Thursday, December 31, 2020

The Nesbit (Mize) School #50

Pictured: Nesbit-Mize School #50

    The Nesbit-Mize School was started in 1860 after a school meeting on November 26, 1859.  At this meeting, a site was selected and a 16 foot square building was authorized at a cost of $50 or less.  The location for the schools was in Section 32, in Dorchester Township off of Catholic Springs Road.


Pictured: Map for Bunker Hill area country Schools

    March 11, 1860, Miss Mary Sinclair, the first teacher, was paid $24 a month.  The district boarded the teacher if the family had no children in school.  The family received $2.00/$2.50 per week for boarding.

    In 1870, Benjamin Mize repaired the school for $40 for replacing glass and sealing the windows, patching the plaster and preparing the walls for painted blackboards.  Wood for heating the schools was provided by the parents.  The teacher was paid $30 at this time.

    In 1882, a new schoolhouse was built by G.W. Mize at a cost of $80.  Waste materials salvaged from the old school, built a fence for $8.  Members of the Mize family served for many years on the Nesbit-Mize School Board of Directors.  The school was sold at auction on July 8, 1950 to William Cooper and torn down for lumber.

Some of the many families who attended Nesbit-Mize Schools were: Mize, Sawyer, Tiek, Kurlhaum, Throne, Coatney, Wood, and Landers.

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, December 31, 2020. 

Redford, Carol, and Betty Triplett. "Bunker Hill History." In Reflections: A History of the Bunker Hill-Woodburn Area, p. 100. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1993. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

The Woodburn School #167


Pictured: Woodburn School #167 in 1852

    The Woodburn School went through many changes as enrollment changed.  It was first housed in the Baptist Church in 1837, then a brick building in the center of Woodburn, in 1846 with an overflow in the Congregational Church, during 1850-51.  In 1852, a two story red brick building was built which lasted until 1913.  Children kept on going past eighth grade as long as they wanted.  They had such courses as botany and advanced math, and a music teacher from Shurtleff College in Alton came out to teach music for paying students.

Pictured: Woodburn School in 1912

    In 1917, Mr. Charles Welch taught at Woodburn School for $70 a month.  By 1952, Woodburn was the only other school, besides Meissner School that was in operation in Community District #8.  It had an enrollment of 59 students and had three rooms to accommodate them.

Mrs. Mildred Pullen had grades one through four and Asbury Walk had grades five through eight.

Pictured: New addition to Woodburn School built in 1950

    The building was enlarged to nearly double its former size in the summer of 1950.  An addition costing $12,250 was made to the rear of the school and was used by Mr. Walk's classes.  Mrs. Pullen's classes occupied the south room in the original building.  The other room was used for a recreational room in winter months and also as a study hall.

Pictured: Map of Bunker Hill area Country Schools

There were many families that attended Woodburn School through the years.  Some of these families were Thyer, Wood, Buhs, Howald, Welch, Ray, Pennington, Dana, Morey, Schwallenstecker, and Heal just to name a few.

Pictured: Woodburn Class (October 1927)
Top row: Viva Doty, and Erma Schaum (teachers), Arthur Partridge, Orrin Schmidt, Leighton Sanner, Nelson Gugger, Olen Hallows, Harold Brueggeman, Evert Wood, Irving Bostick.
Second row: Opal Gugger Adcock, Lois Thyer Weishaupt, Fern Reader Long, Ruth E. Bouillon, Eldarine Buhs Kohle,Dorothy Welch Fite, Lola Payne Zargees Hallows, Arlene Wood, Dorothy Brueggemen Welling,
Third row: Ralph Partridge, Virgil Schmidt, Harry Show, Dale Welch, Charles Payne, Lymon Hallows, Melvin Buhs, Albert Wood.
Fourth row: Hallie Bostick Hand, Mary Wood Seward, Rosey Show Callahan Staggs, Anita Partridge Reynolds, Anita Schmidt, Dorothy Clayton King, Evelyn Elliott Schmidt.

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, December 24, 2020.

Redford, Carol, and Betty Triplett. "Bunker Hill History." In Reflections: A History of the Bunker Hill-Woodburn Area, pp. 100-101. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1993. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Liberty (Benner) School #166

Pictured: Liberty (Benner) School #166

     The Liberty (Benner) School was near the Benner/Woodburn Presbyterian Church.  Today, it is on the Huette Road in Section 29 of Bunker Hill Township.

Pictured: Map of Bunker Hill's Country Schools


Pictured: Alice Barnes Classroom
Class List: First Row: (l-r)Nellie Thomae, Chester Thomae
2nd Row: Pearl Fenstermann, Susie Wood, Viola Huette, Edith Dingerson, Harry Marth, Ben Jones
3rd Row: Etta Jones, Lena Scheldt, Edna Thomae, Myrtle Dingerson, Bert Huette (in front), Roy Brenker, Ireane Dingerson.
4th Row: Ida Wood, Clara Huette, Martha Wood, Rose Huette
Last Row: Emma Gabriel, Ethel Wood, and teacher Alice Barnes.
--Submitted by Violet Wiemers

    In 1909, there were 33 students and the teacher was Alice D. Barnes; her salary was $37.50 per month.  The salary jumped to $70 per month on 1925.  The library contained 103 books.    

Pictured: Liberty School Class Photo: 1921-1922
Class List: Front Row- Jessie Johnson Partridge, Clara Buhs Duelm, Laura Dingerson Snedeker, Dorothy Johnson Breitwiser, Joe Johnson
2nd Row: Ethel Dingerson Hendrickson, Mildred Johnson Shelton, Mildred Walter Crowder, Ruth Hallows Marth, Velma Buhs Cochran, Evelyn Bott.
3rd Row: Cordelia Hallows Heal, Jessie Scheldt Fensterman, Edgar Eddington, Alfred Buhs, Lenora Bott (teacher)
--Submitted by Ruth Marth   

    Mrs. Mildred Pullen taught from 1944 to 1947.  Her salary was $150 per month.  The school then had a piano, radio, art equipment, maps, glove, and linen window shades.

