Sep. 29, 1905
PANAMA, a visit to the youngest mining town in the county.
The senior editor of the News drove to the new town of Panama last
Monday and saw the initial process of transforming a veritable
wilderness into a center of industrial activity.
The first impression one has on entering the town or village or
settlement, or whatever it may be called, of Panama is that a more
unsuitable place for a town could not have been selected in the state
of Illinois, surely not in Montgomery county, for of all the wild and
woolly places we have seen the immediate surroundings of Panama take
the cake! But those who selected the town site of Panama doubtless
understand their business and may be building better than the
unthinking public realize. Panama is located 2 1/2 miles west of
Donnellson and 3 1/2 miles east or northeast of Sorento, right where
Bear Creek crosses the county line. It is situated on a succession
of hills and "hog backs", along which the scrub post oak grows, and
where the land is as white as the paper upon which this is printed.
There are gulches or "draws" running angling in almost every
direction, which are deep enough, some of them, to hide a four story
house. Evidently the future inhabitants of this town will never be
troubled over the drainage question. The streets are laid out to
accommodate themselves to the hog backs and the gulches, and run in
all kinds of directions. Someone said that the plat of Panama looks
like a crazy quilt. The reason is apparent, for the lots had to be
laid out with reference to the hills and gulches and the streets had
to be run along the lines of least resistance.
Some two years ago a syndicate began buying up the coal lands in
Grisham township and after taking options on thousands of acres of
coal rights at $5 per acre several prospect holes where sunk in
various parts of the township, in each of which a fine vein of coal
was struck. One prospect hole was sunk in the bed of Bear Creek,
about a quarter of a mile north of the county line and about a half
mile north of the Clover Leaf Railroad. Here a fine vein of coal,
seven feet and eight inches thick, was found at a depth of 370 feet,
and it was at once determined to sink a shaft at this spot, as all
the other prospect holes showed the coal from fifty to one hundred
The shaft was sunk by the Shoal Creek Company, a company of
capitalists having their office in the Rookery in Chicago. Frank P.
Blair is the president, G. W. Traer is vice president and J. M. Blee
is treasurer of this company. They began work May 4, 1905 and were
down to coal September 8, 1905, having sunk the shaft in four months
and four days, and during that time the work was closed down nearly
thirty days! This unprecedented activity on the part of the
promoters and their employees show there is plenty of energy and
money back of the enterprise. The concrete foundation for the
permanent top works is being placed, the air shaft is already down
some 250 feet, a dynamo has been installed and a machine has been
placed in the mine and is now at work cutting the entries. This
machine is operated, of course, by electricity. About forty men are
employed in and around the mine, and the utmost activity prevails in
every branch of the work. Three shifts, each working eight hours,
are employed, and the work goes on night and day. Many of the men
employed in and around the mine live at Donnellson and Sorento and
walk to and from their work. Others board near the mine in temporary
shacks and tents. The managers expect to have the top works
completed and to be hoisting coal for the market before cold weather
sets in. A switch has been built from the Clover Leaf Railroad to
the mine, and over this lumber, brick and other building material is
daily brought to be used in building up Panama.
Upon the hills and hog backs that rise 75 or 100 feet above the
site of this mine on the west, is to be located the new town, and
already the activity in building is marvelous. An army of carpenters
are at work on some 25 or 30 residence houses and preparations are
being made to start a number of others. The coal company wants
enough houses to shelter from 100 to 150 families, and wants them
badly. A syndicate composed of C. C. Terry of Girard and Colvin &
White and J. J. Frey of Hillsboro, is undertaking to supply in a
measure, this demand for houses. They have already completed two and
have let contracts for twenty six more dwellings. The houses are to
be of different styles of architecture, but all of them are to be
about of equal size and cost. They will contain four good rooms with
pantry, two porches and brick foundation. A cistern will be built at
each house as some of the well water in that locality is alkali
(strange to say) and not fit to drink. This is the only locality in
this part of the state that we know of, where water is like it is in
On the hills and points in the vicinity of Panama, the old
primitive log cabin is frequently seen. In fact, there are more log
cabins in that part of Grisham township, perhaps, than can be found
by traveling the county over. But these will soon disappear before
the march of civilization and modern enterprise, and before three
years we expect to see the picturesque hills of Panama dotted with
modern and comfortable residences and the hum of industrial activity
will be heard to echo along the bluffs of Bear Creek where a few
months ago there was nothing to disturb the stillness save the hoot
of the owl and the baying of the coon dog!
Much of the Panama town site is located in Bond County. The
county line between this and Bond County runs diagonally across a
number of lots. The parties purchasing these lots will have to
record their deeds and pay taxes in both Bond and Montgomery
Counties, a contingency we are certain the men who laid off the town
did not think of. Almost all the building, however, is being done in
Montgomery County, and the center of the business part of town will
be in this county. A hotel is being erected and the frame work is
already up. It is a large, square structure and will be made to
accommodate a large number of guests. A store building has been
erected, a large lumber yard has been equipped and a sort of planing
mill, where window and door frames are being made, has been installed
and is being operated by means of a large gasoline engine. Every man
in the south part of Grisham Township who can saw off a board or
drive a nail has been pressed into service, and the scene at Panama
reminds one of some of the scenes in the new boom towns in Oklahoma.
The men who own the coal mine say that they already have a market
for every ton of coal they can get out and they give assurances that
other mines will be sunk north of the present coal mine, and that the
spur already built from the Clover Leaf will be extended far up into
Grisham and possibly Hillsboro Townships. They have thousands of
acres of coal rights bought and paid for in Grisham and the south
part of Hillsboro Townships, and people do not nowadays buy and pay
for property of this kind for fun. It is reasonably certain,
therefore, that other mines will be sunk and in a few years that part
of the county will be one vast mining camp.
Annual Coal Report for Year Ending June 1906
The Shoal Creek Coal Company of Chicago have put in operation a
mine at Panama, situated on the Clover Leaf Railroad three miles
southwest of Donnellson, Montgomery county. The shafts are 380 feet
deep as finished to the bottom of the coal. The hoisting shaft has
two hoisting compartments, 6 x 9 feet 6 inches in the clear. The
buntons are 8 x 8 in. with an 8 inch partition and 8 x 8 inch guides.
A water ring catches the water from the drift from where it is taken
by a pipe into the sump. The air shaft has two compartments, one for
air, 9 x 9 feet 4 in. in the clear, the other is intended for an
escapement which is 5 x 9 feet 4 in. in the clear. There is a solid 8
inch partition between these compartments. In the escapement there is
a stairway of oak lumber with handrails. The upper part of the air
and escapement shafts is surrounded by concrete reinforced with
corrugated iron bars to keep back the water. A pump lodgement is made
behind this concrete dam and the water is pumped up for use in the
boilers. The concrete lining makes the shaft dry. Both shafts are
heavily timbered from top to bottom. The ventilating fan is a 7 x 12
1/2 feet Capell quartered to furnish 300,000 cubic feet of air per
minute with a 5 inch gauge. The fan casing is of iron and steel plate.
The fan is nominally a blowing fan, but is arranged to quick reverse.
The roof of the tunnels and side drifts are of reinforced concrete to
avoid all woodwork. The doors are heavy steel plate. There is an
explosion door immediately over the airway. The tipple building is a
steel tower erected by the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company. Self
dumping cages are used, the coal being dumped in a large hopper. The
shaking screens, designed by the general superintendant, George R.
Rice, were furnished by the Duncan Foundry and Machine Works. They
are 8 feet wide and 40 feet long, loading the coal on four tracks. A
boxcar loader will be installed soon, and a washer is now being
erected. The raw coal to be washed will be taken from the shaking
screens by belt to the top of the washery. The hoisting engines are
22 x 36 inches, the drum 8 feet in diameter, and is furnished with 2
post brakes and a winding device which automatically shuts off the
steam and sets the brakes. This together with the detaching hooks,
makes as near a perfect device to prevent overwinding as is possible.
In mining, the coal is cut entirely by punching machines, of which,
the company has 20 Sullivans now in operation and one Sullivan and one
Norwalk air compressor. The compressor room is large enough for
another compressor and is built of brick with iron roof trusses with
gravel roofing. The Boiler room immediately adjacent but seperated by
a brick wall is also of brick with iron roof trusses and gravel
roofing. It now contains four internally fired boilers and two
horizontal tubular boilers, all giving about 700 H.P. The feed water
is heated by a Stillwell heater, all exhaust from the engine and pumps
passing through the heater. A generator in the power room furnishes
light for the top works and in the mine immediately near the bottom.
The intention is to mine the coal on the panel system of 1000 foot
blocks. When the mine is fully opened out, it is expected to produce
2500 tons per day.
Andrew Skalgia, aged 38, single, employed by the Shoal Creek Coal
Co. at Panama, was killed on Feb. 21, 1906. Deceased was at his
boarding place having worked that day and had volunteered to take
lunch to a fellow boarder who had remained in the mine to work an
extra shift. Skalgia went with lunch in hand into the engine room and
asked the engineer for a cage, stating for what purpose, also telling
the engineer that he would ring three bells when he was ready. Just at
that time the engineer received a signal from below that men wanted to
come up, and proceeded to hoist them. In the mean time Skalgia had
walked to the shaft and while the cages were in motion, rang three
bells to the engineer and walked into the shaft, falling onto the
descending cage about 400 feet below. He was killed instantly.
Elisha Bean, miner, aged 45, married, employed by the Shoal Creek
Coal Co. at Panama was instantly killed on March 29, 1906 by coal
flying from a shot that he had lighted. It is supposed that the squib
was defective because he had not moved away when the shot went off. He
leaves a widow and three children.
5212 tons of mine run
8419 " " lump
862 " " nut
2932 " " pea or screening
742 " " slack or waste
18,077 Total tons
$15,814 aggregate value of total product.
15,833 tons loaded on rail cars for shipment.
264 tons sold to local trade.
1980 " consumed or wasted.
85 days of active operation.
Average number of miners - 37
Other employees - 50
Total employees - 87
Jan. 19, 1906
PANAMA COAL MINE
The coal mine at Panama is completed, the air shaft is connected
with the main shaft, and the mine is now hoisting coal for the
market. The equipment of this mine is all first class and it
promises to be one of the best coal properties on the Clover Leaf
Feb. 23, 1906
SALOON AT PANAMA
The board of supervisors of Bond county granted a license to a
saloon keeper, who erected this week a building in Bond county, on
the south side of Panama, this county, and the citizens of Panama can
now get a drink by crossing the county line.
Feb. 23, 1906
MARRIED BY GRASSEL
A. N. Hamilton and Miss Alice Janetta Jarvis, both of Panama, were
united in marriage, on Tuesday of this week by Esq. C. W. Grassel, at
his office. This was the first couple to obtain license here, giving
the town of Panama as their home.
Mar. 9, 1906
F. W. Krummel sold this week a large amount of furniture for the
Mar. 30, 1906
KILLED AT PANAMA
Elisha Bean, a miner, was killed in the Panama mine at 6 o'clock
Thursday morning, March 29. The accident was the result of a
premature shot and the unfortunate man was killed instantly. He was
the son of Jesse Bean, an old resident of Bond county, and he
recently moved from Sorento to Panama. He leaves a wife and several
children. This is the first accident that has happened in the Panama
Apr. 14, 1906
Four indictments were returned against George Wright, of Panama,
one for selling liquor to a minor, containing two counts. One for
keeping a public nuisance, containing five counts. One for keeping
open a tippling house on Sunday, containing 16 counts, and one for
selling liquor without a license, containing 42 counts.
Bail was fixed in the first case at $200, in the second at $600,
in the third at $300, and in the fourth case at $500. The total
amount of bail required from Mr. Wright was $1600. The Reisch
Brewing Company, it is understood, is backing Mr. Wright and they
made arrangements with the Hillsboro National Bank to give bail, and
E. J. Miller, the cashier of the bank went on his recognizance.
It will be seen that if Mr. Wright is found guilty on all the
counts in the indictments it will keep him busy for several years of
his life paying the fines.
The minimum fine for selling to a minor is $20; for maintaining a
public nuisance it is $50; for keeping open a tippling house on
Sunday the fine is not more than $200, and for selling without a
license the minimum fine is $20.
Besides the fine, if he is found guilty of keeping a public
nuisance, he must be sent to jail for not less than twenty nor more
than fifty days.
Mr. Wright is the proprietor of the hotel at Panama and claims he
has sold nothing stronger than "hop ale." He seemed to regard the
indictments as a sort of joke at first but began to realize that he
was up against the real thing before bail was secured and he was
allowed to "go hence." It was reported that he said he had "fixed"
States Attorney Hill, and when Hill heard of it he was mad enough to
bite a piece out a railroad iron, and he will prosecute him with a
vigor that will surprise the defendant. Messrs. Jett & Kinder are
Another indictment was returned against George Wright, of Panama,
for selling intoxicating liquor without a license. The grand jury
have gone after George good and hard and he is now the worst indicted
man in Montgomery county. His bail was fixed at $300.
The grand jury reported another indictment, containing eight
counts, against George Wright Thursday morning. They got the "Wright
habit," and couldn't adjourn without giving him another swipe. There
are now over 70 counts against George.
Jul. 27, 1906
Fishing At Panama
Geo. Seward returned the first of this week from a visit to the
thriving new town of Panama in the south part of this county. He
says Panama is on the boom and is making a reputation not only as a
mining town but as a fishing resort. While he was there natives of
Panama brought in fish caught in that neighborhood which weighed 8
and 16 pounds each, and one was as long as a gunny sack. We are from
Jul. 27, 1906
Post Office At Panama
Mrs. Albert Mills has been appointed postmistress at Panama, the
new mining town on the Clover Leaf railroad, midway between
Donnellson and Sorento.
This little town on the south line of Montgomery county has sprung
into existence in a very short time. A year ago the hills upon which
the town is located were barren wastes. Today there is a thriving
community of several hundred people there. The chief industry of the
new town is coal mining. The Shoal Creek Mining Co. began sinking
their shaft there in the summer of 1905 and they are mining 300 or
400 tons of coal a day. The shaft is 489 feet deep, and has a vein
of coal 7 feet thick. Scores of houses are in process of erection
and the town has three grocery stores, meat market, lumber yard, a
concrete block factory and various other enterprises.
Aug. 31, 1906
Addition To Panama
The Colvin and White Realty Co. of this city, together with C.C.
Terry purchased the 60 acres farm of Albert Ries adjoining the new
town of Panama on the south west, this week, and they will lay the
farm off into an addition to Panama. The farm lies in Bond county.
Oct. 26, 1906
Election at Panama
An election has been called for the new village of Panama to be
held at Kern's Hall, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 1906. The citizens will be
called upon to elect one president and six trustees of the village.
The polls will be open from 7 A.M. till 5 o'clock P.M.
List of voters at an election held on Tuesday, the thirteenth day
of November, 1906, at Kern's Hall in the village of Panama, in the
county of Montgomery and state of Illinois.
1 S. J. Howard 13 A. M. Mills
2 Alex Elliott 14 A. Skalongunas
3 James McCoy 15 H. H. Collins
4 Dell Cunningham 16 W. W. Bryan
5 Jud Dolan 17 J. Ravelli
6 Joe Zepart 18 Walter Smith
7 E. S. Chase 19 A. H. Kerns
8 Art Cease 20 Green Jennings
9 Sie Greenwalt 21 Dan Jones
10 J. R. Walls 22 T. J. Williams
11 Frank Kalaquin 23 Henry Sisk
12 M. S. Coleman 24 Jim Hancock
Emmett Baly, for president, received 21 votes.
John Revelli, for trustee, received 20 votes.
Walter Havron, for trustee, received 23 votes.
E. S. Chase, for trustee, received 23 votes.
Frank Kalaquin, for trustee, received 21 votes.
Thomas Williams, for trustee, received 19 votes.
Albert Bean, for trustee, received 21 votes.
Jud Dolan, for trustee, received 8 votes.
Alex Merideth, for trustee, received 1 vote.
Ed Murray, for president, received 1 vote.
Nov. 2, 1906
Organized Sunday School at Panama
Rev. Dunn of Donnellson and Geo. S. Monroe of the Baptist church
of this city, went to Panama last Sunday afternoon and organized a
Sunday School, to be called the Panama Sunday School. Mr. Collins
was elected superintendent, Miss Viola Kessinger, Assistant
Superintendent and Miss Pence, Sec. and Treasurer. There were about
sixty present last Sunday and from every indication they will have a
good Sunday School.
Nov. 16, 1906
Panama a mining town, ten miles south and 2 miles west of
Hillsboro on the Toledo, St. Louis and Kansas City Railroad while
only in the second year of its existence, can boast and point to,
with pardonable pride, the achievements of labor.
Scarcely two years ago, where Panama now is, timber and underbrush
with an occasional hay field or pasture, small corn field, and a few
log houses, was all there was in evidence.
Today while it cannot claim to be a city, it is bidding fair to
take third place in the county in the very near future.
The Shoal Creek Coal Co., the chief industry with 225 employees on
its payroll at present, will have a capacity of employing between 500
& 600 men.
In September of this year, they hoisted 500 tons per day while
only one month later the tonnage was increased to 1100 or more than
doubling the output for September.
Their sales for September was 10,000 tons, and October 21,000
They employ all miners who want jobs without delay.
There are rumors of two more coal mines being sunk in the
Panama boasts of four up to date grocery stores, one hardware
store, three hotels, two restaurants, two barber shops, a concrete
block factory, planing mill, lumber yard, butcher shop, school house,
one saloon and no doctor.
Nov. 23, 1906
George Wright and John O. Miller each plead guilty to selling to
minors and were fined twenty dollars each. George Wright also plead
guilty on 44 counts of an indictment in which he is charged with
selling liquor at Panama without license. He was fined twenty
dollars on each count or $880 and ordered tost and committed until
the fine and costs in 14 counts were paid. A capias pro fine to
issue on five counts on Feb. 25, 1907 if the same be not paid before
then. Execution staid on balance of the fines so long as he does not
violate the dram shop act in Montgomery county.
Mr. Wright paid $574 cash in fines and costs and must pay another
$125 on or before Feb. 25, or be committed to jail. Mr. Wright found
out that it is very expensive to sell liquor without license in
COAL MINE SURE
That another coal mine will be sunk in the neighborhood of
Hillsboro is now an assured fact, and the new mine will be located on
the old Mansfield farm, now occupied by George Monroe and Newton
Montgomery, on the short line five miles southwest of Hillsboro.
On Thursday and Friday of last week Frank P. Blair, with a party
of gentlemen consisting of A. K. Craig, superintendent of the mine at
Panama; N. B. and J. E. Wilson and C. C. Terry, of Girard; drove
around among the farmers in this vicinity and brought cheer to the
hearts of the farmers who are interested by distributing among them
several thousand dollars, to apply on the coal properties purchased
by Mr. Blair several months ago. Mr. Blair has taken options on
three or four thousand acres of coal rights and on 120 acres of
surface ground on which the mine and town site are to be located.
This property is on the old Mansfield farm, as before stated.
It will be remembered that Mr. Blair is the gentleman who took up
and paid for the extensive coal territory of the Shoal Creek Company
in Grisham township this county and in Shoal Creek township in Bond
county. His attitude in this section of the state is one of straight
business dealings and definite results. He has been ably assisted
here by his attorney Mr. C. C. Terry, who is thoroughly reliable and
who has won many friends in this section by his straight forward
business methods, and these methods have built up for him a large
clientele among coal operators over this country.
It is understood that this same company will put in a steam coal
road from the Burlington, starting at, or near Reno, running north
through Panama to the Big Four road at the site where the new mine is
to be located southwest of Hillsboro. In connection with this we
might add that the Shoal Creek Coal Company is now producing 1200
tons of coal per day, which is not one half of its capacity. The
company is also building an immense coal washer, the water used being
piped 1 1/2 miles from Shoal Creek. This pipeline is now being
Nov. 23, 1906
Walter Smith was a Donnellson visitor Monday.
George Grumm was a Donnellson visitor Monday.
Florence Ash visited with Ethel Mills this week.
