Genealogically Speaking....
May - August 2000

Weekly column published in The Rushville Times with information furnished by officials of the Schuyler Jail Museum. 

May 3, 2000
    May has arrived, and looking at the calendar, it appears to be a very busy month. May 14, Mother's Day, and May 28 and 29, Memorial Day, the Schuyler Jail Museum will be closed. May 20-21 will be the museum open house. From March 27-April 24, the museum had 79 registered visitors.
    High school graduation is another May event for Schuyler County. Following is a list of the graduates of RHS in the year 1900. They are: Bessie Briggle, Bessie Dace, Mary Fox, Edith Hoskinson, Edna Hutton, Ruth Jackson, Jessie Lawler, Lena Nieman, Pearl Seeley, Nellie Stover, Guy Briggle and Robert Work.
    Did you know that in the museum there is a steamboat pilot wheel? It was found in the mud on the river bank at Sharp's Landing in the early 1900s by William Heath. Also, there are woodworking tools owned by Joseph N. Ward. Mr. Ward came to Schuyler County in 1836 and was one of the surveyors when Camden was platted. These are just a few of the interesting items that can be seen in the museum.
    In 1882, the Rushville Brick and Tile Works was another prosperous business in Schuyler County. It was located in the south part of town, about three blocks from the public square and was owned by McCabe and Sons. It covered about 10,000 feet of ground and manuafactured about 1,000,000 bricks and 300,000 feet of tile annually. It had an employment of 25 people with six to seven hundred dollars being paid monthly for labor.
    Family histories in our genealogical library include: Allgood and Jennings, Allumbaugh family, Arnold, Ault, Austin, Bartlett, Baxters and their descendants, Bayles and Bealks, Corrie, Cripe, Crocker and Croxton.
    The Schuyler Jail Museum hours are 1-5 p.m., seven days a week. The phone number is 217-322-6975. Everyone is invited to stop and see the many exhibits on display and browse our volumes of genealogical material. --Edie Fishel

May 10, 2000
    In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May for the public observance of Mother's Day. It is now observed in countries around the world, sometimes with two day celebrations. The carnation has traditionally been the flower for Mother's Day. The color red indicates your mother is alive, white indicates your mother has passed away, and yellow indicates a bereaved mother. As a remembrance to all mothers, I want to share the following poem written by Katherine Nelson Davis.

What is Mother?

A mother is someone to shelter and guide us,
    To love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience
    And wonderful gentleness, too.
How often a mother means swift reassurance
    In soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children
    And treasure them all through the years!
The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness
    For any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family,
    Whose needs she has placed above all.
A mother can utter a word of compassion
    And make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter
    And make life delightful and gay.
A mother possesses incredible wisdom
    And wonderful insight and skill-
In each human heart is that one special corner
    Which only a mother can fill!

    The Schuyler Jail Museum will be closed Sunday, May 14, in observance of Mother's Day. Also, keep in mind, May 20 and 21 for the Schuyler Jail Museum open house. There have been several changes at the museum this year, including the new addition. All of the displays in the new addition are not completely finished but I'm sure everyone will be pleasantly surprised at what is there. There has been a lot of work done in the room and it is looking great. Come and see it. --Edie Fishel

May 17, 2000
    I would like to invite everyone to the Schuyler Jail Mueum's open house this Saturday and Sunday, May 20 & 21, from 1-5 p.m. There will be crafts, displays and food vendors. This is an excellent opportunity to tour the museum and see the changes that have been made, especially the new south addition. The history awards will be given out at 2 p.m. on Saturday with refreshments being served both days.

