always been avoided. Indeed, the number of lakes dotting its surface had gained for it the name of "Frog-Pond Kingdom." The families who had concluded to settle in the region had mostly chosen the outer edges, where the ground was higher, leaving the lower land, through the center from north to south, with scarcely an inhabitant.

In the midst of the "wilderness" as the site of Carlinville. Mr. OTWELL made a plan of a mission, including this town, with some of his appointments on Lebanon circuit and laid it before the Illinois Conference. They accepted it and gave to him the appointment. Returning home he made arrangements to come to Carlinville to see if a home could be had in which to place his family while attending to the circuit. None could be found; but Mr. EZEKIEL GOODE told him to bring them to his home and some other arrangement could be made. So, with that understanding, he returned and made ready to remove his family to his new field of labor.

With a hired wagon to transport our few belongings, and Father WILLIAM OTWELL with a covered buggy for the family, including AMZI (?) DAY, a ten year old brother of the writer who came with us and barely bore his part in those dark days--we set forth. There had been much rain and the roads were terrible, and we were compelled to stop the first night at a farmhouse fifteen miles from our destination. Starting next morning, we thought soon to be at the end of our jouney; but, upon arriving at the Macoupin creek, we found it had overflowed its banks, and not until our goods could be ferried over in a canoe could we proceed. About sunset we came in sight of the "city".

The first man who came to "meet the preacher and his wife" and welcome to the place, was staggering and swearing. Quick to catch at anything that boded, good or ill, my heart sank within me at the omen. Drawing near to the residence of Mr. GOODE, the lady of the house came to the door, and seeing so many of us, her heart failed her, and she said, "I am sorry I cannot take you in, but my husband is away and my children sick." "Oh," said Father OTWELL, "we must come in. It is just night, and my son's wife has been sick." "Well", she answered, "if you must, you must, but you will have to take care of yourselves." We got our supper, spread our beds upon the floor and went to sleep, thankful for a shelter from the dreary weather.

Next day, Mr. OTWELL was obliged to look again for a home. Nothing but the schoolhouse offered and in it we found a temporary shelter.

Carlinville had not many house in those days. There were but six dwelling houses in the place, besides one blacksmith shop, one store, one dramshop, and the courthouse, school- house and tavern -- all of them built of logs or clapboards. The tavern stood just opposite to where the DUBOIS bank building now stands, and was kept by Mr. LEWIS ENGLISH. It contained three rooms, one large one in front for a bar-room, and two smaller ones back for kitchen, dining-room, bed-room, & c. The dramshop was in the southwest corner of the square. In the spot where the DUGGER building now stands, were two small buildings occupied by a Mr. PLANT -- one as a dwelling house, the other as a store. Where Mr. NOYES has his store, stood a small cabin, tenanted by Mr. SMITH, who had made a few bricks the year before. Two small cabins stood on the southeast corner of the square, in one of which A. S. WALKER lived, and in the other kept blacksmith shop.

These were all the buildings around the square, in the center of which stood the courthouse. Then, as now, East Main street was a desirable locality for building, and upon it were three cabins -- one built about where Mr. DUBOIS house now stands, another upon what was called the BOICE property and one just opposite, upon what is now the northwest corner of the court-yard.

The school house into which we moved was near where DR. MATTHEWS' residence now stands. It was built by HARBARD WEATHERFORD, costing the pricely sum of forty dollars. It was, of course, buiilt of logs, sod, I should think, about 18 x 20 feet in dimensions. In it was a large fireplace with stick and clay chimney and rock hearth. There was one door and one window -- the door made of clapboards nailed upon cross-pieces, was hung upon wooden hinges and fastened by the old fashioned latch and string. The window was similiar to the door. Wide planks were thrown down loose for the flooring, they were only half way covering the sleepers upon which they rested. As the building was set upon logs laid under the corners, I used to be afraid lest the wolves that we heard howling around the house should crawl under and come up between the sleepers, and try to make our acquaintnace. I dared not let Mr. OTWELL leave me alone with the little one, and so we were not sorry when after stayng there a week, Mr. ASHER BEAUCAMP, just from Kentucky, was employed to teach the school, and we had to leave the first parsonage of Carlinville.

