History of Hamilton County, Illinois
McLeansboro was laid off in 1821, and is located on the northwest quarter of Section 15, Township 5, Range 6. The original plat contained thirty-six blocks, for of which, in the center of the plat, were occupied by the public square. There were two principal streets running in each direction through the plat, north and south and east and west, Main and Market Streets, run east and west, and Jackson and Washington, north and south, the public square being bounded by these four streets each of which is 66 feet wide, outside of these streets were two alleys running in each direction, each 14 feet wide, and all around the town was a border 33 feet wide. The lots were 84 in number, each 60x180 feet wide. Thomas Sloo, Jr., surveyed the town, June 2, 1821. The original plat contained twenty acres. Since then numerous additions have been made. Heard’s first addition was made October 17, 1853, Marshall’s first addition, February 6, 1854; Heard’s third addition, February 8, 1868; Heard’s fourth addition, January 2, 1872; Allen’s addition, January 2, 1872; Marshall’s second addition, November 1 and 2, 1877; Marshall’s third addition, September 10 and 11, 1873; Steele’s addition, April 6, 1875; Allen’s second addition, May 18, 1875, and Walker’s addition, January 18, 1876.
The first house in McLeansboro was a log one built by Dr. William
B. McLean, in the northeast corner of the town, just east of where Judge
Marshall’s present residence stands.
The second was by Jarrett Garner, near the southeast corner of
the public square. James
Allen built the third, not far from Jarrett Garner’s, and Samuel
Dietz, the fourth near the northwest corner of the public square.
All of these were of logs. The
first frame house was built by Jesse C. Lockwood, the second by Daniel
Marshall, and the third by Daniel Tolley, and it was a long time before
any more frame houses were built. Benjamin
Hood, the first house carpenter in the town, built that of Jesse C.
Lockwood, and that of Daniel Marshall, Lockwood’s house still stands
at the rear of Lunus furniture store, near the southeast corner of the
public square. Daniel
Marshall bought the log house built by Jarrett Garner, and in it kept
store for a number of years, though Jesse C. Lockwood’s was the first
store in the place; Randolph Smith’s, who also kept a tavern, the
second, and Daniel Marshall’s the third.
Joseph Irvin was the first hatter in the town, and James Allen
the first tanner. The first
blacksmith was either Solomon Collins or Robert Witt, Collin’s shop
was near the northeast corner of the square.
The first wagonmaker was Samuel Patton, a brother-in-law of
Collins. The first tailor
was Samuel Dietz, and the first tinner was John S. Kinnear.
The first physician was Dr. William B. McLean, the second Lorenzo
Rathbone, who was an old school physician, a regular graduate of a New
York college. The first resident attorney at law, licensed to practice, was
Samuel S. Marshall. Charles
H. and John H. Heard, brothers, commenced merchandising in about 1834,
conducting their store about two years.
Charles H. Heard commenced again in 1837, and followed the
business until 1874, when he retired.
The first school in McLeansboro, in a building erected for school
purposes, was taught by Theodore Scott, an old soldier of the war of
1812. The building in which
he taught stood just north of Judge Marshall’s present residence.
The pottery-ware made in the town was by a Mr. Pike or McPike, in
1822 or 1823, the business however has since been abandoned.
The first students sent to college from this place were Judge
Marshall, to Princeton, Ky., and Judge Crouch, to McKendree College.
The growth of McLeansboro has been slow but steady.
Among the leading physicians of the place, have been, besides the
first two already mentioned, Dr. Gregory, J. W. Hair, Samuel Gates,
Richard D. Rathbone, V. Rathbone, A. DeFoe, V. S. Benson, George Benson,
Wilford Hall and C. M. Lyon.
The present business houses are as follows:
Dry goods and groceries –Dailey & Broth, J. E. Robinson,
Asher & Ledbetter, I. G. Berridge & Co., T. L. Lockhart, James
Lockhart and A. A. Lasater; groceries—Ham. Longworth, William Still,
Samuel Daily, Charles Lasater, S. M. O-Neal, R. T. Meador and Frank
Chapman; drug Stores—H. Johnson and Severs & Dale; clothing
store—Moses Schuman; hardware stores—John H. Miller, Silas W. Heard
and Adam Cully; furniture stores—John Lunn and Maulding & Braden;
agricultural implements—John Miller; lumber yards—A. Hyatt and T. B.
