Finding Illinois Ancestors at Genealogy Trails

White County

Genealogy and History



Source:  "History of White county, Illinois, Together with sketches of its cities..."; Inter-State Publishing company, Chicago, IL;  1883

Transcribed by Kim Torp


The township of Carmi, being almost wholly absorbed in the history of Carmi as a village, town and city, has but little left to be said here. Nearly all the earliest residents of this township have been so identified with the town of Carmi that their names appear either under that head or in the more general chapters of White County's history, as u Early Settlements " of the county, "Legal," "Political," "Eminent Dead," etc. Their names are too numerous to repeat in this place.

Among the oldest living residents of Carmi Township, as it now exists, is Ninian W. Young, who came to this county in 1822, at the age of thirteen years. He was brought here by his parents from Butler County, Ky., who settled near Liberty, in Burnt Prairie Township. Two years and a half afterward they moved to the place still occupied by the subject of this paragraph, just west of the fair-ground. Mr. Young was in the Black Hawk war, in Captain Haynes's company, and was present at the capture of the old Indian chief himself. April 12, 1833, Mr. Young married Martha Ward, a native of Virginia, who died about 1854, leaving the following children: Ellen, who married James Hardin and is now living near the old homestead west of Carmi; Thomas, who died about 1805; Lucinda, who died about 1874. Mr. Young afterward married Mrs. Alpha Newman, a native of Kentucky, and their children are Frank, Leora and Sherman. By her former husband Mrs. Young has one son living, Monroe, on the old homestead.

Mr. Young is a living monument of the very ancient past of White County, and is therefore one of those who have passed through all the experiences of pioneering. He is one of the tallest men in the county, being six feet and one inch in height. His reminiscences of early life are substantially the same as those related in the chapter on "Pioneer Life" (Chap. III.) in this work. He has killed many a deer, wild turkey, etc. One time, between Carmi and Burnt Prairie, he chased a bear to an occupied house, into which he was about to break, when Mr. Young hastened up and knocked him down with a piece of fence rail and killed him, thus preventing him from entering the dwelling.

To Mr. Young are we indebted for many items given in Chapter I of this work, under the head of "Zoology". Among the curiosities not elsewhere noticed in this work were a link and spike discovered by Mr. Y., in 1882, high up in a tree, which had been grown over for many years. They were evidently placed there by Indians in order to secure some article in a place of safety.

Dempsey Brashier was one of the earliest settlers of the present Carmi Township, whose name may not appear elsewhere in this volume.   Descendants of his are still residents here.

Carmi Precinct, as an election district and jurisdiction of the justice of the peace and constable, existed for many years, up to 1872, with the following boundaries: On the north by Burnt Prairie Precinct, which lay altogether north of the Skillet Fork; on the east by Fox River and Prairie precincts; on the south by Herald's Prairie Precinct, which lay altogether south of Lick Creek; and on the west by Enfield. The town of Carmi was almost at the center of its precinct. On the adoption of township organization in 1872, Carmi Township was made coincident with Congressional township 5 south, 9 east, and is thus but half the size of the former Carmi Precinct, and the city of Carmi touches the east line.

The land of Carmi Township, in respect to its topographical and agricultural character, is about the average of what White County is west of the Little Wabash. No stream of water of any importance runs through it; the land at the central and southern portions is generally flat, while the western, northern and eastern portions are broken respectively by Seven-Mile Creek, the tributaries of Skillet Fork, and the Little Wabash. Seven-Mile Prairie touches the west side, and excepting this the township was originally very heavily timbered. No barrens and no sandy places were ever within the present bounds of Carmi Township.

Modern drainage of farms, by tilling and otherwise, has proved so beneficial that many farmers till even gravelly hills, averring that it pays. How much more important is it then to put such drains through low and flat lands! Nearly all the swamp lands which are now considered useless could in a few years, and will ultimately, be made the best productive land in the country. This system alone will add millions annually to the wealth of White County.

Among the first systematically surveyed and excavated ditches ever made in White County for the sake of farm improvement, was surveyed and excavated in November, 1882, just as this book goes to press. It is on the Storms' estate between one and two miles south of Carmi, and extends from north to south across section 25, one-forth of a mile west of its east line. The work is the enterprise of Mr. Sidney M. Rogers, the proprietor in trust, who employed ex-County Surveyor John Mills to lay out the ditch and draft the work on paper. This draft is on a scale of 100 feet to the inch, and shows the line of the bottom of the ditch to reach from 7.8 inches above the surface of the ground to 10.6 feet below—the latter being a high point near the river. The fall is one inch per 100 feet, and the southern terminus, or mouth, is at the river. A stake is set for the workmen every 100 feet, with the depth of excavation indicated on each. This ditch will not only drain a large portion of the farm, but also carry off that immense amount of water which collects on the bottom lands above, between the high ground next the river and the higher general level. It will also render practicable a good road-way near it, and, when the river is bridged on this line, a good road will be made through to points south much more direct than any now existing. To the first school-house south of the river here, for instance, the road will be only three miles, where now it is seven.

This ditch promises to be of so great public benefit that the Highway Commissioners, Messrs. James Renshaw and Lewis Reap, indorse it and render public assistance.

There are several mineral springs within the bounds of Carmi Township. At two places have buildings been erected for the accommodation of visitors and invalids, namely, the "Logan Springs," now owned by Elias Robinson, and located about four miles southwest of Carmi, and the "Hill Springs," a half mile further from Carmi, owned by Edward Hill.  Mineral springs abound along the banks of the Little Wabash. One man avers that he was cured of an inveterate disease by drinking from a spring on section 25, near the center of the south side of the Storms estate.

The following, compiled from the county superintendent's report, shows the progress of schools in the township since 1860, including the city:

1860.—Number of scholars, 340; average attendance, 57; number of schools, 6; number of male teachers, 5; female, 1; person in township under twenty-one, 797; average number of months school, 8; number of log school-houses, 4; frame 1; brick, 1; teachers' wages, $12 to $60 a month; average, $36.33 to male teachers, and $21 to female; township fund $600; State fund, $812; tax, $3,315.26; whole amount paid teachers, $2,137; total amount received for school purposes, $4,580,88; expended, $4,180.88.

1882.—Number of males under twenty-one, 1,000; females, 1,041; total, 2,041; number of males over six years of age, 692; females, 707; number of graded schools, 2; ungraded, 7; number between twelve and twenty-one, unable to read and write, 35; total number of months of school, 53 1/2; average number of months, 6; number of pupils enrolled, 1,008; number of male teachers, 9; female, 7; total days' attendance of pupils, 89,638; number of brick school-houses, 2; frame, 6; log, 1; number of private schools, 12; number of pupils in private schools, 184; teachers, 10. Highest monthly wages paid to male teachers, §75; female $40; lowest monthly wages paid any male teacher, $22; female, $35; amount earned by male teachers, 82,591.36; female, $2,290.-07; amount of district tax levied for the support of schools, $6,125; estimated value of school property, $22,980; amount of bonded school debt, $9,448; income of township fund received during the year $68.99; received from county superintendent, $1,780.41; compensation of treasurers, $265; amount distributed to districts reported in this county, $1,589.65; total amount received by the township treasurer during the year ending June 30, 1882, $14-785.92 (sic); expenditures during the year, $9,170.72.


Supervisors. — Orlando Burrell, 1873; Christian Cook, 1874; F. J. Foster, 1875-'6-'7-'8-'9; Christian Cook, 1880; Jacob Zeigler, 1881; Joseph Pfister, Assistant Supervisor, 1881; Elvis Stinnett, 1882; J. P. Newman, Assistant Supervisor, 1882.

Clerks. — William H. Phipps, 1873-'4-'5-'6; Richard Spicknall, Jr., 1877; John Boyer, 1878; Nathaniel Holderby, 1879; J.T.R. Bozeman, 1880-'1-'2.

Assessors.—Samuel R. Jones, 1873; James B. Allen, 1874,'-5-,'6; James H. Mason, 1877; James T. R. Bozeman, 1878; James B. Allen, 1879; G. R. Little, 1880; Herman F. W. Fisher, 1881; A. L. Bingman, 1882.

Collectors.— George Zeigler, 1873; Jacob Bruder 1874-'5-'6; Wm. H. Phipps, 1877-'8, 1880-'1-'2.

Commissioners of Highways.—Alfred Haddon, 1873; David Youngs, 1874; John Lamp, 1875; Christian Cook and Wm. A. St. John, 1876-7; B. F. Howell, 1878; James B. Renshaw, 1879; Lewis Reap, 1880; Deitrich Freibergher, 1881; James B. Renshaw, 1882.

Justices of the Peace.— James S. Boyd and Calvin Cushman, 1873; James S. Boyd, Richard L. Organ and Michael Anderson, 1877; Richard L. Organ, Thomas G. Parker, George Lamp and Thomas W. Hay, 1881.

Constables.— Sanford Cochran and Phineas L. Bozeman, 1873; Wm. F. Miller, Geo. St. John and Frank Mitchem, 1877; Walter Blount, 1880; Sanford Cochran, Walter Blount, Lucius D. Cushman and Frederick Williams, 1881.

School Trustees— Robert F. Stewart, 1873-'5; George S. Staley, 1877; B. B. Graham, 1878; Jacob Lichtenberger, 1879; George S. Staley, 1880; N. D. Brockett, 1881; Jacob Lichtenberger, 1832.

