Samuel Wood, 1852, 1863, 1868

 

by Joseph Babich

 

Samuel Wood was elected mayor three times—1852, 1863, and 1868. Samuel was born at Blue Hill, Maine. His father, Samuel, and his mother, Francis Coburn, were natives of Maine and Massachusetts respectively, and were descendents from old English stock. Samuel Wood senior was a farmer. Samuel Wood junior had one brother and four sisters, but he was the youngest. After Samuel attended Blue Hill Academy, he learned the carpenter’s trade and was in practice for about twenty years. In 1838 he moved to Monmouth where he spent the remainder of his life.[1] He was first married in Monmouth on September 1, 1840, by the Rev. Samuel Wilson, to Miss Mary Ann Hogue, a native of Tennessee. They had four children: Almira Jane was born on July 16, 1843 and died on January 1, 1854. Clarinda was born and on August 21, 1845, later became Mrs. William Mitchell, which she died on January 28, 1937.[2] Her obituary was published in the Monmouth Atlas

 

Mrs. Clara Wood Mitchell passed away at 10:30 o’clock this morning at the Monmouth hospital where she was taken one month ago today with a fractured hip suffered in a fall.

Clarinda Wood, daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann Hogue Wood, was born August 21, 1845 in Monmouth. In 1865 she was united in marriage to H.F. Dougherty and to this union two children were born. A daughter died at the age of twelve, Mr. Dougherty and the son, Charles passed away a number of years ago. She was later married to William M. Mitchell April 3, 1873. She had spent all of her life in Monmouth with the exception of twenty years when she and Mr. Mitchell lived in Rock Island. She returned to Monmouth after the death of her husband sixteen years ago and has since made her home with her half-sister, Lena Wood, at 224 South A. Street.

Mrs. Mitchell is survived by one son, Willis C. Mitchell of Chicago, Four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral plans will not be completed until after the arrival of the son and his wife tonight. They will be announced later.[3]

 

        Charles P. was born on May 29, 1847 and died on January 1, 1854; then Alice, who was born on August 8, 1853, died on December 22, 1853; and Almira Jane, born on July 16, 1843, died January 1, 1854.

The three children all died of Scarlet Fever:

 

 “Died on December 22nd of scarlet fever, Alice, youngest daughter of Samuel Wood, aged 16 months.”[4]

“In the city, on the 1st instant, of scarlet fever, Charles Wood, aged five years and eight months, and Amira Jane, aged ten years and six months, children of Samuel Wood, esq. the affected parents, in this dispensation of Divine Providence, greatly need the consolation and sympathy of those who have parted with friends to meet no more.”[5] 

Samuel's first wife, Mary Ann Wood, died on April 28, 1856.[6] 

On January 21, 1858, Samuel was married in Monmouth to Miss Martha E. Mitchener, of Chester Co., Pennsylvania, the daughter of William and Rachel Mitchener.[7] Martha was born on April 20, 1825.[8] They had Lulia who was born on July 3, 1860, who died August 11, 1860. They also had Lena Leota who was born on June 12, 1863, which there was no death date given.

Samuel was a self-made man, and during his life enjoyed the respect and esteem of his neighbors but belonged to no church or secret Order. For many years before his death, he was engaged in no particular business, but on his demise he left his family a handsome competency.[9] Samuel Wood died of pneumonia, after suffering for two years, on December 21, 1881, at 3 pm, seventy-one years six months and nine days old.[10] Martha died of a heart attack on July 2, 1913, at 7:30 am.[11] 

Samuel Wood was the elected mayor in 1852, 1863, and 1868. He also served from November of 1867 to his 1868 because of the resignation of Mayor Turnbull. Samuel Wood was a Republican. Here is how he became mayor in 1852: 

 

“Ordinance 1st-be it ordained by the President and Trustees of the Town of Monmouth, in council convened, that the corporation and jurisdiction of the officers of the Town of Monmouth be one-half mile east, one-half mile west, one-half mile south and one-half mile north from the center of the Public Square, containing one mile square.”

Other ordinates were also passed from the government of the town, for the regulation of public houses and groceries, the punishment of offenders regulating the running at large of stock and any and all affairs pertaining to the welfare of a town.

Under this form of government the town was controlled, with several changes in the rulers, until 1852, when the General Assembly passed the following Act, approved June 21st, of that year:

“Sec. 1:—Be it enacted by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That the inhabitants of the Town of Monmouth, in the county of Warren and State of Illinois, be, and are hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, by the name and style of ‘The City of Monmouth,’ and by that name shall have perpetual succession, and may have and by that name shall have perpetual succession, and may have and use a common seal, which they may change and alter at pleasure.”

Section second fixes the boundaries at one mile from the center of the Public Square, each way, and section third provides for the division of the city into two wards.

From that time forward the government has remained unchanged, save that the increase, in population has made more wards and an increased number of councilmen, there being two from each ward. The first election for mayor and other officers was held on Saturday, October 23, 1852. Samuel Wood was elected to that office, and four aldermen, from the two wards who convened for the transaction of business on November 3rd, and fairly launched the city under the new government.[12]

 

The following had the taken place at the meeting that took place on Wednesday, November 3, 1852, for the city of Monmouth.

 

The city council of the city of Monmouth met at the office of James G. Madden, November 3, 1852 at two o’clock.

Present, Samuel Wood, Mayor; and N. A. Rankin, E.S. Swinney and William Rodgers, alderman.

On motion, James G. Madden was appointed clerk, pro tem.

The board then passed the following ordinances, to win.

