Lebanon Precinct, St. Clair County, Illinois

The St. Clair County Courthouse
completed in 1861

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Much information in this history is factual as recalled by people living at that time. However, memories are not perfect, and all researchers are urged to verify the people, relationships, places, and events mentioned below with civil, governmental, private, and religious documents written more closely to the actual fact stated. Many of these original record groups are identified and located in St. Clair County Research and Resources, available from the Society.

Lebanon Precinct

Scanned and proofread from pages 334–338 of St. Clair County History, (Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough, and Company, 1881). This history does have some errors in it so it is prudent to confirm the statements below with other sources closer to the actual event. Any additions by the webmaster within the text are surrounded by [brackets]. Footnotes have been added, and appear at the end of the sketch. Photocopies may be obtained from the Belleville Public Library for a small fee.

Precincts were those areas of the county that later became townships in 1884. Precincts defined the boundaries of polling districts for local and state elections. Justices of the Peace were elected for each precinct and carried out some civil legal functions. For example, a Justice of the Peace could peform a marriage and hear legal disputes between two parties. While all marriages were to be recorded at the county level, the J.P. was only required to keep a docket of minor civil disputes, not a full record of the proceedings. Very few dockets survive to this day.


AS indicated on the map, the main body of the precinct of Lebanon is nearly square, being five miles wide and six miles long, with a strip one and one-half miles in width, from the east line, west to Silver creek, and contains in all about thirty-four Sections. It occupies portions of four congressional townships, the greater part lying in Town 2 N[orth]., Ranges 6 and 7 W[est 3rd Principal Meridian]. It is situated in the north-eastern part of the county; to the north Madison county, to the east Summerfield precinct, to the south Mascoutah and Shiloh, and to the west O'Fallon. Silver creek enters near the north-eastern corner of the precinct, and meandering in a southerly direction it passes through the whole territory. This stream and its tributaries drain the lands and furnish an abundant supply of water for other purposes. The general surface is a rolling prairie. The bottom lands along Silver creek, in many places, are very low, and in the rainy seasons it overflows and thus prevents the cultivation of this rich soil. In the bottoms and along the various water courses there are narrow belts of timber, embracing the varieties that grow in this latitude. The soil compares well with the richest and most productive of the uplands in this county, and is particularly adapted to the growing of wheat, vegetables, and fruits of all kinds, which yield abundantly. The cultivation of fruits and vegetables is being rapidly introduced, and its proximity to St. Louis markets, renders this a very desirable location for those wishing to engage in this delightful pursuit.

EARLY SETTLERS.

There will always attach an interest to the history of the pioneer families of the west, which can never properly belong to others who came at a later date, as they have laid the foundation of our social and material status, and coming generations can only modify and develop that which was by their bravery, energy and perseverance at first established. By their strong arms the forests were felled, the tangled undergrowth cleared away, the stubborn glebe broken, and the primitive cabin, school-house and church erected. To this class of pioneers the Bradsby family belonged, and to them is properly due the honor of making the first settlement in what is now Lebanon precinct. Early in the spring of 1804, William H. Bradsby, the oldest son, and two other young men came from Kentucky, and located on Silver creek, about three miles north of the present site of Lebanon, where they made an improvement and raised a crop. In the fall of the same year the elder Bradsby brought the balance of the family from Kentucky and located them on the farm, where he continued to reside. This settlement was seven or eight miles in advance of the other inhabitants. Reynolds, in his Pioneer history, says: "The Bradsby family were brave and energetic pioneers. They possessed good talents, and were fearless and intrepid. They were firm and decisive when they took a stand; and were also moral and correct, and made good citizens. The old sire taught school in various neighborhoods. He had a school, in the year 1806, in the American Bottom, almost west of the present Collinsville, and the year after he taught another in the Turkey Hill settlement" His sons, William H., and James, were in the ranging service and made good soldiers. Wm. H. Bradsby became a physician, and practiced in this locality for some time. In 1814, he was elected from St. Clair county, a member of the territorial legislature. He subsequently became a resident of Washington county, Illinois, and first resided at Old Covington. Here he held a number of offices, in the early history of the county, and when the county seat was moved to Nashville, he changed his residence to that place, where he soon afterwards died. Some of the descendants of this family are still living in St. Clair county.

