(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Calhoun county : its early history and first settlers"

srr. 38S 

Ll8c 

John Lammy. Calhoun County. Its Early 
— History and First Settlers. /loic 

[rpt., 1904]^^^^^ 



err. 385 

Li 8c 



kUKOis Hisiasitu w::ci 



iHrQYw. lV>«^ Ki^u.b\i 



CyCLrv; 




CALHOUN COUNTY. 

Its Early History and First Settlers. 
Prepared and Read at a Celebration 
OF the Centennial Anniversary at Har- 
din, 111m July 4, 1876. 

By JOHN LAMMY. 



Unwritten history becomes, in the 
course of time, mere legend or tra- 
dition. Written history preserves 
the deeds of men and the events of 
their day, and passes them down to 
posterity as cherished realities or 
monitory guides to the paths of duty 
and of honor. 

The history here given has been, 
for the most part, obtained from 
those who have been either eye wit- 
nesses to, or actors in the events 
narrated. 

It ma}' bo well for us right here to 
consider for a moment the fact that 
the time is not far distant when our 
actions, and the events of our time, 
will be commented on and read by 
others with an ir.'terest as great, if 
not greater, than that with which we 
regard those wlio have i)receded us. 
And if their faults and weaknesses 
serve to guard us against ours, and 
their nol)leness and self-denying in 
tegrity serve to inspire us with a 
spirit of eniulr^tion to duty and to 
right, then our history lias served its 
purpose. 

This is far from being a (•oin[)h'te 
account oF ^iie past. In the first 
place, the time was t( o limited for 
its accomplishment. And although 
the committee on whom devolved 
the duty of obtaining the incidents 
and facts required did all in their 
power, yet many neighliorhoods are 
omitted, and many settlers left out 
from the lack of time and inabilit}' 
to find those most competent to give 
the information. What is here ob- 
tained is mainly due to Mr. Ansell 
of the Democrat; Attorney John F. 
Nolte; Attorney A. W. Argust and 
Capt. Stephen Child, of the com- 
mittee appointed; and Messrs. A. G. 
Squier, Aug. greamba, Aug. Smith 
and others who very generously vol- 
unteered much valuable information. 



Early Settlement. 

The lirst white man that ever took 
up his abode in Calhoun county is 
said to have settled, at the Two 
Branches in Point precinct about the 
year 1801. He lived for j-ears before 
any other settler came, and remained 
alone and unknown for a long time 
after these settlers did come. His 
home was a cave dug out by himself 
and was about a quarter of a mile 
from the Mississippi river. In 1850 
Solomon Lammy, who now owns the 
land, dug up the boards of the floor 
and leveled the sides on which large 
saplings were then growing, to make 
way lor a garden spot. Wlio he was^ 
or where he came from, was known 
only to himself, for he' refused all 
intercourse with the settlers. fie 
went by the name of the Hermit. 

The next settlers were Freuch 
trappers and half breeds who foirmed ? 
quite a large colony on tlie Illinois .^ 
river al)out a mile above where the 
Deer Plain Feny now stands. Tl'ese 
remained there until the great high 
watei' of 1815 or 1818 drove them 
away. One Andrew Judy lived 
there, but whether he was one of t'.iis. 
number or one who came afterwards. 
is not known. 

After these in time was Major 
lloberts, who came from Ohio in 
June 1811, and settled on the farm 
now owned by Henry Kiel. The 
journey was made in a keel boat, from 
wliicli he landed near the present site 
of Bloom's Landing. 

John Shaw was probably the next. 
He first passed through with some 
government expedition (Possibly ex- 
pedition of Lewis & Clark in LSO^'r. | 
and was so well pleased with the 
country that he came I »ack and setth.'d. 
He made extensive purchases of land 
in tiie neighiiorhoodsof Gilead., Giiil- 
ford, Helleview and Haml)urg. r, nd 



his coming proved (jnilo an event In 
llie hisU.iv of the future country, 
lleference to Sliaw is made further 
on. 

Tht n, or it may have been some 
time before, (f(jr the dates are not 
given.) a number of French hunters 
and trappers from Cape Girarileau 
y. came by way of the vilhiges of St. 
~ JjOuis and St. Charles, and settled at 
Ijittk^ (Japan Gris. afterwards Milan, 
-, and to a certain extent became tillers 
-r of tiie soil. 
J This place was afterwards laid out 
- in town lots liy John Bolter ami tail- 
ed Milan. 