    Some of the families who attended the school were: Wood, Heutte [sic], James, Brenker, Gabriel, Partridge, Johnson, and Buhs.  Many more families attended during the years.

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, December 17, 2020.

Redford, Carol, and Betty Triplett. "Bunker Hill History." In Reflections: A History of the Bunker Hill-Woodburn Area, p. 98. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1993. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Bunker Hill's 8 o'clock Whistle Tradition

Pictured: Bunker Hill Lighting Plant

February 6, 1903: 
We, the undersigned, merchants of Bunker Hill, do hereby agree that we will close our respective places of business at seven o'clock p.m. each day with the exception of Saturday evening, for the period commencing with Monday, February 9, 1903, and ending with April 30, 1903.  Two medium blasts of the lighting plant whistle will give notice of the closing of the stores.

February 20, 1903:  The early closing problem, so mythically solved by some of our businessmen, has become rudely intricate after a brief existence of one week.  There was apparently no peace in such an arrangement from the beginning, and it was not uncommon each evening to see some of our good merchants standing in the by-ways and alleys, or peering around the corner to ascertain whether or not the other fellow had really closed up.  One evening, an unfaithful brother was spied selling a pair of shoes after the hour for closing, and then the dander was up.  Two or three others threw open their doors and declared they would keep open until midnight.  This led more to lay themselves liable to breach of promise, and the whole thing, it seems, has been thrown up.  We suppose our merchants think it is soon enough to shut up when the sheriff comes around.

By special arrangement the hour of closing of the stores in Bunker Hill has been changed from 7 to 8 o'clock.  The curfew blast of the lighting plant whistle at 8 o'clock will give notice of the closing of stores.  All merchants who signed the former agreement have pledged their word of honor to stand by this agreement, which became effective last evening.

That began the tradition of the 8 o'clock whistle.  For years, the children of Bunker Hill, mine included, knew when they heard the 8 o'clock whistle, it was time to be in their own yards.  The whistle is a 117 year old tradition.  I suppose today's children don't hear the 8 o'clock whistle because they are in their houses on their electronic devices.  Depending on where you live in town, and depending on the direction of the wind in the evening, you many not hear the whistle.  This is a tradition unique to our town.

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, July 16, 2020.  

Stanton, Carl L. . "Bunker Hill News 1903." In Bunker Hill Revisited, Volume Four, 1901-1910, pp. 37, 39-40 Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 2003. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The First Bunker Hill-Woodburn July 4th Celebration

Pictured: The Bunker Hill Band (circa 1905).  Left to right (Back row): Henry Cardell, Honas Fahrenkrog, Sam Lee, Pet Neil, Charles Hendricks, William Cardell, Joe Lee, Lute Jansen;
(Front Row): L. Pates, W. Wood, Albert Goodwin, Lemuel B. Smith.

    In 1839, the whole community turned out, some 60 people in all, for the town's first 4th of July celebration.  A liberty pole (flag pole) was raised, the Declaration of Independence was read, toasts were made, and much good food eaten.  This celebration took place on the ground in the area now occupied by United Community Bank.  On that same holiday in 1842, over 400 people participated in the celebration and listened to the Upper Alton Band.  On July 4th, 1844, 350 citizens, headed by the Bunker Hill Band, went to Woodburn, and there met the Alton Band.

Pictured: The Bunker Hill Drum Corps around 1900 at the Hotel (probably Monument House). Note McKinley's Picture at left.

    The paper below dated June 16, 1840, was found by carpenters when Dr. Hess remodeled his office in 1951.  The article was in preparation of the upcoming July 4th celebration.  June 16, 1840: There was said to be a crowd of 600 to 700 people in attendance.

Pictured: Bunker Hill - Woodburn July 4 Celebration Letter dated 1840 found in Dr. Hess's Office during remodeling in 1951.

    We, the citizens of Bunker Hill and vicinity, feeling desirous to join our friends of Woodburn in the celebration of the birthday of our national independence, do cordially, freely, and willing, contribute such sums or articles as are attached to each of our respective names, for the purpose of providing a dinner suitable for the occasion:

  • James Phillips, $1.00
  •  Francis W. Burham, $1.00
  • Alexander Nys, .50
  • C. Washburn, .50
  • John C. ?
  • Luke Knowlton, $1.00
  • H.V. Hopper, $1.50
  • Samuel B. ?, $1.00
  • ? Squires, $1.00
  • Moses True, $3.00
  • Larkin Stark, eight dozen eggs, eight pounds of butter, 10 loaves of bread, and $1.75
  • James Wood, one pig, $1.00
  • Franklin Vaughn, one pig, $1.00
  • Joseph Burton, cake, six chickens, $1.00
  • Edward Burton, $1.00
  • J.W. Richards, one pig, six chickens, $2.00
  • Wm. Squires, six pounds of butter, bread, $1.50
  • James Hamilton, six pies, five loaves bread, two punds of butter, cake, $1.50
  • A. Chruch, provisins, $1.00
  • Solomon Davis, $2.00
  • Ebenezer Howell, $2.00
  • G. Parmenter, $1.00
  • A.W. Cummings, $1.00
The original document is on display at the museum.  Workers found the document in the wall at Dr. Hess's office in 1951 while they were remodeling.

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, July 9, 2020.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Sharon Theater - 39th Anniversary

Pictured: The Sharon Theatre was located at 149 South Washington Street, Bunker Hill.  today, common Grounds is at that location. (circa 1950)

From the Gazette-News September 13, 1973

Mr. & Mrs. T.A. Baker to Observe 39th Anniversary in the Theatre Business

Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Baker will be celebrating their 39th year in the theatre business in Bunker Hill, Saturday, September 15.  The date will also be their 40th wedding anniversary.

The Bakers operated the Lincoln Theatre uptown on Warren Street for 11 years.  After the tornado in 1948, the Sharon Theatre was constructed, opening in 1949, where it is now located.  The theatre was named after their daughter, Sharon.

