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 Barry Cleveland, editor, "The Carmi Times."
(Last week was the beginning of a history of Indian Creek Township,
written by Judge Ulys Pyle, probably in the early 1960s. He continues
with his story.)
"The present north boundary of White County was fixed by the legislature
in 1829. The south boundary of the county was at one time described in
law as 'Beginning in the Eye of the Millstone in Moon's Mill in New
"Township organization was not adopted in White County until 1871, and
early in 1872 the first township officers were elected.... The first
township officers elected in Indian Creek Township were: Supervisor,
A.L. Trousdale; clerk, R.N. Johnson; assessor, William Welch; collector,
R.T. Black; commissioner of highways, P.W. Vineyard; justices of the
peace, William Oliver and W.O. Welch; and constables, James H. Langford
and B.D. Pearce.
"It will be observed that a goodly percentage of the present population
of Indian Creek Township bear the same family names as its first
officers. Many others could be added to the list of early citizens of
"Elisha Barnett was one. His family lived neighbor to our family before
my time, and I have heard my mother speak of them many times. And there
were the Bruces, the Bryants, DeLaps, Edwards, Eubanks, Garrisons. Dr.
Edwin B. Emerson, came to White County from Tennessee with his father,
Reuben Emerson, in 1815. Reuben Emerson was county judge of White County
and served a term in the legislature. Dr. R.B. Emerson, Dr. "Bat" as he
was called, practiced medicine at Stokes Station, locating there in
1860--pulled my first tooth. He studied medicine under Dr. Stewart, one
of the early citizens of Carmi. Dr. Emerson spent his life there as a
country doctor, and was an invaluable asset to the community He has
three children, all of whom are living. Mrs. Florence Wiley, living here
in Carmi; Ted, now a retired farmer in Fairfield; and Harry, a dentist
at Breese, Ill. Dr. Emerson had a brother, Clarence A., who we called
'Uncle Steve,' who also lived in the community. Both were veterans of
the Civil War. Uncle Steve had quite a large family, of whom only two
were living. One, Edith, taught school here in Carmi, later marrying a
Mr. Cleveland. The oldest son, Orval, taught school, I think in the
Crossville vicinity, later becoming a civil engineer, employed by the
Santa Fe Railroad Co., where be continued until his retirement. He died
a resident of Kansas. Another brother was William.
"Col. Crebs, also a resident of Indian Creek [and] father of the late
John M. Crebs of Carmi, lived on adjoining farms to the one my
grandfather Stokes purchased, and located on in 1850. The Crebs home
was on the hill, across the railroad to the north about midway between
Brownsville and Stokes Station. The present owner of the Crebs home is a
W.D. Scudamore, who lives in Little Rock, Ark. The Stokes home was in
the family 100 years. I had acquired it and sold it in 1950. My
grandfather, William K. Stokes, located here by mere chance.
"My grandfather, Nicholas Pyle, came to White County from Ohio about
1847. He died in 1858. He was buried in the Walnut Grove Cemetery."
(Next week: The administration of his estate)
Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box
121, Carmi, IL 62821.
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