Smallwood Township Facts

As reported in the Newton Press on May 9, 1888
©Transcribed by Kim Torp, except where noted

Smallwood is located in the south central part of Jasper county, is 7 miles long and 6 wide, has plenty of good improved farms; the surface is generally high rolling prairies but there is lots of good timber. The people are quiet, industrious and religious. Good roads cross the township at right angles and the soil is usually very productive.

Smallwood and South Muddy
As reported in the Newton Press, Wednesday , July 5, 1893

Thursday we drove down into the southwestern part of the county. From Newton for several miles the country is prairie, dotted with fine farms and thickly settled with people in good circumstances.
To those who will recall the days of the sixties there seems to be a wide difference between the methods employed and the amount of labor connected with farming now and then. In those days the single shovel plow was used to cultrivate corn; now a two horse sulky does better work and doubles the number of acres gone over by one man; then a half-dozen men followed a harvesting machine, leaving enough grain on the ground to pay for taking; now a twine-binder cuts from three five acres more in a day and dispenses with all but the man who drives the horses, and the shockers, doing away with the bundle carriers, and cleaning up everything so thoroughly that a bird can scarcely find enought left to get a living off of. In threshing, seeding and in other lines of farming the same improvements are to be seen.

- J.J. Keavin, of the Chicago Store, is having a two-story frame dwelling built on his farm west of Pleasant Ridge.
- Bogota is the only town in Smallwood township. It is not large, but contains the usual business enterprises necessary to properly serve the public, among which are:

With the building of the Terre Haute and Southwestern railroad there would be at least two stations establsihed between Newton and the Clay county line. Both would become good grain and timber points. At present Samllwood and South Muddy are each without railway facilities.
Originally South Muddy was principally timberland. In places it is quite hilly. Three considerable streams wind through the township, Sandy, Laws and Muddy. The latter is the largest. Bridge building costs a considerable sum every year, because of the frequent high water and washouts. If piling was used instead of frames sets on the ground the number of bridges that have to be repaired and rebuilt would be lessened and the expenses incurred therefor largely reduced.
Corn was decidedly better than in any other part of the county yet seen. Wheat was going into the shock as rapidly as possible. Grass was good and oats fine. Altogether the farming prospects were as good as could well be. The crops were got in earlier and the rains more regular.
Along the creek bottoms is to be found some very rich soil, not to be excelled in the county. The uplands are strong and the general appearance of the country is strikingly improved within the past few years. There are a good many neat dwellings and large commodious barns. Two postoffices, Cricket and Silverton, distribute mail matter for the people. Isolation from railroads and the conveniences of living near town has prevented the proper appreciation of newspapers; but even in this direction we note many encouraging features. The the farmer once realizes that a paper next to the schools and churches is the best educator for usefulness that his children can have, and that it enables him to become a more intelligent citizen and his wife to while away the time without so much loneliness much of the desire to leave the farm will be overcome. We often hear a farmer say "I haven't time to read a paper." Now we do not believe that there is a man, woman or child in Jasper county but what has an abundance of time to spare for reading not only one, but three or four papers; and we do know that those who do read the most are the best informed and most agreeable in their relations with one another.
In the Rude district a new school house is being built.

Southwest Fox Township

as reported in the Newton Press on April 20, 1892

"The first story of the framework of the flouring mill in West Liberty is up. Your correspondent noted the following improvements in the thriving little village in the way of construction: A. Pugh, a new house; Mr. Waggy, a new house; Dr. M.S. Rice, an addition to his dwelling and a Dr. shop; Cal Mallison, a new barn; Uncle Bobby Wilson, improvements on dwelling."

