THE City of McLeansboro



     These immense stores are an attraction to all visitors to McLeansboro.  The Famous, which includes the men's boys' and children's clothing and furnishing goods department, was organized and commenced business in 1890, and has been doing a successful and constantly increasing business every year since.  Mr. W. T. Pemberton, one of the most popular and successful merchants in Southern Illinois, is manager of this department.  Everybody understands that they can always expect fair treatment from Will Pemberton.  Under his management the business has grown and increased every year.  He is a careful buyer; his motto is to buy directly from the manufacturers for spot cash at the lowest possible prices.  The stock is always full and complete.  Whoever buys goods at The Famous always have the positive assurance that they buy goods of the very latest and choicest styles and designs.  Mr. Otis McNabb is the able and popular assistant of Mr. Pemberton in this department.


     The departments in this branch of these great stores are the most complete and largest of any store in Southern Illinois.  All the latest conveniences and appliances are in use.  They have the National cash register and Barr cash carrier systems.  Duplicate sale bills are made for all purchases--one for the customer and one for the casher.  These departments have been open for business for five years.  Strict business rules are enforced in the management of every department.  It is common expression all over the county that when you don't find what want anywhere else go to the Grand Leader.  Every department is always absolutely full and complete with a fine assortment of the very latest, best and choicest styles and designs.  Everything is conducted on systematic business lines.  The great store includes the following departments: Dry goods, notions, boots, shoes, carpets, mattings, hosiery, corsets, muslin underwear, ready made skirts, rubber goods, linings and trimmings, millinery and everything to found in a great department store.  The salesmen and salesladies are polite, courteous and attentive and everything possible is done to make customers feel that their patronage is appreciated.  The proprietor of these great stores is a spot cash buyer and is constantly in search of bargains.  He often strikes a bargain and buys large lines of goods at much less than their worth.  These bargains he divides with his customers.  The aggregate sales of The Famous-Grand Leader in a year is immense; and this enables them to make very low prices to their customers.  These stores are absolutely reliable and well deserve the large and constantly increasing trade and patronage they are receiving from the people.

     They buy farmers' produce extensively.  They always pay the highest market price.  By making contracts for future delivery they are able to pay much better prices for farmers' produce than small dealers.  It is a high compliment and great recommendation to this store that although they pay high prices for produce they sell their goods for  produce at the lowest cash prices.  The selling price on all their goods is marked in plain figures.  A child can buy any article in these stores just as well and just as cheap as the oldest and shrewdest buyer.  They are worthy of public patronage.


     The People's Furniture store, embracing three mammoth rooms on the ground floor on the east side of the Public Square is also an adjunct of this giant combination.  It is charge of Mr. Chas. Cruse, who has constantly in stock a full line of furniture, carpets, rugs, lace curtains and undertaking goods, which he offers at the most reasonable prices.


     To judge from the numbers of churches here the people of McLeansboro must be classed as strict advocates of religious training.  The Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodist, Christians, Catholics, Episcopalians and Cumberland Presbyterians have all substantial houses of worship, a description of which will interest those of like faith and order and will be found under its appropriate heading.


Was organized in 1872, and their present edifice, which has a seating capacity of 400, was erected in 1876 at a cost of $2,280.  A more zealous and united people would be hard to find in any community.  Large congregations welcome their pastor at both morning and evening services and at a late evening service at which the "Times" was present standing room only was to be had.  The Rev. Edwin Faxon Osborn is the present minister in charge.  He is a graduate of Newton Center Theological seminary, and is a teacher in Ewing college in Franklin county, coming to McLeansboro weekly to hold service.

     The membership roll contains a list of 225 names and there are 235 Sunday school scholars enrolled, with an average attendance of nearly 100.  T. W. Biggerstaff is superintendent.  The present officers of the church are: Deacons--J. C. Asher, W. J. Boyd and A. W. Severs.  Trustees--J. C. Hall, T. B. Wright and J. C. Carner, the latter also being clerk.


     St. Clements Catholic church was organized in 1882, when the present edifice, situated at the east end of Market street, was built at a cost of about $2,500.  At the present time there are twenty-nine families represented on its membership roll, comprising some of our leading citizens.  The parish is in charge of Rev. Henry T. Keuth, who is also the rector of St. John's church at Dahlgren.  Services are held in Dahlgren and McLeansboro each alternate Sunday.  We hope the  congregation will continue to prosper under the guidance of Father Keuth, and that he will live long and hold the affection, love and esteem of a united people, as he does today.


     The history of the McLeansboro Cumberland Presbyterian congregation began as early as 1822, when Rev. David McLin, a missionary from Anderson Presbytery, Ky., organized a church with six members and was their pastor for several years.  The later history of this organization is uncertain until 1850, when Revs. Millege Miller and R. M. Davis reorganized it and changed the place of worship to Union Hall, just west of the town.