MR. and MRS. GOODE kindly invited us to come and live with them until a house could be built for himself, which took six weeks. While there we inquired whose was the first family in the town, and learned that it was their own. Mr. SETH HODGES entered the land and employed Mr. GOODE to lay off the town. Then Mr. G. entered an eighty east of it, and returning to his family in Greene Co., made ready to move, and with two young men to assist in driving the team and stock, he with his wife and three children, wended their way to this land of promise. Arriving, they found the outlook anything but cheering, for of course there was nothing to begin with except the raw material, out of which they must make for themselves a shelter and a home. They stopped and began preparing for it. The men cut some wood and built a fire, Mrs. GOODE bravely doing her cooking there and caring for her child.

At night she and the children slept in the wagon and the three men under it, until they could erect a small house in which to put their beds. Afterwards, when they had built a good, substantial one, 20 feet square, this small one became their smoke house. It was in this large house they they were living when they extended to us a "shelter in a weary land". It was a wonderful room too, for it held two families in great comfort, besides being the county surveyors's office, the post-office, and before we left a small stock of drygoods was offered for sale.

A common candle-box served as postoffice, it being set upon a high shelf to be out of the way of the children. Once a week a man on horseback passed through the town carrying the mail-bags. Very few letters, though, were left here, for I think the box was never quite full. It was not always a pleasure, either, to know there were letters in the office for you, for there were charges to be paid varying from10 to 18 cents, according to the distance it had to come. And it was very trying to have paid out your last cent, and, upon opening the letter, find it only an inquiry about some sections of land, & c., the writer thereof not having grace enought to prepay the postage. That was before the days of the wonderful three cent stamp and now carries a letter to any part of the U. S., and as for the convenient postal card, our wildest dreams had never soared so high. Often has Mr. OTWELL paid out 50 cents per week for those business letters, and when I expostulated with him for it he would reply, "O, it is for the good of the town; help build it up". But it did seem hard, when we remembered that there was our home to build, our clothing to buy, as well as provisons for the next year; and being allowed by the missionary Society but $100 a year. It behooved us to spend the money carefully. In a new country that way, it was not cotten that one could eke out a small salary by working for others, for most all were alike in that respect -- too poor to hire work done.

One evening while we were making our home at Mr. GOODE'S he returned from a surveying expedtion somewhere further up north. On his rounds he had procured a quarter of beef and was bringing it home when the wolves, which roamed in lare numbers upon the prairies over which he was passing, scented it and gave chase. It was a pretty close run -- the oxen that drew the wagon being proverbaly slow, although doing their best, were surely being overtaken. Coming to close quarters he threw them his remaining stakes, (not steaks) shouting and hollering to freighten them as well as to urge on his panting oxen. And so he rode into the town in triumph, bringing the beef with him.

The GOODES were wor thy to be pioneers and to be honored and remembered. He was one of the kindest hearted, most unselfish men in the world. Mrs. GOODE was a good manager, smart and neat. "Have things comfortable", was her favorite expression. They are all gone now but "little Minerva," who is the honored wife of LEWIS JOHNSON, of Buford.

Mr. OTWELL bought the lot on which Mrs. FRANK PALMER'S residence now stands, for $15, then cut and hauled logs from near where Dr. MATTHEWS now lives, hired men to hew them, and then with the assistance of a few neighbors, raised his cabin. This was covered with clapboards. A stick and clay chimney half way to the roof completed the fire-place. The cracks were then chinked, but the weather turning bitter cold, they could not be daubed until the next summer. We took possession of our house between

Christmas and New Year's. Mr. PLANT was our dearest neighbor, and if ever I envied anybody it was them. they had a tightpuncheon floor, clapboards on the joints, a chimne quite to the top of the roof, the cracks closed up with mud outside and in, and--crowning glory of all -- a window with six panes of glass, the only glass then in Carlinville.

