(I WISH TO EXTEND A SINCERE "THANK
YOU" TO RAYLENE STAFKO, WHO SO GRACIOUSLY LOANED ME HER
BOOKLETS FROM THE 1993 &1995 ROYALTON ROUND-UP CELEBRATIONS.
THE INFORMATION ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES WAS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM
AN ISSUE OF THE "NINTH ANNUAL ROYALTON LABOR DAY ROUND-UP,
SEPTEMBER 5 AND 6, 1993" BOOKLET, AND FROM AN ISSUE OF "THE
ELEVENTH ANNUAL ROYALTON ROUND-UP CELEBRATION" BOOKLET.
NO DOUBT, MANY THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE THEN, AND, NO DOUBT,
I HAVE MADE SOME ERRORS IN THE TRANSLATION FROM BOOK TO WEB PAGE.
I SUPPOSE THIS CAN BE BLAMED ON THE FACT THAT I BECAME COMPLETELY
LOST IN THIS INTERPRETATION OF EARLY ROYALTON. MY WISH IS THAT
YOU ENJOY THIS AS MUCH AS I. "THANK YOU" TO ALL WHO
WORKED SO LABORIOUSLY IN COMPILING THIS VALUABLE INFORMATION.)
Some Early History of Royalton
The stage coach rumbled and jostled
along over the dry road in the summer and slashed through the
soft mud or rumbled over the frozen ground in the winter. The
four horses trotted on the dry roads but strained and moved slowly
to draw the stage through the hub deep mud from late fall to
early spring. The young driver was alert. It took a special skill
to handle four lines and drive four horses. On the left side
on the seat beside him sat the guard,half asleep, with his loaded
ten gauge double barrel shot gun across his lap. Mail robbery
on Six Mile Prairie was unlikely but the guard was still there
to protect the mail and passengers. As the stage reached section
30 of Six Mile Township, the driver would often think of stopping
at Isaac Snider's Osage Farm. Snider was a progressive farmer
and had set out a fence of the newly recommended Osage Hedge
that the Department of Agriculture was recommending. Here the
driver could get a cold drink and water the horses from Mr. Snider's
well. Snider always welcomed the stage for it brought news of
the progress of the new railroad that was being build a way over
in tamaroe. It was six miles to Big Muddy Tavern and over seven
miles to Mulkeytown. That was a long ways to buy supplies and
to get one's mail. Isaac Snider thought of building a store and
securing a post office. In late February of 1856 he built the
store and opened Osage Post Office in it on March 6th of that
The store was on the Mount Vernon-Murphysboro
mail road. On November 20, 1857, Snider had a village of 28 lots
plotted around the store and post office. The lots was 209 feet
square and a street crossed the public road. There soon came
a blacksmith shop and other enterprises.
In 1876 Doctor C.M. Thornton came
to Osage, for that was the name of Snider's village. Dr. Thornton
came from Murphysboro. He had finished medical school in 1875
and had practiced under a physician in Murphysboro for his year
of internship. Dr. Thornton build a house in Osage and set up
an office and drug store in his home. The physician was a prime
figure in the village. He practiced his profession over Franklin,
Williamson and Jefferson counties. He was not only a physician
but also a pharmacist, political leader and the village post
master. He was unusually skilled in the medical sciences and
his services were in great demand. Almost as soon as he set up
the drug store the post office was moved into it.
Dr. Thornton's house was the most
modern and so was the barn. The barn was not far from the house.
It was so arranged that the feed room, buggy shed and harness
room were all under the same roof. There was a well in the hall
way so that the horses could be watered without going outside.
When Royalton eclipsed Osage, Dr. Thornton moved to Royalton
and practiced there until his death.