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1882 History - Chapter 17

[Page 151] Chapter XVII - Fairview Precinct

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The settlement by white people of Fairview Precinct extends so far back into the past that it is somewhat difficult to obtain reliable data in regard to the original pioneers. Among the first white men to locate here , probably, was Isam REAVES, who came here from Maryland with his family prior to the war of 1812. Some time after this the REAVES family removed to Kentucky, near Bowling Green, and, after remaining there for awhile, again moved to this State and settled in Madison County, near Collinsville. In 1832, Isam REAVES again moved to this county and settled in what is now Fairview Precinct. He died on the old REAVES farm, which he entered at a cost of 50 cents per acre. He participated in the war of 1812, on the Beaver Creek side. In one of the battles, two of his comrades named PREWITT and GRATTS were killed by the Indians, and Joseph GRATTS' father, Thomas HIGGINS and William BURGESS were wounded. Gen. WHITESIDES was also wounded at the same time. This occurred about the close of the war. Hiram REAVES, the son of Isam REAVES, was born in this county, four miles south of Greenville, and within on mile of the old fort on Shoal Creek, on the 10th of June, 1816, and is probably the oldest resident now living in the county who was born in it. He resides in the southeast corner of Fairview Precinct, and is totally blind. Some time after the advent of Isam REAVES, in 1829, came William HARPER, Thomas L. HARPER, Elisha MATHEWS and John REAVES, all from Tennessee. John REAVES settled on Section 14, on the farm now owned by Mrs. BOOKER. William HARPER settled on the northeast quarter of Section 22, where J. M. HARPER now resides. John REAVES and William HARPER both died in this township, and both have descendants now living here. REAVES has two sons and two daughters at present residing in this county. Among the early settlers were also Jerry STUBBLEFIELD, Henry BROWN and three brothers named Jordan, Morgan and William MURRAY. About this time came the LONG family. There were three brothers of them, namely, Abner, Joseph and John, who settled on the northeast quarter of Section 22. They afterward separated, Joseph settling on Section 15, on land now owned by J. M. HARPER, and John settling on the land now owned by D. CABLE. Abner being a “potter” and a maker of earthenware, floated about from place to place, plying his trade, until 1840, when they all “pulled up stakes” and moved to Missouri, leaving no descendants in this county.

Isaac SNODGRASS came in with the LONGs and located on Section 15, on land now owned by Charles BOWMAN. He was a Justice of the Peace, and was probably the first Justice in this section of the county, but he has no descendants living here now. In the spring of 1832, the BATES family, headed by Anson, came and settled on Section 22. He had a brother Samuel, who came shortly after him, and settled on the same section. John CROUCH, a Baptist minister, also came at an early day and settled on the northeast quarter of Section 23, on the land now owned by E. PERKINS. He was followed soon afterward by James CLARK and Maj. William DAVIS, who settled on Section 22, and John H. TAYLOR, who settled on the east half of Section 13. In the spring of 1830, two men named FISHER and McKEE came in and settled on Section 22. Ben JEWETT entered Section 27, and Andy and John WILLIAMS settled on Sections 36 and 25, respectively. In 1820, Isaac JONES and John WILLIAMS came with their families from Virginia, the former settling near the Fayette County line,

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on the east half of Section 24, and the latter settled on Section 13. They have no descendants in this county now, except one nephew named Winslow TAYLOR. Then, in 1827, John LOCKHART came from Maury County, Tenn., and settled on Section 11, on the farm where L. J. SEGRAVES now lies, where he resided until 1841, when he removed to Arkansas. He has one daughter, Nancy, the wife of L. J. SELLERS, residing at Mulberry Grove, this county. Then came Bennett SEGRAVES, from Georgia, in the spring of 1829, and located in the northeast corner of Section 11, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1868. His son, Lockhart J. SEGRAVES, succeeded him, and now lives on the old home farm.