Still, we did not need the window to give us light, for that came to us through the chimney, and between the logs on every side of the room.

The winter was unusually cold and the snow that fell in quantities, drifted in upon us often covering everything and deadening the fire-place. It was nothing strange in the morning to waken and find that nature had provided our bed with a beautiful white covering of snow, more beautiful, however to the sight than to the touch. Sometimes when the wind came from the east the room would soon be filled with smoke. When I could bear it no longer the door would be throw open, the burning sticks be pitched out of doors upon the snow, and the room allowed to clear of smoke. Soon the stinging cold would drive us to gather up the blackened chunks and seek to rekindle the fire. I used to wrap out little baby boy in a shawl and sit with him for hours by the fire to keep him comfortable. It was a great effort being to get warm, for I can't remember ever being really warm the winter through, except when at one of the neighbors.

Our bill of fare that winter was cornbread and venison, with some sugar and cofee tht we had brought with us. The flour we had brought had been used before we moved into the newhouse. As for buter, milk or vegetables, we had none, and fruit wanot seen in place for years after we came. Hen a girl I had listened to missionary sermons and my heart was stirred with thought of teh poety of self-scrifice, the delights of such a life, and I thought that being amissionary one would necessarily be very good. But come to try the reality and the goodness settled down into endurance, while the poetry vanished away leaving nothing but the saddest of prose.

Things were never so bad with us after that first year, for Mr. OTWELL, altho' not believing in a minister engaging in secular calling, felt that something must be done to keep his family from starving. So in the spring he bought a stock of goods from Alton and in company with S. C. KENDALL, his brother-in-law, opened a store in the cabin on what is now the BOICE property.

The first Court House in Carlinville was a hewn log building about 20 x 24 feet, situated in the center of the Square. It had one door on the north and a window on the south. By the window was a platform made of logs covered by a unplaned white plank. The Judge's chair of to-day wo'd harldy recognize its predecessar in the poor little bench then used. And yet was occupied by some as truly good and noble as the present incumbent. And that is saying a great deal when such a man as JUDGE WELCH occupies it. Just in front of this bench stood the desk to hold the books and candle when necessary.

It was formed of two short upright planks with another one laid across the top. In summer time the window was left open but in winter clapboards were nailed across it. The room was seated with slab benches and fully accommodated all who wished admittance. Simplicity of style in the house and furnishings marked the Court House of those days, even as grandeur does the present. But then the people couldn't afford to do better; butóthey paid the $150 which the building cost; and at that time the people were not much troubled on the subject of taxation.

The Court House served as preaching place for the different denominations until such time as they could build houses for themselves. There was not enclosure, and upon the hillocks surrounding the house strawberries were gathered the following spring. Hazel bushes too were plentiful on the Square, yes, and used sometimes, for I once saw a woman whose child troubled her during the preaching, rise taking him without, gave heed unto Solomon's adivce, "chasten they son while there is hope, and let not thy should spare for his crying." That child is a resident of this county, and has held many postions of trust in the county -- thus showing that, for once at least, the lesson was not thrown away.

There was so little business done inthe county that one man could attend to that of several offices. THRISTRAM P. HOXEY was Recorder, County Clerk, and I believe also Treasurer, JEFFERSON WEATHERFORD was Sheriff. The County Court was composed of LEWIS SOLOMON, SETH RODGES (? HODGES) and ROGER SNELL. Many of their descendants are now living in the county, and are highly respected members of the society.

EZEKIEL GOODE was County Surveyor. Macoupin was then respresented in the Legislature by JOSEPH BOROUGH of Carlinville.

