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The Verdict, Sep 12, 1900

Weds His Daughter-in-law, Oct 16, 1901

Three graduate from College of Physicians and Surgeons, April 7, 1902

Thebes Lynching, Jan 16, 1904

Tornado Kills Seven Workmen, July 9, 1904

Homing Pigeons Flight, Oct 8, 1904

Love At the Poor Farm, Dec 17, 1904

Suit Filed, Jan 21, 1905

"Gov. Folk Arrives Today; Gov. Deneen May Come" (1905)

"Thebes Bridge is Dedicated" (1905)

Last of Walker's Men, Jan 12, 1906

Thebes Girl at St. Clair County Farm, Feb 28, 1907

Touring Europe, April 26, 1907

President Taft's Trip Down the Great River, Oct 27, 1909

Pelley Murder, Part 1, Nov. 9, 1909

Pelley Murder, Part 2, Nov. 10, 1909

Pelley Murder, Part 3, Nov. 11, 1909

Pelley Murder, Part 4, Nov. 1909

Pelley Murder, Part 5, Nov. 1909

Pelley Murder, Part 6, Nov. 1909

Pelley Murder, Part 7, 1909

Wild Man, Dec 24, 1909

Lived in same house for fifty-three years, Oct. 1910

Steamer Sinks, Dec. 6, 1911

Cairo Personals-March 6, 1913

Fields Found Guilty - Dec. 12, 1913

The Sainte Marie Tribune-T. C. Logan Killed-January 23, 1914

Missing Since 1865, Sought-Feb 7, 1914

Thebes News-December 20, 1914

McClure News-December 20, 1914

Chicago Firm Builds Silica Mill at Elco-January 23, 1915

Holy Roller Ruckus, March 5, 1915

Thebes News Column-Cairo Bulletin-May 14, 1918

Four Women Candidates Victorious in Illinois, April 18, 1923

Flood Victim, May 6, 1927

Pole Cat in Church, Nov 11, 1927

Sheriff Goes to Pen, Dec 21, 1928

Cairo Citizen-"Tamms news column"-Oct. 12, 1931

"McClure news "-Monday, March 3, 1930

Death of a Child

Aged Woman Drowned in Shallow Ditch

McClure Cannery Burns, Feb 1, 1935

Elco Boy Will Try Out With Cardinal Farm, 1935

Remembers First Illinois Central Train in Cairo, Sep 25, 1936

Olive Branch news-Friday, September 16, 1938

Elco News Column-May 4, 1952

Elco Boy Breaks Ankle, May 1953

Small Thebes Boy Drowns in Y Pond-August 23, 1953

Boy Fatally Shot By Goose Hunters, Nov 13, 1956

Benefit, 'Thru the Years' Is Evening of Hilarity, Nov 10, 1967

"Volunteer Sheriff's Auxiliary Is Formed in Alexander County"

"Alexander County Native Dies"-Friday, January 26, 2007

Thebes Man Dies in Kansas Lake, January 2, 2014

The Coroners jury returns verdict that Irvin Connell shot Don McCracken, Mound City, IL, Aug. 31, 1900.  The jury in the Coroners inquest over the death of Don McCracken returned the following verdict:
"We the jury, find by evidence that Don McCracken came to his death by a pistol shot wound by the hands of Irvin Connell fired by him."
The jury was composed as follows:  I. W. Read, J. G. Rhine, G. J. Murphy, Gip Hughes, J. W. Rhine, and Rev. Daniel Parish.  
--Cairo Evening Citizen, September 12, 1900; transcribed by Suzan Shepherd Stern.


Cairo, Ill., Oct. 16 – J. R. Bryan, of Dixon, Tenn., where he is a banker, and Mrs. Eva C. Bryan of Murray, Ky., were married at the Courthouse yesterday by Judge W. S. Dewey.
            The bridegroom was father-in-law to the bride. He claims to be a cousin of William J. Bryan.
            The couple had previously married, but as there was a question of it legality in Kentucky and Tennessee, and in order to make the marriage legal proof, they came to Illinois, where the statutes do no prohibit a man from marrying his widowed daughter-in-law.
 --The San Angelo Press; San Angelo, Texas; October 25, 1901; Transcribed as written by D. Donlon.


The Cairo Evening Citizen, Monday, April 7, 1902

Donated by Anna Shelton

     Three young men of Alexander County graduated today from the college of physicians and surgeons at St. Louis in a class of 42, receiving their diplomas.  They are:  D. F. Duggan, of Cairo, and H. H. Whiteaker and E. J. Duncan of Elco.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sunday published the picture of the entire class.  The valedictorian is a Creal Springs boy, J. T. Roberts.  Dr. Whiteaker, one of the Elco graduates, is a nephew of Postmaster Sidney B. Miller, who has gone to St. Louis to attend the exercises.

