Canton became an incorporated town for the first time on the 10th day of February, 1837, as appears by the following record, still preserved among the archives of the city.
At a meeting of the citizens of Canton, held at the Presbyterian Church in said town, pursuant to legal notice, for the purpose of incorporating said Town of Canton, on the 10th day of February, 1837, David Markley, Esq., was chosen President, and Joel, Wright, Esq., clerk of said meeting, who were sworn into office according to the statute. . . . . .
[Here follows the oath of each of the Esquires, with their signatures.] After which the meeting was called to order by the President, and the following-named persons, citizens of (Canton) said town, voted as follows, to wit:
|Thompson Maple||1||James C. Willis||1|
|Samuel W. Patterson||1||James P. Stewart||1|
|Alexander Hudson||1||Lathrop W. Curtis||1|
|Phillip Grim||1||James McPheters||1|
|Thomas Boswell||1||Thomas J. Little||1|
|George W. Dewey||1||Isaac P. Taylor||1|
|Elliott Chase||1||Lewis Biderman||1|
|Milton Dewey||1||William B. Cogswell||1|
|Joseph W. Kelso||1||Joel Coykendall||1|
|Horace F. Mitchell||1||Harrison P. Fellows||1|
|Isaac P. Fellows||1||Robert McPheters||1|
|Alexander McPheters||1||James Hood||1|
|Joseph Guyer||1||Isaiah Stillman||1|
|Tapley Willson||1||Geo. J. McConnell||1|
|William Blair||1||James Ellis||1|
|Lyman Walker||John Smith||1|
|John McPheters||Phillip Grim||1|
|Eliud Israel||1||Samuel G. Wright||1|
|Robert Sebree||1||Samuel F. Bolingar||1|
|James Sebree||1||Printis Pond||1|
|Robert C. Culton||1||Robert L. Cook||1|
|William Williamson||1||Edwin H. Hood||1|
|John J. Culton||1||Joel Wright||1|
|Total vote for Incorporating: 40|
|Total vote Against Incorporating: 6|
The total number of votes cast upon this proposition being forty-six. On the election for aldermen, which followed immediately, only thirty-two votes were cast. Among those, however, were the following names, not recorded on the question of incorporation: Frederick Mennert, A. J. Barber, Bryant L. Cook, George M. Gould, John Thorp, D. Coykendall, and J. Donaldson.
The candidates for aldermen, or trustees, as they were called, were—David Markley, who received 31 votes; Lathrop W. Curtis, who received 14 votes; Thomas J. Little, 22 votes; Wm. B. Cogswell, 24 votes; Franklin P. Offield, 22 votes; Joel Wright, 29 votes; James W. Willis, 2 votes; Isaiah Stillman, 3 votes; A. J. Barber, 4 votes; James McPheters, 1 vote; Chester Williams, 1 vote; James Sebree, 2 votes; and Isaac P. Taylor, 3 votes. The five highest on this list—David Markley, Joel Wright, Thos. J. Little, Wm. B. Cogswell, and Franklin P. Omeld, were declared duly elected, and were qualified accordingly.
The first meeting of the new board was held on the 27th day of March, 1837, as the records have it, "at Frederic Mennert's Inn." At this meeting David Markley was chosen President of the board, and Thomas J. Little Clerk. George W. Gould was by the board elected Treasurer, and required to give a bond of one thousand dollars for the faithful performance of his duties. John Thorp was appointed both Constable and Collector, "and,"says the ordinance, "shall give bail for both offices for the sum of one thousand dollars." Lathrop W. Curtis was "appointed Supervisor of Highways for the Town of Canton, and to be entitled to the sum of two dollars for every day spent in that capacity after the third." Nathan Jones, Lathrop W. Curtis and Isaiah Stillman were appointed Assessors, and their pay fixed at one dollar and fifty cents per day for every day employed.
Under the by-laws adopted by this board, revenue was to be raised by a tax on all real estate within the boundaries of the town, which, it was provided, should be assessed at its true value, and upon the assessment "an ad-valorem tax of not exceeding fifty cents on every one hundred dollars should be levied by the President and Trustees annually."
Section 36 of the ordinances provided that "any person who shall on the Sabbath day play at bandy, cricket, cat, town-ball, corner-ball, over-ball, fives, or any other game of ball, within the limits of the corporation, or shall engage in pitching dollars or quarters, or any other game, in any public place, shall", on conviction thereof, be fined the sum of one dollar.
The boundaries of the incorporation were defined as follows: "Commencing eighty rods west from the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of section 27, township No 7 north, of range 4 east of the fourth principal meridian; thence south three hundred and twenty rods; thence east three hundred and twenty rods; thence north three hundred and twenty rods; thence west three hundred and twenty rods, to the place of beginning; containing and comprehending the east half and the east half of, the west half of section twenty-seven, and the west half of the west half of section twenty-six.
At the second annual election under this incorporation, the names of but twenty-one voters are recorded, among whom are E. Boice, Abel A. Stevens, John W. Shinn, E. Rockhold, James H. Stipp, I. P. Strong, and E. H. Fitch, who did not vote at the first election. The candidates for trustees, with their votes, were as follows: David Markley, 17 votes; Thomas J. Little, 18 votes; Lathrop W. Curtis, 20 votes; George W. Gould, 12 votes; J. R Walters, 13; Joel Wright, 5; Joel Coykendall, 10; Lewis Bidamon, 3; Isaac P. Taylor, 1; Franklin P. Offield, 2; and John Smith, 1;—making David Markley, Thos. J. Little, L. W. Curtis, George W. Gould and J. E. Walters the board. David Markley was reelected President of the board, and Lathrop W. Curtis Clerk. John Whitten was appointed Constable and Collector, Joel Coykendall Supervisor, and required to give a bond in the sum of five hundred dollars for the faithful performance of his duties. Thompson Maple was appointed Treasurer, and Wm. B. Cogswell, Franklin P. Offield and Joel Wright Assessors. It was also ordered that a committee be appointed to select certain sections from the by-laws which were to be printed in the Canton Herald.
At the council meeting held August 13th, an ordinance was adopted prohibiting the running at large of swine within the corporate limits, "except so much as lies north of the north line of Commercial street in Little's Addition to the Town of Canton." At the next meeting of the board James Sebree presented a remonstrance against this ordinance; but, as the petitioners for the law were in the majority by thirteen names, it was sustained. At this meeting Messrs. Stone & Offield were allowed their bill of $12.00 for printing the hog laws.
At the meeting of September 10th, 1838, B. G. Roe, for building a bridge on Wood street between Illinois and Cole streets, presented his bill for $11.75; but it was not allowed, "it not having been built according to contract."
