Livingston County, Illinois
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Livingston County had 106 votes for Polk and 66 for Clay, in the election returns for president. [The Ottawa Free Trader, Volume 5, Number 26, 13 December 1844]


In the evening session of the House of Representatives on Friday February 11, 1853, a Bill to authorize a bridge across the Vermillion River in Livingston County, was passed. [Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal, 14 February 1853]


We are glad to perceive that J. Young Scammon, the whig candidate for Congress in the 4th District, will thoroughly canvass that district. He commenced in Joliet on Monday, and will be at Pontiac in Livingston, on the 19th. The 4th District will have an honest, able and indefatigable representative in Congress, if Mr. Scammon is elected. [Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal, 20 July 1848; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]

Livingston County -- There is to be an abolition mass convention at Pontiac, Livingston county, on the 1st of August, the anniversary of the emancipation in the West Indies. J.B. Turner, of Jacksonville, Mrs. Cutter, and Parker Earl, are announced among the speakers to be present.[Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal, 27 July 1855; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]


Douglas Dodgeth.
At the Junction some days since Douglas declined to answer his "venerable friend," Dr. Root, of Elgin, when the questions became troublesome. At Pontiac, the little giant took to water after the same fashion. He solicited questions from the audience, and the following was propounded:
1st. You say in your speech at Freeport that the people of a Territory have the power to exclude slavery by non-action. Do you mean by  "excluding" slavery they have, through their Territorial Legislature, the power to declare that slaves brought in voluntarily by their masters, shall, by that act, become free?   If not, how can they exclude slavery; and if so, how will that tally with the Supreme Court decision?
Douglas flew into a passion and said that his interrogator only asked the question "to create confusion!" The only reply he made was that he "had answered it at Freeport," and then abused the gentleman who interrogated him.
His tormentors would not let him up, however, and popped the following: Would not the spirit of the Dred Scott Decision annul all the acts of the Territorial Legislature in case they enacted laws "unfriendly to the holding of slaves in a Territory, while a Territory."  Douglas now fairly raved, and declared that " no gentleman would ask such a question!" and declined to be interrogated further. [Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal, Volume 27, Number 1415, 15 September 1858; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]

Wm. T. Russell, Charles J. Beattie, and Jerome P. Garner were elected delegates to Springfield on the 5th at the Mass Convention for Livingston County. A resolution was adopted condemning the Dred Scott decision. [The Weekly Pantagraph, June 16, 1858, Page 2; sub. by PHG]


STATE'S ATTORNEY--C. J. Beattie, Esq., of Pontiac, has been appointed by Gov. Bissell as State's Attorney for the Livingston County (20th) circuit, vice Simeon DeWitt of the same county, deceased. Mr. Beattie is a young lawyer of talent and energy and will be likely to make a good officer. [The Pantagraph, Apr. 14, 1859, Page 2; sub. by PHG]


United States Assessor’s Office, Eighth Collection District, State of Ill., Bloomington, September 24, 1862.
Division No. 7 comprises the county of Livingston with Samuel L. Fleming, assessor, Pontiac. All persons subject to tax or license under the act of Congress "to provide internal revenue to support the Government, and to pay interest on the public debt," approved July 1,1862, are notified to make application to the assistant assessor within their respective districts, on or before the first day of October next. [Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal 29 September 1862]


LIVINGSTON--Old Livingston gives 450 majority for the Union and Old Abe, ----a gain of 300.
M.E. Collins,  staunch editor of the Pontiac Sentinel, is elected County Treasurer by the above figure. [Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal, 7 November 1863; Sub. by Pam Geyer;]

Mr. BUSHNELL presented petition of citizens of Pontiac, in Livingston county, for an act to enable them to provide a special tax to experiment in coal mining. Sent to committee on Banks and Corporations. [Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal 9 June 1863]


Another Copperhead Lie Nailed.
The Copperheads have, for a few days past, been putting forward the claim that Gen. John M. Palmer is in favor of McClellan for the Presidency. The report of his speech at Pontiac, on Friday last, which we publish elsewhere, will put a pretty effectual quietus on that absurd lie. At the conclusion of his remarks, hearty cheers were given for Palmer and for Lincoln. The meeting then adjourned. On Friday evening, Gen. Palmer and Hon. S. M. Oullom spoke at an impromptu gathering of the citizens of Chenoa. The meeting at Pontiac was very enthusiastic, and the Union men of Livingston county are confident that all will be right in November.  [Sangamo Journal / Illinois State Journal 12 September 1864]


