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1882 History - Chapter 12

[Page 121 - Start of Chapter XII written by Williamson PLANT]

To what extent the early settlers of Bond County believed in the existence of ghosts, no official record has been left; but they have recorded their belief in that mysterious healing art where faith is the active agent as late as June 2, 1829. In that record is found that Polly HARNESS, “in consequence of a canser or ulser is unable to earn a livelihood;” whereupon the court makes the following order: “Ordered, that Thomas HUNTER be appointed Agent to convey Polly HARNESS to a Dutch Doctor, living about ten miles below Herculanium, in Missouri, and that the sum of $30 be paid to said Thomas HUNTER to defray said expenses.” The record in due time shows that the said Thomas HUNTER reported to the court the delivery of the said Polly HARNESS to one “William NEILL, and took his receipt for the cure and maintanence” of the said HARNESS “near Harkalenaum”, and that the $30 was duly expended; after that announcement the record is silent.

At least two jails have been built in Greenville before the one now in use, which was built in 1859. The first was built by Andrew MOODY and Thomas STOUT, of square logs, according to specifications, at a cost of $244.50, in State paper. It was built somewhere near the present house of Samuel BRADFORD. The contract is dated July 4, 1829, to be completed by the first Monday in December following. The second jail was built by Richard TATOM, on the public square, for $321.74, payment made for same July 4, 1835, that probably being the date of receiving the building. The present jail is a very respectable building, having none of the forbidding outward appearances often attending that class of buildings. It was built at a cost of about $5,000, with the cells since fitted up on the west side. But few persons have escaped from the same since it was finished.

The city of Greenville, containing a population of 2,500 inhabitants, is located on the highest point of land on the line of the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad, fifty miles from St. Louis, gently sloping to the south, with woodland in close proximity on the north and west, through which numerous springs of pure water flow continuously, giving early promise of furnishing for the city and manufactories, to be established, a bountiful supply of water.

Beginning as the town did in 1819, with one small building made of unhewed logs, in which Green P. RICE measured his first yard of cotton goods to the early settler; next, to the time when it was made the county seat, in 1821, when he had retired from the trade, and his successor, Samuel DAVIDSON, was no more; then the erection of county buildings, and, within the next ten years, the increased number of stores in the hands of BLANCHARD,

[Page 122] BIRGE, LONG, DURLEY, DRAKE and WHITE, although frequently changing in the time. Then George DAVIDSON with his small cabin entertains, as best he can, man and beast. Next, Seth BLANCHARD, his successor, and David BERRY, each with enlarged cabins, gave ample accommodations for shelter, and their ever well loaded tables (of which tradition speaks in praise), fed the weary traveler as he wended his way on horseback through the new country to the West. The next ten years bring an increased population, more extensive business in every department. The first old court house had returned to the ground if not to the dust. The old jail failed of its purpose, and both were condemned as unsuitable longer for usefulness.

We have now reached 1841. The business houses have increased not only in number, but their stocks of merchandise have been greatly enlarged. Within this last ten years we find Seth BLANCHARD, J. B. DRAKE, Ansel BIRGE, Williard TWISS, W. S. SMITH, L. D. PLANT, William DAVIS, GOODING, MORSE & Bros. and James M. DAVIS have been selling goods, not all at one time, for many changes were made within that time. The hotels in the meantime had made further improvements under the management of BLANCHARD; then his successor, Thomas DAKIN, and David BERRY at his old stand, second house west of DRAKE's. A new court house has also been built, of wood, in place of the old crumbled brick, and a new jail on the southeast corner of the public square.

During all these years, many times without building for Clerk's offices and places for holding courts, among the first places for holding the courts was in the building west of ELAM's old blacksmith shop, southwest of Joel ELAM's present residence; then in the house of Wyatt STUBBLEFIELD; then in the old BERRY Tavern, where the difficulty between two lawyers occurred during the session of court. One twisted the nose of the other, which he resented with his cane. If we move up ten years more, to 1851, living witnesses are numerous who know of the changes. We have some of the old merchants, with many that are new. The list now is covered by W. S. & Thomas W. SMITH, J. B. DRAKE, MORSE & Bros., Charles HOILES, George W. HILL, S. B. BULKLEY, P. J. HOLCOMB AND L. D. & W. PLANT.

The hotels, by David BERRY, Thomas STOUT, J. B. O. WHITE, the latter where Mrs. McCORD's hotel is now kept, and who that lived within the last period named does not remember the private boarding house of Mr. And Mrs. John ACKERIGE, next bouse east of Dr. DRAKE’s? what nice meals at “moderate prices” they prepared! During court week, their table was always crowded by jurors, witnesses and those interested in court, living in the county, whilst the Judge and most of the members of the bar from abroad stopped at the Berry House. The tables of these houses were abundantly supplied with wild game, such as venison, prairie chickens, quail, etc., which were plentiful and very cheap. The common price for :venison saddle” (the hind quarters with the loin), would sell for 37 ½ cents per pair. The average weight would be from thirty to fifty pounds each, making the meat average about 1 cent per pound. What boy now living that was in Greenville during this time does not remember the ginger cakes made by old mother ALLRED? The next ten years takes us to 1861. Increased business on every hand. We find during this time that merchants are covered by the following list: W. S. & T. W. SMITH, MORSE & Bros., G. W. HILL, Samuel A. BLANCHARD, ELLIOTT & KERSHNER, A. W. HYNES, and BARR & ELLIOTT.

[Page 123] The hotels are now all removed to near the public square. The St. Charles Hotel, by E. B. McCORD, Franklin House, by Franklin G. MORSE, from whom it took its name. Within this last period a new jail has been built, of brick, where it now stands on Third street, and the present court house completed in 1855.

Now let us pass from 1861 to the present, 1882, covering a period of twenty-one years, as the town has grown until it would be impossible to make mention in detail of many changes and occurrences. The greatest impetus given to Greenville since it was first named, was the building and completion of the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad through the southern line of the city. The first passenger train from Greenville to St. Louis was on the morning of December 8, 1868, and from that date we mark the first march of improvement. As has been shown by an article in this book covering a history of the Vandalia Railroad that the citizens of Greenville and Bond County have more than ordinary interest in the success of this road.

The stores that have been in operation in that time, but have closed out, are as follows: W. S. SMITH & Co., J. M. SMITH, MORSE & Bros., C. HOILES, G. W. HILL, A. BUIE, William M. EVANS & Co., J. G. SPRAGUE, H. Y. SCHELL, J. W. ELLIOTT, P. C. REED, McLAIN & WAFER, John B. REID, Samuel B. HYNES, E. V. BUCHANAN, George F. SALISBURY.

If a stranger visiting Greenville for the first time should desire detailed information in regard to the business transacted in the city at the present time, and ask to be shown first the merchant longest in the trade, any one of whom the request was made would conduct him to the well-filled “U.S.” store of John T. BARR, successor of Messrs. BARR & ELLIOT, on Main street, south side of the public square. This house has always had a good, regular trade.

He would next be shown the store of Daniel R. GRIGG, on Lot 31, corner of College and Second streets. Mr. GRIGG has well proved the old adage to be correct, that “He who by the plow would thrive, himself must either hold or drive.” Mr. GRIGG has succeeded well by his personal attention to his business. He would next be shown north across the street to the large, well-filled house of W. S. DANN & Co. This house speaks for itself, the proprietors having the happy faculty of pleasing their numerous customers, and to meet the requirements of their trade have recently enlarged their already commodious building.

The firm of BERRY & DAVIS, Third street, west side of the public square, would claim his attention next. The business of this firm has increased until they now stand in the front raks with their worthy competitors; the range of their trade is varied, keeping a general stock of dry goods; they have bought and sold grain, wool, etc. Adjoining their store on the north is the well and favorably known house of JANDT & WEISE, successors to JANDT & REED. This house is connected in some degree with the house at Pocahontas, under the name of H. A. JANDT & Co., and, by concert of action by the two houses, have now a lucrative business.

These five stores of general merchandise are all in a prosperous condition, each house having their friends, makes a good division in the trade, and, the competitions being close, each stands as a guard on prices, to keep them within proper bounds.

Only three clothing houses are in operation at present; a fourth, however, is in prospect.

The New York Clothing House, on Lot 42, corner of Third and Main streets, first made its bow to the public some fifteen years ago, with Mr. S. STEARN as proprietor. Mr. STEARN was lost whilst crossing the Atlantic on the

[Page 124] steamer Schiller, in company with Mr. John SUPPIGER and family. Soon after, Mr. Louis KAUFMAN took charge of the store and conducted it successfully until recently. Mr. E. B. WISE became associated with him under the name of KAUFMAN & WISE. They have always had a good trade. The store of A. ABRAMS, on Lot 41, corner of Main and Second streets, under the name of “Golden Eagle,” though not one of the largest, is well assorted for the trade. This store was broken into one night a few months since by two tramps, strangers to the town, and several hundred dollars’ worth of goods taken. The thieves were captured soon after, the goods recovered, and are now serving out their sentence in the Chester Penitentiary.

Theodore W. CLOVERDALE is proprietor of the “Elephant” clothing, boot and shoe house on Lot 61, corner of Second and South streets. Commencing some eight years ago with a small stock of boots and shoes, he now enjoys a large, prosperous trade from his new stand with his large stock of clothing, as well as boots, shoes, etc.

Mr. H. T. POWELL is just fitting up his building on the northwest corner of Lot 47, on Main street, with a new stock of readymade clothing. He has been a successful business man in the past, which argues well for him in the future.

Of the grocery stores there are five, all apparently doing a flourishing business. The oldest is that of Mr. E. P. JUSTICE, on Lot 48, corner of Main and Second streets; has held a good trade for many years past. Mr. John PERRYMAN’s comes next. Mr. PERRYMAN’s business has been conducted for several years by his son George, who has made a first-class grocery house of it. It is situated in his new building, built recently on his lot for the business for which they are so successfully using it. It is located on the south side of the public square. ROBINSON & Son, just north of ABRAM’s clothing store, have had their share of the grocery business during the seeral years they have been in business, always keeping reliable goods.

The firm of WATSON & JETT, although only some two years in business, have a trade that often takes many years to secure its equal. They were not new men in the trade, but had had several years' experience in business at another point. Their trade is all they should desire.

Mr. Warren B. BEEDLE, successor to E. V. BUCHANAN, on the west side of the public square, enjoys his share of the grocery trade. He is well located, and his pleasant address will not fail to add to his already increasing business.

Four drug stores adorn the town. The health of the county and city is so good that did they depend on the sale of medicines alone for a support, one would easily satisfy every demand; but these stores include, besides their drugs and medicines, a great variety of fancy and toilet goods, cutlery, paints, oils, dye stuffs and some medicinal liquors, to which they add the soda fount, etc., etc., and with a full line of these, each establishment, although of good proportions, find a paying business throughout the year.

C. R. BENNETT may be found at his old stand, on Lot 23, corner of Third and College streets. Mr. M. OUYDEN, with a comparatively new stock of goods, just south, across the street, on the opposite corner. C. W. WATSON & Co., successors of H. T. POWELL, one door east of the First National Bank, and George W. SEAMAN, on the corner of Lot 47, corner of Main and Second streets. These four drug houses are all first-class.

Only two tin and hardware shops are located in Greenville, but they have ample facilities to meet the requirements that may be

[Page 125] made upon them. Mr. Theodore SMITH has been in business more than twenty-five years; is proprietor of one of the shops. He is now located on Lot 45, on Third street, in a large, commodious room, well suited to his business. The other is owned and conducted by Messrs. F. SEEWALD & Co., on Lot 49, Greenville, on Main street. A double building was found necessary to give sufficient room for their work and trade.

