Saturday, August 19, 2017

Drinking fountain on State Street, Chicago. 1912

Drinking fountain on State Street, Chicago. 1912

Opening of Chicago's Michigan Avenue Bridge on May 14, 1920.

The opening of Chicago's Michigan Avenue Bridge on May 14, 1920.  The bridges ornamentation was added later.

Visitors to the Palmer House take a guided tour of Chicago in 1885.

Visitors to the Palmer House take a guided tour of Chicago in 1885.

The History of the Chicago Cardinals Football Team.

In 1898, Chicago painting and building contractor Chris O'Brien established an amateur Chicago-based athletic club football team named the Morgan Athletic Club. O'Brien later moved them to Chicago's Normal Park and renamed them the Racine Normals, since Normal Park was located on Racine Avenue in Chicago.

In 1901, O'Brien bought used maroon uniforms from the University of Chicago, the colors of which had by then faded, leading O'Brien to exclaim, "That's not maroon; it's cardinal red!" It was then that the team changed its name to the Racine Cardinals.
The original Racine Cardinals team disbanded in 1906 mostly for lack of local competition. A professional team under the same name formed in 1913, claiming the previous team as part of their history. As was the case for most professional football teams in 1918, the team was forced to suspend operations for a second time due to World War I and the outbreak of the Spanish flu pandemic.

They resumed operations later in the year (even with the suspension they were one of the few teams to play that year), and have since operated continuously. At the time of the founding of the modern National Football League, the Cardinals were part of a thriving professional football circuit based in the Chicago area. Teams such as the Decatur Staleys, Hammond Pros, Chicago Tigers and the Cardinals had formed an informal loop similar to, and generally on par with, the Ohio and New York circuits that had also emerged as top football centers prior to the league's founding.

In 1920, the team became a charter member of the American Professional Football Association (later renamed the National Football League (NFL) in 1922), for a franchise fee of $100. The Cardinals and the Chicago Bears (the latter founded as the Decatur Staleys before moving to Chicago in 1921) are the only charter members of the NFL still in existence, though the Green Bay Packers, which joined the league in 1921, existed prior to the formation of the NFL. The person keeping the minutes of the first league meeting, unfamiliar with the nuances of Chicago football, recorded the Cardinals as from Racine, Wisconsin. The team was renamed the Chicago Cardinals in 1922 after a team actually from Racine, Wisconsin (the Horlick-Racine Legion) entered the league. That season the team moved to Comiskey Park.
The 1920 Chicago Cardinals. They are a charter member of the NFL and were in Chicago 2 years before the Bears.
The Staleys and Cardinals played each other twice in 1920 as the Racine Cardinals and the Decatur Staleys, making their rivalry the oldest in the NFL. They split the series, with the home team winning in each. In the Cardinals' 7-6 victory over the Staleys in their first meeting of the season, each team scored a TD on a fumble recovery, with the Staleys failing their extra point try.

The Cardinals' defeat of the Staleys proved critical, since George Halas's Staleys went on to a 10-1-2 record overall, 5-1-2 in league play. The Akron Pros were the first ever league champions; they finished with an 8-0-3 record, 6-0-3 in league play, ending their season in a 0-0 tie against the Staleys. Since the Pros merely had to tie the game in order to win the title, they could afford to play not to lose. Had the Staleys not lost to the Cardinals, they would have gone into that fateful game with an 11-0-1 record, 6-0-1 in league play. As it was, it all but assured that the Staleys/Bears and Cardinals would be intense rivals.

The two teams played to a tie in 1921, when the Staleys won all but two games, thus the Cardinals came within 1 point of costing the Staleys a second consecutive championship in the league's first two years of existence.

In 1922, the Staleys, now renamed the Bears, went 9-3-0, losing to the Cardinals twice. The Bears still edged the Cardinals for 2nd place in the league, but those losses dashed all hopes of the Bears repeating as champions.

In 1923 and 1924, the Bears got the better of the Cardinals all three times the two teams played. But in 1925, the Bears went 0-1-1 against the Cardinals with the tie meaning the Cardinals were only a ½ game in front of the Pottsville Maroons heading into their fateful 1925 showdown.

Thus, in the first 6 years of the NFL's existence, the Bears-Cardinals games had a direct impact on the league championship 4 times. The Bears and Cardinals each took home 1 title during that span. But the Bears nearly cost the Cardinals their title, the Cardinals nearly cost the Bears their title, and had it not been for the Cardinals' tenacity against the Bears, the Bears very well might have won two more. The Bears were a dominant team against everyone but the Cardinals in the league's early years. From 1920-1925, the Canton Bulldogs, champions in 1922 and 1923, beat the Bears just 2 times and no other team in the NFL defeated the Bears more than once over that entire 6-year span... except for the Cardinals. The Cardinals battled the Bears to 4-4-2 split between 1920–1925 and established the NFL's first rivalry.

Legend has it that the Cardinals played the Chicago Tigers in 1920, with the loser being forced to leave town. While this has never been proven, the Tigers did disband after one season.

The 1925 season ended in perhaps the greatest controversy in professional football history. In those days, there was no fixed schedule nor any playoff games. The championship was decided by winning percentage. At season's end, after losing in a Chicago snow storm to the Pottsville Maroons 21-7, the Cardinals found themselves in second place. Hoping to improve their record, they scheduled and won two hastily arranged games against weaker teams, the Milwaukee Badgers and the Hammond Pros. The ploy was within the NFL’s rules at the time because of the open-ended schedule. Chicago finished the season with a record of 11-2-1. However, the league sanctioned them because a Chicago player, Art Folz, had hired four Chicago high school football players to play for the Milwaukee Badgers under assumed names to ensure a Cardinals victory.

