Sneed’s Absher History

A tribe of Shawnee Indians camped at a cool flowing spring in section 35 of Crab Orchard Township, each summer until 1817. For some reason they did not come that spring and never returned there again. The Indian Camp Missionary Baptist Church was built near the spring in 1844 and the community became Indian Camp.

Harlin A. Absher entered land along Rock Creek in 1851, 53 and 54. This land included the spring. William A. Absher erected a real estate office on the Absher farmstead and opened Absher Post Office in the real estate office July 7, 1892. William Absher was the first postmaster. The name of the post office was changed to Dykersburg September 8, 1898. M.R. Jones opened a store at the crossroad a half mile north of the church and the post office was moved there April 17, 1899. Jones then became postmaster. The post office was discontinued April 15, 1908 and mail was ordered sent to Stonefort.

The little community was built on an important trade route. Bell Dunsford, Gorham Shreves and Martin Jones each ran general stores in Absher during its prosperous years. Jones had a shed behind his store from which he sold farming machinery and tools. Dr. Heart and Dr. Holbrook practiced medicine there. Robert Mutsinger ran the grist mill. There was a blacksmith shop and sometime later Murry Luster ran a grocery store in Absher. The last business was a grocery store run by Carney Doughty. It was closed in June, 1970.

Today there are eight houses in Absher. Twenty people still make their homes here. The spring was filled up when the blacktop road was built south of the crossroad. Indian Camp is still active. It has a membership of 213. The Sunday school has 82 enrolled and an average attendance of 50. A remnant of the village still exists but the clang of the anvil and the hum of the mill are gone. Also gone are the debates around the old stove in the country store and the busy Saturdays the farmers came to trade.

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(Ghost Towns of Southern Illinois, by Glenn J. Sneed, published 1977)