A. S. WALKER must have been J. P., for from the time of our first acquaintance with him he was called Squire. He was a "mighty hunter" in those days, supplying not only his own but several other families with game, which the prairies abounded.

Prairie chikens, deer, quail, rabbitts, &c. could be had at any time for the shooting, and occasionally a bear would be found. The Squire was always leader in any such sport. Surely his ?antle has fallen upon his son, HON. C. A. WALKER.

The first county jail was built upon West Main St., tolerably near the Square. It was built of squared logs. There were two rooms, one above and one below, the lower one having no door and only one small grated window. This was the cell for the worst kind of criminals. The upper room was reached by means of an outside stairway. In the floor of this room was a trap door through which the prisoners descend to the one below; the ladder then being withdrawn and the door closed. It was in this cell that TODD was confined and awaited execution for having murdered his cousin. There, in later years, NASH was place until the day of his execution sho'd arrive. Upon that day people had gathered from all quarters to witness the hanging, some families coming a distance of sixty miles in ox wagons. Hearing that a reprieve had been granted, the crowd was greatly disappointed and soon became an angry turbulent mob. They gathered upon the jail, cursing and swearing at the helpless wretch, and finally became so threatening that a strong guard was placed about the jail, to prevent lynching. After a while, some of the authoriities, upon going to the cell, found the the poor fellow had become so terrified that he had drawn the cord from his bedstead, and with it had hung himself.

It was about the year '34 that the school building known as the "old Seminary" was built. The first teachers were MR. and MRS. COOLEY and Miss ALMIRA PACKARD, afterwards MRS. WHIPPLE. They were pretty good teachers but for one thing; as often as the children reached a certain place in their studies, they would be turned back to the first. This was repeated so often that some began thinking they could teach no further. It was these teachers who began the first circulating library in Carlinville. It flourished while they remained here, but afterwards fell to pieces. Since then several have been started, but all met the same sad fate until the present city library which the ladies took in hand, and managed so successfully as to make it an honor to the town.

The first sermon preached in Carlinville of which I have any knowledge, was one by MR. OTWELL, soon after our arrival. The meeting was held at the tavern kept by LEWIS ENGLISH, the congregation consisting of four women and two or three children. Outside the company was much larger, the men of the town and vicinity having assembled to make arrangements for horse-race, which they proceeded to run during services, Sunday though it was, MR. OTWELL did not continue to hold services there, but appointed prayer meetings at MR. GOODE'S meantime searching thro'-out the county for preaching places, Carlinville being the only town then laid out, of course all was new, but he succeeded so well that at the close of the conference year he had twenty-eight or thiry appointments. These he reported to the Conference as a circuit, in which he was returned. During that year his health failed so from the effects of exposures the previous winter that often, while travelng the circuit, he would be compelled to alight from his horse and lie down upon the ground to rest. The next fall he was not able to do effective work, and REV. ELIHU SPRINGER was sent to the place. Since then the Methodist church has not been without a pastor.

At one of his appontments, Sulphur Springs, he met an English lady who has since then been one of the well known and honored characters among us -- "GRANDMA DUNVILLE;" she who was "grandma" to everyone both old and young. She was ever a faithful attendant at the place of worship. When the time for preaching came around nothing but sickeness could keep her from the meetings, and four miles between her hone and the place for gathering was cheerfully walked, that she might have the pleasure of listening to the preached word. And often, while there, the joy of the Lord so filled her heart that shouts of praise and thanksgiving to God, would burst forth from her lips electrifying the whole congregation. I think no one ever doubted GRANDMA DUMBILLES's religion, and sometimes her simple but earnest inquiry, "do you love the Lord Jesus?" would find lodgment in the heart, a thought they could not get away from until at last that soul found rest in His love. Hers was a bright, joyful christian life, but not that she had sorrow, for of that a full cup, even to the bitter drugs, was wrung out to her. As "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich,: for was well known among us. She has now gone home to glory, and has proved by sweet experience that as for the joys and pleasures of earth, "one moment of heaven outweights them all."

