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Diary of William J. Waller 1864-1961

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surname/tag: Waller
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This information has been posted in various locations. It would be helpful to find who has the original diary currently in their possession so it can be cited properly.

"John WALLER, of my grandfather's family came to Franklin County before 1820 and settled South of Thompsonville, or S.E. rather, and was of the charter members of the Liberty Methodist Church there. His name is on a marker there. He died in 1840 and was the first one to be buried at cemetery in Benton, Illinois, just west of the Central Railroad depot in Benton. I am one of the trustees of this old cemetery. Virgil Center, mayor of Benten in 1949, and the City Commissioner, made a deed to 5 trustees, to the cemetery...they are Ransom Kinman, Walter A, Anderson, Jr., Mr. John A. Logan, Georqe Fleischmann and myself....each of us representing a Civil war Veteran.

1, "Thomas Waller and Jennie Carter Waller, my grandparents, had Richard Waller (my grandfather), John Waller, Polly Waller, Thomas Waller.

"Richard Waller and Parry Odle Waller were my grandparents. They came to Franklin County near East Fork Church N.E. of West Frankfort, sometime between 1816 and 1820. They came from Blount County, Tennessee, came bag and baggage with 5 or 6 children on horseback, grandmother rode a sidesaddle. Some others were to follow on soon. But after settling at aforesaid spot they waited about 6 weeks and no one came so they saddled up and went back to see what the trouble was. However, some others had started from Blount County, Eastern Tennessee to Illinois, but came a different grandfather's bunch missed them enroute and didn't know they had left for Illinois until they arrived back in Blount County, Tennessee, so they saddled up again and came back to Franklin County, Illinois."

"They left Franklin County because of the death of two sons (who before they died leaving chopped and pealed trees, etc.), whose signs granpap said he could not bear to see. They settled west of Odle School in in South Flannigan Township in Hamilton County on the ridge about 1/2 quarter west of Odle School. Then they moved near Carter Springs Church to the present Tom McGee place, about where Tom's barn is close to the creek. They were buried in Little Springs Cemetery."

"Richard Waller held the office of Justice of the Peace, a very important office even in the country. Grandfather's children married from one to three of each family. In those days boys married girls in their neighborhood and also settled down there. They did not range away for work or travel for pleasure far from home, My grandfather's children were:

  • Polly (b, 1807) married' Alexander Johnson, cousin
  • John (b, 1809)
  • Betsy Jane (b, 1811) married John L, Johnson,
  • Jeremiah odle (b, 1813) married Polly Heard.
  • Aramanda (b, 1814) married Thomas Heard,
  • Eliza Jane (b, 1815) married George w. Johnson
  • Uriah (b, 1816) married Lucinda Heard.
  • Hardin (b, 1818) (died at age of 4 yrs.).
  • George W. (b, 1822) married Sarah Lampley.
  • William J. (b, 1824) married Narcisses Lampley.
  • Katharine (b, 1826) married Alfred Braden.
  • Louis (b, 1828) married Susan Lane.
  • Larkin Cantrell married Nancy Ellen Lane

"...My father, Larken Cantrell Waller was born April 25, 1833 near Odle School. He was the youngest of his family and no doubt badly spoiled. He attended a subscription school for a while, where Little Springs Church is now. His teacher was his brother-in-law Uncle Alf Braden. He and Mother married April 17, 1859. They first lived on the Uncle Ed Chapman place, later known as Aaron Auten place. In 1862 or '63 they moved to the old Homestead where all but two of us were born."

"My mother was Nancy Ellen Lane, born July 23, 1840. Her father was Lewis Lane, her mother was a Deen. Grandfather Lane left Illinois sometime near 1860 for near Waynesville, Missouri. He lies buried there As far as I know grandmother Lane was buried there too."