In May, 1822, the father of Ches- 
- lew Twicl'.ell of Monterey with a larije 
^ family, landed otf a keel boat, at 
'. Coles Grove, on Gilead Slough, 
i'heslcy was then eighteen years of 
^ age and brought the iron in a canoe 
from the village of St. Louis, a dis- 
^ tance of sixt\'-five miles for the lirst 
^ plow which his father afterwards 
A made. This was the first iron 
r plough that was ever in the county, 
V\^ all the others being of wood. Jlajor 
^ Roberts, actuated by this spirit of 
enterprise, had old Mr. Twichell to 
> make him a cart from a part of the 
^^■^^iiirae canoe load of iron, which was 
^ also the first cart in the county. 
"^ In the year 1823. Chesley, with his 
brother Koyal and \'ertner Church, 
iielped a Mr. David E. Button drive 
■".t-IqI of cattle and hogs to a place 
eiglit miles al)ove the present town 
of Atlas, in Pike county. The first 
habitation they met after leaving 
Salt Prairie or Cole's Grove was five 
miles south of Bay Creek, and the 
next was Ave miles south of Atlas. 
.Vtlas they found to be a rather pop- 
ulous place, containing eight or nine 
houses. At the present site of 
Mozi( rs Jianding they found the fire 
still burning, which the old man. 



(Mo/cier) had made after his first 
landing with his family. 

Mambufg was a wilderness of forest 
and underbrush, and nothing for a 
road but an Indian trail. Calvin 
Twichell being of a rambling dispo- 
sition wandered as far ott' as the 
present site of Quincy, and while 
there helped to build a log cabin for ( 
one Geo. W. Haight, which was the 
second one built in the place at that 
time. This was in 1827. 

Samuel Smith, husband of Mrs. 
ijucena Smith near Brussels, emi- 
grated from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, 
in 1822. and built a house in a field 
now owned by Marion Todd, near 
the present Cresswell School House 
in Point precinct. 

Al)outthis time also, the Metz fam- 
ily moved in. Johnnie, we l)elieve. 
it was who built a house and made a 
small clearing l)y the big spring on 
the present site of Brussels. Others 
of the family moved up and settled 
in the neighborhood of Gilead. 

In 182G, Robert Andrews, father 
of Dr. R. G. Andrews and Mr. John 
Andrews of Point precinct, settled 
in what is known as the Cresswell 
settlement, in which place he remain- 
ed till his death. Then ';ame the 
following settlers with their families: 
Nathaniel Shaw, brother of John 
Shaw, settled about half a mile south 
of the present site of Deer Plain post 
otiice. Traces of where the house 
stood are yet to be seen in tlie tim- 
ber; Comfort Shaw, who settled on 
the place now owned by Pat Fitzger- 
ald anti ;\Irs. Lizzie Kelly. ' 

— — Cline. who settled on Frank 
Smiths place, on the bank of the 
Mississipi)i. 

Red, who settled on what is 

now Johnsons Ijandinjj-. 

('apt. .Nixon, who settled a attle 
east of where dacolt Auer live.s. on 



the last stretch of bluff in the county. 

J. B. Maiechel, near Brock's 
Landing. 

Andrew Roy, on the "Thompson " 
farm in Little Prairie, now owned 
by Henry Tappmeyer. 

Henry G. Stiles, who built a shan- 
ty and lived on the Tappmeyer 
place. 

Amos IStiles, who settled on Little 
Prairie. 

Then Jacob Lutes, who settled 
some two miles south of the present 
Brussels. 

Then three families of the Krites 
came, who settled in the same neigh- 
borhood. 

Of all these families Amos Stiles, 
one of the Shaws, Clines, Andrew 
Eoy, Jacob Lutes and all three of 
the Krites have no representative in 
the county at present. 

Most of these families came from 
Cape Girardeau, St. Charles, St. 
Louis and St. Genevieve, and gave 
the first great impetus to permanent 
settlement. 

Another very influential family 
was that of Capt. Marcus L. Adder- 
ton who, by virtue of his military 
discharge, entered a large tract | 
of land in the present neighbor-/ 
hood of Dr. Andrews. The Captain 
died only a few years ago after serv- 
ing in various official capacities. 

