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

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 E/ION. (-N Mt.  IlL) ImUltSDAY, JULY IS, INI Settlers' Days Were Really Big Events OLD SETTleRS REUNION OF AN COUNTY HB.D HERE IN 1873 Sl00dten ed Here ps Park BekUer fact that the revived Lo- Old Settlers' Ass'n. Will be held in Mount on Friday afternoon, in connection with it will be in- to readers to know what appeared on a hand ago, advertising the ever held by the Following is what SrLERS' REUNION Settlers' of Logan counties, will hold Annual Reunion in Mt. Pulaski, on Oct. 1, 1873. is to revive the of old associations and the past by gather- the Pioneer, and and enjoy a Feast styles. All from are cordially invit- t, especially the Old their wives. Your baskets well-fill- nake it a day of feast- sOCiability. Water in Will be furnished on Among the invited are expected to ad- meeting, are: r Richard j. Oglesby Beveridge Palmer Moore n T. Stuart C. Sparks. of general arrange- W. Clark, Charles D. Gillett, William T. Hackney, Sorrell m Buckles, John Scrog- Alex Fisher, Christ- , Baldwin Harper, lnd, Rev. John Eng- W. Skinner, James Downing. chairman. secretary. get Excursion Rates To give you an railroads, the Gil- gfield Railroad, and railroad, had been not more than one that Mount Pulaski In 1894 Pulaski News, article, told about held Wednesday, At this time only[ Paragraphs will be I Mt. Pulaski dis-[ as an enter.[ crowds, and [ OLD SETTLERS MEETINGS 1873.1894 First meeting of Logan County Old Settlers Association was held Oct. 1, 1873 in Mount Pulaski. Second reunion at Capps Park in Mount Pulaski Oct. 1, 18/4. Third meeting at Salt Creek bridge, three miles north of Mt. Pulaski on Sept. 23, 1875. Fourth reunion was held at the courthouse in Lincoln on OeL 10, 1876. Fifth reunion was in Gillett's Hall in Lincoln on Sept. 12, 1877. Sixth reunion at Lincoln court. house Sept. 12, 1878. Seventh reunion at Lincoln Sept. 10, 1879. Eighth reunion at Mount Pul- aski on Aug. 12, 1880. Ninth reunion at Atlanta Fair- grounds on Sept. 6, 1881. Tenth reunion in Mount Pulas- ki, Sept. 13, 1882, was the larg- est ever held, 15,000 being pres- ent. Eleventh and Twelfth reunion were held in Mount Pulaski Sept. 12 and 19, 1883 - 1884. The thirteenth, fourteenth and sixteenth, eighteenth and twen- tieth reunions were held in Lin- coln. l The fifteenth, nineteenth and !twenty-first were in Mount Pul- aski. The twenty-second was held here on Sept. 18, 1894, when Lin- coln only put up $125 for enter- tainment while Mount Pulaski raised $400. for the whole-souled and fitting tribute she has once more laid at the feet of pioneer man and womanhood. Ever since the time and place were announced there has been a feeling that the Old Settlers' Reunion of 1894 would be one of the notable events in the history of the association and the meeting more than fulfilled this prophetic feeling. "Wednesday came with ideal weather for an outdoor gathering --bright sunshine, cool enough for comfort, and no dust worth mentioning. The city was in its gayest garb, flags, banners, and bunting fluttering from nearly all buildings. At 7:45 a.m. the re- ception committee in carriages, headed by the Mt. Pulaski band, met the first incoming train on the P D & E, bringing delegates from Decatur, Warrensburg and Latham, including Hen. Win. M. Springer, one of the orators of the day. Later trains and other conveyances poured people into the city until 10,000 became a conservative estimate. Our gal- axy of speakers embraced, be- sides Congressman Springer, Maj. James A. Connelly, Gen. John A. McClernand, Rolla W. Diller, W. T. Baker, Hen. Joe A. Horn, and Elder L. M. Robinson. THIS FORT, a replica of the Spanish War period, was erected on the west side of the square during of the first Old Settlers meetings. As a feature of the occasion the National Guard from Springfield disembarking from their train at the depot at the foot of the hill, came up South Washington Street and made a sham attack on the fort, which was a thrilling event for the huge throng assembled. Notice the hitch racks which have long since disappeared. SIXTH ANNUAL OLD SETTLERS HELD IN LINCOLN SEPT. 12, 1878 At the sixth reunion held at the Courthouse in Lincoln, on Sept. 12, 1878, the following letter written by Charles S. Capps, of Mount Pulaski, and giving inter- esting glimpses of the early his- tory of that thriving town, was read by Captain Fisk: "Jabez Capps was born in Lon- don, England, 82 years ago and came to America in 1817. In the fall of 1818, he and his brother, Ebenezer walked from Louisville, Ky., to St. Louis, Me., where they ,emained during the winter and in the spring of 1819, they walk- ed to Sangamon county, Ill. Sabez Capps taught the first school ever taught in that county, on the south fork of Sangamon Riv- er, in 1820; he also taught the first school in Springfield, in the old log courthouse. He was one of the first settlers