That part of this county now embraced in Clay City Township is the earliest settled portion, and is bounded on the north by Pixley Township, on the east by Richland County, on the south by Wayne County, and on the west by Stanford Township. It comprises parts of Congressional Townships 2 and 3 north, of Range 8. The eastern boundary of the township is formed by Big Muddy Creek from the north line to its junction with the Little Wabash River. By this boundary the township loses sixteen sections out of the two Congressional townships. The name, Clay City, was given to this township in 1862 from the town by the same name, which had been laid off in 1855. Prior to this, the precinct had been known as Maysville, from the town of Maysville, laid out by Daniel May in 1820.
The surface of the township presents a flat appearance in the main ; however, it is rolling to some extent in the immediate vicinity of the village, and from that extending south along the western edge of the township, it presents a rather broken appearance. Originally the timber covered from a half to two thirds of the township. The forests extended along the entire eastern edge, and over the north half of the township, on the southwestern part of the township, is part of the prairie that extends up from the eastern portion of Wayne County, and known as Long Prairie.
The main stream of the township is the Little Wabash River, which enters the township from the northwest. Flowing in an easterly course through Sections 7 and 8, it then flows in a southeasterly direction, striking the township line in Section 3, Town 2 north, Range 8 east, and from thence to the southern edge of the county, forming the eastern edge of the township. Extending along the eastern edge of the township from the northern boundary line, to where the Little Wabash strikes the county line, flows Big Muddy Creek, which has its rise in Bible Grove Township. Entering the township from the northwest is Little Muddy Creek. This stream flows toward the southeast and empties into Big Muddy Creek in the southeast half of Section 14, of Town 3 north. Range 8 east.
Probably as early as 1825, Mr. John McCawley received a grant from the county to build a bridge across the Little Wabash, and another across the Big Muddy, both on the old State road. The bridges were built, and on each of them Mr. McCawley collected toll until about 1842. The travel in those days, was very large, and the amount of toll collected in one day footed up as high as $20. These two bridges were probably the first ever built in the township, or at least they are the first of which any record has ever been kept.
The first white man that ever settled in what is now Clay City Township, or for that matter in Clay County, was John McCawley, who built a cabin on the banks of the Little Wabash as early as 1810, and thus formed the first settlement in this part of the State. We do not think that a brief sketch of this man is at all out of place in this connection, and so the following short biography of this pioneer is inserted: John McCawley was born in Jefferson County, Ky., December 24, 1782, and was a son of James and Sarah (Gilmore) McCawley. The father was born in Scotland, and when a young man removed to the North of Ireland, where he married. Soon after the wedding the twain emigrated to this country, and came immediately to Jefferson County, Ky., where they settled.
John McCawley was one of seven children, all of whom are now dead. But three of them ever came to this State. Of these, Daniel died in Southern Illinois, opposite Smithland, Ky. ; the other, Mrs. Anna Beverly, died in this township some years ago, while visiting her daughter. Mrs. Cassandra Evans. Mr. McCawley remained in Kentucky until 1810, and then came West. Reaching Vincennes, he started West on the old Indian trace, which extended from Vincennes through to St. Louis. His objective point was the latter place, but hardly had he crossed the Little Wabash when one of his horses died. Camping there, he sent one of his companions back for another, and waited until the man returned.
Looking around him, he decided to locate where he was camping. He accordingly built a cabin, and lived for a year in the solitude. His time was spent in hunting and trapping. In the early part of the year 1811, he returned to Kentucky, and on February 14, he was united in marriage to Miss Martha Lacy. This lady was born in Jefferson County, Ky., on February 4, 1791, and was of Danish descent.
After a short time spent in Kentucky, Mr. McCawley again started for his cabin on the Wabash, and lived there until the early part of 1812. War having been declared before by the English against the colonies, Tecumseh, the famous Indian chief, espoused the cause of the English, and issued a mandate commanding that all the whites in that part of the State should be killed on a certain day. McCawley, during his residence here, however, had made good friends with the Indians in this neighborhood, and accordingly some of them came to him and informed him of the approaching slaughter, but told him that as he had always been good to them they would be friends to him. They advised him to start immediately to Vincennes, and offered to escort him to the fort. The next morning, he started on his journey. His trip was uneventful, and he saw neither friend nor foe, until just as he was entering the fort at Vincennes he heard a shout behind him. Turning around, he saw the same Indians who the night before had warned him to flee come out from the timber, wave their hands at him, and then disappear. From there he made his way to his family in Kentucky, unmolested.
He remained in that State until 1816, when, peace having been restored, he again started for his home in this county, bringing with him his wife and family, which consisted at this time of three children. He settled in his former cabin, and at this time entered 100 acres of land. This he kept on increasing, until at one time he owned about 1,500 acres. He also put up a store on his farm, and in an early day traded with the Indians, but later on with his white friends also. As we have already remarked, he built the first bridges in the county, and made quite a good deal in collecting toll.
In 1825, the first County Court was held at the residence of Mr. McCawley, and he afterward endeavored to have the county seat located on his farm. In 1826, he and Mr. May had quite a spirited quarrel over the merits of the two locations, May wanting it at old Maysville. When it was finally decided in favor of old Maysville, McCawley cheerfully acquiesced, and afterward became County Judge, which position he held for a number of years. His death occurred on May 25, 1854, and he was sincerely mourned by all the people of the county. At present but two of his descendants are living, Daniel L. and J. I, both in this township.
Among the other early pioneers of the township was Seth Evans. He came with McCawley in 1810, and worked on tho latter's farm for a year or two. He finally married an Indiana girl, and made an improvement about a mile east of Clay City, where he died in 1816. One of the daughters married Walter Gill, and lived for a number of years in the southern part of the township, where she finally died. Another daughter is now living in Stanford Township, the widow of Jeremiah Devore.
Philip Devore was another one that came in an early day. He settled in the southern part of the township, where his death occurred in 1845. Jeremiah Devore was one of his children. His only descendant now living is a daughter now in Iowa.
Robert Toler also came here in an early day, and made an improvement in the eastern part of the township. He served as Sheriff of the county for a number of years, and was a very prominent citizen. A son of his, Robert Toler, Jr., was a resident of this township until the breaking-out of the war. He then enlisted in the Fifth Illinois Cav airy. He served his country faithfully all through the war, and came home bearing the bars of a First Lieutenant. Soon after his arrival here, he, however, started West to seek his fortune, and was almost immediately lost sight of. It was supposed that he was killed by the Indians when he was crossing the Western plains.
