Williamson County, Illinois
Genealogy and History

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Blairsville Township

Places in Blairsville Twp

Section 1 -- Weaver was a mining camp which was est in 1902. There were no police officers in Weaver.  After the mine was gone, the town began to disappear and by 1938 it was completely gone. Today there are a few houses on a country road.

Section 8 -- Bush was a mining camp named for BF Bush and est in Sep 1905.  In 1925, the Missouri Pacific RR company was located here. At one time there was an orphanage in Bush, which was still in use in the 1970's. Bush is now a small village.

Section 9 -- North Bend was a small village - today there are just one or two houses left

Section 11 -- Humphrey's Ford was est by Charles Humphrey, who came to the twp in 1808 being the first to settle there. This was a ford to cross the Big Muddy River. He left Williamson Co about 1812 and moved to Kaskasia.

Section 10/11 -- Vancil's Bend was located on the line between sections 10 and 11 just about where Humphreys Ford was. It was probably a homestead rather than a village. Isaac Vancil was born in KY (1800-1872), his father was Jonas (1754-1856), a Morman minister. Isaac had a colorful past having lived in Union and Jackson Counties. I am unsure just when he reached Williamson Co, but in 1869 he married Mary B (Dillon) Finney (great-greatgrandmother of Jeana Gallagher, former host of this site) She, along with several of her children from her first marriage, moved to Vancil's Bend. In April of 1872, the KKK visited the family, and told them to leave the area within two weeks. The reason for this request is unknown, but it is thought that the KKK wanted access to the ford. On 22 Apr 1872, when the KKK returned to find Isaac still living there, they hung him. According to some accounts, this happened away from the house, but according to family members, it was in front of the family in his front yard. The Governor put up a large reward for the murders, and one witness was also murdered. In 1900, the area was still known as Vancil's Bend

Section 14 -- Clifford was a mining camp named for Clifford Garrison, also known as the Consolidated #8 mine.  In 1925 there were 1500 people living here.  All that remains today are a few houses. It was located just north of Colp on the Clifford Road.

Section 18  -- Hurst was a mining town plated in 1903 on the farm of WC Hurst. It became a town on 29 Dec 1905. 

Section 20 -- Blairsville was est by William Campbell in 1823. There was a ford here across the Big Muddy River, the bank was steep so they would yell out to pull tight when crossing, earning the name Pull-Tight. Mr Campbell sold out to Stephen Blair in 1832. The 1876 map shows a Post Office located there.  In Oct 1900, 8 blocks were platted, with 32 lots for Samuel Brush for an addition.   Today it is a small village.

Section 22 -- Colp was a mining camp est by John Colp in Dec 1913 also known as Madison #9 and "Pistol City".   Today Colp remains a small village

Section 26 -- Sunnyside was a mining camp on the west side of Herrin. Sunnyside was incorporated into Herrin after 1930

Section 27 -- Brush Junction was established as a RR junction by Samuel T Brush.

Section 28 -- Bobby Dick Mine.
Picture of Diner at Bobby Dick Mine 1920's

Section 29 -- Beaver Pond was actually the homestead of John Beaver est in 1842. Having a very large family, he founded a church and school.

Section 31 -- Downey Crossing was a mining camp est by Mark Bendleman.

Section 32 -- Cambria was est as a mining town. In 1895 a RR station was opened as Lauder. The post office was est in 1905 under the name of Reeves.   In 1911 the town changed its name to Cambria which is the Latin name for Wales. 

Cambria, 1930's
Tenant houses on west side of Cambria road, 1930's

Section 34 -- Dewmaine a mining camp named for Admiral Dewey and the ship "Maine", also known as Madison #8. There were mine riots here in May 1898.  In 1925, there were 500 people living here.  The Madison Coal Company office was located here.  Nothing remains today. It was located on the south side of what is Gary's Metals today on the Carterville-Colp Rd.

Section 36 -- Malcolmville a mining camp est by Malcom McNeil. Hafer was the name of a trolley station in which a small hamlet grew up around Today all that remains are a few houses.

Blairsville Twp Churches


Town or section

Bethel Blairsville  
East Beaver Pond Baptist sec 29 est in 1841 by John Beaver
Hafer Baptist sec 36  
North Bend Pentecostal North Bend  
unknown Baptist Dewmaine  

Blairsville Twp Cemeteries -- Transcriptions





sec 20



sec 8



sec 20



sec 35



sec 26

on Carterville-Colp road


sec 18

This is possibly the Howard Cemetery just over the county line in Jackson Co.


sec 28



sec 21

on Herrin-Colp road



aka Cambria


sec 32

privately owned in a strip mined area

Blairsville Twp Schools


Town or section


Beaver Pond

sec 29

est 1840 by John Beaver, on 1876 map



on 1876 map, in use in 1900


sec 36

closed in 1915, students sent to Sunnyside

East Beaver Pond #113

sec 28


Hurst-Bush Grade

sec 18

est 1865 in Russell dist, closed in 1980's, students sent to Herrin

Hurst-Bush High

sec 18

closed in 1970's, students sent to Herrin

Sunnyside #30

sec 25

est 1920's it was later used for special education classed before closing in the 1980's

Weaver #33


est 1904, closed 1938

West Beaver Pond

sec 31






sec 16

on 1876 map



closed in 1970's, students sent to Herrin


sec 35

on 1876 map


sec 27

on 1876 map

Blairsville Twp Mines





Weaver #2 then Old Ben #20

opened Sep 1902, closed due to quicksand, re-opened 1904, sold to Old Ben in 1921



opened by Western Coal & Mining 1902



opened by Johnson Hubbs


Mine #1

near Bush opened by Paralee Murphy


Clifford or Big Muddy #8

opened 1902-1923 by OL Garrison


Mine #12

opened 1908-1932


Madison Mine # 9

near Colp, opened 1901 by John Colp, he sold it in 1906



opened Sep 1899-1925

Sunnyside Mine, Herrin, IL

Sunnyside Mine west of Herrin






Madison #27




opened abt 1903 by William A Perrine

4 miles NE of Herrin

Bobby Dick Mine
aka Pond Creek Mine and Freeman No. 1 Mine



opened 1900-1920 by Mark Rendleman



opened in 1904 by Thomas Jones



opened by Samuel T Brush


Dawes Shaft--Mine #8

opened 1893 by Samuel T Brush, riots in 1898, last non-union mine


Pumpkin Ridge

opened 1903-1925 by Henry Hafer


Blue Blaze #2



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