By the way --- there is no bad illustration of Ottawa shrewdness in the matter of always defeating her own candidates for state senate, legislature, convention, &c,  and helping to elect a man from a rival city.  About as unattractive and unpromising a place as could well be imagined for the location of a state institution is Pontiac, yet she has her man in the state senate, and has no difficulty in getting a state institution of considerable importance located there. -- If Ottawa had had a man of influence in the house or senate at Springfield, or even in favor with the Governor, would she have been swindled out of the location of the Northern Insane Asylum as shamelessly as she has been? The location of that Asylum at Elgin was one of the most rascally operations our state has ever been the victim of, as we may yet take occasion to show. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 22 January 1870; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]


The Northern Illinois Insane Asylum was located at an unsuitable place because Elgin offered the state a bonus, which may or may not be paid; the state Reform School was located at an unsuitable, out of the way place, [Pontiac] because Livingston county offered the state a bonus of $50,000, which, now that the building has been erected and the school put in operation, the county repudiates; and the Southern University was located at Carbondale, about as unsuitable a location as could be picked out, because Jackson county offered a bonus of $50,000, which the county has also repudiated. It seems now, with regard to this last named institution, that the state is in a fair way to be swindled out of a good deal more than the $50,000 bonus. [Ottawa Free Trader: Saturday, July 20, 1871]



The brother-in-law and cousin will have no place in President Hayes' administration. The Tribune's Washington correspondent says: -- Among the unsuccessful candidates for the United States marshalship for the Northern District of Illinos was Mr. Stillwell of Livingston County. He was admitted to a private audience with the president and presented his papers. The president looked them all carefully through and then looking Mr. Stillwell full in the face, said, "Your papers are unexceptionable; there is nothing in your record which does not seem to show that you are fully qualified for the position; but there is one insuperable objection to your appointment to any federal office -- this is, your wife is a favorite cousin of Mrs. Hayes." Mr. Stillwell left the presidential office convinced at last that the fact which many thought would insure his appointment had rendered his defeat inevitable. [Date: 19 Mar 1877; Paper: St. Albans Daily Messenger - Sub. by Teri Colglazier]

Alvin Wait, of Dwight, is a candidate for Circuit Clerk of Livingston County. He lost a leg in the army. [The Pantagraph, July 6, 1877; sub. by PHG]

Martin Dolde, of Pontiac, announces his name this week as a candidate for county treasurer, subject to the decision of the Republican convention. [The Pantagraph, July, 13, 1877; sub. by PHG]


One of the improbable probabilities of the senatorial contest in the coming Illinois legislature, it is hinted, will be the development of Congressman L. E. Payson, of Pontiac, as a dark horse. [The Ottawa Free Trader, 2 December 1882; Sub. by Pam Guyer]