Aug. Greamba, father of Augustus 
and Heniy Greamba, came in 1833 
and settled near the present farm of 
Mr Hiram Keithh'. In the year follow- 
ing Augustus, jr. was born and is 
now living veiy nearly on the same 
spot where his childhood was spent. 

The first settler here after Major 
Rol)erts was Judge P>benezer Smith, 
father of Augustus Smith. He came 
in on the 10th day of May, A.D. 1819, 
from the falls of the Ohio, and made 
the entire trip in a barge which had 



to he cordelled from the mouth of 
the Ohio up. 

He found the Indians — as he used 
to express it-- "thick as blackberries." 

Five families of Whites were all 
that were to be found in ihe present 
limits of Calhoun county. Among 
these were those of Major Roberts. 
John Shaw and Richard Dillon. The 
county then was a part of Madison 
county, and he paid his taxes at 
Edwardsville. the county seat. 

The onh' building of any kind for 
miles around was an Indian trading 
post. The house was close to the 
road-side spring that lies midway 
between the present residences of A. 
G. Squier and Herman Imming. 

This post was kept by a Canadian 
Frenchman, who exchanged whiskey 
and tobacco for Kirs. This man, Mr. 
Smith bought out, for the purpose 
of ridding himself of the dangers and 
troubles of drunken Indians, and he 
bui-nt the house as soon as possession 
was given. 

Among the first improvements 
made on his place was the planting 
of a few seedling apple trees, the first 
in the count}-, and the planting of 
these trees was the means of after- 
ward procuring him a pre-emption 
on the laud. He also entered the 
land on which he died and his son, 
Augustus, is now probably the onh* 
man in the county who lives on, and 
owns the land entered by his father. 

E. Smith. 

On his first coming he also found 
a half breed Indian living on the riv- 
er bank, at the present site of Guil- 
ford. At this place he built a ferry 
and employed this half-breed to run 
it, which he did faithfully for a num- 
I ber of years. This ferry connected 
the prairie villages of Jersey, Greene 
and Macoupin counties with the set- 
tlements of Calhoun, the forts in 



Missouri, and tbe villages of St. 
(.'harles, St. Louis and St. (xt'iievieve, 
wliieh i)laces were then, as now, the 
centres of civilized wealth. 

Jacol) Piuden stopped witli Kben- 
ezer Smith a while before fettling 
down, but finalh' located in 1829, 
building near the big spring of A. 
G. Squier. While living here his 
wife had her three 3'ear old boy 
stolen by the Indians, who held him 
until he was re-captured five years 
afterwards. This, proI)al)ly, is the 
only instance in which Calhoun's 
early settlers lost children I)y the In- 
dians. In l(S2!t, Pruden moved on 
the farm now known as the Mortland 
farm. He bought out a man named 
Still, whose reasons for selling were 
that "the hollow was so fidl of 
wolves and rattlesnakes that he was 
afraid to stay. " Mr. Pruden owned 
the first cart in this neighborhood. 

John Ingersoll lived one or two 
years at (Juilford and then moved to 
the spring south of C. C. Scjuiers, in 
the 3-ear 1825. His family consisted 
of seven boys and one girl. The 
house was 18x20 feet and served the 
treble purpose of sleeping room, 
kitchen and church. 

Calvin Twichell and his mothers 
family settled on what is now know 
as the McDonald farm about the year 
183U. Some one had built a cabin on 
it years before, and the large I'ock 
which is now the ornament of the 
front yard was then the back of the 
chimney of this primitive l)uilding. 

Charles Sijuier, — father of A. G. 
and C. C. Stpiier, came in here in 
ISa;} and settled in Mortland Hollow, 
in the spring of ls;-54. he and Jacob 
Pruden built the first school house in 
this neighl)orhood, his daughter Car- 
oline, afterwards Mrs. Belt, teaching 
1 lie first school, Mrs. Guthrie being 
one of her pupils. 



Heyne's Landing was first settled 
by Richard Dillon shortly after the 
coming of Major Roberts. Dillon 
moved up the Hollow west of the 
place now owned by Levi Smith. 
HARDIN. 

We have l)een unal)le to get very 
little definite knowledge of the early 
settlement of Hardin, and vicinity 
north of it. 

Dr. Terry, it seems, was the first 
settler. He came in, and, after stop- 
ping awhile with Ebenezer Smith, 
moved up and l)uilt a house near 
where the old warehouse now stands. 
The place was known as Terry's 
Landing until 1835, when, after its 
purchase by B. F, Child, it was 
known as Cliilds Landing. In 1847 
it became the county seat under the 
name of Hardin, both of which hon- 
ors it retains to this day. 