Pictured: Lincoln Theatre Advertisement - 1938

Over the years, the Bakers have employed a number of boys, many of whom they lost to the service and they hear from them from time to time.

In reminiscing, they told of the struggles they have encountered during the depression years starting a new business.  Admission was 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children, which was hard for people to pay in those days.  They also had 10 cent nights, bank nights, and various stage shows through the years.

Pictured: Lincoln Theatre with Santa Claus.  Tom and Addie Baker owned the Lincoln Theatre on East Warren St. until they built the new Sharon theatre on the NE corner of South Washington and East Hamilton.

Mrs. Davenport's Circus played there for two weeks with lions, wrestling bears, and trapeze artists.  Many vaudeville acts that were traveling through the country also performed.

The first motion picture show shown by the Baker's was "Magnificent Obsession" which was remade several times.

The American Legion and the schools held plays in the theatre and during the war years, benefit performances were held for the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Will Rogers Hospital, which is still in operation.

The Bakers are natives of Bunker Hill and they are parents of one daughter, Sharon.

Pictured: Sharon Theatre on the NE corner of South Washington and East Hamilton St in 1976.  Original Owners were Tom and Addie Baker who sold it to Sherman Mason in the early to mid 70's.

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, June 11, 2020.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Old Steam Engine No. 1314's Last Run

Pictured: Hotel and Railroad Station in Bunker Hill, IL

From the Gazette-News: March 10, 1956

Steam Railroad Engine Makes Last Run on "Old Line" Through Bethalto and Bunker Hill    

Starting Monday, things aren't going to be the same at Litchfield, Bunker Hill, Bethalto, and other communities located along the route of the New York Central Railroad's "Old Line", which extends from East Alton to Hillsboro.

    Every other morning, a New York Central local freight train has pulled out of East Alton, drawn by a steam locomotive, has wended its way to Hillsboro, where it stayed overnight, then wended its way back to East Alton the following day, still drawn by the steam locomotive.

Pictured: Lee (front) and Arthur (rear) Sutton doing the Mail Run in Bunker Hill.  Read more about Lee and Arthur on our blog at

    Saturday, the old steam job, known as No. 1314, turned in its last days work.  In addition to drawing along its usual compliments of freight cars, No. 1314 also pulled a neat and compact diesel engine, which will pull the freight train back to East Alton Monday.

    In the words of Glen Wells of Hillsboro, engineer of the local freight, which plies between East Alton and Hillsboro, "Old 1314, is no more."  "The engine," he said, "was slated to be hauled back east."  Presumably judging by the dour look on Well's face when he utters the phrase "hauled back east" No. 1314 will be relegated to the scrap heap.

Pictured: Elevator just west, beyond Bunker Hill Depot

    Wells has been a railroader for 38  years and says he is inclined to learn a little on the respect one is assumed to have for tradition and precedent.

    Joe Gray, of Butler, IL, the engine's fireman, however, is a mere stripling as railroaders go, having but 14 years experience.  To Gray, the whole thing is exactly as it should be.

Pictured: The Bunker Hill Depot (circa 1939)

    "They'll have atomic-powered engine before they are through, " Gray says.  "That diesel out there will be an antique in 20 years.  They have ball-bearing freight cars already and they can be pushed along by six men.  A hundred miles per hour won't be anything in a few years."

    A.S. Reed, of Hillsboro, the conductor, declared that the diesel doesn't even "whistle right".  Reed has been a railroader for 30 years.

Pictured: The Big Four Depot in Bunker Hill, IL

    The diesel, however, will be the standard equipment for the local run.  It started this morning when it left Hillsboro for the return trip to East Alton.

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, June 4, 2020.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A History of Bunker Hill Library

Pictured: Present Day Bunker Hill Library

     In 1867, a group of concerned citizens formed a private association for the purpose of establishing a library, consisting of "2,500 volumes of well selected and valuable books".

    On December 6, 1897, the City of Bunker hill passed an ordinance establishing a public library and reading room.  All books, printed material, bookcases, tables, and other furniture owned by the stockholders of the library association were donated and formed the nucleus of the new City Library.  The library was located on the second floor above one of the businesses on the west side d of North Washington Street.  Miss Josephine Mize was the librarian for years.

    In 1945, Mayor Kenneth Miller appointed Mrs. A.E. Strang, Mr. L.E. Sutton, Mrs. Francis Walter, Mrs. Luther Mason, Mrs. O.C. Weidner, Rev. John Colavecchio, Rev. Carl Fritz, Mrs. C.H. Fensterman, and Mr. R.E. Rigg to serve on the re-organized library board.

    Many people donated funds for the purchase of a building at 114 E. Warren Street (where the present History Museum is located) and equipment, as well as spending countless hours assisting in typing and manual labor, etc.

    An open house was held in the new library on July 7, 1947, and librarian Miss Loretta Bartels proudly "showed off" the new facility.

    Less than a year later on March 19, 1948, a disastrous tornado hit Bunker Hill, totally destroying the library building, books, and equipment .  The community responded, and on October 7, 1950, another open house was held for the newly rebuilt and equipped library.  Money, books and equipment had been donated by persons from many other communities as well as Bunker Hill.

Pictured: Aerial View of Post tornado damage to the Bunker Hill Main Business District

    With the passing of time, the need for more space was obvious and in 1967, 100 years after the first library association was formed, Clara and Luther Mason presented the library trustees with a deed to a building at 220 East Washington Street.  After renovation and redecorating, the Kiwanis club moved the books and equipment to the new library, and on April 21, 1968, an open house was held.  An addition to house the reference and genealogy collection was built in 1973.

Pictured: The Bunker Hill City Library at the new location on 220 East Washington St.

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, May 28, 2020.

Redford, Carol, and Betty Triplett. "Bunker Hill History." In Reflections: A History of the Bunker Hill-Woodburn Area, p. 32. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1993. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Meissner - The Third School

Pictured: Meissner School

     The second school built in 1869 provided the facilities for education for 60 years.  In March of 1928, the state threatened to withdraw the high school accredited rating and also to stop payment of $2,000 annually from the state distributive fund if steps were not taken to remodel the very antiquated building.

