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Gillespie Historic header
1940 - 1949
Fullarton Fulton, Jr. served as Mayor of the City of Gillespie 5-6-1935 to 5-5-1941
1940 U. S. Census lists Population as 4440.
1940 - The WPA took over operation of the library.
Theodore Frey served as Mayor of the City of Gillespie 5-5-1941 to 5-9-1949
1942 - The library was taken over by the City of Gillespie.
1945 - C. V. Beck purchased the Little Dog Mine.
Gillespie - Macoupin Street 1940s
Gillespie - Macoupin Street - 1940s 2

World War II
1941 - 1945
      The start of the war is generally held to be September 1, 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland; Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. The United States entered World War II after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. War was declared on December 8, 1941.
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Gillespie News, Gillespie, Illinois
December 11, 1941
      A special meeting of the City Council was held Tuesday night at the call of Mayor Frey for the purpose of passing an ordinance creating a Gillespie Community Council of Defense.
The US Office of Civilian Defense, established in May 1941 as the war spread across the globe, was responsible for coordinating preparations for war-related emergencies, preparations that were organized at the state and local levels. The civilian defense against air attacks began with pilots who flew along the coastlines and plane spotters who manned towers to watch for approaching enemy planes. There were also blackout drills that forced people to practice their response to the air-raid alarm signal - a series of intermittent siren blasts. Air-raid wardens supervised the blackout drills, cruising up and down neighborhood streets to make sure no light escaped the houses. By early 1943, there were about 6 million volunteers in public protection roles such as air-raid warden.
      Blackout drills were planned in advance and advertised. Street lights were turned off at the scheduled time. Anyone outside was to take cover inside. Those in their homes were instructed to pull down the blinds on their windows and keep the light inside to a minimum. People in cars were to pull over and find shelter in the nearest building. The idea was that enemy planes couldn't target what they couldn't see, and that any light visible from above could attract bombs and gunfire.

      During World War II, Congress enacted the War Time Act (56 Stat. 9) on January 20, 1942. Year-round Daylight Saving Time was reinstated in the United States on February 9, 1942, as a wartime measure to conserve energy resources. This remained in effect until after the end of the war.
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      Draft Board Local No. 2 (southern half of Macoupin County) increased to five in May of 1942.
      Joseph W. Rizze, of Benld; Theo. Whitehouse, of Mt. Olive; Charles Edwards, of Gillespie; T. E. Elliman, of Gillespie; W. H. Mercer, of Bunker Hill; were the members.
      While the cards were created on April 27, 1942, they pertain to men born on or between April 27, 1877, and February 16, 1897.
      June 1942 saw Local No. 1 of the Progressive Mine Workers of America donating $200.00 to the USO fund drive.
      September 1942, The "Salute to Our Heroes Month" for the beginning of the War Bond and Stamp drive.
      October 1942, Gillespie Red Cross sent wristlets and turtle neck sweaters to members of the armed forces.
      March 1943, Chief of Police, Elmer Jones was Commander of all Council of Defense Wardens.
      April 1943 - City of Gillespie purchased $10,000.00 in War Bonds as an investment. Wilsonville-Dorchester Council of Defense.
      February 3, 1944, there was a mine squeeze at some of the older works of the Superior Coal Mine No. 3 at Mount Clare which caused to damage to properties on Charles and Burton streets in Gillespie.
      April 25, 1944, An organizational meeting was held for the War Mothers Club. The national dues would be 50 cents for the year.
      June 6, 1944 -- D Day, when Allied troops stormed onto Normandy beach with an invasion to secure Europe from the Nazi strongholds.
      A Lions Cub was organized in July of 1944, with officers being elected. James Burton - President; Ben Lesem - 1st Vice President; Charles Caskey - 2nd Vice President; Charles Meno - 3rd Vice President; Norman Neeny - Secretary-Treasurer; Jackie Young - Lion Tamere; Larry Cavanaugh - Tail Twister; Samuel Hiken, A. A. Newton, Donald Shaw, and Maurice Sullivan as directors.
