By Charlene Shields
Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."
Copyright ©1998 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Laurel Crook and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."
July 27, 1998
County's 'founding fathers' wanted to name it 'Jackson'
Library Director Janet Armstrong is tenacious when doing research. When Dale Jones of Harrisburg wrote that his ancestor signed the petition to form White County, I remarked that I'd never heard of such an instrument. There was no such record in anything we could find.
Janet, however, wrote to the Illinois State Historical Library and inquired about a series of books, "The Laws of Illinois Territory 1809-1818," to see if such a petition existed. Her letter was turned over to John Daly, director of the Illinois State Archives. He sent a copy of the petition, saying it originated from the records series, Legislative Records, from the record group, Records of the Illinois Territory.
Apparently the group sought to name the county "Jackson." Anyway, here's a transcript with the original spelling:
Petition from the Inhabitants of Gallatin Co. about Nov. 1815. This petition resulted in Council Bill #l which became an act in Laws 1815-1816, p. 5. This was the organic act for White Co. and not the present-day Jackson Co.
To the Honorable house of representatives and Legislative Council of the Illinois Territory at Kaskasia assembled. We the inhabitants of Gallatin Co. beg leave to present to your honorable body a petition, praying that owing to the extensiveness of our county and the great advantages derived from Shawney Town being and remaining a seat of Justice for Gallatin Co. Therefore we beg leave to represent to give the inconvenience of those at the furthermost part of the county aforesaid to the seat of Justice - We pray that Shawney Town may remain and be the seat of Justice for Gallitin Co. and that a new County may be granted and one made. Beginning at the mouth of the little Waubash on the big Waubash running Due West until the Farthermost north West boundary of Galliton Co. From thence to the farthermost south West boundary of Edwards Co. Thence with Edwards Co. Line to the mouth of Bumpau and so down Big Waubash to Beginning, and the County of such boundary be named and called by the name of Jackson Co. And that the seat of Justice for said county be Sinterable as the population of the county will admit of, and that it be on the little Waubash, therefore we beg your honourable body that it be established at Elizabeth Councils, it being the best situation on the river convenient to the Center of the County which it is immediately on Section 19 and Centerable on a North and South line, Situated on the east side of the river on a beautiful second Bank which affords several springs, and is artended with no inconveniance by high water and has every appearance of a good healthy situation, the proprietor of said land making a donation right of a square land for public buildings, etc. In duty bound we shall ever pray."
These were the signers as the state determined from the signatures: Walter Garner, James Hanna, Benjamin Mobley, Lewis Alen, John Hanna, Edward Mobley, Griffin S. Tyler, John Connelly, Daniel Linch?, Aron Williams, G. Greathouse, Cornelius Laffarty, John Lucas, Archibald Roberts, John Ormsby, John Ormsby Junr., Jacob Secton, James Drake, Balaam May, James Faris, Jesse Cannon, Benjamin Cornelas, Robert McClelland, Wm. Cannon, James Martin, William Rileary?, Wm. Morrell, Samuel Morrell, John Applegate, Robt. Land, William Hobes,
James Staton, James Hix, John Hutchcralt, Antoney Aldrich?, James Adrich, John Camel, John Rejastis?, John Underwood, Wm. Davis, Wm. Hood, Charles Council, Ja Stewart, Ja Pumroy, J Vineyard, Otho Davenport, Joseph Clark, Joseph Pettigrew, William Thomason, Humphreys Leech, James Cain, Christopher Robetson, B.B. Smith, John Crane, Francis Leech, Thomas Robinson, Geo. Leech, William McGhehee, James Findley, James Dickenson, Michael Dickerson, Jesse Cannon, Ben Cannon, Isaac Morris.
Perhaps some of our readers may be able to correct the interpretation of some of the signatures. We have no word as to why the county was not named Jackson as was requested.
The Genealogy Library is open on Wednesdays from 11 to 5.
Notes from the Genealogy Library
White County Historical Society
located downstairs in the Ratcliff Inn, downtown Carmi
By CHARLENE SHIELDS
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