Thomas Higgins was a native of Barren county, Ky. He was a relative of the Bradsbys, and came to Illinois in 1807, and settled near them in this precinct. Higgins was of a muscular and compact build, medium in height, strong and active. He possessed a quick and discerning judgment, and was without fear. In 1814 he was one of the party of eleven men, under the command of Lieutenant John Journey, stationed at Hill's Fort, about eight miles south-west of the present Greenville. Early on the morning of the 21st of August, signs of Indians were discovered near the fort, and the company started on the trail. They had proceeded but a short distance when they were in an ambuscade of a large party. At the first fire their commander, Journey, and three men fell, and the remainder, all but Higgins, retreated to the fort. He stopped as he said, "to have another pull at the red skins;' and, taking deliberate aim, he brought one of their number to the ground, and wheeled his horse to leave the scene, when the familiar voice of Burgess hailed him, "Tom, don't leave me." He halted, dismounted and attempted to raise him on his horse, when the animal took fright and ran away. Higgins then directed Burgess to limp off as best he could, and by crawling through the grass he reached the fort in safety, while the former loaded his gun and remained behind to protect him against the pursuing Indians. When Burgess had crawled beyond the reach of the enemy, Higgins took another route, which led by a clump of timber. At this point he was confronted by three savages, when he changed his course in the direction of a small ravine, for shelter, and in the

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effort discovered, for the first time, that he was wounded in the leg. The largest and most powerful of the Indians pursued him closely, and lodged a ball in his thigh. He fell, but as quickly arose, only to draw the fire of the other two, and again fell wounded. The savages now advanced upon him with upraised tomahawks; and scalping knives, but as he presented his gun first at one, then at another, from his place in the ravine, each wavered in his purpose. Finally, supposing that Higgins' gun was empty, neither party having had time to reload, they rushed forward with a yell, and one of their number was shot down. At this the others raised a war-whoop and rushed upon the wounded Higgins, and a hand to hand conflict ensued. Darting at him with their knives time and again they inflicted many ghastly flesh wounds, which bled profusely. One of the savages threw his tomahawk with such precision as to sever his ear and lay bare his skull, knocking him down. They now rushed upon him, but he kicked them off, and grasping one of their spears thrust at him, was raised up by it, and quickly seizing his gun, by a powerful blow crushed the skull of one, but broke his rifle. His remaining antagonist still kept up the fight, making thrusts with his knife at the bleeding and exhausted Higgins, which he warded off with his broken gun. This desperate engagement was in plain view of the fort, and the cowardly rangers refrained from giving him aid, until a Mrs. Pursely, residing at the fort, no longer able to see so brave a man contend unaided for his life, seized a gun, and mounting a brave horse, started to his rescue. At this the men took courage and hastened along. The Indian observing them, fled. Higgins, being nearly hacked to pieces, fainted from loss of blood, and was carried to the fort, where his comrades cut two balls from his flesh; others remaining. For weeks his life was despaired of, but by tender nursing he recovered, badly crippled. This was undoubtedly the most desperate single-handed combat with Indians. ever fought on the soil of Illinois. Mr. Higgins received a full pension, and pursued farming in Fayette county, whence he moved, and at one time was door keeper of one of the houses of the General Assembly at Vandalia. He raised a large family, and died in 1829. This story is told by Reynolds, in his Pioneer History, p. 321.

It is said by the oldest residents that the Journeys lived in this vicinity at an early date. They were genuine, resolute pioneers. They were active men in the ranging service and great Indian fighters. Among this class also belongs the Sheltons,– Thomas and Josiah Shelton. They were brothers, and lived here prior to 1810. Julius and Pleasant Nichols, brothers, from Kentucky, settled one and a half miles south-east of the present Lebanon, as early as 1807. They had large families. Samuel and George M’Donald [McDonald], settled just south of Lebanon about the same date. It was not far from this date that Wiley Lovings, David, Ezekiel, Isaac and William Smith, brothers; the Downings and Dunnavans located along Silver creek, near the Bradsby settlement.

