Franklin County Centennial Committee Page 8
Author's preface 7
Chapter I. The Geography of Franklin County 11
Chapter II.Origin of Franklin County 14
Chapter III. Organization 20
Chapter IV. Settlers and Settlements 28
Chapter V. Character of the Early Pioneers 29
Chapter VI. Roads 82
Chapter VII. Land Entries 36
Chapter VIII. Industries Among the Pioneers 40
Chapter IX. Society and Manner of Living 44
Chapter X. Slavery in the State and County 55
Chapter XI. Northern and Ewing Townships 60
Chapter XII. Barren and Goode 73
Chapter XIII. Tyrone Township 77
Chapter XIV. Benton Township 81
Chapter XV. Browning, Eastern and Cave 98
Chapter XVI. Frankfort 107
Chapter XVII. Denning and Six Mile 114
Chapter XVIII. Railroads 118
Chapter XIX. County Officials 121
Chapter XX. Franklin County in War 134
Chapter XXI. Schools 141
Chapter XXII. Coal Mines 147
Chapter XXIII. Early Courts and Law 155
At the Forty-eighth General Assembly, a resolution was introduced and passed creating the Illinois Centennial Commission for the purpose of celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of the state of Illinois since its admission into the Union of States. This commission is composed of:
Dr. Otto L. Schmidt - Chairman - Chicago
Mrs. Jessie Palmer Weber, Secretary - Springfield
Dr. Edward Bowe - Jacksonville
Hon. John W. Bunn - Springfield
Hon. William Butterworth - Moline
Hon. Leon A. Colp - Marion
Rev. R. W. Ennis - Mason City
Professor E. B. Greene - Urbana
President Harry Pratt Judson - Chicago
Hon. George Pasfield, Jr - Springfield
Hon. William N. Pelouze - Chicago
Hon. A. J. Poorman, Jr - Fairfield
Judge Thomas F. Scully - Chicago
Rev. Frederic Siedenburg, S. J - Chicago
Hugh S. Magill, Jr Springfield
The State Centennial Commission in order to carry out the idea of holding local celebrations over the state have appointed a County Centennial Committee in each county of the state.
The present county officials of Franklin County were appointed the County Centennial Committee to manage the Centennial Celebration work. This committee met and organized by electing Co. Supt. of Schools H. Clay Ing, Chairman, and Co. Judge Nealy I. Glenn, Secretary.
As there is a great amount of work to be done in the holding of county celebrations and the county officials all being very busy men, appointed H. M. Aiken as Field Secretary to the County Centennial Committee.
If the observance of the 100th anniversary of our state and county is to be of permanent value to the people it should furnish a survey of the progress of the century.
The century of progress of the state and county cannot be fully understood and appreciated without a knowledge of the early history of the country.
The plan of the County Centennial Committee is to furnish the people of the county a history of its progress and development from its origin to the present date.
To hold local celebrations at different points in the county. The celebration is to be managed in such a manner so the local history may be told by some one who is familiar with it. A marker that will point out some important event in the century's history, and an exhibition of relics of the past that will contrast the present methods of living with the past methods.
The first celebration was held at Mt. Etna Church in Eastern Township. The object of the celebration was the observance of the fact that Mt. Etna Church is the first Methodist Church in the county. This was duly celebrated July 28, 1918, the 96th anniversary of the establishment of the church. The church was founded 1822. At Liberty Church in
Cave Township was observed the first settlement in Franklin County which was the one hundred sixteenth anniversary of the settlement of the county. A marker was erected to point the facts in history connected with the place. The celebrations took place August 10, 1918. Mt. Pleasant Church Celebration August 10, 1918, and celebrates the founding of the first Missionary Baptist Church in the county, and the settlement on Browning Hill by John Browning 1814. Markers are erected to point out these facts. White Church in Denning Township Celebration August 18, and Church Home Coming and Centennial Celebration. Old Frankfort Celebration Sept. 8, 1918, and dedication of marker for the first court house in the county.
Harrison Family Celebration, on Andy's Creek, Aug. 25th, 1918. Marker to be erected to the memory of Isham Harrison, a delegate to the first constitutional convention held at Kaskaskiain 1818.
The Aiken-McLean Celebration at Knob Prairie Church in Eastern Township, Aug. 29th, 1918; 100th anniversary of the coming of these families to Illinois. A marker is to be erected to point out this fact.
The Webb's Prairie Celebration, at Middlefork Church, Aug. 30, 1818. Two markers erected, one for the oldest church in county, and the other the first watermill erected in the county.
The Mulkeytown Celebration, Sept. I, 1918. Object of observance is the first Christian Church established in Illinois. The marker points out the fact that the church was established in 1823.
The Townmount Celebration, at the Townmount Church in Denning Township, Sept. 15, 1918. Object of celebration is the observance of the Indian battle ground. A decisive battle was fought between the Shawnee and Kaskaskia Indians in 1802. A marker that points out these facts is erected.
The Centennial Celebration for the county will be held at Benton Fair Grounds Sept. 20, 1918.
A spectacular parade will form near the public square and pass around the court house to the fair grounds. This parade will contain many floats to represent the stages of development in the county's history. A Museum of Relics will be installed in the floral hall.
Moving pictures - patriotic and historical - will be a feature of the day.
A grand parade of school children of the county will be a feature that will not be soon forgotten.
The committee expects to put on a pageant, "Masque of Illinois" at the fair grounds in the evening.
The State of Illinois and Franklin County celebrate their 100th anniversary this year. The full significance of a century of statehood and county-hood can best be understood and appreciated if a knowledge of the early history be acquired.
With this idea in mind, the author has attempted to prepare a history of Franklin County that will meet this demand.
This work is an attempt to portray the origin and organization of Franklin County; the pioneers, their modes of living, social life, their schools and churches, their roads, industries, early towns and villages; the development of the coal industry, the building of the industrial centers and the building of railroads.
The author is indebted to the Illinois Centennial Commission for the information contained in their introductory volume; to the Goodspeed Publishing Company of Chicago for the use of the information found in their History of Franklin County; to George W. Smith, author of Southern Illinois History, for reference to his history; to the Lectures of Rev. Braxton Parrish; to the Autobiography of W. J. Whittington; to the Article by M. O. McCreery and to the Franklin County Prospectus.
We acknowledge the valuable service of O. M. Machiel, a photographer of Benton, in securing pictures for use in this volume.
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