Be it ordained by the city council of the city of Monmouth, That whenever there shall be a tie in the election of mayor and aldermen of the said city, and the judges of election shall certify the same to the mayor, the same shall be determined by lot in the following manner, to wit: A number of blanks shall be placed in a hat or box, upon two of which the names of the candidates shall be written. The mayor shall then draw from the same, and the candidate whose name shall be first drawn, shall be considered elected, said drawing to be in the presence of a quorum of the board.

Be it ordained by the city council of the city of Monmouth, that the owners of property lying on the square be, and they are hereby, required to pave in front of their property on the square in accordance with the provisions of ordinance number nine, as specified therein, by the first day of June 1853.

And be it further ordained, That if the owner of said property, as required by the aforesaid ordinance, then the mayor shall be, and is hereby, authorized to let out said paving  to the lowest bidder, and a special tax shall be levied on said property to pay for the same.

And be it further ordained, That so much of ordinance number nine as authorizes the corporate authorities of the city of Monmouth to pay or cause to be paid one half of the expense of paving side-walks either by retention of tax , or otherwise, be and the same is hereby, repealed.

Be it ordained by the city council of the city of Monmouth, That the regular meeting of this board shall be held at the court-house in said city on the first Monday of each month at the hour of 1 o’clock, p.m.

On motion, James Finney was appointed marshal of the city of Monmouth during the term of office of the present board; said Finney to qualify according to law, and to give bond in the sum of five hundred dollars.

On motion, the mayor was authorized to make contracts for making crossway on the four principal streets leading from the public square, letting the job to the lowest bidder, and that said crossways be of wood, stone, or gravel, which may be cheapest and most durable.

On motion, the mayor was authorized to let the printing to the lowest responsible bidder, for the term of office of the present board.[13]

 

On April 4, 1854, the township was organized, taking its name from the city of Monmouth. There was an election held at the court house with Samuel Wood being elected the township assessor.[14] Samuel Wood had a total of 179 votes for this position compared to Will Young’s 50 votes.[15] The township had three railroads passing through it: the main line of the C. B. & Q. R.R.,[16] St. Louis Division and the Central Iowa Railway Company.[17]

 The Review stated that the Democrats nominated C. L Armsby to run in the 1863 election for mayor.[18] In the Atlas stated that the Republicans are going to have a nomination period for the electoral positions later that night.[19] The results were as the following; East Ward: Samuel Wood 166 versus C. L Armsby 93-73 and in the West Ward: Samuel Wood 155 versus C. L. Armsby 53-103.[20] Then, in the same election, Samuel Wood also won the position of Supervisor of Streets.[21] This position involved keeping the roads maintained, the streets clean and overseeing construction. Some of the national problems going on is the Civil War. Politically, the Copperheads were the anti-war Democratic Party, which just wanted to end the war. Usually the people that had been called Copperheads were seen as supporting the southern view.

 On May 2, 1863, there was city council meeting was described in the newspaper: 

 

On motion, “The Monmouth Atlas” was voted the official paper of the city.

A petition was presented, signed by wm. Cannon and others, praying the City Council to authorize the slapping down a sidewalk on the north side of Broadway, between Chapel and Spring street, in front of the premises occupied by Mrs. Elizabeth McNiel, and, upon consideration, the prayer of said petitioners was allowed, and the persons owning or having in charge said premises as described above, are hereby ordered to have a sidewalk put down in front of the same within thirty days from this day—Said sidewalk to be made of two (2) inch planks placed on good substantial oak stringers, and to be laid at least eight (8) feet wide.

A petition was received signed by Nelson Stedman and others, praying the City Council to have laid down a sidewalk on Garden St. commencing at West Avenue, and running west on the south side of Garden St. to Pine St. to the south side of lot six, (6) in block sixteen, (16) in Coburn’s addition, and upon consideration, the prayer was allowed, and the parties owning or having in charge the lots adjoining the sidewalk as described above, are hereby ordered to have laid down, within the next ninety days, (check to see if there is a line here) to be at least four (4) feet wide, made of two (2) inch plank running lengthwise, to be placed on good substantial oak stringers, not more than five (5) feet apart.

On motion, the list of cemetery lots not yet paid for, is left in the hands of the Police Magistrate for collection.

Samuel Douglas was allowed $1.60 for putting down street crossing.

The following ordinance was passed;

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Monmouth, that the stated meetings of the City Council shall be held on the first Tuesday of every month is and place within the limits of said city, say the city council may from time to time order and direction, and that special meeting there of shall be called by the mayor or any two aldermen, by leaving written or printed notices the residence of the respective members, unless the same be personally served upon such members.

Sec. 2. Be it further ordained, that all ordinances of said city in conflict herewith, land the same are hereby repealed.

Approved May 2, 1863[22]

 

            On June 2, 1863, there was a regular city council proceeding:

 

On motion the following board of health was appointed. Health officer, Dr. J. R. Webster; Members, H. G. Hardin and Ivory Quinby.

On motion, John Johnson was allowed $75.00 on account of Manoa work.

On motion, W. A. Robinson, was allowed $5.05 being 5 percent on receipts of 15 cemetery lots, paid into City Treasury.

On motion, D. W. Mall was appointed policeman for the 1st Ward, in place of Anthony Cannon, resigned.

The letters of the proposed bridge near the residence of John Savillie was left to the discretion of the Mayor.

