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."

Anything to this murder legend?
1883 history being reprinted

Tom and Dale Rutledge from Olympia, Wash. stopped in to see me over the
weekend. We are cousins who have met through genealogy. They are making
the trip in reverse from Washington across the country to Maryland which
our great-great-grandfather, William Rutledge, made by ox-team and wagon
in the early 1800s. William Rutledge was born in Maryland, married in
Pennsylvania, reared a family in Ohio, settled for a while in Posey
County, Ind. and then joined a wagon train going the Oregon Trail before
it became a trail. The Rutledges were among the first white people to
have gone as far north as Puget Sound. My visitors were descendants of
the ones who stayed out there and homesteaded. Of course, their trip
across country to the East Coast in an air-conditioned car gives them
only a flavor of what our ancestors must have gone through.

EMERSON - Eddy L. Emerson, 1216 W. Garriott, Enid OK 73703 has a
problem. He is trying to prove who were the children of William Emerson.
There are several William Emersons in White County history. This William
Emerson was born in 1782 in Virginia and possibly married a first time
in Kentucky. He was married a second time to Elizabeth Davis in White
County on Aug. 14, 1845. He is believed to have died in 1852.

There is a William Emerson's probate in White County court in 1852, and
the widow's name is Elizabeth. However, as with so many of those early
records, heirs are not listed or even mentioned. Is anyone researching
this line who could help Eddy L. Emerson?

Also, he wonders if this man died of natural causes or was murdered. The
oral history in the Emerson family states that the father of Francis
Marion Emerson (who was believed to have been the son of William
Emerson) operated a general store at Cross Roads, Mo. and that he was
shot, hanged from the rafters of his store, and the store burned.
Eddy Emerson says he has spent 20 years trying to verify this story, to
no avail. He has found four towns in Missouri which were called Cross
Roads, but nothing else.

Now it appears the man mentioned in the probate might never have left
Illinois. Our researcher wants to know if there is such a legend around
here. With no newspapers or death certificates as early as 1852, there
is no way of knowing how our William Emerson died. However, I feel sure
such a violent death would have been related in the 1883 White County
History. Can anyone shed any light on this?
This may be a good time to mention that the old 1883 White County
History books are being re-printed again. I don't know if we have a
firm price, but it will probably be in the vicinity of $90. This sounds
like a lot for a book, but one gets a LOT of book, with about 15,000
names and invaluable history. If you want your name on the list, write
to White County Historical Society, PO Box 121, Carmi, IL 62821 and
reserve one.
The Genealogy Library is open from 11 to 5 Wednesdays.

Return to the Notes from the White County Historical Society Page

Return to the White County ILGenWeb Page

The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

Copyright © 2000 by Cindy Birk Conley, all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.