Note: In transcribing this work I have taken a few liberties. I have shortened
the names of month, etc. I have also placed dates in a standard form of 27 March 1887. Some sections were very
long so I have divided them up. I am only transcribing the section of the book on Williamson Co. There are references
in the Williamson County section to the part of the book for Franklin County, in some cases I have added this in
the area for Williamson County and have noted it as such.
Marion, The County Seat
Williamson County, on account of its rural location and its former inadequate facilities for transportation, has no large towns. Marion, the county seat, is the largest. The origin of this town has been fully given elsewhere in this work. At the first term of the county commissioners court, held in October 1839, John Davis was granted a license "to retail spirituous liquors at his house in the town of Marion." The house referred to was a log cabin which Davis erected before the town was surveyed, and was the first business in the town. When the survey was made this house was found to stand on the public square, and consequently had to be moved. The first store in Marion was put up by Joshua Mulkey in 1840, and the next by Robert Hopper. At the March term, 1841, of the county commissioners court, James McFarland and Sterling Hill were both granted license to sell spirituous liquors at their houses in Marion; and thus two more such business houses were added to the place. Mr. Hill was one of the county commissioners. DL Pulley put up a grocery on the Westbrook corner, and JD Pulley built "Our House" on the west side. John Sparks put up a hat shop on the northeast corner. In 1842 Allen Bainbridge built the Western Exchange, a brick building on the corner where Goodall & Campbell's store now stands. In early days the term grocery was used to denote a place were liquors were sold, and by some persons it is still used in that sense; but in this work it is used to denote a place where groceries and provisions are sold, according to its proper definition. The price of a license to sell liquors in the early days was $25, but at present it is from $500 to $1000.
In 1845 Marion had increased until it had the following merchants, viz: Spiller & Campbell, Robert T Hopper, Bowyer & Allen Bainbridge. Saloon keepers, Sterling Hill and William Dillard. The same year Milton Mulkey built the first steam (frame) mill in the county, where the Edward's Mills now stand. He sold to Hooper & Phelps, who rebuilt it in 1847 and 1848. John M Edwards purchased it about the year 1857, and afterwards his son, Charles M Edwards, and AJ Mann rebuilt the mill, this time with brick, and later they built the woolen mills attached thereto as they now stand. The property is now owned by JD Edwards & Co., who recently put rollers in the flouring-mill. In the woolen-mill they manufacture jeans, linseys, tweeds, flannels, blankets, yarns, satinets, cassimeres, etc., of as good a quality as are produced anywhere in the United States. They consume about 150 pounds of wool per day. The flouring-mills are operated under a lease by Messrs. Prindle & Borton, who are doing a very successful business. In 1845 there were 2 or 3 blacksmith shops in Marion, and Allen Bainbridge manufactured tobacco in the house now used as a grocery, at the northwest corner of the public square. From 1845 to to the beginning of the late war, the following gentlemen and firms were engaged at different periods in the mercantile business of Marion, viz: Campbell & McCown, Goodall, Pulley & Thorn, John D Sanders & Son, Henry Sanders, Hundley & Lewis, Lewis & Erwin, Young & Kern, SW Dunaway & Son, and Goddard & Bainbridge.
The present merchants and business men of the town are as follows: (I put this in a table as it is a long list)
|LA Goddard, banker|
|FM Westbrook & Co, Thomas Dunaway, JB Bainbridge, Goodall & Tippy, WH Eubanks, Pillow, Campbell & Bro, JM Burkhart|
|Goodall & Adams, AL Cline, Davis & Gent, NG Reid, Pillow, Campbell & Co, Barham & Duncan, JW Barham & Co, Noah Cash & Co, HM Parks|
|JA Benson, John Cline, WM Washburn|
|HM Parks, Fitzgerrell & Bro|
|Mrs Shannon Holland, Mrs ML Moore|
|Holland & Carter, Flem Gent|
|William Phillips, Samuel Chandler, HM Parks|
|Simmons House, Grand Central, Pulley House, Reynolds House, Cline House|
|Goodall & Tippy, FM Westbrook & Sons, John Gullege|
furniture & coffins
|Duncan & Jackson|
In addition to the foregoing there are several boarding houses. The town also contains several blacksmith and wood work shops, 3 butcher shops, 2 barber shops and the new and well established photograph and picture gallery of WW Wilder. The town also contains the Marion Roller Mills, being a large three-story brick building, which was erected in 1883 by the present proprietors, William Aikman & Co. The building and the ground on which it stands cost about $5000, and the mill machinery $12,000. The capacity of this mill is 125 barrels of flour per day. Marion contains 4 churches, viz: Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Church South, Christian and Baptist; also a new and large brick schoolhouse. The physicians are EL Denison, WH Bentley, George W Evans, AN Lodge and Dr. Casey.