    In an earlier column I wrote of the chapel display in the new addition. To this display has now been added several mannequins dressed in complete Sunday attire. One mannequin has on the wedding dress of Alice Mary Deacon, who married Howard Dyson in 1890. Another mannequin is wearing a wedding gown of Helen Scott, who married John Graff in 1904. Still another mannequin has on the dark maroon wedding dress of Pauline Miller that she wore in 1884 when she married Andrew Hughes in Littleton. These, along with the other mannequins, add character to the chapel display.
    I would like to highlight the other displays in the new addition and will expand on their contents in future articles. Two really interesting articles in the school display are the multiplexes. Each multiplex is divided into the the townships of Schuyler County. The one multiplex contains pictures of the early schools and many of the classes that attended these schools. The other multiplex contains pictures of early Rushville and Schuyler County. I recommend to everyone to take the time to look at these multiplexes. There is also a kitchen display that hold many early kitchen items. One interesing item is a large walnut desk owned by Beverley Hale and made in 1868 from a walnut tree grown in Pleasant View. The medical room contains many early medical instruments used by the early doctors of Schuyler County and Culbertson Hospital. The parlor is also an interesing display containing many items from early Schuyler County, including a spinning wheel that belonged to Mary Walton (1810-1882) and two glass front cases from the Schuyler County Courthouse that hold many beautiful antique dishes. The lawyer's office contains, among other things, items of Alrick Mann Foster who was an Illinois State Representative from Schuyler County in the years 1906-1916. Come and see the many artifacts the museum has. It is a great asset to Schuyler County and the entire area.
    Family histories in our library: Geer, Glandon, the Gilbert family, Gobble, Graham/Grayum, Johnson, Johns, Jones, Parish, Payne and Putman.
    The regular museum hours are 1-5 p.m. seven days a week. The museum will be closed May 28 and 29 for the Memorial Day weekend. Try genealogy. You can't get fired and you can't quit. --Edie Fishel

May 24, 2000
    Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have given their lives in our nation's service. It was first proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
    Schuyler County has two monuments honoring our county veterans, both being on the courthouse lawn. The war memorial monument was dedicated May 30, 1953, by the local V. F. W. Post. It honors the war dead of World War I, World War II, Korean War and Viet Nam. The other monument, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, was dedicated May 30, 1912, by the Col. Horney Post, G. A. R. It was erected to the memory of all the soldiers and sailors of the county by Hart Fellows for the price of $2,175.
    Space does not permit the listing of Schuyler County's many veterans. These are listed in the 1983 edition of Schuyler County Illinois History which can be seen in the Schuyler Jail Musuem. I would like to list Schuyler County's first war casualties who are pictured in the museum. Pvt. Elmer Ward was the first Schuyler County man to lose his life in World War I, Floyd Bates Haffner died in 1941 at Pearl Harbor, PFC Norman Cox died in 1951 in Korea, John Russell Hendrix died in 1968 in Viet Nam, and Charles Bricker died in 1967 in Viet Nam.
    The Schuyler Jail Museum has a large display of military items of our veterans. There are several uniforms of all branches of the service, that was worn by our veterans. We also have many medals, ribbons, patches, pins, hats, helmets, etc., that belonged to our veterans and a number of photographs of our veterans. For anyone with an interest in military memorabilia or an interest in our veterans, this is worth seeing. The Heritage Room also has a file of many Revolutionary and Civil War records to help with genealogical research.
    From the History of Schuyler and Brown Counties, 1882, we note another of Rushville's prosperous businesses, The Rushville Marble Yard, located on Liberty Street, was owned by Crosier and Hutton. This industry started in 1859, employed five men and manufactured $8,000 of product annually.
    If you are of Irish descent, our library has many books to aid you in Irish ancestry. Some of these are: A Guide to Irish Churches and Graveyards, A Guide of Irish Parish Registers, Irish Settlers in America I and II, Irish Passenger Lists, Irish Families, The Surnames of Ireland, Irish Pedigrees I and II.
    The Schuyler Jail Musuem will be closed May 28 and 29 for the Memorial Day weekend.