Meanwhile, because Pottsville had played an unauthorized exhibition game in Philadelphia against the University of Notre Dame All-Stars, the Maroons were stripped of the title. The League decided not to award a championship for 1925. Later, it was offered to the Cardinals, whose owner, Chris O'Brien, refused to accept the championship title for his team. He argued that his team did not deserve to take the title over a team which had beaten them fairly. It was only after the Bidwill family bought the Cardinals in 1933 that the franchise began to claim the 1925 title as its own.

The Chicago Cardinals were one of the few NFL teams to host African-American players in the 1920s—most notably Duke Slater. After the folding of the first American Football League after its lone season, Slater, against all odds, successfully joined the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League.

Not only was Slater pro football's first African-American linemen, he was also one of the NFL's most outstanding linemen of his era. In 1928, he encouraged the team to sign Harold Bradley Sr., who became the NFL's second black lineman. Slater and Bradley played alongside each other in the first two games of the 1928 season. A steel plate in Bradley's leg, due to a childhood injury, contributed to Bradley ending his NFL career after only two games—the shortest among the 13 African American players who played in the NFL before World War II.

Between 1926 and 1927 a movement began among the owners of the NFL to follow the racist example of professional baseball and in 1927 every African-American player was out of the league, with the sole exception of Duke Slater. The color ban faced by Slater and other black players was not ironclad, however, and four other African-American players managed to draw salaries in the NFL during short careers interspersed from 1928 through 1933. Slater was once again the only black player in the league in 1929.

On November 28, 1929 Slater participated in an NFL record as a lineman in front of Ernie Nevers in a game in which he scored six rushing touchdowns in a 40-6 victory over the Chicago Bears. Slater played all 60 minutes of the contest, alternating between the offensive and defensive lines as well as participating on special teams.

By the time of his retirement in 1931, Slater had achieved All-Pro status a total of six times. During his NFL career Slater never missed a game because of injury, starting in a total of 96 of the 99 games he played between the AFL and NFL.

The Cardinals posted a winning record only twice in the twenty years after their 1925 championship (1931 and 1935); including 10 straight losing seasons from 1936 to 1945.

Dr. David Jones bought the team from O'Brien in 1929. In 1932 the team was purchased by Charles Bidwill, then a vice president of the Chicago Bears. The team has been under the ownership of the Bidwill family since then.

In 1944, owing to player shortages caused by World War II, the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers merged for one year and were known as the "Card-Pitt", or derisively as the "Carpets" as they were winless that season. In 1945, the Cardinals snapped their long losing streak (an NFL record 29 games, dating back to the 1942 season and including their lone season as Card-Pitt) by beating the Bears 16-7. It was their only victory of the season. In 1946, the team finished 6-5 for the first winning season in eight years.

In 1947, the NFL standardized on a 12-game season. This would be the most celebrated year in Cardinals history as the team went 9-3, beating Philadelphia in the championship game 28–21 with their "Million Dollar Backfield", which included quarterback Paul Christman, halfback Charley Trippi, halfback Elmer Angsman, and fullback Pat Harder, piling up 282 rushing yards. However, Bidwill was not around to see it; he had died before the start of the season, leaving the team to his wife Violet. Prior to the season he had beaten the Chicago Rockets of the upstart All-America Football Conference for the rights to Trippi. This signing is generally acknowledged as the final piece in the championship puzzle. The next season saw the Cardinals finish 11-1 and again play in the championship game, but lost 7-0 in a rematch with the Eagles, played in a heavy snowstorm that almost completely obscured the field. This was the first NFL championship to be televised. The next year, Violet Bidwill married St. Louis businessman Walter Wolfner, and the Cardinals fell to 6-5-1.

The 1950s were a dismal period for the Cardinals, with records of 5-7 (1950), 3-9 (1951), 4-8 (1952), 1-10-1 (1953), 2-10 (1954), 4-7-1 (1955), 7-5 (1956; the best year of the decade), 3-9 (1957), 2-9-1 (1958), and 2-10 (1959). With just 33 wins in ten seasons, the Cardinals were nearly forgotten in Chicago, being completely overshadowed by the Bears. Attendance at Cardinals games was sparse. With the team almost bankrupt, the Bidwills were anxious to move the Cardinals to another city. However, the NFL demanded a hefty relocation fee which the Bidwills were unwilling and/or unable to pay. Needing cash, the Bidwills entertained offers from various out-of-town investors, including Lamar Hunt, Bud Adams, Bob Howsam and Max Winter. However, these negotiations came to nothing, probably because the Bidwills wanted to maintain control of the Cardinals and were only willing to sell a minority stake in the team.

Having failed in their separate efforts to buy the Cardinals, Hunt, Adams, Howsam and Winter joined forces to form the American Football League. Suddenly faced with a serious rival, the NFL quickly came to terms with the Bidwills, engineering a deal that sent the Cardinals to St. Louis, Missouri beginning with the 1960 season in a move which also blocked St. Louis as a potential market for the new AFL, which began play the same year. These are the home fields of the Chicago Cardinals from 1929-1959. Normal Park (1920–1921, 1926–1928) Comiskey Park (1922–1925, 1929–1930, 1939–1958) Wrigley Field (1931–1938) Soldier Field (1959, 4 games) Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota.

The NFL wanted to put a team in Minnesota, so 2 of the Cardinals games were moved there in 1959. Conversations were had with Violet Bidwill Wolfner, owner of the Chicago Cardinals, about moving her team to the stadium. The Cardinals moved two of their regular season home games against the Philadelphia Eagles (October 25) (att: 20,112) and New York Giants (November 22) (att: 26,625) to Bloomington for the 1959 NFL season. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The John Rawle Cut-Stone Contractor, Chicago, Illinois. 1872

John Rawle, cut-stone contractor (or quarryman), was born at Exford, Somersetshire, England, on May 3, 1843, and is a son of John and Mary (Poole) Rawle. He received a common school education in the vicinity of his birthplace, and then learned the trade of a stone cutter and carver, which he followed in his native country for several years; he was also a draughtsman in the office of Sir Charles Fox, who was the engineer of the first London World's Exposition, in 1851, and of a number of railroads in Russia, China, Japan, and South America.

