“It amount him $35,000 to accouter the abode — about as abundant as it amount him to body it”
CAIRO, Ill. — Charles A. Galigher, and his wife, Adelia Lippit Galigher, confused to Cairo in the 1850s from Zanesville, Ohio, on the anticipation of a chancy business venture.
Together with Mrs. Galigher’s brother, they purchased shares of a bankrupt abrade mill. Within a year, they had angry the aggregation profitable; the brother awash his shares and alternate to Ohio. Beneath two labels — Superior White and Premium Eagle — the aggregation awash abrade about the world, including in the United Kingdom, to Queen Victoria, and on the homestead, to the U.S. government during the Civil War.
By time the war ended, the Galighers were wealthy.
With their fortune, they absitively to body a abode in Cairo.
In 1869, they laid the foundation for what is accepted today as Magnolia Manor. Eventually, it would aggrandize to 8,000 aboveboard feet, with bristles flights of stairs arch to a cupola that overlooks the city; at the top, they’d install a window that opens assimilate a widow’s airing breadth the Galighers and their aggregation could escape the addled summer mosquitoes and boring out aloft the assemblage of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
But first, they let the foundation achieve for an absolute year, an old carpenter’s ambush to ensure a athletic and abiding home.
And it has been — for about 150 years.
But today, the Cairo Actual Association, which has endemic the home aback 1952, is active abbreviate of banknote to abide its operations as a museum. Those committed to its budget anguish what will become of the abode if they’re affected to shut off the utilities. Charles McGinness, the association’s president, said the botheration is appealing simple: “We’re collapsed broke.”
Utilities and annual payments to the home’s babysitter and bout guide, who lives downstairs, far beat admission donations and gain from tours. The communicable has been abnormally able-bodied to the association’s finances, causing bargain tours and the advancing abandoning of the anniversary Holiday Abode luncheons event, its better anniversary fundraiser, McGinness said. Again there are the bigger, added cher aliment that are accomplished due.
The home needs a new roof and constrict pointing work. Artery are falling abaft the abode assimilate the porch. There are two leaks, one in the library and one in the roof, which abuse structural damage. “We’re defective some aloft assignment done. We’re absolutely aloof treading water,” McGinness said. “I consistently acquaint people, aback they say, ‘How’s it going?’ I say, ‘Well, you apperceive that arena of the Titanic at the end breadth the ship’s continuing up at a appropriate bend and they’re captivation assimilate the top? That’s breadth we are. We’re captivation assimilate the top.’”
When Charles Dickens anesthetized by Cairo in 1842 as he catholic from Cincinnati to St. Louis on an American expedition, he had alone barbarous words for the place. Though “vaunted in England as a abundance of Golden Hope” for its admired breadth at the bottom of two aloft bread-and-butter arteries, Dickens said he begin Cairo to be a “dismal swamp”; … a “breeding-place of fever, ague, and death”; … an “ugly sepulchre, a grave uncheered by any beam of promise.”
It was about a decade afterwards aback the Galighers accustomed here.
Charles was an aggressive man. He accelerating from University of Ohio at age 15. So conceivably it is not hasty that he saw in Cairo a architectonics in the rough. Though, he was not the alone one. In 1850, Cairo was home to alone a few hundred people. By 1860, the boondocks had developed to a little added than 2,000 people. But it was the Civil War that would badly change the town’s trajectory. Cairo’s breadth at the confluence, and on the adding band amid the North and South, rendered it analytical to the war effort.
During the war, Cairo hosted some 12,000 Union soldiers beneath the administration of Ulysses S. Grant.
“Although the disruption of river cartage originally debilitated the bread-and-butter position of Cairo … the war anon brought the burghal its finest hour,” the backward John M. Lansden, a continued time Cairo resident, wrote in his 1910 book, “A History of the Burghal of Cairo, Illinois.”
War, Lansden noted, apprenticed money, “and Cairo accepting become a abundant aggressive base and depot, money anon began to accomplish its actualization in a way never dreamed of by any one in the town…” As a result, abounding bodies “became analogously affluent who had never accepted to attain unto added than a adequate competency.”
Galigher’s abrade milling business was absolutely amid those buoyed by the war effort. He fabricated a tidy sum diplomacy the government hard, dry aliment and biscuits — accepted as hardtack — for Union soldier rations. Through his business dealings, Galigher addled up a accord with Grant that lasted aloft his presidency.
After the war ended, Cairo’s abridgement grew at a abiding pace. Hundreds of small-scale industries and retail food sprang up. They included butt factories, breweries, atom and balk mills, brickyards, apparatus and box manufacturers, sausage producers, cigar makers, banks, hotels and restaurants, according to a 1997 commodity in the Illinois Actual Journal.
That commodity by historian Christopher Hays accurately discussed the African American attempt for adequation and amends in post-Civil War Cairo. Cairo’s growing citizenry during this era is partly attributed to the actuality that the government brought bags of delinquent disciplinarian to Cairo during the war.
The “contraband” camp, as it was known, was disbanded afterwards the war ended, and abounding Black
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