Transcribe from the Book
"Counties of Cumberland, Jasper and Riceland Illinois"
Originally published 1884 by
F.A. Battey & Co. Chicago, Ill.



The general administration of county affairs, in 1843, was in the hands of three Commissioners. In accordance with a provision of the organizing act the Commissioner receiving the highest number of votes was to serve for the full term of three years, the one receiving  the next highest vote was to serve two years, and the remaining one to serve one year. The first, a special, election was held April 3. 1843, and in the following August the regular election occurred, in both of which the same choice was made for this office. The Commissioners of the county have been, therefore, in I 1843 James Gill, for three years; David T. Wisner for two years; Charles Chown­ing, for one year. In November, 1843, Amos G. Lacey was elected in place of Chowning  resigned;  1844 Isaac Hedges;  1845  David T. Wisner, re-elected; 1846 James Wright. In the same year Meredith Hazelwood was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Hedges. In April, 1847, Jas. D. White was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Wright; 1847  Meredith Hazelwood, elected his own successor for full term; 1848 John Vandike for full term, and Wm. Helm in place of  Hazelwood, deceased.
    On April 13, 1849, the act of the legislature establishing a County Court in each county, went into effect. By this act the regular election, which had been in August, was deferred to the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The court organized by this act consisted of a County Judge and two Associate Justices, whose term of office was four years. The Judge alone had jurisdiction in matters pertaining to the probate practice and law, and the three together had charge of all county business hitherto devolving upon the Commissioners. The first court was elected November, 1849; and resulted as follows: James M. Ward, Judge; Thomas Brewer, and J. H. Williams, Associates. November, 1852  John S. Smith was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Brewer. 1853    W. E. Smith, Judge; Jas. Redfern and Jas. Gill, Associates. 1857  W. E. Smith, Judge; Jas. Gill and M. B. Ross, Associates.
    In 1859 the county voted to adopt the township organization provided by law, and in April, 1861, elected a Board of Supervisors The following is a list of those who have represented the various townships in this capacity: Sumpter Township, W. M. P. Rush, 1861 to 1865; W. L. Morton, 1866; Thomas Brewer, 1867 to 1868; D. D. Judson, 1869; C. Woods, 1870; M. D. Ross, 1871; D. B. Green, Clement Uptmore, 1871 to 1872; James B. Smith, 1873 to 1874; Frank Schumaker, 1875; Louis Sehi, 1876 to 1877; Charles McEl­hinney, 1878; Louis Sell, 1879; Louis Schooley, 1880; Louis Sell, 1881 to 1883. The following are the other officers from 1843 to the present, 1883.

The Hon. E. H. Starkweather was the first representative to the Legislature the county ever had, and took his seat in that body in the year 1844, and faithfully and ably represented the county and its interests. And during his legislative term he succeeded in having an act passed for the relief of Thomas Sconce, Sheriff, who had failed to make a settlement with the State Auditor, and pay over the State revenue due from the county. At that time the Sheriff was also ex-officio Collector, and was eligible to office as often as the people saw fit to elect him, and was only legally disqualified by failing to make proper settlement with the State and county, and get a clearance, or as it was in legal parlance called a “quietus.” Mr. Sconce failing to receive his “quietus” from the State Auditor, upon his second election, was refused by the Auditor his commission as Sheriff, but being a man of great popularity, and full of that magnetic power that drew and bound the people to him, went before the people for their endorsement and re-election, saying, “well, boys, it is true, I did not pay the money over to the State, and get my ‘quietus,’ simply from the fact that I never collected it—you have the money, and if anybody is defaulter it is the people themselves.” And the people believed him, and such was their confidence in hint that they re-elected him by an increased majority over his former vote. After this popular demonstration in his behalf the Auditor commissioned him, and he served as Sheriff from 1843 till 1848, about which time he died. Mr. Sconce never did pay the deficit, and Hon. E. H. Starkweather, as above stated, had an act passed relieving his securities from the burden. Thomas Sconce, from 1843 till 1848; Ed­ward Talbott, from 1848 till 1850; B. F. Aleshire, from 1858 till 1852; Thomas Brewer, from 1852 till 1854; C. C. Jones, from 1854 till 1356; B. F. Aleshire, from 1856 till 1858; Edward Talbott, from 1858 till 1860; Henry Rhodes, from 1860 till 1862; E. S. Meeker, from 1862 till 1864; John Prather, from 1864 till 1866; Henry Rhodes, from 1866 till 1868; John Prather, from 1868 till 1870; Edward Bumgartner, from 1870 till 1872; Henry W. Green, from 1872 till 1876; James A. Candlish, from 1876, and is the present incumbent. The term of office is now four years.