Aiitoine Degerlia, Sr. , moved into 
its neighborhood at a veiy early day, 
accomi)anied by several other fami- 
lies whose names are unknown to the 
writer at present, Mr. Degerlia had 
a very large family who, with him- 
self, had a marked influence in its 
earl}' society and business. 

GILEAD. 

We cannot date the coining of John 
Shaw, the earliest settler, and at the 
same time the most noted man in its 
early annals. 

It is reasonabl}' certain that he did 
not come alone and also probable 
that he came with considerable prop- 
erty. 

in the first place he set up a horse 
mill, which was the only means of 
milling open to the settlers for 3ears. 
In 1883, he was able to send to mar- 
ket one hundred fat steers which 
netted him an even thousand dollars. 
His, store and his public business 
gave him an influence over men 
enoiiiih to t'Dubic him to rule the 



county wliieli he indirectly ili<l for 
3-ears. So great was iiis influence 
and at the same time so injurious to 
the settler, that the public issue was 
gotten up in its politics of '-Shaw,'" 
or "Anti-Shaw," and it was not un- 
til after a great and united strug- 
gle that John Shaw lost his supre- 
macy. 

However, like many others he had 
his day. and he at last passed out of 
liistor\- and out of memor}- of all ex- 
cept the few whose injuries or friend- 
ships keep his deeds fresh. 

The final blow of his downfall was 
the building of a steamboat at Ham- 
burg. On this boat he lavished most 
of his wealth, and on her first load 
he expended all his credit. It is 
said that every avilable neighborhood 
was called on to ship by him their 
surplus stores to St. Louis, and 
await his return for their money. 
This, manj' of them did, but John 
Shaw considered St. Louis too small 
a place for the patronage of his boat, 
so he steamed on to New Orleans, 
from whence, it appears, he never 
came back. At any rate, we never 
find him connected with any other 
enterprise in the county. 

Partly co-temporar}* with shaw, 
were the families of Wm. Frye. 
Richard Dillon. Lockwood. Sternes. 
Howell and Wolf. 

These men had made Gilead one 
of the foremost settlements in the 
county. 

In 1828 the two families of Jacolt 
and Samuel Crader moved into Salt 
Prairie, now Gilead, With them 
came the Winship's. Pattersons. 
Byrd's, Stiles, Schells and Wise's. 
They came from Cape Girardeau, 
and made the trip in covered wagons. 
With the exception of the Stiles fam- 
il}" tiiey all settled in a neighborhood 
north of Gilead. 



Jacob Crader settled I)y the Cave 
Spring, four miles west of Hanlin. 
and the same distance north oi Gil- 
ead. Here he built two water power 
corn mills in 1829. the year long' re- 
membered as the year of the great 
snow. a snow falling in the 
early spring of that year to a depth 
never before experienced liy any of 
the settlers. 

In 18:i5U, Jacob moved with his 
family to the old Uhrig place, now 
the Catholic Church neighltorhood in 
Crater precinct. He and his boys 
had to chop a way for their wagon 
through the forest to get there. The 
early frost of 1831 so injured their 
corn that it was unfit for food, but 
necessity smothered their scruples 
and they lived the year out on the 
unpalatal)le stuft". The next season 
he obtained his seed corn in St. Lou- 
is, paying at the moderate rate of 
S2.25 per bushel. 

In the fall of 1832. xMr. Crader 
moved from the bluft' to the river and 
built on what is now called Crater's 
Landing. Young Jacob, from whom 
most of this information is obtained, 
was then about ten years of age. In 
the summer of 1833, he says that 
the family was greatly alarmed by a 
loud thundering noise from some- 
where down the river. .About the 
head of Hurricane Island they dis- 
covered what they thought to be a 
house coming towards them against 
the current. Directly the '-house" 
landed close to their cabin and proved 
to be a steamboat. He believes she 
was called the Argus. His father 
helped the officers and crew to get 
about six or eight cords of wood, 
young Jacob doing the hauling with 
a yoke of oxen and cart, robed in a 
iJ-iffeoQ-tailed coat, blue cloth and 
i)rass buttons, — something, he con- 
sidered, very grand, although it be- 



