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White County
Illinois

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History of Emma Township
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Residents of
Emma Township


Daniel Absher

Henry Absher

Joel M. Abshier

John Absher

Hieronimus Aman

Robert W. Boyd

John S. Brumblay

Solomon Bryant

George W. Clark

James A. Clark

Joel Clark

James J. Corcoran

James Dawsey

John Eply

Joseph Garrison

William Hall

Benjamin Land

S.L. Logan

John Marshall

Jarret Mc Calliter

Weslley Mc Callister

Henry H. Mc Mullen

Nathaniel Mc Mullen

William P. Mc Murtry, M.D.

Josiah L. Nelson

William Newton

James O'Neill

James Madison Pumroy

Frederic Roser

Clifford Rudd

R. Coleman Seals

Thomas Stephens

George W. Taylor

Joseph Tuggle

Joseph Ward

William Willis

Chauncey Ward
From the History of White County Illinois, 1883

This township embraces a fine farming district, and is situated in the southeastern corner of White County. It comprises fifty-eight square miles, and consists of township 6 south, range 10 east, and the north half of township 7 south, range 10 east. It is mostly timbered land, with some prairie land near the center. The Great Wabash River bounds it on the east, while the Little Wabash runs through the western portion. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad crosses the Big Wabash in the northeastern corner of the township.

The first settler was probably Robert Land, who moved here with his wife and four children in 1809, a more extended account of whom is given in Chapter II. Among the early settlers may be mentioned James Dorsey, Miles W. Burris, Joseph Garrison, Charles Mobley, George Alexander and Thomas Logan.

Aaron Franks, now a resident of Wabash Station, came to this county in 1832. He was born in West Virginia, about fifty miles below Wheeling; after living in Ohio about thirteen years, he came to this county, settling about half a mile southeast of where Wabash Station now is, during the Black Hawk war. His nearest neighbors at that time were Thomas Stephens, about a quarter of a mile west of him, in the little prairie; Mr. Goodin and his son Joseph, about a quarter of a mile distant; John Holderby, also in the little prairie; and Joel Abshier. All these are now deceased.

Mr. Franks is still living, his residence being on the bank of the Big Wabash, 200 or 300 yards from the saw-mill. To him we are indebted for some of the facts of history in this volume, especially those relating to improvement of navigation in the Wabash.

John Marshall, of Marshall's Ferry, is also an old resident, and one of the most prominent men of the township. He has in his possession a sword, which is one of those ordered by the State of Illinois and presented to the officers of the Mexican war. It has this inscription: "Presented to Major Samuel D.Marshall for services in the Mexican war." The sword is beautifully engraved, the battle of Cerro Gordo being represented on one side. It is very heavily plated with gold, as is also the scabbard, the whole being encased in satin in a fine rosewood case. He was an intimate friend of Abraham Lincoln; was in the Legislature with him one term, and was with him on the Harrison electoral ticket in 1840. John Marshall has in his possession a letter from Mr. Lincoln written in February, 1849, to Major Samuel D. Marshall, Shawneetown, Ill.

There are also many relics of antiquity found in this township. Two skeletons were recently found on Colonel Crebs's land at the Little Chain,supposed to be those of Indians; how they came there no one knows.

VILLAGES.

Concord, Emma P. O. At the first settlement of Southern Illinois, Concord was the garden spot of Egypt. She had her Logans, Lands, Slocumbs, Hannas, Nevitts. Shipleys, Pomeroys, McCoys, and other families of great worth. Rev. Charles Slocumb was one of the grandest men in the whole community. George Logan was one of the ablest men in Southern Illinois. He represented White County in the Legislature with great ability. These are the men, with many others, that felled the forest and reared the first houses in what to-day is known as Emma Township.

It was laid out Sept. 23,1869, by Hail Storms, County Surveyor, for Matilda Shelby, John G. Robinson, James M. Jackson and Medora M. Jackson, and is located on the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 29, town 6 south, range 10 east. The village had existed long before this survey, and had been a point of considerable note. It is stated that Charles and Stephen Slocumb settled here as early as 1815, and that a thriving village existed; but after their death the property changed hands a number of times, and now J. McCallister owns a greater part of the village. There are two general stores, one owned by Mr. McCallister and the other by William II. Gray; one blacksmith shop, a wagon repair shop, also a warehouse on the banks of the Wabash, where considerable grain is purchased. An office has been built here for the use of the township. Wm. R. McDonald owns the north half of the village, and has lots for sale. It was named by Rev. Charles Slocumb, as of peaceful or religious significance.

