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."

Treasures of the past

SOLD OUT: Last week this column mentioned a new book out on Burnt
Prairie. In one short week the authors sold out and we sold out, leaving
several people wanting the book. Not to worry. There will be another
printing; however, this batch of books won't be ready until some time in

Some years ago some of us got together and did a history of Phillips
Township and Crossville. For a while it was a surprise best seller, and
we had to have several printings to supply the demand.

People are always interested in the history of their home area. So this
might suggest that some of you who enjoy writing and are interested in
history write down your impressions of the area in which you grew up.
People visiting the Genealogy Library will be interested, and many who
grew up in the area will be interested, too. As an author, you probably
won't make any money on the project, but you'd be performing a nice

....We were back in Illinois, not far from my birthplace (Maunie), on a
hill farm just east of a small village called Calvin. Here, life began
to get interesting to a small barefoot boy with a big imagination and a
little adventuresome bent. We were very poor, and in the summer my
mother would pick blackberries--both for our own larder and to sell to
neighbors at ten cents a gallon. She also planted white beans with corn,
which were pulled when ripe, and put in a large wooden box. When
completely dry, they were tromped by foot, and the hulls were shook,
sifted and sorted by hand. The cleaned beans were kept to be eaten, and
any left over were sold.

I can still picture a giant steam-powered threshing rig puffing slowly
up the road, coming to thresh wheat and oats at our farm--how thrilled
and fascinated I was! It needed a large crew of men to keep it operating
and almost as many women in the kitchen to feed them. That was when I
made up my mind that some day I would have my own threshing rig."
The above are a couple of paragraphs quoted from So Grows The Tree, a
memoir of 86-year-old Cyril Barton. This book chronicles his adventures
in farming, mining, threshing, hunting, treasure hunting and even boat
racing--competing with Carmi's Byron Pool in the nonstop Mississippi
Marathon Race.

This fascinating "read" may be obtained at the Genealogy Library, Mary's
Hallmark and Rural King.

It's fast becoming too hot to work for any length of time at reading
tombstones. Here's hoping some of you volunteers are getting out early
in the morning or rather late in the evening. Let's keep at it!

Our library has several books on history and life in early times, as
well as family history books. Come visit. Open 10 to 2 Tuesdays through

Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box
121, Carmi, IL 62821.

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 © 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.