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 ©2001 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Weigants will gather soon at Windsor Oaks

Bob Weigant called from Alabama last week to inform me there was a Weigant reunion coming up.

He says Weigants from all over will be congregating at Windsor Oaks in Grayville June 1, 2 and 3. There will be a program with Bob Weigant giving Weigant genealogy and some other family members from New Jersey presenting material. Anyone with Weigant ties or interested in this family line is invited. Call Bob at 1-205-648-4607 for more details.

With Memorial Day coming up, we might think about some statistics which I copied from a magazine recently. Approximately 700,000 Americans died in the Civil War. In the Spanish-American War in 1899, 3,286 Americans died. Figures for later wars: 136,516 during WWI, 405,399 in WWII, 54,256 in Korea, 58,196 in Vietnam and 150 in the Persian Gulf. That's a total of 657,833 Americans in a 150-year span. Sept. 17, 1862, was the bloodiest day in U.S. military history. On that date, Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate armies were stopped at Antietam in Maryland by Gen. George McClellan and his numerically-superior Union forces. By nightfall, 26,000 men were dead, wounded or missing.

Some information taken from Kentucky Bluegrass Roots notes that because of two of the main routes to the west, Cumberland Gap and the Ohio River, Kentucky became a "pass through" state. The early pioneers came primarily from Virginia, Maryland or North Carolina, because Southerners were more likely to move to Kentucky than north to Ohio or Indiana, since they tended to be pro-slavery. Many pioneers then stayed in Kentucky for a few years or sometimes a generation before moving on.

By 1880, 454,000 Kentuckians had moved west. It was not necessarily a matter of wanderlust that led to their leaving. Farming back then was actually a process of wearing out the land. It took seven years for this to happen to the average farm because there were no commercial fertilizers, and crop rotation had not been discovered. Just about the time most of the good land in Kentucky was wearing out, the fertile prairie land of Illinois with its excellent hunting, a homesteader's dream, became available.

Also, west central Illinois had been designated "The Military Tract." Every veteran of the War of 1812 was entitled to claim a 160-acre parcel of bounty land set aside in this region. Many did move to Illinois, while others sold their land for $1.25 an acre.

For the readers who will be attending an alumni meeting this Saturday evening, here's a little jingle:

This is class reunion time. I chuckle from the start,
When all of us get together--ust to see who is falling apart.

The Genealogy Library is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through
Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box
121, Carmi, IL 62821.

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

Copyright © 2001 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.