Sainte Marie Township
as compiled by the Sainte Marie Sesquicentennial Historical Committee
(Chairwoman: Rosemary Hartrich Mullinax).
These are excerpts of that work, contributed to Illinois Genealogy Trails by Kathy Andres

Covering the time period of 1837-1987


Elections have always played an interesting role in the history of Sainte Marie. From the hotly contested elections of the mid-1800s to the political campaigns of recent years, the spirit of our citizens of this village can be seen. Accounts of political rallies and meetings in the early days of Sainte Marie, written in the Journalistic style of the time, show a different part of Sainte Marie history than can be found anywhere else.

The spirit of early St. Marie citizens to rally behind their candidates and support them to the end can be seen in early September, 1876. "The Democracy of St. Marie township," the Newton Press commented, "met at Sainte Marie last Saturday for the purpose of raising a Tilden and Hendricks pole. There were about 200 voters present, and, politically, the crowd stood one for Peter, two for Hayes, and the rest for Tilden. Old substantial Republicans who have heretofore been affiliating with the Republican party, have deserted the camp of the enemies of the government, and are now enthusiastically fighting for Tilden and reform. About ten o'clock Capt. Rider and Eugene Hartrich drove up with a grand old Jeffersonian pole, and about one o'clock -all the necessary arrangements having been made - it was triumphantly raised to the breeze with a banner bearing the inscription of 'Tilden and Hendricks.' The pole stands at about one hundred and five feet in the air, and will be there until after the November elections will have swept, like an avalanche, the whole United States with the Democratic banner of reform. The Newton and St. Marie bands discoursed some delightful music on the occasion."

Newspapers of that day rarely censored the attacks of one political party on the other. If it was worth printing, they printed it, and notices such as the following from November of 1878 were common in the Press.

"Roman Catholic voters of Jasper County remember this: "the paper warned, "If you vote for Myers, you vote in effect to support the Times and the Times clique. And the Times is the only paper published in this County which was sufficiently base to desecrate the memory of a dead Catholic and to hold up his last Will for condemnation and reproach, when the only act that called down the visitation of the Times was that your dead brother had made a liberal bequest to the church that he loved."

The following week brought the news that the Times Gang was routed "Horse and Dragoon!" in a grand fight and a glorious victory. The Democratic foot firmly settled upon the neck of "carpetbagism" in old Jasper!
Here is the way the Press recorded the Township Elections of April, 1879:

St. Marie, the banner township that year, elected the entire democratic ticket, with Col. J.J. Rider at its head for supervisor. The Colonel made a good and efficient member on the old board, and the Democrats of this township had shown their appreciation of his merits by re-electing him.
The race for sheriff in November of 1879 caused quite a controversy throughout the county. Before the election this notice appeared in the Newton Press: "Hartrich, the Republican candidate for sheriff, is to be pitied. If elected, he will be to bury. The mere prospect of an election (he will be defeated by over 300) has given him the big head so badly that he cannot possibly "survive the pressure." From his actions, one would naturally suppose that he is a "mighty ruler of four kingdoms", and that the future prosperity of the people "hinges" on his election to the office of sheriff.
However, Eugene Hartrich was elected sheriff and thanked his supporters in the county. "To my friends in Jasper,' he wrote to the Press, "you, on Tuesday, Nov. 4th, paid me a compliment in electing me to be your humble representative as sheriff of this county. I deeply feel the honor you have bestowed upon me, and shall try by my actions to show to you the same. Yours respectfully, Eugene Hartrich."

Also appearing in that issue of the Press was this article about the sheriff:
"There is a 'pizen' in the air. Jasper County's Sheriff elect is searching the fire-arms catalogues for a weapon--a regular old 'blue whistler.' He wants one with caliber large enough to pierce a hole big as the head-light to a locomotive through all evil-doers who are not willing to submit tamely to arrest. Law breakers had better 'look a leetle out' in the future. Now if Eugene would only go to the additional expense of purchasing a bull pup and bowie knife, we feel confident that ere his term of office expires he will have Jasper County 'entirely redeemed."

