A recent visitor to our library was Johanna Land of Irvine, Calif. She is the daughter of former resident John F. Land. Although she has never lived here, she enjoyed reading the old newspaper items, which mentioned names of people of whom her father had spoken. She feels as if she knows people here because of the stories her father told her. She said her father considered he had the best job around when he was a boy. He was a "soda jerk" at the Innovation, and as such was privy to all the goings-on in the area.
David and Caroline Stewart, a brother and sister team of genealogists, flew in from New York City for a three-day search last week. They are descendants of Dr. Alexander Stewart of early Burnt Prairie. They also had ancestors who were involved with the Equality salt mining operation, and one who helped found Albion. They had called ahead, so I had books and folders of information waiting at their motel when they arrived. Their search also led them into Wayne County. They thought the countryside was beautiful, and they had wonderful luck with their digging for their roots. As with all genealogists, they didn't have enough time. They left, planning to return to pursue their search at a later date. I had to ask if they were natives of New York City (because I felt sure they were not). Sure enough, they said they grew up in Louisiana on a sugar cane plantation which had been in the family 160 years.
The Illinois State Historical Society will hold its annual meeting in Carbondale on May 16 and 17. It's rare that such events take place in the lower part of the state. Some of our society members will be in attendance.
A recent week was dubbed "The Week of the Young Child." Reading articles in reference to this made me think of something I'd read recently in a sort of history book, entitled Albion's Seed. In a discussion of Puritan ways, it was said the Puritans thought for a child to grow up to be law-abiding and pious, it should have its will broken early. Without such supervision, its soul was in danger. Will-breaking was a form of mental discipline. Restless children were rolled into small squirming human balls with their knees tied firmly beneath their chins and booted back and forth across the floor by their elders. Other youngsters were dangled by their heels out of windows. Children were forced to wear signs around their necks which told of their sins, "nail biting," "lying," etc. Large children were caned, smaller ones were whipped and tiny infants were thumped firmly on their skulls with hard ceramic thimbles!
We continue to be comfortably busy with letters and visitors to our Genealogy Library. We're open from 11 to 5 on Wednesdays. Come join us.
THE CARMI TIMES
and CHARLENE SHIELDS