Lynching in Thebes

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

            There is one Negro down in Cairo who is being anathematized from “hell to breakfast!” by all the leaders of the G.O.P.  At Thebes, in Alexander County, some months ago there was a lynching, the colored population furnishing the material so that the frolic would not be a failure.  Some noise was made about it at the time, but the officers found that public opinion justified the lynchers and no convicting evidence could be secured.  Since the campaign opened up for the gubernatorial nomination a grand play was made.  Six warrants were sworn out and the Assistant Attorney General and a paid attorney from Pulaski County were sent to Cairo to prosecute the lynchers. The democratic states attorney was ignored.  To cinch the matter, the warrants were sworn out and the preliminary examination held before a negro justice of the peace, but to the disgust of the prosecutors, the colored justice, who seemed to be a man of some good sense, held that the evidence was insufficient and discharged the defendants.  All in a county that gives a Republican majority of more than a thousand.  Is it any wonder that the G.O.P. roared?

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 16 Jan 1904)


The Columbus (OH) Enquirer-Sun, July 9, 1904

Traveling Crane Upon Which They Were Working Was Blown From Bridge at Thebes, ILL.

St. Louis, July 8--A special to The Republic from Cape Girardeau, Mo. says:  Seven workmen were killed and two others seriously injured by being blown from the second arch of the new railroad bridge across the Mississippi river at Thebes, Ill., tonight.  The tornado struck a traveling crane, upon which the men were at work, and pushed it backward for two hundred feet.  At the second arch from the Missouri shore, it struck an obstruction and was hurled to the rocks below.  A relief train was hastily made up and the dead and injured brought here.

Homing Pigeon’s Flight

 Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

            Mr. and Mrs. AntonKatzinger returned from Chicago a few days ago, where they went to visit friends.  They brought home with them four homing pigeons which were sent by Mr. Richard Tonneman of Ashland avenue and Fifteenth street.  He wanted Mr. Katzinger to bring them here and turn them loose.
            Yesterday Mr. Katzinger received a letter from Mr. Tonneman saying that only one of the pigeons had returned, arriving at Chicago at 5 o’clock in the evening, just ten hours and thirty minutes after it was released in Cairo.  The other three pigeons had not returned and it is believed they got lost on the way to the Windy City.—Cairo Bulletin

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 8 Oct 1904)

Love at the Poor Farm

 Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

            The Cairo Citizen relates the romance of a blind girl who was a charge at the Alexander County farm.  The girl’s name was Minnie Follie. Charles Black was also an inmate during a period of temporary sickness and misfortune, and after he got well, left the institution and secured lucrative employment retained a lively recollection of the winsome blind girl and her deft ways.  He therefore appeared at the farm and told the superintendent that he wanted to marry her and provide for her.  An order from the county board was secured and so they were married, as the story says.  The girl is said to be a good housekeeper and has been taught to do many useful things.  She was at one time an inmate of the Union County farm.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 17 Dec 1904)

He Said He Would, But He Didn’t

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

            A suit filed yesterday by Miss Tishie Devault against Edward Bryden for breach of promise is the first of the kind ever brought into the courts of Alexander County so far as can be remembered by lawyers who have practiced here for many years.
                The suit is in the sum of $10,000 and was filed by Attorney James Lingle, prosecuting attorney of Union County.  The complainant resided at Tamms and the defendant is a resident of Elco.
                The counts in the petition make no sensational charges, the grounds for the suit being that from December, 1903, to December 31, 1904, Miss Devault lived in the expectation of becoming Mrs. Edward Bryden.  On the latter date he informed her that his love for her had grown cold and that she was at liberty to make another catch, notwithstanding he had promised the December previous that they should wed.
                The suit was filed with Circuit Clerk Lee B. Davis yesterday and the case will probably be tried at the February term of circuit court.—Cairo Bulletin, 13th inst.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 21 Jan 1905)


THE DAILY REPUBLICAN, Cape Girardeau, MO, Thursday, May 25, 1905

L. J. Albert received a telegram from W. D. Vandiver this morning stating that Gov. Folk (MO governor) would attend the bridge dedication at Thebes today and would come to Cape after the ceremonies.


THE DAILY REPUBLICAN, Cape Girardeau, MO, Friday, May 26, 1905

Gov. Folk and Other Dignitaries Speak--Big Train of Engines Test Bridge--The new Thebes bridge was dedicated yesterday afternoon, when Gov. Folk and hundreds of prominent railroad men from all parts of the country were present. The little town was gayly decorated and a band played lively airs. Hundreds of visitors crowded the streets and listened to the addresses of the prominent visitors. Gov. Deneen of Illinois was expected to be there, but the strike situation in Chicago prevented.
Alexander Cochran of the Cotton Belt and manager of the bridge, made the opening speech. He was followed by Samuel Fordyce, a railroad man of Chicago. Gov. Folk then struck a happy vein of thought and delivered a splendid address. Several other speakers followed. The grand test of the bridge then took place. A long train of engines was then started across the connecting link. There were thirty-five engines coupled together and their weight totaled several hundred thousand tons.