    This edict from the state aroused the patrons of District 164 and they tool [sic] quick action on the matter.  On Thursday, March 15, 1928, an election was held and $18,000 was approved by a 403 to 30 vote to repair and remodel the school.

    That very same week of the vote, George Meissner of St. Louis, came forth with an offer to match dollar for dollar, with the school district, up to $30,000 for a new school building.  A community meeting was called March 16 at the Lincoln Theatre and a resolution was drawn to accept the gift and petitions were circulated calling for an election to put the building proposition to a vote.

    A vote on the $30,000 bond issue was held on April 6, 1928, and 321 votes were cast in favor of the building with 15 against.  Plans were drawn and work of building a new school was started in the fall of 1928.  The old schools was razed to make room for the new school.

    On Tuesday, November 5, 1929, dedication of a new school, which cost $80,000 was held.  This school contained five classrooms downstairs and six upstairs, with storage, furnace, and office provided and modern toilet facilities on both floors.

    A new addition and gym were build in 1952.  A new high school was built in 1964, leaving only elementary grades at Meissner.  Because of many problems and deterioration of the 80 year old school, it was  closed in 2009.

    George N. Meissner gave a total of $50,000 for the building of the new school.  Meissner School was named for him.  He spent his boyhood days in Bunker Hill and later rose to be a financial success.

From Reflections: A History of the Bunker Hill-Woodburn Area

    The Meissner School dedication was held on November 5, 1929.  At noon, a banquet was given at the Cottage Inn (approximate location was northwest corner of intersection of Fayette and Clinton) for about 75 guests.  Senator A.S. Cuthbertson was toastmaster.  At 1:45 p.m., guests and a parade of school children in little crepe hats were led by the Gillespie band to the new school building.


Pictured: Dedication of Meissner School.
  (left to right :) Mitzi Mercer Mahle, Senator W. P. Cuthbertson, George N. Meissner, Betty Wise Ash.

    Mrs. Pauline Brinkman, Chairman of the Board of Education, opened the dedication services in the new school auditorium.  After a tribute to Mr. Meissner by Senator Cuthbertson, an oil portrait of Mr. Meissner was unveiled by Marilyn Mercer and Betty Wise, daughters of two board members.


Pictured: 1930 Graduation Class and class list

    Mr. Meissner was then made an honorary member of the class of 1930, which was the first class to graduate from the new school.  Helen Gosch, a member of the Senior Class speaking for her classmates, gave the honor and presented him with a pin of the Class of 1930.

    Mr. Meissner, who had previously given $37,500 for the school, made an impressive talk, and at the conclusion handed R.H. Hayes, chairman of the school building committee, a check for $12,500 which lifted the deficit incurred during the erection of the new building.  This made the total he gave toward building the new school come to $50,000.  The remaining $30,000 came from bonds issued by District 164.

 ...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, May 21, 2020.

Redford, Carol, and Betty Triplett. "Bunker Hill History." In Reflections: A History of the Bunker Hill-Woodburn Area, pp. 103-105. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1993. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Local Ham Radio Operator W9FE Helps with Covid-19 Wellness Nets

Pictured: Bunker Hill Ham Radio Operator Carlos Arzuagas, W9FE, assisting with daily COVID-19 Wellness Net Radio Communications.


From the Gazette-News April 30, 2020

Support Illinois Emergency Management Agency

    Illinois ARES members are supporting the Illinois Emergency Management Agency's (IEMA) COVID-19 response activities as AuxComm Radio Operator volunteers.  Illinois ARES will coordinate the number and location of volunteer amateur communicators with IEMA on an ongoing basis for the foreseeable future.


Pictured: Illinois ARES District Map
(ARES-Amateur Radio Emergency Services)

    In a separate activity, the daily Illinois ARES Wellness Net has been established to allow Illinois amateurs to stay connected and comment on their status.  The net is informal and uses HF, EchoLink, digital nodes, and linked VHF/UHF nets.  The Wellness net has seen check-ins from more than 40 Illinois counties.  Other local and regional wellness VHF/UHF nets have been activated throughout Illinois as well.

    Thanks to Illinois Section Emergency Coordinator Robert Littler, W9DSR, Illinois Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator Jim Pitchford, N9LQF, and Illinois State EOC Liason Roger Whitaker, K9LJB.  

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story:  Bunker Hill Gazette-News, April 30, 2020.

The Fires of Bunker Hill



Pictured: Washington St., as viewed from the Opera House corner.  Sanford's south wall on right.

Reprint of similar Bunker Hill News article on Jan. 10, 2013 blog posting at 

From the Gazette News, September 20, 1893

    On Friday evening, for the third time, fire held a fierce carnival on the west side of Washington Street.  The alarm was given about 6:20 p.m. and within two hours $75,000 worth of the business property in the city had been wiped out.

    The fire originated in the immense barn in the rear of the Johnston block.  It was probably due to the pipe of a tramp or bum, or a cigar of card-playing youngsters.  The facts will never be known.  Almost simultaneously, all buildings south of the Johnston block were ablaze so fiercely that little could be done in the way of saving contents.

    The local fire company did noble work with the fire engine, chemical, and new extinguishers and were nobly seconded by many of our people.  To such effort is due the arrest of the fire at the Johnston block and the saving of the business property on the east side of Washington Street.

Pictured: Warren St. as seen from Klinefelter's store.  Sessel's west wall on right.

Previous Fires

    This recent fire is the third that has devastated the same side of the street, the last two, practically covering the same ground.  All occurred on a Friday.    

    The fire January 23, 1880, originated in Sanford's Grocery Store on the same ground.  The damage on the fire proper footed up $12,000.  The insurance was fair.[1]

    December 1, 1882, the ground from Bumann's three story building to Sessel's corner and on Warren Street west to the alley, was burned.  The loss totaled $37,000, nearly equally divided between buildings and stock.[1],[2]

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, January 10, 2013, April 30, 2020.

