O. Wilson & Company / Livingston, Ills.
by Greg Mathis
Orrin L. Wilson was born 1828 in New York. He appears in the 1870 Illinois census as “potter” at Livingston, Clark County, Illinois. The 1880 census indicates he and his family resided at Casey, Clark County, Illinois.
The village of Livingston, Clark County, Illinois was brought into existence in 1830, through the building of the National Road federal government project to establish a main road from eastern states directly westward. The economic depression “Panic of 1837” stopped this road undertaking at Vandalia, Illinois. Today, this major road coincides with Hwy 40 (I-70).
Articulated in The Marshall Herald article of May 30, 1917, Cindy McCachern submitted that land and business speculators “confidently expected Livingston to become a metropolis." Further detailed is "Robert Ferguson entered the land from the government and laid out the town in 1830. It began growing like a mushroom and soon became an important trading point for the pioneers. In 1833 David Wyrick put up a large two story hotel building on the most prominent corner in town, the lumber being whip-sawed by hand. The old tavern was a noted stopping place for stage drivers on the National Road and did a good business for many years.”
This Marshal Herald article further reports that “Even the power of the tornado was not sufficient to pull its massive timbers apart and it still stands, although badly wrecked. The Masonic Lodge was organized in 1867. It owned its building, the lower floor of which was occupied by the Crumrine store. Its property was completely destroyed except the lodge records.” Further reported, "Saturday’s tornado (cyclone May 26, 1917) finished the village of Livingston, which vicissitudes in its life of 87 years.”
Devastating fires and storms coupled with county’s decision to position the Clark County Seat at the nearby town of Marshall, and not in Livingston, led to the “demise” of Livingston. Today, Livingston is somewhat a ghost town, merely categorized as an “unincorporated” settlement.
The Livingston, Clark County, Illinois, Pottery Center
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