Brief History of Salisbury

by Samuel Sargent in the Charleston Daily Courier

One of the interesting features in connection with the flag-raising at Salisbury last week in honor of the boys from that community in the service of their country was a summary of the history of that section whiph was given by Samuel S. Sargent, as follows:

John Hulen first owned the land on the north side of Washington street, and George K. Harris, on the south side, Sept.  15, 1837, and Dec. 2, 1837 respectively, as the dates of their entering the land.  They were the first founders who had the town of Salisbury laid out, and surveyed, Dec. 8, 1837.

Others who took up land in the same section 9 were Jonathan Hulen, William Barrick, Hugh Doyle, Aaron Hulen.  In section 10 just east of the town were: James Brandenburg, Andrew Endsley, Nathan Austin, William Ashby, Nicholas Sturlman, Hezekiah Mann Jr., John Tucker; and in sections 3 and 4 just north were: Samuel Ward, Richard Learner, David Milligan, Uri Manly, David Endsley, Silas White, Amos John, Nichols Stullsman, Phillip Vance, Henry Beavers, Abel Baker, Arthur Ingram, John Rennels, John Ashby, Jr., William Ashby, John Smith, William Rennels, and William Harris.

A man by the name of Gilbert built the first house in Salisbury, and ran a store with another, by the name of Bartness.  They were the first storekeepers.

Other storekeepers in the south and west store, were: Hill (may have been Allen Hill), John Smith, Mrs. J. C. Hall of Charleston, Jackson Colby, William Giffin, Marion Stanberry, Jonas Bell (who had a small store in a dwelling house, and later moved into a little store building on the south side), Martin Neal, Robert Edman, Calvin (or Colvin) & Garret, Kemper & Cutright, and in the north and east store were: Lee Endsley & Co., John Snyder, Oliver Pipher (John Brooks was clerk for him, and he was storekeeper when the store burned the first time), John Kline, Arthur Jennings (who was in it when the store burned the second time, about 1902), John Atkins, Daddy Slade, Lawrence Stanberry, James McMillan, Leo Haddock, Daley & Neal, Closson & Dodds, and the present incumbent (1942) Perry Green.

Nelson Snyder had a store down by where Benjamin Lee lives, and later moved it up to about where Arthur Biggs now lives.  Benjamin and Charlie Lee had a store for awhile in the concrete block building put up by Wesley Osbourne.

A drug store was run by a Mr. Sargent in the south store, back about 50 years ago.

Those who conducted blacksmith shops were: John Ashby (who had the first shop in the township, it stood west of Salisbury a short ways), Samuel French who came in at an early date and had a shop on the south side of Washington street, near the street running north and south.  He was a smith there until his death, and then his son, Arthur French, had the shop until more recent times, probably about 1912.

Edward Swink had a shop south of Salisbury about a quarter of a mile, where he was doing work probably until about 1900.  Wesley Osbourne had the shop in the concrete block building now owned by Claude Cox, then either before or after Osbourne was a man by the name of Sherman.  Grover Blagg ran a shop for some time, and about the last blacksmith was Charlie Brown, who later moved to Oakland.

In 1879, when the Coles County history was written by LeBaron and Son, of Chicago, there were three blacksmith shops, two of which were doing wood work on wagons and buggies.  Also at that time there was one physician, Dr. J. S. Garner, who was also postmaster, one Justice of the peace, A. B. Tucker, and one Masonic lodge.

The Masonic lodge was organized here in 1872, and the first officers were: George Bidle, C. P. Rosencrans, John A. Stull, Claboum Fuqua, Allen Hill, S. S. Bills, F. E. Cottingham, and Captain Owen Wiley.

No schools or churches were located within the city limits, but were built nearby.  The Salisbury school was about one-half mile north, on Common street.  At one time meetings of the U. B. congregation which later built the Salisbury church were held in an empty store building on the south side.