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World War II ~ Rationing
      Rubber became the first commodity rationed as the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies cut off our supply. Gasoline rationing reduced the number of miles the average citizen drove and thus conserved rubber. Voluntary gas rationing proved ineffective and by the Spring of 1942, seventeen Eastern states had instituted some form of mandatory gas rationing. By December mandatory controls extended across the entire country. People who used their cars for "nonessential" purposes were restricted to 3 gallons of gas a week.
      Every man, woman and child received a ration book restricting consumption of essential products. Many planted "Victory Gardens" to supplement their grocery list. By 1944, whiskey had disappeared from liquor store shelves as distilleries converted to the production of industrial alcohol. New car production was banned beginning January 1, 1942 as former auto plants switched to the production of military vehicles. The ban was lifted on July 1, 1945. Thirty percent of all cigarettes produced were allocated for service men, making cigarettes a scarce commodity on the home front by 1944. By the end of the war, rationing limited consumption of almost every product with the exception of eggs and dairy foods.
      Rationing of sugar at the start of the canning season in 1942 was rationed at five pounds and in December 1942, gasoline rationing goes into effect.
Rationed ItemsRationing Duration
Cheese, canned milk, fats
Fuel Oil & Kerosene
Meats, canned fish
Processed Foods
Rubber Footwear
Solid Fuels
July 1942 to September 1945
February 1942 to October 1945
March 1943 to November 1945
November 1942 to July 1943
October 1942 to August 1945
May 1942 to August 1945
March 1943 to November 1945
March 1943 to August 1945
October 1942 to September 1945
February 1943 to October 1945
September 1943 to August 1945
December 1942 to August 1945
May 1942 to 1947
January 1942 to December 1945
March 1942 to April 1944


Gillespie in newspaper Articles
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The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 69 Number 118
Friday, January 26, 1940, Page 2
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      COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 25. --(UP)-- Five, delegates to the first convention of the United Mine Workers of America here in 1890 received gold medals today in recognition of 50 years of UMW service.
      They included Charles S. Kimes of Gillespie, III.
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The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 70 Number 173
Saturday, March 29, 1941, Page 1
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      COLLINSVILLE, Mar. 28. --(AP)-- Collinsville local No. 3. of the Progressive Mine Workers union voted tonight to sever affiliation with the state and national organizations in an effort to force reinstatement of David Reed and John Batuello, former union officers, to their old jobs in the Gillespie coal mines.
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The Farmers' Weekly Review, Joliet, Illinois
Volume 19 number 37
June 25, 1941, Page 3
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      High School bands from thirty-one Illinois towns have already entered the Illinois State Fair High School Band Contest. Almost as many more entries are expected before August 9, opening day of the Fair.
      The folowing towns are now represented by entries: Dallas City, LaMoille. St. Anne, Winchester, Graysville, Forreston, Benld, Smithfleld, Maquon, Gillespie, Mason City, Waverly, Ashland, Windsor, Sesser, Milford, Virginia, Aledo, Mt. Sterling, Bluffs, Dongola, Barry, Lockport, St. Elmo, Forrest, Toulon, Putnam, Princeville, Sparland, Rutland and Chillicothe.
      The competition of the various bands will start Monday morning, August 11, and continue all week. The Drum Major Twirling contest will open Tuesday, August, 12.
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Sixty First Coal Report of Illinois, 1942;
Department of Mines and Minerals;
Printed by authority of the State of Illinois
      At Eagarville in the Superior Coal Company's No. 1 Mine, a flood of water and gas, possibly from the adjacent abandoned Dorsey Mine which has not been operated for about 55 years which developed a break into this mine trapping four men. Four fatalities occurred from this when two men escaped and then returned to give aid to others that were trapped.
      The four men that died were : Frank DeSaint Jean, of Benld; along with Frank Bertagnoli, of Gillespie; Robert Edmiston of Gillespie & Joseph Redolfi, of Gillespie.
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The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 71 Number 201
Friday, May 15, 1942, Page 2
Bodies of Trapped Men Recovered from Mine
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      GILLESPIE, May 14. --(AP)-- Rescue workers tonight expressed confidence that they would recover tomorrow the body of the fourth miner trapped 350 feet below ground last Friday by a sudden flood in the Superior Coal company's No. 1. mine.
      Three bodies were recovered today. The four miners were trapped in the workings at nearby Edgarville [sic Eagarville] by a flood of water released when the tunnel penetrated the abandoned shaft of all adjacent mine which has been filled with water.
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The True Republican, Sycamore, Dekalb County, Illinois
Volume 86 Number 24
Friday, June 12, 1942, Page 1
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Brother Of Elmer Brooke Of This City Is Taken By Death At Hospital In DeKalb On Tuesday; Was Ill Long.
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      Albert L. Brooke, 55, a brother of Elmer Brooke of Sycamore, passed away at the Glidden Memorial hospital in DeKalb on Tuesday evening at 10:45 o'clock. He had been ill for the past six weeks and had been a patient at the hospital for over three weeks.
      The decedent was born at Morris on August 5, 1887, the son of Perry and Winifred Brooke. He was married on December 18, 1912, to Willie Mae Chapman and they lived in Springfield before coming to DeKalb 16 years ago. He was a member of the Latter Day Saints church. The family had made their home on Haish boulevard previous to the time Mr Brooke entered the hospital.
Six Brothers Survive
      Besides his wife, he is survived by one son, Ronald, of Maple Park; one daughter, Mrs. Clifford Powell of DeKalb; twb sisters, Mrs. May Smith and Mrs. Maud Smith, both of Gillespie; six brothers, Arthur of Ottawa, Raymond of Higbee, Mo., W. Lance, Springfield, Mich., Russell of Mount Olive, Elmer of Sycamore, and Eddie A. of Gillespie; and two grandchildren.
      Funeral services were accorded the deceased on this (Friday) afternoon at 2:00 o'clock, from the Wirtz Funeral home.
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Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois
Monday, June 28, 1943, Page 5
Son, 33, Held in Father's Death
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Pete Bosolavich, Benld, Says He's Innocent
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      CARLINVILLE, June 28 (Special -- Bosolavich. 33, according to a state warrant issued through the office of State's Attorney J. P Madden, is charged with firing the fatal shot which killed his father, Pete Bosolavich of Benld last Wednesday.
      Young Bosolavich was arrested at 4:30 p. rn. .Saturday in the Benld cemetery, where final services were being said for the father. The arrest was made by Sheriff George Ashley with the assistance of highway patrolmen and Chief of Police Sam Carney. He asserted that he was innocent.
      The elder Bosolovich, a retired coal miner of Mt. Clare, was found dead at his home early Wednesday. According to officials the son went to Benld police and stated that he had found his father dead in bed. Police went to the home and found the body In bed with a .32 calibre rifle beside it. No fingerprints were found on the gun and on questioning the son stated the gun was the property of the father. However, a checkup of Gillespie stores, according to officials, revealed that the son had purchased the gun on April 14. Conflicting statements made by the son led to his arrest, officials said, and when questioned he admitted that he and his father had quarrelled over the fact that the father had planned to marry a woman, 48 years of age, on Sunday. The son said his father had met the woman through a matrimonial bureau.
      Authorities also state they found the son had drawn large sums of money from a bank recently and had been reprimanded by his father.
      Coroner Russell Butler conducted an inquest into the death of the elder man. The son testified that on arising at 6 a. rn Wednesday he found his father's body in bed with the gun beside it but that he did not hear the shot. A nine-year-old son of the younger Bosolavich testified that he had always slept with his grandfather, but Tuesday night his father made him sleep with him. The youth also testified that he did hear a shot In the night.
      The verdict returned by the jury reads, "death was caused by a gun-shot wound in the center of the forehead which could have been self-inflicted or could have been inflicted by a party or parties unknown".
      The elder Bosolavich was born Feb. 15, 1882. In Yugoslavia and married Miss Rose Zarr in 1908. A short time following their marriage they came to Benld, where he was employed in the coal mines until a year ago, when he retired because of ill health.
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Licensed to Wed

      CARLINVILLE -- Four marriage licenses were issued Saturday at the office of County Clerk Pro-tem Boring. The first to be issued in several weeks.
      Among those to receive them were John C. Abelin of Gillespie, and Wretha Mae Arnold of Greenfield.
