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Pioneer days of Evansville and vicinity
(1915)

Chapter V: from "The old settler's series," published in The badger,   pp. 19-25


Page 19

upon by the members of the board as an innovation bordering on sacrilege,
as indicated by the document in the possession of Mr. Wells. It reads as
follows: "You are welcome to the use of the schoolhouse to debate all
proper question in, but such things as railroads and telegraphs are impossibilities
and rank  infidelity. There is nothing in the word of God about them. If
God had designed that is intelligent creatures should travel at the frightful
speed of fifteen miles an hour by steam, he would clearly have foretold it
through his holy prophets. 
It is a device of Satan to lead immortal souls down to   hell." Such
sentiments possibly reflected the feeling to some extent in the days of 80
years ago, but they sound strange at the present time when the device of
Satan is daily carrying people over the land at the rate of sixty or seventy
miles an hour. The world    has progressed somewhat since 1828. Our first
cemetery was back of the old church, which stood where the Economy store
now stands, and ran south to what is now Church street. 
CHAPTER V 
From "The Old Settler's Series," Published in The Badger 
Some twenty years ago we had a weekly paper printed here called the Badger.
It published a series of letters called the "Old Settlers' Series."
I will quote from some of them: 
By George F. Spencer: "I was born in 1822, August 17, in Springfield,
Vt. I was the youngest of seven boys. My education was gotten by going to
school three months each winter and the same length of time in the summer.
There I studied the common branches only. When I was fifteen years old  I
 attended  the Springfield  academy  three  terms. That is all the education
I had except what I got from books and the reading of one paper, The New
York Tribune, Horace   Greeley's paper, which was law and gospel to us all.
Till the age of seventeen I worked on the farm with my father. Then I apprenticed
myself to a shoemaker for three years at fifty dollars a year and my board.
At the expiration of that 
time I hired out to him for six months for fifty dollars. Some time later
I wanted to come west and visit my brothers, Henry and Lewis. In time I landed
at Racine; from there   I came by stage to Janesville, and from there to
Union, inquired the way to the Grove and started out. The two first people
I met were Dr. Quivey and my brother, Lewis. As the latter knew nothing of
my coming, he was very much surprised to meet me on the road. I was married,
November 22, 1849 to Miss Elizabeth Campbell, at her father's home in a log
house on the farm now   owned  by Elliot Barnard. George M. Lawrence of Janesville
performed the ceremony. Mr. Nelson Winston and Miss Louise Warren stood up
with us. My house was finished but not furnished;  I could not get even a
chair this side of Milwaukee. Stoves   and  dishes could be gotten at Janesville.
Father Campbell went to Milwaukee and got 
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