Old Settlers' Meeting at Charleston
The Mattoon Gazette
Oct. 25, 1878, page 1, col 1
[Contributed by Steve Lawyer (src # 13)]
Saturday, Oct. 19th, 1878.
The meeting was called to order by Hon. O. B. Ficklin, when on his motion Col. A. P. Dunbar was chosen chairman and W. E. Adams secretary. Col. Dunbar on taking the chair explained the object of the meeting to be the renewal of old acquaintances and giving brief sketches of the early history and settlement of Coles county and the organization of society to be known as the Coles County Old Settlers' Society. On motion of I. J. Monfort a committee of three was appionted to report a plan for the organization of a society to be styled the Coles County Old Settlers. I. J. Monfort, Isaac N. Craig and Thos. G. Chambers were chosen such committee.
Committee reported as follows: This association shall be known as the Coles County Old Settlers' Society. The object of this society shall be to keep in lively remembrance the hardships and privations incident to the early settlers of new counties and especially of this county and thereby pormote the same economy among the rising generation as was practiced by them. The officers shall be a president and a vice president for each township a secretary and five directors. The duties of the officers provided for as above shall be the same as perfomed by such officers in all deliberative bodies and societies. It shall be the duty of the board of directors to call annual meetings of this society on the last Thursday of August in each year and make necessary arrangements for such meetings. The officers shall hold their positions for one year and at each annual meeting new officers shall be elected, which report was by the meeting adopted.
On motion a committee of three consisting of Hon. O. B. Ficklin, Richard Stoddert and Dr. S. Van Meter was appointed to define what an old settler is and who shall be, etc., which report is as follows: "Whosoever shall have lived in the State of Ilinois thirty years is considered an old settler by ths association and shall be eligible to become a member of this society."
On motion, Thomas C. Chambers was chosen President of the association for the ensuing year and W. E. Adams Secretary. The following gentlemen were chosen Vice Presidents: Albert Compton, Charleston; Thomas E. Woods, Mattoon; Adam W. Hart, Paradise; Jesse K. Ellis, Okaw; James Shoemaker, Humbolt; James McCrory, Lafayette; I. J. Monfort, Pleasant Grove; Ely R. Adams, Hutton; Peter K. Honn, Ashmore; J. J. Pemberton, Oakland; Yancy E. Winkler, Morgan; Isaac Perisho, Hickory. J. W. Frazier, Abram Highland, Dr. S. Van Meter, Col. A. P. Dunbar and George Birch were chosen Executive Committee.
Brief speeches were made by Col. J. J. Adams, who has lived in the county for forty-eight years, and has heard the scream of the panther and the war whoop of the Indian, and by Isaac Perisho who had lived in Illinois since 1825, and by William Rigsby who had seen the court house built and sowed the blue grass seed in the court house yard, and by Uncle John Bates who came here in 1824 and had seen the wilderness blossom as the rose, and by Dr. Van Meter who had been in the county for fifty years and had carried his corn to mill on his back and hired the miller to take his oxen and grind his grist for him, and by Aunt Polly Kellogg who came here in 1824, saw the first mill built and heard the first sermon preached and attended the first funeral in the county.
Job W. Brown, P. K. Honn, George Birch, Y. E. Winkler, Jeptha Parker, Michael Hall, Isaac Craig and many other old settlers were in attendance. The Vice Presidents requested to enroll all old settlers in their respective townships. The last Thursday in August, 1879, was fixed as the time for the next annual meeting.
A. P. Dunbar, President.
W. E. Adams, Secretary.
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