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Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois
Thursday, December 16, 1943, Page 2
Phone Strike In 4 Towns
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Illinois Central Operators Ask Pay Raise
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      Long-distance telephone service to four communities near Alton was interrupted today by a strike of operators.
      Exchanges at Gillespie, Benld, Girard and Virden were out of service because the operators had walked out to back up a demand for wage increase. Union leaders said the strike was unauthorized, according to dispatches.
      The telephone system in the four communities are owned and operated by the Illinois Central Telephone Co.
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Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, Illinois
Monday, February 7, 1944, Page 2
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      Gillespie, Ill., Feb. 7 -- A "squeeze" in the Eagerville mine which, with another mine, spreads out below this city, caused a flurry of alarm today as cracks in the ground appeared in a residential section and caused several houses to settle nearly a foot.
      Gillespie Police Chief Elmer Jones said the cracks were about half an inch wide over an area of several blocks in a residential district in the south end of the city. He said no one was hurt, but that several hundred miners were thrown out of work
      Jones said he toured the city in his car and found only the south end of Gillespie, a town of about 4,500 persons, affected. He said there was no jar accompanying the ground openings and the settling and that the depression varied from a few inches to nearly a foot.
      "There are about a hundred homes in the area but only half a dozen houses were affected," said Jones. "There is no cause for alarm. The ground just opened a bit and depressed gradually. It happened somewhere just before midnight."
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Daily Journal-Gazette, Mattoon, Illinois
Volume 70 Number 15
February 7, 1944, Page 1
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      Gillespie, Ill. --(INS)-- A mile-long collapse of underground coal mine tunnels today forced closing of a shaft at Eagarville and another at Mt. Clare, throwing 700 men out of work.
      The "squeeze" occurred just before midnight Sunday night, releasing gas which spread throughout the two shafts and forcing suspension of work today.
      As a result of the underground collapse an area approximately nine blocks long and six blocks wide in Gillespie today had sunk distances from 1 to 18 inches. the above-ground depression is clearly visible to the naked eye.
      The "squeeze," it was stated, extended from Eagarville west to High street in Gillespie.
      There were no casualties as a result of the "squeeze," but property damage was expected to be heavy.
      A similar "squeeze" occurred in a Gillespie mine two years ago when four men were drowned as mine walls collapsed and sent a flood of water, pent up in an old shaft, rushing through the working tunnels.
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South End Reporter, Chicago, Illinois
Wednesday, February 9, 1944, Page 8
Rowe - Osborne
      Adele Ruth Rowe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adalbert Rowe, 9929 Lowe Ave., was married to Pvt. George Mitchel Osborne Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Pvt. Osborne is the son of Mr. and Mrs. George M. Osborne Sr. of Gillespie, Ill. A double ring ceremony was performed in the Methodist church in Gillespie by the Rev. A. A. Hagler. The bride was given in marriage by her father. Mrs. Emery Martin played the wedding march and also accompanied Doris Dannie, who sang "Oh Promise Me" and "I Love You Truly."
      The bride wore an ivory faille taffeta wedding gown with crown tiara. She carried a shower bouquet of white carnations and baby's breath and was attended by Mildred Lowaek of Chicago as maid of honor, who wore a dusty rose velveteen and net gown and matching headpiece, and carried pink carnations and blue baby's breath. The groom's sister, Mrs. Wilma Smith of Gillespie, served as bridesmaid. She wore an aquamarine taffeta gown and matching headpiece, and carried a bouquet of pink carnations and white baby's breath.
      The best man was Pvt. Stanley Parke of Chicago. S 2 /c Joe Davies of Gillespie, and the bride's brother, Kenneth Rowe, served as ushers. A reception was held in the Osborne home following the ceremony. Out-of-town guests were the groom's cousin, James Foran of Pampa. Tex., Pvt. Robert Moskowitz of New York City and Sgt. Edwin Morrison of Chicago.
      Pvt. Osborne is in the air corps and will complete his training in radio at Scott Field, Ill., next month. He is a graduate of Gillespie high school and the bride is a Fenger high school graduate.
