Genealogically Speaking....
September - December 2000

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

September 6, 2000
    Continuing Mr. Kinnear's description of Rushville's businesses in 1869, the north side of the square had the following: On the corner of Washington and congress (now, formerly, J. C. Penney building) was the Little and Ray merchandise business. At the rear of this building, Little and Ray also had a pork packing plant. Across the street, east of Little and Ray's store, Joseph and August Warren had a banking business. North of the bank, on Congress St., Allan Hill, operated a tonsorial shop. East, from the back corner, Samuel Irvin had boots and shoes, then there was Griffith's hardware store, then Nelson Brothers general store, Josiah Parrott's dry goods and George Metz's general store. East of the Metz store, on the corner, was McCallister's grocery store.
    The east side of the square consisted of the following businesses: On the corner, where the post office is, was a building with a millinery shop on the first floor and the upper rooms were occupied by Luther Demoss for a cobbler shop and Dr. Clarke, the herb doctor.
    Across the street, on the corner of Liberty and Washington streets, was a grocery store. South of the grocery store was a meat market, then a harness shop, then a tombstone business and a grocery store. On the corner, John Landon operated a restaurant.
    In addition to the businesses mentioned around the square, Mr. Kinnear mentions several businesses off the square and the court house being in the now Central Park. This is a very interesting article, depicting early Rushville. Everyone is welcome to come to the Heritage Room and read this piece of history.
    Mr. Kinnear was born in Madison, Ind., in 1861, came to Rushville with his parents in 1869, married Wilhemina Meyers of Arenzville in 1893 and died in Rushville in 1951 at the age of 90.
    "Genealogy - where you confuse the dead and irritate the living." --Author unknown.
    --Edie Fishel

September 13, 2000
This week I would like to bring to your attention a few more items that are shown in the kitchen display of the new addition. The kitchen sink is from the Cunningham home at 340 W. Jefferson St. It was purchased in 1922 and has two pumps, one for well water and one for rain water. There is a wooden bathtub that was used by Dr. Donner and his brothers and sisters about 1930 and a wooden washing machine used by the Henry Bonser family. There is an assortment of old irons, including flat irons, a crimping iron and a gas iron. There is also a butter paddle that was used by Lorinda Peterman when her family lived across from Scripps Park, a wooden churn that was bought about 1913, and an additional assortment of small utensils that was utilized in the kitchens of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    For the researcher who has connections to Schuyler's neighboring county, Fulton, there is a large selection of Fulton County research books in the Heritage Room of the Schuyler Jail Museum. Some of the Fulton County material which is available includes Index to the Wills of Fulton County, 1821-1963; Fulton County Cemeteries; Portrait and Biographical Album of Fulton County, IL; History of Fulton Co., IL 1879; Gerard Funeral Home, Canton, IL 1931-1975; Henry Memorial Home Records, Lewistown, IL Vols. I & II (1936-1993); Saul R. Zimmerman Funeral Home Records, Lewistown, IL 1908-1936; Murphy-Sedgwick Memorial Home (6 vols. covering the years 1917-1985); and several volumes of Fulton Co., Ill. marriages. There are also the Fulton County newspapers, The Argus Searchlight and Astoria South Fulton Argus, 1894-1994 and The Vermont Union, 1898-1976, on microfilm.
    In 1910, Fulton County had a population of 49,549. There were 3926 farms with 3794 farmers being native white, 131 farmers being foreign-born white and one farmer being non-white. The average acreage per farm was 91.1 with 3862 farms raising domestic animals.
    Mari Clement is the Schuyler Jail Museum's corresponding secretary. One of Mari's tasks is to send thank yous to the generous people that support the museum through their monetary and material contributions. Without these generous people there would be no Schuyler Jail Museum. --Edie Fishel