George Faris, a brother-in-law of McCawley, was also an early settler. He located about a mile east of Clay City, where he died in 1855. A son of his, A. J. Faris, is now living near Olney, Richland County.
A hunter by the name of John McDaniel was another pioneer in this township. He finally settled in the western part of the township about 1817, where he reared a large family. Only one child, a Mrs. Creek, now a widow, is living in Stanford Township.
Isaac Creek was another early settler, who about 1818 settled on the banks of Elm Creek, on land that was then included in old Maysville Precinct, but now part of Stanford Township.
Clustering around the rugged pioneers of this township are many incidents that form an interesting background for the hard struggles and many privations of those early settlers. The people here were early led to give their attention to agriculture, and to assume the ways of their more thrifty neighbors in the East. In many of the early township histories, we find a period where the wild man seems to pause for a time before he develops into the sturdy yeomen. In this township, the settlers did not pay much attention to hunting, trapping, etc.; but almost immediately preempted land, and commenced tilling the soil. So that the many stirring incidents of wild man and wild beasts, of hunters, and hunted men, that form interesting details in many histories, are unrecorded here.
The location of the county seat in this township, however, brought many an adventurous spirit to this point. It was the custom for the people to gather in old Maysville every Saturday, where the pugilistic settlers would have many a fistic encounter. Stories are told of the prowess of the old pioneers. Every man was a guard unto himself, and the slightest dispute terminated in a knock-down.
The most interesting stories are told, however, of the early courts. The hangers-on at those early tribunals were of the uncouth sort, and many mistakes of the most ridiculous nature were made. Two or three tales concerning the early court at Maysville have been told to us, and we insert them here.
Probably among the very first Judges here, if not the very first, was old Judge Wilson, who held court at this point for a number of years. One of the first men who served under him as Sheriff was a man by the name of Riley. He was a true backwoodsman ; tall and rawboned, but very strong. He was considered a good fighter, and added to his many accomplishments was a great desire for his " dailybitters. " Among the frequenters of the court was a man by the name of Bashford. He was about the same size as Riley, and the two were well matched in strength. He was a greater drinker, however, than Riley, and one day he entered the court in a very intoxicated state. He made a great deal of noise, and, being decidedly obstreperous, the Judge ordered Riley to remove him. Nothing loath, the Sheriff undertook to carry out the command, and immediately seized Bashford, and after considerable trouble Riley managed to force the latter from the room, and Wilson went on with the court. Riley and Bashford however, were not willing to quit, and continued scuffling until Riley tripped the other and the two fell right under the window, where Wilson was sitting, with Riley on top. The Judge, turning around, saw the two indistinctly on the grass, and then remarked sotto voce, to some one inside, " There must be a jail built for these rowdies." Riley, hearing the remark, jumped up and said, " I'll be d__ d if I am going to hold the prisoner here until the jail is built." Bashford, being freed, also sprang to his feet, and remarked that " I'll be d__ d if I will lay there until the jail is built either."
Another good story is told on this same Riley. One day when he was pretty full, Judge Wilson ordered him to summon " Jim Tate" at the door, and, as Riley started to obey, Judge Wilson noticed that Bill Tate had also been summoned, and said, "and Bill, too." Riley, however, commenced—"Jim Tate and Bill, too," "Jim Tate and Bill, too "—as if the whole expression was one name. Judge Wilson, seeing the mistake, "Call one at a time, Mr. Sheriff." Riley was, however, too drunk to comprehend, and began, " One at a time! " "One at a time!! " " One at a time!!!" It is needless to say that neither of the witnesses called responded.
Still another good story is told of early justice in this county under the administration of the same Judge Wilson. The incident happened some little time after, and was when the jail was an old stable near the court house. A man by the name of Henry Phillips was serving at this time as Sheriff. A genus homo by the name of Bill Colwell was a frequenter of the bar of justice. He was a fearful object to look at, a dog having bitten his nose off close to his face when he was a child. He was a hard drinker, and oftentimes went on a spree. It was while on one of these tears that he came into court, and commenced asserting that he "was a hoss." After he had disturbed the court a good deal, Judge Wilson said, '' Mr. Sheriff, please take the horse out, and put him in the stable," and as Phillips was leading Colwell out he remarked, "and please give the horse its supper."
The first road in the township was the old State road, that runs at present through the southern part of Clay City in an almost due east and west direction. As early as 1810, when Mr. McCawley first came to the county, there was an old Indian trace extending through the county from Vincennes west to St. Louis and Kaskaskia. About 1820, the State ordered it surveyed, and made it a legally established road. The next road was one from old Maysville to Albion, and thence to Mount Carmel. It was surveyed under the supervision of the State about 1825, and was the last road that the State ran through this part of the State. The road from old Maysville to Mount Erie was established in 1840 by the county, and the road from Maysville to Fairfield was laid out about the same time. The road from Maysville to Ingraham was surveyed about 1850.
Some early families had a teacher employed probably in an early day, but they have been lost sight of. The first teacher that there is any knowledge of was William L. Gash, who taught in old Maysville about 1830. He was a resident of Wayne County, and was finally elected Clerk of that county. He taught in private houses in the old town, and was considered one of the best disciplinarians of the day. About 1831, a man by the name of Dogan taught for a short time in an old tenement house about a mile east of Maysville.
In 1835, the first schoolhouse was built in the township. It was on Government land, and was erected by John McCawley. James Rusk taught the first school here. This man was an early settler, and was well thought of in his day. His death finally occurred in Louisville. This schoolhouse was not used very long, and gave way to one erected about a mile east of Maysville, on land owned by Mr. McCawley. It was built about 1838, and stood until about 1841. James Rusk was also a teacher there, and a man by the name of Stores also taught there. Some subscription schools were also taught in private houses. Among the teachers were Mrs. Ridgeway and Mrs. Pitner.
At present the schools of the township out side of Clay City present the following showing:
Number of houses (out of Clay City), five; number of pupils, 574; number enrolled, 406.
Teachers—District 2, W. B. Martindale;
District 3, H. A. Gilkinson; Districts, ;
District 5, A. G. Brown; District 6, John Leavitt.
Trustees—H. J. Daggitt, E. Nagle, John Creech.
