Pulaski County

1883 History

Part IV — The History of Pulaski County



THE enabling act authorizing the people of Pulaski County to vote upon the removal of the county seat from North Caledonia to Mound City passed the Legislature in February, 1865, and the vote was taken on the thirteenth of May following. This question in Pulaski County engendered the same feeling and unpleasantness among the people that invariably develops upon a question of this character. The vote, however, resulted in favor of its removal, and after some legal objection had been determined it was moved to Mound City in 1868. Judge John Olney held the first court after its removal. The City Hall building had been given to the county without charge. The court was held in the hall, while the rooms on the first floor were occupied by the Clerks and Sheriff. At the time of the removal, A. M. Brown was County Judge, with Capt. W. L. Hambleton and George W. Carter, Associates; H. M. Smith, Circuit Clerk; H. C. Mertz, County Clerk, and George Minnich, Sheriff. In 1869, Col. E. B. Watkins was elected, and continued County Clerk until 1873, when Daniel Hogan was elected. He continued Count}' Clerk until 1882, the expiration of his second term, when he was elected State Senator from this the Fifty-first District. John A. Waugh, the present incumbent, was elected in November, 1882. B. L. Ulen was elected Circuit Clerk in 1872; was re-elected in 1878 and 1882, and consequently is the present Clerk. Mr. Ulen lived in Pulaski County since 1855. He was four years in the Union arm}'; was severely wounded, making him a cripple for life. George S. Pigeon was County Judge until 1872, when he resigned, and the Governor appointed Judge A. M. Brown to fill the vacancy. In 1873, G.L. Tombelle was elected, and continued County Judge until 1877, when Judge A. M. Brown was again elected, but died before his term expired, and this vacancy was filled by Judge Smith, who is still the County Judge. In 1866, S. 0. Lewis was elected Sheriff, and in 1868 H. W. Dyer; in 1870, Thomas C. Kenneday; in 1874, H. H. Spencer was elected Sheriff, and in 1876 Robert Wilson was elected Sheriff, and held the office until 1880, when L. F. Crain, the present Sheriff, was elected, serving out his second term. These gentlemen have held the position in the county since the removal of the county seat to Mound City. Judge Thomas J. Mansfield, the County Judge, in 1856 removed and lived for a year or more in Mound City. When he came to Mound City, no Justice of the Peace or Police Magistrate had been elected. Parties for disturbing the peace were frequently brought before him. If any of them appeared the second time, he invariably said, " Here you are, boys, again. I fine you $3 and cost." If their attorney insisted on an investigation, the Judge would remark, " The judgment was entered; no further proceedings in order." The officer would retain the party assessed until fine and cost were paid. Judge Mansfield came to Pulaski County from Franklin County, Ill., but was originally from Tennessee. He moved to Texas after the expiration of his term of office, and there died.

The first lawyer that located in Mound City was F. M. Rawlings. He had moved from Louisville in 1847 to Benton, 111., and was soon after elected State's Attorney, when only twenty-three years old. Under the judical districting of the State, he was Prosecuting Attorney for more than a dozen courts. In 1850, he went to Cairo, and for awhile edited a paper in Cairo. He moved to Thebes, then the county seat of Alexander County, and while there he was elected to the State Legislature. In 1855, he moved to Mound City (his father, Gen. Rawlings, having laid out the city in 1854), and practiced law in this judical district until 1858, when he died. He was a young man of fine ability.

The second attorney that practiced law in Mound City was William Hunter. He came to the city a pattern-maker, and worked at his trade in the foundry in 1857, and at the same time taught and led a brass band. George Mertz, the foreman at the foundry, had a lawsuit. He went to employ Frank Rawlings, but Rawlings informed him he was employed by the other party. Hunter hearing of Mertz's trouble, volunteered his services. They were accepted and from that day on he was a full fledged lawyer. He finally moved to Memphis, joined the Union army, when war was declared. He became a' Major, and after the war was Judge of the Criminal Court in Memphis.

George W. Hite, from Bardstown, Ky., lived and practiced law for a short time in Mound City. He had been a member of the Kentucky Legislature, was a pleasant speaker, looked upon as a good lawyer, but moved to Louisville, Ky.

