HISTORY OF DOUGLAS COUNTY, IL
TUSCOLA CITY AND TOWNSHIP.
F.A. BATTEY & CO., PUBLISHERS, 1884.
BY H.C. NILES
REPRODUCED FROM THE ORIGINALS AND CONTRIBUTED
LARRY M. BURMEISTER,
"I wish no other herald,
No other speaker of my living actions,
To keep mine honor from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler."
Shakespeare - Henry VIII.
IN ATTEMPTING the history of any minor subdivision of a State, importance is necessarily attached to many remote events which are well known to old residents, but none of us know all of the past, and no one is thoroughly informed in the present. Hence, it is hoped that this attempted compilation of township history may at least amount to an interchange of knowledge, which being collected and refreshed shall put all upon an equal footing for a new beginning, in keeping up the chronicles of our "little Utica." If by these pages some gentleman of the old regime is surprised with a pleasant recollection of some matters with which he was formerly familiar, so in the future, may the active ones of the day be reminded of many notable occurrences "part of which he was, and all of which he saw." In the history of Tuscola, the writer has, fortunately, had access to voluminous historical notes, which have been kept up by an "old timer" for twenty years, to which have been added his reminiscences, and also details, which, belonging alike to all the townships, could not well be repeated in each; hence the apparent bulk of matter in the opening chapters, which are ostensibly the history of Tuscola alone.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME.
The name of this township is derived from that of the city, but the origin of it is involved in obscurity, the most diligent inquiry having failed to disclose its source, or to draw out any account of it which promised any satisfaction. Tlascala in Mexico, Tusculum in Italy, and Tuscaloosa, Ala., etc., have been suggested as possible bases for a guess, but have yielded no conviction. The idea that the name is of Indian origin has been generally fallen back upon as the only hopeful solution, in which the anxious inquirers are joined by a prominent citizen of a county of the same name in Michigan.
At the time of the formation of the county, which was in 1859, that portion of its area, now called Tuscola Township, was known as Tuscola Precinct, and was bounded on the north and east as at present, but extended about one mile further west, or to the Okaw River, and thus enclosed an area of about eight square miles, which is now included in Garrett Township. It then contained on the south about six square miles of territory, which at the present belongs to Arcola. This was the election precinct, and enclosed an area of about seventy-two square miles, against sixty-two as now constituted, the actual territory now included being 62.39 square miles, and containing 39,934.94 acres, the largest in area, exceeding Arcola by 4,300 acres, and larger than Murdock, which is the smallest, by more than 20,000 acres. The township remained under the name of Tuscola Precinct, when a vote of the people determined upon
- which was adopted in 1867, and inaugurated in 1868. Mr. Joseph B. McCown, of Camargo, H. B. Evans, of Tuscola, and L. McAllister, of Arcola, were appointed by the County Court to divide the county into more convenient political subdivisions, the ancient arrangement having some notable incongruities as to area and shape. The rivers in many instances were the bounds, made so in a day when good creek crossings, at times of high water, were few and far between. But the march of improvement made a substantial bridge at every spot wherever the convenience of the people seemed to demand it. The rivers thus ceasing to be a barrier, the opportunity was seized to make a fair and convenient, as well as more equal partition; the result being the present very creditable and handy apportionment. And, by the way, no two townships in the State can have the same name, the reason for which is obvious.
The township is bounded on the north by the north line of the county, which separates it from Champaign County; on the west by Garrett Township, and the line between Ranges 7 and 8, of Township 16 north; on the south by Arcola Township, and on the east by Camargo and Bowdre. It contains all of Township 16 north of the Base line, of Range 8 east of the Third Principal Meridian. The west tier of sections from one to six, inclusive, of Township 16 north, Range 9 east. Sections 5, 6, 7 and 8, of Township 15 north, Range 9 east, and Sections 1 to 12, inclusive of Township 15 north, Range 8 east, in all fifty-eight sections of land, according to the United States survey, containing an average of 640 acres each; the fractional sections, always to be found on the north and east sides of all congressional townships, varying from that standard in some instances considerably, the north tier of sections in Township 15 north, Range 8 east, being about one and one-half miles long north and south, and consequently comprising an area of about 1,000 acres each.
This township was originally almost exclusively prairie, the only original timber being in the extreme southeast corner, and a small area of woods in the west side, somewhat scattering and distributed. At the present, however, many beautiful artificial groves of walnut and maple, large and thrifty orchards, and miles on miles of substantial osage hedges intersect the view, where twenty-five years ago the treeless waste was a monotony of prairie grass and so-called resin weeds, which grew to be as high as a man on horseback.
This grove is a neat natural growth situated on Section 31, Township 16, Range 9, on the east side of the township, of some twenty acres, and is traversed by a branch of Scattering Fork of the Embarrass River, long known as Hackett's Run, and has been owned by the Hackett's since long before Douglas County had an existence.
According to information kindly furnished by the engineers of the Illinois Central Railroad, the elevation of Tuscola City above the Gulf of Mexico is 680 feet. Hayes Station is 716. This makes Tuscola 19 feet lower than Arcola. Hayes is 17 feet higher than Arcola, 36 above Tuscola and 41 feet higher than Galton. These relative elevations could readily be carried on in railroad surveying out of Tuscola.
The township is traversed by the Chicago branch of the Illinois Central Railroad, running about north and south, dividing it into nearly equal parts. The road enters at the northeast quarter of Section 8, Township 16, Range 8, and leaves at south line of Section 10, Township 15, Range 8, and is a straight line through the county, varying from true north, however, about seven degrees; that is to day, it bears to the right just about forty rods to the mile.
This road has a right of way 200 feet wide through the township, which reserve is inclosed for the most part with a substantial fence as required by law, and occupies twenty-four acres of land for every mile it traverses, being in the aggregate 240 acres in the township; the difference to land tax payers along the line of the road was an item of importance and resisted, until by consent, as it were, the railroad reserve was gradually eliminated from the acres of the adjoining land owner. The history of this road pertaining to Douglas County will be found fully enlarged upon in the general history of the county in this volume under its proper head.
The township is also intersected by the St. Louis branch of the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western Railroad, which runs east and west through it, along, very nearly, the middle line of the south tier of sections in Township 16 north, Range 8 east, crossing the Illinois Central Railroad at Tuscola. The road was finished through the township in 1872; was chartered under the name of the Indiana & Illinois Central in 1852, and as Decatur & Indianapolis was legalized in 1853; it remained however, under the name of Indiana & Illinois Central until 1876, when upon re-organization it received the name of Indianapolis, Decatur & Springfield, and finally is known as the St. Louis branch of the Indianapolis, Bloomington & Western, having been leased to that corporation for ninety-nine years.
In July, 1869, a Tuscola railroad subscription was made in aid of this railroad to the amount of $20,000 by a vote of the people, and bonds were issued, payable in fourteen years, with 10 per cent interest. The refunding of the bonds was made in 1881, being placed with Preston, Kean & Co., of Chicago, at 6 per cent interest; the bid of this house was $20,700, and the lowest bid offered was $19,661.
A road was surveyed from Tuscola City northeastward, to be called the Danville, Tuscola & Western, which was instituted by Tuscola people. The preliminary surveying was begun in January, 1872, under the direction of James Davis, Esq., assisted by Thomas E. Bundy, the attorney for the road, the chief engineer being H. C. Niles. A year was consumed in the location and in trying to meet the wishes of everybody, and grading was for the greater part completed nearly to Danville; but the panic of 1872-73 calling a halt, and the railway business generally receiving a sudden check, it was found impossible to build the road with the means at command. The route is still held as a desirable one, and in the summer of 1888, the same line, under the same engineer, was extended from Tuscola City, via Bourbon Village, to the village of Arthur in the southwest corner of the county. This part of the line was duly located, and accordingly a map and profile were prepared and delivered to Danville parties, who extended a hope to the people that the county may yet have another desirable road.
The water-shed of this part of the county lies in a north and south direction between the center and the west side, the greater part of its flow tending to the southeast corner, seeking an outlet to the Embarrass River through a stream known as Scattering Fork. The ridge of the water-shed attains its greatest elevation at a point about three miles southwest of the city, where, by actual measurement, the elevation of thirty-one feet higher than the general surface of Tuscola City is attained. The farm of Caleb Garrett, two miles west of the city, is forty feet above the bottom of the Okaw River. The grading and ditching of the Illinois Central Railroad, has not much assisted in the drainage of the adjacent farms; on the contrary it has by embankment been rather a detriment, the openings at culverts not being of sufficient capacity or number. At Tuscola the grade held back the waters, on one occasion, until the flood had attained a depth of six feet on the west side of the track, the spread of the water being about half a mile. A very strong west wind prevailed at this time, and great rollers came toward the track, and, turning into breakers, struck the embankment with much the force of a small lake shore surf, and dashed over the railroad in showers of spray sufficient to drench a venturesome pedestrian on the track. After the occasion referred to, the company had a breakwater of posts partly made, but abandoned it and finally raised the track about one foot. This part of the township at Tuscola, west side, lies in the lowest ground for several miles around, except southeasterly, and consequently the railroad grade here is about the highest in the county on the line of the road; so in an early day, the vicinity of the track gave the passer-by a very bad impression of the situation of the city with regard to drainage.
However, time and gradual improvement have removed much of the worst features, and the township will eventually be well drained.
Under the statute, two drainage districts have been established, containing in the aggregate 7,000 acres of land, in which the ditches or drains now constructed, or well under way, have a length of about fifteen miles. The longer one begins west of the village of Hayes, crossing the railroad at the tank, and ending at the southeast corner of the township, being about ten miles; the other begins at the south side of the city and runs to the same point. These were regularly staked out in 100 feet divisions, the stakes serially marked, and the elevations taken at every stake, maps and profiles made, and an assessment roll, showing the names and lands of all the owners, and the amount of tax due from each. The engineering was done by Niles, the whole being under the charge of the Highway Commissions, Mr. C. G. Eckhart being their attorney.
The swamp land fund, which will be found fully explained in this volume under its proper caption, a part of which has already been paid into the county treasury, has not been derived so far from any swamp lands found and proven up in Tuscola Township, for the reason that by a decision of a former Secretary of the Interior at Washington, no lands within the six mile limit of the I. C. R. R. were permitted to be proven up, that officer holding that the act of Congress giving to the State these lands did not apply to lands lying within the original grant to the railroad. His successor declining to reverse this decision, a new act of Congress is required. This and Arcola Township cannot claim by right of discovery any portion of this fund, and if these townships receive any of the money, it will be by the action of the Board of Supervisors as an act of equity.*
EARLY ENTRIES OF LAND AND FIRST SETTLERS.
Being all prairie, the township was of the latest settled, the first comers, as a general rule, keeping close to the timber for its seeming protection. The prairie was considered a bleak, barren waste, unfit for habitation or cultivation, the magnificent richness of the soil not being appreciated by men accustomed to hilly woodlands. The timber was convenient for fuel, building and fencing, and men clung to it, for it was considered injudicious to expose one's self and family to the full sweep of the winter storms and the annual and really dangerous prairie fires.
*At the present writing, steps have been taken to distribute the swamp land money pro rata amongst the townships in proportion to their acreage. All of this township lies within the six-mile limit, on which a large amount of lands have been selected "as swamp and overflowed as to the greater part of each forty acres, and not susceptible of cultivation without artificial drainage." The proofs have not been completed, and will not be until an act of Congress gives the State and thereby the county, the benefits of the indemnity for the swamp lands lying within the railroad limit. The selections of all the swamp lands in the county, including all that are so far paid for, and all in abeyance, were under the direction of Mr. L. B. Hitt, State Agent, made by Messrs. Niles & Davis, Surveyors, who had long been familiar with the topography of the county.
The first entries of land we find are about as follows:
Sigler H. Lester, December 5, 1836, entered west half of the northwest quarter of Section 30, Town 16, Range 8; John Hammer, May, 1837, north half of the northwest quarter of Section 18, Town 16, Range 8; 1837, July 22, Jacob Moore took Lot 2, southwest quarter of Section 30, Town 16, Range 8; the bulk of the lands entered by him were six miles south; June 19, 1838, Thomas Lewis entered Lot 2, southwest quarter of Section 18, Town 16, Range 8; 1837, Samuel Lester, on Lots 3 and 4, northeast quarter of Section 6, Town 15, Range 8, and other large holdings; 1849, William Brian, north half of the northeast quarter of Section 19, Town 16, Range 8. Mr. Brian distributed his lands amongst his children, otherwise he would have been the largest land owner in the county. Most of the land entries were made in 1852-53. Up to that time, it appears that there was a check upon settlement of lands by entry, or rather the buying of such lands, the district for the most part being withdrawn from sale pending the location of the Illinois Central Railroad, and its selection of the lands granted it by Government.