Austin Lyons, John Titus and John Shaves, negro slaves, who had been brought here and freed by Governor Edwards, settled and made improvements in the same neighborhood. Robert McMahon located about two miles north-east of the present site of Lebanon, probably as early as 1810, where he cultivated a large plantation, and subsequently moved near Troy in Madison county, where he resided until his death. He emigrated from Kentucky and settled at New Design the spring of 1795. In December of the same year, his family was attacked by four Indians, in the day time, and his wife and four children were killed, and he and his two small daughters taken prisoners. The weather was cold and severe, and the prisoners being on foot, suffered much from cold.

The second night the party encamped above the present site of Lebanon, on a small branch of Silver creek. McMahon was tied down on his back, and most of his clothing taken off and placed under the Indians to prevent him from escaping. That night it snowed and was very cold, but McMahon had resolved to escape, rather than be carried to the Indian town and, perhaps, burned at the stake. In the night when all were asleep, he quietly loosened the cords that bound his hands and feet. As he was about to rise, one of the large Indians raised his head and looked around, but not noticing him; again laid down, when McMahon arose and walked quietly from the camp. Without shoes and scarcely any clothing, he traveled through the snow, in the direction of New Design. He reached there after the settlers had buried his wife and children, and while they were assembled at the fort of James Lemen, sen., holding a religious meeting. All were surprised at the return of McMahon, and as he sat by the fireside and related the story of the murder, to which he was an eye-witness, and his escape, the scene was at once affecting and sorrowful. His friends informed him that all his family that were killed, had been buried in one grave, to which he answered–" They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not separated." His daughters were afterwards ransomed, and McMahon was again married, and lived a long and eventful life.

There were no doubt several other families within the limits now embracing Lebanon precinct, prior to 1812, but at this late period we are unable to give their names. All of their number have gone to the narrow house appointed for all the living, and the tomb which received their worn frames, received also the host of recollections, anecdotes, and reminiscences which was of almost priceless value. Hence we can give only a few of the more prominent settlers of that early day.

Just after the war of 1812, Simon Lindley settled on the west side of Silver creek, near the Madison county line. He was a native of North Carolina, and emigrated from Kentucky to this state, and first settled in what is now Bond county. He had a family of three sons and four daughters, viz., John, Joseph, Simon, Mary, Sarah, Anna, and Elizabeth. Mr. Lindley and his wife were nearly fifty years old when they located here, and their children were well grown. He was a well-educated man, and a pioneer Baptist preacher, and surveyor. About 1820 he moved north and settled in what is now Sangamon county, where he resided until his death. His son John was a ranger in the war of 1812. The Lindleys of this family were also early residents of Madison county, where they left a large posterity.

In the fall of 1814, Edmond and Whitfield Townsend, natives of North Carolina, came from Tennessee, and located in the northern part of the precinct. Edmond reared three children–Thomas, John and Nancy, but they have left no descendants. Whitfield had eight children born to him, seven of whom grew up, viz., Alfred, Adeline, Elizabeth, Edmond, Nancy, Whitfield, and William. Elizabeth, Edmond, Whitfield and William are living.

Here it is proper to mention the names of those who entered land (1) within the boundaries of this precinct in 1814, as taken from the county records. This may also show the names of some who were early settlers here In town, 2 N., R. 6 W. [Township 2 North Range 6 West], we find the following: Jesse B. Thomas, N. ½ sec. 6, 320 acres, Dec. 26; William Brazel, S. E. ¼ sec. 6, 160 acres, Sept. 10; William H. Bradsby, N. W. ¼ sec. 7, 192 acres, Dec. 7; Jacob Tetrick, S. W. ¼ sec. 7,190 94/100ths acres, Sept. 9; Abraham Baker, S. E. ¼ and S. W. ¼ sec. 19, 350 acres, Sept. 15; Henry White, S. E. ¼ sec. 19, 160 acres, Sept. 24; Joseph Penn, N. W. ¼ sec. 20, 160 acres, Sept. 22; Richard Vanosdall,

