They Left Their Mark In Oakford, 1872

Interesting to Know
Page 4

Miller's Ferry Toll Rates on the Sangamon River 1839. Ferry rate schedule set up by the court allowed Miller 12 3/8 cents for ferrying a man and a horse: 6 1/4 cents for each footman or single horse: 5 cents for each head of cattle: 2 cents for every sheep or hog: 50 cents for every four horse wagon and team: 75 Cents for every six horse wagon and team and 25 cents for every tow horse wagon or pleasure carriage. In the event the river was at overflow stage, rates could be doubled.

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Every winter all the merchants filled ice houses in town from Baker's Watkin's and lake run ponds.

That the streets in Oakford were only dusty roads.

The Harmon Brothers operated a steam bath at the southwest edge of town on the creek.

During the night of November 1, 1907 Oakford's Depot and Saloon were destroyed by fire.

Oakford voted dry. 62 to 98 in 1907.

Page 28

Much of our pictorial history has been preserved by town photographers Barkus, Jarvis, Atterberry and George Whitley.

Page 40

Hunters sold rabbits and ducks to the stores in Oakford. These were barreled and shipped to the large cities. Maltby brought raw hides from the hunters. This was one main source of income for Oakford families.

July 1907---- Operators at Oakford was notified by Petersburg sheriff that train number 61 south, carried several desperadoes. They had robbed several citizens of Havana and had hopped the train. A large posse was formed by Dan McHenry and searchers found that the bandits had cut five cars loose and escaped by foot.

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May 24, 1907,-- Oakford old timers state this was the coldest May they can remember.

August 1907 -- U. J. Altig has resigned his position as night operator at Oakford for the C.P. & St.L. Railroad.

February 1908 -- People of Oakford journeyed to Chandlerville, Illinois to help the steam boat "Virginia" come up the river. its cargo being a lard sand pump to be used at the gravel pit north of town on C.P.& L.Railroad.

April 17, 1908 -- Election held in Oakford and the proposed high school carried by 20 votes. The consolidation includes four districts with the territory extending into Cass County. it is believed that the new addition to the school will be completed this summer.

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July 1907 -- doctors Prince and Penick had a dangerous experience at Kay Watkins Ferry. They were crossing the Sangamon by ferry enroute to Havana, Illinois. The old ferry was somewhat water logged and as they were nearing the north bank, the boat sank. Going down with the passengers, was their car. Several teams of horses were used to drag the ferry to the bank.

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In early years Oakford had a bakery in back of M.O. Atterberry's Store.

Oakford's population in 1917: 368

The town Marshall filled the kerosene street lamps at dusk with enough fuel to last the night.

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When men with identical names were identified with Oakford's own nicknames Watkins-- Banjo Sam, Daddy Sam, Coony Sam. Thomas-- Spicy Jim, Windy Jim, Porky Jim. Hohimer -- Fightin' Johnny, Red Johnny.

On December 19, 1925. Oakford witnessed its worst sleet storm. Communications were interrupted for six weeks.

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Carrie Nation was started from a chute on all scheduled races.

Page 68

Oakford formed a vigilante groups and chased the gypsies from the community

When an Oakford drunk made an emergency ring on the Chandlerville telephone line west of Oakford early one Sunday morning? He spread the tale gypsies had invaded Oakford killing babies, kidnapping women, etc. Naturally, everyone listened in and the excitement which followed was unbelievable. The drunk said the gypsies were headed west and hung up. People ran from their homes with their kids to hide in the wheat fields. When the news reached Mt. Olive Church, services were ended and everyone hurried home to protect their possessions. Road blocks were established at the bridges, but no gypsies were located.

July, 2907--Sam Watkins sold a 2 year old horse for $500.99 to William Nack of San Antonio, Texas.

The teenage boys dug the church basement three feet deeper so they could play basketball.

Page 83

When the twins of Frederick and Catherine Schoneweis died of diptheria. Mr.Schoneweis walked up the hill from his house to a bare spot near an evergreen tree. Evidently he became confused in directions for the graves were dug north and south. The are still visible today in the old German Cemetery on Sandridge.

Before the Pecan Chapel was moved to town, services were held above the Sutton and Kendall building. Miss Moore and Dr.Whitley directed the services.

Before the steeple was installed on the church the bell stood on a stand in the yard in front. it was used for all emergencies including deaths, fire, and services.


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Illinois Ancestors