In 1853, H. Sandford entered the northeast quarter of Section 33, Town 16, Range 8, which adjoins Tuscola on the west, and in the palmy days was firmly held at $100 per acre. Amongst the active and prominent of earlier settlers, as farmers and cattle men, were O. C. and M. F. Hackett, Owen J. Jones and Joseph W. Smith in the south part, and in the north B. F. Boggs, Benham Nelson and George P. Phinney. The present largest land owner in the township is Caleb Garrett, who holds about 1,100 acres. He emirgrated from the adjoining township of Garrett in 1874. Ample notes of the career and influence of these gentlemen will be found elsewhere in this volume.
The sixteenth section in every Congressional township was, by law, set apart for sale for the use of schools, and so sold by the State. It was required to be surveyed into lots, the utility of which is not clear, as the Government subdivisions would have answered every purpose of description. Section 16, Town 16 north, Range 8 east, in Tuscola Township, was divided into sixteen lots, each lot being one of the original forty-acre tracts; the numbering began in the northeast corner and ended in the southeast. The purchases were made in 1857. W. P. Carter took six of them; T. G. Chambers two; J. F. Parcels, four; Le Roy Viley, four. There is no record authority in Douglas County for the numbering, the only guide being the various conveyances, which, however, generally gave the number of the lot as well as the regular subdivision.
The population of Tuscola Township in 1870, per ninth census, was 2,863. In 1880, per tenth census, it was 2,805, showing a falling off of fifty-eight. The decadence was caused in Tuscola City alone, by removal of families directly connected with the new I. & I. C. Railroad, who changed their quarters when the railroad was re-organized and its name changed. There were just about fifty-eight of them. The number of personal tax-payers in the township in 1883 was 656. The number of voters, males, over twentyone years of age, at the time of taking the last census, was 736 in 576 families, being 1.3 votes to the family, and the voters multiplied by 3.76 equaled the population, which is a low average. The population of the city in 1880 was 1,465. H. C. Niles was the enumerator, and the same year he was elected Assessor and appointed Master in Chancery, the first two offices requiring all the work to be done by July 1st, and the two could not be combined, the law forbidding the census to be taken before June 1. Niles was born and reared in Baltimore, and came to Coles, since Douglas, County in 1856, was the first County Surveyor, and with some interruption has followed the business ever since.
FIRST TOWN MEETING.
The first town meeting after township organization was held at Tuscola in 1868. The meeting was called to order by W. H. Lamb, Esq. S. D. Stevenson was elected Moderator, and C. F. Lamb, Clerk. A committee of five was appointed to divide the township into road districts. It was made up of G. P. Phinney, A. McNeill, J. McGinniss, James Jester and Josiah McKee. The place of this meeting is not given, but it was arranged that the next should be held at J. B. Hart's store, northeast corner of Central Avenue and Parke street. Here Mr. O. C. Hackett was elected the first Supervisor, with a majority of only one vote over W. B. Ervin. Thomas E. Bundy exceeded the vote of H. C. Sluss by six votes. C. H. Griffith was elected Assessor by getting two votes more than J. H. Purdy, and S. Paddleford was made the first Collector, beating C. F. Lamb by fifty-eight votes. J. M. Ephlin was the first Constable, and was chosen at this election. W. H. Wood was the first Justice of the Peace. The first Commissioners of Highways, and who were elected on this occasion, were Benham Nelson, Noah Ammen and W. Brian.
The present officers of the township (1884) are: F. Von Lanken, Supervisor; Samuel Waddell, Alexander Mack and James H. Ervin, Highway Commissioners. The Collector is James R. Dawson, the Assessor is A. H. Greenman, and W. G. Higgins is Town Clerk. Mr. Waddell has served as Highway Commissioner for about twelve consecutive years. James D. Higgins was first elected Town Clerk in April 1877, was re-elected the third time, and afterward gave place to his father, W. G. Higgins, who has retained the office ever since, the business being practically in the hands of the son, whose peculiar aptness for the duties of the office has been fully endorsed by the people.
It may be said that the Republican party of the township has always claimed a majority, which at present is about 60 to 100 votes over the Democracy. This, however, does not usually obtain at other than times of Presidential excitement, as witness the repeated choice, for instance, of Supervisors who do not train with the dominant party-R. Ervin, P. C. Sloan and F. Von Lanken, having been elected-Sloan, Ervin and Von Lanken twice each. It indicated a desire of the people to elect good men, without regard to party or personal popularity, or hard work or something on the part of the incumbents; anyhow, they were elected. The vote has usually been close, showing in a degree the difficulty of making choice between good men. The same appears in the city elections; and, though sixty majority is claimed there also, the majoralty has been about equally divided between the two parties.
CITY OF TUSCOLA.
The City of Tuscola, the county seat, is situated in and occupied all of Section No. 34, Township 16 north, of Range 9 east, of Third Principal Meridian. The original town was laid off by Messrs. Terry, Mulhallan and Cornelius, upon the south half of the northwest quarter and the north half of southwest quarter, 160 acres, and was surveyed July 9, 1857, by John T. Scott, Deputy of Brown, the Coles County Surveyor. The streets, lanes and alleys were laid off "square with the world," except in the immediate vicinity of the Illinois Central Railroad, where some "point rows" necessarily occur. The blocks are for the greater part of 400 feet east and west in width, the lots being on an average 50x120 feet. A reserve was made of about sixteen acres, at the proposed railroad crossing, now called "between the wyes," and several little parcels were retained by the company between some lots and the proposed wyes. In addition to these, a strip 300 feet wide was reserved running east and west, and doubtless originally intended to be exactly upon the east and west one-half mile (one-fourth section) line; the center is, however, about 120 feet south of the section line, and this difference causes the perceptible swing in the line of the present railroad, the track having been laid in the country as nearly as practicable upon the halfmile line; but when the city was reached, this straight line projected would have passed through very near the north side of Central avenue, thus leaving the greater part of the reserve on the south side of the track. This entire strip of 800 feet was reserved for "railroads and railroad purposes," extends right up to the present line of buildings, and indeed, the copy of the original plat, transcribed from Coles County, shows a line of switch which shaves very close to the south side of the west end. The erection of valuable buildings up to the very line of this reserve was the cause of much comment, and not a little uneasiness to owners, after attention had been called to the facts- now happily cured-through the exertions and legal ability of Mr. Thomas E. Bundy, who, armed with a map of the coveted territory, went to Chicago and solicited and obtained a quit-claim deed from the Illinois Central Railroad for the fifty-foot street on either side of the 300-foot reserve, thus securing forever to the city the use of these streets.
The title of the road had been previously tried in the Supreme Court through a suit provoked by an attempt of the Illinois Central to lay in a switch from the north and south track west of town, along the south side of the avenue, and thus connect with important elevators, situated on the east and west road. Mr. Healy, the resident engineer of the road at Champaign, came upon the ground, ran in the side track, staked it out, and was immediately followed by track layers, who got some iron down and was about in place, when they were all estopped by an injunction, issued by A. G. Wallace, the then Master in Chancery, procured by the exertions of Thomas H. Macoughtry. The matter was held in abeyance until Circuit Court convened. The injunction was laid November, 1874; the case tried at April term, 1875, and taken up to the Supreme Court. There was no record whatever that the east and west road had any rights in the avenue that anybody was bound to respect, nevertheless, the Illinois Central, when it sold the "town site" to the original company, reserved the 300 feet for railroads and railroad purposes. They never parted with that reservation, except in the matter of the fifty-foot streets as before stated; but the Town Company and their friends persistently held that the reserve was always intended for the I. & I. C. Railroad, which had been originally chartered in 1852, and up to the time of laying off the town site in 1857, the railroad had life, and was confidently expected to be finished in the near future. Its final completion was made an important factor by the enterprising projectors of the city. The Supreme Court decided in favor of the east and west road; this gives the road control of a strip 200 feet wide through the center of the city and a fifty-foot street on either side for the use of the city.
On the completion of the road in 1872, controversy arose between the city and the railroad as to the right of the road to close up streets, and the Superintendent began it by leasing ground to parties, for elevators and other warehouses; conditioned that the location should be across North and South streets, thus enlisting the sympathy and support of the lessees. The buildings were erected and the citizens found themselves blockaded in at least three instances, to say nothing of the "looks of things." No suits grew out of this, but threats and counter threats were indulged in ad libitum, and we were informed that Hiram Sandford, who then (1874) owned 320 acres, directly west of town, offered to present to the railroad twenty acres of land, adjoining town, provided the company would remove side tracks, turn outs and depot to the west of the Illinois Central. He then held this land at $100 per acre.
The original town is bounded on the west by the Illinois Central Railroad, and extends eastward to Niles avenue, which is the north and south center line of Section 34, and is the street upon which stand the schoolhouse and Methodist Church. This avenue was begun by Mr. Cannon in his addition to Tuscola, with the generous width of seventy-five feet, but unfortunately the surveyor or proprietor of subsequent additions saw fit to cut it down to sixty feet, thus spoiling it. The bound of the original town on the south side is the south line of the section at the township line, and it is met on the north by Winston's addition, which is one-quarter of a mile wide.
The first addition to Tuscola was made by A. B. Newkirk, of Chicago, and consists of the north half of northwest quarter of Section 34, Township 16 north, of Range 3 east, and was surveyed by H. C. Niles, the County Surveyor, in August, 1859, assisted by Henry Beach, who afterward build the first Beach House. Mr. Beach had a contract for grading all the streets of this addition, and was to take lots for pay; the arrangement was carried out only in part, the proprietor having changed his mind. The idea is a refinement of town lot making, well worth considering, and in a very healthy state of the market would certainly look well enough to be an inducement to purchasers. The blocks in this addition, nearly 400 feet square, are divided generally into four lots, which all lay square with the world, except at the railroad. The streets are of the generous width of sixty-six feet, being six feet wider than those of the original town, upon which they abut. No street was made between this and the original town.
WAMSLEY & CANNON'S ADDITION.
In the spring of 1860, William Wamsley, with J. G. Cannon as manager, laid off into lots and blocks the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 34, Town 16 north, Range 8 east, making sixteen blocks, the west tier of which was subdivided into quarters, the surveying of which was done by Niles. Niles avenue, on the west, was named in compliment to the surveyor and is seventy-five feet wide, as also is the next avenue east. Both of these beautiful streets have been spoiled by the mistaken economy, or perhaps want of information of the proprietors of the subsequent additions on the north, when they suddenly fell to a width of sixty feet, and not only that, but no regard or attention was paid to the abutting streets in the prior addition; the result is the streets, as it were hit nowhere even, the lot bounds do not "line," and the people find fault with the surveyors when shown the facts. In laying off new town lots, much depends upon the surveyor, who is generally expected to do the planning, subject to the notions, in a general way, of the proprietor, and much is deferred to the judgment of the surveyor, who should always have an eye out to the eternal fitness of things.
Kelly's first addition (by the way, there is never any "first" addition), November 15, 1861, followed by his second December 30, 1864, consists of the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter and the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 34, Town 16, Range 8, eighty acres, and was surveyed by E. C. Siler, County Surveyor. In the first addition, however, he was the deputy of Niles. The lots were made large, to meet a seeming demand for such, amongst which streets, lanes and alleys were very scarce. The progress of the times has eventually forced through several highways. Robert Kelly, of Indiana, was the projector of these additions. He was a Quaker of standing and much business ability.
The next addition made was called Mather's Northeast Addition, and comprised the east half of the northeast quarter and the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 34, Town 16 north, of Range 8 east, 120 acres. It was surveyed July 12, 1864, by E. C. Siler, County Surveyor, under the proprietorship of John Mathers, who had previously acquired an interest in the lands of the original Town Company. The greater part of this addition was laid out into lots or blocks, containing in gross about ten acres, and has since been used almost exclusively for farming lands. The streets in this portion of Tuscola do not conform to those in the original town, not only being of different widths, but do not fairly meet the original streets.
Cornelius' Addition consists of about twenty acres of land in the southwest corner of the section, being a reserved portion of the original town plat, and lying east of the Illinois Central Railroad, and north of the south line of the section. The lots are of good average size, with a location not very desirable. It was laid out by P. S. Cornelius, and surveyed by H. C. Niles, August 19, 1870.
The balance of Section 34, being the east half of the southeast quarter, eighty acres, has, up to date, remained as farm lands, except the cemetery, which lies in the southeast corner of the section, and consisted, originally, of four acres of land, which was deeded to the original Cemetery Company, for cemetery purposes, by E. S. Terry, Esq., who at the time had also acquired an interest in the original Town Company lands. He subsequently made the board a deed for sixty feet on the west side, and thirty feet on the north side, to be used exclusively as a passway, but in may, 1884, for a money consideration, the grand of the passways was again made, but without conditions.