It is recorded in the Coles County history that the first goods believed to have been sold in the township was at Stringtown, which place never was laid out, but was given that name as the several mills, the Christian church, and a few homes were all strung v-u* along the road.  Thomas Goodman and a man by the name of Pepper had stores there at different times. That was the nearest rival Salisbury had in the trade mart.

The present town of Salisbury was first called Stewart, then “It was found that there was another ‘Richmond’ in the field,” so it was changed to Ashby, in honor of John Ashby.  This name being so similar to Ashley another postoffice in the state, mail was frequently missent, so the postoffice was called Hutton, and the town Salisbury, in honor of John Hulen, one of the founders, who had come from Salisbury, North Carolina.

The store building on the south side at one time was a two story affair with the stairs on the outside.  Dr. J. S. Garner owned the building, and the Masons had meetings in the upper story.

The north store was at first a one story building, and when the I. O. O. F. was organized they built another story.  This building burned down and another was erected, somewhat similar, which burned about, 1902.  The present two-story building with living quarters in the rear was built in 1903.  The last south store burned down many years ago.  Other store keepers were Nick Gehl and Elijah Parker.

The postoffice was run by Dr. J. S. Garner for many years starting in 1869; later Arthur French had it, then Lewis Beavers, who ran it with his store, and last was Henry Etnire, who lived where Claude Cox lives.

The oldest living person known to have been born in the city limits of Salisbury, is Mrs. Nellie Edman, who was born August 31, 1866, in a house which stood about where Arthur Biggs lives.  She was the daughter of Nelson Snyder and Elizabeth Barr.  Another is Anne McGahan, born in 1873, in a house about where Claude Cox lives.  She was the daughter of Alexander McGahan and Martha M. French, a daughter of Samuel French.  She lives in Missouri, and Mrs. Edman the widow of William Edman lives in Charleston.

Some of the earliest settlers known to have lived in Salisbury or nearby were:

John Ashby, born in 1778 in Halifax county, Virginia, emigrated to Tennessee after his marriage to Miss Elizabeth Redding of the same county, thence to North Carolina, and later to Crawford county, Illinois, and to Hutton in 1827.  His old anvil is now in the possession of his grandson Joseph Ashby who lives on north Common street, Salisbury.  The home of John Ashby was about one-half mile directly west of Salisbury, beyond the second creek.

William Beavers was one of the first who settled just about a quarter of a mile east of Salisbury, at a time when the country was all woods, and it is recorded in his biography, in the Coles County history, that many Kickapoo Indians were living in the woods around him at the time.  He was bom July 23, 1797 in Loudon county, Virginia, and emigrated to Kentucky where he married in Barren County, in 1818, Nancy Brandenburg, a sister of old Solomon Brandenburg who settled in Hutton, and the daughter of Henry Brandenburg.  Mr. Beavers entered the northwest of the southwest, section 10 T. 11 N, R. 10 E., where his home was October 27, 1837, before Salisbury was laid out.  They had 17 children, who mostly married into other prominent Hutton families, and through whom there are many descendants over the United States. One daughter Sally Ann, married William Ashby, son of above John Ashby.  Mr. and Mrs. Beavers were buried in the Beavers family cemetery which was near their home, and which is still in existence just east of Salisbury.

James Brandenburg who entered the forty just north was a nephew of Mrs. Nancy Beavers, being the son of Solomon Brandenburg.

Solomon Brandenburg settled southwest of Salisbury about a mile and a quarter near where the Brandenburg cemetery is.  He had large family and his children married and were the parents of many children.  He was in the War of 1812, said to have been a scout, it is also said that he was in the Battle of Tippecanoe and the battle the Illinois Rangers had on the Embarrass River hill, west and some north of the present bridge, known as Blakeman bridge.  This battle was with some Indians who had stolen horses towards the southern part of Illinois.

John Hulen lived over a few own yards south of the present alisbury store.  The descendants of John Hulen are scattered.  Willis Hinkleblack’s family married into the Hulen family.