The Williamson County Medical Association was organized in May 1875, by Drs. HV Ferrell, SH Bundy and AN Lodge. The officers are WH Bentley, president; MM McDonald, vice president; AN Lodge, secretary, and HV Ferrell, treasurer. The association has 17 members at present and it meets bi-monthly at Marion.
Fellowship Lodge of A F & A M, No 89 was chartered 08 Oct 1850, with James Askew, WM; Willis Allen, SW; JH Campbell, JW and other brothers as charter members. At the present writing the lodge has about 60 members and the officers are WL Benson, WM; JW Evans, SW; Joseph Fozard JW; WS Washburn, secretary, and James M Burkhart, treasurer. The lodge owns the hall where it meets, is in good working order and in good financial condition.
Marion Chapter, No 100 was chartered 05 Oct 1866. Its charter members were: CM Edwards, PHP; JS Rice, King; AB Scurlock, scribe; William R Hall, secretary and MW Robertson, treasurer. The present membership is about 45, and it is also in good working order and in good financial condition.
Williamson Lodge IOOF No 392 was chartered 12 Oct 1869 with SWS Pribble, John O Bagwell, James N Jension, Pierce L Jension and David M Fligor as charter members. The present membership is about 65, and the officers are EE Mitchell, NG; HH Coffer, VG; GW Yound, secretary and WL Benson, treasurer. The Lodge is active and has over $1200 in its treasury.
Benevolent Encampment, No 171 of IOOF was chartered 10 Oct 1876, with George W Young, WH Eubanks, DA Davis, JV Grider and others as charter members. Its present membership is about 40.
Marion Lodge, No. 1944, K of H was chartered 05 Jan 1880 with WH Eubanks, JH Duncan, MC Campbell, MR Hooper, Z Hudgens, M Cantor and others as charter members. The present membership is about 40.
Egyptian Lodge No 325, K & L of H was chartered 01 Jun 1880 with JM Burkhart, MC Campbell and wife; Thomas Sunaway and wife; Elijah Spiller and wife, and others as charter members. It has a membership of 30.
Marion Post No 319 GAR was chartered 02 Aug 1883 with LD Hartwell, PM Parker, William Rex, JP Copeland and others to the number of 15 as charter members. It has about 35 members, and is in a fair condition financially and otherwise.
The Marion Building and Loan Association was incorporated in March 1887, with a capital stock of $50,000. The officers are LA Goddard, president; JW Westbrook, vice president; EE Mitchell, secretary and HT Goddard, treasurer. The board of directors are WH Eubanks, HC Mitchell, JM Burkhart, AJ Benson, JC Mitchel, JB Bainbridge. JW Westbrook, LW Goddard and WH Warder, the latter also being attorney for the association. As soon as the books were opened all the stock was subscribed, and applications made for more. By the end of the present year the association will probably increase the capital stock to $250,000, and confine all loans and improvements to the county.
In regard to other secret societies, taking in the whole county, Milo Erwin, in his history, says: "In 1862 the Golden Circle reached a membership of over 800, and in 1864 the Union League numbered 1200, In 1872, the Kuklux (KKK) numbered 135 members; but the same year they were broken up, and did not meet again until 1874, when a few of them formed a klan in the west side of the county. The Grange was introduced in 1874, and has since spread rapidly among our farmers." Since the above was written, the Grange has been supplanted by the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, which is now very strong in the county. In August 1862, when the Golden Circle was exerting a very bad influence, AD Duff, WJ Allen, AP Corder, John Clemison and AC Nelson were all arrested by United States officers, and taken first to Cairo, and thence to Washington, where they were confined about 3 months in the old Capital prison. They were charged with belonging to the Golden Circle and of making rebel speeches, both of which charges they denied, and after being confined as above stated they were released without trial.