The original Cemetery Company, formed under the statute, consisted of William Wamsley, A. G. Wallace, S. G. Bassett and J. H. Harrison. On re-organization, April 22, 1874, Wamsley and Wallace only, were found to be residents, and these two are since deceased. The price of lots had formerly been $4 to $5 for all sizes, which rate was raised to $10 and $20. The present directors are: H. T. Carraway, President; Rice Ervin, Superintendent; W. Taggart, Assistant Superintendent; W. P. Miller, Treasurer; H. C. Niles, Secretary, and S. Paddleford, D. A. Conover, L. J. Wyeth and J. M. Smith. The burial ground was once eighty rods west, without any organization, and in 1861, a body was removed, with Masonic ceremonies, to the new and permanent location.
POPULATION AND CONDITION.
The population of the city in 1870 was placed at 1,500; H. B. Evans was the enumerator. At the tenth census, 1880, the population was about the same; within that decade the city had not progressed much in the way of extending areas or erecting new buildings. While progress in this respect has not been observed, it is notable that Tuscola is one of the neatest and best-kept villages in the central part of the State. Fourteen miles of substantial sidewalk, a large part of which is eight and twelve feet wide, conduct the exploring stranger dry-shod to churches, schoolhouses, etc., in fact, take him anywhere, except to a saloon. Careful and systematic attention has been given to sanitation, and breaches of the public peace are rare. A system of drainage has lately been instituted under the direction of Messrs. Kagay, Goff and Dilley, the Street and Sidewalk Committee of the City Council. The relative elevations of every block, or street corner has been taken, 700 in number, and a large map drawn and colored which shows all elevations, all sidewalks and the location, and size of all tiling, the latter being 1,000 rods-to date. The work was done by H. C. Niles, City Engineer.
The first house which appeared in Tuscola was (is) a part of the present dwelling of Thomas S. Sluss, at the northwest corner of Main and Daggy streets. It was placed there by William Chandler, who hauled it from the close neighborhood of Bourbon. He occupied it awhile and sold it, building subsequently the dwelling now standing directly east.
The first house built was the store at the railroad, on the north side of Sale street, long since gone. Simon G. Bassett, brother of Dr. H. J. Bassett, of Tuscola, was the first Postmaster as well as express and freight agent. The second house built was erected on Parke street, east side, near the present brick, south of Sale street; it was put up by A. L. Otis, was subsequently removed to the south side of Sale street, east of Main street, and is now the present residence of Dr. Bassett.
The third house built was the residence of Thomas Woody, erected on the northwest corner of Central avenue and Main street, whence it was removed. It occupied the site of the present brick on that corner. Thomas Woody was the father of A. M. Woody, who served as Mayor of the city for the four years ending in April, 1883. Thomas Woody was an active Methodist, and, before the day of churches, he and his wife, with A. G. Wallace and wife, associated with Mrs. Dr. Bassett and Mrs. Kuhn, were the only church people in the place who had any aptitude for conducting religious exercises. Class and prayer meetings were held in Mr. Woody's house for several years after Mr. Woody's arrival. He died in November, 1883, full of honors. The first child born in the place was (is) Miss May Wallace, daughter of A. G. Wallace. Mrs. Has. Moore, nee May Chandler, daughter of William Chandler, moved here from Bourbon at the age of six years, and was consequently the first baby in Tuscola.
The first store was a grocery, built on the north side of the court house square by B. F. Lewis, now a farmer northwest of town. The next was probably the drug store of Dr. J. W. Wright, which was located in the present one-and-a-half-story dwelling, now standing directly east of the old court house. These two proprietors were compelled to yield to the logic of events, both eventually pulling up stakes and moving down into town, or up town, as the case may be. The Lewis store was removed bodily to Sale street. The stock was bought by J. M. Ephlin and A. M. Woody, and was the foundation of the large Woody & Russell grocery store. Dr. Wright built a store and dwelling combined on the southwest corner of Main street and Central avenue, where he had sole control of the drug business until 1865. He finally went to California, being succeeded in his business by Dr. J. A. Feild, who occupied the old stand for a while, and afterward removed to his brick at the southeast corner of Parke and Sale streets, which he built in 1882. H. C. Niles, who had been bred to the drug trade, opened a new drug store, in 1865 at the southeast corner of Avenue and Main streets in company with E. C. Siler. The latter sold out to Niles, who joined C. A. Davis on the north side of Sale street, in a building which was destroyed in one of the great fires, which occurred in October, 1881. The house stood the second door directly west of Goff's Marble Works, which is the first establishment of the kind permanently located at this city. Mr. R. Gruelle was in the drug business for a few years; also E. L. Smith, who sold out to Benton, and he to Foster, who is yet in the business. E. L. Smith, after leaving the drug business, began the practice of law, and in 1878, he "shuffled off this mortal coil" by cutting his throat in his office, up stairs, at the southeast corner of Parke and Sale streets. He was a man of talent in some respects, and could and did make most excellent stump speeches on occasion. The real causes of his self "taking off" were never known, but were supposed to be business troubles and bodily disease.
It is not the intention of this history to give a list of all the business houses of Tuscola, but an attempt is made to show how business started. Niles returned to the southeast corner of Main street and Central avenue, and then removed to J. M. Smith's building, corner of Avenue and Washington streets, and joined, as a partner, W. B. Dryer. They were finally succeeded by James D. Higgins, the present druggist on that corner. William H. Russell and A. M. Woody instituted, in 1859, the first permanent grocery house in the place, succeeding J. M. Ephlin, beginning with scant means, on the north side of Sale street. The house was long and favorably known as "Woody & Russell," and the partnership remained undisturbed until November, 1874, a period of fifteen years, when it was dissolved by mutual consent and mutual good will. Mr. Russell died in June, 1876; was from North Carolina, whence he removed to Indiana, arriving in Tuscola in 1859. With the exception of serving as School Director and a term or two in the City Council, Russell had not been in public office. He was "one of us" in every way, and the impress of his character upon the old and new institutions of the city is permanently good, and will not be readily forgotten.
S. G. Bassett, backed by Alonzo Lyons, began business on the north side of Sale street at the railroad in 1859, and about these days, Elijah McCarty built quite a large two-story warehouse on the south side of the same street, also at the railroad. The former building is long since gone; the other remains as part of the large elevator of R. & J. Ervin. The post office was here then, with W. T. French as Postmaster. McCarty in those days was one of the largest farm operators, handling about 4,000 acres of railroad land for a wealthy firm in Kentucky. He was large-hearted, liberal and profuse, and controlled a great amount of money for years. The parties, however, disposed of the lands, and McCarty, after becoming involved, went to St. Louis, and a few years ago died much reduced in health and financial strength. He was once a candidate for Congress in this district. A. G. Wallace started the first regular real estate office, after leaving the Circuit Clerk's position. Others had been prominent in the line in connection with their current business. Mr. W. was succeeded by P. C. Sloan, also a former clerk and recorder, in which he was joined by A. A. McKee. These gentlemen are pursuing the business regularly, and are in a position to do good work.
The insurance business as a regular occupation was not taken up until 1865-66, when W. P. Cannon, who locally represented a large number of companies in connection with other business, sold out to A. P. Helton, who arrived here from Bloomington, Ind., in 1862. Mr. H. kept a large hardware store on the south side of the avenue for several years, and sold to Lodge & Minturn, who kept store for awhile in the stand now occupied by the Evans grocery. Helton's insurance business increased rapidly, and he became, perhaps the leading insurance man in the central part of the State, representing a large number of companies, and well posted in all that pertains to this branch of business. He helped to run the first brass band, like the others for amusement only, and was a cornet player of some distinction. He occasionally "rushes into print" on insurance business, in which he displays a grim but attractive humor. A peculiarity in his experience is worth relating. Being in 1865 an enthusiastic hunter, he was with Col. Taggart shooting, and on removing a gun from a spring wagon, the contents were discharged into his left shoulder. He was carefully nursed by his family and sympathizing friends for many months, and finally, under advice, submitted to the amputation of his left arm at the shoulder. It was a very "close call," as H. would himself say, and in the language of one of his surgeons, nothing but the "sand in him" saved his life. It is remarkable that just ten years afterward, his only son, Harry, lost his right forearm whilst hunting, and by a similar accident. These gentlemen, having, despite their deprivation, acquired a wonderful skill in the manipulation of books and papers, almost forestall sympathy.
October 11, 1859, an election by the citizens was held for and against incorporation. The names of all the voters were, William Chandler, I. J. Halstead, Michael Noel, A. L. Otis, F. F. Nesbit, P. Noel, A. J. Gorman, James H. Harrison, James Davis, A. G. Wallace, John Chandler, A. Van Deren, Thomas Woody and Joseph G. Cannon. The vote for incorporation stood 12; against, 2; total 14. Mr. Harrison was a prominent stove and hardware man, first on Central avenue, in the store now occupied by Tyler in the same business; afterward, in a two-story building which stood on the present site of Bye's shoe store. This building was removed to the north side of the avenue, to a place directly east of the present Opera Block, and "went up" in the great fire of 1873. Mr. Harrison was a leading citizen, had much to do with the institutions of the place, and is now President of the National Bank at Farmer City. James Davis is still a resident, and of the firm of Davis & Finney, grain dealers, and is the present Mayor of the city, having been elected in the spring of 1883. John Chandler has a large farm east of town, was the first County Clerk, and had an active and useful part in the formation of the new county. Maj. Van Deren is yet a resident and a farmer. Mr. Cannon removed to Danville; is Congressman for the district. Of the others, Messrs. Halstead, Noels, Otis and Nesbit, removed; William Chandler, a carpenter and builder, died here, as also Mr. Wallace and Thomas Woody, of whom more hereafter.
City Charter. - The city charter is dated March 11, 1859. The first Mayor was James H. Martin, with a Council consisting of I. L. Jordan, E. Price, M. Pugh and W. Taggart. Mr. Jordan, formerly a farmer in Garrett Township, was Sheriff of the county, and is yet a resident, conducting a large livery and sale stable. Price, though a large land owner in the county, is now a non-resident. Pugh, a wagon-maker, has lately removed, and Col. Taggart, after honorable service in the war of 1861, and serving two terms as Sheriff, remains a citizen, under the firm name of Taggart & Elkin, in the furniture business on the north side of Central avenue. In the war record in this volume will be found a more particular notice of those who served as soldiers. Mr. James H. Martin resigned the mayoralty in June, 1879, partly because of ill health, and partly by reason of ineligibility; he lived outside the corporation, owning land just beyond the northeast corner of town. With a view of correcting the matter, he had a small addition to the city made and recorded, which was situated in the southwest corner of Section 26, Township 16, Range 8, but no lots were sold, and it was finally dropped. Mr. Martin was from Indiana, resided in Tuscola for about six years in the practice of law. He died November 15, 1871, and was buried at Camargo, with Masonic obsequies.
Tuscola is doubtless the first city in the State organized under the general incorporation act, which took effect July 1, 1872. It is divided into three wards. The North Ward is bounded on the south by the center of Pembroke street. South of it is the Middle Ward, which has for its south line Daggy street, and the Third Ward is the balance of the village, south of the lastnamed street. They are represented in the City Council by two Aldermen each.
The industrious recorder has, after diligent inquiry, failed to find any Tuscola City records prior to 1870. In this year (July 16, 1870), Thomas S. Sluss presided as Mayor; Aldermen present, J. C. Walker and James Dilly; A. H. Sluss, City Clerk and Attorney. August 15, 1870, the City Attorney was ordered to dismiss the suit of the city against Niles & Dryer, druggists, defendants paying attorneys' fees. This was a suit for not reporting sales of liquors for the past two months, the ordinance requiring such report, which was to contain the name of the purchaser, quantity sold and purpose used for. The firm was not prosecuted for selling liquor, but for not reporting sales. At this meeting, J. C. Walker moved the remission of the fine, which was promptly seconded by James Davis, and the resolution was carried nem. con. In 1865, the board was in session, contemplating serious restrictions upon the druggist liquor sales, and stirring speeches were made pro and con, the last of which was given by a druggist, who produced as his final argument a large bottle of old London Dock Gin, which, after placing on the table under the noses of the board, he gracefully retired, amid loud and continued applause. The proposed resolution was also laid on the table. In August, 1870, A. H. Sluss, City Clerk, resigned, his place being taken by S. D. Stevenson. The office was Clerk and Attorney. September 19, 1870, the Clerk was directed to undertake to get the original map of Tuscola, some few discrepancies having been found by the surveyors. This map has never been found, the official one on record being a copy of a copy. October 31, 1870, saloon license was proposed, for the avowed purpose of raising money to build sidewalks. Councilman Jordan resigned February 21, 1871, and H. C. Carico was elected to fill the vacancy. R. B. Macpherson was elected Clerk and Attorney in the spring of 1872. License for the saloon sale of liquors was instituted May 30, 1872. Thomas S. Sluss was again elected Mayor, April 15, 1873, T. F. Daggy, Attorney, and J. K. Breeden, Clerk.