longed l<> a past aiiv and did trad tliv' 
ground. Bill man's dearest treas- 
ures are often mocked at., and to tins 
i'ule young JacoI> was no exception, 
for his much prized -'pigeon tail" 
caused the oHicers and crew to name 
him tlio '•L(.ng tailed hull driver. ' 
an inheritance he possesses to this 
day, since several of the present 
steamhoatmen yet give him this ti- 
tle. After "wooding"' the l)oat the 
<ifflcers took the whole family about 
four miles up the river and back, 
<luring wbich tbey had a grand time. 
The captain arranged with the elder 
Crader to have wood on the bank for 
the next trip of the boat, which they 
made in three or four weeks from 
that dat", paying for it one dollar a 
cord, and probalily inaugurating the 
first wood-landing in the county. 

Samuel Crater, brother to Jacob, Sr. 
moved up to what is now known as 
Indian Creek, in the year ]82y. On 
this creek he also successively built 
two water mills, and had a first class 
l)lacksinith shop in connect ion, 

John Huti' settled at the Great 
Salt Spring at a very early day, date 
not known. 

After hiin came R. S. Quigley, 
who took possession of the spring 
and With a view ol' utilizing it for 
the making of salt, erected a large 
frame building and brought machine- 
ry for salt making from Ohio. In 
order to get a greater supply he 
bored to a depth of 250 feet, but 
only succeeded in getting a large 
flow of fresh water containing sul- 
phur, rendering the whole affair use- 
less. Soon after he abandoned the 
place and after remaining a while 
longer in the county, moved away. 

Anderson Wilkinson, father of 
Wm. M. Wilkinson, carae Here in 
]S:n from Missouri. He first set- 
tl(d on the present Jeptha Dixon 



farm, finding there a number of huts, 
the last remnants of the desertetl 
village of Bounty ville. From thence 
he removed to the farm now occu- 
l)ied liy Wm. H. PI u miner, and from 
thence to the town of Gilead. wheic 
he died, 

Andrew T'hrig moved in. in lS2it, 
and settled on the river near what is 
known as Hurricane Island Slough. 
Being a man of great wealth, he en- 
gaged very largely in business. He 
owned the steamer Pearl which he 
ran for years in the trade. He 
planted the first vineyard in the 
county, sold the first l)eer and had a 
a large store in connection with other 
business. High water of '•44' drove 
him to the lilutl' on what is known as 
Uhrig's farm. In 1S47 he removed 
to Hardin before it became the 
county seat, and was one of the few 
whose labors tended to make it this. 

PANTHER CREEK. 

Earliest scUler not known. Mrs. 
John White came from Kentueky in 
18;}4.' Found Peacock in possession of 
the only orchard on the creek. Thert- 
were about thirty acres in cultivation 
all told, and the foUowintv families re- 
siding- here: Otwell's, ISeman's, Pea- 
cocks' and Gunthei-man's. Webb's, 
NicholVs, Taylor's and .Jesse .Tackson 
came in with Mrs. White in lf<;U. 

In 1S45 Dan Looper owned the only 
mill within twenty miles of thein, and 
it was run by hand. Wild hogs were 
numerous and very fat in the fall. 
Wolves came into the door yards, 
sometimes as many as twelve or fifteen 
at a time. Indians were very numer- 
ous, but peaceable. The Indians left 
about 18;55-I«;5(i. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Crosby moved from 
St. Clair county to Greene in 182(5, 
and from Greene to Panther Ch-eek in 
IS.}". There was a school with an at- 
tendance of twenty pupils. The ridges 
that are now covered with Ijeautiful 
forests, or that have just been cleared 
of them were, at that time, were hare 
as the prairie, without even a shrub. 
FARMERS' RIDGE. 

.John L^orroman was there in 1<S.><. 



Hu5v much sooner, not kn(HT. 

Incidents of Settlement. 

From 1S1J5 up to 1S20. the St. Charles 
settlers, who had rapidly increased 
under the daring Bt)ou, beiran to ex- 
tend their settlements as far as Lower 
Dardenne, Barique and Cuivre creeks, 
on the Mississippi. It appears that 
this increase was due to the inalien- 
able ri^ht and natural tendency of 
woman to follow the fortunes and 
share the vicissitudes and bonnet and 
T'ibbon money of men. With a weak- 
ness as ooraraon to man then as it is 
today, be left his letharo-y and hshing- 
tackle in the shade and emerged as a 
hod carrier and master mason. The 
rest was the erection of several good 
forts inside which the women and chil- 
dren could repair for safety. This 
done. they found frequent opportunities 
of visiting ''Mesopotamia" of the west 
— the hallowed precincts of what is 
now the county of Calhoun. The chief 
allurements to it were the vast numbers 
of wild turkey and deer, the presence 
of honey and, we suppose, the absence 
of women. 

