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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
July 13, 1961     Times
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July 13, 1961

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EDITION (Times.Hews, Mr. Pulas 111.) His first contact with Abraham Lincoln, who was his lifetime was on the occasion of a dinner given in honor of the first steamboat which tried to navigate the Sengemon. Mr. Lincoln had the boat end the dinner was held at Mr. Capps&apos; place. Mr. Capps was united in marriage in 1829 to Prudence Ann Four sons blessed the union, three of whom survived to Charles S.. Ebeneezer S., and Oliver T. After the death wife, he married Efizabeth Baker, to which union ten children were born. THE BEGINNING Residing af the home of Mr. Capps in Springfield, was ce Alexander Shields, who had located in 183S for the practice of In the spring of the next year, he married Ann, wl- Salisch. a sister of Mr. Capt0s. In the spring of 1936, Dr. Shields was called on a professional visit fo the home of Nicholas Moore af "Hurrlcne Point", in the creek seHlement, northeast of present Mount Pulaski. Journey- incj by horseback, he noted the hill upon which Mount Pulaski is located as being on eligible site for a town. On his return to Springfield, Dr. Shields communicated his f to Mr. Cpps. Dr. Barton Robinson, physician from Buffalo the conversation and became interested. Soon after, and Robinson visited the site in company with Geora W. The visit resulted in the formation of a sort of townsite cam- primarily of Jabez Capps, Barton Robinson, James George W. Turley, J. F. Davis, Alexander Lindsay, Scoff, George McDnlels and George Rice, who were later as proprietors of the new fownsite. i DEDICATION As agent for the above named persons, Barton Robinson, on fifth, 1836, entered four hundred acres of land in section four- teen, township eighteen, range two west, one hundred and forty of which was fo constitute the new townsite. On July twentieth following, Thomas R. Skinner, an assistant coun- of Sangamon county, co-worker with Abraham Lincoln a set"her in the Lake fork country, surveyed the proposed town- site end certified fo same. The chain carriers were Samuel Wade end D. F. Kinney. The townslfe included forty-five blocks, block twen- ty-three of same being set aport as a "public square." : On the twenty-second of July, Barton Robinson, in his own name and in the name of the aforesaid proprietors, made dedica- tion of the townslte before Thomas MoffeH, justice of the peace which was officially recorded August seventeenth, 1836. In the dedication of July twenty-second, the new townslte was given the name it has borne for a century and still bears, the name of Mount Pulaski. It is said fo have been named for Count Pulaski Revolutlorry tome. Subsaquent/y, in December of 1836, the lands entered by Bar- Robinson, including the blocks end lots in the townsife, were leaded to separate ownership and the proprietorship company then ceased to be . . CAPPS HEADQUARTERS Immediately after the laying out of the new townslte, Jabez Capps began preparations to remove from Springfield to Mount Pulaski. It is stated upon his own authority that in disposing of his real estate in Springfield, he actually traded the land upon which the present state house is located for e cook stove end lot on the public square for a slde-saddle. his family and his store goods with hlm, Jabez Cop rst resident of Mount Pulaski. A log structure obtained from the adjoining farm of Jeremiah Birks was located on the west side of the square and converted into a residence and store. A send-hole on the square itself, which hod been a wolf's den, was made to do service as a kitchen. Population fi00te.00 00nto the new town slowly at menf around and about it rapidly increased. Settlements following 1836 were so numerous as to render enumeration herein Copps' store, otherwise known as "Copps' Headquarters," be- came a popular mart for settlers n all directions and in 1838 t. Capps replaced the original cabin wlth a two-stories frame struc- ture, store below and residence above, which structure rerrined until razed in 1867. Jabez Copps retired from the mercantile store business in 18S8 and. with his son. Charles, established an orchard nursery. At his death in 1896, he lacked three months of being a century old end had known the fawn he established full sixty years. FIRST ARRIVALS Jabez Capps, Georcle W. Turley and Barton Robinson were the definite originators of Mount Pulaski. Turley and Robinson followed Copps in establishing residences in the new town. The latter moved to Kansas in t8S8 and the former died in Mount Pulaski in 186S. In a legal deposition in the county files, Horace B. Rowe de- sicjnates himself as "the