HISTORY OF RICHLAND COUNTY
Source: "Counties of Cumberland, Jasper and Richland, Illinois: Historical and Biographical"
F.A. Battey & Co, 1884
Submitted by B. Ziegenmeyer
The duty of providing a place for the
County and Circuit Courts to do business in, was an early and pressing one. Although it was provided by the organizing
act that the proportion of the current tax levy derived from Richland County should be paid into the treasury of
the new county, the amount thus made available was very small, not reaching over $200, a sum wholly inadequate
for the building of such modest structures as satisfied the tastes and business of even that day. The money to
be derived from the sale of the property donated was subject to an indefinite delay, and the amount was in a still
more perplexing doubt. The first Commissioners met in the nearest available cabin, that of Benjamin Bogard, located
just east of the present village of Olney, on the " trace road." Here the regular Commissioners held
forth until the latter part of 1842. The west room of Bogard's cabin was obtained for the use of all County and
Circuit Courts, for a rental of $1 per month, the county furnishing the stove for heating purposes. In September,
1842, the Board of Commissioners and the leaders of the Methodist Church just formed here, got together and agreed
upon another substitute for a court house." It was agreed upon and recorded that " lot No. 4. in Lilley's
donation in the town of Olney, be granted to the Methodist Church on condition that the superintendent appointed,
or who undertakes for said church, shall have erected on said lot a meeting house, to be of hewed logs, 20 x 24
feet square, nine rounds high, to be finished by the third day of November next, for the use of the county to hold
all the courts of the county in until the county builds a court house, for which use the county will make a deed
for said lot to said church, and it is expressly understood that the said church is to keep the said house in good
repair, and the county is to repair all damages that may be done in holding courts in said house." This cabin
was constructed and served the various needs of the community, as meeting house, court house and schoolhouse, and
still stands neglected and going to ruin opposite the depot of the Peoria, Decatur & Evansville Railroad Company.
The church seems to have fulfilled its part of the contract, save perhaps in the " rounds high," which
now appear to be only eight, instead of the nine stipulated. Two small windows on either side, admit the light,
while a single door in the end admitted the people who were wont to gather here for business or worship. It is
yet in condition to last for many years with some judicious care, and it would seem no more fitting tribute could
be paid to the memory of the pioneer and his times than to preserve so long as possible this ancient landmark.
In December, 1843, a new court house was projected by the Board to be forty feet square and two stories high. The contract which is very explicit and covers several pages of the record, stipulates that the building shall be a frame building, the first story twelve feet high and the second the same; "the foundation to be well laid with solid rock, one foot under ground and half a foot above the ground, making a wall eighteen inches high and one foot thick to be weather boarded with poplar plank, seven inches wide, and one half inch thick; to have three outside doors and thirty two windows of twenty four lights, 10 x 12 inches; for which the contractors were to receive orders on the county treasury, to be paid out of the proceeds of the " donation lots, moneys from Lawrence County, or elsewhere." Asa H. Beard and W. H. Reed were the contractors, and the sum agreed upon for the work was $3,025. This structure was erected on the public square, but it was the middle of 1847, before it was finished. The first contractors failed and a new contract was made with Beard and Henry Spring to finish it. When finished the building was of the pattern very common at that time, a sample of which may still be seen in the court house at Toledo, Cumberland Co., Ill. The lower story was devoted to the courtroom, which was entered at doorways on the east and west sides of the building. The Judge's seat and desk was in the center of the south side, with benches at right angles on either hand, and seats parallel with the judicial bench in front, for the bar. A row of posts supported the upper story, and a balustrade to divide the sacred precincts of the court from the audience. The separation between these two parties was further marked by broad aisle leading from one door to the other. A doorway in the north side led to an enclosed entrance from which the upper story was reached by a flight of stairs. The upper story was divided on the east side into three equal rooms, and the west side into two equal rooms, with a hall ten feet wide between the two sides, running north and south. These were occupied by the county officials. A cupola, twelve feet square, and twelve feet high surmounted the structure. Two windows on a side lighted the courtroom and twenty four were disposed above, all of which were supplied with green " Venetian shutters." The building was painted white and when first constructed was an ornament to the town which early gained a wide reputation for its neat appearance. In 1854, a, bell was added to the court house fixtures, at a cost of $70. In the following year the public square was enclosed by a paling fence," in style, strength and finish similar to some citizen's fence which had attracted the Commissioners' eye. The court house thus provided served the county over thirty years. It was repaired at a cost of something over $1,000, during this time, and in 1859 was supplemented by a fire-proof building for the offices of record and the Treasurer. By this time the records of the county had grown to a large bulk, and that such important papers should be left to the uncertainties of a frame building was considered too hazardous. The Board accordingly let the contract for the construction of the fireproof building to Quarter man and Jobs for $1,535. This was a one story brick building, about 15 x 40 feet, provided with iron shutters and doors, and was situated on the public square, a little north of the present east gate. This building is still serving for office purposes on the corner of the square immediately south of its original position. With this addition, the old court house served with general acceptance until 1873. In this year a new building was projected and the whole cost fixed at a sum not to exceed $40,000, but this sum was subsequently reduced to $25,000.
