History of Effingham County, Illinois
After several months of laborious research and persistent toil, the history of Effingham County is complete, and it is our hope and belief that no subject of general importance or interest has been overlooked or omitted, and even minor facts, when of sufficient note to be worthy of record, have been faithfully chronicled. In short, where protracted investigation promised results commensurate with the undertaking, matters not only of undoubted record but legendary lore, have been brought into requisition. We are well aware of the fact that it is next to impossible to furnish a perfect history from the meager resources at the command of the historian under ordinary circumstances, but claim to have prepared a work fully up to the standard of our engagements. Through the courtesy and assistance generously afforded, we have been enabled to trace out and put into systematic shape the greater portions of the events that have transpired in the county up to the present time, and we feel assured that all thoughtful persons interested in the matter will recognize and appreciate the importance of the work and its permanent value. A dry statement of facts has been avoided, so far as it was possible to do so, and anecdote and incident have been interwoven with plain recital and statistics, thereby forming a narrative at once instructive and entertaining.
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To rescue from fast-fading traditions the simple annals of the pioneer people of our county is a pleasing but a laborious task, not so laborious as perplexing, the annoyances arising from there being now no connected record of their official acts and doings. Many of the earliest and most important legal papers are gone beyond recovery; many of them were never put in a more permanent form than mere slips or scraps of unbound sheets of papers, stuck carelessly away, not even marked or filed; some not dated, and others again addressed to no one. Then, in the burning the court house in 1868. many were consumed or destroyed in being removed.