On Motion, the city sexton is authorized to remove bodies in the cemetery, that have been placed by mistake in the highway; and the said sexton shall be allowed the sum of $2 each, for removing said bodies.[23]

 

In 1864 Samuel Wood won the position of Assessor for Monmouth Township 406 to 164.[24] On April 5th 1867, Turnbull won the election for the Republicans, then the next week Turnbull taking the position as postmaster.[25] Turnbull was told that he either could be postmaster or mayor, but not both. If the paper work had been completed by Abraham Lincoln, is administrable would have been able to do both jobs but with the new president, Andrew Johnson, it did not go through.[26] There were a total of five men that took over his term until the next year: Geo Babcock, J. N. Reece, I Quinby, R. Y. Frew, and Samuel Wood.

 The Atlas shows that Samuel Wood had taken over the rest Turnbull’s mayor term starting on November 7, 1867: 

 

A petition was presented signed by N. G. Hardin, and 35 others praying the City Council to lay off a new ward. To comprise all that part of the city laying south of the Rail Road.

The council having considered, the same, --Mr. Baldwin, by difference of the council, introduced a bill for; an ordinance to establish the Third Ward and moving that the same be published in the Monmouth Atlas and the Monmouth Review.

On motion, ordered that a sidewalk be constructed in the following described locality.

1st on the north side of Summer street from west side of West Street to the east side of Pine Street.

The owners are requested to construct the sidewalk adjacent to their property within twenty days of this date.

On motion, the Mayor was authorized to contract for two cisterns on the Public Square, of 400 barrels each.

On motion, Mr. Baldwin was appointed to procure Hook’s and Ladders for the use of the City.

On motion, ordered that fifteen cents on each one hundred dollars, be levied an all taxable property, assessed for Fire purposes, for the current year.

 

ORDER FOR LOCAL PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS

 

Nos. 8, 9, and 10

 

On motion ordered that the Mayor be, and he is hereby directed to cause to be constructed.

1st—A sidewalk on the south side of East Garden Street, from the north west corner of lot 4, in block 12, to the middle of lot 3, in block 11 of the College Addition, with crossing over College street, being 20 rods of sidewalk and 4 rods of street crossings.

2d—A sidewalk on the west side of Berwick street, from the northeast corner of lot 5, in block 7, to the southeast corner of lot 12, in block 7, south Addition, being 16 rods of sidewalk.

3d—A sidewalk on the east side of Lancaster Street, from the north side of Oak street to the south side of Depot street, in South Addition, with street crossing over Walnut and Oak street, being 43 rods and 8 rods of street crossing.

 

Local Public Improvement, No. 8

 

Alderman Frew and Blackburn presented a report which was read as follows:

For the City Council of the City of Monmouth—

“Your committee to whom was referred your order of the 7th instant, in relation to a proposed improvements at $136.00 and the probable cost of laying all collecting the assessment thereof at $115.00. Total cost of said proposed improvement $167.00.” Respectfully submitted, R. Y. Frew and J. H. Blackburn.

And, on motion, it was therefore ordered list said report and estimate be, and the same are hereby approved that W. H. Merridith, W. S. Horne and J. B. Martin be, and they are hereby appointed Commissioners to make, in the manner directed by “An Ordinance to provide for the levy and collection of assessments for Local Public Improvements,: a just said proposed improvements.”

 

Local Public Improvement, No. 9

 

Alderman Frew and Blackburn presented a report which was read as follows:

To the City Council of the City of Monmouth—“your committee to whom was referred our order of the 7th inst., in relation of a proposed sidewalk and street crossing, on the west side of Berwick street, respectfully report, that from the best information we can obtain, we estimate the probable cost of said proposed improvement at $73.00, and the probable cost of levying and collecting the assessment therefore at $9.69—Total cost of said proposed improvement $81.69. respectfully submitted, R. Y. Frew and J. R. Blackburn.

And, on motion, it was before ordered that said report and estimate be, and the same are hereby approved and confirmed, and it was further ordered that W. H. Merridith, W. S. Horne and Jon B. Martin, be, and they are hereby appointed Commissioners to make, in the manner directed by “An Ordinance to provide for the levy and collection of a assessment for Local Public Improvements,” a just an equitable assessment of said sum of $81.79, on the real estate best fitted by said proposed improvements.

 

Local Public Improvement No. 10

 

Alderman Frew and Blackburn presented a report which was read as follows:

To the City Council of the City of Monmouth—“Your committee to about was referred your order of the 7th inst., to relation to a proposed sidewalk and street crossing, on the east side Lancaster Street, respectfully report, that from the best information we can obtain, we estimate the probable cost of said proposed improvement at $256.00 and the probable cost of levying and collecting the assessment there along at $15.77. Total cost of said proposed improvements $273.77. Respectfully submitted, R. Y. Frew and J. H. Blackburn.

And, on motion, it was therefore ordered that said report and estimate be, and the same are hereby approved and confirmed, and it was further ordered that W. H. Merridith, W. S. Horne and J. B. Martin, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners to make, in the manner appointed directed by “An Ordinance to provide for the levy and collection of assessments after Local Public Improvements,” a just and equitable assessment of said Sum $273.77 on all real estimate.

Sec 1-To it ordained by the city council of the city of Monmouth, That as much of the 1st and 2nd wards of said city as lies south of the centre of the main track of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, he, and the same is hereby detached from said 1st and 2nd wards respectively, and erected into a new ward to be called the 3rd ward.

Sec 2-That the first election shall be held in said 3rd ward, on the first Monday of April, next, and the elections of said ward shall be previously registered for the purpose of effecting; such registration, this ordinance shall not take effect till said first Monday of April.

