After Philippe Renault arrived in Illinois in 1720, he set up his base of operations in southern Monroe County. The settlement he founded there, St. Philippe, was intended to help feed and equip the mining outposts that radiated outward.
The Annals of the West noted that “Excavations for minerals were made along Drewry’s creek in Jackson county, about the St. Mary in Randolph county, in Monroe county, along Silver creek in St. Clair county, and many other places in Illinois, the remains of which are still visible. Silver creek took its name from the explorers, and tradition states that considerable quantities of silver ore was raised and sent over to France. It is thought, however, that no successful discoveries were made.”
According to John Mason Peck, the Silver Creek area just east of O’Fallon may have been one of the few places, maybe the only place, that much silver was found at all. There would have been a mining camp there which would have included French miners and very likely some of the slaves brought from the Caribbean. (Cont. next week.)
FROM THE PAGES OF THE PROGRESS:
75 years ago, Feb. 6, 1941. Miss Maude Schildknecht, in charge of the local office of the Illinois-Iowa Power Company, resigned to accept an office position with a Belleville concern where she started work Monday. Mrs. Stanley Beedle succeeds Miss Schildknecht at the local light office.
50 years ago, Feb. 10, 1966. Need for additional special policemen to work weekends was expressed by Chief of Police James Tiley who said he is down to two men to work Saturday and Sunday shifts when regular men are off duty. At one time there were some 12 or 13 on the “special” list and available for part-time duty. Now, in addition to Roy Winans who has been filling in as an extra, the only man who is willing and able for such duty is Erwin Schmitt. Rubin Cavins has been helping on some occasions but Tiley said he is ill and not presently able to work. The specials usually work 4 hours on Saturday and 13 on Sunday. There are periods when no regular policeman is on duty. Tiley said the specials would have to be willing to undergo training to make them competent for this extra duty. Pay is $2 an hour.