Newspaper Page Text
tUaiUag HMter on Tirrx riwrc
JOHN H. ODERLV, Editor.
CAIRO AKD AIBXAHDKR COUNTY,
Tlir rionrf rnMnil Enrljr Time.
AiJ a Torwwt of the Tutun of.Cilro.
by nn old.
M. B. Ilarrcll, Kq., of the Cairo (7j
se.f, lectured tsrroro the Llheral Ilcllg
JousAssocIalloii last Sunday nhjht. The
room was crowded, nml llicati Jlenwj wns
entertained during nn hour In u very
Mr. II. opened his lecture with n reply
to a lew remarks 3Ir. Oberly had made
the Sunday bofore on Spiritualism. We
omit this part of tho leeturo to-day, and
will publish it at another time.
After his Spiritual remark, Mr. II.
"And now,boKKlMKlarlon for my wide
daparturc troin tho topic announced, I
proceed t a presentation of what t know
run woxKuns and kaiii.y tuim ok
CAtno and am:xi'ii:u colwtv,'
merely remarking, pre;iforinlly,lJint I se
lected I lie subject announced, not because
It admits of any-oratorical ornamentation,
any show of learning, or outburst ol elo
quence; but because I had been Iherunto
frequently urged, and Imcuisc of all the
subjects that may 1ms embraced within the
scope granted by the lecture committee
of your association, I could fettle upon
noil's with the dettllsof which I nuijinore
In dealing with my Btthje ct I shall
adopt a simple narrative style, and shall
pursue It In regular chronological order ;
and now nerve yourselves for the Intllc
tlou: In an old history of Jorth Carollua It Is
recorded that when De Soto descended
the Mississippi river,hofoundattheJuuc-
Uon of tliese rivers a lake, about f-cven
miles In. width and twenty tulles In length.
unnerve way admit tho existence of n
lake here, we are constrained, by what we
nave personally observed, to bring Its
waters into much narrowerlimil. While
we have, in flic dirercut strata undei ly
ing us, convincing proof that the site
upon hlch Cairo stands, in fact all that
cection between Cache river and Charles
ton, Missouri, Is what is commonly d
nomUted "made land" tho growth of
alluvial and vegetable deposits it Is true
utverUicless.that its formation dates back
to a period long anterior to the discovery
of America. A sycamore stump, yet
standing In the upper part of tho city,
shows a growth of 528 years; within the
past .twenty years cottonwood trees of
more than sixteen feet girth, have lecn
removcu from all parts of tho city tlte,
one or mem from a point beyond the
old fort, and within a hundred yards of
mc junction or ........ nine um
ber grew upon the Missouri shore
ronj.;iiou$ly sycamore in the old
Bird's !., which presented a diameter
ofiiMny eleven feet. 17io timber on
nn. m;mui.hv snore snows a younger
srowm, uui even mere wo Mini trees,
..aiming wiimn two hundred yards ol
ino river s ciige, that show a growth of
more than two hundred years. Hence
we conclude that tho "Jako story" was an
innocent fiction, and that the in-JW,,..'
of th Ohio river, In fact, the Junction of
me iwo rivers, his remained, in so far a
the effect upon this Delta is concerned
practically tlxed and unclianged. Abrasion
aud accretion, have changed the form of
the Delta somewhat, and that, too, within
tho memory of our "oldest inhabitant."
The Father of Waters hs made inroads
at one point, but. us ir governed by a law
of compensation, has made nddition at
another. Hence I conclude that we have
left to us every ounce of earth we had
two hundred years ago, and that the
complete washing away of our city,
which men who are wlso In their own
conceit foretell, will bo simultaneous
wun another predicted event, viz : the
destruction or the eartli by oontaet with
the sun. When these events occur, we
can well do without a Cairo, and, In con
templatlng the destruction of a world,
will be exceedingly seluMi ir we fall to
forget our Individual sorrows.
To thehappyco-lncidenec that theOhlo
and Mississippi both concluded to meet
aad mingle at this point, wo may ascribe
the location of Cairo. Early in the vcar
1817, while Illinois was yet a territory.
Uio value of tills eo-Ineldencc was appro!
dated; aud certain men, with more enter
l.rlse than moncy-wilh more faith In the
gullibility of the public than practical
H-nse of their own, conceived the Idea of
bulldint' here a city that should serve n
the grand commercial entrepot aud bad
ness emporium of the Mississippi valley.
They entered, under the credit svstcm
then prevailing, 1,8(0 acres or land; and,
after securing tt liberal ,harU.r from
Territorial U?lslatur, commenced oper
atlons under the name 0r The dtv -m.1
nank Company of Cairo It was S
company that originated the l,u-a of the
imiiois central railroad, They Uui on'
about two hundred acres ol their lands
into town lots. Tim streets fall of which
were 60 feet In width) ran parrcllol Willi
the Ohio river, with cross streets at In-
terrain ol livo Hundred feet, niuiilii" at
ngnt angles to the .Mississippi. ijvcry
thirtieth block was set nsidu as a public
equare. Tho lot were 25 by 120 feet, and
"iu price luasjucd by law at $100 per lot.
