History of New Douglas, Township, Madison
From: Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois and its People
Edited and Compiled by W. T. Norton, Alton
Associate Editors: Hon. N. G. Flagg, Moro
J. S. Joerner, Highland
The Lewis Publishing Company
Chicago and New York 1912
NEW DOUGLAS TOWNSHIP
Brink's History says: "The first settler of New Douglas was David Funderburk, who located in section 7
in 1819. He taught school there in 1823 the children coming from adjacent townships. Other early settlers were
Robert Greening, who came in 1839; Cornelius Wood, Amos Holbrook, John L. Carlock, 1831; Abram Allen, Samuel Sutton,
Nelson Sparks, Jackson Allen, 1837; John P. Lindley, 1840; William Embrey, 1845; M. R. Early, 1848; John A. Early,
1854; John Kelly, 1856. The first birth was that of John Funderburk, son of David Funderburk, September 3, 1822;
first death that of Mary Funderburk, May 7, 1838; first marriage that of Aaron Voyles and Sarah Funderburk, 1834;
the first sermon was preached in 1827 at the house of David Funderburk, by a Baptist missionary; the first Methodist
church was organized in 1832 at the house of John Carlock."
THE TORNADO OF 1876
The most exciting and tragic incident in the history of New Douglas was the frightful tornado of Feb. 27, 1876.
It swept through the township from southwest to northeast. It passed through the west part of the village destroying
eleven dwellings, two churches, a school house and Masonic hall. The churches destroyed were the M. E. church South
and the Lutheran. Services were in progress when the M. E. church was demolished. Many persons were injured and
a local preacher, Henry C. Young, was killed. Five persons in Masonic hall were injured, Robert Alsop most severely.
The storm struck a funeral cortege overturning and scattering the vehicles. Several women saw the storm approaching
and hastened into an adjacent house. The dwelling was blown down and all the inmates injured. One woman had a babe
killed in her arms. In the spring of 1912 another tornado passed over New Douglas but did little damage except
clipping the roof and part of the upper story from the flouring mill and demolishing a school house in Hickory
Grove three miles south of the village.
NEW DOUGLAS VILLAGE
New Douglas village had 555 inhabitants in 1890; 469 in 1900 and 499 in 1910. It is now over 500. The village is pleasantly located in the midst of a broad prairie and is so embowered in trees that it appears like an oasis in a desert. The early settlers of New Douglas were tree planters and the fruitage of their labors is seen today in well-shaded streets, groves, parks and private grounds. The main street of the village is a broad boulevard, a mile or more long, shaded with giant maples. The avenue extends from the station to the northern limits of the village. A fine concrete sidewalk is laid the entire length and the residence streets are also provided with good pavements. The village has a beautiful park, equipped with a band stand, and there is another splendid grove of maple trees which was donated to the "Old Settlers' Picnic and Reunion Association," at a nominal price by the late John Voluntine, who set out the grove thirty years ago.
OLD SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION
The Association is composed of old settlers, of Madison, Bond, Macoupin and Montgomery counties. It was organized
some seventeen years ago for the purpose of preserving the memories of old times. It was incorporated in 1900 and
holds annual reunions in its beautiful grove. The present president is Edward W. Jones who is the grandson of Rev.
William Jones, who came to Madison county in 1806 and was a member of the first territorial legislature in 1812.
The secretary and treasurer is Prof. L. T. Kennedy, a veteran educator, who taught school for forty years, thirty-four
of them in Madison county. He taught five years in Olive, fourteen in New Douglas, one in Saline, one in Godfrey
and thirteen in Venice, a longer period of service than that of any other teacher in the county unless, perhaps,
that of Prof. R. A. Haight of Alton. Prof. Kennedy's record is that of a noble and useful life. The directors of
the association for Madison county are E. W. Jones and J. T. Lowry. John Voluntine, a distinguished old resident,
was the first president. He died in 1902. Others who have filled the chair since then are Dr. B. H. McKinney, Rodo
Lotasky, John Gehrig and Abram Allen. Dr. McKinney is an eminent physician, now retired from active practice. He
is the oldest citizen, in continuous residence, in the village. He was born in Kentucky in 1841. Among those from
Madison county who were members of the association in 1900 were, W. R. Bunn, Wesley Reaves, Wm. McMullen, Franklin
Jones, Aug. Overbeck, Rudolph Kaufmann, George and Perry Baxter, W. P. Binney, Thos. Kelly, Katherine Bilyeu (who
was then 93 years old), Jacob Gehrig, C. C. Buckley, and D. M. Bishop. Some of these have passed over; others are
A STOCK RAISING AND DAIRYING COUNTRY
Although New Douglas township raises all the leading agricultural staples it is essentially a stock raising
and dairying country. An average of Soo cans, 4,000 gallons, of milk are shipped every morning from the station.
From six to ten o'clock the streets of New Douglas are crowded with teams from the country bringing in the lacteal
fluid. After shipping their milk the farmers do their trading and that is when the merchants transact the bulk
of their business. During the remainder of the day they can indulge in a siesta if they choose. New Douglas has
a bank, several large stores and a flouring mill with a capacity of 30o barrels per day. New Douglas village is
proud of its educational facilities. It has a handsome two story brick school house employing four teachers.
Among the native born citizens of New Douglas, Who have gone abroad and reflect fame on the township, is Hon.
William P. Early, a leading lawyer of Edwardsville, who has served two terms as judge of the county court with