There are two furniture stores, one kept by GERICHS & NORMAN, on Third street, who also keep undertakers’ goods. The other, in charge of Mr. Gus TRIPOD, on Second street; besides which there is the cabinet shop of Mr. BARBEY, who includes in his stock picture frames, undertakers’ goods, etc.

Three regular agricultural warehouses, with partial hardware stores attached, are to be found in the city – one on the corner of Main and Third streets, kept by Messrs. J. J. CLARKSON and G. W. LOWRANCE, under the name of Clarkson & Lowrance. They handle many manufactures of plows, several self binders, and keep a good stock of hardware, seeds, etc. Another, and quite similar establishment, is first door north of the Presbyterian Church, kept by Jonathan SEAMAN and HUBBARD, under the style of Seaman & Hubbard. The third agricultural house is kept by William LEIDEL. He keeps everything belonging to a first-class agricultural establishment, and is located across the street, west form his residence, near the railroad depot. Other agricultural implements are sold by parties who have no regular house for their sale.

Three millinery and fancy stores may be named. McLAIN & Co., on Lot 49, Main street, is a house that has been established a number of years, and has always had the confidence of the public. The millinery parlors kept by Misses Jennie F. and May BARR, on Second street, one door south of the Thomas House, is well filled with fashionable goods; and the St. Louis Bazaar, by Mr. A. W. HYNES, one door east of E. P. JUSTICE’s grocery store. This last is more of a fancy store, with rare fruits, than to be called a millinery establishment. These houses have careful attendants, and are getting good trade.

Five blacksmiths are scattered through the town. John SCHLUP, who also makes a specialty of manufacturing wagons, has his shop on Third and Summer streets, T. B. SAVAGE, aid to N. W. McLAIN's machine shop is also, on Third street; J. E. TRAVIS' shop is on Summer street, and W. W. WILLIAMS is located on Main, on Lot 50. J. D. DORSEY, "the village smith", makes a specialty of horseshoeing, on what is claimed to be an improved system; is located between the Baptist and Christian Churches.

Three banks have been in successful operation from fifteen to twenty years each. The first was under the style of W. S. SMITH & Co., which was succeeded by the First National Bank of Greenville, located on the northwest corner of Lot 46, Main and Third streets, with a capital of $100,000, which has since been reduced about one-third. Its officers are Nathaniel DRESSOR, President; Abe McNEIL, Vice President; M. V. DENNY, Cashier.

Mr. Charles HOILES having retired from the bank bearing his name some two years ago, the same is now very successfully conducted by his two sons, C. D. and S. M. HOILES, under the old firm name of HOILES & Sons. Their bank is located on the southeast corner of Lot 47, on Second street. The bank of James BRADFORD and Samuel BRADFORD, under the style of BRADFORD & Son, is situated on the southwest corner of Lot 31, Second street. Each of the banks has the confidence of the people as regards their solvency.

Two large lumber yards are located within

[Page 126] the corporation, that of Messrs. G. W. FLINT & Co., successors to GERICHS & KOCH, on Fourth and Washington streets, and that of C. D. HARRIS & CO., successor to MUDD & HARRIS, opposite the public school buildings. The lumber trade of Greenville is very large. The hotels should not be overlooked. The Franklin House, by L. SILVERMAN, is well located on College and Third streets. The house was built in 1840, by L. D. PLANT, for a hotel, but was not used as such for many years after. It has undergone considerable repairs and additions since building. The hotel on the east side of the public square, by Mrs. Elizabeth McCORD, is the same building in which J. B. O. WHITE kept hotel over twenty-five years since. Mrs. McCORD has attended closely to her duties, and has kept up the name of her house. She has many old traveling friends.