Mr. Samuel K. T. Prime of Dwight, Livingston County, Illinois, has addressed a circular to sundry and divers persons, in which, amoung other things, he says: "I have recently returned from New York City, where I have had a consultation with the members of the executive committee of the American Free Trade League. I have consented, on my part, to aid them in their philanthropic effort ot restore and build up, if possible the home and foreign trade of the United States, which has, in a great measure, been lost by the policy which this country has pursued drung the last twenty years on the questions of revenue. I do not care at all anything about your politics. All I want to know is, if you are disposed to aid and assist the cause of tariff reform. The country never was riper from such an agitation than at the present. The American Free Trade League wishes to form local organizations of five or more persons in every town in the West. They wish to influence political action in the direction of sending men to Conrgress who will vote for reduction of the tariff." Mr. Prim's declatation, "this work is purely a labor of love on my part," is accepted in good faith. It is the quality of his knowledge not the purity of his zeal that concerns the public, to which he addressses himselfr. What part of "the home and foreign trade of the United States, which has, in a great measure, been lost by the policy which this country has pursued during the last twenty years or twenty-five years. Or does Mr. Prime wish his readers to believe that the 50,000,000 of people who inhabit the United States today buy less goods in the home market or export less goods to the foreign markets than the 30,000,000 who inhabited it twenty years ago? Or does he wish it ot be believed that because the American workman gets at least 20 per cent more for his labor now, as a result of "the policy which this country has pursued for twenty years past on the question of revenue," than in 1860, that therefore he is worse fed and clothed? Or is it because prices of railway freights on grain and other mechanise have fallen from 41/2 cents to little more and sometimes less than 1 cent per mile per tone that Mr. Prime argues a decrease in the volume of home and foreign trade? Or it is because the ratio of grain consumed in the United States during the past twnety years ahs increased from 32 to 52 bushels per capita that he augurs evil? Or is it because the National debt, which was enormous twenty years ago, is not virtually extinquished, in so far as it has matured, that he is fearful of the future? Or is it because, "by the policy which this country has pursued for the last twenty years on questions of revenue," the workman or small farmer can, and does by for $15 a suit of clothes of such quality as were utterly beyond his reach twenty years ago that Mr. Prime is dissatisfied? It is because "store clothes" have supplanted "home-made jeans" in the country districts that Mr. Prime is disquieted? It is a return to the spinning wheel and hand-loom in the farm kitchens that Mr. Prime seeks after? Do the wheels of the buggies in which the farmers' adolescent sons and daughters drive up to church on Sundays or to the county fairs in the fall grate unpleasantly on Mr. Prime's ears? Does he want to return to the good old ox-sled or the farm wagon? Or is he fearful of the demoralizing effect of the "imported" carpet which has basnished its rag predecessor from the homes of the less wealthy classes? Or is the increasing frequency of the piano and organ in the homes of those who depend on toil for their living indicative of decay of home trade and prosperity to Mr. Prime? Mr. Prime should lift up his eyes and see and behold and consider how many more comforts every industrious and honest and healthy person in the United States enjoys to-day than persons of a like social condition enjoyed twenty years ago. No "home or foreign trade" worth keeping ahs been lost "by the policy which this country has pursued for the last twenty years on questions of revenue." Many new trades have been created by it, more have been doubled in volume by it, and some have increased a hundred fold. "The policy," etc., may not be absolutely perfect, but that it is vastly nearer perfection than any other policy which the country has ever adopted is proved by the almost incredible increase in the volume of all trade, home and foreign, which has been manifested concurrently with is operation. [Date: 08 Jan 1887; Paper: Daily Inter Ocean - Sub. by Teri Colglazier]


John Wallace, whose horse died from the effects of the hard ride, supposed to have been given by escaped Reform School boys, has applied to the trustees of the institution to pay him for the horse. [The Fairbury Blade, Jan. 5, 1889; sub. by PHG]



Fight for Supervisors. Lively Campaign in Livingston County, Illinois, for the Offices. Fairbury, Ill., April 5 -- The hottest spring township campaign in the history of Livingston County is going on now. The fight is over the political complexion of the county board of supervisors. The present board is Democratic and they have an excellent record left in making radical changes by reducing salaries and other matters which saved the taxpayers of the county large sums of money. But as the county always has had a republican board until the last, the old party is leaving no stone unturned to seize the offices once more. [Date: 06 Apr 1891; Paper: Chicago Herald - Sub. by Teri Colglazier]


Hon. C. C. Strawn, of Pontiac, has issued to his republican friends a positive refusal to become a candidate for the nomination of governor. He says he could not be induced under any circumstances to stand in the way of gentlemen whose long service to the party entitle them to the fair and untrammeled consideration of the convention. [The Weekly Pantagraph, Dec. 8, 1899; sub. by PHG]

C. C. Strawn, of Pontiac, who was spoken of as a candidate for governor on the republican ticket, has issued a statement in declination. [The Rock Island Argus, 7 December 1899; Sub. by Pam Guyer]


B. Hodges, Fusion candidate for the state senate from the Twenty-eighth district comprising Kearney, Phelps and Harlan counties. Bartholemew Hodges was born in North Carolina in 1845, moved with his parents to Indiana in 1853, and in 1875 to Livingston County, Illinois. In the spring of 1887 Mr. Hodges came to Nebraska, locating in Harlan county, subsequently moving into Phelps county where he has resided near Atlanta for the past five years. During his residence in Illinois Mr. Hodges was a member of the board of supervisors of Livingston County five years. He was a member of the Harlan county board for four years and is at present a member of Phelps county board, having been elected last fall. Mr. Hodges has always been engaged in farming and stock raising. Politically he was formerly a democrat, later allied himself with the greenbackers and subsequently affiliated himself with the people's party. [Date: 16 Sep 1900; Paper: Omaha World Herald - Sub. by Teri Colglazier]