In March, 1874, the Board of Supervisors examined the plans of various architects, seven competing plans being presented. Considerable care was taken to select a plan that could actually be carried out with the proposed outlay of money, and architects were called in to examine the specifications, and lawyers to examine the arrangements of offices, etc. The plan of J. C Cochrane, of Springfield, was adopted, and the contract subsequently let to Barlow and Gaddis. On the 18th of July, 1874, the corner stone was laid with impressive ceremonies. The fire department, city officials, Masonic and Odd Fellows Fraternities, and large numbers of the citizens united in a procession, and on reaching the site, the corner stone was laid, according to the ritual of the Masonic Order, by John Gunn, Esq., assisted by William Newel I, chairman of the Board of Supervisors of the county. Addresses were made by Gen. E. Bowyer, Judge Shaw and Mayor J. M. Wilson. In this stone a variety of documents were deposited. A remarkable feature of the structure is the foundation, which is five feet thick and composed of short plank laid up with cement. Upon this foundation, at the surface of the ground is laid the brick which narrows in ten courses to the thickness of the walls. The general style of architecture is Italian, and that of the details, Tuscan. The material is brick, with stone trimmings, the roof covered with slate and tin and the cornice of galvanized iron. The form of the building is that of the Greek cross, the extreme length, east and west, or the main street front, is 106 feet and 65 feet in the north and south direction. A portico 46 feet long, finishes the north front; the roof of which is supported by eight stone columns in couplets, standing on solid stone pedestals. This portico stands twenty four feet high, is crowned with a classic balustrade, and projects fourteen feet from the wall line. At each of the corners of the buildings are pilasters, three feet wide, with Tuscan caps supporting the main cornice. The cornice of the main part of the building is described as 'the cantilever style, and that of the wings, modillion. The building is surmounted by a dome seventeen feet square, with massive base, and on each of the four sides are projecting porticos, with two pilasters of the Corinthian order. Upon the summit of this dome is a flag staff twenty two feet kirsch. The height of the walls of the main building is fifty two feet, to the top of the dome, 122 feet, and to the top of the flag staff, 144 feet. The entrances are from the north and south, where admittance is gained by double doorways to large corridor, ten feet wide. Another corridor of the same width crosses this at right angles, in the center where a rotunda, twenty six feet in diameter, is formed. From the east and west corridor, on either side of the building, are flights of stairs, five feet wide, leading to the second story. The first story contains the offices of the county officials. The west wing affords a room 18 x 38 feet, which is occupied by the County Clerk. This is supplied with a fire-proof vault, 10x15 feet, and two stories high, affording a floor space equal to 20 x 30 feet, and is lighted by a small square window. This is off the southeast corner of the office. At the northeast corner of the room is a private passage way, used as a toilet room, and affording access to the Treasurer's office, a room eighteen feet square, and provided with a vault and the common furniture of a bank. On the south side of the east and west corridor, an office corresponding in size and general location to the Treasurer's office, is a room assigned to the County Surveyor. The east half of the building is arranged similarly. The Circuit Clerk occupies the large office in the wing, and the smaller offices are occupied by the Sheriff and County Superintendent of Schools. Each of these offices is supplied with fireproof vaults, the smaller offices are each lighted by windows from two sides, while the larger offices are lighted from the three sides. The court room occupies the second story of the main building, extending north and south. This room is lighted by three large windows at either end, and is entered from the landing at the head of each flight of stairs, by double doorways. The room is 43 x 62 feet, and is twenty six feet high, furnishing an auditorium capable of seating 300 people. The Judge's seat and bar is in the south end, with ample provision for jury, witnesses and professional attendants upon the court. Behind the Judge's seat is a screen, ten feet high, the center of which is a large panel of dark wood, while the wings are paneled with figured glass. This softens the glare of the light admitted by the three windows in the south end. The upper story of the west wing is occupied by rooms for the grand and petit juries and witnesses. The three rooms over the Circuit Clerk's office are assigned to the Board of Supervisors, library and consultation room and the Judge's private room. This division is only theoretical, however. The Library consists of a few volumes of State reports, seldom consulted, if the dust affords any criterion, and the room is chiefly used as a lumber room for the