Thursday, October 2, 2008

Trip, Day 5, Perry County [Updated]

Thursday. Got a good night's sleep. Drove to Cutler and took pictures of land the Harshaws owned, including where we then thought the White house might have been. Then on to the Perry county government office and had my first lesson in researching deeds and related documents. We found Michael's heirs had had a number of real estate transactions after his death (Jean had gotten some, but ran out of time in 1978.) Basically they were selling land, mostly as building plots. After the original plat of Cutler in 1873, there were three "Harshaw Additions" platted, and then three "White Additions". The plats just recorded surveys of building plots, which then were sold individually (in some cases not sold).

Eventually we figured out the key transactions were the last, so Marjorie found the 1923 transaction in which Sarah, Howard, and Thresa White sold a plot in Cutler which we could identify on the map as the southeast corner of Erwin and Mills streets. Drove to Du Quoin and got some obits of Michael and W.T.White, but not the missing page 2 of the most impressive obituary. Drove back to Cutler and photographed the vacant lot (looking as if a house had burned) where the White house stood. Also found the derelict house Jean Salger had identified as possibly the Whites. Then on to the Sparta library.

We were excited, briefly, by seeing a large book with the typed label "Family Bible and History of Michael Harshaw". But the bible was published in the late 1870's and had no records of family history. It did contain a typed, briefer and early version of William's "Romance of Old Home Missions." So our guess is it was a family bible, later given to the library, and the library prepared the slightly misleading label. But, we did find more obits and funerary tributes in the Sparta Plaindealer of 1874.

Looking forward to turning east.

No comments: