Robert Higgins moved from the vicinity of Kaskaskia, to a site about 2 miles south of Sparta in 1812. He is believed to be one of the first settlers in the precinct. Other families came later and in 1820 you will find the following persons in the same vicinity: Samuel Nesbit, James Patterson, Major AndrewBorders, Arthur Parks, William and Samuel Gordon, John and James Baird, James McClurken, and possibly others. A man named Shannon established a store about a mile south in 1828. This store served these early settlers. However, a year or two later the store was moved to a building beside what was Armour's Mill in the present site of Sparta. The new village then formed and was called Columbus, however the store and post office remained Shannon's Store until 1839. At that time the name "Sparta" was given to both the post office and the town.
John W. Hesker bought land with James W. Stewart who helped to plat the village of Old Marisasa. In 1869 Mr. Hesker laid out an addition of his own in the northeast part of Old Marissa, northeast of where the School District 40 offices are now located. It has been reported that the Hesker home stood on the crest of the hill just east of Coulter's mill and that house was later occupied by the George Nevin family. It is also believed that Mr. Hesker was one of the charter members of the Baptist Church. Mr. Hesker had married Ida Dial and when he died she moved the family to DuQuoin. There is a tombstone for John Hesker in the Marissa Cemetery and it indicates that he was born 6 Feb 1840 and died 23 Apr 1878. After the death of John W., his wife moved the family to DuQuoin, Perry County, Illinois.
Ida (Dial) Hesker (also found as Louisa) was born 13 Nov 1844 and died 5 Feb 1933 at DuQuoin, Perry County, IL. On tombstone of husband John W. Hesker, there are no dates for her, only the word "Mother".
Did you Know? that in January 1903 the Baldwin Bank opened and was ready for business? The officers of the new concern were E. B. McGuire, Spar, president; S. H. Johnson, vice-president, and W. R. Preston, caxshier. The board of directors was composed of the abvoe names and N. R. Lessley and F. W. Rabe. (Sparta News-Plaindealer January 2, 1903)
Here's another Did You Know. There was an Ancient Order of Nimble Nibblers. The October 23, 1903 issue of the Sparta-News Plaindealer informed the public that they were pleasantly entertained on Monday evening by Mrs. W. J. Hood and Mrs. T. A. Brown at the Hood Home. Mrs. Walter L. Wylie and Mrs. Fred Grenslet were admitted into the membership of the club.
Do You Remember? September 11, 2001 - The worst terrorist attack in U.S. history occurred as four large passenger jets were hijacked then crashed, killing nearly 3,000 persons. Four separate teams of Mideast terrorists, operating from inside the U.S. boarded the morning flights posing as passengers, then forcibly commandeered the aircraft. Two fully-fueled jumbo jets, American Airlines Flight 11 carrying 92 people and United Airlines Flight 175 carrying 65 people had departed Boston for Los Angeles. Both jets were diverted by the hijackers to New York City where they were piloted into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The impact and subsequent fire caused both 110 story towers to collapse, killing 2,752 person including hundreds of rescue workers and people employed in the towers. In addition, United Airlines Flight 93, which had departed Newark for San Francisco and American Airlines Flight 77, which had departed Dulles (Virginia)for Los Angeles, were hijacked. Flight 77 with 64 people on board was diverted to Washington, D.C., then piloted into the Pentagon building, killing everyone on board and 125 military personnel inside the building. Flight 93 2with 44 people on board was also diverted toward Washington but crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to overpower the terrorists on board.
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