Friday, February 8, 2013

The Past Touches My Sentimental Heart

Today I spent the day doing something most of you would find oh so boring.
I spent the day at the Coles County IL courthouse reviewing depositions from the
Charleston IL Riot of March 1864.

I am the Chairperson of the committee marking the 150th anniversary and over the 
next year it will be taking up most of my time.
The past and history have such a hold on me.
As I sat and read what the people of Charleston saw on the day in 
March 1864 it became so real. Where I sat I could see the south east
corner of the square where it took place. 
On those faded pages written 149 years ago, the names of my
family jumped out of the pages at me.
It told me my Great Great Uncle had "red whiskers".
I also know from a Doctor on the square my GGGrandfather Winkler
never fired a shot "he gave me his gun to put behind the counter, I checked
it and saw it was full, no bullets were missing"
He was there for jury duty, he was shot in the arm, but I know he 
did not shoot anyone himself.


The courthouse is a newer one from that day.
I love hearing the bells ring on the hour.
Just like they did in my childhood days as I walked the square.


As I descended the stairs, my hand grasping the wooden rail
 I thought how my Great Grandfather Willingham
hands were holding the same rail I was holding many times.
He was the County Clerk
He worked many years in this beautiful building
One he helped to get built.
I can then walk by the monument with his name on it.

I am reminded that my family has been here since the 
1820's both my Mother and my Fathers.
I am walking where they walked before me.
It means something to me.
Then I turn the corner
and the present meets the past


A sign for "Looking for Lincoln"
funny thing......my husband in St Louis
did the painting of the signs several years ago.
The one sits on the corner of 6th and Jackson.
1515 is on Jackson street.
My Grandfather Willingham's gas station 
was one block north of the square on 6th street.


I walked in the past today, thinking of the future...

this place touches my heart.









14 comments:

Paulette said...

You are so lucky to know so much information about you ancestors. I love it when you blog about them!

Susie said...

Ann, You truly have a rich past. You have pictures to see how all your relatives looked. What a wonderful treasure. Now you are finding the past, that includes more of your relatives. Enjoy this year, you will be busy. xoxo,Susie

Sarah said...

I loved this post! I am currently working along with an expert on my genealogy..makes me so excited to find out about my ancestors!

Ann vonBehrens said...

It was so cool to read your post today. My husband grew up in Mattoon and I have seen this Coles County courthouse several times. We live in Kansas City, but go back to see his dad a couple of times a year. As a matter of fact, we will be coming there next weekend.

Marissa said...

Wow.. thats amazing. .

Lottie said...

What a beautiful post! It reminds me of the quote from Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It's not even past.”

Bargain Hunting Treasure Seeker said...

I don't think it's boring at all! I'd love to have been doing that too!

On Crooked Creek said...

Ann,
How amazing to see the history of our Country preserved in such great fashion!!!Loved hearing of your family ties and felt the love in your voice today!!!
You, dear friend, touched my heart, as well!!!
Fondly,
Pat

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

What a beautiful post, so full of history. I find all of this fascinating too. You're lucky to be able to have so much of your family history close by. Thanks for sharing.

Connie said...

It must be wonderful living in a town that holds so very much family history. I can only imagine. I have a sentimental old soul, so I feel a bit of romance in reading your posts. Walking the ground that your GGGrandfather walked. Having quilts, photos and memories of your history always near.
How wonderfully delightful.
I am your newest follower and I would love to invite you over to follow me back. I'm a wife, mother and grandmother, who enjoys each and every day that the good Lord sends my way.
Your newest blogging sister, Connie :)

Olive said...

Ann, you really should consider getting your blog published so your quest into your past is recorded. Olive

ann said...

I like you last comment because it is so true. Only when we understand our history do we really know where we should go.

ann said...

I like you last comment because it is so true. Only when we understand our history do we really know where we should go.

Pam~ Virginia Retro said...

Not boring, fascinating! How great you were able to find all that information. Thanks for sharing with us.

"red whiskers", that's great!