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INSIDE THE STEPHENSON HOUSE - January 8, 2004

Hi! Henry the Stephenson House mouse is back again and glad to be back with you in year 2004! Henry here had surprise visitors who came knocking at my door the other day. They were my Cousins Seth from Carlinville, Jake from here in town and Elzey from Columbia, Mo. They came by to check out the progress of the restoration of "my" house.

So, Ol' Henry gave them a tour, pointing out the beautiful brick work on the new porch that now has columns, the parking lot, smokehouse and the new windows and doors. They were happy to see the new furnace do its job and keep us all nice and warm. Gosh, there was just so much to show them! The barn foundation and the privy, recently discovered, were a highlight of my tour! I sure wish Sid had been around so he could have told them first hand about privies and what he found in the one at "my" house. They loved the tour and the first comment they all made was "impressive".

We cousins each have lots of Stephenson family stories to tell. Remember, sometime ago Cousin Jake said he would tell us about what was for sale in the local stores? Well, Cousin Jake recalled a lot of the stories Great-great grandfather Ezra told about the ads in The Spectator. The first issue of that paper was in early May, 1819. We expected to see ads about Col. Ben's store; but, we didn't realize that he was closing his store at that time and was not advertising. The big advertiser was Robert Pogue who had "A splendid assortment of MERCHANDISE". Pogue's Store, located where Rusty's is today, had everything! Cousin Jake said Pogue advertised that he had for sale prime green coffee, sugar, pepper, allspice, raisins, cinnamon, nutmegs, cloves and Irish Glue. Hey, do you know what Irish Glue is? The Cousins think it was glue used by the Irish dancers to keep their socks from falling down while dancing! Wonder if they're right? Now if you were looking for liquor, Pogue offered Port wine, Madeira wine, Cognac Brandy, N.E. Rum, Holland Gin and whisky. Henry thinks that Pogue had a big store.

Robert Pogue had supplies such as nails, bar iron, pig lead, plough irons and axes. He also had pots and pans, tin kettles, Dutch ovens and skillets. There were scythes, bottles, saddle bags, bridles and horse whips for sale at Pogue's Store. And, the person who wanted school books could find them at Pogue's along with writing supplies. He had ink stands, common paper and letter paper, ink powder and quills.
When the ladies needed fabric, Cousin Jake said Pogue had a big selection. Superfine black, blue or brown cloth, superfine and common "cassimeres" (the way cashmere was spelled), Russia linen and Irish linen were offered for sale and advertised in The Spectator. Pogue had bed cords and bed ticking, coarse and fine domestic shirting, fancy and plain domestic

cottons and straw bonnets. And, Pogue even carried a general assortment of medicine!
As Cousin Jake said, the Pogue Store had it all! Robert Pogue and his brother had two stores, one in Edwardsville and another in Carlyle. We cousins got to calculating and we figured that Edwardsville was about fifteen years old and had only about sixty homes in town. Robert Pogue was probably carrying all that inventory, not only for Edwardsville but for the settlers and the Indians coming from far and wide to shop the Pogue store. Looks like his store was the super market of the day!

We got to chuckling about how Pogue sure knew how to please his customers. He had superfine cloth, coarse and fine shirting and fancy and plain cottons. He had fabric that was priced for many different needs and, importantly, pocketbooks. Men could buy fine and coarse shoes or Best Black Morocco leather shoes and that same man could choose from best fur hats, common hats or leather hats. We mouse cousins thought no one complained because Pogue aimed to please all people's tastes and pocketbooks!

Cousin Seth popped up with a couple ads for lost items that were in the 1819 Spectator. One was an ad placed by a man who had lost a Red Morocco pocket book that contained notes "of lend" on several people. The other ad Seth recalled was for a saddle with plated stirrups that was covered with buffalo skin and a cloak of new green plaid with an otter skin collar that had been lost between Edwardsville and St. Louis. Both advertisers offered liberal rewards for the return of the lost items. These ads in The Spectator for lost items and the Pogue Store advertisements made Ol' Henry and Cousins Seth, Jake and Elzey think Edwardsville had a real mix of people with a wide difference of money available to buy Pogue's merchandise.
Cousin Elzey had heard long ago about The Spectator advertising items from The Subscriber, a store owned by W.C. Wiggins and located opposite the Bank of Edwardsville. Listen to what Elzey said they had for sale! How about pickled salmon, pickled shad, codfish, tongue and smoked herring? This food was pickled to keep it preserved for the long trip to Edwardsville. W.C. Wiggins must have gone to a lot of effort and expense to get these pickled fish for his customers.

Ol' Henry is just amazed with how much the Cousins remember from all the old mouse stories! Cousin Jake mentioned that Abraham and Isaac Prickett operated a store in Edwardsville in 1819 too. Jake can't understand why they didn't advertise in the paper. Jake said Abraham did run an ad that said: "…the customers will recollect that business cannot be done without money. Those that take the hint will call at the store of Isaac Prickett & Co. and settle their notes and accounts without delay."

My cousins have gone back to their homes and I am here thinking about all the food advertised in 1819! I guess Ol' Henry will be heading out to see what I might be able to find for supper. Hey, speaking of dinner and food, The Friends of the Benjamin Stephenson House Annual Dinner will be at Sunset Hills County Club, January 15, 2004, starting at 6:30. I hear that Sid is going to talk about the necessary - also called a privy! Should be a fun evening and I hope to see you there!

See ya' later,

Henry


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