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History of Belle Rive and Dahlgren, Illinois And Surrounding Territory

Prepared by Continental Historical Bureau of Mt. Vernon, Illinois
December, 1960

Page B-7

Joe Boyle Reporting.......

Robert B. Karn was born June 4, 1871, in Moores Prairie Township, Jefferson County, Illinois.  His father was Edmond Karn and his mother was the former Aminda Lewis.

He was married on December 27, 1898, to Mae Boyle.  He and Mrs. Karn lived to celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary in 1958.

Mr. Karn was a Master Mason for forty-eight years and a Thirty-Second Degree Mason.  He also served faithfully as an elder in the church.

By occupation he was first a farmer, keeping ponies when he lived on the farm.

He also was a feed dealer, and operated the horse and mule barn with his brother-in-law, Joe P. Boyle, near the turn of the century for several years after.

At the time of his death, he was a member of the Tyler Place Presbyterian Church of St. Louis.

Pg. B-8

Merea Richardson Horton Reporting.....

James Richardson, born in 1856, was married to Ellen Wilkerson.

By occupation he was a farmer, and was a deacon of the Missionary Baptist Church of Belle Rive, Illinois.  He helped haul logs and build the old log Baptist Church of Belle Rive, and later in 1888 he helped build on to the church, part of which stands now.

Mr. Richardson's spare time was spent in helping others.  He would cut stove wood and haul and give it to the widow women and needy in his community.  Mrs. Horton states she went with him many a time to take chickens to town to help get money to pay the preacher, who never had more than a small salary those days.

James Richardson was a resident around Belle Rive most of his life and raised a large family of eleven children.  He made a practice of taking all of his children to church, and as children will, they would during the night services lie down in the seat and go to sleep.

One night something happened to cure the sleeping in church.  Mr. Richardson often told this story in later years.  As usual, one of the boys had gone to sleep in the back of the church.  There were so many in the family that it was easy to lose count.  On this particular night they were driving down the road by the Flint Cemetery and all at once they heard a terrible sobbing noise coming down the road behind them!  At first, they could not imagine what it was, but soon they realized it was the boy who had been asleep in the church.  He had awakened in the dark church, broken out the window and was running down the road to try to catch up with the wagon.

James Richardson's home was always open to his friends and neighbors.  His wife would stay home and prepare something to eat for the family when they returned home, because there would nearly always be a few preachers coming home with the family.

Mr. Richardson died in 1921, and Ellen Wilkerson Richardson survived him a number of years, living until 1948.

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