The THOMAS House, kept by Mrs. Mary A. THOMAS, deserves special notion. She commenced some ten years since, keeping her first hotel in the old Sargeant House; then the Franklin; next the new Empire. Her success in these houses enabled her to purchase the house she now occupies, which she has been keeping for the past three years, under the name of the Thomas House. She has shown more than ordinary executive ability in conducting her hotel business in the past, which is a sure guaranty for success in the future. Her table is loaded with the delicacies of the season, as the market affords.

Three jewelry stores are at present in Greenville. That of G. S. HAVEN, on Lot 32, northwest corner of court house square, is the oldest, Mr. HAVEN having been in the business about thirteen years. The other two stores are situated side by side on Lot 47, southeast corner of the square, one kept by Mr. Charles DERLETH, the other by Mr. Phillip FRECH. Both make attractive exhibits of their wares. There is but one machine shop in the city, and is kept on Lot 11, Third street, where ordinary repairs to machines needing experts are repaired.

A number of shops for the manufacture of boots and shoes can be found by walking through the town. Across the street, on the north side of the square, may be seen the shop of Messrs. FLAHARTY & SALA. Just south of Mr. JUSTICE’s store the shop of Mr. JACOT, and south, on the same street, on Lot 53, the well-known shop of Louis DERLETH, in the basement of HOILES Block, has had a good run of trade since he has been conducting the same. Mr. James LYON’s, two doors west of the Baptist Church, is the convenient shop for those living at the west end of the city. He has not been known to refuse to sell or work for those living in any other part of Greenville.

For a number of years three elevators have been in operation in Greenville, buying and shipping grain, besides the mill of Plant & Wafer. The proprietors of the largest of these elevators have recently retired from the business, but the business will probably continue under another management.

Adolphe BRENCHAND and his brother Mark BREUCHAND have each an elevator on the line of the railroad, some forty rods distant from each other. The buying of wheat for shipping and grinding at Greenville annually amounts to more than two hundred thousand bushels, in good seasons.

There are three steam flouring mills at Greenville – one situated half a mile north of the city, near the creek, from which the supply of water needed in running the mill is taken. A similar mill, though not so large, was burned on the spot where the present one stands, by one PAGE, some forty years ago, for which he suffered the penalty of the law. Mr. W. S. SMITH is the owner of the property

[Page 127] at present. On account of its having been built on the ashes of the old mill, it was for years known as the Phoenix Mills. The small mill immediately north of the railroad, known as the Star Mills, was built some ten years ago by J. E. WALLS and W. M. EVANS. It was designed for a custom or exchange mill. Mr. E. TINKEY, its present proprietor, has made some improvements in the same during the past two years he has owned it, and he runs it to the extent that business justifies.

The mill on the south side of the railroad, known as the Greenville City Mills, was built some fourteen years ago by N. W. McLAIN and James E. WAFER, who ran it for a number of years, when John B. REID became their successor, added some improvements, and sold it to its present owners, Williamson PLANT and Thomas WAFER, who have recently expended several thousand dollars putting in improved machinery to enable them to manufacture a superior grade of flour for their large and growing trade. They have opened up a good shipping trade within the past two years with Belfast, Ireland, Glasgow, Scotland, Liverpool and London, having shipped to those points within that time over thirty car loads of flour, at prices in advance of any market in the United States. This mill also does a general exchange business with farmers the same as the other two mills before referred to. The water for running this mill is abundant in a good well in the mill. In addition to the above, Messrs. ELAM & Sons are putting up a mill on the railroad near the stock pens for sawing walnut blocks into legs for tables, and hickory butts into carriage and wagon spokes, etc.

The perplexities and uncertainties of the law in Greenville is explained and argued if necessary, for a proper fee, by Messrs. S. A. PHELPS, D. H. KINGSBURY, A. G. HENRY, W. H. DAWDY, John KINGBURY, W. A. NORTHCOTT (Mr. NORTHCOTT at present being State’s Attorney), and L. H. CRAIG. ROBINSON & REID, over the post office, are engaged in an abstract, loan and insurance business.