Circuit Clerks
Under the constitution of 1848 the Recorders office was an independent one, and Otis Perry was the first, and A.K. Bosworth the second to fill this office. Under the new constitution the Circuit Clerk was made ex-officia Recorder, and the independent office abolished. The Clerks have been James Ewart, from 1843 till 1852; Edward Talbott, from 1852 till 1856; S. D. Tossey, from 1856 till 1864; Edwin S. Norfolk, from 1864 till 1872; Andrew Carson, from 1872 till 1876; W. L. Bruster, from 1876, and is the present incumbent. The term of office is four years.

County Clerks 

 In 1855, when the county seat was removed from Greenup to Prairie City, A. K. Bosworth, who was then County Clerk, refused to move to the new county seat as the law required, and was finally, upon an order of the court, removed from office, and A. G. CaIdwell appointed in his place. The recalcitrant Clerk made an excellent officer, and was highly esteemed for his many good qualities as a man, but being determined to make his own village the county seat, he could not endure defeat with equanimity. In this he had the sympathies of the community of Greenup, and in 1857 was re-elected, over Mr. CaIdwell, to his old position. Legally, he was clearly in the wrong in his opposition to the removal of the records, and yielding to the inevitable, he went to the new county seat, where he filled the office of Clerk for the ensuing four years. The County Clerks have been John F. Holley, from 1843 till 1847; A. K. Bosworth, from 1847 to 1856; A. G. Caldwell, appointed, from 1856 till 18.57; A. K. Bosworth, from 1857 till 1861; M. B. Ross, from 1861 till 1865; M. R. Lee from 1865 till 1869; A. A. Lovins, from 1869 till 1873; W. R.. Humphrey, from 1873 till 1877; L. B. Ross, from 1877 till 1882; G. M. Lemen, from 1882, and is the present incumbent. The term of office is four years.

County Judges.
This office was created under the Township Organization Act, but in 1843 an officer possessing similar powers was elected, and termed the Probate Justice of the Peace. E. H Starkweather was first elected to this position in 1843. In the August election he was elected to the legislature, and J. M. Ward was elected to the Justices position, which he continued to fill until the constitution of 1848 transferred the duties of this office to the County Court. He was then elected Judge, as before noted. As at present understood, the first County Judge was H. B. Decius, from 1861 till 1865; Reuben Bloomfield from 1865 till 1869; Wiley Ross, from 1869 till 1873; John W. Miller, from 1873 till 1882; L. L. Logan from 1882, and is the present incumbent.

Abram Trease, from 1843 till 1845; S. W. Huffcutt., from 1845 till 1850; W. L. Morton, from 1850 till 1861; John
Vandike, from 1861 till 1863; Andrew Carson, from 1863 till 1871; A. J. Edwards, from 1871 till 1875; T. L. Norman, from 1875 till 1877; John W. Goodwin, from 1877, and is the present incumbent.


 There is no record of any election to this position in Cumberland County before 1847. At this date record is made of the employment of Thomas Sconce. In 1848 the records note the employment of John W. Aleshire. In 1849 William E. Smith was elected, and served until 1853; William Jones, from 1853 till 1857; George Moreland from 1857 till 1861; William Jones, from 1861 till 1869; W. H. Rissler, from 1869 till 1872; William Wyldes, from 1872 till 1879; George Moreland, from 1879, and is the present incumbent.

County School Superindents   

This official originally had principally to do with the school lands in the county, and the distribution of the school funds. Under the school law of 1855, and subsequent enactment's, the duties of the office were enlarged, and the County Superintendent of Schools established. The gentlemen who have filled this position in Cumberland County are D. C. Decius, from 1843 to 1845; J. F. Holley, from 1845  February, 1847, William Freeman was appointed to fill vacancy caused by death of Hol­ley; L. H. Goodwin, from 1847 till 1851; A .K. Bosworth, from 1851 till 1853; H. C. Woodworth, from 1853 till 1855; Reuben Beals, from 1855 till 1857; H. B. Decius, from 1857 till 1861; L. H. Good­win, from 1861 till 1865: William E. Lake, from 1865 till 1873; T. C. Kille, from 1873 till 1877; Henry J. Crosscup, from 1877 till 1881; W. E. Lake, appointed for 1881; Samuel C. Miller, from 1882, and is the present incumbent. The term of office is now four years.

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