Sneed’s North Bend History

North Bend lies northwest of Clifford and is strung out for a mile along the road. It is in the north bend of the Big Muddy River from which it gets its name. This location is in section 9 and 10 of Blairsville Township.

North Bend was a farming community and at its height in the turn of the century it boasted of a post office, general store, school and church. Over fifty houses were strung along the road and the village had a population of about 250.

The post office was opened by Samuel Bishop, in his store, July 21, 1899. Bishop had just opened the store in the spring. He was the first postmaster. Mr. Bishop soon tired of the paperwork of the post office and the income was but five dollars a month. He wrote Washington and resigned but the Postmaster General ignored his letters. One day Bishop marched into the Carterville Post Office, dumped all his equipment on the mail table and announced, “This is it as far as I am concerned.” Other postmasters were appointed and the mail service was continued until it was moved to Clifford June 26, 1905.

In 1901 and 1902 the Big Muddy Coal and Iron Company started to sink a mine in a plot just east of North Bend that was to be Mine Number 7. They soon found the ground was underlying with a bog of quicksand and Number 7 was sunk east of Herrin in 1902.

In 1906, Big Muddy Coal and Iron Company sank Number 8 a mile southeast of the North Bend sight. Around this mine Clifford was built. North Bend declined and Clifford grew. Today there are 9 houses and a Pentecostal Church in North Bend. The population is 25.

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