Washington County, Illinois

Return to : Washington County

2010 Articles

  A series of articles written by :
Wilbert "Bucky" McCoy for :
Ashley News
( Ashley, Illinois )
Box 0184
DuQuoin, IL 62832

June 25, 2010

By Bucky McCoy

Who Cares
Recipient of a Studs Terkel award for Humanities
From Illinois and didn't do well on this

        Since we need more people to subscribe to the Ashley News and it isn't happening too quickly. I will invite you to Buckys Histotical Department at the Ashley Library. I have ten reels of papers on film, but nothing yet to view them on. Come by and see me some time. I am running out of space and not doing too well on a small museum, stop and visit with me. I have a piece of slate that Harry Spear stood under for years. The Illinois Central Depot roof. I will get a snap shot of Harry one of these days and will do something with it. I had a few Rail Road Pictures. Ruby had some for me, but she passed away. I was hoping some one would bring them to me.
Write some biographies for me.

        My E Mail here is : Aplil01@Charter.net.     Send me something. Send this paper to a friend and recommend they subscribe. Information is on page Two. There is so much that can be written and E-mailed to me. I wanted to take pictures of all businesses and residences and write about it today, but I need help to do it. The only thing for our betterment is an out standing fire department. How grate full am I? I don't never thank a fireman. I remember the first fire protection department. I will describe as I remember and it would certainly be nice if some one would bring me a picture. The first was a wagon with two handles to guide and men to push. It had two ladders, some picks and about fifty collapsible leather buckets. Three or four draw buckets, but the well was dry too soon. Some body would yell we are out of water. Carry out the furniture. This was soon done. Cast iron stoves were to be moved. No one had much house hold furniture. A kitchen cupboard, a few chairs and a table. What was a dining room? Living room had a stand table for the coal oil lamp, A very few chairs. Bed room may have been a side board, Bed springs, and old mattress and feather tick and pillows and lots of wet bed clothing. Some personal clothing and little else. I can show you may places in town where the fire bug made a visit.
Stop and tell me a story or I will tell you one.

August 27, 2010

By Bucky McCoy

Mules and Draymen

        I am not a farmer and very likely you aren't either. Some 75 years half the people were associated with farmers. I never cared about working from day lights beginning until darkness took over for an hour or so. I suppose that's what Uncle Bert called being to light for heavy work. Feed the live stock, give them water and extra food because they were worked hard, especially horses, mules and Oxen. Do you know how oxen became so big and strong? I never cared for Mules, but later in life I was told you have to love a mule and he will be happy to oblige its owner when asked to do a job. Bennet was the only man in Ashley that had Mules for hire. This team of wiry little mules would kick at you when you got closer than ten feet. Ben could walk any where around them and about all that ever moved was their long ears and one at a time. They never had any baby mules. Do you know why? Eighty five years hiring a team was easy. Ben had mules and he would haul any item anywhere in Ashley for five cents. Harve Calloway was the biggest operator in town. He owned a stable on Wentworth Street. He had a variety of horses. Charles Farmer had two horses. Tom Coleman like wise. Oscar Tate drove a one horse wagon. The horse was old Bill. He never tied him up regardless of where he stopped. Oscar would say, "Bill, stay right there 'til I come back." He did just that.

        These draymen had a lot of work moving furniture. There were times two families wanted to trade residences. Ben would be hauling one way and Harve the other way. These teams were busy in the spring time. All available space as used to raise food for winters use. Garden spots were plowed for a dollar and getting it ready to plant was included in the fee. What wasn't included was Potato planting. For a fifty cent piece they would make a furrow with a one horse plow, plant and cover the cut up potato seed.

        These draymen had less to do in the winter. Come about a foot of stow they would hook up to their walk cleaning apparatus ands remove snow from the cinder walks. Walks were used in those days. Many had heavy traffic on them. Many walks were 8 feet wide. Harvey took people to the Cemetery and old people had white horses.

        We have heard the Baptist Church Bell toll as the funeral went to the cemetery. Most every body walked. What is the difference in tolling a bell and ringing a bell? In 1864 the present Baptist CHURCH BELL was first rung. You probably won't hear it from the Baptist church any more. Church is closed and the reason being most people quit attending services with war over, most people had jobs and an automobile. They determined there was more important things to do. But! I don't know. I am to the opinion that time will tell. What are your thoughts?

August 30, 2010

By Bucky McCoy


        Most children talk about being bored. I don't know the meaning of bored. Do something exciting. Don't worry about what people think. I know of some people being born on a spot and 80 years later they have not been a half mile from home. They seem happy and that is what counts. One thing that makes it a safe place to live is no chances were taken to be injured.

        Most people choose a livelihood and never pursue it. I drove a propane gas truck for two years. Nothing exciting about that with one exception. I turned the truck upside down. Nothing too exciting if the vapor doesn't catch's on fire or if liquid flows on you it can freeze you.

        I have learned that living in different parts of the U. S. A. affords you many opportunities to different things. My last twelve winters have been different from summers. I saw snow, a whole three inches in the winter of 2009. Flowers bloom on Christmas day better than the fourth of July. People start gardening on February one. I would rather mow a lawn than shovel snow on the same date.

        I have learned that the food consumed isn't used in our parts of Illinois. People buy turnips. It includes greens and roots. They throw away roots and eat the green part. How many gardeners sow Collard seeds, Mustered seeds and turnip seed for greens? Most Smorgasbord cafes have turnip greens as well as collards. I have not learned to eat boiled peanuts. Pecans I like and what a variety. Some nut meats are tiny and big nuts are as large as a Bantem chicken egg. Many residences have more than one tree and many times people with out trees pick them up. I like pecan pie. Most women have a formula to go by. If you don't have Grits at least one time a day you are missing some good food. They are cooked in various ways and the meal is usually yellow. I like Great northern beans and corn bread. Be sure and catch a 2 and a half gallon of water when it rains. Beans seasoned well and cooking with soft water makes a difference. Some families have rain barrels setting in the house gutter spouts. This water is great. Some people remove the mosquito larvae. Many just let them in hot Greece.. Only a few people bought whole milk for family use. later

September 8, 2010

By Bucky McCoy

Justice of the Peace

        I think old but I am not sure but if older isn't better -- things that I seldom read about.

        Law abiding citizens years ago had trivial matters settled in a police magistrates court. Now days we don't have time to take care of matters at hand. If you wanted to get married by the Justice of the peace. Too much of a problem the County Sheriff was knocking at your door. When you became ill the whole family was quarantine. Many time the small Government would receive a notice from the Doctor. Quarantine Bucky's family. They either had scarlet Fever, have it or will take it. I have seen Mr. Hoover a J. P. put on important clothing, a hat suitable for the purpose. He would march to the residence, look for a suitable place to put the sign . When every thing seemed read he would drive a nail in a porch post. Remove his coat and hang it and then continue with the job at hand. He would take the hammer out of a belt loop of his shiny pants. He would put six tacks in his mouth and attached the quarantine sign on the side where rhea door knob was located. The largest part read, "Keep Out" and the finer print explaining and many visitor could not read it. Mr. Hoover would admire his hand-work well done. Put the hammer in the belt loop. Putting on his coat he then needed the hammer to remove the nail.. Every thing in order he would return to his office at the Hoover Hotel.

        (Doesn't someone have a picture of that hotel with 29 rooms?)

        I mentioned the small time officers in these towns of a hundred years ago because a board of thinkers? Details would have to be considered. These people would have no authority, but have a meeting of their own and discuss theist thoughts. On city council meeting they could report finding for the Council to think on. I have an example. I want a small museum added on the library. Ashley needs a place and a where with to put things. There are several important pieces at the Library Historical department. The Library isn't a museum. See what I mean. About half of us better wake up and smell the coffee. Get these negative thought a "FUR" piece out of our minds. It appears that we are losing a race. Lets pull together and remove negative thoughts


2010      Wayne Hinton

Return to : Washington County