R. H. Warner was elected in 1856 Justice of the Peace, and James Coons and F. A. Fair, Constables They were the first officials of the city. Dick Warner, as he was familiarly called, had no great judicial ability, and while he held the office he shunned its duties as much as possible. Soon after his election, parties came in from the country in search of Joe Tibbs, who they said had been harboring and concealing horse-thieves. They found Tibbs in Warner's store. Tibbs inquired. if they had a warrant for him; when they said no, he drew his pistol and walked away, mounted his horse and rode home. The next week, the same parties brought Joe Tibbs in, and took him before Squire Warner for a less serious offense. George W. Hite was employed to prosecute Tibbs. While the trial was in progress, Jim Anglin, one of the prosecuting party, asked Joe Tibbs if he had told a neighbor that they had him arrested because they wouldn't feed him any longer. Tibbs replied that he had, and Anglin struck him in the face. Tibbs drew his pistol. The Justice went out at the back door, followed by Hite, the Prosecuting Attorney, while the others followed, or went out through the windows. Tibbs leisurely walked out and over to Gen. Rawlings' store, bought some goods and went home. That ended the trial, and the next day Dick Warner resigned his office. Jim Coons, the Constable, was killed some years later in a saloon at Ashley, Ill.

After Hite left, Tom Green came, and practiced law several years. During the time, his brother, E. Bell Green, came, and practiced awhile before he moved to Mt. Carmel, where he still lives and has an extensive practice. His brother Tom went to Kansas City. Then came Hite and Watts from Louisville, Ky., in 1869. They practiced law about two years in Mound City, when they returned to Louisville. In 1859, S. P. Wheeler, now of Cairo, located in Mound City to practice law; he was young in the practice, and young in years, but studious, and gave evidence of much promise in the future, which has been verified. He was generally found defending those charged with violating the law. To fill the vacancy caused by Warner's hasty resignation, A. W. McCormick had been elected Justice and Acting Police Magistrate. The Esquire's education had been neglected in his youth, but he was ever ready to sit in judgment upon his fellow-man when complained of. He came from Memphis, and lived on a flat-boat, with his family, in 1857, but moved on shore before he was elected. The improvements going on at the time in the city brought every character of people to the place, many of them adventurers, consequently there were frequent broils and violations of the statutes. During Esquire McCormick's administration, Wheeler was before his court constantly defending parties, but day after day, and week after week, his clients were found guilty. This sort of thing began to feel and look discouraging to a young lawyer. One day, while thus discouraged, he was defending a man before the Squire, and had established the fact, beyond a doubt, that his client was innocent, but the Esquire, with his thumbs in his vest, legs crossed, while he gave his judicial chair a gentle motion, found Wheeler's client guilty, accompanied with a lecture to law-breakers and evil-doers generally. Wheeler was outraged and indignant, and broke out in unmeasured terms of the court and his findings, and said at the close that he would not stand it; that the law and the evidence; that right and justice, had all been violated by the court. This was said before the audience that usually attend the Justice's court. The court adjourned, and the Esquire took Wheeler into an adjoining room, and said: "See here, Dr. Casey told me to decide all the cases in favor of the city, and if you will say nothing more about it, I will decide the next case in favor of any one you may be defending." and that settled the unpleasantness between the court and attorney. Henry G. Carter came to Mound City with his father, Judge George W. Carter, in 1860. He returned to Kentucky to study law, but came back to Mound City. The first case in which he ever appeared was in 18G2. It was. one in which his father was complainant. The trial was before O. A. Osburne, Esq. His father felt considerable interest in the suit, but believed his son Henry could carry him through it safely. S. P. Wheeler was the opposing counsel. Esquire Osburne had upon his table, opened at the pages referring to such cases, the latest statutes, “Osling's Justice" and "Haines' Treatise." The trial commenced and proceeded to the close, interspersed on the part of the attorneys with the usual, "I object," but the Esquire referred to his library, and rapidly decided all objections to questions or points of law. The case was closed, and the decision of the Esquire was against George W. Carter, greatly to his disappointment. He turned to his son Henry and said in great earnestness: " My son, I have gone to much trouble and expense to educate 3'ou* and fit 3'ou for the practice of the law, but if this is. the best you can do, 3'ou had better quit it and go to plowing, corn."

Late in 1858, Judge J. R. Emerie came to Mound City from Hillsboro. Ohio. He had been County Judge of the county, and had been a Member of Congress one term from that district. He was elected Police Magistrate in 1860, and continued to act in that capacity until 1865. A part of the time he edited the Mound City Gazette, and kept a grocery store, besides practicing law. He died in Mound City in 1869.