Overseers of Highways.—District No. 1.—A. J. Brashier, 1874: Chris. Roser, 1875; Joseph Pfister, 1876-7; Chris. Roser, 1880-1: Chris. Lichtenberger, 1882.

District No. 2.—George Zeigler, 1874; Wm. Zeigler, 1875; Jacob Burkhard, 1876; Wm. Zeigler, 1877-80; Jacob Lichtenberger, 1831; Mike Venters, 1882.

District No. 3.— Abraham Land, 1874; George Hays, 1875: Fieldon Miller, 1876-7; Thomas Newman, 1880-'2.

District No. 4.—William A. Miller, 1874; L. D. Cushman, 1875- 6; James Pryor, 1877-'8; John Lamp. 1881-'2.

District No. 5.—John S. Cochran, 1874; B. F. Howell. 1875: E. C. Bingman, 1876-7; John C. Sanders, 1880; A. L. Bingman, 1881; Sol. Renshaw, 1882.

District No. 6—A. J. Sholtz, 1874; Orlando Burrell, 1875; A. J. Ratley, 1876; Chris. Barringer, 1877, 1880; Jacob Maurer. 1881-'2.

District No. 7.—Walter Hood, 1874-7; Theodore Rhine, 1880: Walter Hood, 1881; Fielding Miller, 1882.

District No. 8.—John Gaines, 1874-'5; Charles W. Harvey, 1876- 7, 1880; Wright Hayes, 1881-'2.

District No. 9.—Milo Smith, 1874; Geo. W. Hughes, 1875; George Logan, 1876-7; Geo. W. Hughes, 1880-'1; John Colton, 1882.

District No. 10.—John A. Duncan, 1874-'6; Ira Martin, 1877, 1880-'2.

The amount levied by the Township Board for township purposes each year since the organization of the township is as follows: 1873, $300; 1874, $400; $1875, $500; 1876, $300; 1877, $300; 1878, $300; 1879, $1,000; 1880, $700; 1881, $1,200; 1882, $2,300. On the 16th of October, 1878, the township incurred a bonded indebtedness of $3,000, the proceeds of which were to aid in the construction of the iron bridge at Carmi across the Little Wabash River. These bonds were made payable in three years, and due in five years. The large levy of $2,300 for 1882 was made for the purpose of enabling the township to pay $1,000 of this indebtedness, besides paying its current expenses. This is the only indebtedness of the township.



My first recollections of Carmi are, that in 1814 or the spring of 1815 I was at the mill now owned by Mr. Staley, but then by Lowry Hay and Leonard White. It was a small frame building with two run of stones, grinding only corn. It stood about where the present mill is, but a little farther into the river. The dam was a sort of frame structure. Mr. Hay lived in a double cabin, on the bank northeast of the mill. Immediately around the mill there were no houses, and none where Carmi now is. The town was laid on the following February, and in the spring James Graham moved to Carmi and built the house now standing on the west bank of the river, just below the bridge, and owned by Deputy-Sheriff Harsha, and established a ferry where the bridge now stands.

James Ratcliff, the first County Clerk, built a cabin on the lot where Thomas Wilson now owns, and also a store where George Steiger lives, which was kept by George Hargrave. This was the first store in Carmi. About the same time Leonard White moved up from the Saline Lick and built the house now occupied by the widow of George Patrick, and also the Ready house, now occupied by George McHenry. James Gray came in 1816 or 1817, and lived in the rear portion of Ratcliff's store. He soon built a cabin on a lot now owned by Hester McCoy, and afterward a store near the corner of Main and Walnut. Dr. Josiah Stewart arrived soon after the war of 1812, and located near Graham's. Dr. Shannon came about 1818, and erected the building now occupied by the bank of Hay & Webb.

Simeon Smith came from Boston, Mass., in early day, and resided where F. E. Hay's mansion now stands. He was a carpenter by trade and built the old jail.   He returned afterward to Boston.

Carmi was platted in 1816 and became the county seat. Around this were many good and worthy families. There were Daniel Hay, a most excellent gentleman; James Gray, the founder of Grayville; Thomas Gray, his brother, universally beloved by all who came in contact with him; Colonel Asa Ross, a plain, old-fashioned man who meant just what he said; Dr. Thomas Shannon, a very eminent physician, and a man of sterling integrity; Dr. Josiah Stewart, a good physician, and much loved by the entire community; Lowry Hay, who was well respected by his neighbors; John Storms, County Surveyor for over thirty years, and was admired and respected by the entire community for his noble qualities of head and heart; these, with many others, were the early settlers in the neighborhood of Carmi. They had a fearful contest in the battle of life. Isolated from any highway of travel, the only chance for transportation for person, produce or merchandise was the common dirt road, by wagon, or wait for the tide of the Little Wabash.

are the following: The Patrick house, a frame, on the north side of Main street, near the bridge; it was built by Mr. Grant; a frame below the Damron House; a frame owned by a daughter of Albert R. Shannon, a little south of the building occupied by Hay & Webb's bank; and a log house, covered with siding, where the City Bakery now is, a little above the Storms place. The bakery building was erected in 1816 by John and Young Funkhouser, and was the first residence of Hezekiah Hargrave after his marriage. The two-story frame on the south side of Main street, next the bridge, with a stone chimney on the outside at the west end, was the first hotel in Carmi, kept by James S. Graham.

of a white child was probably that of Burnett Graham, brother of Richard S. Graham.

was that of Elizabeth Graham, wife of James S., and mother of Richard S., now living; and she was likewise the first to be buried in Carmi Cemetery.

in Carmi was kept by James S. Graham, referred to above, and subsequently by Richard, his brother. The building still stands, nearest the bridge. The first ferry was also owned and run by the Grahams.

For several years previous to 1845 Southern Illinois had suffered much from the effect caused by thousands of her hardiest and no-blest citizens becoming discouraged and emigrating. Some went North, some went West, and some took the Texas fever and went South. But after a time this drain upon Egypt ceased, and emigration commenced finding its way into the inviting fields of Southern Illinois. At that time Carmi was too dead to skin. Very little business was done; many of her business men were broken up and lit out for new fields. The entire population would not have numbered 300 souls all told. Grayville was recuperating and made some show of life, but her people were poor in purse. As a whole, the people in the county were showing signs of improvement. The farmers were getting out of debt, and making additions to their fields by extending their fences and taking in more land. The demand was fully up to the supply of farm laborers, and, in time, White County was not a bad place to live in, for all was peace and good will.


Carmi was incorporated as a town Jan. 30, 1840, with the usual franchises, if the citizens should accept such charter from the Legislature; but this they neglected to do.

Feb. 9, 1857, an act of the General Assembly was approved incorporating the town of Carmi, subject to a majority of all the votes cast on the first Monday following, and including within the corporate limits all the ground within 800 yards of the center of the court-house. This would make the corporation a "round body;" but for this or some other reason, this act was repealed Feb. 24, 1859, and the money in the treasury ordered to be paid over to "Wm. A. St. John, to be expended in the improvement of the streets and alleys of the place". Feb. 13, 1867, the town was again incorporated, this time independently of any popular vote, and declaring the jurisdiction to be "all that district of country known as the northeast quarter of section 13, the north half of the southeast quarter of section 13, the northeast fourth of the southwest quarter of section 13, and the east half of the northwest quarter of section 13, all in township 5 south, of range 9 east, in the county of White."

A meeting was held May 1 to choose three judges and two clerks of election, as provided for in the act of the Legislature. George Patrick was elected Chairman of this meeting, and James B. Hinde, Clerk. Martin Vaught, James G. Stokes and John C. Slocumb were duly elected Judges, and William Phipps and Samuel Thompson were elected Clerks of said election, and all were duly sworn by James B. Hinde, Clerk of the Circuit Court of White County.   The meeting then adjourned.

The election for town officers was held May 1, 1867, and resulted as follows: Trustees, John M. Crebs, William A. St. John, Michael Anderson, George S. Staley and Henry W. Cook ; Police Magistrate, George Patrick; Treasurer, John G. Powell; Town Constable, Thomas Poynton.

The council met at the office of Crebs & Conger, May 14, 1867, and proceeded to organize by electing John M. Crebs, President, and J. I. McClintock, Clerk. J. C. Slocumb was chosen Supervisor of Streets, and his bond was fixed at $5.00. The first ordinance passed was one providing for licenses for shows, circuses, museums, etc. The next ordinance passed related to licenses for hawkers, peddlers, etc. Ordinances number 3 and 4 provided no liquor should be sold without a license, and the fee for such  license was fixed at $25 per year for malt liquors, and $100 per-year for all liquors. The other ordinances passed at the first meeting of the Common Council of Carmi related to the fees of the police magistrate and constable, of witnesses and jurors, road labor, protection of fruit and ornamental trees, etc., nuisances, disturbance of the peace, care of sidewalks, and the stated meeting of the council. The council was appointed to meet the second Wednesday of each month, an arrangement which remained in force until the adoption of a city form of government, in 1873. These ordinances were published in the White County Advocate.

The governmental machinery of Carmi ran smoothly along, after being thus put in motion, without change of form until 1873. The officers each year were as follows :

1867. —Trustees, John M. Crebs (President), William A. St. John, Michael Anderson, George S. Staley and Henry W. Cook ; Police Magistrate, George Patrick ; Treasurer, John G. Powell ; Constable, Thomas Poynton ; Street Supervisor, J. C. Slocumb ; Clerk, J. I. McClintock.