Wright; undertakers—John Lunn and Lee Smith; harness and saddles—B.
F. Bevis and ___Ayd; blacksmiths—T. L. Hunter, William Naughter and
____Wetzer; boot and shoe sores—Peter Carlin and Thomas Allen; book
and new store—T. M. Puckett; ice dealer—James M. Shoemaker; meat
markets—John Redferren and D. Harris; confectionery and ice
cream—Thomas Echols; hotels—Sharp’s Hotel, Calvin Sharp; St. James
Hotel, Calvin Sharp. The
City Hotel was destroyed by fire on May 1, 188_.
Restaurants—Gudge Beard, Mrs. Lockwood and William Procter;
boarding houses—T. L. Gamble; millinery stores—Mrs. Daily and Mrs.
Lockhart; marble cutters—J. C. Carner and A. T. Sullenger; livery
stables—J. R. Campbell and Allen & Lyon.
The population of the city is now from 1,600 to 1,700.
Following is a list of the postmasters:
Jesse C. Lockwood, J. W. Marshall, J. A. Wilson, A. Irvin, Mrs.
J. Meador, J. R. Siddall, T. J. Chapman, R. L. Meador, C. M. Lyon and J.
W. Marshall, the present postmaster.
Hamilton County Woolen Mills were erected by Hood & Bowers in
1862, at Hoodville, at a cost of $12,000, and were run by them until
1868, when the firm became Hood, Bowers & Co., by the admission of
R. L. Meador to partnership. This
firm continued until 1871, when Mr. Bowers sold out to a Mr. Hood, and
the firm became Hood & Meador, and so remained until 1875, when Mr.
Meador sold out to Mr. Hood, who managed the mills until 1877, at which
time Mr. Meador bought the entire establishment, and has since been sole
proprietor. In 1883 he
moved the mills to McLeansboro. It
is what is called a one-set mill, having a 180-spindle jack and seven
looms. The mills have a
capacity of 100 pounds of yarn per day, and 150 yards of cloth.
The machinery is propelled by a thirty-six horsepower engine, and
the entire establishment is worth about $8,000.
The City Flouring Mills were built in 1875 by Coker & Guill,
and put in operation August 1 of that year.
The building is a frame one, three stories high above the
basement; 36x60 feet, and with the machinery cost about $36,000.
In 1879 W.A.Coker, the present proprietor, bought out Mr. Guill.
The mills have a capacity of 100 barrels of four per day, and the
machinery is run by a sixty-horse power engine.
The People’s Mills were erected in 1878 by C. H. Heard.
The building is of brick, 48x52 feet in size, and three stories
high above the basement. It
cost about $22,000. There
are in these mills four run of buhrs—three for wheat and one for
corn—and the capacity is 100 barrels of four per day.
Mr. Heard is the proprietor of the mills, and the present lessee
is William McConnell.
Rice & Pape’s Mill was built about 1867, and is located on
Main Street, in the east part of town.
It is a frame building, and consists of both grist and saw mill.
The grist is now used mostly for grinding corn, and the sawing of
lumber is the main business of the establishment.
Its value is about $4,000.
Polk Loge, No. 137, A. F. & A. M., was chartered October 5,
1853, with but a few members, as follows:
E. B. Ames, Benjamin L. Wiley, Isaac R. Diller, J. L. Anderson,
H. G. Reynolds and Lorenzo Rathbone.
The present officers of the lodge are: R. A. Silliman, W. M.;
Jasper N. Meador, S. W.; W. W. Hall, J. W.; A. M. Wilson, Secretary and
A. A. Hyatt, Treasurer.
Hamilton Lodge, No. 191, I.O.O.F., was organized October 17,
1856, with the following members: Marshall, M. Young, L. Rathbone,
Charles Gilman, John O’Neal, Chester Carpenter and D. F. Asbury.
The present officers of the lodge are T. M. Puckett, N. G.; F. J.
Smith, V. G.; J. S. Sneed, P. S.; John C. Asher, Treas.; Joshua S.
Sneed, Dist. Dept. G. M.; Thomas H. Lambert, Rep.
The present membership is forty.