in Springfield, then called Calhoun. "I was born in Springfield in settler. He had built a long cab- in on the site of the present post office building, and put in a small stock of goods; the cabin, when I first saw it, was not, chinked and daubed (i.e. the cracks between the logs were op- en) and as he lacked clap boards enough to cover the roof, there was a space about a yard square left open. My uncle, John Staf- ford, and I were left in charge of the store. Prairie grass was cut in front of the store and placed in a heap on the floor, and this with some blankets constituted our bed. There came up a storm one night which wet us thoroughly. Our cooking, until mother came, was done in a sand hole over which some lumber was put to season; this sand hole had formerly been a wolf den. We toasted our bacon by putting it on the end of a sharp stick and holding it over coiled. She dispatched it speed. ily with the broom handle. "A cabin was afterward erect. ed on the side of the square by Jerry Birks, in which he lived for a short time. One night when father was away from home, a prairie tire ran through the town and set fire to the cabin. Mother had considerable difficul- ty in saving the city, there being no fire company organized, and no water nearer than the spring, a quarter of a mile away. The fire consumed our haystack, which was on a platform on forks 6 or 7 feet high. "People lived in a very primi. tire manner in those times The clothing was mostly home-spun and home-made; instead of coats we had 'hunting shirts and warmuses', as they were called, a kind of loose blouse made of homemade jeans or linsey. Many of the farmers made their own shoes, and did their own cobb- ling. The women and children were clothed mostly in home- made linsey and flannel; a few had calico dresses made as nar- row as the 'pull backs' of the present day, for in those times six yards was all that we re- quired for a lady's drc.s. Sun- I bonnets made of calico and i pasteboard were the prevailing head-dress. Shoes were rarely used in summer except to wear to meetings or a visiting. "The cooking was done in a fireplace, there being no such thing as stoves iv, use then. An iron crane set in the side of the chimney and provided with hooks for suspending kettles, etc. was made so as to swing out over the hearth and back over the fire. Bread, cakes and pies were baked in iron ovens with legs to give room for coals beneath, and a lid with a rim to hold the coals on top; this with a skillet for frying meat, a dinner pot and a tea kettle, constituted the outfit of our mothers for cooking. Quails 25c A Dozen "Game was plentiful and cheap. We used to pay 25 cents per dozen for quails; 75 cents per dozen for prairie chickens, and 50 January 1830, and have (with the exception of one summer spent in Europe) passed my whole life in Central Illinois. I have had good opportunities of knowing (something of pioneer life; but being entirely unaccustomed to i "C l pubh speaking, I think I can express myself better and make my remarks more interesting by making a few notes from mem- ory. My earliest recollections are of my father's, Jabez Capps pio- neer store, at Springfield, where he used to dispense goods, both i wet and dry (as was the custom of the times), to the early settlers and to the Indians in exchange for peltries, etc. "In the year 1836, he moved with his family, to Mt. Pulaski, where he was the first and, in fact, for several months, the only the fire. cents to $1 for a saddle of ven- ,ison -- the hind half of a deer. I "Our nearest neighbor lived l .... i boarded with a family one term two and a nalf miles north On,of sch ..... - ...... t oo wnose oany am oI tare Salt Creek My father had a sug- _ _ "_ _. .... I was corn dodgers without butter, ar nogsneau wmcn ne useu as a lfa t bacon fried in grease, and smoke-house. One night a pack rye coffee minus the sugar, but of wolves, smelling the meat, gathered around the smoke- house and howled for severa: hours. A family of skunks toob up their quarters under the hous and were quite tame; they were finally trapped and killed, al- though I do not think they de- served their fate, as they seemed quite harmless. Rattle in Kitchen "I remember seeing mother sweeping the floor one day; she stooped hastily to pick up what she thought was a calico apron, but which, on closer inspection, proved to be a large rattlesnake we had good appetites and en- joyed it. "Brush College" "By the way, I will try to des- cribe our school house; it was called 'Brush College'; our worthy chairman will recollect it well. It was a most primitive structure, not a particle of iron or glass or sawed lumber used in its construction; it was built of logs with the cracks daubed in mud; the roof was of clapboards kept in place by weight poles, which were pinned fast to the (Continued on next page) A2"rENDED TmE 1907 in this on the in Wish we of the uare. one of those nice white to during the