1868. —Trustees, Charles E. McDowell (President), Charles J F Wilson, George S. St. John, Peter Gill and Michael Anderson; Police Magistrate, George Patrick; Treasurer, John G. Powell; Constable, William Tucker; Clerk, J. I. McClintock; Street Supervisor, Valentine Hoone.

1869 —Trustees, George S. Staley (President), Chauncey S. Conger, Abner Boyer, James Fackney and Nathaniel P. Graham; Clerk, J. I. McClintock (resigned), North Storms (to succeed McClintock); Police Magistrate, William Thomas; Treasurer, George Williams; Constable, R. T. Ward; Street Supervisor, Daniel Berry.

1870. —Trustees, F. J. Foster (President), J. M. Damron, B. L. Patrick, Jasper Partridge and J. G. Powell; Clerk, North Storms; Police Magistrate, J. S. Boyd; Constable, Frederick Williams ; Street Commissioner, E. J. Conger (removed), G. S. St. John (to fill vacancy).

1871. —Trustees, G. S. Staley (President), James Fackney, James H. Shipley, William H. Cook and Frederick Becker; Clerk, North Storms; Treasurer, R. S. Graham; Constable, George S. St. John; Street Commissioner, ---

1872. —Trustees, George S. Staley (President), F. Becker, J. Bruter, C. Cook, ?. G S. St. John; Clerk, North Storms; Treasurer, George Williams; Constable, John Flynn; Street Supervisor, John Flynn.

March 10, 1873, an election was held to determine whether Carmi should be organized as a city "under general law," which resulted in 135 votes being cast for city organization, and 105 against city organization — a majority of twenty-nine in favor of the change.   At the same special election, the question of minority representation in the city council was voted upon with the following result:  For minority representation, 139; against minority representation, 34—a majority in favor of 105.

A census of Carmi, taken at this time by Messrs. P. A. Pearce and W. H. Phipps, in accordance with a resolution of the council, showed the population of the city to be 1,294.

The election for city officers took place April 15, 1873. The officers for that year and each year since are as follows:

1873. —Mayor, E. L. Stewart; Aldermen, B. L. Patrick, C. Cook, Jacob Bruder, David Bowling, J. D. Martin, J. Partridge; Clerk, W. H. Phipps; Treasurer, Samuel Strong; City Attorney, P. A. Pearce; Police Magistrate, T. G. Parker; Marshal, George W. Clark, Conrad Miller to succeed Clark; Superintendent of Streets, William Beck, Conrad Miller to succeed Beck.

1874. —Aldermen, Jacob Bruder, John D. Martin and Ira Reeves; Police Magistrate, Samuel H. Martin; Collector, John H. Brown.

1875. —Mayor, Ross Graham; Aldermen, Samuel Strong, G. W. Wissinger and William Beck; Clerk, W. H. Phipps; Treasurer, R. F. Stewart; Attorney, P. A. Pearce; Marshal, John W. Stricklin (resigned), J. W. Darling to fill vacancy; Superintendent of Streets, Frank Mitchem.

1876. —Aldermen, J. D. Martin, Dauiel Berry and W. M. Barth; Marshal (to fill vacancy), Frank Mitchem (removed), Charles Houghtaling.

1877. —Mayor, Leroy L. Staley; Aldermen, Byrd L. Patrick, Elam L. Stewart and Samuel Strong; Clerk, William H. Phipps; Treasurer, William R. Cochran; Attorney, Richard L. Organ; Police Magistrate, Everton J. Conger, Marshal, James B. Allen.

1878. —Aldermen, Charles Houghtaling, W. Marx Barth and John C. Slocumb.

1879. —Mayor, Christian Cook; Aldermen, Ross Graham, W. H. Johnson and G. H. Phar, Clerk, William H. Phipps; Treasurer, Samuel Strong; Attorney, N. Holderby; Marshal, William F. Miller.

1880. —Aldermen, Thomas Poynton, John Parvin and Abner Boyer; Police Magistrate, James B. Allen; Attorney, Charles P. Berry; Marshal, Simon Grant; Superintendent of Streets, Holmes L. Brockett; Treasure (to fill vacancy caused by the death of Samuel Strong), William R. Cochran.

1881. —Mayor, Orlando Burrell; Aldermen, Simon Grant, John R. Jones and William Beck; Clerk, William R. Phipps; Treasurer, William R. Cochran; Attorney, Charles P. Berry; Police Magistrate, James B. Allen; Marshal, George Gallman.

1882.—Aldermen, James Wallace, Joseph A. Maier and B. L. Patrick; Marshal, Henderson Dale; Superintendent of Streets, Holmes L. Brockett; Aldermen (to fill vacancies Jacob Bruder and Joseph A. Maier; Attorney, Daniel H. Patrick)


The only bonded indebtedness of Carmi was incurred on the 21st of December, 1872, to the amount of $14,000. This was in aid of the construction of the Cairo & Vincennes Railroad. In 1878, 1879 and 1881 portions of this indebtedness were canceled — in all $5,600. This year (1882) provision has been made for the payment of $2,000 more of the bonds. In a few years the debt will be entirely paid off. The city has no floating indebtedness, or outstanding warrants, but has always had money in the treasury.

Carmi is situated mainly on section 13, of township 5 south, range east. The streets of the older portion of the city run parallel with, or perpendicular to, the river; Main street, the chief thoroughfare, being, for instance, 37 deg. 30 min. from east and west. West of the river, the streets are: south of Main—Robinson, Kerney, Webb and Ratcliff; north of Main—Cherry, Shockaw, Pleasant, Rowling, Rock and Short. Commencing at the river, and crossing Main, the first, which is about one square from the river, is Locust, then Main Cross, Walnut, Church, Jessup, Rice, Partridge, Slocumb, Grant, Olive and Plum. The newer portion of the town, sometimes called West Carmi, which has been made principally by the railroads, lies west and northwest of the older, and the streets correspond with the cardinal points of the compass, that is, they are "square with the world." The principal street here is named Stewart, and runs due east and west through the middle of section 13. South of it are Elm and Oak streets, and north are Smith, Fackney, Sycamore, Maple and Shipley. The head, or eastern extremity of Stewart street, is, at its junction with First street, in the center of town; and the streets lying parallel with, and west of, First, are numbered in order up to Seventh street.

East of the river, in East Carmi, the only street south of Main is Hay (the eastern half of this being called Sandy street), and the only street north is named White. North of the railroad, however, is Leroy street, which is a continuation of Shipley street. The street nearest the river, on the east side, is named Water, and parallel with it are First, Staley and St. Louis.

The two railroads run through Carmi on one track, which is almost parallel with Main street, crossing the river on Pleasant street, and on the west side of the town, crossing Stewart street near its junction with Sixth.

Stickney's, made by Wm. H. Stickney, of Chicago, July 10, 1844, comprises seven or eight blocks near the railroad, on the west side of the river.   Stickney's second addition was made Aug. 11, 1856.

Harris's, made March 28, 1858, comprises a small tract on the west side of Whiting street.
Smith's, made by Simeon Smith, June 13, 1860, lies between First and Second streets, extending from Stewart street to the railroad.
Robinson & Thompsons deeded Aug. 16, 1860, lies between Main and Robinson streets, and is the first block west of Church street.
Thomas & Smith's is bounded by Main, Kerney, Partridge and Grant streets, and was made June 24, 1861.
Fackney's First, made by James H. Fackney, Dec. 2, 1867, and Second, Aug. 26, 1871, and Third, Aug. 17, 1872, all lie in a body just west of the depot.
Hay's, bounded by Kearney, Ratcliff, Main Cross and Jessup streets, and containing eight full blocks and two half blocks, was deeded to the city of Carmi, Dec. 8, 1868.
Western, situated south of Main street, one to two squares west of Church street, was made April 13, 1871.
Stewards First, bounded by Stewart, Main, Fourth, and on the east side by what would be Second street, if continued, made Aug. 16, 1872.
Stewart's Second, bounded by Stewart, Main, Fourth and Sixth streets, made July 10, 1880.
Staley's, east of the river and on both sides of the railroad, made Sept 5, 1872. The "Mill Tract" lies between this addition and the river.
Harsha's, four squares, the southeastern portion of East Carmi, deeded Dec. 4, 1872.
Partridge's, bounded by Main, Robinson, Strong alley and Oliver street, platted Feb. 7, 1873.
Whiting's, between Robinson and Kerney streets, and Church street and Harris's addition, made Aug. 13, 1877.
Graham's, west of town, on each side of Seventh street, from Stewart street north to Shipley street, made by D. H. Graham, Apr. 3, 1879.
Kerney's First, between Main, Olive and the first alley west, and extending four blocks south of Main, about to Ratcliff street, made by Thomas M. Kerney, Oct. 7, 1879.
Kerney's Second, extreme southwest portion of town, and west of the preceding, made June 11, 1880.
Schumacher's, southeast corner of Webb and Olive streets, made May 4, 1880.
Bozeman's, southwest corner of Webb and Olive streets, was made Aug. 3, 1880.
West of town are blocks A to G, surveyed into small lots by Conger & Crebs, the fair-grounds being block F and the extreme west on the north side of Main street.


An act of the Legislature was approved March 2, 1819, which read as follows:
"Whereas, the President and Directors of the Wabash Navigation Company have, by their memorial to the General Assembly of the State of Illinois, prayed for leave to build a toll bridge across the Little Wabash River at Carmi, and for other alterations in their act of incorporation; and it appearing to the General Assembly that such bridge, when erected, will be of great public utility; therefore,

"Section 1. Be it enacted, etc., That it shall be lawful for the said company to use so much of their capital stock as will be necessary in erecting a bridge across the Little Wabash River opposite the town of Carmi, at such place as the president and directors, or a majority of them, may designate.