Arthur and Ben Julius spent Sunday here with friends.
Paul Deshane of Sorento spent Sunday here with friends.
T. W. Kinzer the Sorento lumber merchant was here Saturday on
Miss Hattie Mansfield of Donnellson was here on business Saturday
The Panama Girls met at the home of Miss Ethel Mills last Thursday
evening and organized a club "An Old Maid Club" they named it. Why
they did it and what they're going to do with it they positively
refuse to tell. If the object is akin to the Hillsboro Bachelor
Girls we're next. They meet with Ruby Baty next Thursday at 7
Here's to the old maids of Panama
May their tribe increase
Their trials and tribulations be few
May they live long, oh, ever so long forever almost.
Dec. 7, 1906
Valley Drake has been sick with Malaria fever.
Miss Lene Grimm was a Sorento visitor Monday.
John Felkel of Litchfield was here on a visit last week.
Nettie Snow of Joplin, Mo., has been visiting with friends here.
George Graft of St. Louis has been visiting here with his brother in
law William Faude.
Albert Kimball who has been overseeing a grading outfit at Livingston
for the Frisco is home for the winter.
Mr. Ramsey one of the bosses at Panama coal mine, and his wife who
have been boarding with R. L. Smith's for the past few months, have
moved to Panama.
Dec. 14, 1906
Olla Parewski went to Staunton Wednesday.
George Grimm Jr. went to St. Louis on business Friday.
Miss Noi Otter visited with Miss Lena Grimm Sunday.
A. G. Bingle of Ramsey, Ill., was in our town Thursday.
Miss Florence Ash of Donnellson was a Saturday visitor here.
Mrs. A. Brown and daughter Nellie were Donnellson visitors Sunday.
L. V. Duncan of Big Muddy, Ill., was over to see his uncle John
A. N. Kerns, one of our prominent house contractors, finished the
season's work Wednesday.
G. W. Hirsch of Lexington, Ky., was here visiting with his cousin A.
L. Doyle, over Sunday.
Annual Coal Report for Year Ending June 1907
During the year a coal washery was built and electric haulage
On Dec. 10, 1906, Charles Freeman, aged 26, married with 2
children, had his foot mashed by a falling rail, resulting in 30 days
On Apr. 12, 1907, David Strachan, aged 45, single, had his body
burned by a blown out shot, resulting in 42 days lost time.
On Apr. 12, 1907, William Deppity, aged 52, married with 1 child,
had his body burned by a blown out shot, resulting in 49 days lost
On Jun. 1, 1907, Mano Domnuco, aged 28, married with 2 children,
had his body burned by a gas explosion, resulting in 39 days lost
On Jun. 1, 1907, Anton Pozz, aged 25, married with 1 child, had
his body burned by a gas explosion, resulting in 31 days lost time.
9934 tons of mine run
132,726 " " lump
946 " " egg
7560 " " nut
61,696 " " screening or pea
954 " " slack or waste
213,816 Total tons
208,697 tons were loaded on rail cars for shipment.
1055 tons were sold locally.
4064 tons were consumed or wasted.
273 days of operation.
135,073 tons were mined by hand.
155 average number of miners.
75 other employees.
230 total employees.
Jan. 4, 1907
THE PANAMA CASES
As we go to press a big bunch of Panama people are in town, six of
whom are being tried for shooting about 500 bullet holes in the town
the day after Christmas. We cannot give the result of the trial
before next week
Jan. 11, 1907
Last Thursday a number of witnesses were here attending the trial
of several Panama people who were charged with an assault with intent
to kill. The evidence showed that Dan Jones, Arthur Cunningham and
Charles Cunningham engaged in a shoot fest which reminded the
inhabitants of the exhibitions of the Boer War at the world's Fair.
The young men did not seem to try to kill anyone, they simply
wanted to scare several foreign coal miners to death, and they came
near accomplishing their purpose. Several houses were shot into and
one of them was fairly riddled with bullets, the people in them
experiencing several narrow escapes from death.
After the evidence was all in Esq. Grassel held Dan Jones to bail
to await the action of the grand jury, in the sum of $2000. The two
Cunninghams were required to give $500 bail each. They were unable
to give bail and were sent to jail.
The case against another defendant, Tom Curry was continued until
today, Jan. 11.
Joseph Collins, one of the prosecuting witnesses in the above
case, was arrested in Litchfield on his way home, and fined $50 by
Esq. Sam O'Bannon for carrying concealed weapons. He was unable to
pay his fine and was brought to jail.
Apr. 19, 1907
GAS EXPLOSION AT PANAMA
On Friday of last week two men were badly burned in an explosion of
gas at the Panama mine. One of the men was "Dad Deputy" and the other
an old scotch miner whose name we were unable to learn. The men were
shooting down coal and a "windy shot" set fire to a pocket of gas and
in a second both were knocked to the ground and enveloped in a sheet
of fire. Both were badly burned but their injuries are not thought to
Aug. 9, 1907
BUILDING AT PANAMA
Mr. Dolan, contractor for the Shoal Creek Coal Company, bought
about twenty car loads of lumber from the Isaac Hill lumber company
of this city last week to be used in building forty houses in Panama,
now in process of construction. The houses will all be completed
this fall and will be occupied by the employees of the coal company.
Since the new coal washer was put in by the Shoal Creek Co., Panama
has become about the liveliest place in Montgomery county. The mine
is running to its full capacity and an immense amount of coal is
being taken out. The town bids fair to become one of the most
important mining centers on the Clover Leaf railroad.
Aug. 30, 1907
FROM PANAMA TO LITCHFIELD
The Clover Leaf railroad has acquired the Chicago and Alton, and
president Theodore Shonts recommends among other things the building
of a railroad between Panama and Litchfield, seven miles, which would
give a shorter route to Kansas City over the Clover Leaf and the C. &
A. and save the long delays at East St. Louis. President Shonts
says: "This route will have a distinct advantage in point of time
over the St. Louis gateway, and by hauling the traffic over the
system's own bridge at Louisiana, across the Mississippi, effect a
large savings for both roads as against present cost to each."
If this recommendation of president Shonts is carried out it will
give Litchfield another important railroad and mean a great deal to
Sept. 20, 1907
Henry W. Carlock, Panama, age 22
Hattie Sloat, Panama, age 18
Oct. 25, 1907
BOND COUNTY NOTES
Frank Zfnzetti, Ivory Ash and Fred Freezeland, all of Panama, were
arrested last week for hunting without a license and fined $25 and
Dec. 27, 1907
John R. Lee, Panama, age 31
Mrs. Mary Steele, Sorento, age 22
Annual Coal Report for Year Ending June 1908
On Jan. 6, 1908, John Donnellson, shot firer, aged 28, married,
was killed by the explosion of a blown out shot. Deceased was
severely burned by the explosion and died from the effects 10 days
later. He leaves a widow and 1 child.
On Mar. 17, 1908, Ad Jarman and George Flanery, shot firers, the
former aged 32 and single, the latter aged 42, married, were both
killed by an explosion caused by a blown out shot. They were found 3
feet from the face of the entry where the shot was fired, and had
evidently been suffocated. Flanery leaves a widow and 2 children.
7009 tons of mine run
175,730 " " lump
110,338 " " other grades
293,127 Total tons
280,320 tons were loaded on rail cars for shipment.
12,807 tons were used for other purposes.
212 days of operation.
240 average number of miners.
135 other employees.
375 total employees.
9763 tons of explosives were used for blasting.
Coal was blasted from the solid face, not undercut.
Signals were by pneumatic operated bells.
There were zero non-fatal accidents.
Jan. 3, 1908
Lester S. Miller and Mrs. Luvina Griffith, of Panama were united
in marriage by Judge John Dryer, on Thursday evening of last week,
the ceremony being performed at the office of the judge in the court
Luther L. O'Neil, Panama, age 22
Barbara Huss, Donnellson, age 16
Lester S. Miller, Panama, age 36
Luvenia Griffith, Panama, age 32
John Jenkins, Panama, age 21
Ruby Baty, Panama, Age 18
Jan. 10, 1908
Jud Dolan of Panama has filed a bill for a mechanics lien against
the Shoal Creek Coal Company. The complainant alleges that the
defendant owes him a balance of $15000 for work done and material
furnished on forty dwelling houses in the village of Panama.
HURT AT PANAMA
John Donaldson a shot firer in the Panama coal mine was badly
burned Monday night by a premature explosion. While he is seriously
hurt and burned his injuries will not necessarily prove fatal.
Jan. 17, 1908
DIED OF HIS INJURIES
John Donaldson, the man who was so badly burned in the Panama mine
by a premature explosion, died Wednesday morning of this week.
Feb. 14, 1908
William Grimm, Panama, age 20
Amanda M. Cruthis, Sorento, age 18
Feb. 28, 1908
THREE DIVORCE CASES
Mattie Tibbs wants a divorce from Louis Tibbs. She charges
drunkenness and cruelty. The complainant lives at Panama and alleges
she was married to the defendant July 3, 1901. She charges that he
has threatened to shoot her and has struck, beat and bruised her on
divers occasions, also on the head.
Mar. 20, 1908
Two shot firers residing at Sorento but employed in the Panama
mine were caught by a slow shot on Monday of this week and both were
Mar. 27, 1908
TROUBLE AT PANAMA
Sheriff Bray was asked Wednesday to send 50 deputies to Panama to
settle trouble at the Panama coal mine. He telephoned down and
ascertained that the conditions did not justify putting the county to
that expense. Ever since the two shot firers were killed there last
week the operators have been having trouble with the miners and the
mine has been closed down. Mr. Blair, the president of the company,
thought the matter was very serious, but it is not as bad as reported
and the trouble will probably be adjusted without the aid of the
sheriff or his deputies.
Apr. 3, 1908
THE PANAMA SITUATION
March 30, 1908
In your issue of last week you spoke of the "trouble reported at
Panama," and, for fear the miners of Panama will be misunderstood and
misrepresented we wish to state that there has been no trouble at
Panama and there will be no trouble as the strike now on at Panama is
a peaceable strike and there has not yet been one single act of
violence on the part of the miners.
There has been no talk of violence and absolutely nothing has
taken place to give anyone an excuse for calling on the sheriff to
help put down threatened violence on the part of the miners.
There are 350 men now working in the Panama mine and because the
company put on two more shot firers than were needed, the miners
refused to accept such an arbitrary act on the part of the company
and they quit work. For this a fine of ten dollars each was placed
on the miners, which the men agreed to pay out of their wages, but
contrary to custom and agreement the mine officials demanded that the
fine be paid in advance before any coal would be hoisted. The miners
refused to accept these terms and the fine was raised to $20 each and
the condition of affairs now remains unchanged.
The coal company has a dozen armed guards now patrolling their
property day and night and they have installed a search light on top
of the coal mine. All of this has been done to intimidate the miners
and to prejudice the public against them. They would have the
impression go out that the coal miners are a lawless lot of
foreigners and will not listen to reason. The facts are the Panama
miners have stood for more infractions of the rules than has any
local union in the state and when a strike was ordered, it was a
We, as miners, wish to state that no violence will be tolerated
and that for this reason no deputy sheriffs will be needed to keep
order. We wish to thank the sheriff of this county, M. E. Bray, for
refusing to send deputies to the Panama mine and for ascertaining the
facts in the case before putting the county to the expense of sending
deputies to preserve order in a district where order already exists.
In further truth that there has been no violence talked of or
contemplated we send you herewith a statement from the business men
of Panama in regard to the threatened violence.
A PANAMA MINER
We, the undersigned business men of the village of Panama,
Illinois, state that we have seen no violence on the part of the
miners of Panama, Illinois, toward the Shoal Creek Coal Company
officials or their property and there was no occasion to send guards
to Panama, and we brand all reports to the contrary as malicious
J. E. Carlock J. B. Revelli
A. M. Mills Barnie Peruna
Alex Merideth Antone Romania
George Grimm J. D. Williams
J. F. Hanskins F. A. Kalaquin
Mick Rontenia Louis Henderson
W. H. Sisk M. S. Coleman
G. P. Rowen Warren Coleman
W. W. Mitchell
Apr. 17, 1908
Joseph Smith, Panama, age 22
Maggie Orris, Panama, age 18
May 22, 1908
DOWN AT PANAMA
F. E. Chapman, "Mayor of Panama", was a Hillsboro visitor on
Tuesday of this week. He is farming on the old Chapman homestead
near Panama and is a justice of the peace. He is enthusiastic over
the great improvement in conditions at Panama since that township
went dry. He says that prior to the time saloons were voted out,
Panama would hardly be classed as a white man's town. Drunkenness
and disorder was the order of the day and fights were continually
taking place. It was a continuous show and the people got tired of
it and voted the township dry. Now Panama is a quiet peaceful little
village with no fights to liven up things and people are prosperous
"I am proud to say that we are observing the law and Panama is now
a good town where any man can bring his family and enjoy life. We
are getting "dryer" every day and I believe the sentiment against
saloons will never change down our way."
Jun. 12, 1908
ILLINOIS NEWS NOTES
The Panama miners are now working again after a shut down of
several months, caused by a mix up on the shot firers question.
Jun. 26, 1908
S. Z. T. Kessinger, assessor of Grisham township, returned his
books this week. They show 369 horses worth about $63 a head; 564
cattle worth about $18 a head; 77 mules worth about $64 a head; 314
sheep, 868 hogs, 220 wagons and carriages, 64 watches and clocks, 90
sewing machines, 12 pianos, 29 organs and 114 dogs.
The total cash value of all personal property in the township is
given at $138,945. There is $5425 worth of grain on hand.
There are only three personal assessments in the township
amounting to $5000 or over. A. T. Strange, trustee, is assessed with
$10000, Shoal Creek Coal Co. is assessed for $9050, and the Panama
Bank is caught for $10800. J. S. Stevens is the largest holder of
personal property outside the above. He is assessed with property
valued at $4085. William Boone comes next with personal property
valued at $3990.
Jul. 3, 1908
Mike Dondini, Peter Sabolo and John Bruno, three Italian coal
miners of Panama, Ill. and Frank McDole, city marshal at that new
mining town learned a heap of law last week and as we go to press,
Sabolo and Bruno are in jail here still learning more about American
laws and institutions. The three Italians sold beer and whiskey
after Grisham township, in which Panama is located, had been voted
"dry". Evidence was secured against them and Sabolo was arrested and
put in jail here. Bruno and Dondino came up here to see their fellow
countryman and a warrant was issued for their arrest. They heard of
the warrant, however after their arrival here and tried to dodge
arrest. They were assisted in their efforts by city marshal Frank
McDole, and when the dragnet was spread, McDole was entangled in it,
And was placed in jail on a charge of failure to do his duty as an
officer. His bond was placed at $1500 which he produced after a few
days in jail. Dondini entered a plea of guilty of selling wet goods
in dry territory and his fine was fixed at $225 and a jail sentence
was stayed on his promise of good behavior.
Panama has the reputation of being about the worst place for
drunkenness and disorder to be found anywhere and its reputation is
keeping many prospective citizens from locating there.
A PANAMA CAPTURE
Sheriff Bray and State's Attorney Hill made an important capture
at Panama last Thursday. An information was filed against Peter A.
Sabolio, John Bruno and Frank Kalaquin, charging them with selling
beer in Panama, which is anti saloon territory. The defendants are
running a butcher shop at Panama, and it is charged that they have
been selling beer in violation of law ever since the spring election.
They were arrested and brought to Hillsboro Thursday night and
Friday morning were arraigned in the county court and plead not
guilty. They were held to for trial at the September term of court,
bail being fixed at $300. Colequin gave bail but the other two were
sent to jail until they could furnish bond.
It is charged that large quantities of beer have been shipped from
St. Louis to these parties. Their names indicate that they are
Italians, and it is strange that these people who came from a country
where a man is sent to jail for selling a goose or a pig without
first having obtained a license, are so ready to violate the laws of
Perhaps they think because this is a "free country" they can do
anything they please. It is said that a farmer living near Witt
caught three or four Italians in his potato patch recently digging
potatoes. He demanded of them what right they had on his premises
digging his potatoes and they replied that they had been informed
that this was a "free country" and they thought this gave them a
right to dig potatoes wherever they found them!
Aug. 14, 1908
JAMES McCOY DEAD
James McCoy, of Panama, passed away Monday evening after a long
illness of cancer. Mr. McCoy was 53 years old. He was born in
Ireland, but came to this country when two years old. He has resided
in Panama the last four years. Mr. McCoy was a miner and prominent
among his fellow workers.
Besides his wife, four children were left, Frank McCoy, of
Cardiff, Ill.; Mrs. A. N. Kerns, of Hillsboro; Mrs. Belle Williams
and William McCoy, of Panama.
The funeral was held at Panama Wednesday afternoon and the burial
took place at Oak Grove cemetery in Hillsboro.
FIGHT AT PANAMA
Frank Kalaquin and William McCoy got into an altercation in Panama
last week and Bill got the worst of it. He swore out a warrant for
Kalaquin and Kalaquin will get his in Squire Grassel's court
Aug. 28, 1908
Ed Paynter, Panama, age 23
Laura Morgan, Panama, age 18
Sept. 11, 1908
A "DRY" CLUB
A club composed of Italians, living in Panama, has taken out
articles of incorporation. The name of the club will be the "Panama
Italian Pleasant Hour Club", and the object social enjoyment.
Although some people seem to think that this club was organized
for the purpose of getting "suds", in barrel lots and booze by the
demi john, we understand the rules and regulations say no drinker or
gambler will be allowed membership. As one member expressed it, "Me
cutta da booze, drinka da lemo only; we no have da poker, da cards
all tabooed." "Jack straws" "Tiddle de winks" "Simon says thumbs
up"," and "Ring around arosy" will be the only games permitted. No,
far from it Pauline; this will be a "dry club."
Sept. 18, 1908
AN ITALIAN CEREMONY
Judge Dryer united a couple of Italians in matrimonial bonds
Saturday morning by means of an interpreter. Joseph Carnero aged 26
and Gabiela Falletti aged 22 both of Panama had a yearning to be tied
together by the "American Judge" and as they spoke no English and the
judge spoke no Italian, an interpreter was necessary. When the judge
told them to join hands, the interpreter jabbered a bit and they
raised there hands high in the air. It took the united efforts of
four men to get them to hold hands. After talking and expostulating
for fifteen or twenty minutes, the judge finally got disgusted and
told them they were married and to get out. The last seen of them
they were going down the street all three talking a blue streak and
Judge Dryer is wondering if they were complimenting him on his short
ceremony or giving him fits for charging for his services.
Oct. 2, 1908
Agustin Coonly, Panama, age 33
Josefin Truppai, Panama, age 18
Oct. 16, 1908
RAISED THE CASH
Last Friday the sheriff's office was besieged by a number of
Italians friends of the two arrested at Panama for selling booze
who were trying to get the men out on bond. After a futile effort to
convince the sheriff their word was good, they left ostensibly to get
the cash. Monday contrary to all expectations, they came around
again and this time they had the money, and the two men, John Reville
and Barney Chiolero, were released on bond. After shaking hands with
everyone who would shake, they left on the morning car for Litchfield
and from their talk, it is presumed that they celebrated before
Nov. 27, 1908
PANAMA SCHOOL OPENS
The Panama public school opened last week with D. F. Neathery as
principal. The new school building has four rooms with a prospect
that others will have to be added next year.
Dec. 11, 1908
Steve Zirka was killed by the accidental discharge of his gun
Wednesday of last week about two miles north of Greenville. Zirka
was a Hungarian coal miner and was driving with a party of friends
from Panama to Greenville. He was on the back seat of the carriage
holding his gun between his knees when it was accidentally
discharged. He received the entire load in his breast and died
Annual Coal Report for Year Ending June 1909
On Jan. 9, 1909, Eugene Concello, a miner aged 38, married, went
in to recover his tools from his room and was caught under a fall of
roof while he was returning and was killed instantly. He leaves a
widow and 5 children.