storage of sundry political paraphernalia. The other rooms are occupied by the various juries, the Board of Supervisors using the ample quarters of the County Clerk for its sittings. The offices are neat, convenient and attractive in appearance, and the court room and retiring rooms might be so, if the same care and taste had been expended upon them. The walls of the first story rooms are neatly calcimined, while the upper rooms are left in their original state, while seamed with many a crack and disfigured in places by the vandal work of the unscrupulous scribbler. The retiring rooms are scantily furnished and the floors uncovered. The cellar, provided with furnace and piping, at a cost of $829, is left in the unfinished condition the builder left it. In 1878, a clock was placed in the dome at a cost of $500, the city paying one half of the expense. The entire cost of the building, exclusive of the fixtures last mentioned, was something over $37,000, the specifications of the original plan calling for wood being replaced by stone, which was undoubtedly a valuable modification. The public square is now nicely graded and sodded, the old practice of raising hay having given way to the more enlightened method of lawn cultivation. The whole is surrounded by an iron fence, upon a stone foundation, presenting a tout ensemble equaled by the public of few county seats in southern Illinois.
A jail was evidently considered a necessity much earlier than a court house, or a substitute was much less easily found. Accordingly, in September, 1841, a jail was projected by the Board of Commissioners, to be located on the lot which is now occupied in part by the engine house. The plan was unique and can only be properly given in the language of the record. It was provided: " the foundation to be seventeen feet square, by digging out the earth eight inches deep, which is to be next laid with solid rock, sixteen inches deep, eight inches above the surface of the ground ; floor to be laid on the rock, the full size of the jail, of hewn timber one foot thick; wall to be composed, first story of three thickness', second story of one thickness, of hewn timber ; to be two story, of eight feet each story, the inner thickness to be of hewn timber one foot square, to be eight feet long, the outside wall to be of timber of the same thickness, and three walls to be seventeen feet long, and two walls to be twenty five feet long, the vacancy between the walls to be filled with square timber put in perpendicularly; second floor to be laid with square timber one foot thick, and dovetailed in half through the outer wall; third floor to be laid with timber eight inches thick, all the timbers to be of good, solid white oak, the roof to be put on with joint shingles in a workmanlike manner. The intention of the long timbers is for an additional jailer's room, all to be done in a workmanlike manner. Two doors to be cut as the building is raised, two and a half wide, six and a half feet long, and to be cased; the windows to be put on the outside, two in each room ; eight bars of iron for the windows, two in each window, let into the center of each log, to be squared equal to the case of the window ; doors to be cased with three inch timber; the size of windows in lower room to be 6x8 inches, in debtor's room, 6 x 10 inches." This description without the aid of punctuation or capital letters was the text by which the first stronghold of the county was built. The jailer's room was never built, and as constructed it was just a two storied box with an ante-room from which entrance was gained to the lower room, and the upper story reached by a flight of stairs. Otherwise the specifications were followed, and a reasonably secure jail built. Wood, however thick, does not seem to be adapted to the retention of determined prisoners and escapes were not unheard of here. Some cut their way through to the debtor's room above and thence through the roof. Others tunneled through the bottom, and one, less fortunate, attempted to get through the small opening in the door used to pass food through, and only failed after getting his head and one arm through. At this juncture he lost his support, and was found in this awkward situation, half dead, by the jailer in the morning. In March, 1856, a new jail was projected, to be of brick, about 20x40 feet, one half to be devoted to the prison, and the other as a jailer's or sheriff's residence. This still remains on the corner of Market and Mulberry streets. The cells were formed of brick, lined with wood, and this sheathed with sheet iron. This proved a very insufficient restraint to prisoners, and criminals charged with heinous crimes were chained to make them secure. Digging out through the floor was frequently successful, and digging a hole through the brick wall under the window sills, another easy means of escape. In December, 1868, a committee was appointed to correspond in regard to iron cells, and in the following year, two of these improved boxes were placed in the upper apartment, at a cost of $1,458.20. The building was originally constructed by Lutz & Cain, a firm that changed to Cain & Hayward before the building was completed at a cost of $3,790.