President Roosevelt Begins at 8 A.M. And Makes Nine Speeches By 10 o'clock at Night.
Bloomington, Ill., June 4.—President Roosevelt put in about the busiest day of his trip. He made his first speech at 8 a.m., and when he concluded his address here shortly after 10 p.m. he had spoken nine times. Eight of his speeches were made in the open air and several of them in rains. The hardest rain encountered was at Pontiac, where he dedicated a soldiers and sailors monument. The downpour was so heavy when his train arrived that it seemed inadvisable for him to venture out. "I will leave It to you, Mr. Mayor," he said to that official. "If you say go, we will go." The mayor decided that the president should go, and wearing a raincoat, he braved the elements. The president assisted in the opening of a new hotel at Dwight. A wire was run from the hotel to the rear platform of his car, and by pressing a button, he started the machinery in the building. [Chicago Livestock World 4 June 1903] 


Pontiac, Ill., Feb. 13: The returns from the Livingston county primaries give the most conflicting reports. It is certain that the delegation will be badly split over (Ira M.) Lish and Col. Smith for lieutenant-governor and will go to the convention without instructions. The sentiment here is strongly favorable to Lowden for governor. This county has 29 delegates. [Urbana Daily Courier 14 February 1904]


Apr. 8--Every town in Livingston county voted against the saloon, excepting Dwight, Chatsworth, Flanagan and Strawn. This city [Pontiac] went dry by 353 majority. [Urbana Daily Courier, 9 April 1908]

Frank Smith For Lieut. Governor.
Col. Frank L. Smith of Dwight appears to stand first among the candidates for lieutenant governor. His friends admire his business and political ability, and those with whom he has not worked politically admire him because they always know where to find him. He would add great strength to the republican ticket. Col. Smith was born in Dwight, Livingston county, Illinois, forty years ago, and at the age of seventeen graduated from high school, and then from a business college. In 1892 he entered the real estate business. He was possessed of abundant energy and a desire to do the square thing by everybody, and he succeeded from the start. Indeed he has had a remarkable business career. In less than ten years he was recognized as one of the leading real estate men in Illinois, and had constructed a comfortable fortune. He held several local offices and in 1896, he was appointed a colonel by Governor John R. Tanner on his military staff, and became very popular among his comrades and the public men of the state. In 1904 he was a candidate for the nomination for lieutenant governor with a fair prospect of winning up to the time of the combination of the Deneen-Yates forces, which resulted in the nomination of Governor Deneen and a slate arranged afterwards which included L.Y. Sherman for lieutenant governor. Mr. Smith polled nearly 600 votes after the slate was made, thus showing his popularity. Shortly after that celebrated state convention, Col. Smith was appointed by President Roosevelt to the office of United States revenue collector for the central district of Illinois, with headquarters at Springfield. His induction into that office of his splendid business ability has brought forth especially favorable comments from officials in Washington. Through Col. Smith's efforts the First National bank of Dwight was organized in 1906, and he was unanimously elected president. Mr. Smith was quite prominently mentioned as a candidate for the republican nomination for governor, and his name received very favorable consideration for the appointment as comptroller of the currency at Washington, D.C. It is conceded by all that he stands the peer of any young man in Illinois in business and politics. He is beloved by all the people without regard to politics at his home in Dwight, and is acknowledged as one of the leaders, in Livingston county, the 17th Congressional district and state of Illinois. Every republican in Illinois who is interested in having a popular man who is abundantly able to fill any office in the gift of the people of the state, nominated and elected lieutenant governor, can vote for Frank L. Smith. [True Republican, 25 July 1908; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]


Marion Was Here.

Marion Gallup, the Prohibition candidate for the legislature in this district, was in our city Saturday. Mr. Gallup is a very pleasant man to meet. He is a farmer and seems to be a man of good horse sense. His home is in Pontiac and he says he expects to be elected. Mr. Gallup seems to have met with some sort of accident at one time in his life. We noticed that one of his hands was off at the wrist, but this don't prevent him from making a good law maker. [The Lacon Home Journal 20 October 1910; Sub. by Pam Geyer, who adds this Note: He is buried at South Side Cemetery in Pontiac, Illinois]

To Down Kerrick
There is movement on foot to down Joe Kerrick for the legislature. With this end in view the Livingston Co. Republicans put up a candidate in the person of Wm. H. Talbot of Pontiac and it looks as if Joe was to be put on the shelf as Livingston has got enough votes to swing the election and the Republicans of that county will vote for Harrison Ireland. Mr. Talbot was in our city over Sunday. He is a very pleasant man to meet and made many friends while here. [The Lacon Home Journal 25 August 1910; Sub. by Pam Geyer]

