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."

Descendant thrilled with family memento

Carol Bell is pleased with the response she had via this column. She
had found a memento in her basement about Joe Pearce. This must have
been there for years, and no one knows the origin.

At any rate, she was seeking a descendant of Mr. Pearce to give the item
to. Immediately after the column came out, Sam and Martha Endicott
responded; then, soon, Ray Turner called Mrs. Bell. Also, a gentleman
came into our library with information.

It seems the only known descendant is Mrs. Ellen Pearce Altman of Seal
Beach, Calif. When Mrs. Bell called Mrs. Altman, she learned Mrs. Altman
is a member of the White County Historical Society. Mrs. Altman was
thrilled to learn of the existence of the small carving bearing her
grandfather's name and even more thrilled that Mrs. Bell is going to
mail it to her. Along with this, she will mail the genealogy we were
able to find which traces the Pearce family back to the mid-1700s in


Genealogy Librarian Pat Davis has been revamping our files--a task which
no one has seemed to have time for. I helped her a while Saturday, and
there were so many interesting articles in the archives I often found
myself stopping to read some of them.

For a series of programs at the historical society, probably during the
early 1960s, people from the various townships prepared and gave the
history of the township in which he or she was interested. Judge Ulys
Pyle was responsible for bringing in information on Indian Creek
Township. Judge Pyle was an attorney for 64 years; however, he never got
over his love for farm life. For the next few weeks, this column will
feature Judge Pyle's history of Indian Creek.

"In reviewing the history of Indian Creek Township, it is necessary to
review some phases of the history of White County, of which this
township is a substantial part--54 square miles, or one and a half
congressional townships.

"Since I am no spring chicken myself, and my mother came to White County
in 1850, at the age of seven, and lived to be almost a hundred, I have
learned a good deal of White County and Indian Creek Township history
by word of mouth. Most of my other information, I gleaned from that
White County History which was published in 1883.

"White County was carved out of Gallatin County in 1815, by legislative
enactment. In 1816 the county was divided into three townships--Prairie,
Fox River and West.

"At a meeting of the County Board--then called the County Court--in 1820
the township boundaries were changed, and the boundaries of one township
was described as 'all that part of the County North of Cabbage Patch and
Skillet Fork River compose one township named Wake and Tealy Township.'
At this time Hamilton County was a part of White County. In 1819, White
County was consolidated into two townships--East and West Townships,
and the dividing line between the two was the range line between Range 7
and Range 8. This line is the present boundary line between White and
Hamilton counties.

"So evidently that area embraced in West Township constituted what
became Hamilton County, and East Township constituted White County. And
in 1821, Hamilton County was cut off from White County.

"At the County Court meeting in 1819, establishing the two townships,
they appointed Samuel Hogg, Ambrose Maulding and David Proctor as
judges to hold the first election in West Township; and William Hosic,
Joseph Pumroy, and John Hanna as judges to hold the first election in
East Township. It will be noted the three appointed for East Township
are familiar names in White County today, and doubtless are the
ancestors of those of today who bear the same names."

(Next week begins the history of Indian Creek proper.)


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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.