By Charlene Shields
Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."
Copyright ©2002 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."
St. Patrick's Day started me to thinking again about my ancestry. How
much Irish blood do I have? At this point, I know of only one line of
ancestors who were Irish. Michael and Amelia O'Barr had a son born in
Ireland in 1754. He was named Daniel.
I don't yet know if the senior O'Barrs came to the new country.
However, Daniel's trail showed he was in North Carolina and eventually
settled in Barren County, Ky. By that time he had dropped the "0" from
his name. So all of his offspring use the surname "Barr." Daniel died in
1806. His daughter, Nancy Barr, married and moved to Indiana, and that
couple's offspring moved to Illinois, thence to Missouri and Arkansas.
Thus they followed a common migration pattern of that period.
In our archives is a letter written by Byrd L. Patrick, but I don't
know to whom it was written. It appears to be his reminisces of early
"As I remember Carmi about 1892, starting at the city park was a hitch
yard for farmers, horses, buggies & wagons. Next place, where Winner
Bldg. is, was a frame building which was E.L. Pritchet Furniture &
Undertaker. Next was Ratcliff Bldg. and law office of the late F. E.
Pomeroy, and F.M Parish, then State's Attorney.
"Next bldg. was E. L. Stuart Drug Store and Postoffice. Next was F.
Winner Hardware-sold farm implements. Next was afterwards postoffice and
grocery store and the bank bldg, owned by Hay & Webb, upstairs office of
P. A. Pearce, Dr. V. H. Parker, Dr. Dixon, druggist.
"Across on the corner now known as Hart's was William Randolph's
Furniture & Undertaking. Upstairs was Carmi Times office, downstairs in
later years was John K. Ball's Drug Store. Next to this was a vacant lot
where they held political rallies and kids played marbles until Judge
O. Burrell built the T??? and Holderby Bldg.
"Next was frame building used by Z. T. Boyd and later by Holderby Bros.
Next was owned by Mrs. Schrower (?) Millinery Store. Next a vacant lot,
then the T. W. Brown Meat Market, and on corner was residence of J. F.
Williams' deceased father. Across the street the old wooden frame M.E.
Church. Across where the National Bank was a frame building dry goods
store owned by J. H. Boyer, destroyed by fire.
"Across the street a grocery store, then was first home of J. M. Crebs
who started Farmers & Merchants Bank and later J. M. Crebs & Co.,
Bankers. Next was, as I remember, butcher shop, then furniture store.
Next was a hardware store as is now known as Land's and next was
furniture store owned by E. A. Land. Where the Innovation is was a
grocery owned by Whitmer & Machenheimer.
"Then Mrs. Mollie Dole Dress Shop & Millinery, then Parker &
Grocery, Z. T. Boyer Saddle & Harness. Next, where now is Kisner Drug,
was bakery owned by George Guess & Sons. Next Theo Parker Grocery & B.
L. Patrick Store. On corner was a saloon, next a barber shop and Jasper
Dale Drugs. Next was D. K. Rickenbach Jewelry Store.
"There was a baking shop in Schoemaker Bldg. Where the auto place is
a clothing store owned by a Mr. Goodman, next was Dietz Confectionery
where White Co. Bank is, Blasker Bldg., & L. Haas Store was an old frame
building. After this was Schoeman Clothing then vacant lot, then old
fire proof building with the law office of J. I. McClintock, R. L.
Organ. Upstairs was county superintendent's office."
It would take a better historian than I (or maybe an older one ????)
determine the exact location of all the above-mentioned places.
However, I do remember attending two county spelling bees in the county
superintendent of schools' office upstairs in that old Fireproof
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