In April, 1874, H. B. Madison was made City Treasurer, O. B. Atherton, Clerk, Thomas E. Bundy, Attorney. John J. Jones was elected Mayor in April, 1875, and a vote of thanks was tendered ex-Mayor Sluss for the able and impartial manner in which he had presided during his term of office. O. B. Atherton was re-elected Clerk in the spring of 1876, when L. G. Macpherson was made Attorney.
In April, 1877, William H. Lamb was installed as Mayor, with J. W. Boyer, Clerk, and L. G. Macpherson, Attorney. W. R. Johnson was Treasurer. W. Taggart, B. Ervin and F. M. Friend were made Fire Wardens, whose duty it was to examine all fire exposures, and to condemn the bad ones.
July 9, 1877, Col. H. C. Moore, T. H. Macoughtry, Dr. J. L. Reat, A. G. Wallace, H. C. Niles, et al. were appointed a committee to visit Springfield and confer with the State Commissioners of the proposed Eastern Insane Asylum, and to lay before them the advantages of Douglas County for its location, the city appropriating $100 for expenses. The committee, proceeding to examine sites, etc., advocated the advantages of Patterson's Spring and surrounding lands near Camargo. The asylum is that which was located at Kankakee.
A. M. Woody was elected Mayor in April, 1879. It was under his administration that the fire apparatus was obtained. Dr. W. Brenton, James F. Dilley and H. Sandford were active supporters of the scheme.
James Davis was elected Mayor in the spring of 1883, and is the present incumbent. He is a prominent Democrat, and was elected by the popular voice, notwithstanding the fact that the city has a very decided Republican majority. Mr. Davis ran for County Clerk seventeen years ago, and offered to carry a certain little Republican across the street for his vote. The bribe was accepted, and the candidate shouldered that much of the Republican party, and, carrying it over, set him wrong end up at the ballot box. This serious mistake, on being pointed out, was at once rectified, and Jim made a vote amid the approving cheers of the bystanders, without respect to party, race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Mr. Davis started the first dry goods store in 1859. It stood in the present open space directly east of J. M. Smith's large building on the avenue (the house was bought by Mr. S., and removed back to Wilson street). The firm was Davis & Ensey, Mr. E. being a large land owner in the vicinity. This firm did the banking for the neighborhood for many years; that is, the cattle or land buyer, the Sheriff and Collector simply called with the money, upon which he scrawled his name and slapped the package into the safe. This was the custom with all who had access to safes, and many of the safes were about as safe as a good goods-box well nailed. This kind of banking was never abused; everybody trusted the merchants and the merchants trusted everybody, which perhaps some of the latter recollect, or could refresh memory by reference to memoranda made at the time.
The first boarding house or hotel was kept by A. G. Wallace. This building was a large "story-and-one-half" house, situated just about where the bank now stands on the Avenue. Mr. Wallace had arrived in the county in 1841, and stopped at a place, then widely known as the "Wallace stand," west of Hickory Grove, in the southeast part of the county. He removed to Camargo in 1854, and in 1858 to Tuscola, where he kept hotel as above for about two years. He was deeply interested in and was one of the most active workers for the formation of the new county. He was the first Justice of the Peace elected in Tuscola, 1858, and in 1859 was elected the first Circuit Clerk and Recorder. He was continuously re-elected until he had served four-consecutive terms of four years each. Upon retiring from the office, he conducted for several years a real estate and loan office, and was always an active and leading member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Wallace died on the 27th of July, 1879.
The Beach House began its existence as a boarding house on the northeast corner of Ensey and Parke streets. The house is still standing, and is now occupied by I. C. Jewell as a residence. It was then under the conduct of Henry Beach, whom we all called "Pap" for short. He was a wholesouled fellow, and well liked. He built the first Beach House on the site of the present hotel of the same name. Some time after his death, the first hotel was burned to the ground, say October, 1869, and rebuilt by Mrs. Beach in 1870. Mrs. B. proved fully equal to the task of keeping a hotel, which is proven by her surroundings and ample means. The house is second to none outside of large cities; indeed, traveling men prefer the home life comforts here to the more brilliant but not more comfortable caravansaries. The Central House was originally erected by Younger, but the business did not appear to suit him, and he was succeeded by the Thayers. It is situated on the northeast corner of Central avenue and Main street, and is a favorite resort of all the country round. Mine host, Archibald, jolly, fat and bearded, has the confidence and good will of his guests. This house caught fire one day, but the boys were too smart for it, and didn't have any fun. The first hotel was built on the northeast corner of Main and Houghton streets, by the Town Company. A large two-story frame, it was for a few years the only hotel, and in court season a lively place. It was conducted by M. C. Elkin, an old resident, who, at his death, left several representatives who are prominent in society and business. This hotel was burnt in 1864, and rebuilt by the Insurance Company. It was then called the "Tuscola House." Mr. Elkins had sold the furniture and good will to a Ben Stanley, who christened it the "Stanley House," ran it for some time, failed, and removed from the city. This hotel was built by the original town company, with the understanding that the Illinois Central Railroad would make the depot and side tracks directly west at Houghton street. Under a mistake of the person in charge, so it is said, they got their present location at Pembroke street. Whether the person in charge was "seen" or not is not stated. The hotel was surely built with this understanding, but the fixing of the depot a quarter-mile north seems to have upset all calculations. The business men, as soon as the depot was located, began to build it, the vicinage, and were so unaminous in it, that others dared not adhere to the neighborhood of the proposed court house site; the pressure was so decided, that even the few (two) who had made their ventures near the proposed court house pulled up stakes, and removed down town, or up town, as the case may be. Had the Illinois Central Railroad Depot been located as first intended, all the business of the city, and all of the business improvements would now be grouped about the court house, where they ought to be, and Sale street and Central avenue, the present business centers, would have been as bare of business houses as are now the adjoining blocks in the neighborhood of the court house. The blocks and lots north, south, east and west of the court house would have been solidly built up, at least as much so as Central and Sale streets are today; but they began to build close to the depot, and no one had the courage to make his improvement so far out of town; and indeed it would have taken courage, for at that time the site of the present court house was a howling wilderness; and even after the first court house, the old light two-story frame yet standing north of the court house, had been erected, it stood solitary and alone for years; there was not a building, in 1861, between it and the present residence of Dr. J. L. Reat. A race track was laid off, between it and Dr. Reat's dwelling, intended to be an ellipse, one-half mile in circumference, and a slight change had to be made at the Doctor's house to get it in solid.
OTHER EARLY EVENTS.
The present court house square had been fenced in with common boards and was the "fair ground" of the first Douglas County Fair. The old court house was used for a "Floral Hall," as it were, and a band and speakers' stand had been erected in the north side of the square. E. McCarty, Caleb Garrett and Ira J. Halstead, Secretary, were the managers. The first dance was held in the room over northeast corner of Parke and Sale streets, where Mrs. John Madison danced the first set with Joseph G. Cannon. This old court house was, on its completion, hailed with joy by all who believed in wholesale sociability. Parties, balls and dances were frequent and enjoyable. The first was the celebration of the finishing of the building by a wellattended dance. This was in 1861, but since that time children have been born and advanced to maturity, and it may be interesting to them to remember that their fathers and mothers were once young, and here "tripped the light fantastic toe." It was here Andy Wallace laid aside class meeting for the nonce, and father Thomas Woody looked on approvingly-at least, he didn't object-and Harry Niles was swung around, let go off, and sent sprawling on the floor by the stalwart arm of Mrs. John Madison, who gloried in her muscle, though roundly scolded by Sheriff Sam Logan for taking such advantage of a little fellow. Mrs. Madison is yet "one of us," having helped her husband to amass a fortune in Tuscola, she reposes upon her well-earned laurels, as a leading member of society and the Christian Church.
The first session of the Circuit Court was held in the fall of 1859, in the then just-finished depot building of the I. C. R. R., and the very first civil case on the docket was Button vs. Johnson; default of defendant, and judgment for $3.20. This was an appeal from Dr. J. T. Johnson, a magistrate in the village of Bourbon. Dr. Johnson was a well-known practicing physician and "Squire" in the west end, at the time of the formation of the new county, and along about 1865, went West. Circuit Court was next held in the second story of the building now occupied by George Smith, the same place where J. M. Maris beforetime held forth as a grocer. This was the largest available room in the place at that time, and was used for all public meetings until the so-called old court house was built in 1861. At this time A. G. Wallace, the Circuit Clerk, had his office in the same building on Sale street, and the County Clerk occupied a room in the Tuscola House, the two-story hotel in Houghton street, heretofore mentioned. A full description of the present court house will be found in this book, at the proper place. The first school house erected in Tuscola was a one-story frame, which cost $500, and was built in 1858. Amongst the first school teachers, if not the first was Ira J. Halstead. This building stands now in its original location, next east of the Baptist brick church, and is used for a dwelling with additions, having been refitted by John T. Cummings, who has occupied it about ever since. This was succeeded by a very substantial two-story brick schoolhouse at a cost of $6,000, erected on the site of the present imposing seminary, which is Block No. 3, in Kelly's Addition to Tuscola. This was a plain brick building, erected under contract by John X. Miller, who had the X in his name to distinguish him from other John Millers, of whom in the burg there were several; he owned and occupied the old one-story schoolhouse after the new one was built. He was a queer old fellow, honest and reliable, but a little sour, and he always "wanted to know, you know," what we thought of a preacher who would "call a man a liar?" and we could only answer, that it depended on whether the preacher told the truth or not. The materials of this two-story seminary were purchased by the contractor when the present fine building was erected on the same site. The contractor and builder of the new and last building was L. Johnson; he married here a daughter of Ross, a carpenter and builder. Johnson was a man of notable integrity and honor in his contracts, and built and finished the structure in the face of failure as to profit.
A corner stone was laid on the 26th of June, 1870, by the Masons and Odd Fellows, with the unual interesting ceremonies. The northeast corner stone contains the organization of Coles County, the partition of Douglas County, 1859; survey of original town of Tuscola, 1857; accounts of the first dwelling, 1857; first store, 1857; and first, second and third bricks built, 1863, etc.; first children born, 1857; burning of first hotel, and incidents; Illinois Central Railroad, schoolhouses; First church 1862; flour mill, 1863; newspaper, 1858; first bank, 1863; first court house, 1861; the permanent court house and population of Tuscola, 1870, 1,500, with 300 dwellings. These by H. C. Niles, who was the first County Surveyor. Mr. R. B. Macpherson placed in the stone a history of Odd Fellowship and Masonry. A history of the school district to date was inserted by Dr. J. L. Reat and W. B. Dryer; Niles also added the latitude and longitude, variation of the compass, exact location of Tuscola, the area of the county, the names of the first Village Board, viz.: L. J. Wyeth, W. T. French, James Davis, F. F. Nesbit, M. Vaul, Clerk; also date of charter, first election under charter July 1, 1859. J. H. Martin, Mayor; Council: W. Taggart, M. Pugh, E. Price and J. Williamson; the corporation expenses for preceding fiscal year were stated at $5,000; a description of former schoolhouses; the average attendance of pupils was stated as 448, in 1869-70. Indebtedness of school district was given as $20,000, for which the district had issued bonds due in three, five and seven years with 10 per cent interest, and that the bonds were sold for 92 1/2 cents. These, with some copies of current newspapers, were placed in the corner stone, which, by the way, was not half full. It was well secured in the usual manner, and the ceremonies were smoothly and agreeably conducted under the care of Mr. William H. Lamb, the Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge, Tuscola, No. 332.
