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Washington County, Illinois

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Courtesy of Jo House
© Captain Earl R. Smith USCG(R)
WASHINGTON COUNTY, ILLINOIS
A Historical Essay
By
Earl Richard Smith
 
      As the Fourth of July, 1876, approached the citizens of Nashville, Illinois, were discussing how best they could celebrate the Nation's Centennial.
 
      Washington County, of which Nashville had been the County Seat since the 1830's, was created in 1818, the same year that Illinois became a State. Carved from St. Clair County it originally included the area which became Clinton County to the north, but the latter was separated from it in 1824.
 
      Gradually Washington County would be subdivided for Land Record purposes into sixteen Townships, sometimes referred to as Precincts. These were platted by the grid system, replacing the antique metes and bounds method. Thus modem Washington County's seat, Nashville and Nashville Township are located at the juncture of Township Two South and Range Three West, a right angle formed by (modern) State Highways 15 (east and west) and 127 (north, south).
 
      Small, isolated but thriving on the rich, black prairie soil, the men and women of Washington County had always paused in their hard routines each July Fourth to demonstrate their pride in the fact of the Declaration of Independence. It was a given that some kind of simple parade would be gotten up with marches past the court house yard and featuring various horse drawn farm vehicles. The current mayor would ride on a splendid animal or drive his flag draped buggy at the head of the procession to the music of a pick up band of horns and drums played by a mixture of school teachers and village fathers. Following the mayor's trap, one or two flat bed wagons, hung with cheese cloth bunting, regimental flags and homegrown roses held an assortment of veterans from the more recent wars: Black Hawk and Civil War, Here and there (but fast disappearing) might be an ancient personage who could feebly remember the War of 1812. Especially awesome, especially honored until his time, too, faded from memory, might be an old man wrapped in a blanket who might remember that his father had described the battles from a still older war: King's Mountain, Fallen Timbers, New Orleans. From their Revolutionary ancestors, down to and including their Club of modem ex POW's, Washington County has always remembered its veterans on the Fourth.
 
      But this year, July 4, 1876, they decided, would and must be different. They wanted to mount some kind of new, original and special event; something unique to the County; something permanent. A later generation would attach a descriptive word "chauvinism" to such a feeling, not realizing or particularly caring that the word was historically based on an abundance of patriotism. The word had taken on an excrescence of disrespect in its modem usage, but never mind, in July of 1876 the men and women of Nashville, Illinois, were chauvinistic. They knew what they wanted, they knew it required the right man who could hitch the horse of action to the wagon of ideas. Moreover, they knew who he was and wasted no time in approaching him.
 
      Throughout Washington County and the Circuit he served, the Honorable Judge John Amos Watts was an "important" citizen. Today the word "important," like "chauvinism," has degenerated into a meaningless euphemism but to 19th century prairie people, always careful and sparing in their evaluations, a man (or woman) attained his perceived status by operation of a long series of accumulating instincts, and Judge Watts had long been under the close, daily scrutiny of his fellow men. He was their "important" man in their community.
 
      Born in St. Clair County of Welsh ancestors in 1825, he had begun to accumulate his accolades through years of experience and service as blacksmith, county clerk, law student, State's Attorney, newspaper man, and legislator. It is one measure of the man that in 1873, standing as a very lonely member of the almost non existent Democratic party in a solidly Republican arena, he was elected Circuit Judge unbelievably by an Republican electorate. He was the peoples' choice and no one objected or apologized.
 
