History of Hindsboro
The following article appeared in a copy of THE ARCOLA RECORD , dated February 17, 1894. It contained a brief history of Hindsboro, Illinois and sketches of some of the leading businessmen of Hindsboro. Among these were on on "JOHN B. MERRELL' and one on "THE EVERSOLE BROS." as follows. (Newspaper in possession of Vanda O'Leary Eversole)
A FEW OF ITS LEADING BUSINESSMEN
Brief History of the Town with Sketches of Some of Its Moulders and Makers
It was only a few short years ago when the site on which the present thriving little hamlet of Hindsboro stands, was nothing more than a rich and fertile piece of farm land owned by Messrs. Frank and Pleasant Hinds. About 1873, or perhaps a little later, the Paris and Decatur , now Vandalia, railway was completed, and owners of this tract of land conceived the idea of laying off a town site which was subsequently named for it's founders. Taylor Simpson, who is still a resident, hale and hearty , though perhaps more than an octogenarian in age, was the first merchant the village had. It was about the year 1874 that Mr. Simpson put a stock of general merchandise in a little one-story frame building where the brick structure, known as the Simpson Hotel, now rests.
Mr. Simpson was the first postmaster and held the office for fifteen consecutive years.
Neither Mr. Simpson , nor the Hinds brothers imagined then that in a few short years a beautiful and busy town would spring up, as if by magic, on the fertile prairie surrounding this little store room and that he would soon be surrounded by a refined and law abiding , God-fearing community , numbering some 400 souls; but such was to be the case. One by one they came and one by one the new dwellings and store rooms were erected, new business, and enterprises were launched , until now the village of Hindsboro is a regular beehive of industry, numbering among it's population one of the largest business------(torn)----men in all of Douglas county.
Hindsboro suffered a loss by fire in 1880 amounting to $11,000. In this fire two store rooms with their entire contents were destroyed.
The same year the Christian denomination erected a church building which is the only structure of the kind that has ever been built in the town up to the present time. It has a membership of 100 devoted workers in the vineyard of right and there is a gradual increase as the years roll by. Rev. W. F. Black , the noted evangelist, delivered the dedicatory sermon, since which time the church has been represented by various pastors.
The public school building is a one story frame structure with two rooms, and was completed on its present locations in 1885. D. L. Mumper , now a resident of Tuscola, was the first superintendent and succeeded himself to the position several terms. The school is in a prosperous condition and is ably and efficiently conducted by Miss Lou Ringland , of Oakland and Miss Sims, one of Hindsboro's favorite daughters.
April 12, 1875,the I. O. O. F. lodge was first instituted. The officers first elected were:
J. Gerard, N.G.; B. F. Strader, V.G.; J.M. Dwinnell, Secretary; and James Stites, Treasurer; J. Gerard, D.G. M. The growth of this organization has been steady and substantial and at present has a membership of 50. The officers are: James Sparks, N.G.; Emanuel Wright, Secretary; Burns Welch, permanent Secretary. Trustees: J. C. Barnes, J. W. Kirby, H. Obermiller, Robt. Craig and A.T. Traylor.
The Masonic order, though an infant of but little more than two months, is healthy , and promising. It was organized November 19, 1893, and at present has a membership of twenty with a number of applications pending the action of the lodge. The officers are as follows: J. W. Reeds, W.M.; C. L. , S.W.; John Croddy , Jr. W.; J. C. Barnes, Secretary; W.J. Hearn, Treasurer; C.W. Mitchell, sr. steward; Marvin Gardner, Jr. Steward; and Frank Hinds , Tyler.
On Thursday, May 6, 1892, after an extensive law suit at Tuscola, the courts rendered a decision against the village of Hindsboro and the corporation was dissolved. A majority of the citizens fought hard to hold the title, but their efforts proved fruitless and they reluctantly yielded to the stern command of the law. The trouble, it seems, arose over a slight error made in the proceedings which were not carried out in a manner required by law at the time the necessary documents to institute a corporation were filed.
As near as could be ascertained, about 400 souls are content to live in this thriving little town, and none but speak in the highest terms of the village in which they live. The people are of the peaceful, law-abiding type and as a general thing are Christians . Nearly all the older inhabitants are lovers of literature of the highest grade and are familiar with the topics of the day. Surrounding Hindsboro is a rich and fertile agricultural district whose splendid soil yields in abundance any kind of grain that its owner see fit to sow.
But leaving the village to its own care for a time, let us interview a few of its prominent citizens.
JOHN B. MERRELL
John B. Merrell was born in Lancaster , Garrett (Fayette) County, Kentucky, Oct., 25, 1858 and is consequently 36 years of age. In 1871 he removed with his parents to Bowdre Township , Douglas county and settled on a farm two and one-half miles northeast of the present site of Hindsboro, at which place he resided for a number of years
On November 15, 1880, he was married to Miss Addie Jones, an estimable lady of this county and in Nov ,1885, the young couple removed to Hindsboro , where Mr. Merrell purchased the general merchandise business from F. E. Dawson. Four children blessed this union; Azariah, Samuel, Gracie, and Addie M., the first and fourth of whom died in infancy. The second and third children are still living.