The Last of Walker's Men

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

           Capt. W.D. McKay, of Cairo, claims to be the sole survivor of the noted Walker's Central America Filibusters of 1855.  He is 74 years old.  These Filibusters, as they were called, were adventurous young men of Kentucky, Tennessee, and other southern states who were attracted by Gen. Walker's wild scheme of invasion and conquest or at least to have a big part in shaping of Central America.  The expedition was an ignominious failure, but it is safe to say the young men who took part in it had barrels of fun.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 12 Jan 1906)


Thebes, Ill., Girl Missed Man Who Was to Have Met Her in East St. Louis

Belleville News-Democrat, Feb. 28, 1907

Meryl Norris, a 16-year-old girl, is being cared for at the county farm until Frank Goodman of Beardstown can be heard from.  The girl, who was picked up in East St. Louis, was brought here Wednesday afternoon.
Ever since Meryl was a little girl she has been taken care of all her life by Mrs. Stella Kelley of Thebes, Ill.  As Meryl has grown, caring for her has become a greater burden to Mrs. Kelley, and arrangements had been made with Frank Goodman of Beardstown for him to take the girl to his home.
A ticket was given to the girl which took her as far as East St. Louis on Tuesday, where she supposed she would meet Goodman.  He did not come, or else missed the girl, and she wandered about all day.
She had money enough to get a room for Tuesday night, and again resumed her wandering on Wednesday, when a policeman turned her over to Overseer of the Poor Goff.

Touring Europe

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

           Oscar T. Tamm, of Tamms and St. Louis, will start on another European jaunt the last of this month, having recently returned from Mexico, where he spent part of the winter.  He will make this trip in an $18,000 touring car which he had built in Paris and will enter Germany, France, Italy, and several other countries.  Mr. Tamm is getting to be a world wanderer, but is credited with having the money to gratify every __elination.  He is well known here.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Saturday, 26 Apr 1907)


Times Picayune, Oct 27, 1909

Stops at Cape Girardeau, Mo; Cairo, Ill.

President Taft was escorted from the Oleander to the speaker's stand, built to a level of the upper decks and commanding a view of the thronged levee and a sight of the territory of three states.
    A chorus of a thousand school children was grouped as a "living flag."
    Governor Deneen, of Illinois, was chairman of the Cairo gathering.  President Taft, when he rose to speak, was greeted by the cheers of the largest crowd that has ever assembled in Cairo.
    The significance of the president's visit as a part of the movement for waterways improvement was emphasized by the local speakers.  Mayor Parson of Cairo, declared that the event could not have taken place except for the work of the Lake-to-the-Gulf Deep Waterway Association.
    Just after the presidential fleet left Cairo, the St. Paul hauled alongside the Oleander and the St. Louis Business Men's League representatives on the former boat, presented President Tatt with a large possum for his midday meal.
    Postmaster General Hitchcock, who is aboard the Erastus Wells, was almost left at Cape Girardeau, Mo., this morning.  His automobile was late and the Erastus Wells pulled out without him.  His vigorous signalling, however, persuaded the captain of the Erastus Wells to put back and take him aboard.
    (See related picture.)

Wild Man

Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter 

           Henry Dillow, who for the past twelve or fifteen years has wandered through the hills between Thebes and Sandusky in the northern part of this county was brought into Cairo Tuesday afternoon by Deputy Sheriff George Durham and placed in the county jail.  When he was found by Mr. Durham he was standing by a fire and eating parched corn.  He had no clothes to speak of on him and he wore no shoes. His hair and beard had grown long and he looked like a wild man.  When questioned concerning his name and if he had any relatives, he did not answer and was not identified until County ClerkMiller and his deputy Elijah Clutts saw him and said he was Henry Dillow and that he had some relatives in the county.  While he was in the sheriff's office he leaned against a radiator and when he felt it was warm he turned and said, "I don't see no fire." When he was placed in his cell he stood in a corner and did not understand the use of a bed, having to be put to bed.  Judge Dewey late yesterday afternoon appointed Drs. Strong  and Hibbits, a lunacy commission to inquire into his sanity, and he will probably be taken to the Insane Asylum at Anna today.--Cairo Bulletin, Dec. 16.

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 24 Dec 1909)


The Citizen, October 1910

Remarkable Record Made by Mrs. Mary Byrne, Deceased
Fifty-three years in one house is a long time to live, and yet that is the record made by the late Mrs. Mary Byrne, whose death was noted in the Citizen last evening.  When Mrs. Byrne came to Cairo in 1857, she moved into the house where she died, No. 907 Washington.  She lived there continuously.  The front of the house has been changed in that time, a store being built on, but the rear is the same.  Mrs. Byrne came here to keep house for her uncle, Father McCabe, who built St. Patrick's church in 1854.  He came here from Shawneetown.  She was active in the work of the church and taught in the Sunday School, and among her pupils were some ladies living here who are now grandmothers.
The funeral will be held Sunday afternoon, with services at St. Patrick's at 1:30 and burial at Villa Ridge.  (Note:  Mrs. Byrne (nee Brady), widow of the late Laurence J. Byrne of Cairo, who died 05 Jul 1875, was survived by three daughters, Mrs. William Carroll, Mrs. John McNulty and Miss Tillie Byrne.  Contributed by Gail Wilkie--see obituary.)