Directors—District 2, J. Brissenden, P. Lormer, J. Travis; District 3, J. H. Nelson, John Martin, John Pride;
District 4, Thomas T. Taylor, Allen Williams, John Fitzgerrell;
District 5, L. Williams, S. I rank, L. Metcalf; District 6, J. Hance, F. Glascow, L. Cokeley.
The first mill in the township was erected about 1833. It was a horse grist mill, and was put up by J. L. Rickersham. It stood about one mile east of Maysville, and it was an old landmark for many a day. In 1838, a firm by the name of Ochiltree & Coates erected a steam saw mill on the east side of the Little Wabash, on the old State road. It finally fell into the hands of John McCawley, and was used for a number of years by the people of this region. The next mill was erected in 1851 near the same place by Rude & Freeman. It was run until about 1857, and was finally pulled down, and the machinery carried to another place. The first mills of Maysville and Clay City receive attention in anothor place.
The first child born in the township was probably Mary Ann McCawley, a daughter of John McCawley, the child being born September 5, 1813, and the first person that died here was an infant son of the same man named Daniel, who died some time in 1820.
Township Organization and List of Officers
At the spring meeting of the County Board of Supervisors in 1862, it was decided to adopt the township organization, and set off as Clay City Township all of Congressional Township 2 north, and half of Township 3 north, of Range 8 east, lying west of Big Muddy Creek and Little Wabash River.
The first annual town meeting in the township accordingly was held in the schoolhouse in Clay City on April 1, 1862. The meeting being called to order, Joseph Dawes was chosen Moderator, and S. B. Munger, Clerk, and both being qualified, the polls were opened for the election of the first officers in the township, with the following results: T. P. Vaudever, Supervisor; R. E. Dull, Town Clerk; I. M. Farr, Assessor; F. R. Pitner, William Brissenden, Overseers of Poor; Joseph Teatrick, C. C. McCallister and Charles Peshall, Commissioners of Highways; Joseph Teatrick and N. H. Duff, Justices of the Peace; W. B. Shepherd and Eli Thomas, Constables; and Morris Brissenden, J. D. Perkey and S. M. Tilley, Poundmasters.
On the 10th, the Commissioners of Highways met and drew lots as the law then directed to see which would serve one year, which two, and which three, with the following result: Joseph Teatrick, three years, Charles Peshall, two, and C. C. McCallister, one. They then proceeded to appoint Charles Peshall Treasurer of the board. The board subsequently divided the township into two districts, and appointed Dennis Handley, Overseer for the First District, and R. J. Carter
for the Second District. It was also decided by the board that a tax be levied for highways on each male inhabitant in the township. Said tax to consist of two days highway labor. The following statement shows the officers elected at the subsequent town meetings:
1863—Supervisor, N. H. Duff; Town Clerk, R. E. Duff; Assessor, D. L. McCawley; Collector, F. R. Pitner; Commissioners of Highways, J. Dowles, J. D. Perkey; Overseers of Highways, D. Curtis, D. Handley. 1864—Supervisor, M. Brissenden; Town Clerk, E. W. Boyles; Assessor, D. L. McCawley;
Collector, F. R. Pitner; Commissioner of Highways, J. Manker; Overseer of Highways, J. Myers.
1865—Supervisor, M. Brissenden; Town Clerk, E. W. Boyles; Assesssor, D. L. Mc-Cawley; Collector, F. R. Pitner; Commissioners of Highways, J. Dawes, C. McCallister;
Overseer of Highways, W. B. Shepherd.
1866—Supervisor, R. Marley; Town Clerk, S. Holman; Assessor, J. B. Finnell; Collector, Thomas Bouls; Commissioners of Highways, J. B. Figg; Overseer of Highways, J. C. Johnson.
1867—Supervisor, D. L. McCawley; Town Clerk, J. E. West; Assessor, O. D. Schooley;
Collector, M. Brissenden; Commissioners of Highways, J. Manker, I. Lytton; Overseers of Highways, W. Hopkins, R. Roberts.
1868—Supervisor, D. L. McCawley; Town Clerk, W. H. Morrow; Assessor, F. Bisniski;
Collector, S. M. Tilley; Commissioners of Highways, D. Curtis, I. Lytton; Overseers of Highways, L. J. Travis, F. R. Pitner.
1869—Supervisor, D. L. McCawley; Town Clerk, P. C. Kuykendall; Assessor, W. H. Hance; Collector, E. W. Boyles; Commissioner of Highways, A. Welty ; Overseers of Highways, J. T. Wells, John Berry.
1870—Supervisor, D. L. McCawley; Town Clerk, J. W. Manker; Assessor, S. M. Tilley;
Collector, E. W. Boyles; Commissioner of Highways, W. W. Apperson; Overseers of Highways, A. Elliott, J. Dunn. 1871—Supervisor, C. McCallister; Town Clerk, C. Peshall (resigned), E. McJilton;
Assessor, S. M. Tilley; Collector, W. L. Sperry; Commissioner of Highways, William Holman; Overseers of Highways, W. Kerr, G. D. Thomas.
1872—Supervisor, C. McCallister; Town Clerk, C. Buser; Assessor, S. M. Tilley; Collector, P. Kuykendall; Commissioner of Highways, A. Welty; Overseers of Highways, P. Larimore, J. Holman.
1873—Supervisor, C. McCallister; Town Clerk, S. Holman; Assessor, S. M. Tilley;
Collector, I. Mills; Commissioner of Highways, J. Nogle.
1874—Supervisor, C. McCallister; Town Clerk, J. Ansbrook; Assessor, M. Brissenden;
Collector, J. Manker; Commissioner of Highways, W. Holman; Overseers of Highways, W. C. Prather, W. Rubens, A. Elliott.
1875—Supervisor, C. McCallister; Town Clerk, J. Ausbrook; Assessor, M. Brissenden;
Collector, J. Manker.
1876—Supervisor, R. E. Duff; Town
Clerk, R. O. Harris; Assessor, J. M. Ausbrook;
Collector, Isaac Creek; Commissioner of Highways, J. D. Mosley; Overseers of Highways, John Creek, William Rubens, G. Scrughan.
1877—Supervisor, C. McCallister; Town Clerk, R. O. Harris; Assessor, W. W. Apperson; Collector, Isaac Creek; Commissioner of Highways, W. Holman; Overseers of Highways, C. Prather, W. Rubens, L. Wells, D. Barnes.