On Apr. 26, 1909, Earna Drake, a trapper, aged 17, stepped from
his refuge hole after the motor trip had gone through, as he
supposed, but it happened that the trip had broken in two. The
momentum of the trailing part brought it crashing through the door
which the boy had closed. Standing on the other side of the door, he
did not see it coming and was knocked down and killed instantly. He
was single and lived in Sorento.
On Jul. 2, 1908, Steve Szabo, aged 29, married with 5 children had
his hip injured by a pit car, resulting in 182 days lost time.
On Jul. 22, 1908, Calvin Jones, aged 57, married with one child,
had his shoulder injured by falling slate, resulting in 80 days lost
On Jul. 30, 1908, Albert Boldt, aged 41, married with 3 children,
had his head and ankle injured by falling coal, resulting in 103 days
On Aug. 15, 1908, James Menoffe, aged 28, single, had his head
injured by falling coal, resulting in 30 days lost time.
On Dec. 24, 1908, Charles Bernetti, aged 38, single, had his arm
broken by falling coal, resulting in 123 days lost time.
On Jan. 20, 1909, Enock Casis, aged 20, single, had his body
injured by a pit car, resulting in 91 days lost time.
On Mar. 17, 1909, John Cholou, aged 26, married with 2 children,
had his body injured by a shot explosion.
On Mar. 17, 1909, Dominic Mondina, aged 30, single, had his body
injured by a shot explosion.
On Apr. 2, 1909, Alex Jakes, aged 26, single, had his body burned
by a powder explosion, resulting in 30 days lost time.
On May 20, 1909, Henry Louderman, aged 54, married with 5
children, had his head injured by falling rock.
On Jun. 17, 1909, Joe Mauniry, aged 37, married with 4 children,
had his body burned by a powder explosion.
1271 tons of mine run
183,319 " " lump
182,064 " " other grades
366,554 Total tons
356,181 tons were loaded on rail cars for shipment.
10,373 tons were used for other purposes.
197 days of operation.
288 average number of miners.
131 other employees.
419 total employees.
314,966 tons mined by hand.
Jan. 15, 1909
KILLED AT PANAMA
Eugene Cocello, an Italian miner working in the Panama mine, was
killed last Saturday by falling slate. He was about 34 years of age,
and he leaves, a wife and five children in Italy. His body was
buried in Donnellson last Sunday. Cocello was about to quit work and
had started out of the mine, as the men he was working with decided
the roof was unsafe. Cocello went back after his sledgehammer which
he had left in the room, and while there the roof fell in and he was
killed instantly. Coroner Gray held an inquest Saturday and a
verdict was rendered in accordance with the facts.
Feb. 19, 1909
Will McCoy of Panama and Miss Lizzie McDoell of Hillsboro, were
united in marriage at St. Louis on Wednesday of this week. The bride
is a sister of Mrs. A. N. Kearnes of this city and has been making
her home with her. The groom is a miner employed in the Panama mine.
Lonnie Carlock, Panama, age 23
Mabel Baker, Panama, age 20
Apr. 9, 1909
A "HAPPY HOME" RAIDED
Sheriff Brown, Deputy Hubbard and Constable Palmer of Greenville,
visited Panama Thursday of last week, armed with thirty warrants for
the arrest of that many members of the "Happy Home Club" of that
town. They found the club room fitted up in the regulation saloon
style, with a bar about 25 feet long, well stocked with all kinds of
liquors, and about fifty of the members keeping the cash register
clicking while they drank their booze. Joe Faletti, Barney Peruna,
Joe Monti and Dominick Castontino were arrested and brought to
Greenville and locked up in jail. Officers are now chasing other
sons of sunny Italy, and as the club contained a membership of 336,
business in the justice courts promises to be good for some time.
Those arrested will be given a hearing before Squire Matney at two
o'clock this afternoon. The saloon was run under the name of the
"Happy Home Club" and a government license has been obtained, which
protects the members from government prosecution.
The store room where they kept large quantities of liquor is on the
Bond county side. The bar room is divided about half and half and
the refrigerator and more than half of the bar are on the Bond county
side of the line.
It is said that they have been selling only to Italians but that
an American could get liquor there by being accompanied by an Italian
and having the latter pay for the booze.
Apr. 23, 1909
BANK ROBBED AT PANAMA
Burglars cracked the safe of F. P. Blair & Co.'s bank at Panama
last Saturday morning and made their escape with $800 in cash and
$800 worth of stamps.
W. W. Mitchell and wife, who live across the street from the bank,
heard the robbers break in the front window of the bank and opened
fire on them. The robbers returned the fire and for a time a regular
fusillade was kept up between the Mitchells and the burglars.
Finally the Mitchells ran out of ammunition and had to cease firing.
They fired about twenty shots and the burglars shot about a dozen
times. After the ammunition was exhausted Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell went
after more, but when they returned the bank had been robbed and the
burglars had made good their escape.
The Mitchells went out and tried to arouse the town. But the
town, strange to say, refused to be aroused! They thought somebody
was trying to play a joke on them, and Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell became
disgusted and went back home and went to bed. It was seven o'clock
before the people realized that the bank had really been robbed, and
by that time the robbers were many miles away.
The people of Panama are so used to having the town "shot up" that
the fusillade between Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell and the robbers attracted
Apr. 30, 1909
KILLED AT PANAMA
Erbie Drake a twenty two year old young man employed as trapper in
the Panama mine was killed shortly after one o'clock on Monday
afternoon of this week. No one witnessed the accident and no one
knows just what caused the boys death. From the surroundings
however, it is supposed that an empty coal car broke loose at the top
of a hill in the main entry and ran back, striking the door where
Drake acted as trapper, and when the door was thrown violently open
by the impact with the runaway car, it struck Drake on the head, he
being on the opposite side of the door and death resulted shortly
Coroner Gray was notified and an inquest was held Monday, the jury
being composed of Max Von Brunn, Herbert Kessinger, Alex Meredith,
William F. Grimm, Arch Grisham and F. McDole, after hearing the
evidence the jury returned a verdict to the effect that Drake met his
death by accident, due to the negligence of the management of Shoal
Creek Mining Company for not keeping sufficient signals and lights.
A BOHEE WEDDING PARTY
Last Friday a party of Italians drove up from Panama to witness
the marriage of Secondo Chiolero and Miss Mary Bergandi. The groom
wore an immense bouquet on the lapel of his coat and looked like he
might be a lineal descendant of some Etruscan nobleman who owned a
villa at Tivoli at the time Rome sat upon her seven hills and ruled
the world. The bride was arrayed in a long white veil and a
trousseau that rivaled the hues of the rainbow.
While on their journey to the county seat through Grisham and
Hillsboro townships, the descendants of Caesar amused themselves by
shooting holes in the contiguous atmosphere. The people living along
the road thought grim visaged war had broken loose and they took
refuge in the smoke houses and cellars. After the cavalcade had
passed they ventured forth and telephoned to sheriff Bray that a band
of armed Dagoes were advancing on Hillsboro. But when the party
arrived at the county seat they were as peaceable and quiet as a band
of Tuscan maidens, and not a gun was in sight. By the aid of an
interpreter, Judge Dryer succeeded in getting Secondo and Mary to
join hands, although Secondo insisted upon raising his right hand as
if he wanted to be sworn. After they were pronounced husband and
wife and the assembled maids and matrons and stalwart descendants of
Cataline had offered their congratulations, the Sheriff began to get
busy. He went through the pockets of the men and found six
revolvers, a pair of knucks and a hat full of cartridges.
Informations were filed against Louis Velli, Jim Fronterro, Quinto
Chiolero, Pete Rolfo, Pit Calvetti and Secondo Chiolera, the groom,
charging them with carrying concealed weapons, and they were hustled
off to jail. Then ensued a scene that beggars description. The
prisoners swore in six macaronic dialects and spit spaghetti all over
the surrounding landscape.
Later they were brought before Judge Dryer and each was fined $100
and costs with a stay of execution on $50 of each fine during good
behavior. But while the prisoners were long on guns they were short
of cash. But they finally chipped in and paid the bridegroom's fine
and he at once flew to the arms of his weeping bride and they
departed for Panama for their honeymoon. The balance of the bunch
went back to jail, but on Wednesday their friends came up from Panama
and paid the fines and costs, amounting to $384.60 and they were
May 7, 1909
Before adjourning last week the grand jury returned over forty
indictments, as stated in last week's News but we were not then
permitted to publish the names of those indicted as bench warrants
had not been issued and the defendants had not been arrested. We
give below the indictments as found and the orders taken in each
John Williams, selling liquor in Grisham township in December
1908, and in January, February and March 1909. There are four counts
against him, and the names of 61 witnesses are endorsed on the back
of the indictment! This is one of the Panama cases.
John Williams is indicted for keeping a disorderly house "to the
encouragement of idleness, gambling, drinking etc." This is another
Panama case. The names of 50 or 60 witnesses are endorsed on the
Barney Chiolero is indicted for selling liquor to minors. The
names of William Smith, William Hamby, J. W. Smith and Emory Brown
are endorsed on the indictment.
John Williams, selling liquor to minors. Witnesses: Vern Smith,
Emery Brown, Phillip Debean, Albert Plaqua, J. W. Smith and Carrie
Joe Falletti, Joe Mote, John Revelli, Barney Chiolero and Barney
Peruna were indicted for keeping a disorderly house. This is another
May 14, 1909
Judge Paul McWilliams came over from Litchfield Saturday and held
a short session of court, making the following orders:
John Williams of Panama plead guilty to selling liquor in
anti saloon territory and was fined $100.
Barney Peruna, also of Panama plead guilty to keeping a disorderly
house and was fined $100.
Ezra Carlock, Panama, age 21
Bessie Attebury, Walshville, age 18
Jun. 18, 1909
PRISONERS IN JAIL
August Chermetto, committed because he failed to pay a judgment
for $400 for bastardy. He is from Panama.
Jul. 16, 1909
BURNED TO DEATH AT PANAMA
Mrs. Dominica Falletti and son Joseph Falletti, Jr. two residents
of Panama, this county, were burned to death by an explosion of coal
oil or gasoline on Tuesday of this week.
The cause of the accident will never be known as the mother and
son were in the house alone when the explosion took place. It is
surmised, that the mother was cleaning a bed with gasoline and the
house was filled with gasoline vapor which became ignited from a
match in the hands of the boy and his mother was evidently saturated
with the burning oil and they were terribly burned from head to foot,
the entire body of Mrs. Falletti being burned with the exception of
her head which was protected by her hair. She died at 6 o'clock P.M.
on Tuesday, the day of the accident, and the boy died at 12:30 on the
A coroner's inquest was held on Wednesday, the jury being composed
of J. D. Williams, E. A. Murray, Louis Henderson, Jud Dolan, Dr. I.
O. Wilcox and F. McDole.
The accident occurred at one o'clock Tuesday afternoon. John
Payne, who lived close to the scene of the accident testified that he
heard an explosion, then heard a woman's screams and rushing into the
street he saw Mrs. Falletti with her clothing in flames, in the
street, endeavoring to tear the burning clothing from her body. He
rushed to her aid but could do nothing and finally secured a blanket
and extinguished the blaze. The fire had burned her so badly,
however, there was no hope of saving her life.
Mrs. Falletti ran out of the front door of her home after the
explosion and the boy ran out the back door, both with their clothing
ablaze. Neighbors rushed to both and in putting out the flames which
were burning the boy, one man's hand was badly blistered.
The unfortunate victims were Italian and could speak little
English. The husband and father of the victims is employed in the
Panama coal mine
CIRCUIT COURT NEW CASES
The following new cases have been begun in the circuit court this
week, for the November term:
Mary Casconcelli vs Shoal Creek Coal company. This is a suit for
$5000 damages, and grows out of the death of Eugene Casconcelli, the
plaintiff's husband as a result of injuries he received in the
defendants mine at Panama, Jan. 9, 1909. The plaintiff charges that
the defendant company neglected to furnish sufficient props for the
roof of it's mine, and as a result a large quanity of slate, dirt and
rock fell on the plaintiff's husband and killed him.
Aug. 6, 1909
KILLED BY LIGHTNING
James Orvil Simpson, a young man, aged about 27 years was struck
by lightning and instantly killed, on Friday afternoon of last week,
while he was at work on the reservoir which is being built at Panama,
Another workman was knocked unconscious and the shoes were torn
from his feet, and for a time it was believed he was dead, but he
finally recovered after medical aid had been summoned.
The deceased was a farmer and a son of James Simpson, a well known
resident of the southern part of the county.
He was born near Walshville, Oct. 12, 1882. He was married to
Miss Cora Beck June 8, 1903. She died last December. There were
three children born, Hazel, Ruth and Clarence. The latter died when
he was three months old. The other two are still living. The
funeral services were held at the family residence Sunday at ten
o'clock, Rev. Gordon of Litchfield officiating. Interment at Hart's
Sept. 24, 1909
Amy Manning has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Co., which operates the
Panama mine, for $10,000 damages for the loss of her husband. Mr.
Manning was injured by a gas explosion while working in the
defendants mine last spring. It is claimed that the injuries finally
caused his death.
Joseph Payne, De Moines, Ia., age 23
Ella M. Robinson, Panama, age 17
Oct. 22, 1909
Fred Freezeland has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Co. for $3000. The
suit is an action for damages growing out of an injury the plaintiff
claims to have received while working in the defendant's coal mine at
Panama, July 23, 1909. The plaintiff, who is under age and who sues
by Jacob M. Freezeland, his father and next friend, was a driver in
said mine. He claims the rails, over which the cars loaded with coal
were driven, were loose and out of repair at a certain point on the
track, and that as a result a car was thrown off the track and the
plaintiff's right foot was caught under it, crushing and mangling it
and making the plaintiff a permanent cripple.
John Drake, admr. of the estate of Erb Drake, deceased, sues the
Shoal Creek Coal Co. for $10,000. The suit grows out of the death of
Erb Drake which occurred April 26, 1909. The deceased was a trapper
working in the said mine, whose duty it was to open and shut a
certain door to let the cars of coal through. These cars were hauled
by an electric motor, and on the date of the accident one of the cars
broke loose from the others, and after the boy let the first car
through and closed the door the detached car struck the door and
injured the boy so that he died in about four hours. The plaintiff
claims the company was guilty in not making the cars secure so they
would not become detached.
Oct. 29, 1909
John Beryyok, Panama, age 27
Miss Helen Dominick, Panama, age 17
Dec. 3, 1909
Henry Edward Herman, a 13 year old boy of Panama, was brought into
court last Friday charged with stabbing another boy, and was released
"on probation." M. E. Bray was appointed probation officer and the
boy was sent home. He is required to write to the State's Attorney
every Saturday. It is understood that he will not be disturbed as
long as he is good
Dec. 10, 1909
James Monge, Panama, age 27
Anna Bussone, Panama, age 39
Dec. 24, 1909
The case of the village of Panama vs O. S. Peterson was decided in
favor of the defendant. Peterson took orders for groceries in Panama
and then made deliveries several days afterwards. He was arrested
and fined for peddling. He took an appeal and Judge McBride decided
he was not a "peddler" within the meaning of the ordinance.
Annual Coal Report for Year Ending June 1910
The Shoal Creek Coal Co. at Panama has installed a pair of first
motion hoisting engines and two new boilers at its #1 mine. This
company is contemplating sinking a new shaft in the center of its
17,000 acres coal rights, but have been waiting for the opinion of
the state inspector as to what constitutes a fire proof shaft. This
mine is now what is considered a machine mine.
On Aug. 14, 1909, Herman Newbaum, machine helper, aged 30,
married, was killed by a fall of slate while the machine runner was
undercutting the coal at the face of his working place. This room
had a foot of slate, following each cut, that stuck to the roof after
the coal had been shot down. This slate was shot down by the miners
after the coal had been loaded out. In this case, a piece of slate
hanging over the face of coal, fell with the above result. The
deceased was a German and leaves a widow and one child.
On Mar. 29, 1910, Battista Deparil, machine runner, aged 40,
married, was instantly killed by a fall of coal at the face of his
room, where he was undercutting. Deceased leaves a wife and 4
38,638 tons of mine run
202,007 " " lump
188,580 " " other grades
315,831 tons loaded on rail cars for shipment.
113,439 used for other purposes.
222 days of operation.
52 average number of miners.
381 other employees.
433 Total employees.
44,712 tons mined by hand.
Blasting from solid and undercut face.
6645 kegs of powder used.
18 drivers 4 shot firers
1 cager 8 timbermen
10 laborers 12 trackmen
212 loaders 9 trappers
36 machinemen 52 miners
Jan. 28, 1910
CRAZY ON SCHEDULE TIME
John O'Brien, a young man apparently about thirty years of age,
was arrested in Bloomington last week on a charge of vagrancy. He
told the officers there he was wanted in Hillsboro for breaking into
the Panama bank several months ago, and sheriff Bray went to
Bloomington and brought the prisoner here.
The young man told all about the bank robbery and stated that he
had a confederate with him at the time.
After O'Brien was lodged in jail he announced to the other
prisoners that he expected to go crazy on Sunday morning. When
Sunday came he changed his mind, however, and concluded to put off
his crazy attack until the following morning. Turnkey Eddie Marshall
had been told what to expect and was not greatly surprised when he
visited the jail on Monday morning and found the bank robber was
apparently as crazy as a loon. He had smashed a bucket and a pan
which were in his cell and was as ferocious as a wild man. Mr.
Marshall warned the robber that something would happen to him if he
didn't recover and O'Brien is apparently much improved as we go to
It is believed the fellow is really a little "off in the upper
story" and probably imagines the story about the robbery, as he can
accomplish nothing by feigning insanity and in as much as he made a
voluntary confession of his connection with the robbery at Panama.
He now maintains a sullen silence and sits on the cot in his cell
staring into space and refuses to look at or speak to anyone.
Toni Marcolano, Panama, age 28
Anelita Amedci, Panama, age 24
Feb. 25, 1910
The roads have been almost impassable on account of snow drifts.
Mrs. W. W. Mitchel and Miss Orinda Killifer were shopping in St.
Mrs. William Sloat who has been quite ill with pneumonia, is
reported rapidly recovering.
The school is progressing nicely after various interruptions in
the way of sickness.
Alfred Desborough made a business trip to St. Louis Saturday,
We understand S. M. Kessinger has made a new patent churn, using a
lard can for the churn and fixing it in a frame to turn with a crank.
It brings the butter in a few minutes.
The revival meeting at William's Hall which has been going on for
the last two weeks, will continue a few nights this week. It is
being held by Evangelist Arthur Zepp of Ohio, assisted by Rev. Dunn
and several members of the Donnellson Methodist church. It is hoped
this will be the cause of much good work in a religious way in Panama
which is sadly needed.
Dr. I. O. Wilcox was called to St. Louis last week to be present
at an operation performed on his father. Mr. Wilcox never recovered
from the operation, but died the second day. Dr. Wilcox and wife
attended the funeral which was held at Shadick. Dr. Carey of
Donnellson is attending his patients during his absence.
Dr. F. M. White who was born and raised north of Panama on the
Wess Compton farm has returned to his old stamping ground after
practicing his profession for the last twenty years in Colorado, and
opened his office at S. B. Compton's residence, where he is now ready
to receive any and all callers. Dr. White's popularity as a
physician will give him his share of the business, and his many
friends are confident of his success.
Mar. 4, 1910
John Kirchner has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Co., laying his
damages at $2000. The plaintiff was a mule driver in the defendant's
mine and was injured while at work. His foot was run over and
crushed by a car owing, he claims, to a defective track, etc.
Mar. 11, 1910
William F. Freizland, Panama, age 20
Matilda S. Fandiz, age 18
Mar. 18, 1910
Mrs. Lee Woods and Mrs. Oliver Coyle were shopping in Sorento
Mrs. James Hancock was called to Litchfield Thursday by the
serious illness of her aunt, Mrs. John A. Barlow.
Daniel Jones moved on Carey Cunningham's farm south of town one
day last week.
James Simpson and daughter Lela of near Walshville took dinner
with Charles Ward and family Saturday.
The little son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Havron who has been quite
ill with pneumonia fever is improving.
Sunday School was organized here Sunday and teachers appointed and
classes arranged. It will be held in the old school house in the
north end of town.