The Evening News, Dec. 6, 1911

Thebes, Ill., Dec. 6--The large steamboat City of Savannah, enroute from Cairo to St. Louis, struck a snag in the Mississippi River 10 miles below Thebes and sank in 12 feet of water.  Passengers and crew were taken off safely. 



Donated by Anna Shelton

Mrs. Louis Zanone has returned from a visit at Memphis, Tenn., and Jonesboro, Ark.
Misses Minnie Gilmore and Julia Porter spent yesterday at Mounds as the guests of friends.
Mrs. Nell Donovan and Mrs. Fred Leidigh of Villa Ridge were Cairo shoppers yesterday.
David S. Lansden and Gus Botto returned yesterday from a brief business trip at Tamms.
John Dunnivan has returned to his home at Ullin after visiting his mother Mrs. J. W. Dunn.
Mrs. C. H. Blaney who has been visiting Mrs. Albert F. Staehle has returned to her home at Paducah.
Mrs. A. C. Lohr is the guest of her daughters Mrs. Frank P. Ayer and Mrs. R. King Kauffman in Webster Grove, Mo.
Miss Reta Jaeckel and Hugh Murphy attended a "500" party last night at Mounds given at the home of Miss Bess Givens.
Misses Mary Overstreet, Anna and Myrtle Williams of Mound City visited Miss Mabel Gregory of Fourth Street yesterday evening.
Mrs. M. B. Powell of Alton, Ill., is making an extended visit to her daughter Mrs. John B. Messenger of Upper Washington Avenue.
Mrs. Ralph Renick of St. Louis and little nepew Julius Glatz went to Jackson, Tenn., yesterday to visit the latter's mother, Mrs. Agnes Glatz.
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel White returned yesterday from a visit at New York and Boston.  They also visited their son, Chester, who is a student at Harvard.
Miss Edwina Sommers expects to return to Columbia, Mo., the latter part of the week to resume her studies at Christian college there.  She has been visiting with her mother, Mrs. A. D. Teer, of 324 Eighth Street, the past several weeks.


Slayer of Physician Sentenced to Serve Twenty Years

The Montgomery Advertiser, December 12, 1913

Cairo, Ill., Dec. 11--After three hours' deliberation, a jury tonight found Harvey R. Fields guilty of the murder of Dr. E. E. Gordon and fixed his punishment at twenty years in the penitentiary.  Fields shot Dr. Gordon as the latter was leaving a hospital on September (date hard to read).  The plea of the defense was that Field's mind had become deranged by stories of the alleged abuse of his wife by Dr. Gordon.


Jasper County, Illinois

Friday, January 23, 1914

Cairo - T.C. Logan, a special officer of the Mobile & Ohio railroad and a nephew of Gen. John A. Logan, was killed by brass thieves in the railroad yards here. --Contributed by Kim Torp.


The Monmouth Daily Atlas, Monmouth, Illinois
February 7, 1914
Duquoin, IL, Feb. 7--An effort was started here by relatives to find Moses Branum, a Civil War veteran, who disappeared from his family at Cairo in the fall of 1865, after he was discharged from the army.  Before the war, Branum owned a farm of 120 acres at Holly Springs, Ark.  He was drafted into the Confederate army, but deserted and joined the Union forces.  In 1865 he took his family to Cairo, making the journey overland with an ox team.  He disappeared a few days later.  John Branum of this city, a son, held the deed to the tract of land at Holly Springs for many years.  --Contributed by Cathey Hargrove.

Holy Roller Ruckus

 Transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter

            Joe Cerney, of McClure was arraigned before County Judge M. F. Gilbert this morning on a charge of disorderly conduct. It is charged that Cerney broke up a meeting of Holy Rollers which was in progress in McClure several weeks ago.
            Cerney denied the charge and a long list of signatures of citizens of McClure was presented to Judge Gilbert under a statement which set forth that the Holy Rollers and not Cerney were disturbing the peace of the village.  It seems that the disturbers were driven or forced to leave McClure and have since that time been given notice to discontinue their meeting at Delta. Judge Filbert finded Cerney $5 and costs and remitted the fine.  --Cairo Citizen

(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 5 Mar 1915)