The school building is a substantial brick, of three stories and basement, a belfry containing a large town clock, which is a most excellent timekeeper, and has four dials, facing respectively the cardinal points. Of genuine bellmetal- cooper and tin-and weighing 800 pounds, the bell, when tolling or marking off the hours, has a peculiar resonant sweetness. September 19, 1882, at midnight, Tuscola bells tolled the announcement of the death of President Garfield, on which occasion the ringers of four bells exchanged sounds with each other in sequence, each waiting till an effect had died away. The varied tones, though difffering in volume, were of perfect accord, which, with the otherwise silent night, and the hearers between sleeping and waking, were simply and sadly beautiful. The school bell has been heard to strike the hours at a distance of about seven miles, under favorable circumstances. Sound moves at the rate of 1,142 feet in a second of time; a mile contains 5,280 feet (a la V. Hugo). The school building has ample accommodatiions for about 500 pupils, is in every possible respect a perfect edifice, and is, as it should be, the pride of Tuscola. The contract price was originally $32,000, but the amount was subsequently increased, so that the entire cost, when completed, became about $40,000. The building is heated by an excellent system of basement furnaces, and the board employ an efficient janitor at a fixed salary. The original lot, Block 3 in Kelly's Addition contained about one acre of land; to this has been added, in the last few years, a strip sixty feet in width on the east side, which is Indiana street extended. The board also bought the block next north, Block 4, same addition, and was presented by the city with that part of Wilson street extended which lies between said Blocks 3 and 4, which also loaned them fifty feet of a street north of Block 4. A neat and substantial iron fence has been placed on the west and south sides of the original lot, and a similar one will eventually inclose the whole. The fence cost $1,050 for 600 feet, say $1.75 per foot.
The district was incorporated in its present form under the statute June 6, 1869, by G. P. Olmstead, M. Noel, J. P. Elliott, John Mann, John Ervin and A. G. Wallace. Olmstead was President, and Wallace, Clerk. Only one, Mr. Ervin, is a resident to-day. The law provides that in any district having not less than 2,000 inhabitants there shall be elected, instead of the usual Directors, a Board of Education, to consist of six members, who at the first election draw lots for the term of office of the members, so that one-third shall serve one year, one-third two years, and one-third three years, and thereafter two members were elected annually on the first Saturday in April, to serve for three years. The district includes the south half of Section 21, southwest quarter of Section 22, south half of Section 26, south half and northwest quarter of Section 32, all of Section 34, which is the city of Tuscola, and all of Section 35 and all of Section 36 in Township 16 north, of Range 8 east. Also Lots 3 and 4, northwest quarter of Section 1, Lots 3 and 4 in Section 2, Lots 3 and 4, northwest quarter of Section 1, Lots 3 and 4 in Section 2, Lots 3 and 4 in Section 3, and Lots 3 and 4 northeast quarter of Section 4, called Tuscola School District. The first Directors were elected each to serve three years, two to go out every election.
On December 26, 1870, the election was held for and against levying a tax of $20,000 to build the present seminary, which was duly carried. Votes for the tax, 154; against, 50; total, 201; and bonds were issued and disposed of as above stated. November 24, 1869, a Mr. Coffey was employed as head teacher, at a salary of $70 per month; in December, 1869, J. R. Cole was Principal, at $1,000 per annum; Goudy and T. H. Smith in 1870, succeeded by R. M. Bridges and Bromfield. Mr. Hoenshel at $1,300 per annum; Mr. Ware at $800, and increased to $1,000. F. A. E. Star served in 1882-83 at $1,000, his successor for 1883-84 being Mr. Wilson, at a salary of $1,200. The janitor, Mr. Zweck, receives $50 per month; he devotes his entire time to his work, as might easily be surmised from the perfect order in which everything about this beautiful building is maintained. The present board consists of Thomas E. Bundy, President; A. M. Woody, J. T. Erwin, D. A. Conover, James D. Higgins and Charles Cross, who is the Clerk. Teacher's salaries range from $35 to $45 per month.
The curriculum of this institution includes all the English branches, German, book-keeping and Latin and Greek Grammar. The course is divided into eight grades and represent one year's work for each grade. Promotions are made by grades, and at any time during the year whenever the pupil may be benefited. Non-resident pupils pay from 30 cents to 50 cents per week, according to grade. The alumni class of 1875-1883, numbers some sixtyseven graduates, the majority of whom remain citizens, though many nonresidents have taken their finish at this institution. All these are consequently supposed to be in possession of a thorough grounding in at least English, which includes all the ornaments, which of course have been "added" after the business education of the students has been completed. The first bank was instituted by Wyeth, Cannon & Co., and was in a frame building, which stood at the west end of the present Opera Block. This bank was afterward, 1865, merged into the First National Bank of Tuscola. The firm had for awhile banking interests in Arcola. In 1870, Mr. Wyeth was merchandising here amongst the first as a member of the firm of Wyeth, Craddock & Co., occupying a two-story frame directly east of the drug store, now at the southeast corner of Sale and Parke streets. The building was removed to the north side of the avenue to a point east of Opera Block, and burnt in the great fire of March, 1873. Mr. J. G. Cannon is Member of Congress from the Fifteenth Congressional District, which consists of the counties of Coles, Edgar, Douglas, Vermillion and Champaign. He has served continuously since 1862, when he was first elected. Mr. C. removed to Danville. The first Cashier of the bank was W. P. Cannon, who married a daughter of William Wamsley, an old resident. Mr. C. also went to Danville and is President of the Vermillion County Bank in that city.
Whilst the Commercial Block and bank were building, W. P. Cannon contracted with Coleman Bright for the second story of his brick building on the south side of the avenue, and as soon as the things were cool enough to handle he removed to that location. Whilst the fire was in progress, all possible valuables, including the large law library of J. G. Cannon, were hastily placed in the vault and were afterward found to be uninjured. The bank has a capital of $113,000, and a surplus of $25,000. Mr. H. T. Carraway, President; W. H. Lamb, Cashier; A. W. Wallace, Teller and Book-keeper. The Douglas County Bank was established September, 1870, W. H. Lamb, Cashier, on Sale street; and another on the avenue by Champaign parties; both, however, were finally merged into other banks.
Bounty and pension claims arising from the war of 1861 were prosecuted from 1861 to 1871 by H. C. Niles, in connection with S. V. Niles, of Washington, D. C. The number of claims presented was 586, amounting in the aggregate to $69,300, of which the largest claim paid was for $2,747; the smallest, $8.50; back pension was then unknown. In those days, the certificate, payable by the Paymaster, was sent to the attorney and by him collected and paid over. This naturally led to much trading in advance of the collection of the amount due from Government, and in consequence a large share of the money stopped in Tuscola in the payment of debts. Within the last ten years the business under the new laws has been mainly in the hands of John Maginnis, who has successfully presented a large number of claims.
Tuscola now has seven churches. The Methodist, a brick church, was finished in 1860, and is situated on Block No. 5, in Kelly's Addition, at the southeast corner of Sale street and Niles avenue. It was built through the exertions of Mr. Thomas Woody, A. G. Wallace, O. C. Hackett and others. It is a neat gothic brick about 40 feet by 100, with a graceful spire 110 feet high, and a belfry with a standard metal bell of a weight of 600 pounds. It has always commanded the largest congregations, and they, being of the superior class of citizens as to intelligence and standing, have always been able to command the best average talent of the conference.
The Presbyterian Church, situated on Lots 1 and 2, Block 32, in the original town, southwest corner of Wilson and Main streets, is of wood, substantially constructed, with a neat and conspicous steeple, containing an efficient and sweet, but sharp-toned bell of good size. A Mr. Carnes was the builder. The leaders in this church were and are Mr. William H. Lamb, Judge Ammen, John J. Jones and others, with their families. This church is second only to the Methodists in point of numbers, and is par excellence the fashionable church. The first pastor was George D. Miller, who came to Tuscola in August, 1860, and was in charge up to about 1864, when he resigned from ill health. He served his people with a kindly acceptability which his survivors will long remember. His venerable appearance and natural sweetness endeared him to all who knew him. He died here on the 25th of July, 1876, at the age of sixty-five. He left several sons, who have prominent business positions.
The Baptist Church is the largest in the city with regard to seating capacity; in actual membership it is the smallest. It was erected in 1865, mainly through the exertions and example of Elijah McCarty and Dr. I. N. Rynerson. Dr. Rynerson was a leading farmer in the northeast corner of Arcola Township. He was highly educated and one of the best stump speakers of his day, and was also a former practicing physician; he died in April, 1873. This church is a substantial brick building about 40x80 feet, and when built had a very large brick tower about ninety feet high, which had, through a mistake of the builder, been run up nearly square; it was heavy and ungainly, and topped off with four corner spires or ornaments painted white. This was the most conspicuous object in the city, and was the landmark in the country for miles around. The intention had been to make a much lighter tower. Too much weight was put upon it for its foundation, and it began to show cracks in the masonry and settled. It was then rumored unsafe, people getting the idea that it would fall of its own weight, and some avoided the church. It was then formally examined by expert builders, and being passed prounced good for 1,000 years, confidence was somewhat restored. Nevertheless, the tower was finally taken down even with the roof. The congregation being quite small, regular pastors have not always been in charge, though this body has commanded some of the best talent their church afforded. The building is situated at the northeast corner of Daggy and Court streets, Lots 9 and 10, Block 29, original town, and has to date no bell. The Christian Church is situated on the north side of Houghton street, east of Court street, Lot 13, Block 40, original town, is a good frame building, the second story being the auditorium, with first story reserved for Sunday school and bapistry. It was erected about 1868, mainly through the exertions of Mr. John Chandler, the first County clerk. It has a belfry, furnished with a good steel bell of about 400 pounds. This bell is stationary, the belfry not being considered of sufficient stability to admit of swinging apparatus. The congregation is steadily increasing, and in its numbers contains many of the most faithful churchmen the neighborhood affords, some of them being of considerable means, a generous portion of which is annually contributed to the ample support of the institution. John Madison, his son Harry and families, Robert Cox, W. G. Leachman, W. B. Foster, John L. Wheeler and others are warm supporters of this church. James B. Hart was a leading member, and has since removed to Texas.
The Roman Catholic Church of the Forty Martyrs is a frame building situated on the southeast corner of Van Allen and Center streets, on Lots 7 and 8, Block 48, original town, southwest of the court house. It was erected in the summer of 1882, at a cost of about $1,000; has a neat but small steeple, surmounted with a gilded cross. Regular services have not been held, the members in the neighborhood being very few.
The Episcopal Church was erected on the northwest corner of Center and Houghton streets in 1882; was consecrated in July of that year, by Right Reverend Seymour, Bishop of Springfield, assisted by several clergymen from the surrounding cities. The church was built through the exertions of the Rev. Mr. Peck, then in charge of the mission, and is known as St. Stephen's. Regular services were held for about one year, but the removal of families most interested has so reduced numbers that the services are semi-occasional only. The leading projectors and supporters of this church were the Macphersons, since removed, T. H. Macoughtry and family, Mrs. Beach, Miss Carter and the Niles family.
Macoughtry was long a leading member of the Douglas County bar, having begun his practice here with the beginning of things. He was also the attorney for the I., D. & S. Railway, in which position he had considerable influence. Mr. R. B. Macpherson was also a member of the bar, and a prominent attorney. He was second to none for legal ability, and was a prominent political worker on the Republican side. "Bob" had, in an eminent degree, the very essential attorney quality of "cramming" rapidly on any possible topic, which his fine education and versatility met half way at least, whether his "ponies" were bankers, doctors or surveyors. His disposition was arbitrary, and consequently his friends and enemies were positive. Born in Paterson, N. J., he came to Tuscola from Ottawa, Ill., in 1869. He compiled from the records the present abstract books belonging to the county, which, being remarkably correct, are a perfect synopsis of all the transfers of real estate in the county. They were made for his own use, but were finally purchased by the county under the law permitting the purchase of such works, and an act of the Board of Supervisors. The price paid was $1,075 in installments. Mr. Macpherson died in Tuscola on the 14th day of June, 1882, after an illness of about one year, and was buried at Ottawa, Ill., on the Sunday following, the remains being escorted by Messrs. T. H. Macoughry, Thomas E. Bundy, Frank E. Wright and J. C. Russell. He was thirty-nine years of age and a bachelor.
The first Sunday school in Tuscola was instituted by Mrs. Archibald Van Deren and others at the old Tuscola House, the erstwhile hotel, at the corner of Houghton and Main streets. This hotel was then conducted by Maj. Archibald Van Deren, assisted by his excellent wife, who, as a citizen of the "ancient regime," yet enjoys the honors she acquired, and has since maintained as a leading church and Sunday school worker, having, in twentyfive years, never been without an active, practical interest in woman's noblest and greatest work, the religious training of the rising generation. This first Sunday school was convened on the second Sabbath of September, in the year 1859. It was started at the instance of Mrs. Van Deren, her coadjutors, among others, being Thomas Woody and his excellent daughters, Mesdames Townsell and Lindsay, who were of the first scholars, and who have passed away. Dr. J. L. Reat, with us, Dr. Samuel Daggy and Mrs. Van Deren are the only survivors. Dr. Reat is mentioned elsewhere. Dr. Daggy, a prominent Presbyterian, was an acknowledged leader in religious and indeed in all other matters bearing upon the general elevation of public sentiment from the beginning of Tuscola. After a twenty years' useful residence here, he, with his family, moved to Philadelphia, where he is engaged in real estate business.