McLeansboro Lodge, No. 26, I.O.O.F., was chartered May 17, 1884,
with seventeen members. Its first officers were P. L. McNabb, N. F.; R. H. Stanley,
V. G.; A. C. Cully, Sec.; W. R. Daniel, P. S.; and T. B. Wright, Treas.
Its present membership is thirty-nine, and its present officers
are C. W. Freaze, N. G.; John H. Smith, V. G.; A. C. Cully, Sec. And P.
L. McNabb, Teas.
McLeansboro Post, No. 483G.A.R., was organized September 13,
1884, with thirty-one charter members and mustered in by the special
mustering officer, J. T. Vaught, of Enfield, Ill.
The following officers were elected:
T. M. Eckley, Com.; J. T. Barnett, Sr. V. C.; James Fields, Jr.
V. C.; A. DeFoe, Chap.; Charles M. Lyon, Surg.; A. A. Hyatt, O. D.; J.
M. Blades, Q. M.; J. S. Wycough, O. G.; and the following were
appointed: J. N. Reeder, Adj.; W. J. Boyd, Q. M. S., and J. M. Weldin,
Sergt. Maj. The present
membership is fifty-six, and the present officers are: T. M. Eckley,
Com.; H. A. W. Kipp, Sr., V. C.; J. W. Daily, Jr., V. C.; Irvin C.
Reeder, Chap.; Charles M. Lyon, Surg.; R. L. Meador, O. D.; A. A. Hyatt,
Q. M.; J. M. Weldin, Adj., and J. M. Blades, Sergt.-Maj.
Knights of Honor were organized February 14, 1878, by W. H.
McCormick with sixteen charter members, as follows, the officers being
included in the list: R. C.
Robinson, A. D.; W. R. Studebaker, P. D.; W. T. Davis, V. D.; W. C.
Shaw, D.; Thomas Sloan, W. B. Garner, W. R. Daniels, J. A. Baird,
Lafayette Howard, J. F. Marshall, Milton Daily, T. L. Lockhart, J. P.
Stelle, Arch. Faulkner, R. W. Glen and A. Longworth.
McLeansboro Encampment, No. 74, I.O.O.F., was organized and
chartered in 1867. The
charter members were Richard W. Townshend, William F. Scott, James Lane,
William P. Bowers, John M. Howard, Henry W. White and Alexander J.
Gunter. The present
officers are: John J. Buck, C, P.; Felix A. Harvey, H. P.; Dr. A. DeFoe,
Sen. W., and A. M. Gregg, Jr., W.; Joshua S. Sneed, Scribe,
Representative and Deputy. The
present membership is thirty.
Besides the above there is a lodge of K. & P. of Royal
Templars of Temperance, and order of the Eastern Star.
E. I. Tinkham & Co.’s bank was established at McLeansboro
in September, 1855, with a capital of $500,000.
Smith Tinkham was president and William Rickcords, cashier.
Its circulation was secured by bonds of the State of Ohio, and
when the bank went into liquidation in 1862 its circulation was all
redeemed in gold.
The Bank of the Republic was established at McLeansboro in the
fall of 1856 with a capital of $1,000.000.
Charles H. Rockwell was president and John Rockwell, cashier.
Its circulation was secured by bonds of the States of Virginia,
Tennessee and North Carolina, and when, in 1862, on account of the war
it closed out its business its notes were redeemed at a various and
Hamilton County Bank of ante bellum days, like the other
two named above, existed only a few years, from the spring of 1855 to
1862. Its circulation,
however, being all based on bonds of Northern States, was all redeemed
Hamilton County Bank was started in 1871 by Chalon G. Cloud on
the corner of Washington and Main Streets.
Mr. Cloud conducted his business alone for some years, and then
employed assistance as such became necessary.
The bank remained in its original location until the completion
of the present elegant brick building about seventy-five feet westward
from the old building in 1881. This
is simply a bank of discount and deposit.
The cemetery southeast of the city was established early in 1875.
It was platted under the auspices of Hamilton Lodge, No. 19,
I.O.O.F. The title to the
property was vested in the county of Hamilton for the use of the lodge.
When a lot is purchased a certificate is issued under the seal of
the lodge and another certificate is issued under the seal of the county
clerk. At the time of the
establishment of the cemetery the lodge was represented by J. M. Blades,
J. J. Buck and A. DeFoe, and the county by A. G. Cloud and C. H. Heard.
The committee on surveying was composed of T. M. Eckley and P.
Rearden. The cemetery is
very pleasantly situated and tastefully laid out and kept.
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