[1]Stanton, Carl L. . "Bunker Hill News 1893." In Bunker Hill Revisited, Volume Three, 1892-1900, p. 62. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 2000. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

[2]Stanton, Carl L. . "Bunker Hill News 1882." In Bunker Hill Revisited, Volume Two, 1882-1891, pp. 44-46. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1999. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

[3]Stanton, Carl L. . "Bunker Hill News 1893." In Bunker Hill Revisited, Volume Three, 1892-1900, p. 60-64. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 2003. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

[4]Stanton, Carl L. . "Bunker Hill News 1880." In Bunker Hill Revisited, Volume One, 1866-1881, pp. 209-210. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1997. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Wood Cemetery

Pictured: Wood Cemetery Grave Marker

Reprint from our November 22, 2012 blog posting at

The cemetery is located two and three quarters miles south of Woodburn.  Land was acquired in 1832 during President Jackson's administration.  First burials were possibly members of a wagon train of which cholera claimed many lives.  Several generations of Wood and Davis families are interred in the oldest section.  There are approximately two and a half acres in this cemetery.

Gazette News: August 1, 1957

The Wood Cemetery is one of the oldest places in Bunker Hill Township.  The man who gave the land was David Bush Wood, who was born in 1813, the son of James E. Wood, Sr. and Susanna Renfro Wood, who were early settlers of Illinois Territory and Bunker Hill Township.

In the year 1842, David B. Wood purchase the farmland of Aksiah Tompkins.  On this land were a number of graves, including David's sisters' grave who was buried in 1823.  Mr. Wood had in transfer of land two deeds made, one for one acre where the graves were, to Bunker Hill Township as a burial ground.  In 1905 or 1906, Alfred C. Wood, on leaving Illinois, deeded one-half acre to this cemetery and it was named in honor of his family and the Wood families who he had inherited the land from.  He migrated to South Dakota, then to Nebraska.  He died there at the age of 91 years and nine months.  His remains were brought back here and buried on the land of his childhood.  The two deeds of this land are recorded in the courthouse in Carlinville.

Some of the pioneer families buried there are: Wood, Davis, Coffee, Scott, Heyde, Hook, Kneadeline, Gregg, Thomae, Hill, Hilyard, Ridgley, Saltznear, Schuetz, Johnson, Jacobi, Pyatt, and many others.

The cemetery was cared for by member of some of the families buried there in 1842.  Many of these people were prominent in early Macoupin County history.  Prior to 1955, Dr. Walter Hilyard donated enough to build a new fence and others donated to put the cemetery in nice order.

Some of the people buried there are veterans from early Indian, Revolutionary, French and Indian, Civil War, and World War I.

Some of the marker are made by hand of sandstone and the markings on some are completely obliterated.  We are endeavoring to place all war veterans on the honor roll of this cemetery and their country.

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, April 23, 2020, November 22, 2012

Redford, Carol, and Betty Triplett. "Bunker Hill History." In Reflections: A History of the Bunker Hill-Woodburn Area, p. 125. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1993. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Coal Mines of Bunker Hill

Pictured: Map of Bunker Hill Coal Mines

Reprint of our blog posting at:    

    On Monday afternoon, October 31, 1870, Mr. John Naylor and Mr. John McPherson secured the services of the Band, which preceded the first wagon loaded with 30 bushels of coal mined.  The gun squad shot the cannon.  They stopped at the corner of Washington and Warren Streets.  Mr. Yancy and Mr. Hayes gave talks.  Mr. Jencks then sold the coal, realizing $89.  The coal was purchased in turn by Mr. S. Hale, $20; Joseph Meyers, $10; Mr. W. Cross, $10; Bartels and Brother, $7; Thomas Sanders, $6; W. Dorsey, $10; David Morris, $5; Joe Lee, $10; Thomas Sanders, $5; and Mr. Frederickson, $6.  Each purchaser then turned baek the coal to be sold again until $89 was realized.

    A grand banquet was given underground in the coal mine to which all the prominent people were invited.  Mr. Naylor retired in 1875 and two years later, Mr. McPherson retired.  The mine was abandoned in October 1880.  It employed 12 men and the production for nine months of 1880 was 61,029 bushels.  The mine was located along Paddock Creek, east of town, and south of the bridge. 

    William Neil & Company broke ground for a shaft near the railroad track in the north part of town in May 1879, and in September reached a vein of coal at a depth of 250 feet.  They were producing 600 bushels a day.  The members of this firm were Mr. William Peter, Mr. John Neil, and James Monoghan.  This mine burned in 1907, was rebuilt, and worked until 1912, when it was discontinued.

    The Wood River Coal Mine, also known as Crow Hollow Mine, west of town, close to the old reservoir, was owned by Judge Huggins, and operated by Matt Carroll.  It had an annual output of 45,000 bushels in 1881 and $1800 was paid out in wages.  There was another mine located in that area by the name of Raynor and Lock.  It operated from 1881-1889.

    The Bauser-Tursdale [sic] Mine was sunk on the Bauser place.  This was located along Paddock Creek, east of town, and north of the bridge.  In 1906, Mr. Ed Bauser took charge until October 1934, when it was leased by the former employees, who ran it as a co-operative.  The first four years, the coal was mined by hand.  Some years later it was electri-fied [sic] and was cut with machines.  This mine operated until 1940.

    The Jarden Coal Mine was located off Catholic Springs Road, before the bridge over Paddock Creek.  this mine was operated by Jarden and Lansford in 1903; W. Lansford and Company, 1903-1904; Fritz Jarden, 1904-1911; and Abbott Jarden, 1911-1913.  It was abandoned in 1914.

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, November 14, 2012, April 16, 2020.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Royal Lakes


Pictured: Hilyard Township Map about 1875

    The area known as Royal Lakes was land once owned by two farming brothers.  When they retired, they turned it over to a real estate agency in Chicago so that they could divide the land and sell the lots.  In 1956, the Royal Lakes Resort Properties were plotted and laid out in Sections 26 and 27 of Hilyard Township.  

