Jackson, Henry

Search billions of records on Ancestry.com


Jacksonville Daily Journal dated Saturday, March 6, 1915

Henry Jackson Is Now Eighty-eight Years Old
Has Been Resident of Morgan County All His Life
Some Recollections of By-Gone Years

March 6th, 1827 in a humble log cabin standing a few miles northeast of Jacksonville, about on the spot where Jacob Ornellas lives, and occupied by William Jackson from North Carolina and his wife, Kate Lucarbille Jackson of South Carolina, a baby boy was welcomed and for the past 88 years, he has lived in this vicinity. He was named Henry by his parents and grew to sturdy manhood and now in his old age he is tenderly cherished by a dutiful son and wife and as he sits in his arm chair and thinks of the past, his grandchildren climb on his lap.

His hearing is defective and he is dependent on crutches when he walks but otherwise he seems to enjoy good health and is in the full possession of his mental faculties.

He said he much enjoys Mr. Moore's articles and reminiscences and reads them with pleasure and only wishes the infirmities of age didn't prevent him from doing much writing of things past which would be a pleasure to him.

His parents came to Washington county, Indiana in 1815 and here in 1823. In conversation with a Journal reporter yesterday, the old gentleman was quite reminiscent and said many things of the early days were fresh in his mind. He helped to do some of the surveying for the city of Jacksonville and well recalls Mr. Arnett and some of the older residents with him and also the gallon of whiskey which Mr. Arnett supplied to the men to were assisting. He says the place was named for the hero of New Orleans, as is well understood.

He remembers when the first railroad was completed and taking a ride on it to the river and back. He said it passed through the town on down East State street and about where the Roman Catholic church now stands it branched off northward and kept on through what is now the ground of State School for the Blind and on to its permanent right of way. His oldest brother had a team of six oxen and hauled from the vicinity of Exeter the stone for the abutments of rock bridge. It took a day of some sixteen hours to make the trip as there were no convenient applances then for loading, only "man strength and awkwardness."

Remembers Early Residents

He well remembers the famous Col. John J. Hardin, who went to the Mexican war and was killed and says in the funeral procession right behind the hearse, Col. Hardin's colored body servant walked leading the horse the ill fated officer rode in Mexico.

A man named Jordan lived where later the colonel resided and Mr. Jackson's father bought of him three geese, two females and a male. When the female set, the male stood guard and fought off the boy who would be too inquisitive about the nest.

Among the early residents he well recalls was Porter Clay, who lived in the west part of the place, or rather much west of it for the home of Prof. Turner was considered out in the country. East and north of it was the Lambert slaughter house and all about a pasture lot.

Mr. Jackson's father had a good orchard and those days there were no worms or bugs to destroy the fruit and birds were so plentiful that they destroyed the enemies of fruit. Since that time so many birds have been killed the bugs have had a chance to get ahead.

Gov. Duncan was one of Mr. Jackson's customers for apples and E. T. Miller, so well known years ago, was another. T. D. Eames was one of the early merchants and his father-in-law, Mr. Murdock, clerked for him. George Rearick was another old time dealer.

On the ground owned by the Insane hospital north of the present building, Mr. Jackson and a colored man cut with cradles twenty acres of wheat for Solomon Simmons, father of David and Barton Simmons so long and well known in this city. In those days there were but very few dwellings south of the brook.

Near the brook on South Main street was a mill and when a boy, Mr. Jackson used to ride a horse with a bag of corn to that mill. There was also near that place a distillery where the pure article was made and there being no such thing as a government tax. It was very cheap. Mr. Jackson says that one time a very respectable citizen who was a good judge of liquor was asked to test or sample a number of barrels of the ardent. The worthy gentleman complied and by the time he was through, wholly unintentionally he had taken too much and had hard work to get home safely.

Old Time Practices

There was also in that vicinity a tanyard and Mr. Jackson well remembers seeing a horse grinding tanbark in an old fashioned mill and the other accessories of the place.

There, too, was a carding machine whose power was a tread mill which was a large circular platform perhaps twenty feet in diameter and swung on an upright and slanting. On this a yoke of steers was placed and walking made the power. The mill later did spinning.

For the benefit of young readers it will be said that carding meant taking wool and passing it through a machine which caused it to come out in rolls about half an inch in diameter and twenty or twenty-four inches long and ready for the spinning wheel of olden days.

Among the preachers of those early days, Mr. Jackson well remembers Peter Akers, Peter Cartwright and others. He says he had heard William Stribling preach two hours at a time without notes.

The Baptists of those early days are well remembered by all old settlers. Sometimes they were called "Hard Shell," "Forty rod" and various other names but they were good people and lived up to their light. It is related that some brothers were soliciting for supplies for a camp meeting and one {three words unreadable here} a gallon of whiskey, whereupon the solicitor said he had promised three gallons and thought the brother should do as much for the cause of the gospel.

Mr. Jackson says all his life he has been fond of little children and always liked to hear them talk and often even from a little one he would get good ideas.