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N. E. ¼ sec. 29, 160 acres, Oct. 1; Gillis Maddeaux, 689 61/100ths acres, sec. 30, Sept. 30; William Biggs, S. W. ¼ sec. 31, 184 acres, Dec. 24; Heirs of J. Lunceford, S. E. ¼ sec. 31, 160 acres, Dec. 24; Charles Wakefield, S. W. ¼ sec. 32, 160 acres, Sept. 15.
Town 2 N. R. 7 W., Zachariah Hays, S. W. ¼ sec. 23, 160.acres, Sept. 17; Abraham Baker, S. E. ¼ sec. 24, 160 acres, Sept. 15; Leaven Maddeaux, N: E. ¼ sec. 25, 160 acres, Sept. 10; Wingate Maddeaux, S. E. ¼ sec. 25, 160 acres, Sept. 10; David S. White, S. W. ¼ sec. 11, 160 acres, Sept. 8; Robert Moore, S. E. ¼ sec. 5, 160 acres, Sept. 10, and Miles Abernathy, N. E. ¼ sec 7, 160 acres, Sept. 10, are in that part of T. 1 N , R. 6 W., that belongs to Lebanon. The above lands were all entered in 1814, as stated, and in the list are recognized the names of parties who settled here prior to that date, and no doubt but that many of them lived at the time, on the land they entered, while others perhaps, never resided in the precinct. John Thomss, a Virginian, emigrated here with his family, April 9, 1817, and settled on sec. 35, T. 2 N., R. 7 W. He had a family of nine children, as follows: Mary, John, James, Catherine, Jacob, Elizabeth, Abraham, Calvin W., and Emeline. They all married and had families and resided for a time in this county. Col. John Thomas, has held several offices, and is now a representative from this county in the State Legislature. James Thomas is living at a good old age in Lebanon. These two are the only members of this family now living in St. Clair. There was also another family of Thomases who settled in the same neighborhood–Robert, James D., John D., Anthony and David all brothers.

In December of the same year, 1817, Nicholas Horner, a native of Mary land, came with his family and settled one and a half miles north of Lebanon. He had two daughters and three sons–Rachel, the wife of Thomas Ray: Sarah, who married Rev. David Chamberlain; and Nathan, John and Charles. Daniel Murry [Murray], from Boston, with a large family and his son. in-law, Thomas Ray, came with him to this country, and settled in this vicinity. Mr. Horner was a wealthy and enterprising gentleman, and resided here until his death. All his children left descendants. Nathan Horner became an early resident of Lebanon. He was an active, energetic man, an early merchant, and did much to build up and advance the interests of the young place. He died in Lebanon, in 1869.

John M Peck, D. D., the distinguished Baptist divine, pioneer and historian of Illinois, was born in Litchfield, Conn., Oct. 31st, 1789, and emigrated to this country, as a missionary, in November, 1817. Until 1822 he resided in St. Louis and St. Charles, Mo., from whence he traveled as a minister of the gospel, and established many churches in both Missouri and Illinois. In the spring of that year, 1822, he settled at his celebrated site, Rock Spring, on section 27, T. 2 N., R. 7, W., in this precinct. The name was suggested from the fact of a stream of pure water gushing from the rocks near where he erected his first double log-house, in the same year. In February, 1825, he went east and arranged for establishing a Baptist Seminary in Illinois, and this site was selected for the location of the school. A two-story frame building, with two wings, was completed in 1827, and the "Rock Spring Theological Seminary and High School" was opened. Rev. Joshua Bradly [Bradley] was principal, Rev. John M, Peck Professor of Theology, and Rev. John Messinger Professor of Mathematics. It opened with one hundred students. This was the first literary institution in the state higher than a common or primary school. In 1831 it was transferred to Alton, and became the foundation for Shurtleff College.

In the winter of 1828-9, the Rev. Peck established a printing office and paper called The Pioneer. It was a religious paper. A post-office was also established at this place in 1829, and Rev. Peck was post-master. He was a prolific writer. Among his works we mention, without order, " The Emigrant's Guide," "Illinois Gazetteer, maps, etc," "Life of Rev. John Clark, the Indian Captive," "Life of Rev. John Tanner," "Moral Progress of the Mississippi Valley," "Life of Rev. Jeremiah Vardeman," "The Memoirs of Rev. John M. Peck," compiled by Rufus Babcock, "The Annals of the 'West," etc.

Before his death John Reynolds wrote of him: "Nature has endowed Mr. Peck with her choicest gifts, and he himself has been indefatigable and energetic in his scientific and literary labors. He possesses a strong, vigorous and discriminating intellect. He is also blessed with an activity and energy that shrinks from no labor and research that is within the compass of his power. With his efficiency and energy of character he has accomplished much in the west. Education has been a favorite pursuit with him during his whole life in the western country."