WH Wileford brought the first printing press to the county about the year 1838, and upon the organization of the county, and for years thereafter, he did all the official printing. In 1850 he established and published the Literary Monitor, a few miles southeast of Marion. The Marion Intelligencer, a Democratic paper was established at Marion in 1854; the Democratic Organ in 1860 and the Marion Star in 1866. The first Republican paper, Our Flag, was published in 1866; the following year the Old Flag, a Democratic paper was published, and the next year (1868) The People's Friend, a Democratic paper, came out. Then in 1872 the Williamson County Progress, Republican, was published; in 1873 the Farmers' Advocate, Independent, came out; the following year it was merged into the Marion Democrat, and the next year (1875) into the Egyptian Press, which is still being published, at present by the stanch Democrat JF Connell. It is a large 32 column newspaper, ably edited, and well sustained by the people of Williamson County. The Marion Monitor, Republican, was published in 1874, and in February 1887, its name was changed to The Leader, which is now published by The Leader Printing Company, and edited by Rhea and Mitchell--the latter being deputy county clerk and an officer in several societies above noticed. JP Copeland, an ex-Federal soldier and officer, is the foreman of the printing department. The Leader is a 48 column Republican newspaper, ably edited, and is well patronized by the people of the county. The Independent was published a few months during 1886 by TJ Helton. The Binder was established in November 1886 in the interest of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association. It is ably edited by AM Palmer.
Incorporation of Marion
Marion was first incorporated in 1851, and was reincorporated in 1856, and again in 1873, it was incorporated as a city under the general law of the State. The present officers are Brice Holland, mayor; Ed J Mitchell, clerk; Shannon Holland, treasurer; JV Grider, marshal; JF Connell, police magistrate; LD Hartwell, attorney; and Alderman R Borton, Ed Gallagher, Joseph Fozard, SS Ireland, JL Adams and DA Davis. Marion has not been infested with saloons for several years last past, but arrangements are now being made to open them, and before this reaches the reader they will probably be in operation. Marion contains from 1200 to 1500 inhabitants.
Carterville, situated on the railroad 8 miles from Marion, was established in 1872 on land owned by George McNeal, who laid the town out. The original town was surveyed and platted by William Bundy. Mr. McNeal, the proprietor, then lived in a log cabin outside of the original plat. Robert Warren and VB Harris built the first residence in the town, and Benjamin F Tranbarger was the first merchant. He put up his building and commenced merchandising in 1873. Frank Chapman and James Reid opened the second store, and John Herrin and RD Harrison the third. The railroad station was built in 1873. Laban Carter, as has been stated, had previously opened a coal mine half a mile east of the village, and it was upon his suggestion that Mr. McNeal laid out the same, which he named in honor of Mr. Carter. In consequence of the coal business which has developed there, the village has had a rapid growth, and at present writing has the following merchants and business houses.
|General Stores||Ellis & Bro, Spiller & Walker, FC Zimmerman & Bro|
|dry goods and millinery||James Powell|
|gents' furnishing goods||Isaac Hammer|
|millinery||Mrs James Thompson|
|boot & shoe shop||Jacob Shark|
|harness, boots & shoes||George Lofland|
|furniture & coffins||Miles Bell|
|drugs||Dr. J Price, Hampton & Co|
|dry goods & groceries||W Sizemore & Co|
|groceries||Charles Owen, Charles Cash|
|broom factory||Benjamin F Tranbarger|
|hotels||Matthew House, Hill House|
In addition to the above there are 3 saloons, 1 barber shop, 4 blacksmith shops and other industries. There are 2 church edifices, Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian. The Baptist, Christians and Cumberland Presbyterian also have church organization but no buildings. The physicians are HV Ferrell, JW Fain, H Perry, AD Watson, J Price and Dr Vick. The lawyers are James M Washburn and A Billings. There is also a large schoolhouse containing four rooms, in which a good school is sustained 6 months in the year with public funds, and from 10 to 12 weeks by private subscription. The village has about 1000 inhabitants. Crainville is located so close to Carterville that it might appropriately be termed a suburb thereof. It contains 2 stores, kept respectively by Benjamin Norton and Columbus Crain, and one grist and flouring-mill.
