The Montgomery County Earmark Registry

Main Street Hillsboro - 1895-96
Main Street Hillsboro - 1895-96

Before the railroad reached Hillsboro in 1855, grain hauling was done by team and wagon. The principal markets were at Alton and St. Louis, and the overland wagon journey to either river town was long and difficult. With the exception of small rail enclosures, there were few fences. Cattle and hogs roamed at will, and to facilitate the identification of stock, farmers branded their animals. One of the oldest records in the Montgomery County Courthouse is the "Earmark Registry" of live stock, showing entries as early as 1821. An enclosure to hold stray animals was built in Hillsboro in 1831, and Stephen Fullingsworth was appointed "keeper of the stray pen."

(This description was written in 1940 and the photo is from 1895-96.)

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Jeff Dunn

Vice President

Historical Society of

Montgomery County

Advisory Board

Illinois State

Historical Society