In 1868, Mr. Rawle came to America, landing at Portland, Maine, in May. He there worked at his trade for a time, and subsequently removed to St. Louis, where he remained until the fall of 1868, when he came to Chicago. He shortly afterward went to New York, and from there to England, where he remained until the spring of 1869, and then returned to Chicago, of which city he has since been a resident, with the exception of a short time that he was engaged in business at Washington, Daviess County, Indiana
In the spring of 1872, he established himself in the business John Rawle Cut-Stone Contractors located at 570-598 South Morgan Street (today: Morgan & 14th Place), Chicago, and has since held a prominent position with the architects, builders, and contractors, having, in the course of his business, furnished cut-stone for many of the finest buildings in Chicago and throughout the United States. His extensive business occupied 377 feet on Morgan street and 215 feet on Henry street (today: 14th Place).

Mr. Rawle, like many others, sustained heavy losses, nearly losing his all in the great panic of 1873[1], and it was only by his indomitable energy, perseverance, tireless industry and the most rigid economy in the man agement of his business that he was able to weather the storm.

He purchased the Carbondale brownstone quarry and later the Southern Illinois brownstone quarry, both of which were located at Bosky Dell, Jackson County, Illinois.

He took an active part in the formation of the Carbondale Brown-Stone Company, of which he was president and treasurer. The product of this company is largely in demand from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico. Its yards at present occupy Nos. 468-478 Fifth Avenue. Of the sixty-five firms which started in business in 1872, there are but two other firms besides his that have retained their existence until the present time, which is due to his attention to business and the superior quality of his workmanship. In 1884, he married Miss Augusta E. Zick, a native of this city and a daughter of Daniel and Augusta Zick and had three children.

Rawle also invented a unicycle which experts claimed would revolutionize the world of wheels.
Click for a full size image.


Click for a full size image.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
JOHN RAWLE, OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.
UNICYCLE.
SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 482,100, dated September 6, 1892.
Application filed August 30, 1891. Serial No. 404,333. (No model.)


[1] The Panic of 1873 was a financial crisis that triggered a depression in Europe and North America that lasted from 1873 until 1879, and even longer in some countries (France and Britain). The Panic of 1873 and the subsequent depression had several underlying causes, of which economic historians debate the relative importance. American post-Civil War inflation, rampant speculative investments (overwhelmingly in railroads), the demonetization of silver in Germany and the US, a large trade deficit, ripples from economic dislocation in Europe resulting from the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), property losses in the Chicago (1871) and Boston (1872) fires, and other factors put a massive strain on bank reserves, which plummeted in New York City during September and October 1873 from $50 million to $17 million in US dollars.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Zeigler, Illinois - A Breath Away from Being the Nation’s Capitol.

Levi Zeigler Leiter
Nestled away in the rolling hills of the Franklin County area of southern Illinois lays the forgotten town that in 1904 was only a breath away from being the nation’s capitol. It was here that in 1901 a Chicago multi-millionaire named Levi Zeigler Leiter, and his son Joseph brought the family fortune and began building a small empire. After buying 8000 acres of land, Joseph began sinking the coal mine that would become the original headquarters for the nationally known Zeigler Coal Company.

Leiter was so sure that his mine would be the largest and the most modern, he used champagne instead of water to mix the cornerstone concrete with. For good measure he threw in a couple expensive diamond rings and his gold watch into the mix. Engraved in the cornerstone was the date of 2004, because Leiter claimed his mine modernization would be a hundred years ahead of its time.
Employees Inside the Ziegler Company Store.
In 1903 Joseph began clearing the land around the mine, and with a blank check and the blessing of his father, Levi Zeigler Leiter, and the support from his wealthy friends from Chicago, Joseph began making plans for the future. Among the Leiter family friends were super-rich Potter Palmer, Marshall Field, and George Pullman, who together made up a very large portion of the nation’s wealth. Along with the wealth came the prestige and power that could open a lot of important doors, and one of the doors that was always open, were the doors to the White House where the President often granted political favors through large financial contributions.

The Leiters had contributed large sums of money to the presidential campaign of Theodore Roosevelt, and the time had come for them to call upon the President for a pay-back political favor. There was not enough satisfaction for the Leiters in the claim of getting Roosevelt elected President of the United States, because they wanted something that would elevate them to the very top of society and overshadow everything others had accomplished.

In 1880 George Pullman, the owner and founder of the Pullman railroad car and coach company, had built his own company town just south of Chicago, and the Leiters saw an opportunity to do the same thing in Franklin County. President Roosevelt always considered himself a country boy at heart and had a love for hunting and fishing, and the Leiters knew they had the area that would satisfy the Presidents favorite pastime. Here on the Leiter property in Franklin County was an abundance of quail and ducks, buffalo and deer, and plenty of rabbits and squirrels, and they knew it was perfect spot for the President to live. Joseph hired the same architect who had laid out the design for Washington DC, to come to Franklin County to design the town he planned to build.