At the election held February 20th, 1839; there were 38 votes polled. The poll-list contained the names of Hiram Snow, Milton C. Dewey, Thompson Maple, Joel Coykendall, John Smith, Ben. G. Roe, Frederick Bidamon, John Thorp, E. D. Davidson, Elliott Chase, Albert Squires, B. Loomis, Wells Tyler, Wm. B. Cogswell, James R. Parker, John G. Piper, James McPheeters, Otis Remington, Peter L. Snyder, John Ballard, L. S. Williamson, James Perry, James Ellis, Phillip Grim, Daniel H. Dewey, George McConnell, J. L. Davis, P. Stone, A. Piper, J. W. Whiting, David M. Smith, Tapley Willson, Nathan B. Scott, Cyrus Coykendall, Irwin H. Whitaker, David Markley, George W. Gould, John W. Shinn. The candidates for trustees were Timothy Norris, who received 16 votes; George W. Gould, 19 votes; John W. Shinn 26; Augustas L. Davidson, 30 votes; Milton C. Dewey, 16; Thos. J. Little, 10 votes; David Markley, no votes —although his name appears on the poll-book; Alexander McPheeters, 18; George McConnell, 12; John Thorp, 3 votes; P. Stone, 14 votes; John Smith, 17 votes; L. H. Sovereign, 9 votes. Messrs. Augustus L. Davidson, John W. Shinn, George W. Gould, Alexander McPheeters and John Smith were, by this vote, elected and duly qualified. This board elected as its President A. L. Davidson, John W. Shinn Secretary, James McPheeters and John G. Piper Assessors. John Thorp was reappointed Constable and Collector.
At the second meeting of this board, on the 5th day of April, 1839, "a petition was presented, signed by 93 legal voters of the Town of Canton, praying that the trustees of said town shall not grant license to any grocery in the said Town of Canton." This petition was referred to a special committee, consisting of Messrs. Davidson, Gould, and Smith, who at the next meeting of the board were to report. At the next meeting the subject was called up and postponed until the next meeting; but it does not appear to have been acted upon at all, and, as there were but two more meetings of the board ever held, it may be presumed that this question was one of the causes of the premature death of Canton's first incorporation. One of the last acts of this board was the passage of the following resolution: "Moved that the President of the board be requested to examine the records at Lewistown, and ascertain if there is a street or alley on the north side of the old Town of Canton, and if the town is placed in the situation which the original proprietor intended it should be." The last act of the trustees was the appointment of James R. Parker as Constable for the corporation. This was done at a special meeting of the board, held June 1st, 1839; and here its record closes.
SECOND INCORPORATION OF CANTON.
The second incorporation of Canton was made at a meeting called in pursuance of law at the Congregational Church, on the 21st day of February, 1848. At this meeting Henry Walker was Chairman and H. F. Ingersoll Clerk. At this meeting an election was held for the purpose of deciding whether the citizens of the village were desirous of being incorporated, whereat one hundred and twenty votes were cast in favor of incorporation, and forty-two votes against the proposition.
On the 1st of March, 1848, an election for town officers under this incorporation was held, at which William Parlin, William Kellogg, George S. McConnell, James Wills, and John G. Piper, were elected trustees.
The first meeting of the Town Board of Trustees was held on the second of March, and the members of the board were sworn into office by James R. Parker, Justice of the Peace. The board then proceeded to the election of its officers, electing George S. Me Connell President, and Henry F. Ingersoll Clerk.
The bounds of the incorporation were fixed as follows: Commencing at the centre of the northwest quarter of section twenty-seven, township seven north, range four east of the fourth principal meridian; thence east, through the centre of the northeast quarter of section twenty-seven, to the centre of the northwest of section twenty-six; thence south, through the centre of the southwest (quarter) of section twenty-six, to the centre of the northwest quarter of section thirty-five; thence west, through the centre of the northeast quarter of section thirty-four, to the centre of the northwest, quarter of section thirty-four; thence north, through the centre of the southwest quarter of section twenty-seven, to the place of beginning.
The clerk was instructed to transmit to the county commissioners' court the ordinance establishing the boundaries of the town, and the work of organization was thus made complete.
Wm. Kellogg was, by the board, appointed to draft a code of laws for the government of the town, at the second meeting, held March 3d, of the board. Mr. Kellogg made his report, in the shape of a full code of laws, on the 27th of March, which was adopted.
On the 14th of April, Henry F. Ingersoll was elected Treasurer, James R. Parker Assessor, and Harrison P. Fellows Constable and Collector; and Ephraim Boice, on the payment of $3.00 into the treasury, was granted a license to exhibit a buffalo. Whether or not Ephraim got back his money in profits from his exhibition is not recorded. Mr. Parker failed to qualify, from some cause, and at the next meeting Peter L. Snyder was apointed in his place.
On the 8th of June the board granted a license to James C. Wilson and Edward Slason to keep a grocery in Canton, charging them a license-fee of $25.00, and exacting a bond in $500 that they should keep an orderly house.
In July Mr. Ingersoll resigned as Clerk, and Wm. H. Gillaspie was appointed in his stead.
The laws of this incoporation were, by order, published, and Charles J. Sellon, on the 9th of October, 1848, was allowed $10 for the same. The board at the same session voted themselves $3 for their services.
On the 13th of November, 1848, Albert Emory was granted license to keep a grocery in Canton.
The legislature having granted a charter to the town, an election was held on the 27th of February, 1849, at the store of Job Shinn, on the question of the acceptance or rejection of this charter, and at that election one hundred and fifty-six votes were cast for the adoption of the charter, and nine votes against adoption. On the 29th of February, 1847, the board divided the town into four wards for voting purposes. Under the charter the President of the board and four Aldermen were to be elected by the people: before the President was elected by the board.
The first election held under the charter, on the 28th of April, 1849, resulted in the election of Davis Ferguson as President; Wm. Thompson, Alderman from the First Ward; N. H Turner, Alderman from the Second Ward; Wm. Parlin, Alderman from the Third Ward; and J. B. Hinman, for the Fourth Ward. Christian Hams was elected Supervisor, Harrison P. Fellows Constable. The new board elected Lewis Corbin Clerk.
June 5th, 1849, the board voted not to grant a license to J. T. Mallory to keep a grocery. Mr. Mallory renewed his application at the next meeting, and was again refused.
On the 18th of July, 1849, the council, in view of the prevalence of Asiatic cholera in the town, ordered Wm. Parlin and Wm. Thompson to purchase and distribute one hundred barrels of lime for the purpose of disinfection.
October 6th, 1849, the council granted Henry Eakins a license to keep a ten-pin alley.
At the election held April 2d, 1850, Lewis Corbin, the former City Clerk, was elected President of the Board, Christian Hains Supervisor, Thos. L. Ewing Constable. The Aldermen were Wm. Thompson, First Ward; James H. Murphy, Second Ward; Hugh Martin, Third Ward; and Daniel H. Dewey, in the Fourth Ward. The President of the Board was this year allowed a salary of twenty-five dollars. Daniel H. Dewey was appointed Clerk pro tempore of this board at its first meeting, and Job Shinn was appointed Assessor. The permanent Clerk was afterward Geo. S. Hill.
Mr. Eakins applied to this board, November 22d, 1850, for a renewal of his ball-alley license, but the application was rejected. Mr. T. J. Mallory also asked for license, but was refused.