He died at his Rock Spring residence, March 14th, 1857, and his remains repose in the Bellefontaine cemetery, at St. Louis, where a fine monument is erected to his memory.

Rev. Peck raised a family of seven children, viz.-Hannah F., the widow of Ashford Smith, resides in Iowa; Harvey J., died in Iowa; Mary A., the wife of Samuel G. Smith, resides on the old homestead; William S., in Iowa; John Q. A., deceased; James A. and Henry M. both reside in California.

William Nichols was born in Kentucky, and came to this county and located a short distance south-east of Lebanon, in 1825. He raised a large family, and several of his descendants are living here.

Rev. William L. Deneen was a native of Penn. Born in 1798, and settled in this county, about midway between Lebanon and Belleville, in 1828, and subsequently became a resident of Lebanon. He had but three children,–Sarah, the wife of A. W. Metcalf, a prominent lawyer of Edwardsville, Ill.; Risdon, who died in 1864, and Samuel H., a professor in McKendree College. Rev. Deneen was a Methodist minister, and surveyor. He was a man of considerable talent, and as a civil engineer and mathematician he ranked among the best He died, after a long and valuable life, at Lebanon, in July, 1879. Thus we have sketched some of the earliest and most prominent settlers in Lebanon precinct. We have not mentioned all of them, and if it were possible, it would not be necessary, nor perhaps interesting. From the time the fear of Indian depredations ceased, the settlements and population gradually increased. Schools and churches were early established, and have been liberally maintained. Fine steam flouring mills replace the rude ox and horse-mills of pioneer days. Seventy years ago, this was comparatively an uninhabited waste; only here and there stood the lone cabin, as an evidence of the more advanced pioneer of civilization; while today its broad acres are subdued and made to yield, and on every hand may be seen well-made farms and houses teeming with life and activity. The population of the precinct, including the city of Lebanon, was 3,674, was taken-from the census report of 1880.

We append the names of a few of the oldest citizens now residing in this precinct, who have not already been mentioned: H. H. Horner was born in Lebanon in 1821; Joseph Hypes, a native of Botetourt county, Virginia, came here in 1821; Dr. R. F. Cun'ningham, born in Maryland, located here in 1834; J. L. Sargent, nativity New York, settled in 1821; Thomas Moore, a native of St. Clair county, born in 1825; W. E. Willoughby, of Kent county, Delaware, settled here in 1835; Isaac Nichols, born in the county, in 1816; A. G. Moore, who was born in the county in

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the same year; N. Perrin, nativity France, located here in 1834; H. P. Münie [Munier, Munie], also a native of France, came in 1831; Wm. A. Darrow, a native of St. Clair, born in 1837; Jeremiah Bennett, a North Carolinian, came in 1835; and Edward Luckner, a native of Germany, located here in 1838.

The reader is referred to the pioneer and ecclesiastical chapters for further information on the early history of this locality. [Not transcribed for this web site.]

In section 27, T. 2 N, R. 7 W. is located the nursery of George Crosby. It contains thirty acres of fruit, shade, ornamental trees, evergreens, berries, etc. They furnish stock in this neighborhood and adjoining counties. The business was established by his father, Thomas Crosby, deceased, about thirty years ago, and has been very successfully managed.

Bennett's Coal Mine is also located in this precinct, two miles west of Lebanon, on the O. and M. Railroad. The shaft was sunk in 1873 by Jeremiah Bennett, and a five and one-half feet vein was reached at a depth of 180 feet. It is now leased and operated by Donnawold & Herring, who employ about thirty men.

The Lebanon Distillery was erected in 1856 by Gen. J. B. Osterhaus, at a cost of about forty thousand dollars. It passed through several hands, and was purchased in 1873 by C. Pfeffer, who enlarged and remodeled the building and apparatus. The capacity is one thousand bushels per day, twentyfour hours’ run. High Wines, Bourbon, French and Cologne Spirits, Whiskey, etc., are principally made. The distillery is finely located on the banks of Silver creek, near the O. and M. railroad, about one mile from Lebanon. There are seventy-five acres of land in connection with the property.

CITY OF LEBANON.