Tho plans adopted to elect sa'lcs.nl-
Miniir.l. . , . ... '
Njiuuwnai inoro original than
that pur.ued by tlic present Trustees,
wm by iki means as successful. Tho up
jillcatitforalotwa,. required to deposit
to the credit or tho Cairo Bank,
one-third of the lmrchat(j
the expiration ofturee mouths he was to
deposit another third, aa at th? end of
til no months the balance. When live
hundred lots were thus disposed ol. tho
Bank wns to be estnblihed, nnd the lots
paid for were to bo distributed by tho
Bank's President nnd Directors nmong
the purchasers by lottery, Fearing, as
the projectors did, that non-resident capi
talists would ruMi In and capture their
prize, It was provided In the charter that
no person could secure n title to more
than ten lot. One third part ol the
monies arilng from sales of lots wns to
constitute n fund for the construction of
levecs, dyke, .the building of public edi
fices and for ornamenting parks and pub
lic ground'. The balance was to form a
capital stock for the bank, which Institu
tion was authorized to issuo currency, the
pleasure ol the Directors being tho only
limit as to inc amount; and, 11 at any
time tho debts of the bank exceeded t,vlco
the amount of the capital, th Directors
became individually responsible J But, un
der such auspices, Cairo did not thrive.
Tho country had not become sulllelenlly
advanced to call for tho proposed "entre
pot aud emporium;" or tho public failed
to appreciate the wonderful "opening"
the projectors had provided. Comegyst
tho moving spirit or the enterprise died;
his associates became dNcoitr.iged, the
1S00 acres or land reverted to the govern
ment, and thus without leaving n tan
glblc trace or Its operations, perished tho
llrst corporation that essayed the build
ing or a city at tho Junction or these
Subsequently William Bird entered Ihe
extreme point, and, In the year 1S2S, aid
cd by ids sons John nnd Thomson, made
flic first improvement at the mouth of
tho Ohio. This Improvement was
nothing more than n log house
about 23 by 00 feet, erected upon n mound
ot earth thrown up by Bird's negroes, nt
a point now embraced within the depot
grounds of the Cairo nnd St. I.ouls rail
road. The locality took the name of
"Bird's 1'olnt," an 1 until the commend:
ment of operations In 183", by Ihe Cairo
City and Canal company, 'retained that
Meanwhile Trinity, at the mouth of Ca
che, grew Into existence, ami until the
year 1SI0 was regarded as n trading
point or no mean Importnnce.and thobest
Ice-harbor Tor steamboat on tho Ohio
river. Kleven steamboats were moored
there during the blockade ot 1S27, and
for a period of ten years or more, the lo
cality at tlic mouth or Cache river, and
not that at tho mouth or the Ohio, claimed
notice as the probable situ or the "future
great business emporium of Southern Il
linois, and tho Grand Commercial entre
pot of thoMissi33lniil Vnllcv." The nnlv
bllllard-tablo at that time, between Louis
ville and Xew Orleans was to bo found
In Berry's hotel, in Trinity. Berthoud,
Bechtlc, Hector and others. won tin,
owners ot the land, and their wealth and
Influence, which wore considerable, were
directed to the up-bullding of the place ;
but counter-interests gained a foothold.
About 33 years ago, Trinity lost Its pres
tige was overshadowed by a second ef
fort to build up Cairo, and commenced a
decline which, twenty years ago, terinina-
ten iu tno entire obliteration of the town
from the face of tho earth.
Alexander county, which originally
. in..,..,.. .
cmuracoi i uintKi, wtui nrgnuUu,) in nio
i-i.,goniio juar ism, tlic county se
uenig iiAcu in. America. Thu uninu
gnciMo me county as a compliment
ur, u I11I.1H1 Alexander a ronuf.-ihl,. i.l.v.
sk.-i.iii unu a inoji cuniablo man. Then
as now, a town-!uiildlng mania prevailed
anil nli'iMitiirn0 ...,... ..... . .,.
-. "iau nut, Winning o es
oa) my. omitting up of America. l,nr
sections oi land were embraced within
1110 limits 01 tills WaS-tO-bo -Teat rife
hum ino nrsi; sale 01 lots, w Mi. I. .!.-
.....i .i... ...
placo III tlio year IS20, augured well of
tho city's future. Tho sale took nuM
uiiiiuKa noon, wnen tne situ selectei
juweineuuicnrst tiry land abovu th.
moutiiortho Ohio. Kroui this fact
whs urgneu mat inc L'rcat e tv I cnmmlni!
oy me growing wants ot commerce mutt
no mint on that spot, and as a come
quence, no less than $10,003 worth of lots
were sold Inn single day. Hoiies im
meinaieiy commenced taking shape;
men eager to share iu the trr.inif destlnv
r.l - " .. '
"i iiiu uitu- eity, came irom all jiarts of
me. eouniry, ami soon America bnasf. il
oi a population of 1,200 souls.
