Illinois Genealogy Trails History Group

Clark County Illinois
Genealogy and History


Demise of the Town of Livingston
The Cyclone of May 26, 1917


The Marshall Herald - May 30, 1917
"Saturday’s tornado finished the village of Livingston, which vicissitudes in its life of 87 years. It was brought into existence through the building of the National Road and its projectors confidently expected it to become a metropolis. Robert Ferguson entered the land from the government and laid out the town in 1830. It began growing like a mushroom and soon became an important trading point for the pioneers. In 1833 David Wyrick put up a large two story hotel building on the most prominent corner in town, the lumber being whip-sawed by hand. The old tavern was a noted stopping place for stage drivers on the National Road and did a good business for many years. Even the power of the tornado was not sufficient to pull its massive timbers apart and it still stands, although badly wrecked. The Masonic Lodge was organized in 1867. It owned its building, the lower floor of which was occupied by the Crumrine store. Its property was completely destroyed except the lodge records.

"Livingston entered into the contest for the location of the county seat, in the early days, but when that was located at Marshall the decline of the village began and had continued ever since. Its destruction is now complete, for very few of the buildings destroyed in Saturday’s storm will be rebuilt.

"The Livingston Methodist Church was one of the oldest church buildings in this part of the state. The third week in August last year the congregation celebrated its diamond jubilee with a memorable series of meetings attended by many visitors from near and far. The church site was donated by Robert A. Ferguson. The brick for the building were burned and laid by Henry Hutchinson and the house was completed and occupied in 1831. Twice had the building been badly damaged by tornadoes, once soon after completion and again about the time of the civil war, when the west wall and part of the east end were blown down. Peter Cartwright and others of the noted pioneer ministers preached there at times. The first regular pastor was Rev. S. P. Burr. Robert McIntyre, afterwards bishop, preached there while pastor at Marshall, both churches then being in one circuit. The burying ground is some ten years older than the church. It is scarcely probable that the old church will be rebuilt."
[From The Marshall Herald - 30 May, 1917, submitted by: Cindy McCachern]


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