Passed Nov. 7th 1867.[27] 

 

         Chapter LXXI was possible by the laws set up between the General Assembly and the current government the time that there was a General Assembly. The South Ward became about because of the population of Monmouth had grown because of the railroads. People in the town wanted to control the sale of liquor and amusement sites in the town: 

 

The mayor present the petition of ninety-eight citizens, praying that “An ordinance to regulate certain places of refreshments and amusement,” maybe so amended, as to exempt from its operations, all places of “refreshment: where no intoxicating liquors are sold or kept for sale.

And the same being considered, it was, on motion, ordered that the city Attorney prepare and bring in, at the next meeting of the council, a bill for the repeal of said ordinance; and that the city clerk publish said petition with the signatures there for appended, with the proceeding of this meeting.[28] 

 

There was an article about the impeachment of Andrew Johnson on the second page of the paper. All the city election results were on the second or third pages of the newspaper. On March 2, 1868, records show that the city council instructed Mayor Samuel Wood to purchase the lot of N. and J. Carr, the northeast corner of lot two blocks of twenty-five of the old town plat. for city purposes.[29] 

During Samuel Wood’s 1868 term the Monmouth Reading Room and Library was opened on June 1. Up till this point there were several attempts made, from time to time, by Church societies, and by citizens to establish a public library, but nothing was done to secure a reading room until W. P Pressly made a monetary commitment. He was one of Monmouth’s benefactors and made the public library a success.[30] 

Samuel Wood had some interesting comments about his the democratic opponent, S. W. Whitenack: 

 

‘He,’ (Whitenack) ‘was brought out as the best man the democracy could run. He was not the candidate of any clique or little street interest, and had no “axes to grind” for any particular locality and could easily have been elected, had those who claim to be democrats, and prate lustily about their democracy and great services to the party, stuck to him and the regular ticket. His defeat was brought about by local causes, and whatever glory the radicals may claim over it, can be laid at the door of the ‘sore heads’ who cut Whitenack because he did not choose to follow at the heels of a petty street fighter.’ ‘They had in the person of Whitenack a temperance man and a Christian that came up to the standard of an officer they wanted. They flunked out, and their temperance zeal [sic] oozed out as the ends of their fingers.’[31]  

 

The results from that election were in the West Ward: Samuel Wood 198 to S.W. Whiteneck 63, in the East Ward: Samuel Wood 116 to S.W. Whiteneck 114, and in the South Ward: Samuel Wood 80 to S. W Whiteneck 54. This resulted in a majority for Samuel Wood of 163.[32] But the along with what Samuel Wood had to say about his opponent, the public agreed with the Review, a democratic newspaper: 

 

We agree with the review that the question of streets ought not to have had anything to do with out city election, but if it had not, Whitenack would have been worse beaten than he was. The average vote for Democratic Aldermen in the West War left Whitenack but fourteen behind, while that for Republican Alderman in the East Ward left Wood fifty behind. It would appear, therefore, that more republicans scratched Wood in the East Ward than Democrats did Whitenack in the West and as we know no other reason to suppose it must have been on the street question. It is plain then, that the balance from scratching is in favor of the Democrats.[33] 

An issue of this time was the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) meeting in Louisiana. The article in the paper basically talks about how the KKK was demanding that the union troops get out of rebel country.  The article was also published because it was an attack on the Democratic Party by waving the bloody shirt, a reference to the wounded men of the Civil War, for supporting the South. But most of the time the public was interested in local issues. The following was published in the paper from the meeting on May 5, 1868:

 

[Start of this line unreadable] Supervisor of streets be appointed from one of the wards, and an Assistant Supervisor from each of the other wards; and that each Supervisor collect the tax in his ward, and apply the same for the improvement of that ward.

On motion, the Supervisor was required to give bond for one thousand ($1,000) dollars, and each assistant, bond for six hundred ($600) dollars.

On motion, the Supervisor were each allowed for their services two dollars and fifty cents per day.

On motion, a committee of three, the Mayor as chairman, were appointed to receive all such proposals and contract with the same, Mesars, Dunn and Grant were added to the committee.

A bill of nails, of W.F. Smith & son, for four dollars was presented, and on motion, was allowed, and the clerk ordered to issue an order for the same.

On motion, if Perrott was allowed one dollar for a policeman’s star lost while in the service of the city.

On motion, the Clerk was ordered to issue an order in favor of A. A. Mannou for twenty-five dollars and eighteen cents, being interest due from March 15th to Dec 15th.

On motion, a sidewalk four feet; in width, on the south side of Walnut Street, from Harding street to Warsaw street, was ordered laid within twenty days.

The petition of John Black and others, praying for a sidewalk 20 inches in width, from the south line of Gowdy’s Addition, on the west side of West Avenue, north to the corner of James Flack’s lot, was ordered laid within thirty days.

Bond of Wm. Cowan, City Marshal, was presented, and approved by the board.

Bond of James W. Beard, City Collector, was presented, and approved by the board.

Bond for W.C. Fleming, Supervisor of Streets, was presented and approved by the board.

On motion, the Mayor was authorized to make provision for the observation of the basement of the engine building.

On motion, the contract for a steam fire engine was declared null and void, and the Mayor was instructed to notify the parties interested of the decision of the board.

On motion, a committee of two, W.A. Grant and J.A. Boynon, were appointed to correspond in relation to seen ring hooks and ladders.[34] 

 

      The city could approved money on the sidewalks and the supervisor along with his assistants of the street department, then did not want to spend money on a steam fire engine to fight fires until it is proven effective. This was approved fifteen days later. The following took place in the called meeting on May 20, 1868: 

 

The committee consisting of J. G. Madden, Elisah Nye and Samuel Douglas—appointed to test the working power of the steam fire engine—presented their report, saying the fire engine performed all the working claimed for it by the contractor.