fourth man in Mount Puhski." He establish- ed e carpenter business. The Danners, Christian and Andrew, mov- ed in and established a blacksmith shop. Frank Schick opened up a shoe making shop about the same time. took up residence in the fawn in and about 1837. The store building in the fawn was erected by Benjamin Davis. Jefferson Scroggln built a residence where he accomodafed tran- sients. The incoming population warranted Shields and Copps in lay- ing out an addition to the fawn on the south, which they did in 1837. LOGAN COUNTY 1839, the territory now comprised in Logan county, then Sengemon county, had aHained a population of about two For a number of years previous, a movement had been organized looking to the division of extensive Sanqamon county. Abraham Lincoln was chairman of the committee on counties in the Illinois Legislature that year and from his committee came e bill creating three new counties from territory carved from old Sng- The bill became a taw February twenty-elghfh, 1839. One of the new counties thus created was Logan county. If was named far'Dr. John Logan, of Murphysboro, a co-member of the Legislature with Mr. Lincoln, who had assisted Mr. Lincoln in the state capital moved from Vandalia to Springfield. Dr. was the father of Gee. John A. Logan, the Latter being twelve years of age when the county was named. : On June third, 1839, the three commissioners named in the bill to select a county seat for the new county, met and selected Postville, town of about one hundred population, which had been out in 1836. One of the commissioners, Charles E. Emmerson, of Decatur, who favored Mount Pulaski, dissented of record. The new county was divided into two political precincts, named respectively, the Postville and Mount Pu. leski precincts. The first election iudges chosen for Mount Pulesh precinct were George W. William Copelend and John Turner. At the first county election in 1839, most of the county offices fo rmiclent of Mount and Michael for R. W'dllam for School THURSDAY JULY IL 1981 ;ng as two of the three County Commissioners. POSTOFFICE The Mount Pulaski postoffice was established March second, 1839, at "copps Headquarters", with Jabez Copps as Postmaster. He continued in that office until January seventh, 18S4, when he wes succeed.ed by J. L. Ream. Cepps was both County. Recorder ano rostrnsrer from 1839 to 1843. Succeeding Postmasters of Mount Pulaski up to the time of the Civil war included Ezekial Bowman, John Clark, N.M. Whiteker and S. I-inn Beidler, the latter a son-ln-law of Jabez Copps. The early rnil was carried in stage coaches, which also car- rind passengers over rather rough roads. A stage line ran from Springfield, by way of Middletown and Postville, to Mount Pulaski end thence to Clinton- John L Clough was the mall carrier on this route. EARLY SCHOOLS The first schools in pioneer days were subscription schools, held at residences. The first school house buiff in the county was er- ected on the lend of John Turner in the Lake fork section. A fam- ous pioneer school house, built in the Downing neighborhood on Self creek about 1836, was colloquially called "Brush College." "Brush College as described by Charles Capps, who attend- ed it, was a lee). structure, clapboard roof he d down by weight poles, wooden h nges and lock, greased paper windows, spilt-log desks and seats and a huge mud-chlnked chimney, with a firephce capabie of holding a quarter cord of wood. William Hackney taught this school and his pupils came from the Capps, Downing, Patterson, Parks, Fletcher, Morrow, Allen, Jackson, Harry and Laughery families, as same were remembered by Mr. Copps. Another early school conducted on me Turley lands in 1841, wlfh Alexander Rigdon,dames Wade and Thomas J. Scroggln as school directors, was taught by Silos Alexander and, as shown by a schedule, included pupils from the Sims, Mason, Turley, Cartmel|, Coss Key Matthews, Scroggln, Foster Wade and Rigdon families. A later school in the Lake fork section in 184S was located on the lends of John Huston, with J. M. Mclntosh end Clerk Provin as teachers in succession, and included pupils from the Huston, Mann, Turner, Robinson, Vanderman, Friend, Dyer, Provln, Ivrtin, Sims end Luces families. FIRST MOUNT PULASKI SCHOOL The first school house in Mount Pulaski. also Iocj-built, was er- ected in 1844, in the eastern portion at the town. The teacher for that year was Michael Finfrock and the school directors were N. M. Whiteker, George Snyder end William Friedrh. The pupils re- gistered that year were- Richard, Mary and Bizabeth Turley, James and John S,ms, Sar- ah, Amain, Margaret, David and Abraham Bunn, Samuel, Morgan, ester, Brunson, Emily and Harriet Dement, Ebeneezer and Oliver Capps, Charles, George, Benjamin and Alexander Snyder, Mary, Harrlef