     March 6, 1870, the Revs. Davis and Miller under the direction of Ewing Presbytery again reorganized the church and changed the place of worship to the town.  A building committee consisting of A. B. Weldin, A,. M. Wilson, A. T. Sullenger and J. T. Anderson was appointed and in 1875 erected the present house of worship at a cost of $1,500.00.  This congregation also owns a chapel at Union Hall, the former place of worship, which was built for the accommodation of the members west of the city.  The membership numbers about 135 and has sent out two ministers.


     The Christian Church in this city was organized February 9, 1876, by James T. Baker, with a small membership.  In 1880 their present house of worship, having a seating capacity of 200, was built at a cost of about $1,500.  At the present time they are without a pastor but meet regularly every Sunday for communion services and hold their midweekly prayer meeting.  Sunday school is regularly kept up, at which they have an average attendant of 75.  The present officers of the church are: Elders, A. J. Guill and B. T. M. Pemberton; deacons, S. M. Blades, P. L. Jacobs, A. W. Barnum, N. A. Utley; trustees, G. A. Lee, L. J. Hale and Peter Hyatt; clerk, N. A. Utley; treasurer, S. M. Blades.


     The Episcopal Church, one of the prettiest edifices in the city, was built in 1881 at a cost of $10,000, and consecrated by the Rev. G. F. Seymour, S. T. D., L.L.D., on the 19th of November of that year with six families as communicants.  Several divines have been placed in charge of this parish since the church was built, the latest being the Rev. Geo. Preston of Murphysboro, who hold service once in every four weeks.  At the present time the membership is quite small.


     The Methodist Episcopal Church was built in the year 1870, when the cost of labor and material were high, consequently the cost was nearly $10,000.  It has a seating capacity of 300.  Rev. William Browder was the first pastor who served for three years.  At the present time they have a membership of 160, which has been greatly augmented during the past few weeks.  The church is alive to al missionary and benevolent movements, the contributions have steadily increased and the prospects for the future are bright.  Rev. J. W. Jackson is the present pastor, and Thos. M. Eckley is superintendent of the Sunday school, it having an average attendance of 100.


     The McLeansboro schools had its beginning in a log school house 12/14 feet in size, with earth floor and the wigwam plan of heating.  This rather primitive structure was replaced by a somewhat better one, having the more modern conveniences such as puncheon floor, clapboard door, greased paper windows and benches for seats made of split saplings with legs driven into the rounded sides.  Even the third building was of logs and it was not until several years later that Mr. C. H. Heard built a frame building at his own expense on Pearl street.  After the passage of the free school law the property was purchased by the town for $800.  Among the early teachers were Marshall Young, William Wallis, Rev.  Jacob Cole, Leonidas Walker, Charles A. Heard and others.

     In 1877 the contract for the present brick building in the southeastern part of the city was let for $9,000.  This has since had very material additions.  A. J. Walker was the first principal here and since the Milton Daily, Lafayette Howard, H. W. Ingram, J. P. Steele, J. L. Frohock, J. H. Lane, J. M. Biggerstaff and J. P. Gilbert have each had charge of the schools at various times.

     At present the first eight years of work is graded and planned after the "course of study for Illinois."  Then there is an additional four years of high school work, these being two courses, English and Latin offered.  The best methods, text books and helps are used in the grades while the high school has received partial credit to the University of Illinois and may receive full credit with honor in one year.  The main building is heated by steam.  The library and physical and biological equipment has a good beginning.  The following are teachers for this year:  Mrs. Jennie Foote and Pauline Walker, first and second grades: Daisy Harper and Connie Hogan, third and fourth grades; Nola Pemberton, fifth grade; H. A. Echols, assistant high school; Lida Cotteral, principal high school; J. W. Barrow, superintendent.  This is the principal school in Hamilton county and with its facilities for doing work and offering special advantages to pupils from the country districts and smaller towns it is an institution of which not only the people of McLeansboro but also those of all Hamilton county may be justly proud.

     The board of education consists of Dr. V. S. Benson, President; D. A. J. McIntyre, M. E. Daniel, W. A. McElvain, W. T. Pemberton, Hiram Lambert and S. M. Blades.


     The above is a snap shot of the McLeansboro Marine band, which was organized in 1896 with a membership of twenty skilled musicians.  The band has played engagements throughout Southern Illinois and Kentucky and has the reputation of being one of the finest musical organizations in this section of the state, and their services are constantly in demand.  Their open air concerts on the Public Square of our city during the summer evenings are enjoyed by all our people, and almost our entire population turn out to hear their splendid music.

     The band at the parent time is being merged into a Modern Woodman of America band, and will be open for engagements for the season of 1900.  For any information address S. M. Blades, president; F. J. Chapman, treasurer or W. E. Severs, secretary.

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