The Cairo Bulletin, Tuesday, May 14, 1918

Donated by Anna Shelton

     Dr. Robert Hiller has returned from a business trip to Pinckneyville.
     Frank Rust spent Tuesday in St. Louis.
     E. T. Harrison and Ira For and Mr. and Mrs. D. B. Butcher were visiting at Illmo Wednesday.
     Mrs. F. D. Stephenson and children have been visiting relatives at Woodlawn.
     Dyral Shields of Willisville has been visiting relatives in Thebes.
     Mrs. Mike Bering, from Canada, has been the guest of Mose Lesar.
     Mrs. Elmer Harrell has been visiting relatives at Diswood.
     Mrs. Roy Hines has been visiting at Salem.
     Mrs. Johnson, of Salem, has been the guest of Mrs. Weaver Tucker.
     Mr. Dysart of Chicago was the guest of his son, Dave, here Friday.
     James Pressley and family of Mt. Carmel have been visiting relatives in Thebes.
     Fred Penrod has been visiting relatives at Vienna.
     Mrs. Hewitt of Miller City has been visiting relatives at Thebes.
     Miss Hazel Lent spent Saturday at Metropolis.
     Guy Cartner, of Diswood, John Cartner of Tamms, and Mrs. Amos Dunning of Olive Branch, has been the guests of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Cartner.
     Mr. and Mrs. Allison Cullum of Tamms have been visiting relatives here.
     Mr. and Mrs. Jackson and Miss Stella Shields of Cairo, have been visiting relatives.
     Miss Agatha Burgess was visiting relatives in Cairo Sunday.
     Timothy J. Lynch and family are spending a few weeks in Cairo.
     Mrs. Harry Petitt was visiting relatives at McClure Sunday.
     Mr. Smith of Joppa was visiting relatives here Sunday.
     Mr. Blair of Villa Grove, has been visiting relatives in Thebes.
     The High School pupils will give their class play on the night of May 20th.


Dallas Morning News, April 18, 1923

Cairo, Ill, April 17--An entire woman's ticket of four candidates was victorious Tuesday in the municipal election at Thebes, Ill., near here.  This is believed to be the first instance of its kind in the United Sates.  The women ran on the Citizens ticket while the men represented the People's party.


Wiley E. Gregory, of McClure, was among the flood victims, all of his possessions being washed away.  He wrote to Ed Fry, of Mt. Vernon, for a loan of $25 and was informed that he was an heir of Jacob Gregory and that $2,100 awaited him at Fairfield, Ill.  Wiley hastened to Fairfield and draw $400 and later will be paid the $1,700.  Efforts to locate him had been made for years without success.
(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 6 May 1927; transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter.)


    While worshippers were bowed in prayer at the Pentecostal church at Elco, Andrew Corbett, youth is alleged to have entered the church with a polecat, dragged it about the floor and fled after throwing the animal into the automobile of Joe Webb, a young preacher at the church.  People in the church were so sickened by the smell that the services were interrupted, according to the report to the sheriff.
    Only recently Corbett was released from the county jail after serving a term for disturbing worship in this same church.  He has been in the county jail many times during the last four years on a variety of charges—Cairo Citizen.
(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 11 Nov 1927; transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter.)


   Leslie C. Roche, sheriff of Alexander County, who last week was put on trial in the federal court at East St. Louis charged with liquor conspiracy, unexpectedly plead guilty and was sentenced to a year and a day in the federal prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., besides paying a fine of $5,000.  Several of his deputies received punishment in varying degrees of severity, also about 40 other associates in his bootlegging activities.  It was the biggest round up of prohibition law violators ever made in this end of the state.
    Roche had two years yet to serve as sheriff.  Upon his conviction the county coroner automatically became sheriff pro tem.  The county board has authority to appoint a sheriff to serve until next December.  A sheriff will be elected in November to serve the last year of the term.
    Sheriff Roche was allowed two weeks time by the court to settle up the affairs of the office before going to Ft. Leavenworth.
(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 21 Dec 1928; transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter)



Donated by Donna Knight

The Willing Workers Sunday School class of the Baptist Church held their regular meeting in the church basement Friday evening. Ten girls were present and had a very enjoyable social hour. At the conclusion of the party a pot luck supper was served. Miss Esther Hinkle is the popular young teacher of this class.
Mr. and Mrs. E. O. Schoemba and family spent the week end in Villa Ridge with friends.
The P. T. A. will meet in the auditorium of the high school this evening. The new president, Mrs. W. W. McClure, has invited the public to attend.
Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Van Sickle and Miss Dorothy Pratt motored to Cape Girardeau, Mo., Sunday and spent the day.
Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Penninger and Elizabeth have returned home after spending a few days in Marion, Ill. as the guests of Mrs. J. M. Harper and daughter, Miss Jean Brown.
The Baptist Church has employed Rev. Wilson to succeed Rev. D. H. Smith as pastor of the church. Rev. Smith resigned a few weeks ago and moved to Anna, Ill. to reside.



Monday, March 3, 1930

Donated by Anna Shelton

Clifford Burton, son of Wm. Burton, who is in the metal finishing department of the Fisher Bodies plant of St. Louis, spent Saturday and Sunday here with friends and relatives.
Miss Violet Skiles has taken up the position at the McClure hotel recently held by Miss Hazel Mainer.  She began her duties on Saturday.
Mrs. Chester Abercrombie moved with their household goods back on the old Abercrombie farm, near Delta, Saturday.  Mr. Abercrombie is a guard at the State penitentiary at Chester, Illinois.  His wife will run the farm this summer.
B. H. Anderson and family entertained Mr. and Mrs. Henry Neibauer of Dongola.  He is the president of the Dongola bank and a royal good guest.
Thomas Sullivan of the Carbondale Normal school, spent the week-end with his family.  Thomas is a junior civil engineer and a mighty clever chap.