The care of the poor has been a prominent question before the executive board of the county, and has taken on all the various phases common to the smaller counties. Up to 1859, sundry individuals cared for the poor persons in their neighborhood and were paid by the county as it saw fit. This was carried to the extent in some cases that a man was occasionally paid for the care of his poor relation. On the change of organization, the Board of Supervisors passed the following order: "That the keeping and taking care of the poor and paupers of Richland County, Ill., be let to the lowest responsible bidder, for the term of one year commencing on the first day of January, 1860, the contracting parties to have the sole care and attention of boarding, clothing, nursing, medical attention, and, in fact, all charges of every description, chargeable to the county for said poor or paupers; the party contracting to take said poor or paupers' property or effects, the poor or paupers to be delivered to the contracting parties at their place designated in the contract, and the contracting party to pay the expense incurred in the delivery by any overseer of the poor in any of the townships in the county; the contracting party to receive pay by the year, let the number be whatever it may, more or less, the price to be no more nor less than the amount agreed upon for any number that may come to his charge from said overseers of the poor, and remain in said charge as poor or paupers, and shall receive quarterly payments as per said contract. It was further provided that the contracting party should give a bond with approved securities for the faithful performance of his duties under the contract, and that one bid should be reserved for the county. John D. Richards was the first purveyor to the poor under this arrangement, and received $586.50 for his services. The price paid was subsequently reduced as low as $360 and $397, but this was the lowest point. In 1865, the price paid was $750, and $1,000 in 1866, $801 in 1868, and $1,200 in 1869. In 1868, after the regular committee had examined the condition of the poor, they included in their report a recommendation that a farm be purchased for the care of the poor. The prospect seemed to be that the number would so increase that the plan in operation would prove impracticable. A special committee was appointed to consider the matter and the result was that in March, 1869, a farm was purchased The land is situated four miles east and a quarter of a mile north of Olney City, and consists of 167 acres. It was purchased of Nicholas Sterchi, at $27 per acre. The farm had a fair story and a half frame house on it and out building's, and these have served the purposes of the county until now. A keeper is appointed each year at a salary of $1,200 per annum, and the product of the farm accrues to the benefit of the county.
COURTS AND CRIME
The lack of anything like caste in the early days robbed the early courts of much of the moderate dignity that now attaches to them. The surroundings were of the "homespun" character of the whole society here, and the easy way in which the official rank was worn made everybody "free and easy," save when within the actual clutches of the law.
Of this Mr. J. M. Wilson writes: "Circuit Court week was the great holiday for the men, and the court and bar of fifty years ago had vastly more of consequence in the eyes of the backwoodsman than it has to their successors. Traveling on horseback over a wide, extended circuit, extending from Gallatin, including White County, on the south, and Danville on the north, to the center of the State on the west, their progress was somewhat after the fashion of the early English judges. At each county seat, judge and lawyers, some three or four, put up at the same hotel and held a grand reception on the first evening of their arrival; were called on by all the leading men of the county, and were all eminent in their profession. The old lawyer was ever a man of education and a gentleman, and the old judges, such as Wilson and Breese, have no superiors since their day. There were no petty fogging shysters at the bar; self interest never swayed them from the truth. Bat. Webb and Gen. John Robinson, U. F. Linder and O. B. Ficklin, and Charles Constable, together traveled the circuit. Each had their peculiarities, but all were able lawyers. There were but few cases of murder. In 1833, one Ledbetter was hung in Carmi for the murder of his brother in Gallatin County, whence a change of venue was taken to White County. An immense con course from all the adjacent counties witnessed the execution. Most of the criminal cases were for counterfeiting and horse stealing There were some peculiarities in the old judges and court proceedings that, to say the least, would be novel now; as instance: Once, in 1830, during the progress of a trial at old Maysville, a chap filled with whisky and fun galloped on ail fours across the courtroom in front of the Judge, Wilson, kicking and neighing like a horse. The Judge ordered the Sheriff to put that horse in the stable. The Sheriff, after a struggle, captured the would-be equine, telling the Judge there was no jail, when the Judge said they must build one. The Sheriff swore he would not hold him till that was done, and turned the fellow loose. On one occasion during the progress of a trial, whilst an eminent attorney was addressing a jury, a man breathless with haste, rushed into the court house and proclaimed aloud that two celebrated bullies were going to fight, and were then stripping for the contest. Off helter skelter went the crowd, jury, witnesses and lawyers, followed by the Judge, calling, ' Sheriff, adjourn the Court!' The Sheriff yelled, Court is adjourned as he leaped out the court house door. This was in Hamilton County; Ellic Grant was the Judge, and a good one, too. On a certain occasion in Richland, when court was holder in the little old log house nearly opposite the depot of the P., D. &, E. R. R., one Wilson Nash persisted in wearing his coon-skin cap regardless of the repeated cry of hats off in Court,' whereupon Lewis Sawyer, the Sheriff, made a sweeping stroke with his cane to knock the cap off, but striking too low, knocked Nash heels over head.
