Genealogy Trails - Jersey County, Illinois

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Societies

"Let us now proceed to the history of the Societies for mutual relief brotherhood and benevolence"

The Pioneer among these was the Jerseyville Division, No. 16, Sons of Temperance, organized August 4th, 1847. Charter members: G. C. Wood, E. J. Palmer, N. L. Adams, A. P. Brown, Wm. B. Nevius, T. L. McGill, A. B. Morean, C. H. Knapp, P. C. Walker, F. Osborn, George Wharton, A. P. Staats, and W. J. West. Nearly or quite 500 members were initiated; three Grand Worthy Patriarchs were taken from its membership; a hall worth something near $2,000 was built; but in the round of years, the wokers grew weary, and retired from the contest, allowing their property to pass from their hands, and the cause to die in the house of its friends. Bro. G. C. Wood was the first W. P., and N. L. Adams first W. A.

Franklin Section, No. 9, Cadets of Temperance, was organized Sept. 28, 1848. The charter members were: T. A. Boyakin, W. Leigh, D. Sunderland, D. S. Yates, P. D. Cheney, F. Potts, H. H. Wyckoff, W. Cook, R. J. Hill, E. Minor, C. H. Vandike, P. Updike, and W. A. Potts. R. J. Hill was elected W. A., and D. S. Yates, Secretary.

The Jerseyville Union, Daughters of Temperance, was organinzed April 21, 1853, with twelve members: Mary Combs, Sarah Hansel, Saray Culver, Mary A. Smith, Mary Osborn, F. Maupin, Marilla Levine, Elizabeth Dunsdan, Martha Nichols, Mary Snediker, Miss Lawrence and Elizabeth McGannon. This, like the preceding, belongs to the defunct institutions. Perhaps one cause of falling away may have been the failure to carry the prohibitory liquor law of 1854. While Jersey County gave a majority for the law of some 420, it was defeated by some 14,000 or more votes in the State. A stronger reason may be found in the fact that very many of these members became identified with other organizations, and preferred working with them, rather than in the Division of Sons of Temperance.

Prior to 1847, there was a County Temperance Society in extisence, with branches in all the principal neighborhoods, but this was short-lived. The Washingtonians spread over the country like a prairie-fire, and only lasted for a single season. Today, there is more crying need of a good working organization of temperance men than ever before.

The Jerseyville Lodge, No. 53, of Odd Fellows, was instituted May 5, 1848. Charter members: P. C. Walker, A. C. Hutchinson, Samuel Cowan, James H. Bringhurst, and C. H. Roberts. Twenty-seven members were admitted, among whom were Geo. E. Warren, Wm. Yates, Jonathan Plowman, w. Casey, N. L. Adams, James C. Perry, R. L. Hill, and Perley Silloway. Wm. Yates was elected N. G.; R. L. Hill, V. G.; and C. H. Roberts, Secretary. The first Odd Fellows' hall was built in 1851, at a cost of $2,000, on Main Street, this was afterwards sold, and a new hall erected on Pearl Street. This is probably one of best lodge rooms, outside of the larger cities, in the State. The Odd Fellows have been fortunate in the matter of good, steady, reliable members, faithful officers, and have consequently enjoyed a larger prosperity than any kindred institution.

The Jerseyville Encampment, No. 20, of Odd Fellows, was instituted in 1852. Charter members were: W. Casey, C. H. Roberts, P. C. Walker, N. L. Adams, E. A. Casey, A. L. Knapp, and L. Grosvenor. L. Grosvenor was elected C. P.; E. A. Casey, H. P.; and N. L. Adams, S. W.; But this organization was very far from being a success, and after some years of trial, its charter was surrnedered. In 186_, a new effort was made, the camp revived, a new charter was obtained, with the same members as before, and I understand, is now in a healthy, flourishing condition.

The Morning Sun Lodge, No 94, of Free Masons, was organized under dispensation, June 25, 1850. Charter mermbers: A. B. Morean, R. S. Holenback, Luther Corey, Solomon Calhoun, N. L. Adams, C. H. Roberts, B. F. Page, E. J. Taylor, Wm. P. Campbell, and Asa Snell. B. F. Page was elected W. M.; A. B. Morean, S. W.; and Wm. P. Campbell, J. W. For several years, this lodge maintained its organization, and new lodges went out from its border - first, Fidelity, and then King's Solomon's lodge at Kane - and, after these, Full Moon lodge at Meadow Branch, but since removed to Grafton. These orgaizations subtracted so much from the strength of the Morning sun Lodge, together with its own internal difficulites, that its charter was surrendered, and the lodge ceased to exist. A new lodge has since been chartered, under the name of Jerseyville Lodge, which has had a remarkable degree of prosperity. the record of the Chapter is as follows:
MASONIC - Jerseyville Chapter, No. 140, R. A. M. Dispensation granted February 4, 1870, by John M. Pearson. First meeting, February 11, 1870; First officers: John L. White, H. P.; Robert M. Knapp, E. K.; Morris R. Locke, E. S. First work done on February 12, 1870 - Bro. James A. Locke made M. M. Date of Charter, October 7, 1870 Charter members; Geo. L. Hassett, Robert M. Knapp, Andrew Jackson, Smith M. Titus, Joseph B. Schroder, John N. Squier, Morris L. Locke, Ludlow P. Squier, William L. Hassett, Milton D. Robbins, James A. Locke, Stephen H. Bowman, Robert Newton and Hiram McCluskey. Regular convocation, Monday after the full moon in each month. Present Officers: Morris R. Locke, M. E. H. P.; Ludlow P. Squier, E. K.; Horatio N. Belt, E. S.; James A. Locke, Secretary; Stephen H. Bowman, Treasurer; Rev. Nathan E. Harmon, Chaplain; James S. Daniels, C. of H.; Charles E. Minor, R. S.; Joseph G. Marston, R. A. C.; David M. Houghtlin, G. M. of 3rd V,; Benj. F. Calhoun, G. M. of 2nd V.; Lewis Y. McAdams, G. M. 1st V.; Wm. S. Brenton, Geo. M. Trook, Stewards; James Eads, Sentinel.

During the current year, an organization of the Knights of Pythias has been effected

Knights of Pythias - Antioch Lodge, No. 65; instituted April 5, 1876, with the following charter members: Geo. W. Herdman, Geo. C. Cockrell, Wm. H. Edgar, A. H. Barrett, Rober B. Leak, W. S. Bowman, J. I. McGready, M. Eaton, H. D. Stelle, Charles E. Casey, Elias Cockrell, Henry Nevius, John Wiley, James H. Bothwell, Henry D. Field and Wm. Scott. Officers as follows: Geo. C. COckrell, P. C; Geo. W. Herman, C. C.; Henry T. Nail, V. C.; W. S. Bowman, Prelate; Geo. M. Eaton, M. of E.; Charles E. Casey, M. of F.; H. D. Stelle, K. of R. and S.; A. H. Barrett, M. at A.; Henry Nevius, I. G.; John Wiley, O. G.

Some other organizations have had an existance (which flourished for a season, and then died) that need not here be enumerated. The present status of he Odd Fellows may be inferred when we state that lodges may be found in good working order at Jerseyville, Elsah, Grafton, Otterville, and Fieldon - with an encampment at Jerseyville. Masonic Lodges may be found at Jerseyville, Fidelity, Grafton, Otterville, and Fieldon - with a Royal Arch chapter at Jerseyville.

Source: Excerts from the Historical Sketch of Jersey County, Illinois 1876, Author: B. B. Hamilton - Page 31 - 34 - Transcribed by KP]