1878—Supervisor, L. Wells; Town Clerk, E. McGilton; Assessor, D. L. McCawley; Collector, J. Quertermous; Commissioner of Highways, A. Hunley.
1879—Supervisor, I. Mills; Town Clerk. R. T. Fry; Assessor, D. L. McCawley; Collector, J. Quertermous; Commissioner of Highways, E. Nagle.
1880—Supervisor, C. D Duff; Town Clerk, R. T. Fry; Assessor, D. L. McCawley; Collector, H. C. Bothwell; Commissioner of Highways, J. Holinan; Overseers of Highways, J. Creech, W. Rubens.
1881—Supervisor, I. Mills; Town Clerk, T. Doherty; Assessor, P. Larimare; Collector, O. D. Schooley; Commissioner of Highway, A. Hunley; Overseers of Highways, J. Creech, J. Travis, J. Sunday.
1882—Supervisor, J. L. McQuown; Town Clerk, T. Doherty; Assessor, H. Larimare;
Collector, J. Quertermous; Commissioner of Highways, J. E.McIlvain; Overseers of Highway, J. Creech, William Rubens, O. Sharp.
1883— Supervisor, R. F. Duff; Town Clerk, S. S. Doherty; Assessor, George Rubens;
Collector, E. W. Boyles; Commissioner of Highways, W. H. Loy; Overseers of Highways, J. S. Gilliland, J. Travis, M. Marshall.
The original plat of the town of Maysville was laid out by Daniel May about 1818, and consisted originally of forty acres, and contained 164 lots. The town extended along the old State road originally, and did not go any farther north than Morris Brissenden's house. The only other addition to the town was made in 1850 by R. A. Mead. It consisted of only about ten acres.
As early as 1816, some one or two families had formed a little settlement, and to it gave the name of Hubbardsville. In 1818, Daniel May came, and, as we have already intimated, bought land and finally laid out the town, which he named after himself. He kept an inn, and carried on quite a business. A year or two after he had secured the location of the county seat at this point, he became disheartened with the prospects, and finally went West.
Another early settler was Dr. Peter Green. He came about the same time that May did, and was one of the foremost citizens in the place. Besides practicing his profession, he also ran a hotel, and finally opened a general store. When the county seat was moved to Louisville, he went there, and subsequently represented the county for a number of years in the Legislature. He finally died in that town in 1870.
T. P. Henson was another old settler. He came here about the time the county seat was first located. He was more of a politician than anything else, and was considered a very public-spirited man.
Among the first merchants in the town was David Duff, who came about 1820. For a number of years, he was one of the leading citizens of the place. He finally died in Clay City about 1867. Another early merchant in the town was John L. Ridgeway, and still another was a man by the name of Ellston.
As we have remarked before, the location of the county seat at this point was secured in 1826, through the instrumentality of Daniel May. The first sessions of the court were held in the old hotel, and it was not until 1830 that the court house was built. Soon after the court house was built, May went West, and the tavern was run by T. P. Henson. Afterward, Dr. Green built a hotel, and finally sold to a man by the name of Treat. Henson also sold his hotel to Caleb Ridgeway, who ran it for a long time.
About the time the court house was built, James M. Hoag opened a store at this point. Dr.Green, who had been running a hotel, opened a store also, and G. Harris also ran a store there. In 18-42, the county seat was moved
to Louisville, but the town still managed to hold its own. At this time, it contained about 200 inhabitants, and although a number of the citizens followed the court to Louisville, others came, so that the town continued to have about as many people in its confines.
About 1842, Thomas J. Bagwell came to this place and bought one of the hotels. Here he kept an excellent hostelry until the town of Clay City sprang into existence. About this time, John Brissenden also moved to this point and opened
a store, which he ran for a number of years. He finally took in J. K. Bothwell as partner, who in time assumed entire control of the store, and sold goods there until 1862, when he finally moved to Clay City.
In 1845, Bagwell put up a horse mill. It was on the Fairfield road, and was run for a number of years. He also served as Postmaster from 1842 to 1851. In 1853; J. I. McCawley opened a saloon in the village, which he finally ran into a general store, and about the same time D. L. McCawley also opened a store there.
No charter was ever granted the people of Maysville, and the town was always under the old precinct government. The town's death knell was sounded in the projection of the Ohio & Mississippi road. It had been the intention of the contractors at first to run the road through the town. But having some trouble in securing the right of way, the town finally lost the road, and it was at last surveyed to the north some distance, where the town of Clay City was laid out. And the running of the first train of cars on this road closed the door of prosperity against Maysville, and one by one the merchants in that town came to the new place. The last store was finally closed in 1862, and its proprietor came to the more fortunate burg of Clay City.
Schools --"At a meeting of the School Directors of this district July 12, 1855, T. J. Bagwell was appointed President, and John K. Duff, Secretary." The above is the record of the first meeting, under the free school system, ever held in this township, of which any record has been kept, and is probably the very first held.
The newly elected board of Directors met on the 22d day of September for the purpose of hiring a suitable school teacher, and it was ordered that Joseph C. Godd be hired to teach in said district for a term of three months, at the rate of $20 a month and board. This term of school was not taught in any schoolhouse, for we find that on the 8th day of October the Directors met and decided to build a school house in the district. In order to defray expenses, it was also decided that a tax of $1on every hundred dollars of taxable property be levied.
On the 22d day of January, 1856, F. B. Pitner was elected to the board, in place of J. K. Duff, deceased. On this date, two lots (Nos. 94 and 95), were purchased from Brissenden and Bothwell. The price paid was $25, and the contract for building the house was let to Dennis Hanley, for the sum of $529.48. The building was a frame, and was completed on May 22, 1856.
The following statement shows the Directors and teachers for the years following:
1856 — Directors, J. Bagwell, Joseph Crockle, F. K. Pitner (resigned), N. H. Duff. Teachers, Miss Eliza A. Batherton, Miss A.A. Farnsworth, T. J. Gaskell
1857—Teacher, Miss Phoebe Dunn.
1859—Directors, B. Harris, J. K. Bothwell, R. E. Duff. Teacher, J. S. Gray.
1860—Director, S. B Munger. Teacher, Miss Mary Crundwell.
1861—Director, J. I. McCawley. Teacher, Mrs. Mary A. Covert.