John A. Sammons, Jr., Died After Brief Illness at Home of Parents,
Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Sammons.

John A. Sammons, Jr., little son of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Sammons of 721 Twenty-first street, died yesterday morning of diphtheria.  the little boy was taken ill on Monday and his death is a sad shock to his parents.
He was four years of age having celebrated his birthday in July.  The remains will be taken to Thebes today for interment, leaving here at 5 o'clock this morning.  Rev. C. S. Ohrum will accompany the family to Thebes.
The family have the sympathy of all their friends in the bereavement they have sustained.  
--Contributed by J. C. McNelly.  Note:  No dates were given.  See Death notice.


Mrs. Asenath Sammons, 80, a widow, drowned in water only two feet deep in a ditch just beyond the west end of Twenty-second Street some time after 3:30 a.m. today.
While apparently in a mental daze due to the senility of age, Mrs. Sammons left the residence of her sister, Mrs. Mary E. Hoag, 715 Twenty-second Street without waking anyone, wandered about in the dark and rain and fell into the ditch.
The place where she drowned was about the distance of two blocks straight west from the Hoag residence where Mrs. Sammons lived with her sister.
Coroner Paul Baur held the inquest at Karcher Brothers' Funeral Home this morning.  A jury returned the following verdict:
"Mrs. Sammons came to her death by accident.  She was walking in the dark and fell in a drainage ditch and drowned--"
Coroner Paul Baur said that Mrs. Sammons, evidently not knowing what she was doing or where she was going, and unable to see in the pitch darkness and rain, wandered about aimlessly until she fell into the ditch.

Too Weak to Get Up

He believes that when she fell, Mrs. Sammons probably became strangled and because of extreme weakness of age was unable to get up.  The ditch bottom and side was slippery and there were vines and weeds to form somewhat of an entanglement for the aged woman.
The body of Mrs. Sammons was found by Walter Johnson, Illinois Central bus driver, who had made an unsuccessful search for her after he learned of her disappearnace shortly after 3:30 a.m.

Fully Dressed

A part of her face and head was above the surface of the water.  She was fully dressed.  A few scratches and abrasions were found on her limbs and body but were not of a serious nature, and apprarently were sustained in her wondering, her fall into the ditch, and her struggle to rise.
Miss Blanche Dillow, Cairo school teacher, who rooms at the Hoag residence, testified that Mrs. Hoag had woke her about 3:30 a.m. and told her that Mrs. Sammons had disappeared.  They looked around outside but couldn't find her.  They then called the police.
Miss Dillow said that Mrs. Sammons had woke Mrs. Hoag in going to the bath room and wandering about the house.  Mrs. Hoag found her sister dressed.  She sent Mrs. Sammons back to bed, but awoke a little later to find that she was gone.
Walter Johnson testified that he had been called by Miss Dillow by telephone and told of Mrs. Sammons' disappearance and had gone to the neighborhood and made two unsuccessful searches for her in the dark, then had found the body in the ditch after daylight.
Mrs. Sammons had made her home in Cairo for many years.  She is survived by one son, Roy, of Marion, Ohio, one sister, Mrs. Mary E. Hoag; one niece and one nephew.  Funeral arrangements are incomplete, awaiting the arrival of the son.  Karcher Brothers in charge.  (Contributed by J. C. McNelly.  Note:  No dates were given.)


    The main plant of the canning factory at McClure built in 1926 at a cost of $40,000 by the late Ira Hastings was destroyed by fire at 5 o'clock Thursday morning, says Cairo Citizen of Jan. 24.
The office building and the houses and garages of workers were saved.  The plant that burned was composed of four connected buildings.
    The fire apparently started around the flue leading from the furnace room.  There was no adequate system of fire fighting apparatus in the comparatively small town of McClure or at the factory to cope with such a big blaze.  The loss is partly protected by insurance.
    The canning factory when operated at maximum capacity employed more than 300 men and women.
(Jonesboro Gazette, Friday, 1 Feb 1935; transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter.)