On one occasion a lot of "baruiB- 
scarum"' young men, against the ad- 
vice or the older ones, crossed from 
Cap au Gris, Missouri, to take in a 
lot of wild turkeys, whose cries they 
distinctly heard. As they passed in- 
to the woods, the turkeys receded until 
all had passed some distance into the 
forest. It w^as but a short time until 
the forest echoed the tramj) of their re- 
turning steps. They came hastily, too. 
for not far in their rear was a lot of 
savages anxious for their scalps. 
Plunging into the river they hardly 
succeeded in escaping with their lives. 
One poor fellow, whose name is now 
forgotten, was hedged in from his 
companions and driven to the top of 
the bluff. Being as daring as he was 
desperate, he actually forced his horse 
down the declivity, and plunging into 
the river, followed by a shower of ar- 
rows, he reached the Missouri shore 
in safety. It is needless to say that 
the turkey cries proceeded from Ihe 
Indians. 

On another occasion, a party of In- 
dians who were on a raid of murder 
and robbery, attacked the few settlers 
and trap])er.s then in the Point. The 
>ettlers seemed to have been ready for 



fhem, for they were organized and 
gave them a hot chase and had the 
pleasure of reaching Cap au Gris fer- 
ry landing in time to see the Indians 
safely landed with their spoils on the 
Missouri shore. One Indian brave 
was so delighted with their discom- 
fiture that stepping forward to the 
bank, be stooped down to a very un- 
dignified position and signaled his 
contempt for the party. Captain Ad- 
derton, who told this to the writer, 
thought it was Capt Xixon who toolc 
Dp his rifle with an oath, and firing at 
the savage. drop]>ed him dead in his 
tracks. The incident is well remem- 
bered yet among the few and the place 
is known as "The Long Shot."' 

French and fndian High Water. 

Captain Nixon visited the county 
long before removing to it. He stated 
that, while on his way in a canoe from 
near the present Deer Plain postoTUce, 
across Little Prairie down to the pres- 
ent site of the town of Grafton; and 
that, while on his way, he passed the 
colonists of the Illinois River, who 
bad taken refuge on a mound in Little 
Prairie, near the place afterward set- 
tled by I'atrick Cunningham. These 
had their Indian ponies, canoes and 
worldly wealth all around them, and 
were much surprised and demoralized 
by the unexpected flood. Their ponies 
breaking away and leaving tbera for 
the more congenial mainland, they 
soon after pushed off in their ca- 
oes and made for Portage Des Sioux, 
where they afterwards settled. This 
was between the years 1815 and 1820. 
Some of these ponies were afterwards 
caught and domesticated by Captain 
Nixon. 

This high water is now historical 
from the damages it caused to the 
trappers and early settlers who invari- 
ably located on the lowlands along 
the western rivers. 

Manner of Life. 

The county, from the first, furnish- 
ed the necessaries of life. An acre or 
two in potatoes and corn furnished a 
year's breadstuff for any.family. The 
wild turkey and deer furnished them 
meat, and the hollow trees of the for- 
est yielded them stores of honey. The 
I'ultivation and manufacture of flax 
yielded their clothing, but for the lux- 
uries of life they had to repair to St. 



Louis, To obtain Ih^se they resorted 
to the following- means: Every spriny 
and fall the men would cut a lot of 
oordvvood neai- the river. Then mak- 
ing a raft of ash or cottonwood logi,!, 
they would shoulder the eordwood en 
board. llunuini>- the raft to St. Louis 
they would carry the wood ashore, 
cord it, and sell it, g-ettin^- from a dol- 
lar to a dollar and a rjuarter a cord. 
With the proceeds they loaded their 
canoes with such thiny-sas necessity or 
fancy prompted, and then paddled 
home with their riches to an expectant 
and "ratified family. The cables used 
to tie u}) the rafts were large and cost- 
ly,— grapevines obtained" from the 
forest. 