    Royal Lakes was founded in 1961 by a small group of people from St. Louis who wanted some peaceful country living.  The first people to settle there were Mr. Chetam, Mr. Stoddard, Ike Lovings, and Miss Butler.  In 1973, this community was incorporated and took the name of Royal Lakes.  Part of this area is within the Bunker Hill School District.

    Three lakes have been constructed in this community, Shad, Shadrack, and Meshack.  Shadrack supposedly had been formed from a strip mine once located there.  A creek, Crooked Creek, running thought the property connects with Coop's Creek, which was the location of the earliest settlers in Macoupin County.

    The land on which Royal Lakes is located is said to have been a part of Centerville at one time.  It is told that Abraham Lincoln, while traveling the Old State Road, stopped at the Bullman property (on Section 27) north of the church and drank from the well -- a well much used by the travelers in those days.

    The First Baptist Church of Royal Lakes was organized and built by seven members.  Some of those helping in this project were Miss Butler, Miss Rossetta Gel, Miss Bruce, and Mr. Halloway, a carpenter from Shipman.  In 1965, Mrs. Jackson let the church people use her chicken shed to hold services until the church building was completed.  Under the leadership of Reverend Wallace, this was completed in 1968.  The first services, led by Reverend Wallace, were held in the new church on May 24, 1968.  The name was then changed to First Community Baptist Church.

    The fist store was opened by Mr. and Mrs. Earl Keitz in 1970.  It closed a few years later.  A second store, owned by Mr. Miller opened in 1977.  Sherman Clay had a service station from about 1970 to 1975.

    The first mayor of Royal lakes, and the first politician was John Stoddard.  Electricity was brought in about 1965.  The water project  and tower brought water to the community in 1978 through the efforts of ex-mayor, Ed Dorsey.

From Macoupin County, Illinois History & Families

    During 1956 property in sections 27 and 28 in Hilyard Township was purchased by an investment group in Chicago as developers and they platted the property laying out lots to sell in what they claimed to be a resort.  Along with the lots the property also include three small lakes named Shad, Shadrack and Messhack.  Although the lots only measured 50 ft. in width, lots were purchased mostly by people living in St. Louis and East St. Louis.  Some weekend homes and a few permanent houses were built soon after by the lot purchasers.  In following years the population gradually increased.

Pictured: Royal Lakes Church

    In 1973 the village was incorporated and took the name of Royal Lakes.  At one time the village had a small grocery store that no longer is in operation.  The village now consists of a church organized as the First Baptist Church of Royal Lakes, of which the first membership met in a converted chicken house standing on the property until a church building was erected in 1968 and at that time membership took the name, "First Community Baptist Church of Royal Lakes".  The village also has a fire house, a small retirement nursing home and a playground park for children.  Over a period of years a few more permanent residences have been built by owners.

...Read this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, April 9, 2020.

"Francis, Charles, "Macoupin County Illinois, History & Families", 1829-2016, In Histories of the Towns of Macoupin County, p. 44. Acclaim Press, 2016. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

1918 Spanish Flu in Bunker Hill

From the Gazette-News: October 18, 1918

Uncle Sam's Advice on the Flu
U.S. Public Health Service Issues Official Health Bulletin on (Spanish) Influenza

Latest Word on Subject
Epidemic probably not Spanish in Origin --Germ still unknown --People should guard against "Droplet Infection" --Surgeon General Blue make authoritative Statement.

From the Gazette-News: October 25, 1918

     County Superintendent George W. Solomon says on account of the influenza, he was compelled to call off the County Teacher's Institute.  "Owing to so many cases of the Spanish Influenza and also wishing to help stop the dreaded disease, I  have decided to call off the Teachers' Institute, Spelling Bee Contest, and the School Officers' Meeting until future date."

Woodburn: The school closed here Monday for indefinite time, according to State Law, on account of influenza.

Mrs. Bessie Raymond received worked from her son, Olan, that he is very sick at Camp Sherman, Ohio with influenza.

Mrs. M. J. Morrison, of Pleasant Grove received word that her son, James, was very ill at Camp Taylor, Kentucky with Spanish Influenza.

Route 17: Mr. and Mrs. James H. Smith received word of the death of their son, Charles, at Camp Taylor, Kentucky.

Dorchester:  Our schools were closed Friday for an indefinite period.

Edgar Wohlers, Henry Suhling, Jr., and Frank Eggers, have been ill with Spanish Influenza at Camp Taylor, Kentucky.  they are reported as getting well.

Sterling (west of Woodburn): Our school is closed on account of influenza

Delta County Historical Society Archives photo Above, the Health Board order from 1918 is shown. The order limited business activity and required all residents, including children, to wear masks when outside their homes.

From the Gazette-News, November 1, 1918

     Mrs. Henry Miller, of Woodburn, came home from Camp Taylor, Kentucky after a visit since August.  She says trainloads leave every day for the front, 4,000 leaving Tuesday and Wednesday for New York and New Jersey.  She says truckloads would pass by loaded with caskets, often 100 dying a night.  Two barracks are quarantined for Spanish Meningitis, including Mr. Miller's, else he would have gone with the rest this week.

     Certainly, if ever, there was a life of sacrifice and duty, Miss Maria Louise Nivin exemplified it, dying in the Red Cross service on a hospital train at Cumberland, MD, after having been on it but a week from influenza.

Route 17: The schools at Smalleytown has been closed on account of influenza.

From the Gazette-News, November 22, 1918

     The flu has increased to such an extent, the Board of Health has deemed it wise to forbid gatherings of any nature until further notice.  Some call it the La Grippe and it does not appear to be more that catarrhal fever. At least, results have not been fatal as compared to Benld and other paces nearby, but it is bad enough and there may be a couple hundred cases in Bunker Hill. 

From the Gazette-News, November 29, 1918

 Woodburn: Miss Hattie Partridge opened her school on the 18, being closed on account of the "flu".  Meantime she was very sick with it herself.

Miss Edith Elliot opened her school on the 25th, she also having been sick with the flu.