George K. Harris, as far as is possible to learn had mostly girls who married into the Hutton families, and thus the name Harris has been lost.

Benjamin McMorris lived over northwest of Salisbury about a half mile, and he is represented today in Salisbury by Mrs. Nettie Etnire, widow of Henry Etnire.

To the north lived a Welch family just above Joseph Ashby’s home, they died of cholera about 1851-52 and were buried on a sharp hill just ?8t across the creek.

William Glffin lived to the south short ways, and many of his descendants are still living in Coles county.  One member is Josephine Giffin who married Roy Beck and lives on a part of the old farm.

Some of the doctors who have lived in Salisbury were: Dr. J. S. Garner who came here soon after the Civil War, which he took part in; Dr. David Zephlin; Dr. Spencer; Dr. Hodes; then Dr. Duncan lived southeast of Salisbury about half a mile, in the house now owned by Mrs. Opal B.  Hodge.  Dr. Peter Garrison lived half a mile south and a mile and quarter east of Salisbury, and after his death his wife, known as ‘Granny’ Garrison, acted as a mid-wife in the delivery of many of Hutton’s sons and daughters. She almost always rode horseback, frequently a mule, and would go night or day, fair or storming, winter or summer to any call.

Dr. Wilcox lived north out of the Salisbury community, but made calls in the neighborhood.

One of the early doctors of the township was Dr. Stephen Stone who lived at what is known as the Five-Mile House, later was used as a tavern.

The founders of Salisbury may have had many lofty aspirations for its growth, and no doubt thought it would be quite a metropolis.  It was located near the Old York and Springfield angling road, and on the Pinhook road which ran from Greenup to Oakland.  So it had a good location as far as the arteries of transportation were concerned, at
that time, which were the only barometers to guage the possibilities of a town.  Later the railroads to the north and south took away the lustre of its glory, and it settled dcwn to a township village, sleeping the years away.  Possibly at some future time in its history there may come an impetus.  Perhaps its bonanza days are still in the offing, of which its founders dreamed.

Being war time, a word must be said in honor of those who went forth to battle in the Civil War from this community.  Of course there were many who served in various regiments of the Union Army, but most of the men from Hutton township served in the 123rd Regt., Illinois Vol. Inf., later mounted.  Company K of that regiment was almost to a man formed from Hutton township, being organized at Mattoon by Col. James Monroe, and mustered into service Sept. 6, 1862.  October 8, just 19 days after, it went into the Battle of Perryville, Ky. without any drill whatsoever, where the regiment lost 36 killed and 180 wounded.  Captain Owen Wiley had charge of Company K.  He was the son of Reason Wiley and Elizabeth Hicks of Hutton.

On March 20, 1863 the 123rd with three other regiments was attacked by General Morgan’s cavalry of 5.000 men, nearly four to one.  This was near Milton, Tenn.  Morgan’s force was driven from the field.

On May 6, 1863 the regiment was assigned to Wilder’s Brigade, which was the first brigade in the west to receive the repeating Spencer rifles.

This brigade led the advance of Rosecran’s army from Murfresboro, Tenn., later engaging in the Battle of Chickamauga, where it was thrown into the line of battle to fill a gap made through an error of orders, and into which the Confederates were charging.  The brigade was formed with its men about 15 feet apart, thus exposing a seemingly weak line, considering the close formation in which troops of that war fought.  The order to fire was not given until the first line of the enemy was only a dozen or so yards away, whereby they poured such a withering fire into the advancing Johnnies, with the Spencer repeating rifles that they were compelled to retreat, as were several other charges, until reinforcements were thrown forward to relieve the brigade.  It was taken from the line and sent after General Wheeler who was raiding north towards Nashville and in which the Battle of Farmington took place, after which Wheeler was glad to get back across the line. “They took part in many important battles of that war, the last of … …