May 31, 2000
    It was reported at the May board meeting that the Schuyler Jail Museum has 489 members. Since this number includes several who have not paid their year 2000 dues, we encourage those, wanting to renew their membership, to do so as soon as possible. After July, those who have not paid will be dropped from membership and will not receive "The Schuylerite." This year, being the 175th anniversary of Schuyler County, the "Schuylerite" is being published in four special editions, each individually indexed.
    Each year the Schuyler Jail Museum sponsors a history essay contest for the history students at Rushville High School. First place winner receives $40, the second place winner receives $25 and third place receives $15. Last year there were 60 essays entered and this year the number jumped to 80. The students write about various topics concerning Schuyler County. Our congratulations go to this year's winners: 1) "A Piece of Land Known as Ray" by Missy Stoneking; 2) "Hale Ridge School" by Ross Bartlett; and 3) "The Historical Legacy of the Schuyler Jail Museum" by Amanda Schisler. All of the essays are put into a binder and kept in the museum for anyone to read. Following are some of the titles of this year's essays: "The Tornado of 1981," "Shadows of the Park (Hanging of Murderer in Schuyler County)," "History of Phoenix Opera House," "Myths and Folklore in Schuyler County," "Schuyler County Bands of the Past," "Rafting on Crooked Creek," "A Browning History," "The Rushville Flying Club" and "The Cholera Epidemic of Schuyler County in 1834."
    The Heritage Room had about 70 visitors sign the guest register for May, coming from Batavia, Havana, Pekin, Chadlerville, Beardstown, Quincy, Stronghurst, Sandwich, Peoria, Mt. Sterling, Astoria, Manito, Springfield, Blandinsville, and Macomb in Illinois; Kentwood, La.; Springfield, Mo.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Las Vegas, Nev. We had several classes of school children tour the museum before school was dismissed. We always enjoy showing the musuem to the children.
    The Schuyler Jail Museum has two new books for sale: "Schuyler County, Illinois Marriages Book D, 1890-1986" and "Prairie Farmer Reliable Directory of Farmers and Breeders, Schuyler County, IL." This is a reprint of the original 1918 directory. We also have obtained more copies of the "The Historical Encylopedia of Illinois, 1908, Vol. II, Schuyler County" and the "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler, and Brown Counties, IL, 1892."
    All of the volunteers at the museum want to wish our co-worker Harold Brooks a fast recovery and hope he is back with us soon.
    The Jail Museum is open from 1-5 p.m., seven day a week. --Edie Fishel

June 7, 2000
    Now that the warm weather has arrived, the people of Schuyler County begin to see the P.R.I.D.E. - Yard of the Month signs posted in yards.
    P.R.I.D.E. was organized in Rushville in 1971 with its purpose represented by its name, Promote Rushville's Image, Design, and Environment. Initially the emphasis was on the restoration of the bandstand. In 1972, Central Park was re-landscaped and a plaza was built around the bandstand. In addition to P.R.I.D.E.'s Yard of Month, they plant the flower in Central Park and on corners of the town. They have landscaped Scripps Park and renovated the playground at Scripps Park. Through this organization there is a continuous striving for the beautification of Rushville and Schuyler County.
    For anyone doing research of Hancock County, our library may have just the material you need. Some of the Hancock County material we have includes: Pulaski Cemetery, Rosemont Cemetery of Plymouth, Moss Ridge Cemetery, Bowen Cemetery, LaHarpe Cemetery and St. Mary's Cemetery, Woodland Cemetery, and the Old Augusta Cemetery. We also have Hancock County Marriages 1829-1862. Marriages from the Augusta Eagle and Tri County Scribe 1980-1990. Obituaries abstracted from the Augusta Eagle 1891-1926 and most of the Hancock County Census either printed or on microfilm.
    The Spring Schuylerite is about to be mailed. The local people may pick theirs up at the museum to save postage costs. I would like to again remind people to pay their dues. Those having not paid by July will not receive the fall and winter issues of the Schuylerite.
    Nearly every week we have people come into the museum that are amazed at the material and artifacts that are in them museum. We invite you, too, to come and browse our rooms. The museum is open from 1-5 p.m. seven days a week. --Edie Fishel