Also the committee, consisting of John Carr, Hugh C. Robinson, Geo. H. Nye, Hugh R. Henry, E. C. Johnson and A. R. Cannon, presented a report as to the capacity and running order of the engine and machinery.

On motion, the reports of the above committees were accepted and the committee, discharged.

The contract entered into between the former city council and H.C. Silaby for a steam fire engine, having been pronounced valid by the City Attorney, and there being no honorable means of reconsidering said contract, the council, on motion, accepted the steam fire engine, and ordered the Mayor to fulfill the contract on the part of the city.

The bond of J. N. Reese as City Treasurer, was presented, and, on motion was approved by the council.[35] 

 

      An article on June 19, 1868, reported how well the library was coming along and how they were grateful for the donation by Judge Quinby. The library staff is encouraging people of the community to help send in money so that the library can grow even more; they are asking for a hundred dollars from some, for others a thousand dollars, and some as high as five thousand dollars.[36] On the July 6,1868, the city council had a meeting that involved the following motions/topics: 

 

On motion, the council agreed to purchase one patent scraper of C.W. Palmer, and the clerk was directed to issue an order for seventy-five dollars ($75) dollars, the price of it in favor of him.

On motion, it was ordered to build a pavement ten feet in width, including a ditch, and macadamise five feet round the Public Square.

 

Local Public Improvement, No. 18

 

Messis Mayor Wood and Alderman Dunn presented a report which was read as follows:

To the City Council of the City of Monmouth—We, the committee appointed to estimate the cost of Local Public improvement No. 18, do find the probable cost of the same to be $2,400.00 and the probable cost of levying and collecting the assessment thereof as $50.00—Total cost of proposed public improvement at $2,450.00. Respectfully submitted Samuel Wood and C.A Dunn.

And, on motion, it was therefore ordered that said report and estimate be and the same are hereby approved and commissioners to make, in the manner directed by “An ordinance to provide for the levy and collection of assessments for Local Public Improvements,” a just and equitable assessment of said sum of $2,450.00 on the real estate benefited by said proposed improvement.

 

Local Public Improvements No. 19, 20, 21, & 22.

 

Aldermen Dunn and Palmer, presented a report which was read as follows:

To the City Council of the City of Monmouth—[first three lines are unreadable on the microfilm] West Avenue, from Broadway to Summer street, with probably cost $178.00 and the probable cost of levying and collecting the assessments thereof will be $3.00. Total cost of said proposed improvement $181.00.

In relation to your order for Local Public Improvement No. 20, we report, that a sidewalk on the west side of West Avenue from north side of Summer street, to Gowdy’s addition, twenty inches in width, with probably cost $52.00, and the probable cost of levying and collecting the assessments thereon will be $3.00. Total cost of said proposed improvements $55.

In relation to your order for Local Public Improvement, No. 21, we report a sidewalk on the west side of West street, from Warren to Illinois street. It will probably cost $64.50, and the probable cost of levying and collecting the assessments thereon will be $3.00. Total cost of said proposed improvements $67.50.

In relation to your order for Local Public Improvement No. 22, we report that a sidewalk on the south side of Walnut Street, from West Avenue to Pine Street, will probably cost $50, and the probable cost of levying and collecting the assessment thereon will be $3. Total cost of said proposed improvement $53.

In relation to your order of Local Public Improvement No. 23, we report hat a sidewalk on the west side of West Avenue, from South line of Gowdy’s Addition north to the corner of [first part of line got cut out so it is unreadable] twenty inches in width, will cost $129.50, and the probable cost of levying and collecting the assessment thereon will be $3.00. Total cost of proposed improvement will be $132.50. All of which it most respectfully submitted, C. A. Dunn and C. W. Palmer.

On motion, it was therefore ordered that said reports and estimate be and the same are hereby approved and confirmed, and it was further ordered that W. H. Merridith, J. B. Martin and W. S. Horne, be, and they are are[sic] hereby appointed commissioners to make, in the manner directed by “An ordinance to provide for the levy and collection of assessments for Local Public Improvements,” a just and equitable as sesament of said sums on the real estate benefited by said proposed improvements.

On motion, Mesers Samuel Graham and W. A. Grant, were appointed a committee to estimate the cost of building a culvert on Warren street, between Forest street and Maple Street.

On motion, the City Marshal was authorized to procure two balls and chains.

On motion, the Fire Marshal—J. A. Boynon—was authorized to order the following articles for hook and Ladder Company: 4 twenty feet Ladders, 4 sixteen feet Ladders, 6 Pike Poles, 2 large Hooks, Chain and Ropes, 4 axes, and 2 Tormentors.

On motion. Adjourned to meet Tuesday, July 7th at 1 o’clock p.m.[37]

         

   They held another meeting on the following day, July 7, 1868:

 

On motion, the Fire Marshall—J. A. Boynon,--was authorized to procure the following articles for the Fire Company: 4 Trumpets regulation size, 4 extra Compllags, 2 Rubber Pipes and Nozzles, and 5 dozen Rolls, lettered and bound.

On motion, it was ordered that one hundred dollars ($100) annually be appropriated to the Fire Company for cleaning and keeping in order the Steam Fire Engine.

On motion, The Mayor was authorized to procure a well near Jose’s factor, not less than ten feet in depth, and twelve feet in diameter in the clear.