The places for holding elections fixed by this board were—in the First Ward, at D. M. Smith's tailor shop; Second Ward, at Alvah Piper's carpenter shop; Third Ward, at Lewis Corbin's book-store; Fourth Ward, at D. H. Dewey's shop. Thos. Ewing, ex officio collector, returned that he had collected $295.20 and there was due but not collected $3.35.
This council took the first energetic steps toward the building of sidewalks, by ordering the building of twelve-foot sidewalks around the Public Square. On streets running back from the Square owners were required to build sidewalks eight feet wide, of brick, plank, gravel, cinders, or other durable material, to a distance of about one block from the Public Square.
This board also appointed four police-officers—one for each ward,— and defined their duties. These officers were only called upon to act in riots, cases of emergency, or under special orders from the Mayor, but were authorized to make arrests of any persons violating the town ordinances.
At the spring election, April, 1851, John W. Shinn was elected President; Samuel M. Rowe, Constable; John Thorp, Supervisor; Joseph C. Williams, Alderman First Ward; Thos. J. Little, Alderman Second Ward; Lewis Corbin, Alderman Third Ward; Peter L. Snyder, Alderman Fourth Ward. The police-officers appointed were—First Ward, Henry Doty; Second Ward, Atharin Keeling; Third Ward, Orville Jones; Fourth Ward, Alonzo Barnes. Mr. Snyder resigning as Alderman in the Fourth Ward, a special election was held May 12th, and Philip Grim, jr., elected over Dr. James Melrose as Alderman.
In 1850 E. R. Peck had petitioned for the opening of Adelphi street, but his prayer was refused. Now came Amos C. Babcock et al., praying that Adelphi street might be opened and made a two-rod street. To this petition Mr. E. R. Peck remonstrated, and with success. Mr. Babcock also asked for a resurvey of the town, and the board by resolution granted the prayer.
This council appointed a new police force June 11th consisting of Franklin Moyer, Jacob M. Hill, Wm. H. Haskell, T. N. Hamilton, Peter L. Snyder, and Wm. Sexton.
Philip Grim, jr., Alderman from the Fourth Ward, died in office on the 22d of August, and a special election was held to fill the vacancy in September. At this election the opposing candidates were Mr. D. H. Dewey on one side, and Mr. Andrew Wills. Mr. Wills only lacked two votes of being elected, although Mr. Dewey beat him three to one, being elected by receiving three-fourths of all the votes cast.
October 29th, 1851, a petition was received signed by Jno. W. Ingersoll as committee for the Directors of "Canton & Liverpool Plank-Road Company," asking right of way to the Public Square for their road, which was granted.
Mr. Jno. W. Ingersoll had been by a previous council appointed City Engineer to establish the grade for the sidewalks, and at this meeting resigned.
Mr. Hill resigning his position as Clerk of the Board, A. R. Haynes was appointed to the vacancy, on the 2d of December.
At the spring election, held April 5th, 1852, John W. Shinn was again elected President; Christian Hains, Supervisor; Darius Roberts, Constable. The Aldermen were—from the First Ward, Parley C. Stearns; Second Ward, James Thompson; Third Ward, Lewis Corbin; Fourth Ward, James Wills.
The total amount of tax accounted for the year 1851 was $551.64, with a deficit between collections and assessment of $13.26.
In the spring of. 1853, Henry Walker was elected President of the Board; Henry T. Meyers, Alderman for the First Ward; Hugh Martin, Alderman for the Third Ward; James Wills, Alderman for the Fourth Ward; and James R. McQuaid and James H. Murphy received an equal number of votes for Alderman in the Second Ward. This election was decided by lot in favor of Mr. Murphy. Christian Hains was reelected Supervisor, and Darius Roberts Constable and Collector. The board appointed A. R. Haynes Clerk, and John W. Shinn Assessor. This board appropriated $40 per annum as salary of its President, and $20 each per annum to the board. On the 22 d of April, 1854, the council established and organized a Board of Health, in view of and to prevent the spread of small-pox, which had appeared in the town. The Board of Health were Jno. G. Piper, Dr. Henry Ingersoll, and John Thorp. They reported but one case, and that a mild case of varioloid.
THE CITY OF CANTON.
In the winter of 1853-'4 Canton was, by legislative enactment, chartered as a city, and on the 4th of April, 1854, the first election under the city charter for officers was held. At this election Lewis Corbin was elected Mayor; D. H. Dewey, Supervisor; B. F. Moyer, Marshal; Wm. Thompson, Alderman for the First Ward; Atharin Keeling, Alderman Second Ward; J. M. Thompson, Alderman Third Ward; James Wills, Alderman Fourth Ward. The Collector for the previous year (1853-'4) reported the tax-list for his term at a total of $737.32.
An election for Police Magistrate under the incorporate laws was held on the 7th of November, 1854, at which Adam B. Haynes was elected the first Police Magistrate of the City of Canton. This created a vacancy in the office of City Clerk, and James H. Murphy was elected by the board to fill it. The council, on the 6th of January, 1855, enacted a very stringent prohibitory liquor-law, and vigorously prosecuted all violations of it, but not with entire success. It was during the administration of this board that the ladies destroyed the whisky of Canton.
The city's income for 1854, from all sources, was $875.32, and expenditures the same sum.
On the 6th of July, 1855, the council appointed Wm. M. Jackson, Joseph H. Pierce, Wm. M. Waugh, Henry N. Ross and Thompson Maple Police Officers.
The council on the 3d of July, 1855, appointed Joseph Smith, the son of the celebrated Mormon Prophet Joe Smith, as City Clerk, which position he held until December 4th, 1855, when he was succeeded by Wm. H. Haskell.
April 7th, 1856, at the regular spring election, Thompson Maple was elected Mayor; A. Keeling, Alderman for the First Ward; P. Plattenberg, Alderman Second Ward; J. H. Bass, Alderman Third Ward; and Wm. Parlin, Alderman Fourth Ward. Jno. W. Wilson was elected City Marshal, and C. Haynes Supervisor.
The amount of tax received for 1855, on real and personal property, was $862.39; for plank walks, $2,087.97. The total revenues of the city, from all sources, were $3,050.18; total expenditures, $3,048.39; and the total debt of the city was $1,503.77, against which there was due the city, for fines and forfeitures, $107.00.
This board appointed W. H. Haskell City Clerk, A. Wills Assessor, and T. N. Hamilton Treasurer. Mr. Haskell, however, soon resigned, and Lewis Corbin was appointed his successor.
This board ordered an election to be held on the 2d of October to decide for or against the subscription by the city of $50,000 stock in the Jacksonville & Savanna Railroad. The rote resulted in carrying the proposition by a majority of 299 votes.
April 6th, 1857, Townsend Atwater was elected Mayor; Jonathan Nies, Alderman for the First Ward; Jno. Bailey, do. Second Ward; Daniel Groenendyke, do. Third Ward; Wm. Parlin, do. Fourth Ward. Jno. W. Wilson was elected Marshal, and Christian Haines City Supervisor.