Political dances and parties were common in those days to drum up support for a particular candidate, cause, or political faction. Perhaps in those days it was easier to "buy a vote" with a favor, kindliness, or invitation to a fancy party. On December 10, 1884, the Press noted that the Cleveland and Hendricks party in the Dark Bend was a failure; but the Butle dance at Mr. John Roider's last Thanksgiving evening was a grand success. A red-headed young man took his girl to the dance without any lantern, and found all the mud holes inside the road. He thought his hair was bright enough to make light but it was too damp a night for his hair to shine so bright.

The Democratic Party was quick to lash out at their opponents and in July of 1884 they boasted that they would bring up a solid phalanx in November that would cause the local Republican candidates to wear a wan and sickly look of disappointment.

The election returns in April of 1885 read as follows;


J.A. Rider, D, 114 - F. Althouse, D, 75


Michael Kratzmier, 129 - T.J. Lamkins, 60


S.F. Laugel, D, 127 - Frank Litzelman, R, 63


Jos. Ponsot, D, 94 - Louis Huss, D, 91

Highway Commissioner

Join Roider, D, 141 - John Michl, D, 41

Justice of the Peace

J.J.Rider, D, 132 - Sam Frauli, D, 122 - Samuel Hill, D, 103


Ad. Fulton, D, 149 - A. Schneider, D, 133 - C. Barnes, D, 60

The Democracy of St. Marie in March of 1886 was quick to decide the political preference of the newborns that had arrived in town. "Harrah for the Democracy 21 years hence," they boasted in the Press. "Fifteen more voters in this township since Mar. 1st!"

As the primary elections of 1886 were drawing closer, the following notices appeared in the Press:
"Several of the Republicans of this township claim they are entitled to vote at the Democratic Primary election which is against the rules of the Democratic Central Committee. We can be liberal with them by furnishing a little box of free grafts over which they can have full control."
"The Dark Benders are having a good time drinking elder at the expense of Edgar S. Earle, candidate for townclerk."
"All the boys on this side of the river are smoking at S.F. Laugel's expense."

In March of 1888, a Democratic subscriber to the Press wrote in saying, "The PRESS was right when it said 'and Republicans (if there are any)' when speaking of this town, as it took us just a year to find one and he is doubtful."

The first mention of the Anti-License convention came in April of 1888 when they nominated Xavier Picquet for president of the board; Henry Calvert, Joe Schneider and Samuel Frauli for members and Dr. Hugh Mack for clerk.

The primary election was described this way in the April 15, 1891 issue of the Press: "Last Tuesday's election was an exciting and hotly contested one by the leaders of the so-called 'People's Ticket' which was carefully compounded for the one and only Intention of knocking end-over-appetite the straight democratic ticket. However, the pets got badly left with all their little schemes and the result is Messrs. Eugene Hartrich, J.A. Rider, S.J. Frauli, and Jacob Rennier, all good, solid, back-boned, double-jointed Democrats, on top hallooing victory over their dilapidated opponents."

In 1914, women In Illinois were given the right to vote at the general election held April 7. The following article appeared in the Sainte Marie Tribute Instructing women on their new voting rights:
"At the general election, to be held April 7, the recently franchised women voters will be given their first chance to cast a ballot at the polls in this county.
"In anticipation of the election and the uncertainty of women voters as to what they may vote for, we give below a list of officers for which the female voters may cast their ballot:

Presidential electors
Members of the state board of equalization.
Clerk of the appellate court
County surveyor.
All officers of city and villages (except police magistrates.)
Upon all questions of propositions submitted to a vote to the electors of such municipalities or other...... (end of contributed info)

5-16-1914: A general merchandise store was opened by Joseph Leinhart in his building on Main Street. He is handling groveries, clothing, shoes and notions, also the well known brands of Mason and Sure Seal fruit jars, extra caps and jelly glasses. The store will be in charge of his daughters, Misses Carrie and Lula.