June 14, 2000
    Eloise Baxter is researching the churches of Schuyler County and needs information on the churches in Birmingham. If anyone has information about the history of any church in Birmingham, please call Eloise at [number unpublished here]. She would appreciate your help.
    Have you ever wondered about the towns of a county that are now extinct? What were their beginning and what happened to them? Many of these towns still retain their name in the area but nothing is there. Such a place is Erie in Schuyler County. Erie was located in the N. W. 1/4 of Section 20 in Frederick Township. Erie was platted Oct. 6, 1836, by Allen Persinger, laying parallel with the river and having 32 blocks with streets 60 feet wide. Proprietors of the town were Hart Fellows, Robert H. Burton, Joseph Burton and George M. Wells. Erie was the main river port for Schuyler County from 1836-1844. A warehouse was built by Renselar Wells and Lewis Erwin was the clerk there in 1840. A hotel was run by Mr. Seaman.
    In 1837, it was planned to have a river terminal at Erie for a railroad to be built from Rushville. In 1840, the state of Illinois began building the railroad from Rushville to Erie at an aggregated cost of $115,309.20. This road was never finished but the old roadbed can still be seen on several farms east of Rushville on the Beardstown Lower Road. In 1844, the town of Erie was washed away by a big flood and was never rebuilt.
    Family histories in our library: Blodgett, Bodenhamer, Bollinger, Hagans/Higgins, Lanham, Lau and Lawler.
    For the researcher who has not been able to find their ancestor's port of immigration or year of arrival in America, our library may have the book you need. We have a good quantity of immigration materials. Some of which are: Immigrant Ancestors, Barbados Records, New World Immigrants, I & II, Passenger Arrivals Port of Baltimore, 1820-1834, Passengers to America, Ships Passenger Lists (4 Vols.), Passports of Southeastern Pioneers and Passenger Ships Arriving in New York Harbor 1820-1850.
    Please visit the Schuyler Jail Museum. It is open from 1-5 p.m. daily.
    You know you are a genealogist when you ask all the people you meet, what their grandparents' surnames are. --Edie Fishel

June 21, 2000
    Last week I wrote about the now extinct town of Erie that was located just south of Frederick along the river. The short lived town was also known as having the last man to be executed for a murder committed in Schuyler County. The following account of this murder can be found in SCHUYLER COUNTY ILLINOIS HISTORY, 1983.
    Fielding Frame was a deck hand on a steamboat that was held in port at Erie, because of ice on the river, in the winter of 1837-38. One night, while Mr. Frame was in the tavern, a good natured German aroused his ire because he would not quit smoking. A fight followed, in which Mr. Frame stabbed his victim to death. Frame was placed in the Rushville jail and charged with murder. He was defended by Abraham Lincoln and T. Lyle Dickey of Rushville. The case was taken to Hancock Co. on a change of venue, where, on April 24, 1839, Fielding Frame was found guilty. He was the last man to be executed for a murder committed in Schuyler county.
    Volunteers continue to work in the new south addition of the museum. A very attractive white picket fence now separates the display rooms and the large glassed display case in being installed. This room is truly a great addition to the museum, making it one of the best museums in the area. Have you seen it?
    Family Histories in our library: SPRADLIN, STAMBAUGH, STEELE DIARY, STEPHEN-PERSINGER, STEVENSON, STEWART, SWAN, SWITZER, AND SWISEGOOD. Researchers are also reminded to check the Family Files for family histories.

June 28, 2000
    It is summertime, which means county fair time. The first Schuyler County Fair was held in 1855 on the grounds where the junior high school stood. In 1856, the second fair was held on a wooded lot owned by J. Parrott Sr. and the third fair, in 1857, was held on the farm of A. C. Edgar. Sometime within the next ten years, a lease was obtained from the county for 7 1/2 acres of ground off the county farm. In 1869, the Agriculture Society adopted to construct an amphitheater that served the fair for 30 years. The fair fell badly in debt after the 1900 fair and was disbanded, the building sold, the amphitheater was wrecked and the grounds lease relinquished. There was no fair in Schuyler County from 1901 to 1907. In 1908, the Schuyler County Fair Association was again chartered. Grounds were leased north of Rushville with a large amphitheater being built and permanent buildings for livestock and display constructed. A half-mile dirt track was also constructed at this time. This track is still being used today. This fair continued until 1925, when, again, the buildings were sold and torn down. Schuyler then had no fair for more than 15 years. In 1941, a group of Schuyler County farmers organized the Schuyler Livestock Association to promote a fair with no harness racing but with a society horse show. This lasted until 1946 when people of the community raised enough money to recondition the old dirt track that was built in 1908 and brought back harness racing to the Schuyler County Fair. Today the harness racing is an important part of the Schuyler County Fair.