This board appointed G. Barrere Clerk, Christian Bidamon Collector, Andrew Wills Assessor, Thos. W. Hamilton Treasurer, C. Haynes Surveyor and Engineer, D. J. Wagoner and P. M. Binnix Police Constables for the First Ward, Joseph Pierce and Stephen Thorp do. Second Ward, Orville Jones and David Naylor do. Third Ward, Jacob Parker and Jno. Foutch do. Fourth Ward. Mr. Nies removing from the First Ward soon after his election, Sands N. Breed was elected Alderman in his place.
This board authorized its Clerk to grant license for billiard-tables, and granted license for the sale of liquor.
On the 5th day of January, 1857, Jno. W. Shinn was elected Police Magistrate.
The total amount of revenue to the city for 1855, including licenses, was $2,726.95; expenditure, $2,700.02; balance in treasury, $26.93. The debt of the city was stated at $1,036.79.
The election in April, 1858, resulted in the choice of Sands N. Breed, Mayor; Jno. Thorp, City Marshal; C. Haynes, Supervisor; Aldermen—First Ward, D. J. Wagoner; Second do., A. C. Babcock; Third do., D. Groenendyke; Fourth do., Jno. G. Graham. This was also a license board. Their receipts and expenditures do not appear on the journal.
The April election in 1859 resulted in the choice of Sands N. Breed, Mayor; Wm. Vandevender, Police Magistrate; Jos. H. Pierce, City Marshal; R P. Craig, Supervisor; Aldermen— First Ward, I. S. Piper; Second Ward, P. Plattenberg; Third Ward, E. P. Buell; Fourth Ward, James Melrose. A. Wills was appointed Assessor, Jos. Pierce Collector, Wm. Vandevender Clerk, and R. P. Craig City Engineer. A special night police was also appointed, consisting of Joseph Pierce, Jacob W. Parker, Jno. B. Allen, and Isaac B. English: all declined but Mr. Allen, and Wm. Waugh and S. P. Miller were appointed in their stead.
A statement of the financial condition of the city for the fiscal year ending May 4th, 1859, shows the whole amount of revenue from all sources to have been $3,452.45; expenditures, $3,233.58; balance in treasury, 8218.87; debt of city, $1,500. This board raised the fees for license for selling liquor to $200.
At the spring election, 1860, the officers elected were—Mayor, Chas. T. Heald; Marshal, Jos. H. Pierce; Supervisor, Wm. King; Aldermen—First Ward, I. S. Piper; Second Ward, Nathaniel S. Wright; Third Ward, Townsend Atwater; Fourth Ward, Jno. Wolf. Wm. Vandevender was reappointed Clerk, Andrew Wills Assessor, J. H. Pierce Collector, and Jno. W. Shinn Treasurer.
This board refused to grant license for the sale of liquor. Mr. Shinn neglecting to file his bond as Treasurer, C. C. Dewey was appointed in his stead. The rate of taxation was fixed at 35 cents on the $100 valuation that year. The financial statement for the fiscal year ending May 4th, I860, the rate of taxation having been for that year 40 cents on the $100 valuation, showed revenue from all sources, $2,474.69; expenditures, $2,429.54; leaving a balance in the treasury of $45.85.
The election held April 1st, 1861, resulted in the election of Jacob H. Bass, Mayor; Robey Whitely, Supervisor; Aldermen —First Ward, Darius Roberts; Second Ward, J. R. McQuaid; Third Ward, T. Atwater; Fourth Ward, John Smith. They organized, and appointed Wm. Vandevender Clerk, C. C. Dewey Treasurer, Andrew Wills Assessor, and Jno. W. Wilson Collector.
The financial statement for the fiscal year ending May 7th, 1861, showed a gross revenue to the city of $2,299.74; there was in the hands of the Treasurer $227.07, which with the sum expended by the city made a total of $2,308.31. The debt of the city was stated at $1,565.38. The city expenses for the year had been $1,243.90, exclusive of sidewalks, commissions, and delinquent taxes.
On the 23d of July, 1861, this council passed "an ordinance for suppressing dram-shops," but really a very loose license law, under which almost any person could obtain license.
November 11th 1861, the council granted right of way to the Jacksonville & Savanna Railroad through the incorporate limits.
At the regular election April 7th, 1862, Wm. McDowell was elected Mayor; Jno. W. Wilson, City Marshal; Lewis Walling, City Supervisor. The Aldermen were — First Ward, H. L. Nicolet; Second Ward, G. W Fast; Third Ward, T. Stroud; Fourth Ward, John Smith. This council appointed G. Barrere City Attorney, Chauncy Black City Engineer, "Tracy Stroud Treasurer at his request, he preferring to discharge that duty free of charge, to save expense" (says the record), Jno. Wilson Collector, and Wm. Vandevender Clerk.
Mr. Nicolet resigning in the First Ward as Alderman, a special election was held in September, and John Tanner elected to fill the vacancy. At the same time an election was held to fill a vacancy in the office of Police Magistrate, and Mr. S. A. Gee elected. Mr. Vandevender also resigned his position of City Clerk, and Jno. W. Haynes was appointed his successor.
The regular spring election held April 6th, 1863, resulted in the choice of Ira Johnson for Mayor; S. A. Gee, Police Magistrate; J. W. Wilson, City Marshal; Wm. King, Supervisor; for Aldermen— First Ward, Wm. Thompson; Second Ward, Geo. W. Fast; Third Ward, Tracy Stroud; Fourth Ward, Jno. W. Gosnell. This board appointed Andrew Wills Assessor, Jno. W. Haynes Treasurer, Samuel A. Gee Clerk, J. W. L. Bicker, J. Belt, Wm. Taylor and Chas. Stewart Policemen. The first official action of this board was a resolution to refuse all applications for license to sell liquor; but, in the face of this resolution, at the next meeting of the board they did grant license to several persons. The assessments for this year for city purposes were fixed at fifty cents on the one hundred dollars.
At the election held April 4th, 1864, for city officers, Jno. G. Piper was elected May or; Aldermen — First Ward, Wm. Thompson; Second Ward, James H. Murphy; Third Ward, John Bailey; Fourth Ward, Robert P. Craig. Jackson Caldwell was elected City Marshal, Wm. P. Hannan Supervisor. This board appointed S. A. Gee City Clerk, Wm. Vandevender Treasurer and Assessor, and Jackson Caldwell Collector.
This council resolved at its second meeting to grant no license for the sale of spirituous liquors.
This board appropriated $150 to be distributed among the sick and wounded soldiers and their families, making John Thorp their almoner. The tax levy this year, was fixed at fifty cents on the one hundred dollars, and the property of the C. B. & Q. R. B. within the city limits was assessed at $20,000 and taxed the same as other property. This council adhered to their resolution to grant no license.