      From childhood onward, the future Judge lived and worked in Washington County; grew up among the families of early settlers there; and read law in the chambers and under the tutelage of the Hon. P. E. Hosmer, well known among Illinois' first generation lawyers. He was not an unexpected choice; therefore, when the citizens of Nashville came to him for suggestions in July, 1876. The deputation had hardly begun to layout their plans for a proper Centennial observance when the Judge began silently to grasp, agree and formulate just what could be done. Finally, yes, he would accept the commission; and, yes, he believed he knew how to go about its accomplishment: a story, a personal history of one of the county's oldest and first families; properly documented; easy to read; and honorable to perpetuate the beginnings of the county. The Judge mayor may not have disclosed entirely what (or who) he had in mind at the first meeting with the committee, and here, perhaps the Judge would, for the time being (he was a good lawyer) held his ideas close to his chest until he could plan his strategy. He did have a certain old family in mind; had known them all his life; his immediate problem which of the family would he contact, assuming she was still alive. Having committed himself to the project, the Judge rose, thanked the Centennial committee for choosing him, accompanied them to the door of his chambers. Within hours the Judge began his research.
 
      Getting into his buggy he drove southeast into Bolo Township and tied up his horse in front of the home of Frank McLean. In addition to his wife, Emily, and four children, the family included an elderly lady, in her eighties, named Mrs. Barbara Hutchings. Mrs. Hutchings nee Darter, twice married, twice widowed, was this writer's great, great grandmother. Steeped as he was in the histories of pioneer families who had farmed in the area before Illinois was a state or Washington a county, the Judge had known "Miss" Barbara and her kinfolk since he was a child. At the time of his visit to the home of Frank McLean, Barbara's grandson, the Judge knew the larger facts of her life ... the other old settlers did, too ... but his experience as a former editor, and trial lawyer had equipped him with a natural instinct for verifying his sources, not a bad habit when one is about to transfer a real life story into some kind of memorial for the use of future genealogists. The story, which he knew well but about to be verified by his personal interview with "Miss" Barbara and published for the local celebration of the Centennial, would first appear in print in the weekly edition of the Nashville "Journal". Long after the old lady and the jurist had become part of the folklore of Washington County, it would be referred to as the "Lively Massacre."
 
      Barbara Darter was born c. 1794 on or certainly close by the plantation established by her grandfather, Nicholas Darter, in (modem) Wythe County, Virginia. Nicholas had been honorably mentioned in official dispatches between Governor Thomas Jefferson and his field commanders who were guarding the vital lead mines in southwest Virginia at a time when the patriots in that area were gearing up for the coming battle of King's Mountain The Darter plantation was laid out between two low mountains in the kind of lush meadow which was so eagerly sought by the early German and Plain People for their farms. Nicholas Darter's own plantation house along a story book stream, with its spring house nearby the door and the brooding mountain on either side still present a scene and atmosphere which still delight the occasional Darter descendent who goes that way.
 
      By the laws of primogeniture, Barbara's father, Henry, being the first of Nicholas' many children, would have inherited the Wythe County plantation. Instead he decided to go west. For reasons not to be found in the annals or the records in the archives ... perhaps he had had some disagreement with his flinty German parent ... he left Virginia. He already had a wife (nee Ann Henderson) and sons of his own who make faint appearances as tax payers, road viewers and assorted mention in the first records of (modem) Floyd County, Kentucky.
 
      Some time after, and quite possibly related to the fact of General Anthony Wayne's victory over the troublesome Indians at the crucial battle of Fallen Timbers in modem Indiana, Henry and countless thousands of other pushers into heartland America felt the urge to push on.
 
      On Christmas eve, 1807 (the early history books report), Henry and Ann Darter, along with their four sons and one daughter (Barbara), arrived during a violent snow storm at a spot which was traceable to the southwest comer of (modem) Washington County, Illinois. Ann was possibly "carrying" her last child, a daughter to be named Rhoda. The family, near death from cold and starvation, was saved, ... again according to the first historians .... by the fortuitous meeting with a horseman riding by, probably a scout of some kind or a post rider.
 
