Guide Madison County, Tennessee: Historical Sketches of the County and Its People

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During the Civil War, it became a military prison. At times as many as 2, Confederate soldiers or sympathizers were crammed into its tiny rooms. Many died in this unsanitary hell: in , in , when smallpox broke out, in , and in After the war, the prison was torn down. Only a small wall of limestone blocks remains today. Abundant coal, wood, limestone, construction of railroads after , first to Alton, and then, the bridging of the Mississippi in , , and , drew capital and created a large industrial zone along the river in western Madison County.

Heavy industries manufactured steel, brass, glass, board and later cardboard boxes, farm equipment, kitchenware, railroad cars, automobile frames, machine tools, and refined crude oil. New villages, such as Worden , Glen Carbon , and Maryville sprouted beside new coalmines and their railroad connections. Since the first Federal Census of Madison County in counted 13,, the population had always grown steadily, except during the depressed decades of the s, s, s, and s.

During the heyday of expansion in mining and manufacturing, county population increased by 64 percent, from 51, in to , in Most of this increase occurred in the urbanized areas. French explorers of the 17th century had noticed coal deposits, and coal had been used for home stoves and steam engines in flour mills before the Civil War, but by the late 19th century, extraction of coal for both export and local consumption had become a major industry in the county, an industry enabled by rail links to local factories and to major manufacturers in St.

Louis and other parts of Illinois. Shipping mines always adjoined a railroad. By , 55 counties were producing coal dug from the gigantic bed underlying much of central and southern Illinois. Madison County, with 29 mines, 16 shipping coal to St.

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Louis or northern Illinois and 13 producing for local users, ranked 5th in the state, behind Williamson, Sangamon, St. Clair, and Macoupin.


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Miners in Madison County numbered 4, in Irish immigrants to Edwardsville and Alton had created Catholic parishes by German-speaking Swiss had platted the town of Highland in , and it attracted German-speaking immigrants during the rest of the century. A famous Swiss patriotic anthem, Sempacherlied, was written by Heinrich Bosshard, who lived in Highland from until his death in Dialects of German could be heard in every venue and the schools were bilingual until later in the 19th century.

By , its population had stabilized at about 3, Other communities also welcomed German immigrants. In that year, about one-fourth of the population of Edwardsville had been born in some part of Germany. Granite City did not exist in By , its population approached 10, Neighboring Madison , also founded in the s, with a population of 5, by , was bigger than Edwardsville, the county seat.

With Venice they formed what became known in the 20th century as the Tri-Cities. In contrast to manufacturers who were developing East St. Louis in St. Clair County, the Niedringhaus brothers, William and Frederick, who created Granite City from farmland between and , tried to make it attractive to workers. They donated land for churches, schools, a hospital, a YMCA, and a city hall. The town was platted by a professional planner.

For construction workers, mostly immigrant males, the brothers built a three-story frame hotel. They also planted 14, trees and supported in the organization of the Tri-City Labor Leaders Council, which represented 18 trade unions in the crafts. Unlike George Pullman in Chicago, the brothers encouraged worker ownership of these homes and gave up their ownership of what became public utilities. Louis Stamping Company opened a large steel rolling mill and a stamping-enameling plant for Granite Ware, a famous brand of kitchen utensils and pans, which continued to be manufactured until Others followed.

Most Bulgarians planned to return to the home country with money to support their wives and children, and many of them later did go home. After on a site south of Edwardsville, St. Louis industrialist N. Nelson, developed the Village of Leclaire. There, Nelson built facilities mainly for the manufacture of plumbing fixtures, marble tile, and custom installations related to plumbing.

The Appalachian Barn Alliance Documentation Project

Disturbed by often violent confrontations between desperate workers and managers determined to control them, Nelson strove to create a haven for manufacturing where cooperation rather than conflict would characterize relationships between company officials and workers. To this end, a major feature of his plan for Leclaire was profitsharing, which strongly distinguished him from other corporate leaders, such as George Pullman near Chicago and the Niedringhaus brothers in Granite City, who also hoped to create smoother relationships between workers and managers.

Unlike Pullman, who rented the housing he built and deducted the rent from paychecks, Nelson provided for worker ownership of individually designed homes in the village and for a cooperative store also owned by the workers.


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  • He built a school in the village and organized cultural opportunities and recreation for the whole community. Even his factory buildings were unique at the time, with huge windows providing natural light and with state-of-the-art safety policies. Nelson eventually moved on to other projects in other parts of the United States. In , the village was annexed to Edwardsville, but it remains today a special neighborhood whose residents are proud of its place on the National Register of Historic Places. The contiguous towns of Wood River , Roxana , South Roxana , and Hartford , located along the Mississippi north of Granite City and south of Alton, have been sites since the early 20th century for major oil refineries.

    Standard Oil opened the first plant in Wood River in It operated until the s. In , Shell Oil constructed a refinery in Roxana, which operated until the s. Increased use of automobiles and two world wars kept them going for nearly 80 years. The research section was moved to Houston in the s, and Shell ceased refining oil in Wood River. Even the mighty Mississippi was reformed by industrialization.

    Jackson & Madison County A pictorial history

    Gradually potential damage from flooding was reduced, and the channel of the river was altered to accommodate barges full of grain, coal, oil, and other bulk commodities. In the flood of the city suffered some losses, but the major plants were safe. Nearly five miles long, the canal was feet wide at the bottom. Excavated earth was piled 50 feet back from the canal to form 30 miles of new levies.

    Between and , the federally funded construction of Lock and Dam 26 on the Mississippi at Alton and the smaller 27 in Granite City created pools which made navigation of the Mississippi by barges possible almost all year. It was torn down and built after at a location two miles downriver from the earlier site. The main lock opened in , and the entire project, named for U.

    Representative Melvin Price from Granite City, was completed in The original Lock and Dam 26 in From the U. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Library. Agricultural and industrial wealth historically underwrote strong educational institutions throughout the County. A number of churches, especially Catholic and Lutheran, supported schools as well.


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    • By , most of the major towns had high schools. Shurtleff College, envisioned by its founder, the Baptist minister John Mason Peck, as a theological seminary and named for its principal benefactor, Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff, of Boston, opened its doors to male students in and to women, beginning in the s. Shurtleff was the first college in the Mississippi Valley. When it stopped admitting students due to financial problems in , the acre Shurtleff campus was purchased by the State of Illinois as a temporary residential center for the Edwardsville branch of Southern Illinois University until a new campus could be constructed.

      Donning Co.

      Town Histories of Madison County, TN

      Fine in Near Fine dust jacket. Fine hardcover in a Near Fine dust jacket which has been wrapped for protection.

      The Hiscox Family Farm Madison County, Tennessee

      Inscribed and signed by the author on the front endpaper. Minor shelf wear to dust jacket. Log-in or create an account first! Scroll over to zoom Click for full size. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the crispne This damage is c Ask the seller a question. Burns, G. An interesting and informative history of Madison County, Tennessee, is revealed in this compilation of historical and biographical sketches.

      Hopefully descendants of the personalities described This features a brief, but informative history of the county, as well as numerous biographical and genealogical sketches of Monroe County ancestors, which have been compiled from a great variety of Among the sketches you will also find many fully transcribed wills and numerous Revolutionary War veterans that made their home here at an early date. Through these sketches a fascinating history of Monroe County, Tennessee, is revealed! About M.