This beautiful and thriving little city is located on the Ohio and Mississippi railroad, twenty-two miles east of St. Louis, and about eleven miles north-east from Belleville, the county-seat. It is eligibly situated, on a gracefully sloping hill, and commands a fine view of the surrounding country. The city is nicely laid out, and contains many elegant residences. The streets are broad, with good side-walks, and well shaded. The southeast quarter of section nineteen, upon which the original town was laid out, was entered by Henry White, September 24, 1814. The first house was erected by Gillis Maddeaux. It was constructed of logs, and was situated in the south-eastern part of the town, but has long since disappeared. The next was erected by Joseph Akin, and stood just south-east of the present public square, on the lot now owned by Mrs. Flint. Joseph Hathaway built a two-story log cabin on west Main street where Neuman's saloon now stands. Thomas Ray, the proprietor of the west end of the town, built the next, a little west on the same block. Another log house was built just opposite these, on the same street by Nathan Horner. Adam Vinyard also built a house in the east part of town. The first store was established as early as 1818, by Gov. Kinney, and kept by his nephew, Abraham Kinney. Thomas Ray, Nathan Horner, Mulligan & Sublett, Samuel and Andrew Christy and James Riggin opened stores soon afterwards. These and perhaps a few more log buildings were erected on the present site of Lebanon prior to 1820. In that year Gov. Kinney erected the hotel "Veranda," which is still standing and forms a part of the Bishop House. It is brick, and in those days it was considered a very handsome building. This, then, became a stage stand, being located on the line of the Vincennes and St. Louis stage route. A post-office was established and mails were received by stage twice a day. About this time Gov. Kinney built an ox-mill for grinding flour. In 1821 Col. E. B. Clempson erected the first frame house. This now forms a part of H. H. Horner’s residence. Dr. Addison Filleo erected a building in connection with a Mr. Morse, and kept the first drug store.

The town was laid out by Gov. William Kinney and Thomas Ray. It was surveyed and platted by Aaron Reed, Jr., and filed in the office of county Recorder July 27, 1825. Since then there have been twenty-one additions made to the original plat. In 1828 there were not more than thirty cabins and houses in the place. There were two stores, one kept by Nathan Horner and the other by James Riggin, a grocery, or saloon, kept by Josiah Crocker, and a log school-house with oiled paper for windows, where school and religious meetings were held. The Lebanon Seminary (McKendree College) was also partially completed and the school established. In the fall of 1832 a large store-house was erected and a complete stock of general goods was opened by Horner and Hypes. Benjamin Hypes, of this firm, was born in Virginia in 1810, and came here from Ohio, and was an early and prominent business man from 1828 to 1863, and is still living here much esteemed by the community. Joseph Hypes, his brother, was also born in Virginia, in 1798. He came here as early as 1821, and engaged in the milling business, and subsequently in the manufacture of carriages and wagons. He is yet living, hale and hearty, at his residence in this city. James Riggin, a Tennesseean, was an early and enterprising merchant, and died here in 1858. His excellent wife survived him until a few years ago. Esquire Thomas Williams built a tannery establishment here in 1829, and operated it successfully and profitably for many years. He died about 1865, and left a handsome estate. Lyman Adam, an old sea captain, built a hotel here in 1830; known as the "Mermaid House." He was also an early merchant, and an active business-man. He died here in the decade of 1850. The hotel "Veranda," mentioned above, was first occupied by Jeremiah Johnson, a noted hotel-keeper. He was for many years proprietor of the old Missouri Hotel in St. Louis; and opened the "Veranda" in 1820, which he occupied until his death, about 1836. Theodore W. Gray, a native of Maryland, located in Lebanon in 1824 and engaged in the tailoring business, at which he acquired a competency, and is now enjoying a retired life, much respected by the citizens. These are a few of the very earliest and most successful business-men of the place.

The first steam flouring mill was erected in the north-east corner of the place, in 1812, by Capt. Elbridge Potter & Sons. There was also a distillery built in connection with the mill.

From the Illinois Gazeteer [Gazetteer], published by Rev. John M. Peck in 1837, we copy the following: "Lebanon has a steam-mill for manufacturing grain, and an ox-mill for flouring, on an inclined plane; a post-office, two public houses, seven stores, one grocery; three physicians; mechanics' shops of various kinds, and about sixty families. The Methodist college is located in the immediate vicinity." From this the town has grown, and now contains a population of about two thousand, with fine residences, handsome business blocks, good schools, churches, and various manufacturing institutions.