September 20, 2000
    The Audubon display case, in the Schuyler Jail Museum, in [is] an interesting item to be seen by children as well as adults. This beautiful display of Schuyler County wildlife was prepared by the Schuy-Rush Audubon Chapter in 1980 and required several trips to the Illinois State Museum to research local history. Some of the specimens were prepared by a local taxidermist, Charles Stoneking, while others are on loan from the State Museum. The case was built by Leslie Ward, printing was done by Gloria Dace and Alice Logan painted the background. The case was dedicated Nov. 9, 1980. Among the 100 present at the dedication, were Warren Dewalt, Executive Director of the Illinois Audubon Society; Paul Mooring, President of I. A. S. and Orvella Robinson, Illinois State Museum Librarian.
    In 1932, Schuyler County had a population of 11,676. The county officers were County Judge, Isaac Lewis; County Clerk, Edwin H. Johnson; Circuit Clerk, L. H. Byrns; Treasurer, E. Ross Chitwood; Sheriff, Dewight Bartlow; State's Attorney, Orville D. Arnold; Superintendent of School, Orval Briggs and Coroner, Henry O. Munson.
    Family histories in our library: Bryan, Briggs, Crandall, Curry (Ledger of A. S. Curry), Ewing, Hardin, Orwig, Reicher, and Wade.
    A reminder to researchers not to forget the census the Heritage Room has on microfilm. We have all of the Schuyler County censuses on microfilm as well as most of the surrounding counties. We have two microfilm readers for your convenience, including one with a printer.
    The museum hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except holidays.
    You know you are a genealogist when you can't drive past a cemetery without wondering if your ancestors are buried there. --Edie Fishel

September 27, 2000
    Have you ever wondered how old the bandstand in Central Park Plaza is? The bandstand was dedicated on July 22, 1909. Before the bandstand was there, there was a pool with an ornamental fountain and goldfish.
    Frank and Fred Pelton built the bandstand for $1,200.62. The building committee consisted of William S. Stremmel, Thomas Scott and Don Garrison. Years of neglect left the bandstand in poor condition. In 1971, the city council funded its restoration. Then, a plaza was developed around the bandstand and, in 1973, the dedication of Central Park Plaza was held. This continues to be the focal point of many Schuyler happenings, especially in the summer.
    Schuyler County Officials in 1891: A. P. Rodewald, County Clerk; Dena Rodewald Bell, Deputy County Clerk; George S. Greer, Sheriff; Jeremiah Stumm, County Surveyor; Marion Stover, County Superintendent of Schools; Tom Ingles, City Police; James Stone, Deputy Sheriff; N. S. Montgomery, Bailiff; Mark Bogue, Circuit Clerk; John Neill, Ex-Sheriff; Peter Schultz and George Hanna, County Treasurer.
    1918 Schuyler County, Illinois Buriness Directory: Camden: Jos. Black - Blacksmith; Chas. Daly - Agricultural Implements; E. J. Daly - Grocer; Roy C. Daly - Restaurant; Homer A. Dorsett - General Store; Ed. Estes - Blacksmith; R. H. Mead and Co. - Drugs; Jas. Owens - Restaurant; People Bank of Camden. Huntsville: Byrns Bros. - General Store; Loop & Becraft - Blacksmith; M. F. and J. W. Pierce - General Store.
    Family Histories in our Library: Ackman-Harmon, Adams to Bell, Baker, Baker and Allied Families, Carlisle, Chalfant, Dark, Eaton, and Haffner.
    Research Books in our Library: Death, Marriage & Excerpts from Dallas City Review, 1887-1937, Dallas City, Hancock Co., IL; Laharpe newspapers Births, Marriages, Deaths 1900-1910; Marriages and Related Items Abstracted From Clayton Enterprise Newspaper of Clayton, Adams Co., IL, 1879-1900; Macoupin County IL, Original Purchasers of Land; Old Kewanee Public Cemetery, Henry Co., IL; and 1880 Census - Hancock Co., IL, Vol. 1 and 2.
    The Schuyler Jail Museum is open seven days a week, from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. We welcome your visit.
    Only a genealogist regards a step backwards as progress.