and Coroline Whlteker. Samuel and Nancy Morgan, John Christopher and Robert Laugh in, John Tomlinson, Charles Friedrlch, Mary Wright, Henrietta Krieg, Martha Allen, Sarah Scm<jgins and William Baker. The same school in 184S was taught by Davia r. Bunn, with ad- ditions to the scholars above named of Findlay and Dewltt Whitak- or, Alexander Dement, Robert Tomlinson. Herbert, James and Cath- erine Robinson, Hardin Morgan, Sarah and Mary Bunn, Mahale and Mary Friedrlch, William Krleg, Lewis, Emily and None Mitchell, Mary Snyder, John and Charles Copps, Sarah Corlock, Margaret Clark and Mary CrockeH. IN THE FORTIES Settlements around Mount Pulaski became more numerous dur- ing the early forties, stimulating the growth of the town. Thomas P. Lushbeugh erected the third brick store building in 1846. Barton Robinson followed with another brick store structure. Tanneries were important functions in pioneer days, Carter Scrag- gin having early conducted one on his farm. In the forties Frank Schick estabfished one in the town. He also opened a general store. A Methodist church society, first in the town, was organized in 1841 at the home of Dr. John Clark. The first regular hotel, known as the Mount Pulaski hotel, a brick structure, was built in 1843 by Alexander Morgan, who con- ducted it until 1848, when D. B. Wright took over its management. Later, if was conducted by Ninian R. Cass and, stiff later, by N. M Whltaker, who purchased it of Mr. Morgan. COUNTY SEAT TO MOUNT PULASKI By the year 1847. Mount Pulaski had a population over three hundred, exceeding that .f Postville (then officially known as Cam- den), the county seat. A movement was inaugurated to bring the county seat from Camden to Mount Pulaski. Pursuant to fhls movement, Michael Swlng[ State Representa- tive, on February twenty-third, 1847, secured the passage of a legis- lative bw submlttlna to the voters of Logan county at an election to be held on the first Monday of Aprl. 18#8, the proposition of the removal of the county seat to Mount Pulaski. Af the April election, a substantial majority voted for the change. The submission act had provided that in the event of relo- cation the citizens of Mount Pulaski, as a condition thereto, were to erect on the public square of the town" a good and sufficient court house." Upon the favorable vote, the citizens of Mount PulasEi and v;- cinlty raised the sum of $2700, which was supplemented by a coun- a approprlation of $300. The court house, still standing intect to- y, was then erected and equipped. The court house was ready for occupancy in the spring of 1868, when the county records were loaded into wagons af Post- ville and moved to the new quarters. County officials, lawyers and politicians followed to a newhome. Subsequently a two-stories brick jall was buiff at a cost of $1000, which contained what was then a legal provision, namely, a debtor's cell. Debtor's cells are no longer in vogue in any state. THE MOUNT PULASKI COURT At the flme of the change of the county seat, Logan county was a pert of the old Eighth Judicial district, made famous by the circuit itinerary of Abraham Lincoln, the Llwyer. Judge David Dav- is, of Bloomington, was the sole judge of, and David B. Campbell the Prosecuting AHorney for the district. There were two terms of the circuit court each year, beginning the last Thursdays of May and October respectively. The early court terms lasted but a few days, rarely more than three. Abraham Lincoln was present practically at every term of the Mount Pulaski court. Other lawyers from Springfield and other adjacent points al- so offended the Mount Pulaski court. They usually stopped at the Mount Pulaski hotel, which was a busy place in court terms. Mr. Lin- coln, however, was more frequently a guest at the home of Jabez Copps. The two resident licensed at the Mount Pul- ki court were Uond P. and Parks. Parks c,ee to Mount and was a tentative local law esso- ciate of Abraham Lincoln. Parks rounded up the cases and Uncdm tried them at law terms. Parks was elected to the Legislature when a resident of Pulaski. Moving to lincoln in 1856, he was a delegate fo the cage convention in 1860, at which lincoln was nominated for dent. President Lincoln appointed him federal iudge in Idaho. was a member of the state constitutional convention of 1870. f Lacey came fo Mount Pulaski from southern Illinois n the orties and was the town first licensed lawyer. He iltr Douglas to an audience in Lincoln during the lincoln-Douglas tes  for United Steres Senator. He died in 1866. William H. Young was also a member of the Mount bar. as was also A. J. Turley. Among others who appeared lice courts were Ezekiel Bowman, Horace Ballou and N. M. eke-. Bowmen was twice elected Sheriff of the county, once Treasurer and was an early School