A tumbling tenement or two, scattered
plies oi dirt-covered brick and mortar,
arc all that are now lea to tell or the'
town around which so many fond hopes
clustered, nml In which so many ban
guliio souls Invested their menus, and ex
ponded their labor. Thus have wo in
thcdown.fall or America (hastened some
what by the formation of a great bar Iu
the river) another proof or tho roily or
SUPlilvlll'r tnii'iw I .. .1 .
- -r. ,4ii,.invt; ut ai-mai fii.
Among the earliest settlers of Alexan
der county, was the now venerable Col.
Henry L. Webb, who honors in with his
presenco this evening. H0 camo to
America In the year 1H10. and h.u t!,..-..
tore been a looker-on in Southern Illinois
for more than a half century. .More no
table events crowd Into his
times than I could refer to even by name.
l uvo; my wnolo time In that
uireeiion alone. Ho was, although quite
young, an eyo witness or the stubbornly
contested battles or l'latt-burg, on hake
thauiplaln, and he Iniblbed there n mill,
tary ardor which lie retained Iu an undi
minished degree until the breaking out
or the Blaekhawk war. He mustered
from among the backwoodsmen of Alex
antler county, a full company of hardy
iM,i I, '"'""ur''ui, reu men untl iht-y
laid down the r nrms nn,i
-.. -wn.-siiy Micil
peace. When ,
,,..,.,, ,, , , iiveiiii-uu
agulust Mexico he again raied n eom
pany, and, attaching it to the 2nd iui,,u
Inuntry, took a conipleiious part In that
Fifty-one years ago nml nt a later
period, he tilled a scat in the Illinois den
era! Assembly; his fellow citizens fre
quently called him to potion of public
tniit, and ho will excuse u remark which
I know the public- records as well as In
dividual testimony will bear out. that I,.
all relations or life ho was animated bv
nn honest purposo to do his dulv.
-mv a iiik iiiui joe fjteveus ho tig.
urcd so conspicuously among the Indian
lighters and kcelboatmen of the early
times were personally known to Col.
Webb; and ho witnessed nt America, I
am Informed, nn exhibition of their skill
with the rifle, which exploit was no less
dangerous In character Hum shooting a
pint cup front eauli other's heads off
hand, nt a distance of 50 paces. A subse
quent match of this kind had n tragic
nnd meinorablo termination. In shoot
ing the cup from Stevens' head Mike had
madcu furrow In the scalp. Stevens
construing this Into an attempt upon his
life, resolved upon n terrible revenge
Mike, without supectlng Stevens' de
sign, placed liliii'cir against n tree, nnd,
with the glittering larget upon his head,
awaited the shot that should signalize
Stevens' triumph. The ball came, but In
stead or hitting tlic cup, crashed through
.Mike's brain, killing him In his tracks
Hut btcvens Had no tlmo in which to
gloat over his triumph. He fell an lu
stant alterwards shot through thu brain
by a ball sped from n rllle In the hands of
Mike's brother, who, availing himself of
the excitement consequent upon the don
bio homicide, Jumped Info u canoe, and
rapidly descended tho river. liecoverlng
from their stupor of horror, a number of
the lookcrs-ou made pursuit ; but Hie
fugitive seemed to be followed by nn
avenger as merciless as he himself had
been. Before getting out of sight of the
scene of thu tragedy, his cauoo eapdzed,
nnd beloru his pursuers could come to
his rescue, the water or the river closed
over liini, and he entered the portals of
eternity upon the very heels of his com-
IkiMoih. '1 bus, with a spleu or the dra
matic, jieilshed three men, who carried
terror with tlielr pre-ence, nnd yet who,
In their characters as spies, Indlau-llght-ers
and baekwoodsincn, seemed more or
a necessity to the ago In which they
lived, than a curse and courgc to the
A row yeais previous to thN event. In
the year 1H12, the Mounds' massacre took
place. Or the six families then living
between tho Junction of the rivers nnd
the (I rand Chain of the Ohio, two the
families or Clark and Phillips resided nt
the -Mound-'. In tho Kill of thu year
named, ten out-lawed Creek Indians ap
peared nt the door of Clark's s$rilu and
demanded dinner. After partaking of
their meal, the savages divided, five of
them going to the eibln or Mr. Phillips,
the balance remaining ut Clark's. At a
given signal the work of slaughter com
incnced, nnd, hi less tlmo than I consume
In relating It the Indians had
tomahawked .Mr. and Mrs.