It was the spring after our arrival, that, the weather being warm enough to sit without a fire, meetings were held in the Court House. Prayer and class meetings were held at our house, and it was after one these that MR. OTWELL opened the doors of the Methodist church, and MOTHER TENNIS, THOMAS C. KENDALL, WILLIAM BROWN, and NANCY READER BROWN, his wife, and MARY B. OTWELL gave their hands; and thus the first Methodist society of Carlinville was formed. From that small beginning it has increased in numbers, and has never been without the usual church ordinances.

Afterwards in '33, REV. ELIHU PALMER, brother of EX-GOVERNOR PALMER, also preached in the Court House and organized a Baptist society, which has ever since been in existence. His good wife was president of the Maternal Assoication. Their daughter FANNIE (KIMBALL) is now a member of the society her father formed.

It was not very long after ELIHU PALMER'S arrival that DR. GIDEON BLACKBURN came to Carlinville to look for a site upon which to build his college. Preaching to the people in the courthouse; among the first converts admitted to the Presbyterian church then formed were T. P. HOXEY and DANIEL ANDERSON. DR. BLACKBURN was one with giant intellect, and with wide reaching plans for the good of his fellow creatures. It was our pleasure to entertain him a few times at our home, and we always found him entertaining, geniall company, he was indeed a welcome guest. The members of those churches can, however, furnish a far better account of those early days than could be given by an outsider.

The people of Carlinville, in the year '32, were truly social and did not care to keep all their nice things to themselves. It was the good fortune of a number of families in the town to be invited to the tavern to partake of a New Year's dinner, which for the times was very good. The dinner consisted of cornbread made light and baked the day before, and roasted backbones and ribs, with gravy. This, with homemade coffe was the entire bill of fare, but there being an abundance of it all were fully satisfied. Soon afer dinner, the twanging of the fiddle warned those who did not wish to "trip the light fantastic toe" that the time for leaving had come. The dancing continued until a late hour and as the whisky flowed freely it at last broke up in a drunken fight.

In April 1832 we were invited to attend what was the first wedding in Carlinville. MR. WALLACE, whose house then stood where MR. WES. POCKINGTON'S now does, was about to lose his fair and comely daughter REBECCA, and to see this ceremony a large company of friends and relatives had been invited. The house was a large one for those times, as good as any in the place. Of course it was built of logs, one room doing duty as kitchen, dining room, parlor & c. MRS. WALLACE always kept these rooms in perect order, but upon this particular evening everything fairly shone, and all had a bright cheerful appearance. One thing that greatly added to its pleasantness was the wide mouthed fire- place, covering almost one end of the house, the wood in it being as long as a wagon could hold. It was very convenient that time, for the guests being numerous, the two younger children took refuge upon either end of the backlog and then from their corners of the fire-place looked out at the proceedings. Little MATTIE WALLACE, now MRS. SINCLAIR, was one of them. The company was all present when we arrived, and the bride and groom to be were awaiting the preacher's coming. An expectant hush fell upon all as he entered, and then as the young couple arose, the ceremony was performed and MISS REBECCA became MRS. DAVID McDANIEL. The bride was dressed in pure white, and with her fair and fresh complexion looked the perfect picture of health and beauty. Her grandaughter, MISS ADDIE MILLER, of our city, very much resembles her. I have forgotten how the groom was dressed, but know that he was a fine noble looking young man, and as they stood there receiving the congratulations and good wishes of their friends, their future seem quite promising. The supper that followed was a bountiful one, and all present seemed to enjoy the evening. Like sensible people they went directly to housekeeping, and until the time of their death were citizens of the place, well known and respected.