      After marking the spot of their salvation, the family did not tarry in Washington County but pushed on, encouraged by the bit of jerky donated by the rider, until they came to and decided to rest along the Kaskaskia River at a spot now named Fayetteville in St. Clair County, but then identified with a rough Indian fort. At this point, we must interrupt the Darter story and switch over to another pioneer family whose motives for entering the west and their adventures in getting and staying there must bear more than a passing analogy to that of the Darter's. These were the several Huggins families.
 
      David Huggins, son of Patrick ... a pretty good guess would give them Irish forebears ... was probably born in that area of South Carolina along the Savannah River which for much of colonial history was known as Old Ninety Six. Later this large western portion of the colony would be divided into numerous counties, among them the one called Abbieville. At age 15, David is carried on the rolls of the Fifth South Carolina Regiment as a drummer boy. After he married Susannah, they were named as grantees in a land transaction, Patrick being the grantor. The parcel was described in the deed as being in Craven District, a vaguely known and hardly defined area, which was never precisely identified by boundaries but which must have generally referred to a large section of colonial South Carolina. When counties began to evolve, the name Craven seems to have been dropped and never referred to again.
 
      Among the enumerations of families on the last census record on which David is listed, one of his neighbors is a John Lively who at the time had probably already married David's sister.
 
      Around 1800, David and Susannah, in the company of David's brother, Robert Huggins and their sister, Mary Jane (Huggins) Lively, show up in the wilderness of what is now St. Clair County, possibly resting for a few weeks in or near the log fort at Fayetteville on the Kaskaskia River.
 
      Their four sons, who came with David and Susannah on the long trip into the Illinois Territory, have the names: William, Patrick, David, Jr., and Lewis, aka Louis, and these would be the sires of a large descendency including no small number of future soldiers whose names can be found among various Illinois archives. As much can not be said about the descendants of John and Mary Jane (Huggins) Lively, with one important exception, nor can the numerous lines springing from Robert Huggins throughout Perry County be nailed down with certainty, the searching being hag ridden by the custom of sprinkling every generation with a repetition of the same given names Robert, David, and William, plus an equal number of females: Jane and Martha, the latter made even more frustrating (to genealogists) by the ubiquitous and masking nicknames: Mandie, Pollie, Jennie, and Goldie.
 
      Between their arrival in pre statehood Washington County, Illinois and extending through the first decade of 1800, little is known of the daily, personal lives of David Huggins and his brother in law beyond the assumption that they seemed to prosper. The two families, with wives and children and one or two anonymous "hands" built and shared a communal log cabin; their livestock prospered; semi wild chickens and ducks roamed the woods freely but laid their share of life keeping eggs.
 
      Back east, President Madison, annoyed by the Britian's endless violations of the Treaty of Paris, which was intended to end the Revolutionary War but didn't, asked for a state of war to exist, the War of 1812. It did not heat up until 1814 and then disastrously for Americans. Eight hundred miles away in the wilderness of southern Illinois David Huggins and John Lively probably were never aware of the war until another wave of settlers who were veterans from it began to arrive and take up their bounty claims in the new Washington, St. Clair and Perry Counties, Illinois.
 
      One event they did learn about in a dramatic way; an earthquake which rattled the trees, waterways, log cabins and frightened settlers up and down the Mississippi River valley for many months in 1811.
 
      The spot that Huggins and Lively had chosen for their homestead in Covington Township included an ancient spring of sweet water, which had its source in a small cave tucked among the rocks and mosses below a depression and overhang. If the two men had given much thought, if any, to the possibility that this vital spring might be a sacred place to the roving Indians, that dangerous possibility was no deterrent to their plans for homesteading. The spring was necessary and it was handy, just a few yards from their log cabin home. But in 1813 the fact of lurking Indians did become a serious matter; unusual and frequent sounds coming from the surrounding woods seemed more and more to be something more ominous than those, which could be attributed to the natural sounds of animals and wind blowing through the tall prairie grasses. Sleep was being progressively interrupted; the farm animals stirred restlessly; looks were exchanged by adults over the heads of their wives and children. Finally, David Huggins decided not to trust his luck further. Taking Susannah and their sons ... two, William and Patrick, ... were now late teenagers, along with a reasonable share of live stock and portable food, David set out through the woods and following an old path toward the fort at Fayetteville in St. Clair County, a distance of some twenty walking miles, made what was possibly his first contact with the Darter family. It is an assumption that Henry Darter was then in partnership with one David Pulliam. More of that assumption later.
 