The first election ever held in Township 5, Range 2, was held in the brush, near the cabin of Bennett SEGRAVES, in August of 1835. The people cast their votes in the old-fashioned manner, by calling out the name of the candidate whom they desired to vote for, and their own name, a register of the same being kept by a clerk, appointed for that purpose.

It is not known at this day who taught the first school in Fairview Precinct, but the one said to have been the first, was taught by Joseph WILLIAMS, the schoolhouse built about 1831, on the northwest quarter of Section 13. It was a log building, the crevices between the logs being plastered up with mud, and the pupils were accommodated with seats upon a slab, the ends of which were stuck into chinks between the logs on either side of the building. The school was taught on the subscription plan, the teacher receiving a small remuneration (usually from $1 to $1.50 per term of tree months) for each pupil placed in his charge.

The first minister, of whom anything authentic can be learned, was a Methodist Episcopal minister named Rev. James B. WOOLARD, who came to Fairview Precinct about the year 1830, perhaps sooner. Usually divine services were held at the house of John REAVES, on Section 14, and it was his custom to gather up his congregation on his road to the meeting, as they were generally to be found in the woods engaged in hunting or fishing.

Another church which figured quite prominently in the early church history of Fairview Precinct, is the one known as "Hurricane Church". It is of the German Baptist order, and the present organization was established in 1858. For a number of years after the organization of this church, meetings were held in schoolhouses, in barns, and at the residences of the members, and the first minister was the Rev. D. B. STURGES, who was assisted in his ministerial duties by George BEANBLOSSOM. Rev. STURGIS was some time after this made a bishop, and the Rev. John HECKMAN succeeded him as pastor of Hurricane Church, and he was, in turn, succeeded by Rev. William ELAM. After this, the church was taken charge of by Elder John METZSGER, after whom Elder John WISE assumed the pastorate. The first Deacons of this church were William and Edward ELAM and Jacob CRIPE. In 1874, this organization built a neat frame church building, at a cost of about $1,500, on land donated for that purpose by Henry JONES, who is the present minister. The present Deacons are Jacob ROOT, Daniel NOFFSINGER and Cornelius KESSLER. The church has at present a membership of about seventy, is in a highly prosperous condition, and regular meetings are held every first and third Sunday in each month.

In 1833, a number of the old, original “Hard-Shell” Baptist denomination organized a congregation, and built a log church on Section 12, and Rev. CROUCH was installed as pastor. This building still remains standing, and at present is occasionally used as a place for holding divine service. Among the first members of this organization were John CROUCH and wife, Mrs. Mary RUSHTON, Polly RUSHTON and her daughter Susie, Elisha MATHEWS, John TAYLOR, etc.

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Another church of the German Baptist denomination, and probably the first church of this kind in Fairview Precinct, was organized by Joseph RENCH and George BEANBLOSSOM, prior to the establishment of "Hurricane Church", in 1858, and the teachings of the Bible were explained by Rev. Isam GIBSON. Its early membership was, of course, very small, but among those who were the first to join were: George BEANBLOSSOM and wife, William RENCH and wife, John RENCH and wife, Aaron RENCH and wife, Joseph RENCH and his daughter, Mrs. Rhoda SUTTON, Hiram REAVES and wife, Jacob CRIPE and wife, Charles EDWARDS and wife, etc. This church gradually drifted out of existence, and most of its old members, now living, have united themselves with "Hurricane Church".

About 1848, a Pennsylvanian named Dr. Daniel B. STURGIS, laid off a town near the section line, between Sections 23 and 24, and gave to it the name of Hamburg, his idea being that the name would induce German emigrants to come there and locate. It, however, being located on low ground, those came who did not take to it readily, and pointed to the hill near by, significant of its superiority as a place of settlement. The first store and dwelling house in this village was erected by the PERKINS Brothers, in 1854. They also ran a blacksmith-shop. This little hamlet had only about five families in it, and all the dwellings, excepting one, were rudely constructed of logs.