"Sec. 2. That the said bridge shall not be less than eighteen feet wide, built in a substantial and workmanlike manner, and be completed in two years from and after the passage of this act, so far as to permit passengers with carriages of every description to pass with safety.

"Sec. 3. That so soon as the said bridge shall be completed as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful for the said company to erect a gate at one or both ends of the said bridge, to enable them to effect the collection of the toll, which they are hereby authorized to ask and receive from the passengers crossing on the said bridge, as follows, to wit: For every four-wheeled carriage, thirty-seven and a half cents; for every two-wheeled carriage, twenty-five cents; for every person and horse, six and a fourth cents; for every loose horse, fifty cents; for every twenty head of cattle, sheep and hogs or [other] quadrupeds, twenty cents; for every foot passenger, three cents; for a sleigh or slide drawn by two horses, twenty-five cents; for the like vehicle drawn by one horse, twelve and a half cents. And it shall and may be lawful for the toll-gatherer to stop any and all persons from passing said bridge until they shall have paid him at the aforesaid rates," etc.

"Sec. 5. That the president and directors, by and with the consent of a majority of the stockholders, shall have the power to increase the price of the shares to ten dollars, on account of the expense incurred by the erection of said bridge, payable as in the act to which this is amendatory.

"Sec. 6. That the said company be and they are hereby allowed the further time of five years to complete the navigation as far up as the town of Carmi, and ten years to the base line."

For the want of funds the company failed to execute the work, and May 1, 1829, the Legislature enacted "that Allen Rudolph, of White County, or his heirs, is hereby authorized to erect a toll bridge across the Little Wabash River, opposite the main street in the town of Carmi; and shall be authorized to place a toll gate at either end of said bridge, and receive the toll for passing the same, herein allowed, for the term of thirty years, upon his complying with the provision of this act. The said Allen Rudolph, or his heirs, shall commence the building of said bridge, within one year, and shall complete the same within two years, from the passage of this act, providing that it shall not be so constructed as to obstruct the navigation of said river by flat-boats or keel-boats."

The other sections of the act prescribe the rates of toll and other routine duties. Mr. Rudolph was allowed five months' time in which to accept or refuse the contract offered by this law.

Section sixth provided that any person who should comply with the provisions of the act would be authorized to erect a toll bridge across the Skillet Fork where the Carmi and Vandalia State road crosses it.

For some reason Mr. Rudolph also failed to erect the much-needed structure, and Feb. 16, 1831, the Legislature gave $1,000 of the Gallatin saline fund to White County, to aid in this work.

The "Carmi Bridge Company" was incorporated Feb. 6, 1835, consisting of "Josiah McKnight, George R. Logan, Charles J. Wilman, Nathaniel Blackford, Samuel D. Ready, Thomas Kerney and John Phipps and their associates." Their capital stock was to consist of $5,000 to be divided into $10 shares. A president and six directors were to be elected as soon as 150 shares were taken, and the officers were to be elected annually. The permanent bridge was to be so erected as to permit the passage of boats and rafts of timber of the largest size and height, at the highest stage of water in the river, with a space between two of the abutments of at least thirty feet. The president and directors were authorized to fix the rates of toll and collect them. The county was authorized to take stock in this enterprise, and be subject to the same regulations as other stockholders—the bridge to be so built as not to obstruct the ford.

During the many long years from about 1812 to 1838, many were the thoughts of a bridge at Carmi, and a movement toward building one occasionally almost inaugurated; but not until the last year mentioned was a bridge actually commenced. A stock company, under a special charter from the Legislature, began this structure with the aid only of private subscriptions, but made slow headway until appropriations were made by the Legislature, under the great internal improvement scheme, which left this county unprovided with railroads, canals, etc. White and other counties thus omitted in that scheme were denominated the "unfortunate" counties, and to them a sop was thrown from reliable funds, which eventually set such counties in a better plight than those that were promised railroads, canals, etc.

Under the appropriation referred to the company completed the bridge in 1840, Benj. M. St. John being the architect. It was a covered bridge. A toll-gate was established at the west end, but in a year or two it was removed and the bridge made free. This structure, with sundry repairs, remained until 1879, when the present iron bridge was put up by the Masillon (Ohio) Bridge Company, at a cost of $5,317. One-half of this fund was raised by the county, one-fourth by Carmi Township, and one-fourth by Hawthorne Township. Wm. A. St. John drew up the plan and specifications.

Carmi Water-Mills.— This is the most ancient living industry in Carmi, a mill having been started here before the village was platted, probably about 1812. During the seventy years that have since intervened the proprietorship has of course often changed. The first proprietors were Lowry Hay and Leonard White, who also had a saw-mill, tan-yard and distillery in connection with the grist-mill. The next were David Burrell and Allen Rudolph; then Williams & Weed, Samuel Slocumb, Ahart S. Staley, finally, George S. Staley, the present proprietor. At one time the property was owned by the State of Illinois, by virtue of a navigation act. It was authorized to be sold by act approved Feb. 27, 1847. This act was amended Feb. 12, 1853, repealing the former act, "provided the purchaser shall forever maintain, keep in and attach to the mill dam a good and sufficient slope, to be not less than fifty-two feet long, to be thirty feet wide in the clear." etc.; also, "that should the State, or any company of persons acting under authority of the Legislature, wish to improve the navigation of the Little Wabash River by the erection of a lock and dam at said Carmi mill property, then the State or company shall have full power and authority to make such improvements."

In Chapter X. we give the result of the legislation concerning the navigation of the Little Wabash.

All the present improvements on this property have been made by the Staleys.

This mill now has three water-wheels, two forty-four inch and one forty-inch wheel, with seven-foot head of water, has four sets of burrs, and the latest improved machinery throughout; has a smut machine, cockle separator and also brush machine; has two middlings purifiers and seven reels; has a capacity of 100 barrels of flour and fifty barrels of meal every day. The mill is 36 x 50 feet and four stories and basement.

Carmi City Steam Mills are two separate mills, one for corn and the other for wheat. They have a very large eighty horse-power engine and it is one of the very largest in Southern Illinois. These mills are both fitted up in the most modern manner, and the best and most complete machinery throughout. The corn-mill has two run of four-foot burrs and is a building 30x50 feet two stories and a basement; the flouring mill has four run of four-foot burrs, and one set of steel rollers. The capacity of these two mills is 125 barrels of flour and 250 barrels of meal a day. These three mills are owned and run by George S. Staley.

Iona Mills.—Wm. Malone and J. R. Bozeman, proprietors, built this mill last year (1881) at a cost of $4,800. It is located on the west bank of the river, about twenty rods south of the bridge; is 30 x 40 feet in size, two stories high; has two run of stone, one for wheat and one for corn, and the mills are run by a thirty-four horse-power engine. The mills are devoted exclusively to custom work, and run night and day. They make as good flour as can be made any where in the country.

Steel, Taylor & Allen are removing their mill-works from Parkhursttown to Carmi, and placing them in a new three-story structure at the west end of the bridge, north side of Main street. This mill is 32 x 40 feet, has two run of burrs, devoted to custom work, both wheat and com. A third pair of burrs, for wheat, will eventually be added.

S. M. Woodrow's Saw-mill and Lumber-yard.—This mill was built by Wm. Gravett, J. P. Gravett and Edward Johnson, in 1877, under the firm name of Gravett & Johnson. In February, 1881, Mr. S. M. Woodrow purchased one-fourth interest; and April 12, 1882, purchased the entire mill. This mill has two engines of 120 horse-power, and manufactures all kinds rough and dressed lumber. The mill is being fitted up in first-class order, with all latest improved machinery. The mill and yard give direct employment to forty men and eight teams. The lumber yard is the largest in the county, and one of the leading manufactures of Carmi; it does a business of $40,000 to $50,000 a year. They deal in soft lumber, doors, sash, shingles, lath, and all kinds of building material, mixed paints, builders' hardware, etc.

Stevens & Reed are proprietors and owners of the two saw-mills and lumber yard in Carmi, one mill on each side of the river. Mr. Reed, in partnership with Parvin and Harter, purchased the east-side mill in 1878. In 1879 Mr. Reed purchased his partner's interest and took into partnership G. A. Stevens, and that same year they built the east-side mill. Each mill has a large circular saw and band saw, and they are fitted up in the most modern manner with all the latest-improved machinery.  Each mill has a forty horde-power engine. These mills give direct employment to thirty-five or forty men. They do a business of $35,000 or $40,000 a year. The two mills have a capacity of cutting 20,000 feet of lumber per day.

Parvins Bros'. Foundry and Machine Shop was established in May, 1878, in the brick building formerly used for a district school-house. The building is 85 x 35 feet. It is fitted up on the most modern plan with foundry and machine shops, and gives direct employment to ten men. Foundry and machines are new, and are prepared to do all kinds of work. This is the only foundry in Carmi.  The Parvin brothers are natives of Illinois.

Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway Car and Machine Shops. —These were built by the Cairo & Vincennes Railway Company in 1873. The first master mechanic was Richard Williams; the second was Edward Louaty; the third, C. H. Cory. The present master mechanic is Mr. A. Van Tuyal, who was appointed in July, 1878. The Cairo & Vincennes Road was purchased by the W. St. L. & P. Ry. in October, 1881. The Wabash shops employ 140 men in Carmi with a monthly pay roll of $7,233.37, $6,500 of which is spent in Carmi. The foreman of the car department is William Davis; the general foreman is William Brahm; the master mechanic, Mr. A. Van Tuyal, has charge of thirty-two freight and passenger engines as well as of the entire shops. He is a graduate of the Philadelphia High School and learned his trade in Dayton, Ohio.  He is of Dutch and Welsh descent.