October 4, 2000
    The following are a few items of interest in the Schuyler Jail Museum. We have a carpet loom that was owned by Cora Unger Grey. This was used in the early 1900s in Camden Township. It is still usable today. Also, a flax brake that was used to break the outer fiber from the plant so that the center could be used for making clothing. There are also some cooper shop tools that were owned by Joshua Griffith, 1840-1898. Joshua married Margaret Hoffman in 1846 and had 11 children. The family made oak barrels and casks. those were advertised as 600 at $1.10 each for shipping meat, flour, dried fruits and liquids. There is also an oxen yoke from the Griffith farm in Woodstock Township.
    The Schuyler Jail Museum has many interesting items from the 1800s. Please come and view how our ancestors survived in our county.
    From the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, Vol. 2: We learn that Centerville was a town in Woodstock Township. It was founded by Isam Cox on the N. W. quarter of the N. E. quarter of Section 21. Mocso was located on the northwest quarter of Section 6, Frederick Township. The town was never platted and when Fredericksville was founded on the river, the post office was moved down from the bluff.
    From My Grandmother's Cookbook, as found in early issues of The Schuylerite, we learn the following remedies: For sprains: The white of an egg and salt mixed to a thick paste is one of the best remedies for sprains, bruises, or lameness for man or beast. Rub well the part affected. For hoarseness, use the white of an egg, thoroughly beaten, mixed with lemon juice and sugar. Take a teaspoonful occasionally. To prevent skin from discoloring after a bruise, apply immediately, or as soon as possible, a little dry starch or arrow-root moistened with cold water, or rub over with common table butter.
    Research books in our library: The Winthrop Fleet of 1630, Immigrants of the Middle Colonies, Genealogical Gazetteer of England, British and Irish Roots, Loyalists in Ontario, The Mayflower Reader, John Howland of the Mayflower, Mayflower Deeds and Probates, and Alsatian Connection.
    Remember our hours are 1-5 p.m. daily, until Nov. 1.
    You know you are a genealogist when: "I need to spend just a little more time at the courthouse" means forget the cleaning, washing, dinner, chores; the day is shot! --Edie Fishel

October 11, 2000
    Winter is fast approaching and I want to remind everyone that the museum's winter hours will begin Nov. 1. Nov. 1 the museum section will be closed until April 1 and the heritage room will be open only on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 p.m.
    When Schuyler County was just being developed, the only way to get across the Illinois River was by ferry. The first license to operate a ferry was given to Thomas Beard in 1826. The ferry was a Beard's landing on the Schuyler side of the river, across from what is now Beardstown. The following rates were charged for crossing on the ferry: Wagon and four horses - 75 cents, wagon and two horses - 50 cents, wagon and one horse - 37 1/2 cents, man and horse - 12 1/2 cents, man on foot - 6 1/2 cents, cattle per head - 5 cents and sheep, hogs and goats per head - 2 cents.
    From The History of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1686-1882, we learn that one of the oldest manufacturing establishments in this part of the state, being started in 1849, was the Carriage and Wagon Factory of J. J. Knowles. It was located on the corner of Washington and Morgan streets in Rushville and occupied the entire block. It contained a machine shop, a woodwork department, a blacksmith shop, depository, and sheds for materials. The annual value of manufactured product was estimated at $15,000. There were 10 men employed and all the work was manufactured by machinery driving by a 14-horse power engine.
    The following are some of the publications The Schuyler Jail Museum has for sale: "Graduates of Rushville High School 1875-1995," "Divorces in Schuyler County 1856-1891," Divorces in Schuyler County 1925-1955," "1850 Census of Brown County, Illinois," and "Index for Plat Book of Schuyler Co., 1892."
    "A family tree can wither if nobody tends to its roots."-unknown. --Edie Fishel

Wednesday Oct. 18, 2000
    What are we doing to preserve our heritage?  My husband and I recently returned from touring the Atlantic Canadian Provinces, concentrating our travels in the provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.  Besides the awesome beauty of this land, especially on Cape Berton Island, the one thing that is quite evident is their preservation of their culture and heritage.
    In Dingwall, Nova Scotia we attended a Ceilidh, pronounced “kay-lee.”  A ceilidh is a gathering where they play the traditional Gaelic music and dance the traditional dances.  This particular Ceilidh featured a 17-year-old Scot lad and a young Frenchman.  The Scotsman played the keyboard and the Frenchman played the fiddle.  The Frenchman’s grandfather also played several selections on the fiddle and a 12-year-old girl did some traditional tap dances.  During the entire evening the importance of carrying this traditional music from one generation to another was emphasized.
    Here in the United States, where we have so many different cultures, are we letting our heritage slip by?  In our age of space, computers, and electronics are we to busy to preserve a little of the past?  Do your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren know the ancestry of their immigrant grandparents.  How many past generations can you display in pictures?  What about that favorite recipe grandma used to make, the stories that were told, or the songs that were sung?  Are these forgotten or passed down to the nest generation?  The upcoming holiday season would be a good time to start a tradition and an excellent place to find something about the history of the people of Schuyler County and surrounding are in the Schuyler Jail Museum.
    The Schuyler Jail Museum is open from 1 to 5 p.m. seven days a week until Nov.1.  Nov. 1 we start our winter schedule.  Then, the museum section will be closed and the genealogical section will only be open on Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
     “What task could be more agreeable than to tell of the benefits conferred on us by our ancestors, so that you may get to know the achievements of those from whom you have received both the basis of your beliefs and the inspiration to conduct your life properly.”  William Malmesbury, 1125 A.D.