Ridgley: Henry Kastien's and Wm. Wieseman's have been sick with influenza, but are able to be around again.

Dorchester: Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Maxeiner, who have been sick the past week, are both able to be up.

Our schools and churches have not opened up yet on account of the flue.

     Henry Suhling is able to come to town again after a siege of sickness.  And Mrs. Windsor, who have been sick with the flue are better.  Mr. Windsor spent part of last week at the station but is not strong enough yet to take up the work.  Dave Thompson has been doing what work he could do, the trains being reported from Bunker Hill and Gillespie.  The Big Four did not send an agent, presumable because of shortage of help..

Mrs. Lewis Fuess and daughter Josie, who have been sick with the flue, are well again.

From the Gazette-News, December 6, 1918

The flue epidemic (in Illinois) has reached a total of 22,566 and this is estimated to be about 3 percent of number of cases.

From the Gazette-News, December 13, 1918

Everybody should gather in the churches in a spirit of thankfulness, now that the ban is lifted.

The public school will open as soon as Prof. Heyer is able to resume work.

Dorchester: Our public schools expect to open up after the holidays, providing there are no cases of influenza.

From the Gazette-News, December 20, 1918

District 51: Burton School opened Monday December 16, having been closed for some time on account of the influenza ban.

Route 17: W. F. Lancaster is able to be out after a long siege of flu.

Dorsey: John E. Johnson, the mail carrier and his family have been ill with the flue.  Wm. Bertels has been on the route for the past few days

From the Gazette-News, January 3, 1919

School Notes: Most of the pupils that have been absent on account of the flu are back at school now.

On Thursday morning of last week, during the opening exercise, Miss Edith Pyle entertained the High School with a vocal solo entitled, "Please Touch My Daddy's Star Again and Change it Back to Blue".  The solo was rendered well and was greatly enjoyed by all.

From the Gazette-News, January 10, 1919

Dorchester: Our school opened up Monday, January 6 after being closed several weeks on account of the flu.  The Bayless town school opened last week.  The churches are holding services again having been closed also.

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories here at

---Cite this story: Stanton, Carl L. . "Bunker Hill News 1918." In Bunker Hill Revisited, Volume Five, 1911-1920, pp. 271. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 2004. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

72 Years Ago - March 19, 1948 - Tornado Devastates City of Bunker Hill

NOTE: This is a follow up to the 1948 tornado posting that I wrote on my November 2015 blog at

On March 19, 1948, at 6:45 a.m., another tornado hit the town of Bunker Hill.  This tornado had an estimated cost of damage of 1 1/2 million dollars (the first one occurred ten years earlier on April 6, 1938 which damage was estimated at $250,000).  Over 80% of the city was destroyed with very few things left standing.

Washington Street in the Bunker Hill business district resembled a set in a Hollywood disaster film after a tornado struck on March 19, 1948.  Nineteen people were killed and almost every building in town was damaged or destroyed. --file/TheState Journal Register  

Aerial view of the Bank block showing the Dental Clinic in the lower right and the Drug Store in the upper left

Looking North from the top of the School building.

Many of Bunker Hill's churches were destroyed.  All business except First National Bank, Bahn's Grocery, and Jacoby-wise on the east side of Washington, and one building on the west side were destroyed.  Today, these are the only two story business buildings in town to remind us of what our business district once looked like.

Bahn's Market soon after the 1948 tornado.

Behren's Drug Store and Lincoln Theater had the second floor lifted off.  It had served as a recreational hall and gymnasium.

The second floor above Lincoln Theater and Behren's Drugstore was lifted off the ground by the wind.  The bandstand at the intersection of Washington and Warren Streets collapsed.  The new Legion home of Partridge Post 578 was destroyed.  The fire house and city hall still stood.

Helen Fahrenkrog Teakert in front of the bandstand at the center of Washington and Warren streets before the tornado.  Note the filling station which is now Louie's Barber Shop and the Fire Department.

Early 1940's view of Washington and Warren Streets before the tornado.

 The remainder of the bandstand after the tornado struck.

The toppled Lincoln Statue

When the statue of Lincoln was toppled in the tornado, the statue fell from the pedestal and the head was found in someones yard.  The person laid it back on its pedestal and the body was still lying on its side in front of it.

Front view of Meissner School which was the Red Cross Headquarters.

The Meissner School was used as a hospital.  Another part of the school was used as a morgue.  To enter Bunker Hill after the tornado, a person had to have a card or pass.  This was done to prevent looting.  An important mass meeting was held on March 26 to decide how to reconstruct Bunker Hill.

 Postmaster Edna Bauser's new 1948 Hudson.
 Bill Miller and Terri Teakert in front

Members of surrounding American Legion Posts stopped sightseers as they passed through Bunker Hill on April 4, 1948 and collected $2,463.00 in donations from them.  About a week before, they collected $618.00 from sightseers.  The total amount of donations collected in this manner was $3,081.00.

The Red Cross was here within hours after the tornado struck Bunker Hill and set up their tents in front of Meissner School.  They provided shelter for those who were left without a home.  They also handed out food and clothing to anyone who needed it.  They aided in building and repairing homes and buildings and supplied furniture and medical care too.  Farming and occupational equipment was given to anyone who needed it.

Delmer "D.D" Truesdale retrieves furniture from what was left of his radio shop after the tornado passed through. --file/TheState Journal Register

A truck parked in front of businesses on the East side of Washington Street was crushed by bricks. --file/TheState Journal Register

H.F Lund of Springfield set up a ham radio in the middle of Bunker Hill and relayed information to radio stations around the State. --file/TheState Journal Register 
NOTE: H.F. "Buzz" Lund was FCC licensed as Amateur Radio operator W9KQL
He was a member of the Springfield, IL  Amateur Radio Club and also an active member of the Red Cross
His son, Thomas "TJ" Lund is also FCC licensed as N9PFC and now lives in Champaign, IL 

Ham Radio operator from the Springfield Amateur Radio Club assisting with communications during the tornado cleanup operations.