"There have been but few executions in southern Illinois in the last fifty years, one in Wabash, one in Lawrence; and one man, Jeff White, was hung by a band of lynchers, in Richland. We, as a rule, have always had a law abiding people, who are innocent of the blood-curdling atrocities we read of in other parts of the country."
It should be added that Richland County has not been free of murders. At an early day one Gate wood got into an altercation with one Brimberry. In the course of the wrangle, Gate wood threw up his gun to shoot his opponent, when Brimberry rushed between the men and received the fatal shot. Gatewood fled, and was never brought to justice. More recently, a case of indefensible homicide brought out the only manifestation of " lynch justice " the county has ever known. Two farmers had had some difficulty, when they met on the farm of the aggressive party. After ordering the man off the premises, where he was engaged in threshing, the proprietor of the farm went to his house and returned with a rifle, and without further parley killed the man. The murderer was arrested and brought to the jail, where he remained two or three days. In the meanwhile the report became general that a prominent attorney had taken his case to defend, and that he felt confident of securing his acquittal. This brought out a mob from the country, neighbors and friends of the murdered man, and the criminal was taken to a tree in the courtyard and hung. Others charged with murder have been disposed of by the courts in the county, but none have been judicially hung. The early crimes were principally counterfeiting, horse stealing, hog stealing, and assault and battery.
The machinery of justice was set in motion in the fall of 1841, the first grand jury being composed of the following citizens: John Cotterell, Thomas McCarty, Daniel Wheeler, Samuel R. Lowry, Carnahan, J. F. Reed, George McWilliams, Stephen Gardner, Thomas Lewis, Thaddeus Morehouse, Joseph Bryan, George Higgins, Thomas Parker, Elcana Richards, Enoch Stites, John Heep, John Matthews, John Brown, Henry Taylor, L. L. Allendar, Elijah Nelson, Arvin Webster, Orran Coats. The first petit jury was composed of McIntyre Ryan, Samuel Butler, John Allen, Thomas Ellingsworth, Daniel Ripple, T. W. Lilley, Hiram Barney, Jr., William Perry, Matthew Eiston, William Coanour, William Leathers, William Lampkin, David Walker, John Price, Andrew Britton, William McWilliams, James Nelson, John Jeffords, F. B. Parker, James Cheek, S. W. Graham, George Smith, Wright Mash and James B. Shields.
The Commissioners elected in 1841 were Lot Basden, Amos Bullard
and Hugh Calhoun, Jr. By lot it was decided that the length of term of each one's office should be in the order
named, the longest first. In 1842, Hugh Calhoun, Jr., was re-elected; 1843, Elijah Nelsonson; 1844, Samuel R. Lowry;
1845, Canada Clubb to succeed Lowry, resigned, and Elcana Richards for regular term; 1846, James Cheek; 1847, Joseph
Harmon; 1848, John D. Richards. In the following year the new constitution was framed and adopted, the election
changed from August to November, and the County Court established. This court consisted of a County Judge and two
assistants, who were ex-officio justices of the peace. Upon this court was conferred all the powers of the county
commissioners, and upon the county judge, the probate business formerly devolving upon the probate justice of the
peace. The members of the court held office for four years, and were all elected at the same time. In 1849, A.
