1940 Stories from Illinois History

Pioneers who broke large tracts of Illinois' farmlands in the 1820's and 1830's little realized that the clay fields of McDonough, Warren, and Green counties would lead to the development of an important industry. The clay fields were first developed for stone-ware making in 1824. Farm drain tile was for years the principal product. After the Civil War the tile and pipe industry rapidly expanded, and the present time three of its great centers are at Macomb, Monmouth, and White Hall.
Sheep raisers in Illinois in the early days were greatly troubled by wolves, and numerous contemporary references tell of the destruction once caused by them. In January, 1871, a news dispatch from Greene County stated that large numbers of wolves had been killing sheep in the western part of the county and that "they must either be exterminated or sheep raising be abandoned in that section." In February of the following year an Illinois newspaper reported: "Wolves are making themselves troublesome in Rodner and Kickapoo townships, Peoria County, carrying away sheep, shoats, etc." Their howling could be heard as far distant as Peoria.
Traveling artists in pioneer Illinois who made "free hand" portraits and sketched farm homes, competed in the 1850's with daguerreotype artists, who carried their equipment in large cars mounted on low wheels. In the Carrollton Gazette for June 3, 1854, a notice informed the public that the Frailey daguerreotype car would be in White Hall within a few days. The car was described as being "fully equipped with a sky-light room," and the artist was said to be very capable.

Although permanent studios succeeded this early type of photographic service, rolling studios may occasionally be seen today both in town and country.
High limestone bluffs flanking the Illinois River as it winds through Greene County rank among the popular scenic attractions of the state. The bluffs, estimated to be at least 7,000,000 years old, rise from 100 to 200 feet in height and extend for some 25 miles from the Scott County line southward to Macoupin Creek.

Although some are crowned by tree and other plant growths, most of them have sand crests. Years ago, these mounds were the favorite burial grounds of Indian tribes. Many implements, such as stone hatchets, axes, pipes, knives, and arrow-heads, have been unearthed here.

Extracted 19 Oct 2019 by Norma Hass from Stories from Illinois History, compiled by the Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Illinois, published in 1940, pages 21, 40, 57, and 71.

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