2. "C.N. (Charles) Heard and Uncle Jacob Lane (Mother's brother) were witnesses at the marriage. Pop said he borrowed Charles Heard's hat to be married in. Rev. Timmy Spain, an Old Baptist said the ceremony." -Contributed by Jo Bonan. Mrs. Frank (Jo) Bonan is the daughter of William. J. Waller

"...Now is the time for me to spread it on, you can be more cunning in autobiography than in biography. I have often wondered which one is most truly true. If Abraham Lincoln should have written his life he would not have headed it "Honest Abe" or "Great Emancipator. Should Daniel Webster have written his, he would not have said "The greatest orator America has produced to date," so what I say will be in all sincerity and honesty. I was born January 18, 1876 the year of the Centennial at Philadelphia and admission of Colorado to state-hood. Went to Old Rural Hill School near the Granville Hungate place for 2 years, then they moved the school house where it now stands and I got the rest of my grade work there. I took little interest in school work until I was 12 or 13 years old. Finally found myself or the teacher found me out, as I began to get interested in school work. I went to Carbondale Normal the Spring term of 1894, had my first train ride. In 1895 I attended a select school at Reed School, North of Knight's Prairie Church. Took teachers examination, passed and taught that winter at E. Rural Hill. Then the law required 110 days actually taught, no holidays allowed. My salary, was I proud, was $20.00 per month and had to do my janitor work. That summer at the Institute, I bought an Encyclopedia on time that cost me $45.00, almost half of my winters salary, I wanted to know something and was willing to pay for it. In the spring of 1896, I went to Thompsonville to a select school."

"Fall of 1896, attended Carbondale Normal for another term, winter of 1897-8, I taught at Odle School. Had 55 pupils for $25.00 a month. Paid janitor work.

"In October of 1897 I joined the Christian Church and was baptised at Akin, Illinois by James W. Zachary a debater and exceptionally able speaker. The Battle Ship Maine was blown up in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898. Joe McGhee, Dick Culpepper, both neighbors and I on June 28th went to McLeansboro and joined the Army...Co. A. 9th Ill. Vol., so we went to Springfield for encampment at the Fair Grounds. About Aug. 1, 1898 we entrained for Savannah, Georgia. About January 1st, '99 we sailed for Cuba with the 4th Illinois. Took us about 50 hours to reach Havanna. We sailed on the Mobile. A report in the Globe-Democrat, at the time, said our vessel sank going over. What kind of news was that for my folks? Col. Campbell had put me in charge of the canteen at Jacksonville, so I remained there the rest of the time. Our private's pay was $15.60 a month and the canteen work was $12.00 extra, was mustered out May 20, 1899."

"September 1st, 1899, I went to Valpariso University. Married Mabel Hunt (of Olga) in 1901, took the Johnson school for the winter of 1903. My wife went to school to me, took the teachers examination and passed for a certificate. In 1904 both of us taught in the schools of Belle City. I got $35.50 and Mabel $25.00 a month. We boarded at Mabel's uncle Dr. Henry Hale (1905-6). We returned to the farm in Flannigan Twp. where I taught a term at West Rural Hill. In 1909 we moved to Dale where I taught Barefoot Country School. In the spring of 1910, Arthur Allen and I taught a select school at Dale. We saw Halley's comet then."

"In August of 1910, I accepted a teaching position in Thompsonville so we moved there. In the spring of 1911 Clay mg and I taught' a select school there. I took the principalship of the schools for 1911-12. Took another select school for 1912...Janie Hall helped me, Back again as principal at $75.00...another select school in spring of'1913...Susie Hinckle and Ransom Bosczkiewicz helped....In Aug., 1913 we moved to Galatia where I was Asst. H. S. principal and basketball coach. In the spring of 1914, I taught a review term for teachers at Galatia. We moved to McLeansboro in 1914,..i taught at Dahlgren, 1914-15, (went on Monday returned home Friday evening), as principal. In 1915 I taught in McLeansboro for two years in 8th grade and taught history and Civics in the High School, In 1917, June, I joined the State Guard, 9th Illinois as 1st Lieut....Capt. Howell was over me. I had to resign my McLeansboro teaching for guard duty. Came back to McLeansboro, Oct, 1917 and took the Delafield school...2 rooms. I walked back and forth then,,,5 1/4 miles one way until Christmas, Rode only one morning. That was the WINTER OF THE DEEP SNOW. Almost three feet on a level and how cold.' The snow began falling Dec, 10 and melted away March 25th (1918), Measles broke out during Christmas season, so the board decided if I was willing they would drop school for then and finish up in the spring...right away I was asked to assist the McLeansboro Draft Board as Secretary. Worked there until April."

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