Funeral of Sheriff John Lammy
Hon. Jessie I. McGready, Capt. James Eads and Hon. William Brown, of Jerseyville, attended the funeral of the late John Lammy, Sheriff of Calhoun County, whose funeral took place at Hardin, Tuesday, and who was murdered by the Williams Brothers. Sheriff Lammy was the most popular man in Calhoun County and the Pike County posse that failed to avenge his death on the instant and on the spot where he was killed are severely censured by the people of conversant with the facts. Capt. Eads is of the opinion that the Williams Brothers are still in Calhoun, where they have rendezvous. The people of Calhoun are greatly alarmed and terrorized. McNabb and Churchman, the two wounded deputies, will recover. Source: [The Rock Island Argus., October 03, 1881, Page 4 - Article under "Neighborhood Notes" - Transcribed by KP]
Virtuous County Arcadian Portion of Illiniois Without Crime or Consumption - Calhoun County, situated on a peninsula which, for fifty miles, divides the waters of the Mississippi from those of the Illinois, is proud of many distinctions that make it the most unique county in all the state of Illinois. Calhoun County has no debt, no paupers, no crimes, no prisoners, no consumption. There are no theaters, no telegraphs, no waterworks, no street cars, no pavements, no factories and no railroads. No automobile has ever penetrated to its fastnesses, and no golfer has ever made his little ball spin over its green sod. There is not a photographer with the limits of the county. Foreigners are barred out as if by a stone wall. There is not a Chinaman or an Italian on the census list. The shiny collar and hand organ are unknown. Descendants of the first English and Scotch people that came to America settled the county. They were sturdy pioneers who entered a rough and picturesque country to build homes and to till the soil. It is six miles from river to river, and from the high bridge dividing the two streams there is a wonderful view of hills that are all awry. Here a pimeval forests and mountains that are piles one upon another. The topography of hte county became its safeguard, for only the industrious could cultivate virgin land that was rock strewn and overgrown with timber. The kingdom of Calhoun is the name given to the county, and its residents do not resent the implication in its title. Petty crime is almost unknown. Now and then the tramps or gypsies passing through the county will steal a pumpkin or a fat chicken, and if the transgressor is caught the owner of the stolen property is quite able to deal with him without the expense of a trial. A mild reproof, or in severe cases,a few well directed kicks, prove salutary penalities. At the last term of the circuit court there were only three cases on the docket, and all of these were civil suits. In twelve years the state's attorney has had but one crime of importance to prosecute, and that so shocked the county that it has not yet recovered. This was the trial of a 13 year old boy for the killing of his father. - (Chicago Inter-Ocean) Source: [The Appeal., November 17, 1900, Page 1 - Transcribed by KP]
"Hardin Centennial Celebration is Scheduled for Wednesday"
Hardin, Oct. 24, - seven-eights of the population of Calhoun County and sizeable chunks of the population of the Counties of Jersey, Greene, Madison and Macoupin are expected to converge on Hardin next Wednesday when Calhoun County's seat will play the best hand it has held to date - two kings, a couple aces and a queen. The occasion will be the one hundedth anniversery of Hardin's becoming the county seat of Calhoun. The game will get under way with two kings and a queen showing - the aces will be in the hole. The kings will be the "Old Man Apple", the county's foremost industry and Dr. J. M. Peisker, veteran Hardin physician, who will be honored on cenennial day. For while the apple might be unofficial king of the county, residents reason that it was the doctor who kept enough Calhoun residents alive to assure the apple a happy reign. The queen, yet to be chosen, will be one of nine candidates from as many sections of the county. The aces in the hole will be the old-fashioned hard work and intelligent planning to assure visitors a wholesome good time. Residents realize that there are such things as full houses, even royal flushes, but they figure the hand they will play Wednesday will be plenty good enough to win. "C. of C. Project"
The centennial celebration is being arranged by thy Hardin Chamber of Commerce. C. W. German is president and general celebration chairman. Other officers and directors of the organization are Jerome Corbett, Lee Hanks, Paul B. Hanks, August W. Prange, Joseph Hurley, Wallace Carpunky, Ed Roth and Robert Mortlan.