      Meanwhile, back at the homestead in Covington John Lively had begun to doubt his former notions of bravery. Would he be a match for a band of wild Indians who would decide to challenge the usurpers of their sacred spring. Deciding that time was running out, Lively sent two of the boys into the woods to round up the stray cattle; assigned his wife and younger children (one may have been a "hand") to milk the cows one last time; then they, too, set out along the path toward the safety of the fort at Fayetteville. They never made it.
 
      The Indians struck, and when they melted back into the forest they left behind them the bloody and scattered parts of five bodies. These the Rangers would gather up and bury hastily in shallow graves, which they marked by pushing five triangular shaped stones into the ground; without names of dates.
 
      It was later formulated into a consensus that, to the Indians, the Lively massacre was a symbolic retaking of their sacred spring. Their bloody work completed the Indians left, probably taking with them some odds and ends of pots, clothing and chickens; but they did not go entirely unnoticed. The two lads who had gone into the woods for stray farm animals had been in the act of returning when they were alarmed and halted behind trees from which they observed the last violent acts of buchery. From their hiding places the quaking boys were witnesses to the destruction of the lively family; whether they were able to give a definitive description of the Indians was, and remains, doubtful and later attempts by the Raiders to name the particular tribe remains a matter of debate now as it must have been for the survivors back at the fort. The two boys realized they were unable to prevent or even cope with the blood letting. Stumbling back, one boy carrying the other on his back for part of the journey, they arrived to tell the story (for the first time) of the Lively massacre.
 
      At this point in telling the story of the Lively family there must be an interruption in order to deal with a more happy episode if, it is possible to insert such a word into such an otherwise horrible story. This will be the story of little Jenny Lively. And while dealing with that, the problem (again for historians and especially genealogists) of fixing dates has to be dealt with.
 
      From the first telling of the massacre story, beginning with the account given by the two frightened boys, and including, but not limited to the version told by Barbara (Huggins) Hutchings to the Judge in 1876, the time for the Lively massacre has consistently remained July, 1813. There is no hard evidence for accepting that month. The outraged and revenge seeking Rangers who buried the body parts had no time, in their haste to chase and punish the Indians, to inscribe names and dates on the grave markers; and sixty years would pass until the Judge sat down to discuss the event with Barbara. Most settlers, including the Darters and Huggins, left no known diaries or letters dedicated to satisfying their relatives or historians. So that time, July, 1813, has remained open for opinion based on twice, three times removed repeats. Actually the exact date may still be entirely anecdotal except for another accompanying event which can be, and was documented.
 
      On April 28, 1813, a double wedding took place at that old fort near Fayetteville in St. Clair County, William Huggins was married to Miss Barbara Darter, and his brother, Patrick Huggins, was married to Miss Elizabeth Mitchell. When both dates are juxtaposed ... April 28th and July, 1813 ... the possibility arises that David Huggins and his family had departed the homestead at Covington some three months prior to the massacre, giving the two brothers sufficient time to eye the Darter and Mitchell girls and consider them wife material. During the same time period, the lurking Indians, peering through the foliage could have determined that John Lively was alone and vulnerable. There is also the ingredient fact that Fayetteville Precinct and the fort are not so far distant from Covington that the Huggins boys would have been familiar with the trail sufficient to encourage them to make not a few casual visits to the fort some months before the Indian trouble arose; that the double wedding had taken place and was known to David Huggins before he left Covington. By that time, given the April 28, 1813 date, Barbara and Elizabeth, new brides, had become members of the Covington homestead and were returning to the safety of their fathers' homes in Fayetteville Precinct. Whatever the true dates were, they were not a part of Judge Watts' publication.
 