Clark; Mrs. Phillips, her son and
daughter, and a man named Ifcnneday
who was stopping at the time, with Mrs.
I"s family. A Mr. Shaver, who had called
at Clark's cabin to replenish his whis
ky jug, received n stunning blow In thu
head from u well aimed tomahawk; but, be
ing a ilect-footcd man of great physical
vigor, ho daMicd past tho two sentinels at
the door, and with tho yelling devils nt
his heels, succeeded Iu reaching what Is
known as Trinity slough, which, although
greatly swollen and partially filled with
lee, ho hwain hi safety, and thus escaped
the scalping knife of his merciless pur
suers. A tow days afterward Capt. Phil-
llDR, wlifi win then Stationed nt Vnrt
Mni-ac, visited the Mound to bury the
dead. Clark and his wife were found In
their cabins their heads spllt.'opcu b
blows from the savages' hatchets; the
uoiiy oi young William Phlllns horri
bly mutilated, had drifted ashorenear the
mouth of Cache river; the body of his sis
icr was not round, kenncday was dis
covered near tlie H-enu of tho tra"cdv
it. ,i.-, . .
nieraiiy newn 10 pieces. The body of
.Mrs. Phillips was found near by, ripped
open, una her unborn babe impaled upon a
stake! A picture this, to excite a chill
of borrow; but unless I paint it, who will
no leit, when our gray haired pioneers
pass away, lo contribute It to history,
which cannot be made complete with-
out it. 1 liu man ofiiisfory will thank mo
for tlie record even for Its horrible mln-
Miinpainoisorcol. Webb in iiloiu-f-r.
, . . . -
nig .Alexander county and Southern till
nols were Capt. Jolm S. Hacker. Mmit
Ooveruor Dougherty, .Moses M.
lings, and at a later date Dr. Daniel Ar-
icr, iiryan hiiannessy, and others, all ot
whom deserved well ot their fellow-cltl-
zens, anil will not, when thu history of
me country is written, et-enpo honorable
mention. Capt. Hacker located in I'm.
.i... . . ...
ion county, or what Is now Cnlon county,
about (V) years ago. He too raised "a
company and led it through many of tho
bloodiest battles of our war with Mexico,
winning such distinction, that, upon his
return home, ids reception amounted to
grand ovation. Ilu is now fast nn-
proachlng tho sun.-ct of a life which,
though crowded ftill ot events, ho can rc-
ie without rcmofro. It lum W
truthfully said, alike of him. of Col. Webb
nnd Dr. Arler, that they have seen the
country pass successfully throu'di thu
war of 1U12, the war with .Mexico, and tho
" ar the iil,o of w i eh the worl.i fur.
nlslics no record. They have seen tin.
West, from the Mississippi to tho Pacific,
settled and started on thu hlirh road in
Its destined irrentm-k-t. ,,i,n,,.,.n....
, III'lMllillHJ in
owns and cities; and bound
feeling and bands of Iron Into what wo
may now regard an Indissoluble union.
I urn not Ignorant of tlie Tact tli.-n Km
of the details Into which a discussion i.r
n.v subject necessarily leads inc. win
prove Irksome to you; lint as tliev form
nil essential part of tlie whole, I inavimt
vvhllo consilium; completeness, omit
them. Let us then. asRiii-niin,- ,
e, have done with them.
Tho ilrst board of County Commission,
s that convened In Alexander county.
was composed of.Nesblt Allen, S. II. AN
wanlan.lS.il. Phillips, .inong their
Ilrst acts was lo iinnronrlraii! $7nn fun ti.
ivetlon of a county Jail and SI00 for 1 1 in
opening of a wagon road from .ii,.u
o tlie mouth of the Ohio.
A. h. (.rant was tho first circuit clerk.
w n-uumum, ns ex ravarant. In..
cause, In entering unou the iii.i,P.r..
his duties, he supplied his olllco with
S-U(5 worth of blank books-a sum
about equal to the present cost ol u sin
gle Ice book or execution docket, Hon.
Walter B. Scaats was our first circuit
ludge; Hon. Sidney Brccse, present chief
Justice of our supreme court, wns our
llrst circuit attorney; Hon. D. ,r. Baker,
father of Judge Baker ol Cairo, was
Breeso's sucecor. 1). Spanhower was
the llrst paiiperj'harged to the county,
and Itlchard I,. Jones was tho first de
fendant nt n suit at law, Nicholas C. Wil
liams being theplalntllf.
