Sneed’s Jeffersonville History

The plat of Jeffersonville was laid out and recorded June 29, 1853. It was located in the northwest corner of section 17, of Lake Creek Township. This is now half a mile east of Johnston City water treating plant. It grew rapidly and soon had a post office, a tobacco warehouse, grist mill, sawmill, blacksmith shop, Masonic Lodge and a G.A.R. post.

Jeffersonville Post Office was opened December 10, 1852 and was officially named Lake Creek. It was in the home of Silas G. Hindman, who was postmaster. The post office was moved to the new railroad town and the name changed to Johnston City, in 1903. Jeffersonville retained its identity for some time. Later it became known by its nickname “Shake Rag.” Early merchants in Jeffersonville were Andrew Jackson Duncan and E.L. Dorrow.

Many enlisted in the Civil War from Jeffersonville. Every officer in Company B 128th Illinois Infantry claimed Jeffersonville was their home. The G.A.R. Post was organized there March 24, 1886 and named for James J. Duncan, who was killed at Vicksburg.

One store in Jeffersonville had a flag pole above it. When a fresh supply of whiskey came in a white cloth was raised on the pole as a sign to numerous customers. In those days, whiskey sold in grocery stores. When men saw the rag waving in the breeze, they hurried to the store for fresh whiskey. Jeffersonville still exists and is known only as Shake Rag. However, the rag is not raised and the store does not sell whiskey.

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