Carterville has a lodge of the IOOF and also Carterville Post No 237 GAR, which was charted in 1881, and has now a membership of 38. The charter members were: LE Ledbetter, Daniel Perine, Bennet H Stotlar, Wm H Allen, Peter Smith, James H Donohoo, Philip Sprague, RW Warren, HG Price, AB Blankenship, WS Nichols, TN Impson, CM Wagoner, JD Beasley, WJ Dowell, Thomas E Stearns, TC White, Milton Black, JM Shaw, Thomas G Matthews, George Wright, Hugh M Richards, GW Cox and JF Stearns. Of these and other comrades who joined afterward the following have since died, viz: Stotlar, Donohoo, Wosson, Talley and Walston
This is the oldest village in the county, and the first store in the county was kept there as early as 1818 by a Mr. Kipp. It was formerly a place of considerable business, but it now contains only four dwelling-houses. Jeffersonville, situated 7 miles north of Marion, contains four stores, a postoffice, tobacco warehouse, saw and grist mills and some mechanic shops. Corinth is a village of about the same size in the northeast part of the county. Crab Orchard, situated a few miles east of Marion, was established in 1851. The first store was kept by Norman & Erwin. The saw and grist-mills were built by Furlong and Erwin in 1854. The same year Hiram McClaskey, the present blacksmith, opened his shop. The postoffice was established in 1855: with Robert Erwin as postmaster. The merchants of the present are:
General stores LC Parks & Co, Allen Brewer & Co and Thomas Bones
groceries Smith & Co, McDonald & Caplinger and Matthew Campbell
harness, boots & shoes JS Fry
Grist-mill Crossley & Sons
millinery Miss Nancy Corder
tobacco factories Parks & Co and Allen Brewer & Co
postmaster John Farris
Creal Springs is situated about 10 miles southeast of Marion. The medicinal qualities of the waters of the mineral springs at that place, were discovered in 1881, and the first house was erected there in No 1882. The village was established on the lands of Edward G Creal. Health and pleasure seekers at once flocked to the place, and put up small residences. The village now contains 3 general stores, 2 dry goods stores, 1 drug and 1 hardware store, 1 flour and feed store, 2 livery stables, mechanic shops, etc, also 2 churches--Methodist Episcopal and Baptist, a good seminary of learning, 2 hotels and several boarding houses. It is destined to be a favorite summer resort.
History of Schools
But very little attention was paid to education in Williamson County prior to the year 1840. A few subscription schools had been taught by teachers who were able only to teach reading, spelling, writing and the fundamental rules of arithmetic. In 1840 a school of a higher grade was established at Bainbridge by Prof. Bugg. He was succeeded by Rev Nehemiah Hunt, who taught a few terms and then moved to Marion. He was a Presbyterian, of which further mention will be made in the next chapter. In 1841 a graded school was established at Marion, and soon thereafter a frame schoolhouse was erected in the northwestern part of town, not far from the site of the present school building. Wm. Richie was the first, or among the first teachers. He was succeeded by Wm Scurlock and wife, and they by Rev Nehemiah Hunt formerly of the Bainbridge school. These schools were sustained for a number of years, and until they were supplanted by the free schools. William T Turner was appointed the first school commissioner of the county, and at the June Term 1840, of the county commissioner of the county, he reported that he had received from SH Mitchel, the school commissioner of Franklin Co, the sum of $850.60 as a part of the school funding belonging to Williamson County, after it was cut off from the former county, and at the September term following he reported $966.25 as received from the same source. Henry W Perry succeeded Turner as school commissioner, and at the March term, 1841, of said court, he reported $2062.72 in notes as received from his predecessor. This amount belonged to the permanent school fund, the principal of which was loaned out, and the interest only appropriated to the support of the schools. Of this amount $578 was designated as belonging to T-4 and $350 to T9-3 thus leaving a balance of $1134.72, which the report designated as belonging to the county school fund. The 16th section in each congressional township; was donated, as heretofore stated for the support of schools; and there were 12 sections of that number in this county, all of which were sold to create a permanent fund to belong to each township respectively; but the records, as they have been preserved, fail to show how much money was realized from the sale of these lands. Some portions of this fund have been lost by means of loaning it without sufficient security. The permanent school fund of each congressional township, at the present writing is as follows, to wit:
T8-1---$2176.80 | T8-2---$994.12
T8-3---$486372 | T8-4---$670.87
T9-1---$830.50 | T9-2---$1059
T9-3---$675.30 | T9-4---$679.30
T10-1---$351 | T10-2---$485.45
T10-3---$418 | T10-4---$333.33
making a total of this fund in the county of $9250.39. The funds derived from the sale of the school lands are embraced in the forgoing amounts; and here again is shown the great mistake of selling the school lands before any thing more than a mere nominal price could be obtained for them.