At thu April term, 132), of our Circuit
Court, 11 cases were docketed; nt the April
term, 182.1, 7 cases were docketed, anil at
the April term, 132I, only 0. The small
est docket was that or 1320 only four
cacs being entered. The first applica
tion for n divorce was filed by Lucy
Turnslall, In the year 182". She alleged
that her husband Thomas was decidedly
demonstrative, and given to the enforce
ment or his edicts by blows. Bo It said,
to tho credit or our pioneers, however, or
to "the patient sulTerance" or our early
wives nnd huhamls (wc don't know
which) this wns the only application rora
divorce during a period or 10 years
From the year ol'lSIO to 182" there Is
no record evidence tt crime In Alexan
der county, which called for the Inlllct
lug ol any punishment beyond a small
flue. Iu tho hut named year John
Wright and others were presented by the
Grand Jury for "riot;" but thu traverse
Jury held that thu riot went to thu extent
of a rough Joke, only, and "rough Jokes"
even to rldliig-on-a rail, being considered
tolerable, Wright and his companions
were sent ndrllt, with thu thoughtful ad
monition that, If they had killed their
man, the Hue ot the toleration would
have been so probably over-stepped as to
have compelled u Judicial recognition of
During the year 1822 the three otllces
of Probatu Judge, Circuit Clerk and
County Treasurer all centered in one
man, Alauoti II. Powell.
About the year 1830 the county
scat was removed from America to
Unity, where, about four years afterwards
the court housu nnd jail, with a large
portion of the public records, were de
stroyed by lire. In thu year IS II thu
county seat wax removed to Sparhawk's
landing, or Thebes, where It remained
until the year 1S00, when It was by u vote
of the people brought to Cairo.
In dealing with my subject, my great
est dlfllculty Is not In deciding, what I
shall say, but what'I can ntlbrd to leave
unsaid. The subject Is too prolific to bu
satisfactorily dNposcd of in a single
hour. Indeed, if I succeed In presenting
to you an Intelligent view, though ever
so brief, of tlie facts and occurrences that
crowd upon my notice, my success will
greatly exceed my present anticipations.
About tho year 1831, Brccse, Gilbert,
Swanwick and Baker re-entered the
lands that had reverted to the govern
ment from thu Cairo City and Bank com
pany, and subsequently say about thu
year lS30-?old them to the Cairo City
and Canal company, which had then as
sumed u corporate form under a special
charter from thu Illinois General As
sembly. Iu the month of February 1837 tho
General Improvement law went Into
force, and tho State, having named an
appropriation or $V.OO,000 to nid In the
construction uC llio IlUnoW CeilllUl rail
road, work upon that great undertakin,
was commenced before thu close or the
year. The commencement of this work
encouraged active operations on the part
of the Cairo City and Canal company
D. B. Holbrook, Its president, effected a
loan, through tho London house of
Wright t Co. of $1,450,000, and
in this way an Knglish Interest became
Identified with tlie project, ami immeas
urably controlled It. Tho prodigal use
oi tins money caused the speedy con
struction oi icvees tne uprise or saw
mills, planing mills; a ma
chine shop aud foundry, brick
machines and dry docks, and gave out an
intimation which everybody seemed
ready to accept, that Cairo despite its
previous failure, was destined to out
strip St. I.ouls iu Its march to greatness
and to speedily become what Its project
ors aimed It should be, the grand business
mart and commercial center of thu Mis
sissippi valley. .Mechanics and laborers
nrrived on every steamer and found all
the work their hands could do. Lltho
graphic prospective views of tlie city,
showing its solid blocks of business
houses; n hundred stacks that crowned a
iiindred factories; church and hall spires
mat vexed the very clouds: a massive and
imposing Fulton monument, parks and
pleasure grounds and all tho busy scenes
of n great and prosperous city views of
this kind hung In the saloons of steamers
mil In tho olllees of hotels; and the pub
lic concluded that, for a fact, St. Louis
was "done for" and that, iu tlie West at
least, tho star of Cairo was In tho ns
ccudant. But alas! for human hopes and
ilculatlons I Tho enthusiastic Hol
brook and his colleagues tho Interested
uibllu were hut reveling Iu tho pleasures
of a dream. Their castles were in tlie air,
and adverse winds demolished
iu massive block of business structures:
tho laneriliL' snirn.q nml .riit.
lug mlncrats; the Inviting narks.
wiping fountains: tho cannny of smoke
above tho city, and tho clang
ailll Whirr Of nctlvil mnflilnurr
throughout It the dlu and hum of a aront
city these, all these, were but the base-
less rubrics of Imagination, nnd gave place
".imcm rennty, that soon marked Its
ov 1-v-cntu in mo auaniionmciit ot tno
rvii lp,,:.,inn I., .i. . . ....