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Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois
Thursday, July 20, 1944, Page 7
A New Career
      GILLESPIE. July 20, --(AP)-- Women coal miners? Two women, Mrs. Helen Peeck Daniels and Mrs. Cleora E. Campbell, held that title today, the first in the history of the industry in Illinois, They are employed as "weighmen" at mines here, hired because of the shortage of men. Their work, too strenuous for women years ago, has, with installation of modem machinery, become a job that mine officials believe women can efficiently perform.
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The Christopher Progress, Christopher, Franklin County, Illinois
Volume37 Number 39
Thursday, September 14, 1944, Page 1
      The marriage of Frances Delfina Trogolo, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Trogolo, of East Cherry avenue, and Wilman Joseph Favero, First Class Petty Officer, U. S. N., son of Mrs. Mary Ann Kashutas of Gillespie, Ill., was solemnized at a nuptial high mass Monday morning, September 11, at 8:00 o'clock at St. Andrews church.
      The ceremony and mass was performed by the Rev. Father Edward Borowski, with Conrad and Raymon Trogolo, nephews of the bride, serving as altar boys. The church was decorated with gladioli and asters.
      The bride was dressed in a two-piece suit of lemon yellow gabardine with brown accessories and wore a corsage of orchid flowers. For something old she wore a gold necklace and gold twin bracelets which are heirlooms, and were presented to the bride as a gift from Mrs. Eldora Hoover of Batavia, Ill. Frances is the fourth generation to wear them.
      Miss Kathryn Moretto of Chicago, a cousin of the bride, served as her only attendant, and wore a two-piece suit of mint green gabardine with brown accessories and a canary yellow corsage.
      Elmer Trogolo, brother of the bride, served as best man.
      During the mass "Ave Maria" was beautifully sung by Sister Theodora.
      A reception and dinner was held at the bride's home, 307 East Cherry avenue, Sunday, Sept. 10, and a wedding breakfast was served immediately following the ceremony.
      Following a short wedding trip to Chicago and Batavia, Ill., the newlyweds will go to Farragut, Idaho, where the groom is now stationed, following two years service in the Aleutians.
      Out of town guests were Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kashutas of Gillespie, Mrs. Ann Huber of Litchfield, sister of the groom; Mrs. James Moretto and daughter, Kathryn, of Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Trogolo of Zeigler; Mr. and Mrs. Anthony De Bernari of Valier Road; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Calcaterra of Herrin and granddaughter, Barbara, also of Herrin, and Mrs. F. A. Green of Detroit.
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Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois
Friday, October 6, 1944, Page 10
      William McCourt of 415 East Chestnut street, Gillespie, an employee of the Western Cartridge Co., received emergency treatment Thursday at St. Joseph's Hospital for a laceration of the right wrist. He left the hospital after emergency treatment.
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Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois
Monday, November 27, 1944, Page 6
Wed in Litchfield
      Mrs. Mary Frances Lefter Wood, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lefler of Litchfield, formerly of Alton, was married to James Richard Williams, son of Mrs. Maude Williams of Gillespie, at the Lefler home, Saturday, November 18, at 7 o'clock. The Rev. J. W . Webster, pastor of the Benld Methodist church, officiated, Mr. Lefler, father of the bride, and Miss Josephine Williams, sister of Mr. Williams, were attendants.
      Mr. and Mrs. Williams are residing with the latter's parents but plan to locate in California.
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City Hall 1945 Photo

Gillespie City Hall
Gillespie, Illinois
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      Clarence V. Beck, of St. Louis, MO., purchased the Liberty Coal Mine in 1945 and it became known as Little Dog Mine. The name remained until its closing in 1968. The Illinois Annual Coal Reports show the owner as the Florida Coal Company of St. Louis during 1967 to 1968, but not sure if any coal was mined by or under this company's name.
Little Dog Mine photo 1
Little Dog Mine 1
Little Dog Mine photo 2
Little Dog Mine 2
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Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois
Tuesday, March 26, 1946, Page 2
Amelia C. Dorsey Dies; Ill 3 Years
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      Miss Amelia C. Dorsey, who made her home with a brother, the late E. M. Dorsey, at 421 East Twelfth, for a number of years, died Monday at 4:30 p. m. in St. Anthony's Infirmary. Miss Dorsey, who was 83, had been in failing health for the past three years and during the greater part of that time had been a patient in Alton memorial Hospital. Two months ago she was moved to th Infirmary.