On April the 2d, 1861, an election was held in the schoolhouse in old Maysville, for the purpose of deciding upon the removal of the building to the new town of Clay City. There were forty-four votes cast, and of these thirty were for removal, and fourteen against. In October of that year, the building was accordingly removed to Lots 2 and 3, of Block No. 11, in Wilson & Cochran's Addition to Clay City. With this removal, the history of the schools of Maysville closed and that of Clay City began.
Early Churches and Preachers -- The first religious services of any kind ever held in the county were held at the residence of John McCawley. In 1820-21. Lorenzo Dow preached there twice or three times, in his travels through this and other States.
In the early days of Maysville, a circuit preacher came once in awhile and preached in a grove that used to stand on part of the farm now owned by Mr. Brown. The grove was composed of locust trees, and was the property of Caleb Ridgeway. Old David Stanford was living in this neighborhood at the time; he would hold services in the grove on pleasant Sundays. David Duff finally built a warehouse, and there preaching was held for some time.
There was in an early day a man by the name of Schooley held services there. He was a minister of the Christian Church, and was the first pastor of that denomination who ever held services in this county. J. K. Bothwoll built a packing house about 1815. and that was used for a church by the Methodists for some time. In 1854, the Methodist Church of Maysville was built on ground formerly owned by Mr. Misenheimer After the building of the church a society was organized. Among the early members were D. Stanford, Dr. Pitner and wife. Thomas J. Bagwell and wifo, Thompson Bothwell and wife, and a family of Chanoys.
Among the ministers that preached there at different times were Revs. Stanford, Lambert, Thatcher, Roberts and Westman. The latter gentleman was pastor of the congregation when it was finally decided to move the church to Clay City, from which time the history of this church is found in that of the Methodist Episcopal Church of that place. About the time of the building of this church, the first Sunday school in the county was organized under the supervision of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and it was continued in operation until the removal of the church to Clay City. Among the Superintendents were Thomas J. Bagwell and Dr. Pitner, and, later on, Jenkins Manker.
As already has been stated, it was the original intention of the projectors of theOhio& Mississippi Railroadtorun the railroad through the old town of Maysvillo. If that had been done, it is probable that the town of Clay City would have never existed even on paper. But the proprietors of the land through which the company wanted the right of way put their price too high, and as a consequence the contractors were compelled to seek another route, and in the end the present line was surveyed. This was in 1852, and on July 4, 1855, the first train was run over the road.
The first man to foresee the present town of Clay City was Mr. J.D. Perkey, who at that time was a resident of
Maysville. In the latter part of 1855, he purchased part of the farm of Francis Apperson, lying immediately north of the railroad, and laid out a plat of thirty acres to which he gave the name of Clay City, naming it after the county. A short account of the founder of this village we think will prove acceptable at this point: Mr. J. D. Perkey was born in New Harmony, Ind., and there grew to manhood. At the time of the discovery of gold, he went to California, and in the fever of speculation that followed he lost and made two or three fortunes. Finally, in 1853, having amassed some means, he came East, and reaching this point on the old Government road, he decided to locate here. He purchased the old Joe Beard farm, near the village of Maysville, but only made one crop, and then came into the town and started a grocery store, which stood where Morris Brissenden's house stands now. He did business there for a short time, but being of an unsettled nature, finally again turned his attention to farming, and purchased land in Hoosier Prairie.
In the latter part of 1855, as stated above, he bought land and laid out a town to which he gave the name of Clay City. Wishing to insure success to his new venture, he immediately erected a hotel. This building was the first in the present village and is still standing as part of the Mound House. After running the hotel for a short time, he purchased an interest in the store adjoining the hotel, and in connection with Robert Duff ran a grocery store. After doing business for some time, Perkey again becoming dissatisfied, sold out his interests to Duff, and again went to farming. The farm he purchased first was north of town, but selling that out after a year or two, he bought another southeast of Clay City, and ran that for two years. Still unsettled, he next came to this village and opened a harness shop. He carried on this for a number of years, as it had been his trade in an earlier day. But fate seemed to be against him, and he was finally burned out. Becoming disheartened here, he next moved to Robinson, Ill., where he died in 1877. He was twice married, but only one child is now living in the person of Homer Perkey, who is now living on a farm in the south part of the township.
The first addition to the original plat was that of Wilson & Cochran's Addition. It was a tract of fifty acres, and lay immediately south of the railroad. Next, D. D. Duff laid out an addition of ten acres to the ! west of the original plat and on the same side of the railroad. Next, C. H. Sperry laid out a ten-acre addition to the south of Wilson & Cockran's Addition, and J. I. McCawley an addition comprising twenty acres to the east of Sperry's Addition. The last of the additions to the town was that of T. P. Vandever. It was small, and extended east and north of the original plat. In 1869. the limits of the town was finally extended so as to take in the old town of Maysville.
Perkey's hotel was the first building erected in the village. The next building was a saloon, put up on the south side of the railroad, by Andrew Moore and George Gill. This building is still standing, and is now used as a meat market. Robert E. Duff moved over from Maysville and erected a small building where the Feldweg brick now stands. This he used as a residence, and he also built a frame next the hotel, where he opened a store, which he ran for some time. J. I. McCawley having been appointed station agent at this point, put up a small frame, where Figg & Wills' livery stable now stands, and also in partnership with R.E. Duff next.
The next building was put up by Daniel McCawley, on a part of the ground now occupied by his residence property. He brought his stock from Maysville over with him, and sold goods there for some time. Harrison Vandever, now a resident of Flora, came here next from Wayne County, and putting up a small frame to the east of McCawley's store, also opened a general store. He sold out in 1863 to J. K. Bothwell (who up to this time had been doing business in old Maysville), and finally went to Flora. The latter sold goods at that store for a short time, and then moved the building to the south side of the railroad, and it now forms a part of his present store.
Thomas J. Bagwell, who had been running a hotel in old Maysville for so many years, came to the place next, and put up a frame where the present building of J. T. Evans & Co. now stands. He associated with himself his son-in-law, Dr J. T. Evans, and afterward Israel Mills. The business was continued under the name of Bagwell, Evans & Co. until 1877, when Mr. Bagwell died. This gentleman, from his arrival in this county in 1842 to his death in 1877, was one of the controlling factors of the place. In an early day, his hotel was known far and wide, and his income from that alone was considerable. In endeavoring to have a mill located in old Maysville. he spent considerable money, and as has already been stated, he had finally to take hold of it himself.