    This week I would like to begin a recognition of our Schuyler Jail Museum board members. Each of our board members has an important role in keeping the Schuyler Jail Museum operating smoothly and efficiently. Most of the time, these tasks are done without any thanks or recognition given.
    I would like to start with our librarian, Judy Ward. As librarian, it is Judy's responsibility to record and label each publication that comes into the Heritage Room. Judy does a great job of recording the hundreds of volumes that we have in our library.
    This past week, there were two new family histories donated to the library. They are "The Foster Family Genealogy" by Cynthia Selensky Foster and "A Great Cloud of Witnesses," a history of the Kirk family, by Ann Kirk Shorey.
    Also, last week, Tom Rowland hung two huge, very unusual, light fixtures in the museum. These lights were originally in the Rushville Bank building, now Granny's Book Store.
    Everyone is invited to tour the museum and see the many changes that are being made. The museum is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Please note: The Museum will be closed Tuesday, July 4. --Edie Fishel

July 5, 2000
    In 1882, an important industry in Rushville was the Wagon and Carriage Factory. This industry was established in 1878 with Hocking and Parker being proprietors. It was a frame building, 40x50 feet and three stories high, located on Monroe Street, near Washington. All of the work was hand done by eight employees. The estimated value of products and repair work was $7,000 annually.
    I would like to bring to your attention two, probably unnoticed and unusual, items in our museum. These items are two wreaths made of human hair intricately woven into beautiful designs of leaves, flowers, etc. One of the wreaths was made about 1888 from hair of people from the Littleton, Industry and Rushville area. It came from the home of Pauline Miller Hughes of Littleton. The other wreath, also from the late 1800s, contains hair from each member of the Hoelscher, Rodewald and Peter families, pioneers of Schuyler County.
    This week I would like to recognize another member of the Schuyler Jail Museum Board. This being Maxine Shelts, our recording secretary. As recording secretary, Maxine keeps a record of all of our visitors and records the money coming into the museum from contributions, selling items, copying, etc. Although Maxine is relatively new to this position, she is doing a great job of keeping the records straight.
    Another of Schuyler County's extinct towns was one named Mable, located in the center of Camden Township. The name Mable was not attached to the community until the turn of the century when a store and post office were established on the corner of Mr. Marlow's farm. Mr. Marlow submitted the name of his granddaughter, Mable, and it was chosen for the community name. The area had a number of well-known gathering places, such as, the Davis School, Davis Sorghum Mill, Union Chapel and Marlow Cemetery. At one time, Mable was listed as having a population of 90. All of the landmarks of the area are now gone except the Marlow Cemetery, but the area still retains the name of "Mable."
    The jail museum hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Stop in for a visit. --Edie Fishel

July 12, 2000
    The Schuyler Jail Museum's kitchen display, located in the new south addition, has a unique kitchen cupboard with some interesting history. The kitchen cupboard is actually a large walnut desk that was owned by Beverly Hale, grandfather of Adrian Hinderer. This desk was made from a walnut tree grown in Pleasant View. In 1968 Beverly Hale brought the tree to a furniture maker in Rushville to be made into a desk and the desk was kept in the family until it was given to the museum. The reason we are using this huge desk as a kitchen cupboard is that we didn't have a kitchen cupboard and the desk serves the purpose quite well.

    Nina Filer is the Schuyler Jail Museum board's secretary. She records all the board meetings' facts. She also volunteers in the Heritage Room on Wednesday afternoons. Most of the board members do volunteer, at least one day a week, in the Heritage Room.
    The first settler of Birmingham Township was Brummel Sapp, who arrived in 1823, two years before Schuyler County was created. The village of Birmingham is the only community in Birmingham Township that was platted in 1836 by David Graham, David Manlove and Moses Manlove. In 1950, the population of Birmingham Township was 423 and the village of Birmingham had a population of 50 in 1955.
    Again, I would like to remind researchers of the vast amount of information that is available in our family files and family histories. These files and histories contain information not only of Schuyler County people, but families of surrounding counties as well. You may find just the information you are looking for or get a good lead for further researching.
    Researchers, can you relate to this? -- "When at last after much hard work you have finally solved the mystery you have been working on for two years, your aunt says, "I could have told you that!" From Murphy's Laws as Applied to Genealogy.
    The Schuyler Jail Museum is open daily from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. We welcome your visit. --Edie Fishel