The Louisville & Nashville Railroad Depot.—This depot was built by the St. Louis & Southeastern Railway Company, and became the property of the Nashville & Chattanooga Railway. They held possession until 1880, when the Louisville & Nashville Road took possession. This depot was struck by lightning three years ago. A man standing by the stove was stunned by the shock. The building has been remodeled by the company. The present agent is Guy C. Silliman, who was appointed Aug. 14, 1882. He is a native of White County, and is a son of Robert A. Silliman, deceased.  He is both telegraph operator and agent.

Storms's Warehouse and Elevator.—This is now in process of erection, and when complete will cost about $6,000. It is located on the south side of the railroad track, about half way between the depot and the river. Its storage capacity is 50 x 240 feet, or about 75,000 bushels. Its general architectural form is that of a pyramidal tower with porches, etc., and is the most imposing structure of the kind in Southern Illinois. The elevator is run by steam power. Grain and produce of all kinds are received here for storage and shipment.

The original structure now forming a portion of this hotel was erected probably about 1849. In 1866 Mr. J. M. Damron came here from Evansville, with no capital, and leased this building for a hotel, contemplating its enlargement by additions, etc. He exhibited such a spirit of enterprise an d honesty of purpose that he found friends and credit, and Dec. 22, 1866, he opened the hotel with a big dinner. His success as a hotel-keeper was so great that he soon paid all his first indebtedness, and then he proceeded from time to time to make other improvements, paying for them in due time from the proceeds of his business. In 1871 he was able to purchase the property outright, and since then he has maintained such a reputation as to keep all competition out of the city. The house has now thirty well-furnished rooms.
Mr. Damron was born in New Albany, Ind., in July, 1833, where he lived most of the time until about the close of the war, when he took charge of the Crescent City Springs, at Evansville, for two years, and then came to Carmi as above stated.

Hay & Webb's Bank.—This necessity to the business interests of Carmi and vicinity has been long in existence, in the old and well-known building between the bridge and the public square. Its reputation is sufficiently established with banking houses in the principal cities of the United States, so that any party can transact business through them with the same facility as in any city. The proprietors are Frank E. Hay and John R. Webb.

Previous to 1855 the schools of Carmi, like those of the country generally, were provided, by private subscription. There was a school fund, arising from the sale of the school lands, namely the sixteenth section of each township. The schools of Carmi in early day were therefore irregular and meagerly supported, and they were held in various places. A frame school-house was built in 1841, and a brick school-house in 1856, which was as soon as practicable after the free-school law was adopted. The latter cost $4,000 or $5,000, and the building stands near where the depot is now.   At present it is used as a machine shop.

Carmi is waking up to the importance of popular education. There are now three brick school-houses, including the Normal, and two frame; one of the latter is for a Catholic school, and the other for a colored school. Nine teachers are employed, besides the two who are soon to be employed in the Catholic school. The two brick school-houses, for the education of children of all grades, were both erected during the Centennial year, 1876, by David Negley, contractor, and are alike in dimensions, plan and costs. They are 30 x 70 feet, having two large rooms below with a fourteen-foot hall between them, and ante-rooms.

One of these buildings is situated on the south side of Main street, and two squares west of Church street, and the other on block 4, north of the railroad, and are distinguished as the South Side and the North Side school-houses, the one being south of the railroad and the other north. The cost of these, with grounds, was about $16,000.

The frame school-house for colored children was built in 1874, on lot 53, in East Carmi, two squares north of Main and one square east of the river, at a cost of about $1,000. The Catholic school is described in connection with St. Polycarp's Church.

In the city there are nine departments—two primary, two first and two second intermediate, two grammar, and one ungraded, the latter the colored school. At the North Side school-house the Principal of the grammar department is M. F. Carr; the teacher in the second intermediate, A.C. Hunter; first intermediate, Fannie Hunsinger; primary, Bertha Holland. The number of pupils enrolled in Mr. Carr's school for the year ending in June, 1882, is sixty—twenty-six boys and thirty-four girls; average daily attendance, thirty; in the second intermediate, fifty-eight—twenty-five boys and thirty-three girls, with an average daily attendance of thirty-three; first intermediate, seventy-four—thirty-five males and thirty-nine females, and average daily attendance of thirty-five; primary, 118—forty-four boys and seventy-four girls, with an average daily attendance of fifty-two. In the South Side school, S. S. Henderson is Principal of the grammar department. Enrollment, sixty-three—twenty-five male and thirty-eight female; average attendance, thirty-six. Second intermediate, Lizzie Graham, teacher; enrollment, sixty-six—twenty-six boys and forty girls; average attendance, forty-seven. First intermediate, C. Belle Foster, teacher; enrollment, seventy-eight—thirty boys and forty-eight girls; daily attendance, forty-eight.  Primary, Mrs. Ida M. Thomas teacher; enrolled, 107—thirty-six boys and seventy-one girls; average daily attendance, sixty-nine.

Of the colored school, Hattie Butler is teacher. Number of pupils enrolled, seventy-two—thirty-nine boys and twenty-three girls.

There are 1,242 persons in Carmi district between four and twenty-one years of age, of whom 696 are enrolled in the schools, with an average daily attendance of 328. Thirty-one between twelve and twenty-one are unable to read and write.

On the completion of the buildings in 1876, the district owed $16,575, of which over $6,000 have been paid. During the last school year, 1881-'2, there were paid, for teachers' salaries, $3,581.21; for janitors' wages, $144; interest on bonds, $1,080; bonds redeemed, $800; incidental expenses, $745; total, $6,350.21. Schools were in session 182 days, at a cost of nearly $35 a day. Seating capacity of the present school-houses, about 500, which is not quite half the possible enrollment.  Present School Board— Geo. Williams, President; M. Hunsinger, H. E. Craver, Thomas K. Wilson, Alexander Boyer, George Ziegler; Daniel Berry, Secretary.

Carmi Academy.—An act of the Legislature was approved Jan. 16, 1836, declaring Frederick Wilmans, Thomas Shannon, William Wilson, E. B. Webb, John M. Robinson, Josiah Stewart, Daniel Hay and James Ratcliff and their successors a body corporate, to be known as the "Trustees of the Carmi Academy," whose object should be the promotion of the general interests of education, their academy to be open to all denominations of Christians. Nothing, however, was ever done toward the erection of any building, and the school was never established.

Southern Illinois Normal School and Commercial College.— This new and rising institution had its inception in the mind of Prof. S. E. Thomas, of Little York, Ind., who came to Carmi in the summer of 1879, and, in company with Profs. J. H. Magill, of Crawford County, III., and J. E. Payne, of South Boston, Ind., conducted a short normal in the South-Side public school building, opening with thirty-five pupils and continuing four weeks. In the autumn following they removed to Berry's Hall, and afterward into the Brocket building. Its marked success continued until the morning of the 2d of January, when the entire city was shocked with the cries of "Fire!" "Fire!" The Normal School was found to be one of the sufferers.  The school was held in the second story of a business block, and the rooms having caught below there was no chance to check the consuming terror. The destruction was a total loss to the Normal. Library, cabinet and many other valuable things were gone. "Will the school continue ?" was often asked by young, earnest and anxious students. Though the condition of the school was hopeless, yet no earthly power can destroy an institution that has been built on a true normal basis. The school was reorganized with very unfavorable accommodations and it was impossible to hold its previous progress. But not a day was lost and not a moment was trifled. Other schools in the surrounding country thought they would be benefited by the failure, but they are sinking, and some have sunk "to rise no more." Though the second year was one of trial, yet over 300 pupils were enrolled, thus making a growth unequaled by any other normal school in the land.

Limited building accommodations retarded the otherwise rapid natural growth of the school, which, indeed, enrolled 200 the first year, and the teachers began to cast about for a large and commodious structure specially adapted to the wants of the school. Accordingly a joint-stock company was organized, to raise capital in $25 shares. Aug. 12, 1880, is the date of the certificate incorporating the company, comprising John M. Crebs, James R. Williams and James I. McClintock, who were to go forward with the good cause. At a meeting of the stockholders Sept. 6, following, J. M. Crebs, B. L. Patrick, T. K. Wilson, Matthias Hunsinger, F. E. Hay, J. I. McClintock, John R. Jones, J. W. McHenry and John W. Clark were elected Directors. This being in 1880, when a Presidential campaign was on hand, progress was slow. Meanwhile the school opened its second year under similar circumstances as the first; yet as many as 100 students were in attendance.

A lot was finally obtained on the south side of Main street, at the southwestern corner of the city. The ground is 300 feet front by 486 deep. The first 268 feet of this, estimated at about a $1,000, was donated to the institution by T. M. Kerney and his sister, Mrs. Mary J. Morris, both of Carmi.

The building contract was let to Floyd & Wheatcroft and Jacob Bruder, who completed it in the fall of 1881. It is about 40 x 80 feet, and two stories in height. A beautiful tower surmounted the front elevation, but was afterward blown off by a high wind.