The educational interest of an early day found in him an earnest and most zealous supporter, and it was through his endeavors that the first church of the township was built. Coming to Clay City, he soon became one of the foremost business men of the place, and had a large share of the patronage of the township; and in His death the township lost one of its best citizens. His wife is still living, at the age of seventy-four, in this city, as well as his four daughters, Mrs. Brissenden, Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Mills and Mrs. MczIlvain.
About the next person to come to this town was C. H. Sperry. He built a small store on the ground now occupied by the Odd Fellows Hall. He only sold goods there a short time, and afterward taught the first school in Clay City in connection with his wife. From this time the town commenced to improve quite rapidly, and now contains about 800 inhabitants. Shannon & Williams were the first to embark in the blacksmith business; John M. Armstrong ran the first carpenter shop, and Dr. Boyles was the first practicing physician that located here. The first mill in Clay City was put up in 1864 by D. L. McCawley. It was a saw mill, and to it was added a grist mill. The mill has been in constant use ever since, and was in 1882 sold to Messrs. Holman & Markle. by whom it is run at present.
Homer Perkey, a son of R. D. Perkey, was the first child born in Clay City, and David D. Duff, Jr., the second. Ever since the laying-out of the village it has steadily improved, and today is quite a business point. The following persons are doing business here:
General stores, J. K. Bothwell & Son. J.
T. Evans & Co., Holman & Coggan, J. N.
Duff & Co., Allender & Duff, L. Blessing.
Culter & Doherty, drugs.
D L. McCawley, C. L. Feldweg, hardware.
G. C. Miller, furniture.
George Reuben, Martin Armstrong, meat market.
Harness-makers, William Dransfield, David A. Soules.
Jewelry store, A. R. Kiser.
Millinery, Kiser & Armstrong, Mrs. R. A. Blessing.
Shoe maker, Henry Knowdell.
Hotels, Mound House, Central House.
Physicians, E. W. Boyles, T. N. Lownsdale, J. Quertermous.
E. McGilton, lawyer.
Stock dealers, Israel Mills, M. Brissenden, A. L. Oder.
Commission merchants, J. T. Evans & Co., J. N. Duff & Co., and J. K. Bothwell & Son.
Blacksmiths, V. M. Ohaffey, August Holbough and Cyrus Einmens.
Livery stable, Figg & Mills.
Its main business rooms are located on Main street, running south from the railroad, and are nearly all substantial buildings. There are also a number of fine residences, and the general appearance of the town indicates prosperity. The village contains two brick and one frame church and two school buildings, which receive proper notice in another place. The village boasts also of a Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodge. Both of these organizations have halls of their own, and the history of their respective organization is given in another place. There is also a post of the Grand Army of the Republic at this point.
Although the town of Clay City is located in the extreme eastern edge of the county, still to it is brought an extensive business. Especially has it developed in the last few years into a stock and produce point. The stock shipments from here reached this last season 147 carloads. The commission merchants also do well at this point, the shipments this last season being about 150,000 bushels of grain. There was also shipped from this point about 3,500 barrels of apples.
The trade in produce, too, has been quite extensive, but the exact amount shipped is not obtainable. One of the interesting features of this little town is its library. The history of this institution dates back to 1870, when the Clay City Library and Literary Association was formed. Prior to this time, a society composed of young folks and known as the "Alpha Society " was in existence, and already possessed some books, which they turned over to the new association. Other books were added until quite a library was formed. The association rented Duff's Hall, and there the books were kept. Here also the society held meetings of a literary nature, once a week, from October to April. These meetings were kept up from year to year until 1883, when the Masonic fraternity taking possession of the hall the meetings had to be discontinued. At present, the library, now numbering about 800 volumes, is kept in Dr. Boyles' office. The affairs of the library are managed by a board of six directors. Its present members are E. W. Boyles, President; R. T. Fry, Secretary; and Dr. T. N. Lownsdale, J. T. Evans, Israel Mills and Henry C. Bothwell.
Schools -- As we remarked in closing the history of the schools of Maysville, by a vote of the district the schoolhouse was moved from that village to this town and located on Lots 2 and 3, in Block No. 11, of Wilson & Cochran's Addition. The removal was made about the last of October, 1861, and was conducted by W. H. Hance, who, the record shows, was paid $125 for said removal.
C. H. Sperry commenced teaching there on November 1, and taught five months. About the first business that we find that the new board transacted was to order the building painted and a fence built around the lots. This frame was used as a school until 1865, when, on the 4th day of March, there was an election held, on which it was decided to build a new building and sell the old, and the record shows that there were thirty votes cast on each question. There were two sites proposed for the new building, one a lot in Sperry's Addition on Illinois street, the other on part of McCawley's pasture. There were twenty-nine votes cast in favor of the first site, and one in favor of the second. At the first meeting of the directors after the election, it was decided to borrow $2,060 from the Township Trustees for the purpose of erecting the new building, , and on May 27 the contract was let to F. M. Potter, for the sum of $3,930. On November 27 of the same year, the building was received, and upon settling with Potter it was found that it had cost $330 more than the original contract price. The building when completed was of brick, two stories high, and contains two rooms.
It is the same that is now in use. The frame building and lot was suld to Thomas J. Bagwell, and is now the property of Henry C. Evans. It is used by him as a residence. In March, 1868, the directors sold the old school lot in Maysville. The number of scholars in the district kept on increasing until in May 1869, the directors decided to purchase the old M. E. Church in Maysville, and accompanying lot. But owing to some reason or other the building was not removed to the lot in this city and used for a school until 1872. At. present, the enrollment and attendance is as follows: Average number of children enrolled—males, 93; females, 85; average attendance, 149.
The following statement shows the different directors and teachers in this district from 1861 to the present time.
1861—J. 1. McCawley, J. K. Bothwell, R.
E. Duff, Directors; C. H. Sperry, teacher.
1862—.Miss Mary Crnndwell, C. H. Sperry, teachers.
1863—M. Armstrong, Director; I. N.Gwinn. teacher.
1864—E. W. Boyles, Director; Miss Sarah Hulm, teacher.
1865—J. K. Bothwell, Director; William Rutget, Assistant.
1866—O. D. Schooley, Director.