The design would be likened to the nation’s capitol with a circle and streets running from it like spokes from a wagon wheel. As Leiter began building his town, he decided to name it Zeigler in honor of his father's middle name. The Leiters and their rich friends knew it was time to flex their powerful financial muscles and call in the political favors, and attempt to convince the President to move the White House and the nation’s capitol to the Leiters Franklin County town of Zeigler.
Zeigler Coal Mine
The political contacts were made and the lobbying began, and the wheels were put into motion for the big move to have Zeigler as the nation’s capitol. Everything seemed to be moving in the right direction for the Leiters, and Joseph opened his coal mine on June 8th, 1904 and brought the first load of coal to the surface. His future now looked brighter than ever, but it would be short lived.
Company Provided Homes at the Zeigler #1 Mine (1905)
The very next day after the mines grand opening, Joseph's father died from a rare heart disease, and Joseph's future suddenly began looking dim. Not only was his future in jeopardy, but the blank checks that he had enjoyed for the most of his life would probably be in jeopardy, and his chances of getting the Presidential White House moved to Zeigler, died with his powerful father. Labor problems with the Klu Klux Klan and the unions began to take a toll on the man who claimed that he would always operate "union free," and it came to the point where he had to struggle to protect his own property.

He built a large fence around his mine that resembled an army fort, and mounted large search lights and several large caliber "Gattling Guns" around his mine and the towns entrances, and issued orders to the gun slinging thugs he had hired as security guards, that they were to "shoot to kill" any trespassers. Joseph continued to build his town which consisted of a large two story colonial style office building in the center of the circle, and a large personal home that was located along with a company store on the circle. He built schools and a hospital, and donated land so the local churches could be built. Joseph's "master & slave" attitude finally led to his downfall in the coal industry, and after a few severe mine explosions, he got out of the business in 1910 and leased his holdings to the Bell and Zoller Coal Company. His dreams and plans were shattered, and he returned to Chicago and continued to be very successful in other businesses.

Bell and Zoller kept the town of Zeigler moving in a forward progress, and reached its peak in 1926 when it boasted a population of nearly 7000 residents, 3500 employees, and 174 businesses. When the great depression hit the nation, few people in Zeigler recognized the impact of it. The Bank of Zeigler was one of only a few banks that survived the depression, by flying in gross amounts of money from St. Louis. In an effort to show investors their desire for survival, the bank officials ask for, and received special permission and special plates from the US Treasury department and printed their own money and put it into circulation. The business began moving from Zeigler, and with the decline in the coal business, so did a lot of the residents.

During the early 1940's a Memorial Board was erected on the circle that honored the men who were serving in the military. It is surprising that the small town of Zeigler provided over 450 men to the military during the war efforts, and the board was later replaced with a stone monument that honored those who lost their lives in the wars. As the years passed the demand for coal continued to dwindle as did the population of Zeigler and today the town has a population of 1749 (in 2016), and is a mere shell of what it once had been.

Today there is not a trace of the large coal mine, the mine office in the circle, or the hospital and company store. The large home Leiter built for his residence has been remodeled and is still located as a private residence on the circle. Once in a while the name of Joseph Leiter may be mentioned in a conversation between history buffs or from an elderly resident, but to the younger generation, Zeigler is just the small town where they live. They have no idea that their town was once within a human breath of becoming the home of the Presidential White House, and the nation’s capitol.

Legends of America

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The 1814 Wood River, Illinois Massacre.


EARLY WOOD RIVER SETTLERS
Thomas Rattan came from Ohio in 1804 to section 13 of Wood River Township, giving the name "Rattan's Prairie" to that neighborhood. He was one of, if not the first, to settle in this area of the Indiana Territory as it was named from 1800 until 1809 when the area was then in the Illinois Territory.
A pioneer named Tolliver Wright, of Virginia, came to the western part of this township and settled near the mouth of Wood River in 1806 with his family. They later removed to the settlement between the forks of Wood River. Wright served as a captain in the Rangers in 1812. The Davidson brothers, natives of North Carolina, settled in 1806 near the Wanda comer. These men were the first settlers in the area.

In 1808, Abel, George, and William Moore came with their father, John, as far as Ford's Ferry, on the Ohio River, where they separated from Abel, and went on to Boone's Lick, Missouri. 

Abel Moore was one of the pioneer settlers of Illinois, in 1808 locating in Madison County in the early days of its development. He and his family had come from North Carolina and had made arrangements to join an expedition that was organized in Kentucky for the purpose of founding a town in Missouri. The project was fostered by Daniel Boone and the new town was to be called Boonville. Abel Moore and his family, on their way to join this colony, stopped in Illinois at a point opposite the mouth of the Missouri River, which had been agreed upon as a meeting place with others who were to join them, but after waiting for several months and vainly looking for his friends, Mr. Moore decided that he would locate in Madison County. Illinois was then a territory and much of its land was still in possession of the government. Mr. Moore secured a claim between the forks of Wood River and developed a farm. He took an active and helpful part in the work of early improvement and progress there, and his name is indelibly inscribed on the pages of the pioneer history of Madison County. 

After their father, John, died, in 1809, the following year the Moore brothers and their families came back across the Mississippi River to Illinois, and settled near their brother Abel in section 10. George and William were gunsmiths and they manufactured rifle guns. One of them established a crude powder mill. They lived at the fork of Wood River. Philip Creamer manufactured locks and stocked guns. He was an expert workman who lived in the area. Other smiths manufactured plows, hoes, axes, mattocks, and other articles made of iron, as called for. It is a marvelous evolution that now the Equitable Powder Company and the Western Cartridge Company, two of the largest industries of their kind in the west are located just two miles lower down on the banks of Wood River.

The settlements on Wood River were made, many of them, before the Altons attracted much notice. The Moore brothers, Abel, George, and William, each built a brick house for a residence, which probably was the first of that material used in that portion of the county.

One of the first grain mills in the area was a "hand" mill, (wheels working to one another by friction of raw hide instead of cogs), belonging to John Finley for grinding com. It was near the present site of Bethalto.