Sie Greenwaldt was in these parts Sunday. He says he is going to
Alton Wednesday to work on the big paper factory which will be built
there this summer.
Mar. 25, 1910
John Kish moved to Sorento last week.
W. W. Mitchell and family were Sorento visitors Sunday.
Charles Ward is attending court at Greenville this week, on the
Charles Kessinger was in town Monday of this week.
Mr. A. Mills, our postmaster, has bought a farm 2 miles north of
New Douglas. It contains 72 acres. He bought it at $35.00 per acre
and has the coal option at $15.00. We think he has found a great
bargain for the price paid.
Quite a merry crowd gathered at Mrs. William Sanderson's Thursday
March 17, by special invitation to a carpet rag tacking. Among those
present were Mrs. Ola Cannon and daughter, Aida of Coffeen, Mrs.
Wesley Drake and Mother in law of Sorento, Mrs. Arthur Caulk, Mrs.
Artie Philips, Mrs. Daniel Compton and Mrs. Leni Philips, Iva and
Elva Caulk. The day was spent very pleasantly as well as profitably,
there was about 20 lbs. of rags tacked.
Apr. 1, 1910
COAL MINES SHUT DOWN
All the coal mines in Illinois closed down Thursday night, March
31, and will remain closed for an indefinite period. The miners have
demanded an increase in wages and also demanded that the operators
bear the shot firers expense. The minimum time of inactivity is
placed at 30 days, when it is expected that the miners and operators
will come to some sort of an agreement. Sixty thousand miners will
be idle the next thirty days at least. The joint committee of the
Illinois miners and operators will meet in Chicago next Monday.
FATAL ACCIDENT AT PANAMA
Battisti Depauli, a miner in the Panama mine, was instantly
killed last Monday by a fall of slate and rock. It is estimated that
about three car loads of coal and other material fell on him. He
leaves a wife and family. A coroner's jury consisting of W. W.
Mitchell, Dr. J. O. Wilcox and John Kenney was empaneled and found a
verdict in accordance with the facts.
Apr. 8, 1910
Frank Donatt, Panama, age 26
Stella Dizaba, Panama, age 19
Jun. 3, 1910
Mr. and Mrs. Graybrook were Sorento callers Saturday.
The high waters did the farmers considerable damage in this
The little granddaughters of S. H. Slagle, Misses Mae and Irene
Pope are out from East St. Louis on a visit.
Quite a number from here attended the memorial exercises at
Mrs. I. O. Wilcox is visiting home folks.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles McReaken, daughter Ruth and Earl Vogel were
in Sorento Monday.
Dr. and Mrs. Chittim were visitors at Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell last
Chalmer Osborne of near Walshville spent Saturday night and Sunday
at William Sanderson's.
Three of the Panama school teachers have been re employed as
follows: Mrs. William P. Hampton, Sorento, principal, salary $75 and
teacher of room 4; Miss Baker, of Greenville, teacher of room 3, at
$50, and Miss Maewise, of Greenville, teacher of room 2. The primary
teacher and janitor are unemployed as yet.
Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Greene drove through Panama Tuesday.
Jun. 10, 1910
Rev. Sparks and wife will hold services in their private car,
which is here on the side track, Friday afternoon for the children
and in the evening everyone will be welcome. These people are
traveling over the country preaching the Baptist gospel and are also
taking up a collection.
Jun. 17, 1910
ATTORNEY FOR PANAMA
J. Earl Major of this city was employed this week as attorney for
the village of Panama. The authorities there certainly made no
mistake in securing Mr. Major, as he is one of the most promising
young attorneys and is capable and thoroughly qualified.
Jun. 17, 1910
Lightning struck the barn of John Dunn 1/2 mile east of Panama
last Monday afternoon setting fire to it and the fire finished the
work of destruction. A horse worth over $200 and 100 bushels of corn
and some hay were also burned. Another horse and two cows were in
the barn at the time the lightning struck, but they managed to escape
into an adjoining pasture and were saved.
The coal mine here is working steadily every day.
One of the men employed as foreman at the coal washer is suffering
from an attack of small pox.
Jul. 8, 1910
FOR ASSAULT AND BATTERY
August Guglia of Panama was arrested for assault and battery
Tuesday evening and brought to Hillsboro before Judge Dryer, who
fixed his bond at $100, which Guglia gave and returned to his home.
Some of his neighbors accused him of kicking and beating his wife,
but he and his daughter deny the charge. Mr. Guglia runs the ice
business at Panama.
COUNTERFEITERS AT PANAMA
On Wednesday evening of this week United States Marshall O. G.
Addleman, of Springfield, came to Hillsboro and in company with
Deputy Sheriff M. T. Kiggins, drove to Panama, where they arrested
Albert Mattozo and William Spandoni, two Italian coal miners, on a
charge of disposing of counterfeit $5 and $2 bills. Peter Serini, a
Frenchman, of Panama, was arrested at Edwardsville on Wednesday
morning. One of the parties arrested confessed his guilt and
implicated other parties, who will be placed under arrest within a
The men have been scattering counterfeit bills along the towns on
the Clover Leaf railroad for several weeks, the bills being excellent
imitations and very hard to detect as being counterfeit. It is
believed the money was made in Chicago, as Mattozo has been making
frequent trips to that city for several months. When he was arrested
$224 was found in his pockets. Spandoni had only $5 with him at the
time of his arrest.
U. S. Marshall Adden paid Deputy Sheriff Kiggins quite a
compliment in telling of the arrest, saying: "It is not often that I
meet such men as Mike Kiggins in following my work. He is quiet,
unassuming and apparently is devoid of fear when handling such men as
we arrested at Panama. His coolness in making an arrest is
remarkable and does more to unnerve a prisoner than anything else.
The public as a rule does not appreciate the dangerous character of
this class of foreigners who are flocking to our shores, many of them
coming to escape punishment for crimes committed at home."
The prisoners were taken to Springfield Thursday morning for
Jul. 15, 1910
CARRIED A REVOLVER
Anton Newcaroski, a coal miner of Taylor Springs, came to
Hillsboro last Friday morning carrying a revolver in his hip pocket.
The day being very warm Anton removed his coat and the revolver was
detected by Deputy Sheriff Ed Marshall, who asked Anton if he was
carrying a pistol.
Anton answered in the affirmative and as he did so city marshall
Albert Campbell placed him under arrest, took his gun and led him
like a lamb to the slaughter house to the office of Esq. Rowe, where
he plead guilty and was fined $25 and costs. He refused to pay the
fine and was placed in the county jail, but his stay there was of
short duration, as a friend appeared, paid his fine and Anton was
The unfortunate miner is an Italian and can speak but little
English. He is like many of the foreigners who come to our country
and believe they can do as they please, as this is a "free country."
Anton insisted he was carrying the gun for self protection only
and did not mean harm, but this did not excuse him in the eyes of the
law. The medicine administered him by Esq. Rowe was hard to swallow,
but it will probably do Anton's system a great deal of good, and may
have a tendency to help the rest of the foreign element at Taylor
THEY "SHOVED THE QUEER"
Anton Newcaroski, another foreigner, was arrested at Panama on
Thursday of last week by Deputy Sheriff Kiggins, and he is now being
held with two companions who were arrested last Wednesday, who are
charged with passing counterfeit money. The arrest of Newcaroski was
made by Mr. Kiggins, aided by Charles Johnson, of Litchfield, another
It is very difficult to secure information against any of the
foreign element found in mining centers because all of the foreigners
are in sympathy with their countrymen, and will aid them in every
possible manner. As soon as an officer appears in town and making
inquiries about a certain foreigner, friends of the man waste no time
in telling him to disappear and aid him all they can. The larger
percent of these foreigners speak no English and when any trouble
starts they all claim ignorance of the language and our officers must
depend on an interpreter, and in many cases these interpreters are in
league with the law breakers and they only lend their aid in evading
The men arrested at Panama are not counterfeiters, as they know
nothing about the work. They are, however, the tools of men who are
experts in the business.
The secret service men have traced the bogus money which the
Panama foreigners were passing back to an eastern city, and they
believe they have secured information which will eventually lead to
the discovery of the "plant" where the money is being manufactured,
and will finally capture the men who are making it.
The foreigners arrested claim they were never in trouble before
and they realize their predicament and are turning state's evidence
against the men who got them into trouble. All of them, however, are
in mortal terror of being killed by the "black hand" society, as they
were all sworn to secrecy by the agent from whom they secured the
The story told by these men, as near as can be secured, is that
they first came to this country in search of work but found the coal
mines closed. They were hard run for money and when they were
approached by one of their countrymen who offered to let them get
rich easily and quickly by "shoving the queer," they immediately fell
victims to his arguments. The man who had given them the bogus bills
travels for a certain wholesale house in the East, but his position
with this house is but a blind, as his real business is disposing of
bad money. He approaches only ignorant foreigners and shows them
good money, which he claims is bogus, and he takes them to business
houses, generally saloons, and buys drinks or merchandise with his
money, and of course his bills are never rejected, as they are
genuine. In this manner he impresses his companions with the easy
manner in which he lives and they fall to his proposition without a
great deal of argument. He then leaves with them or sends to them a
bunch of bogus bills, which are excellent imitations, and which only
an expert can detect as being bad money, and the foreigners pay him a
percent of the amount sent him.
When the discovery is made that the bogus money is being
circulated, the ignorant foreigner who "pushes the queer" is easily
detected and sent to the penitentiary while it is next to impossible
for the federal authorities to secure evidence which will enable them
to detect the real culprits.
Before deputy sheriff M. T. Kiggins could locate Anton Newcaroski,
last Thursday, he had to send him a registered letter through the
mail, and when Anton called for the letter at the post office he was
placed under arrest. He maintained his innocence until he was placed
behind the bars in the county jail and then he weakened and told his
story. The three men now under arrest will be sent to the
penitentiary, but they will very probably receive short sentences
because of the fact that they confessed their guilt and helped
towards apprehending the real counterfeiters, and the lesson they
will learn will likely have a far reaching effect upon many of the
CIRCUIT COURT NEW CASES
Maria Quaglia, of the village of Panama, has sued August Quaglia
for a divorce. Maria alleges that she and August were united in
marriage on the 10th day of June, 1898 "at and in the Kingdom of
Italy, in the continent of Europe," and that they have one child,
Dominick Quaglia, now about 11 years old. She then charges that
August has treated her with extreme and repeated cruelty, striking
and kicking her violently at divers times; that he struck her once
with a club, and that he has been arrested and fined for beating her.
She states that he owns a large amount of personal property,
consisting of growing crops, six head of horses, 12 head of cattle,
21 head of hogs, four wagons and a lot of farm machinery, that he has
executed a pretended chattel mortgage on his stock for $2,200, which
was given July 2, 1910, to one Giovanni Charmers, but the same was
fraudulently made for the purpose of depriving her and her boy of the
means of support. She asks that August be enjoined from selling said
property and that said Giovanni Charmers be enjoined from foreclosing
said mortgage. She asks for a divorce and sufficient alimony to
support herself and her child.
ANOTHER COUNTERFEITER CAUGHT
Antonio Galluce, the Italian traveling salesman who furnished the
bogus bills for the Panama miners to dispose of, was caught at
Wilmerding, near Pittsburg, Pa., on Monday of this week and is now
being held by the federal authorities.
Galluce told the Panama miners that he was an agent of the "black
hand" society, and when he gave them the money, he made them take the
black hand oath never to tell where they got the money. It is
generally believed by the federal authorities who are acquainted with
the particulars in this case that Galuco did not make the money but
is disposing it for other parties in Chicago or New York.
Mrs. William Sanderson is on the sick list.
Mr. and Mrs. Earl Vincent of Litchfield, spent a few days of last
week with Charles Ward.
Miss Edith McLane has been re employed as primary teacher at an
advance in wages of $5 on the month.
The hoisting machine at the coal mine fell to pieces Saturday
morning while hoisting a load of coal. The engineer, Bob Pullen of
Sorento, was painfully though not seriously injured. It will be ten
days or probably two weeks before the mine can work again.
The Coffeen boys were down fishing again today, but they didn't
seem to have their usual luck. Three weeks ago ten of them were down
and got about 150 pounds of fish.
Word was received here today that Mr. Emery Corlew (the well known
photographer of Sorento) is very low and getting weaker every day.
Mrs. Treecy Merideth is visiting her daughter, Mrs. S. M.
Kessinger, this week.
"Tob" West, Mr. Mitchell's piano and organ agent, is getting to be
a frequent caller in this vicinity. We suspect some body will be
buying a new piano some day before long.
Alfred Desborough has built a new concrete cellar and kitchen over
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Nick Shannon, a girl, on Tuesday. Mr.
Shannon's are the same family that has been quarantined so long with
the smallpox. Mr. Shannon, his wife, and four children have all had
them. The house was fumigated Saturday from nine a.m. to four p.m.,
and the baby was born on Tuesday afternoon.
Jul. 22, 1910
NOT AN ITALIAN
I have noticed in you paper No. 28 of July 15th, that an Italian
by the name of Anton Newcaroski, of Taylor Springs, was arrested for
carrying a revolver. I wish to state to you that this man is not an
Italian at all; he is a Russian.
I like to see any man that is violating the law of this country
punished accordingly, but I don't like the innocent to be punished
for the guilty one. If he is a Russian, he is not an Italian.
There are French, Italians, Austrians, Spaniards, Greeks,
Russians, etc., and they may all look alike. Whenever anyone of
those that can't talk plain American violates the law of this
country, it is blamed on the Italians. I admit there are as bad
Italians as there are other nationalities, and that is more due to
the Southern Italians.
I wish to state to you that whenever you see a name with the
letter "k" in it, it is not an Italian name, for there isn't one
Italian name with the letter "k" in it the "k" is not used in the
Italian language at all.
Dear editor, the Italian, or either the foreign element that you
may call at Taylor Springs only consists of about twenty. They are
all very peaceable and as civilized as any, and they will all obey
and live up to the law of this great country, and if there is any
offending said law we want him to be punished to the full extent of
THE COUNTERFEITERS IN BOND COUNTY
We have on display at this office one of the counterfeit two
dollar bills that made Panama famous. The work of engraving and
printing is perfect. The only difference is in the paper used which
is minus the threads and of an inferior quality.
In order to pass them the more easily the bills were folded and
wrinkled to give them the appearance of old ones. The one we have
was loaned us by Abe McNeill, the cashier of the bank at Panama.
Abe saw an Italian in the act of passing it and at once pounced
upon him and a struggle for the possession of the bill followed.
When the dust of battle cleared away Abe had the bill. Only two of
the bills were ever presented at the bank and both of them were
detected and are held as evidence. Greenville Sun
Aug. 5, 1910
COAL MINER KILLED AT PANAMA
Battista Badoni, a coal miner employed at the Panama mine, met
death at that place on Sunday night of this week, between seven and
The accident happened at the bottom of the shaft while Badoni was
helping to pull a box of cinders off the cage. The car had become
fast in some manner and could not be pulled from the cage, which was
about two inches lower than the mine level. After trying to remove
the car and finding it impossible to do so, Ljuliornige Cururija, who
was in charge of the work at the pit, rang four bells for the
engineer to hoist slowly. This was done, but the car was raised
about five or six feet instead of a few inches. The signal was then
rung to stop the cage and then two bells were given to lower slowly.
When the cage was elevated, the car was caught between the cage
and the roof of the mine, which must have tilted it forward and as
soon as the cage was lowered, the car of cinders pitched forward into
the mine, burying Badoni beneath it, breaking his neck, crushing him
and killing him instantly.
Several miners were present at the time of the accident and they
testified at the coroners inquest to the effect that Clyde McReaken,
the acting night boss, ordered everyone to get out of the way just
before ringing the two bells to lower the cage, and that everybody
did so except Badoni, who either did not understand or else did not
realize his danger as he stood beneath the overhanging car of
The unfortunate man had been ordered to work in another part of
the mine laying track and it is not known why he went to the bottom
of the shaft.
Coroner W. A. Gray was called to Panama Monday where he summoned a
jury composed of F. E. Risk, Peter Smith, Harry Noe, Theodore
Taulbee, John May and Dr. J. O. Wilcox. After hearing the evidence
they returned a verdict of accidental death.
Sep. 9, 1910
INDICTED AT QUINCY
Seven indictments were returned at Quincy Tuesday in the federal
court against Severen Pallette, Albert Mattozo and Petro Santavicco
of Panama, this county, for counterfeiting.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY'S COAL OUTPUT
David Ross, secretary of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has just
issued the 28th annual coal report for the state of Illinois, which
gives statistics that are both interesting and instructive. The
report, however, is for the year ending June 30, 1909, and, of
course, does not show any statistics or facts subsequent to that
The report shows there are eleven mines in this county and the
total production for last year of the eleven mines was 1,480,635
Following is the number of tons produced by each of the eleven
Shoal Creek Coal Co., Panama, 366,544 tons
Hillsboro Coal Co., Hillsboro, 243,780 tons
Burnwell Coal Co., Witt, 188,767 tons
Kortkamp Coal Co., Hillsboro, 161,520 tons
Clover Leaf Coal Co., Coffeen, 156,594 tons
Burnwell Coal Co., No. 2, Witt, 147,516 tons
Peabody Coal Co., Nokomis, 133,643 tons
Litchfield Coal Co., Litchfield, 42,163 tons
Montgomery County Coal Co., Hillsboro, 37,697 tons
Farmersville Coal Co., Farmersville, 16,401 tons
G. I. Kelley, Raymond, 6,000 tons
It will be seen that the three Hillsboro mines produced more coal
than was produced at any other point in the county, by 76,443 tons,
the mine at Panama coming next with 366,554 tons. The two mines at
Witt produced together, 336,283 tons. This makes Hillsboro the
greatest coal producing field in the county, and the center of the
There are 1941 men employed in the mines of Montgomery county, or
were June 30, 1909. Only 14 other counties out of the 55 in the
state where coal is mined, employ more men than are employed in
Montgomery county. Sangamon county has the highest number, there
being 6,989 men employed in the mines in that county.
Only two fatal accidents occurred in the mines of this county
during that year, vis: Leonard Ludwig, killed by falling coal, Oct.
3, 1908, and E. O. Benny, killed Jan. 28, 1909 by being kicked by a
mule. But there were 29 non fatal accidents, 10 of which occurred in
the mine at Panama, 8 in the mines at Hillsboro, 3 at Coffeen, 4 at
Witt, 3 at Litchfield, and 1 at Nokomis.
The mines at Hillsboro employ 475 men, at Panama 419 men, at
Coffeen 220, at Nokomis 132, at Litchfield 114, and at Raymond 12.
Sep. 16, 1910
CIRCUIT COURT NOVEMBER TERM
Charles Biggus has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Co. for $2,000
damages for injuries he claims to have suffered in the company's mine
in Panama this county, by reason of his being kicked by a mule named
"Topsy." He charges that Topsy had a vicious propensity to kick, of
which the plaintiff was not informed when ordered to drive her.
Biggus claims he was kicked by Topsy on Nov. 15, 1908, and that the
mule's feet landed on his abdomen, greatly bruising and permanently
John May of Panama has filed a bill for divorce against his wife,
Nancy Ann May. John and Nancy Ann were married April 31, 1908, and
lived happily together for two months, or until July 1, 1908, when
the said Nancy Ann deserted John, as he alleges and has persisted in
such desertion ever since. John asks for a simple divorce from Nancy
Ann, without any frills or furbelows.
Sep. 30, 1910
Andrew Betley, Panama, age 28
Nellie Ratka, Panama, age 21
Oct. 7, 1910
CIRCUIT COURT NOVEMBER TERM
Herbert L. Kessinger has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Company in an
action of trespass on the case, laying his damages at $2,000. Mr.
Kessinger was badly burned in the Panama mine by a gas explosion on
Sept. 3, 1910. He is the same Herbert Kessinger who was shot and
killed in Panama Tuesday of this week by Frank Chilovitch, an
Austrian, whom he was trying to arrest, an account of which is given
elsewhere in this issue.
