Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Old Red Mill


From Bunker Hill Revisited - Volume Four 1901-1910 - by Carl Stanton

"The Old Red Mill"

    June 4, 1909: My attention has been called to a short paragraph in the county papers, all of whom seem to be at a loss to locate the "old red mill", which was known for years as the "red mill" and, by the way, the red paint, of two coats, placed on the outside woodwork of the building in August of 1866, at which time, I owned a third interest in that property, including 20 acres of land, about a dozen houses and one large cooper shop.

    The original mill building was constructed by P.C. Huggins and Charles Parmenter, about 1850, as a flour mill.  Later on, an addition was built to the north side and fitted up with cotton mill machinery, where batting and cotton goods were made.  This was continued until the Civil War, which made cotton scarce and prices so high it was discontinued; and the machinery, after being idle for four or five years, was sold.

    The old red mill was situated on the line of what is now the Big Four Railroad, about one mile northeast of Bunker Hill (this area is about where Mansholt Road and the railroad tracks crossed).  Later, it was converted into a cheese factory and creamery, where wagon loads of good cheese was brought to this city and sold to our merchants.  Finally, this failed as a paying business and the old mill fell into disuse, was torn down, and sold for lumber.

    For many years, the old red mill was the landmark of that locality.  I was a partner in the mill from August 1866 until I sold to John Richards, and A.G. Davis of Carlinville.

...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, August 18, 2022.

Stanton, Carl L. . "Bunker Hill News 1909." In Bunker Hill Revisited, Volume Four, 1901-1910, p. 37. Bunker Hill: Bunker Hill Publications, 2003. Provided by the Bunker Hill Historical Society.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Bunker Hill Railroad Accident of 1857


    Pictured: Hotel and Big Four Railroad Station in Bunker Hill IL

From the Missouri Democrat, August 17, 1857

    Accident on the Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad

    On Saturday evening, about eight o'clock, as the westward bound passenger train on the Terre Haute, Alton, and St. Louis railroad had reached a point about one mile from Bunker Hill, IL, the locomotive broke through a bridge, which was constructed over a small creek or ravine.  The baggage and express cars were, at the same time, precipitated beyond the engine and down a steep embankment.

    The car next to the emigrant car, containing a number of ladies and gentlemen, fell in after the engine and was turned up on its forward end.  At the time of the accident, a hard thunderstorm was prevailing, which added to the terror of the occasion.  Another thing which contributed to the dismay of the passengers was the communication of fire to a portion of the train by the explosion of the engine.  The flames, notwithstanding the rain, were spreading rapidly, but by the exertion of the passengers were subdued.

    Edward Warden, fireman, was instantly killed.  Mr. Wilcox, engineer was badly hurt and burned.  The baggage master of the train, whose name we were unable to obtain, and B. Deming, a brakeman, were hurt, but not seriously.

    As if the heavens had conspired to add terror and death to the scene, a little girl, daughter of Mr. Templer, was struck by lightning just after the explosion of the engine took place, and was instantly killed.

    Edward Warden died on August 16, 1857, and is buried in the Bunker Hill Cemetery.

...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 8, 2021, August 11, 2022.  

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Bunker Hill Hard Road Celebration

Pictured: Map showing the First Hard Road through Bunker Hill

Read our earlier Blog Posting about the First Bunker Hill Hard Road at

From the Edwardsville Intelligencer, Sept 8, 1928

Bunker Hill Road Celebration Fixed for Oct. 3

    Big Chicken Dinner at 60 cents, Street Dance and Band Concert are some of the events arranged for Community Road Observance.

    Opening of the Edwardsville-Bunker Hill Road will be celebrated on Wednesday afternoon and evening, October 3, it was announced today after a conference of an Edwardsville committee with several residents of Bunker Hill last night.  Those from Bunker Hill came here to learn what Edwardsville is doing to make arrangements at Bunker Hill complete.

    In announcing several committees this morning to work out the details in Edwardsville, S.D. Wheeler, President of the Chamber of Commerce predicted that 500 will go to Bunker Hill that day.  He believed a majority will partake of a chicken dinner.

    Residents of Bunker Hill and farmers along the road will donate chicken and other food for the big chicken dinner, making it possible for the ladies to serve at 60 cents a plate.  Funds realized from the dinner will be used to promote civic affairs at Bunker Hill.

    Residents of Gillespie, Dorchester, Benld, and Sawyerville will be invited to the gathering.  The road between Bunker Hill and Gillespie will be finished in another few weeks.  The new pavement along the Springfield road extends from Edwardsville to a point near Gillespie with connection at each end with Route 4.

    Mrs. F.H. Postlewaite, President of the Bunker Hill Civic League was one in the delegation here last night.  She is an enthusiastic worker for the gathering and will have charge of the dinner.

    During her remarks last night, she said Bunker Hill will endeavor to promote ample entertainment for the afternoon and evening.  Beside the chicken dinner that will be ready during the afternoon, sandwiches and other refreshments will be served until well into the night.  A street dance will be arranged for the evening.  The platform will be guilt on the pavement.

     Edwardsville will have a part in providing entertainment.  The Edwardsville Municipal Band of 34 pieces will be taken to Bunker Hill.  Business manager Frank Fink told the meeting last night that the musicians will begin making arrangements shortly.

Pictured: North Washington Street before the 1920's prior to the Hard Road

    Residents of Bunker Hill will have most of the work to plan while arrangements are being made.  Some months ago, residents of Bunker Hill and other cities farther to the north came here in large numbers to urge the division of highways to rush the road.  The public hearing was followed with much work of Senator A.S. Cuthbertson of Bunker Hill and State Senator N.G. Flagg to have the road built.

    Those who came here form Bunker Hill for the conference were Rev. C.J. Rieves, Mayor, Mrs. F.H. Postlewaite, James Jencks, J.H. Neil, Elmer Goff, and Ralph Hayes.

...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, August 4, 2022.