George Moore had a band mill on his farm two miles east of Upper Alton at an early date, one that he had brought out from Kentucky. The map coordinates are the northwest quarter of section 10 T5N/R9W. Abel Moore operated his brother George's early grist mill. People came in their ox-carts from miles away, in order to have their corn ground.

William Jones, a Virginian and a Baptist minister, was a resident of this county as early as 1806, and was the head of a large family, many of the descendants being now scattered over the county. He was a member of both the territorial and state legislatures, and also was captain of a company of rangers in 1813. He settled on the Sand Ridge in Wood River Township and soon afterward moved to Fort Russell Township.

Rachel Thomas, Reason Reagan's wife, and Mary "Polly" Thomas, William Moore's wife, were sisters. They also had a brother named Samuel Thomas. Rachel married Reason Reagan on February 3, 1808, in Livingston County, Kentucky and they moved to the Wood River area in 1810. It is not known whether the Reagan family made the move from Kentucky to Missouri and then back to Illinois but it appears likely based upon family ties.

Mary "Polly" Thomas Moore, sister of Rachel Thomas Reagan, was born May 9, 1788 in Pendleton, Anderson County, North Carolina, and was married December 15, 1803, in Pendleton Dist., South Carolina, to William Moore.

FAMILY GROUP'S BIRTHS AND DEATH
JOHN MOORE (father of Abel, George, and William) 
Born: Approximately 1757 - Place: Surry, NC 
Died: 1808 - Place: Boone's Lick, MO 

NANCY ROBERTS (mother of Able, George, and William) 
Born: Approximately 1761 - Place: Surry, NC 
Died: 1808 - Place: Boone's Lick, MO 

NANCY MOORE 
Born: Approximately 1776 - Place: Surry, NC 
 Died: Before 1814 - Place: Somewhere in Illinois 
 Married: April 8, 1794 to James Beeman - Place: Surry, NC 

ABEL MOORE  
Born: January 3, 1783 - Place: Surry, NC 
Died: February 10, 1846 - Place: Wood River, Madison, IL 
Buried: ? - Place: Wood River, Madison, IL 

GEORGE MOORE 
Born: Approximately 1784 - Place: Surry, NC 

WILLIAM MOORE 
Born: September 11, 1785 - Place: NC 
Died: February 15, 1834 - Place: Adams, IL 
 Married: December 15, 1803 - Place: Pendleton Dist., SC 

MARY "POLLY" THOMAS (wife of William Moore) 
Born: May 9, 1788 - Place: Pendleton, Anderson County, SC 
Died: April 24, 1871 - Place: Dripping Springs, Hays, TX 
Buried: ? - Place: Moore Cemetery, Dripping Springs, Hays, TX 
 Married: December 15, 1803 - Place: Pendleton Dist., SC 
   Father: Irwin Thomas
   Mother: Elizabeth Hubbard Thomas 

THE SIX CHILDREN BORN TO WILLIAM AND POLLY MOORE, BEFORE THE MASSACRE
1) JOHN MOORE 
Born: 1804 - Place: Pendleton, Anderson County, SC 
Died: July 10, 1814 - Place: Wood River, Madison County, IL 

2) ABEL MOORE 
Born: August 6, 1806 - Place: Livingston, KY 
Died: August 6, 1806 - Place: Livingston, KY 

3) GEORGE MOORE 
Born: 1807 - Place: Livingston, KY 
Died: July 10, 1814 - Place: Wood River, Madison County, IL 

4) RACHEL MOORE 
Born: October 5, 1808 - Place: Livingston, KY 
Died: January 28, 1853 - Place: ?

5) ELIZABETH MOORE 
Born: July 16, 1811 - Place: St. Clair, IL 
Died: September 12, 1812 - Place: Wood River, Madison County, IL (Age 14 months)

6) JAMES MOORE 
Born: July 22, 1813 - Place: Wood River, Madison County, IL 
Died: July 22, 1813 - Place: Wood River, Madison County, IL 

THE REAGAN FAMILY
RACHEL THOMAS (wife of Reason Reagan) 
Born: 1790 - Place: Pendleton, Anderson County, SC 
Died: July 10, 1814 - Place: Madison, IL 
 Married: February 3, 1808 - Place: Livingston County, Kentucky 

ELIZABETH REAGAN (daughter of Reason and Rachel) 
Died: July 10, 1814 - Place: Madison, IL (Age 7) 

TIMOTHY REAGAN (son of Reason and Rachel) 
Died: July 10, 1814 - Place: Madison, IL (Age 3) 

UNBORN REAGAN CHILD Died: July 10, 1814

THE INDIANS AND THE WAR OF 1812
Although there were frequent tensions, only a few of the whites who began settling in the area around 1800 were killed by the Indians whom they steadily displaced as they settled in and claimed, cleared, and fenced the land. 

In the beginning, Indians were still roaming over this portion of the state, and a man who was cultivating a small farm close to where the glass works company would be built (Alton, Illinois), was killed in 1811, by Indians.

Ellen Nore, an associate professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and authority on local history, said "The Kickapoo Indians who had been in Illinois since the early 18th century, were being driven out by the American settlers. It was really a matter of people struggling against conquest." Indeed, the "Wood River Massacre" victims may have been casualties of war rather than a random act of violence. At the time, the United States and Great Britain were engaged in what we now call the War of 1812. Several Midwestern Indian tribes were allies of the British, who paid bounties for American scalps. She said the Kickapoos aligned themselves with the British in hopes of benefiting from a British victory. "Massacre" was a term applied to the incident by white historians, according to Nore. 

"This was not an isolated Indian attack," said Alton Township Supervisor Don Huber, a local historian, "it was part of the War of 1812." 