1867—Jenkins Manker, Director; J. W. Spriggs, J. M [Boyles, teacher.
1 80S—J. K. Bothwell, Director; John Eagle, teacher.
1869—J. H. Thompson, teacher.
1870—O. D. Schooley (two years), E. W.Boyles (three years). Directors; M. L. Wooden, J. H. Thompson, teachers.
1871—J. K. Bothwell, Director; record does not show teacher.
1872—O. D. Schooley, Director; record does not show teacher.
1873—E. W. Boyles, Director; record does not show teacher.
1874—J. K. Bothwell. Director; R. L. Morrow, Maggie Page, Alice Livings, teachers.
1875—M. L. Armstrong, Director; T. B.Burley, J. Massey, Cornelia C. Boyles, teachers.
1876—J. Quertermous (two years), J.W. Culter (three years), Directors; T. W.Austin, Emma Massey, Jenny Mills, teachers.
1877—George C. Miller, Director; G. H.Page, Emma Brown. Jenny Mills, teachers.
1878—C. M. Pitner, George H. Page Amy Boyles, teachers.
1879—H. C. Bothwell. Director; G. H. Page, R. T. Fry, S. G. Alexander, teachers.
1880—J. W. Culter, Director; G. H. Page, Mrs. H. L. Burbank, teachers.
1881—E. W. Boyles, Director; R. T. Fry, Tony S. Doherty, Miss Ella R. Kerr. Miss Lou M. Peak, teachers.
1882—James Quertermous, Director; R. T. Fry, T. S. Doherty, Miss Lou M. Peak, Miss Emma Armstrong, teachers.
1883—E. W. Boyles, Director; R. T. Fry, J. A.Barnes, Miss Lou M. Peak, Miss Emma Armstrong, teachers.
M.E. Church--As we have already stated, what was known as the Maysville appointment of the Methodist Church, was transferred in 1866 to Clay City. And the firs! services ever held at this point, were held at the residence of Jenkins Manker, who, at that time, was running the Mound House.
Among the members of the church at that time were Dr. F. R. Pitner and family, Thomas J. Bagwell and family, M. L. Armstrong and family, and Jenkins Manker and family. Meetings continued to be held at the residence of Mr. Manker for nearly a year. Soon after the change of the appointment to this point, steps were taken to build a church. And about the last of December, 1866, the present brick church was finished at a cost of about $2,500. Services were held about January 1, 1867, the pastor in charge being Hugh Carrington. Among the other ministers who officiated here were Revs. Baird, Lathrop, Oooksey, Brown, Barkley and Hooker. The present pastor is Rev. Frank Loy, who preaches here every Sunday.
At present the membership is about 100. With the removal of the church from Maysville to this point came the Methodist Sunday School. The Superintendent at that time was Jenkins Manker, who continued in charge for some time. At present, the attendance is about eighty-five, and the school is presided over by the following officers: Superintendent, M. L. Armstrong; Secretary, Willie Manker; Organist, Mrs. Callie Manker:
Treasurer, James Osbrooks; teachers, Jenkins Manker, Mrs. Callie Manker, Emma Armstrong and Richard Duff. Christian Church. — The society of the Christian Church of Clay City was organized on March 10, 1871, with ten members, viz.: William Schooley and wife, Greenberry Owen and wife, J. T. Evans, G. W. Bailey and wife, O. D. Schooley and Mrs. Driscoll. The first services of this denomination were held in the Southern Methodist Episcopal Church, by the evangelist, G. P. Slade.
In the latter part of the same year, the present brick chapel on Third street was erected, at a cost of about $4,000, and G. P. Slade assumed the duties of the first pastor. The first Elders of the church were Greenberry Owen, John Alcorn and J. T. Evans. Since its first organization, the church has continued to prosper until now it contains about 100 members. Among the ministers who have watched over the flock have been John A. Williams, J. W. Spriggs, E. Lathrop, E. B. Black, W. F. Black, M. W. Reed and J. T. Baker. The present pastor is John A. Mavity, who has but recently entered upon his duties. The present officers are .1. T. Evans and O.D. Schooley, Elders; and John Hardy, H. J.Daggitt, William Davis, J. E. Mcllvain, S.S. Doherty and J. G. Brown, Deacons; S. H. Doherty, Secretary, and J. T. Mcllvain, Treasurer. The Sunday school in connection with this organization was organized on February 25, 1872, with a membership of about one hundred. The first Superintendent was J. T. Evans.
The present membership is about the same as at the start. The present officers are Superintendent, J. T. Evans;
Assistant Superintendent, William Davis; Treasurer, J. E. McIlvain; Secretary, A. Doherty; Organist, Mrs. McIlvain.
The Masonic Fraternity.—Clay City Lodge, No. 488, A. F. & A. M.. was organized on April 16, 1868. The charter members numbered ten. Among them were Thomas J. Bagwell. W. C. Cassell, J. C. "Williams, James McKinley, Hamilton Baldwin, J. T. Evans, Henry Archibalds, F. J. Musser and C. Cole. The first officers were: Thomas J. Bagwell. Worshipful Master: Charles Turner. Senior "Warden; C. Cole, Junior Warden; J. T.Evans, Secretary; and Robert Duff, Treasurer.
The first meeting of the lodge was held in the second story of an old store room that stood on the north side of the railroad. Afterward the lodge fitted up a hall in Bagwell, Evans & Co.'s building, which they used for many years. In February, 1883, the fraternity purchased the hall in J. I. McCawley's brick building, and havo since fitted it up in fine style, at a cost of about $1,350, and at present it is one of the finest halls in Southern Illinois. Its membership is now about forty, and its present corps of officers is: J. T. Evans, W. M. ; C. L. Feldweg, S. W. ; J. C. Miller, J. W. ; J.N. Duff, Treas.; J. E. Mcllvain, Sec; H. C. Bothwell, S. D. ; D. G. Tilley, J. D. ; and William Dransfield, Tiler.
The Odd Fellows Lodge.—Clay City Lodge, No. 384, I, O. O. F. , was organized on March 20, 1869. The first charter members were Morris Brissenden, John Taggart, C.Cole, C. L. Feldweg and Henry Brissenden, and its first officers were: Noble Grand, John Taggart; Vice Grand, Morris Brissenden; Secretary, Albert Rolsavas; and Treasurer, G. C. Miller.