John H. Strotman's business was located in the Picquet building. In addition to selling fresh meats and groceries, he carried clothing, footwear, blankets and dry goods. A March 1914 ad of his read, "WE ARE PREPARED FOR LENT" Lent is here and we have prepared for it and are ready to serve you with as fine a line of fish as is available. We have just received a big shipment of the best spiced herring, sardells, salted whitefish, codfish, fancy red salmon, medium red salmon, pink salmon, oil and mustard sardines. Leave your order for cakes and rolls for Saturday delivery on Thursday. Come in and see our bargain counter" He also offered inducements to his customers in order to increase trade, just as businesses do today.... Three months later he moved his business.

10-23-1914: John H. Strotman has been conducting a gneral merchandise sotre here for the past four years and is relocating at Teutopolis. In 1910 he purchased the stock of M.B. Cline.

Other businesses and their proprietors:
1908: City Butcher Shop - Chas. Kirts, Proprietor
Watch & Jewelry Repairing Shop - John Garland
1909: Wheeler's Restaurant - W.E. Wheeler
1917: Good FootEase - Leinhart & Co.
Millinery Shop - Ruth Picquet

One of the oldest buildings in Ste Marie which provided a home for numerous businesses over a span of 65 years was torn down:
7-24-1914: A building on West Embarras St. was demolished this week. It was being used as a warehouse by the J.F. weber Hardware Store. the timbers used for the foundation were hewed out of huge white oak logs and much of the framework is walnut. It was built in 1849 on the property now owned by Joseph Leinhart on South Main Street by Ignatz Moschenrose and John Weiss, carpenters. Henry Hoffman occupied it as a General Merchandise store for six years. In 1855 Mathias Laugel purchased the building and stock from him and continued the business util 1881 when he retired. He then rented it to John Martin of Newton, who occupied it for one year. From 1882 to 1883 Gus Rider and Julius Jacquet occupied it as a general store. In 1883 the building was moved to West Embarras Street. mathias Laugel, Joseph Miller and Nicholas Keller used it until pruchased by Joseph Boos and Joseph Leinhart in 1891. The last named gentleman conducted a general merchandise store in it for 8 or 9 years. Since 1900 it has been used as a furniture store, restaurant, poultry house, butcher shop and warehouse.

Fox Prairie

From the Newton Press, May 28, 1874

Editor Press: I see a communication occasionally in the Olney Times from Fox Prairie, and as a good portion of Fox Prairie lies in Jasper it may not be amiss to let the readers of the PRESS hear something from this part of the moral vine-yard. We claim all the land south of the high noll near the Buck Grove, extending south to the county line and containing in all some 6,000 acres of fine prairie land, which is settled up by as good citizens as can be found in the county.
We all came here for the purpose of getting cheap homes. After securing our homes, our means were too limited to improve them as we would liked to have done; consequently we could then but afford a cabin to live in. After a few years labor and economy we surmounted all those difficulties, and now our Prairie is not only clotted over with good cottage houses and large commodious barns, but we also have good school houses, among which is our new brick near Jesse Johnson's, which is an ornament to our Prairie. We also have a good country store, which keeps a well assorted stock of goods, where we can buy the sundries and necessaries of life about as cheap as at the railroad towns, and as we keep all our able bodied men at work, our store and neighborhood post-office is kept by Mrs. M.J. Swan.

We have some churches in this vicinity and our citizens are (as in every other place) divided, and belong to different orders, but a majority of our farmers are Universalists, and as they believe it is right to do right and wrong to do wrong, they are the pride of our prairie, inasmuch as they live so near up to their profession.
We have more wheat sown and with a better prospect of a large yield than any other part of the county. Ours oats were sown in good time, and are looking very well. We are nearly done planting corn. Our prospects for fruit are very flattering, and I believe peace and quiet is the order of the day.

We are not as enterprising as we might be, and as our market is at Olney we seldom visit your town, except on legal business, and although we are a reading people there are not enough of our names on your subscription books, as every man should take the county paper. I will try and get up a few names for your paper, and by the way I understand there has been a new paper started in your town, but I never have seen it.

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