The war would end without a decisive victor and the Kickapoos would eventually be driven west. The Pottawatomi signed treaties in 1817 ending their opposition to the American settlement of Illinois. The Winnebago were moved westward with treaties after the War of 1812. The Sauk and Fox finally left Illinois for the last time in 1832 at the end of the Black Hawk War.

SUNDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON SOCIAL
July 10, 1814, was a Sunday, and it started out as a peaceful and pleasant day. The families in the area never knew the day would end in great tragedy. William Moore was on duty at Fort Butler near St. Jacob. Abel Moore had gone to Fort Russell for the day and was on duty there. Samuel Thomas, Rachel's brother, stated that Reason was accompanied by his sister, Catherine Reagan, who had recently come to the territory, when they went to a church service which was probably held at the Baptist Church near Vaughn Cemetery.

That morning they were probably accompanied part way by Rachel Reagan and her two children who went to spend the day with her sister "Polly", Mrs. William Moore. As it was along the way, Polly and her children were there, as was Miss Hannah Bates (who was the sister of Abel Moore's wife). The time was spent peacefully while the women talked and the children played games. They were all going to Abel Moore's cabin for supper that night. 

In the afternoon, all those present at William Moore's house, Polly Moore and her two sons and one daughter, Rachel Reagan and her son and daughter, and Hannah Bates went to Abel Moore's house to begin their preparation of the family group supper that they had planned for that evening. After arriving there, Rachel decided she would go home and pick some beans that would be added to the evening meal they had planned. Some of the children chose to go along with her. All together there were Rachel's two children, two sons of William Moore, and two sons of Abel Moore. 

That was a total of seven, but they almost had eight. Hannah Bates decided to go along to visit a little more with them but, a short time later, Hannah turned back to the Moore house. Some people thought she may have had a premonition that something terrible was going to happen. Others say her shoes did not fit well and she was most uncomfortable. Whatever the reason, against the earnest entreaties of Mrs. Reagan, she retraced steps to the Moore's house which was closer than Rachel's. It saved her life.

THE MASSACRE
Why were the Indians in the area? Had they been watching the families in the Moore settlement? The following information has been found in the 'Old Settlers of Green County' published in 1873. In the biography of Samuel Thomas, Reason Reagan's brother-in-law, it is stated that on July 8, 1814, two days before the massacre, Reason and Samuel had gone to a deerlick about ten miles west of the settlement and there encamped for the night. At the same time, it was later ascertained, that a company of eleven Indians had been three miles distant and the next morning found the abandoned camp of Thomas and Reagan. The Indians determined the group had been a small one and decided to follow them to their destination. This brought the Indians to the settlement. 

Picture Rachel and Hannah, walking along talking, maybe about the day they were having to this point, or perhaps the task that was ahead of them, picking and cleaning the beans and returning to Abel's home. Rachel's two children were walking with her and the four older boys were ahead of her, probably being boys and maybe throwing sticks and rocks and exploring as they made their way through the woods. 

At the point where Hannah Bates turned back she could not have been more than two or three hundred yards from where the dead body of Mrs. Reagan would be found. Mrs. Reagan and the six children were all tomahawked, scalped, and stripped of all their clothing. They remained all night on the ground where they were murdered. 

Mrs. Reagan and her two children were killed nearest Capt. Abel Moore's place; the other children were found lying farther on, two at a place. One, the youngest child, Timothy Reagan, three years old, when found was still alive. Timothy was found scalped and with a deep gash on each side of his face and so badly wounded that he could not live. The blood had clotted in the hair and staunched the wound. A messenger was sent for the nearest physician, who came and dressed the wounds of the little one. The doctor said that when the wound was washed, the child would bleed to death and so it was. He did not survive the treatment. 

In an interview with a St. Louis newspaper a few days after the massacre, Reason Reagan stated his wife, Rachel, had been with child and he described her as being far advanced in pregnancy at the time of the massacre. This would raise the death total to eight. 

The Indians may have reached the empty Reagan cabin first. Looking backward, they probably decided to follow the trail to the next site, whatever it might be. This put them on the trail towards Abel Moore's home as Rachel and the children approached from the other direction. Had the Indians arrived earlier, they probably would have attacked the Abel Moore home where there would have been a much greater loss of life. If they were a little later, they would have found Rachel at home in the garden. Either way, the outcome would have been tragic.



Friday, July 8th - Reason Reagan and Samuel Thomas hunting at a site 10 miles from the settlement. 

Saturday morning, July 9th - Reagan and Thomas return to the Reagan home. 

Sunday morning, July 10th - Scouts from an Indian encampment find Reagan and Thomas' hunting site and elect the hunters' trail back to their destination, which turns out to be the Reagan cabin. There is no one home, so they follow the path and come upon Rachel Reagan and the six children. 

THE GRUESOME DISCOVERY
William Moore, having returned that day to look after the women and children at home, from where he was on military duty at Fort Butler, near the present village of St. Jacobs, became alarmed as night approached and the children had not returned, and went in search of them, first going to his brother, Abel Moore's place to see if they were there. His wife, who was Mrs. Reagan's sister, also started on horseback to look for them, taking a different route from the one her husband took. His wife chose to go through the woods and he walked along the wagon path. When Mrs. William Moore found the children lying by the road, she thought they had become tired and laid down to sleep. There was not sufficient light to tell the size or sex of the person, and she called over and over again the name of one and another of her children, supposing one of them to be asleep. She got down from her horse to pick up the youngest child, but just then a crackling noise and flash of light from a burning hickory tree nearby alarmed her and, fearing Indians might be in ambush there, she grabbed the boy, Timothy, and sprang on her horse and reached home in advance of her husband. Although they did not meet until they both returned home, they both found the lifeless bodies in the darkness, lying by the wayside, and each placed a hand upon the bare shoulder of Mrs. Reagan. 

