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."

Mover, shaker' recalled July 20, 2000

One may often find our ever-efficient library director, Lecta Hortin,
pondering ways to re-arrange books and files so they will be more
usable. I sometimes accuse her of sorting the paper clips by size.
Anyway, in her spare time, she has been delving into the old files kept
by the historical society, trying to sort many of the papers.

She came across a batch of 40-some pages of yellowed notebook paper upon
which someone had laboriously copied by hand biographies, which had
evidently appeared in some book.

These appeared to have been written about the movers and shakers of
White County at some time. However, there was no notation concerning
where they were copied from.

When I started to look for the source, it was not long in showing up.
These biographies were copied from the 1901 White County Atlas. For some
reason, I had not been using this torn and tattered old book for

Here's a sample from the "Business and Professional" group:

GEORGE WUST, proprietor of the electric light plant of Carmi, was born
in that city in 1864. He was the third child born to George and Barbara
Barth Wust. His parents were natives of Germany. His father came to
America and finally settled in Carmi. He was a cooper. Later, he
established a brewery at Carmi which he conducted successfully for a
time. Then he started a machine shop.

Retiring from these enterprises, he formed a commercial business which
he conducted successfully until he retired. He died May 4, 1900, ending
a career of one of the best business men of Carmi. He was self-made in
every sense. (The above apparently applies to George Wust Sr.) Mr.
Wust's mother still lives.

Our subject was reared in Carmi and attended school there and at
Evansville, Ind. He began life as a clerk in Carmi. He held that job for
four years and then became deputy postmaster under Dr. Stewart for four

In 1892 he started a sawmill business in partnership with Mr. Wallis.
The firm name was Wallis & Wust. In 1894, the firm became Wallis, Wust
and Faulkner. He then started the electric light and planing mill plant.

This continued for three years when they discontinued mills and
dissolved the firm, subject buying his partners' interest in the
electric light plant and has since conducted it alone.

His plant is well equipt (sic) with the best modern machinery, having a
140 hp. boiler and engine, sixty 2,000-candle power arc lights dynamo,
and a 1,300-light incandescent dynamo, up-to-date machinery in every
respect. The subject is active in Democratic circles.

He was married in 1891 to Miss Mary A. Bowen, a native of White County and a daughter of Andrew Bowen, an old settler. To this union have been born two daughters, Mamie Alma and Lena Elizabeth. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Montezuma Lodge No. 276, and has held all the offices and has served as C. C. for three terms. He has represented the lodge in the Grand Lodge for four years. He is also a member of A. 0. U. W, Carmi Lodge No. 121. He is an enterprising citizen and an active young business man.

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According to Harriet Vaught's cemetery book, George Wust died in 1937
and his wife in 1943. They, along with the senior Wusts, are buried in
Maple Ridge Cemetery.

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We have done research for a Wust family descendant who maintains the
original spelling of the name was Wiist. Research tends to agree with
this theory.
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The Genealogy Library is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.


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