Old Times In Schuyler 

Rushville in 1855
By Howard F. Dyson, 1918

From a copy of The Prairie Telegraphy of June 26, 1855, we learn that like The Times our predecessor passed thru a devastating fire, and Phoenix-like rose from the ashes and ultimately proved, as its founders had planned, Rushville’s first permanently founded newspaper.

In this issue, which was the beginning of the eighth volume, John Scripps, the editor, says:

“This number ends the seventh volume of our paper which we have regularly issued weekly without a single failure, altho we have once been burnt so completely out as to retain but a single type of our entire establishment, and have experienced many discouragements besides which very few would have attempted to overcome or borne up against, as the many past attempts and complete failures to establish a paper in our community abundantly testify.”

In the same issue of The Prairie Telegraph we note an advertisement of Rushville’s first woolen mill, established by N. and J. J. Worley. The announcement states that the mill is turning out 50 yards of cloth a day such as Kerseymeres, Fulledcloths, Sattinets, Jeans, Tweeds, Flannels, Blankets, Stocking Yarn, etc. These cloths are made for wear and durability and not for fine appearance.

Wool carding was also advertised with the announcement that one pound of lard or a pint of oil will be required for every eight pounds.

Society events were noted in The Telegraph, and when two of Rushville’s most prominent young people were wed they were given a brief, if not a fullsome, write-up. Under the date of June 26, 1855, we note the following:

MARRIED in this place on Wednesday by the Rev. J. J. Davidson, Mr. Joseph Burton to Miss Eliza Hall at the residence of her father, Dr. R. C. Hall. A large and respectable company was there to tender their congratulations, and partake of the festivities of the occasion.
“Happy! happy! happy pair!
None but the best deserve the fair.”

Announcement was also made that Mr. D. Grable was in town with his monster Daguerean car for the purpose of taking likenesses. No doubt some of these pictures in their antique wooden cases may yet be found in Rushville.

The Masonic installation was a social event in pioneer days, and from the issue noted above we take the following:

The annual installation of officers of Rushville Lodge No. 9, of Free and Accepted Mason, took place at their hall on Tuesday evening last. The following are the names of officers installed for the ensuing year:

E. M. M. Clark, W. Master; G. W. Metz, Sr., Warden; Wm. McMurphy, Jr., Warden; C. N. S. Taylor, Secy.; J. B. Seeley, Treas.; Jos. Montgomery and John Irwin, Deacons; John Beatty, Chaplain; Nathaniel Seeley, Tyler.

After the installation, which was public, the grand master, James L. Anderson, delivered his charge to the W.M. elect, in a very impressive manner, which was responded to in a very interesting address by the W.M. We then had a neat and appropriate speech from the Chaplain, Mr. Beatty.

The room was filled with youth and beauty of the town and country. There were brilliant eyes and witching smiles, gay dresses and sparkling jewelry, all indeed that could give lustre to an evening party were collected on that evening.

The supper table, which was set in Mr. Seeley’s large furniture room, by Mr. Louis Seligman, was most magnificent. Everything was there in rich profusion that could be found in this and adjoining markets, from the staff of life to the most delicate luxury; to which ample justice was done.

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Copyright © by Judi Gilker 2006