George "Molly" Lutz, 19, of Elco, went to Springfield Sunday night to be on hand to start practice today as a tryout on the Cardinal farm in class D baseball. George was given this opportunity after a scout watched him perform as fielder in local games around Elco. George has an arm that whips the ball from the back side of the garden to home plate like a rifle bullet, is a sure fielder, and covers lots of ground. His hitting is less spectacular than his fielding and throwing.  (Contributed by Denny Durham)


A clear remembrance of seeing the first Illinois Central train pull into Cairo, Ill., from Centralia, Ill., in 1854, is retained by Mrs. Elizabeth P. Joyner, 99-year-old citizen of Harrisburg, Ill., according to the September issue of the Illinois Central Magazine.  Mrs. Joyner also recalls the names of the crew which manned the original train.  She was born in Tennessee in 1837 and moved with her family to Cairo in 1850.  Mrs. Joyner also recalls the Lincoln and Douglas Debates.  She is the mother-in-law of Orville M. Karraker of Harrisburg, Ill., brother of I. O. Karraker, of Jonesboro.
(Jonesboro Gazette, Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday, 25 Sep 1936; transcribed and submitted by Darrel Dexter)



Friday, September 16, 1938

Donated by Anna Shelton

     Clarence Buster of Rock Springs who has been spending his vacation with his parents, has returned to his work at the Federal Barge Line in St. Louis.
     George Wilbourn and family of Akron, Ohio, are visiting friends and relatives in Cairo and Olive Branch.
     Biford Warren has been visiting his sisters, Mrs. Jack Swan and Doug Robinson at Roxana, Ill.
     Rev. Ray Hall is spending a few days with his mother and brothers at Hartford, Ill.
     Miss Jewel Buster spent the weekend with her sister, Mrs. Tom Twente.
     The Twente school opened last week with Gordon Abernathie as principal and Mrs. Simpson as primary teacher.
     The "Hill Billy" baseball team defeated the Reynoldsville team on their diamond near the Twente school Sunday by a score of 10 to 6.  On Sunday the18th they will play the McClure team at McClure.  So far the Hill Billies have played 21 games and lost only five.
     Frankie McBride fell from a tree Sunday at the ball park and broke his arm.  He was taken at once to a doctor for treatment.
     Friends and relatives of Mrs. Amos Twente met at her home near Olive Branch Sunday for a family reunion.
     Mr. and Mrs. Ira Eskew of San Diego, Calif., Orval and Oscar Oliver of Ozark, Ill., and Frank Oliver of Detroit, Mich., visited the former's nephew, Arlie Browning, and niece, Lizzie Strader, here.  This was the first time in thirty years they had seen Mr. Browning.
     Mrs. K. T. Richmond, who has been seriously ill at her home here, is somewhat better.
     Mrs. Hudson Fisher of near here, who is a patient at St. Mary's Hospital in Cairo, is getting along nicely and is expecting to return to her home Saturday.
     Mrs. Lizzie Strader has been confined to her home the past week with rheumatism.
     A revival meeting started at the Assembly of God church Saturday night.  Evangelist Beckey of Paducah, Ky., is in charge.
     Mrs. Colonel Morningstar of Wolf Lake, formerly of here, who is a patient at St. Mary's is getting along nicely.
     Rev. and Mrs. W. E. Browning of Thebes visited Mr. and Mrs. S. Wilder here this week.
     Mr. and Mrs. Jess Culbertson and family visited relatives in Kentucky the past week.
     Ernest Browning has returned home after visiting friends in Mounds.


Contributed by Anna Shelton

From The Cairo Evening Citizen, Wednesday, May 4, 1952

     Mrs. George Carter, Jr. is a patient at St. Mary's Hospital in Cairo.
     Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jordan had as their guests over the weekend Mr. and Mrs. Rollo Pitchford and son, Bobby of Granite City, Mrs. Eva Newell of Mounds, Mrs. Lucy Albright of Tamms, Mrs. Harold Ridenhour of Ullin, Mrs. Lorraine Corbett of Tamms, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Claxton of Mound City.
     The Pentecostal Church had a special Mother's Day service Sunday.
     Mr. and Mrs. Ray Lingle and Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Lamb of Chicago and Elgin visited relatives here over the weekend.  They were accompanied back to Chicago by Mrs. H. L. Lamb who will visit there this week.
     Mr. and Mrs. James Miller have returned to McClure after visiting Mrs. Miller's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lamb.
    The Methodist Church will have dedicatory services Sunday, May 18.  The program is as follows:  Sunday school at 10 a.m.  Preaching at 11 a.m. by a former pastor, Rev. A. N. Burris of Anna.  A basket dinner at noon in the basement and, at 2 p.m. District Superintendent, C. H. Todd of Carbondale, will preach the dedicatory sermon.  The Little Egypt Quartet will sing.  The church debt was paid off last January.  The public is invited to attend.
     Mr. and Mrs. Everett Warren have moved here from Olive Branch.
     Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Lingle and family were called to Ziegler, Ill., Saturday due to the death of Mr. Lingle's brother, Monroe Lingle, who died Friday night of a heart attack.  Mr. Lingle was born and raised in this area.  Funeral services were conducted Monday at 2 p.m. at the Baptist Church in Ziegler.
     Miss Opal Cauble, who visited relatives here, has returned to her employement at the Farm Bureau office in Mounds.

May 1953
    Jack Harvell, 18, of Elco, broke an ankle as he slid into second base in a baseball game between Cairo and Tamms at Cotter Field here Thursday night.  His ankle in a cast, he was able to leave the hospital today.  --Contributed by Jack Harvell.


