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 Barry Cleveland, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Great read those old gravestones!

DID YOU KNOW? The first stake driven into the ground on April 25, 1929,
was the start of the Wabash Bridge at New Harmony. It was driven by E.
H. Goode, the engineer from the U.S. War Department, and the actual work
of the bridge was started. Nineteen-year-old George Clayton shoveled the
first dirt in the excavation work. From THE POSEY Fall 2001


This fall has given us great weather for our 40-plus volunteers to go
out into the cemeteries to read the tombstones. To me, copying from
these tombstones has been endlessly fascinating.

As I've read the names and ages of people unknown to me, I would often
conjure up thoughts of how they once lived and loved; laughed and
danced; worried about paying bills and putting food on the table;
grieved over family problems and finally suffered the separation from
family and friends and the pain of dying. Life here on the Illinois
prairie must have been incredibly hard for many of them; yet, they
enjoyed life, just as you and I today.

In many family plots there are five or six small stones, perhaps naming
children from 2 months to 6 years--mute testimony to the brevity of life
before the advent of antibiotics and modern medicine. Hardly a family
escaped losing at least one or two children.

The monument-reading project is coming along. In most townships, we
have questions about some of the small, family plots. We don't know
where they are, or if they still exist. If you live near a little,
abandoned cemetery, we'd appreciate your reporting to us about it. Also,
we have a few large cemeteries which no one has volunteered for.

Would anyone like to make up a group to do the Carmi Garden of
Memories? Or Enfield Cemetery? Or St. Patrick's? I think Verla Savage
might be persuaded to work on Enfield if she could get four or five good
helpers; give her a call. There will probably be periods of decent
weather, even if winter is arriving.

We expect to print another township book this spring.

YOU'RE A GENEALOGIST WHEN...You have more photographs of tombstones
than you do of your children...You read the New Testament and find
yourself comparing the pedigrees of Luke and Matthew...You dream not of
traveling to exotic places, but to far-off archives and
libraries...Bluegrass Roots, Fall 2001.

The Genealogy Library is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to
2 p.m.

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.