The First Presbyterian Church of Carmi is one of the oldest religious societies in Southern Illinois. It was organized Nov. 25, 1827, at the house of Richard Graham, in the town of Carmi, and was declared to be "Christ's church, under the direction and care of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church of the United States of America." The persons present at this meeting were: Rev. Benjamin F. Spilman, the organizer of the society; Benjamin Spilman, Richard Graham, Sarah Graham, Josiah Stuart, John M. Robinson, Abner Flanders, James Ratcliff, Margaret Ratcliff, Daniel Hay, Robert H. Morris, Lucinda Ready and Robert Summers. These did not all join, and several not present at that meeting deserve the title of "first members." The following were the first members: Benjamin Spilman, Richard Graham, Sarah Graham, Josiah Stuart, Nancy Stuart, Nancy Blue, Robert H. Morris, Phoebe Morris, Joseph Pomroy, Elinor Pomroy, Mary Wilton, Margaret Wilson, Samuel T. Boyd and Eliza Ann Boyd.

Rev. Benjamin F. Spilman, who organized the church, was chosen the first pastor, and he officiated occasionally for twelve years following. Benjamin Spilman and Richard Graham were made Elders. During the first twelve years after the organization of the church, there were added twenty-eight members. During this same period Rev. B. F. Spilman often supplied the church. To fill an appointment on one occasion, he walked from Shawneetown to Carmi, thirty miles, when the roads were not passable for a horse. Arriving late, on another occasion, a dance had commenced. But the company presently seated themselves, and Mr. Spilman preached. Rev. Isaac Bennett labored here to some extent in 1829, and also in 1833-4. Rev. William Hamilton was here in 1832. Rev. Andrew M. Hershey was supply pastor in 1840, and continued for about two years. Rev. R. H. Lilly was supply pastor in 1842-'3. Rev. John L. Hawkins commenced labor here in 1845, and continued until 1849. Of his work here he says: "When I commenced my ministerial labor in White County, the church at Carmi was entirely disorganized, with few members remaining, although the name of the church was retained on the roll of the Presbytery. After some time, a Mr. Thompson was chosen Elder. The choice proved unfortunate, and in a short time the church was again without an officer. Rev. Hillery Patrick preached here occasionally, between 1849 and 1855. Rev. John S. Howell labored here a portion of his time for eight years, or from 1854 to 1862. Rev. R. Lewis McCune was supply from June, 1862, to March 1, 1865. During this time twelve persons were added to the church. Rev. John Huston served this church from November, 1865, to May, 1868. Rev. Benjamin C. Swan commenced his labors here Aug. 1, 1868. The churches of Enfield and Sharon were united with it in one charge until March, 1871. From that time until the close of his pastorate, October, 1877, he gave his entire time to Carmi. The next pastor was Rev. William S. Wilson, who preached until June, 1881, and was followed by Mr. Frank A. Stoltz. The place of public worship, to about 1851, was the court-house, "which was somewhat better than no place at all." Sometimes, however, preaching was held at private houses. About 1851, a house of worship was erected by the Methodists. It is the building at present occupied as a store-room by Mr. George Williams. In this they were assisted by the Presbyterian church, and here the congregation met on alternate Sabbaths. The present house of worship was erected in 1866. The present pastor of the church, who succeeded Mr. Frank A. Stoltz, October, 1881, is Rev. Jonathan E. Spilman, a brother of the Mr. Spilman who founded the church fifty-five years ago.

The following is the list of Elders of the society from the beginning: Benjamin Spilman, Richard Graham, James E. Willis, William B. Thompson, Josiah Stewart, William A. St. John, John G. Powell, Chauncey S. Conger and Everton J. Conger. The present incumbents are Chauncey S. Conger, chosen April 12, 1874, and Everton J. Conger, chosen Dec. 19, 1875. During Mr. Swan's ministry fifty-five persons were added to the church, and there was a steady increase in the attendance upon public worship. From January to March, 1870, the church enjoyed an interesting revival. The benevolent enterprises were systematized, and the amounts given steadily increased. The church edifice was renovated within and without. Other revivals have been held since, of which the most successful was a series of meetings begun Jan. 28 and ended Feb. 10, 1882. These were conducted by Rev. Mr. Spilman and Rev. C. S. Armstrong, and resulted in the admission of twenty-one persons to membership.

The Sabbath-school has been steadily maintained since about 1834, though it was not thoroughly and permanently organized until March 3, 1867. On that date, which was Sunday, the members of the congregation who desired to assist in organizing a Sabbath-school met at the church and proceeded to effect an organization by electing William A. St. John, Superintendent; James I. McClintock, Assistant Superintendent; North Storms, Librarian, and Chauncey S. Conger, Secretary. There were twelve teachers and fifty-four scholars present, making a total number present on that day of seventy. This was the first school exclusively Presbyterian in Carmi, the school previously maintained being really a union school. For many years after 1867, too, the Presbyterian and Methodist Episcopal schools were held at different hours, so that teachers and scholars might attend both schools. The present Superintendent is Charles P. Berry.

The Carmi Methodist Episcopal Church was organized as a religious society at a house owned by A. S. Staley, on Main street, Aug. 5, 1850. The first members were A. S. Staley, R. S. Graham and wife, James M. Stewart, Mrs. Sebra Wilcox and one other. Of these Mr. Graham is the only one still living. The first Class-Leader was A. S. Staley. The preacher in charge was Rev. James A. Read, services being held at Carmi but once a month for the first three or four years. Mr. Read was followed by Rev. John H. Hill, who preached one year, and was then succeeded by Rev. Mr. Miller. The following year the pulpit was supplied by Rev. John Shepherd, who remained two years, and then came Rev. John-Gillam for one year. Rev. John Leaper preached the next year. He in turn gave way to Rev. A. Ransom, who served two years, and he to Rev. R. B. Pierce, who served two or three years. The next to fill the pulpit was Rev. J. M. Green, who remained one year and then left, followed in the Carmi charge by Rev. Mr. Tilleron for two years. Mr. Tilleron was followed by Rev. Mr. Waller for one year, and he by Rev. Mr. White for two years. Rev. C. P. Wilson was next assigned to Carmi, and remained with the charge two years, when Rev. Mr. Evers, the present pastor, assumed charge of the work. Carmi was made a station in the Southern Illinois Conference during the pastorate of Mr. Pierce. The first church was built of brick in 1852, and was used until about 1870, when the present edifice on Main street was erected. The society is now in a very prosperous condition.

The Christian Church of Carmi was constituted June 4, 1851, with twelve members, as follows: Daniel Hay, Priscilla Hay, Mary B. D. Robinson, Sarah F. Kerney, Daniel G. Hay, Elizabeth Hay, Samuel R. Hay, Mary C. Hay, Mary J. Test, Susan Ward, Nancy Gamble, and Mary Ann McKnight. In July following the organization the names of seventeen persons were added to the rolls. Up to April 21, 1857, as shown by the original roll, ninety-two names were enrolled, of whom ten were dead, thirteen had been dismissed by letter or had taken membership elsewhere, and nine had been excluded, leaving an active membership of sixty. Samuel R. Hay seems to have been the first and only Elder of the church for some time after its organization.

The church was organized in the court-house, where the gospel had been preached for some time before by Brothers Dibbell, Goodwin, Dumm and others. Soon after the organization, steps were taken toward the erection of a church building. The first church Trustees were Conrad Miller, Michael Schumacher, Thomas W. Hay, Robert H. Rice and William H. Johnson. Aug. 12, 1874, the name of the society was changed from "The Church of Jesus Christ at Carmi, Ill.," to "The Christian Church of Carmi, Ill."

The present membership of the society is 153—thirty-seven males and 116 females. The present Elders are W. H. Johnson, Israel Turner and John Lamp. The present Deacons are M. Schumacher, W. G. Tarrant and J. P. Gravett. The pastor is Rev. William Gravett. Services are held every Lord's day. Sunday-school meets at 9:30 a. m. every Lord's day. W. H. Johnson is the Superintendent.   Prayer-meetings are held every Wednesday.

Their first meeting-house was built in 1852, and cost $1,500. It served their purpose till 1867, when it was torn down and a better one erected in its stead, costing $2,500. Its present value is $2,000, and it has a seating capacity of 350 persons. The ministers who have labored for this church are Revs. E. K. Dibble, Moses Goodwin, Fenton Lumm, S. R. Hay, D. Bulkley, J. C. Ashley, Alfred Flower, S. V. Williams, Austin Council, J. C. Howell, W. H. Hardman, J. M. Berry, J. L. Thornberry, J. R. Frame, C. B. Black, J. W. Bradley, J. C. McReynolds and William Gravett.

Evangelical Association.— The first religious services in this county according to the customs of this denomination were held in 1856, by Presiding Elder Samuel Dickover, in the house of Mrs. Magdalena Miller, about four miles west of Carmi. In September of this year, Carmi and the surrounding country was taken up as a mission; in December a society was organized at Mrs. Miller's, and named "Zion Church," and in the summer of 1857 a church building was erected about two miles northwest of Carmi, a frame 32 x 54 feet, costing over $1,200.   In 1873 the church of Carmi, a square and a half north of the depot, was erected, 34x56 feet in dimensions, with six feet additional for a steeple, at a total cost of $3,424. This was dedicated July 26, 1373, by Bishop Dubs.  In 1867 the mission became self-supporting, and was therefore made a "circuit," and in 1874 the Indiana Conference was divided, and this circuit was naturally thrown into the Southern Indiana Conference. In 1876 the parsonage was built, at a cost of about $900; it is the next building north of the church in Carmi. The present membership is ninety-two in Carmi and sixty-one in the country division. The former is divided into three "classes " and the latter into two. There is also a Sunday-school at each place, with an attendance of about 100 in town and fifty in the country. This church, in both divisions, is in a thriving condition.