James B. Crandell came to Mound City from Caledonia in 1863; sold groceries until 1865, when he commenced the practice of law; since that time, he has been in active practice, and still resides in Mound City.

Col. E. B. Watkins moved to Mound City from Caledonia in 1869. He was County Clerk, but practiced law; was elected to the State Legislature in 1876, and died in 1880. He was a man of ability; he took an active part in politics; was frequently elected School. Director, taking great interest in the prosperity and success of the public schools.

H. G. Carter, the present City Attorney, J. P. Roberts ex-County Attorney, and one of the Chester Penitentiary Commissioners, J. B. Crandell and John Linegar, L. M. Bradley, the present County Attorney, Thomas Boyd and W. T. Breeze are the resident attorneys of Mound City.

The Emporium Company, recognizing the press greater than any other means they could employ, to advance the interest of the company. Even before the company was organized in 1856, bought a printing press at Cincinnati and had it shipped to 'Mound City. The first number of the National Emporium was issued in June, 1856. With the press came the editor, who prints his name at the head of its columns, Dr. Z. Casterline, with J. Walter Waugh, publisher. Dr. Casterline came from Ohio, and J. Walter Waugh from Pennsylvania. Casterline edited the paper about six months, when he departed to some other country. J. Walter Waugh, the publisher, went to Aviston, Ill., and commenced the study of divinity. A few years later, he went to the West Indies as Missionary and is still there enlightening the people upon the great hereafter. When Dr. Casterline vacated the editorial chair, Moses B. Harrell sat down in it, and John A. Waugh, a brother to J. Walter, became its publisher. Harrell came to Mound City from Cairo. He was a ready and graceful writer. He advocated the interests of the Emporium Company, Mound City, and the county with ability. His editorials were fall of good sense. The advantages Mound City possessed as a desirable location for manufactories were truthfully represented. Harrell was full of wit and repartee, and never came out second best in the tilts he had with his brother editors. He was clear and distinct in all he wrote, and gave great satisfaction to his readers. The Emporium Company's financial embarrassments indicated retrenchment on their part, and they withdrew their support from the paper, and Harrell withdrew from the editorship in 1859, after which he moved back to Cairo, and edited the Cairo Gazette for a number of years, and from Cairo he went to Chicago, where he now lives, and is connected with a paper at the Stock Yards. Wherever he goes, the people that lived in Mound City during his Emporium days will be glad to know that he lives, and hope, when his time comes, he may die happy.

Upon Mr. Harrell retiring from the paper, its publisher, John A. Waugh, became editor, and continued its editor until 1860. Mr. Waugh became clerk of the Marine Railway Company in 1865, and continued to occupy that position until the death of Capt. Hambleton, the Superintendent, in 1883. Mr. Waugh is a Christian gentleman; was elected County Clerk in November, 1882. He made a good editor, a good clerk at the Ways, and is making a good County Clerk. Upon Mr. Waugh's retiring from the Emporium, no paper was published in Mound City until late in 186U. Judge J. R. Emerie started the Mound City Gazette, but it survived only a year. After the collapse of the Gazette, Mound City was not represented by a newspaper until 1864, when J. D. Mondy established and edited the Mound City Journal, but he was soon relieved by S. P. Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler continued to edit the paper until 1865, when he published his valedictory, and soon after moved to Cairo, where he still resides. He was a bold and independent writer, and advocated the claims of Mound City and Pulaski County with zeal and earnestness. He came to Mound City when comparatively a hoy, in 1859. As lawyer, editor and citizen, he is still remembered in the kindest manner by his old friends and associates in Mound City.

H. R. Howard, who had been the publisher of the paper during Wheeler's administration, assumes the duties of editor, and May 26. 1866, he sold the press and all else belonging to it, to Capt. H. F. Potter, who was its editor from that day until he removed to Cairo in 1874, taking his press with him.