MURDER AT PANAMA
Herbert Kessinger, a constable of Grisham township, was murdered
on Tuesday evening of this week by Frank Chilovitch, an Austrian coal
miner of Panama.
Kessinger was a constable and also held a deputy sheriff's
On Tuesday afternoon shortly before five o'clock he went to the
home of Chilovitch to collect an account. Upon entering the house,
Chilovitch and two of his companions jumped on Kessinger, who was
unarmed, and after beating him very severely they threw him out of the
Young Kessinger went to town, swore out a warrant for Chilovitch
and taking three friends, went to the scene of trouble. Upon his
arrival there he knocked at the door but was refused admittance. He
then pushed open the door with his foot and as he did so Frank
Chilovitch thrust a revolver into Kessinger's face and fired.
Kessinger dropped dead and his body rolled backward off the porch,
and Chilovitch then stepped outside the house and fired three more
shots into the body of his victim.
Chilovitch then ran eastward out of town, being fired upon by one
of the companions of Mr. Kessinger who was armed with a small
revolver. The fleeing man made good his escape and though every
possible effort was made to apprehend him, no trace of the murderer
could be found.
Soon after the murder occurred, the sheriff at this city was
notified and bloodhounds were sent for, but these did not reach here
until eight o'clock on Wednesday morning. In the mean time Sheriff
Bray and Deputy Kiggins had notified officers in every surrounding
town to be on the lookout for the fugitive. The entire southern part
of this county and the northern part of Bond county was aroused and
every possible effort was made to apprehend the murderer. On
Wednesday night he was located at Sorento and arrested. He was
brought here Thursday and lodged in jail.
The murdered man was a son of the late George Kessinger and is
survived by his widowed mother, a sister and a brother. He was a
young man about 26 years of age, and was well known over the
southwestern part of this county.
The prisoner is six feet tall, aged about 28 years, and weighs 175
Oct. 21, 1910
CIRCUIT COURT NOVEMBER TERM
Three suits were filed this week against the Shoal Creek Coal
Company, and in each case the amount sued for is $5,000. No
declaration has been filed in either case, and the attorney for the
plaintiffs is Thomas R. Mould of Belleville. In each case a motion
and affidavit to prosecute as a poor person has been filed. The
plaintiffs are Gustavo Paneescci, Pete Guartes and William Spandoni.
Finis Bishop, by A. F. Bishop, his father and next friend, has
also sued the Shoal Creek Coal Company, laying his damage at $2,000.
"Old Jack," an obstreperous mule that has crippled several men, it is
claimed, kicked Finis in the ear and destroyed his hearing.
Nov. 11, 1910
Antone Pleshe, Panama, age 22
Sophia Staffen, Panama, age 18
Nat Merideth, Panama, age 36
Ethel Jones, Coffeen, age 20
Nov. 18, 1910
SIX MEN KILLED AT PANAMA
An explosion of gas took place in the coal mine of the Shoal Creek
Coal Company at Panama on Friday morning of last week, which resulted
in the death of six miners and in several others being seriously
The dead were:
The particulars of the accident, so far as we can learn, are as
On Friday morning Raffel Romania, a miner, entered a room in the
mine which had not been in use for some time, going there in search
of some tools which he had left there. Hardly had he entered the
place before his pit lamp set fire to the gas which had accumulated,
and in a second there came a terrible explosion which instantly
killed Romania and four other miners who were in the immediate
vicinity of the explosion at the time. There were three hundred and
fifty miners at work in the mine when the explosion took place and
these were immediately called from work and taken to the surface.
The work of rescuing the dead was then commenced, and within a few
hours afterward, most of the bodies were recovered.
Among the number who volunteered to go in search of the dead was
J. Wilbur, a resident of Sorento, and he fell a victim to the deadly
black damp and was dead when carried out of the mine. Mine
Superintendent Grabruck was also overcome and had to be carried from
the mine and for several hours it was feared he could not recover.
He is a brother of R. H. Grabruck of this city, who is manager of the
Kortkamp mine near this city. The latter hastened from here to the
scene of the accident and assisted very materially in the rescue
Coroner Gray hastened to Panama and an inquest was held Saturday,
the jury being composed of W. W. Mitchell, I. O. Wilcox, A. N.
Miller, J. W. Cox, F. A. Lyons and Arthur Ware. They returned a
verdict of death due to an explosion of gas, but did not attempt to
fix the blame on anyone.
From the evidence heard by the coroner's jury, it seems as though
the accident was due wholly to the fact that Romania disobeyed orders
in entering the room where the gas had accumulated. He had been
warned not to go there by Manager Grabruck and his assistant,
McCracken, and a warning was posted over the door, forbidding anyone
entering the room. He disobeyed these warnings, however, and paid
the penalty with his life, and five companions also suffered an
untimely death because of this one man's disobedience.
Besides the killed, there were twenty three who were badly
injured, five of whom were seriously hurt, but four of them are now
rapidly recovering. The fifth man is still in a critical condition.
The bottom was knocked out of the docket this week by the
continuance of all the personal injury cases brought against the
Shoal Creek Coal Company, the mine at Panama. These cases had to be
continued because of the explosion that disabled so many men in the
Panama mine last Friday.
HE GAVE HIS LIFE
The funeral of J. Wilbur, the man who lost his life in trying to
rescue the injured miners in the Panama mine last Friday was held at
his late residence in Sorento Monday morning at 10 o'clock. The
services were conducted under the auspices of the Sorento Odd
Fellow's Lodge, of which the deceased was a member. The funeral
sermon was preached by Rev. Headen at Sorento and the members of his
lodge attended in a body.
The heroic death of this man should not be dismissed with a mere
passing notice "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay
down his life for his friends," said the Great Teacher, and the
memory of this hero who braved the deadly fire and black damp of the
mine in order to rescue his fellow men, should be kept green. A
monument should be erected to perpetuate the memory of his
self sacrificing heroism.
Nov. 25, 1910
Frank Chilovitch, with five aliases, is indicted for killing
Herbert L. Kessinger at Panama on October 4, 1910. The indictment is
for murder and there are six counts in it. The defendant plead not
guilty and his case was continued upon his application. Ed. Knotts
and W. E. P. Anderson of Carlinville are his attorneys, and they were
here Tuesday to secure the continuance.
Frank Chilovitch, Henry Gorsih, John Millick and Anna Gorsih, are
also indicted for conspiracy. They are accused of conspiring with
Frank Chilovitch to murder Herbert L. Kessinger on Oct. 4, 1910.
Four counts are found in an indictment against Joe Felletti for
selling liquor in anti saloon territory. Joe is accused of dealing
out the joy water in Grisham township.
Dominick Leli is also caught for the same offense, which he is
charged with having committed in Grisham township.
SUNDAY SCHOOL AT PANAMA
M. E. McDonald of this city, district missionary for the American
Sunday School Union reports that the Sunday school recently organized
at Panama, has an average attendance of about 65. The superintendent
is S. B. Compton, and he is assisted by an able corps of six
teachers. Mr. Bailey teaches the Bible class, Mrs. Slagel the young
men's class, and Mrs. Anna Compton the young ladies' class, Mrs. A.
Burchfield is the teacher of one of the Berean classes and Supt.
Compton the other. Mrs. Geneva Dick teaches the primary class.
There is no church in Panama, and the Sunday school meets at the
school house paying therefore $6.00 a month. Steps have been taken to
organize a church at Panama and it is hoped they will be able to
erect a house of worship there soon.
Dec. 2, 1910
Nov. 24, 1910
Editor Montgomery News
This is one Thanksgiving Day above all others, that the miners of
Panama, Illinois, have reasons to be thankful for, that is because
they are not numbered with their six deceased brothers who met their
death by an explosion which occurred on November 11, which we can
assure you that it grieves us very much to have to make mention of
this matter on this sad occasion.
At our regular meeting held on November 21, there was an article
read from your paper of the 18th inst., pertaining to the explosion
at Panama, and the membership did not take very kindly to it and they
appointed a committee to answer the same.
And now Mr. Editor, while we do not know how you became in
possession of the information, it is an evident fact that the party
that gave you this information had very little knowledge of
conditions that existed at Panama mine prior to the explosion and
furthermore, his knowledge is limited on mining.
And again, Mr. Editor, we feel justified in defense of our
deceased brothers, especially Raffel Romania, where you make mention
in your paper on one man's disobedience caused the death of five
others and also caused twenty three more to be badly injured, which
is not correct. We believe if the management of The Montgomery News
had put forth a little effort to ascertain the truth in this matter,
the distance was not so great but they could have visited Panama, and
could have had a more truthful and favorable article to give the
readers of The Montgomery News.
And again, Mr. Editor, we feel as working men, that the evidence
that was given at the coroner's inquest showed plainly that the
protection the law gave Raffel Romania and other miners of Panama was
Charles A. Boyle
Three coal miners of Panama applied for their first naturalization
papers at the circuit clerk's office here last Saturday. They were
Arthur Corbisez who came from France in October, 1908; Battista
Bonetto, who came from Italy in January, 1905; and Louis Dussart who
came from France in December, 1904.
Dec. 9, 1910
Dr. G. Garrison, Dentist of Coffeen, will be in Fillmore every
Thursday, in Panama 1st and 3rd Mondays and in Donnellson 2nd and 4th
Mondays of each month.
Dec. 16, 1910
John Garnero and Miss Francisca Quaglia, two young people of
Panama, were married here on Monday of this week, Dec. 12th, by Judge
Dryer. The ceremony was performed at the office of the judge in the
John Garnero, Panama, age 35
Francisca Quaglia, Panama, age 18
John Link, Panama, age 23
Josephine Sick, Panama, age 25
Earl Risk who has been working in the office of the mine at Panama
moved from that village the first of the week, to Gillespie where he
is employed in the office at mine No. 3 of that city.
Dec. 23, 1910
Maria Quaglia was given a divorce from August Quaglia on the
ground of cruelty. The defendant was also ordered to pay the
complainant $50 alimony in 30 days and she was given a monthly
allowance to be paid by the defendant of $12 a month.
FIGHT AT PANAMA
Last Saturday night Frank Gombosh of Panama struck Louis Juhous
over the head with a hatchet because Louis had such a dinged absurd
name. They were both soused. They sewed Juhous' head up with a
whang and arrested Gombosh and fined him $25. He was brought here to
jail and the man he Carrie Nationed is now trying to raise money
enough to get him out, as he now thinks the attack was justifiable.
It will take sixty bones to get Gombosh out of jail.
Dec. 30, 1910
JANUARY TERM NEW CASES
Maria Romani and Angelo Pauloni, have each filed suit for $10,000
against the Shoal Creek Coal Company. The declarations have not been
filed yet, but the suits are supposed to grow out of the terrible
accident that occurred in this mine some weeks ago in which several
men lost their lives and a number of others were frightfully injured
by an explosion.
Barbara Depauli and Frank Supelko have each sued the same company
for damages placed at $1999.99 each. These suits are supposed to
grow out of the same accident.
MILT CREIGHTON DROWNED
Thursday morning, Dec. 29, the sad news was telephoned over the
county that M. M. Creighton, a prominent attorney of Litchfield, was
drowned at Voiles Ford, while driving to Panama
Mr. Creighton and A. B. Sparkman, a constable of Litchfield, were
driving to Panama to make some collections. At the Voiles Ford,
about two miles from Panama, they found the creek unusually high and
covered with ice. In attempting to cross Mr. Creighton and the team
were swept under the ice and drowned.
Mr. Sparkman succeeded in getting out of the water in a half
drowned condition. As we go to press the body of Mr. Creighton has
not been recovered.
Deceased was about 55 years old and was considered an able lawyer.
He was democratic candidate for county judge of this county in the
Mr. Creighton leaves a wife and two children; Carl, who is in
business at Wallace, Idaho, and Miss Effie who is at home.
Annual Coal Report for Year Ending June 1911
Fire destroys washer.
As a result of a fire of mysterious origin, a $70,000 coal washer
owned by the Shoal Creek Coal Co. was destroyed early on the morning
of April 11, 1911. The washer was a short distance from the hoisting
shaft and it contained 1800 tons of washed coal. This, together with
a carload which was under the chute, was totally consumed. The fire
fighting apparatus at the mine was the means of saving the buildings
around the shaft. About a month ago the storehouse owned by this
company was totally destroyed by fire. The loss on both structures
was fully covered by insurance.
(The following report of the explosion at the mine on Nov. 11,
1910, differs considerably from the report in the newspaper. I
suspect the newspaper account is more accurate. The cover picture was
taken on this day. Ed.)
Explosion at the Shoal Creek Coal Co.'s mine on Nov. 11, 1910.
Six men killed, eleven injured by afterdamp, and the lives of 386
others imperilled, were results of an explosion of gas in the shaft
of the Shoal Creek Coal Co.'s mine at Panama. The dead are:
On the morning of Nov. 11, 1910, a miner, Reggie Romania, who had
been discharged, accompanied by Charles Chornak, went into the mine
to get Romania's tools. They were cautioned not to go into the first
west entry as there was a squeeze and gas had been found near the
face of the entry. However, they went and the explosion followed.
The explosion was not severe at the point of the origin, but the
deadly afterdamp overcame three of the men while they were
endeavoring to rescue their fellow workmen.
On Jul. 31, 1910, Battisti Badonic, timberman, aged 46, married,
was killed by a car of cinders which fell on him from a moving cage.
Deceased was told to step back from the cage as it was being lowered,
but failed to understand the warning. He leaves a widow and one
On Jul. 23,1910, Fred Freezeland, aged 20, single, had his heel
cut off by a pit car, resulting in 120 days lost time.
On Oct. 22, 1910, George Drake, aged 30, married with 2 children,
had his body injured by a machine, resulting in 30 days lost time.
On Oct. 22, 1910, Camilla Paniceo, aged 25, single, had his leg
broken by falling coal, resulting in 270 days lost time.
On Nov. 11, 1910, Angelo Paulon, aged 35, married with 3 children,
had his body injured by a gas explosion.
On Mar. 6, 1911, Steve Havron, aged 22, married, had his leg
broken by a pit car, resulting in 141 days lost time.
On Mar. 14, 1911, Mike Higgins, aged 50, married with 10 children,
had his eye destroyed by steel flying from a pick, resulting in 102
days lost time.
23,499 tons of mine run
167,205 " " lump
189,525 " " other grades
356,342 tons were loaded on rail cars for shipment.
23,837 tons were used for other purposes.
196 days of operation.
20,729 tons were mined by hand.
359,450 tons were machine mined.
Jan. 6, 1911
CREIGHTON'S BODY FOUND SATURDAY
The body of Milton M. Creighton, Attorney of Litchfield, who was
drowned in Shoal Creek, near Panama, last Thursday, Dec. 29, a short
account of which was given in last week's News, was found last
Saturday morning at about 8:30 o'clock, after remaining in the water
The body was found some 25 feet from where the horses and buggy
were found Thursday afternoon. The hole into which the body had been
swept by the rushing water had been dragged from one end to the other
by a crowd of willing workers who remained at the scene of the
tragedy constantly, but they had failed to bring up the body and were
about to give up in despair thinking the body might have swept on
down the creek. The ice covering the hole of water under which
Creighton's body had been taken, was blown up by dynamite, about 100
pounds being used. The fragments of ice were cleaned out of the
water and diligent search with grappling hooks and other appliances
had been made but to no purpose. It was finally decided to send to
St. Louis for professional divers, but before this plan could be
carried into execution, two men from Panama, Hanby and Alexander
struck the body with the grappling hooks and it was brought to the
Word was at once telephoned to his distracted wife and family at
Litchfield, and the body was taken to Panama. From there it was
brought overland to Hillsboro and shipped by interurban to
Litchfield, a party from that place meeting it here and escorting it
The work of rescuing the body was directed by States Attorney H.
C. Stuttle, Harry Saathoff, Sheriff Mike Kiggins, Herman Caspers, W.
H. Swank, Capt. Charles Morris, "Irish" Aherin, David Atterbury and
other friends of the deceased. These men spent two days and nights
at the scene, and on account of the cold and exposure it was
The inquest was held Saturday evening after the body had been
taken to Litchfield and after hearing the evidence the jury brought
in a verdict of accidental drowning.
At the inquest the principal witness was, of course, Constable E.
B. Sparkman, who was with Mr. Creighton at the time he was drown and
therefore the only man who could tell how the accident occured. Mr.
Sparkman's testimony was as follows:
On the 28th day of December, 1910, Mr. Creighton asked me to take
him to Panama. He said he had a law suit there and he wanted to get
there by 8 o'clock. I said I would take him. I said I would be at
his home the following morning at 7 o'clock. That morning about 6:45
I drove to his home. I hollered for him and his wife came to the
door and said he had gone down to the office. I drove down to the
office here and he was waiting for me. He got in the buggy and we
started to Panama. We drove till we come to this ford and we pulled
up and stopped and discussed the ford. Mr. Creighton says "what do
you think of it." I says Milt, I beleive we will get our feet wet.
He says how far is it around. I says the McPherson bridge is two
miles north and I says that will be four miles, 2 north and 2 south.
He says we haven't got but a half hour to make this in and if you
think it is safe we will drive across. I says I think it is safe so
I drove in and I don't know what happened. When the team struck the
ford of the creek I don't know whether I drove in on ice or whether
the team struck the ice. The first I knew we was going downstream.
I stayed in the buggy with him until we went some forty or fifty
feet. I says Milt, I am going out and unrein the team and maybe they
will make it through. I crawled out on the near horse and broke his
rein from the back band of the harness and just as I done that I went
under. I fell between them and went clean to the bottom and when I
came up I was under the team and my head struck the pole of the
buggy. I come up again and on the outside of the same horse that I
had fallen off of and I crawled on her back again. I went from her
back to the other horse and was just unreining him when they went
under again. I slid off to the right and a cake of ice hit me across
the breast and rolled me under. When I came up I came up under a
willow tree and I reached up and caught a twig and as I did that Milt
says "Stay with me Sparkman." I says I will as quick as I get my
clothes off. I scrambled to the bank and got out. Just as I got out
I fell back. Some man run up and says to me, "Don't give up partner"
and he reached me a pole and pulled me out. When I got out I sit
down on the bank and I could see nothing of Milt or the buggy. The
horses had turned around and were facing back toward the ford. I
stood there until they drowned and went to the man's house and
changed my clothes. That is all I know.
Sheriff Kiggins was also examined and gave the following evidence.
"Word came to me about noon on the 29th of December and I started to
the ford. I have been at the ford ever since then excepting at
night. The body was found about 9:30 today, December 31st. I
identified the body as Milton M. Creighton. The body was brought to
The funeral services were held at the Methodist church in
Litchfield, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 2:30 p.m., Dr. T. DeWitte Pleake
officiating. It was largely attended. The members of the Montgomery
county bar attending in a body. The floral offerings were very
handsome, especially the piece sent in by the members of the bar.
Mr. Creighton was a member of the Fraternal order of the Mutual
Protection League, and carried life insurance in that organization.
Jan. 20, 1911
The murder case against Frank Chilovitch is set for next Monday.
This is the man who killed Herbert Kessinger in Panama last summer.
The facts were given in the News at the time the shooting occured.
Kessinger was a constable and went to the house of the defendant to
collect a debt and was beaten and thrown out of the house by the
defendant and his companions. Kessinger went home and got a shot gun
and returned, when he was killed by the defendant. Chilovitch claims
he shot Kessinger in self defence. Ed Knotts and W. E. P. Anderson
of Carlinville are defending him.
The case of Herbert L. Kessinger vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company was
PLEASED WITH PANAMA
George Criswell who recently moved from Hillsboro to his farm of 50
acres north of Panama, was in Hillsboro this week on the jury. He
says he likes his new location very much and he hopes never again to
return to work in a coal mine where he can make more money than he
can farming but he can't save so much. He also says that a man might
just as well spend his life in jail as in a coal mine, as he knows
nothing, sees nothing and his life is in constant danger when at work
DISAGREE ABOUT RING
Guiseppe Santoris and Miss Maria Guzzi, both of Panama, quietly
journeyed to this city this morning with the expressed purpose of
leaving it again this evening as Mr. and Mrs. Santoris. One little
incident however, came near bringing the party to grief, they visited
a store, for the purpose of buying a ring, but they could not agree
on the price. The bride had set her heart on one that cost $12 and
she refused to be satisfied with any cheaper one.