' cm,tr0,11"K spirits In
gradual decay and comparative desoln-
In contcninlatlnL' thu rutin,-,. iiii
three causes for It. either mm nt which
euibracul tho germ ol destruction. The
first, nnd most active, was the failure or
the housu or Wright ,fc Co., and tho con
sequent exhaustion or tho eomnnnv's
money. .Second, tho want. In tho extent
ol commerce mid ulu population of tho
ountry, of a demand for such a city as
was contemplated; and thirdly, tho worse
uiau foollsli notion of tlie projectors that
they could Ignore the. aid of American en
terpriso nnd energy, ami build and own
the city among themselves.
Of the two thousand person who were
drawn hero to supply the demand for
labor, only a score or more remained. A
few betook themselves to the surrounding
country and settled upon llttlu farms a
number sleep in thu old grave yard;
where the balance nre.wliocnu determine?
The failure was rendered complete In
the year 18-11; and for more than twelve
months thereafter, tho company, ns If
overpowered by the disaster that had be
fallen them, seemed utterly careless of the
wreck they had left behind. Creditors
seized upon all movable property; houses
were entered and occupied without per
mission, tho land was plowed and plant
ed without let or hindrance, and the rule
nmong the remaining Calroites seemed to
be that possession canlcd with It an In
I might pass over tholntorvnl of Cairo's
torpidity tho thirteen years that Inter
vened between the downfall or the Ilal-
brook dynasty and tho creation or the
Trust that is now shaping our destiny;
but, as during that period, "Cairo's bad
reputation" was won, I ni.iv not, while
consulting my own Inclination, pass It by
'What," you naturally inquire, "gave
Cairo, during tins Interval, the disrcpiita
hU name, which, in a great degree, clings
to her to tho present hourV ' The ques
tion may lie answered thus : The town,
at that time, was the inott dilapidated,
thu dirtiest and most GoiMorsaken place
on either river. The wharf was covered
with drlftandriibblshjhe buildings were
undergoing thu process of rapid decay;
there was, there could bu no evidence or
thrift or enterprise among the Inhabitant
and not one stranger of tliebiiuilreds who
halted here every week for a change
of boats, left the town satlslled
with the hotels. It Is rather unpleasant
pastime to wait forasteambnatnnyirAfrc;
iind,ln those dayst he stranger who left nil
the comforts and surroundings of a luxu
rious home, or the not less enjoyablecon-
venlcnces mid attentions ofa first-class
steamer, to be set down a waiting traveler,
in rorloru and desolate Cairo; to receive
hl common "grub" hi the cabin of a
dismantled steamboat (which constituted
our chief hotel) to light inusqiiilocs and
be bitten by (leas and cliluches, Invarlabl
left thu town hi a frame of iiilndnnythlii
1- roin this fact wc may tlraw the valu
able moral that nothing more decidedly
shapes thu character ofa town than Its
lioieH schools and churches not except
ed. Cairo had then (to sonic extent or
necessity) bad hotels. Tlie traveler was
coarsely fed and Indifferently bedded;
there was nothing iu the way of ainue
uiciits or the aspect of the town to en
gage his attention for an hour or a mo
ment, nnd, as a consequence, there are
thousands of persons who, even now, re
call a brief sojourn iu Cairo, at the period
to which I refer as among tlie most har
rowing and trying periods of their lives.
And furthermore, the town had no mu
nicipal strength to resent or prevent out
rages. As a consequence of thN condi
tion the steamboat that could not thrust
ashore Its small-pox cases, its dead and
dying, Its thieves, paupers and gamblers
at Padiieah, Memphis or Cape Girardeau,
because ot thu obstacle interposed by
law, simply waited until Callo wui
readied, and then their obnoxious pas
sengers were put ashore, nolens rolem.
TJiu sick, tlie pauper or the dead thus
Imposed upon us were pUced upon or
naturally sought the public landing.
There they remained the objects of re
mark or pity for thousands of passing
strangers, until disposed of through tlic
cnaniy ol our citizens. Thcv formed
"sights at Cairo" to be talked ot abroad
while tlic gambler and thief, thrown upon
the town iu the same manner, remained
here with impunity, defying the moral
sentiment of tho little community, am
iieecing all who fell within their toik
whether citizen or stranger.
iiirougn these and other causes to
which I might refer, Cairo became widely
Known as tne anode or Death and Dem
ons "the hardest hole In creation"
very hell on earth, and what wonder?
I had Intended, for the edification of
our county jailer, with whom I specially
desire to maintain feelings of comity aud
good will to Indulge hi certain lau
i.i.. i ....
turns i-jnsuues iiiai distinguished tho pe
riod of which I speak, but the brief inter
val remaining, admonishes ino to pass oi
to the last, and partially successful effort
to build hero nn Kgyptlau metropolis.
kindred in its eomtnerci.il prominence to
that which has grown Into being on
tho shores of Lake Michigan.