The spring election in 1865 resulted in the election of Wm. B. Gleason as Mayor; James G. Head, Marshal; Robert White, Supervisor. The Aldermen were — for the First Ward, E. H. Curtiss; Third Ward, John Bailey; with a tie vote in the Second and Fourth Wards. The tie was decided by lot, and resulted in favor of A. 0. Baughman in the Second Ward and Jno. B. Allen in the Fourth Ward. S. T. Thornton contested Mr. Allen's seat, however, and was declared entitled to the seat.
This board organized by the selection of Wm. Vandevender as City Clerk, David Beeson as Treasurer, G. Barrere City Attorney, J. H. Head Collector, and Andrew Wills Assessor. One of the first acts of this council was to pass an ordinance for the licensing of saloons, and the license fee was fixed at $300 in each case. A petition was presented to this council, at one of its earliest sessions, asking that a small park be made out of the Public Square, and the petition was granted, provided the citizens would contribute the means. On the 29th of June, 1865, the council resolved to give a repast to the 103d Regiment Volunteers, on the occasion of their return home from the service. In July Mr. Head resigned as City Marshal, and Jackson Caldwell was elected to fill the vacancy. The assessment this year was fixed at 50 cents on the $100 valuation.
The election in April, 1866, elevated to the Mayoralty Mr. T. Atwater; Marshal, P. Slaughter; Supervisor, E. Ayres; Aldermen — First Ward, I. S. Piper; Second Ward, A. O. Baughman; Third Ward, A. B. Hulett; with a tie in the Fourth Ward between S. T. Thornton and Joel Dewey. This tie was decided by lot, resulting in the selection of Mr. Thornton. Mr. Vandevender was again appointed Clerk, G. Barrere City Attorney; Joel W. Dewey Assessor, Wm. H. Haskell Engineer and Surveyor, and Philip Slaughter Collector. The rate of assessment was fixed by this council at 40 cents on the $100. Mr. Barrere resigned as City Attorney on the 5th of February, 1867, and P. C. Stearns was selected as his successor. Mr. Stearns was by vote dismissed from the office on the 20th of February. The council passed a very stringent anti-license law on the 6th of March, 1867, one month before the election of a new council.
In the April election, 1867, Chas. T. Heald was elected Mayor; Silas Cheek, Police Magistrate; Enos Ayers, Supervisor; Robert C. Thomas, City Marshal. The Aldermen were—First Ward, Wm. Parlin; Second Ward, J. H. Murphy; Third Ward, T. Atwater; Fourth Ward, A. C. Moore. J. L. Murphy was appointed Clerk, P. C. Stearns City Attorney, Silas Cheek Assessor, David Beeson Treasurer, Wm. H. Haskell Surveyor and Engineer. This year the rate of assessment was fixed at 35 cents on the $100 valuation. This was an anti-license board.
The spring election in 1868 resulted in the choice of Geo. M. Wright as Mayor, James C. Dunlap, Marshal; Enos Ayres, Supervisor; for Aldermen—a tie in the First Ward between A. Keeling and John Tanner; Second Ward, Jos. H. Murphy; Third Ward, Wilson Hulet; Fourth Ward, Chas. T. Heald. The tie in the First Ward was decided in favor of John Tanner by lot. Mr. Keeling contesting, on an investigation of his claim, the council decided in his favor. Thomas Coleman was appointed Clerk, P. C. Stearns City Attorney, W. H. Haskell Surveyor and Engineer, Jas. C. Dunlap Collector, David Beeson Treasurer, and John Gregg Chief of the Fire Department. This council was anti-license. Mr. Gregg, who had been appointed Chief of the Fire Department, declining to serve, Mr. Wm. B. Gleason was appointed in his stead. The assessment rate this year was fixed at 50 cents on the $100 valuation.
The election on the 5th day of April, 1869, resulted in the election as Mayor of J. S. McCreary; Marshal, Wm. Shreffler; Supervisor, Preston Sebree; Aldermen—First Ward, H. L. Wright; Second Ward, W. D. Plattenberg; Third Ward, Wilson Hulet; Fourth Ward, Chauncey Webster. C. T. Coleman was elected Clerk, P. C. Stearns Attorney, N. F. Dorrance Assessor, C. T. Coleman Collector, David Beeson Treasurer, Wm. B. Gleason Chief Engineer of the Fire Department. This was an anti-license council. The assessment was fixed this year at 50 cents on the $100 valuation. This council ordered that the names of the streets be lettered and posted on the street-corners.
At the election held April 4th, 1870, J. S. McCreary was elected Mayor; City Marshal, Wm. Shreffler; Police Magistrate, C. J. Main; Supervisor, Ephraim Main. The Aldermen elected were—for the First Ward, J. L. Murphy; Second Ward, James Donn; Third Ward, S. T. Thornton; Fourth Ward, Daniel Abbott. This council organized by the appointment of D. W. Maple Clerk, Wm. B. Gleason Chief Engineer of the Fire Department, Jno. Bailey Assistant, D. W. Maple Assessor, David Beeson Treasurer, Wm. Shreffler Collector; Policemen—Chas. Smith, John Belt, James Cook, Wm. Donn, H. Clingenpeel, Alfred Troxell, Thomas Dailey, Andrew Ronk; Daniel Abbott, City Attorney. At the council meeting held May 12th, 1870, the council decided not to grant license to sell liquor; but on the 15th of June rescinded their action and decided to grant license. The rate of assessment for this year is fixed at 50 cents on the $100 valuation.
The first pork packed in Canton was packed by Joel Wright, in perhaps 1831 and '2. His "packing-house" was a small smoke-house in the rear of his store and residence, at the corner of Wood and Illinois streets. He continued to pack more or less pork up to perhaps 1846 or '7, shipping to St. Louis, or occasionally sending mess pork to the lead-mines. Up to 1840, however, he did but little.
In 1838 Messrs. Shinn & Vittum packed pork here for the Galena market, selling to parties who forwarded to their customers at the lead mines by sleds overland.
In the winter of 1839-'40 Messrs. Ingersoll & Vittum began pork-packing on an extensive scale, and from this date on Canton began to be an important point for the pork trade.
It would be impossible now to give in their regular order the names of the various large packers that have done business here: prominent among them, however, were Messrs. Thompson Maple, Maple & Piper, Maple, Stipp & Stockdale, James H. Stipp, Stipp & Bass, Bass & Brother, H. F. & J. W. Ingersoll, Joel Wright, R. W. & C. C. Dewey, and others whose names have been forgotten.
Messrs. Ingersoll & Vittum began their pork-purchasing at $3.00 per hundred pounds for heavy hogs, or those netting two hundred weight and over. In later years prices went down, until heavy pork has been purchased, dressed and delivered at the pork-houses, at as low as one dollar and one dollar and twenty-five cents per hundred. At these prices farmers considered pork a profitable crop — more profitable than corn at ten cents per bushel or wheat at twenty-five cents. The pork purchased here until since the completion of our railroads was principally killed by the farmers. Indeed, there was no slaughtering or shipping of live hogs done until 1854, when George Marks and James Stockdale established their slaughter-house.