The party retired to a cafe where they proceeded to discuss the
matter pro and con. The result of the conference was that the bride
decided to be satisfied with a $5 ring and they quickly went across
to the court house where the license was procured.
Jan. 27, 1911
The case against Frank Chilovitch, charged with murder, was
continued last Monday. This is the Panama case spoken of in the News
before. Nearly all the people of Panama were here as witnesses, but
the defendant's attorneys felt it would not be safe for their client
to go to trial because of the absence of several important witnesses,
and an affidavit for continuance was made and the continuance was
MRS. JOHN FELKEL
Mrs. John Felkel died at her home in Panama Tuesday night, Jan.
24, 1911, aged 35 years. She leaves her husband and two daughters.
Her maiden name was Lasenby and she leaves three brothers, George
Lasenby of Hillsboro, John of Litchfield and Alvin of Gilkerson, Ark.
NARROW ESCAPE FOR KIGGINS
Sheriff M. T. Kiggins and turnkey Eddie Marshall recently had a
very narrow escape from turning the jail into a foundling asylum.
They had a bench warrant in their possession for the arrest of Mrs.
Scavager, of Panama, whose husband is now in jail charged with being
implicated in the Hubert Kessinger murder case and when she came here
to visit her husband, Sheriff Kiggins placed her under arrest. She
made an earnest plea for her liberty and whispered something in the
sheriff's ear which made him blush like a bride and also caused him
to release his prisoner as soon as he could. This happened about six
weeks ago and this week the lady presented herself to the authorities
to be placed in jail, but she didn't come alone but carried in her
arms her baby which is six weeks old. If this wasn't a narrow escape
for the new sheriff, we will give it up.
Feb. 3, 1911
In the case against John Millick indicted for conspiracy, jointly
with Frank Chilovitch, the man charged with killing Herbert
Kessinger, a motion was made by his attorney W. E. P. Anderson of
Carlinville, to admit the defendant to bail. The motion was granted
and Millick was allowed to enter into recognizance in the sum of
$1,000, with Mike Drogovich, Lawrence German and L. C. Riley as
sureties, and he was then released from custody. Millick was also
admitted to bail in the case against him for assault and battery
growing out of the same difficulty. The bail in this case was $100
and he gave the same securities.
The suit of Ann Manning, widow, etc. vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company
was dismissed at the plaintiff's costs.
The trespass case of Julius Gruenewald vs. Shoal Creek Coal
Company was dismissed for want of prosecution.
A judgement by agreement for $300 was given Robert S. McCoy in his
suit against the Shoal Creek Coal Company.
Mar. 24, 1911
CIRCUIT COURT APRIL TERM
Angelo Pauloni has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Company for $30,000.
This case is for the alledged injuries suffered by plaintiff, Nov.
11, 1910, at the time of the explosion in the defendants mine.
Camillio Pagnier has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Company for $10,000
for injuries he claims to have received Oct. 22, 1910, while in the
employ of the company.
Apr. 7, 1911
Camillo Pagnier vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company, amount of damages
sued for reduced from $10,000 to $1,999. This was done to keep the
case from being transferred to the United States court.
Angelo Pauloni vs. same, defendant asks that the case be removed
to the United States court for the Southern District of Illinois.
MARRIED IN LITCHFIELD
T. W. Kinzer the well known lumber merchant of Sorento and Panama,
was married in Litchfield Wednesday morning April 5, at 9 o'clock to
Miss Martha A. Pullen, Rev. D. K. Miller officiating. The groom is a
prosperous shrewd and capable business man and the bride is one of
Litchfield's most popular young ladies.
The News joins with the many friends in wishing them many years of
Apr. 14, 1911
Marherta Badoni vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company, tried by jury but
before the case was concluded the plaintiff took a non suit.
Pete Guaites vs. same, tried by jury, verdict for plaintiff for
William Spandoni vs. same, non suit taken.
John Seibert vs. same, cause heard by a jury, defendant asks court
to instruct the jury to find a verdict for the defendant on the
grounds that the proof showed the plaintiff to have been guilty of
such contributory negligence as would preclude his right to recover.
The court allowed the motion and the case went out.
Apr. 21, 1911
PASSED THE EXAMINATION
Kennedy R. Hart and R. W. Sauerbier, of Hillsboro, and Thomas A.
Lewis of Panama, passed the examination at Springfield last week for
mine managers, and Joe Busaytis and Frank Hulm as mine examiners.
Oscar R. Gurick of Litchfield passed the examination for hoisting
Guy Sloat of Panama and Miss Jessie B. Fish of Audubon township
were united in marriage on Saturday of last week the ceremony being
performed by Esq. J. Q. Bost at Fillmore.
May 5, 1911
As we went to press last week the murder case against Frank
Chilovitch and Henry Gorsich was being tried. The case went to the
jury Thursday evening and after considering their verdict all night,
they brought in a verdict Friday finding Chilovitch guilty and fixing
his term of punishment at 18 years in the penitentiary. Gorsich was
aquitted as was predicted in our write up last week. The verdict
against Chilovitch is considered a very severe one by some while
others think he received his just deserts. A motion for a new trial
was made and it will be argued May 31.
Jun. 2, 1911
Judge Rose came over from Clay county Thursday morning to finish up
the work of the April term of the circuit court. One of the most
important questions that came before the judge Thursday was the
motion for a new trial in the case of the people vs. Frank
Chilovitch, charged with the murder of Herbert Kessinger at Panama,
Oct. 4, 1910. Our readers will remember that on April 28th
Chilovitch was convicted by a jury of murder and his punishment fixed
at 18 years in the penitentiary. A motion for a new trial was made
at the time and the hearing of the motion was set for May 31, last
Wednesday. Attorneys Knotts and Anderson of Carlinville were here
representing the defendant. The court, after a general review of the
evidence refused to grant a new trial and sentence was pronounced
upon the defendant. The case will be taken up on appeal.
CASES DECIDED IN APPELLATE COURT
The case of John Kirchner against the Shoal Creek Coal Company at
Panama was also affirmed. This case was tried at the April term,
1910, of the circuit court and resulted in a verdict for $700 for
Kirchner. The coal company appealed with the result as above stated.
Jun. 23, 1911
TAKEN TO CHESTER
Frank Chilovitch the Austrian coal miner who shot and killed
Herbert Kessinger at Panama, on Oct. 5, 1910, was taken to Chester
penitentiary on Saturday of last week by Sheriff M. T. Kiggins, where
he will serve 18 years on a charge of murder.
By good behaviour Chilovitch can reduce his term to twelve years
but those who have watched him during the time he has been in jail,
predict that he will not live many years, unless he changes very
materially after he lands in the penitentiary. He is very quiet and
"broody" and sits aloof from his fellow prisoners, with an expression
of hopeless indifference to all that goes on around him. He does
what he is told to do, answers all questions asked him but a smile
never crosses his face and he appears to be on the verge of breaking
into tears at every minute. This expression can be seen in the
picture of Chilovitch shown above, which was taken on the day he was
received in the penitentiary.
Chilovitch has a wife and two children at Mt. Olive. The oldest
baby is aged 2 years and the youngest but 11 months. They will
make their home for the present with a brother of Chilovitch who
lives at Mt. Olive, Ill.
Jun. 30, 1911
A WOMAN WRITES
In last week's News the junior editor gave us an interesting
article regarding the taking of the murderer Chilovitch to the prison
at Chester where he gives us much food for thought.
Firstly: That an official of the prison says "I believe in every
community where foreigners congregate there should be some "means" of
making them understand that we have laws that must be obeyed just the
same as in the old country and this might keep some of them out of
Mr. Editor, if these people must be shown how to obey laws, who
can "show" them better than our officers who are sworn to enforce the
law? What manner of "means" could be superior to those used by the
man who wears the star? And yet the day Chilovitch was landed in
Chester for killing one of these officers for trying to enforce the
law, ten others of his kind passed in with him for the same offence.
Let us review some of the legal history of our county, several
months prior to the murder of Herbert Kessinger at Panama Oct. 4,
On a certain day the coal miners of Panama gave a picnic. Just
some simple anniversary in the annals of coal mining.
A large red, white and blue flag of our nation was unfurled to the
breeze in honor of the day. Imagine the indignation of the Americans
a short time later to see waving above the stars and stripes an
anarchist flag of brightest crimson.
Herbert Kessinger, deputy sheriff sworn to venerate the stars and
stripes above all others ordered the red flag down but it's followers
refused to be "shown" by ordinary "means."
The authorities at Hillsboro were notified and the writer has been
told that Stuttle, Bray and Kiggins hurried down to Panama in an
When they arrived the red flag had been torn down by Clay Compton
an American but the officers arrested several foreigners and fined
Mr. Editor, can you contrive any more effective "means" of
instilling law and order into these people than those used at that
And yet it engendered a race hatred that culminated in the cold
blooded murder of Herbert Kessinger, an officer, while doing that
which he had sworn to do and perhaps the large version of those ten
others who had killed a deputy sheriff might read alike.
How long will it be until an intelligent American citizen will
refuse an office that will bring him in contact with these people.
Secondly: He says "whenever a wedding or a funeral or a
christening is held in foreign settlements intoxicants are provided,
etc. Yes and then some.
The writer was born within a few steps of Taylor Springs. The
land about there was then owned by such men as George Richards, Barry
Neil, James Hamilton, Granpa Gaither and others who were never known
to enter a saloon. Last Monday morning while riding through this
growing village we counted 53 "dead" beer kegs and probably missed a
few as the horse went through in a trot.
I have been told that a team and driver have to work overtime at
Panama to keep the booze hauled from the depot to private residences.
What "means" for law and order can be "shown" these people to
counteract the evil effects of all this trouble breeder.
We teach our children in the public schools the horrors of
alcoholism. A Saturday evening ride by the Richard school house
(Amherst) showed us five beer kegs scattered about the grounds while
a vicious looking foreign face leered at us from behind the building.
Consistency! Thou art a jewel!
Victor Murdock to whom every westerner points with pride says in
substance "The Mississippi Valley citizen holds the balance of
political power and can be trusted to use that power entirely for the
The progenitors of these same citizens were foreigners but thank
God for the good of the country the majority were good old Scotch,
the jolly good natured Irish, the industrious thrifty German, The
quiet "mind my own business and obey the law" English, who built up
the country, spending their money here and swearing allegiance to our
flag. Who would think of comparing Irish John Alden or English Miles
Standish with the so called "bohunk" of today, all foreigners.
The noblest death, is in defense of the Stars and Stripes and
though a man may worship God according to the dictates of his own
conscience he must be "shown" by some "means" that while living in the
United States he must swear allegiance to our flag, our country, and
that our officers are identical with that flag, that country.
Daughter of a Soldier and Mother of a Sailor.
Jul. 14, 1911
A baseball team consisting of Taylor Springs miners went to Panama
last Sunday where they contested for honors against a team of miners
of that city, and were defeated by a score of 10 to 6.
Jul. 21, 1911
CIRCUIT COURT NEW CASES
Joseph M. Baker, the public administrator, and administrator ex
officio of the estate of Battista Badoni, deceased, has sued the
Shoal Creek Coal Company for $1,999.99. The declaration charges that
on July 10, 1910, the mine manager of the defendant's mine carelessly
and negligently signalled the hoisting engineer at said mine to stop
a descending cage suddenly, which caused a loaded box of cinders
which was being taken down into the mine to fall from the cage to the
shaft bottom, which box of cinders struck the said Battista Badoni,
who was at the bottom and killed him.
Paul Badoni, a minor who sues by Thomas Donardi, his next friend,
brings suit against the Shoal Creek Coal Company for the same amount.
The plaintiff is only 12 years of age and is a son of Battista
Badoni, who was killed July 31, 1910, in the Panama mine. The
plaintiff in this case seeks to recover because the company, as he
alleges employed a mine manager who did not have a certificate of
competency as required by statute. Thomas R. Mould is the attorney
for the plaintiff in both cases.
Jul. 28, 1911
NEW WASHER GOING UP
The contract for the new coal washer at the Panama mine has been
let and the work of excavation has already commenced. This washer is
to be larger than the old one which was destroyed by fire last April.
It will have double the capacity of the old one. It will be erected
at a cost of about $50,000. It is being erected on the same site as
the old one.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY'S OPEN SORE
To all those who are interested in good citizenship this article
is addressed; therefore, I believe a large majority of the people of
Montgomery county will be in sympathy with the sentiments embodied
The world is growing better. America is leading, Illinois is not
behind her sister states. The unearthing of "jack pots" is not so
much indicative of wide spread political corruption as an awakened
public conscience. Honor still stands. Justice still prevails.
Right is conquering. But the time for the victor's songs has not yet
There is indeed a hopeful upward trend; and the people of
Montgomery county, the descendents of the best blood of the colonies
are not sleeping nor fearful and timid but they will not tolerate
longer some of the conditions which exist in our county.
The people of the township in which Panama is situated have
declared themselves for no license in the last two elections and yet
there are at least fifteen places in which liquor is openly sold.
Whole carloads are shipped from New Douglas and sold at retail.
There is no attempt to hide their illegal selling. The vampires who
deal in this stuff are growing fat on fresh red blood. These law
breakers are the breeders of anarchy, ignorance, poverty,
licentiousness and brutality.
No one who is acquainted with the history of this part of the
county doubts the prevalence of anarchy. The red flag has been
raised here. There is a large number of men who defy the state to
make any laws they cannot break.
The ignorance in this community is confounding a town of this
size should have a good high school but it has been impossible to
organize such here. We have had good teachers but they have been
able to inspire very few boys and girls with a love for an education.
A thirst for knowledge is an almost unheard of thing.
The poverty of the community is shown by the habit of buying on
credit and this in spite of the fact that the mine runs as steady
or more steady than any mine in the state.
The licentiousness of the community is almost unbelievable. A
great number of our girls have thrown away their virtue. The fine
lines which distinguish between man and woman being obliterated.
Infidelity between husband and wife is laughed at. Men entice young
girls into their dens of infamy and in many cases the knowledge of
right and wrong is so vague that very little enticing is necessary.
It is absolutely an unfit place to rear children, for no child can go
onto the streets without coming under the influence of criminals.
This is truly the open sore of Montgomery county. We do not know
what is done in secret but there is enough done openly to convict at
least a score of men and some women. We can do nothing ourselves for
sentiment and municipal authorities are against us. We appeal for
aid to the law abiding citizens of the county.
What can the school do to educate the citizen of tomorrow when
there are fifteen crime factories in the town running in violation of
the law to one school? What can the church do to quicken the
conscience of the people when there are only about twenty five
righteous men and women to cope with seven or eight hundred who are
either the authors of these vices or those who wink at it? What can
a law loving father do, when his life and that of his family are
endangered if he lifts his voice against this atrocity.
Let us good country folks quit talking about the vices of the city
until we have cleaned up the country districts. Let us quit
grumbling about corruption in high places until we have proved our
own integrity. Let us quit damning the poor foreigner as long as we
teach him his trade.
How long will the fair name of Montgomery county be dishonored
with this record? How long will we allow the healthy body politic to
be exposed to this noxious sore? How long will our county officers,
when they know it, permit this law breaking, crime producing business?
You and you alone, can answer these questions. Let us enforce our
laws or quit making them. Such a thing is a travesty on justice, a
mockery of right, and the quintessenve of perfidity.
We appeal for your aid in the name of the citizens of Montgomery
county, in the name of the church and home and school in behalf of
the rising generation, for the perpetuity of virtue, honor, culture
and intelligence, for the sake of health, happiness and prosperity.
We appeal to you in order to "secure the blessings of liberty to
ourselves and our posterity" and we expect a hearty responce from
both private citizens and public servants. We are not appealing to
the conscience of an epoch that has none. Will you join with us in
this crusade for better things?
CLARK R. YOST
REPLY FROM NEWS EDITOR
A communication from C. R. Yost published elsewhere in this paper,
in reference to the moral conditions existing in Panama, the mining
village located in Grisham township, on the south border of this
county, should at least attract attention. We are inclined to think
that conditions are not as bad as Mr. Yost pictures them. He may be
laboring under the influence of an excited and overwrought
imagination, and we are loth to believe that Panama is the home of
anarchy, poverty, ignorance and licentiousness, as he states. A
youthful crusader whose efforts to reform the world in a few days and
is unsuccessful is apt to imagine that things are worse than they
really are. Yet Mr. Yost makes some grave charges and seems to know
what he is talking about. The county officers who are charged with
the duty of seeing that our laws are not too flagrantly violated,
should lose no time in causing Mr. Yost to lay before them the
evidence he has so they may take action. If we have a young Sodom
and Gomorrah in Montgomery county the sooner the proper authorities
are placed in the possesion of evidence that will secure convictions
Aug. 4, 1911
THE PANAMA CASES
Our readers will remember that last week's issue of the News
contained an article written by Rev. C. R. Yost, a "callow" young
Methodist crusader who is engaged in dispensing the gospel at Panama,
the young mining town situated in Grisham township, the business half
of which is in this county, the other portion lapping over into the
puritanical county of Bond. Rev. Yost it will be remembered wrote up
the town from a moral standpoint and asserted that it was a regular
modern Sodom, and that wickedness and vice stalked rampant through
the streets and canyons and cul de sacs and draws and gullies of that
village. He told a story that caused the virtuous people of this and
Bond counties to raise their hands in holy horror. The story also
aroused the wrath of some of the people of Panama, and caused them to
shower all kinds of imprecations on the devoted head of the "callow"
young informer. One of the members of the village board flew to the
defence of Panama and its citizens and literally flayed Rev. C. R.
Yost and hung his bleeding pelt on one of the post oaks that adorn
the village square. His excoriation of the meddlesome informer will
be found on page 3 in this issue.
But the county officials, whose duty it is to see that the laws
are enforced, after brother Yost's indictment of Panama had been
published in nearly every paper in Montgomery and Bond counties,
concluded they would investigate and see if there was any fire where
Yost had raised so much smoke.
The result of the investigation was surprising. State's Attorney
Stuttle filed informations against eleven of the peaceful and
law abiding citizens of Panama, charging them with dispensing booze
in anti saloon territory contrary to the form of the statute in such
case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of "the
same" people of the state of Illinois.
The names of the defendants are decidedly spaghettian, if we may
be permitted to coin a word, and their ancestors probably consorted
with the Caesars and disported along the banks of the yellow Tiber or
gamboled over the seven hills of the Eternal City.
The first information was against Tony Macalone, and it contains
32 counts charging him with the illegal sale of intoxicating liquor.
The names endorsed on the back of the information as witnesses are
William Spandoni, Hurley Miller, William Pinkerton, J. H. L.
Meyerson, J. Davidson, William Pinkley, Louis Pinkley, Earl Otter,
Max Van Brun, John Revelli, Tony Boxilatti, Anthony Baloon and
The next victim was Jim Pananka, who was hit with 16 counts.
Then came William Spandoni with 8 counts charged up against him.
Jack Williams who has a good American name and should have known
better, was next on the list, but Jack only has four counts against
Frank Kirzlak, however, whose name sounds like a bunch of fish
hooks, was charged with 16 counts and John Kovic had to face 24
The next lucky (?) man was Lorezo Bedola, with 14 counts staring
him in the face, and then came Barney Ghetto with an even two dozen
counts. Barney's first name indicates that he might have had
Milesian ancestors but his last name is macaronic enough to spoil all
the Irish blood that may be coursing through his veins.
Louis Casper has 16 counts to answer for with practically the same
witnesses on the back of the information that the Macalone
On Monday informations were filed against Marie Macalone and Mary
Casper, the wives of Tony Macalone and Louis Casper. There are 10
counts against Mary, and the witnesses against them are William
Spandoni, Mrs. James Formes, Max Van Brun, Earl Otter, Louis Pinkley,
John Revelli, Oliver Cole, Dell Cunningham, Mr. Lewis and Mr.