It is proposed that all the Sunday schools of Tuscola, assisted, of course, by the various churches, shall jointly celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary by appropriate proceedings. This will be in September, 1884; meanwhile, let some Sunday school scholar of an investigating turn fix upon the exact date, to be twenty-five years from the second Sabath of September, A. D. 1859.
Here it may not be out of place to record that the various churches of Tuscola have been remarkable for a cordial co-operation in religious matters, joint meetings and exchange of pulpits being the frequent leading features that go far toward clipping the wings of those smart fellows, who, claiming the difference of creed as a sufficient excuse, would fly to glory unincumbered by a church.
Our first newspaper was, it is thought, the Tuscola Press. It was started in 1859; we forget who ran it. It was short lived, and the proprietor left between two days. M. Vaul conducted it a year or two, but it was not a success. Mr. Vaul was the first City Clerk. The Sellers boys instituted the Douglas County Shield, and published it on the southeast corner of Wilson and Washington streets, in a two-story frame yet standing; this was from 1865 to 1867. These publishers removed. A little fellow named Gregory established the Union, which was not a grand success. The newspaper business did not appear to be solid until the present Saturday Journal and Douglas County Review were established. The Journal was first instituted by Siler & Lindsay in 1864. They were succeeded by Williams in 1876, with Harry Johnson as paragraphist and general manager, and by George Glassco in January, 1881. It attained its best typographical beauty and influence under the administration of "Tom" Williams (J.T.), which has been maintained by his successor and present proprietor, Glassco. It is Republican in politics, and watches carefully the interests of that party, while keeping a sharp eye out for the general interests of the city and county. It is conducted like most country papers on the plan known as "co-operative." Williams was an old Tuscola boy who mastered the printing business, and became a "jour," working in various places, and when in Connecticut met and married a lady printer. He returned to Tuscola in 1876, and in connection with Capt. Parks, of the Review, did the typographical work of the centennial history of Douglas County, the only printed book ever issued in the county. Tom died suddenly whilst in the prime of his usefulness and manhood, at about thirty years of age, on the 29th day of July, 1881. He was a man of wit and humor; was for a time the assistant of "Martin," the assistant engineer of Danville, Tuscola & Western Railroad, and while a little "captious" in the view of the younger boys on the work, merited and received on the whole the best respect of his associates. We could have better spared a better man, if there was any.
The Douglas County Review was instituted in 1875 by Converse & Parks, and was extremely Democratic. It was first issued in the two-story wooden building which now stands directly east of the J. M. Smith building, on the south side of Central avenue. In September, 1876, the political canvass being "hot," the publishers, failing in their extreme zeal to exercise proper circumspection, permitted themselves to print, as a communication, a scurrilous attack upon J. C. Walker, the Republican candidate for Circuit Clerk. This was a mistake which, it is well known, was sincerely regretted. It being found that the article contained no word of truth. Walker stepped into the office, unarmed and unattended, and demanded the name of the author, which those in charge, under a mistaken sense of honor, declined to give, thus taking the responsibility. War was declared, and issues joined between Walker and the two proprietors, and by the time Messrs. Walker and Parks had left their cards in the shape of mutual marks, a crowd, attracted by the noise of conflict, rushed in and secured an armistice. Mr. Walker's standing in the community was not injured by the article, and he could very well afford to let the matter pass unnoticed. He vindicated himself, however, as a fighting man, and generously conceded that Parks, his principal opponent, met him promptly and well. Mr. Walker remains a citizen, extensively engaged in farming and cattle raising. Capt. Parks married the eldest daughter of A. G. Wallace, Esq., and, removing to Texas, became a surveyor, and prosperous. No reflection is intended upon anybody; these men are both first-rate fellows and good fighters, and in a warm political canvass what more could be desired? The Review passed into the hands of Maj. Asa Miller in December, 1877, and is now printed in the Opera Block, upstairs. It is pronouncedly Democratic, and is devoted to the interests of the county generally. Its editor has a peculiar knack of picking up interesting local items, and he can always be depended upon to advocate any and all matters of public interest where printers' ink and printers' brains can be made available. This paper is also conducted on the co-operative plan.
THE LECTURE CRAZE.
Tuscola has had in common with his sister cities the lecture craze, which was inaugurated in October, 1870. The active ones were W. P. Cannon, James Trownsell, Niles and several ladies - about fifty subscribers in all, who proposed to foot the bills, with the receipts if possible, the entire money to be devoted to literary entertainments. John B. Gough gave "London" at the Opera House January 17, 1871, when 450 tickets were sold for $316. Mr. Gough was paid $200. March 8, 1871, Miss Anna Dickinson gave Joan of Arc. She was paid a similar amount. They had Robert Collyer in his "Clear Grit" lecture. Mrs. Scott Siddons, Mrs. Laura Dainty and other readers, also several musical experts. Mrs. Dainty resided several years in Tuscola and is claimed as one of us. There was no financial profit, nor was there any expected, but the spirit of the scheme was very creditable, and many quiet, worthy persons were gratified with an experience in literary matters, which was not otherwise attainable. Nevertheless $200 paid to a minister of the Gospel for the reading of a manuscript sermon occupying about one hour in its delivery gave rise to sad and serious reflection.
LOCAL MUSICAL TALENT.
Local musical talent has always been of a light order. The "Glee Club," par excellence, of Central Illinois, consisting of James D. Higgins, first tenor; Harry Johnson, second basso; A. M. Woody, second tenor, and M. P. Woody, first basso, comprise a quartet which thorough musical education, practice and consequent ability, has, while gratifying thousands, justly been the pride of Tuscola. Sentimental, comic and on special occasions, political songs, in unlimited quantity, are rendered in a style that is at once the envy and admiration of all lovers of good music. While sometimes accepting on political occasions their expenses at the hands of those most interested, these gentlemen rarely fail to respond with their best numbers to any demand of a public nature which promises to add enjoyment to the occasion. They are all active business men of Tuscola, and have devoted many a freely granted hour to the amusement and instruction of their fellow citizens. Their "repertoire" consists of all the vocal music in the English language, and they will sing anything printed or written, except, perhaps, on some rare occasion, when they can't see it. They appeared in "Pinafore" in December, 1879, at the Opera House, also at Arcola, where they brought down the house. Dr. S. T. Spees appeared as "Sir Joseph," M. P. Woody as "Deadeye," Johnson as the "Captain," Higgins as "Ralph," A. L. Sluss, "Boatswain;" "Josephine" was given by Miss Alice Atherton, "Cousin Hebe" by Miss Carrie Atherton. The music was controlled by Mrs. John J. Jones, without whose assistance the whole matter might have failed. Her touch, time and rhythm were invaluable, and her voice, so often the key note of praise in the Presbyterian Church, should have been heard in some leading "role" in the little opera in which she had so indispensable a part. It is impossible to notice here all the jolly tars who were so attentive to their duty, and the still more agreeable young ladies who shouted "O'er the bright blue sea;" they "acted well their part, wherein look you, lies all the honor." The scenery of the piece being entirely new and altogether home-made for the occasion deserves a passing notice. The location, the main deck of the ship, with all the paraphernalia of a man-o'-war, including a very wickedlooking nine-pounder, and the view, a very fair piece of sky and water, with shipping and distant city, which showed a praiseworthy effort of the accomplished artist, to have it pass for daylight or moonlight at the option of the anxious observer, had it been painted by the great Turner himself, under the circumstances, it would have been greatly to his credit. The scenery was painted by H. C. Niles, the local amateur artist, who never in his life before made an attempt to produce scenic effects, but like the lecture and glee club people he tries to be reliable, when the entertainment of his fellow-citizens is to the fore. Amongst the prominent musical activities we record Mrs. Daggett, who for years has had charge of the musical education of many of the rising generation; her special aptness for training has been amply shown in various Tuscola entertainments, which have been put on the boards for the amusement or other benefit of the public.
A CHAUTAUQA CLUB.
This club, lately formed, has given a decided impetus to the study of history and belles lettres. The society meets at the various residences. Some of the leading instructors and students are Rev. Lockhart of the Christian Church, Rev. Louther of the Methodist, and Mesdames H. C. Carraway, W. R. Johnson, W. H. Lamb, John Chandler and McKee, with Misses Mack, Carraway, Niles and others. Some considerable expense has been incurred in furthering the worthy objects of the occasion. The students are of the class of public school graduates, out of which scholars are made, their motto being "excelsior."
In home poetry, only one or two "sweet singers" have appeared in print. The efforts of a lady writer being of decided merit, and a gentleman hired a few printed of a serio-comic style, as befits his natural bent. They wrote by stealth for fun, and would blush to find it fame; sometimes they thought it was pretty good, and then again they didn't know. For instance:
"Fate is fickle, and it seems that brevity Is ever joined to bliss ; Delight's a stranger to duration ;
They seldom meet in such a world as this.
Old time is jealous of our joyful transports,
And all save misery is very brief;
The only plant that really thrives
In these broad deserts
Is fate's immortal shrub,
Which men call grief."
"Who gave advice when I was young,
Who of noble deeds erst sung,
Who on work the changes rung?
Who checked me when I went astray,
Who warning gave when youth was gay,
Who chalked me out a better way?
Who helped me when I fain would try,
To hide the hurt that made me cry,
And rubbed the place to make it dry?
Then nobody gave his money to me,
Nobody made me what I be,
And he's my best friend, none but he,
Hurrah for nobody."-Q.E.D.
COUNTY AND CITY MAPS.
A lithograph map of Tuscola City was published in 1860, at which time the original town and the "W. & C." and "Kelly's" First Additions only had been made. In 1864-65, a large wall map of the county was engraved and some 100 copies issued. It was on a scale of two inches to the mile, and of which a few copies are yet extant. It is somewhat of a curiosity to old residents, showing the changes in ownership. Subsequently a second published map of the city was issued, showing all the present blocks and lots.
The first two were financial failures, the precaution not having been taken to secure subscribers in advance. The last city map was a partial success, as the city took half the maps, and the expense was further assisted by marginal cards of business men. In 1882, the county caused to be made a large manuscript wall map, which is the best to date. The drawings for these maps were all made by Niles, and this item is only inserted to give further indication of the state of progress in this part of the county. In November, 1874, W. R. Brink & Co. began collecting the material for an atlas map of Douglas County, making their headquarters in Tuscola. This work consisted of a pretty correct map of the county by townships; maps of all the cities and villages from the records; views of farms (sometrical or bird'seye) and biographies of many leading citizens. It was in atlas form and was, and yet is, a very useful book of reference. Some 500 copies of the work were disposed of at $10 each, having been sold by subscription prior to delivery. Up to that date the history of the county was measurably correct, though short, and the biographies, being also history, were well calculated to give a good view of life and times in Douglas County up to 1875. With regard to the biographies, of citizens, it is to be regretted that more were not secured, for some one has said that "the life of any man, well written, will be interesting, and useful," and the well written life of the permanent citizens of Douglas County is emphatically the best history of the county. The man who lives in the county and whose business is in, and with, the county, who earns his "per annum" and leaves that per annum, measurably, in the county, is assisting in the making of history, and if he only supported his family, and educated his children, he thereby becomes one of us, whose life and experience belongs, whether he will or no, to these veracious annals. There is no man so humble, or so modest, but that his life is one of ours, and all this history is, and should be, by the people, for the people and with the people.
The Congress of the United States, March 13, 1876, passed a resolution recommending that the people of the several States assemble in their several towns on the "Centennial Anniversary" of our National Independence, and have read a historical sketch of said county or town from its formation, and that a copy of said sketch be filed in the office of the Librarian of Congress, as well as in the Clerk's office of said county.
April 25, 1876, this is followed by the proclamation of John L. Beveridge, the Governor of the State of Illinois, to the same effect, urging a general observance of the recommendation.
In May, 1876, and at a special term of the Board of Supervisors, not, however, specially held for this purpose, the following resolution was adopted, which had been offered by the Supervisor from Garrett, Mr. William Howe:
Resolved, That Henry C. Niles be employed to prepare a Statistical and Biographical History of Douglas County, from its origin to the present time, and to have the same ready by the 4th of July next, provided the said work shall not cost to exceed $100.