The pork-houses furnished employment each winter to a large number of men, while teamsters were kept busy in hauling pork to the river. From 1840 until 1854 spareribs, tenderloins, the upper portion of the heads, and the feet, were given away until all who applied for them were supplied, and dozens of wagon-loads of the surplus were hauled out into Big Creek bottoms and thrown away, until the people of the town would enter complaint against the parties as a public nuisance. Hundreds of families were thus supplied during the winter with free meat, and very many of them would salt away barrels of tenderloins for summer use. By taking a barrel to any one of the packing-houses and paying for the salt, the pork-house hands would fill and pack the barrel. By those who were here then and have now to pay butchers' prices for spareribs and tenderloins, is it any wonder there are sighings for the "good old days"?
The following tables, which have been copied from old files of the Canton Register will with tolerable accuracy show the extent of the pork trade of Canton from 1849 to 1862.
|Year||No. of Hogs||Price
per 100 lbs.
|For 1854-55||Av. Price||No. of Hogs||Total wt.||Avg. Wt.|
|Stipp, Maple & Stockdale||$3.80||14,406||3,450,380||239|
|H. F. & J. W. Ingersoll||3.80||3,322||814,501||245|
|John G. Graham||3.80||2,431||573,716||236|
|J. M. & J. H. Bass||3.80||2,409||575,376||238|
|Piper & Shoup||3.80||2,138||506,706||237|
|Hipple & Dwire||3.80||1,336||312,960||235|
|John W. Shinn||3.80||253||59,229||235|
February 14th, 1856, the Register says:
Through the kindness of our pork-dealers, we are enabled to lay before our readers the following statement of that business, in Canton, for present season:
|No. of Hogs||Av. Wt. per hog|
|J. M. & J. H. Bass||3,364||238|
|Piper & Shoup||3,064||232|
|Stipp, Maple & Stockdale||1,700||235|
|Groenendyke & Simonson||2,000||225|
|Hulits & Atwater||2,074||220|
|H. F. & J. W. Ingersoll||2,829||240|
|Hippie & Dwire||2,000||232|
|Graham, Wills & Co||2,440||233|
The total weight is 4,529,740 lbs.
The foregoing figures, we believe, are correct up to this date. There are, however, some few hogs yet to come in—perhaps enough to raise the number to 20,000, but not more. Compared with last season, the figures stand as follows:
1854-‘55.............. 28,170........ 6,713,421..... 238
1855-'56.............. 19,471........ 4,529,740..... 238
Decrease........... 9,699........ 2,193,961
In 1856 -'7, according to the same authority, there were packed in Canton, by
|No. of Hogs||Av. Wt.|
|J. M. & J. H. Bass||2,200||242|
|I. S. Piper||1,775||243|
|Hulits & Atwater||1,650||...|
|Groenendyke & Simonson||1,500||...|
|H. F. & J. W. Ingersoll||2,719||238 ˝|
|John S. Wills & Bros||1,636||240|
Last year the total number packed in this place was 10,700, and the total average weight a fraction over 237. It will therefore be seen that the number is somewhat larger and the average weight somewhat better this season than last.
For 1859 the Register says:
The following is the number of hogs packed in this place this season:
|Bass, Haynes & Ross||3,000|
|I. S. Piper||1,350|
|Hulits & Atwater||1,762|
|Simonson & Breed||800|
|Jno. S. Wills & Bro||1,725|
|J. H. Stipp & Co.||950|
|Trites, Seaton & Co||1,200|
The average weight is 178 pounds, net. Last season the average was 235 pounds.
In 1860, from the same authority I quote:
Some of the best hogs of the season were brought in last week. The following lots were received by Messrs. Ingersoll, from the persons named:
|No. of Hogs||Av. Wt.|
|J. T. Dunn||36||240|
|George V. Coe||12||285|
The pork season being about closed, we have, according to our usual custom, called upon our packers to obtain the number and average weight of the hogs packed, which we give below:
|No. of Hogs||Av. Wt. per hog|
|Bass, Haynes & Boss||2,435||215|
|L. S. Piper||700||210|
|Breed, Cline & Co||700||218|
|H. F. & J. W. Ingersoll||3,017||215|
|Trites, Seaton & Co||750||216|
In 1859, the number packed was 14,731, and the average net weight 178; in 1858, the number packed was 11,480, and average weight 235; in 1857, the number packed was 10,700, and the average weight a fraction over 237.
In 1862, January 25th, the Register says:
Through the kindness of our packers, we are enabled to lay before our readers the following statement of the number of hogs packed in this city during the season now closing:
|H. P. & J. W. Ingersoll||3,947|
|Bass, Hains & Boss||3,550|
|Piper & Griffith||3,100|
|E. A. Breed & Co||830|
|At Stockdale's slaughter-house||300|
|McCall & Co.||323|
Piper & Griffith also shipped 200 hogs to Chicago, uncut, being unable to secure barrels to pack them in. The want of barrels prevented many more from being packed here. The average weight is about 270 lbs.
After the completion of railroads to Canton pork-packing in a good measure ceased, live hogs being shipped at all seasons of the year.
About 1855 occurred an event that has had a controlling influence in the hog production, not only of this vicinity, but of the entire Northwest. In that year Mr. A. C. Moore, a gentleman who had for ten years previously been making the breeding of a superior breed of hogs a specialty in Butler county, Ohio, immigrated to the township, and purchased the farm known as the Slosson farm, about two and one-half miles southwest of Canton. On Mr. Moore's arrival he brought with him the best selections from his Ohio stock, and renewed his efforts as a breeder. His breed—of which he _ has made a specialty—was an improved Poland and China hog. Mr. Moore soon established for himself so great a reputation as a breeder that his name has passed into a household word among the best class of farmers throughout the West, and hogs from his farm command unprecedented prices from Maine to California. He has undoubtedly taken more premiums in both number and value than any other breeder of any breed of hogs in the United States, at both state and county fairs. One hog he now owns, bred by him, has taken over $1,400 in premiums. Mr. Moore now breeds more pigs for purely breeding purposes than any other breeder in the world, having raised last year (1870), from his own farm, over 750 pigs, and purchased from his neighbors selected pigs— chiefly the product of stock previously sold to them—about two hundred more. About 800 pigs have been distributed for purely breeding purposes from Ohio to California, and from Minnesota to Mississippi, by him.
Mr. Moore's business produces him an annual income of not less than from $20,000 to $25,000. His stock is called Poland-China, originating in crosses of the Poland, China and Byfield; but so long have they been bred under his careful supervision, skill and intelligence—qualities for which Mr. Moore is preeminent,—that the more valuable qualities of each breed have been so thoroughly and carefully blended that they have become a distinct thorough-bred stock, known and recognized in the official records of our State Board of Agriculture and other official boards as the Poland-China. Mr. Moore's herd now contains in the neighborhood of two hundred thorough-breed brood sows and fourteen males, and is year by year increasing.