      Miss Dorsey was born April 30, 1862 in Gillespie, a daughter of the late Benjamin L. and Amelia Blair Dorsey. She was one of seven children, and the last of her family.
      Her early life was spent in the Gillespie and Benld area where her father, a prominent farmer, had extensive farms lands. for a period of about ten years, she had made her home with her brother, the late E. M. Dorsey, and following his death made her home for about five years with a niece, Mrs. J. L. Clarkson, at Nashville. When her health became such that nursing care was necessary she returned to Alton and entered Alton Memorial Hospital.
      The only survivors are nieces and nephews. Among those who will attend funeral service will be Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Clarkson of Nashville, and Mrs. Leslie C. Green and Mrs. Mary D. Bass, of Columbia Mo.
      Funeral rites will be conducted Wednesday at 2 p. m. in Morrow-Quinn mortuary. Entombment will be in Grandview mausoleum, Alton cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home after 6 p. m. today.
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The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 74 Number 173
Tuesday, July 9, 1946, Page 3
      John T. Goalby, 88, widely known in state coal mining circles, died Sunday.
      For more than 25 years, Goalby was superintendent of the Sunnyside coal company of Herrin. He was named to the first state mining board in 1892 and was a charter member of the Illinois mining institute. He came here [Morris, IL.] seven years ago.
      Surviving were his widow, Mrs. Emma Seibert Goalby, formerly of Gillespie, whom he married 62 years ago; a daughter and three sons. Funeral services were held at Morris last night and the body was taken to Herrin, where services and burial will be tomorrow afternoon.
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Hartnett & Stine Airport
H & S Flying Service
August 1946 -
      Approval for a Class 1 airport was issued, effective on August 14, 1946
The Illinois State Board of Aeronautics approved the application of Jack Hartnett and James Stine.
Operations permitted include :
      Passenger Service
      Charter Trips
      Sightseeing Trips
      Student Instruction
Airport Photo
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Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois
Thursday, August 15, 1946, Page 12
Shipman Man Instructor At Gillespie Airport
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      Carlinville. Aug. 15 -- James E Gillespie of Shipman has been engaged as head flight instructor at the Gillespie airport, to be opened Sunday one mile west of the city. One plane is on the field and two more are expected to be delivered in time for the opening.
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The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 75 Number 30
Wednesday, October 30, 1946, Page 2
      John McCann of Gillespie and Jess Chandler of Harrisburg have been nominated for president of the Progressive Mine workers in the independent union's Dec. 5 election, it was announced yesterday. The winning candidate will succeed John Marchiando of Springfield, whose two year term expires Feb. 1, 1947. Under the PMW constitution Marchiando was not eligible for reelection.
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The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 75 Number 47
Friday, November 22, 1946, Page 1
AFL Miners, 1,600 Rivals Stop Work
21,000 Illinois Workers Idle As National Coal Tension Increases
      CHICAGO --(AP)-- The work stoppage of Illinois AFL United Mine workers was complete yesterday and about 1,600 members of the rival Progressive mine workers followed suit in three mines.
      More than 21,000 miners were idle in the state. Not a ton of coal was hoisted by the UMW miner's, who produce about 80 per cent of the state's tonnage.
      PMW mines were reported operating, except for three Superior Coal company mine shafts near Gillespie, where 1,600 men failed to report for work. James Campbell, local union president, said the men did not work "apparently because of the national coal situation."
      The PMW claims about 18,000 members in Illinois. Their working mines are concentrated mostly in Saline county and the Springfield and Belleville areas, although there are some others in the northern part of the state.
      Fred S. Wilkey, secretary of the Illinois Coal Operators association, said the only United Mine workers in the pits yesterday were the usual maintenance men, including engineers, firemen and pumpmen.
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      SPRINGFIELD --(AP)-- Illinois soft coal production was further decreased yesterday by the idleness of nearly 1,700 members of the Progressive Mine Workers union, independent rival organization to the United Mine Workers.
      Although most of the Progressive Miners continued to hoist coal, more than 1,600 union members employed at three Superior Coal company shafts in the Gillespie area stayed away from work, and about 70 Progressives walked off their jobs at the Belle Valley coal mine near Belleville.
