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 ©2000 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Genealogy column July 13, 2000

The world of genealogists is stunned at the death of Mary Smith Fay, the
White County native, who was a benefactor and mentor for our local
genealogical efforts. A complete story will appear at a later date.


In the early 1930s, Carmi businessman T. W. Hay published a booklet
entitled "Brains Boiled Down." Hay said the big things are not always
done by those who have the most brains, but by those who use what brains
they have. The booklet is a mixture of jokes, poems, laws and Hay's own
homespun philosophy. The following is taken from his booklet:

In 1824-Abraham Lincoln, a lad of 15 years, was working on a ferry boat on the
Ohio River for $6 a month.
The Marquis de Lafayette visited America and was received with
tremendous acclaim by crowds of cheering people wherever he went.
Steam ferries were operated for the first time between New York and
An epidemic of yellow fever was raging in Louisiana.
The manufacture of flannel by water power was first started at Amesbury,
An English bricklayer named Joseph Aspdin took out a patent for a
material he called "portland" because when it hardened it resembled a
gray stone found on the Isle of Portland off the coast of England. The
name has stuck ever since, and the modern portland cement industry has
been developed from Aspdin's discovery.
The Erie Canal, connecting the Great Lakes with New York, was rapidly
nearing completion. The first steamboat passed through the canal from
Rochester to Albany.
Anthracite coal was used for the first time in New York.
The Colorado beetle, commonly known as the potato bug, made its first
appearance in the Midwest.
The first three-story brick house had just been completed in Brooklyn,
N.Y. The city had a population of 7,000. The houses now had numbers and
some of the streets were paved.
There was much excitement throughout the country over the presidential
election, due to the large number of candidates. John Quincy Adams
represented the east, Crawford the south and Clay and Jackson the west.


T. W. Hay's tips for better living:

To eliminate carbon, put six moth balls in tank to every five gallons of gasoline.
Wetting the hair thoroughly once or twice with a solution of salt and
water will keep it from falling out.
Fresh meat beginning to sour will sweeten if placed out of doors in the
air over night.
Applying kerosene with a rag when you are about to put your stoves away
for the summer will prevent them from rusting.
Milk which is sour may be rendered fit for use again by stirring in a
little soda.
A teaspoonful of borax put into the last water in which clothes are
rinsed will whiten them surprisingly.


The Genealogy Library is open Wednesdays from 11 to 5.

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