Under the free school systems, the public schools of Williamson County have gradually increased and improved until it can be truthfully said that they are second to none in southern Illinois. To show their present condition, the following statistics are taken from the last report of the county school superintendent: Scholastic population--males 4163, females 3703, total 7866; number of pupils enrolled in the schools--males 3338, females 2975, total 6313. This shows that over 80% of the scholastic population attend the free schools, which is a pretty good showing though not as good as it ought to be. According to the report there are 93 ungraded and 5 graded schools in the county, making 98 in all. There were 7 male and 8 female teachers employed in the graded schools, and 73 male and 31 female teachers employed in the ungraded schools, making a total number of teachers employed, 119. There are 3 log, 91 frame and 2 brick schoolhouses in the county, 99 in all. The highest average monthly wages paid teachers, according to said report, was males $48.65, females $32.73. This shows that male teachers are held much higher in the estimation of the people of Williamson County than female teachers are, but it does not show nor prove that they are better educators. Can there be any reason why a women should not be paid as much for the same amount and quality of service as a man? The report further shows that the amount of money earned during the year by the male teachers was $14,836.28 and by the female teachers, $5555.30, total $10,391.58; and that the estimated value of school property in the county, including libraries and school apparatus, was $44,027. The receipts of schools funds for the year were $39,046.76, and the expenditures $28,374.14, leaving a balance on hand of $10,672.62.
In November 1886, the large, commodious and picturesque schoolhouse of Marion was completed. It is a fine two-story brick structure, 60x69 feet, with a vestibule 12x24 feet. On the first floor are four schoolrooms, the vestibule, hall and stairs; and on the second floor there is a recitation room in the vestibule, and a large hall over the one beneath, in one end of which are cloakrooms. On the west side of this hall are two more schoolrooms, of the same size as those beneath them, and on the east side the whole space is occupied in one large room for the school of the principal. The whole building is warmed by the use of Boyington's Improved Heaters, there being one in each room and two in the principal's room. The main Building is covered with tin and the vestibule with slate. The building cost $9700, and it was constructed and finished in modern architectural style and beauty. It stands in the northwest part of the city, and is an ornament to the same. It is well furnished, well ventilated and well lighted, and the citizens of the Marion School District may well be proud of it. Another fact worthy of mention is the excellent school now being taught in this building by Prof. BF Kizer and his able corps of assistants, viz: Miss Ettie Lang, Mr. George Powell, Miss Mollie Tyner, Miss Maggie Jackson, Miss Josie Scurlock and Miss Gertrude Warder. A high school department has recently been established in the school. The other graded schools of the county are located at Carterville, Crab Orchard, Creal Springs and Stone Fort, and are all doing good work. Taken as a whole, the free schools of the county, under the supervision of Supt. John H Duncan, are doing an excellent work for the young people of this generation, but there is room, and always will be room, for greater improvement.
There is another institution of learning in the county not connected with the free school system, and that is the seminary at Creal Springs, which was established in 1884 by Mr. HC Murrah and his wife. Mr. Murrah built the seminary building at his own expense, and Mrs Murrah has been the principal of the school ever since it was organized. There are about 65 pupils in attendance at the present writing. The academy is well sustained, and has a reputation of doing good work in the cause of education.