Last Friday Sheriff Kiggins and Deputy Sheriffs Charles Johnson
and Jim Ward, together with "Sebe" Emery, our Hillsboro night
watchman, made a descent on Panama and gathered in a few of the
alleged violators of the liquor law. Jack Williams was brought into
court and fined $100 and costs.
Frank Kirzlak didn't get off so easy. He was fined $600 by Judge
Dryer and a stay of execution as to $300 of it was ordered during his
good behaviour. Being unable to come across with $300 and costs he
was sent to jail.
The same fine with the same order as to good behaviour was
assessed against Joe Kovic.
Tony Macalone was fined $800 and ordered committed to jail until
$400 of the fine was paid. On Tuesday Tony dug up $657 fine and
costs and was released but a United States Marshall from Springfield
was awaiting Tony at the door and took him on a charge of selling
liquor without a government license. We are afraid Tony is in bad,
but we are informed that he recently sent $2000 back to sunny Italy
so he evidently has a reserve fund to draw from provided he can get
Jim Pananka was then placed on the carpet and fined $600 and costs
to be relieved from paying $300 of the fine during good behaviour.
Jim finally dug up $350 and was released from custody but was also
taken in by a United States Marshall and railroaded to Springfield.
The other defendants have not been arrested yet, but they will be,
sooner or later, and they might as well come into the reservation,
fumigate their booze joints and obey the law of their adopted
country. They will find it is hard sledding when they try to sell
liquor in dry territory in Montgomery county.
The sheriff and states attorney are to be commended for their
action in breaking up this nest of booze joints for we are satisfied
the Kirzlaks, the Kovics, the Macalones and the Ghettos will "never
again" sell liquor without license. The officers have been "on to"
the offenders for several months and were only waiting to get a dead
sure case. Brother Yost simply sprung the trap Sheriff Kiggins and
States Attorney Stuttle had set.
DOUBLE HEADER AT PANAMA
The baseball team of Panama played two games at home last Sunday
afternoon. In the first they defeated a team from Pocahontas by a
score of 15 to 6. In the next the Panama team was defeated by a team
from Coffeen by a score of 9 to 5.
IN DEFENSE OF PANAMA
July 28, 1911
Much attention and prominence is given to an article from the pen
of Rev. Clark R. Yost, who seemingly is a citizen of this village.
No attention would be paid to such a slanderous, libelous attack upon
the fair name of the citizens of this village were not the impression
liable to prevail among the people of the county that this man was a
resident and citizen of Panama, which I make all haste to deny.
Never before has the equanimity of the people of this place been
stirred to the depths, as it has by this treacherous attack upon the
morality and citizenship of our people. The spectacle of this callow
divinity student artfully seeking to bask in the spotlight of
notoriety, by stopping to defame and villify all those who do not
contribute to his salary, is one to cause every moral man and woman
to stop in amazement, and wonder that such things should come from a
man of the cloth. Strange indeed that Rev. Yost who is in Panama
only a few hours each Sunday, should know all these things and
stranger still, that he has never given the information he seems to
know to the proper authorities. Strange it is that neither he nor
the gallant twenty five whom he says are righteous have never
complained to municipal authorities of these things, or offered to
co operate with those same authorities to correct any evil that may
exist. Faith without works or righteousness without deeds is like
unto the tinkling of cymbals and the sounding of brass, in that it is
but a hollow mockery. He who cryeth aloud to his neighbors, that a
serpent is in his bosom and lifteth not his own hand to smite the
serpent is indeed a Craven. He who shouts "The wolf! The wolf!"
where none exists is a deceiver and a poltroon. The words of this
man are more like the diabolical frenzied mutterings of Satan, rather
than the gentle words of a disciple of Christ. He dares to insult
the manhood, the womanhood, the childhood even, of this wayside
village. Where citizens are just as law abiding, intelligent,
honest, moral, ambitious and peace loving as any other community.
Who is the Rev. Yost that he dare to even judge as to the
righteousness of our people? Is it not one of the mandates of Holy
Writ to "Judge not lest ye be judged." From what source does he
acquire the divine right?
To answer him in detail would be absurd and a mere waste of time,
suffice to say that his statements are deliberate and malicious
untruths and are not inspired by the purest of motives. He is a
victim of a fervid imagination. After all he is entitled to a great
deal of sympathy. No attention will be paid to any further outburst
of billingsgate which he seeks to heap upon the heads of our outraged
but patient Community.
THOMAS A. LEWIS,
Member of Board of Trustees.
The county board of Bond county has made Panama one of the voting
places in Shoal Creek township. That township has three voting
precincts and heretofore the voters in No. 1 have voted in Reno, and
those in Nos. 2 and 3 at Sorento. Under the new arrangement the
voting places will be Reno, Sorento and Panama.
NEW GENERAL STORE
S. B. Compton has rented the Clint Dort store room on Main Street
recently vacated by L. J. Ware and is now moving his general store
here from Panama, where he has been located for several years.
FIGHT AT PANAMA
A warrant was issued on Thursday of this week for Hardy Lewis, a
young coal miner of Panama, who is charged with assault with a deadly
weapon. The complaining witness is Louis Dussart, a Frenchman
employed in the coal mine at Panama and who charges that Lewis
assaulted him two weeks ago with an iron wedge, striking him on the
left side of the head, inflicting a severe wound and rendering him
Mr. Dussart is represented by A. N. Poli, of Springfield, Ill.,
who is a professional interpreter, speaking several languages and who
makes a business of protecting the foreign element employed in
Central Illinois. While he is not a lawyer, he is well posted
concerning legal work and the foreigners have implicit faith in his
Aug. 11, 1911
BURGLARS RAID MONTGOMERY COUNTY
Burglars entered three homes in Hillsboro on Saturday night of
last week and on Sunday morning the store of Charles Serenco of
Panama was robbed and on Monday night they robbed the Greek boarding
shack at Hillsboro and on the same night entered the store of
Bartling & Hussy in Litchfield.
The biggest haul made was at Panama where they took 75 pairs of
men's pants, 10 pairs of shoes, a 32 caliber revolver and several
watches. A reward of $50 has been offered for the arrest and
detection of the guilty parties and owing to the amount of goods
taken it is hoped the burglars will be apprehended. At Hillsboro
they took nothing that will help to implicate them and it is feared
they could not be convicted were it possible to arrest them.
MORE BOOZE SELLERS
John Cox, John Chiolero and Joe Monti, three brewery agents at New
Douglas were arrested by Sheriff Kiggins last Friday and brought to
Hillsboro on a charge of selling booze in local option territory.
They have been in the habit of driving from New Douglas to Panama
where they solicited booze orders and delivered the goods the
following day, or very often the same day. All three maintained
their innocence although they were "caught with the goods" but after
spending the night here in jail they wilted and went before Judge
Dryer on Saturday morning and took their medicine. Judge Dryer fined
each of them $100 and costs, amounting to about $165 which they each
paid and departed for their homes. It is hardly believed they will
repeat the offense inasmuch as they know that Judge Dryer will give
them the limit of the law if they come before him again.
On Tuesday of this week Joe Kovic of Panama entered a plea of
guilty to a charge of selling booze at his home in Panama and was
released from jail after paying his fine and costs amounting to over
$275. Kovic is an ignorant foreigner and had been selling booze only
two weeks when arrested. His share of the profits in the game are
therefore very small, and it is believed he will think awhile before
he repeats the performance.
The great trouble with this element is that they turn their homes
into saloons and apparently do not care if there is a half dozen or
more drunken patrons lying around their homes. The ordinary American
would not permit such a condition but unfortunately the foreigners
seem to care but little for their home life and think only of how to
get hold of some easy money. The result is they fall an easy victim
to the brewery and distillery agents who urge them to sell booze and
make big money.
At the present time almost $4000 has been paid into the county
treasury within the past three weeks for booze fines alone and the
end is not yet in sight. Nearly all of this money was paid by
residents of Panama and vicinity and all of the revenue thus derived
goes into our county school fund.
Aug. 25, 1911
Louis Casper of Panama, against whom an information was filed July
28, charging him with selling liquor in anti saloon territory, plead
guilty Tuesday of this week on four counts in the information and was
fined $200 and costs.
Sept. 8, 1911
CIRCUIT COURT NEW CASES
Frank Supelko of Panama has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Company in
an action of "case" for $1999.99. The declaration alleges that the
plaintiff was injured while working in the defendants coal mine
October 14, 1910. That he was a machine man and that the machine
boss required him to get on the trucks of the machine he was working
and steady an armature while it was being moved in the mine, and that
the machine was allowed, through the negligence of the machine boss,
to run rapidly down a steep decline and that the armature fell on
plaintiff's foot injuring it permanently, and that several of his
toes had to be amputated.
Sept. 15, 1911
John Folwasky, Panama, age 23
Lucy Ditrech, Panama, age 18
WILL PREACH AT PANAMA
Rev. George S. Monroe will preach in Panama next Sunday September
17th, at 11 a.m. Everybody invited.
Sept. 29, 1911
CANDIDATE FOR SECRETARY TREASURER
John L. Lewis of Panama is a candidate for Secretary Treasurer of
District 12 of the United Mine Workers of America and will receive
the support of many of the local unions of this part of the state.
Mr. Lewis is a very capable man. He has been secretary of the
legislative committee for the past two years and has been able to be
of considerable service to the miners unoins during that time. He
has resided at Panama for about three years and is recognized as a
staunch friend of the organization as well as a good citizen.
Duncan McDonald the present Secretary treasurer is a candidate for
re election and is supported by the radical socialistic element of
the miner's unions, while Mr. Lewis is the candidate of the
conservative element. Lewis is 32 years of age, married and has two
children. He is a level headed, capable gentleman and would make an
ideal Secretary treasurer of what is one of the strongest union
organizations in the country.
J. W. Babb, president of the board of trustees of Panama, was a
Hillsboro visitor last Friday. Mr. Babb was here as a representative
of the Panama village board to see about building a town hall at
Oct. 6, 1911
CIRCUIT COURT NEW CASES
Louis Yuhass has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Company for $1999.99
for damages the plaintiff claims to have sustained in the defendant's
mine on March 6, 1911. The plaintiff alleges that he was cleaning
out the sump and the engineer lowered a cage on him without warning.
The cage, he alleges, struck him on the head causing him to lose the
hearing in one of his ears and otherwise permanently injuring him.
Oct. 13, 1911
CIRCUIT COURT NEW CASES
Henry Poos, admr. of the estate of Jacob Herman, deceased, has
sued the Shoal Creek Coal Company for $10,000. No declaration is
The case of Angelo Pauloni against the Shoal Creek Coal Company
which was sent to the United States Court for trial, has been
remanded and is now on the docket for trial at the November term of
the circuit court. The plaintiff sues for $25,000, for damages he
claims to have suffered by reason of the explosion of gas in the
defendant's mine November 11, 1910.
Oct. 20, 1911
CIRCUIT COURT NEW CASES
John Tourene has sued the Shoal Creek Mining Company for $3000.
The plaintiff was a mule driver Aug. 24, 1911, in the defendant's
mine and was required so he alleges, to go into the 9th stub entry
off of the third west entry of said mine which was a dangerous place
by reason of the accumulations of gas in the same; that the gas
became ignited and exploded, permanently injuring and disfiguring the
The case of the Village of Panama vs. O. S. Peterson has been
appealed. The defendant is a teamster and refused to take out a
license for a two horse wagon used by him in delivering goods. He
was prosecuted for a violation of sections 2 and 9 of ordinance 15 of
Panama, and was fined $25. He has taken an appeal in order to test
the validity of the ordinance.
Nov. 10, 1911
NEW CASES JANUARY TERM
Jacob Herman Jr. and others have sued the Shoal Creek Coal Company
for $10,000. No declaration is filed yet.
The court got into the trial of a personal injury case Monday
evening. It was the case of John Seibert vs. Shoal Creek Coal
Company for injuries alleged to have been received in the company's
mine. The case was vigorously tried by Hill & Bullington and Lane
for the plaintiff and W. B. McBride for the defendant. The jury
returned a verdict for $1500 for Seibert. The suit was for $2000.
The case of Gustavo Pannesscci against the same defendant was
tried Tuesday and part of Wednesday. The plaintiff is not of age and
was a driver in the Panama mine. He was injured and sued for $5000.
The case was brought by Thomas R. Mould of Belleville, who makes a
specialty of this sort of cases, and understands all the details of a
coal mine. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff for $200.
THE MINERS ELECTION
Livelier contests than have marked the occasion in several years
promise to feature in the Illinois Mine Worker's Union whose
membership will cast their ballot December 18.
While nearly all present official staff will make the race for
re election, they will face more formidable opposition than for a
number of years.
Duncan McDonald, present Secretary Treasurer is to have opposition
in his race for re election, although he thinks that he will have an
easy victory. His opponent is John L. Lewis of Panama, member of the
state legislative committee.
Nov. 17, 1911
Hardy Lewis was indicted for an assault with a deadly weapon.
Bond $200. He is accused of assaulting Louis Dussart with an iron
wedge on August 15, 1911.
The case of John Tourene vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company, was
dismissed. This was a suit for $3000.
Nov. 24, 1911
Thursday morning the case of Angelo Pauloni vs. Shoal Creek Coal
Company, was begun. This is a suit for $10,000, and the plaintiff is
one of the men injured in the explosion in the Panama mine in
November, 1910. He was mutilated in a peculiar manner, his injuries
being of such a nature as to partially destroy his efficiency as a
KILLED AT PANAMA
William Lebeter, a driver in the Panama coal mine, was killed
between nine and ten o'clock Monday night while at work in the mine.
No one saw the accident, but it is supposed that Lebeter was thrown
off his car or was kicked off by a mule, as the car was making a
sharp turn which occurs in the track where the unfortunate young man
was killed. When found, his body was crushed between the car and the
wall. It is claimed that there is only six inches space between the
car and the "rib" where this sharp curve is.
Coroner Gray held an inquest on Tuesday afternoon with the
following jury: W. W. Mitchell, E. A. Murray, F. A. Lyons, Robert
Edmiston, Lester Hutton and Max Von Brun.
The testimony of Louis Miller, John Jones and Guy Sloat was heard.
John Jones testified in relation to the curve in the track and the
cause of the accident as follows:
"To the best of my opinion, Lebeter was swinging the cars in there
and the mule either kicked him off or crowded him off. I couldn't
say which. The cars pass within about six inches from the rib at
this point. This is on a curve. They usually come around this curve
pretty fast. It is down grade, so they can swing the empties in
there. He was pulling the empties back into the run around where
they kept them. He had to put them in there to pass with loads. I
don't know how many cars he had. Deceased had been driving here
about two months, this last time he started on night shifts. The
turn is too short for cars to go around as the cars bumped at this
The deceased was 22 years old, is married and has one child. He
was buried at Sorento.
The jury found a verdict in accordance with the facts.
A NEW RECORD
The Montgomery County Coal Company at Taylor Springs made a new
hoisting record for themselves last Friday when 2530 tons of coal was
hoisted in a little over seven hours. They expect to soon surpass
the Montgomery county record, which is held by the Shoal Creek Coal
Company at Panama and is something over 3000 tons.
Dec. 1, 1911
The case of Angelo Pauloni vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company, on trial
as we went to press last week, resulted in a verdict for $7000. This
is one of the largest verdicts in a personal injury case ever
rendered by a jury in this county. The evidence showed, however,
that the plaintiff was frightfully injured and that his injuries are
Annual Coal Report for Year Ending June 1912
The Shoal Creek Coal Co. has built a new coal washer at the mine
at Panama to replace the one destroyed by fire on April 11, 1911.
On Nov. 20, 1911, William Leitbetter, driver, aged 22, married,
was killed by a pit car. He leaves a widow and 1 child.
On Apr. 25, 1912, Porter Caulk, driver, aged 22, single, was
killed by a gas explosion. He leaves a widow.
On Jul. 31, 1911, Mike Zacco, aged 27, single, had his head
injured by a mule, resulting in 165 days lost time.
On Jan. 4, 1912, Edward Keenan, aged 26, single, had his ankle
broken by a pit car, resulting in 90 days lost time.
On Jan. 16, 1912, Joe J. Novak, aged 35, married with 6 children,
had his leg broken by falling coal, resulting in 240 days lost time.
On Feb. 14, 1912, John Mitchell, aged 22, single, had his shoulder
broken by a pit car, resulting in 200 days lost time.
On Feb. 19, 1912, Henry Nagli, aged 35, single, had his leg
injured by falling slate, resulting in 90 days lost time.
On Mar. 8, 1912, Joe Fegak, aged 30, single, had his pelvis bone
broken by falling clod.
On Mar. 15, 1912, Dominic Rossetti, aged 30, single, had his ribs
broken by falling coal, resulting in 60 days lost time.
On Mar. 19, 1912, Tony Santovica, aged 40, married, had his foot
injured by falling coal, resulting in 60 days lost time.
On Mar. 29, 1912, Thomas Lewis, aged 30, single, had his pelvis
bone broken by the cage, resulting in 150 days lost time.
On May 17, 1912, William Evans, aged 38, married with 3 children,
had his leg broken by falling coal, resulting in 90 days lost time.
On June 1, 1912, Fred Freezeland, aged 21, married with 2
children, had his jaw broken by a pit car, resulting in 75 days lost
On Jun. 17, 1912, Herb Faudi, aged 17, single, had his face and
arms burned by a gas explosion, resulting in 30 days lost time.
On Jun. 25, 1912, Joe Pok, aged 22, single, had his hand injured
by a falling prop, resulting in 30 days lost time.
2541 tons of mine run
198,840 " " lump
205,644 " " other grades
388,612 tons were loaded on rail car for shipment.
18,413 tons were used for other purposes.
7231 kegs of blasting powder were used.
222 days of operation.
407,025 tons were machine mined.
22 mules in the mine.
Jan. 5, 1912
CIRCUIT COURT NEW CASES
Jesse Havron has sued the Shoal Creek Coal Company for $3000 for
damages he alleges he received Nov. 6, 1911, by reason of an explosion
of gas which he claims was caused by the negligence of the defendant.
The plaintiff avers that at the time of the explosion he was acting as
assistant mine examiner, and that he was burned severely.
Edward A. Rice, administrator of the estate of William A. Lebeter,
deceased, has sued the same company for $10,000. The plaintiff
alleges that Lebeter's death in the defendants mine last fall was
caused by the negligence of the company.
Jan. 12, 1912
John Toureene vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company for injuries alleged to
have been received in defendant's mine, damages sued for $1999.
Plaintiff was a mule driver and claims to have been injured August 24,
1911, by an explosion of gas.
A new trial was allowed in the case of Gustavo Paneescci against
the Shoal Creek Coal Company. In this case the plaintiff was given a
verdict for $200 Nov. 8, for alleged damages he had suffered in
Jan. 19, 1912
The case of Henry Poos, Admr. vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company , was
tried by a jury and a verdict for $1500 was returned for plaintiff.
This was a suit which resulted from the death of Jacob Herman Sr., who
was killed in the defendant's mine by the explosion Nov. 11, 1910.
The case of Jacob Herman Jr. vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company was
tried by a jury and a verdict for $500 was rendered for plaintiff. The
case grew out of the killing of Jacob Herman Sr., the father of the
plaintiff, in the explosion in the defendant's mine Nov. 11, 1910.
The verdict and the one in the case of Henry Poos, administrator,
against the same defendant, mentioned above, were verdicts agreed upon
by both parties by way of compromise.
The damage suit for $10,000 of Edward A. Rice admr. of estate of
William Lebeter deceased, against the Shoal Creek Coal Company, was
removed to the United States Court.
Jan. 26, 1912
Thursday the case of Jesse Havron against the Shoal Creek Coal
Company was tried. Havron sues for $3000 for injuries he claims to
have received November 6, 1911, by an explosion of gas in the
defendant's mine. The case is not concluded as we go to press.
Feb. 2, 1912
Jesse Havron vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company continued.
In the case of John Toureen vs. the Shoal Creek Coal Company,
judgment was rendered by an agreement for the plaintiff for $225.