In 1856, the PERKINS Brothers accepting an offer of four lots to build upon if they would come, removed to what is now the village of Fairview, and Hamburg virtually met its death, most of the inhabitants removing to Fairview.

The town of "Fairview" lies eight miles nearly east of Greenville, in Section 23, Township 5, Range 2. It was surveyed by R. K. DEWEY for the proprietors, E. P. MATHEWS and John REAVES, on the 28th day of January, 1857. It is situated on a high ridge, affording a magnificent view in every direction, and surrounded by the best and most beautiful portion of Bond County. (Hence its name.) In 1857, the PERKINS Bros. traded their store to J. F. MATTHEWS, for land on Section 28. He continued the business for one year, when he died, and his brother J. J. MATHEWS, succeeded him, and run the store for about two years, when he sold out to Elisha MATTHEWS and Ephraim PERKINS, who were seceded by W. C. PERKINS and J. H. PERKINS (brothers). These gentlemen finally sold out to Owen WALLS, who soon afterward sold out to H. H. PAHLMAN. He ran the store some time, when he was bought out by J. S. GORLINE, who continued the business about one year, when Elisha MATHEWS again purchased it, and after running it some time it was repurchased by J. H. PAHLMAN, who is the present incumbent. The first blacksmith shop was owned by the PERKINS Bros., and was run by a German named Fred KAHN. Emmet ROBERTS was the first wagon maker. The first mill was run by Stephen D. BOURNER and Daniel FAULKNER. It was a wind-mill it was run about one year, when steam power was put in. It has made several changes of ownership, and at present is run by Hammond & Tompkins, who have attached a saw-mill to the grist or grinding part, but as it is behind in the way of improvements, it is doing only a moderate business.

There were at one time two stores in the village, but in 1879, the second one, run by Willington BOURNER, was closed out, and since that time no goods have been kept there. The first shoemaker was William RENCH. Allen CAYLOR ran the first drug store in 1876, and the present drug store is run by S. D. BOURNER. The first Postmaster was Reuben COBURN, in 1862, and the present Postmaster is J. H. PAHLMAN. There are two churches in Fairview, the United Baptists and the Cumberland Presbyterians.

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The latter-named church was founded about 1840, and their first minister was Rev. BARBER. Meetings were held around at the houses of the members, until in 1849, a schoolhouse was built on Section 23, on land owned by John REAVES, and meetings were held in it from that time forward, under the spiritual guidance of Rev. William HUTCHINSON. The church was re-organized in April of 1866, and a frame building was erected at a cost of about $1,300, and Rev. William TURNER was installed as minister. The first regular minister, however, was the Rev. William B. POLAND. The first Elders were George F. BERRY, John H. MINOR and William DAVIS, Jr. The first Trustees were John H. MINOR, D. H. McADOO and Thomas L. REAVES. At the time of its re-organization in 1866, the membership of the church numbered about thirty, and they have had preaching regularly ever since until within the past year (1881). At present there is a Sunday school conducted in the church, under the superintendency of G. S. DUFF. It is a recent affair, having been organized in April of this year (1882), and as yet they have no library.

The United Baptist Church was first organized December 30, 1869. The first members were E. P. MATHEWS, Mary J. MATHEWS, W. C. PERKINS, John H. PERKINS, Martha A. PERKINS, Amanda PERKINS, Amanda STUBBLEFIELD, Anna PERKINS, and Catharine SHIPBY. Their first minister was Rev. R. B. REAVES and the first Clerk was W. C. PERKINS. The Deacons in February of 1870 were E. P. MATHEWS and John PERKINS. At the time they worshiped in the building of the Presbyterian Church, and afterward in an old dwelling-house belonging to J. H. PERKINS, where they continued to worship until the erection of their own church building in 1877.

Transcribed by Norma Hass from the History of Bond and Montgomery Counties Illinois, published in 1882, Part I, pages 151-157.

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