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

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SIL-TENNIAL EDITION, (Tlmea-News, Mr. Pulki, IlL) THURSDAY, JULY , 1I Capps, City's Founder, Died In 1896 TRIBUTE PAID TO JABEZ MOUNT PULASKI FOUNDER Ce As andising and became postmaster I,,; Z"el-ur under President Jackson. Later ed he was recorder of this county of Life one term. Besides his mercantile pursuit (tl 3, 1) he owned much land, started a packing factory and a nursery. the founding His experiences of the early Pulaski, died at pioneer settlers life would make in Mount Pul- interesting history. Among his April 1, 1896. most trying times were the deep 9, 1796 snow, winter of 18,33. The sudden and lacked change freeze in which he was of being 100 caught out on horseback but sav- Capps was of ed by reaching a cabin home. lineage. Thus his life has been one of days of this court- usefulness and worth. recorder of deeds 10 Chlldrem by Second Marriage the courthouse To the last wife were born 10 and was post- children, namely John, Prudence, Pulaski 15 Mary, William, Benjamin, Jabez, the distinction Jr., Frank, Edward, Harry and been the first Maude. Frank, Mary (McNattin), in Sangamon John, Edward and Jabez, Jr., his second term have passed away. Of the 10 "courthouse" in brothers and sisters of Mr. Capps, only three survive, namely, died as he had liv- Thomas of London, England; With all the world. Charles of near Olney; and John only of Illiopolis, this state. His 99th Mentally year or 100th birthday annivers- integrity for ary, was celebrated by a grand truth were fixed family reunion in this place, nature. Thus he September 9th, 1895. The end but others often i has come and thus has pass- from his unsus, ed to rest the oldest citizen of honesty, this county. The funeral servic- simplicity per-es occur from the family resi- endowed in a dence at 2 p.m. this day with With the attribut- Elder L. M. Robinson officiat- Polite, gentle ing. After the town was ]aid out Other cares fail- Mr. Capps was the first to offer of his ideals of lots for church purposes, and shrubs and assisted under the Rev. David Particular en- Bunn to build and organize the pleasure was Universalist church of which he growing of the was ever after a member. Well as in fruits, Owned Springfield in his early Statehouse land With can and At one time he owned most of the cultiva- the present business portion of and his friendli- Springfield and traded the site of Ln was exempli- the old historical state house for for useful- the first cook stove brought to This then was the vicinity. He also owned the faith that came property where the magnificent Iterests of right, state building is located, and it t Which there- involved him in a lawsuit in good which Abraham Lincoln pleaded would his case and Judge Logan, once care of its ere- a partner of Lincoln's, opposed. this world, he Grandpa well remembered the next would pro. day when the seat of state gay- conclusions ernment was taken from Vandal- ia and located at Springfield, were those when Sangamon's state members whose "the long nine," all over six from feet, and Lincoln, the longest of JABEZ CAPPS BORN IN LONDON, ENGLAND the Flying Trapeze". Jabez Capps THE FOUNDER OF MT. PULASKI Jabez Capps, the Founder. that grand old man, With a few just like him settled up this land. Built the first log cabin, right here on the hill, Then took up land adjoining der if its still there And tolls for all occasions as it did when I was there. One thing that was dear to me and dear to many hearts With its shady trees and winding roads was our home called "Capps Park". The first Merry Go Round that came to town was powered by a mule called Kate most to Cotton Hill. And round and round she pulled Built the first carding machine, a the swing with a man for whip tread mill of course, * and brake. Round and round upon the drum In those days you didn"t buy tramped the poor old horse. I flour but took the wheat to mill Some times the belt would slip iThe miller took his toll from the i and fly and away the drum would speed Then down below you would see the wreck, the last of this faith. ful steed. Grandfather never liked this trap, removed it from the ground And from the axle of the drum he bored a cannon round. These sturdy patriots of the Hill, when any "big day" came wheat and thus piid off your bill. Salt Creek furnished power for the mill, the mill that is no more. My father, Charles and Oil when they came to the hill Went to school in a small log house, not lumber sawed at a mill. The floor was made of puncheon and seats were straight and round  rough Would load this cannon to the lAnd the teacher used a hickory hilt and fire her round for stick if the boys got smart and round. [ tough. . The old gun grew too weak to Will some Old Timer WhO is liv- fire, it's buried near the