From the first to the present the preachers have been as follows, the first mentioned of each two being the "preacher-in-charge," or pastor: Joseph Fisher and Christian Wessling, 1856; John Fuchs and Conrad Kohlmeier, 1857; Christian Ude and Conrad Kohlmeier, 1858; William Wessler, 1859-'60; John Hoffmann and George Schmoll, 1861; Adolph Dassel, 1862, who died about the middle of this ecclesiastical year, then John Kaufman and Mathias Klaiber, 1863-'4; C. F. Matheis, 1865-'6; Jacob Miller, 1867; Fred. Dauner, 1868-'9; J. M. Kronmiller, 1870; Christian Wessling and Herman Sleucher, 1871-'2; Christian Wessling and C. Bohlander, 1873; J. M. Kronmiller and Jacob Mode, 1874-'5; Martin Speck and Christian Stier, 1876; Martin Speck, to March, 1878; C. F. Matheis and Fred. Dauner, 1878; M. Mayer, 1879-'80; Charles Stockhowe, 1881-'2.

The years above given are those where September begins the ecclesiastical year, up to the change in 1878, since which time March is the dividing point. Correspondingly, in the following list of presiding elders, the years are to be similarly interpreted, each one serving until his successor was appointed.

Presiding Elders, Samuel Dickover, 1856; Philip Bretsch, 185- (sic); M. W. Steffey, 1859; Mathias Hoehn, 1863; G. G. Platz, 1867; M. Mayer, 1871; H. L. Fischer, 1875; John Fuchs, 1879.

Local preacher, J. A. Mier, in Carmi.


St. Polycarp's Church (Catholic).— The first religious services of the Catholic faith in Carmi were held in February, 1870, at the residence of Anthony Sefried, by Rev. B. Winterhalter, of Belle Prairie, now Piopolis, Hamilton County.   The families then in attendance on these services numbered eight, who met about once in three weeks, until in December, when meetings of this kind in Carmi were suspended until about the first of June following. Since that time to the present the succession of pastors has been: Revs. William O'Reilly, of Enfield, about the first of June, 1870, to about November, 1872; John Neuhaus, of Piopolis, from the last date to March, 1876, at which time about ten families were members of the parish; then John N. Enzlberger, of Piopolis, to June 11, following; H. Hegemann, of Enfield, from October, 1876, to November, 1879; Adam Leufgen, of Shawneetown, from the last date to June, 1880; Jacob Rensmann, of Ridgway, Gallatin Co., Ill., to January, 1882; lastly, Father Joseph Spaeth, from that date to the present time (October, 1882), who resides here. About forty families are at present belonging to this congregation. Since 1876 religious services have been held every alternate Sunday, and preaching is in both English and German. Catechetical instruction is given Sunday afternoons to about forty-five children in average attendance.

The church building was erected under Father Hegemann's administration; was commenced about Oct. 1, 1876, and was to be completed in about two months, but really was not finished until the following spring. It is a neat frame building 28 x 50 feet, with a spire about 110 feet high. The cost, including all the finishing, was a little over $2,000. It is located in the west part of town, on Fourth street, near Oak street.

The parsonage, a neat and capacious dwelling just south of the church, was built in the autumn of 1881, under Father Rensmann's supervision, at a cost of about $1,400.

A school is soon to be commenced in connection with this parish, by two Sisters, in a building near the corner of Fourth and Oak streets, just completed, at a cost of about $1,400. The structure is a frame, two-stories high, having two rooms below and four above. Instruction will be given in both the English and the German languages.

African M. E. Church
.— This was organized in 1868, with a half dozen members, under the ministration of Rev. George Benson. There are now about twenty members, and Rev. W. B. Hammonds is the present pastor; Henry Williams is the Class-Leader. Preaching once a month. The church building, which is located about twenty-five rods east of the school-house in East Carmi, is 24 x 84, will seat about 100, and was built in 1881, at a cost of $600. A Sunday-school in connection with this church has an average attendance of about twenty.

Methodist Church (Colored).—This was organized in 1878, with eight members, under the auspices of Rev. Eli Lane. There is now a membership of thirty-seven, and the present pastor is Rev. Frank Hinton, and Henry Sherman is the Class-Leader. Preaching in the school-house, in East Carmi.

Free-Will Baptist Church (Colored).—This was organized several years ago by Rev. Abraham Rice, who has since died (in March, 1881). The second minister was Bryant Smith, and the third and present one is Rev. Wm. Driver, who lives near Carmi. Religious services are held in a building near the bank of the river, in East Carmi, north of Main street, which was first built for a shop. The present Deacons are, John White, Joseph Abel, Simon Edwards and Madison Allen; Clerk, Morgan Allen; Secretary, Mr. Barker.

Carmi Lodge, No. 272, A. F. & A. M., received a dispensation April 6, 1858. The lodge received its charter in the October following the institution of the lodge. The following were the charter officers, installed by Brother James Watson: T. W. Hay, W. M.; George Darrah, S. W.; R. S. Graham, I. W.; A. R. Shannon, Treas.; E. L. Stewart, Sec; James White, S. D.; J. B. Smith, J. D.; W. A. St. John, T. The present officers, chosen Dec. 20, 1881, are as follows : James I. McClintock, W. M.; David Youngs S. W.; Michael Schumacher, J. W.; Charles P. Berry, Treas.; William P. Tuley, Sec, Thomas Logan, S. D.; David Tanquary, J. D.; Philip Higdon, T.; D. Straus, S.S.; Thomas M. Kearney, J. S. The present membership of the lodge is sixty-seven. The lodge is nearly a quarter of a century old, and has had a career of uninterrupted prosperity from its beginning. It is one of the best lodges in Southern Illinois. It meets at the hall of Mrs. Ann Talbot, on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Carmi Chapter, No. 83, R. A. M., was instituted in July, 1865, by an acting Grand High Priest from Olney. The first High Priest under the dispensation was Hon. C. S. Conger, and the first King was Dr. George Darrow. A charter was received in October of the same year, at which time the membership was about fifteen. Under the charter, C. S. Conger was High Priest, and T. W. Hay was Secretary. Mr. Conger held the position of High Priest until December, 1868, when T. W. Hay was elected.   The position was held by Mr. Hay until the surrender of the charter, in 1872. This was due to lack of interest among the members, who numbered at that time over thirty. There has been no commandery of Knights Templars in White County. The nearest chapter now is at Fairfield, Wayne County, and the nearest commandery is at Olney, Richland County.

Carmi Lodge, No. 2,603, Knights of Honor, was organized at Masonic Hall in November, 1881, by District Deputy Grand Dictator A. M. Stratton, of Mt. Vernon, with a membership of nearly forty. The first officers of the lodge were as follows : J. M. Minnick, Past Dictator; Thomas W. Hay, Dictator; E. A. Land, Vice Dictator; George W. Lowrie, Assistant Dictator; Abner Boyer, Treasurer; J. R. Sample, Reporter; George W. Poston, Financial Reporter; John Gaines, Chaplain; A. C. Phillips, Guide; Morris Blasker, Guardian; David Beasley, Sentinel. The present officers are as follows: Thomas W. Hay, Dictator; George W. Lowrie, Assistant Dictator; Abner Boyer, Treasurer; George W. Poston, Reporter; Henry Hust, Financial Reporter; W. H. Thompson, Guide; S. L. Martin, Guardian; R. H. Rice, Sentinel. The lodge is in a flourishing condition, having no debt, but money in the treasury. It meets every Wednesday night, at Pythian Hall. The purposes of this order are mainly insurance, the amount paid to the heirs of deceased brothers being from $1,000 to $2,000, as the members may select. There have been as yet no death losses to be paid in Carmi Lodge.

Knights of Pythias, Carmi Lodge, No. 82.—This society was organized May 7, 1879. The following are the names of the charter members: Will Gordon, E. A. Land, B. Vanderluis, A. C. Weidemann, H. F. W. Fisher, W. F. Miller, H. Dale, Robert Britton, John C. Gordon, J. P. Faulks, John W. Wallace, Cree Nutter, Louis Hartman, James F. Dawson, William H. Brehur, T. W. Hay, John W. Snell, G. W. Wissinger, John F. Fraser, Z. T. Boyer, R. Spicknall, Jr., J. O. Hooper, F. L. Stewart, Ira Reeves, L. L. Staley, T. L. Joy, D. H. Graham, C. H. Vernon, H. Goodman, S. G. Rush, Simon Grant, D. S. Crowder, George Andrea, E. Rhudolph, W. H. Rush, George T. St. John, Geo. Staiger. Present membership, fifty-three. Present officers : Simon Grant, P. C; E. A. Land, C.C..; H. C. Land, V. C; T. L. Joy, P.; C. H. Vernon, M. of S.; T. G. Bowman, M. of F.; L. Jones, K. of R. G.; C. T. Shoup, M. at A.; Z. T. Boyer, I. G.; G.W. Wissinger, O. G. The society meets Monday evenings at Zeigler Hall.