Capt. Potter had considered himself a resident of Mound City from 1864, as, while he was at that time in the army, his family lived in Mound City. When the war was over, after having served his country more than four years, he joined his family at Mound City, andsoon thereafter, as stated, bought the Mound City Journal . He devoted his entire time and talents to his paper, and it became the organ of the city and county. He discussed, what seemed to be the interest of both town and county with intelligence, and did not overlook State or National affairs. He was conservative and judicious in all he said, and his paper had much influence wherever read. He now edits the Cairo and Mound City Journal, weekly, and the Cairo Argus, daily. He was elected Circuit Clerk of Pulaski County in 1868, for four years, and was elected Chief Enrolling and Engrossing Clerk of the Senate of the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth General Assembly, which duties he performed with credit to himself, and to the satisfaction of all interested. While he is not now a citizen of Mound Cit3% her people remember and appreciate him. The National Emporium, throughout its existence, was neutral in politics, its object and aim being to advance originally the interest of the Emporium Company, and of Mound City. When the name of the paper was changed to the Mound City Journal, and later, when Capt. H. F. Potter purchased it, under his management it was Democratic.

The Pulaski Patriot was established and first copy issued on the 17th day of June, 1871, by A. J. Alden and B. O. Jones, editor and publisher; Republican in politics; a seven-column folio. The second week, F. R. Waggoner associated himself with Alden & Jones in the business, and withdrew November 16 of the same year. The week following, the firm of Alden & Jones was dissolved, Alden retiring on the 7th of December. B. A. Jones sold the entire outfit of the office to F. R. Waggoner, who became the editor. On the 1st of January, 1872, M. 0. H. Turner purchased an interest, the firm name being Waggoner & Turner. This firm continued the publication of the Patriot until the 1st of November, 1872 » when Turner withdrew. On the 1st of December of same year, Fred W. Corson became associated in the business, the firm name of Waggoner & Corson. On the 10th of April, 1873, Dr. Waggoner withdrew and was succeeded by Ed H. Bintliff; firm name Corson & Bintliff. On the 23d of January, 1874, Bintliff withdrew, and Corson continued alone until the 1st of November, 1874, when he sold the office to Ed S. Ackerman and A. Ackerman, with the latter as editor, who continued to conduct the affairs of the paper until December, 1877, when he retired, and the paper passed entirely into the hands of Ed S. Ackerman, who continued the business until the latter part of July, 1880. During these years, the paper was a seven-column folio, with both sides printed at home, until 1879, when it was enlarged to an eight-column, with one side patent. In July, 1880, J. P. Robarts purchased the office reduced the paper to seven columns printed at home, and continued the publication until the 1st of September, 1881, when L. M. Bradley purchased an interest. The present firm name, Robarts & Bradley, proprietors, always Republican in politics. For the above history of the Patriot we are indebted to W. S. Singleton, local editor.