square, So when you're digging in your yard you may find a relic rare. Grandfather run the only store "Old Timers" gathered there at St. them all, "won the day". His An sit on kegs, barrels and box. ROman Pontiff brother, Ebenezer, was then a es and could spit right to a hair. and also an resident of Vandalia, working to Across the street the Court House imPerial revo. keep the capital there, and the stood, where lawyers brought and church. The balance of the family were log their case, events rolling for Springfield. And when these "whittlers" heard that never In 1883 he paid his first visit Abe Lincoln plead, the store of man to Chicago, then the trading post was an empty place. the univers- of Fort Dearborn. He and his The old bell in the belfry, I won- teen. wife and two sons drove from of war- Springfield by way of Peoria over him to long 200 miles, and after more than FAMILY REUNION new world, a week's travel reached the lake- Wishes of par- side village. His last visit to Chi- LOndon clerk- cage was 60 years later, when he across was an honored guest at the America. dedication of the White City in n the summer 1893. he walk- In 1836 Mr. Capps, with Dr. kence to Phil- Barton Robinson and E. W. Tur- over the ley, laid out Mt. Pulaski, natu- re Pitts- ing it after the Polish patriot. He by flatboat built the first house, a two- and ice to story log, lower part store and and upper part dwelling. That year and up he was appointed postmaster by county Andrew Jackson and held the where office 15 years. and He often entertained Douglas, kept Herndon, David Davis, Judge into Logan and other famous sons of Spring- Illinois, and Lincoln always to Miss made it his home, disliking of Mr. O. C. "taverns". The old gentleman Was born four exhibited with pride and genu- S. Ebe- ine affection a daguerreotype of still sur- Lincoln, given him by the orig- Capps inal in his circuit court days. Betsy Baker town of Folks of high ideals are pre- Was laid out ferable to those of low aim. The George former lift themselves, their as- Rob- sociates and their communities have now to loftier planes; the latter low- shore. Here er themselves, their associates merchan- and their ing there today Tell the younger generation what was "Muster Day"? Who remembers the old balloon ascention that rose with hot air power And if any one asked when it would go up they'd yell "In a Half Hour". When the balloon would finally rise and drift with the warm summer breeze, The crowd would yell and throw up their hats at "The Man on Aunt Maud, she lives in the Grand Old House, built in Grandfather's day And if you could see the oak beams in the floor you would see how they built in that day. I would like to visit you all some day, for I love the old home nest And gaze once more on that sacred ground where most of my people rest. Sept., 1936. L. B. Capps. FIRST TEACHER IN SANGAMON COUNTY During the month of January 1889, Jabez Capps, one of the flounders of Mount Pulaski in 1836, coming here from Spring- field, made a trip to Springfield, and the Springfield Journal print- ed the following article about him: "Jabez Capps, Esq. of Mount Pulaski, who was in Springfield Wednesday among the Harrison veterans, in attendance at the Republican parade, spent a pleasant day in the city yester- day. He is now in his 93rd year, having bean born in London, England Sept. 9, 1796. He taught the first school in Sangamon county in a little log hut on South Fork. He was the guest of his nephew, Charles S. Capps, on South 7th St., whose little dau- ghter Mabel mentioned the fore- going facts to the teachers at the .school, and resolved to take him to visit the school. "in the afternoon he rode down with Miss Capps to the Stuart school and had a very pleasant call, and the teachers and pupils were both delighted. He made a short speech to them, telling how the first school house was built in Sangamon county, with him as teacher, and also described the school taught in the old court house in the city before the city assumed the name of Springfield. The little folks were amused at his description of his pupils, a- mong whom were married men, heads of families he taught to write and read. "It was said that he had once given a flogging to Judge James H. Matheny, who was one of his pupils when he taught in Spring. field, lie said he did not believe that ztory, as he was never in. clined to whip, but the Judge says that it was true. "tte was as much pleased with his call as the teachers and the pupils were. He remarked that he had lived to see five gener. ations of school children, and he believed each of them grew bet. ter looking and smarter than the one preceding. "Mr. Capps said he didn't know whether he would ever attend another political rally, but he thought he would come back to Springfield next week. --Springfield Journal. AT HOME PLACE SEPTEMBER 9, 1895 :ii