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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Bridgeport 1862

In a published letter to the Mount Carmel Registrar newspaper, signed only as "an old resident of Bridgeport," the writer wondered why the editor never wrote anything about Bridgeport. Here is an excerpt of his description of Bridgeport during the Civil War published December 29. 1862.

"Bridgeport contains three hundred and seventeen inhabitants, four Dry Goods Stores, one Family Grocery, one Tangle-Food Grocery, two Hotels and Gen. Lyons extensive jewelry establishment. However, our citizens are extremely temperate, as they all belong to the I. O. of G. T.

"We have one extensive Flouring Mill running constantly, and giving entire satisfaction, two Shoe Shops, one Clothing Store, one Blacksmith Shop, one Wagon Maker Shop, and could support at least two more Blacksmith Shops and any amount of Cooper and other shops, too numerous to mention.

"We have two large Churches, finished off in good style (in fact, they are not surpassed by any Churches in Southern Illinois.) one School House, large enough to accommodate one hundred and fifty pupils, and have room left enough to build the largest Court House in this country.

"We have shipped from this place since the 16th day of September 1862, seventy-one thousand bushels of wheat, and oats and corn in proportions, and still the wheat comes in. Our friend, M. S. Shepherd, better known as the "live Yankee," is packing a large amount of pork. I cannot give the exact number of hogs.

"In fact, our business men are all doing a flourishing business. I often hear the Rail Road conductors remark that they receive more freight from this place than they do from any other station between Vincennes and St. Louis."

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