These men and other volunteer aides have arranged a program which will start at 9:30 a.m., with contests and games for children and will end about midnight when a dance will fold up at the high school gymnasuim, scene of the coronation of the county's apple queen earlier in the evening. The coronation is set for 8:30 p.m. and Congressman Sid Simpson of Carrollton is expected to bestow the crown on the queen. Candidates for the apple queen, representing different sections of the county, are the Misses, Mary Bo Adderton, Norma Ringhausen, Louise Lorsbach, Alice Pohlman, Marna Jane Johnson, Marie Booth, Monica Fortschneider, Delores Frederickson, Cecilla Sagez. "Parade in Afternoon"
A parade is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dr. Peisker, who has practiced medicine in Calhoun County for 37 years, mostly in Hardin, willbe honored at 3:00 p.m. There will be two registration books, one for "friends" of the doctor, the other for "Peisker babies", persons at whose birth the doctor officiated. There are about 4000 of these. The books will be presented to the doctor, who also is to receive a watch. At one time all the land in the state lying north and west of the Illinois River was included in one county. This was teh County of Pike, which was formed in 1821. In 1825, this territory was cut up into counties and the county of Calhoun was set up. The county seat was located at a little hamlet on the west side called Cole's Grove. This had formerly been the county seat of the vast county of Pike, and the first court ever held in that section was held there under the jurisdiction of Judge Reynolds, who afterwards became governor of the state. Whtn the little village was made the county seat of Calhoun County name was changed to Gilead. Today, it boats only a schoolhouse and two dwellings. Early settlers in the county soon learned that the soil was adapted to the growth of apples and in time nearly all the hillsides in the county were set to apple trees. Calhoun apples began to earn a reputation for excellency of flavor and came to be known everywhere. Today, Calhoun County grows more apples, according to its area, than any section of the world. During the depression years the industry was hard hit, but is has made a great come back and the growers have enjoyed prosperity again for the last several years. This year's crop of 1,500,000 bushels is far short of the normal yield. Weather conditions throughout the season were unfavorable. "Early Settlers"
Early settlers to Calhoun County were first the French, and later Americans from the east and south. Begining in the forties many Germans came to settle there. They were very industrious folk, who were not afraid to go through the hard tasks of cleaning up the hills and ridges and building homes. Today, their descendants are still good workers and most of them are living very comfortably, with good homes and modern conveniences. Evidence of their thriftines is reflected in the healthy condition of the two banks, whose combined assets total four and a half million dollars. In 1835, Benjamin Childs came to the county. He found a little settlement on the Illinois River about midway of the county. This settlement was owned by a man named Terry, who operated a steamboat landing and ferry. The place was called Terry's Landing. Child bought the place and immediately called it Child's Landing. He was a good businessman and his prosperity grew with the growth of the village. Early tax records show he was the first man in the county ever to pay as much as one hundred dollars in taxes, and this, at a time when five dollars was considered a very high tax. In the spring of 1847, the court house at Gilead was destroyed by fire. The county records were all saved and the county commissioners met at Hamburg for a coulple of sessions, but there was a clamor for relocating the County Seat. An election was held during the summer to determine whether the new court house shold be located at Gilead, Hamburg or Child's Landing. On election day, Child gave a free barbecue with an invitation to everyone. When the votes were counted, he had won the election by a great majority, and iin August, 1847, the commissioners met at Child's Landing for the first time. Child gave the county five acres of land and 50,000 bricks. This offer had been made before the election and no doubt had some bearing on it's outcome. Contract for a new court house was soon awarded. Cost of the building, exclusive of the bricks, were $1,199. The building was finished in September, 1848, and it has served the county until now. The second building was the jail, which was built of native, dressed stone. The jail is 97 years old now and it stand as square and staunch as the day it was built. "Changed to Hardin"
Sometime in the fall of 1847, the name of village was changed to Hardin. There are two theories as to why this name was chosen. One, is that the town was named for a governor of North Carolina, who was a friend of Mrs. Child, while another story says the town was named for Col. John J. Hardin, an Illinois soldier, who died in the war with Mexico. At any rate, Hardin, the County Seat, is one hundred years old this fall and that is the reason why people of Calhoun County are preparing a centennial celebration that should be an oustanding event. While the big day is in observance of Hardin's hundredth birthday, most of the celebrating will be in honor of "King Apple". It will be impossible to eay any pie, except for apple pie. Sweet cider will be served, fresh from the Hardin cider factory, and hundreds of bushels of apples will be passed out to the crowds as free samples. The celebration is to be strictly a home talent affair. There will be no carnival, and all concessions will be in the hands of local people. Situated as it is, Hardin is a great fish market, as well as an apple center. Visitors to the town on Centennial Day will dine heavily on fish sandwiches and apple pie.
The odd part of the celebration will be the fact that there will be no member of the town founder's family present. There is no descendant of Child living in Hardin, nor in the County, so far as is known. Child's work and influence in the town and county lasted over a period of more than 50 years. He served many years as a county official and was postmaster at Hardin from 1847 to 1887, with the exception of the term of President Buchanan. [Source: Alton Evening Telegraph - Friday, October 24, 1947, Page 22 - Contributed by Cheryl Clendenny - Transcribed by KP]
"Calhoun From Afar"
Calhoun, for a century nestled between two rivers, and the world's greatest apple-producing center, escaped unnoticed by it's neighbors until the fact its isolation was about to end became unknown. Thus, the Cleveland Plain Dealer speaks, under the caption "Lost in Illinois", There is a county in Illinois which has not a railroad.
It has only ten miles of hard highways. It is Calhoun County, and it is merely a long strip of land between the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Till last week Calhoun was a thick and inaccessible peninsula approachable only through a narrow neck which connects it with Pike county. Last week a long and expansive bridge across the Illinois river was opened, and Calhoun county came out of its obscurity and found itself joined to the rest of the state. One who has never visited Calhoun county is privileged to conjure up pleasing mental pictures of its rustic simplicity. It was the cheese of the sandwich and the two great rivers were the rye bread. It was a vermiform appendix of Pike county, and surely that is enough to make certain its placid forgetfulness of passing years and outer hubbub. But there's not telling what may happen now that the big bridge is built. It you wish to see the lost county of Illinois still tranquil in its sylvan enchantment you out to start at once. Pictures of the big bridge are not hopeful. Filling station are likely to pring up like mushrooms all over the water walled Eden now that it is walled no longer. [Alton Evening Telegraph, 04 Aug. 1931, Tue. Page 4. - Contributed by Cheryl Clendenny]
Town on the Bay
Mozier in Calhoun Boomed Under the Clendenny Influence
Hardin - Feb. 16 - An experienced traveler, when approaching a strange town is liable to ask himself: "Now what is the exact reason for a settlement in this particular locality?" Such a question is apt to be asked about the village of Mozier on Route 96, five miles north of Hamburg. The answer to such a question might be flinched from Topsy in Uncle Tom's Cabin, "It just grew." A couple of miles north of Hamburg there is a long inlet of the Mississippi river that has always been known at "The Bay". Before the dredging and straightening of Bay Creek, whose waters flowed into this inlet, the bay was wide and deep and steamboats could navigate it for as much as five in all but the low water periods. Since the dredging operations were carried on this bay has been dry most of the time and it is rapidly filling. Early Settlers found this inlet convenient for the carrying of goods farther into the interior of the North Calhoun. It would be hard to estimate how many cords of wood and how many thousands hoop posts have been loaded and shipped from the banks of the bay. Shipping Center
Some enterprising early settler built a warehouse and store to take advantage of the opportunities for trade with the farmers who came to the ship with their products by boat. By and by a few houses were strung along the bluff road and the village of "Baytown" was in existence. This name was a natural one and it was never entirely been superseded by "Mozier," the name given to the post office when it was established. The present name was chosen in honor of the first settler, who located in the vicinity about 1829. The village drifted along for several decades without attracting much attention, but about the turn of the century it blossomed into one of the busiest trading centers in the area. The awakening was all due to the enterprise of one young man, a descendant of an early settler. This was the Late Carey E. Clendenny, and he lived to prove that Emerson's mousetrap theory was absolutely correct. His business was really started on the proverbial shoestring, but he was master of the theory of rapid turnover, and it was a success from the first day. In a few years his modest store grew into a large two-story building which carried almost every article that a farmer could imagine he needed. Mr. Clendenny died in 1947, but the business still flourishes under the management of his son. Farmers still flock to this store for their everyday needs, although the rows of hitching racks have long given way to a large parking lot. Just south of the Clendenny building is a thriving store which houses the post office and 200 yards north is located the modern grocery of G. A. Clendenny, another son of the original merchant. These stores and a garage and filling station make up the business life of the community, with the exception of the blacksmith shop, an establishment which is becoming more rare all the time. Modern Devices
But the blacksmith shop of Clifford Oden at Mozier would not fit the description of Longfellow in his famous poem. Oden's shop is filled with every modern device that may be used for working of wood and steel. THe owner is a skilled operator of this modern machinery and can turn out almost anything a customer may need. He specializes in building of farm wagons, for which there is always a waiting list. Like so many villages of its kind Mozier is strictly a one-street town. All of its business places and most of its dwellings are strung out along the east side of the pavement which runs along the shore the bay. Often in the spring of the year this strip of pavement is covered with two or three feet of backwater. The two churches are also near the pavement at the north end of town. These churches, Church of Christ and Christian church, draw large congregations from the town and surrounding rural areas. The children of Mozier attend Fox Creek school about a mile to the east.
Much of the attraction of the village to visitors is its nearness to hunting and fishing grounds. In duck season many hunters make their headquarters at Mozier while the shoot over the many lakes and pools to be found in the Mississippi bottoms to the north and west. Alton Evening Telegraph 16 Feb 1949, Wed - Contributed by Cheryl Clendenny
Source: Illinois Digital Archives
Living Museum vol. 07, no. 06; Oct., 1945
THE CALHOUN HILLS
Between two broad rivers, the Mississippi and the Illinois, just north of where they meet in a great mingling of waters, the hills rise up. They are rocky and dramatic-these, the heights of Calhoun county in southwestern Illinois.
The ridges which are set cross-wise from river to river, slope more gradually on the western side, more abruptly on the east. Here Illinois highway 100 skirts the base of limestone cliffs; the river shines to the east; all along the way there is the changing panorama of hills and trees, water and sky. Some of the hills have sheer rock faces set with small ferns.
Trees find a foothold on some of the cliffs; some are topped with castle-like structures of limestone. These sheer, weathered battlements once may have been lookouts for Indians and explorers.
For this is Indian country, explorers' county. There were many Indians in the region long ago; it was rich in game and the rivers were full of fish. Villages were on the upper slopes; burial mounds were below, and some of these are still there today.
The plowed fields on the slopes are speckled with flint fragments and with stone tools and broken pottery. Marquette and Joliet came past here and paused, it is said, for food and rest. That was in 1673. LaSalle passed here, too, a few years later, enroute to the Gulf. Yet Calhoun county for a long time was unknown wilderness.
It lay in part of the old Military Tract, an isolated portion of Illinois, so when people came here to live in early territorial days, their only outlet to the business centers of Illinois or Missouri were the ferries.
There were no railroads, no highways, no bridges. Meanwhile, the main crop of Calhoun county became apples. The soil on the limestone slopes nurtured some of the finest fruit in the middle west, yet not until the bridge was built at Hardin did Calhoun county apples really become known. There is a quality in this black, friable soil, filled with limestone fragments, which seems to foster not only excellent apples but leaf colors of unusual brilliance in autumn.
In October a breath-taking magnificence of flame covers the hills. The trees are largely oaks, sugar maples, and dogwood, all of which are gorgeous anywhere in autumn, but which seem even more colorful here-massed as they are on hill after hill, with green slopes between and the sparkle of the sun upon the rivers.
Now in October, Calhoun county is one of the show places of Illinois
Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch, Description: Local News, Date: September 18 1886,
Newspaper published in: St. Louis, MO
Margaret ILLNER, a girl who gave her age as 18, applied at the Soulard Street Station last night for lodging, stating that she had run away from her home at Silver Creek, Calhoun County, Ill., on account of ill treatment.
Source: Scott County Kicker,
Description: $1,000 Pearl Found in River, Date: June 18 1910, Newspaper published in: Benton, MO
A pearl which is said to be the second largest ever found in the Illinois river was taken from the stream here by Herman BRINKMAN and Theo. BECK. It was sold to a pearl buyer for $1,000.
Source:Pike County Free Press, Description: Various news bits, Date: January 28 1847, Newspaper published in: Pittsfield
Gilead Court House - We are informed that the Court House at Gilead, the county seat of Calhoun county, recently burned down. The building was of brick and was the first brick Court house erected on the military Tract.
The jail of Calhoun county was burned down about a year since. We suppose that the county seat will now be moved to a place where somebody lives, perhaps to Hamburg.
German immigrant carves out a place in Meppen history
By Ande Yakstis
Telegraph staff writer
The date of the article is not known.
Henry Kiel who built the stone house described in the article below was born Johan Heinrich Kiel on Oct 17, 1823 in Flechum, Haseluenne, son of Johan Bernard Kiel and Anna Wuebben. In 1825 and 1827, when siblings were born, the family was living in Gross Stavern, Soegel. Henry's wife Anna Catharine Baalmann was born in Soegel parish on Apr 3, 1827, possibly in Eisten. She departed for America in 1845, at age 18, with her parents, Herman Heinrich Baalmann and Maria Adelheid Toebben, and four siblings. Henry and Catharine were married in 1848 in St. Louis, MO but they left that city soon afterwards to make their home in Calhoun County, Illinois.
Meppen - German immigrant Henry Kiel settled in Calhoun County in 1847 and built his famous stone house from limestone carved out of the river bluffs.
"My great-grandfather Henry Kiel built our stone home 150-years ago and our children were the fifth generation to live in the house," said Elmer Kiel, who was raised in the historic home in the tiny town of Meppen.
Kiel and his wife, Lois, are proud to show visitors their stone home nestled along the beautiful limestone bluffs in Kiel Hollow.
The big stone house stands alone in a valley in a rustic farm setting of cattle grazing along fields of bright green winter wheat.
Henry Kiel carved each stone out of the limestone bluffs to build his tow-story home in Meppen, a quiet farming community along the scenic river bluffs in south-western Calhoun County, said Elmer Kiel, who continues to farm the land with his family.
The old house is full of wonderful memories for the Kiel family during the last 150 years," Lois Kiel said.
A visitor who stands on the front porch of the Kiel house can look across the valley and see the majestic steeple of St. Joseph Catholic Church built from stone carved out of the same bluffs as the house.
A little country school house was also built from the bluff stone in 1863 and it still stands," Calhoun County historian and author Larry Underwood said.
Apple and peach trees will soon be showing their spring blossoms in the hills of Meppen, a pleasant community of 200 residents a few miles north of Brussels in Calhoun.
The town of Meppen was named after Meppen, Germany, said Underwood, who loves the quiet country setting around his home in Meppen.