TOWNSHIP OFFICERS

SUPERVISORS

Terms

Alexander Williams

1873-1875

William John Smith

1876

Alexander Williams

1877-1878

James M. Jackson

1879

Alexander Williams

1880

Wesley McCallister

1881

John Epley

1882

CLERKS

R. A. Mayhew

1873

Geo. W. Gaddy

1874

James A. Clark

1875

Charles Whittlesey

1876

B. B. York

1877-1888

Jarrett McCallister

1879

William H Gray

1880-1881

William C. Absher

1882

ASSESSORS

A. L. Garrison

1873

John B. Graw

1874

Daniel M. Absher

1875

Joseph Garrison

1876-1880

Wyatt Williams Jr.

1881

Joseph Garrison

1882

COLLECTORS

James A. Miller

1873

John S. Brumblay

1874

Alex. S. Garrison

1875

James M. Jackson

1876-1877

G. W. Clark

1878-1879

Joseph Ward

1880

William P. McMurtry

1881

Robert K. Logan

1882

Highway Commissioners

William Hall
Charles N. Skinner

1873

James O'Neal

1874

William Hall

1875

Martin Richter
J. B. Bennett

1876

Samuel Chastain
Solomon Bryant

1877

JR. E. Seals
J. F. McHenry

1878

G. W. Chastain

1879

Joseph Tugle
George W. Clark

1880

J. W. Gilbert

1881

Joel M. Abshier

1882

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE

Wesley McCallister
J. M. Campbell

1873

Wesley McCallister
Daniel M. Absher

1877

James M. Absher
James Edwards

1881

James O'Neal

1883

CONSTABLES

R. W. Muiisey
Jarrett McCallister

1873

James M. Williams
James Edwards

1875

James Edwards
Wyett Williams

1877

James Edwards
Barney B. York

1881

Wabash Station, Marshall's Ferry P.O., is a station on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. No village is laid out here, although there are two stores, a postoffice, blacksmith shop, and a portable saw-mill. The station was located about twelve years ago, and there are now about a dozen houses, of no very pretentious appearance.

Elm Grove.
In 1844 Elm Grove first appeared as a place of business. William L. Garrison erected a storehouse, 12x14, under an elm-tree that stood by the roadside, and from which the place was named. He opened up a stock of dry goods, groceries, etc., and from this miniature establishment sprang the village of Elm Grove.
It is located on the Garrison farm, sections 20 and 17, and was laid out by measurement, and lots sold, in 1849; subsequently it was laid out by County Surveyor John Storms.

From 1861 to 1865 this place was the center of a large territory, the inhabitants of which came here to trade. Business was very lively.

Garrison Family farm
[The Garrison Family Cemetery still stands behind a small concrete wall. There is an old barn still standing where the Garrison family farm once was.]


There were three stores and two saloons; it was also a sporting location, especially that of the turf. There is scarcely anything now except a few dilapidated buildings, all is silent as the grave. There is a Methodist church in the village, the only one in the township, and there is preaching every Sunday; all else seems dead. Even the old elm-tree is dead and returning to its original dust.

Among the first settlers may be mentioned Charles Mabley, James Garrison, George, Alexander and Thomas Logan.

Rising Sun. This village is located on the west bank of the Big Wabash River, just north of Marshall's Ferry. It is situated on the southeast quarter of section 18, and was platted by Hail Storms for Maxfield Huston, who sold most of the lots at auction. Mr. H. died in August, 1873. There is a blacksmith shop, shingle machine, and a school-house, used also for church purposes. There are the ruins of an old saw and flouring mill, built in 1858 by John Marshall and run for several years; the machinery has been taken out and moved to Kansas. The village is surrounded by good farming land and good timber.

Marshall's Ferry. This was the first ferry across the Great Wabash in White County, and was first called Codd's Ferry. Mr. Codd sold his claim to John Marshall, and the latter took out his patent for the south half of section 18, and the whole of fractional section 17. This is John Marshall's home. A store and postoffice were opened here in an early day, and were the first in White County. This ferry is about midway between the Grand Chain and the Little Chain, and about two miles east of Clear Lake, where hundreds go every year to hunt and fish.

Mr. Marshall built the first house in the village. The first blacksmith was James M. Kroh; he is said to have made the first sorghum molasses in the State of Illinois, and was one of the first to distribute the sorghum seed throughout the United States and Canada.