The following has been taken from the '1882 Brink's History of Madison County': "What must have been her sensations as Mary 'Polly' Moore placed her hand upon the back of a naked corpse, and felt, on further examination, the quivering flesh from which the scalp had recently been torn? In the gloom of the night she could indistinctly see the figure of the little child of Mrs. Reagan's sitting so near the body of its mother as to lean its head, first one side, then the other, on the insensible and mangled body, as she leaned over, the little one said - 'The black man raised his axe and cutted them again.' She saw no further, but thrilled with horror and alarm, hastily remounted her frightened horse, and quickly hurried home where she heated water, intending by that means, to defend herself from the savage foe." 

William Moore had not been long absent from his brother, Abel's, before he returned saying that someone had been killed by the Indians. He had discerned the body of a person lying on the ground, but whether wan or woman it was too dark for him to see without a closer inspection than was deemed safe. 

The habits of the Indians were too well known by these settlers to leave a man in Mr. Moore's situation free from the apprehension of an ambuscade still near. Thinking the Indians were having a general uprising, he wanted to warn the other people in the area and get them to safety. 

From Abel's house he took Abel's wife and her remaining children along with Hannah Bates; and they headed for William's house and his family, having no idea if his wife had returned from her search. 

The first thought was to find refuge in the block house. Mr. Moore desired his brother's family to go directly by the road to the block house, while he would pass by his own house and take his family to the fort with him. The night was dark and the road passed through a heavy forest. Instead of going on alone without some protection, the women and children chose to accompany William Moore, though the distance to the Fort Wood River was thereby nearly doubled. The feelings of the party as they groped their way through the dark woods can be more easily imagined than described. Sorrow for the supposed loss of their relatives and children, was mingled with horror at the manner of their death and fear for their own safety and pain at the dreadful idea that the remains of their dearest friends lay mangled on the cold ground near them while they were denied the privilege of seeing and preparing them for sepulture. Silently they passed on until they came to the home of William Moore, when he exclaimed, as if relieved from strained apprehension, "Thank God, Polly is not killed!" The horse which his wife had ridden was standing near the house. As they let down the bars and gained admission to the yard, his wife came running out, exclaiming, "They are killed by the Indians, I expect." The whole party then departed hastily for the block house, to which place, all the neighbors, to whom warning had been communicated by signals, gathered by daybreak. 

BURYING THE DEAD
At dawn, the scene of the tragedy was found and the bodies of the children (scattered all along the path) indicated that they had tried to escape.

The sight of Rachel and the six children lying by the road side, all stripped of clothing, must have been horrifying.  The bodies all showed signs of being bludgeoned by tomahawk and all seven were scalped.  

The bodies were collected for burial. They were all buried with boards laid on the bottom and the sides, and above the bodies. There were no men to make coffins. The graves were dug with coffin-shaped vaults at the bottom, which were lined with slabs split from trees nearby as nearly like planks as possible; and after the bodies were placed in the vaults, they were covered over with the same kind of split slabs. 

The seven were buried in three graves; Mrs. Reagan and her two children, Elizabeth and Timothy, in one grave; Captain Moore's two children, William and Joel, in another, and William Moore's two children, John and George, in the third. 

Mr. Solomon Pruitt, who was not in the pursuit, assisted in the burial of the victims. He hauled them on a small one-horse sled to the burying ground south of Bethalto. There were no wagons in those days. There, a stone slab marks their resting place. 

The Vaughn cemetery, in section 24, where the victims of the Wood River massacre were buried, was the first regular place of interment in the area. It antedates the year 1809. Here the first Baptist church in the township was built. Rev. William Jones, eminent as a legislator as well as a minister, was the first preacher. His descendants, or some of them, still live in the county and are worthy of their distinguished ancestry. 

In this primitive cemetery the inscriptions on various tombstones can still be deciphered. Among others appear the names of members of the Ogle, Odell, and Rattan families. 

The original sandstone marker with the inscription: "William & Joel Moore were killed by the Indians July 10, 1814" was taken from this cemetery many years ago but can now be seen at the Alton Museum of History & Art. 

PURSUING THE PERPETRATORS
A young man named John Harris, living at Able Moore's home, was sent that night on horseback bearing the sad tidings to Fort Russell, located in the township of that name, Captain Samuel Whiteside (Whiteside County, Illinois was named for General Samuel Whiteside, an Illinois officer in the War of 1812 and Black Hawk War.) commanding, and to Fort Butler, Captain Moore commanding, to give the alarm. Leaving the latter place about one o'clock the same night, about seventy of the rangers from both forts, among whom were James and Solomon Preuitt, had arrived at Moore's Fort about sunrise, and proceeded to the scene of the tragedy. 

Seven were missing, and their bodies lay mangled and bleeding within a mile of the fort in the dark forest. There was little rest that night at the fort. The women and children of the neighborhood, with the few men who were not absent with the rangers, crowded together, not knowing but that at any minute the Indians might begin their attack. 

The news soon spread; and it was not long before Captain Whiteside and nine others gave pursuit. Among them were James Pruitt, Abraham Pruitt, William and John Sample, James Starkden, William Montgomery, and Peter Waggoner, whose descendants still live in Wood River and Moro townships. 

They were enabled to follow the track of the broken limbs on the bushes which the Indians did, as was supposed to tantalize the helpless women, thinking there were no men able enough to pursue them, and further on by the way they made through the tall prairie grass, and also by blood. The Indians when they learned they were pursued frequently bled themselves to facilitate their speed and give them greater endurance. 

The weather was extremely hot and some of the ranger's horses gave out entirely. Their order was to keep up the pursuit. 