Kitchell was elected County Judge, and N. D. Jay and 8. R. Lowry, associates. In 1851, Elcana Richards was elected
to succeed Jay, deceased. In 1852, J. D. Richards was elected County Judge to fill the vacancy caused by the death
of Kitchell. In 1853, the following members were elected for the regular term: J. D. Richards, County Judge; Miles
R. Yocum and D. W. Blain, associates; 1857, John D. Richards, County Judge; D. W. Blain and Henry Peebles, associates.
In 1857, township organization was voted by the people, and the following Board of Supervisors elected: D. W. Blain,
from Olney Township; James Adams, from Boone (Denver); H. L. Carson, from Jackson (Decker); W. R Williams, from
Noble; Jacob May, from Claremont; T. S. Smith, from Bonpas; Christian Jaggi, from Troy (German); James Kinkade,
from Douglas (Preston); Milton Eckley, from Madison. The records of the county are not sufficiently explicit to
add to the list of supervisors of the county. But one place in the records of twenty five years does the name of
the supervisors appear with the names of the townships which they represented, and the task of deciphering this
relation is of a more extended nature than the importance of the result would warrant.
The Treasurers of the county have been, W. H. Reed, elected in 1841; M. C. McLain, in 1845; Jonas Notestine, appointed December 10,1840, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of McLain; M. Stautfer, elected in 1847; Joshua Smalley, in 1849; William T. Shelby, appointed March, 1852, in place of Smalley, deceased; T. L. Stewart, elected in 1855; R. B. Marney, 1857; T. T. Smith, 1859; D. D. Marquis, 1865; John Kuster, 1869; George D. Morrison, 1873; John Kuster, appointed in 1874 to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Marney; Frank Gillaspie, in 1877, who is the present incumbent.
The Circuit Clerks have been, J. M. Wilson, appointed in 1841; M. B. Snyder, elected in 1849; John Wolf, appointed March, 1859, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Snyder; G. W. Morrison, elected November, 1859, to serve out the unexpired term of Snyder; John Wolf, elected in 1860; C W. Cullen, in 1864; Aden Knoph, in 1868; Thomas Tibbett, in 1880, and is the present Clerk.
The county clerks until 1849 were elected recorders and were appointed clerk to the County Court by the county commissioners. M. B. Snyder was the first and only Recorder of the county and Clerk of the County Court from 1841 to 1849; Jacob Hofman, from 1849 until 1861; W. T. Shelby, from 1861 until 1865; J. R Johnson from 1865 until 1869; W. T. Shelby, from 1869 until 1882; John Von Gunten from 1882, and is the present County Clerk.
The Sheriffs of the county have been: Lewis Sawyer, appointed in 1841, and subsequently elected until 1848; J. H. Parker, elected in 1848; R. B. Marney, in 1850; J. H. Parker, in 1852; Mclntyre Ryan, in 1854; Horace Hay ward, appointed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Ryan, May, 1855; J. H. Parker, elected in 1856; W. T. Shelby, in 1858; T. L. Stewart, in 1860; William Coventry, in 1862; T. L. Stewart, in 1864; Archibald Spring, in 1866; M. M. St. John, in 1868; Hiram Sharp, in 1872; J. J. Richey, in 1878; Archibald Spring in 1882, and is the present incumbent.
The office of county judge, as at present constituted, dates back to 1857 for its origin. Previous to 1849, the somewhat similar official was the probate justice of the peace, and from 1849 to 1857, the county judge acted also as county commissioner, and has been classified elsewhere. R. B. Marney was the first and only Probate Justice of the Peace for Richland County, from 1841 until 1849. In 1857, John D. Richards was elected and served until 1865; James Wright, from 1865 to 1869; John D. Richards, from 1869 to 1873; H. Hayward, from 1873 to 1882; F. D. Preston, from 1882, and is now the Presiding Judge.
The Surveyors of the county have been: A. F. David, elected in 1841; John Wolf, in 1846; A. B. Webster, appointed in March, 1849, to fill vacancy occasioned by resignation of Wolf; John Wolf, elected in 1851; John Reasoner, in 1853; Isaac Barnes, in 1855; A. Jenkins, in 1865; I. Barnes, in 1869; Thomas Humbert, in 1875; J. H. Clark, in 1879, and is still in office.
The office of county superintendent of schools dates its origin to 1865. Before this, the corresponding official, with somewhat less duties, was the School Commissioner. The gentlemen who have filled this position are: J. F. Reed, elected in 1841; A. L. Byers, in 1847; Daniel Cox, in 1849; A. H. Baird, appointed in 1850 to fill vacancy; J. H. Gunn, elected in 1853; William Warfield, in 1861; Jacob Hofman, in 1864. As County Superintendent of Schools, W. H. Williams, elected in 1865; J. C Scott, appointed October 19, 1867, in place of Williams, removed; W. W. Carnes, appointed March 23, 1872, in place of Scott, resigned; J. J. Coons, elected in 1873; R. N. Stotler, elected in 1882, and is the present official.
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