On motion, the City attorney was instructed to draw up an ordinance to amend Section 32, of “An Ordinance [unreadable] meaners, nuisance, and police, in the city of Monmouth,” so as to read, “In making arrest, or in serving, or attempting to serve any lawful process issued by virtue of this or any ordinance of said city.”[38] 

The City Council of the Monmouth held a meeting on August 3, 1868, reported in the Atlas:

On, motion, the report of the committee appointed to estimate the cost, of building a bridge on Warren street, between Maple street and Forrest street, was received and the committee discharged.

On motion, the Supervisor of streets was authorized to build a wooden bridge 16 feet in length and 12 feet width at the fore mentioned place.

Petition of Peyton Roberts and others praying for a sidewalk on the east side of Chapel street, from Broadway to north side of Sedgewick street, was presented.

On motion, the prayer of said petition was granted, and said walk was ordered laid within 30 days.

On motion, the City Marshal was authorized to instruct all policemen to take up all stock running at large, contrary to the provisions of any ordinance of this city.

Report of commissioners for Local Public Improvement No. 18, was presented, and, on motion, said report was laid on the table.

On motion, reports of commissioners for Local Public Improvements, No’s 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 were received and approved.

On motion, the Mayor was authorized to pay the parties building the public well near Jose’s factory with city orders.

On motion, the Mayor and Alderman Palmer and Harding were appointed a committee to examine and estimate the probable cost of building public wells near the Dept, and near the Railway on Main street.[39] 

 

            As the race for the presidential race heated up there was an article called Political Points talks about the Republican Party and Gen. Grant: “The Review says that Gen. Singleton, ‘all his life has been identified with the farmers, the mechanies[sic], and the day laborers.’”[40] From this article there were two Civil War generals going against each other for the presidency. Also, shows signs of the Republicans being more for the upper class and the Democrats for the lower and middle class. 

In the same newspaper but on the next page [3] and in the first column there is an article of all the City Improvements going on in the city. There is also the minutes from the September 7, 1868, regular meeting were published in the paper: 

 

On motion, it was ordered that fifty cents for city purposes, and twenty-five cents for fire purposes, on each One Hundred Dollars, be levied on all taxable property assessed for the current year.

On motion, a sidewalk was ordered laid on the north side of West Vine and Railroad street, from Main street to the Depot.

On motion, a sidewalk was ordered laid on the north side of Oak street, from Main street to Warren street.

The report of commissioners on Local Public Improvement No. 18, was taken up and reconsidered, and on motion, said report was approved and confirmed.

On motion, the committee was instructed not to commence operations on the proposed public work, unless the owners of property adjacent thereto shall first obligate themselves to pay the estimated cost of said work, and not to contract or said work at a price to exceed the estimated cost.

On motion, the Supervisor was instructed to draw the water off Main street, between Illinois street and the Railway.

On motion, N.G. Harding was appointed [can not read line from microfilm] absence.

On motion, it was ordered that the well on the corner of Locust and Wood streets be enlarged to 12 feet in diameter in the clear, provided on hundred dollars are pledged for the work by parties directly interested.

On motion, it was ordered that the ordinance in relation to Ball playing, apply to Locust and Wood Street, extending one block either way from the intersection of said street.[41] 

 

            These are the minutes from the October 5, 1868, meeting, but there was a different mayor, Harding was reported in the paper even though the minutes at the City Hall of Monmouth have Samuel Wood as the mayor and present at the meeting: 

 

Petition of Berges & Marks praying for the lease of sufficient ground to put up a pair of scales, on the vacant land lying north of the Railroad and west of Water Street, was preserved.

On motion, the prayer [can not read on microfilm] was granted, and Mayor Harding was instructed to lease said ground.

On motion, the Monmouth Milling Company was allowed he privilege of laving a pipe from the well, corner of Locust street and Wood street to their Mill, and use the water therefrom [sic] subject to future regulation of the City Council.

Petition of R. Y. Frew and others, praying that Lancaster street be opened, extending north to the Railroad, was presented.

On motion, the prayer of said petition was granted.

Petition of J. W. Beard and others praying for a sidewalk on the west side of Main street, from south east corner of lot five (5) block eleven (11) to the north-east corner of lot one (1) block eight (8) in Harding Addition to Monmouth, was presented.

On the prayer of said petition was granted.

On motion, C.W. Palmer was authorized to draw orders on the City Treasury to pay the cost of building the wall on the corner of Locust and Wood streets.

On motion, the clerk was directed to reduce the, Assessor’s valuation on lots ten (10) and eleven (11) subdivision of lot four (4) block nineteen (19) in old town plat. twenty-five dollars each.[42] 

 

            There seemed to be more bills passed that were never brought up when Samuel Wood was there. A few examples of this are the vacant land motion and the streets being opened. There was another meeting held on November 2, 1868:

 

On motion, R. B Beckleg was allowed twenty percent of all license fees collected by him up to date, and the clerk was directed to issue an order in favor of him for that amount $5.85.

On motion, an auditing committee consisting of W. A. Grant, N. G. Harding and C.A. Dunn were appointed.[43] 

 

            In the November 6, 1868, paper, there was the announcement of victory and peace. It states the following contents in the article: "The Rebellion Ended, General Grant becoming president, the loyal states have spoken, Andrew Johnson impeached, and Democrats come Salt River." On December 7, 1868, here was what was published. “Report of Jurors appointed to assess damages on opening Lancaster street was presented, and, on motion, said report was laid on the table until next regular meeting of the council.”[44]

            The council proceedings published on January 15, 1869, shows that on January 4th these decisions were made: 

 

On motion, the time of collecting the City taxes was extend one month form the first day of January.