The Royal Templars of Temperance, Carmi Council, No. 63, was organized Nov. 24, 1880, at Berry's Hall, with the following charter members: C. P. Wilson, J. F. Burks, N. Holderby, Theodore M. St. John, S. E. Powell, H. Hust, John Kenney, R. H. Rice, W. A. St. John and Abner Willis. The officers elected at the first meeting were as follows: C. P. Wilson, S. C; J. F. Burks, V. C; N. Holderby, P. C; T. M. St. John, R. S.; S. E. Powell, Treasurer; H. Hust, F. S.; John Kenney, Chap.; R. H. Rice, G.; W. A. St. John, Sent; Abner Willis, H. This is a secret organization for the promotion of temperance, and is also connected with an insurance scheme, by which members are insured in amounts from $500 to $1,000.  The following persons have served as S. C.: C. P. Wilson, J. F. Burks, N. Holderby, C. M. App and A. Willis.

Membership of the council is nineteen. The present officers, chosen in June, 1882, are as follows: Abner Willis, S. C; George S. Staley,V. C; H. J. Miles, Chap.; W. A. St. John, Her.; H. L. Bozeman, R. S. and F. S.; B. A. Brooks, G.; Henry Hust, Sent; N. Holderby and C. M. App, P. C.   The council is in good condition, financially and otherwise, and the prospect is good for an increase in membership. It meets on Thursdays of alternate weeks, at Masonic Hall. Connected with this order is a juvenile department, known as the circle of safety, which was organized Nov. 25, 1880, with twenty-two of the young people of Carmi. Its membership is now seventy-five, a remarkably good showing. The members all sign a total abstinence pledge, and have certificates of membership.   They meet every other Thursday evening.

Sons of Temperance.— Carmi Division of this organization was established in 1848, and flourished for about five years. It was very strong, both in membership and in interest. Among those most actively engaged in the movement were R. S. Graham, Daniel Hay, Samuel Slocumb, R. Emerson and P. P. Hunter.

Carmi Lodge, No. 121, A. O. U. W., was organized July 17,1878, at Masonic Hall, with thirty-Bix charter members. The following were the first officers : E. A. Hoyt, P.M. W.; C. E. McDowell, M. W.; J. W. Snell, Foreman; P. A. Pearce, Overseer; E. H. Phar, Guide; George Sands, Rec; Jay Hardy, Fin.; J. H. Shipley, Receiver; W. N. Robinson, I. W.; George Staiger, O. W.; W. H. Pearce, Thomas S. Bozeman, and W. H. Phipps, Trustees.

The following brethren have held the office of Master Workman: C. E. McDowell, P. A. Pearce, E. C. Rudolph, W. H. Johnson and Lewie Hass. The present membership is thirty-seven, the lodge having had a nearly uniform membership from the start. The present officers, chosen June 27, 1882, are as follows : W. H. Johnson, P.M. W.; Lewis Haas, M.W.; R.H. Rice, Foreman; J. W. Snell, Overseer; W. H. Phipps, Recorder and Receiver; G. H. Phar, Fin.; Samuel Chapman, Guide; George Sands, I. W.; George Staiger, O. W.; F. J. Foster, J. I. McClintock and C. E. McDowell, Trustees. The lodge is in excellent condition, financially, and will soon increase its membership. Five members of this lodge have died, in good standing, and their families have drawn the $2,000 allowed by the order. The names of these five are as follows: H. W. Cook, W. H. Pearce, P. J. Finnell, J. H. Shipley and George Sands. The lodge meets every Tuesday evening at the hall of the Knights of Pythias. C. E. McDowell, of this lodge, has been Grand Master Workman of Illinois, and was representative to the Supreme Lodge, which met at Cincinnati in June, 1882.

Carmi Lodge, No. 97, I. O. M.A., was organized at Masonic Hall, Carmi, Oct. 15, 1880, with a charter membership of fifty-three. The officers elected for the first term were as follows: Past President, William M. Robinson; President, C. E. McDowell; Vice-President, Thomas Poynton; Recording Secretary, Allen Bleakly; Financial Secretary, H. E. Craver; Treasurer, A. Boyer; Medical Examiner, Dr. Minnick; Chaplain, J. M. Simpson; Conductor, Samuel Chapman; Inside Guardian, J. M. Robinson; Outside Guardian, Henry Hust; Trustees, Dr. C. Cook, George Wheatcroft and J. M. Simpson. C. E. McDowell was President of the lodge until July, 1881, when Simon Grant was chosen President. The lodge has held no meetings since Feb. 3, 1882. The majority of the members belonged to other orders, and lost interest in this. Failing to pay its assessments the lodge was suspended.

Good Templars.— There is at present no active organization of Good Templars at Carmi. Carmi Lodge was organized in the spring of 1859, with a membership of about forty. The prime movers in this organization were: T. W. Hay, W. A. Ruhe, Nellie Stewart, W. A. St. John, W. H. Cook and R. S. Stewart. The First Chief Templar was T. W. Hay. The lodge met regularly about fifteen months, once a week, at the court-house, when the interest of many died out, and the meetings were discontinued.

Literary and Debating Clubs.— In 1860 a debating society was organized as a senate, for the purpose of conducting discussions on profitable questions, according to parliamentary usages. Similar societies have been in operation in Carmi ever since that period, during the winter seasons, interrupted only by the war. Essays, declamations, etc., have varied the exercises from time to time.

During the winter of 1881-'2 Judge Conger and Dr. Berry organized a club of select members for the exclusive study of old English literature, namely: The works of Chaucer, Spenser, Tyndale, Wickliffe, Milton and Erasmus. The method of conducting the exercises was generally by "conversations."

Among the leaders in these literary exercises we may mention Dr. Daniel Berry, Judge Chauncey S. Conger, Charles E. McDowell, Professor N. B. Hodson, Rev. B. C. Swan, Colonel W. H. Johnson, Judge E. J. Conger, and the school-teachers generally.

Lecture Association
.— An association was formed in Carmi in 1879, for the purpose of supplying the citizens of the place with lectures by eminent men. The gentlemen who bore the burden of this philanthropic enterprise were Dr. Daniel Berry, W. F. Palmer, Frank E. Hay and Robert Williams, the latter of whom was President of the association. They secured the services of Rev. James Kay Applebee, of Chicago, and Eli Perkins, who came and delivered interesting discourses; but these were not as well patronized by the citizens as they should have been, and since that time nothing more in this line has been done.

Public Library, or McClure Institute.— Some time during the sixth decade of the present century Alexander McClure, of New Harmony, Ind., accumulated an immense fortune in Mexico, and in his will he bequeathed $500 to each township in the State of Indiana that should contribute a certain number of books for the formation of a public library. The terms of the will were such that the executors of the estate allowed that the bequest was available in Illinois. Accordingly, a few philanthropic citizens of Carmi fulfilled the required conditions, drew the money, and in 1860 founded the "McClure Institute." A society was organized with the usual constitution and officers, books purchased, and a circulating library established. This library was kept in stores and other places until 1880, when it was placed in charge of the Southern Illinois Normal School, in a business block adjoining Stewart's.   Jan. 2, 1881, this block was burned down, and every volume, including the records of the institute, was consumed, since which time nothing has been done to revive the noble enterprise.

Wheatcroft's Orchestra was organized in 1870, consisting of five members. They have a good band and furnish excellent music. It is one of the best bands in Southern Illinois.

The Carmi Cornet Band was organized in January, 1875, with S. R. Dalby, of Albion, as teacher. The band consisted of twelve members, and Charles W. Whiting and James S. Boyd were the leaders. It has always been prosperous, and to-day owns a good set of instruments and a fine uniform. Their stock amounts to about $1,000.


A Pioneer Counterfeiter.— In 1820-'2 a nicely dressed man came and settled west of town, where he practiced the counterfeiting of silver coin. Shortly after his nefarious occupation became known, an officer with a posse visited the place to make arrests and seize the tools. The counterfeiter's wife sat in the middle of the floor and told the men to go on and search the house if they wished to; but she was soon suspected to be sitting upon a trap door, and was ordered up and off the spot, whereupon a trap door and counterfeiting tools underneath were immediately discovered.

Human Goats.—Like theaters, which give a "change of programme" every night, so the early residents occasionally made a change of programme in that formerly popular amusement, fighting and wrestling. For example, two citizens of Carmi agreed one day to butt one another, goat-fashion, in a public street. They aimed for each other several times, but generally, lest they mash their brains out, they missed and went sprawling upon the ground beyond. One or two square collisions, however, put an end to the sport.

"Poor Sumpter."—A quaint character was known in Carmi in early day as John Sumpter, a descendant of the Sumpter after whom the famous fort at Charleston, S. C, was named. He delighted to call himself "Poor Sumpter." He was a drunkard and very poor. One day he fell into a well which was nearly full of water, and while he was with difficulty endeavoring to get out, he hallooed occasionally, "Save poor Sumpter, if yon can, some-body!"

An Old Book.—Since Hon. E. B. Washburn, of Chicago, has recently announced his work on the life and times of Morris Birkbeck, it becomes a matter of interest to know that there exists, in the possession of Mrs. R. Stewart, at Carmi, a book more remarkable for its rarity and value, perhaps, than for its age. The title-page is as follows:  "Notes of a Journey through France, from Dieppe through Paris and Lyons to the Pyrenees and back through Toulouse, in July, August and September, 1814; describing the habits of the people and the character of the country. By Morris Birkbeck. First American, from the third London edition. With an Appendix. Philadelphia. Printed and published by M. Carey, No. 121 Chestnut street."
The American preface is dated October, 1815. The type is modern, very large, and the pages, which are of duodecimo size, are of amazing clearness. The body of the work comprises 143 pages, and the appendix twenty-eight pages. Birkbeck figured largely in early day in the Wabash country, Albion, Ill., being his headquarters.


Copyright © Genealogy Trails