One morning in the spring after taking possession of our little home, I saw a woman approaching who was to me a stranger; she drew near and entered the house. She had on a calico dress made low in the neck, somewhat, and if I remember rightly was barefooted. On being invited she sat down and drawing a pipe from her bosom said, "I jest came in to light my pipe," which she proceeded to do. "Why, said I, "do you smoke?" "Yes", she answered, "I can't remember the time when I first lar'nt to smoke." "I should not think a girl would to that?" "Oh!", she answered quickly. " I ain't a girl, I was married thix weekths ago to ISAAC PRITCHARD." They at least did not go without their bridal trip, for in the summer they took hold of each other's hands and walked to Indiana to see their connection! There is an example for you young people! Very much cheaper at any rate, and possessing one advantage, you could stop by the way to admire the beauties of nature. MRS. KATY PRITCHARD was, and has ever been, a well known character in the city. She was not troubled by the spirit of self-depreciation, for she always affected the best society of the place. The CHESTNUTS, DUBOISES, MAYOS, c. were with her household names.

At the time of the Black-Hawk war, in the spring of '32, our community was startled by rumors that the Indians north and west of us were threatening a raid into the Southern counties. As they had formerly roamed and hunted over these prairies, and had (so alleged) dug and melted lead on the Macoupin, some credence was given to the report. Soldiers were needed to drive them back, and the men not readily volunteering, a draft was ordered for the county. Thirty or forty men gathered upon the square to take their chance and among the number was MR. PLANT, against whom some of our citizens were slightly prejudiced on account of his being a "Yankee" and hoped that he would be drafted. MRS. PLANT and a friend stood in her doorway watching the way things went, and when it was ascertained that he had been drawn, there was such shouting and embracing among the men as is not often witnessed. MRS. PLANT, with a mortified air, said, "I declare for it, I won't stay in such a place, I'll go back to Connecticut." And back she went the following summer, her husband with her, he having "hired a substitute."

The men who were drafted from Carlinville, joined a company that was passing through from Madison county. They were a rough, hardy looking set, being ununifomred; but then, they could fight the Indians, and they did it so successfully that we were never troubled by their deprodations again.

It was in these early days that B. T. BURKE, a Virginian, made his appearance in our midst, and his name has ever since been familiar to almost every one. He was sheriff for twelve years, and in that time laid the foundation of his colossal fortune.

About the same time BRAXTON EASTHAM came from Kentucky and settled in Carlinville, living for several years in a house southeast from the public square. Afterward they removed to a cabin near to where they now live. This cabin was in later days used for a school house "Good Intent." Later it was used as a chicken house. MR. EASTHAM was and is, a truly honest man, ever faithful to an engagement he may have undertaken or promise made; I never knew him to fail. Finding the temptations of the town too much for his strength, he finally decided that the better way to resist them was to keep out of the way of temptations. According to the resolution than made "never again to enter the town" he, although living at its very edge, has not, (so far as my knowledge extends) for over twenty years been beyond the railroad. His hair is very white now with the winter of age. Oh! that this crowning glory of old age may at death be exchanged for one of eternal life.

I think it was about the year '35 that COL. ANDERSON, also from Kentucky, came to this county, and after entering several thousand acres of land made his home four or five miles northeast of Carlinville. His children are--some of them--still settled near the old homestead. His son CRIT, and grandson W. E. P., son of ERASMUS ANDERSON, are living in Carlinville, while HAL is settled upon a farm near the fairgrounds--the old DUGGER farmó and is called the place where UNCLE JARROTT lived.

UNCLE JARROTT assisted in organizing the first S. S. in the place, and afterwards to carry it on --filling, I believe, the office of Superintendent. His sons, JOSEPH, WESLEY and FERGUSON, were old enough to teach classes, while of the other children there were almost enought to form a little school at least there was a beginning around which to gather in the other children of the town. JARROTT DUGGER was a great Sunday School man,and his grandson GEORGE W. DUGGER, present Superintendent of the M. E. S. S., is following in his footsteps.