The first church in the county was built on the Sanders farm in 1819, and the next, Rich Grove, was built on Herrin's Prairie in 1820. In 1823 the families of Davis, Corder and Parks erected a log church, a little north of Mayes farm. In 1824 the Methodists built a church in Northern Precinct. The first church on the Eight Mile Prairie was built in 1836. The pioneer churches of the county were the Methodists and Baptists. About the year 1835 considerable dissension arose among the Baptists of southern Illinois on doctrinal points. Some were in favor of missionary work, and others opposed to it. In consequence of this difference, a division of the church took place in 1839, when Mount Zion Church, now called Davis Prairie, was formed by seceders from old Bethlehem Church. The churches had been requested to say whether they would "fellowship the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions and its various branches." And in May 1839, the Bethlehem Church decided the question in the negative, whereupon the minority withdrew and organized the foresaid Mount Zion Church, and in July of the same year adopted the following "Articles of Faith:"
1. We believe in the one only true and living God, the father, the Word and the Holy Ghost.
2. We believe in the impotency of man, and that it is utterly impossible for him to his own free will, to recover himself from that state.
3. That God so loved the world, that He gave His Son to die--who tasted death for every man, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.
4. We believe in the doctrine of election and reprobation as it is written in the Scriptures.
5. That all true believers in Christ are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.
6. We believe that baptism is an ordinance of God's house, and is performed in no other way but by immersion; and that none are legal administrators, but such as have been called by the church, and have come under the imposition of the hands of a presbytery.
7. We believe that the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is also an ordinance of God's house, and that none have a right thereto but such as have been baptized, and come into union with us.
8. We believe that the washing of the saint's feet is a duty, and that it should be kept up in the house of God.
9. We believe that the Gospel of Christ is to be preached to all nations and that Christ's church is the means by which this is to be effected.
The names of the members of this new church were Wilfred Ferrell, Hezakiah Ferrell, Martha J Ferrell, Timothy Teal, Elizabeth Teal, Abraham Keaster, Polly Keaster, Lewis Keaster, Polly Leathers, Edmund Jones, Anna Rich, Drury A Moseley, Slina Corder, Manning Campbell, Maria Campbell and Lorenzo D Hartwell. Unity Church in Williamson County stood to the decision of the Bethlehem Church. Mount Zion Church sent delegates to the Salem Association of the United Baptists asking for membership and was received. The United or Missionary Baptist Church increased, while the Regular or Non-Missionary Church decreased, so that nearly all the Baptists of this county now belong to the United Baptist Church. Bethlehem Church, which is about 4 miles east of Marion, and another one about 5 miles NW of Marion, still adheres to the old doctrine. Unity Church, above referred to, was organized about the year 1830, with about 10 members. They erected a log house in which to worship, which stood until it was consumed by fire during the war. The church was then disbanded, and the members joined other churches.
The pastorate of Mount Zion Church was filled nearly all the time up to 1860 by one or the other of the Ferrells, who were ordained ministers at the organization thereof. They were followed by DG Young, John Gould and others. Among the first Baptist ministers of the county, were Rev Charles Lee, who organized Bethlehem Church about the year 1830, also Revs John Maddox, Bailey Adams and Isaac Herrin.
The Marion Baptist Church was organized in Aug 1865. Elders William Ferrell, David Butler and WB Chamness were the council, and Elder David Butler was the first pastor. The original members of this church were Isaac McCoy, Thomas Carter, John Jenkins, William Wagoner, Selinda A McCoy, Louisa Carter, Susan Wagoner, Mary Jenkins, Agnes Jenkins, Louisa Pitts, Melinda Hargett, Mary Moore, Margaret Ireland, Adaline Bennett, Isabella Marshock, Elizabeth Tinker, Ellen McElvoy, Nancy A Morris and Maria Penninger. The church has 49 members at present, and 208 members have been enrolled on its books from first to last during its existence. Elder WB Wester, is the present pastor.
Hurricane Baptist Church, 8 miles west of Marion, was organized about the year 1840, with the following members, viz: Sarah Nolen, Matthew M and Hester Walker, Elizabeth C Walker, WJ Walker, JV Crain, Alice Crain, Cyrus, Hannah and Mary Campbell, Mary Reeves and Isaac and Mary Perry. Elders James McCowan and DS Crain were the council. Elder McCowan was the first pastor.
Coal Bank Springs Church, situated in the SE part of the county, is the outgrowth of Indian Camp and Rock Creek Churches, which consolidated in 1865. It was organized with about 100 members. Elder William Ferrell, was its first pastor. In 1873 a new church was organized under the name of Indian Camp, the members of which came mostly from Coal Bank Springs Church
Herrin's Prairie Church is situated on Herrin's Prairie, about 10 miles NW of Marion. It was first an arm of Hurricane Church, which was extended in February 1865, and in December of that year that the church was organized with TB Warren and DG Young as council. The original members were 27 in number. Elder Warren was the first pastor. The church has now a membership of about 85.
