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Centennial Celebration

The Jersey County Centennial Celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the admission of the State of Illinois into the Union as a state was held in the city of Jerseyville, September 7, 1918. Upon which occasion two bronze tablets were unveiled upon the public square, one of said tablets being upon a granite boulder, from the farm of Hiram White, in section 23, township 17 R. 12, furnished by George H. and William Doughtery, commemorative of the Hamilton Primary School, the first free school in the State of Illinois, which was unveiled by Miss Lilah Doughtery, a student of that school and a great-great granddaughter of William Doughtery, one of the original settlers, with Dr. Silas Hamilton of the Otter Creek Settlement 1830, and a granddaughter of William Doughtery, the present president of the Hamilton Primary School Fund.

An address was delivered by Judge O. B. Hamilton, a grandson of Thomas M. Hamilton, one of the executors of Dr. Silas Hamilton's will, upon the life of the donor, Dr.Silas Hamilton, and his founding of Otter Creek Settlement, 1830, his founding and endowment of the Hamilton Primary School 1835, and the history of said school; also an address by John I. White, the only living teacher of the school, now living in this county, who taught a school in the original Stone School House, in the winter of 1863-64.

The other tablet is upon a boulder from the Samuel Snedeker Farm, in Jerseyville, and is commemorative of the Hickory Grove Settlement, the organization of the town and City of Jerseyville, and the County of Jersey. The tablet was unveiled by Miss Elizabeth Daniels, a great granddaughter of George H. Jackson, the first recorder of Jersey County. An appropriate historical address was delivered by Hon. Joseph W. Becker, superintendent of schools of Jersey County. An address was also delivered by Hon. Francis G. Blair, state superintendent of public instruction of the State of Illinois. The music was under the direction of Mrs. H.S. Daniels, wife of Hon. Harry S. Daniels, ex-mayor of the City of Jerseyville, son of James S. Daniels, who also served Jerseyville as mayor. Hon William F. Shephard, the present mayor of said city, presided, and conducted the services on this occasion.