      James Campbell of Gillespie, president of PMW local No. 1, said the men did not work "apparently because of the national situation."
      There was no comment from President John Marchiando or other officials at PMW state headquarters in Springfield.
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The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 75 Number 59
Saturday, December 14, 1946, Page 2
      Gillespie -- John McCann, 62-year-old miner who began digging coal when he was 12, will become president of the Progressive mine workers next Feb. 1 for a two-year term, headquarters of the independent union which claims 18,000 Illinois members announced yesterday. McCann defeated Jess Chandler of Harrisburg for the presidency by; a vote of 5,171 to 2,116 in the biennial election Dec. 3.
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The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 75 Number 232
Saturday, September 20 1947, Page 1
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      SPRINGFIELD --(AP)-- Appointment of William Keith, Sr., of Gillespie, as a member of the state mining board was announced yesterday by Governor Green. Keith succeeds William Mitchell, also of Gillespie, who resigned.
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The Daily Register, Harrisburg, Illinois
Volume 33 Number 222
Friday, March 19, 1948, Page 1
Gillespie Mayor and Wife Huddle in Basement When Town Hit by Tornado
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      (Editor's Note: The following is an eyewitness account of the tornado which struck Gillespie, Ill., at about 7 a. m. this morning. It was told to the United Press by Mayor Ted Frey).
(As told to the United Press)

      GILLESPIE, Ill., March 19. --(UP)-- I was just getting ready to eat breakfast and go to work when my wife looked out the window and said "There's going to be an awful storm."
      I got up to take a look myself. Then the house started shaking. I remember seeing my coffee spill.
      I grabbed my wife and said "Let s get into the basement quick."
      We ran down the steps and huddled against the west wall of the basement. I figured that since the storm was coming from the south and west, that if the house fell it would fall away from us.
Town Was a Mess
      I guess we stayed there for 10 or 15 minutes. We could hear the wind. The rain was beating hard against the basement windows.
      When the wind died down some, I went upstairs. The town was a mess.
      I could see cars standing on garage floors. The garages had been lifted off by the wind.
      Several houses had no living rooms. A lot of them were blown down. The wind was still blowing and there was a lot of rain still coming down.
      I grabbed a rain coat and made my way up town to see what I could do to help. I had a hard time getting to the police station. Telephone and light poles were tangled all over the place. Parts of houses were in the street.
      Some men came in and we started getting organized to clean up the town and find how many people were killed.
      I knew of two dead.
      I've got nothing but praise for these mining people. They were calm through the whole thing. We'll come out of it all right.
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      Five persons were killed at Gillespie, Ill.
The reported dead included:
Mrs. David Passeti, 26, and her 16-months-old daughter, both of whom died when their home at Gillespie collapsed.
Mrs. Theresa McGill, 27, and her small daughter, at Gillespie.
Heyko Bussman, Gillespie.
Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, Illinois
Friday, March 19, 1948, Page 1
  excerpts from articles
      In late afternoon, two additional casualties were reported from Gillespie. They were Hyko, a railroad worker whose age was not given and B. Buskohl, 50, who died from injuries after reaching Litchfield hospital
      There were 29 injured persons in the hospital at Gillespie, and five were reported in critical condition. Soup kitchens were set up, and emergency housing arranged.
      At Gillespie, a town of about 5,000 population, Mayor Ted Frey reported that "the town was a mess." Five stores and the town's hotel, the Rollando, were among the buildings wrecked.
      Frey said the storm had left such wreckage at Gillespie it was difficult getting around. He said a soup kitchen had been set up in a church and a refugee center at a high school building.
      The Red Cross chartered four planes at Springfield, Ill., to fly blood plasma to Gillespie.
      Fire Chief Henry Andrews of Gillespie said damage there would exceed $300,000. A four-room frame house there caught fire during the storm, then blew away.
The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 77 Number 106
Saturday, March 20, 1948, Page 2
  excerpts from articles
      Gillespie, a town of 2,500 population, sounding like a string of box cars rolling down the track, one resident said. Five persons were killed and damage was heavy here. Apparently the twister then lifted and dissipated
Listed as killed at Gillespie
      Mrs. David Passetti, Mrs. Theresa McGill, Heyko Bussman, B. Buskohl. Jane Wieners, 10.
