Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on August 28, 1963 · Page 5
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August 28, 1963

Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 5

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Alton, Illinois
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Wednesday, August 28, 1963
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Page 5
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, AUGUST 28,1963 ALTON EVENING TELEGtiAMI John Allen Writesj Memory Restpirm Old Ruins IJ.V JOtlft W. AIJJBN ..,. Soiithetfl Illinois University Abrahnifi Ryan spiel: r ' "A land without Ruins is a 'Land Without Memories. . . •"'"'A Land wlthbiit Memories is Land without History. , ." '. Perhflps It was something in these lines, plus the fact that yes- erday was a fair day and cool for change, that it wrts spent In driving over the highways and tiyvvays of childhood's well-known countryside looking for ruins. Two other oldsters who likewise had flpenl. their childhood In the same community went along. Their presence made the trip less lonely and, naturally, supplied more memories. " The journey was a success In •every \vay. Ruins, humble ones, were found In plenty. Even so,, when pause was made at some' remembered spot, it often was necessary to replace a few otide- famlllar objects with Imaged ones drawn from well-stocked memories. Everything combined to make It a day of nostalgic pleasure, if nostalgia gives pleasure. At that, no one of the three Intimated a yearning to return to a time that some call "The good ol* days." Neither was any wish to forget them expressed. Two of the three travelers had been country school teachers. That may have been the reason why the first stop was made at Clary School, abandoned half a lifetime ago. With doors, windows, teacher's and pupils' desks, the recitation bench, blackboards, FURNITURE and APPLIANCE CO. 203 W. Third Sf.—Downtown Alton I,OUR Terms—IHiuiy, Many Months to Pay! coal hottse and outbuildings gone, t was Indeed a forlorn object. A few cobs and grains of wheat were lying about. These and wires that were slfetched across he room and tied about the wall studs showed.that a farmer had used It for a corn crib or place for storing wheat. Lout Identity The abandoned church oil. an adjoining plot likewise has Its story, at least for those who knew t more than a half century ago. With its rostrum, pulpit and pews gone, and with Its pot-bellied stove lylne on a pile of planks at one side *f the room, there was ittle to mark it as a church. There were no framed mottoes nor terosene lamps with reflectors on he walls. The door was fallen and windows broken. Few will remember the times when people came for many miles in farm wagons and buggies, on foot or on horseback to attend all-day services, bringing their dinners In handmade split baskets. People remembering those oc casions also will recall the sol emnly observed ritual of too washing, regularly observed. Thcj also will remember the Southern Harmony singing which A1 e > Braclen would lead after getting the proper pitch by listening ti the tuning fork he tapped on thj pulpit and held to his ear. Thi church used no musical inslru mcuit, thlit being against the be liefs. This solemn, slow singing by women wearing poke bonnets anr ugged farmers wearing their Sun day best was Impressive, at least t was to one boy who remember ed It and would like to attend another such service and, partlc ularly, hear the strange high pitched but not unpleasant treble of the women who sang. About a half-mile north of thi church and .school, pause wai made to look across the unmarked )urial place of a man name* lector, a member of the firs jarty of land surveyors' sent in .0 the region by the national gov ernment. They had come to la> out land lines, so settlers coul ocate the land they had contract cd to buy for $1.25 an acre o lad received as military grant Sector was shot by an Indian few miles northwest of the sut veyors 1 camp and brought to i 'or burial. Using field notes mad ay the surveying party, it shoul( not be too difficult to definite!; locale and mark his grave. 'HnimuhV Grave A mile or so farther north, a ter passing two places that hav stories of interest to tell, w reached the John Douglas hom site, burial ground, and the cam] ground where pioneer reviva were hold. The Douglas fami can be taken as typical of the i fluential families that came settle in southern Illinois. Dougla came from Tennessee, bringing least one slave with him. T h slave, a Negro woman, lived life out with the family and buried in the cemetery at Plea ant Grove Church. A simp marker with the word, "Hannah Woodbttrn WOODBURN — The phiiathea In.ss of the Congregational hurch will hold its annual pot- ick nt the church Friday evening t 6 o'clock. Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Warren f Alton hfivo moved to a home ere they recently purchased. Miss Lillian Elliott has return- d from a visit with Miss Beulah ,1kin at Keyser, W. Va. Pvt. Lester Large of Ft. Leonrd Wood spent, the weekend here vith his wife, Darlene. Mr. and Mrs. Rohcrt Hurley and children attended the Cox reunion at New Salem State Park Sunday. marks her grave. There are nimerous similar records in the region. From Hie Douglas campground site the roadway that led to lardscrnbblo School was taken, lardscrabblc School find Gholson Church, on an adjoining plot, had much appeal to the three of us. Once more we found an abandoned school building in use as a storage house. Not being able to t into the building, we gave Lho playground more attention. The games once played were remembered. In imagination, the ground was filled with playing pupils. There were games of marbles, mumblepeg, cat, long- town, move-up, stink-base, ante- over, wolf on the ridge, hat ball, lap jacket, Indian wrestling, one and over, leap frog, bull pen, cowboys and Indians, jnil, sling dutch, whip cracker shinny, roos ter fighting, needles eye, London bridge, and drop the handkerchief. There were some feats of strength going among the youngsters. 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