Douglas, Breuso and others were active
and ablu advocates of thu Illinois Central
Itallroad bill, but It had not, for years at
least, passed our national assembly but
for the united Iniliicnco and persistent cf.
forts of the parties hi thu interest of the
Cairo City property company. The
moiisuro became a law hi 1850, and tho
following year, a corps of civil engineers
essayed the work of surveying and plat-
ting Cairo. They were good follows.
and brought a dray load of demijohns;
nun now, contemplating our
streets their shoulders and oll'-seis
their obtuse and ncuto angles and the
lots, shaped thereby Into every form,
irom that oran octagon to a triangle,
may It not bo Inferred that thoso deml-
ohns were not wholly ornamental? Thu
lines look very much ns irthey had been
staggered upon, the lots consuming every
conceivable shape, (except round) from
evident sympathy with tho erratic mean
dcrlngs of tho streets nnd avenues. But
"-e '..-" ...... .i,iiii, n.
to put levity aside, can there bo any tol
cranio reason for the Irregularities and
Intraclcs of tho plan of our city ? Why
should not our streets run parallel with
tho Ohio, and at right angles therewith
from river to river? Such a plan would
Insure regularity, vcntlllation, economy
and uniformity. Tho present plan utterly
Ignores these considerations, without u
single compensating ndvantago to any
Town lots were brought Into market
In the year of 1851, the llrst sale being
made In tho spring of that year to Peter
Stapleton. Of tho growth of tho city, of
Its rapid expansion from tho humility of
a dilapidated village, to the dignity of an
Incorporated town ; ol tho Influx of pop
illation nnd the slow accumulation of
wealth; of thu growth or business and
Its ultimate classllleatlon ; or the erection
or churches nnd school houses, nnd the
organization ot charitable institutions
ami lire companies ; of thu terrible visi
tation rrom water Iu 1858, nnd subsequent
calamities from fires and Dcstlieiiei! of.
In short, thu gradual on-ninrch or tho
city to Its present prominence, I need not
speak, for all this seems but a Into ol to
day, and has no claim upon inc for ml
nutc rehearsal. Knoiigh to say that n
score or more of my listeners have been
eyo witnesses of the unfolding have
seen tho monster sycamore and cotton-
wood felled from our streets; have seen
all the old Iaiid-tii!irk,eveii thelnst yestlge,
ortho old Cairo oblllerated,and noled.as I
have done, hi the growtli here ol uti al
ready considerable clly, a practical real
ization, oi tho sanguine predictions of
Col. Webb nnd I lacker and their com
patriots lu early days, who marked the
Junction of these rivers m u site upon
w hich would ultimately grow the great
central emporium of thu Mississippi
And now, what ortho future V The
two greatet natural highways of trade
and travel on the American continent,
tnlnglo here, In the play of giants, waters
which they have drained rrom nn ngrl
cultural region abundant lu extent
and fertility, to supply the elvlll.ed
w orld's demand for corn and flour; Wo
occupy the southern extremity of n State
whose agricultural aud mineral capaci
ties, and who-e mlle.s of railroad exceed
those of any other stale of our Union.
Our location embraces the extreme South
ern foot of Illinois lerrllory stands Jut
ted as a wedge between Kentucky nml
MI-HHirl, tlic mot thrllty and promis
ing ol all the States of tlie
South. it stands near the
center or a valley that N capable or
sustaining a denser population than any
other territory of like extent In tbeknowi
world. It has the uiiro-lrlctcd u-i
through the Ohio and Mississippi rivers
ami their tributaries, or no lesa thai
seventeen thousand miles or uavlgabli
waters. It Is already thu termini of llvi
Important lines or railway, ouu or whleh
forms a grand link hi the spccdlly.N-to
bu .Southern international Pacific. Tim
head or uninterrupted navigation on the
Mississippi a thousand mile rrom the
Mexican guir, ami yet a thousand tulles
from the upper lino or the ooru
nnd wheat-growing regions of the won
dcrful North-west, ltls destined to In
come the gateway through which inu
pass tho Interchanging products of the
North and the South, ami to ultimately
become what N n seeming paradox an
interior, inland import ! Bleed by
congenial and healthful climate free
from tlioe climatic extremes that efTe
both health and vegetation It stands to
day more muullleeufly bh-vd by a boon
llful nature than any other locality In the
silmot measureless basin between tlie
Itocky and Alegheny mountains
But, Willi all tlu-Kj ndvnnlnges won
derful as they are, there remains a hereii
lean work for the hand of man. Tho
soil, the grand forests of useful timber,
the hills of Iron ami llelds or coal; tho
ledges or roek and beds or marble; tho
strains or potter's and porcelain clay-
our sail streams nun mines oi lead noun
or these will yield up their tlelies utile
iiiin iieii ii)- iiiu.'iiigcui ami weii-uireeie
. . ...