German immigrants came from Meppen Germany and settled in Calhoun to build log houses, plant crops and cut timber, said
Underwood, a retired social studies and German Language instructor at Brussels High School.
"On Sept. 29, 1876 the Meppen Post Office began operation," said Underwood, who saw the post office close a few years ago.
The names of German immigrants such as Siemers, Kiel, Sievers, Hillen, Brinkman, Bonner, Droege, Bloom, Moenning, Schleeper and Kronable were among the early settlers.
"Until 1918, residents spoke the German language in the church and school," Underwood said.
Visitors drive into the Meppin community in the fall to see the Kiel house surrounded by trees with the red and gold colors of autumn.
Elmer and Lois Kiel raised their children, Edward, Mary, Carl, Diann, Joan and Leonard in the old house.
In 1864, before St. Joseph Catholic Church was built, people gathered on the second floor of the Kiel house for Sunday worship services.
The Rev. Francis Witthaut, the first Catholic priest, arrived in Meppen in 1864 and recited the Sunday Mass in front of a portable altar upstairs in the Kiel home.
"There were funeral services and church weddings upstairs in the Kiel house," Lois Kiel said.
Elmer Kiel remembered when neighbors gathered in the home on Saturday nights for an evening of country style entertainment and dancing.
"My father, Bernard Kiel, sat at the old piano and played tunes such as the "Red River Valley" for couples to dance," he said.
The 13-room stone house, with 18-inch-thick walls, has stood against big storms, even a tornado which ripped throughout the valley, Kiel said.
"It's a grand old house with a lot of nice memories and family history," Kiel said.
Calhoun County, IL, situated on a peninsula which for 50 miles divides the waters of the Mississippi from those of the Illinois, is proud of many distinctions that make it the most unique county in all the great State of Illinois. It has no debt, no crime, no paupers and no prisoners. It has set its face against many modern improvements, and attributes its Utopian conditions largely to this fact. There are no theaters, no telegraphs, no water works, no street cars, no pavements, no factories and no railroads. No automobile has ever penetrated to its fastnesses, and no golfer has ever made his little ball spin over its green sod. There is not a photographer within the limits of the county. Foreigners are barred out as if by a stone wall. There is not a Chinaman or an Italian on the census list. The shiny collar and the hand-organ are unknown.
Petty crime is almost unknown. Now and then the tramps or gypsies passing through the county will steal a pumpkin or a fat chicken, and if the transgressor is caught the owner of the stolen property is quite able to deal with him without the expense of a trial. A mild reproof, or, in severe cases, a few well-directed kicks prove salutary penalties. At the last term of the Circuit Court there were only three cases on the docket, and all of these were civil suits. In 12 years the State's Attorney has had but one crime of importance to prosecute, and that so shocked the county that it has not yet recovered. This was the trial of a 13 year old boy for the killing of his father.
Calhoun County boasts of its red-cheeked apples and is proud of its pretty girls. Nowhere in the State are there to be found finer-looking women. The girls are of the old-time type in so far as they are good housekeepers. They know how to make currant jelly and apple butter; they can bake bread, and they are adept at pies. While the golf stick has not yet displaced the churn-dasher and the broom, the girls have plenty of amusements. They can ride like Dianas, and they are able to manage the most spirited teams. There are no better dancers anywhere. The Calhoun girl knows the value of clothes, and she dresses well. -- Source: Chicago Inter Ocean. [Chicago Eagle.(Chicago, Ill.), October 20, 1900, Page 7] Calhoun County, IL, is without a state's attorney because there is only one lawyer there, and he is 80 and too infirm to hold the job. The dearth of barristers in that county suggests that every man there must love his wife. -- Source: [Rock Island Argus.(Rock Island, Ill.), March 28, 1917, Page 6] Calhoun County, Ill., isolated by cold weather. The county has no railroads and the Mississippi and Illinois are bank-full with ice, preventing movement of ferry boats. -- Source: [The day book. (Chicago, Ill.), January 05, 1912]