The citizens of Greenville claim that the health of their city and surrounding country has been so good that they will need, if such continues, a list of the names of their resident physicians placed in some conspicuous place that they may not forget them. If such a list was posted in the order in which they came to the city, it would be in the following order: Drs. W. P. BROWN, R. C. SPRAGUE, J. A. SLAUGHTER, David WILKINS, James GORDON, D. R. WILKINS, Frank BROWN, W. H. H. BEESON and Miss Florence B. HOLDEN.

The above list will not need to have the name of our excellent dentist, Dr. N. H. JACKSON, inscribed on it for fear we may forget him, as each one, sooner or later, will have occasion to know of him or his brethren in the profession elsewhere. He is at present located pleasantly in rooms above the Elephant Clothing House.

The three harness shops will not be overlooked by the farmer, or those in need of their goods. That of T. B. WOOD, one door south of BRADFORD’s Bank, of W. J. MILLS, on Lot 25, northwest corner of the public square, and last, but not least, that of Will HODZKOM, on Lot 32, west side of the square. All these men give personal attention to their business.

The pleasure-seekers will always be glad to make the acquaintance of the good natured livery stable man. When you step out of the TOMAS House, on the first lot to your left you will find the Empire Stable, kept by Mr. James W. WHITTAKER, and he keeps many new buggies to sell to those who do not want to ride in his.

Capt. S. M. TABOR, in the Fancisco Stables, has had an excellent run of business. Capt.

[Page 128] TABOR’s friends are loud in praise of the speed of some of his horses.

Mr. Robert MERRY, successor to Wood & Merry, has found it necessary to own tow stables to enable him to carry on his large and growing business – one just west from Capt. TABOR’s, and the other across the street north. Mr. MERRY has some good rigs for the business. All seem to do a good business.

The tonsorial art, in the hands of Messrs. C. R. JONES, Thomas BARBEE, Mr. KEPLER and Joseph JONES has had the tendency of smoothing the faces and shortening the locks of their numerous visitors, adding largely to their personal appearance in proportion as they remove this surplus growth.

No one should shun Messrs. HURLEY & Co., on Third street, below the First National Bank, because their home and business is among the tombstones. A call upon them will give some idea of the work that may stand as a sentinel at your last resting place.

No business list of Greenville would be complete that did not include the bakeries of Messrs. Frank PARENT and Nicholas FAUST; and they know how to make a good lunch or square meal.

Mr. C. R. BRENNING makes a specialty of his restaurant, and knows how to please his patrons by keeping a nice, clean house. The ice cream saloon and fancy bakery of Mrs. HEFFER & Sons commands the attention of not only the young man and his girl, but older people find real comfort in those dishes they know so well how to serve. In closing our Greenville notes, mention must be made of the “boy merchant,” Lincoln REID, son of Col. J. B. REID, a mere lad, yet he has been in business about three years, beginning at first selling stationery on a small scale from a counter in the corner of the post office in Greenville. His business is steadily increasing, until now it is developing into a business of larger proportions. Such enterprise give hopeful promise in the future.

To write of incidents of a foreign land as they fall under our observation or related to us by others, is largely of the nature of machine work. But to write of one’s home, early associations and recollections, of incidents of days that are passed never to return and bring back those happy inspirations of youth, cannot but bring its share of sadness. But let these be as they may, the writer has honestly, but perhaps too hurriedly, given in the preceeding pages (or at least that part allotted to him), which came under his personal knowledge, or was derived from official records of the different events as they occurred, faithfully and impartially, knowing full well that some errors may have crept in unobserved, for which great care has been used to make the number of such as few as possible.

Transcribed by Norma Hass from the History of Bond and Montgomery Counties Illinois, published in 1882, Part I, pages 121-128.

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