Mar. 1, 1912
Louie Malatti, Panama, age 26
Mary Poggione, Panama, age 18
April 12, 1912
Earl Leak, Panama, age 22
Lucinda Sloat, Panama, age 17
Apr. 19, 1912
In the case of Camillio Pagnier vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company, a
suit for injuries received in defendant's mine, a verdict for the
defendant was given.
THE CITY AND VILLAGE ELECTIONS
Panama Trustees, Louis Henderson, Charles Serenco, A. N.
Burchfield and Jud Dolan; Clerk Ed Murray
BOND COUNTY NOTES
Several Sorento witnesses were called to Chicago on the trial of
Mrs. J. Wilbur vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company, for damages for the
death of her husband who was killed in an explosion about two years
ago. She received a judgment for $2000.
Apr. 26, 1912
A motion for a new trial was made in the case of Camillio Pagnier
vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company in which a verdict for defendant was
rendered April 11th.
The case of Frank Supelko vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company was
dismissed for want of prosecution.
The case of Jesse Havron vs. Shoal Creek Coal Company was tried
Tuesday. The plaintiff was injured Nov. 6, 1911, by an explosion of
gas in the defendant's mine at Panama. Plaintiff's hands and face
were badly burned. The jury gave him $1500.
FATAL EXPLOSION AT PANAMA
The Panama coal mine has added two more names to its ever
increasing list of fatalities and this time it is two young men who
were the victims of its deadly gases.
Tuesday afternoon a terrific explosion occurred in some of the new
works which blowed dirt and dust even to the top of the shaft,
although occurring over 1000 feet from the main shaft. Among the men
working below were Joe Payne and Potter Caulk, drivers who had gone
into a new entry for some material for use in closing up some old
works. With unprotected lamps they ran into a pocket of gas which
instantly ignited and resulted in the explosion which cost the two
drivers their lives.
The bodies when found were not mutilated to a great degree but were
badly burned. The force of the explosion was shown by the damage
done along the entry and the mule which was driven by the men into the
place was literally blown to pieces.
The men were no doubt killed instantly as the bodies bore that
evidence when recovered by the rescue parties and brought to the top.
Coroner Gray was notified and arrived Wednesday morning and the
jury returned a verdict in accordance with the facts.
May 3, 1912
PANAMA MINE HEROES
The acts of heroism performed at Panama, this county, at the time
of the terrible gas explosion in the mine there November 11, 1910,
were rewarded last week and four residents of this county were awarded
medals, pensions and donations of money.
John J. Wilbur lost his life there in attempting to rescue the
injured miners from suffocation. He was a mine track layer and
displayed great bravery in entering the mine after the explosion. His
widow is awarded a silver medal and a pension of $35 a month with $5 a
month additional for each of their children until each reaches the age
James W. Blaylock is awarded a silver medal and $1000 toward the
purchase of a farm. He was a miner and saved another miner, Arthur E.
McReaken, and he also attempted to save several others from
Emil F. Grabruck, was the mine superintendent and did heroic work
in trying to save the miners from death. He rushed into the gas
filled mine and was himself overcome and it was several hours before
he could be resuscitated. His health was injured and he has never
recovered. Mr. Grabruck was sent to Texas and allowed to take an
extended vacation in the hopes that he could recover, but, it is said,
he is still mentally and physically unable to perform his duties as
mine superintendent. He is a brother of Rinehart Grabruck who was
killed here on Seward street crossing about two years ago. Emil F.
Grabruck is given a silver medal and $1000 in money as he needs it.
Arthur E. McReaken was awarded a silver medal and $1000 toward
liquidating his indebtedness. He also did heroic work in attempting
to rescue the miners from suffocation.
It will be remembered that six men were killed at the time of this
explosion which was caused by Raffel Romania entering a room that had
not been used for some time, in search of his tools. His lamp ignited
the gas that had accumulated in the room and caused a terrible
explosion. We give below the names of those who lost their lives;
Jacob Herman, George Mancheff, Joe Ganero, John J. Wilbur, Raffel
Romanio and George Petchoff.
A number of miners were badly burned and several law suits grew out
of the accident.
The awards from the Carnegie Hero Fund are made by a commission
appointed by Mr. Carnegie. This commission visits the scene where the
act of heroism is performed when application is made for participation
in the fund or where they may hear of any particular act that has
attracted public attention and that deserves recognition.
The following account of the heroism of these men at Panama is
taken from the record of the commission awarding the medals and
"After they had gone 250 feet into an entry in which much
after damp was present, Blaylock and McReaken felt the effects of the
gas but Wilbur crawled 165 feet further and then called for
"Blaylock had crawled 100 feet of the distance when he was forced
to lay close to the floor to revive himself. Starting to get back to
good air, he heard Wilbur call for aid. Meantime, McReaken had
reached Wilbur. Together they dragged Wilbur a short distance back
when McReaken was overcome. Blaylock succeeded in dragging McReaken
to where the air was better before he lost consciousness, but had to
abandon Wilbur, whose body was recovered later. Blaylock and McReaken
were taken from the mine and revived."
"Grabruck, the mine superintendent, who joined Wilbur and his two
companions in the gassy entry, penetrated nearer to the scene of the
explosion than they. He assisted two men toward fresh air, but
weakened by gas, lost his way and became unconscious. The men he
tried to rescue lost their lives but he was taken from the mine and
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
The committee on road and bridges submitted their report on the
petition of the highway commissioners of the township of Grisham
requesting aid in the construction of a bridge to be built over Shoal
Creek where the same is crossed by the road leading from Walshville to
Panama, said bridge being estimated to cost the sum of $4000.
The committee reported favorably upon said petition and requested
that the chairman appoint a committee of three to act in conjunction
with the highway commissioners of said township in letting the
contract for said bridge.
On motion of Mr. Gorman said report was adopted and the chairman
appointed the following committee:
Charles D. Burris
F. P. Cockelreas
Jun. 7, 1912
PANAMA COUPLE MARRY
Frank Snilach and Miss Neze Kreus of Panama went to St. Louis last
Friday and were married.
PANAMA COUPLE MARRIED
The St. Louis papers last Monday published the names of Lewis B.
Miller and Miss Elva Caulk both of Panama, among those having procured
marriage licenses that day, from which we infer that Lewis and Elva
are now matrimonially welded.
Jun. 21, 1912
BOOTLEGGER IN JAIL
"Frenchy" Clark, a resident of Panama was arrested this week by
Sheriff Kiggins and is now in jail on a charge of bootleging booze or
words to that effect. "Frenchy" was in jail once before for
assaulting a man at Panama and he claims he can prove his innocence of
the charge now against him. He says he was digging a cellar at Panama
when a bunch of tramp coal miners came along and asked for a job. He
gave them work and also passed around a jug of whiskey to stimulate
the efforts of his crew of workers. Everybody partook freely and a
general fight resulted. When Frenchy sobered up he found himself
under arrest, his booze gone, and still the cellar wasn't dug. The
officers have other evidence, however, which will probably make him
want to plead guilty and take his medicine now instead of waiting
until September for the county court to convene and then take his
MARRIED AT ST. LOUIS
Louis B. Coyle and Miss Adeline L. Lallman of Panama, this county,
were married at St. Louis Monday. The young people slipped away from
their Panama friends Monday morning and the news of their marriage was
learned through the St. Louis papers. They will reside at Panama,
where the groom works in the coal mine.
GRISHAM TOWNSHIP ASSESSMENT
Ernest Kessinger assessor of Grisham township returns his book
which shows the following totals and the assessed value:
336 horses $8733
502 cattle $4443
69 mules and asses $1632
280 sheep $288
328 hogs $618
3 steam engines $115
1 safe $34
282 carriages and wagons $1093
15 clocks $26
61 sewing machines $69
23 pianos $447
18 organs $75
Agricultural tools $561
Household and office property $1516
Grain on hand $254
Total assessed value all personal property $39791
The following pay taxes in Grisham township on personal property
the assessed value of which amounts to $500 or more.
W. D. Boone $690
Cary Cunningham $528
Mary Dockery $667
Fred Helfers $1,000
Minnie Heckel $560
J. M. Kessinger $1,051
H. C. Keith $903
William O. Miller $970
Shoal Creek Coal Co. $1,049
N. B. Wilson $787
S. R. McCulloch $565
Bank of Panama $833
Kinzer and Wood $700
Charles Serenco $500
Panama Merc. Co. $1,666
Aurilla Aydelotte $4,410
W. D. Boone $1,500
I. J. Brooks $714
Jun. 28, 1912
The Adjustment Bureau of the St. Louis Credit Men's Association by
their attorney, M. J. McMurray, have filed suit in the circuit court
against S. B. Compton and A. J. Compton of Panama on a promissory
note for $660.78 with interest at seven per cent from date.
Guy C. Lane and M. J. McMurray, attorneys of this city have also
filed suit in the circuit court against S. B. Compton and A. J.
Compton of Panama on a promissory note for $241.96 with interest at
seven per cent from date. Both suits are against the same parties and
both notes were dated the same day, March 20, 1912, and are both due
the same date, June 20, 1912.
It will be remembered that S. B. and A. J. Compton moved here from
Panama not many months ago and started a general store in the Dort
building on Main street just opposite the Howell and Dorsey lumber
yard. They had a very nice line of goods but did not seem to do much
business and it was not long before they packed up and moved back to
Panama where they have been living since.
Taylor Springs baseball team made the long journey to Panama
Sunday, June 23, and met their Waterloo for the first time this
season, the score being 11 to 12 in favor of Panama. Pretty good
game. All baseball teams wanting games apply to manager of Taylor
Springs ball club, Frank Stank or Charles Craven.
Aug. 16, 1912
Paul DeShane was released from jail this week after securing bond
in the sum of $3000. The Italian whom he shot at Panama last Saturday
is recovering. It has been learned that DeShane owes his life to a
tie clasp. When he turned the gun on himself, the bullet struck a tie
clasp which caused it to glance, inflicting only a slight flesh wound
on his side. Had it not been for the tie clasp, the bullet would have
pierced his stomach.
YOUNG MAN IN SERIOUS TROUBLE
Paul DeShane, a young coal miner of Panama, shot Biaggio Lasero
another coal miner of that city on Saturday night of last week, August
10, and as a result of the shooting DeShane is now in the county jail
being held on a charge of assault to kill and Lasero is in a St. Louis
hospital hovering between life and death.
Should Lasero die, young DeShane will have to defend himself
against a charge of murder.
It is alleged that DeShane had been drinking all day Saturday and
on Saturday evening he met Biaggio Lasero in the Red Onion restaurant
at Panama and told Lasero to go get him a bottle of beer. Lasero
responded that he did not have any beer and didn't know where to get
any. Words passed between the two and DeShane, it is stated, went to
a hardware store and purchased a revolver. This was about 5 o'clock
Saturday evening. At seven o'clock Biaggio Lasero was standing on the
front porch of the Red Onion restaurant when DeShane approached and
shot him. The bullet struck Lasero in the right side but was
deflected by one of his ribs and made its exit under his arm, a few
inches from the place it entered. Lasero fell to the ground and
DeShane then turned the gun on himself and the bullet struck a rib and
plowed a furrow around his side, making only a flesh wound which is
not serious unless blood poisoning should result from it.
DeShane says he and Lasero were fighting and in the fight over the
gun it was discharged twice and both of them were hit and that he
didn't intend to shoot Lasero or himself.
After the shooting took place Lasero was taken to a St. Louis
hospital for treatment and young DeShane was brought to the county
jail where he will be held until the grand jury meets.
The young man comes from a prominent family in the southern part of
the county and can attribute his present predicament to booze. It is
hinted, however, that a woman of disreputable character was in the Red
Onion restaurant at the time of the shooting and that DeShane and
Lasero were fighting over her.
Aug. 23, 1912
DeSHANE HELD FOR MURDER
Charged with killing Biaggio Lasero in Panama.
Paul DeShane, the young coal miner of Panama who shot and fatally
wounded Biaggio Lasero, an Italian coal miner on Saturday evening,
Aug. 10, is in the county jail at Hillsboro where he will have to
answer to a charge of murder.
After the shooting occurred, Lasero was rushed to a St. Louis
hospital where he died on Sunday of this week and the bondsmen of
DeShane promptly surrendered him to the custody of the sheriff. The
body of Lasero was brought from St. Louis to Litchfield where Coroner
Gray held an inquest on Wednesday afternoon of this week and the jury
returned a verdict of murder and ordered DeShane held without bail to
await the action of the grand jury.
It was first stated that Lasero had sold DeShane intoxicants and
DeShane then shot him because he would sell him no more. Later it was
rumored that the shooting was over a woman in the Red Onion
restaurant, but both these reports are absolutely without foundation,
according to the testimony gathered at the coroner's inquest.
The shooting did not take place at a restaurant but happened if
front of a house, the lower floor of which was occupied by Robert Dean
and his father in law Robert Clinton, the upper rooms by Mr. and Mrs.
Jack McCale and Biaggio Lasero who was batching there. Lasero did not
know DeShane and DeShane only knew Lasero as an Italian coal miner.
They had never had trouble of any kind and the shooting was apparently
the result of a drink crazed youth who murdered a man who was a total
stranger to him and without absolutely any provocation.
DeShane hardly knew the families living in the house where Lasero
was staying and Lasero only had a speaking acquaintanceship with them
and for this reason the shooting affray could not have been caused by
jealousy over a woman.
At the time of the shooting the front porch of the Dean house was
occupied by the following parties, all of whom were eye witnesses to
the murder: Mrs. Robert Dean, Mrs. Robert Clinton, Mrs. Bernadino,
Patrick Clinton, aged 9; Grace Clinton, aged 12 years; Jack McCale and
Hugh Graham. All of these testified at the coroner's inquest,
Wednesday, and their account of the shooting was in substance as
Biaggio Lasero was batching in the house and came down stairs for a
bucket of water. Just as he reached the front porch, Paul DeShane
came along the street in a drunken condition. He called to Lasero
"Get me a couple of bottles of beer you round headed ."
Lasero responded with a shrug of his shoulders and said:
"Me no got beer. Me give you cold drink water. That's what you
It is said that DeShane cursed the Italian and went straight down
town, bought a pistol and cartridges and returning to the house he
found Lasero standing on the porch leaning against a porch column.
Without a word of warning DeShane pulled his revolver and shot Lasero
in the right breast.
The witnesses testified that there were no words exchanged between
the two and the shot from DeShane's revolver came like a clap of
thunder from a clear sky.
When DeShane first went to the house where Lasero was batching he
met Mrs. Robert Clinton and asked for permission to go inside and lie
down as he was sleepy. She saw that he was under the influence of
liquor and told him he had better go home and go to bed as they didn't
keep transient boarders. While she was advising him, Lasero came down
from upstairs after a bucket of water and it was then that DeShane
called him a round head and ordered him to get two bottles of beer.
DeShane was gone only a short time from the Dean house and when he
returned no one suspected that he was looking for trouble and without
a word of warning so the witnesses stated, he walked up on the porch,
stood behind Jack McCale and began firing at Lasero, who had not
noticed DeShane had returned until the bullet struck him.
The wounded man reeled into the door of the house and fell while
DeShane pointed the gun at his own stomach and fired a bullet which
would have killed him had it not been deflected by a metal tie clasp
which he was wearing.
DeShane must have been angered because the three men at the house
laughed at his drunken condition when he first called and because
Biaggio Lasero was an Italian his race hatred made him wreak his
vengeance on this man rather than on the Americans who were on the
porch with Lasero.
When he ordered Lasero to bring him two bottles of beer and Lasero
laughingly replied he would give him a good cold drink of water
instead, DeShane flew into a passion and threatened to kill him. Hugh
Graham, who stood on the porch at the time laughingly said to
"Yes, you go get $30. Spend $15 for a gun and $15 for beer and
first we'll kill the beer and then we'll kill them all."
Not one of those present ever dreamed that DeShane meant to shoot
Lasero upon his return for if they had, they could easily have
disarmed him and prevented the terrible tragedy which has already cost
one life and which may yet cause DeShane to pay the death penalty for
Sep. 6, 1912
A WOMAN BOOZE SELLER
Sheriff M. T. Kiggins went to Panama Sunday night and raided the
house occupied by Mrs. Maud Clark, wife of Frenchy Clark who is in
jail charged with selling booze. After the arrest of Frenchy several
months ago, his wife came here with her two children and tried to
force Sheriff Kiggins to put her and the two children in jail and keep
them. Mr. Kiggins of course refused her demands and she deliberately
went back to Panama and opened a booze joint, expecting to be arrested
and placed in jail. She was not disappointed and is now behind the
bars with her husband. The two children, however, will not be allowed
to remain in jail but will probably be sent to some home. As soon as
Frenchy and his wife found themselves both in jail they were contented
until they learned that there was a likelihood of their children being
taken from them and sent to some home, then they commenced to realize
that they had both made mistakes in violating the law.
After the arrest of Mrs. Clark Sunday night, Sheriff Kiggins
placed the city marshall of Panama in charge of about 200 bottles of
beer and two barrels of beer which was found in the home. The house
was locked to keep the beer from being stolen but during the absence
of the city marshall the door was broken open and when the marshall
returned he caught James Walker and Robert Dean of Panama inside the
house. He placed the two under arrest and they will have to answer to
a charge of conspiracy and also to a charge of burglary and attempted
Mrs. Clark will have about half a dozen charges placed against her
and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent because it was at her
place that young DeShane got drunk before killing his man a few weeks
ago and it was at her house that a man named Miller got drunk last
Saturday and fired a shotgun at the front door of a house just across
the street. The load of shot tore a hole in the door and missed a
woman and her baby inside the house by only a few inches. Miller is
out on bond.
Sep. 13, 1912
Frank "Frenchy" Clark plead guilty in the county court last Friday
to selling liquor in Panama, which is anti saloon territory. There
were 20 counts and Frank confessed on all of them. He was fined $30
on each of the first 10 counts and $20 on each of the second 10
counts, making his fine $500 in all. The defendant was ordered sent
to jail until the fines and costs were fully paid. Frank will
probably be out in time to eat his Thanksgiving dinner at home in
Maud Clark plead guilty to selling booze in Panama and was fined
$400. She plead guilty on 20 counts. A capias pro fine was ordered
for $300 of the fine and costs.
Sep. 20, 1912
MORE TROUBLE AT PANAMA
As the result of a drunken row at Panama last Sunday, Frank
Kruzlack is in an East St. Louis hospital with four ribs cut in two
and John Kulick is in jail charged with carving Kruzlack with an axe.
The Panama police arrested Kulick after the fight and sent him to
jail and they sent Kruzlack to the hospital. He is reported in a
Kulick's preliminary hearing was to be held on Thursday morning
but was continued to await the outcome of Kruzlack's injuries. He
claims they were drunk and fought, then went back to drinking again
and soon were fighting again. An axe and a big dirk knife were found
in the room where the fight occurred.
In speaking of the fight the Globe Democrat contained the
following account, which is believed to be highly colored.
Frank Kruzlack, 38 years old, of Panama, Ill., a native of
Austria Hungary, was taken to St. Mary's hospital, East St. Louis,
early Sunday morning, in a serious condition, suffering from more
than fifty cuts on his shoulders, arms and body. He was unconscious
and unable to give an account for his injuries. Friends, who
accompanied him from Panama are conducting an investigation, but have
been unable to learn who attacked him.
According to their belief the man who attacked Kruzlack is also a
native of Austria Hungary, and they believe it may be the result of a
feud begun in the old country. They believe an effort was made to
sever Kruzlack's head. A sharp axe, used in the attack, was found in
Kruzlack's bedroom in Panama, where the assault occurred. His
shoulders and arms were hacked with the axe, indicating, his friends
say, that when Kruzlack's assailant tried to cut off his head, the
former protected himself with his arms. His back and chest were also
The bloody axe, sharpened to a razor like edge is the only clue.
BIG MORTGAGE FILED
A mortgage was filed in the recorder's office at Hillsboro this
week given by the Shoal Creek Coal Company at Panama for the sum of
$450,000. The mor