July 19, 2000
    The Schuyler Jail Museum's Membership Chairman is Melba Brocksieck. As membership chairman, Melba collects and records dues for the museum, makes the mailing list for the museum's quarterly, "The Schuylerite," and makes sure the membership list is current. Sometimes this is not an easy task, especially when we are not notified of address changes.
    At the last board meeting, Melba reported a membership of 504 members, including six new members in the last month. There are still quite a number of members that haven't paid their year 2000 dues. Our membership runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 each year. Those members who have not paid their year 2000 dues by July 31 will not receive the Fall and Winter issues of "The Schuylerite." If you want to renew your membership, please do so as soon as possible.
    Members receive our quarterly, "The Schuylerite" and may have a free 50 word query published in "The Schuylerite." The Schuylerite is sent throughout the United States and is in many genealogy organizations throughout the country, so this is a good way of reaching people with your queries.
    To help the researcher in Schuyler County, the museum has several publications for sale. Following is a partial list of these publications: 1830 Census of Schuyler County, IL; 1840 Census of Schuyler Co., IL; 1850 Census of Schuyler Co., IL. (This is sold by different townships.); 1860 Census of Schuyler Co., IL, (This is also sold by different townships.); Mortality Schedules for Schuyler Co., IL. 1850-1860-1870-1880; History of Bainbridge Twsp., Schuyler Co. (First settled township); Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler, Brown counties - 1892, Reprinted 1971; Schuyler County Encyclopedia of Illinois 1908, reprinted 1970; Wills, Adminstration Letters and Guardian Bonds, 1827-1849; and School Schedules: 1838-1839. If anyone is interested in any one of these or seeing the complete list, stop in at the Schuyler Jail Museum at 200 S. Congress St., or call the museum at 322-6975. The museum is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily. --Edie Fishel

July 26, 2000
    The Schuyler Jail Museum was fortunate to recently receive the donation of a very special book by Jim Tyson. The book in entitled "Rushville Flying Club History, 1958-1998" and was compiled by Mr. Tyson. In addition to the many photographs of the members and airplanes, it also contains letters from many of the members. It is a very interesting book of a Schuyler County club that is still active today. We invite everyone to come and view this piece of Schuyler County history at the museum.
    Lillian Hoover is the Schuyler Jail Museum's exchange editor. The Schuyler Jail Museum exchanges our quarterly, "The Schuylerite," with about 60 other genealogical societies throughout the United States. It is Lillian's job to coordinate these exchanges, making sure each society receives our "Schuylerite" and we receive their quarterly or newsletter in return. It is unfortunate that these exchange quarterlies are so often overlooked as a source of information by the researcher for genealogical data. Each quarterly has a different format but each contains a vast amount of genealogical information including census information, birth and death records, cemetery records, etc. The following is just a partial list of the exchanges we currently have in the library: Puget Sound Genealogical Society - Port Orchard, Wash.; Yakima Valley Genealogical Society - Yakima, Wash.; Montgomery Co. Library - Conrow, Texas; East Tennessee Historical Society - Knoxville, Tenn.; Des Moines Co. Genealogical Society - Burlington, Iowa; Iowa State Genealogical Society - Des Moines, Iowa; Midwest Historical & Genealogical Society - Wichita, Kan.; Topeka Genealogical Society - Topeka, Kan.; Kentucky Historical Society - Frankfort, Ky.; St. Louis Genealogical Society - St. Louis, Mo.; Oklahoma Genealogical Society - Oklahoma City, Okla.; Arizona State Genealogical Society - Tucson, Ariz; and Illinois State Genealogical Society - Springfield. In addition to other out-of-town Illinois exchanges, we exchange material with many Illinois counties. Please feel free to come in and browse through these quarterlies.
    Researchers, has this happened to you? "None of the pictures in your recently deceased grandmother's photo album have names written on them." Or "The public ceremony in which your distinguished ancestor participated and at which the platform collapsed under him turned out to a hanging." Murphy's Law As Applied to Genealogy.
    Museum hours: 1-5 p.m. daily.

