Jefferson County

Newspaper Articles

    The hardy people of Jefferson county always strong in the face of
    adversities, built their homes and stores back in the 153 year history
    of the community.

    The most tragic catastrophe in history of Mt. Vernon-the great tornado
    of Feb 19 1888, almost killed the town.It killed 30 and hurt hundreds.

    Just before Christmas on Dec. 18, 1957 had a tragic toll as a young child
    was killed, 78 people hurt and homes and property destroyed on a wide swath
    through the city and county.

    In 1888, the twister hit with brute force , laid waste to the city in only
    a few minutes. Wind and fire killed 30, injured hundreds and left 1,250 homeless.
    In the town of 2,500,329 residences were blown away or burned to ground and 518
    other buildings were damaged.
    The tornado cut a path from southwest to northeast, leveled a residence at what
    is now 16th and Logan, plowed thru the square and wrecked east side (Franklin) school,
    on its way to the open country.
    Preceded by vivid lightning and heavy rain, the wind struck not long after the
    dismissal of Sunday school classes and wrecked the First Methodist and First Baptist

    Telegraph wires carried the news to the rest of the nation and soon, money, supplies
    and relief workers poured in.

    Red Cross sent Clara Barton, who opened the national appeal for funds with these words
    "The pitiless snow is falling on the heads of people who are without homes, food, and clothing.'
    Help soon came, first from southern Illinois neighbors, and then from all over the country.
    The light plant was destroyed, leaving the town in darkness. Rescue workers
    used lanterns as they combed the town for victims.

    Some of the oddities -business papers blew as far away as Flora, 30 miles away.
    The old soldiers banner from Gar found the banner a mile away north of town.
    Grass was blown though barks of trees.

    Submitted By: Janice Staples

    James Mowry  professor at Carbondale has been recording weather since 1952.
    His summary shows that January of 1918 was the biggest snow accumulation in 
    Jefferson county.The months accumulation was 25.3 inches.
    The biggest one day fall was January 29, 1954 was 12 1/2 inches that fell 
    over a 24 hour period.
    Wettest year was 1957 with total  accumulation of 58.06 inches.
    Biggest single day was January 14, 1937 with 4.78 inches  in 24 hour period.
    Dryest  was 1943 in January with 1/10 of inch rain.
    January 1972 had a daytime high of 69 degrees and several days  in the high 50's.
    The coldest day recorded was 24 degrees below zero January 13, 1912.
    The warmest January day was 76 on Jan.24, 1943.
    Submitted By: Janice Staples

    The Southern Illinois Clinic

    The Southern Illinois clinic located at Doctors park on 34th street
    is Mt. Vernon's largest medical clinic with 10 -physician medical
    staff aided by 21 medical support personnel.

    Started in 1961 by Dr. Raymond Alexander, Dr Cyril Anslinger, and
    Dr. E.B. Epperson, the clinic has grown to include family practice,
    internal medicines,surgury,urology, ophthalmology and ob-gyn.

    Doctors now on the staff include Alexander, Anslinger, and Epperson
    as well as Kenneth Peart, Raymond Coss, Robert Parks, Manoj Desai,
    Meena Desai, Gerald Fox,and Pritam Sahni, all doctors.

    Total of 60 employees are on the payroll including 21 medical personnel.
    The clinic has a lab, x-ray and physiotherapy department.
    Marco pharmacy is also housed within the building as is the office So.
    Health care headed by Anthony Monaco.

    It is close to state rehab center and the proposed Jefferson Memorial hospital
    which will house the hospital , and a sheltered and intermediate care nursing homes.

    Submitted By: Janice Staples

    Shiloh Church 

    Shiloh church was established in 1819.The Methodist society formed
    in the county at this time and was the forerunner of the areas
    various Methodist congregations.

    In 1820 a school building was built., and the Methodists used it as
    a church as well. After this building burned, the Old Shiloh Church
    was constructed nearby..

    In 1844 a national controversy split the church, slavery was the issue
    and a division developed between abolitionists and other church men
    who wanted to keep out of political issues.

    The Methodist Episcopal Church south broke off from The Methodist Episcopal
    church and Old Shiloh went with the southern branch.

    In 1939, long before the issue that caused the break, the Methodist Church
    reunited. After 20 yrs more, representatives of the New and the Old Shilohs
    decided to combine and call the new church Shiloh Methodist church.

    By 1961 a new structure had been built on Richview road to house the congregation.
    Having overcome a break that lasted over a century, Shiloh Methodist church
    carries on the traditions of the oldest religious organization in Jefferson co.

    Register News 1972
    Submitted By: Janice Staples

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