Obituaries and Death Notices
in the Jonesboro Gazette
Jonesboro, Union County, Illinois
Transcribed by Darrel Dexter
The Jonesboro Gazette began publication as a weekly in 1849 and was published every Saturday in Jonesboro, Union County, Illinois. According to the History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois(1883), the newspaper was started by Thomas J. Finley and John Evans, who operated it until about 1853, when they sold it to the Rev. H.E. Hempstead. From 1855 to about 1857, it was owned by John Grear, who sold it in 1857 to John Dougherty. About 1859, it passed into the hands of a company of owners, of whom E.C. McKinney had the controlling interest, but it was sold in about a year, back to its founder, John Evans.
William Jones owned the newspaper at the outbreak of the Civil War. In May 1863 Union authorities closed the office doors and ordered the publisher to cease publication because of “disloyal articles” which had been appearing in the paper. Tradition says that the Union soldiers of the 14th Iowa destroyed all the copies of the newspaper from 1849 to 1861. Only a few issues of the Jonesboro Gazette from those years are known to exist. In March 1864, Joel Morgan reopened the paper. After less than a year, James D. Perryman purchased it and sold it in September 1866 to Thomas F. Bouton. He then sold it to his son-in-law, A.S. Tibbets, in 1892. Tibbets was still the editor and publisher in 1899.
Following is an index of obituaries and death notices found in microfilmed copies of the Jonesboro Gazette from 1858 through 1919. Morris Library, on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, has microfilmed copies of all the extant issues. The microfilm reels may be used and copied at the library, but they do not circulate.
One may also obtain copies of death notices or obituaries for a fee from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library (formerly the Illinois State Historical Library),112 North Sixth Street, Springfield, IL 62702. The microfilm of the Abraham Lincoln Library can also be ordered through interlibrary loan, if one wishes to do his or her own research. The Gazette-Democrat has bound most of the original extant issues of the Jonesboro Gazette, but they are not available for public use.
The Index to Obituaries and Death Notices in the Jonesboro Gazette 1858 - 1883 was published in book form by GSSI in 1996. Entries for 1900 appeared in The Saga of Southern Illinois, Volume XXIV #3 (July-September 2007) and for 1901 in Volume XXXV, #3 (July-September 2008). Obituaries and notices from 1902 through 1939 are published here for the first time.
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