The first physician to locate in Mound City was Dr. James F. Mahan in 1856. He remained only a short time; the second was Dr. R. M. Embry had his office room No. 10, Shelton House, but like Mahan, he soon went farther West. The third practicing physician was Dr. J. H. Brown, and it was in 1856. Brown came from Bardstown, Ky. He was an educated and intelligent gentleman. He was retiring and diffident in his manners, was not married, and was reaching that age when a single man was liable to be called a bachelor; notwithstanding his diffidence, upon an acquaintance, he was genial and social, and became a favorite with the people. He practiced medicine several years in the city, when he bought a farm three miles northwest of Mound City and moved onto it, and soon became a great enthusiast upon the subject of growing apples, peaches, and all kinds of fruit. He continued the practice of medicine in the country, but his great sympathy for the sick, and their suffering seemed to him as much as they ought to endure, without paying a doctor's bill; consequently he did not realize much from his profession. Some years ago, he moved back to Kentucky. He pays Mound City and Pulaski County an occasional visit, when he is warmly welcomed by his old-time friends. He was elected City Councilman when living in the city, and while he was living in the country he was elected Count}' Superintendent of Schools. He has never married; resides at Bardstown, K}., inhaling the perfumes of the blue grass. Soon after Dr. Brown, came Dr. Stapp, located in Mound City. He was a middle-aged man, with a large family; he remained a year or two. Where he came from or where he went to is not known. He was followed b}' Dr. Robert Kelly, who came from Kentucky, and practiced medicine for several years in Mound City with success. He went to Texas, and was never heard of afterward. Dr. A. Gregg was the fifth doctor to locate in Mound City, and lived for several years in the city, practicing medicine. He was an educated physician, and was a surgeon of some reputation. He had practiced medicine in China for a number of years. He bought a lot and built a house; the latter he said represented the style of houses built in China. It was one story high with low ceiling, with a flat roof and located where Mrs. Capt. Hambleton's residence now stands. The Doctor was fond of exhibiting Chinese curiosities that he had collected while in that country. He moved from Mound City to Memphis. Tenn. In June, 1857, Dr. N. R. Casey came from Mount Vernon, III., and located in Mound City. Dr. Genick. an educated German, came next. After remaining several years, he moved to Cairo, and from there to St. Louis, where he died some years ago. During the war, and while the United States Government Hospital remained, the city was full of doctors, those attached to the Hospital not refusing a call to see a patient in the city. Some of them remained after the war was over. Among them Dr. A, C. McCoy, who was a long, slim man, with eyes receding, said to have been so from the time he had laid a number of days, supposed to have departed this life, that is, his spirit. He had quite a practice, and gave general satisfaction. He at one time became much concerned about the existence of what was known at one time as the Ku Klux. He imagined that they were located in or about Mound City, and that he was liable to meet them almost any dark night; he moved from the city. Dr. A. Kimsic, a large, portly gentleman, located in Mound City in 1867. He was rough and bluff, did much practice and was regarded a good physician. His health was bad during the last year that he practiced in Mound City; he went to St. Louis, Mo., and died in the Sisters' Hospital, having been baptized a Catholic before he died, 1874. Dr. F. R. Waggoner came from Shelbyville, 111., and located in Mound City, and practiced medicine for several years, editing the Patriot paper a part of the time. He moved to Carbondale, receiving an appointment from the Government as Physician to some Indian Agency, and is now somewhere in the Indian Territory. In 1871, Dr. A. N. Amonett located in Mound City to practice medicine. He came from Columbia, Massac Co.. 111., but was original!}from Tennessee. He was a young physician of ability. In connection with his practice he purchased the drug store of George Mertz. His health failed him in 1875; in 1876, he went to Colorado, hoping the climate might restore him; but finding no relief, he started home. At St. Louis he took the Cairo Short-Line Railroad, but died in his seat in the car, soon after the train passed Belleville. Besides those alluded to, many others have come and gone. Of all the number, N. R. Casey is the only one that still remains in Mound City, he having been a resident of the place over twentysix years.

Early in 1857, a frame schoolhouse was built on Walnut street; it was built by subscription, Gen. Rawlings giving the lot and 150. It was of no great pretensions, but was large enough to hold all the children comfortably, then in the young city. Before the building of the schoolhouse, however, a school had been taught in a small building belonging to Frank Dougherty, located on the alley between Poplar and Walnut streets. Here the first school was taught by Samuel P. Steel, a 30ung man who had taken Greeley's advice and come West from Pennsylvania. For a number of years, he taught school in Mound City, and gave general satisfaction. He still resides in Pulaski County. At no time since has the necessity of schools been overlooked. When the public funds are exhausted, and the public schools have to close, pay schools are well supported until the public schools commence again. The amount of money expended in the townships for the fiscal year ending April 4, 1883, to wit: District No. 1, $2,381.90; District No. 2, $746.36; District No. 3, $931.53; District No. 4, $560.18; township miscellaneous expenses, $62.38; amount on hand at the end of the year, total, $4,765.40. The number of children attending the public schools during the past year, were 620, and the census shows 225 children under the school age. The School Directors provide a separate and comfortable schoolhouse. and furnish competent teachers for the colored children. The following were the teachers of the public school during the past year, and salaries paid them: Prof T. J. Crawford, Principal, salary, $75 per month; Mrs. Hattie M. Smith, Assistant, $48; Miss Flora Marford, Second Assistant, $45; Miss Phrona Howard, Third Assistant, $40; Miss Maggie Harris, $20; M. M. Avant (colored), and teacher of the colored school, S40, and his wife Assistant, with a salary of $18. The present school Directors are: F. G. Fricke, Edward A. Hayes and Quinn McCracken. The great fire of 1879 burned the public schoolhouse, and the building used for schools at that time, which left the city without a schoolhouse. The School Directors secured the City Hall building, making such improvements as required, and since then the public schools have occupied it.

Sabbath schools were organized as early as 1857, before there was a church organization. The same years temperance society was formed, and while several murders have been committed, and the murderers disposed of, without the benefit of judge or jury, which is always to be regretted, even when extenuating circumstances exist, notwithstanding, history records such instances in Mound City, a high regard for morality, the laws of the country, and the law of God, is recognized and observed by the actual citizens.

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