ROYALTON HISTORY

(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 year.

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.