The people of Fulton county feel, justly, proud of Mr. Moore's success, as by his judicious crossing he has attained a uniformity of size, color and fattening qualities that has made his stock the great premium-taking stock of the Northwest, and its reputation has been reflected back upon the county, until the "Moore's Poland-China hog" has made the county famous. I here venture the assertion that no other variety of hogs has ever taken so many valuable premiums, and at the same time accord to A. C. Moore, of Canton, the honor of breeding it up to its present high standard.
Mr. J. B. McCreary, who came into the township in 1867, is also a successful and skillful breeder of Poland-China hogs, and is rapidly acquiring a reputation as a breeder. In fact, it may be said that very many of our population have become breeders of thorough-bred hogs. One of the most directly important results of this enterprise has been to place. Fulton first in the list of hog-producing counties of the state—the last census (1870) showing an aggregate of 57,760 hogs over six months old in the county, valued for pork at the round sum of $1,100,000.
ROBERT C. CULTON.
A native of Kentucky, who landed in Canton in October, 1836, has been, since his residence here, probably more frequently a pioneer in important improvements and public enterprises than any other individual who has resided here. On arriving at Canton, he immediately purchased from Ira Baker his blacksmith shop, located on Lot 46, Jones's Addition, corner of Jones and Main streets, and began business at his trade—blacksmithing. For many years after he carried on the largest shop in town.
In June, 1837, Mr. Culton set up on this lot the first carding-machine in Canton. His machinery consisted of two stands of cards, and was operated by two horses on a tread-wheel. This establishment was successful, and drew trade from distant parts of the country, which otherwise would have gone elsewhere. In 1841 Mr. Culton took into partnership in the carding business his brother-in-law, Arche Henderson, at the same time adding two additional stands of cards and increasing his power to four horses. The establishment continued in operation until about 1842, when it was discontinued.
Mr. Culton was thus the pioneer carder. So, also, he was the father of the improved plow manufacturing. Having commenced blacksmithing in 1836, he in 1840 began the manufacture of the old-fashioned Diamond Plow, which was the progenitor of the steel mould-board plows of the present day. He also made the "Carey Plow" and the "Bar Share" breaking plow. His plows found ready sale, as they were well made by competent workmen. Wm. Parlin was one of his blacksmiths, and his wood-workers were Cornelius Van Middlesworth, Charles Rockhold, and Cyrus Coykendall. Mr. Culton also erected the first frame for shoeing oxen in Canton.
In 1848 Mr. Culton decided to go into merchandising, and accordingly associated with him in business a nephew, J. W. Culton, now of Chicago. Their place of business was on the ground now occupied by the portion of Union Block in which G. B. Vittum is doing business. This venture proved unprofitable, and the firm was dissolved and business suspended.
Mr. Culton has been a member of the Presbyterian Church since 1823, and an elder of the church for just a quarter of a century. He still resides here, on the ground where he first settled, on Main street between Jones and Walnut streets, a property on which he has lived for thirty-four years.
As heretofore stated, R. C. Culton was the first manufacturer of plows in Canton. His establishment, while it was large for that period, was yet so small as not to have attracted attention outside of this immediate vicinity. It is therefore no injustice to Mr. Culton to mention as the originator of plow manufacturing in this county the name of
Mr. Parlin is a native of Massachusetts. He immigrated to Fulton county, landing at Copperas-Creek Landing on the 4th day of July, 1840. Mr. Parlin at this time was a young man, with no capital but a knowledge of his trade—blacksmithing,— and a full stock of that indomitable energy for which the New-England character is celebrated. Not only was Mr. Parlin poor, but he was lame, and at the same time quiet, unassuming and retiring in his disposition—so much so that he attracted no attention.
Mr. Parlin began work as a "jour." for Mr. Culton, and finally, from his knowledge of his trade, became for a short period a partner with that gentleman, but soon dissolved the connection and rented a small shop on the south side of Elm street, near his present manufactory. Here Mr. Parlin began to attract attention by his industry and skill. He considered himself too poor to employ a "helper" in his business, and, with characteristic ingenuity, made for himself a trip-hammer. This hammer was operated by Mr. Parlin's foot. Many of our old citizens will remember this hammer.
While working here, Mr. Parlin married Miss Caroline Orendorff, in January, 1845. Miss Orendorff was a daughter of John Orendorff, Esq.
In 1846 Mr. Parlin purchased from Maj. Lewis Bidamon his foundry, situated on Main street, corner of Walnut, on the ground now occupied by the residence of Wm. Seavey, Esq. Mr. Parlin began here the general foundry business, but made a few steel plows.
In January, 1848, this foundry burned to the ground, and proved a total loss, except a small amount of steel, which was not injured. This was considered a severe blow by Mr. Parlin, but did not discourage him. He now rented a fire in the blacksmith-shop of John Culton, on Elm street, north side, between Third and Fourth streets. Here he began the manufacture of plows, working up his small stock of steel, forging his plows at his shop; then wheeling them on a wheelbarrow to McPheters's oil-mill, on Fourth street to a horse-power grindstone for grinding them, loading them again upon his wheelbarrow, he would wheel them through the streets to Charley Rockhold's shop, Main street between Elm and Jones streets, south of the Emory House.
Thompson Maple, who was at that time the most enterprising and energetic of our business men, had been noticing the energy manifested by Mr. Parlin, and proposed to him a partnership. This arrangement was finally consummated, and the firm of Maple & Parlin was established for the manufacture of plows— Maple furnishing the capital, and Parlin the skill. The new firm began business at the corner of Elm and Fourth streets, on. the same corner where Mr. Parlin has since remained. This firm began business in the summer of 1846, only a few months after the fire which had apparently been so disastrous.
The firm of Maple & Parlin manufactured the steel mould-board plow, and were successful to a marked extent. Their success and Mr. Parlin's present success may be attributed to the fact that every plow manufactured had to pass under the eye of Mr. Parlin, who personally selected all his timber and rejected every stick that was deficient, allowing no work to leave his shop that was not done in the most substantial and workmanlike manner. They availed themselves constantly of every improvement in plows made by other establishments, and Mr. Parlin himself made the plow a study, thereby enabling himself to perfect many very valuable improvements by his own ingenuity.
In 1848 or '9, the firm of Maple & Parlin was dissolved by mutual consent, Mr. Maple retiring—Parlin now being able to stand alone. He continued alone until the 1st of January, 1852, when, finding his business increasing to so great an extent that he could no longer attend to his office business and give the attention to the mechanical part of his business he desired, he took into partnership his brother-in-law Mr. Wm. J. Orendorff. This firm has continued since unchanged.
The firm of Parlin & Orendorff continued gradually but constantly to extend their business and facilities for manufacturing, until they now rank among the first plow-manufacturing establishments in the Union. Their average force of workmen is now eighty men in constant employment. In the year 1870 they manufactured 8000 "Canton Clipper" Plows, 3000 "Parlin's Cultivators," and 600 Stalk-Cutters. Their plows are handled by dealers throughout the Western States, a considerable portion of the Southern States, the Pacific States, and all the Western Territories.
