Since they were rather uniform in pattern, it will doubtless yield a clearer picture if the common points of the pioneer schools are given rather than giving short references to each one. Nearly all of the first school houses were built of unhewed or round logs and had roofs made of clapboards that had been split from some convenient oak of large size. These boards were generally two feet or more long, about eight inches wide, and were often laid without the use of nails, poles being used on each course to hold them down. These weight poles were fastened
Location: Prairie du Rocher Illinois
There are few citizens of American blood, native born in Randolph County, who date their birth back as far as does Mr. W. S. Conner, a resident of the southern part of Township five — eight. He was born within a quarter of a mile of his present residence, in the year of 1815. He was the son of Henry Conner, who was born in Maryland and moved to Kentucky when ten years old, about the year 1795. The Conner family is of Irish extraction. The name was formerly spelled “O’Connor,” in which form it will be easily recognized as
The old town of Prairie du Rocher has undergone, perhaps, fewer changes than any other locality of Randolph County. Its foundation dates back to the early part of the previous century. Its growth has not been rapid. The French population of which, its inhabitants were at first entirely composed, has here retained its distinctive character more closely than elsewhere, and a considerable proportion of the present residents of the village are descendants of the families who were identified with its history a century ago. The Blais family is one of the oldest in the town. The first of the name
Mr. John Grassinger of Prairie du Rocher, was born July 6, 1836, in Bavaria, Germany, and came to America in 1850. Coming first to St. Louis, he remained there until his father died, in the same year, and left him an orphan. He worked as a gardener until 1865, when he bought the farm which is now owned by his son-in-law. He owns his present home in the town, whither he removed on his retirement from farming. In 1856 he was married to Miss Mary M. Chapen, who bore him four children, Henry J., William P., Lucille and Lizzie. Mrs.
Our country, which has been called the melting-pot of nations, has received citizens from every quarter of the known world. All races and peoples have sent their representatives to swell the numbers of our population. And of all these nations none has done more for America than France. Who can ever forget that it was the courageous Frenchmen who first penetrated the wilds of the new world, and, not content with a mere sailing along the coast, ascended its rivers and explored the interior of an unknown and dreaded wilderness? They settled vast areas such as the Mississippi Valley, which
The oldest resident in the town of Prairie du Rocher is John N. Louvier, who was born in the village, in the year 1802, and has since lived in the town or in the vicinity. His father was Antoine Louvier, a Frenchman, who came to Illinois country when a boy. Antoine Louvier was born about the year 1767, and was ten or fifteen years of age when he came to Randolph County. He married Louise Langlois. The Langlois family was one of the earliest and most influential in the community, the first of which to come to Prairie du Rocher
Among the prominent inhabitants of Prairie du Rocher who are natives of the locality is Mr. W. A. Blow. He was born September 9, 1860, on a farm near the town. He finished the public school and then became the right-hand man of his father, a place which he occupied for twenty-seven years. Finally, in 1887, he rented his own farm. This land became his property in the short space of six years, in 1893, and included 70 acres, but was not large enough to satisfy the ambitious owner, who in the course of time more than doubled it. At
The celebration of La Gui-annee had been a social custom in France 500 years before these people brought it to Illinois, and in that early day was an answer to certain social conditions of the time. The performers were the poor who sang with sacks in their hands and hopes in their heart of a gift of food for their New Year’s feast.
The best teacher, it is said, is experience. C. J. Kribs, circuit clerk of Randolph County, has had varied experiences. He was born February 19, 1867, in Belleville, Illinois. He attended the parochial and public schools, after which he learned the trade of harness maker in St. Louis. After a residence of five years in this city he went to Chicago and worked for four years as assistant store-keeper in the Illinois Steel Works. Then he went to Prairie du Rocher, and after a short stay went to St. Louis, working for the Metropolitan Insurance Co. He was promoted and
John Shea, farmer, of Red Bud, Illinois, Rural Route #3, was born June 20, 1858, in Randolph County, near Prairie du Rocher. He attended the public school and then worked for his father, Michael Shea, until 1880, when he rented a farm near Prairie du Rocher, and in 1885, he moved to the present location, where he still resides. On September 25, 1883, he was united in the holy bonds of wedlock to Miss Katherine Faherty. Six children came to bless the family ties – two sons, William M. and Harry J.; four daughters, Mary C., Julia A., Ellen S.