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Dr. Carter Wilkey, another one of the early physicians, came to Jefferson County in 1816 with a few emigrants and settled at Moore's Prairie in the deserted cabin of Andrew Moore on the old Goshen Road. Dr. Wilkey was a native of Georgia but removed from that state to Tennessee, where he enlisted in the war of 1812. Being under age, his mother succeeded in getting him out of the army after a few months. He and Robert Cook, who had come to Illinois with him, were connected with a surveying party, engaged in surveying the lands in this part of the state. Carter Wilkey was the "commissary" -- the huntsman who furnished the game for the use of surveying party.

At this time emigrants were passing over the Goshen Road, headed for "Sangamo country" and would stop at the settlement where the Wilkeys were living. Carter Wilkey engaged in the business of going to Carmi, a distance of forty, or fifty miles, with two or three pack horses, and bringing back meal to sell to these "movers", which he sold at $2.00 a bushel. It was a lucrative business for that early day.

He and Ben Wood learned the carpenter's trade, and they at once began to work at that business in partnership. They built many of the first houses in they county. They built the first house on Jordan's Prairie; they also built the clerks office in McLeansboro, the first house erected in that town; they built or helped to build the first bridge over Casey's Fork of Muddy Creek.

Wilkey afterwards went to Burlington, Iowa, worked in a drug store, and studied medicine under Dr. Hasbrook of that city. Coming back to Jefferson County, he located in the southeast part of the county on the old Goshen Road near what is now the Sugar Camp Baptist Church house, where he practiced medicine for many years.

He also used to trade in horses and cattle and took many hundreds of them to southern markets.

He lived to a ripe old age. After his death his son, Dr. Henry Wilkey, who had been practicing in Macidonia in Hamilton County moved to the old Wilkey homestead.


SOURCE: : History Of Jefferson County, Illinois Continental Historic Bureau 1962

submitted by: Misty Flannigan