The first child born in Carlinville, was THOMAS, a son of EZEKIKIEL and ALICE GOODE.

A while before the arrival of the writer, MRS. WILLIAMSON BROWN died at MR. GOODE'S of a fever, and hers was, I believe, the first death in the place.

The people in those days, found it very difficult to get their corn and wheat ground, having to go to adjoining counties for that purpose. After a few years, though, MR. WEATHERFORD built an ox mill out east of town for grindng corn but it was not at all certain to be in running order. As for flouring mills in the county there were none for many years afterwards, until, I blieieve, the old red milll was built where WEER'S now stands. There were times in those days when the flour being gone and the ox mill not running, and it not beng convenient to send the corn away, people had to subsist for a while on lye hominy; and this is a thing at which a person may eat continually and never have their hunger satisfied.

The citizens of Carlinville were always respectful listeners when they had respectable men to talk to them, but sometimes there were curious cases that called forth all the latent mischief in their natures, and then they were ready for anything. One morning when MR. OTWELL was working in his garden near the square, a half witted looking man came and asked him to go with him to the courthouse and help hold meeting; said he had been holding meetings in a certain place he mentioned, and had a "vivel of "ligion" there. He told the man he was hurried and could not go, so the fellow went away and held the meeting himself, and had the wild fellows for his hearers. When he got through his talk they asked "if he had license to preach?" When he could not show one they told him he had broken the law and they should try his case. Organizing themselves into a court they tried and sentenced him to death -- by hanging. He threw himself upon his knees crying, "O! for the Lord's sake let me go home to my wife and children." He wept and wrung his hands, but they were obdurate and told him he could "pull hemp" in less than an hour. When all hope seemed gone the men, but one (according to agreement) looked another way and whispered, "run for your life". And he did run if ever any one did. Soon the court seeming to discover his absence, come pouring out of the house and raised a terrific yell. They put a boy upon horseback with an unloaded gun over his shoulder to pursue him, but, of course, he was never overtaken.

It was sometime before this that the first temperance meeting had been held at MR. GOODE'S. But although all the adults present but one signed the pledge, whisky still held its ground. That one objected to signing away his liberty as long as he could get a bit to buy a dram with. That meeting was the "day of small things" compared with the recent great movement. Those meetings, the Sons of Temperance, the Good Templars and other kindred societies since then were but as the clearing away of underbrush, the cutting away of larger trees, preparing, digging deep for the foundation of our temperance building. A building whose stones have been laid in the 'Royal Purple Movement," having for its corner stone, "Trust in God's help to deliver." And as from the foundation we can get but a faint idea of the super-structure; so from this movement we can not guess what grand results may flow; but we know that the foundation is broad and strong, and we hope for time when this building shall stand perfect, entire, our city be fully delivered from that terrible curse of intemperance.

For years Carlinville was without any church building, each society being too poor to erect one. The first addition to Methodist society was about the year '34, when JARROTT DUGGER and his large family moved to this place and bought a farm of A. PEPPERDINE, (HAL ANDERSON'S now). Soon after it was decided to build a church, and the little company built the frame house where Mr. JOHN KELLAR now lives. It seemed very good to have a house to worship in after having had so much trouble. Not long after the hearts of the little company were made glad by the arrival among them of DR. JOHN LOGAN, who now, for over forty years, has been a true and faithful member. Afterwards many were converted and added to the church, but of the original five members all are long since gone to the good world but one, who still lingers on the shores of time, patiently waiting the Master's call.



Carlinville Township page

History index page

Macoupin County ILGenWeb Main Page



County Coordinator Gloria Frazier
Asst County Coordinator Kathleen Mirabella
©1996-2017 All rights reserved.
Copyright of submitted items belongs to those responsible for their authorship or creation unless otherwise assigned.
Any commercial use or any use for which money is asked or paid for any reason is strictly prohibited.