The milling was first done by means 
of a sycamore block hollowed"^by lire, 
and then cleaned out. Into this was 
emptied the shelled cctra which was 
pounded to the required fineness with 
a rock. Another method was by hand 
mills, but these were very slow and 
required considerable muscle and pa- 
tience. 

In the matter of courtship the vicis- 
situdes were still greater. Instead of 
the comfort of the modern front gate 
and the shadowed recesses of a retired 
parlor, with its turndown lamp and 
inviting sofa, the young jjeopjehad to 
sit by the light of a wood tire in the 
wide tire place of a one room log cab- 
in, the girl's mother on one side, and 
the ''old man'" on the other, ready to 
criticise every word said, and never 
getting sleei)y— yet it seems that the 
g-irls must have given their admirers 
considerable encouragement from the 
fact that, notwithstanding all these 
difficulties, marriages were of frequent 
occurrence. 

FERRIES. 

John Bolter at Milan, year not 
known, used to communicate with 
early settlers in St. Charles. Bolter 
moved up the river afterwards to what 
was called the Fishing Branch, and 
there died. 

Ebenezer Smith's ferry, at present 
Guilford, 181!) or 1820. 

Bushnell's ferry, at iiresent Colum- 
biana, time of starting not known. 
Bushnell s(jld to Mr. Farrow in whose 
family it yet remains. 

ClarksvilJe Ferry in September 182-j, 
Abner Youno-. 



Jone's Ferry on Illinois, year not 
known. 

Samuel Hill at Newport, March, 
182o. 

Jacques Ferry, now Deer Plain, 
near mouth of the Illinois, year not 
knt)wn. Existed in 1H2"). 

STEAMBOATS. 

Cheslev Twichell thinks the first was 
the "Utility" in the year 18:}1. She 
was three days coming from St. Louis 
to the present Twichell Landing. 

According to Jacob Crader, the 
^ 'Argus" came in I8;5.'{. 

In 18;5o came the "Df)n Juan.'' with 
DeWitt as Capt. and Fress Devinney, 
as i)ilot. 

Then th^ "America" which was 
sunk in Diamond Island Slough (Dark 
Chute) by collision with the "Friend- 
shi])." which boat came into the trade 
in 18."{(i. After lying three or four 
weeks the "American" was drawn out 
by aid of forty-two yoke of oxen and 
sixty or seventy men, mostly settlers, 
who were invited by the boat owners 
to help them. 

MISCELLANEOUS. 

The freight of these consisted of 
cattle, hogs, corn and wheat, and gave 
great impetus in raising these com- 
modities, from the fact of furnishing 
the means of transportation. 

The first wheat of anv note was 
raised in 18.38. 

The first threshing machine known 
of was brought in to Crater precinct 
by Henry Bechdoldt in 184(i. 

Grain cradles were introduced in 
1845, the first one on the farm of Jacob 
Crader, and in the following year they 
became very common. The people 
thought them the greatest invention 
out. 

The first wagon in the county was 
brought in by Winship, in 1828. The 
next one was brought in by Nathan- 
iel Shaw in about i8;{0. 

The first frame dwelling house was 
that b'lilt by Major Roberts on the 
present farm of Kenry Kiel, in 1829. 

The first frame barn was built on 
the farm now occupied by A. G. 
Squir, and is still standing. 
SCHOOLHOUSES. 

The first, not known. Probably the 
Gilnian schoolhouse, afterwards Beth- 
el, on what was then known as "Mud- 
dv Creek.'' 



Point Pleasant, near Nathaniel 
Shaw's residence, in Point precinct, 
was probably the next. Date not 
icDOwn. 

Then one in Mortland Hollow, built 
bv Charles Squier and Jacob Pruden 
in 1829. 

The first Sunday School not known. 
Stephen Paxon orji'anized several in 
the county, the first of which was ut 
Belle view, in 1850. 

IWrLLS. 

The first, ])robably was that owned 
by .John Shaw at Coles Grove. Date 
unknown. It was a horse power. 

Next was, probably, John Mett's. in 
Brussels. A horse power, probably 
in 1828. 

Oilman's on Muddy Creek, probal>ly 
co-temporary with Metts. A water 
power. 

The Cave Spring- mill, near the res- 
idence of John SlcNabb. Built by 
Jacob Crater in 1829. Water power. 

Indian Creek mill, built bv Samuel 
Crater in 1829 or IS.'JO. 

ORGANIZATION. 

