Ed Trover's 1905 Recollections of Carlinville, Macoupin County IL
©1997 M Trover

Submitted by M Trover from an article kept by her cousin Carolyn Metz of St. Louis, MO. She was the granddaughter of Ed and his wife Julia Morris Trover. Besides Carolyn's mother Bessie, the other children were Morris, Ed, and Sep Trover. Many of the readers will also remember Sep Trover who ran Trover's Wholesale which was a tobacco and candy store on the north east corner of the square in Carlinville. M Trover's father Cullen Trover took over the wholesale business after Sep's death and continued the business until 1971 when it was sold.

The following article was written on May 21, 1905 and published in the newspaper probably in Carlinville, Illinois. I hope you find it interesting and infomative too.

Ed Trover's 1905 Recollections of Carlinville, Macoupin County IL

Ed Trover: I claim the distinction of being the oldest tinner in point of service rendered one firm in the state, having been in the employ of the S. S. Woodward Hardware Co. continuously since 1861. I will celebrate my 66th birthday tomorrow at my bench where I have been for forty years without cessation.

I came to Carlinville from Shaw's Point (my parents being originally from Kentucky) and commenced to learn my trade under my brother John Trover, who I think, started one of the first repair shops in the village of Carlinville, as it was then. This was about 1854. I was about eight years old when I took up my residence here. I remained with my brother some six or seven years, when he sold out, went to California and joined the regular army.

Then I went to work for S. S. Woodward and have been with the firm every since. There was not much of this town as I remember it first. My brother's shop was in a little, two-story building where the Sourmash building now stands, and I remember in my boyhood days the superstition that was prevelant about the shop, occasioned by a man named Aaron Todd, who was murdered. His body was said to have rested in the second story of that building after the murder was committed on the prairie, and a spot on the ceiling was said to have been his blood. However that may have been, there were few about the shop who would sleep in the second story.

I remember well the Nash suicide in the old log jail which stood where the Weiss hardware store now stands. I was working for my brother, and John Drennan and I went to the jail to see Nash hung, and my brother gave me my first real good whipping for so doing. There was a great crowd in town to see the murderer hanged, but he committed suicide before the reprieve came, by hanging himself. I can go to the spot, where in the old courthouse, his body was laid after it was removed from the jail. It was near where the east gate of the park now is. Nash lived for some time in an old tree covered with grape vines in Shaw's Point township, known as the Giberson neighborhood. His home was in that neighborhood. He went to Tennessee finally, where he was arrested and brought back. I have seen his house many times. The murder was committed at Old Zanesville. He was a good man until he got drunk, in which state he was when he committed the murder.

My brother John was back in his old home in 1877, having quit the army, but soon tired of civilian's life, went back, re-enlisted and died some five years ago. He had been in the soldier's home in Washington City for some time. I remember the C. & A. construction. John O'Niel and I, now deputy sheriff, and other boys used to borrow the hand car and ride up and down the road. John and I got into a scrap one time and he bit one of my fingers off. I remember him very distinctly. The first engines the C. & A. used were those old, big-topped smoke stacks, and burned wood. John O'Niel's father was the section foreman.

In those days in early Carlinville horse racing, fights, drinking whisky and going to dances were not uncommon. The vast prairie was only dotted here and there by a log house. I have made much money in my life and saved little. I never spent any foolishly, but have been too liberal and gave it away. I was married 28 years ago, and if I had married sooner I would have been worth more money. I never called for a drink over a bar in my life and never purchased but two pints of whisky in my life and that was for medical purposes. Three sons, one daughter, my wife and I, compose the family. I could tell you much of the early history of men and measures in Carlinvillle.

Sep Woodward was a good man and he and I always agreed, save as to little differences, which don't count. His son, Charles, is a chip off the old block and when he gets old it will be difficult to distinguish one from the other.

Carlinville Township

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