Contributed by J. C. McNelly

Frank Edward Harvel, 7, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harvel of Thebes, drowned in the Y Pond along the old abandoned highway between Thebes and Gale Sunday afternoon.
The water from the pond lies over the highway to a shallow depth but just off the highway embankment it becomes deep.  It is believed that the boy, accidentally stepped off the road into the deep water.
A number of persons were in swimming.  The Harvel boy was seen undressed and wading in the shallow water.  He was not missed until some of the swimmers started home, and then one of the group thought he had seen Frank dress and leave earlier.
It was not until the car in which Harvel had ridden to the pond had been driven away that someone noticed his clothes down in a corner.
When the missing boy could not be found at the pond, it was realized that he must have been drowned.  Divers searched for the boy and finally found and recovered his body about two hours after his absence was discovered.
Mrs. Harvel had not wanted her son to go swimming but finally consented when he promised he wouldn't actually go in swimming.  The other swimmers think that the boy was not violating his promise but that he only intended to wade in the comparatively shallow water and had no intention of getting into deep water.
Coroner Paul Baur held an inquest into the boy's death.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental drowning.  (See obituary)  (Note:  According to the dates from the Rosehill Cemetery, he died Aug 23, 1953.)

Boy Fatally Shot By Goose Hunters
Cape Girardeau, MO--A 15 year old youngster was fatally wounded in a hunting pit after he had been calling geese.  Kenneth Pecord, Miller City, Ill., accidently wandered into the line of fire of three men, one of whom was his father, calling a flock of geese Sunday.  He died here Monday.
--Illinois Register Republic, Nov 13, 1956.

Volunteer Sheriff's Auxiliary Is Formed In Alexander County

Donated by Phyllis Hancock

A sheriff's auxiliary, composed of volunteer members and funded by contributions, has been formed and is now in operation in Alexander County.
Sheriff Chesley Willis said the unit, uniformed and equipped with a radio patrol car, is deputized and has full authority as law enforcement officers.
Men from Tamms, Elco, Olive Branch and Thebes are members of the auxiliary, whose stated purpose is to help maintain law and order in Alexander County.
The eight men operate on donations given by individuals and businesses from throughout the county. Their badges, uniforms, handcuffs, etc., have been purchased from these funds. Other equipment such as guns, leather, shoes, ties, are furnished by each man who is a member of the unit.
Leroy Hawkins, Tamms, supplied an older model auto which was traded in on the car now being used by the auxiliary to patrol the county.
Roland Pettit, spokesman for the auxiliary, said all equipment has been paid for except the auto and the police radio. Sheriff Willis pointed out that including himself the county has only three full time members of the sheriff's department. "These guys are going to be of great assistance to us in helping out with many of the routine things that come up periodically, such as parades, fairs, basketball games, etc.," Willis said.

Members of the new sheriff's auxiliary included: Leland McKee, Leroy Hawkins, Ezra DeJarnett, Ralph Newell, Ronnie Denton, Roland Pettit, Jack Wilson, and Wayne Butler.

(Jeff Thomas, a nephew of Roland Pettit, believes this was between 1970-74.)


93-Year-Old Marion Woman Dies When Car Plunges Into Crab Orchard Lake

Carterville--An elderly rural Marion woman died when the car she was driving crossed four lanes of traffic and plunged into Crab Orchard Lake Thursday evening.
Mary Ann Willis, 93, was driving a silver Ford Mustang south on Cambria Road shortly before 6 p.m. She failed to stop at the Route 13 intersection, authorities say, and crossed both the westbound and eastbound lanes of highway and struck an embankment, which caused her vehicle to become airborne, landing in the lake.
The Carterville Fire Department Water Rescue Team, along with Carterville Police, Crab Orchard Police and Crab Orchard Fish and Wildlife personnel assisted in recovering the victim and her car from the lake. Williamson County Coroner Mike "Junior" Burke pronounced the driver dead from injuries sustained in the accident at 7:40 p.m.
The accident is currently under investigation by the coroner's office and the Illinois State Police. 
--Source: Marion Daily Republican, Friday, January 26, 2007, contributed by Frank Beasley. (Note: Mary Ann Willis was born in Delta, Alexander County, daughter of John and Beulah (Miller) Abercrombie. It is believed she may have had a heart attack. See


A hunter who drowned in an icy Kansas lake was a native of the southern Illinois town of Thebes.
The sheriff's department in northeast Kansas' Geary County released the man's identity.  It says 31-year-old Army Spc. Thomas Hedrick of Fort Riley died Tuesday while duck hunting at Milford Lake.
Geary County Sheriff Tony Wolf says Hedrick went out on a makeshift boat to retrieve a duck shot by his hunting partner from shore.  Wolf says Hedrick stepped onto an ice sheet when the boat began taking on water, then fell through the ice.
WSIL-TV in Carterville, Ill., says Hedrick originally was from Thebes, a 430-resident Mississippi River village in Illinois' Alexander County.
--Cairo Citizen, January 2, 2014.

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