In 1855 Messrs. Parlin & Orendorff took the first premium on plows over all competitors, at the State Fair held at Chicago, since which time they have succeeded in taking nearly every first premium for which they have competed.
This manufactory, it will be observed, has been the up-growing of small business without capital, the result of indomitable energy, and an honest determination to turn out only first-class work. The poor blacksmith has now, at only fifty-three years of age, while still in the prime of life, become a great manufacturer—a Plow King, in fact.
Parlin's Plow Factory is considered by the people of Canton one of the institutions of the town of which they are proud, and well they may be.
J. W. Ingersoll, of Ithaca, New York, came into the State of Illinois in the spring of 1837, in the employ of the State, which was at that time engaged in a stupendous scheme of Railroad building. Mr. Ingersoll was a civil engineer, and in that capacity was assigned to duty in the preliminary survey of the Illinois Central Railroad, from Lasalle south. After a few months' service, he was transferred to the survey of the Peoria & Warsaw Railroad, with headquarters at Canton, Joel Wright being at that time one of the State Commissioners of Internal Improvements.
Mr. Ingersoll remained in the service of the state until the fall of 1839, when himself and his brother H. F.
Ingersoll entered into copartnership, under the name of H. F. & J. W. Ingersoll, and, purchasing the stock of goods then owned by D. W. Vittum, began business as general merchants. The store-room was located on the southwest corner of the Public Square, in an old building—since removed—on the ground now occupied by the store of J. M. Fox. In the spring 1840 Mr. Vittum purchased a one-third interest in the business, and remained in the firm, under the style of Ingersoll & Vittum, until the fall of 1841, when he purchased the interest of the Brothers Ingersoll.
Ingersoll Brothers immediately began business again on their own account, under their old firm name of H. F. & J. W. Ingersoll, occupying a store-room on the northeast corner of the Public Square, on a lot now vacant, but long since known as "Bass's old stand," and continued in business in that location until 1843, when they removed to the lot now occupied by J. E. Bower, on the east side of the Public Square, where they remained until 1846, when they purchased a store-room of Wm. Bell—better known to old settlers as "Bill Bell the Tailor." This store-room was on the lot now occupied by that portion of Ingersoll's Block in which J. R. McQuaid is doing business.
In the summer of 1868 Messrs. Ingersoll built the fine business block, now occupied in part by them, on the west side, at a cost of $15,000. This is the three-story portion of the Ingersoll Block. During the season of 1869 they built the two-story portion of the same block, at a cost of $7,000.
The Ingersoll Brothers have from their beginning in Canton commanded a fair portion of the best trade of the county. During the early years of their business they packed pork and shipped an immense amount of grain from Copperas Creek and Liverpool to St. Louis. They still remain in business.
ANECDOTE OF JOHN BEVARD.
Among the occasional teamsters to the river was John Bevard, who drove four horses to an old-fashioned Pennsylvania wagon. He rode one of the wheel-horses and drove with a single line. One winter, while the roads were in a desperate condition and few teams would venture upon the road, the Ingersoll Brothers received a new stock of goods at Copperas-Creek Landing. Bevard with his four-horse team offered to bring one load, and Hiram Snow another. Snow had a three-horse team, and drove Yankee fashion with four lines. At night Bevard returned with his load, and was asked by John Ingersoll if he had seen any thing of Snow.
"Snow?" said he, "No, I hain't seen any thing of any body."
"Why," said Ingersoll, "you must have met him: he left here just after you did. He was driving three horses."
"Oh, yes," replied Bevard, reflectively, "I guess I did meet him, but he won't be back tonight."
"Why not?" queried Ingersoll.
"Why, h—l! its impossible! I could hardly get through with four horses and one line: how in h—l do you suppose he can get here with three horses and four lines?"
BEGINNING IN THE HIGHER BRANCHES.
I can not refrain from giving the following anecdote of William D. Coleman, which is vouched for by one of the best citizens of Canton.
Coleman was in Chicago on business, and had put up at the Tremont. At dinner, and when the immense dining-room was thronged with guests, a waiter handed him a bill of fare. Taking it in his hand, he thus addressed the astonished son of Erin:
"Say, mister, what do you call this?"
"That, sir, is our bill of fare"
“Bill of fare? What is that?"
"And sure, sir, don't you know?"
"No-: what is it for?"
"It tells what we've got for dinner.”
"Well, read it for me," said William, in a loud voice that brought every eye in the dining-room upon him and made broad smiles to ripple on the faces of the guests.
"Faith, and can't you read, sir?" said Patrick.
"No," replied William, with imperturbable gravity, "Daddy began my eddication in the higher branches, and died afore I had got down to the common studdies, like readin', writin' and 'rithmetic."
Such shouts of laughter as followed this explanation may be imagined, but not described.
D. C. JONES.
Cheeny Jones, as he was familiarly called, came to Canton in the spring of 1835. He married, soon after, Martha Ann Stewart, a daughter of Rev. Robert Stewart. Mr. Jones was a chair-maker by trade, and carried on that business for many years at the corner of Jones and Main streets. Mr. Jones occupied the position of chorister in the Congregational Church for many years. He was an industrious man and a man of singularly pure life, commanding the confidence and esteem of the community to a very remarkable degree. He died January 29th, 1854. The Congregational Church Choir have erected a neat marble slab to his memory in the cemetery.
PARLEY C. STEARNS.
On the 4th day of July, 1836, Parley C. Stearns, then a young man of twenty-three years, landed in Canton. Mr. Stearns came in company with John Rawalt from Yates county, New York, making the trip overland in wagons.
Mr. Stearns was a cooper by trade, and for a few years worked at that business. The same year of his arrival he married Miss Hannah Rawalt, a daughter of John Rawalt.
In 1837 Mr. Stearns was elected constable for Orion township, then known as 7—5; but he did not qualify. In 1839 Mr. Stearns was elected Justice of the Peace, and with two short intermissions has acted in that capacity from that time until the present.
Mr. Stearns was admitted to the bar in 1849, since which time he has been busily and successfully engaged in practice.
In 1846 Mr. Stearns was elected one of the County Commissioners of Fulton county for the term of three years. In 1849 he was elected one of the Associate Justices that formed the county board under the Constitution of 1848.
Mr. Stearns was appointed Postmaster of the City of Canton in the summer of 1853, which position he retained until 1857.
Mr. Stearns was a Democrat in politics until the rebellion began, when he became a War-Democrat, and at a later period a Republican. Mr. Stearns was largely influential in the organization of the 103d Regiment, and was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of that regiment, but was taken sick soon after joining his regiment at Peoria, and lay sick several months, which forced him to resign.
Mr. Stearns was closely identified with the earlier movements looking to the building of the Jacksonville & Savanna Railroad, and has ever been among the foremost to promote all schemes of public utility and improvement He is now, at the age of fifty-eight, in the full vigor of life, and has lost none of the eloquence which made him prominent in the early days as one of the best stump-orators in the county. He is a true friend, a genial gentleman, and no man stands higher in the home of his adoption than does Parley C. Stearns.
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