Shiloh Church located near Corinth in Northern Precinct, was organized in Oct 1866, with a membership of 15. IN Hester, RC Keele and JMC Foster were the presbytery; Elder RC Keele was the first pastor. It has a membership of 57. Crab Orchard Church, located about 5 miles SW of Marion, was organized under the name of Grassy Creek in Aug 1850. Elders William Ferrell, DS Crain and MM Walker were the council. The original members were 15 in number, and the membership is now reported at 127.
Lake Creek Church, located 5 miles north of Marion, was organized in 1852 with 17 members. Elders JM Shadowin and Joseph T Williams were the council, and the latter the first pastor. The membership of this church is reported at 84. Bainbridge Church was organized in May 1865 with 13 members. Elders TW Chamness, DS Crain and WB Chamness and Deacons Peter Milner and Henry Frey were the council, and Elder TW Chamness, first pastor. William's Prairie Church located about 9 miles NE of Marion, was organized in 1861. Its present membership is reported at 113. In addition to the foregoing Baptist Churches others of the same denomination are reported as follows: Antioch--41 members, Carterville--25 members, Center--65 members, Cana--61 members, Creal Springs--41 members, Fairview--50 members, Grassy Creek--66 members, Palestine--85 members, Providence--56 members. All of these churches sustain Sunday-schools.
Methodist Episcopal Church
For a list of the presiding elders of this church for the Mount Vernon District, of which Williamson and Franklin Counties are a part, and for information pertaining to its early history, the reader is referred to the history of the latter county. The Methodist Episcopal Church in Marion was organized soon after the town was established, and in 1845 the members thereof built what was called the "Sweet Gum Church", which was so named because of its being built entirely out of sweet gum logs. The society worshiped in this house until about the year 1859, when the present brick edifice was erected. This church was organized by Rev Williams, one of the pioneer Christian workers of this part of the State. Among the original members of it were Thomas Cox, William Benson, Hugh LaMaster, Mary Ann LaMaster, William Chism and wife, and John McCoy and wife. Nearly or quite all of the original members of this society have finished their work on earth, and gone to receive their rewards. Rev GW LaMaster, who is still living at an advanced age a few miles northwest of Marion, united with this society in 1848. Rev HA Doty is the present pastor, and since September 1884, he has organized three other societies, viz: Schoharie, with 40 members; Bethlehem, with 23 members, and County Line with 21 members. Perry's Church, 3 miles northwest of Marion, with a membership of 60 and the Schoharie Church, are connected with the Marion charge. Marion Church has a membership of 100, thus making 200 members in the several societies of this charge. The pastor, Rev Doty, is a native of Union Co, IL and has been in the ministry 9 years, in the Mt Vernon District, southern Illinois Conference.
The ME Church at Carterville was organized since that village was established; a good edifice has been erected, and Rev JR Reef of Carbondale is the present pastor. The ME Church edifice at Crab Orchard was built in 1878; Rev CE Cline was the first pastor of the society, and Rev JB Kenshaw the present one. Other churches of this denomination within the county, are Spring Grove, east of Crab Orchard; Pleasant Grove, about 3 miles north thereof; Union Grove, about 7 miles east of Marion; Corinth, in Northern Precinct; Creal Springs, and perhaps others. The ME Churches in the country have an average membership of about 65, and all have Sunday schools connected with them. LA Goddard is superintendent of the Sunday school of the ME Church in Marion.