Wednesday Oct. 25, 2000
    Notice - It was decided at the Oct. 23 board meeting of the Schuyler Jail Museum to start the winter schedule two days early.  This means that after Oct. 29, the Heritage Room will only be open on Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.
    Three new books have recently been given to the Heritage Room.  They are: “Hancock County, Illinois– A Pictorial History” by Kathryn Burkett and Donald Parker; “The Pioneers of Winnebago & Boone Counties, IL, Who Came Before 1841" by Katherine E. Rowland, C.G.; and “The Family and Descendants of Jonathon Newman.  An American Patriot, Lynches River, S.C.” by LeRoy Mofett.
    Melba Brocksieck, our membership chairperson, reported that we now have 365 members.  Membership in the Schuyler Jail Museum is from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, the dues being $15 per year.  A membership might be the perfect Christmas gift for those grandparents who have everything.
    Since the county’s harvest this season is drawing to a close, I thought the following information form the Sept. 6, 1878, issue of The Rushville Times might be of interest to the rural community.  The crops harvested for Schuyler County in 1878 had the following yields and values: spring wheat averaged a yield of 12-1/2 bushels per acre and 60 cents per bushel, winter wheat yielded 12 bushels per acre and 75 cents per bushel, the hay yield was 1-3/4 tons per acre at $4 a ton, and the oat yield was 32 bushels per acre at 17 cents per bushel.  The article stated that corn for that year was affected by a three week drought but was improving.
    Mark Twain once said, “Why waste your money looking up your family tree, just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.”

Wednesday Nov. 1, 2000
    Although the winter hours of the Schuyler Jail Museum are in effect, the Heritage Room reamins open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 1-5 p.m. for researchers to gather genealogical information.  The Heritage Room has a vast amount of information on Schuyler and the surrounding counties.  We have recently added to our collection the newly published book, “Cass County Illinois Beardstown Township Cemeteries.”  It contains an updated listing of burials in the Beardstown Catholic, Beardstown Oak Grove and Beardstown Lutheran(St. John’s and First Evangelical Lutheran or otherwise known as the Oetgen) cemeteries.  We have several research books for Cass County, including many funeral home records.

    Several women have been working all summer cleaning and rearranging the display cases in the museum section.  This has been quite a task but their continuos efforts are showing a remarkable difference in the museum.  Their hours of work and dedication are greatly appreciated.    Do you know what pestilence materially reduced the population of Rushville in July 1834?  The answer is cholera.  At that time there were about 800 inhabitants in Rushville.  The disease was so virulent that most of the citizens fled.  Only about 300 were left to care for the sick and dying.  Over a hundred people were afflicted and one-half of these cases proved fatal.  After the epidemic had passed, most of those who had left returned.  It is thought that the disease originated from a family from Maryland who came up the river and stopped at Rushville.
    Medical hint from “My Grandmother’s Cook Book.”  “To stop bleeding at the nose – bathe the feet in very hot water, drinking at the same time a pint of Cayenne pepper tea, or hold both arms above the head.”
    Murphy’s Law As Applied to Genealogy– The public ceremony in which your distinguished ancestor participates and at which the platform collapsed under him turned out to be a hanging.”