The first school in this vicinity was a subscription school, taught by Mrs. Rowe and Adam Goodwin. The first district school was taught by Miss Mary Aldrich, of Posey County, Ind., now Mrs. Solomon Nesler, of Emma Township. John Field is the present teacher.

There is an old graveyard at or very near Marshall's Ferry. The date when this spot was first used as a burying place is unknown.
The earliest date known is marked by a plain sandstone slab, on which is engraved: "sacred to the memory of Grooinbright Bailey; born in Baltimore, Md., May 1, A. D. 1732, Died , A. D. 1817." This and nothing more is known of this man's life or death, or how he ever came here at this early day, or who buried the body and erected the slab. Another broken sand slab, lying close beside the wagon track daily travel passing over the grave bears the name, "Robert Boss, born in Northwick, England; Departed this life Feb. 8, 1820."

Marshall Ferry's Cemetery
Marshall Ferry's Cemetery

On the top of this stone is cut a square and compass. There is the appearance of some forty or fifty graves scattered among the large timber within ten to fifty feet of the banks of the Wabash River, on a high ridge above the overflow of this stream. The place has not been used as a burial spot for over thirty years, and is entirely neglected.

In the winter of 1809-'10, near Thomas Miller's, an Indian shot and killed a fine deer at a distance of eighty yard, with a bow and arrow, the latter having a flint point.


CHURCHES.

Methodist Episcopal Church. This society was organized in August, 1866, by Revs. Sutton, Sellers and Stephen B. Slocumb. The first officers were: James C. Huston, Class-Leader and Steward. Rev. Sellers was pastor, and served there three years; was succeeded by C. "W. Sabin two years; Rev. Elam, one year; Marcus L. King, three years; Rev. R. H. Monierse, three years; Rev. Baird, two years; Rev. Mr. Field, two years; the latter is the present pastor. Services are held in the school-house. John W. Devers is the present Steward and Class Leader, also Superintendent of the Sabbath-school, in which there are about forty scholars.

Old Christian or New Light Church was organized in 1879. James Schemmerhorn is the present pastor, and George W. Williams, Clerk. There is a membership of eleven persons.
In the summer of 1872 a Christian church was organized, but owing to various causes it is now defunct.

Near Marshall's Ferry there is a circle of earth thrown up about two feet high, and about sixty feet across, with a mound in the center two feet high. This is unmistakably the work of human hands. On the circle there is an old black oak-tree about four feet in diameter. There are many mounds within a mile of the river, and gives an appearance of an old burying ground for people to history unknown.

church in MaunieOld church in Maunie

The cholera of 1832 carried off two or three persons in the vicinity of Williams' Ferry, among them the wife of the elder Mr. Stephens. There may have been other cases in the township.

The Old Schoolhouse
The Pathfinder, October 20, 1923

There are old familiar pictures
Painted fair in mem'ry's frame;
There are voices hushed in silence,
I so long to hear again.
There's a house of logs and benches
Shaded well by lofty trees--
"Tis the old school house of childhood,
Where I learned my A, B, C's.

Oh, the old familiar schoolmates
Scattered far from this dear place;
I can hear their shouts at ev'ning,
I can see each happy face
When the teacher had dismissed them,
And the day's dull tasks were done,
As long the lanes they loitered,
Heedless of the setting sun.

I have wandered back since childhood
To review that sacred ground,
And found some schoolmates lying
Near the place--'neath mossy mound.
And I looked to where the schoolhouse
Stood in days of long ago,
In its place another building,
Dear old schoolhouse lying low.

Now the silent ev'nings whisper
Of the ones I love the best;
They repeat the old, old story:
Some are scattered--some now rest
Where we played the games of childhood,
Free from sorrow, pain and care,
When we knew no dread tomorrow,
Free as children of the air.

Mem'ry often loves to travel
Trails I tramped in boyhood days,
'Cross the fields and through the forests
Where now run the wide highways.
Gone the sacred home of childhood,
Gone the schoolhouse down the lane
Where the monarchs of the forest
Sheltered me from sun and rain.

This was penned by E.R. Robinson of Lonoke, Ark. He dedicated the poem to the first school he and his brother, Sen. Joseph T. Robinson, ever attended. He described the school as follows:

It was a little log hut, 18 feet square, with one door, one window, and with split logs for seats. It has long ago crumbed back to dust, but just in front of where it stood is the Concord Methodist Church, and in front of this church is the old cemetery that contains the dust of our beloved dead. This log school was erected by our father 80 years ago, and the land on which schoolhouse, church and cemetery stood, was given by him to the community.





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