niuiisiry. uur elements ot wealth are
iiotself-uufoldliig;ljut they generou-ly re
pay, aud to a limited extent arc rcpayln,
eery proper application or br.iln and
e who are but tho "bru-h-brenkers'
the advaiiee-guard, are not equal to the
successful working of the great natural
levers at our hand; but wc can, by en
couragiug tho iqi-bulldlng of iiianuf.ie
lories; by associating our own and inIt
lug other capital from abroad; bv
"scratching" as wo may, tho surface
the eartli and delving Into Its bowel: bv
originating and promoting such projects
ami enterprises as are best calculated to
fix public attention upon u; mid on
wonderful surroundings; by stand
lug shoulder to shoulder In
tlio promotion of all that
tends to work cut the common weal; by
gaining and iiiiiiiilalning a coinuiaudlii'
legal and social status by lending inutu
al encouragement ami mutual aid to one
another by doing this, by employing, as
best we may, the advantages with whleh
we are ble.seil, wo can, of our own
might adjmt the fulcrum. Tills done, a
constantly augmenting strength will ni-
erato upon the lever, so that, In time
Cairo will bo raised to that posllloi
among thu fraternity of eitles that Na
ture's God manifestly Intends sho shall
In the not every rcmotu future, proudly
occupy, and permanently maintain.
BY Tlrliio nfluo roilnln rxcrutlont to mo
Uircclt'll l)V till! Lll'l L nf flu. I irpnlt I (iiir,
of Alcvaliitcr i-uunlt . In lit. Mule nt lllliwiN. in
favor of the Southwestern Iniirnncc Company
fur the use of .Jiihn lj llinnmn. Ittei-lw-r. mi'l
iiKiuim ni .i mien iitm ii wnisini wclili, l
limelevinl iiikiii tlic fullowhu: iliicrlln.il iiriin-
crlv. In Ihucily nf l.nlrii, county of Alexiimli-r
iinu niitioni iinitoi.4, iii-wn uii iiuiiilJtrtilslx
(II), hi Mock mimlii-rol turiity nine- ij), nt I ho
luoiierly of the suM II. Watson Wi-Mi, ulilrh I
blinll nlli-r nt iiulillo sale nt Uio eoiuliuc-tt iluir
of tho Court flotisf, In the city nfrnlm, In the
county of Ale iiuilt-r unit Mali- r llllnnla .., ii.
aiktiiuy of Jliirch A. I , ls;, nt the hour of
nvirii o ciock it. in. , lor ciii.ii, to utiurv Jhl
CAl-CUUUIlS .11, 1, A. II IIIWI.V.
Mif-rllT nf Alexander County. Ills.
Culro, Ufa. , March 12, 1S73. (U-:H8-n-;t
BV vlrlilu of mi exrciilion lo ino ilhcvtod liy
the Clerk of the Circuit I'nori nr Ali-v.
itmler county, In the .Stale nf Illinois, hi furor of
iuc .,iiiiiii,-nii-iii jii9uiaut't. Lriimiuiiy lor ll.c
l.'?..r J".h" - Hwniaii, l(ecelcr. unit mrahut
Wllllin.1 Alton nml II. Wntson Webb, I hit
levied llinn (hp liillowlnit ilejcrlbcil property,
111 the city Of (.'lllrn. cnilnlv nf All-Mimlrr im.l
Nnteof lllliints.tii.ult i.ot numbt-n-il lite (S).
n Murk nilinliereil thirty-two (mi, in the prnp.
rlyof thi'MiLl II. WiiHoit W'ehli. which 1 Vh: ill
oiler nt inililleiiili., nt the nnuthHetilnnror tho
Court Iloiifco, hi Ihe city nf ('itlro, lit llmeounljr
of AleMiniler nml Male of IlllnnU. nn tlie ainl
fltry of .Murrli A . II., 1S7A, nt thu limirnf rleven
o'clock a. in. i for cah, lo satisfy nilil eccu-
tlUll. ..Ill, A II Jlltl..
bhcrliT or Alexander county. Ills.
Cairo, III., March 12, 17-Tp niKHS-wi
District Election Notice
NOTlCi: Ij hercliy given, that on Saturday,
the t lit i t tiny of April, 1H76, nn iltctloii
will lie held nt tho xclionl hoii-o mi Illevcnili
street. In School District No. one, towiithlp
fercntt-fii, raiiKcone, county of Alt.x uuler and
htnte of Illinois, for the purpose of tle-llnjf two
member of the hoard of education lot' lliu Irrin
of three years for said district 'Ihe poll will ho
lion i nine o'clock, n. m.,nmt closed at four
'rli.rlr. 11 til nflhn ..ininil,.
Dated this '23d day or Mitrt'h, 1673.
llyorderor HOAltl) OF EDUCATION.
Tho British Quarterly Roviows.
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