Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©1999 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Laurel Crook and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Jan. 4, 1999

Recently, Judith Tickel Need of Linthicum Heights, Md. was a visitor in our library, researching the name of AUXIER. Since returning home, she has written of an episode involving Abraham M. Auxier, an early settler in White County. This article has been published in The Auxier Newsletter and is re-printed here with permission.

"The following narrative is pieced together from fragments of records on file in the White County Courthouse in Carmi, Ill. It is impossible to determine how many documents are missing and have been lost. Without transcripts of the trials, we will never know the full account of the events which took place in the western district of White County, Illinois, in 1816-1818."

Incident in Illinois

A certain matter of controversy

"Abraham M. Auxer and his family settled in the western district of White County, Ill., which is now known as Hamilton County. He brought his family from southwestern Virginia to the Illinois Territory between the years 1811 and 1816. He may have traveled the same route which Samuel Auxier traveled from southwestern Virginia into Kentucky. Perhaps, they visited the Blockhouse Bottom before boating down the Big Sandy River to the Ohio River to the Wabash River and then up the Little Wabash to Carmi, Ill. Whatever their mode of travel, it was long and arduous. His son, Benjamin, was of age when they settled in the Territory of Illinois. Although they faced many dangers, one of the first problems Abraham may have faced in White County were his neighbors, the Comptons. "Allegedly, on Nov. 12, 1816, Sally Compton entered the home of Abraham Auxer. She found the small chest in which Abraham kept his money and other valuables. After breaking open the chest, she removed 28 Spanish milled dollars, a string of various colored square beads valued at $1.50 and two rings. She also carried away several pieces of fabric. Sally took the stolen items to the home of Thomas Mays, where she lived with his family. "Abraham Auxer was distraught over the loss, as it could mean financial ruin for his family. He began talking to his neighbors about the theft. Accompanied by his son, Benjamin, and Archibald Standifer, they went to the home of Thomas Mays. After Abraham had told Mays what had been taken, Thomas Mays showed him ten Spanish milled dollars given to him by Sally Compton in payment for a debt she owed him. Abraham recognized the coin as part of the money taken from his chest. A search of the house disclosed the string of beads, the two rings and the cloth among Sally's possessions. "With just cause and witnesses, Abraham Auxer went to Thomas Rutledge, one of two justices of the peace of White County, and explained what had happened. On Feb. 28, 1818, Thomas Rutledge had Sally brought before him and Justice of the Peace George McKenzie. Other members of Sally's family were requested to appear. John B. Compton came forward, and under oath, told Thomas Rutledge, George McKenzie and Isham Harrel in the presence of all the local people gathered that the reason his wife and his son, Thomas, had stayed away was to guard the children and protect their home. They were afraid to leave, as they were positive Abraham Auxer and his family would kill their younger children and destroy their property if they were to appear before the justices of the peace as ordered. The records on file suggest that John B. Compton stated other slanderous things about Abraham Auxer. Thomas Rutledge wrote a scathing report, and charges of larceny were placed against Sally Compton. Constable John Farmer arrested Sally, and she was bound over for trial during the spring term of the Superior Court at Carmi, Ill.

"Sally remained incarcerated three days until Daniel Hay, John Armstrong and John B. Compton made her bond. By this time, the incident was well known throughout the county and was the number one topic of gossip among the local inhabitants."

The Genealogy Library is open from 11 to 5 on Wednesdays.
Write us at PO Box 121, Carmi, IL 62821.

Notes from the Genealogy Library
White County Historical Society
located downstairs in the Ratcliff Inn, downtown Carmi

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Updated by Laurel Crook, 19-Feb 1999

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