      The second, "happier," and certainly more time spanning event concerns the little Lively child, Jane, known afterwards as Jenny, and later as "Aunt Jenny." One more time, Judge Watts does not allow her much space in his story, deciding that it might detract from and diminish the excitement and drama of the Lively massacre. For the full story of Jenny,this writer was blessed to make the interesting if short lived acquaintance of one of her descendants, another telling which must be postponed if for no other reason than its long and complicated history.
 
      Jenny was a small, pretty child with large appealing eyes ... probably brown if she had carried that particular Huggins gene .... and was the younger daughter of John and Mary Jane (Huggins) Lively. One day a passing caravan, bound for Kaskaskia (Illinois' Territorial capital) to record a deed or register some military bounty land claim, dismounted at the Huggins Lively cabin for a few hours to fill their canteens with fresh water from the spring. The women did what all pioneer women did at their infrequent meetings; they exchanged tales of childbirth (and death) on their various treks westward from Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, through the Cumberland or Rabun Passes. This passing group included the Caudle family and as the visit wore on one of the women (or perhaps a father or uncle) fell in love with the beautiful little Jenny, begged her parents to let her ride along with them, stay a few months until a foster mother could overcome her grief over a recently lost child. Or become pregnant once more. Whatever the source or power of persuasion or display of real grief a Caudle woman was allowed to lift Jenny up beside her and disappear with her along the trail toward Kaskaskia.
 
      Jenny never saw her parents again and when she became of a marriageable age of thirteen or fourteen she was married to William Caudle. Together they produced one of the most numerous descendencies in southern Illinois, certainly among the most remembered in the history of Randolph County. Just as the succeeding generations of Huggins, Livelys and Darters loaded the courthouse records of Washington, St. Clair, Perry and Randolph Counties, Illinois, the Caudles accounted for a large chunk of the vital records at Chester in Randolph County.
 
      * * *
 
      Following the massacre at Covington in 1813, David Huggins did not return immediately to the homestead in Covington and the sad spectra of the five stones which the Rangers had stuck into the graves of the Lively family. Instead he took his family for a long sojourn with his brother, Robert, in Perry County to the south. He did return to Covington in time, however, and died there.
 
      Meantime his grandchildren were mounting in number. Patrick and Elizabeth probably stayed on in St. Clair County where there is an old abandoned burial ground which speaks of, but not definitely, that his descendants lived on in New Athens Township. His brother, William Huggins, died young, circa 1820, just before or just after Barbara bore their third child and only son, Henry Huggins, who would become this writer's great grandfather. Of Barbara and William's two daughters, Elizabeth would marry twice: William McLean and Peter Scronce; Susan would become Mrs. Joseph Bridges. Henry married Elizabeth S. Curtis in 1841.
 
      His interview with Barbara concluded, Judge Watts wrote his account of the Lively Massacre (undoubtedly the first version, but not the last, to appear in print). To the complete satisfaction of the Centennial committee who had approached him, the Judge's publication appeared in several of the July, 1876 issues of the Nashville "Journal." Portions of it ... usually suffering from the seasonal retelling ... have appeared in other publications since. It was an age when small publishing houses began to mushroom all over America, sending out their writers, sketch artists and front men to interview old settlers, draw pictures of their farm houses, highlighting their political, social and church affiliations, and always concentrating on the "important" families, passing over the farmers and common folk, unless, of course, the latter happened to have been involved in that "recent unpleasantness", the Civil War, in which event several pages were included to make lists of the communities' veterans. Not a bad source of genealogical material. As valuable as these first generation histories were, and continue to be, they were full of errors, careless spellings, casual dates and invariably illustrated with the stiff, lined drawings of barns., courthouses and animals which predated the age of the camera. But with all their faults, omissions and over simplifications these first histories remain, along with the census records and grave stones, a major source of genealogical searching. In a following century the better equipped (as to finance and reproductive devices) the agents of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) would pick up on the effort; but whereas the early newsmen and publishers were circumscribed by doing their harvesting in rural, pioneer towns and counties, the LDS have extended their own kind of searching and gathering world wide.
 