Commissioner. Judge David Davis, who always presided over the Mount F Lski circuit court, was appointed by President Lincoln to the Su preme Court of the United States and was later U. S. Senator acting Vice President of the United States. Judge Thomas R. her was c'ntinuousty County Judge at Mount Pulaski. ,NC,00 Under the law in force in Mount Pulaski county seat "free white males" between the ages of eighteen and were required to equip themselves wlfh a "good musket, fuzee rifle" and enroll in the state militia. Annual militia musters took place in April of each year these were gala occasions. Capt. John Shoup was the of the company at Mount Pulaski. Caters at elections were required to "first announce their names to the election officers "and then the names of the for whom they wish to vote." Expense records show that the court house at Mount was lighted at night, when light was required, by tallow candles- Ihe "horologlca', cradle" case so ,Zamous in Lincoln was ted af Mount Pulaski before Judge Davis, Abraham being attorney for the plaintiff. IN THE About the beginning of the fifties, George Meister a bck and file works in the fawn and George and John opened a general store. In 18SI, Samuel C. Beam, saw mill, which later developed into a flouring mill. Many new and residences were buiff. The first church building in the town was erected by dist society in 18SI, the trustees belnq John Clark. Norman Norton, James Snyder and John M. Downing. sac*aries then in the county, some fifteen in number, were in the Mount Pulaski circuit. In 1852, the society of the First Lutheran Zion church a house of worship, it being the first Lutheran church the county. Fred Diffus and William and Christian Rupp, others, were instrumental in the organization of the society. COUNTY SEAT In 18S2, the Alton & Sengamon railroad (now the Alton) extended its line from Springfield, through Logan Bloomington. A town slfe was laid out in 18S3 on the right of way, one mile from old Postville. its proprietors ;f Lincoln, in honor of their attorney. Abraham Lincoln. In February of 18S3, the said proprietors secured the of legislative bill submitting fo the voters of Locjen proposition of again changing the county seat, this flme Pulaski fo the new railroad townsife. At the ensuing election in November of 18S3, a marltY for the change, whereupon George W. Turley and others tram Circuit Judge Davis an injunction restraining the county buildings in Lincoln, based on alleged irrecju passage of the submission bill. Later. Judge Davis dissolved this injunction on the the rrecjulaHfies had been removed by later legislative case then went tn the State Suoreme Court. which, at her 18S5 session, sustained the dissolution of the injunction- ACTUAL TRANSFER While.the election transferring the county seat November of 18S3, actual transfer did not take rendering of the Supreme Court decision, wch subsequent to the second Monday in December of 1855. The county records were destroyed by a court lincoln, April IS, 1857, but a transcript of the probate of Stephen Jones. filed after the fire. shows that Place in the County Court in Mount Pulaski. November Another will transcript, filed after the fire, shows Lincoln, February fourth, 18S6. The actual transfer phsce between the said dates and after the December I sio, or prol09bly in the latter pert of December. 18SS. AFTER The removal of the county seat, while disconcerting. effect the progress o1 Mount Puleski as much as population Io by the change of residence of county lawyers was more than offset by the incoming of others. The government census reports show that the Mont Pulaski in 1850. when Jr'was in 1860, after county seat retnovel, the nearly doubled and was 634. The Evangelical Association society, organized in a house of worship in 1861. services before that year hek in the Universalist church which had been tittles. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic perish, organized chased the Evange|ical church building in 1867 and therein until 1884, when the Catholic perish buiff a moee church. EARLY BUSINESS o o . et The first wall map of Logan county, printed in .the glvm the following business directory of Mount Pulas: General merchants, George Mayer & CO.. Philip Schweikert, Frank Schick, Samuel Tudey: Beldler; tailors. Jacob Donner, John Krlng: Robinson, Clark & Gideon: shoemakers, Jacob S k nursen/. J. Copps & Son; steam mill. S. C. , John Zimmermon, C. C. Mason: bric cje Melst, blesmniths. W. ,% Schafer, John M. Adam Bierkn; wacjonmaker, M. Feuerbecher. To the above list ware added professional ph#cians. John Clark. J. M. Pumpe"y. F_ T. Say.. I torney, N. M. Whitaker. Heey Shr;ver was the hot In the Cil war of the soldiers. All were voluntmn. There wes no calted for wes filled. ii! N l;z:  . r N I 2