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The True Republican, Sycamore, Dekalb County, Illinois
Volume 92 Number 12
Tuesday, March 23, 1948, Page 1
State-Somonauk Motor Entanglement Slows Up Traffic
      Considerable damage to a car and truck resulted from an accident that occurred at the intersection of State and Somonauk Streets about 1:35 o'clock Monday afternoon. No one was injured but traffic was slowed up in that vicinity, for half an hour due to the position of the tangled vehicles.
      Ed Korleski in a truck east bound from Byron on State Street was approaching the Somonauk Street intersection when Oscar Smith of Gillespie, west bound on State attempted a left turn south into Somonauk Street. That brought him across the front of the east bound truck. The crash crumpled the contacting fenders as if they had been paper. Smith was driving his son's car. His son is William Smith of Genoa
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The Daily Illini, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Volume 77 Number 153
Friday, May 28,1948, Page 7
Progressive Mine Workers Spurn Strike Threat
      SPRINGFIELD --(AP)-- A proposal to stop digging coal unless a new wage contract is concluded before the present pact expires June 30 was spurned yesterday by the Progressive Mine Workers scale convention.
      Without debate, delegates rejected by voice vote the quit work resolution offered by local 34 of Gillespie.
      No date has been set for new contract talks with the Coal Producers Association of Illinois.
      However, the scale convention meeting to formulate wage and other demands already has decided to ask pay boosts ranging from 20 to 35 per cent and a six hour day. Daily pay of PMW members for a seven hour day now averages $13.05.
      Delegates instructed negotiators to seek exemption of mine examiners from manual labor because such work leaves "less time for proper examination of the mines."
      Other resolutions adopted called for double-time rates for all Sunday work and requested that mine operators furnish miners work clothing.
      The convention also asked classification of rheumatism, arthritis, and miners asthma as occupational diseases and that operators be required to "assume all responsibility for treatment" of these ailments.
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Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, Illinois
Thursday, March 3, 1949, Page 2
E. B. McDaniel Dies at Age 79
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Wrote Facts for His Own Death Notice
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      Edgar Bartlett McDaniel, 79, a resident of Upper Alton for 54 years, died at 7:30 a. m. today in Alton Memorial Hospital where he had been a patient since January 22.
      McDaniel, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. B. P. McDaniel of Gillespie ,was the last of his family and before entering the hospital the first of the year the elderly man had jotted down dates and incidents in his life to be included in his death notice.
      He was born Oct 30, 1869 at Gillespie where he resided until 1877 when he moved with his parents to Carlinville where they resided for four years and then returned to Gillespie.
      His elementary education was received in the Gillespie schools, and in 1885 he learned to be a telegrapher. Three years later he was employed as telegrapher for the Rock Island Railroad, a job he held until 1888 when he returned to Gillespie to work for the Consolidated Coal Co.
      In 1890 he again look up his trade as telegrapher and was employed by the Big Four Railroad. He moved to Alton In 1895, where he worked for the old Bluff Line. During the later years of his life he had been associated with William Lindley in operating a service station in Upper Alton. He was in the service station business at Brown and Washington, and also on College avenue.
      A brother, William McDaniel of St. Louis died Aug. 31, 1948.
      Funeral services will he conducted Saturday at I p. m. in Morrow-Quinn mortuary by the Rev. Paul S. Krebs of Twelfth Street Presbyterian Church Burial will be at Gillespie. Friends may call at the mortuary after 6 p. m. Friday.
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Centralia Evening Sentinel, Crentralia, Illinois
Volume 64 Number 32
Monday, April 18, 1949, Page 1
      GILLESPIE --(AP)-- Fire caused damages estimated at $40,000 to the Odd Fellow's building here early yesterday.
      Firemen from Gillespie, Carlinville and Benld battled the blazefor more than five hours before bringing it under control.
      Gillespie Fire Chief Henry Andreas, who estimated the damage, said the fire apparently started in the basement.
      The building, owned by Peter Visintin, was practically destroyed
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1. Photograph courtesy of Carol Ries
2. Photographs courtesy of Jill Secoy

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