      Among the early publishers which sent its agents into places like Washington, St. Clair, Perry and Randolph Counties, Illinois, was the firm of Brink, McDonough & Company of Philadelphia, with its correspondence office at Edwardsville (Madison County) Illinois. Even as Judge Watts was interviewing Barbara (Darter) (Huggins) Hutchings in her grandson's home at Bolo Township, Brink McDonough and that ilk were, and had been busy doing their thing all over Illinois. It is noteworthy that Brink's first volume ...there would be revisions and updates...subtitled "History of Washington County, Illinois, With Illustrations, Descriptions of its Scenery, and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent (read that "important") Men and Pioneers", appeared in 1879, three years after Judge Watts had written the story of his interview with Barbara. It was in this 1879 Brink history that the stories of the Darters' arrival and the Indian massacre of the Lively family, which are described later in this account, are contained.
 
      Prior to the advent of the Civil War, Nashville saw the appearance and the swift demise of a succession of small newspapers in the German language. As one generation of German settlers followed another; as the educated and cultural centered pioneers from middle Europe began to arrive, thrive and advance in Washington County, they grew apart from the daily use of their native tongue, became fluent in English ... indeed, scores of their young men and women became fine teachers in the little one room school houses ... the utility of the German language papers declined and finally ceased publication. It was the excitement, dread and demand for news coming out of the battlefields of the Civil War, which finally propelled into life Nashville's first permanent (weekly) newspaper, the "Journal." In the 1930's and 1940's, the Journal would be succeeded by the "News," which continues today. All extant issues of both publications have since, and continue to be placed on microfilm and offered for sale by the Illinois State Historical Society in Springfield, Illinois. The Journal, like most of the small weeklies across America prior to telegraphy, were for the most part, copy cat "rehashers" of odds and ends garnered, often months later, from the older Eastern papers, but the Civil War brought to the mid American, prairie readers a sense of urgency and with it a demand for more personal, more local news; the quicker the better. Eager for late news of the battles, losses and jingoistic opinions, which the early newspapers thrived on, the families in Nashville and Washington Counties eagerly paid out their pennies for each weekly issue which they hoped, even while dreading, that they might find accounts of the battles which they imagined their men and boys might have had some part.
 
      Prior to his popular election to the Circuit bench, John Amos Watts had been, from time to time, one of the several co publishers of the Nashville Journal from its beginning in 1863. Gradually the paper began to expand to include more personal, church, social, and, of course political items. It would be many more years before the editors would be bold enough to branch out into personal, informative obituaries. It was a curious attitude of the age that to mention an individuals name in public or in print was an open invitation to slander and litigation, more egregious still if the reference was to a female; if the female happened to be a married woman a duel was surely indicated. However, and again as a by product of the very personal, very tragic Civil War, the news items, including the obituaries gradually became more detailed, more specific. Whereas it was once possible to read an obituary in which the phrases were full of praise for the deceased's private life and accomplishments but omitting the actual name of the dearly departed, it came to pass that the details became more personal and informative.
 
      Beginning with the 1850 national Census, all members of a household are listed, not just the head of the house. To say the least, future genealogists seeking out long forgotten pioneers of Washington County, Illinois, began to take heart.
 
      Without intending the result, which he was pioneering, Judge Watts, by interviewing Barbara (Darter) (Hugging) Hutchings in 1876, stands in the forefront of this advent into personalized news reporting. Without his interview of the lady and his subsequent story in the Nashville Journal, it is possible that the known facts (now known) about her life may never have been launched.
 
