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INSIDE THE STEPHENSON HOUSE - November 9, 2006

Hi! Henry is having a great time just kinda' hanging out at “my” house. I love it when the school kids here. They laugh, play games and participate in the daily work just like Col. Ben and Lucy's children did.

But, let me tell you, these kids are on the look-out for Henry! Ol' Henry ends up playing hide and seek with some mighty sharp kids and have almost been spied a couple of times! Just so they don't find my hidey place!

So, life is good – or so Henry thought until my used-to-be good- friend, Bob the gardener, built a mousetrap! Can you believe it? Well, it sure has Ol' Henry upset! I immediately met with Cousin Jake for advice. Jake just said to stay out of the kitchen! Then he explained old-time mousetraps to me. Ol' Henry was now going to have to check out the trap to see if it works like the one Cousin Jake described!

Ol' Henry had to wait until Bob was gone and then very, very carefully look over Bob's mousetrap. I mean, how could he do such a thing? The mousetrap is just like Cousin Jake described. It's a big bucket and way up high there is a long round stick lying all the way across the bucket. And then placed right in the middle of the round stick is a flat wide board. This is the board Cousin Jake said to watch for!! It is a flat board not long enough to reach the other side of the bucket. A piece of cheese or corn chips is placed on the end that does not reach the other side of the bucket. Then Bob made a real nice board for a great ramp that leads from the ground to the top of the big bucket and meets the end of the board without the cheese. The bucket is half filled with water.

Here is Bob's plan: A mouse climbs up the ramp board from the ground onto the board over the bucket and proceeds out along the board, over the water, to the cheese. The weight of the mouse on the end of the board with the cheese causes the board and the round stick to rotate – dumping the mouse into the bucket of water. Goodby mouse!!! Can it possibly be that this is meant for me? Ol' Henry? Bob, I thought you were my friend.

Well!! Ol' Henry now knows it really is a trap for a mouse. So, I decided to sit back and watch and listen about the trap. Right away I heard the school kids telling Bob they didn't like having a trap for Henry and they meant it! Boy, I was glad to hear the kids speak up for me and figured they may save my life! My used-to-be-good-friend Bob, the gardener, told the kids that Henry was way too smart to get caught in a trap. Then Bob told them he had seen me dancing around the bucket and finally run out of the kitchen.

Hummmm, looks like Bob caught Henry checking out his mousetrap! Bob then went on and on about how smart Henry is to the point it made me blush. Reckon Bob has made peace with Henry and is still my friend. Nevertheless, Ol' Henry will always wonder if I could have figured out the mousetrap without the help of Cousin Jake! In the future Ol' Henry sure hopes Bob will build traps for larger game and leave poor Henry alone!

Good grief, let's forget about those evil mousetraps for a while and get back to listening and learning! Ol' Henry overheard George and the Tuesday Morning Crew talking about the historic city of Edwardsville. They said in 1820 Edwardsville was a major city in Illinois. Folks, do you know Chicago did not even exist in 1820?

Our Edwardsville was one of the pioneer cities in Illinois and is publicized as the third oldest city in Illinois. Listen to this folks, the first town to be incorporated and chartered in Illinois was Shawneetown, which received its charter from the Illinois Territorial Legislature December 8, 1814. Kaskaskia was chartered January 6 and Cairo January 9 in the year 1818.

Edwardsville was the first city to be incorporated by the first legislature of the new State of Illinois on February 13, 1819. Carmi, Belleville and Carlyle were the next to incorporate in the month of March, 1819.

Are you folks counting? Yep, you are right, by the list Henry just gave you Edwardsville is the fourth city to be incorporated in Illinois. Here is what happened. The Mississippi water channels shifted and flooding attacked the edges of Kaskaskia. The flooding continued over a period of years and in 1881 the town ceased to exist. So, the town is gone and that makes Edwardsville the third oldest city in Illinois. Sounds right to Ol' Henry!!

Back to the mousetrap, I am staying clear of it and go straight to my hidey place. Ol' Henry now knows how the trap works and will stay away from that bucket, but right now I am still a little on edge!

See ya' later,

Henry

 


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