 

Local Public improvement, No. 24

 

Your committee, appointed to estimate the probable cost of a sidewalk on the east side of East street, from Railroad street to Oak street and from East street to Warren street respectfully report that the probably cost of said proposed improvement would be $149.75, and the probable cost of levying and collecting the assessments therefore $12.25. Total cost of said proposed improvement $162.00. Respectfully submitted, C.A. Dunn.

And, on motion, it was, therefore, ordered that said report and estimate, be and the same and hereby confirmed and approved, and it was [unreadable line] Horne and J.B.  Martin, be and they are hereby appointed commissioners to make, in the manner directed by “An Ordinance to provide for the levy and collection of assessments for Local Public Improvements,” a just and equitable assessment of said sum of $162.00 on the real estate benefited by said proposed improvement.[45] 

            There was another meeting held on March 1, 1869: 

 

On motion, A.C. Gregg was allowed city orders, to the amount of $40 as interest on borrowed money.

On motion Chapter 78 of Ordinance was adopted, to-wit: “An Ordinance to amend Chapter 58, entitled an ordinance relative to misdemeanors, duties of police magistrate; also, an amendment to Sections 8 and 9 of Chapter 16.

On motion, the following named persons were appointed members of the Board of Registry for vote, and Judges of Election for the annual City Election, to be held on the first Monday of April, A.D. 1869.

East Ward—Josiah Martin, Jacob H. Hold and R. N. Allen.

West Ward—Wm. S. Horne, A. C. Gregg and James Shoemaker.

South Ward—C. Cost, Geo McCormick and DeLoyd Harding.

 

Chapter LXXVIII

 

An Ordinance to amend Chapter 58, entitled “An Ordinance relative to misdemeanors duties of police amalgamate; also, amendment to Section 8 and 9 of Chapter 16

Section 1—be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Monmouth, That in all cases where any person or persons, shall be adjudged to pay any fine, penalty, or forfeiture, for the breach of any ordinance of the City of Monmouth it shall be lawful for the Police Magistrate, or other court, before whom the same maybe tried, to direct and order that such offender may be {unreadable line] mouth, or the County Jail of Warren County, Illinois, until such fine, penalty, or forfeiture and costs are aid; or until such offender or {unreadable lines] sued accordingly.

Sec. 2.—That all such executions for and against the body heretofore issued and not executed, shall be hereafter executed by the City Marshal of said City, or such other officers required to execute the same by imprisoning and keeping such offender at the city prison of said city of Monmouth.[46] 

 

            The last meeting that was published with Samuel Wood voting on improvement and such issues was held on April 5th, 1869. The next meeting that was held had Samuel Wood and the council resigned so the officers elected for the next year could take over:

 

On motion, in compliance with a petition from Ellis Willis and others, a sidewalk four feet in width on the south side of Illinois street from the corner of West Avenue to the west end of said street, was ordered laid.

On motion, in compliance with a petition from J. C. Morgan and others, a sidewalk 20 inches in width, on the west side of Main street from the lumber yard of Jenks & Gregg, to the east front of block one, in Morgan’s addition, with a crossing to connect with the sidewalk of J.C. Morgan, was ordered laid.[47] 

 

            The council planned on having a meeting on Friday, April 30th, 1869, at 9 o’clock a.m. The paper had nothing on this meeting. In the majority of the town meetings throughout the years that Samuel Wood was being mayor there were bills/money orders passed. They were different for each one but some had some of the same issues. For example, how much it is for the prisoners diet, how much different Marshals and Supervisors received, money paid to different people, etc. 

            The Warren county census for the years of 1850’s, 1860’s, 1870’s, and 1880’s give a rough idea of who was living in Samuel Wood's house. The 1850’s Warren County census showed that he was a carpenter at the time and the people living at his house: Samuel Wood age 40, Mary Ann age 36, Almira J. age 7 and in school, Clarinda age 5, Charles age 2, and Margaret Hogue, age 62 and widow. In the same house, but under Margaret there was Jane age 29 and Thomas G. 40 and being a carpenter. Also that his real estate was worth $4800.[48] 

            From the Warren County Illinois 1860’s Federal Census: Samuel Wood was age 48 and was still a carpenter. Samuel Wood had $5000 in real-estate and $3000 in personal estate; it also has Hattie E. who is 35, which it should be Martha E. (Mitchener). Both women were from Pennsylvania and they both were the same age. There is also Clarinda who is 15 years old and still in school. There is also a man named Westly Brown  from Pennsylvania and 25 years old. He was related to Martha but no record was found of what relationship was. Martha and Samuel had a daughter born in this year but not early enough to be published in the census.[49] 

            The 1870 census had the following information in it about the Wood family: Samuel Wood was 59 years old and was retired. Samuel Wood had $13,000 in real-estate and in $ 7,000 in personal estates. Martha E was also living there and she was 45 and she took care of the house. Lena was age 7. There is also Clarinda Dougherty who is also 24 years old and a widow and she is worth $1000. Also her two children living there, the daughter at the age of 4 years and their son Charles at the age of 2.[50] 

            The published 1880 census contained this on Samuel Wood: Samuel Wood was 69 years of age, Martha E age 55, and Lena age 17, which there ages were given from the last birthday prior to June 1, 1880. Samuel Wood was stated as retired, Martha as keeping house, and Lena as at school.[51] Samuel Wood had died on December 21 of 1881 and the obituary is this:

         Samuel Wood came to Monmouth in 1838 when the town contained less than a hundred houses and less than 500 inhabitants.  He was the first mayor of the city, after its incorporation in 1852, and was again elected to that office in 1863 and 1868. Mr. Wood was one of the owners of Wood and Carr’s addition to the city, laid out in 1854 and comprising thirteen blocks north of West Fifth Ave. and between south B. Street and the Rock Island Line of the Burlington Railroad; and also was owner of Wood’s addition of Three irregular blocks laid out in 186 and lying south of West fifth Ave. and west of the St. Louis Division tracks. He died Dec. 21, 1881.[52]

 

 

Joseph Babich wrote this biography for his historiography class at Monmouth College under the direction of William Urban.


