Murphysboro Daily Independent
Murphysboro Daily Independent
Contributed by MRiseling

Description: Letters From Old Time Residents Still Living Here

Date: October 16 1923

Newspaper published in: Murphysboro, IL

Source: Original Newspaper


Mrs. Frances COONEY writes the Independent an interesting letter for its Fiftieth Anniversary. She says: I was one of the early subscribers and still have a copy of one of the issues of 33 years ago. I recall very well one incident in which John GREAR and John EVANS figured years ago. With my husband I went to the soft drink parlor conducted by Medor LUCIER and my husband called up John EVANS and Editor John GREAR to join us. They ordered lemonade with a "stick:" in it. It was not until some time later that I learned that this was the same as what we now call "with a kick in it." Wishing the Independent the success in the future that it has had in the past, I am, Yours truly, Frances COONEY

Mrs. W. E. ROBERTS, who before her marriage was Jennie HAYWOOD, writes of those early days and recalls gathering persimmons near where with her husband, Judge ROBERTS, she now lives at the corner of Walnut and Fifteenth streets.

She says: My father, Chas E. HAYWOOD, came to Murphysboro in 1871 and was connected with the Mt. Carbon Co., which was at that time very prosperous. This city then was only a small mining town. Fourteenth street was the edge of town on the west; Walnut street was a mere lane. Where we now live was a corn field and when I was a little girl I used to come out here to gather persimmons.

My father bought our home where the Hardy building now stands, midway in the Thirteenth block on Walnut street, and where he lived until his death. Across the street from where we then lived, where the Elks building now is located, lived the CLIPNER family, two of the members of which still live in Murphysboro, Mrs. George SHORT and Mrs. Fannie FAUTH. On the Jeffrey corner stood the home of Dr. Fain. One daughter of that family is still living, Mrs. Minnie McKELVEY, of Chicago. The C. C. CULLEY home was where the Morgan Music company is located. John KANE's father had a blacksmith shop where the old Apollo hall stood so many years, now the HUTHMACHER building that is being rebuilt. Their home was next door to the shop. We had good neighbors and enjoyed being sociable with each other.

I started school in the old Ozburn school a few days after we moved here. Prof. R. J. YOUNG was principal and Prof. MOULTON was assistant principal. In the primary department was Miss Emma JAMSEY (now Mrs. MAYHAM) of St. Louis with Mrs. Frances DUNCAN in charge of the department. Many of the scholars of that day are living here now, and some have moved away, while others have gone to their reward. Frankie WATSON, now Mrs. George S. ROLENS, was considered the best little girls in school. She was always so quiet and had good lessons. My seatmate for years was Lillie OZBURN, now Mrs. Judge ROBARTS of California. We always loved each other and always found something to laugh about. Best wishes to the Independent, Jennie HAYWOOD ROBERTS

Mrs. Carrie ROLENS, mother of the editor of the Independent, had planned writing some of her memories of those "dear days beyond recall," but illness has prevented. She is a sister to Mrs. George S. ROLENS and with her family lived "on the corner" where the Murphysboro Plumbing Co. is now located. Later the Watson family moved to the block in which the Independent is located. She has recalled for her children all of the scenes of those early days in Murphysboro and the editor of the Independent recalls with what interest he listened to the tales of the good times in her youth, and the names of many of the school children of those early days are almost as familiar as are the names of his own schoolmates in another time and place.

Mr. & Mrs. Sam RODMAN have made this city their home for more than a half century among many others, whom the compilers of this edition have not been able to seek out for stories of those old times. Mrs. Rodman, who was Dollie SPANGLER before her marriage, lived at the extreme northwest end of town in 1873, at what is now the corner of Seventh and North Streets.
Mr Rodman came here in 1867 and went to work for the Mt. Carbon Co., later going with the Narrow Guage. He is still with the Mobile & Ohio company and seldom misses a day, as foreman of the wrecking crew.

Mrs. George S. ROLENS writes entertainingly of those days fifty years ago when according to the school report appearing elsewhere in this issue and printed in the Independent in 1873 she got 100 in deportment. She says: "My family, the WATSON family, was one of the early families to settle in Murphysboro. When I was born we lived in a house located about the center of the Logan hotel block. Shortly after we moved to the corner of what is now Eleventh and Chestnut streets, where the Murphysboro Heating & Plumbing Co. is now located. My father owned part of the block. Later he became circuit clerk and died just at the close of the civil war.

Shortly after that we moved to the corner of Chestnut and Thirteenth, now occupied by Ben DANIELS' old wholesale house, just back of the Independent office, with our house facing south on Chestnut street.

Well do I remember my school days of fifty years ago, when a young girl in my early teens attending the Ozburn school. It was a substantial brick house then with only two rooms below with a cloak room for each room, one large room above also with cloak room, which was used most of the time for recitations. The house stood on a knoll just south of the St. Andrew's Parish house. What merry times we would have during the winter coasting on the hill. The large boys would bring their bobsleds and get as many girls as could get on safely, and away we would fly. It wasn't as much fun climbing back as it was going down though.

The teachers, I remember so well, R. J. YOUNG, Joel BOWLBY, Geo. W. HILL, etc. One assistant teacher will always be remembered; he was such an eccentric man, he had such queer methods of punishment that would seem odd to the children of nowadays. One was to stand with your face close to the wall. We had a girl in our school named Sarah HALL. If he found her at any misdemeanor he would point his finger at her and say "Sarah Hall, take the wall." We girls had that for a by-word ever after.

Another instance, I remember of, another schoolmate, a most estimable lady of this town at present, Mrs. John Q. ADAMS, nee Sarah MAUND. We always called her "Goody" for the reason she was always bringing sweets to school and would divide her last bite with the girls.

That school house served the purpose until the I.C.R.R. was built through the "Flats" Then the jar of the trains cracked the building until it was condemned and torn down. Those hills have been cut down and a road built through there in late years. Ninth street hill, south, was the only road to the school then. In those days the school gave the play "Cinderella." I was chosen for Cinderella on account of my small feet. James ALBRIGHT, a brother to Fount ALBRIGHT, a well known and old time lawyer of this place, was "Prince." It took place in the "Old Concert Hall" (called in those days) the building which stands at the corner of 9th and Mulberry streets and is occupied by a grocery store.


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