August 2, 2000
    In the 1973, Vol. 2, Schuylerite I found the following interesting description of Gin Ridge in Schuyler County. This was originally in the June 22, 1859, issue of The Schuyler Citizen. This Ridge is located in the northwest part of Brooklyn township and is about three miles long, having about twenty or thirty families dwelling there (1859).
    The following tradition is handed down in explanation of the origin of the name: A good many years since, about the year 1828, on a cold, rainy, disagreeable day, a large, fine looking gentleman merchant of the then infant village of Birmingham--might have been seen toiling through the deep wagon filled with merchandise, towards home. Dark closed in upon him just as he reached this ridge, and to add to his troubles, his wagon broke down. He left his goods in the wild woods and went on home. On returning in the morning a cask of gin was missing. It was too strong a temptation to the Ridgers, so the cask of gin mysteriously disappeared. Suspicion fell upon a couple of neighbors, and due time a warrant was issued for their arrest; but having too much spirits to submit to any suck slanderous imputation on their character, they hastily fled their country for their country's good never more to return. And so, to commemorate this incident in the history of their settlement, they dubbed it Gin Ridge, and it is so known to this day.
    In conclusion we should say that Gin Ridge, is in our estimation, by no means so hard a place as public opinion attaches to it. From what we learn there is a little too much demand for gin and schnapps; but otherwise the people will compare favorably with other sections of the county. Their school facilities are bad, some send over to McDonough, and others over to a school house on Fizzle Ridge, some two or more miles distant. Those inclined to go to church attend at Doddsville, Brooklyn, or some of the town around."
    The museum board would like to thank Jim Rebman, our treasurer, for doing a great job he does in that capacity. Also, we would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to our curator, Nancy Stauffer and her assistant, Clarice Bartlett, for their accomplishments in the museum.
    At the July 24 board meeting, it was reported that, during the last month, there were six new members, bringing the membership to 504. Also, there were 157 visitors that signed the guest register in the Heritage Room.
    "To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root." Chinese Proverb. --Edie Fishel

August 9, 2000
    School is starting soon and the following list of Rules For Teachers. 1872, shows how the requirements for teachers have changed in the last 138 years.
    1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
    2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's session.
    3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
    4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
    5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
    6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
    7. Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
    8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.
    9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.
    Lavina Walton is the museum's genealogist and is also in charge of putting together our quarterly, The Schuylerite. Lavina was one of the founders of the Schuyler Jail Museum and spends many hours working for it.
    "People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors." --Edmund Burke 1729-1797.
    An interesting note--in July we had visitors sign the guest register from the states of Florida, Missouri, Utah, Wisconsin, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Colorado, and Maryland, besides the numerous towns in Illinois. If you haven't visited The Schuyler Jail Museum for a while, come and see it. The hours are from 1-5 p.m. daily.

August 16, 2000
    For anyone interested in old firearms, the Schuyler Jail Museum has a nice display of old guns in the guncase. There is a double barrel shotgun that belonged to Clay Corbridge about 1900, a 52-inch and a 54-inch Ball & Cap gun from the estate of Ora Tharp, a flint lock gun that was used in the war of 1812 by Nathan Griffith, and an old gun that was used on the Griffith farm. With the Griffith guns is also a picture of the Griffith family. There is also a British Enfield rifle and a Japanese rifle, along with several pistols and swords.
    Evelyn Eifert and Lillian Hoover are the Schuyler Jail Museum's co-presidents. These two ladies spend many, many hours every week working for the cause of the museum. Also on the museum board are Harold Brooks and Charles Young. Young enters data into the computer as well as many maintenance tasks. Brooks does much on our maintenance. This concludes the introduction of the Schuyler Jail Museum's board members.
    Besides the board members, the Schuyler Jail Museum is fortunate to have dozens of other volunteers who donate many hours, in many capacities, preserving Schuyler's history, so that Schuyler County can have a museum of which to be proud. For fear of missing a name, I will not even attempt to list those volunteers.
    Following are more of the publications the museum has available for sale: Deaths and Burials (Out of Schuyler County) 1900-1925, Deaths and Burials (Out of Schuyler County) 1926-1950, Burials in Rushville City Cemetery 1900-1925, Burials in Rushville City Cemetery 1926-1950, Taxpayers in Schuyler Co., IL 1838, Wills and Estates Order Book A. Jan. 1850-Aug. 1868, and Marks and Brands in Schuyler Co., IL.
    The Schuyler Jail Museum is open from 1-5 p.m. daily.
    "As long as we are remembered, we never die." --Anita Gauld
    --Edie Fishel