Harrison Was With 'Em
Over in Livingston, the candidates have been touring the county in automobiles. They started from Pontiac and there were seven autos in the parade. Senator I. M. Lish, from Saunemin, Ill., representative H. T. Ireland and representative Josiah Kerrick were in the 3rd car. The flying squadron made quite a show. [The Lacon Home Journal 27 October 1910; sub. by Pam Geyer]


Edgar Ramp received a letter from his friend Ford Johnson of Pontiac this morning in which he wishes to be remembered to the Home Journal force. Bet your boots, old-boy, here's to you. A descendant of Benj. Franklin is never forgotten by any of us. Mr. Johnson was over last summer with Mr. Ramp and spent an hour in our office. He is a printer and a mighty good fellow. And hark, he is candidate for the nomination for alderman in the 4th ward at Pontiac. Guess that is evidence of his popularity, isn't it? (The Lacon Home Journal 23 February 1911; Sub. by Pam Geyer who adds the Note: Mr. Johnson is buried at South Side Cemetery in Pontiac, Illinois.)


James M. Lyon, Pontiac, instead of George W. Stubblefield, Bloomington, given certificate of nomination, as Republican candidate for representative, 17th district. [The Day Book 11 July 1912, who adds this Note: Mr. Lyon is buried at South Side Cemetery in Pontiac, Illinois]


Pontiac, Ill. -- W. C. Graves ex-judge, Livingston county, began duties as superintendent Illinois State Reformatory. [The Day Book, 9 December 1913; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]


Contest Dry Vote.
Pontiac, April 20.  Wet interests in Livingston county have filed petitions in the county court here to contest the recent election in every town in the county which voted dry.  Those towns where the election will be contested are Pontiac, Dwight, Odell, Flanagan, Strawn, Chatsworth and Cardiff. Minonk and Chenoa, towns just over the county line, also filed petitions in contest. [Urbana Daily Courier, 20 April 1914; Sub. Pam Haag Geyer]

Pontiac, Ill., Z. T. Trumbo, Pontiac, made assistant superintendent of reformatory. In future boys will be allowed hour recreation on playground Sundays. In past have been confined to cellss [The Day Book, 20 April 1914; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]

Pontiac:  Anton Fischer was endorsed for postmaster of Pontiac by the Livingston county Democratic central committee. A resolution to the postmaster general requesting Fischer's appointment was adopted by a vote of 11 to 9. (The Ashton Gazette, 2 July 1914, Submitted by Pam Geyer who adds this Note: He is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Pontiac, Illinois.)

"Wets" Win Election Contest.
Pontiac, July 14. -Judge Phillip A. Gibbons in the Livingston county court here declared the election held in Pontiac, April 28 last, at which ten saloons were voted out, to be void. Improper signatures to the petitions filed with the town clerk is the ground for the decision. [Urbana Daily Courier 14 July 1914]

Committee appointed by Gov. Dunne meeting to consider changing age limit in Pontiac reformatory. Present age limit is from 10 to 21 years. [The Day Book, 20 November 1914; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]

What They Say About 'Em.
Here is what they say this time of the Republican and Democratic candidates in this the 16th district:
William H. Bentley, Pontiac, farmer, has been a member of the Pontiac city council for many years; closely allied with the so-called "Republican machine" of Livingston county; good personal character. [The Lacon Home Journal 22 October 1914; Sub. by Pam Geyer]


Many Illinois Counties Carried by Prohibitionists - East St. Louis, Ill. April 6 -- The dry forces were victorious in most of the Central and Southern Illinois cities where local option elections were held today. The women divided their ballots almost evenly between the two issues. Centralia, Ill., wet for 60 years was voted dry. Cullom is the only town remaining wet in Livingston County. Santon Township was the only wet spot in Champaign County, was voted dry by the women's vote. The wets were victorious in Murphysboro by a majority of 715. The women's vote was 1,059 dry, 1,009 wet. The men voted 881 dry and 1,645 wet. [Date: 07 Apr 1915; Paper: Charlotte Observer - Sub. by Teri Colglazier]

Pontiac, Ill., - Pontiac today voted to oust nine saloons by majority of 350 votes. [The Day Book, 7 April 1915; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]

Pontiac, Ill. --  Thirty-eight saloons in Livingston county out of business as result of local option elections. [The Day Book, 8 May 1914; Sub. by Pam Haag Geyer]



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