Incorporation.-Lebanon was incorporated as a town, under special charter, in May, 1857. The first officers were: Joseph Hypes, president; Charles Blanck, register; Samuel Hypes, Treasurer ; H. H. Horner, assessor; Adam H. Wise, constable; J. L. Sargent, street inspector. Town Trustees were: Hugo Wangelin, R. F. Cunningham, James Radon and Thomas Jordan,

It was organized as a city, under the general law, August 18, 1874, and the following were elected the first officers: H. H. Horner, Mayor; Louis Zerweck, clerk; D. R. Lasley, treasurer; J. F. Webb, attorney; A. Pyle, street commissioner and city marshal. The council is composed of nine aldermen three elected in each of the three city Wards.

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The present city officers are: J. Rankin, mayor; Louis Zerweck, clerk; C. H. Sager, treasurer; J. Eckert, attorney; Peter Bruecher, city marshal; George Riddle commissioner of streets.

Schools.-The first school was taught in a log cabin about 18x20 feet, that was erected just south-east of the square as early as 1818. In this building Rev. John M. Peck organized the first Sunday-school, in the summer of 1821. School was held in this cabin for a period of three or four years, when a small frame school-house was erected by the public, which was also used for religious meetings by all denominations. The public schools were mostly held in churches and halls, rented for that purpose, until 1866, when a fine brick school-home was erected, that cost upwardsof $40,000. It stood on the same lot occupied by the present beautiful structure. February 28, 1873, this building was burned, and in the same year the new one was completed, at about the same cost. It is constructed of brick, three stories high, and contains ten rooms, all furnished with the latest improved school furniture. The school is graded and employs eight teachers.

McKendree College was founded as an institution of learning February 20, 1828. It received its first charter from the state in 1834, and a new charter was granted June 26, 1839. It is a Methodist institution, and has always been largely patronized by the Missouri and Illinois Conferences. On the roll of Alumni there are the names of nearly four hundred persons, many of whom are in high offices of trust both in church and state. *A more extended history may be seen in the chapter on Schools. [Not transcribed for this web page.]

Illinois Literary and Commercial Institute and School of Art was founded September 20, 1880, by Prof. J. W. Whittlesey. This is a new school, and judging from the patronage it has received, it will be a successful one. Prof. Whittlesey is an energetic, enterprising gentleman, and has an able faculty associated with him.

Churches.-There are eight churches in the city, all neat and comfortable buildings.-Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal, Free Methodist, German Methodist, and Colored Methodist, German Lutheran, Baptist and Roman Catholic.

Manufacturing Industries-The Veranda Flouring Mill was erected in 1856. It is built of brick, 50x60 feet, and four stories high. It contains six run of burrs, with a capacity of 200 barrels per day, and is now owned by Joseph Mueller & Co. It manufactures several brands of excellent flour, most of which is shipped to eastern markets. The mill is valued at $50,000, and employs thirteen men.

The St. Clair Flouring Mill was built by W. V. Keese & Son, in 1880, at a cost of about $10,000. It is a frame building, three stories high, and contains three run of burrs, with a capacity of 50 barrels per day. The Star Fancy brand of flour of their manufacture is equal to that made by any of the larger mills, and finds ready market at home and in St. Louis.

Hoyt's Steam Saw and Grist mill, has one set of burrs and it circular saw.

The Carriage, Wagon and Agricultural Implement Manufactory of J. H. Lehman's, was established in 1861. He has large and commodious buildings, steam power, and all the modern improved machinery for making the best class of work. Employs about ten men.

The Lebanon Brewery was purchased by J. Hammel, in 1860, who remodeled the building, and enlarged the capacity. This brewery has all the most modern improvements for brewing, and manufactures about six thousand barrels a year. It is sold at home and. in all the neighboring towns. Hammel's bottle beer is a good article, and is gaining reputation. Mr. Hammel has a vineyard of several acres, and manufactures considerable wine. He is also engaged in the ice business.

Lebanon Soda and Mineral Water Factory was erected by Charles J. Reuter, in 1868. It is a frame building; steam power. Soda and all the various kinds of mineral waters are made and sold at home and in all the adjacent towns. Mr. Reuter has been very successful in this enterprise.