Methodist Episcopal Church South
During the latter part of the late civil war the ME Church South was established at Marion, under the labors of an evangelist, and Rev William Finley became the first pastor thereof. The church has been supplied regularly with a minister ever since by the Illinois Conference of the ME Church South, Rev TT Kendrick being the present pastor. The original members of this church were John Edwards and wife, and their son CM Edwards, Lovina Cook, Jeremiah Rice and wife, James Hudgepeth and wife, SS Vick and wife and others. The present church edifice was completed in 1872, costing with the lost about $1000. A Sunday-school was organized soon after the organization of the church. JN Moore if the present superintendent. The present membership is about 85, and the society has a comfortable parsonage property valued at $800. Fountain ME Church South was organized in 1878 or 1879, and Rev William Finley was its first pastor. It is located about seven miles south of Marion. Alex C Nelson and wife, James Simmons and wife, Scott Simmons and wife, George W Moak and wife, James S Hudgens and others were original members. Stone Fort ME Church South was organized in 1885 by Rev WH Nelson. Dr Osborn and wife, Dr Goe and wife and Mrs GW Rose were among its original members. The present membership is about 85. This church has increased rapidly and its church property is valued at $1100. Rev TT Kendrick is the pastor. This church also supports a good Sunday-school. The foregoing three churches constitute the Marion Circuit in the Ashley District of the Illinois Conference. There seems to be a growing demand for the extension of the ME Church South.
The Christian Church in Marion was organized soon after the town was located, perhaps in 1843, by Elders Bristow and Hayes, who were the pioneer ministers of this church in this county, although they were not residents. Joab and Nancy Goodall, John and Phebe Pully, Davis and others were among the first members. The minister of this church have been Archibald T Benson, Samuel Nowland, Isaac Mulkey, Banteau Crim, WH Bowels, Matthew Wilson, John A Williams, ----- Trinbell and JJ Jones. The present membership is about 75. The present brick church was erected in 1877, at a cost of about $4000. Shiloh Christian Church, 3 miles south of Marion, was organized about 1862, and at present writing its membership numbers about 60. Elder Crim is the pastor. Serilda Christian Church, located 10 miles south of Marion, was organized about the year 1877, and has now about 40 members. Eight Mile Prairie Christian Church was organized about the year 1846, by Elders AT Benson and Ulysses Heap, with about 60 members. The present membership is about 100. Carterville Christian Church was organized recently, and has a membership of about 40, but no church edifice. Herrin's Prairie Christian Church was organized about the year 1864, and has now 40 members. Beaver Pond and Oak Grove Christian Church was organized during the latter part of the sixties (1860's) and now has about 100 members. Jeffersonville Christian Church was organized prior to 1870 by Elder MF Wilson. It now has about 50 members and Elder Crim preaches for them. Furges School-house congregation, recently organized, has about 25 members, and Elder Crim also preaches for them. There are scattering members of this church denomination all over the county, who are not members of any particular organization. Good Sunday-schools are maintained by all the Christian Churches, and during the last few years an increased interest has been manifested in Sunday-school work by all the churches in the county. William H Warder is the superintendent of the Sunday-school of the Christian Church in Marion.
A Presbyterian Church (of the new school) was organized in Marion in Aug 1845, by Revs W Chamberlain and Williston Jones. The following are the names of the original members: Samuel Aikman, Henrietta Aikman, William Aikman, Maria E Aikman, Eliab Aikman, Lewis Calvert, Mary Cox, Louisa Cox and Margaret McMurray. A church was erected during the ministry of Rev Nehemiah Hunt, who took charge in 1848. His successors were Revs John W McCord, John Ingersoll, Hillery Patrick and Charles G Sellick--the latter after the war. The building erected under the administration of Rev Hunt was taken down in 1870, and the materials were sold to the Cumberland Presbyterians, who used then in erecting a church of their own 4 miles east of town. The lost, which had been donated by Rev Hunt, was sold for $205, and the money sent to him at his home in Sterling Center, MN. When the church was sold as above mentioned the organization was dissolved, and the members united with other denominations. The Cumberland Presbyterians above referred to organized their church 4 miles east of Marion, in 1867, under the labors of Rev LG Simpson. The original members were Rev LG Simpson and wife, Rev JN Calvert and Clementine Parks, all of whom, so far as known, are living at the present, except Rev JN Calvert. The present membership numbers 30, and Rev JL Hudgens is the present pastor. The Presbyterians have an organization and church edifice at Carterville, and the Cumberland Presbyterians also have an organization there, but no edifice.
In the preparation of the history of Williamson County the writer has consulted the works of Milo Erwin and Rev Throgmorton and acknowledges information and extracts taken therefrom. Acknowledgements are also due to the county officers for the privilege of consulting their records and for information given by them, and to all others who have kindly furnished valuable information for this work.
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