This work was prepared in manuscript, read to the Board of Supervisors and approved; an attempt to have it printed at the expense of the county failed, and the author, assisted by D. O. Root, the then County Clerk, had it printed in pamphlet form, to save the matter, being eighty pages octavo, in paper covers. This history contained, in a perhaps too much condensed style, a history of the main facts pertaining to the county, with separate histories of townships, and was not much elaborated, the "fixed price" forbidding a thorough detail of the points touched upon. It was dedicated "To the young men of Douglas County:"
In the hope that they may be reminded of the responsibility they are about to assume in taking charge of the destinies of little DOUGLAS, may they emulate the noblest deeds of their fathers, so that the blessings which they secured may descend through them to posterity. In opening out the resources of the country, converting the rude land into cultivated fields, building cities where none existed before, and making possible the civilizing influences of churches, schools and railroads, their fathers have borne the brunt of the battle, and are now resigning into their hands the result of their labors, for they are passing away.
The pamphlet was printed at the printing office of the Illinois Industrial University, at Urbana. The contract was taken by Converse & Parks, editors of the Review of Tuscola, and the "setting up" done by J. T. Williams, afterward proprietor of the Tuscola Journal. Mr. Williams took great pride in the matter, and produced a specimen of printing not surpassed by any pamphlet work extant. A copy of the work was duly forwarded to the Illinois State Librarian, the Congressional Library, at Washington, the Historical Society of Chicago, and to various other points, either voluntarily or on demand, and kindly acknowledgments were received in each case, and in some cases a return was promptly made of similar works.
THE FINE ARTS.
In the fine arts, Tuscola has a creditable showing of local talent. Carl H. Uhler, though now a newspaper man, has left several fine specimens of his skill in portraits, one of the most notable being a copy of a portrait of Hezekiah Niles, which was painted by Otis in Philadelphia in 1828, at an expense of $100. Mr. Uhler reproduced the portrait with a fidelity in color, tone and finish that received the commendations of experts. Lincoln Smith, a youth of Tuscola, shows a variety of excellent studies, some being meritorious portraits of prominent men.
Photography in its advanced artistic excellence was first instituted here by W. Boyce, who is succeeded by his son, David N., in the sky parlor of Opera Block. Having devoted his entire business time to the perfection of his work, making a study of all the latest improvements, he shows work which is not surpassed by that of operators in large cities. As an indication of progress here, this institution is a good exponent.
The first brass band was instituted in 1860 by old settlers. The original proprietors were James Davis, William T. French, H. C. Niles, W. R. Johnson, A. M. Woody, Simon Bassett, Col. Taggart and A. P. Helton. They played for all the weddings, parties, shows, dances, prayer meetings, revivals, country fairs, etc., and in 1861 went to Mattoon with the first recruits of the Twenty first Regiment boys, where they created quite a sensation, and it was said the companies they escorted arrived in the best shape of any at that rendezvous. Niles was the band-leader, but was succeeded in course of time by expert musicians, to whom he gracefully yielded. In those days, brass bands were scarce here, and many a person had never heard or seen one. When it performed in the old court house at the first county fair, the rush to see and hear was so great that the Directors were compelled to ask the boys to play outside. The band finally, in the course of years, came into the hands of real expert players, and for awhile a good thing. It finally met the fate of all volunteer institutions in a new country; one-half of the boys, one by one, removed to other places for business reasons. The band stopped for several years, and was again revived in 1884, under the leadership of Clarence Uhlen.
The temperance question has obtained in Tuscola to an equal extent with all small villages in their endeavor to "start right" in this vital phase of social economy. There have been saloons in Tuscola, but their existence depending altogether upon the complexion of the City Council, we played fast and loose upon the matter until the year 1873, when they were finally dismissed. The temperance people worked hard every minute when the election of a new City Council was pending, and had the assistance of many of the greater and lesser lights in the cause. Many good and true men spent their money and time in hiring speakers, and the ladies instituted and conducted for several winters a series of entertainments based upon purely home talent, assisted cordially by the local ministers, the glee club, and everybody who could sing a song, tell a story, or make a speech, supplemented by the very doubtful assistance of reformed drunkards, who had attained to temporary notoriety by having "quit drinking" and gone to the exercising of their slight "gift of gab" for pay; nevertheless, the pressure was great, and the result "death to saloons." Tuscola has, in direct consequence of these demonstrations, been "out of saloons" since 1873, a period of ten years, and doubtless will remain so just as long as the present social element rules, but what will be the condition of affairs in this regard when Tuscola has attained three times its present population is a thing that "no fellow can find out."
September 19, 1878, a general soldiers' re-union was held in Tuscola, the court house inclosure being the rallying point. The decorations of the court house cost $125, and were superintented by H. C. Niles, assisted by prominent ladies. These ornaments, for taste and display, received complimentary notices from all observers, and were said to not have been surpassed by any similar demonstration in the State. The rations were furnished mainly by the country people, who brought in "dead loads" - refreshments which were landed at the old court house, and there distributed with a generous and unsurpassably hospitality, till all were fed, even unto the uttermost tramp, and afterward much more was distributed to the poor; in fact, rather than let good country bread go to waste, many a person who would be ashamed to be called poor carried home a load of it. There are about 5,000 square yards in the court house inclosure exclusive of the buildings; this, with a square yard to each person would give 5,000 to the square alone, and this was rammed, crammed and jammed all the time; the scattering was estimated at as much more, so that at least 12,000 persons participated in these doings. S. Paddleford, Dr. J. L. Reat, Wesford Taggart, Capt. L. L. Parker, W. H. Lamb, H. J. Ingraham, R. B. Macpherson and a host of others in the city and township combined to make the thing a success, and they succeeded. No larger congregation of people ever assembled in Tuscola; all were cared for sumptuously, and all the time we had room and provisions to spare. We bit off a very large chew and chewed it, and twelve wagon loads were left.
THE POST OFFICE has been located all over town. It was first at the railroad on either side of Sale street, in the large warehouse now used as an elevator, with William T. French as Postmaster, and also on the north side in a building now gone. S. G. Bassett and J. M. Maris kept store there. It went thence to Davis & Ensey's dry goods store, near the southeast corner of Avenue and Washington streets, and in a building now standing back of that point on Wilson street, to which point the old building was removed by J. M. Smith, the purchaser, in order to detach his large store, as to better fire insurance. It was again on the east side of Parke street, south of Pembroke; I. J. Halstead, Postmaster. This was opposite H. P. Perkins' present large agricultural warehouse. It was next in the back end of a building, southeast corner of Parke and Sale streets, since burned, and was on the Sale street side. It was again located where Von Lanken's meat shop now stands, and lastly at its present site. The Nasbys were S. G. Bassett, I. J. Halstead, W. T. French, A. Van Deren, Rev. George D. Miller, J. V. Brown, H. B. Evans and H. R. Ingraham. August 25, 1873, the first postal cards were received and used in Tuscola; postal notes first appeared in October, 1883.
The prosperity and progress of the city have been retarded by many and some extensive fires, the largest and most notable of which, known as the fire, occurred on the forenight of March 11, 1878. It originated in Block A, between the present location of Hudson's lumber yard and Sale street, in a grocery store, and the general alarm was communicated by the explosion of a quantity of gunpowder in that store. This explosion spread the flames in every direction in the block, and the intense heat, soon leaping across Parke street, ignited the buildings on the east side, which were all of wood, and the fire rapidly made its way southward along Parke street, and eastward along Sale street; also the north side of the Avenue, and included Commercial Block, the then largest and best building in the city. It was a large, three-story brick, containing, besides several handsome stores and bank, a large city hall, and in the third story the splendid lodge room of the Masonic society, whose apartments had been finished in fresco in the best style of art, and the lodge room was not surpassed by many of the finest halls in the large cities. When it was found that the block would have to go, the bank men piled every possible movable, including the valuable law library of Mr. J. G. Cannon, into the fire-proof vault, and upon opening it the third day after the fire the contents were found to be absolutely uninjured. Commercial Block occupied the site of the present Opera Block. The other destroyed buildings were of wood, but contained in the aggregate a large quantity of merchandise. Some thirty buildings were destroyed, and the loss was not much short of $150,000, partly covered by insurance. Mr. Trownsell removed his large stock of watches and jewelry and stored it in a freight car near by, so that though his promptitude his loss was small. In this fire, when the west side of Parke street was well under way, self-constituted firemen and citizens generally worked very hard on the buildings opposite, until fairly cooked out. When the flames crossed the street, the men kept backing out, and took the only course possible to do any good. They tore out buildings with axes, crowbars and ropes, and stopped the fire at Sale street, just east of the present location of Jo Kornblum's. The men then repaired to the Avenue just to satisfy themselves that Commercial Block, their pride and glory, was safe. Well, it wasn't, but others had been at work, and Jim Trownsell, after saving his jewelry stock as aforesaid, found time to do yoeman service as a fireman. It burnt around to the Avenue to the present location of Von Lanken's butcher shop, and there, through tearing down and dragging out, the flames finally subsided for want of fuel. Several valuable firemen, who had "sworn off" from fires till the city had purchased apparatus, "pitched in" in the usual effective style of active, live men, and proved very useful to the impromptu fire department - Ike Jewell, Trownsell and the Ervins, for instance. One of the most efficient workers, in the language of these veracious chronicles, said his eyebrows and hair were burnt off, and that he was burnt "inwardly." The latter part of his statement was generally believed by the other hard workers, many of whom were in the same interesting situation, caused by the character of the refreshments furnished.
Commercial Block, while not such an imposing building as the present Opera Block, whose site it occupied, stood over five handsome store rooms, and contained one of the best public halls in the State, for its size, about 40x80, with an arm-chair seating capacity of 800, stage, drop curtain, side scenery and anteroom; Tuscola was justly proud of it. In the third story was the Masonic Hall, conceded to have shown the best floor in the State. No expense had been spared in its decoration, and if the embellishment committee had been able to find another spot upon which to delineate another symbol or a totem they would have used it. There was absolutely nothing saved. It was in the third story, and all hoped to check the fire before the block was reached, but the fire seemed to have gotten into the back windows before the fact was realized. In 1866, the livery stable of A. Thayer, on Main street, north of Sale street, was found to be on fire in the early part of the night. That was a terrible scare to Sale street men. Niles had just removed his drug store, and joined Davis, with his stock, on the north side of Sale street, near Main, and had not one cent of insurance. If, on this momentous occasion, the volunteers had held up for a moment in the performance of yeoman service, the whole north side of Sale street would have gone up in smoke and flame, and destroyed a large amount of goods. The building here, however, were not first-class. This fire cost Alf Thayer fourteen head of horses and much other property, but it was such a relief to save Sale street that we fear his great loss was almost forgotten in our great gain. In February, 1870, the dwelling of Mr. W. H. Lamb, southeast corner of Scott and Niles avenues, caught fire. Here, to use the expression of an insurance man, we literally "clawed it out," and saved the greater part of the building for the insurance company. We give one more of several other fires to show the spirit of the people. In 1879, March, the dwelling of H. C. Niles caught fire from outside of the chimney, and on alarm the firemen responded with their usual alacrity. It was soon quenched, with a loss of $12 or $15, and while the owner was consulting Wheeler, a builder, as to the extent of the damage, he was informed that he need not bother about it, as the bill was paid. On inquiry, it was ascertained that Maj. Conover and James Trownsell et al., had at once proceeded to invite a collection to cover the damage, purely in recognition of former services of the owner as a fireman on several occasions. This delightful episode, so creditable in spirit and action, well repaid all true firemen for their prompt and disinterested work on many a well-fought field. The fires which immediately preceded the purchase of apparatus were in October, 1881, the first being at night, on the north side of Sale street, between Parke and Main. It took first a two-story building, one of the first built in the place, say in 1859, where Dr. Wheeler kept a boarding house. Dr. W. was a notable and thorough musician, and in his day his 40-dogpower growl, gave a thorough bass never excelled here. This fire also destroyed a large one-story building, also the new law office of Bundy & Wolverton; being detached, the remainder of Sale street was saved. The opposite side of the street being in great danger and much exposed to intense heat, was kept safely by very hard work-a subject of warm congratulation, from the large amount of valuable property exposed. The very next morning the residence of H. Von Lanken, in Winston's Addition, west of the I. C. R. R. was also destroyed. This was on Block No. 23, and the barn was saved by hard work.
