Pioneers of Menard & Mason Counties|
Including Personal Reminiscens of
Abraham Lincoln & Peter Cartwright
By T.G. Onstot, 1902
The Founders of Petersburg
George Warberton and Peter Lukins were the original proprietors of Petersburg. George Warberton was an old bachelor, and was a man of fine attainments, and clerked for merchants in Salem and Petersburg, but was addicted to the drink habit, and a delerium tremens' life finally became a burden and one morning he was found drowned in the river near the mill. It was very low, a person could wade across it, and where he was drowned the water was not over three feet deep. He had walked out on a log and fell face foremost and did not look as if he had ever moved. Warberton and Lukins had sold out to Jep Taylor for a few years before the county seat had been located at Petersburg.
Peter Lukins was a shoemaker, and like Warberton, was a dissipated man. He lived north of the Presbyterian Church, in a small frame house that was plastered on the outside, instead of weather boarding, and for several years he did all the cobbling for the town. He, too, died by his own hand.
An old toper, who lived west of Salem, by the name of Joe Fairfield, who got drunk every time he went to town, came along one evening and called me out to him. I was six years old, and he pulled out his bottle and said: "You have got to drink." My father saw him and forbade me. "I'll give you a whipping," said old Joe. I broke away from him and hid in an old dry kiln till he was out of sight. I never saw my father so angry, and he told Fairfield never to offer one of his boys liquor again
Transcribed by:Brenda Hamilton Johnson