[1] Portrait and Biographical Album of Warren County, Illinois (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1886), 303. People who arrived in Warren Country before 1844 were considered Old Settlers.

[2] Portrait and Biographical Album of Warren County, Illinois, 303. In the Warren County library genealogy and local history room, in the family sheets, under Wood. In the folder there was a copy of the first pages of a holy bible that contains sheets for birth, deaths, and marriages. The birth dates came from here and the death date for Clarinda from this source also.

[3] Monmouth Atlas. January 28 1937, page 3, column 6.

[4] Monmouth Atlas. December 30, 1863, page 3, column 1.

[5]  Monmouth Atlas. January 6, 1854, page 3, column 1.

[6] Portrait and Biographical Album of Warren County, Illinois, 303.

[7] Portrait and Biographical Album of Warren County, Illinois. 303-304. Martha’s father’s family came over with William Penn to America. Martha was born April 23, 1825. Her parents and she came to Monmouth in 1854. Her father died in 1860 at the age of 82 years old. His wife lived about six more years and passed at the age of eighty-five.

[8] Certificate and Record of Death. The Warren County Court House.                      

[9] Portrait and Biographical Album of Warren County, Illinois. 303-304. I used from the Warren County library genealogy and local history room the Family sheets, under Wood. In the folder they had a holy bible copy that contained sheets for birth, deaths, and marriages. I got the birth dates from here for Lena Leota.

[10] Physician’s Certificate of Death. The Warren County Courthouse.

[11] Certificate and Record of Death. The Warren County Courthouse.

[12] The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois, 144.

[13] Monmouth Atlas. November 26, 1853, Page 3, column 1. For the 1852 and 1863 terms of Wood being mayor, there were no minutes at the Monmouth City Hall

[14] The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois (Chicago: Kett, 1877), 733.

[15] Monmouth Atlas. April 7, 1854, page 2, column 1.

[16] The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois. 733.

[17] The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois, 704.

[18] Monmouth Review. April 3, 1863, page 3, column 3.

[19] Monmouth Atlas. April 3, 1863, page 2, column 1.

[20] Monmouth Review. April 10, 1863, page 2, column 3.

[21] Monmouth Atlas. April 10, 1863, page1, column 1.

[22] Monmouth Atlas. May 8, 1863, page 2, column 4-5.

[23] Monmouth Atlas. June 19, 1863, page 3, column 3.

[24] Monmouth Atlas. April 8, 1864, page 2, column 3.

[25] Monmouth Atlas. April 5, 1867, page 3 and Monmouth Atlas, April 12, 1867, page 3, column 1.

[26] Lisa Adams:  https://department.monm.edu/history/history_of_history_department/john_m_turnbull.htm.

[27] Monmouth Atlas. November 15, 1867, page 2,column 6.

[28] Monmouth Atlas. November 22, 1867, page 3, column 3.

[29] Eckley articles, Monmouth Review Atlas, book #11 page 6, Civil War Ends, City Hall Built. This can be located at the geological and local history room in Warren County Library.

[30] The Past and Present of Warren County, Illinois, 702.

[31] Monmouth Atlas. April 17, 1868, page 3, column 1.

[32] Monmouth Atlas. April 10, 1868, page 3, column 1.

[33] Monmouth Atlas. April 17, 1868, page 3,column 1.

[34] Monmouth Atlas. May 22, 1868, page 3, column 2.

[35] Monmouth Atlas. May 29, 1868, page 3, column 2.

[36] Monmouth Atlas. June 19, 1868, page 3, column 1.

[37] Monmouth Atlas. July 10, 1868, page 3, column 3.

[38] Monmouth Atlas. July 10, 1868, page 3, column 3.

[39] Monmouth Atlas. August 7, 1868, page 3, column 2.

[40] Monmouth Atlas. September 11, 1868, page 2, column 1.

[41] Monmouth Atlas. September 11, 1868, page 3, column 3.

[42] Monmouth Atlas. October 9, 1868, page 3, column 2.

[43] Monmouth Atlas. November 6, 1868, page 3, column 2.

[44] Monmouth Atlas. December 11, 1868, page 3, column 2.

[45] Monmouth Atlas. January 15, 1869, page 3, column 1.

[46] Monmouth Atlas. March 5, 1869, page 3, column 2.

[47] Monmouth Atlas. April 9, 1869, page 3, column 3.

[48] Warren County Illinois 1850 Federal Census; complete version. November 21, 1850. 182.

[49] Warren County Illinois 1860 Federal Census. July 30 1860. 166.

[50] 1870 United States Federal Census. 1-2. Information from Ancestry.com.

[51] 1880 Federal Census of Warren County, Illinois, vol. 3. 49.

[52] “Thumbnail sketches”. Extracted from Moffitt book Vol. “A”.