The first meetings were held in C. L. Feldweg's Hall, and this hall continued to be used until December, 1S82, when the lodge purchased the Hardesty property on Main street, at a cost of about $600, and put about as much money in improvements on the hall, which is now fitted up very tastefully. The building is 24x58 feet, two stories high, and there is a large store room underneath the hall.
At present the membership of the lodge is about thirty -three. The present officers of the lodge are: Noble Grand, E. McGilton; Vice Grand, Sylvester Foster: C. L. Feldweg, Secretary; and John Weiler, Treasurer. The trustees are E. Mc-Jilton, H. J. Daggitt, Morris Brissenden, Henry Brissenden and Henry C. Bothwell. The lodge meets on every Saturday night.
On the 10th of June, 1865, the town was re-organized, and the following persons were elected Trustees: E. W. Boyles, Justus Beach. D. L. McCawley, Jacob Myers and R. E Duff. D. L. McCawley was chosen Presi dent, and R. E. Duff, Clerk; F. A. Black Constable; R. E. Duff, Treasurer; D. L McCawley, Assessor; and F. A. Black , Collector, and Superintendent of Streets.
On September 14, the board ordered the first sidewalk of the city, to be laid from the post office, and running west to the corner of D. L. McCawley's lot, where a crossing was also ordered; and thence from McCawley & Duff's store to the railroad platform. From that time, each year the people of the village elected the Trustees, and the board in turn chose the other officers. The following statement shows the officers of the different years:
1866—D. L. McCawley, R. E. Duff, J. G. McSch&olter, Justus Beach, William Brissenden, members of the board; R. E. Duff, Clerk; R. E. Duff, Treasurer.
1867— William Brissenden, D. L. McCawley, R. E. Duff, J. I. McCawley, C. L. Feldweg, members of the board; R. E. Duff, Clerk; R. E: Duff, Treasurer.
1868—D. L. McCawley, C. L. Feldweg, R. E. Duff, J. I. McCawley, Charles Peshall, members of the boa-d; R. E. Duff, Clerk; R. E. Duff. Treasurer.
On the 27th day of March, 1869, the Legislature passed an act incorporating the village of Clay City, and granted a special charter for its government. An election was held under this charter in June, 1869, when D. L. McCawley, R. E. Duff and J. I. Mc-Cawley were elected Trustees. Richard E. Duff was chosen Treasurer; William Blacklidge, Superintendent of Streets; and William B. Shepherd, Constable.
The following statement shows the village officers appointed and elected subsequently:
1870—D. L. McCawley, J. I. McCawley, R. E. Duff, Trustees; R. E. Duff, Clerk: Johnson Martin, Superintendent of Streets.
1871—M. Brissenden, C. L. Feldweg, I. Creek, T. A. Martin, Trustees; Chris Buser, Treasurer; R. S. Riney, A. J. Gordon, Constables; David Lewis, Superintendent of Streets.
1872—Thomas Martin, John Ansbrook, Israel Mills, Trustees; Chris Buser (resigned), S. Holman, Town Clerk; Chris Buser (resigned), S. Holman, Treasurer: J. Anderson, Constable; David Lewis, Superintendent of Streets.
1873—T. A. Martin, J. M. Ausbrook, John Taylor, C. I. Pennybacker, Trustees ; S. Holman, Clerk; S. Holman, Treasurer; Johnson Martin, Superintendent of Streets. The town was re-organized in 1871 under the general State laws, and the following are the list of officers:
1874—Trustees, J. K. Bothwell, C. Cole, F. R. Pitner, I. Creek, H. J. Daggett, Thomas Mills; Town Clerk, J. G. Hance; Treasurer, J. K. Bothwell; Constable, David Barnett; Commissioner Streets, Joseph Barnes. 1875—Trustees, D. L. McCawley, Jabez Coggan, J. M. Ausbrook, Silas Alexander, D. N. Soules, A. Hunley; Town Clerk, J. Quertermous; Treasurer, R. E. Duff; Constable, D. M. Barnett; Commissioner Streets, W. Blacklidge (resigned), A. Hunley. 1876—Trustees, H. C. Bofhwell, J. W. Manker, C. L. Feldweg, J. M. Billings, Israel Mills, David Railey; Town Clerk, Silas Alexander; Treasurer, Samuel Holman ; Constable, D. M. Barnett; Commissioner Streets, Nathan Martin.
1877—Trustees, C. Feldweg, M. Brissenden, David Railey, S. M. Tilley, John Taylor, V. M. Chaffey; Town Clerk, W. L. Harris; Treasurer, D. L. McCawley; Constables, J. Blacklidge (resigned), H. Bare (resigned), D. M. Barnett; Commissioner Streets, Ira Cook.
1878—Trustees, M. Brissenden, David Tilley, A. J. Simmons, H. C. Bothwell. W. Brissenden, G. C. Miller; Town Clerk, E. McGilton; Treasurer, D. L. McCawley; Constable, J. Brummett; Commissioner Streets, James G .?
1879—Trustees. M. Brissenden, J. D. Allender, J. T. Evans, D. G. Tilley, O. D. Schooley, F. M. Schooley; Town Clerk, E. McGilton; Treasurer, Charles Duff; Constable, J. Brummett; Commissioner Streets, S. Alexander.
1880—Trustees, D. G. Tilley, W. Brissenden, J. Mcllvain, J. Quortermous, O. D. Schooley, J. D. Allender; Town Clerk, E. McGilton; Treasurer, Charles Duff; Constable, J. JBrumniett ; Couitnissioner Streets, H. N. Wilsey.
1881 -Trustees, M. Brissenden, H.J. Daggitt.A. C. McFadden; Town Clerk, E. McGilton; Treasurer, C. D. Duff; Constable, R. S. Riney; Commissioner Streets, H. N. Wilsey.
1882—Trustees, O. D. Schooley, D. G. Tilley, H. Brissenden; Town Clerk, E. L. Dickson; Treasurer, C. D. Duff; Constable, R. S. Riney; Commissioner Streets, A. G. Brown.
1883—Trustees, H. L. Daggitt, M. L. Armstrong, A. R. Keyser; Town Clerk, E. McGilton;
Treasurer, C. D. Duff; Constable, R. S. Riney; Street Commissioner, John Gregory, (resigned), H. N. Wilsey.
[Source: "History of Wayne and Clay Counties, 1884"]
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