The Red Cross called a large meeting in Springfield on April 28, inviting 1,000 Mayors and 101 Sheriffs to attend to discuss the disaster.  The Red Cross aid went as high as $110,389.00 and possibly even higher.

A Red Cross itemized bill that was submitted after six weeks is as follows:

  • Emergency Mass Shelter and evacuation - $750
  • Mass feeding, clothing and food for individual families - $10,000
  • Rebuilding and repairing homes and bu9ildings -$59,000
  • Furniture - $14,000
  • Medical Care - $3,000
  • Farm Equipment and Supplies - $1,000
  • Occupational Equipment and Supplies - $200

The Salvation Army camp at Tornado wrecked Bunker Hill

The Salvation Army was set up on Washington across from the present Conoco Station.  They distributed food and clothing to the tornado victims and served approximately 1,500 hot meals each day.

The Shell Oil Company donated 4,000 gallons of gas, diesel fuel, and motor oil.  The Standard Oil company donated 1,000 gallons of gas and diesel fuel.

  Bunker Hill Business District in 1947 before the tornado.

Bunker Hill business section from the Truesdale home.

Bunker Hill on the day of the storm.

Overturned Meissner school bus parked at the Bruckert's Garage when the storm struck.

Every day for a month people from Blackburn College came to Bunker Hill.  A ten-man work crew helped local residents clean up the debris left by the tornado.  They also helped in the rebuilding.  One hundred and sixty coal miners from Coalton, Illinois closed shop for a day to come to Bunker Hill to help in the cleaning and rebuilding.  Coal miners from neighboring towns also came to help.

Reverend Burke is speaking, Reverend Johnson standing by the tractor.  Berean Baptist's Secretary Berniece Sauser and Gertrude Hilderbrand sing a duet.

Residents and volunteer workers stop their task of repairing damaged buildings and clearing away storm wreckage long enough to gather around the demolished bandstand for an open-air Easter service.  Using a bulldozer for a pulpit, the Reverend M. E. Burke and the Reverend H. C. Johnson conducted the community service.  --BH Gazette, April 1, 1948    

The American Legion chapters from Benld and East Alton held benefit dances for Bunker Hill and they netted $578.50.  They Altamont community held a "Battle for Bunker Hill" campaign and raised $856.41 in tornado relief for the town.

Many construction companies were here to offer their assistance during the days of rebuilding.  William's Hardware in Shipman offered special discounts to any victim of the tornado who lost their homes and belongings.

To show thanks to every group, organization, business, and individual, thank-you letters were printed in most of the editions of the Gazette-News following the tornado.

Looking Southwest from the flagpole area.  The "X" marks the present Amoco Station.

Since most of the major building in the business district were destroyed after the tornado, many adaptations had to be made to continue their business.  For example, the Post Office was temporarily set up in the lobby of the bank, a combination hospital/morgue was set up at Meissner School, and many gas stations set up tents.

At the time of the tornado, E. A. Rich was superintendent of Meissner School.
 The school, closed during the weeks following the tornado was re-opened on April 12, 1948.  When the students returned, they were not required to make up the work from the three weeks of the disaster.  Closing activities and graduation would be conducted as planned.

Memorial Services in Tornado wrecked Bunker Hill

The tornado of 1948 was the worst disaster to ever strike Bunker Hill.  Many people were killed or injured and much property was destroyed.  Let's hope history never repeats itself in our town.  There were 19 people killed and 126 injured.

The list of Deceased from the 1948 Tornado:
  • Allen, Jacqueline Jean (Jean Fensterman Allen's baby )
  • Gregory, J.C
  • Gurley, Marvin
  • Hales, Elizabeth
  • Kay, Georgette
  • Kay, Jacky
  • Kehr, Charles 
  • Landreth, Georgia May
  • Landreth, Mrs. Rachel
  • Langacher, Mrs. Chris
  • Osburn, Juanita
  • Pollock, Mrs. Isabel
  • Ridgley, Rose
  • Tipton, William
  • Vroman, Carolyn Sue
  • Vroman, Danny
  • Vroman, James
  • Vroman, Norma
  • Weimers, Jane

Local People Requested To Call For Packages and Mail

All residents of Bunker Hill expecting packages are requested by Miss Edna Bauser, local postmaster, who has set up temporary quarters in the First National Bank, to call immediately for such packages and other mail as soon as possible.  Lack of space at the bank, from which the Post Office is operating, make it imperative that mail be called for soon.
Package mail has been held in St. Louis since the tornado, but was expected to start coming though Thursday --Bunker Hill Gazette, Thursday March 25, 1948

Governor Green Tours

Governor Dwight Green of Illinois, and Governor Jester of Texas, toured the Bunker Hill disaster area Monday afternoon and the Illinois Governor reiterated the statement made in a telegram to Mayor Miller Saturday that the State administration would render every assistance in its power to restore this stricken area.  --Bunker Hill Gazette, Thursday, March 25, 1948

Following taken from "Rembembering"
Anna Wieseman: A lot of people didn't want to come back to Bunker Hill and were going to live out of town.  Then the business people and the people who wanted to stay had an all night meeting to decide what to do.  If there were people wanting to leave town, why, the businesses didn't want to be here either.  So, they decided to stay and some of the businesses rapaired their building.  This made more people stay and rebuild their homes.

Wilbur Pullen: We were living just south of Woodburn and did not get much damage.  I watched the storm go over and then went to my neighbor Ted Huette's to see if anyone needed help.  While I was talking to him, another neighbor came across the field riding a horse.  He asked us to come help as a beam had fallen on his wife.  As we hitched up the wagon, we realized that his horse had a large sliver of wood through on front tendon.  Had had been so worried about his family he hadn't noticed his horse was injured.

Marie Bartels: Our house was one of the few left standing on Washington Street.  A path was cut through from the south end of town to our house so that the ambulance could come into town for the injured who had be brought to hour house.


...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories here at

--Cite this story: Redford, Carol, and Betty Triplett. "Bunker Hill History." In Reflections: A History of the Bunker Hill-Woodburn Area, pp. 43-48. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 1993. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.