On April 13,1887, the death angel again visited and blighted the Merrell home by taking from the fireside the devoted wife and mother.
Mr. Merrell's courteous treatment of his customers has built for him a business that is second to none in the county.( unable to read 2 lines from column of old newspaper)------which consists of dry goods , clothing, boots, shoes , hats, caps,gloves groceries, and queensware(?). His stock is clean and fresh and clear down to bedrock.
A few years ago , Mr. Merrell purchased the store room , outbuildings, and residence adjoining from Dr. Tinsley, and having no rent to pay , he can afford to sell goods at the lowest prices. He is ably assisted in his business by his brother, Mr. Thomas Merrell.
Mr Merrell, being a native of Kentucky, naturally has always been an ardent lover of the American trotter and pacer and during his career in the breeding and development of the trotter he has always kept well in the lead of the pro cession, getting a national reputation by breeding the best.
He has owned the following to beat 2:30:
Gamaraza, No. 9125, 4-year-old record.................2:27 1/2
Lanier No. 20863, 3-year-old-record..........................2:27
Hugar, No. 17556, 5 year-old-record..........................2:21
Shiloh, record...........................................................2:21 3/4
J. B. .........................................................................2:26 1/4
The three first named are yet to be found in Mr. Me rrell's barn, and the trio has the distinction of being the the three highest bred and performing stallions in any barn in Illinois, of which the breeders of Douglas and adjoining counties should be proud. The most prominent of the three is Gamaraza, who o is acknowledged by leading horsemen to be the greatest bred horse in the state,. He was sired by Gambetty Wilkes, the champion 12 year-old sire of the world, having 40 colts with records from 2:10 1/2 to 2:30. His dam was Winnie Wilkes. Thus it will be seen that Gamzara is bred in the most approved lines of fashion and is proving a great sire of individual excellence and high speed.
The next is Lanier, a three-year -old, sired by St., Just and first dam , Dora.(etc.) Thus it will be seen that Lanier is a worthy representative for the great Electioneer, Pilot jr. and Mambrino Chief families., Her was awarded first premiums at the Edgar county fair in 1893 over a field of thirteen, also first as best standard bred 3-y ear-old at same place., but this is not all; he is a trotter and a race horse of the first magnitude, and if all goes well, will beat @;15 before the close of '94.The third on is Hugar.(etc. , etc.,)He has proven himself a great racehorse, being in a series of hard races in his 5-year-old form and obtained his record in the fifth heat of a six heat race. The above horses will be found at Mr. Merrell's barn the season of 1894, and he extends a cordial invitation to all to call and examine his stock., He also has on hands some high bred youngsters for sale at reasonable terms.
This enterprising firm consists of three brothers, McClellan, Henley, and John H. Eversole. All three of these young men were born on the old Eversole home farm in Coles county in the following years respectfully: 1861,1863, and 1867. They followed the occupation of farming until one by one they grew to manhood. Blessed with the advantages of good educations, and being lovers of books, they naturally adopted the profession for school teaching and in this capacity were exceedingly successful in the various districts in which they were engaged as public instructors.\tab McClellan Eversole, the oldest member of the firm, was married to Miss Jennie Eversole, an estimable young lady of Caladonia, Mo. in November 1893
The Eversole brothers are widely known and highly esteemed for their honesty, integrity, and capability in all their business transactions, and it may be said of them in all earnestness, that it is principally due to these qualifications that their business adventure in Hindsboro (of which we will speak later on has grown to it's present enormous size.
In October --Eversole-----(missing)---more than a year ago in 1893---their trade increasing at such a rapid rate that the old elevator was inadequate to accommodate the grain that was daily pouring in upon them. Immediately they set about securing plans f or a more commodious structure , and which now with all the modern machinery and fixtures which go to complete first class grain elevator, stand parallel with the Vandalia railroad-- a credit to its owners and an improvement to the town, Since the day it started in operation, 60,000 bushels of grain have been handled through it, making an average of about 8,575 bushels per month.
In the implement business, their sales for last season were double those of any previous year, This can be accounted for from the fact that the firm changed the line of goods from the cheap grades previously bought of jobbing houses to the better class purchased direct from the factory and thus, saving the jobbers profit could afford to sell goods at a less margin than before.... Their buggy sales last season were the largest ever known in the history of the town and were far in excess of the firm's expectations.
In connection with the grain and implement business, Eversole Bros. carry a large stock of lumber , lath , shingles, etc., and several varieties of coal.
Mr. Henley Eversole, the gentleman manager of the firm will quote prices that cannot be defeated by the strongest competition. Give the boys a trial and you will never regret it.
(These Eversole Brothers were second cousins to Peter Cooper Eversole. Their fathers, Henry and John Baker Eversole were first cousins. per information found in microfilm copy of " The Ebersohls in America, From 1727 to 1937" compiled and written by Charles E. Ebersohl, in the late 1930's, early '40's....Vanda Eversole, June 1998)
The above was contributed by Vanda Eversole