The rangers pressed upon the fleeing red men. It was on the evening of the second day between sunset and dark that they came in sight of the Indians at a small stream entering the Sangamon River on the dividing ridge, about seventy miles distant in Morgan County. This site was named Indian Creek to remember what had taken place there. 

There stood on the ridge, at that time, a lone cottonwood tree. Several Indians climbed this tree to look back. They saw their pursuers from that tree. They separated and went in different directions, all making for the timber. When the whites came to the tree they, too, divided and pursued the Indians separately. 

James and Abraham Pruitt, taking the trail of an Indian, soon came in sight of him, and the former, having the fastest horse, soon came in range of him. He rode up to within thirty yards and shot him in the thigh. The Indian fell, but managed to get to a fallen treetop. Abraham soon came up and they concluded to ride in on the Indian and finish him, which Abraham did by shooting and killing him where he lay. In the Indian's shot-pouch was found the scalp of Mrs. Reagan. The Indian tried to raise his gun to shoot but was too weak to fire. The Indian had also lost his flint or he might have killed one of his pursuers. His rifle is supposed to be in the Pruitt family yet. The place where the Indians were overtaken was near where Virden now stands. The remaining Indians hid in the timber and the drift of the creek. It was learned, afterward, at the treaty of Galena, that only one Indian escaped and that was the chief who led the party. 

Where was Reason Reagan? Some new light has been shed on Reason's whereabouts on the day of the massacre. Samuel Thomas, Rachel's brother, states that Reason was accompanied by his younger sister, Cathy, when he went to church Sunday morning. Cathy was a young single woman who had recently come to the area; and, if she were to visit with anyone after church, she would have to be accompanied. It was summer time on a Sunday with no evident reason for concern. Cathy would eventually marry David Carter who lived in the area. She may have known him by this time or perhaps she was visiting with others. This provides a likely scenario for Reason's Sunday away from the family. In that era, it was not unusual to be unaware of happenings just a few miles away. None of our research as of yet has revealed when Reason returned home and learned of his family's fate. 

THE SURVIVING FAMILIES, MOVING ON
"Of those who took refuge in the fort that night there is probably but one now living, Mrs. Nancy Hedden, a daughter of Captain Abel Moore. She resides at San Diego, California and was then about a year and a half old." stated V. P. Richmond in 1882. 

George Moore married Peggy McFarlin December 27, 1814, in Madison County, Illinois. George Moore had two children: Margaret and Walter Moore while living in Madison County, Illinois. 

Years later, Mr. Thomas S. Pinckard who at the time was a resident of Springfield, Illinois, had kindly sent the following: "I have a vivid recollection of several of the old settlers who were living when I was a boy. Abel Moore, in his Dearborn wagon, with his wooden leg..." 

One of the members of the church, Mrs. Bates, the mother of the wife of Abel Moore, lived near Jersey Landing; another, Mrs. Askew, sister-in-law of Mrs. Abel Moore, also lived near Jersey Landing, and yet both came monthly, on horseback, exposed to imminent danger, and yet with great regularity and delight, to attend the stated appointments of the church. Mrs. Askew was Hannah Bates Askew. She married Josiah Askew. 

Another gallant officer of Wood River township was the son of Abel, Maj. Frank Moore, the famous Civil War cavalry raider and leader. It was said of him by a certain major general, on one occasion: "Maj. Moore has captured more prisoners than my whole army corps." 

In the sale of the old Abel Moore's homestead the Moore children reserved this sacred spot where the cabin of Abel once stood as a lasting tribute to their departed parents. This is where the fenced grave site in Gordon Moore Park can be seen today. 

Abel Moore died in 1846, at the age of 63. Mary Moore died the day before her husband, aged 61. They lie side by side on the very spot of ground where their pioneer cabin was constructed. 

Before the massacre, William's family consisted of his wife, daughter, and two sons, John and George, both of whom were victims at the Wood River massacre.

Six children were afterward born to the family. When they moved to Pike County, Illinois, in 1830, they took four children with them. Rachel had married five years earlier. Rachel, Lorenzo, Enoch, and Matthew lived to maturity and had families of their own. Louisa, aged 13, died in 1831 in Pike County. 

George had no children when he came to Madison County, but two were born while residing there, Margaret and Walter. The family migrated to Independence, Missouri in 1837.




A family visits the Wood River Massacre monument, located off Fosterburg Road. 1910

In Remembrance of The Pioneer Days of This Area, and To The Memory of The Victims of The Wood River Massacre, Who Were Killed by Indians Near This Site on July 10, 1814. Rachel Reagan, Elizabeth 7, Timothy 3, Wife and Children of Reason Reagan. John 10, George 3, Sons of William Moore. William 8, Joel 11, Sons of Capt. Abel Moore.
The Victims Are Buried in Vaughn Cemetery, On Highway 111 South of The Airport. Capt. Abel and Mary Moore Are Buried 100 Yards North of This Site. This monument dedicated July 10, 1980. Erected by Bushrod's Raiders.
"To The Memory Of The Victims Of The Wood River Massacre July 10, 1814 William & Joel Aged 10 & 8 Yrs. Sons Of Capt. Abel & Mary Moore. John & Geo Moore Aged 10 & 3 Yrs Sons Of William Moore. Rachel Reagan & Her Children Elizabeth & Timothy Aged 7 & 3 Yrs This Occurred About 300 Yds In The Rear Of This Monument. Dedicated Sept. 11 1910 By The Descendants Of Capt. Abel Moore." 
A new monument was dedicated Sept. 24, 1980 in a more visible spot for public viewing. It is almost directly across the Highway 140 entrance to the Gordon Moore Alton Community Park. Gordon Moore was no relation to the other Moores, however the park was built on the farm of the pioneer Abel and Mary Bates Moore. Abel Moore and Mary Bates Moore are buried where their house formerly stood, just a short distance from the new monument.