La Salle County IL
Marseilles News


December 5, 1867 - State Items

Marseilles has a damm on the Illinois river 936 long, containing 218,000 feet of plank and 11 1/4 tons of bolts and spikes.

New Coal Shaft Floods

Henry Republican, August 3, 1882

Local Items

Up at Marseilles, a coal shaft is being sunk and not long since it was suddenly flooded the work of pumping it out was begun and as it progressed the flow of water and the many artesian wells in that place diminished. The Marseilles people are in a quandary over the matter and don't know what to do. If they get their coal shaft, they lose their artesian water. If they keep their water, they can't have any coal shaft.

Decatur Evening Herald (Decatur, Illinois) March 29, 1927

“Man of Mystery” Held For Robbery

Ottawa, March 29 – Frank Francols, “man of mystery” who has appeared at theaters throughout the Middle West is in the LaSalle county jail charged with being the bandit who held up the First National bank of Marseilles, last December and secured $9,000.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) March 27 1928

Condemnation Suit Started

Marseilles, Ill. Mar. 27

Unable to reach an agreement as to amount of the compensation, the State of Illinois has started condemnation proceeding to secure possession of a tract of 10 acres needed for a canal to connect the dam and lock of the Illinois waterway at this point.

The land is part of the estate of the late E. J. Ward. Since his death the family has made its home abroad and their present residence being in Vienna. A jury will appraise the trace and decide its value. The case will come up at the April term of the LaSalle County circuit Court.

Taken From the Marseilles Register
June 13, 1902

Complaint has been made by a number of ladies about the filthy habit of spitting tobacco on the sidewalk, especially on Main street. The ladies say that they cannot walk along the street without almost ruining their dresses, and they appeal to the men to stop expectorating on the walk. A notice which hangs in one business house might be a good motto for all: “If you expect to rate as a gentlemen you must not expectorate on the floor"

Man Shot at Marseilles

The Tonica News
November 16, 1874

The following is from the Marseilles (La Salle county) Herald of last week:

Last Wednesday afternoon our city was thrown into wild excitement over the report which spread like wild fire, that a man had been shot in the office of Bickford's paper mill, and on visiting the scene it was plainly visible that the report was only too true, for on the floor in a fearful pool of blood lay the body of one of our most respected young men - William Cruise - dead. The circumstances are as follows:

It appears that Wm. Grindle, the perpetrator of the deed, had been drinking in the morning, and was arrested for fighting with Geo. Meyers and upon being released, paying his fine, commenced quarrelling with him again for having him arrested, and made several threats that he would kill him. He carried a pistol and sometime during the day Joe Wilson, an employee of the mill, stole it out of his pocket, fearing from his desperate condition that he would really put his threats into execution, that he would shoot some one before night.

When Grindle became acquainted with the fact, he told Wilson if he didn't return the pistol he would have him arrested. So Wilson's mother told him he had better give it back, where upon he immediately went to the office of the mill, where Grindle was, and gave it to him. Wm. Cruise, the decease, Geo. Van Syke, Wm. Anson, and some others, were standing near, and taking the pistol, Grindle held it in front of him, about the middle of his body and said: "He'd shoot the first d-d man that opened his head." He no more than got the words out of his mouth when the pistol went off and Wm. Cruise fell backward full length upon the floor, the blood spurting from the hole made by the ball just below the left eye, and instantly expired!

Grindle said: "My God! I have killed him. It was an accident," and beginning to cry, gave himself and weapon up to O. W. Young, Mr. Bickford's book keeper. He stated that whiskey did the deed, and that he got the damnable stuff at Bodwell's "booze can."

Immediately after the fatal accident the coroner, C. W. Reynolds, was telegraphed for, who arrived on the 4:22 train, when an inquest was held, and the jury returned a verdict that Wm. Cruise came to his death by a gun shot wound at the hands of Wm. Grindle and recommened that he be committed to jail to await the action of the grand jury.

He was therefore taken to Ottawa, that evening, by Geo. Bond and lodged in the county jail.

The Ottawa Free Trader , January 10, 1919
- courtesy Leo Ingmanson


Believe James Haslam was victim of accident



Jury Was Unable to Decide Whether Death was Intentional, Return Open Verdict

An open verdict was returned Tuesday morning when a coroner's jury held an inquest into the mysterious death of James Haslam, age 37 of Marseilles, which occurred late Monday evening. Haslam resided alone at the Robert Makeever home in the eastern part of Marseilles and was not found until he had been dead several hours.

He was finally discovered by George Gumm, a school boy, who went to the Haslam house after school to find out particulars concerning some hides he and Haslam had sent away to be tanned. He found Haslam lying on the floor dead with a shot-gun charge in the side of his head and the weapon lying beside him. An examination proved the fact that he had met death several hours before.

At the inquest the jury was not able to decide whether he had been accidentally shot or had committed suicide. When last seen Haslam was in good spirits and said nothing about wishing to die or announcing any determination to take his own life. It is generally believed that the gun exploded accidentally and the location of the wound seems to bear out this theory.


From family tradition, the story goes that many years later a man on his death bed admitted that he had shot James Haslam. - Leo Ingmanson

Marseilles, IL

Joseph T. WOODRUFF post No. 281, G.A.R., was organized June 18, 1883. Civil war veterans who were members, all of whom are dead were as follows: charter members, David N. SHIPMAN, George B. BIGNALL, David H. SLAGLE, Charles DALEY, Thomas BABCOCK, George L. DAVISON, Obed L. FULLER, Albert HUBBARD, Richard H. RYALL, John D. McKAHIN, Ransom P. DEWEY, Hiram C. WHITMAN, Palmer F. SCOVEL, John A. ARMSTRONG, Phil A. BUTTERFIELD, Albert L. STONE, Fred E. BUTTERFIELD, L. HAYNES, Martin P. SMITH, Byron A. ROATH, Orin B. GRANT, Albert F. BROWN, Ora D. WALBRIDGE, Justin W. PRESTON, George K. BANGHAM, Wellington B. WORTHINGHAM, Edward T. KEAGLE, William KELLEY, Wesley T. SMITH, Ezekiel T. HAYES, Theo. W. PITCHER, Chas. W. TRUMBLE, Allen S. GUMM.
Other members, John L. BARBER, Robert M. BELL, Joel BEVINGTON, Robert S. BRENT, Edwin BURTON, Frances L. BUTTERFIELD, Amzi D. CRAFT, Simon K. DANLEY, Thomas FLANNERY, George W. FORBES, Richard J. GAGE, James M. GATCHELL, Jonathan W. GREEN, William Henry HARRISON, Augustus HATTES, Edward T. HESS, Eber HADDIS, Benjamin F. JESSUP, John J. McKAHIN, David A. KERNS, Egbert KILMER, Isaac KNOX, James LANSING, James A. LATIMER, Jonas LEHMAN, Charles E. LUCE, Cyrus H. MAKEEVER, John MALLM, William Wallace MASON, James McCUTCHEON, Donald A. NICHOLSON, Jacob S. NICHOLS, Jacob OLISON, Barney OLSEN, Florison D. PITTS, Uriah PERSONS, William J. PORTER, William H. RICHMOND, Charles A. RINKER, Thomas H. ROSS, Levi W. SMITH, Orlando A. SMITH, Samuel J. SPARKS, Alonzo A. TICE, Charles W. TRUMBO, Martin WILSON, Daniel L. WILSON, Enoch WILSON, Jacob B. WORTHINGHAM.
[Daily Republican Times, Ottawa, IL; Thursday, August 29, 1935]

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