Wednesday, Nov. 8
    Anyone who visits the Heritage Room of the museum will now notice our latest improvement, the replacement of the old globe light fixtures with new flourescent lights.  This was accomplished last week by several volunteers and we are very appreciative for their work.  Researchers now have a well-lit room in which to work.
    Cemeteries are always of value to the genealogical researcher.  The Schuyler Jail Museum has a listing of all the cemeteries in Schuyler County.  Browning Township Cemeteries include the following: Old Order Baptist, section 1; Mitchell or Tracy in section 8; Steele in section8; Bader in section 11; Browning in section 8; Old Ridgeville in section 16; New Ridgeville in section 16; and Skiles in section 29 of Browning Township.  The Schuyler Jail Museum has a listing of the burials in the cemeteries, although they may be current.
    Things Worth Remembering: (Schuylerite V11 #4)- warm borax water will remove dandruff; Milk which stands too long makes bitter butter; Salt should be eaten with nuts to aid digestion; Hot Strong lemonade taken at supper time will break up a cold; Rusty flat irons should be rubbed over with beeswax and lard.
    Family histories in our library: Bells in U.S.A., Bicher, Busby, Fisher (Robert), Greenleaf, Hoover(2), Lemley, Nebergal Family, Price, and Willard.
    Medical hints from My Grandmother’s Cookbook: To check vomiting- give a teaspoon of whole black custard seed.  A tablespoon may be given in severe cases.  For sick headache- whenever the symptoms are felt coming on, drink a cupful of thoroughwort or boneset tea.  For rheumatism- to one pint alcohol, add one tablespoon pulverized potash, and a lump of gum-camphor the size of a walnut.  Use as a liniment.  For still joints-oil made by tying up common angle worms, is excellent to apply to sinews drawn up by sprains or disease.
    From “Murphy’s Laws As Applied to Genealogy”-“None of the pictures in your recently deceased grandmother’s photo album have names written on them.”

Wednesday, Nov. 15
    I want to remind everyone of Schuyler Jail Museum’s annual candy sale.  This year it will be held on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9.  Advanced orders will be taken only until Friday, Dec. 1.  All other candy will be sold on Dec. 8 and 9.  If you wish to order candy in advance, please call Melba Brocksieck at 322-6243, Evelyn Eifert at 322-3283, or the Schuyler Jail Museum at 322-6975.
    Hog confinements are presently an issue in Schuyler and the surrounding counties.  It seems quite a dilemma during the formation years of Schuyler County.  From The History of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1686-1882, we find the following account: “The first hogs brought to the county were by McCartner & Beard, in the latter part of 1823-they were quite a large drove of what were called ‘pointes’ or ‘hazel splitters’- many of them strayed into the timber and subsisted on the mast, thus becoming independent of their owners.  In two or three years the timber was overrun with wild hogs; the Indian dogs chased them as other wild game, and any person killing them allowed one-half for so doing.  As this kind of stock was then somewhat scarce in the country, these wild hogs were of considerable benefit to the settlers.  But dissatisfaction with the Indians and the depredations of their dogs became universal, and in the spring of 1826 nineteen of the settlers preceded to call on them at a trading point on the Illinois River, just below the mouth of Crooked Creek.  They killed some of their dogs, and notified the Indians to leave within ten days.  The traders were also give the option to vacate or have their effects dumped into the river.  The result was that there was no more trouble with the traders or the Indians.”
The museum section of the Schuyler Jail Museum is closed until April1, but the Heritage Room is open for genealogical research on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 1-5 p.m.
    An indicator that you have become a “Gene-Aholic”: You have more photographs of dead people than living ones.

Wednesday Dec. 27, 2000
    It is time again to renew or start a membership in the Schuyler Jail Museum.  The membership year is from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 and the dues are $15 a year.  With the membership you receive our quarterly, “The Schuylerite”and the opportunity to submit a free 50 word query in each issue.  Back issues of “The Schuylerite” are available from 1972.  Melba Brocksieck, our membership chairman, would appreciate your renewals as soon as possible so she can keep the membership list current.
    Have you made a New Year’s resolution?  Why not include some family tree searching?  These cold winter days are the ideal time to dig out the ancestor charts and family pages and see how much you know about your ancestors.  If you are just getting started in genealogy or want to get started into genealogy and need some help, please stop by or call the Schuyler Jail Museum, the volunteers will be glad to help you.
    Following area few of the family histories available at the heritage room: Brothers, Butcher, Butler, Curtis, Greer(2),   Hannah, History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, Lenhart, Crane, Sommers, and Zeigler, Lauderback, McAuley, O’Hara-Hammer-Harlan, Patterson-Caldwell, and Ray-Rea.
    Do you know what Indian tribes inhabited Schuyler County?  They were principally remnants of the Sax, Foxes, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies and the Miamis.  They were all friendly and seldom committed any crimes worse than stealing some poultry, sheep and occasionally, a hog.
    The board members of the Schuyler Jail Museum extends a happy and healthy year 2001 to all.
–Edie Fishel


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