      Miss Barbara Darter would be married twice and twice widowed. With three children to raise ... she probably had to return to her father's home for a while ... and still a young woman when William Huggins died, circa 1820, it was unusual that she would wait some eight years before marrying Richard Hutchings, a veteran of the Mexican War. He, too, a widower, had one married daughter, Judith, who became Mrs. George Larkin and who, apparently died young and childless, causing her father to expend his frustrated grandfather affections on Barbara's three children. When William Huggins died so young, it galvanized his own father, David, into thinking about a Will, which he took care of forthwith, naming among his beneficiaries Barbara's three children. David's estate was small; his legacies to his grandchildren of a like size. However, the estate of Richard Hutchings was more substantial, certainly more extended, since it is of a certainty that the small farm which the Mexican War veteran owned in Bolo Township, became the property of his small stepson, Henry Huggins. It was on this farm that this writer's grandfather, Elsa Huggins, and his large family were born.
 
      Richard Hutchings made his Will in 1854. It provided for Barbara's children and her son in law, Francis McLean, with the provision that he, McLean, should care for Barbara and see to it that the testator and his widow would have a proper burial (with grave stones), internment to be in the Darter cemetery: in the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 9, Township 3 South, Range 2 West. Hutchings' grave stone is still above ground and readable and there is very little doubt Barbara was buried close by but thanks to time, prairie winds and the busy claws of resident ground hogs her stone can not be found. Richard Hutchings' Will and that of his son in law, George Larkin, were witnessed by brothers and nephews of Barbara.
 
      One of the many footnotes to the Darter story involves a constantly recurring name: David Pulliam. In spite of its nagging repetition throughout the histories and newspapers of St. Clair and Washington Counties, the Pulliam family in general and this David Pulliam are as quick silver for the genealogist. Throughout, and given his obvious speculations in land deals and obituaries, the name Pulliam is never far distant from that of Henry Darter and his offspring. From the time when Darter and Pulliam were joint operators of a crude ferry across the Kaskaskia River at Fayetteville, until their burial in the Darter cemetery in Beaucoup Township, the two names are forever linked. No Darter Pulliam marriage can be found to cement their relationship beyond a number of business adventures and those usually associated to and circumscribed by close friendly ties. When the first citizens of Nashville felt the need for a town charter in 1833, they needed one hundred dollars in hard cash ... a rare commodity ... to pay for the chartering fee demanded by the authorities at Kaskaskia. They first sought the financing from the only man who seems to have had that much cash, David Pulliam. Pulliam made no attempt to conceal his personal disgust for the project, so the people turned to another money man, Robert Middleton, for the underwriting of their charter.
 
      Within the circle of gravestones containing those of Henry and Ann Darter are also to be found, in addition to two of their sons and Richard Hutchings, a marker for one William Pulliam. Was he a son of David Pulliam or a brother? There are some hundred burials, which can be documented for the Darter cemetery. Some are Darters, but an equal number of names on the stones are otherwise, indicating that the family plot established by Henry Darter after he had moved from St. Clair to Washington County became a community property for the use, not only of Henry's own immediate and extended family, but others who once formed the now extinct but once thriving hamlet known as Bethel. Bethel and Beaucoup, another hamlet nearby, once enjoyed the friendly rivalries associated with pie suppers, ball games, school prizes. Each of three hamlets .... another was Little Prairie ... enjoyed a symbiotic existence until the pre WWII generation when the little (probably Methodist) church and school houses which Henry Darter and his sons had set up were abandoned and the lumber moved into Nashville for building sheds and outhouses. The sole remainder of this prairie triumvirate is the charming, historically important village of Beaucoup the only connecting reminder of the three being their individual burial grounds with their fatigued grave markers.
 
      After her 1876 interview with the Judge, Barbara (Darter) (Huggins) Hutchings lived on to see her nephews and grandsons return home safely from the scattered battlefields


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