The Great American Cigar Manufactory was established by Julius Hoffmann in 1866. He employs about fifteen men in the manufacture of cigars. They are fine brands, and he has a large trade.

There are also two brick-yards–the Sager Brothers,– is located in the east side of the city, and that of William Boyce's in the northern part, both of which burn a good quality of brick.

Concord Park-is situated in the southern suburbs, and is the property of F. Keitel. It contains several acres, with nicely arranged walks, well shaded with forest and ornamental trees. There are music and speakers' stands, dancing hall and bar, on the grounds. This is quite a popular resort for summer excursions from St. Louis.

The Lebanon Journal is a weekly newspaper edited and published by Jones & Metzgar, and is the only one in the city.

Bank-The Banking House of Baker & Schaefer was commenced in 1873, by Seiter & Ramsay. In 1876 it was changed to H. Seiter & Co., and September 1st, 1880, to the present firm name. The capital is upwards of $200,000, and it is considered a safe and reliable institution.

Lodges.-The secret societies are as follows :

Adelphic Lodge, No. 1509, Knights of Honor; Lebanon Lodge, No. 108, I. O. M. A.; Lebanon Lodge, No. 127, A. O. U. W. Lebanon Lodge, No. 110, A. F. and A. M.; Lebanon Chapter, No. 62, R. A. M.; St. Clair, No. 119, I. O. O. F.; Lebanon Division of the Sons of Temperance, No. 262.

BUSINESS HOUSES, TRADE OF 1881.

General Stores.-Atwood & Chamberlain, Louis Niemeyer.
Dry Goods and Groceries.-H. J. Blanck, H. W. Blanck, L. Gerne, John W. Weigle, Mrs. Krause.
Groceries.-John Meinhardt. .
Hardware, Stoves and Agricultural Implements.-C. H. Sager, Henry Baum.
Drugs.-Lindley & Bridges, C. Fehringer, J. B. Benson.
Clothing and Tailoring.-Charles Reinhardt, Thomas Wolf, Jacob Schaefer, Jacob Buhr.
Jewelry.-F. Pesold, Gus. Hoffmann.
Confectionery and Bakery-August Deitz, August Kassebaum, F. Campe.
Shoe Stores and Shops.-C. Haenel, George Breiding, Paul Derleth, J. Hausmann.
Furniture.-Henry Bachmann, Louis Reichenbecher, Jr.
MI>Books and News.-Miss Frank Risley.
Harness Store-J. W. Hypes, William Scheibe.
Segar Stores.-J. Hoffmann, Adam Traband.
Millinery and Dress Making.-E.- Haase and M. Zerweck, Miss Lizzie Parker.
Hotels -Bishop House, Edward Ganunn, proprietor; Lebanon House, Henry Heuer, proprietor; City Hotel, Mrs. T. Williams, proprietress; St. James House, Mrs. Smith, proprietress.
Livery Stables.-S. R. Morris, John Wallace.
Blacksmith and Wagon Shops-Adam Blume, Robert Blume, Martin Baum, F. Thome.
Barber Shops.-C. Graul, A. Doll, E. Graul & Son, Noblitt & Coffee.
Lumber Yard.-Gustave Weisberger.
Marble Works-August Kassebaum.
Physicians.-F. A. Hamilton, R. F. Cunningham, F. W. Lytle, A. Berger, C. N. Andrews, A. S. Griffith.
Dentists-R. H. Mace, L. Ottofey.
Insurance Agents.-W. H. Hypes, Lewis Zerweck, A. Sanspeur, J. N. Lindley, D. Hightower.
Photographer.-John Lupton.
Real Estate Agent.- M. A. Shepard.
Saloons and Billiard Halls.-John Rahner, Charles Neuman, Gus. Hoffmann, Cyrus Culver, Jule Gorla, Thomas Wakemann, E. Krause, John Meinhardt, John Michel.


FOOTNOTES
(1) These lands are the Public Domain Land Sales which began in 1814. Lands were granted before 1814 as preemption (squattors’) rights, grants, donations, and militia rights. The Illinois State Archives has an online index to all Public Domain Land Sales in Illinois and can also provide documentation for Preemptions.
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