C'alhoun county svas a part of what 
was lonsr known as the ''Great Mili- 
tary Tract" which extended from Chi- 
cago, south and west, to the Mississ- 
ippi River. It was known first as 
Madison county, which then included 
the present counties of Madison, Jer- 
sey, Green and Pike, with Edwards- 
vil^e^as the county seat. A subsequent 
division formed the counties of the 
present Madison, and Greene which 
included Jersey and Pike which includ- 
ed Calhoun. The county seat of Pike 
was Cole's Grove, now Gilead. Cal- 
houn at that day had well established 
settlements long before permanent set- 
tlers took possession of Pike, and the 
weight of population for a long time 
lay south of Cole's Grove. 

By an act of the legislature, approv- 
ed J ariuary 10, 1825, a county to be 
called Calhoun was to be formed from 
the lower part of Pike, and commiss- 
ioners Were appointed to locate a per- 
manent '"Seat of Justice" for toe same. 
An election for county officers was 
held on the second Saturday of Febru- 
ary, 1825. in the houses of James B. 
(iilmau and Jt)hn Bolter, resulting as 
f(jllows: 

James Nixon, Ebenezer Smith and 
Asa Cai-rico, Commissioners. Bige- 



low C. Fenton, Sheriff. James Levin, 
Coroner. A. M. Jenkins, County 
Clerk, by appointment. 

A. M. Jenkins, first Notary Public 
in 1825. 

James Nixon, first Public Admini.- 
trator, 1827. 

Wm. H. Miller, first School Com- 
missioner, I(i45. 

A. M. Jenkins, first" Circuit Clerk. 
1825. 

The commissioners for locating the 
"Seat of Justice." after due delibera- 
tion, made formal choice of Cole's 
(irove. In reward for this honor, 
John Shaw presented the county with 
a warantee deed to the south half of 
the northwest quarter of section nine, 
township eleven, range two, besides 
nine lots in Cole's Grove, which, un- 
der its new name of Gilead, it held the 
exalted position of county seat until 
1847, when it was changed to Hardin. 

The first act of the new County 
Couit was to confirm the choice of 
Gilead as thecounty seat. The second 
was the granting of a license to Jona- 
than Simons to keep ferry on the Illi: 
nois river at his residence where he 
formei-lv kept a'ferrv. Point not stat- 
ed. 

Farther on in the records we come 
to an order that sounds something like 
the Blue Laws of Connecticut, and is 
as follows: 

Ordered, that William Frye have a' 
licen.se to keep tavern at his residence 
for the ensuing year, his paying one 
dollar tax and complying with the 
laws in such case made and provided: 
and that he be allowed to charge and 
receive the following rates of fare: 

To each meal's victuals 25 cents. 

To keepinghorseovernight J7A 

To each half pint whiskey.. 12i " 

To each horse fed 12i " 

To each night's lodging (ii " 

Rum, gin. brandy, wine, i pt.lSf '' 

So it will be seen that foi', at least, 
the necessaries of life ])eouIe could not 
hen be overcharged. ^ 

So ends our history of the most im- 
portant event in the life of either na- 
tion or individual, — that is, its earli- 
est existence. It is necessarily imper- 
fect. First, from lack of date to first 
settlements, and to the deeds of these 
settlers. And again, from inability 
to bring it down to later events and 
incorjjorate the character and c.nii.i- 



lion of the county and its inhabitants rojrardti and icindost wishes to tho])eo- 
through the various changes of the pie of this. county, and without fui-th- 
passintr years. er a])ology. this" is respectfully siil)- 

We have dealt with the i)eT'sonal in- mitted. 
terest and individual affairs of the 
county, i-ather than with its political 
or descriptive changes, statistics that 
might record its jjrogress in wealth 



and intluence. At some future day we The fort-oin- history was rcnu)>lishc.l on 

mav take it up and publish its record t, , .^.. ,ru>. i 

up to the i)i'esent day. and so leave 

bright to a coining age what has been XHF DPDI!RI ir^AIM 

dark to us. To this end we would i"L KCKUOLI^rll>(, 

wish to receive from the old settlers jj \i;])ix ...... n ] ixois 

such correction of dates or additional - > • , 

events as it may be in their power or Thos. d. ijare. Editor. 

pleasui-e to give. With our highest 



^mts HisfofficAt smi^ 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA 



977.385L18C 
CALHOUN COUNTY 



C001 



3 0112 025398451