Now, up to this time, the only precaution for the checking of fires had been to hold a meeting, after each, "burn" and pass a few resolutions, and several attempts to gain, by a vote of the people, authority to purchase apparatus had failed. After these last fires, the vote was taken once more, and the motion prevailed. The city then proceeded to the purchase of fire apparatus, which was authorized by a vote of the people December 6, 1881. The vote was for and against issuing bonds for the purchase of fire apparatus, $2,500. They were accordingly issued and placed with Preston, Kean & Co., of Chicago, at a premium of $25. A contract for the apparatus was then made December 17, 1881, with the "Fire Extinguisher Company" of Chicago. The apparatus furnished consisted of two two-wheel chemical engines, each weighing 2,500 pounds equipped; 300 feet of rubber hose, axes, crowbars and two dozen rubber buckets, etc., etc., together with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging. The terms were $1,800 net cash, contract signed by E. J. Mitchell, agent for the company. The Major of the city was A. M. Woody; the Clerk, A. C. Sluss. Henry C. Niles was appointed Chief, and requested to form two companies. The engines arrived March 15, 1882, over the Illinois Central Railroad free of freight, by the courtesy of Mr. Tucker, General Freight Agent. They were temporarily housed in a vacant house, which was furnished and delivered April 10, having been erected on the northwest corner of the south half of Block 23, original town, north of Avenue on east side of Main street, corner of an alley, the ground for which was leased from Thayer at $20 per annum. This building cost $500, very nearly, the front room being 20x20, with a meeting room at back end 16x20 for the use of the department and City Council, and also a place for holding city elections. These engines are each of the extreme length of 14 1/2 feet; extreme height, 5 1/2 feet; weigh each 2,500 pounds equipped, and are kept ready charged with 19 pounds of sulphuric acid, 40 pounds subcarbonate soda, and about 100 gallons of water; the acid is contained in a holder secured in the top of the cylinder, the reversing of which combines the materials and through chemical action creates a gas which forces the compound through the hose with considerable force. The expense of discharging an engine is $2.60. There were further purchased two forty-feet extension ladders and two pike poles. The names of the members are here recorded:
Company No. 1 was named Tuscola:
H. Madison, Captain; B. G. Madison, J. F. Niles, John Fairbairn, B. F. Ford, E. and S. Ashville, F. A. E. Starr, J. B. and H. Wamsley, J. L. Dawson, M. V. Daggett, John and Jacob Wells, J. H. Jewell, O. A. Squires; A. A. McKee, S. Miller, James D. Higgins, H. Westfall, Frank Cummings, R. Watkins, G. Downey, C. Bye, A. Clayton, and Brown Ervin. The company color is red; Foreman, John Fairbairn; Treasurer, J. B. Wamsley. Company No. 2 was named "Rescue;" Frank Morris, Captain; Charles Camery, H. Woody, H. S. Bassett, F. B. Gohring, E. E. French, S. L. Haslitt, C. A. Dunigan, M. P. Cooper, A. W. Ingraham, R. R. Root, C. Linton, W. B. DeGroot, McC. Hazelitt, H. Wallace, J. H. Thrasher, B. F. Henderson, R. B. Niles, A. C. Sluss and Dr. S. T. Spees; McC. Hazelitt, Foreman; R. B. Niles, Treasurer;
the company color is blue.
Equipment for the men have not yet been secured; public-spirited citizens contributed for honorary membership, some fifty-odd dollars toward that end, which amount remains in the hands of the Chief, as a nucleus for a fund, and sample hats for chief and captains have been secured. May 2, 1882, the city appointed J. F. Dilley and H. Sandford, Aldermen and H. C. Niles, a committee to purchase an alarm bell, not to exceed in cost $60; and June 1, a so-called steel amalgam bell was received from Rumsey & Co., Seneca Falls, N. Y., at a cost of $46, weighing 432 pounds, 34 inches across the mouth and 20 inches high; this bell was set up on trestles at the engine house and was badly cracked in half an hour; was reshipped at once, and replaced by the makers, freight at our expense. January 3, this bell, after being placed in the belfry, was also cracked, while being tolled for a meeting, and was also promptly returned and replaced with a similar one on terms as before; the third bell was hung, and up to date (June, 1884); has remained good; these bells are less effective, so it appears, than any of the three church bells in the city, though one at least of the church bells is very similar. The bell is hung stationary and struck by means of double ropes and pulleys. The front sign was painted by H. C. Niles, an amateur painter, pro bono publico. The back or meeting room was for some months a place of general resort for the members of the companies, but failing to exercise due care over the conduct of their visiting friends, the Council requested that the members be excluded from that room upon all occasions except meeting nights, which was done. A steady and moderately high temperature has to be maintained to prevent the freezing of the water in the engines. Niles, the chief, resigned May 15, 1883, in compliment to the incoming Mayor, James Davis, and was at once re-appointed.
A fire limit was established by the Council several years ago, comprising Blocks A, B and 16, the business part of 17, all of 24 and 25, in the original town, which included about all of the built-up portion of the business center, within which limit it is, under the ordinance, unlawful to erect any wooded buildings, or indeed, to repair any; but this regulation has been disregarded, several wooden structures having been erected in violation of the law. However, it is understood that any fires occurring within this limit are "illegal," and must be at once suppressed. Since the organization of the department, now some two years, disastrous fires have not taken place, though several false alarms and slight fires have occurred, the residence of Dr. Martin, on the avenue east of Central House, taking fire on the outside of the roof, but quickly put out, December 17, 1883, and the boys saved the running gear of a hot box car belonging to the I., B. & W. Railroad. The car had evidently been designedly fired for the purpose of bringing out the apparatus. Had the gentleman who tried the experiment made himself known, he would have found the boys pretty good police as well as firemen. The department, like all associations in a new country, labors under the disadvantage of having to do with a rather floating youthful population, the younger men seeking, one after the other, fresh fields and pastures new; nevertheless, the companies turn out with commendable alacrity and promptness, and on occasion will doubtless do good work. If purchasing apparatus has the effect of discouraging conflagrations, it will pay well to keep up the organization, and may the engines stand there, like our old bachelors, "always ready and never wanted."
The first Masonic Lodge - Tuscola Lodge No. 332 - was instituted in the city in 1860. James Davis, W. M.; W. B. Dryer, Secretary; W. H. Russell, Treasurer; a Council in 1863, and a Chapter in 1867, followed by the Commandery in 1870. Mr. Davis is a member of the firm of Davis & Finney, elevator and grain merchants. Mr. Dryer, a resident since 1860, has lately removed; he was a man of decided business ability and a prominent Mason; he had much to do with the early business transactions of Tuscola and took with him, when he left, the best respects of his illustrious coadjutors. The lodge room is in the brick block on south side of the avenue, to which they removed, on the destruction of their beautiful hall in Commercial Block in 1873, which has been already treated of in these authentic chronicles. Of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 316 was first put into working order June 6, 1865. The charter members were John G. Uhler, H. Gregory, P. F. Kinder, Robert Barden, J. L. Williams, A. B. Gibbs and C. M. Richards. Of these, Richards only remains, 1884. The Encampment was instituted October, 1865. They occupied for awhile a lodge room in conjunction with the Masons, but on the completion of Mr. J. M. Smith's large building on the southeast corner of Avenue and Washington streets they removed to their present commodious rooms. The Independent Order of Good Templars organized a temperance lodge, which was instituted on the 9th of March, 1880, occupying the lodge room of the I. O. O. F., on Central avenue, and is named Guardian Lodge, I. O. G. T., No. 210. The object is purely the furtherance of the temperance cause, and much benefit to individuals and the city has been derived, leading members making a specialty of influencing those in peril from the intemperate use of strong drink. A series of entertainments under their auspices has repeatedly been instituted and well carried out, and that the lodge is constantly on the quid vive is shown by very frequent public meetings held under its care and management. The interest is remarkable well maintained, and the association is doubtless strong enough to control, by votes and influence, the balance of power in the event that the license question should ever arise. It is a purely philanthropic institution, and merits and receives the support and good will of many a quiet and good citizen outside of the order.
The charter members were:
C. O.Strickland, W. C. T.; H. B. Madison, W. M.; Miss Mollie Martin, W. D. M.; Eva Smith, Treasurer; W. S. Gephart, W.S.; E. C. Finney, F. S.; John Fairbairn, W. S.; and L. A. Johnson, W. V. T., with D. Ella Russell, J. M. Maris, A. F. Clayton, Mary Smith, C. E. Carico, Julia Griswold, S. C. Watson, Riley Johnson, George Smith, J. N. Outcelt, Hattie C. Russell.
The organization was had at the residence of Mrs. W. R. Johnson, which is directly north of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This lady is an active and appreciated worker in all literary, charitable and philanthropic schemes for the good of society. The Knights of Honor Lodge was instituted April 19, 1878. The charter members were: H. B. Madison, D.; E. E. Howell, V. D.; W. P. Miller, Assistant D; C. Bye, Treasurer; A. W. Wallace, F. R.; S. Paddleford, Rep., the object being mutual aid, assistance and improvement, and co-operative life insurance of generally $2,000. The Knights and Ladies of Honor began operations in March, 1879, with Rice Ervin, P.; Mrs. C. Bye, Assistant; Mrs. E. Paddleford, Treasurer; S. Paddleford, F. Secretary; Mrs. R. Ervin, Secretary. The object of the association is social enjoyment, advice and comfort, and life insurance of from $1,000 to $3,000. The Tuscola Benefit and Building Association was inaugurated in 1882. W. H. Lamb, President; E. C. Finney, Vice President; A. W. Wallace, Secretary; S. Paddleford, Treasurer. The association has about 150 members, and about $150,000 subscribed. The Royal Templars of Temperance, Tuscola Council, No. 8, began its operations in this city in January, 1880. W. H. Lamb, S. C.; D. F. T. Spees, V. C.; L. L. Parker, P. C.; H. B. Madison, Treas.; George Smith, T., F. C.; D. O. Root, Rec. Sec.; I. C. Jewell, Herald. The object of the association is temperance and mutual insurance, $2,000 to $4,000, averaging $2,000.
In March 1883, telephone connection was established between Tuscola, Champaign, Arcola and Mattoon. The poles and wires run directly south from Tuscola for six and one-half miles, thence west to Arcola, etc. The public office here is established in the store of A. M. Woody, and in August, 1883, the Tuscola locals numbered eighteen, at an expense each of $10 per quarter; in the fall, several subscribers having taken the convenience upon trial, relinquished the privilege on the ground that there was not sufficient pressing business to justify the expense.
In the distribution of county offices, the share of Tuscola has by a vote of the people been liberal. Of her citizens, Thomas S. Sluss was elected County Judge in November, 1865, and the same title, but different position, after township organization, and in 1869. A. G. Wallace was first Circuit Clerk and Recorder, 1859, and served until November, 1872, when he was succeeded by P. C. Sloan, who, after serving eight years, retired, and was followed by D. A. Conover, the present incumbent, in 1880. G. W. Flynn, Assessor and Treasurer under the old regime, served from November, 1861, to November, 1863, was succeeded by V. C. McNeer, Sr., who was followed by H. B. Evans in November, 1865, who was re-elected in 1867; James T. Walker was elected in 1869, and again in 1871; H. R. Ingraham was elected to the same office in 1875, and, serving two terms, gave place to Capt. L. L. Parker, the present incumbent. William T. French, in 1862, and H. C. Carico in 1866 were elected Sheriffs. William H. Sipple was installed as Superintendent of Schools in 1859, being the first in that office for the county. C. F. Lamb had it in 1863, Rev. S. T. Callaway in 1869 and was re-elected in 1873. He died in 1875, and the interim between that time and the November election the office was filled by C. W. Woolverton. Henry C. Niles, of this township, was the first County Surveyor, and was elected several times thereafter. E. C. Siler had the same office in 1865. O. B. Lester was appointed State's Attorney in July, 1872, and was the first person born in the county who held a State office in the county. BOARD OF SUPERVISORS. The Supervisors of the township from the first organization in 1868 are as follows: 1868, O. C. Hackett; 1869, K. Glassco; 1870, Rice Ervin; 1871, A. M. Woody; 1872, P. C. Sloan; 1873-75, G. P. Phinney; 1876-77, R. Ervin; 1878-80, T. S. Sluss; 1881-82, F. Von Lanken; 1883, T. S. Sluss; 1884, F. Van Laken.
The Assessor's valuation of personal property in Tuscola township for 1883 is $233,835; land valuation, $494, 965.
The village of Hayes is situated on the north half of Section 10, Town 16 north, Range 8 east, four miles north of Tuscola, and on either side of the I. C. Railroad. A few lots were laid off by J. L. Smith on the east side of the track, followed by an addition on the west side by Cayton. These were surveyed and mapped by Niles in September, 1881. The place, having a side track and post office, is a convenient shipping point for the surrounding farmers.
AND SO FORTH.
When Tuscola has reached her first centennial in 1957, seventy-four years hence, and will have long taken her place in the front rank of the real cities of the world, mayhap some antiquarian book worm of whom it is said: "He pokes the dust, he sifts with care, He searches close and deep; Proud to discover here and there, A treasure in the heap," and evolves from the archives of some literary institution a single musty volume of this veracious history; then and there all the matters and things herein treated will be true in manner and in form, many will be running to and fro, and knowledge wonderfully increased. Whilst aged memory is refreshed and youthful investigation rewarded, we of the silent majority will grimly grin approval, if we can.
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