Sulphur Springs History

Sulphur Springs was a village and post office in section 35 of Creal Springs Township and grew into a considerable settlement because of travel on the old Kaskaskia road. There was a spring of strong sulphur water, valued by the pioneers as a tonic. The road was laid out by the French when Assumption mission and Fort Massac were built in the first decade of the eighteenth century. Later a road from Lusk’s ferry (Golconda) intersected the Massac road southeast of Sulphur Springs.

Sulphur Springs Google ViewWhen Governor John Reynolds’ family came to Illinois in 1800, the route was plainly marked with mile posts burnt on trees and painted red. The road crossed the Saline at Ward’s mill, passed Bainbridge, and crossed Big Muddy at Vancil bend. This was one of the routes that Colonel Clark could have chosen when he marched to Kaskaskia in 1778. He probably avoided it because it was more frequently traveled by the French and he planned a surprise attack.

A post office was opened at Sulphur Springs September 22, 1846. Levi B. Casey was the first postmaster, representative of one of the first families in the neighborhood. Randolph Casey made his land entry in 1837, one of the first in the township. In 1839 the Franklin county commissioners’ court appointed Ran Casey road supervisor for the area immediately south of Saline River. Levi B. Casey Jr. enlisted September 8, 1861 at Vienna in the 31st Illinois infantry, and was elected second lieutenant in spite of his youth. After Fort Donelson he was promoted captain of Company D, but the handsome young soldier was killed at Vicksburg June 28, 1863.

Postmaster Casey turned over the duties of his office to Claiborne J. Cash November 18, 1847. He handled the mail until November 7, 1859. Then in rapid succession George Folh, William C. Cash, Cary W. Gregory, and David E. Sheerer served. Iredell W. Williams had a long term, beginning November 27, 1868.

Allison Clark, the storekeeper, was the next postmaster by appointment March 30, 1882. Merchant Clark was a handsome man in the eyes of youngsters whose visit to his store was a taste of heaven. He had a well-shaped head, pronounced features, and a Van Dyke beard.

The early doctors at Sulphur Springs were F. G. Clark, John J. Graham, and N. S. White. The last two also kept drug stores, and dosed their patients with the current substitutes for sulphur water. George Schuey, a Pennsylvanian, was the blacksmith.

New springs on Edward G. Creal s farm were found to have medicinal value, and a new town developed that caused Sulphur Springs to fade away. The doctors moved, the merchants saw the business opportunity in the patients’ flocking to the new health resort, and on February 8, 1883 Postmaster Clark moved the office a short distance northeast and began receiving mail under the new name, Creal Springs. The old town lessened in importance until the plat books named it merely the Sulphur Springs addition to Creal Springs.

See also Creal Springs

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(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939, on sale at the Williamson County Museum)