August 23, 2000
    Have you ever wondered what downtown Rushville looked like in the mid-1800s? The Fall 1978 issue of The Schuylerite has an article written by Charles F. Kinner in 1939 for The Rushville Times, titled "Remembering Rushville 70 Years Ago." It has a very vivid description of the businesses around the square in 1869. The Schuyler Jail Museum also has many pictures of Rushville's businesses around the square in the 1800s and early 1900s.
    According to Mr. Kinner's article the businesses on the south side of the square in 1869 were as follows: Branstool's Meat Market was in the lower part of a brick building where the present Rushville State Bank is located, the upper part being occupied by Henry Riefling's barber shop. West, on the corner of Lafayette and Liberty streets, Ezra Jackson had a hotel, August Nell had a hardware and implement business, and then there was Thomas Wilson's general store. At the rear of the Wilson building was a pork packing and lard rendering business. West of the Wilson building was Montgomery's Drug Store and the Seeley Furniture Store. On the southwest corner, Wheeler Wells operated a general store. On the west side, about the middle of the block, Louis Godlove had a clothing store; then Porter Anderson's drug store, Miss Jan Gay's Millinery and Dressmaking Shop, and on the corner, was James McCreery's Drugs.
    Family histories in our library: Boyd-Spillers, Bradford (2), Bradbury, Bradley, DeCamp, M. Duncan, G. Duncan, Henry Hermetet, Hollenback & Jennings, Ingles, Jones/Kirkpatrick, and Lewis & Merriweathers.
    I would like to remind our visitors, especially those wanting to do genealogical research, that there are only two and a half months remaining before the museum goes on the winter schedule. Now the Schuyler Jail Museum is open seven days a week from 1-5 p.m. Also, the Schuyler Jail Museum will be closed Sept. 2, 3, and 4 for the Labor Day weekend.
    "Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us." --Oscar Wilde
    --Edie Fishel

August 30, 2000
    It was reported at the August Jail Museum's board meeting, that 130 visitors had signed the register during the month. These included visitors from the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming as well as from many towns in Illinois. This representation of states in just one month should remind the citizens of Schuyler County that they have a museum and genealogical center of which to be proud.
    It was also reported that one of the often used books is missing  from the Heritage Room. This book, being the "Church" book, contains pictures and histories of the churches of Schuyler County. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this book, please contact the museum. We appreciate anyone's help in locating this popular research aide.
    It was also decided to have our very popular December candy sale again this year. Because the candy sale has grown into such a large project, this year it will have a different format, probably on a pre-order basis. Watch this column for future details.
    This summer issue of The Schuylerite is almost ready to be mailed. This is the second of four special issues that will be out this year. This issue contains reprints from Rushville's newspapers in 1925. Genealogical researchers will find many obituaries, hospital news and local news items very helpful. Also interesting are the many advertisements.
    One such is the advertisement of The Racket Store on the east side of the square. There you could buy women's bloomers, all colors, for 75 cents or children's gingham dresses for 98 cents, $1.25 or $1.49. In the laundry department a large size of Rinso was 25 cents, the small size 10 cents, or four bars of Palmolive soap was 25 cents. Even if a person is not interested in genealogy, this year's special issues of The Schuylerite are sure to appeal to anyone interested in the history of Schuyler County. You can receive your issues of The Schuylerite by joining the Schuyler Jail Museum's Society. The dues are $15 a year.
    Carol Ann Wells Williams donated the book "Robert Wells of Clermont County, Ohio & Descendants" to our library. It is a 222 page hardback book.
    Another reminder that the Schuyler Jail Museum will be closed for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4. It will re-open Sept. 5 with the regular schedule, being open from 1-5 p.m. daily.
    From Murphy's Law As Applied to Genealogy: "Your grandmother's maiden name that you have searched for for five years was on a letter in a box in the attic all the time." --Edie Fishel


  Click on the "Big News" Photo to submit your 
Schuyler County newspaper information.

Return to Newspaper Index

Return to Home Page

All articles - copyright 1999 The Rushville Times
Used by permission

Copyright 1999, 2006 The Rushville Times; all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright must appear with the information.