Religion in Crawford County
In this humble way was trained the mind of many children who have become conspicuous parts in the affairs of the county, state, and nation.
The Baptists were the pioneers in religion in Crawford County and had ministers here among our first settlers. The ministrations were not confined to their own sect, nor confined to any particular section. They preached everywhere and to everybody, stopping where night overtook and receiving the hospitality of the cabin, "without money and without price." Their wants were few and easily satisfied. Wherever they went they were welcome. A notice was sent to the neighbors; a meeting was to be held and all turned out en masse.
The Methodists built their first church in the county at Palestine and were followed soon by the Quakers establishing their first church on what is still known as Quaker Lake.
In the early days, agricultural and other products found their way to market by way of the Wabash. Flat boats carrying pork, grain, and various articles of commerce were loaded at Hutsonville or Bristol Hill Landing. Then they slowly plied their way toward the Ohio and Mississippi, their destination being new Orleans, then the most profitable marketplace for this section of the country.
The first road of any importance was laid out from Palestine to Vandalia in 1823, and the first bridge built in the county was a rude affair across LaMatte Creek near Palestine. The first railroad, the Paris and Danville, was completed in 1875, though there had been many "air lines" routed and built since the '50s.